ZWT - 1894 - R1611 thru R1747 / R1690 (259) - August 15, 1894
(Use your Browser's "Find" or "Search" option to search within this page)
::R1690 : page 259::
VOL. XV. AUGUST 15, 1894. NO. 16.
BRINGING BACK THE KING.
"WHY ARE YE THE LAST TO BRING BACK THE KING?"
"And King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, even to his house. Ye are my brethren; ye are my bones and my flesh: wherefore, then, are ye the last to bring back the king?"--`2 Sam. 19:9-12`.
IN the scrap of history here recorded we find an illustration of a very similar condition of things in the world to-day. The kingdom of Israel had been thrown into a state of confusion, threatening anarchy, in consequence of being left for a time without any official head or king, by the rebellion of Absalom and the divided sentiments of the people.
Absalom had cunningly managed to alienate the hearts of the people from his father David, and had finally headed a revolt. And David, in fear of the consequences, fled from the city and country to the region beyond Jordan, accompanied by a few loyal and faithful subjects. A great battle took place, which resulted in the prompt subduing of the rebellion and in the death of Absalom, the would-be usurper.
Afterward King David did not attempt to repossess himself of the Kingdom, but waited until the desire of Israel for his return should be expressed.
Meantime, says the record, "All the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom. And Absalom whom we anointed over us is dead in battle. Now, therefore, why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?"
Just so it is in the world to-day. Earth's rightful King is not upon its throne, nor has the world recognized his right to it or desired his return. Men have been busy with their own schemes and plans of government. They have anointed various kings of their own choosing: in fact, they have tried every experiment of self-government; and, one after another, all have ended in failure. And now, after six thousand years of human experiment, the whole world is on the verge of a revolution, in the outcome of which they have nothing to expect but anarchy.
In times past the civil and religious powers of the world have been yoked together for mutual support, and have defended each other. It mattered not, so far as the state was concerned, whether the religion was a true or a false one, so that it kept the people in subjection to the ruling powers. Civil rulers have always favored most the religion that best served this end. Ecclesiastical rulers have also in turn looked to the State for compensating favors; and in the days of their power they exacted much. Thus the two were in close affiliation. Around each there has always gathered a privileged aristocracy of wealth and brains and education, which has ever kept them at the head of social influence and power. But the overruling providence of God has in recent times
::R1690 : page 260::
been bringing about a change, so that knowledge and general enlightenment have been brought within the range of the common people. The printing press, common schools, daily newspapers, the multiplicity of books, cheap and rapid means of travel and communication by steam and electricity--all of these and minor influences have waked up the masses of the people and set them to thinking and planning and studying and traveling and acquiring and aspiring to higher if not to better things.
So general has this tendency of the people become, that the favored aristocratic classes, who have long enjoyed a monopoly of this world's good things, are in fear lest their glory may suddenly depart. And well indeed they may be; for the struggling masses are determined to reach the top rounds of the ladder of fortune, no matter what hoary-headed authorities may stand in their way. The struggle is already on, and the threatening aspect of things forebodes an early fulfilment of that prophecy of `Daniel (12:1`), "There shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation."
The Scriptures also indicate the character of the trouble--that it will be one in which the animosities of the masses will be exercised with violence against the rich, and the specially favored aristocratic classes,--political, social and religious. (`Jas. 5:1-6`; `Ezek. 7:19`, etc.) And what intelligent observer of the signs of the times cannot see the rapid development of just such a trouble in the present proportions of the socialistic and anarchistic movements, and their aggressive disposition? Indeed, the civil and social condition of the world is appalling, from every standpoint, whether it be that of politics, social order, finance or religion.
In every land the tendency of politics is to corruption, both in civil and ecclesiastical circles; not because people are really worse than formerly, but because enlightenment is so much greater and more general, that temptations to cupidity are a hundred times greater than ever before. Social order is continually menaced; the strain between capital and labor is unprecedented; and true religion, the religion of the cross, is at a very low ebb. Many who begin to realize the seriousness of the present situation, as they forecast the outcome of all these things, in substance disconsolately say, as the Prophet `Jeremiah (8:15-19`) foretold they would--"We hoped for peace, but no happiness is here; for a time of cure, and behold here is terror. When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. Is the Lord not in Zion? is her King no more in her?"
In the religious situation there is little to be seen in the way of encouragement: the clash of conflicting creeds and their discord with the notes of divine revelation are most painfully manifest. In consequence of this, and of the general awakening and mental activity of our day, we find Infidelity, bold and outspoken, rampant in every denomination of "Christendom;" the truths and the errors of hoary creeds of men are being discarded in fact (though not by admission, for fear of the effect); and the general tendency is to ignore the Bible doctrine and terms of salvation, and merely to hold our morality as the hope of everlasting life, alike to believers in Christ and to unbelievers. A proposition so much in harmony with the pride of the natural man (which always prefers to pay its own way, and feels that it is "nearly good enough") is bound to be popular; while the cross of Christ has always been a stumbling-block, and its preaching unpopular and a cause of division to them that stumble at the word, being disobedient.--`1 Pet. 2:8`.
Infidelity--i.e., unbelief in the sound doctrine taught by the Lord and his inspired apostles --sits in the pews, declaims from the pulpits, rules in the assemblies, and is even finding its way into the Sunday School literature--in the interpretations of the International Lessons. It is ably seconded by Doubt or Agnosticism; and together these strike with increasing determination against the very foundation doctrines of Christianity--the fall of man and his redemption by the vicarious sacrifice of Christ. Discrediting the Bible account of the fall of the race in Adam, and hence the necessity of its redemption through Christ, it substitutes the entirely antagonistic theory of Evolution--that man was evolved from lower animal forms, by his own effort, that he has now reached a higher plane than was ever before realized, and that he
::R1690 : page 261::
will continue to so make progress indefinitely.
It institutes what it is pleased to term a "higher criticism" of the Word of God, by which the sacred record is being gradually whittled and trimmed to fit the present state of development of human philosophies and science --often falsely so called--thereby to lend its seeming sanction to the idea that the philosophy and science of the nineteenth century are the very climax of perfection and the essence of wisdom. It slashes its ruthless scissors into miracles, calls them all incredible, and believes only those things for which it has tangible evidence. It claims that at most the apostles and prophets of the Bible had an inspiration of thought, which they clothed more or less imperfectly in language of their own choice; and that therefore each reader has the liberty to whittle out of their words such thoughts as best suit his own conceptions of truth, relying on an inspiration of his own mind, equal to theirs with the advantages of present-day higher criticism. The apostles tell us, to the contrary, that they were inspired as to the words they spoke and wrote, and not as to the thoughts or sentiments. (See `2 Pet. 1:21`; `1 Pet. 1:12`.) It places the Bible and its writers on a par with all profane history and historians, and says that much of the Bible is fiction, and that it is impossible to discover the dividing line between truth and fiction.
Under the various disintegrating influences of our peculiar day the old creeds are fast crumbling into ruin, and the old institutions which they held together are being terribly shaken; and the various attempts at reorganization on other grounds are all open to a thousand objections. The faith of all is being tested, and many who really care to have a faith, and who long for a firm establishment in divine truth, are indeed in dismay.
Nominal Christianity is fast losing its power over the masses; for the general awakening of the human mind has loosened the reins of superstition, so that the most illiterate begin to realize that they are men, with all the prerogatives of men, and that the king and the priest are nothing more, except as the superior advantages of wealth and education have developed in them the faculties which are common to all mankind. And the unreasonable and unscriptural doctrines of the divine right of kings and
::R1691 : page 261::
of the eternal torment of a large proportion of humanity, and kindred absurdities, are coming more and more into disrepute, and have less and less of a restraining influence upon the masses of men, who rightly reason that since "the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof," and since "God is no respecter of persons," the peasant has an equal right with the king or the priest to share its bounties.
To the awakening masses the only apparent way to obtain their ends is by revolt against the existing arrangements;--they see not the Jubilee of "restitution times" which God has promised. (`Acts 3:19-21`.) And the hearts of all classes being under the control of selfish principles, it is only a question of increasing unrest from increasing knowledge and liberty, and of divine permission (`Rev. 7:1-3`), when the terrible crisis of trouble will consume the present order of society.
It is in view of this clearly discernible trend of present events that the thrones of earth are trembling, and that statesmen are greatly perplexed in seeking measures of policy to avert the impending disaster. The sea and the waves (the restless masses of humanity) are roaring, and the mountains (kingdoms) are shaking with the swellings thereof.--`Psa. 46:3`.
Six years ago Prince Bismark called attention in the German Reichstag to the fact that great national crises occur about every twenty years, and urged that such contingencies should be prepared for. And more recently, in justification of the last army bill, he recounted the special dangers to Germany, lying, as she does, in the center of Europe, exposed to the hostile powers of France on the east, and of Russia on the west, as well as to the dangers of their coalition, and the lack of cohesion among her own people. Again he said, "European countries have something more important to attend to than making war upon each other. They should unite in suppressing the crime of socialism." But that is more easily said than done; for the nations are not ready to unite on any thing. And where is the power of resistance which the
::R1691 : page 262::
rulers would call to their aid in such a contingency, when the armies upon which they depend are permeated with socialistic sentiments? The power of the churches was relied upon once, when the churches demanded and got a superstitious reverence for civil potentates and ecclesiastical dignitaries; but that day is almost past; and the reins of superstition are growing more and more slack. The time was when a German Emperor stood for three days and nights barefoot in the snow, waiting for Papal absolution, that the dreaded Papal interdict might be lifted and his authority in the empire established by the word of the Pope. And glad indeed would some of the crowned heads be to-day to see that power restored to the control of the public mind, for the support of kingly authority. This is illustrated by the fact of Germany's repealing the law that expelled the Jesuits. Although those infamous allies of Papal power have been a menace to good government in every land, and have been alternately expelled and re-instated again and again in almost every land, their influence is felt to be a necessity now against the increasing influence and power of Socialism and Anarchy.
Dynamite plots and assassinations are getting to be common occurrences. Several bills have been presented and favorably considered in the French Chamber of Deputies looking to the suppression of Socialistic movements. And since the assassination of President Carnot one of the most stringent of these has passed into a law. Similar regulations are before the governments of Austria and Spain; the latter, indeed, proposes to all civilized governments common laws for the suppression of Anarchists, their literature and their sympathizers.
The wonderful mechanical inventions of this "day of the Lord's preparation" for the Millennium (`Nah. 2:3`), the manufacture of which has for a time brought great prosperity to the whole world, once gave promise of great future blessing to all mankind, by a general increase of wealth, and lessening of the drudgery of earth. But the masses are awakening to the fact that they were dreaming when wasting good wages in extravagance or dissipation or sloth, thinking that the "good times had come to stay." There were others not so short-sighted, who, by economic prudence, temperance, etc., accumulated a little money, and who foresaw that machinery would make the best of all slaves --requiring less for maintenance and doing the work of many. Some of these frugal, thrifty, far-seeing ones, by the aid of their mechanical slaves, have become wealthy--immensely wealthy; and one half of the world is now striving to serve these and to manufacture more slaves for them. Thus after the point of demand has been reached there comes a halt all around--a stagnation. And since human muscle and brain cannot compete against these mechanical iron slaves, all are dependent upon these and their millionaire masters, that they may work with these slaves. Under these circumstances, nothing can prevent the decline of human labor in every channel to a lower and yet lower level, until the common, unskilled laborer will scarce be worth his board, and must be supported by the charity of his fellow-creatures better equipped for the battle of life. Unskilled muscle is being crowded out by mechanical slaves, and even skilled muscle is beginning to feel its pressure. Brains, backed by machinery and money, are already masters of the situation, and the increase of machinery and of wealth is marvelous. On the other hand, the population of the world is increasing rapidly, and the increase of intelligence increases the skilled workmen of the world and their competition with each other for the luxuries and necessities of life, to be had only by serving the slave owners, the world's masters.
Poor world! This is a gloomy outlook, yet one which all who can and will reason must see is a true view, if something does not occur to alter results by changing conditions or causes. All thinking people see this; but many stifle reason and reflection, and swim along as near to the cream and as far from the dregs of society as they can get.
It is useless to reason with the wealthy owners of these iron slaves, for they will get the best of the argument,--reasoning upon the generally accepted basis. Their answer to those who would reason with them is a correct one. They say:--
We are acting upon the same principles upon
::R1691 : page 263::
which you act;--we are no more selfish than you; --we give more generously than you to the support of educational and benevolent institutions; --we pay our employees better wages than others can afford to pay;--we pay more taxes than do others;--indeed, as society exists at present, our brains, capital and iron slaves are necessary to the well-being of the world;--we could get along without others, but they cannot get along without us;--if we, the masters of the world, should combine to stop our iron slaves, and close our establishments, the world's affairs would be thrown into chaos. We do not claim to do our business on principles of love and benevolence any more than do the farmers and mechanics. Each is trying to do the best he can for himself. We, like others, are ruled by selfishness; but a selfishness less narrow and mean--more generous --than that which is exercising many of our employees and others less successful than we. You can make no laws to hinder our success; for of necessity such laws would injure others as much as they would injure us, or more. We are independent, others are dependent. So long as selfishness is recognized as the rule of life, we must be conceded to be as generous under that law as any.
Socialism and Nationalism reply that the remedy is to do all large business on a communistic scale for the public benefit. But they fail to see that selfish ambition for wealth, power and honor, which at present is pushing the world with lightning speed, would, by their program, be set aside--with nothing in its stead to take its place. It is but a chimerical fancy, that if selfish ambition were rendered powerless, loving benevolence would step forward in its stead and push the world along. Alas! too few of the human family have any knowledge of love as a motive power. Indeed, we may be sure that if selfish ambition were bound hand and foot, selfish indolence would take its place amongst poor and rich, until necessity would complete the release and re-enthronement of selfish ambition to keep society from miserably perishing in sloth.
Indeed, the Scriptures indicate that this will be the very course, and that anarchy will finally result, and that
THE RELIEF WILL COME ONLY WITH THE RETURN OF THE KING, IN POWER AND GREAT MAJESTY.
We wait not for the King as the sweet babe of Bethlehem, nor yet as "the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all;" but we wait for him who, having been "put to death in flesh, was quickened [made alive] in spirit"-- who was raised from death a spirit being--highly exalted above his condition as a man, higher even than his condition as a spirit-being before he humbled himself to become a man,--highly exalted, even to the divine nature, far above human nature and angelic nature and every other nature. Such is the nature and majesty of the King for whom we wait, and whose presence and Kingdom we are assured can and will bring order out of earth's confusion, and bring to the world the blessings purchased with his own precious blood, given when he was a man, once for all and forever as man's redemption-price.
The same King whom Herod and his soldiers crowned with thorns, and in mockery clothed
::R1692 : page 263::
in royal robes, and hailed, "King of the Jews!" the same whom Pilate crucified between two thieves, and over whose head he placed the inscription, "Jesus, the King of the Jews"--this same King we look for now, but no longer in a body of flesh, a body of humiliation, a body prepared for our sin-offering. He comes in power and great glory, the express image of the Father's person, and in the glory and majesty of the Father's person, and in the glory and majesty of the Father, "whom no man hath seen, nor can see" (`1 Tim. 6:16`), the same whom Saul of Tarsus saw, but whom his companions saw not. The same wise, sympathizing, loving soul (person) that wept and died; but greatly changed --resurrected and glorified by divine power; a new organism, but the same being; not flesh, but spirit; not weak, but powerful; not corruptible, but incorruptible; not dishonored, but honored; --possessing "all power in heaven and in earth."--See `1 Cor. 15:20,42-44,50`; `Phil 3:10`; `Matt. 28:18`.
Some have dreamed that selfishness is being rapidly swallowed up of love, throughout the world; but not so: it alters its outward form to meet
::R1692 : page 264::
changed circumstances and conditions, but under the surface selfishness is still to be found everywhere; and in almost every heart it is the actual motive power of life. And so strong is the selfish power in mankind, so deep seated, that it is a vain delusion to presume that the preaching of the gospel will ever convert the world from the motive power of selfishness to that of love.
True, some are thus converted; but altogether these are but a "little flock;" and so different from the masses that they are and always have been "peculiar people," zealous, not for self-interest, but for good works, for God's glory and for the welfare of others, regardless often of personal prosperity or interest.
Man's experience is now being so arranged for him as to bring to the masses the proof that selfishness is not the proper motive power, the welfare of all being considered; because, in the present condition of physical and mental inequality, the mentally and physically strong would get all there is, while the weaker and imbecile would be wholly dependent upon their charity for existence; and as the ratio of difference would continue to increase, it would mean that ultimately the wealth and government of the world would all be in the hands of a few intellectual giants. And even if all men were mentally and physically perfect and equal, the result of the operation of selfishness would mean a continual strife for mastery, greatness, power and advantage, which would mar the bliss of a Paradise.
The light of invention in this, our day, is intended to have this very effect;--to let things take this course and to let people see what would be the result if selfish principles were allowed to go to seed. Many whose senses are exercised can already foresee the result, and many are seeking the remedy, but in a wrong direction. They want the motive power of love substituted for the motive power of selfishness in those who have control of governments and large enterprises. They are seeking in others the character and methods of Jesus, but have never adopted his character and methods as their own. They admit the superiority of love over selfishness, and would like to have the wealthy adopt the principle of love, while they would, for a time at least, continue the policy of selfishness, until they too had become wealthy.
They forget that love cannot become an element of daily life, and its controlling force, until it has first become an element of character in the individual heart. Only those whose hearts have been thoroughly converted to the Lord, and who are seeking and praying to be dead to self, realize what a fight is necessary to keep this strongly entrenched element of the fallen character under the control of the Word and spirit of Christ, our Redeemer and Pattern. Others see not the folly of their hopes to introduce by laws the rule and motive power of love, and to oust the rule and motive power of selfishness, while the hearts of the vast majority know nothing whatever of such a change of principle as a personal experience. As men come to realize, by further experience, the folly of such hopes and efforts,
THE NUMBER OF THOSE WHO WILL SPEAK OF BRINGING BACK THE KING WILL INCREASE.
Ah, yes! That is the remedy, and the only remedy at all adequate to the cure of the disease of selfishness, its eradication from the body --social, political and financial.
But while the King of earth (whose right the government is, and who will shortly take unto himself his great power and reign, and bring order out of confusion) is called the "Good Physician," let none assume that by this is implied that he will cause his patient no pain when he lances his boils, amputates those parts where mortification has set in, rebreaks bones previously improperly set by the patient himself, or when he cauterizes the proud flesh of his sores: let him not suppose that he will give no bitter medicines. To be a Good Physician and a Great Physician means that he will cause no needless pain; but it also implies that he will spare no pains to make the treatment effective to the patient's recovery to perfect health.
And so with Christ's rule and Kingdom: it will first of all lay bare, and cut, and scrape, the evils of selfish society, down to the very bone, exposing depths of corruption never before
::R1692 : page 265::
realized by the patient; and it will be a fearful ordeal--"a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." The patient (the world) will suffer and groan, and for a time prefer the disease to the cure, and seek to be released, but he will be helpless, bound hand and foot; and the exposition and eradication of selfishness must progress until the patient shall have fully realized the sinfulness of sin and the selfishness of selfishness. Then the balms and ointments of love and righteousness will be applied; and although they will smart, they will begin to heal and strengthen. Then the cooling, refreshing, "peaceable fruits of righteousness" will begin to be relished, and the patient will soon be on the way to recovery and prepared for the stronger meat of knowledge of God's perfect will.
Yes, the coming of the King of Earth means much of trouble and a general overturning of the Kingdoms of this world, which, although nominally kingdoms of God, are really under the control of the prince of this world--Satan --who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience. (`Eph. 2:2`.) It means the shaking of society in a manner and to an extent it was never before shaken, and so thoroughly that another shaking will never be necessary. (`Heb. 12:26,27`.) It means the breaking in pieces of the Kingdoms of earth as a potter's vessel. (`Isa. 30:12-15`; `Psa. 2:9`; `Rev. 2:27`.) It means the shaking and final passing away of the present ecclesiastical heavens, and the fall of many of its bright ones (stars), and the temporary obscuring of the true sunlight of the gospel and the moonlight of the Jewish law by the thick clouds of worldly wisdom. It means tumult and raging amongst the waves of the sea (the masses of mankind in anarchy). It means the shaking of all the mountains (kingdoms); and the melting of some to the level of the people (socialism); and the carrying of others into the sea (revolution and anarchy).
But while many would rejoice to see enemies bound and society relieved of many of its selfish, life-sapping ulcers, they seem to realize that so just and impartial a Judge and law might cut off some of their long-cherished sins, and might pain them by touching some of their personal selfishness. And they are right: He will bring to light all the hidden things of darkness, and correct private as well as public sin and selfishness. He will lay justice to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail [hard truths] shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters [of truth] shall overflow the hiding places [of error].--`Isa. 28:17`.
"BUT WHO MAY ABIDE THE DAY OF HIS COMING? AND WHO SHALL STAND WHEN HE APPEARETH?"--`MAL. 3:2`.
The coming of the King will mean a personal, as well as a national and a church examination, judgment and treatment. "Who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap." (`Mal. 3:2`.) It will mean the curtailment of vice to a degree never attempted by any earthly reformer. There will be no license to be or to do evil in any form or degree. The only liberty will be to do right.
Ah! No wonder that so few to-day look and speak for the coming back of the King! To some it would mean the curtailment of present advantages over the remainder of their fellows. To some others it would mean to check their anticipated rising to a point of advantage or preference or honor above their fellows. To others it would mean the curtailment of sins now indulged and enjoyed.
Nevertheless, both the King and the Kingdom --for which the King taught his Church to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven"--are coming. In fact, they are here; and present troubles in church and state are the results of influences emanating from that King and Kingdom. Though men know it not, it is the smiting by this Kingdom of God that is even now preparing for the wreck of all the kingdoms of earth and the preparation thus of the hearts of men for the true King and his righteous government. Thus it was foretold by the Lord through the prophet.--`Dan. 2:34,35`.
Worldly men know not of this, because this Kingdom cometh not with outward show or display: because they cannot say, Lo here, or
::R1692 : page 266::
Lo there, they do not realize it at all. (`Matt. 24:23`.) But God's children, enlightened by his Word, know that thus it is written, and that
::R1693 : page 266::
the Day of the Lord will come as a thief and a snare upon the world; and that only God's people, his fully consecrated Church, will be in the light and will not be taken unawares. And many of these have been deceived by looking for the King again in the flesh--forgetting that his only object in becoming flesh was "for the suffering of death" as man's corresponding price; and that, this over now, he is highly exalted, and "dieth no more." They forget that "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him [so] no more;" and that we must be changed that we may "see him as he is,"--not as he was. We now know him as the King of glory--the same who was dead, but who is now highly exalted--the same seen by Saul of Tarsus, a spirit being shining above the brightness of the noon-day sun. (See `Heb. 2:9`; `Phil. 2:9`; `2 Cor. 5:16`; `1 Cor. 15:51`; `1 John 3:2`; `Acts 26:13-15`.) Another matter which the Lord has permitted to becloud this subject of the Lord's second coming, so that none except those who hunger and thirst after the truth might know, is the translation of the Greek word, parousia, by the English word, coming, whereas it should be rendered presence; for that is the thought. Note the wide difference in the sense of the following texts where the Greek word parousia should be rendered presence in every instance:--`Matt. 24:3,27`; `1 Cor. 15:23`; `1 Thes. 2:19`; `3:13`; `4:15`; `5:23`; `2 Thes. 2:1,8`; `Jas. 5:7,8`; `2 Pet. 1:16`; `3:4`; `1 John 2:28`.
True, there is to be an earthly phase or representation of the Kingdom of God, visible to the natural eyes of men, as the spiritual government will be recognized by the eyes of their understanding; but it will be established later, as it is written, Ye shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets--all the overcomers of the past--in the Kingdom. (`Luke 13:28`.) The unseen Kingdom will be Christ and the apostles, and all the faithful overcomers of the Gospel age--the body of Christ.
All that needed to be done to inaugurate the present strife for wealth and power, and to bring the festering sore of selfishness to a head, was to lift the vail and let men see the possibilities surrounding them. The lifting of the vail of ignorance from men's minds is a good thing of itself: only the selfishness of the human heart causes it to bring forth evil fruit. And the evil fruit is only partial and temporary: the sharpening of men's wits, possibly supernaturally as well as by the competitive strife for wealth, is preparing some of the inventions which will be ready for the quicker blessing of the world when the new King and his Millennial Kingdom shall have assumed full control.
But the King of Glory waits to be prayed to come and take control. He will let the various parties and factions of society cut and lance and amputate each others defects and prepare each others physics. But it will all be under the King's eye, and subject to his "all-power." And when all are thoroughly sick, and when he, as the Good Physician, does come in and offer "the balm of Gilead," he and his Kingdom will generally be hailed as "the desire of all nations." (`Hag. 2:7`.) The Jews will be first: "They shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son." And when he shall reveal his presence and Kingdom, they will shout, "Lo! this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us." (`Zech. 12:10`; `Isa. 25:9`.) Then "many people shall go and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain [kingdom] of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths."--`Isa. 2:3`.
Surely, those who know that the King and his Kingdom are the only remedy and the best remedy for all the wrongs and woes of men should be pointing the groaning creation to this, rather than to the poultices of their own contriving which can do no real good. Tell them about the Return of the King! Tell them that he is the Great Prophet and Great Priest, as well as the Great King: that as Prophet [Christ, the head, and his Church, the body] he will cause an accurate knowledge of the Lord to fill the whole earth; and that as Priest he will be ready to pardon and succor all who, under that knowledge, shall turn from sin to righteousness. Tell them that his death was the redemption price
::R1693 : page 267::
for all, and that the return of the King is to bind Satan and set free all of his captives who will accept the liberty of the sons of God under the conditions of the New Covenant.-- `Acts 3:22,23`; `Gal. 3:29`; `1 Cor. 6:2`.
"Tell the whole world these blessed tidings;
Speak of the time of rest that nears:
He who was slain on Calvary's mountain
Soon is to reign a thousand years.
"What if the clouds do for a moment
Hide the blue sky where morn appears?
Soon the glad sun of promise given
Rises to shine a thousand years.
"A thousand years! Earth's coming glory!
'Tis the glad day so long foretold;
'Tis the bright morn of Zion's glory,
Prophets foresaw in times of old."
--HYMNS OF DAWN.
::R1693 : page 267::
FORGIVENESS VERSUS MALICE.
"Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."--`Eph. 4:32`.
A FORGIVING spirit is a part of the spirit of love, a part of God's spirit, the holy spirit or disposition--the spirit of the truth--inculcated in God's Word. It is thus the opposite or contrary of the spirit of malice, which is a part of the evil spirit or disposition common among men in their fallen condition, the spirit or disposition of the world.
A forgiving spirit is kindred to the spirit of love, joy, peace, meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness, godliness. A malicious spirit is related to anger, back-biting, slander, wrath, jealousy, hatred and all the works of the (fallen) flesh and the devil.
Recognizing these two spirits in the light of God's Word, his people must surely desire and seek more and more to cultivate the forgiving disposition--a spirit of readiness or willingness to forgive, which would rather that the transgressor would penitently turn from his evil way to the way of righteousness, and which would take pleasure in receiving him back into fellowship again under such conditions.
However, on this as upon every question, extreme and unscriptural views are sometimes entertained. Some feel that the most extreme view conceivable must be the right one, because of their desire to get as far away as possible from the unforgiving or malicious spirit. In consequence, some are continually chiding themselves for not being able to forgive those who have not repented, who have not asked forgiveness nor brought forth fruits (evidences) indicating repentance.
This comes of the fall. Human judgments have become defective, so that it sometimes perplexes us to know how and where to draw the lines upon our own hearts and conduct. But here God comes to our rescue. He knows: his mind or judgment and not our own imperfect judgments, therefore, must be our guide or criterion; and his Word expresses to us his mind (spirit or disposition) on this and every subject. If we accept and use it, instead of our own imperfect judgments, we are said to have "the spirit of a sound mind."--`2 Tim. 1:7`.
Let us study and adopt as our own the spirit of God's sound mind on this subject of forgiveness, casting aside as erroneous whatever our own depraved judgments may have previously accepted. This will be following the instructions of the text at the head of this article, and we will learn to forgive even as God forgives.
(1) Our spirit or disposition to forgive any one should be of the heart prompted by the spirit of love and brotherly kindness. It should not be a forgiveness forced out of us by importunity, nor by the appeals of many, nor by pity for the wrong doers' sufferings or sorrow. It should be there pent up in our hearts, ready to pour forth upon the offender as soon as he repents and gives reasonable evidence of his sincerity. God waits to be gracious, desires to pardon sinners; and such must be our attitude toward those who trespass against us. But God always waits for repentance, and never grants his pardon to those who are unrepentant, nor receives them into fellowship as friends.
True, he loved us while we were yet sinners (`John 3:16`; `Rom. 5:8`), and he does good even to the unthankful, giving sunshine and rain and food to all; but that is a pitying love, not a fellowship love, not a communing love: it is the sympathetic love of a benefactor. And we
::R1693 : page 268::
are to have this pity-love also, even to our enemies. We are to love our enemies, and do good to them that persecute us; but with us, as with God, this can be no more than pity-love: it cannot be fellowship-love, "for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" Nevertheless, while we can have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but must rather reprove them (`Eph. 5:11`), we can still have that benevolence of heart which would not permit even an enemy to perish with hunger. "Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him," etc. In so doing we are but imitating our Heavenly Father who is merciful even to the unthankful and despiteful.
::R1694 : page 268::
(2) God's readiness or quickness to forgive and receive into fellowship depends upon the amount of light and favor sinned against. To the ignorant, who know not of his character, he sends his children as ambassadors,--evangelists, colporteurs, etc.,--to tell them of his love and his willingness to forgive their sins through Christ. But in proportion as any have tasted of the good Word of God and been made partakers of the holy spirit, etc., and have sinned wilfully against light and knowledge (`Heb. 6:4-6`; `10:26-31`), in that same proportion God is slow to forgive, and will not receive such back into fellowship, except they bring forth works proving their professed repentance to be sincere. And God assures us that there is a degree of wilful sin, against full light and ability, that he will never forgive--"There is a sin unto death, I do not say that ye shall pray for it."--`1 John 5:16`.
In this, also, we should copy our Father in heaven. We should be very ready to forgive the blunders and errors of either natural or spiritual childhood, and to all the weak and inexperienced, even before they ask we should manifest our willingness to forgive. And with all who trespass against us, our willingness to forgive should be proportionate to the ignorance and lack of wilfulness and malice on the part of the transgressor. Whenever malice, wilfulness and knowledge have been factors in the transgression, it is our duty to be proportionately slow to forgive and to require proportionately longer and stronger proofs of repentance.
But this is as far as we may go. Although we may be able to decide what would be a sin unto death against God (`1 John 5:16`), we may not decide that any transgression against us is unforgivable; against us there are to be no unpardonable sins. Our imperfect knowledge, as well as our imperfect judgments, forbids such a decision. Hence our Lord said, "If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him." Peter said, "Lord how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but, Until seventy times seven."--`Luke 17:3,4`; `Matt. 18:21,22`.
From these scriptures it is evident that some of God's people make the mistake of forgiving transgressors before they repent. It is as much the Lord's command that we rebuke the transgressor, and that we do not forgive until he turns again and repents, as it is his command that we do forgive, from the heart, when he does turn and repent. And if he trespass seventy times seven times he should be rebuked as often (either by word or conduct or both), and should repent in words and turn in conduct just as often.
To require less than this is to disobey our Teacher's instructions and to do injury to the transgressor by giving him lax ideas as to his duty. A lack of strict justice, in this respect, on the part of God's people has often injured their children, whereas a proper exercise of justice with forgiveness on proper grounds would have helped those children the better to understand God's dealings, and would guard them against expecting his favor except upon full repentance; and also against tempting divine mercy by sinning against knowledge.
But while some need to correct their hearts and conduct as above, more, probably, need to guard against an unforgiving spirit. Such should remember that Christ Jesus by the grace of God tasted death for every man--paid the price of every man's natural or inherited imperfections --and consider that if God can accept that ransom price as the full satisfaction
::R1694 : page 269::
for all except wilful sins or the wilful portion of sins, then we can and should do so also; and all who have God's spirit or disposition will hold wrong-doers responsible for only their wilful share in sins and be ready to forgive and pass over quickly whatever is of Adamic depravity and truly repented of and thereafter shunned.
Let such remember the words, "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness;" and consider that we who accept our Lord Jesus' sacrifice, as being for the sins of the whole world, must also, if we would be faithful and just, forgive those who trespass against us, if they confess and repent, because Jesus paid all of their debts, to us as well as to God.
Justice, therefore, demands of all who trust in the merit of Christ's sacrifice as the ground of their own forgiveness, that they recognize the same precious blood as the covering of all Adamic weaknesses when repented of. And hence the Lord assures us that unless we forgive those who trespass against us (when they repent), neither will he forgive us when we repent.
Moreover, our forgiveness must be from the heart (`Matt. 18:35`)--not a lip forgiveness and a heart hatred. The forgiven one may be held at a distance for a time to prove the sincerity of his repentance; but just as soon as we have good cause to believe him sincere we must be prompt and hearty in our forgiveness--as a heart with a forgiving spirit or desire will always be glad to do. But, even then, although fully and heartily forgiven, we may not put such a one into a place of the same responsibility as the one from which he fell until we have seen a stronger and truer character developed in him. And this would not imply a lack of full forgiveness, but merely a proper caution--not only for our own protection, but also for the good of the one who transgressed and his protection from too strong a temptation of same kind.
We find no mention in the Scriptures of forgiving on God's part without the requirement of repentance. The passage which reads, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do" (`Luke 23:34`), might be considered to refer to a pardon without repentance; but we remark that these words are not found in the oldest Greek MSS.--the Sinaitic and Vatican.
A passage frequently misunderstood is:
"If thou comest to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift and first go and be reconciled to [or make amends to] thy brother, and then come and offer thy gifts."-- `Matt. 5:23,24`.
It should be noted that the one addressed is not the brother trespassed against, but the trespassing brother. He must leave the offering of his gift or prayer, until he has made amends to his brother for the wrong he is conscious of having done him, in word or deed. Not until then will his offering be acceptable to God.
STUDIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
--INTERNATIONAL S.S. LESSONS.--
SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES WHERE THESE LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL.
::R1694 : page 269::
THE FIRST DISCIPLES OF JESUS.
III. QUAR., LESSON VIII., AUG. 19, `JOHN 1:35-49`.
Golden Text--"We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ."--`John 1:41`.
These were among the first disciples* of the Lord, and, being attentive hearers and believers on him, they received a special call to follow him, both as learners and assistants in his ministry. And having obeyed this call they were afterward formally ordained as apostles and in due time endued with favor from on high and with authority as apostles of the gospel dispensation.
In addition to the review of the above subject, which we trust all will notice, it is also interesting to note several other features in the narrative before us.
(1) Observe the humility and self-abnegation of John in pointing out his cousin according to the flesh as "The Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world," --the long-looked-for Messiah, whose rising popularity must soon eclipse his own. John had no ambition to be greatest, but esteemed it a privilege and honor to be simply--"a voice crying in the wilderness, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God." And when some of John's disciples came to him, evidently expecting to find in him some of the spirit of rivalry, saying, "Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold the same baptizeth, and all men come to him, John answered and said, A
*For a full treatment of the subject of this lesson see our issue of May 1, 93--"The Twelve Apostles, Their Calling, Office and Authority."
::R1694 : page 270::
man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom which standeth and heareth him rejoiceth greatly, because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He [as the light] must increase, but I must decrease."--`John 3:26-36`.
And when a deputation of priests and Levites came from Jerusalem to ask him-- "Who art thou? he confessed,...I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?"-- what a temptation there was here to claim to be some great one and to exalt himself in the estimation of his fellow-men. But there was no sign in him of self-exaltation. He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the Prophet Esaias.... I baptize with water, but there standeth one among you whom you know not; he it is who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose."
::R1695 : page 270::
How beautifully this grace of humility and self-abnegation shines in the characters of those ancient worthies whom the Lord was preparing for the earthly phase of his Kingdom. And verily, said Jesus, "among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." (`Matt. 11:11`.) Well have the apostles Paul and James directed those who are called to share in the spiritual phase of the Kingdom to the patient, humble faithfulness of the ancient worthies (`Jas. 5:10`; `Heb. 11`), as examples for our imitation.
`VERSES 29-37` show how deliberately John turned his disciples over to Jesus. Previous to his baptism John knew Jesus only as his cousin. The spirit of God had directed him to baptize with water and to proclaim the coming Messiah; but he testifies that he knew not who it would be until he saw the promised sign fulfilled in the descent of the holy spirit upon his humble cousin, Jesus.
To a proud or ambitious mind familiar acquaintance or relationship is generally more conducive to a spirit of rivalry; but it was not so with John. He was ready at once to exclaim in the presence of his disciples, "Behold the Lamb of God!"
(2) Next we note the manner in which the several disciples here named recognized Jesus as the Messiah. John had specially drawn attention to the prophecies concerning him, and by his correspondencies with those prophesies they recognized him, saying, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." They, in common with others, supposed him to be the son of Joseph, the mystery of his incarnation evidently not being generally known at that time.
The law and the prophets and his works were God's witnesses of Christ at his first advent; and to the same testimony we are referred for the evidences of his second advent.* In addition to the testimony of the law and the prophets these early disciples were invited to "Come and see" for themselves, that the power and wisdom of Jehovah rested upon his Anointed. And they came and saw, not only that the spirit of holiness and grace was in him, but also that the power of discerning of spirits (of reading the thoughts and intents of the hearts) and of working miracles was granted to him. (`Verses 47,48`.) Thus God ratified the testimony of his holy prophets, and fully convinced those who were Israelites indeed and in whom was no guile. Later the same gifts--of miracles, discerning of spirits, healings, prophecy, etc., were granted to the Apostles, and for the same purpose.--`Heb. 2:3,4`; `1 Cor. 12:1,4,8-11`.
::R1695 : page 270::
OUR LORD'S FIRST MIRACLE.
III. QUAR., LESSON IX., AUG. 26, `JOHN 2:1-11`.
Golden Text--"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory."
The golden text of this lesson suggests its import: this beginning of Christ's miracles manifested forth or typified the glory of his coming Kingdom and power. The circumstance of our Lord providing wine for a festive occasion, and that, too, by the performance of a miracle, as if to emphasize the propriety of its use on such occasions, is quite a difficulty in the way of advocates of total abstinence, and quite an argument in the mouths of those who favor the use of wine as a beverage. But both the difficulty and the argument disappear before a
*See M. DAWN, VOL. II., Chaps. 3,4.
::R1695 : page 272::
clear conception of the object of the miracle.
Calling to mind `Matt. 26:29`--that our Lord would no more drink of the fruit of the vine with his disciples until he should drink it new with them in the Kingdom; and also the prophecy of `Isaiah 25:6`, "In this mountain [the kingdom of God] shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things,...of wines on the lees well refined"--we recognize in the exhilarating wine an apt symbol of joy and gladness. To partake of the cup of the Lord in the present time signifies to share in his sufferings, humiliation and death; but to partake of his cup in the coming age will mean to share in his glory and joy. That will be the new wine in the Kingdom.
The first miracle was given to symbolize this ultimate object of the work upon which he was then entering, which was to glorify his Church and then to spread a feast of fat things (of rich blessings) and of wine (of joy) before all people. How appropriate that such a foreshadowing of future glory should be the first of his wonderful works.
In observing the typical features of the miracle we notice, (1) That its performance was on the occasion of a wedding, following the wedding ceremony. So the joy and blessings of Christ's Kingdom, both to the Church, his bride, and also to the world, will follow the marriage of the Lamb and his espoused virgin Church.
(2) Next we notice that this typical marriage was on "the third day" (`verse 1`), reminding us very forcibly of our Lord's statement to some of the Pharisees (`Luke 13:32`): "Go ye and tell that fox [Herod], Behold I cast out devils and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected; "and again (`John 2:19,21`,) "Destroy this temple ["the temple of his body"--the Church], and in three days I will raise it up." The three days here referred to were days of a thousand years each--the fifth, sixth and seventh thousand-year-days from creation. Jesus then lived in the fifth; and now, in the dawning of the seventh, his body will be "perfected" and "raised up" to kingdom power and glory. The marriage of the Lamb will be in the third day of her existence as the body of Christ, and in the seventh of the world's history.
(3) We notice that the miracle consisted in the turning of the water in the vessels for purification into the desirable beverage, the "good wine." Water is a symbol of truth (`Eph. 5:26`), the use of which is for refreshing and cleansing the Lord's people; and it is through this very cleansing agency that the Church is to be glorified and the world blessed. Divine truth, having by its blessed inspiration to godliness and holiness, accomplished its cleansing purifying work, will be gloriously realized in the blessings and joys of the Kingdom.
(4) The Lord's reply to Mary, who informed him of the lack of wine, is also significant. "Jesus said to her, What [is that] to me and to thee, O woman? Mine hour has not yet come." (`Verse 4`--Diaglott.) The "woman," the Church, need not yet inquire for the new wine of joy. The hour for exaltation and glory has not yet come, and as yet we have to do only with the dregs of the cup of humiliation and sacrifice. And if we partake of this cup now we will surely drink the new wine with him in the Kingdom. Let us take the advice of Mary-- "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it," and in due time faithful obedience to all his directions will be amply rewarded by the privilege of participating with him in the joys of the Kingdom, the "new wine." And following that will come for all people the feast of fat things and of wines on the lees.
By the early disciples this typical significance could not have been discerned; but they did see in the power that could work such a miracle the evidence of his claim to be the Son of God, while to us in the light of the dawning Millennial day the finer lines of type and prophecy are due to be understood and are clearly manifest.
The occurrence has no more bearing on the temperance question than had the taking of a colt to fulfill the prophecy of `Zech. 9:9` (`Matt. 21:1-5`) a bearing on the question of the rights of private property. All things belong to God and have their legitimate and illegitimate uses. Under the rule which Paul gives (`1 Cor. 8:13`), the disuse of wine as a beverage is certainly commendable under present conditions, while its limited use for medicinal purposes is warranted by `1 Tim. 5:23`.
::R1695 : page 271::
JESUS CLEANSING THE TEMPLE.
III. QUAR., LESSON X., SEPT. 2, `JOHN 2:13-25`.
Golden Text--"Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise."--`John 2:16`.
The several accounts of this action of our Lord by the other evangelists place the occurrence
::R1695 : page 272::
unmistakably near the close of his ministry, while John here mentions it in connection with events at the beginning of his public work. It would appear, however, that the one event was referred to by them all, the `last verse of John's account`, like the others, showing the hostile attitude of numerous opponents who sought his life, which disposition did not make its appearance in the very beginning of his ministry.
This authoritative action of Jesus had a peculiar fitness as a type near the close of his ministry. It immediately followed his triumphant entry into Jerusalem in fulfilment of the prophecy--"Behold thy king cometh unto thee, etc." (`Zech. 9:9`); and this course in the temple was an assumption of authority consequent upon this rightful claim to be the king of Israel--a claim, however, which was rejected by the Jews. "He
::R1696 : page 272::
came unto his own [people], and his own received him not." (`John 1:11`.) Then, seeing they put away the favor of God from them and proved themselves unworthy of it, he turned to the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name, which selection has required the eighteen centuries of the Gospel age; and that fleshly house of Israel and this spiritual house, the Gospel Church, stand related to each other as type and antitype; both as to circumstances and time. As an event shortly preceding his crucifixion, this cleansing of the temple finds its antitype in a similar work here, beginning at the corresponding date--1878 (See M. DAWN, VOL. II., page 239); viz., the casting out (from the spiritual temple--his body, the consecrated Church) of such as are unworthy to be of that body, while the worthy ones, the pure in heart, are being correspondingly blessed.
The scourge of small cords was a fit emblem of the harmonious doctrines of Christ, which are accomplishing the cleansing work here.
When asked for a sign of the authority by which he did these things, Jesus pointed forward to his future power--after his death and resurrection. (`Verses 18-21`.) He had no authority to begin the actual work then; that which he did being only typical, and for our profiting, not theirs.
`VERSES 23-25` (Diaglott). Though the people at this time seemed greatly impressed by his miracles, and, shouting Hosanna! before him, seemed ready to accept him as the Messiah and to proclaim him king at once (See also `Matt. 21:9-11`), Jesus did not trust them; for he knew the fickleness of their hearts, and having the gift also of discerning of spirits, he needed not that any man should testify of them, for he knew what was in them.--`Luke 20:41-47`.
The `Golden Text`--"Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise"--should have the most careful consideration of all those who profess to be of his consecrated house,--the true temple. In this time of cleansing, sifting and purifying of the temple of God, none will be permitted to remain in it whose purpose is in any way to make merchandise of God's holy things.
::R1696 : page 272::
JESUS AND NICODEMUS.
III. QUAR., LESSON XI., SEPT. 9, `JOHN 3:1-16`.
Golden Text--"God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."--`John 3:16`.
For a consideration of this interview between the Lord and Nicodemus, see M. DAWN, VOL. I., Chap. xiv. In connection with `Verse 13` see `Acts 2:34` and `2 Tim. 4:8`.
`VERSES 14-15`. The reference here is to the circumstance recorded in `Num. 21:4-9`, when the bite of a fiery serpent was cured by a look at the brazen serpent which Moses raised up. The fiery serpents here represented Sin, from whose deadly bite all humanity is suffering. But Christ, who knew no sin, was made a sin-offering on our behalf, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (`2 Cor. 5:21`--Diaglott.) He is the antitype of the brazen serpent. The lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness prefigured the lifting up of Christ on the cross of Calvary; and the look of faith to him and the merit of his sacrifice for salvation is the never-failing cure for sin, as it is also the only hope of our fallen race.
`VERSE 16` suggests the cost of the world's salvation to our Heavenly Father. His only begotten Son was the delight and treasure of his heart; and all the painful process of his humiliation and sacrifice even unto an ignominious and cruel death were at the expense of the fondest affection of him who loves as never man loved. With the assurance of this example of divine love for our race, the Apostle Paul (`Rom. 8:31-39`) would further encourage our faith, saying, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"
==================== ::page 274::
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE.
PUBLISHED TWICE A MONTH.
TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY, "BIBLE HOUSE" ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
C. T. RUSSELL, EDITOR; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, ASSOCIATE.
SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 A YEAR, IN ADVANCE, By Express Order, Postal Money Order, Bank Draft, or Registered Letter. Foreign only by Foreign Money Order.
FREE TO THE LORD'S POOR.
N.B.--Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
THE "DO YOU KNOW?" TRACT.
The demand for this tract is phenomenal. Nearly a quarter of a million have already gone out; and the orders are still coming in at the rate about 2000 per day. Some good results are manifest, too: quite a number have been interested by this means. Let the good work go on. Let the light shine everywhere. And let all that you do in this and every direction be done in love --love for God, for his people and for his Word.
All whose names are on the TOWER list are recognized as members also of the Tract Society, and may order free as many tracts as they can properly use as samples for free distribution. Each should also be an agent or solicitor for the WATCH TOWER. A TOWER subscription includes a subscription to these Old Theology Quarterly Tracts, with the privilege of ordering additional tracts. These tracts are published out of the voluntary donations to the Tract Fund, "Good Hopes," etc.
Brother Otto Koetitz, now a valued helper in the TOWER office, has translated this tract into German, and it will soon be published in that language.
::R1682 : page 274::
ROMANISM IN NEW YORK.
The American Journal of Politics, referring to the way in which the Church of Rome is obtaining complete sway in American politics says: "In New York the following are Roman Catholics: The mayor, the sheriff, the comptroller, the counsel to the corporation, the whole Board of Assessment, the commissioner of public works, the superintendent of the street cleaning department, the clerk to the board of aldermen, the majority of that board, every member of the Board of Tax Commissioners, several justices of the Supreme, Superior, and Common Pleas Courts, the controllers of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, the majority in many of the ward boards of trustees, a large portion of the Board of Education, the controllers of the Department of Charities and Corrections, the majority of the police force, the controllers of the fire department, of the Board of Street Openings, the whole of the Armoury Board, the registrar of deeds, the commissioner of jurors, one-half of the commissioners of accounts, the supervisor of the city records, the collector of the port, the sub-treasurer, a majority of the commissioners of the Sinking Fund, and, finally, the majority of the delegates to Congress, and in the State Senate, and Assembly."--Evangelical Churchman.