ZWT - 1916 - R5821 thru R6024 / R5977 (321) - November 1, 1916
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VOL. XXXVII. NOVEMBER 1 No. 21
A. D. 1916--A.M. 6045
How We May Grow Up Into Christ . . . 323
Natural Qualities That Need Restraint 324
Cultivation of Love Especially Needful 325
Presenting the Message of the Kingdom . 325
Begging for the Lord Not Authorized . 326
Some Timely Words of Caution . . . 327
"The Hour of Temptation" . . . . 327
"Take Heed to Yourselves" . . . 327
"Deceiving and Being Deceived" . . 328
Remember Doctrinal Tests Also . . 329
The V. D. M. Questions . . . . 330
Supposed Objections Answered . . 330
World-Wide Pastoral Work . . . . 331
Work in Which Sisters May Cooperate . 331
Hints to Those in Large Cities . . 332
Hints to District Workers . . . 332
District Workers' Canvass . . . 333
District Book Loaning . . . . 334
Some Questions Answered . . . . 334
New Opportunities of Service . . . 335
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N. Y., U. S. A.
Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.
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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.
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ANGELOPHONE HYMN RECORDS
In our issue of June 15, 1916, we announced arrangements by which our readers may obtain the Angelophone at Jobbers' prices, one-third of the usual retail prices--$8.33, $16.67, $33.33, instead of $25.00, $50, $100.
Now we have a still more important announcement--Angelophone Records of 50 of our most beautiful hymns. They gave us the selection of them. We are confident that all WATCH TOWER readers will appreciate them, and believe that they will have a very wide circulation everywhere. They are 7-inch records, "hill and dale cut," of a size which usually sells for 35c up. But, indeed, such hymns and in such variety are not to be had anywhere for any money.
The Singer's voice is excellent, clear, distinct--quite unlike hymn tunes you have usually heard, very few of which can be understood. They are the work of Prof. Henry Burr, the well-known barytone.
NOW THE ASTONISHING FEATURE!
The entire set of 50 hymns can be ordered through us for $5--only ten cents per record.
With a view to stimulating daily family worship (having this excellent singer's voice to lead), the hymns with music have been published in neat, attractive form at 5c and 10c per copy, according to binding--postage 2c extra.
At our request the Angelophone Company are mailing to the Secretaries of the principal classes a sample record and a sample each of the two hymn-books. If a quantity of the books and records are ordered together, carriage charges will be prepaid in the United States. These records are known as the original "hill and dale cut," the same as the ones used by Edison and Pathe. It contains a great deal more music to the inch than the zigzag cut. The latter is used by the Victor and was gotten out to avoid the patents covering the original, superior "hill and dale cut"; said patents have now expired.
The Angelophone has a reversible sound-box, which permits it to play any kind of record made. But not so the Victor and Columbia machines: to use the Angelico records on them, a little sleeve is necessary, which can be purchased at any 10c store, or can be ordered with the books and records. Address orders to ANGELICO, 28 West 63d Street, New York City, or to 184 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York.
* * * *
It affords us genuine pleasure to think that Bible Students can now have in their homes phonograph music which really represents their sentiments--much better than does the majority of the jiggy, rag-time stuff usually sold at from 60c to $1 per record.
"A little nonsense now and then,
Is relished by the best of men;" But nonsense all the time nauseates even the worldly. On the other hand, there is a sweet, quieting influence exerted by the beautiful hymns of our selection which go to the heart of old and young, saint and sinner. Surely, Bible Students will wish to "Lift high the Royal banner," and to show forth the praises of their King! And such hymns as these in so clear and distinct a voice will surely appeal to your neighbor, too.
We are glad that these records have come out in time for the Holiday Season and the longer winter evenings. We have warned the Angelophone Company to be prepared for many large orders to be shipped out promptly. We vouch for the Angelophone Company that you may safely send the money for whatever you may wish to order, by P.O. Order.
PILGRIM BROTHER JOHNSON IN GREAT BRITAIN
Classes in Great Britain desiring appointments will please communicate with our London Office.
THE WATCH TOWER IN GERMAN
The war has interfered greatly with the regular arrivals of the German WATCH TOWER. To meet the difficulty we have started to issue a German edition from Brooklyn. Our German Brethren will please note this and act accordingly. We expect to continue it only until the mail service from Germany becomes regular again. Our American edition is a monthly in two sections--$1.00 per year, two copies to each subscriber.
NOTE A CORRECTION
In Oct. 15 Tower, p. 312, referring to three classes for whom Jesus becomes Surety or Guarantor, the reading should be:
"Our great Advocate, the High Priest, having endorsed for all of these, will thus be ultimately free from all liability for them in that they all will have died according to the flesh and none of them will receive or retain Restitution rights or privileges. Those Restitution blessings will be fully and completely released when the last member of the Spirit-begotten shall have gone into death."
BETHEL HYMNS FOR DECEMBER
After the close of the hymn the Bethel family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for December follow: (1) 293; (2) 191; (3) 313; (4) 145; (5) 1; (6) 71; (7) 130; (8) 230; (9) 83; (10) 197; (11) 172; (12) 299; (13) 328; (14) 50; (15) 326; (16) 333; (17) 104; (18) 106; (19) 195; (20) 129; (21) 43; (22) 303; (23) 87; (24) 195; (25) 16; (26) Vow; (27) 272; (28) 193; (29) 209; (30) 12; (31) 274.
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HOW WE MAY GROW UP INTO CHRIST
"Speaking the Truth in love,...grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ."--`Ephesians 4:15`.
IN PROPORTION as any who seek to know God are led to see His true character, they have confidence in Him. After such have come to the point of full consecration to the Lord, they receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit, and become of the Church class, the sanctified in Christ Jesus, the set apart ones --set apart by the Holy Spirit. Of these the Apostle Paul says, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear." The New Creature must repel every attack of servile fear--which belongs to the flesh, the fallen condition. The new mind must triumph over this natural tendency, must cultivate trust in the Lord.
No man could do more than take away our earthly life. No man can take away our future life. "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body." So the child of God is to be very courageous, knowing that no one can do him harm, knowing that God will not permit anything to come to him that will not be for his good. The enlightened child of God would have no fear, or dread, of eternal torment. He would still have proper fear such as a husband would have toward a wife, or a wife toward a husband--a fear of displeasing or disappointing, and thus losing the esteem and confidence of the companion.
In respect to all the brethren we should have such fear. We should have a filial fear toward God, but not with the thought that He would harm us or torment us or do us violence of any kind, but fear lest we should lose our fellowship with Him. So, then, whatever fear we have of a slavish kind is not from God. Such fear brings a snare. But love, inspired by a true knowledge of God, and begotten of His Spirit, delivers us also from the fear of man, in proportion as this love abounds in us.
God has given us the spirit of love, the spirit of a sound mind, the spirit of power. The Christian knows that "all things work together for good to them that love God." This is to him a source of power, of strength. Circumstances and conditions which would quite overwhelm others, he may expect to have. This spirit is not only a spirit of power, but a spirit of love--a spirit of kindness and gentleness. It is a spirit that loves to do good, to do right, to be helpful. And so the Christian with this spirit of love and of a sound mind becomes more and more Godlike. This enables him to have more and more compassion for those who are out of the way. And as God sent His Son, and as the Son came and provided the blessing of life for all at such a great cost to Himself, so all who have His spirit will strive to bless others.
EVIDENCES OF A SOUND MIND
The fall of Adam has worked ruin to mankind, so that from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot there
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are none sound. (`Isaiah 1:5,6`.) None are sound of mind or body. All are out of the way. "There is none righteous; no, not one." (`Romans 3:10`.) But in proportion as we receive the Spirit of the Lord, and in proportion as that Spirit of the Lord works in us and develops us and influences all the conduct of life, in that same proportion we receive the spirit of a sound mind.
This soundness of mind will teach us how better to use our bodies. A person of unsound mind may either eat too much or eat what does not agree with him. In proportion as we have a sound mind, it influences what we eat, what we drink, and everything we do; it helps to regulate and control everything in life for us. It gives us broad views of all the affairs of life. It gives us more generous views of mankind. We recognize that mankind are under the curse, and we have a feeling of compassion for them. We have much advantage every way, because God has opened the eyes of our understanding.
This spirit of a sound mind makes us more helpful. We know better how to deal with each other as brethren. We know better how to deal with our children, with our neighbors, with the butcher, with the ice man and with every one else. The Truth does not come to many of those who are naturally soundest of mind, and it takes time for the Truth to bring in a measure of soundness. But we notice that when one receives the Truth in the love of it, it has a healing effect on his mind. He will begin to think more correctly and to act more wisely.
Then he will desire to proclaim the Truth. The Truth is to be spoken humbly, but fearlessly. The Christian is not at liberty to speak contrary to the Truth. If he is a professed minister of the Gospel, when the Truth reaches him, he is not at liberty to continue to preach error just because the congregation appointing him might not desire the Truth. A worldling in that pulpit would have no qualms of conscience. He would say, "I am giving these people the very things they want. They are paying my salary." That would be his attitude because he had not received the spirit of the Truth.
One who had received the spirit of the Truth would say, "I now see that some of the things I have been preaching for years are injurious, dishonoring to God, misrepresenting His character, and more or less turning people away from the Truth. I have been teaching error, the very opposite of what I wish to do; I cannot longer
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dispense these errors. I am not the ambassador of this denomination; I am the ambassador of God. I am not the servant of this denomination; I am the servant of God, of the Truth. If I should preach error, that which would be contrary to the Truth, I would be guilty before God. I must stop immediately."
Such a person would lose his standing--honor amongst men, favor, influence, etc. But all this is not to be considered. St. Paul says that these things are all but as loss and dross, are but vile refuse, if we can only win a place in the Kingdom. Then we shall have won the "pearl of great price." So, then, the speaking of the Truth is essential to the Christian. In his own heart, of course, he must have it enshrined. When he has received the Truth into his heart, he will esteem it a blessed privilege to speak it.
Our tongue is the most powerful member of our body. Its influence is the greatest of all--the most far-reaching. It may be an influence for good or for injury. The Apostle says that with the same tongue we may praise God and injure men. To speak the Truth, to confess Christ before men, either publicly or privately, is a great privilege. But in order to be a servant pleasing to the Lord, we must speak the Truth in love and without fear.
In this connection the Apostle calls attention to the fact that we are not to expect to be mature in these respects at the beginning of our Christian way. When we first enter the family of God, less might reasonably be expected of us than after we had been in the family for some time. We as dear children of God are to grow in the likeness of our dear Elder Brother, our Pattern, our Head. We are to "grow up into Him in all things." We are to recognize that He is the Head of the Church. And if we are to be members of that Body in glory, we must be developed. We are to mature in the fruits of the Holy Spirit, that we may be qualified and prepared to share in future that glorious Kingdom which is to bless the world.
"EXPRESSION DEEPENS IMPRESSION"
We are to exercise our function of ambassadorship-- we are to "show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light." And in telling this Message courageously and lovingly we should grow in grace and in knowledge. We are to proclaim the Truth, and at the same time to grow and develop in character. Why attain a growth of character? Because it will make us more like God. "God is love." He has other qualities; but this quality of love is the especially predominating, the overruling quality of His character. God's Justice operates in conjunction with His Love, and His Wisdom would not attempt to carry out any plans that Love would not approve.
And so as we grow, the quality of love should be more and more manifest. The Truth is to be spoken in love. This is one of the things we should attain earliest. We are to curb, to bridle, our tongues. We are to see that our words are loving, kind, gentle. Speaking the Truth in love, we shall not only be accomplishing more for others, but the lesson will also thus be more impressed upon our own minds. It has been well said that "expression deepens impression." Whoever appreciates and speaks forth these things of God in love will receive a blessing in his own heart and mind. In helping others he will be helping himself. "He that watereth shall be watered also himself."
NATURAL QUALITIES THAT NEED RESTRAINT
We see a difficulty in this respect in some of the stronger characters that come into Christ. There are characters that have less combativeness naturally, who would not be inclined to bring force to bear upon others in connection with their ambassadorship. If their Message did not seem to be favorably received, they would be likely to feel, "They do not like this, so I will not talk on this subject." But those who have more combativeness are liable to manifest the force of their disposition in the way they present the Truth. They might be too forceful; they might place the matter before others as an obligation.
But we are to remember that consecration is not now a compulsory matter. It is an invitation. By and by force will be needed. The ones who are now sought are merely those who have the ear to hear; and such need only to have the word of counsel. If any use too great force in presenting the Message, the Great King would not be so well served, and hence would not be so well pleased.
Others may have great approbativeness. They might have pride and wish to show off in the way of language, or in their skill in handling the Sword of the Spirit. They might give out the Message with the idea of rousing in others the thought, "See how much he knows; he is a wonderful digger in the Bible." This seems to be a temptation to many. They seem to like to be in the lime-light, just as others like to keep out of the lime-light. The one might have to force himself in order to go and speak the Truth in public as an ambassador; while the other would have to curb himself somewhat in this respect. The only way for the latter to do is to learn to speak the Truth in humility, in love--the love of the Truth, the love of the brethren. It is God's Plan, we have nothing whereof to boast. We are always to present His Plan in meekness, gentleness, brotherly-kindness, love.
The Apostle Paul urges that we "consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works." The word provoke here means to stimulate, to call forth. Love is not easily called forth to anger. It is longsuffering. We might say, strictly speaking, that it is not the quality of love that would be moved to anger. Yet righteous anger is not incompatible with love. God is the highest representation we have of love--"God is Love." Yet the Scriptures assure us that God is angry with the wicked every day. His anger is righteous indignation against sin.
Looking to God as the Great Example, we see that His love was manifested toward His creatures in the beginning. It was love for humanity that provided the Garden of Eden with all its blessings and its perfect life, just as for the angels His love provided for all their blessings. But when sin came in, Love stepped back; in other words, Justice was the special attribute of God then manifested. Yet it was for the good of mankind that there should be this punishment for sin. Even here God's Love persisted, though man had by sin become an opponent of God--an enemy of God; and Love was provoked to anger.
The Lord said through the Prophet, "Why have they provoked Me to anger?" (`Jeremiah 8:19`.) Many Scriptures speak of God's anger. The anger of God has been against sin. It has been resting upon the world for six thousand years. But the Love of God has not been violated by this; therefore Love can be provoked to anger.
"Love is not easily provoked." It required the act of intentional disobedience on the part of Father Adam to provoke God to anger. It was not because Mother Eve was deceived that the sentence came upon the world. The anger of God came upon the world, and the sentence of death was pronounced, because of Father Adam's sin, which was committed with full knowledge. During these six thousand years of sin God's Love has been in abeyance, so to speak, provoked to the point of withholding its manifestation.
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But all the while God's character has not changed. He did not cause the diabolical conditions which prevailed in the Dark Ages. Love would never sanction sin. "The wages of sin is death." And everything that goes with death is a part of that penalty, that sentence. But God has permitted these conditions for man's ultimate good. This love of God, held in abeyance, has bided its time to manifest itself to our race.
In due time God sent forth His Son to be man's Redeemer. He came and gave His life a willing sacrifice for human sin. In due time the call went forth to gather the Church. And this Church is being gathered--during this Gospel Age. In due time the Church will be exalted in Kingdom glory. In due time that Kingdom will lift up from sin and degradation all those of mankind who are willing to accept life on God's terms.
CULTIVATION OF LOVE ESPECIALLY NEEDFUL
How earnestly we need to watch and pray, that we may indeed be fitted for our great future work! There is a danger that love will not be sufficiently strong in us; for by reason of the fall sin and selfishness have come to be preponderating influences. These principles, having the ascendency, and operating for six thousand years, have made man very lacking in love, sympathy, brotherly-kindness and long-suffering. Now there is a greater natural tendency toward anger, malice, strife, hatred, than toward love. Consequently, when God accepts us into His family He tells us that one of the first requirements is love. Love must grow in our hearts and minds; it must permeate all our thoughts, words and actions.
The Apostle in speaking of love as respects the Church assures us that if we would be pleasing to the Lord we must develop this grace richly. Those who possess this quality in goodly measure will not be easily provoked to anger. Those who possess little love will be easily angered. The love which the Lord appreciates is long-suffering. This does not mean that there would not be proper occasions for anger in God's people. There should be a feeling of righteous indignation when we see injustice. Why? Because injustice is wrong. God is angry with injustice; and so God's people should have no sympathy with injustice in any form.
If the Lord's people do not cultivate the quality of justice, they will get into that attitude where they will not appreciate justice at all. While knowing what is right and what is wrong, and while appreciating justice, we are to cultivate the quality of love. None can say that his own estimate of justice is altogether right and the other man's is entirely wrong. None can say, "I do not need to cultivate this quality, but my brother needs it." But each should think, "Here is a brother--perhaps he labors under greater disadvantages than I have to strive against. He is a brother of mine according to the spirit. He seems to me to be doing wrong, but I sympathize with him because he probably does not see that it is wrong. On the other hand, it is possible that I may be wrong myself."
LET US HAVE SYMPATHY FOR ALL MEN
God has no sympathy with sin. But He has so much sympathy for the sinner that He has provided His Son to uplift the sinners, and has set apart a thousand years for the work of uplift. We note injustice. We ought to note it. But it is not for us to flay, to inflict the punishments. It is for us to leave the punishments to the Almighty. We are, therefore, to "judge nothing before the time." We see wrongs committed. We say, "I know that to be a crime; but it is not for me to settle with the criminal. God knows to what extent he is responsible; I do not. It is my duty to look at him from the standpoint of sympathy. It is my duty to pray for him and to assist him all in my power--out of his wrong views into right views. But even in this I am to be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove. I may know that such conduct is wrong, but I cannot know as to the individual--how wrong he may be."
So love looks out and sees that the whole world is in much difficulty through the fall. And love says, "Be gentle toward all--be meek. I am ever to remember that we are in a world of sin, pain, sickness, death." From this viewpoint love will not be easily provoked, but will think kindly and sympathetically of others. So, dear brethren, let us grow up into our glorious Head in all things, until, made perfect and complete, we are "presented faultless before the presence of His glory, with exceeding joy."--`Jude 24`.
"The time is short! Then be thy heart a brother's
To every heart that needs thy help in aught.
How much they need the sympathy of others!
The time, the time is short!"
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PRESENTING THE MESSAGE OF THE KINGDOM
"Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house; and if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it; but if not, it shall turn to you again."--`Luke 10:5,6`.
WHEN our Lord Jesus sent forth the seventy to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, the above words were a part of the instruction which He gave them. He sent them out without special preparation in the way of money or extra clothing. They were to find those in Israel who would have an ear for God's Message then due to be presented--the "Israelites indeed." These would gladly entertain them free of charge. In this respect Oriental countries are somewhat different from those of the Occident. Hospitality is more characteristic of the people of the Far East than of those of Europe and America. This was true of Palestine in the days of Jesus.
When the seventy returned from their mission, our Lord asked them whether they had lacked anything. They replied that they had lacked nothing at all. Jesus had instructed them that their Message was to be a house-to-house Message--not a public one--not given in the streets or in the public squares. The disciples were to go about seeking the worthy of each city which they visited. When they came to a house, they were first to say, "Peace be to this house!" If they were kindly received, their peace was to abide; if not, their peace was to return to them; it should not rest upon that house.
This form of salutation sounds rather peculiar to us; for it is not our custom to use this style of greeting. But it is still customary in Eastern countries to salute one another thus, not only in the houses, but in the street or by the way. People will say to one another, "Peace be to you this morning." Nearly every one salutes, and nearly all say something of this kind. We remember how surprised we were when visiting Palestine first, in 1892. Our guide was well known in that country; and as we passed along the street people would address him in the Arabic language, and he would reply. We afterwards asked him, "What did they say to you?" He answered that they said, "Peace be unto you;" or, "God's blessing be with you." We were surprised that the people there would so generally speak in this gracious manner. We could scarcely turn into a road without receiving some kind of salutation.
We have something akin to this, however, in our salutation,
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"Good day," or "How do you do?" or, "We wish you good day," etc. These phrases express much the same sentiment. In the case of Jesus' disciples their salutation was to prove a test to the people as they went from house to house throughout Israel. If they were well received, they were to abide at the house where they had been made welcome, and not change from house to house during their stay in the place. If the people manifested no interest in them or their Message, they were to proceed on their journey. If they should go over a whole city this way, and find no one ready to welcome them, no one to lend an ear as they proclaimed, "The Kingdom of God is at hand," they were to leave the place, figuratively shaking the dust of that city from their feet. If the people said, "Tell us about it," they were to enter the house and tell them about Jesus, His great commission, His miracles, etc. When their Message was delivered, they were to let their peace abide with the family and hasten on their way.
Today conditions are different. To follow the method of the early disciples would not now accomplish the purpose. With us it is much better to take with us some tracts, or to sell to the people at a moderate price some literature, which will stir up their interest and fix it, which will give them the necessary information about the Kingdom soon to be established in a much fuller manner than in the days of our Lord's First Advent. At that time it was to be set up in the hearts of a few; now it is to be set up in power and great glory over all the earth. We are to go with a Message of peace, however, as did the early disciples--the Message of the Kingdom of Peace.
PROPER DEMEANOR OF GOD'S MESSENGERS
It is not the great Time of Trouble that constitutes our Message. We are to tell the glad tidings of the Gospel which shall be unto all people, and of the Times of Restitution soon to be ushered in. The Time of Trouble, if referred to at all, should be mentioned only as a necessary accompaniment of the change of dispensations because of the world's unpreparedness for the Kingdom and its blessings. As we go along in our work of proclamation, we would very properly keep in mind that we are peacemakers, not breeders of strife and contention. Some of us might be taken for strife-breeders if we were not very careful how we present the Message. We are to seek so
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far as possible to promote peace, to tell the people about God's love, mercy and goodness. As we do this in love, we find and reach the very class which the Lord now designs to reach. He is not now seeking the froward. He is seeking a special class, the Bride class.
If we are wise, we shall take heed to the special features of the Message. It is a Message of peace and good will. It is to point men in the right direction--that is, those who are of the proper class. The Message is not now for the swinish, for the quarrelsome, for the selfish and wicked. It is for the humble, the teachable, the honest-hearted. If any refuse our Message, we are not to manifest antagonism or bitterness. We are not to say, "Some day you will wish you had heard me!" This is not our business. It was particularly said of our Master that when He was reviled He reviled not again. We are to follow His example in this.
Some might say, "But did not our Lord, when opposed by the Scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of the Law, use very plain language to them? Did He not call them hypocrites, whited sepulchres and vipers?" This is true; but we are to remember that our Lord Jesus was in a position of authority which we do not occupy. He was perfect, too, "knew what was in man," and could make no mistake in respect to the heart-condition of each of His opponents. This is not true of us. Moreover, when Jesus used this language He addressed a class, and not an individual. When we have presented the Message of the Lord faithfully, we are to feel that we have done our duty; and we should leave the results with the Lord of the Harvest. The Truth itself is a sharp sword, and will do all the cutting necessary. Moreover, it should be the Truth itself that causes the opposition wherever it is found, and not any rudeness or unkindness of word or act on our part. All with whom we come in contact should be able to see by our sweetness of spirit, by our patience under provocation, that we have indeed "been with Jesus" and learned of Him.--`Acts 4:13`.
The "peace of God which passeth all understanding" should have such control of each one who would represent the Lord and His Message, that a hallowed influence would go with each, especially in every service rendered and every word spoken in the name of the Prince of Peace. The character of His true people is described by the Master Himself. They who would be properly termed the children of God should be peacemakers. He declared that these were blessed. The Apostle Paul also urges, "So far as lieth in you live peaceably with all men." (`Romans 12:18`.) It is not possible to live peaceably with all and still be true to the principles of righteousness, but the interests of peace should be conserved in every proper way by the Lord's representatives.
Upon entering any house, our thought should be to do good, to carry blessing, to exercise an influence favorable to the peace, joy and uplift of those within--not by preaching at them, but by simply, unobtrusively presenting our Message. If, as the Lord's ministers, we should be rebuffed and disdained, not welcomed, we should be careful not to intrude ourselves further. In this figurative sense we would wipe off the very dust from our feet, hastening away to find those whose hearts are hungry for the Word of grace; for if the Truth is properly, lovingly presented, and meets with no response, the Father would not have us violate the proprieties of courtesy by imposing ourselves upon those who are unappreciative. Our Lord set us a good example in this matter.
BEGGING FOR THE LORD NOT AUTHORIZED
The disciples of Jesus who were sent forth to preach the Kingdom Message were not to go from house to house as beggars, to get a meal here and a lodging there; but were to expect that if the Lord had guided them providentially to those who received them, He meant to give their hosts a blessing proportionate to the cost of their brief entertainment. They were not to consider these hospitalities in the light of alms; for as the Lord's representatives they were there to confer blessings greater far than they would receive, and as common laborers even the service they rendered should be worth at least their keep. This principle was to apply not only to a house, but to a city. They were not to be fastidious, but to accept such hospitalities as were proffered them; and if this meant no hospitality, they were to leave the city and go to one where they would be received and their Message given a reasonable hearing. The Lord's servants are not in any sense to be beggars, nor to beg for the Lord.
`Verse 9` of the chapter from which our text is taken might at first sight appear to be applicable to the Jewish Harvest only; but not so. There is spiritual as well as physical sickness, and the Lord's ambassadors of today should consider it to be their mission, their business, to open blind eyes, to unstop deaf ears, and to assist the spiritually sick by pouring the balm of Gilead upon bruised and broken hearts. It is proper now, as then, to declare to all people, "The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." This announcement has not been proper all through
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the Age, but has been appropriate merely in the ends, or Harvests, of the two Ages.
MESSAGE OF TRUTH MAKING A SEPARATION
We have now come to the end of the time which God set apart for the gathering of Spiritual Israel; and the proclamation is now due, Behold, the King is at the door! This Message has been going forth from the Wise Virgins for the last forty years, and has been separating the wise from the foolish. This work is now nearly finished. As in the days when our Lord walked from city to city in Israel, proclaiming the Call of the New Dispensation to joint-heirship in the Kingdom, He declared to the cities that rejected His Message, "It will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for you" (`Matthew 10:15`), so we may expect it to be now. Those who have been favored with the Message of Truth and have turned a deaf ear, while still professing to be followers of Christ, and perhaps teaching in His name, will find the conditions of the incoming Age less favorable to them than to heathen peoples who have never heard the true Message of God, the Gospel of the Kingdom, the establishment of which is now very near.
These heathen will probably fall in line with the Kingdom conditions and requirements more readily and with fewer stripes than will those whose hearts have been more or less hardened because of sinning against light and opportunity, and because of refusing to hear and properly weigh the evidences presented to them by the Lord's messengers. Some who in this life have enjoyed high position in the Jewish and in the Christian systems will be greatly humbled in the coming time, when in Christ's Kingdom, judgment will be laid to the line, "and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies" (`Isaiah 28:17`), and when all evils and deceptions now practised shall be exposed and overthrown. Many then, we fear, will be the stripes that some of these will receive before they are brought into a humble, teachable, obedient condition of heart.
SOME TIMELY WORDS OF CAUTION
In the days or months yet remaining until the completion of our work here in the flesh, let us be worthy exponents of the precious Truth and worthy representatives of Him whose name we bear. There is danger that those who have not been long in the narrow way, and have as yet learned but partially the lessons of meekness, gentleness, patience and love, may not always leave a sweet, helpful influence in the homes which they enter. There is danger that there may be evil-speaking, backbiting, evil insinuations against others, ungentleness of word or conduct, impatience, etc. The influence of such, even though they may be pupils in the School of Christ, is carnal, highly injurious to spiritual development, injurious to the growth of the various fruits of the Spirit in themselves and in others who are seeking to walk in the right ways, directed by the Lord in His Word.
How important it is that all who have named the name of Christ, who have entered His School, should apply themselves well to the lessons set for us by our great Teacher! How important it is that we who have made a covenant with the Lord, should walk worthy of our great vocation, and not be a reproach to Him whose Cause we have espoused! There are no people upon the face of the earth who should so exemplify in their daily walk and conversation the precious fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit of God as should those who have been led out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Lord. We believe that we are earnestly desirous of thus glorifying our Lord and of showing Him our gratitude and appreciation for His loving-kindness to us.
The Church is today "as a city set upon a hill, which cannot be hid." Much is expected of us, even by our opponents. Much is surely expected of us by our Lord. Then let us be faithful, dear brethren, in word, in act, in all our deportment. Thus shall we honor the name of our God and of our Savior and King, whom we hope soon to see face to face.
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"THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION"
IS IT in vain that the Lord instructed His people that the closing time of this Gospel Age would be an "hour of temptation" coming upon the whole world? (`Revelation 3:10`.) Surely we have not been taught of the Lord in vain! and so, all loyal to Him are buckling on the breastplate, the helmet and the sandals, and are taking the sword and the shield. If we have not yet entered into fierce conflicts, we know that we are to expect them; and we should be prepared, and have such practise and experience as would enable us to acquit ourselves valiantly in "the hour of temptation."
Since we are instructed that this "hour of temptation" cometh upon the whole world, as well as upon the Church, we perceive that it must be something in the air, as it were, that would affect everybody. We believe that this temptation is a thing spreading itself gradually in every direction; and the Master assured us that unless these days would be cut short by the establishment of His Kingdom in the hands of the Elect, no flesh would survive.
We understand this to mean that the spirit of selfishness and ambition, which is already operating among the nations and driving them insanely to war for commercial supremacy, is the spirit which will increase more and more, and will involve everybody, everywhere. This spirit is seen in the strikes, etc., of our own land--everybody anxious to serve self, and willing to fight for honors, privileges, positions, etc.
But we are more interested in the Church and in seeing how this "hour of temptation" will involve the Lord's people. What we are about to write is far from what we would prefer, but it seems to be our duty as respects the Lord's Cause and people. We believe that a great crisis is upon the Bible students; and that the sooner it is discerned, the more successfully it may be passed. It may mean divisions; but as the Apostle remarked, divisions are sometimes necessary that the approved course and the approved doctrines and the approved methods may be discerned, and that the true teachers be the more fully appreciated. --`1 Corinthians 11:18,19`.
Before mentioning the sad feature, we mention one for general encouragement; namely, that, so far as we can discern, through intercourse with the friends at conventions, etc., there was never a time when the rank and file of Bible Students possessed such a spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience, love, intelligence, faith, joy, as now.
"TAKE HEED TO YOURSELVES"
It causes real grief to write that much of the difficulty and danger to the Church seems to lie at the door of the Elders and Deacons--not all, thank God, but apparently a small minority of them, judging from the queries which come to the Office from time to time from the bewildered sheep, who seek advice as to their proper course. The
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true, loyal servants in the Church should be all the more appreciated by the Lord's people in proportion as they realize the difference between true Elders and Deacons and those who are untrue. Nor are we writing with a view to the discouragement of the unfaithful, but rather to open their eyes to the true situation, that perchance they may be recovered out of the snare of the Adversary and become helpers of the Lord's Flock, instead of hinderers.
So far as we are able to judge, the same conditions prevail today amongst Bible Students which the Apostle pointed out to the Elders of the Church of Ephesus when he charged them: "Take, therefore, heed unto yourselves and all the Flock, over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God which He hath purchased with the blood of His own [Son]." (`Acts 20:28`.) St. Paul's prophecy came true: "After my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the Flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, Brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace."--`Acts 20:29-32`.
COURSE OF TWO OF GOD'S SERVANTS CONTRASTED
As it was ambition which first misled Lucifer, and converted a glorious servant of God into an adversary, so it is his spirit that has been dangerous all the way down. The spirit of our Master was the very reverse of this. "He humbled Himself, even unto death," in the doing of the will of the Father. We see nothing of the spirit of pride or ambition or self-seeking of any sort in our Master. We are warned by the Apostle to humble ourselves after His example, if we desire to be exalted with Him in His Kingdom.
But how many seem to forget entirely these Scriptures, which we so frequently bring to the attention of the Lord's people as essential to our attaining to any position in the Kingdom! From reports given us, a horrible state of affairs prevails in some Classes when an election is to be held. The servants of the Church attempt to be rulers, dictators--sometimes even holding the chairmanship of the meeting with the apparent object of seeing that they and their special friends shall be elected as Elders and Deacons. We have heard of cases in which an Elder refused to speak to one of the Congregation because the latter had not voted for him. Yet doubtless that very Elder would think himself the personification of modesty, humility and meekness.
Oh, for shame that such a spirit should have any place amongst those who have any knowledge of the teachings of God's Word and of the conditions upon which we may hope for joint-heirship with the Master! Of course, there are various degrees of brazen-facedness in such matters. Some quietly try to take advantage of the Class by having the election at some time which is especially favorable to them and their friends. Others seek to pack the meeting with their friends, bringing in comparative strangers, who have no thought of being regular in attendance at the Class, but come merely as an act of friendship to vote for one of their friends.
Additionally, it may generally be expected that such as manifest an ambition of this kind to be leaders and teachers and to ignore the principles of the Golden Rule, as well as the special instructions for the New Creation, are generally the ones who bring in false doctrines. The same ambitious spirit of the Adversary which leads them to strive for honor in the Class seems to lead them on to pose as great teachers--bringers forth of new light. This also, the Apostle explains, is a characteristic of Satan. He says, "What wonder if he transforms himself into an angel of light"--makes himself to appear a leader amongst the children of light.--`2 Corinthians 11:14`.
In many cases, the Classes are solely to blame, according to their own statement. In some instances, persons have been elected to Eldership who had not even made a profession of consecration to the Lord or who had not symbolized their consecration. Why? Because the Class happened to be without any special talent, and the one who was not a Brother at all, not a New Creature in Christ, was chosen because he had some speaking talent. What could we expect from such a one being exalted to the position of a teacher amongst Bible Students? We could expect only injury to the Cause and injury to the person thus pushed forward contrary to the directions of the Lord's Word. If the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit himself, how could he communicate things of the Spirit to the Lord's consecrated ones? How could we expect the Lord to guide such a one, who had not given over his life to be a footstep-follower of the Lord and to be instructed by His Word?
The selection of improper leaders is evidently a sin, and quite a reflection against the Classes who have the improper leaders. How could such get into positions to represent the Lord's people, except by the latter's votes? When will the Lord's people learn that ability to talk in public is only one of the qualifications of an Elder? Time and again we have noted how the Lord's Cause has been hindered, and spirituality amongst the brethren has been stifled, by attempts to imitate the nominal church in putting forward persons glib of tongue, lacking in spirituality.
In such a case, is it not pride on the part of the Class --a desire to make a fair show in the flesh before the world? If not, why do they elect such persons? If they have made a mistake, why do they not at once rectify it in a quiet and positive manner? When Elders seek to bring the Class under their power and control and succeed, does it not show that the Class lacks the very quality that the Lord tells us He desires to see--courage, overcoming? And does the Class not injure such a would-be ruler, as well as itself, by permitting him to succeed in his unscriptural methods?
"DECEIVING AND BEING DECEIVED"
We have already alluded to the ambitious and selfish spirit in the world leading on to anarchy; and we have just pointed out how the same selfish, ambitious spirit is leading on to anarchy in the Church. We foresee a Time of Trouble for the world upon this score, and a Time of Trouble also for the Church. The world cannot purge itself of this class; for the leaders and the led have the worldly spirit, which is sure to wax worse and worse. But not so in the Church of Christ. Ours is the spirit of the Master, the spirit of loyalty to Truth, the spirit of the Golden Rule, the spirit of brotherly love, the spirit of liberty and helpfulness, the spirit of fidelity to what we believe to be the Truth. It is inexcusable for the Church, possessed of this spirit, to continue under the domination of ambitious men (and sometimes ambitious women). If they have not been conducting their Class affairs along proper lines, should they not begin at once? We believe that this is the time in which to set the House of the Lord in order.
But some one will say, "We would have a great disturbance if we attempted to do anything contrary to the wishes of those who have fastened themselves upon us as our leaders and rulers. To make a move at all, would endanger a division of the Class, and how could we think of anything which would result in that catastrophe?"
But, we inquire, which would be the better, to have a
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smaller Class operating along the lines which the Lord has indicated, or a larger Class upholding principles contrary to the Lord's provision, injuring themselves, hindering their influence, and encouraging as a leader one who is either a "wolf" or else a "sheep" which has been mistakenly misled into the wolf spirit? We encourage all the dear Brethren who are in such trouble to be very heroic; to see that they do nothing from strife or vain-glory, but everything in the spirit of meekness and love, that they may get back again to the liberty wherewith Christ made free, and be not again entangled in any human bondage.
REMEMBER DOCTRINAL TESTS ALSO
Repeatedly Bible Students write us that their Elders try to hinder them from the use of the WATCH TOWER SOCIETY'S publications as textbooks in Bible Study. Some of these Elders go so far as to tell the classes that they are out of harmony with many of the things in these textbooks. Sometimes, as rulers, they forbid the use of these in the classes. We are asked what should be done under such circumstances.
We reply, Let those who wish to follow such leaders do so--that is their right. We shall wish them well. But let us not follow with them nor submit for a moment to such arrangements. It is the height of impertinence for such a leader to intrude himself in such a manner, and attempt to tell the Church what they shall and what they shall not do. As the power of election is in the hands of the Church, so the power of dismission is in their hands. We recommend that such Classes vote to dismiss such an Elder from his position of service, telling him kindly that his services are no longer desired. Perhaps with a back seat for a while, and an opportunity for thinking over the matter, he may be benefited himself, and the Class also be greatly helped forward by taking such a stand--no matter whether there be no other person in the Class able to address a public meeting or accustomed to leading Classes. Far better would it be to appoint any one of your number to act as chairman, or to take turns in the matter of opening and closing meetings--anything to preserve your liberty and to continue the work of worship and study along proper lines.
Let us make a discrimination between the positive teachings of the Bible--the doctrines of Christ--and the slightly variant ways of expressing those doctrines. We are not to expect any two persons to use exactly the same words; but there are certain doctrines which are fast and immovable from the viewpoint of the majority of Bible Students. Any one not in good harmony with those presentations should not be encouraged in the slightest degree, but, on the contrary, should be discouraged. If he has different views, do not persecute him--do not follow the style of the Dark Ages, but follow the proper course of letting him "flock to himself," or with as many as prefer to view matters as he views them.
We have not given such strong advice heretofore; but we perceive that many of the dear sheep are being troubled, hindered of development and imposed upon. We see that proportionately such Elders and Deacons are growing more bold, and hence the need is the greater that all who do have the right spirit, and who realize that, under the Lord's guidance in our study of the Divine Plan of the Ages, we have not been following "cunningly devised fables," should now take a positive stand for the good of themselves, for the good of the leaders who manifest a wrong spirit, and for the good of the public, who are inquiring for the way of the Lord as never before.
While we are encouraging positiveness and courage, we are not wishing to encourage a spirit of strife, or of nagging and fault-finding amongst the faithful servants of the Lord who do manifest the humble spirit and who do accord the Class its rights and liberties and who seek to "serve well." Again we repeat, "Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory, but all to the glory of God," and with the sole object in view of purging the Church of the influence of those who never should have been chosen, or having been chosen in proper condition, have since manifested a perverted and ambitious spirit. Again we counsel for these positiveness, but kindness and, if they repent, mercy--with a view possibly to restoring them to confidence later on. The Apostle wrote, "I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must also be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (`1 Corinthians 11:18,19`.) Here the division evidently must come; and evidently the sooner it comes, the better it will be for the Truth and for all who love it.
"BY MY SPIRIT, SAITH THE LORD"
We should never forget the Apostle's instruction, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (`1 Corinthians 2:14`.) Additionally, experience demonstrates to us that even after we have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, our ability to understand spiritual things depends, not only upon our study of the Scriptures, which are able to make us wise, but also upon the measure of the Holy Spirit which we possess. Hence the Apostle's exhortation, "Be ye filled with the Spirit!" --`Ephesians 5:18`.
This means that only the spirit-begotten may understand the deep things of God at all; and that their understanding would be in proportion as they attain more and more a filling, a saturation with the spirit of holiness, the spirit of God, the spirit of Christ, the spirit of Truth. Every Bible Student should realize that if, as a New Creature, he walks after the flesh and not after the Spirit, his mind will become more or less darkened, and not only will his ability to understand the deep things of God decrease, but even his recollection of the Lord's Word will decrease; and that, on the contrary, when he is living near to the Lord--walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh--his memory of the Divine Word and his ability to appreciate its Spirit are increased.
Additionally, let us remember that a correct understanding of the Lord's Word is not enjoyed by all the educated and talented, but comes to those who are of a meek and teachable heart, who study the Lord's Word and who live it and absorb its spirit. Thus we have illustrated to us the Divine declaration, "Not by might [greatness], nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts."--`Zechariah 4:6`.
The lesson to us is that no matter how great, no matter how able any brother or sister may be, this will not make such fit to be a leader of the Lord's people unless he have additionally the all-important items--first, a knowledge of the Lord's Word; and second, the possession of a good degree of the spirit of Truth--one who always dare be trusted as an ambassador of the Lord. None others should be recognized as teachers or leaders amongst the Lord's people. It is the thought of Churchianity that only the great, the learned, the talented, should be the ministers of the Lord's Word; but the Bible's presentation is to the contrary of this. "The spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Good Tidings to the meek."--`Isaiah 61:1`.
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It is in view of these things that we feel justified in urging upon the Classes of Bible Students everywhere that they esteem with double honor such Elder brethren as manifest the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of meekness, the spirit of gentleness, the spirit of patience, the spirit of long-suffering, the spirit of brotherly-kindness, and the spirit of love--those who have a good knowledge of the Word of God and of the Divine Plan, and who manifest an appreciation of the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of holiness, and who have an aptness to teach; and that on the contrary, all others be refused.
THE V.D.M. QUESTIONS
Long ago we called attention to the fact that many of the titles applied by the nominal church to their ministers are wholly un-Scriptural--Reverend, Most Reverend, Doctor of Divinity, etc. They are not only opposed to the letter, but also to the spirit of the Scriptures. We called attention to the fact that the words Elder, Deacon and Pastor are Scriptural terms. We also called attention to the Latin title, Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), and stated that this expresses exactly the Bible thought that every representative of Christ who preaches in public is a Minister of the Divine Word--not a minister of human creeds or of self. All Bible Students approved of God and of His people are of necessity Ministers of the Divine Word --each according to his talents, opportunities and restrictions, as set forth in the Bible.
In view of the fact that quite a good many Classes of Bible Students seem to be not sufficiently particular in respect to the qualifications of those whom they choose as their representatives, we formulated a number of questions styled, V.D.M. Questions, believing that the study of these questions would be helpful to everybody, and that the answers of them would help to mark out such as have a reasonable knowledge of the Divine Word, and whose ministries, therefore, it might be hoped would be profitable and not injurious. These questions are not sectarian, but would be proper for any minister of any denomination. Neither are they catch questions, intended to trip up the unwary. They are simple bona fide queries, the answering of which should be helpful to each individual, and especially helpful in designating those fit to be teachers and leaders amongst the Lord's people.
These we prepared and sent to the Pilgrims--the traveling preachers sent forth under the auspices of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, and to all representatives of the Society in any capacity everywhere. Next came applications from Elders and Deacons in
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various quarters, and from others of the Bible Students. Then we advised that the questions be studied and answered, as formulated, by all Bible Students. We received many applications, and many of these have been filled out and returned. It is our recommendation to all the Classes that any brother not able to answer these questions in a reasonable way be not considered a suitable representative.
In order that all Bible Students may have these questions and note their simplicity, we publish them below. Brothers Sturgeon, Burgess and Stephenson have been appointed a committee to examine the answers sent in by the Pilgrims. We have no doubt that every one of their answers will be found satisfactory as a whole. None will be rejected except for good cause, and this will be duly pointed out. By vote the New York City Class decided that none should serve it as Elders or Deacons who could not give a reasonably satisfactory reply to these questions. We suggest a somewhat similar course in all the Classes. The examiners of the answers could either be a committee from the Class or, if desired, the Society's representatives above mentioned, to examine the answers and give their criticisms upon request.
V.D.M. QUESTIONS FOR ADVANCED BIBLE STUDENTS
(1) What was the first creative act of God?
(2) What is the meaning of the word "Logos," as associated with the Son of God? and what is signified by the words Father and Son?
(3) When and how did sin enter the world?
(4) What is the Divine penalty for sin upon the sinners? and who are the sinners?
(5) Why was it necessary for the "Logos" to be made flesh? and was He "incarnated"?
(6) Of what nature was the Man Christ Jesus from infancy to death?
(7) Of what nature is Jesus since the resurrection; and what is His official relation to Jehovah?
(8) What is the work of Jesus during this Gospel Age-- during the time from Pentecost until now?
(9) What has thus far been done for the world of mankind by Jehovah God? and what by Jesus?
(10) What is the Divine purpose in respect to the Church when completed?
(11) What is the Divine purpose in respect to the world of mankind?
(12) What will be the fate of the finally incorrigible?
(13) What will be the reward or blessings which will come to the world of mankind through obedience to Messiah's Kingdom?
(14) By what steps may a sinner come into vital relationship with Christ and with the Heavenly Father?
(15) After a Christian has been begotten of the Holy Spirit, what is his course, as directed in the Word of God?
(16) Have you turned from sin to serve the living God?
(17) Have you made a full consecration of your life and all your powers and talents to the Lord and His service?
(18) Have you symbolized this consecration by water immersion?
(19) Have you taken the I.B.S.A. Vow of holiness of life?
(20) Have you read thoroughly and carefully the six volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES?
(21) Have you derived much enlightenment and benefit therefrom?
(22) Do you believe you have a substantial and permanent knowledge of the Bible which will render you more efficient as a servant of the Lord throughout the remainder of your life?
Note: It is, of course, expected that each person filling out one of these reports will do so from his own knowledge and not by inquiring for or copying the answers of others. The BIBLE, STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and TABERNACLE SHADOWS may be consulted, however, and citations given.
SUPPOSED OBJECTIONS ANSWERED
One, and only one, objection was raised to the foregoing-- a fear that it is Babylonish, Sectarian. Ah! it is wonderful how the great Adversary strives always to make out that the right is wrong, that the light is darkness. Babylon's method is to take all power and authority out of the hands of the people of God and put it into the hands of one person or a clique of preachers or bishops or elders. Our aim continually is to preserve the liberty of each ecclesia and have each recognize its own authority and responsibility.
Our reply to the objecting Brother may be of interest to all of our readers, and so we present it below:
DEAR BROTHER:--I am glad to see you scrupulously careful of all of the rights and liberties of the Church of God, and careful to oppose anything that would seem to savor of sectarianism.
I remind you that sectarianism is an attempt on the part of many companies or classes to control each other in matters of doctrine and practise. We are suggesting nothing of this kind, but feel as much opposed to it as you do. We are not attempting to establish any law or rule which must govern all the classes of the Lord's people, but merely suggesting to them the establishment of law and order in their own midst, by themselves.
For instance, each member of every class in voting for Elders and Deacons should certainly consider before voting the qualifications of those for whom he votes: (1) What
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are his religious professions as respects faith in the teachings of the Bible on the fundamental points; (2) Whether or not the one to be voted for is clear in his understanding of the Truth so as to be apt at teaching it to others; (3) Whether or not the individual has made a consecration of himself to the Lord and has symbolized it; (4) Whether or not the individual manifests a high standard of morals in his deportment, and whether or not he is in sympathy with high ideals such as are represented in the Vow.
Heretofore, the classes have been obliged to surmise on these subjects, and our proposal now is that they do not surmise, but ask the brethren our list of V.D.M. Questions or any other set of questions which the class may prefer, and have their answers to these questions before deciding that they are suitable representatives of the class as its honored servants. This maintains the authority of the class, the Ecclesia, as no sectarian system does, and makes the class the judges of the qualifications of its representatives as the Bible directs should be shown by the stretching forth of the hand and the ordaining or authorizing of the individual to serve as a representative of the class.
Your letter intimates a query as to the propriety of appointing three brethren to examine the answers to the V.D.M. Questions.
I reply that each class certainly has the right to recognize or appoint certain brethren in whose judgment they would have confidence to examine the answers given to the questions, and to report if any of them were answered unsatisfactorily in their judgment--so that the class could have the final decision. This seems to be an easier way than to have each member of the class read over the answers to the questions before voting. However, the matter is one for the class to decide. In the case of the New York City congregation, the vote was unanimous that all would have confidence in the broad-minded decision of the three brethren approved as a committee of examiners.
In respect to the Vow: Your letter seems to intimate that you have some opposition to it, and think an acknowledgment of its principles should not be required. Instead of saying what there is in the Vow that you object to, you hide behind the proposition that the expressions of the Vow are not found in that particular form in the Scriptures. I remind you that nothing in the English language is found in the Scriptures, because they were written in another language; and furthermore, that our hymns are not found in the Scriptures, and that what we believe to be clear statements of our faith are not found in the Scriptures in the very terms in which we would express them today. The Scriptures lay down for us the general principles of righteous living, and the true foundations of the faith once delivered unto the saints. We are to see to it that all that we sing and preach and pray and write and do is in line with these fundamental principles which the Bible sets forth. The great mass of THE WATCH TOWER readers have informed us that they believe that the phraseology of the Vow is in full harmony with the essence and spirit of the Word of God. If it is, and any brother finds himself in opposition to it, is he not finding himself in opposition to the spirit of God's Word? and if so, would he be a suitable representative of any class of Bible Students, as its Elder or Deacon? We think not. If any fault can be found with the Vow--if it can be shown to be in any sense or degree antagonistic to or out of harmony with the letter and essence of the Word of God we want to know it in no uncertain terms--all Bible Students would want to know this. But no one has yet shown any antagonism nor any deflections in the letter and spirit of the Vow from the letter and spirit of the Bible. We therefore advise all classes that anybody unwilling to assent to the Vow, unwilling to make it his own, has something the matter with him--either his head or his heart, in our judgment, must be out of harmony with the letter and spirit of God's Word and he would not be a suitable Elder or Deacon.
I trust, dear Brother, that as you read this over and ponder
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it and pray about it, you will realize that you have erred in your first judgment; or if you think of any points that I have not covered and thoroughly answered, it will afford me pleasure to have you state those points.
I here remind you that this Vow is unto the Lord, and not unto the brethren! We hold therefore that any one who declares that he has taken the Vow, has not brought himself thereby under bondage to any of the brethren; but merely declared to the brethren the obligation he has recognized and declared to the Lord--hence it would not be the province of the brethren to investigate the affairs of the brother who declares he has taken the Vow, any more after his declaration than before it. The keeping of that Vow is between the individual and the Lord. It neither adds to nor diminishes his responsibility to the brethren and the class. His declaration that he has taken the Vow merely informs the brethren of the high standard of moral living which he recognizes and is seeking to follow.
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WORLD-WIDE PASTORAL WORK
ABOUT five hundred Classes of Associated Bible Students have voluntarily elected the Editor as their Pastor, and have notified the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY of the fact--requesting that in addition to his expositions and pastorals through THE WATCH TOWER columns, he would remember them in prayer and also from time to time send them such advice as he might believe would be for their profit and the Lord's glory through representatives and by mail.
We have rejoiced to note activity in the Lord's service amongst the Brethren, and have done our best to open up ways and means by which they could render service to the great King and assistance to His followers. But only of late has the Lord deeply impressed upon our attention a considerable work in which the Sisters might engage with profit both to themselves and to the Cause.
Before suggesting the matter to outside Classes, we made a trial of it in New York City. The resulting success was so pronounced that we felt justified in calling it to the attention of all the Classes which have notified us of our election as their Pastor, sending to each Class copies of the following letters--one to the regular Class Secretary for the benefit of the Elders and the Class in general, and the other for the special use of the Sister chosen to be the Pastor's lieutenant in this work. The publication of the letters here will make the whole matter the better known to each member of such Classes, some of whom may not have heard the reading or may have forgotten the contents:
PASTORAL WORK IN WHICH SISTERS COOPERATE
Some months ago we called the attention of THE WATCH TOWER readers to an important Follow-up Work possible in connection with addresses received at Public Meetings, DRAMA Exhibitions, from Colporteur Lists, etc.--persons who supposedly have some interest in religious matters and who presumably would be more or less amenable to the Truth. We have since been attempting to classify and arrange these addresses, but there are so many of them and our time is so limited that we have gotten comparatively few into the shape originally intended. Rather than delay the important work further, we purpose sending lists of addresses to those who will be colaborers in this Pastoral Work, at once, that they may be copied and classified by the workers of each district.
While this branch of the work is intended for the Sisters only, because we find that usually they are more successful and additionally have more time to invest in the work, nevertheless we are not proposing anything which would ignore the Classes of the I.B.S.A. Indeed, so far as we are able to designate, we are suggesting this work only to Classes which have informed us that they have chosen me as their Pastor.
The plan is to bring together the Sisters of each class who have time at their disposal and the desire to engage as Pastoral Workers under this plan. In such a group, of course, there would be some with more and some with less talent for the service, and some who could do one part of the work, but who would be totally unfit for another part. Hence it is desirable that the Sisters choose from their number a Lieutenant having considerable time at her disposal and considerable executive ability, and that breadth of mind which would enable her to appreciate and use the position properly, dividing the work wisely amongst the others and herself. Before the Lieutenant would be elected, prayer should be made for
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wisdom and guidance in the matter. I have already asked the Lord for special blessing upon such arrangements and will continue so to do. Any Sister not qualified for the service ought to rejoice that she has the privilege of setting herself aside for the good of the cause, and might take pleasure in helping another Sister who possesses the necessary tact and other qualifications for the work. The Lord will look at our hearts and reward us according to our faithfulness to Him and to the Truth, and not merely according to the amount of our work.
The activities of this Committee, elsewhere detailed, will in a general way consist of visiting the addresses mentioned, ascertaining interest, removing prejudice, loaning STUDIES, etc.; and the culmination of the project is to interest as many as possible to the extent of gathering them into classes-- first to hear Chart Talks, and later to become regular Berean Classes. When the matter is worked up sufficiently, the Lieutenant will call upon the Elders of the I.B.S.A. Class to appoint thoroughly competent Brethren to give the Chart Talks. Meantime the Elder Brethren should be qualifying along this line. Shortly we will have a new edition of "Outlines of Chart Discourses," which will be helpful to them and which we will supply free. We will also be prepared shortly with a good supply of Cloth Charts for such service.
After the Chart Talks have been given and the Study Classes arranged for, the Elders of the Class will be expected to see to it that the Classes are supplied regularly with efficient teachers. Remember the Apostle's instructions as to the qualifications of a teacher--"apt to teach." Do not spoil the Lord's work by any favoritism or by seeking either to give or to receive honor according to the flesh. Let our motto in everything be "God First," and self and every way of the flesh subordinate.
The plan is already in operation in several of the large cities with astonishing success. We think it strange we did not sooner realize the importance of this work and get it into operation. But perhaps it is a part of the work of the present hour--perhaps in some way it is connected with the smiting of the waters with the mantle of Elijah. We would not suggest that it would fulfil that type, but merely that it may be one of the features connected with it.
With this introduction to the work we leave the matter in the hands of the Lord's people, praying Divine blessing upon all who are disposed voluntarily to cooperate.
With this we are furnishing some suggestive hints as to method of procedure. With Christian love,
Your brother and servant in the Lord, C.T. RUSSELL.
HINTS TO PASTORAL WORKERS IN LARGE CITIES
The Pastoral letter, sent sometimes through a special representative and sometimes through the Class Secretary, being read to the I.B.S.A. Class, constitutes a call for a meeting of all the Sisters of the Class who have the time and strength to invest in the work described. Their first meeting should be for the purpose of choosing from their number one whom they believe to be the Lord's choice, to serve as Lieutenant, and another to be the Pastoral-Work Secretary and Treasurer.
(We regret that through some misunderstanding our representative appointed Lieutenants at some of the Conventions; and that when our Pastoral Letter arrived directing the election of the Lieutenant and Secretary a little confusion ensued. The Society's representatives are properly appointed, but in all matters connected with the Classes their choice or their sanction of our choice is the rule. So in this case: while we doubt not that very suitable Sisters were appointed, we request that the Sisters of each Class vote on the question and advise us of the results.)
The Class will doubtless consider it a privilege to supply the moderate expenses that will be incidental to this branch of the service, but should it not be so disposed, and should the matter be neglected, refer the same to the below address before it has run longer than a month, in the regular monthly report, calling attention to it very particularly.
All reports should be signed by the Lieutenant and the Secretary-Treasurer. Of course, we should be notified immediately after you have had this first meeting--the number present and your selection for Lieutenant and Secretary-Treasurer.
Your first meeting will help to make you acquainted with each other and to enkindle your enthusiasm respecting this part of the work, and enable the Pastor's representative (if present) to form an estimate of the material she will have to use and how it can best be used. Wherever possible we are sending Sister Genevieve Sanford to assist in the organization and classification and explanation of what we have found to be the successful methods of work. If she be with you the explanations here will be the less important, except as you shall wish to have them for reference when she has gone. But if for any reason Sister Sanford cannot be with you, remember that all the more you will need to depend
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upon the Lord and to exercise your own best wisdom, justice and love in all arrangements. "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory."
AT THE SECOND MEETING
This meeting should not be long deferred--"Weld while the iron is hot." Our representatives are first to remember that system is necessary to the best results in anything. Before the second meeting the Lieutenant should procure four city maps as clear and distinct as possible, and four directories of city streets; a red pencil and a blue pencil and a couple of pads of stiff writing paper. The Lieutenant should prepare the first map herself--afterwards give it as a sample to helpers that they may prepare the other three maps.
Using one of your colored pencils, divide your city into sections of approximately ten blocks one way and fifteen the other; or 12 x 12, or 5 x 25, as may be most suitable to the shape of your city. After thus dividing the map, number the different districts with the other colored pencil.
Some of the names furnished you by the Society will be on cards, addresses on which some of the Sisters can be set to locating on the maps. When they find the district to which they belong, that number, in colored pencil, should be marked on the card plainly. Others of the names sent to you will be in lists, and each of these will need to be written off on a small pad-paper and in turn each address will need to have its colored figure representing the district to which it belongs.
Cheap file cards may be made by cutting stiff letter paper into convenient sizes, approximately like small post-cards. Do not immediately transfer the names from the DRAMA card or other memorandum or address to the file cards. Merely locate the addresses and district them. When interest is confirmed the address can be transferred to the file card.
Secure address of every Sister in the congregation, and let these be the start of the file cards, a red cross in the corner indicating that she is in the Truth. Her district should be indicated also on the map, and a small "x" should indicate approximately the location of her home.
The Lieutenant should select District workers according to supposed efficiency and without partiality. Give each worker preferably the district in which she lives, as her field of activity, or a district near, or otherwise the nearest district possible.
If you have an abundance of helpers, one in each district might attend to the Book-loaning, and another to making calls on the addresses, but if the workers are not sufficient in number let the calling be done first and the book-loaning be a subsequent work, except as the person called upon might not have the books, but be willing to accept a volume on loan.
The Sisters should report to the Lieutenant within a week. You may find that some of them have been hindered by sickness, or others have not found the time they had expected, or others may have broken down and proved inefficient, while still others may need further explanations and assistance. Write a kindly letter to any sister who fails to report in a week, encouraging her, expressing appreciation for what she already has done and hopes respecting her future progress, and assuring her that you will be pleased to have a call from her in respect to anything she does not fully understand. Keep each branch of the service up to its full capacity.
As the Sisters complete their visits in their districts the cards or other addresses showing no interest at all should be destroyed by the Lieutenant. Then three copies of addresses of all showing any interest should be made on the file cards, one copy for your file, one to be sent to the Brooklyn office, and the other copy to be retained by the District worker for further use. Impress upon the Sisters the need of care in handling cards, lest any addresses should be lost. This copying should be done as promptly as possible.
Some of the districts should be ready for Chart Talks within two weeks after the opening. With much Christian love,
Your brother and servant in the Lord, C.T. RUSSELL.
N.B.--We will supply you monthly report blanks, which please send to Brooklyn at the close of each month, addressing
"PASTORAL WORK DEPARTMENT,
c/o Mrs. Genevieve Sanford,
122 Columbia Hts., Brooklyn, N.Y.
HINTS TO DISTRICT WORKERS RE PASTORAL WORK
Arrange your address cards and memoranda alphabetically. Copy them in this order--alphabetically--into a book, leaving room for four or five names under each letter. Then
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you can rearrange your cards according to convenience in calling. If any of the cards are not sufficiently neat in appearance, they should be copied, rather than use anything unsatisfactory.
Wherever possible, these cards or memoranda should have a notation of what the individual called upon has already had in the way of Truth literature, as a guide to you in respect to what you shall say when you call. Arrange the cards so as to economize your time in making the visits. After each call write a brief history of that call on the card; for instance, "Interested, will attend Chart Talks"; or, "Not Interested"; or, "Moved," etc. This information on each card you should give to the Lieutenant every two weeks, that she may transfer the information to her file, destroying those showing "Moved" or "No interest."
While the meetings to be held will be supervised by the Elders of the I.B.S.A. Class, we wish still to keep well in touch. Hence please report weekly by post-card to the Lieutenant the numbers in attendance at the meetings, and anything else that would seem to be helpful, as also the names of any who purchase the books. Remember, however, that while it is desirable that the people should buy the books-- because they will then give the more earnest heed to the reading of them--yet nothing that would give any suggestion of merchandising the Truth is to be sanctioned. Rather than give the impression of trying to sell books, we would offer to loan them; but if the person prefers to purchase, of course we would be glad to have it so.
DISTRICT WORKERS' CANVASS
"Good morning! Is this where Mrs. Wood lives?"
"I am making some calls respecting a Circulating Library for Home Bible Study. I think you indicated an interest in this work some time ago. I would like to talk the matter over with you, if agreeable."
After being invited in, continue:
"At that time, Mrs. Wood, I believe you purchased a set of books called STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. May I inquire whether or not you found in them something that interested you?"
This is merely a supposed start to the conversation, which of course should vary according to the circumstances of the case, which you have noted on the card. What you shall say further must depend on circumstances as you find them. Possibly you will get a suggestion or a statement that the party found nothing to interest her, but that she knows of some people who are much interested. You thus have the opportunity of learning the address of others; and perhaps, by a little wise conversation, you may awaken interest in the one whom you are interviewing. Or the trouble may be prejudice, slander or misrepresentation. Such opportunities for correcting false impressions are valuable. Each worker should pray earnestly and continuously for wisdom from Above to say the right thing, and for grace from the Lord-- meekness, patience, love in the heart--that her words might be like perfume and an anointing oil to all who are in sympathy with righteousness.
If the lady has not the books, offer to loan her a volume, and tell her of the proposal soon to have some Chart Talks on "The Divine Plan," given in that district. Explain to her how the CHART OF THE AGES helps to open the Bible to our understanding and to make it a new book. Assure her that the volume you offer to loan her will awaken her interest keenly, because it is different from other religious books and gives the chapter and verse, showing that it is really the Message of God's Word, even though different from what some of us had supposed. Inquire whether she would like to be notified respecting the Chart Talks when arranged for. Elsewhere we give some remarks especially on book-loaning, which see. On leaving, express the hope that your next call will find that she has read considerably and is deeply interested.
Write a brief history of this interview on your address memoranda, before going on to your next call. While covering your district note especially those who indicate sufficient interest to attend a Chart Talk. Be on the lookout also for the Lord's guidance for a place in which to hold the meeting --someone who has expressed interest and whose large parlor or sitting room would seem to be a favorable place. In such a case you might remark, "I was just thinking how convenient this room would be for such meetings, if you would like to have them here. I could not say definitely whether this would be considered the most suitable place or not, but would be glad, if you thought well, to make a memorandum that you would like to have the meetings here."
Confer with the Lieutenant respecting what you have found and the most suitable time for holding the meeting and the most suitable place--the Lieutenant, in turn, keeping in touch with the Elders of the Ecclesia before deciding definitely on the subject.
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As soon as the decision respecting the Chart Talks has been reached, call again upon those who seem favorable. Tell them about the arrangement and ask whether you may expect to see them there. Additionally, write a post-card to each of them so that it will reach them the day before the meeting. It might read something like this: "Just to remind you that we are to meet tomorrow, Thursday evening, to hear a talk on the CHART OF THE AGES at the home of Mrs. Wood, 122 West Charles St., at 7:30. I note that your home is about nine blocks from Mrs. Wood's home and suggest that the Fulton Street car, running east, will take you within one block. Get off at E Street. Yours, etc."--Signed.
You should be sure to be in attendance at every Chart Talk in your district, and should call on the interested to keep the interest alive, though the call need not be a lengthy one. Send also a post-card reminder each week.
At the close of the series of Chart Talks, a Question Meeting on the Chart will be in order, and should be announced by the lecturer himself. It is to be hoped that the Elders will select only wise and capable Brethren for this important service. If a considerable number of those present so desire, it might be intimated at this meeting that a First Volume Berean Study could be started.
Meantime, ascertain some other friendly one who would like to have the Berean Study in her home, provided the one who has volunteered the apartments for the Chart Talks should not seem anxious to have the Berean Study follow in her home. Other things being equal, the Berean study should preferably be held in the home of one of the Bible students. Let the vote for Berean Study of First Volume be taken on the night of the Question Meeting, the fourth night of the Chart Talks--the fourth week.
After the Berean Class has gotten properly started, you may consider it as weaned and, if other important work presents itself, may feel free. Keep in touch with the Class; and should any of its members fail to attend for two weeks, be sure that you call upon them before the third meeting.
These Classes should be notified respecting all public lectures, and should be made acquainted with the meetings of the I.B.S.A. Class as soon as their interest begins to develop. It is preferable that not many of the regular Bible Students attend these Chart Talks and Berean Studies at first, lest the newcomers should be embarrassed and lest the parlors be too crowded; and that the newcomers may the more freely ask questions and be in less danger of being stumbled--all of the lecturing and leading being done by the one experienced Brother chosen by the Elders.
We advise that no singing be done at the Chart Talks, nor at first at the Berean Study Lessons. Every meeting, however, might be properly opened with a brief prayer. The meetings should begin promptly and not continue longer than one hour. Please call this to the attention of the leader.
Never sell anything at Chart Talk meetings, considering that those in attendance are your invited guests. If they do not have the books, their homes will be the proper place at which to suggest the purchase.
The Society will furnish, through the Lieutenant, question books for all such Classes, free.
Each district worker should have with her when making her first calls in the district a copy of Vol. I., SCRIPTURE STUDIES, so that she could refer to it, saying, "This is the Study which I hope will stimulate your interest in Biblical themes." Then will be an opportunity for you to give a talk on the book, offering to loan it if the listener is interested.
Report in person or by letter at least every two weeks to the Pastor's Lieutenant, and every week during the time that the lectures are in progress.
Should you need assistance do not yourself attempt to select an associate, but refer this matter to the Pastor's Lieutenant, who has the full responsibility.
Call upon the Bible Student Sisters residing in your district. They may be able to give you some information. Do not permit such calls to be of the ordinary kind, with minds diverted to chit-chat or gossip, but hold yourself strictly to your work and be an example. If the circumstances are favorable it would not be inappropriate to have prayer with such a Sister. If such a Sister is not engaged in any service, but has time for it, make a mental note of what you think she would be best suited for, and draw the matter to the attention of the Lieutenant, with full particulars as to the time at
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her disposal, health, activity, age, color, married or single, etc.; also in respect to her spiritual condition, and whether or not she is well posted in the Truth and apt at giving it out. Note whether the Sister is inactive or discouraged or new in the Truth. Let this information come to you as naturally as possible, without boring or close questioning. Note also if she is of a gentle spirit or the contrary.
This information may be valuable to the Lieutenant when at some future time selecting suitable persons to make calls, to read to shut-ins, to fold tracts or to distribute volunteer matter for Chart Talks, Drama, Public Lectures, etc.
Always remember your privilege in connection with the stimulating of the Sisters in the Truth, as well as all with whom you come in contact, with respect to the glorious things of the Divine Plan and our wonderful opportunities and privileges.
The book-loaning is a separate work entirely from what we have outlined above; yet where the helpers are numerous and the cards of the interested ones few, the district worker may obtain the consent of the Lieutenant to add the Book-loaning feature, which we elsewhere describe.
We suggest the importance of full consecration of heart and life to the Lord before undertaking such work--before it will be acceptable or pleasing to the Lord. Then the consecration should be kept up to date. Every morning Divine blessing and guidance should be sought; and every evening a report of our endeavors, failures and desires should be made to our glorious Head, that we may find grace to help in every time of need. Everybody called upon should be impressed with our manifestation of the Holy Spirit of Love, and with the fact that it alone has actuated our visit. We should sympathize with all who have good desires in any sense of the word; with those who are deep in churchianity, for we are glad to find them interested in higher things; with others who have turned away from churchianity, for we know how hard it is to retain faith under present church conditions; and with others who have been prejudiced, for we are not surprised, and much prefer prejudice to lukewarmness.
Very truly your Servant, C.T. RUSSELL.
PASTORAL WORK EXTENDED LATER
It may seem early in this work to suggest an extension of effort outside of the large cities to smaller cities and villages. However, we think it best to lay before you the entire scheme, that we may be working together to the one end--the finding of God's jewels everywhere.
Our suggestion is that the Pastor's Lieutenant and the Elders in each large I.B.S.A. Class be ready to cooperate, as God's providence may indicate, with smaller classes within a radius of--say forty miles. After getting the work of your own city well under control and everybody busy--Chart Talks going, Bible Studies going--then look afield to help others.
Some of the smaller classes may be able to adapt our suggestions to their own immediate conditions, and some may not. Such as are not able to do so we recommend should appeal to us or to the larger Classes when they want advice or assistance. Then will be your opportunity. But let us never forget the Lord's arrangement--that each Class has charge of its own affairs, and only as it might request or desire should any other Class intrude or assist. Extension work may therefore best be done in towns where there are no classes--the EUREKA DRAMA possibly being used to open the door.
LIEUTENANT AND SMALL CLASSES CONTIGUOUS
Correspondence requesting aid in the starting of such a work should be sent to the PASTORAL WORK COMMITTEE, c/o Mrs. Genevieve Sanford, 122 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y. Sister Sanford, or in her absence some one authorized, will communicate with a large center of the work near to the inquirer and endeavor to provide the necessary assistance, instructions, etc., for a start. But the work should be carried on practically the same as in the larger centers, with such adaptations as may be necessary.
DISTRICT BOOK LOANING
An important feature of the Pastoral work now being widely undertaken is the loaning of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. We recommend that only Vol. I. generally be distributed; but of course we should be glad to loan other volumes subsequently, if desired. Our hope would be that an interest would develop which would eventually lead interested ones to desire to own the entire set of SCRIPTURE STUDIES; and since they are sold for so small a price--considerably less than cost of manufacture--none could think of our having any mercenary object in connection with their sale. Either the regular edition or the karatol may be used, but in some respects we favor the latter; for it looks smaller and therefore invites the attention of the busy. Nevertheless some may prefer the other edition because more easily read by the elderly.
A chief, or librarian, of either sex, may be chosen by the Class. On account of the weight of the books, a brother having a central office or store is sometimes preferable for librarian. The book supply should be kept at some place of easy access to all the workers.
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The Class should purchase as many volumes as it desires to use. These will be supplied at the rate charged Colporteurs --25c per volume, for each of the first three, and 30c for each of the second three volumes (in lots of 50), plus freight charges. Each volume should be numbered, and the numbers may as well begin with 500. If the number be plainly marked upon the paper cover, it will facilitate the keeping track of the books given out to each worker, and loaned by the worker to the interested.
In order that those visited may not think that they are being offered charity in the loaning of a book, we style this work the starting of a Circulating Library for Home Bible Study, otherwise they might be offended, and say, "We are able to buy all the books we need," or, "We can get at the Public Library whatever books we desire."
The volume should be loaned for two weeks and a call made to collect at the end of that time; but of course if there is any interest manifested and for some reason it has not been read in the interim, it might be loaned afresh. Make a memorandum of the date when the book was loaned, and make a monthly report to the Book-loaning Department of the Class, as well as to the Pastor's Lieutenant.
CANVASS OF THE BOOK LOANER
"I am making some calls in the interest of A CIRCULATING LIBRARY FOR HOME BIBLE STUDY. I wish to talk the matter over with you and enlist your cooperation. This movement is an organized effort to provide everyone who loves the Bible with the means to understand its mysteries--making God's great Book plainly understood.
"I have brought with me a little volume containing sixteen Studies that cover THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES. If you are interested in the Bible, I should be glad to loan it to you."
Upon the acceptance of your proposition say:
"Now, by taking one Study a day you will finish the Volume in two weeks, with an extra Study on Sunday. By that time you will be so well informed on God's Plan that its various divisions will be well defined in your mind. Would you be willing to take one Study a day if you could be sure that in two weeks you would understand God's purposes toward you and yours and the whole world?"
"Well, that is just what I propose to guarantee you! But remember, my guarantee is based upon your promise of a Study a day, which will require only about one-half hour each day."
Nothing in this book-loaning work interferes at all with the work of regular Colporteurs, and the loaner is fully authorized to take an order for books at any time, but is cautioned to remember that this is not her special work.
SOME QUERIES ANSWERED
We take this opportunity of answering publicly some queries that we have received about this work.
(1) Should Brethren also engage in this work?
We have not invited the Brethren to engage in this work because we believe that there are other things which they can do that Sisters cannot do. Besides, while there are tactless Sisters who might do more harm than good in this Pastoral Work, we believe that on the whole the Sisters are apt to display as much tact as the brothers or more; although there are some Brethren, of course, who are very resourceful, very wise. We are merely speaking in general terms and believe that the Sisters, on the whole, can render this service better than can the Brethren, and it gives them something special to do in the service of the King.
(2) Is it right, Scriptural, for the Pastor to select a Sister to be his Lieutenant in such a work?
We believe it to be in full harmony with the Lord's teachings that the Sisters might so be used. All who receive the Holy Spirit, as previously pointed out, are anointed to preach the Gospel. The Lord, through St.
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Paul, has seen fit to limit the conditions under which a Sister may preach--that her preaching may not be of a public character, and that she may not be considered a teacher in the Church. Nothing in this, however, interferes with her doing private Pastoral Work of the kind here suggested.
(3) After the Sisters shall have formed Classes for Bible study, what would be the necessary procedure if there were no consecrated Brother in the Class, or none qualified to give a Chart Talk or other address?
In such event, inquiry might be made of some nearby Class whether or not one of its Elders might be spared to render this assistance. If there be no nearby Class, or if none could be spared to render the assistance, the Pastor hereby authorizes the Sisters to choose one of their number as his representative to give the Chart Talk and, subsequently, to start a Berean Bible Study. She should perform her duties with head covered, explaining the significance of this to the audience, and declaring that she is merely serving because of the necessity of the case, until some consecrated brother shall have developed the necessary knowledge and qualifications to become the leader. Furthermore, she should remind all present that the Apostle's instruction is that the Sisters are not to teach in the Church, and that a class of inquirers is not understood to be an organized class of Bible Students or an Ecclesia or Body of Christ, but merely novices who, it is hoped, will develop speedily to maturity.
(4) Ought some of the younger Brethren be drilled into this work by having them occasionally address the regular Class?
Assuredly novices should not be introduced into this work. Good intentions count with the Lord as respects the heart; but more than good intentions are needed for His service, according to the instructions of the Word. Only those that have a talent for public speaking, and additionally have a clear knowledge of the Truth and an aptitude for teaching--only such should be assigned to the important work of interesting people who have only recently come to a knowledge of the Truth and to a limited degree, and whose minds are more or less prejudiced with erroneous ideas. The very best talent that the Class possesses will be none too good for this service.
Let us say, additionally, that to invite novices to address the Class on Sundays or at other times in a public lecture would be entirely wrong. The Lord's people should not be bored any more than the public. Such Brethren as show some talent should be encouraged to study and to practise, but not to practise upon others than themselves. We have already recommended, and do so again, that the less experienced of the Brethren who feel that they have talents for the Lord's service might well be encouraged to have meetings by themselves, with perhaps some Elder Brother present as a moderator to hear them and to offer kindly criticisms--of manner, voice, tone, doctrinal intelligence, logic, etc. The members of the Class should be permitted to criticize each other, but not too severely, lest the humbler ones should be discouraged from making further effort.
We recommend Chart Talks as one of the best instructions for these novices and one of the most efficient ways of learning how to present the Divine Plan. They should be encouraged to follow quite closely the outlines of Chart Discourses. Following these three outlines, on the fourth night the audience should be invited to ask questions along every phase of the Divine Plan illustrated in the Chart, and a competent instructor should be able to answer every such question. To fulfil these requirements requires more than a novice; and even the mature of the Lord's people will do well to keep their minds continually refreshed by constant study.
Although we have sent a letter on Extension Work, our thought is that nothing whatever should be attempted beyond the boundaries of the city in which the Class is located until that city shall have been thoroughly worked. We would have preferred not to send that letter at the same time; but we considered it advisable that all the dear friends should have the matter well before their minds, and thus learn the wide possibility which may come to them, if faithful, in due time.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES OF SERVICE
Many of the dear friends have been astonished to find what opportunities this work opens up. We find that many who have gotten a little taste of the Truth are very willing to attend a meeting, an entertaining Chart Talk on the Divine Plan set forth in the Bible--some who are not interested enough to undertake special reading. As they become interested in a Chart Talk, they generally become interested in the reading; and all of the talks should be had with a view to impressing upon them the importance of Bible Study, and the need that they have for the Bible Keys, if they will get any profit out of the study. They know, and we all know, that the Bible has been in the hands of the people freely for over one hundred years, and that much Bible reading, verse about and by the chapter and by so-called Bible study, has been going on in all denominations with little result.
Few, except Bible Students, can really answer any Bible questions. Having learned how to study the Bible, let us continue in the same way and extend the same helping hands to others. Nevertheless, if there are some who have not yet convinced themselves of the folly of the old method of Bible study, it is not for us to hinder them, but to bid them God-speed, and ourselves to continue in the way in which the Lord has blessed us and is continuing to bless us.
SMITING OF JORDAN NOT FAR OFF
Our thought, dear Brethren and Sisters, is that a great work is before us, and that in proportion as we get ready for it, the Lord will be pleased to bless us with a
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share. Some may have a share in the calling at the addresses already gathered. Others may have a share in giving the chart talks, and others may have a share in leading Berean lessons. Let us not forget, dear Brethren, that we must have humility. The Lord has no use for the proud and self-sufficient, either in the present Age in the instructing and building up of the Church, or in the future Age in the instruction and uplifting of the world. The Scriptures assure us in no uncertain terms that the Lord abhors the proud and shows His favor to the humble. The Apostle says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time" (`1 Peter 5:6`); for "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."--`Luke 14:11`.
Let us not forget the importance of knowledge. No one is capable of teaching others who has not a clear knowledge himself.
Finally, let us remember that knowledge without the humility might puff up. We shall be built up under the influence of self-sacrificing love. Let us all, dear friends, get more ready--nearer to the Lord and more ready for His service. The smiting of the Jordan assuredly is not far off; and do we wish to have a share in it? As Elijah did the smiting, so all those who belong to the Elijah Class will have a share in it.