ZWT - 1910 - R4539 thru R4732 / R4613 (161) - May 15, 1910
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VOL. XXXI MAY 15 No. 10
A.D. 1910--A.M. 6038
Reaction in Female Seminaries.....................163
Away From Ancient Altars......................163
Begotten of God--He Cannot Sin....................164
"My Soul, Be on Thy Guard"....................167
What the Church Shares With Christ................167
The Heaven-Provided Bread.........................168
St. Peter Cried, "Lord, Save Me"..................169
Some Interesting Questions........................170
The Ransom Work...............................170
Outward Polish vs. Inward Grace...............171
The Same Vail Untaken Away....................171
Significance of the Under-Priests.............172
International Bible Students Conventions..........172
The Memorial Celebration..........................173
Some Interesting Letters..........................174
Berean Studies on the Creation....................175
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REACTION IN FEMALE SEMINARIES
WE GIVE liberal extracts from an article following, which confirms our recent statement that the same polished infidelity which for forty years has steadily been leavening all the male colleges and seminaries of the United States, Canada, England and Germany, and which by now has gotten possession of nearly every pulpit and Sunday school, is penetrating and saturating even common school books.
Many parents see this but forbear to protest, because of their lack of spine and their false standard of parental love. Instead of standing up for the Truth and the Bible they surrender to the arrogance of Young America --male and female. They think that they love their children too much to oppose them, when really their trouble is too much self-love--"approbativeness." They fear to have their educated darlings think of them as "old fogies" and behind the times. What they need is more love for their Creator, more love for his Word and more love for their children--to give them backbone to stand up for the Truth at any cost.
But alas! So blighting and stunting has been the misrepresentation of the Gospel of Christ that many dear souls, possessed of a keen faith, have so little knowledge that they cannot defend it. Yea, they know their ignorance and fear even to try.
"My people perish for lack of knowledge," says the Lord. Yet the leaders of all denominations teach them to boast. They are rich and increased in goods and have need of nothing: they know not of their poverty, blindness and nakedness. (`Rev. 3:17`.) Ah! Thank God for the Millennial Kingdom so near at hand! What would humanity do without it! Soon the half-truth of the dark ages would give way to no creed, no faith. And what direful results would follow!
AWAY FROM ANCIENT ALTARS
[HAROLD BOLCE IN "COSMOPOLITAN."]
"Colleges devoted to the education of women have revised the accepted estimate of life, with startling consequences to ancient creeds. Throughout the ages there has been a sad procession of believers who regarded life as a burden to be borne, and endured it to the end, with sighs and tears. And the memory of their sacrifice and suffering has been revered by the thousands that follow them. In contrast with this philosophy, which has produced unnumbered martyrdoms and is still held in some circles, there has been preached a militant gospel. Life is regarded as a warfare in an arena. In the hymn that sings the spiritual triumphs of conquest when the armies of the Lord waged battle, the believer rejects a life of either resignation or ease 'while others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas.'
"American educators of women are showing what they believe to be the fallacy of both these philosophies. Life, they say, is neither a burden nor a battle. It is a benediction. It is the great Fact. To live right is to live joyously. And so the thousands of young women coming out of our institutions of learning do not follow the centuries of tearful pilgrimage on the Via Dolorosa, neither do they choose the Field of Mars. They believe that martyrdom in modern times is as anachronistic as the stake, and that to regard life as gladiatorial is to miss its finest meanings.
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"The significance of this interpretation of life appears when its application to current activities is studied. 'Non ministrari sed ministrare,' 'not to be ministered unto, but to minister,' is the motto of Wellesley College, and this is the spirit of all the institutions pledged to the higher education of American women. The new evangels do not offer up anguished petitions to a non-resident God. Modern scholarship is, indeed, fulfilling Comte's prophecy that the God of authority would be escorted out of the affairs of man.
"President William De Witt Hyde, of Bowdoin College, who is in demand as a lecturer at many girls' colleges, teaches that as human experience develops, the divine attributes have to be translated into new terms--into terms that are in keeping with the deepening experience of the race; and that 'we know God only through man.' His teaching that a God symbolized by the outgrown experience of bygone ages is little better than no God at all, finds emphasis in the loftiest thinking among the professors in the colleges under consideration. Katharine Lee Bates, professor of English in Wellesley College, a woman of rare endowments and profound spirituality, teaches that the great foundations of Christianity 'plead for ampler walls and gates,' and that 'the heresy of youth is the outworn creed of age.'
"The old idea that the good-will of the Infinite could be secured by sacrificial offerings on the altar, or by lamentations and Te Deums, has been abandoned by the colleges. The futility of such petitionings is emphasized by Dr. Caroline Hazard, president of Wellesley, who is carrying out with distinguished efficiency the work
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inaugurated by Alice Freeman Palmer. In a talk recalling some of the scenes of Palestine, which she visited recently, she told of the faithful in Israel who gather at the Wall of Wailing and cry out to the God of their fathers to restore the Temple and reassemble the children of Jerusalem. 'Make speed, make speed, O Deliverer of Zion!' has been the intoned cry of these worshipers throughout the dismal centuries that have crept across the ruins of the great edifice the Preacher built, and yet, in spite of all this supplicating of the Throne of Grace, the very City of the Jews is a Moslem town! Just as it is unnecessary to go back to Sinai to find the covenants of God, so it is idle in our age to look to the skies for help. 'Each soul,' said President Hazard, 'has its Holy City, deep hidden under the accretions of every-day life.'
"President Hyde, of Bowdoin, not only tells his own students, but has sent the message out to all the students of this land, that the modern world, at least the intelligent and thoughtful portion, has outgrown the old idea that God sent his Son to earth, announcing his advent by signs and wonders; or that this Son was authorized to forgive sinners who conformed to the terms revealed; or that Jesus transmitted this miraculously tested power to his Apostles.
"From a student at Berkeley, who has also studied at Stanford University, comes the assurance that 'university women are taking a brave and enlightened stand on the subject of teaching their children and all children the vital facts about life.' She adds that the college-bred men and women of the Far West 'seem to have been swept along about equally before the irresistible non-church wave that has left some of them prostrated before crass materialism,' but that 'more and more stagger again to their feet, and move with eager steps towards the dawn of a creedless spirituality.'
"This confirms the teaching of Doctor Brown, of Stanford University, that 'hard and fast theories have been going down before the majesty of fact.' He even goes so far as to say that what Tom Paine and Robert G. Ingersoll taught, as death-blows to faith, is now proclaimed as truth by Christian scholarship.
"But the new gospel has come without bitterness, with humanity as its shrine, and the aspirations of the race its litanies. 'The contemporary kingdom of love,' said one of the lecturers at Wellesley, 'is the only way over which we may pass to the eternal kingdom of love.'
"Not blind petitioning, but active faith and action illumine the new creed. 'We still have our dragons,' said Miss Hazard. 'Perseus and St. George have not exterminated them all. The world is waiting for Andromeda, and still more for the active Dorcas. Under Syrian skies, or in a Western World, the call is the same--a call to service, to high living, to wage war on the powers of evil.' And in the litanies which this president and poet has written, self-indulgence, evasion, and fear are enumerated as the dragons every human spirit has to fight.
"So far as the outlook of American students is concerned, 'the eternal city of the skies,' fabled in Christian legend, lies in ruins under the feet of modern scholarship. But the education of young women, President M. Carey Thomas, of Bryn Mawr, points out, is giving us 'a new heaven and a new earth.' These young women are going out of the colleges not to destroy, but to fulfil. They are taught that Jesus of Nazareth 'never mentioned religion,' that 'it was farthest from his thought'; and that 'life' was the sublime text of his ministry.
"Dr. George A. Gordon, of Boston, who is popular as a lecturer at Wellesley, teaches that 'we lament the loss of belief in angels and seek to revive the doctrine of familiar spirits; we speak of the pathos of these vanished faiths,' but there is infinite gain to man in 'the grandeur of this abolition of all intermediaries'; and President Hazard sets forth that it must always be one of the glories of woman 'that truth can appeal in a direct and concrete form to her mind.'
"The young college women are not dreamers, save as they are inspired by the vision of a new society saved by service. They are carrying what they believe to be the true spirit of Christ and Christmas throughout the year. Though all the recorded miracles may be regarded as folk-lore, and though the Manger itself may be no more than a sacred myth, life remains beautiful and divine, and the call to re-create the spirit of the home and to serve humanity is regarded as a commission from the 'King of kings reigning in the heart of the race.' They indeed constitute an army--an undenominational army--but their banners are unseen. Instead of breaking windows, they are mending hearts. They believe in the integrity of law, and so scout the notion that any sea was ever rolled back by a wand. They believe that in all ages, wherever the Spirit of God has triumphed on earth, dominion has been asserted through the thought of man. And that divine presence, the colleges teach and the activities of college girls give evidence, is as potent today on earth as it ever was in ancient times.
"This, in substance, is the significance of the repudiation by the colleges of what they regard as crude and narrowing theology. The young women do not cringe at the Throne of Grace. To cry out in despair on bended knees is regarded not as an evidence of religious advance, but an expression of timidity and fear. The laws of the spirit are logical and fixed. The electrician does not cross himself before the dynamo. The chemist does not deal in burnt offerings to give divine quickening to the elements."
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BEGOTTEN OF GOD--HE CANNOT SIN
"He that is begotten of God sinneth not, for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin."--`I Jno. 3:9`.
AS in human nature there is an earthly begetting and an earthly birth, so, the Scriptures inform us, the Lord purposes during this Gospel Age to develop creatures of a new nature. These are spoken of as first begotten of the holy Spirit, at the time of their consecration, and subsequently developed and ultimately "born from the dead" as "members of the Body of Christ" --sharers "in his resurrection," "the First Resurrection," the Chief Resurrection.
The begetting power the Scriptures declare to be the Word of Truth. Through this Word God operates in us first of all, and if we respond to the drawing we shall be brought into relationship with Christ through faith, recognizing him as the Sin-Bearer, as the Great Advocate who is willing to appropriate a share of his merit to us and thus to justify us from Adamic sin and the imperfections of the flesh, which we no longer approve. The Word of God having convinced us that all unrighteousness is sin, and we, having reached that place where we desire to be in accord with God and with righteousness,
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are informed through his Word that they who would become fully his in the present time, and receive his invitation to become members of the Body of Christ, to join with our Lord in the laying down of earthly life, may "present their bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, their reasonable service."
When we do this, our Lord Jesus, as Advocate, imputes his merit to us, and we are accepted of the Father, during this "acceptable time of the Lord"--this Gospel Age, while the full number of the "elect" are being chosen. The Father's acceptance is indicated by the impartation of the holy Spirit, and we are "begotten [this text improperly translates it 'born'] of God." The word for "born" and "begotten," being the same (gennao) in the Greek, the context must indicate which should be used. In the present case it should be the word "begotten," because the New Creature is at this time but an embryo; it has not a new body; it has merely a new mind, a new will, a new disposition, which has been engendered by the Spirit of Truth and accepted of the Father as a begetting to the spirit nature.
Everything connected with this New Creature is pure and sinless; it has none of the Adamic condemnation nor imperfection. It never had. It cannot agree to sin because it is out of harmony with sin. The desire for sin
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which might still lurk in the fallen members of our body, would be called, as the Apostle terms it, "the motions of sin in the flesh," or the struggles of the flesh. The flesh is reckoned dead, but is not actually dead--merely "dying daily." The New Creature thus contending against the flesh and mortifying the flesh, makes progress in proportion to its energy and success in this direction.
"HIS SEED REMAINETH IN HIM AND HE CANNOT
If this new will, this new mind, that God has accepted and recognized as a New Creature, should ever, knowingly, intentionally, approve of sin and connive at sin, this would prove that the Spirit of the Lord, the new mind, is gone, because it is merely the new will, the new disposition, at the present time that represents this New Creature. It is not the flesh; it is not the gray matter of the brain; it is the will which controls the brain and seeks to regulate the thoughts and intentions of the heart, and, so far as possible, all the actions of the daily life. The new will is the New Creature in the most emphatic sense. If, then, the will has ceased to be in harmony with God's will, it has perished as a new will and is merely the old will revived. This would indicate that the seed of truth, the seed of this power of God, has died in the individual; for as long as "his seed remaineth in him he cannot sin." He cannot intentionally and knowingly approve sin or practice sin.
The New Will might at times be entrapped, because the will is very particularly identified with the body, with the human brain, and therefore with all the affairs of life. At such times it might become thoughtless respecting its obligations and the propriety of its course, and so the New Creature might be overtaken in a fault; but it could not be a New Creature and yet have a will or intention to do that which is evil--contrary to righteousness and to the Divine will and intention.
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." (`I John 1:8`.) How shall we harmonize this text with the preceding one is a question that comes up? The Apostle is not here saying that our flesh sins and that we do not sin. Nor do we understand him to be saying, "If any man says that his flesh does not sin he is a liar," but we understand him to be saying, "If we [New Creatures] say that we have no sin, the truth is not in us." He is thus saying that we, New Creatures, are responsible for sin. We understand the solution of this to be found in the difference between the will or intention of the New Creature, and the ability of the New Creature. The New Creature never wilfully sins, never intentionally does wrong, but may be ensnared through the evil propensities of its fallen body of flesh.
This earthly body is reckoned dead and God has nothing to do with it. God does not judge nor deal with dead things; "ye are dead," so far as the flesh is concerned. Hence God is not judging the body; he is not noting what your body did, what you as a human being did, because you no longer exist as a human being, from the Divine standpoint or records. Your whole standing with God is as a New Creature; but you have a responsibility for your body, your tongue, your hands, your feet, and all that these do. As a steward over these it is for you, as a New Creature, to do the best with them that you can, and you are responsible for them.
To illustrate: If a man owns a dog and knows the dog has a bad temper and will bark and bite and annoy the neighbors, it is his duty to muzzle the dog or chain it. If the dog gets loose at any time and bites somebody, the dog will not be sued in court, because the dog has no responsibility in the matter, but the suit will be brought against the owner of the dog. He is the one that is held responsible for what the dog does.
So in the Divine Court, we as New Creatures are held responsible for our body--for what our hands do, for what our feet do, and for what our tongues do. If, therefore, the body sins, the New Creature is charged with that sin, whatever it may be--whether it be a grievous sin or a less sin; and when we say, "if the body sins," we are merely putting it in an accommodated form, because we know that in the flesh there is no perfection; that there is not a New Creature who has a body that is perfect and that can keep the law of God absolutely.
"FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE
THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US"
Thus we see that every New Creature is charged with the defects of his mortal flesh. These, in the Scriptures, are called "trespasses," and in the Lord's Prayer we are instructed what we should do with respect to these trespasses. When we pray, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us," we are not referring to Adamic sin, which God does not forgive, but which is atoned for by the merit of Christ, imputed to us. When we speak here of "trespasses" we are referring to those sins which we as New Creatures commit unintentionally, against the Divine plan or law because entrapped or ensnared by our infirmities or by the surrounding conditions and temptations of life. These might overcome the New Creature and swerve him from his course, just as the bringing of a magnet into the vicinity of a compass might cause the needle of the compass temporarily to deviate; this would not mean that the compass has been spoiled, nor that it is a bad compass because temporarily it has been turned from its proper course; and so with us. The new mind, the new will, is in harmony with God and anything which might distract it in any degree would be merely a temporary matter and would not necessarily mean our imperfection as New Creatures. In the case of the compass, if the opposing magnet were removed, the needle of the compass would immediately revert to the North; and so with us, if the overpowering temptation were out of the way, our hearts, as New Creatures, would at once revert to loyalty to God. This illustration, of course, is not a perfect one
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because the compass has no intelligence, no will, no power to improve itself nor to add to its resistance of outside influences.
These trespasses, as we bring them to the throne of grace, would not be forgiven unless we had an Advocate, and then our Advocate could do nothing for us except as he had merit at his command that he could appropriate on our behalf, because God is dealing on lines of strict and absolute justice. Hence when we come to the throne of heavenly grace the basis of our faith and confidence should be that we have a great High Priest who has entered for us into the "Most Holy"; that this Great One is our Advocate with God, and that the basis of his effective advocacy is the merit of his sacrifice--that he has the wherewithal to satisfy Justice on behalf of all of those imperfections that are ours unwittingly, unintentionally.
God might have arranged that the merit of Christ's sacrifice should not only cover or be effective for "all those sins that are past through the forbearance of God" at the time of our acceptance as New Creatures, but should also be applied for all further imperfections of the flesh to the very end of our lives. But he did not make such an arrangement and evidently he purposed this that it might be to our advantage, so that when we trespass we might have the humiliating experience of being forced to come "to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find help for every time of need." Whoever has had any experience as a child of God in coming to the throne of grace has, doubtless, to some extent, had this very humiliation.
If, for instance, the New Creature found that he was overtaken in the same fault a second time, it would produce special humiliation, and every additional humiliation should make that New Creature more and more earnest in his endeavors that this particular lesson should be well learned--that never again need he make application along the same line to the Lord for forgiveness. Thus we see in this arrangement of the Lord a great blessing--a blessing in that it will keep us humble and also keep us continually coming to the throne of grace and cognizant of the fact that we are imperfect according to the flesh; keep us looking at the standard which God has set, to see to what extent we are still imperfect; and will lead us to watch ourselves daily that we may grow as New Creatures. In harmony with this the Apostle Paul, addressing New Creatures, says: "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous."
We must understand the Apostle here to mean that if any man sin because of his not having a perfect body, if he sin because of the imperfection of the flesh and surrounding temptations, but who as a New Creature desires to do God's will, let him "come boldly to the throne of Heavenly grace." Let him have courage to come. Let him not delay to come. As a matter of fact, however, we know that many do delay to come to the throne of grace; they feel ashamed to go to the Heavenly Father to acknowledge that they have made another failure; and thus hindered by their shame, or by their pride, or by discouragement, they are in great danger, because the longer they remain away the more serious will their condition become, the colder will be their heart and the more numerous will be the spots upon their "robe of righteousness."
GREAT COMPANY MUST WASH THEIR ROBES AND
MAKE THEM WHITE
And so it is that those who are most fervent in spirit and most fully in accord with the Lord are very careful that not even a single spot shall soil their robe of righteousness; but if a spot should appear they hasten at once to have it cleansed with the blood of Christ; while others who take a different course grow gradually more and more careless until their robe becomes very much spotted and the cloud between them and the Lord becomes darker and darker, and they may perhaps be engulfed in worldliness, and eventually incur the penalty of the Second Death. Even in the case of those with whom it does not eventuate so seriously, we see the picture given us in the Scriptures of how deplorable is their condition; that they will not be accounted worthy to be of the "Little Flock"; they
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will not be accounted worthy to be of the Royal Priesthood; they must suffer many stripes; and the very highest position possible for them to attain is a place in the antitypical Levite company, the "Great Company," servants of the Royal Priesthood.
This picture is given us, we remember, in `Revelation, 7th chapter`, where the "Great Company" is shown as washing their robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb. There would be no need of washing the entire robe unless the entire robe were spotted. Those who keep their garments unspotted from the world by noting every spot which might appear, and go to the throne of grace immediately that they, as New Creatures, may "walk in white"--these are the ones who are pleasing in the Lord's sight. It is to this class that we all wish to belong.
WHEN THE NEW CREATURE CEASES TO EXIST
It might be asked, at this time, how does Christ act as Advocate for the sins of the New Creature and apply his merit for their sins? We answer that all the sins that are charged to the New Creature are the earthly weaknesses and imperfections, and Christ's merit is all of an earthly kind. He has nothing to give away of a heavenly kind. The sacrifice he made was an earthly sacrifice, the merit of which has been imputed to those who come to the Father through him; so it is merely for the earthly sins, and the unwilling sins, so far as the New Creature is concerned, that his merit is applied.
If the New Creature is unfaithful in the sense of agreeing to sin then the New Creature ceases to be-- there is no New Creature there. But the New Creature might be asleep and might be entrapped in that way; as for example: There might be a servant who is at heart loyal to his master in that he would not wish to connive with robbers that they might enter the house; but if that servant were careless with respect to the locks on the doors and a thief should break in through that carelessness, he is unfaithful, and is a transgressor to that extent. But if he had connived with the marauders and robbers and had opened the door to let them in, he would be no longer a servant; he would be no longer a member of that household, but an enemy. He would be a robber himself.
So if we as New Creatures connive at sin and make provision for the flesh and watch for opportunities to get into relationship with sinful things, the New Creature in that case has ceased to be a New Creature. He is an old creature, merely masquerading, and there would be no further hope for such a one. He has passed beyond hope. But if he has been careless and the robbers (we speak of these sinful propensities as robbers) have insidiously engaged him in conversation, and one is enticing him to hold open the door for conversation, while another goes around in some other way and thus breaks in, he is responsible to the extent that he has communed at all with any of these influences. He has no right to have anything whatever to do with sin. He has no right to have any fellowship with sinful things. He should have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness, nor be in
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harmony with them in any sense of the word, but should turn from them as from an enemy. We have no right to have any fellowship or sympathy with that which the master of the house has prohibited. The Master of our house is Christ the Lord, and his will and his rule are to be respected, not only in the outward letter, of apparently trying to keep the house secure, but to the full extent of resisting and treating as enemies everything that is not in accord with him. The more firmly we get this thought fixed in our minds the greater will be the power that we shall find supporting our new wills in this resistance of sin.
"MY SOUL, BE ON THY GUARD"
According to the Scriptures, as well as according to our own experience and that of many others of which we have knowledge, all sin which comes in upon a New Creature, comes very insidiously and generally in some soft way. An outward attack, like throwing stones, is never made. One would shut the door promptly against such an attack; but it is the smooth-spoken sins, the smooth-tongued sins, that come in, the sins that appear to be right. Going back to the illustration of the dog: It is when we feel that there is some provocation for letting down the chain, so that the dog can do some good with his teeth-- that there is somebody that ought to be bitten--that is the time when we throw ourselves open to danger. We are slow to learn to fully appreciate the fact that the dog is not to bite anybody; he is not to bite the friends of the family, nor the enemies of the family. He is to be kept chained all the time. Then, as to how much the dog may bark: You can readily see what that would mean. That is evil speaking. If the dog keeps on barking he will annoy not only the family, but also the neighbors and friends and even the enemies. The New Creature has no right to allow this. His tongue may speak that which is good and that only. This is an absolute command: "Speak evil of no man"--not only of no man in the Church, but of no man outside of the Church; and in this case, the man includes the woman.
We might ask if our Lord Jesus, when he ascended up on high, "there to appear in the presence of God for us," applied the whole of his merit; and if so, what has he now to apply for these daily trespasses that we unwittingly and unwillingly commit and on account of which we are bidden to come with courage to the throne of Heavenly grace and remember that we have an Advocate? We answer that our Lord, when he died, gave into the Father's hands the entire merit of his earthly life, but he did not apply it to any specific use or purpose. He merely said, "Into thy hands I commit my spirit"--my all is given up to the Father. When he ascended up on high all those earthly life-rights were in the Father's hands, were in bank, so to speak. But it is one thing to have something in bank and another thing to appropriate money to others. Our Lord deposited his merit in the heavenly bank, so to speak, and it was there for him when he ascended up on high to make appropriation of it.
What appropriation did he make? He did not appropriate his entire merit to one individual and as soon as that individual was through using it, appropriate the whole to another individual; but all this merit of his, in every particular and in the widest scope it could possibly cover, was left in the hands of God, and he did not appropriate it all at one time, but merely drew against it. As we would say if we were speaking financially; he drew many drafts against that deposit; he imputed a share of that merit to each one who would believe in him and turn from sin and make a consecration such as he has made, and would seek to walk in his steps to the end of the journey.
So, then, our Lord's merit was not merely for believers living at the time of his death, but for us who are now living and for all consecrated believers of the obedient class, and for all of their interests. But while it was all put into God's hands for that purpose and left there as security for all that class, nevertheless it went out or was individually applied as each one needed it. At that time there was only a small number of disciples, about five hundred brethren, and the merit, or imputation of merit, to cover their Adamic sin and render them acceptable as sacrifices, was granted instantaneously, and as a result the holy Spirit came upon all those in that waiting attitude at Pentecost. The Lord has since been appropriating his merit to all those who come to the Father by him; this merit is applied to no others, and it flows from that same source and fountain of grace. It is not only sufficient to apply for all the sins, imperfections and blemishes of the past, but is sufficient for all the imperfections and blemishes as long as we remain in the flesh, because it has not been given wholly at any time, but remains as a continual fountain of supply, from which we may daily draw.
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WHAT THE CHURCH SHARES WITH CHRIST
BRIEFLY summed up, the Church is called, by special invitation, to a "high calling"; a high station--now to suffer with Christ, that she may in due time reign with him. This suffering with Christ is not suffering for sin we may commit, for he never suffered in any such sense. If we suffer with him, our suffering must be along the line of experiencing injustice and in laying down our lives in the service of righteousness. His sufferings were sacrificial sufferings, hence if we share in his sufferings, our sufferings must be sacrificial.
We share with him in the begetting of the holy Spirit and we share with him in his resurrection, if, as the Apostle says, we are faithful in suffering with him, faithful in the matter of participating in his death; for, "If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him."
Looking at the matter from the standpoint of the Scriptures we shall see that they sometimes speak of Christ and the Church under the figure of one great Priest, Jesus the Head and the Church his Body, his consecrated self-sacrificing members, and the "Great Company," the antitypical house of Levi, the servants of the Priest. Sometimes the Scriptures speak of us as the under-priesthood, and Christ Jesus as representing the Head of this priesthood. In all these figures the thought is that in some sense we share with our Lord in his work. As the Apostle expresses it, "we are one loaf," all members or participants in that one loaf. The breaking of that one loaf, which was accomplished in our Lord Jesus primarily, is continuing in those who are accepted as members of him, continuing in those who keep their hearts with all diligence.
In the matter of sin atonement, "we were children of wrath even as others," and therefore we had nothing wherewith we could procure the redemption either of ourselves
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or of anybody else. Hence we were wholly dependent upon God's provision in Christ Jesus our Lord, "who gave himself a ransom for all"--a ransom-price. We, therefore, have none of this ransom merit in us; but when he gives us a share of this, or imputes it to us, and then, by virtue of our consecration and his becoming our Advocate, the Father receives us as members of his Body, we thus become members of the Ransomer, because his work of ransoming is not completed. He has indeed given the ransom-price, but he has not yet applied this price for all. We had nothing whatever to do with the matter at the time the price was laid down, but we become identified with him before that price is applied to the world. We have, therefore, that much share in the ransoming-work, because the word "ransom" takes the thought not only of the work that Jesus did in the past, but also of the whole procedure down to the very end of the Millennial Age. To ransom means, not only to purchase, but to receive or to recover the thing that is purchased. We have nothing to do with the payment of the price that secures the ransom, but we have something to do--and are counted in with him--in the work of recovering that which was bought with his merit.
It will take all of the Millennial Age to recover mankind in the full sense of the word, to ransom them or to bring them back; as we read, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave." The ransom-price for that purpose was paid nearly 1,900 years ago, but they are not yet ransomed from the grave and will not be until the awakening time in the Millennium. Then, as they gradually come out of sin and death conditions, the full intent and purpose of that ransoming will be in process of accomplishment, and since the Church is to be associated with Christ in all the work of the Millennial Kingdom, therefore the Church, in that sense of the word, will be identified with the ransoming work, or the work of deliverance.
As represented in the "sin-offering," the merit originally proceeded from the great High Priest, who is Jesus, and that merit is conferred upon the Church, his Body, not apart from himself, but as members of himself. He does not treat us as separate from himself. He is simply adding to himself these members, and as soon as we become justified through his merit and accepted of the Father as members of his Body, we are members of the great High Priest who has a great work to do; and when the merit that has been imputed to us, and to every spirit-begotten member of the household of faith, shall be available for disposal the second time, all the members of his Body will have participation in the application of his sacrifice, in the sprinkling of the New Covenant.
Our Lord's present invitation is to drink with him his "cup," to partake of it. This is the blood of the New Covenant, his blood, "shed for many for the remission of sins," of which we are all to drink, and it takes the entire Gospel Age to find the proper number of those who are thus invited in harmony with the Father's plan, and who are willing to drink of this cup, to be baptized into his death.
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THE HEAVEN-PROVIDED BREAD
--MAY 29.--`MATTHEW 14:13-21`; `15:29-39`.--
Golden Text:--"I am the bread of life."--`John 6:35`.
THE GOSPELS give us two distinctly different miracles of feeding the multitude in the wilderness places. On one occasion the number fed was five thousand and in the other four thousand. In the one case it was a lad who provided five small barley cakes and two fishes; in the other the disciples themselves had seven loaves and a few fishes. In one instance twelve baskets full of fragments were gathered after the repast; in the other seven baskets full. St. Matthew's Gospel records both of these miracles. In each instance there was a seeming necessity for the miracle, and the necessity prompted our Lord's compassion and the use of the Divine power. It will be noticed that in these instances the Master used for the benefit of others the special powers communicated to him at the time of his baptism through the descent of the holy Spirit; but we recall that Jesus refused to use this same power selfishly for his own comfort, even when he hungered after having spent forty days in the wilderness at the outstart of his work, studying the Scriptures to know the mind of the Lord, how he should suffer and become the Mediator of the New Covenant.
"BUT SOME DOUBTED"
Not all, even of those who associated with our Lord, understood, appreciated, believed in his wonderful miracles. Where there is a desire to disbelieve there is also a possibility. Indeed, the Scriptures are evidently quite true in their assurances that faith is a difficult matter at the present time; and that for this very reason it is specially appreciated of the Lord in those who profess to be his followers. The Scriptures intimate that faith is a gift of God, while at the same time it is a matter of our own exercise. It is for God to set forth the facts and bring them to our attention. It is for us to be able to appreciate those facts and to exercise the corresponding faith. As the Scriptures declare, "All men have not faith"; "Without faith it is not possible to please God"; "According to thy faith be it unto thee."
God has not made faith equally possible to all, in that he has not given mankind the same opportunities for exercising faith by not giving all the same degree of knowledge upon which to base faith. And even amongst those who have the necessary knowledge, faith must depend considerably upon the structure of the brain. Some people have scarcely anything of faith; others with a different structure of brain, are inclined to believe too much --to be credulous and easily hoaxed.
While God declares that none can be of his Church now being called unless they have faith, including the necessary knowledge as a basis for it, yet he does not say that those who have not the knowledge and have not the faith will, on that account, be turned over to demons for eternal torture. On the contrary such already suffer a measure of deprivation of joy and of blessing. Failure on their part to exercise faith should not bring upon them any additional disadvantages. God has decreed that faith shall "come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God;" that none can believe except they hear, and that none but the believing will have part in the Church's salvation
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now being effected. But he has equally decreed and arranged for the great mass of mankind who have never had the sufficiency of knowledge and of faith, that all may yet come to a salvable condition. Indeed, God has specially made the way of faith in this age a "narrow" one, that thereby he may select a very special class. But these selected or elected ones, as the Scriptures show, are to be the Royal Priests of the next age, who will enlighten and instruct all the families of the earth. Then "all the blind eyes shall be opened and the deaf ears shall be unstopped." (`Isa. 35:5`.) Then everything in the Divine arrangement connected with mankind will be openly revealed, plain to be understood; as the Scriptures say of that time--then the way-faring man, though simple, need not err as respects the way of righteousness. Let us, however, rejoice if we are amongst the blessed, the favored ones of the present time to whom the things of God are not obscure--of those whose hearts are so in tune with the Infinite One that the things of faith revealed to us in the Scriptures do not seem unreasonable.
THE LANGUAGE OF FAITH
Approached from the Bible standpoint, these miracles are most rational, but not from any other standpoint. The power of God, which produces, in the recently discovered "miracle-wheat," as much as two hundred and fifty grains from one kernel, is surely sufficient to produce many times as much if the necessity occurred. Are we not surrounded by miracles continually? Out of the same ground and growing side by side we get blue, red, white, yellow and purple flowers from seeds which we could not tell apart; similarly with animal life--the oats which constitute the breakfast of so many humans, help to produce human heads and faces and hands and feet, hair and nails for black and white and yellow races. Similar oats fed to horses, mules and donkeys sustain very different organisms of very different shapes and qualities. The same oats fed to birds and chickens produce feathers, claws, etc. Are not these miracles which we do not understand?
If the wisest and most skillful man in the world cannot produce a flea nor the very smallest germinating grain, how great must be the Creator who formed all things and who gave to man all that he possesses! How can we limit the powers of such a Creator when once we have recognized him? He that made the eyes, can he not see? He that made the arm, has he no strength? He that made the human brain and stamped it what it is, has he not infinitely greater wisdom and power? This, then, is the lesson to us of the loaves and fishes.
It is the lesson of Divine power; a lesson also that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, through whom that Divine power was exercised. This lesson leads us onward to the thought that this same Jesus is appointed of the Father to be the Savior of the world. Thus far merely the Church, the elect, his Bride, has been selected, along lines of faith. Shortly the new dispensation will usher in the reign of knowledge and glorious opportunities for the opening of the eyes of all to see, to know, to appreciate, things Divine and to come, if they will, into the condition in which they may enjoy "the gift of God, eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
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ST. PETER CRIED "LORD, SAVE ME"
--JUNE 5.--`MATTHEW 14:22-36`.--
Golden Text:--"Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, Of a truth thou are the Son of God."
RESPECTING its heroes the Bible, unlike any other religious book, tells the naked truth. Today's study emphasizes both the strength and the weakness of St. Peter's natural disposition. We identify the character here pictured as the same which was displayed on other occasions--noble and courageous, but rather forward and boastful. Not a single weakness of any of the Bible characters seems to be smoothed down or cut away in the narrative. It was this same St. Peter who, after hearing Jesus tell of his approaching death, took the Master to task for it, upbraiding him for speaking after this manner and assuring him that he did not tell the truth, and that the disciple knew more than his Master; that the latter was either ignorant or else wilfully misrepresenting the future. No wonder the Master rebuked him, as in this matter being an adversary.
The same courageous man afterward drew his sword and smote the servant of the High Priest in his Master's defense. Yet with all this it was only a few hours later when he denied him entirely with oaths and cursing. Nevertheless, the Master loved him; with his peculiar combination of weakness and strength he had, withal, a noble, faithful heart, even while he boastfully declared, "Though all men forsake thee, yet will not I." Our study shows us St. Peter with the other disciples in a fishing-boat on a boisterous sea. Jesus had declined to go with them in the boat, withdrawing himself to the mountain for a season of prayer. The boat had not yet reached her destination, when the disciples saw the Master walking upon the water and drawing near. At first they were all affrighted; then reassurance came from his word, and finally St. Peter asked the Lord's permission that he might walk to him on the water. This permission was granted, and we cannot doubt that, had the Apostle maintained his faith, he would have reached the Lord in safety, for the same power that had exercised itself in him and in the other disciples for the healing of sick and the casting out of demons was absolutely able to keep him from sinking into the water.
"O THOU OF LITTLE FAITH"
But while St. Peter's faith was stronger than that of the others and stronger than ours today, in that he even attempted to walk on the water, nevertheless it was not strong enough. As his eye caught a glimpse of the boisterousness of the sea his faith began to fail and he began to sink. The Master, however, caught him, saying, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt"! The lesson of the occasion being ended, the wind ceased. All the disciples then offered the Lord their worship, realizing afresh that he was the Son of God in power; that even the winds and the waves obeyed him.
"A hand that is not ours upstays our steps,
A voice that is not ours commands the waves;
Commands the waves, and whispers in our ear,
O, thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?"
All are sinners. "There is none righteous; no, not one." Some do not realize the extent of their imperfections.
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Nevertheless it is safe to say that all sane people recognize themselves as imperfect and hence as unworthy the recognition of the great Creator. They cannot commend themselves to him as being worthy of his favor and life eternal. It is when this conviction of unworthiness becomes deep-seated; when the realization is keen that "the wage of sin is death," that the heart is most likely to realize the value of life eternal and to cry unto the Lord for deliverance from darkness, from sin's bondage and from its death sentence. To all such the Savior stands ready to lend a helping hand, as in St. Peter's case. He will not reproach such for their sins if they have repented of them and turned to righteousness. Rather, he will say, "Why did you not come sooner? I was quite willing to aid you as soon as you cried."
THREATS OF TORTURE FAILED TO CONVERT THE
Our forefathers used to think that they should picture before the sinner's mind an everlasting torture at the hands of devils. It seemed to them that such pictures would be more successful in drawing men from sin to righteousness than the Scripture penalty which declares that the wages of sin is death, "everlasting destruction." (`2 Thess. 1:9`.) But they overdid the matter. Their message failed to convert the world. It merely tortured the saintly, the loving, the Godlike. Men reasoned that there was probably some mistake about it, as it is contrary to all human experiences that life could persist in such untellable torture. Now, however, with the aid of the modern Bible, superior translations, marginal references, etc., the people of God are learning more and more that God's Word is true and that it should not be twisted --that when it says death it does not mean life in torture.
Indeed, some have told us that to their minds the utter blotting out of existence which God has ordained to be the fate of those who refuse his every opportunity and offer of salvation is more of a terror to them than life in any condition would be. One reason that it has greater terrors undoubtedly is that it is more rational, and thinking people can and do receive it more earnestly and give it more weight. It is from everlasting destruction that the Savior stands ready to deliver every member of Adam's race from the death penalty--from the tomb and all the imperfections of mind and body which are parts of death. Jesus' death at Calvary was of sufficient value to cancel the sins of the first man and of all those who share the death penalty with him. Without Christ's death there would be no resurrection, no future life.
A little while and the faithful ones shall come forth in the "first resurrection" to be Christ's Joint-heirs. Then will come the general uplift of mankind, including the awakening of those of the whole world from the sleep of death. Our Lord's help of Peter corresponds to that greater help of the whole world. It also illustrates how those who have already become the children of God would be in danger of sinning again, were it not for our Lord's helping hand.
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SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS
THE RANSOM WORK
QUESTION.--Were the physical sufferings of our Lord Jesus requisite to the ransoming of humanity?
The Ransom, or corresponding price which our Lord Jesus gave, consisted in his being the Perfect Man with all the rights of Adam and in these being surrendered or given up to death regardless of whether his death would be an easy or a painful one. The Scriptures say that "it pleased the Father to bruise him," not indicating by this, however, that our Heavenly Father took pleasure in the sufferings of his Son, but that this was his pleasure so far as his Plan of Salvation, etc., were concerned. He put severe tests upon this One who would be the Redeemer of mankind, not only to develop him as the beginning of a new creation (`Heb. 2:10`) and to prove his character, but also to manifest to us and to angels and to all creatures the wonderful obedience of the Lord Jesus and his worthiness of the high exaltation to the divine nature and all the glorious offices to be accorded him. Hence the Father provided that he must be "led as a lamb to the slaughter," and he also provided, in the Jewish Law, that the extreme curse of that Law should be a death penalty on the tree. "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
These provisions, we understand, were not of Divine necessity, but of Divine wisdom and expediency. It was necessary that Christ should suffer that he might enter into his glory--before he could be the qualified High Priest, and ultimately accomplish the work of Mediator between God and the world of mankind; hence his sufferings were permitted for the testing, the proving of himself. And so with the sufferings that come to the Body of Christ, the Church. They are for our own development. The Father deals with us as with sons. He lovingly chastises and corrects us that he may thereby fit and prepare us and demonstrate our worthiness of the glorious reward which he has arranged for us with our Lord, and under him.
We get the right view of the entire matter, we believe, when we see that the death of Jesus was not the ransom; that it did not accomplish the ransom-work, but simply furnished the ransom-price; and that the ransoming with that price is a matter that is done in the "Most Holy"-- in heaven. To explain: He ascended up on high, having to his credit the price or value sufficient to ransom the whole world, but none of it yet applied for any one. He has appropriated the merit of that ransom-price to the Church, imputing this merit to them during this Gospel Age, to cover their Adamic sins and to make good, to compensate for, the imperfection of their mortal bodies, thus enabling them to present sacrifices which God can and will accept through the merit of their Advocate.
But that ransom-price, so far as the world is concerned, is still in reservation and will be given on behalf of them, as represented by the "sprinkling of the blood" at the end of the Day of Atonement, shortly now, in the beginning of the Millennial Age, to seal the New Covenant and to put into operation all the glorious provisions which God has made for the world.
We believe it to be a very important matter to keep distinctly separate the work which Jesus did and the value of that in God's sight as an asset, something to his credit on the heavenly account and something which he now applies to us, and by and by will give in perpetuity to mankind as their ransom-price.
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OUTWARD POLISH VS. INWARD GRACE
Question.--What constitutes the difference between the outward polish and politeness of some natural men and that polish and politeness which properly belongs to the New Creature, developed in the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit?
Answer.--The qualities of meekness, gentleness, patience, etc., are qualities that belonged to the first man when he was created in the image and likeness of God. They are, therefore, human qualities that may be cultivated to a certain extent by any human being, and should be striven for by all. But, as a matter of fact, as a result of the fall, selfishness and general meanness have depraved the appetites and ways of all mankind to so great an extent that, as the Scriptures say, there is none righteous, perfect, no, not one; "from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot," all are imperfect. Hence no natural man would have these glorious traits of character largely and fully developed, though there certainly is a difference between the development of some and that of others.
We see, however, that aside from these natural graces, some worldly people have assumed something of the various graces of the Spirit. In their business methods they attempt to be gentle, and properly so. It is considered a part of the proper conduct of colleges, and especially ladies' seminaries, to instruct the young in politeness, in what to say and what not to say; in how to say things and how not to say things; and all of this brings an outward smoothness to these persons in their general deportment. In such cases, however, the smoothness is cultivated because of the idea that this constitutes "good breeding"; that this is what any lady or gentleman should do or say; and thus it may be a mere veneer, not really effecting the sentiments of the heart. The person may be outwardly very calm and smooth and pleasant, and yet at heart feel very sour and envious and mean.
Those who are merely outward observers might not be able to ascertain whether that man or woman were actuated by the proper spirit or not. They might not be able to know whether these changes were the "fruits of the spirit" or fruits of good education, but anyone knowing well the private life of such persons would be sure to ascertain the facts, because, as the old expression has it, "Murder will out"; and these persons, while they might preserve a smooth outward demeanor, would occasionally, in private at least, demonstrate that they were not in sympathy with the outward demeanor, but that it was merely a veneer, and to that extent hypocrisy. Perhaps a measure of hypocrisy in that sense would be advisable for some people; it might be better for them to put on a little veneer if they cannot have the genuine article; better that they should appear smooth rather than appear rough; it would at least help the world along a little for them to be as smooth as they are able in their general dealings.
The merchant who, after pulling down large stocks of goods and telling a customer that it is no trouble at all to show goods, that he is just pleased at having the opportunity to do so, and that there is no obligation whatever in the matter, and showing the very essence of politeness, but who, after the lady is gone out of the store, stamps his foot and complains, announces thus to all in his company, that his politeness is merely assumed as a necessity in the business. He does this either for his own sake, if he is the proprietor of the store, or for the sake of his situation, if he is an employee.
With the Christian these graces are developed from within. Whatever he may have been naturally, smooth or rough, the New Creature cultivates and approves these graces in the heart, and they reach from the heart all the way to the surface. It is the new mind that is regulating the New Creature, and the New Creature, instead of having smoothness merely on the outside, has it running clear through the grain from the very core.
This New Creature that is thus developing may not at all times have as smooth an outward exterior as some of the old creatures who have the veneer for the sake of money or for other reasons. They may have worse natural dispositions; they may have naturally less patience, or less sympathy, or may be moved by such honesty as would lead them to avoid saying anything different from what they would feel, anything different from what would be their sentiments; and their sentiments, not having yet reached the right point, sometimes impel them to say the wrong thing. These, of course, should learn to govern the outward man even before all their sentiments have come into fullest sympathy with the Spirit of the Lord. They should recognize the proprieties of outward conduct, and speedily get in line with these proprieties, and as rapidly as possible bring every sentiment into full accord with the Spirit of the Lord that they may become more and more kind and loving and helpful to others and thus "show forth the praises of him who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light."
THE SAME VAIL UNTAKEN AWAY
Question.--Please explain this text: "And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished; but their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which vail is done away in Christ." --`2 Cor. 3:13,14`.
Answer.--It was the intention that the Law Covenant should not be perpetual, because of the imperfections connected therewith. It has not yet been abolished, however, in the sense of being totally set aside. It is still operating and is still a condemnation upon those who are under it. But "to those who are in Christ Jesus," there is now no further condemnation; it is abolished so far as they are concerned.
The thought, then, would be that the Apostle is here speaking of the Law Covenant being abolished in the sense that it is condemned or that its passing away is arranged for. "Christ has become the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth," not to every one who has given merely an intellectual assent, but to all who believe in the Scriptural sense--to all those who become his followers, all those who so thoroughly believe his message as to accept the wonderful provisions he has offered; for it may properly be said that no one is fully a believer who does not accept God's offer of glory, honor and immortality--a proposition so wonderful that any one whose faith truly grasps it would sacrifice every other thing imaginable that he might avail himself of its offer.
If, therefore, some obey partially, the inference is that they believe only partially; but if they believe fully, then all the arrangements are made for them whereby they may make their "calling and election sure"; hence the frequent statements that "all things" are for believers-- those who believe in the proper, full, thorough sense. So "Christ is the end of the Law" to all these, and the arrangement is that all the world shall yet have the opportunity of coming to a full knowledge and full belief, during the Millennial Age. The whole Jewish nation will be granted an opportunity of transfer from the Law
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Covenant, under Moses, to the New [Law] Covenant, under the glorified Christ, in his Mediatorial Kingdom.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE UNDER-PRIESTS.
Question.--In the appointment of the Aaronic priesthood, Aaron was the High Priest and his sons were associate priests. Is the fact that his sons were associated with him specially typical?
Answer.--Evidently the type was intended to teach that these under-priests were the members, or body, of the High Priest, because that was the form in which the matter was expressed. He was to "make atonement for himself and his house." Now, what is the thought in this word "himself"? How would we most clearly express it? What relationship except that of a wife would more nearly represent one's self? The sons of Aaron, then, would represent him in a special manner, as though they were his body. A father is represented in his son in a particular sense. The type of the High Priest in his office would thus be maintained through successive generations. The sons were not, as sons, typical, but sons were in type the best representation of the body of the priest that could be made, and hence were representative of us, who are the Body of Christ.
Question.--Are there any antitypical priests doing a priestly work at this time?
Answer.--To our understanding the picture of the "priest" is an individual picture. It is not a work which priests are in a collective sense to do, but here the one priest is to do the work. In other words, the under-priests are merely recognized as representatives of the priest, the same as we are representatives of Christ. In that sense of the word it might be said that there is only one priest, the officiating priest, the one who does the particular work; but in another sense there is an under-priesthood --in the sense that we have a separate personality, as individuals, yet acting in conjunction with our Lord as his members.
While recognizing the Scripture, "ye are a royal priesthood," let us lay stress on the Apostle's words which declare of our Lord, "if he were on earth he could not be a priest, seeing that there are priests who offer according to the Law." The Apostle then proceeds to prove that our Lord was a Priest after the order of Melchisedec, and that this Melchisedec priesthood was acknowledged of God with an oath, and that Aaron and his priesthood were never acknowledged thus. But respecting this man the Lord said, "I have sworn with an oath, thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec."
Melchisedec was, of course, only the one priest, and that one priest, therefore, represented all our Lord's members, and since the great work of the antitypical Priest is in the future, and is not the present work, we see that this is the reason why Aaron is not so particularly referred
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to in the type of the Great Priest. The Great Priest will really do his great work during the Millennial Age, and what is done in the present time is merely a preparatory work, preparing himself for work.
First, the Lord Jesus, in the three and one-half years of his ministry, proved himself worthy to be the Priest, and during the 1800 years since he is proving us worthy to be his members, and by the time he shall have completed his work of proving us all worthy, with himself, for this great and honorable position of Prophet, Priest, Mediator, King, Judge of the world, he will at the same time have to his credit certain merit which he can apply for the world and on account of which he can perform a priestly office for mankind. The priestly office, as before stated, is more that of the future than of the present. The present time is the sacrificing time, the time for making a covenant with the Lord by sacrifice.
We agree, of course, that none of us is doing the sacrificing. The high priest smote the bullock and killed it, and the high priest, likewise, smote the goat and killed it. Then came the presentation; as, for instance, when the Apostle says, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God," etc., he is not here saying, Perform the work of a priest upon your body, but offer yourself as a sacrifice to the Lord; he may accept you; he may sacrifice you, and he may perform a service upon you which will prepare you for a share with himself, as a member of his Body, in the glorious work of the future, in the work of blessing all the families of the earth, in the work of ushering in the Times of Restoration which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.--`Acts 3:19-21`.
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION CONVENTIONS
BROOKLYN, N.Y., JUNE 5
Morning Rally for Praise and Testimony at 10:30 o'clock, in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, 13-17 Hicks St. The evening meeting at 7:30 o'clock will also be in the Tabernacle. Discourse for the Public at 3 p.m. in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lafayette Ave. and St. Felix St. Topic, "Jerusalem."
LOUISVILLE, KY., JUNE 17-19
Convention Hall, Scottish Rites Cathedral, Sixth and Walnut Sts. Services for the Public Sunday, June 19, 3 p.m., Macauley's Theatre, Fourth and Walnut Sts. Bro. Russell will speak on "The Thief in Paradise; the Rich Man in Hell; Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom." For particulars as to lodging, meals, etc., address Brother Percy McCormack, 1160 15th St., Louisville, Ky.
CINCINNATI, OHIO, JUNE 20
Morning meeting for Praise and Testimony at 10:30 and afternoon meeting with address for the interested at 2:30 to be held in Germania Hall, 132 E. Court St., near Court House. Evening session at 8 o'clock at Music Hall, Elm St. near 12th. Discourse for the public; topic, "The Thief in Paradise; the Rich Man in Hell; Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom."
CANTON, OHIO, JUNE 21
Morning Rally at 10:30 o'clock. Discourse for the interested at 2:30 p.m. in McCurdy Block Hall, Walnut and East Tuscarawas Sts. Evening session for the public at 7:45 in the Auditorium. Subject, "Where Are the Dead?"
MUNCIE, IND., JUNE 22
Morning Rally at 10:30. Discourse for the interested at 3 p.m. in Red Men's Hall, High and Jackson Sts. Public meeting in the Wysor Grand Opera House at 8 p.m. Subject, "The Overthrow of Satan's Empire."
LIMA, OHIO, JUNE 23
All meetings in the Auditorium of the Memorial Building, Elm and Elizabeth Sts. Praise, Prayer and Testimony
meeting, 10 a.m. Discourse for the interested at 2:30 p.m. Meeting for the public at 7:30 p.m. Subject, "The Thief in Paradise; the Rich Man in Hell; Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom."
DAYTON, OHIO, JUNE 24
Morning Rally for Praise and Testimony at 10. Discourse for the interested at 2:30 p.m. in Rauh Hall, S. W. cor. Fourth and Jefferson Sts. Service for the public at 8 p.m. in Memorial Hall; topic, "The Thief in Paradise; the Rich Man in Hell; Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom."
CHICAGO, ILL., JUNE 24-26
All sessions in Orchestra Hall, Michigan Ave., between Jackson Boulevard and Adams St. Discourse for the Public Sunday, June 26, 3 p.m., by Brother Russell. Topic, "Hereafter." If a sufficient number of the friends attend this Convention, railroads have promised one and one-half fare for the round trip from all points except the extreme West and from nearby places where the regular fare is less than $1 one way. Purchase tickets one way only, and get a certificate, showing that you have paid full fare to Chicago on account of Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society's Convention. Notify your agent in advance so that he may have plenty of time to secure the certificate and ticket. The certificate, plus 25c, will entitle you to purchase your return ticket at one-half the regular rate. For particulars, address Brother John Hoskins, 418 W. 67th Blvd., Chicago, Ill.
TOLEDO, OHIO, JUNE 26 AND 27
Morning Rally, afternoon and evening services on Sunday, June 26, Pythian Castle, Jefferson and Ontario Sts. Service for the public Monday, June 27, 7:30 p.m., Memorial Hall, Adams and Ontario Sts. Discourse by Brother Russell on "The Thief in Paradise; the Rich Man in Hell; Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom." All Monday meetings in the same building. For particulars, address Charles Moser, 842 Norwood Ave., Toledo, O. Come all who can and let those who cannot join us at these conventions in person, join us in spirit and in prayers, and thus participate in the showers of refreshing which the Lord will surely grant.
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THE MEMORIAL CELEBRATION
ON FRIDAY EVENING, April 22d, approximately 360 celebrated our dear Redeemer's Memorial Supper in Brooklyn Tabernacle. The occasion was a very solemn and impressive one. It was shown that the eating of the bread pictured the appropriation of our Lord's human rights, by which we were justified and by which our justification or righteousness in God's sight is maintained, notwithstanding the imperfections which are ours through heredity. It was also shown that the blood represented primarily our Lord's earthly life rights appropriated to us, justifying us to life.
Then the second and larger view of the matter was shown in the light of the Apostle's words--that all of the faithful, all of the Royal Priesthood, all of the members of the one Body of Christ, join with their Lord in becoming the One Loaf and join with him also in the breaking of that Loaf, that it may be the Bread of Restitution to the world of mankind. It was also shown in the light of the Apostle's words, that in becoming members of the Body of Christ we become sharers with our Lord in his cup of suffering, in his sacrifice of earthly life. It was further shown that in the Divine purpose this earthly life, which we surrender forever, goes under the New Covenant to Israel, Judah and all the families of the earth, while we are granted spiritual life.
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion (fellowship-sharing) of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion (in his sufferings) of the Body of Christ? For we being many are one bread and one Body; for we are all partakers (sharers) of that one Bread."--`I Cor. 10:16,17`.
As a fresh glimpse was thus taken at the significance of the "deep things of God," the hearts of all were stirred to their depth. How wonderful it seems that we should be called to such an intimate association with our Lord and Redeemer, both in the sufferings of this present time and in the glories that shall follow, called to be "dead with him, that we might live with him."
Almost all present partook of the Memorial emblems. The service was closed with prayer, followed by a hymn, after which all went out quietly, without the usual greetings, striving to carry, so far as possible, the precious thoughts of the occasion.
Reports thus far received are that the celebration has been very general and the numbers participating very encouraging. Altogether the general interests of the harvest work seem to be deepening and broadening. We deeply appreciate the privilege of serving the Lord of the harvest in whatever way he may indicate. Let us all continue to do with our might what our hands find to do, and thus show forth more and more the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Let us resolve to keep our hearts with increasing diligence, recognizing that out of them are the issues of life.
Below are some reports of the numbers participating in the Memorial celebration in the more prominent congregations which have thus far reported attendances of twenty and above:--
Newark, O.; Elwood, Ind.; McLoud, Okla.; Bethlehem, Pa.; Kalamazoo, Mich., 20. Auburn, Ind.; Norfolk, Va.; Shawnee, Okla.; Abilene, Kan., 21. Rockford, Ill.; Lime Sink, Ga.; Muncie, Ind.; Houston, Tex. (colored); Tacoma, Wash., 22. Colorado Springs, Colo., 23. Jacksonville, Fla.; Jackson, Mich., 24. Hamilton, Ont.; Cromwell, Conn.; Winnipeg, Man.; York, Pa., 25. Moore, Pa.; Port Huron, Mich.; Cohoes, N.Y.; Reading, Pa., 26. Butler, Pa.; Everett, Wash.; Harrisburg, Pa., 27. Dundee, Scot.; Tiffin, O.; New Brunswick, N.J., 28. Kewanee, Ill., 29. Ashland, Ore.; Tampa, Fla., 30. Leicester, Eng.; New Brighton, Pa., 32. Johnstown, Pa., 33. New Liskeard, Ont., 34. Grand Rapids, Mich.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Allentown, Pa., 35. Port Limon, Costa Rica, 36. Milwaukee, Wis., 37. Schenectady, N.Y., 38. Stockholm, Sweden, 40. Atlanta, Ga., 41. Hayne, N.C., 41. Omaha, Neb., 42. Bristol, Eng.; Lynn, Mass., 43. Denver, Colo.; Spokane, Wash.; Richmond, Va.; Worcester, Mass.; Youngstown, O.; Roseland, Ill., 44. Altoona, Pa.; Kingston, Jamaica; Camberwell, Jamaica, 45. Houston, Tex. (white); Portland, Ore., 46. Bridgetown, Barbadoes, 47. Springfield, Mass., 50. Baltimore, Md., 51. St. Joseph, Mo.; Binghamton, N.Y., 52. Newark, N.J., 53. Louisville, Ky.; Toledo, O., 54. Lancaster, Pa., 56. Kansas City, Mo., 57. Detroit, Mich., 59. Cincinnati, O., 65. Dayton, O., 67. Indianapolis, Ind.; San Antonio, Tex., 68. Columbus, O., 76. Toronto, Ont., 84. St. Louis, Mo., 96. Seattle, Wash., 103. Orebro, 107. Washington, D.C., 112. St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minn., 115. Providence, R.I., 105. Philadelphia, Pa., 150. Chicago, Ill., 275. Boston, Mass., 260. Glasgow, 308. Allegheny, Pa., 330. Brooklyn, N.Y., 360.
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SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
On Sunday morning thirty Sisters and fourteen Brothers symbolized their consecration into Christ's death by water immersion, and on Friday evening following partook of the Memorial Supper here in Glasgow; 287 in the Berkeley Hall, and 18 in their homes. As the time draws so near when the last of these Suppers will be partaken of by us, and when we shall "drink the wine anew" with our dear Lord in his Kingdom, we feel solemnized; but at the same time we are enabled by the Lord's grace to lift up our heads and rejoice, knowing that the time of our deliverance draweth nigh.
While we were partaking of the Supper, we called to mind that several of our number had already passed beyond the vail since the last occasion. We remembered also many of our dear brothers and sisters who have emigrated from Scotland during the past year, and we prayed that the Lord would keep them faithful and continue to use them in his glorious service. We remembered also that a few of our number have ceased to meet with us because they differ, and we are praying that the Lord may open their eyes.
We are looking forward with glad anticipation to the near visit of our beloved Pastor, and are preparing to distribute 100,000 of the PEOPLES PULPIT issue, from door to door, in order to advertise the public meeting which (D.V.) he will address here on May 17.
Requesting your prayers on our behalf, as we also pray for you, I am,
Yours in our One Hope, JOHN EDGAR--Scotland.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
On Friday evening, April 22, 32 of the Ecclesia at Leicester participated in the Memorial of our Lord's Death. We realized that it was a privilege, not only to memorialize the death of our Lord, but to be counted worthy to suffer with him as prospective members of his Body, and in due time to reign with him if faithful.
We also felt the nearness of the time when all the faithful ones will be gathered, and our earnest prayer is that we may ever abide in the "House" and have the "door-posts of our hearts" sprinkled with the blood, and be made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. With much Christian love, I am, dear Brother,
Sincerely yours in the Lord's grace,
HENRY S. PORTER.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
The Church here celebrated the memorial of our Lord's death. Thirty-six partook of the supper, and pledged themselves anew to be "broken with him" and with each other, and to "drink the cup" which he drank, trusting in his merit and grace sufficient to help us to be faithful even unto death.
On Friday morning eleven persons symbolized their consecration. We had a Prayer, Praise and Testimony Meeting and the Supper after 8 P.M. It was a glorious day and the Lord was with us. We remembered all in our prayers. With Christian love from the Church,
Yours in fellowship and service,
J. L. A. CONDELL--Costa Rica.
It gives us great pleasure to be again privileged to forward you a report of our Memorial Service held on Friday, April 22. Twenty-eight brethren met in our hall, and a very impressive service was held, special attention being directed to the thought that very soon now, these Memorials will be at an end, and our heavenly hopes realized.
Praying the Lord's rich blessing on our beloved Pastor in his tour among us and with continued love from us all,
Yours in the one Hope, DON F. MURRAY--Scotland.
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:--
Knowing your interest in the reports of the Memorial observed by the Lord's people, I am pleased to hand in this report of the observance of the Ecclesia here.
Sixteen of the class met and observed the Memorial according to instruction received from the Bible and through the DAWNS and WATCH TOWERS. The service was very impressive and all received a blessing in having our minds centered on our Passover Lamb, "who is slain for us," and also on our participation in the one Loaf and the Cup.
This was all the more impressive as we realized the few remaining years in which it will be possible for us to observe the Memorial in this manner. Our attention was also called to the joy with which we expect to drink the Cup anew with our Head in the Kingdom.
It was a blessed occasion. We pray that we may remain faithful as each year brings us nearer to the time when "we shall see him as he is" and be seated with him in his throne and commence the grand work of Restitution.
During the day we were blessed by keeping our minds on what was occurring in Jerusalem--after sunset there. We were impressed with the thought that probably this year Brother Russell and those with him were privileged to observe the Memorial in that "upper room," possibly next after it was observed by Jesus at its institution.
May the dear Lord continue to bless us all with "every good and perfect gift that cometh down from above"!
Your loving brother in Christ,
C. WILBUR WILEY.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
A company of consecrated followers of our dear Redeemer met together and partook of the Memorial Passover Supper. The occasion was solemn indeed. As each cup was drained, I am sure an appropriate prayer ascended from every heart that partook. We all appreciated, as never before, the great love of our heavenly Father for us, and the great privilege we have of being partakers of our Lord's broken body and shed blood, and we all went forth with renewed determination to follow more and more closely in the footsteps of our King.
The service was conducted by our dear Brother Ganoung. Two of the number present came eighteen miles. They were Sister Lewis and Brother Schoonmaker, colporteur. With much love from all the class, and prayers always, that God will shower blessings upon you, we remain,
Yours in love and fellowship,
CLASS AT SENECA FALLS, N.Y.
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Our hearts were made glad as once again we celebrated the death of Christ, our Paschal Lamb, and our privilege of participation in the Body and in the death of The Christ, assurances of our future union with our living Head. The rarity of the occasion made it more precious. We considered that, at most, there are four remaining, and then we shall drink the product of the vine new in our Father's Kingdom. Forty-seven participated.
Yours in Christ, A. T. JOHNSON--Barbadoes.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
The Memorial of our Lord's death was celebrated in our home, five fully consecrated persons participating. In the name of our Lord, the "Prince of Peace," we met. Brother H. F. Kuehn served the little company as we renewed our covenant with the Father of our Lord.
It was a glad and solemn time: gladness for the great privilege of a participation in the same "loaf" and in the same "cup," and also for the great joy to know of the blessing that will come to all the families of the earth. We fully realized the Price which bought us, and the meaning of the covenant which we have made.
Prayers were offered by all present, for all the dear ones "in our Lord," assembled together for this occasion; we also remembered you in particular, and those dear co-laborers with you in the Upper Room at Jerusalem. What a grand privilege you had! We seemed to realize the deep solemnity of such a great occasion, not only the being in the upper room, but the having one heart, one mind, one thought. Every heart seemed overflowing with love to our Heavenly Father and to our blessed Redeemer, Jesus Christ our Lord, and all the "household of faith." Our prayer is that we may be permitted to "die daily" in his cause, and to his honor and glory.
We ask your prayers, dear Brother, and those of all your dear co-laborers, that we may be kept bound together in love, harmony and peace with God and our loving Master, and with each other during the coming years.
Our dear brethren, Pilgrims A. Saphore and J. W. Adams, have made a very deep impression upon the hearts of the dear local brethren, and all present who heard their discourses. I hope that all present received some blessing through our Lord.
May God's favor rest richly upon you and upon our mutual efforts to serve his cause.
Yours in the love and service of our Lord,
J. H. B. HOWARD--Tenn.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
We know you will be interested in hearing from our little company regarding the celebration of the "Passover" Supper. Sixteen were present, and we felt the influence of the sweet fellowship which all of the Lord's people have in following the Master's instructions. It was a blessed thought that so many thought upon the dear Lord and were striving to be "broken" with him and pour out their lives in sacrifice. We feel sure his presence and Spirit were with us. We thought and spoke of the little company who were spending the Passover season amid the scenes and localities where our dear Lord passed the days of his earthly pilgrimage. No doubt he was in that "upper room" in person, even as he was so many years ago.
We rejoice in the privilege of renewing our consecration vows and beginning another year with greater determination than ever to "run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith." May the Lord's blessing be with you is our prayer. THE CHURCH AT SANTA MONICA.
BEREAN STUDIES ON THE CREATION
THE TEXT-BOOK USED FOR THIS COURSE IS
SCRIPTURE STUDIES, VOLUME VI--STUDY I
"In the beginning."
(1) What is signified by the opening sentence of the Bible, "In the beginning God created," etc.? And are there other beginnings recognized in the Bible? If so, what? P. 17, par. 2.
(2) Does the Genesis account relate to the creation of our earth? If not, why not? And what are the limitations of the creative work as recorded in Genesis? P. 18, par. 2.
(3) Does the word day apply invariably to the twenty-four-hour periods generally so called? If not, describe other uses of the term day in the Scriptures and give citations. P. 19, par. 1.
(4) How may we be sure that the Genesis days do not signify solar days, as in the more common usage of the word? P. 19, par. 1.
(5) Should we understand that all of the days of the creative week are of uniform length? And if we ascertain the length of one of those days, would we be justified in assuming that the others were of similar length? P. 19, par. 2.
(6) If we were to estimate those creative days as of seven thousand years each and the entire creative week as of forty-nine thousand years, how would these figures compare with the usual estimation of geologists? P. 19, par. 2.
(7) What had Professor Dana to say on this subject? What were his opinions of "scientific guesses"? And how much must we suppose the writer of Genesis understood of the full import of his words? P. 20, par. 1,2,3.
(8) Which is more logical, to believe as science teaches, that a blind and intelligent force is operative in the development of our planet, of which we can learn only by comparisons and guesses, or to suppose the manifestation a part of the Divine handiwork showing forth Divine wisdom, order and arrangement, and these items of the Divine Program revealed to us by a gracious Creator who foreknew the longings infinite of our minds? P. 20, par. 4.
(9) Summarize the views of the Higher Critics and Evolutionists respecting creation. P. 21.
(10) Do we object to Mr. Darwin's theory because he was a foolish man or on what grounds? And what can we say of his theory and of his test respecting pigeons, etc.? P. 22, par. 1,2.
(11) What great error has helped to confuse Bible students and how should we understand the formation of our earth's crust in various layers of clay and rocks, evidently deposited in a liquid or plastic form? P. 22, par. 3.
(12) Has God revealed anything respecting the manner in which the atoms of matter composing our earth were brought together? Or is there anything in the Bible to answer this question? P. 23, par. 2.
(13) What is signified by basic, igneous rocks, and what does their location deep under the earth's surface indicate? And what do the higher layers of water-laid rocks and clays imply? P. 23, par. 3.
(14) Explain in harmony with the Genesis account how the firmament or expanse or atmosphere surrounding our earth must have been formed and whether or not it probably required considerable lapse of time. P. 23, par. 3; P. 24, par. 1.
(15) Explain the process by which the various strata of clay and sand, etc., were piled upon the igneous rocks, which evidently once had been in the molten condition. Tell why they were called rings and explain their influence. P. 24, par. 1,2.
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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: In German, five vol.; in Swedish Vols. 1, 2, 3, and 5; in Dano-Norwegian, three vols.; in Greek three vols.; in French, two vols.; in Hollandish, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian and Polish, one vol. each; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same.
Vol. 6, German and Swedish (WATCH TOWER form), $1.50 each.