ZWT - 1902 - R2929 thru R3124 / R3117 (369) - December 15, 1902
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VOL. XXIV. DECEMBER 15, 1902. No. 24.
Views from the Watch Tower........................371
The Reapers Not Yet Crying Out................371
The Agrarians of Germany......................372
A Presbyterian Preacher Looking
in the Right Direction......................372
What Rev. Hillis Sees.........................373
Church Union in Canada........................373
Social Unrest in Russia.......................374
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's
Rejoicing in Tribulation..........................379
Requests for Pilgrim Visits in 1903...............383
Extent of Judas' Knowledge........................383
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THE WATCH TOWER BIBLES.
The friends have thus named the wide-margin Bibles with DAWN and TOWER references recently gotten out by Holman & Co. for us: and since the book needs a special and distinguishing name, we may as well let this one stand.
Some of these Bibles, reserved for friends who hoped to send the money before the end of the year, are now released, and can go to whoever sends the payment; 124 bound in French Seal, divinity circuit, red under gold edges, express prepaid, for $2.00.
We got out a special edition for foreign shipment, with the photo-illustrations of Palestine, etc., separate (so as to keep within the foreign-postal limits): these we have held until now for our friends in foreign lands, but henceforth they are open to general orders from any quarter. Price, same as above (in British currency, 9s.); 99 remain.
No other Bible ever published contains such advantages as this one; and the above are all that remain of an edition of 5,000. There will be no more; and, though open to all, we are anxious that these go to friends of the cause, who will value them on account of the special features, and make use of the same. No Bibles at the price--nor at any price--will compare with these.
WATCH TOWER BINDERS.
Remember, that we have these in good supply at 50c each-- delivery free. Each Binder will hold two years' issues, and they are very convenient for easy reference and preserving the papers from injury and soiling.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
THE REAPERS NOT YET CRYING OUT.
IN VIEW of our interpretation of `James 5:1-9`* and in view, further, of the present prosperous times amongst farmers and others in the United States and Canada, some are inquiring when and how we should now expect the fulfilment of James' prophecy. We answer that we are not sorry the American farmers are not pinched, but prosperous. No one of noble heart could take delight at the distress of others. We account for the delay of the pinch and the cries, here, as follows:--
(1) The Spanish war, the Boer war, the Philippine war, the China war and several small wars and preparations for war, in Abyssinia, Hayti, Colombia, Argentine, Peru, and Chili, and the immense naval expenditures of Japan, Great Britain, Germany and the United States, have put thousands of millions of dollars into circulation during the past five years; and the effect could not be other than to bring great prosperity in manufacturing lines.
(2) The famines in India and Russia and China, and crop shortages in Europe and South America, and the drouth in Australia, have all conspired to make a great demand for all the cattle and crops of this country, and at good prices.
(3) The deficiency of money (decreased by the demonetization of silver) would surely have hindered this wave of prosperity from rising as it has risen, were it not for the shrewdness of the American bankers who have much more than made up for the loss of silver by organizing immense corporations and trusts whose stocks, like railway shares, are given a money value in all banks. The bankers thus make interest on loans represented by those shares, and at the same time have a firmer inside hold upon all the industries of the world. It is to their interest to have just as little money afloat as possible--they can the more easily control the financial keys of the world's business. If there were no money, the bankers' credits would be the substitute. The manufacturer would then deposit deeds or mortgages or stocks with his banker and secure credit and be permitted to issue bank checks against that credit; and those bank checks, or representations of credit, would pass current instead of money, and the bankers would have the entire control of the credit and charge interest, or toll, on all the business of the earth. Conditions are approximating this at present in that probably nine-tenths of the world's business is done on interest-bearing credits, while actual money suffices merely for small retail transactions.
But what is the difference so long as we have prosperity? The difference is that the treating of stock shares as money is bringing fabulous wealth to a numerous class; but since many of these stocks are over-valued, over-capitalized, it follows that as war-expenditures decrease a panic will occur the like of which the world has never known. "The mighty man shall weep then bitterly"--the rich shall "weep and howl." That will be a time of general loss of confidence when bankers' credits will be at their ebb. Under the new conditions, and with the money and the money-making property in the hands of the bankers, it would be unwise to attempt to outline or to particularize the character of events that will ultimately lead the reapers to cry out; but we have confidence in the correctness of the prediction and believe that the demonetizing of silver and the consequent decrease of the world's money will be seen to be at the bottom of that trouble, directly or indirectly precipitating it.
*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. IV., p.392.
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THE AGRARIANS OF GERMANY.
Even at present prices of agricultural products, the farmers of Germany, contending with poorer soil and smaller farms, are "crying out" that they can no longer compete with American products, and demanding tariff protection. The Government (the Emperor) is not averse to the tariff, but fears that even a small rise in the price of food necessities would pinch the mechanics and laborers of the cities, and necessitate a raise of wages which, in turn, would further hinder the industries of Germany, which have been much depressed for over a year. The Agrarian party in the German Parliament has hitherto been the Government's standby; but now the Agrarians freely hint that if they do not get tariff protection they will oppose voting public moneys for the building of new warships, and otherwise endeavor to thwart the Emperor's will until the tariff is granted.
The Emperor, who is thus without his regular supporters, sees the Socialist party increasing in numbers and influence yearly; and now notes the threats of the Agrarians, and that many of them favor affiliation with their former opponents (the Socialists). The Emperor is thus forced to conciliate more and more the third party, the Centrists (the Roman Catholic party), who are apparently ready and willing to trade every other measure in the interest of their church. Thus the Pope, through this party, is likely to dominate the Emperor very thoroughly: indeed under the circumstances it is no wonder the Emperor is reputed to have a leaning toward Catholicism. His first conviction is that he reigns by "divine right," "by the grace of God." His second conviction is that those who favor him must be right.
Present conditions favor Catholicism in Germany more than at any time since the days of the Reformation; but we are not to look for a religious war; rather we may expect a greater equality of all systems, with Romanism taking a leading part. Let it not be forgotten that this religious fraternization, or federation, is to come before the worst of the trouble comes: and this evidently is several years future even in these days of rapid transformations and aggregations.
A PRESBYTERIAN PREACHER LOOKING IN THE RIGHT
At the Presbyterian Synod's session in Joplin, Mo., Oct. 28th, Rev. C. C. Hemenway delivered an interesting discourse, reported in the Joplin Globe, as follows:--
"Rev. Hemenway preached an eloquent and able sermon. The address was a plea for the appreciation of spiritual truth, a call to Christians to live more deeply in the heart of religious truth. The text was taken from `Luke 18:8`: 'Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh shall he find faith on the earth?'
"The speaker said in beginning his address: At no time during the present generation has it been so easy to be a pessimist, so difficult to be an optimist. Whether the interests be political or industrial, sociological or spiritual, the same general conditions everywhere prevail,--a state of doubt and unrest and fear. For such a time assuredly was asked the ambiguous question of our Lord of his disciples: Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on earth?
"I do not profess to be able to interpret with confidence this searching question of Jesus. I can not feel sure of his mind in this conversation. Was it a warning to his believers not be lacking in faith as a guard against worldly influences, the power of which we now perhaps can realize more fully than those to whom Jesus was speaking? Was it a declaration that the time would come when faith would become weak and small in the hearts and lives of men? Or was it the pleading voice of a loving Master who would win our loyalty by suggesting the possibility of our failing in devotion,--as once he said when men were deserting him, Will ye also go away? Disclaiming any dogmatic zeal in the interpretation of this difficult conclusion to a not less difficult parable I feel confident that the underlying thought of every possible interpretation of this sentence is peculiarly applicable to the times in which we now live. Whether it be a plea for faith, or a warning not to be wanting in faith, or an announcement of a loss of faith, in every case there are significant and responsive aspects and characteristics of the meaning to be found in the religious world today. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? If the Son of Man should come to the world of this twentieth century would he find faith on the earth? If he were to visit the church universal, which bears his name throughout our land and the world, would he find faith on the earth? Answering neither for the optimist nor the pessimist, and turning from the theoretical to the practical, I ask your serious consideration of some of the aspects of modern social and religious life most seriously significant of this inquiry of Jesus.
"Perhaps I can express my fundamental thought this evening most clearly by quoting from a report of a sermon by President Charles Cuthbert Hall in Highgate Congregational Church, London. He was speaking on 'The Appreciation of Spiritual Truth as a Primary Duty of the Church,' and was reported as saying, that the conventionalism of life today creates a strong temptation to be more interested in what we do than in what we believe, and to get away from the responsibility of thinking for ourselves. 'We need, he says, to live more deeply in the heart of religious truth, and to have a growing appreciation of the beauty and nobleness of the fundamental ideas of our religion.'
"Is there not here a clear and profound statement of the religious condition of our time? Are we not more interested in what we do than what we believe; and have we a worthy appreciation of the beauty and nobleness of the fundamental ideas of our religion?
"With all our zeal and all our activity,--building
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churches in beauty, like this in which we gather tonight, --pushing on the agencies of the church with treasuries unburdened with debt; revising and improving our creed statements,--with all our zeal and activity, are we searching deep into the nature of the things of the kingdom of God for a better understanding of the fundamental verities of our faith? While in science, in biology and chemistry and physics and electricity,--men are studying deep into the nature of material things, is not the church of God, in the main, dealing with superficials and satisfied to live on the surface of spiritual things? The call to the revision of our creed (a voice which I am not to condemn tonight), is a voice to which we may all, perhaps, respond Amen; but is the call to revision sounding through our great church, out of a new and profounder research into the eternal verities of our faith than the studies of an Edwards or a Calvin? or is the call rather out of a desire to adjust our creed to the times in which we live?
"Far more important than the mere question of revision may be the inquiry as to its cause. Far more significant to you and to me may be the real spiritual condition of the church seeking a revision of its creed statements, than the mere question of a verbal statement to be desired. We shall never grow strong by mere excision or even by addition; but only by securing deeper and surer foundations.
"Rev. Hemenway showed how and why the question of Jesus which formed his text, was addressed to our day and generation, and showed different reasons. First: Within the church: Instead of the wonders of creation, the consequence of the fall of man, or the mysteries of redemption exciting the interest or inquiry, the question of the inspiration, accuracy and authority of the Bible--in a word, the higher criticism--holds the attention.
"Second: Pulpit themes; the speaker said, In studying the trend of the times, I have found that business men say the pulpit has no message for them.
"Third: The ways of the church; Rev. Hemenway made an earnest plea for the old hymns, such as 'My faith looks up to thee,' 'All hail the power of Jesus' name,' and others, as better than the popular gospel hymn. He said that much of the modern religious poetry is set to music that stirs the feet more than the soul.
"Fourth: The neglect of parents to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. One of the best evidences, Rev. Hemenway thinks, that parents do not teach their children religion as once they did, is that the candidates for the ministry in 1899 were 1433; in 1902 only 810.
"For reasons without the church: The speaker did not attempt a sharp and close discrimination between the church and the world, but looked for the general evidences of the decadence of faith which, he said, appear almost as frequently in the lives of Christians as those not professing Christ. He gave as first among the causes of this: the character of the present strife for wealth. He said, While unscrupulous means for acquiring riches have been employed for ages, the power of passion for wealth over all is new and of our time. We need to turn from the subject of the saloon on the Sunday to that of the office on the Sunday. The second commandment means no more to the community in its struggle for wealth than the excise laws to the man of appetite. He said the motive for obtaining wealth has changed, and quoted:
'Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!
Bright and yellow, hard and cold;
Molten, carven, hammered, rolled;
Heavy to get and light to hold;
Hoarded, bartered, bought and sold;
Stolen, borrowed, squandered, doled;
Spurned by the young, but hugged by the old
To the very verge of the churchyard mold;
Price of many a crime untold;
Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!'
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"As a second reason outside the church, was given: The love of pleasure, ease and self-indulgence.
"Third: Unrest under authority. Anarchy, said the speaker, flourishes in the home, the school and the church.
"Fourth: The prevalence of suicide.
"Fifth: The ready acceptance of the various forms of new thought."
WHAT REV. HILLIS SEES.
Rev. Hillis, successor to Henry Ward Beecher now sees some of the things pointed out in the WATCH TOWER for the past twenty-three years. The public press reports the following from his discourse of October 19th:--
MILLIONAIRES RULE THE COUNTRY.
"Just now our country is entering upon a crisis that is to strain its institutions to the last point before breaking. For a generation the tide of illiteracy, intellectual and moral, has been slowly rising, until the better social element is being submerged by the worse. This social deterioration has been progressive. A century ago the great figures in the community were the magistrate and the minister. In the middle of the last century the statesman and the politician were the contrasting figures, representing weight of intellect. Those were the days of Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Then came an era, about five years ago, when the statesman was submerged by the multi-millionaire.
"Wealth, riches, the love of gold and power, control our statesmen now. Individuals representing hundreds of millions cause the politician to pass under an eclipse. This Croesus who can own his private car, his private yacht, owns also his private Governor, his private Representative, and last summer his private Congress. These men, whose millions have enabled them to form the trusts, control our Congress and used this legislative body to pull their chestnuts out of the fire.
"Men who would solemnly pledge themselves to give certain rights to Cuba were forbidden by their political masters to fulfil their obligation. Men have the authority today who don't have any offices. Men rule as Governor who haven't been elected.
THE DANGER OF THE MOB.
"The next stage is the multi-millionaire's submergence by the numbers of his workmen acting under the control of a single will. But the rule of the many because they have the votes needed by the Governor
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who seeks re-election, is a rule of peril that threatens every institution that we love. A mob is always controlled by the most ignorant and vicious element. Put a thousand men in a group; the one man who can control the thousand men in the mob is the man who can strike the chord to which all will respond. The man who has the last fact in the case is nature's uncrowned king, who alone has the right to rule.
"Fortunately, in a democracy, when the people make a mistake, it is the people who suffer, so that the follies and sins of the Republic cure themselves, as Wendell Phillips once said, and this fact makes and keeps up optimists."
A ripple of surprise went over his congregation when Dr. Hillis, discussing the percentage of great men in America who owe their splendid qualities to the clergymen in their ancestry, said: "Henry Clay, Wendell Phillips, Daniel Webster, Robert Ingersoll and Henry Ward Beecher, five great inspirational orators, got their early education and principles of life from the clergymen from whom they sprung."
That Dr. Hillis should mention the names of Robert Ingersoll and Henry Ward Beecher in the same breath, speaking in the church that was occupied by the latter, caused expressions of indignation among his hearers.
CHURCH UNION IN CANADA.
The Methodist General Conference recently held in Winnipeg, Man., near the close of its session passed resolutions looking toward a union of all the "evangelical" denominations of Canada. It appointed an influential committee to confer first and specially with Presbyterians and Congregationalists. The Methodists of Canada number 847,765; the Presbyterians 755,326; the Congregationalists 28,157. Commenting upon this the Outlook says:--
"This comprehensive and far-reaching proposition was adopted with practical unanimity by the Conference, only two or three delegates voting against it. This forward movement acquires additional significance from the fact that the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in Canada are themselves the result of the integration of several minor divisions, which has been signally marked with the seal of the divine approval. It was further emphasized by the cordial greetings of representatives of the Presbyterian Church --the Rev. Dr. Bryce, moderator of its General Assembly, Prof. Kilpatrick, of Manitoba College, and the Rev. C. W. Gordon, better known as 'Ralph Connor,' author of 'The Sky Pilot,' and the 'The Man from Glengarry.' Union sentiment was strongly reciprocated also by the Rev. Messrs. Silcox and Hamilton, representatives of the Congregational Union."
The Chicago Interior (Presbyterian) declares:--
"Were the leading denominational body of the Presbyterian, Congregational or Methodist Churches in this country to appoint a committee on organic union with the other two, the news of it would be put by the daily papers in the earthquake column. Yet the Methodist General Conference in Canada has done precisely that--named a commission of its most prominent men to invite the Presbyterians and Congregationalists to come in and talk union. We should not, indeed, like to believe that there is any more actual antagonism among denominations in the Republic than in the Dominion; we are certainly learning here in the United States to be mighty good friends and mighty neighborly neighbors across the old sectarian chasms; but of union, other than within the lines of our different 'families' of churches, we have scarcely thought at all--it hardly seemed possible. But certainly these advancing Canadian folks are going to make us think about it, and we shall all be watching intently from this country to see how they succeed."
SOCIAL UNREST IN RUSSIA.
The struggle between the Russian agriculturists and the bureaucracy still continues. The members of the Zemstvos or local Councils ask for greater liberty of speech, and sometimes when this is refused resign in a body. They demand also, as a first instalment of reform, a revision of the system of taxation, which, they say, presses unduly upon the agriculturists. The reactionaries are furiously angry at the demand for more freedom of speech, and we can understand their fear of publicity if the horrible story told to the correspondent of the Times is as well founded as he believes. In one district of Kharkov some peasants were being tried for resisting authority, when their counsel asked permission to give evidence as to the conduct of the soldiers, who had not only flogged the peasants but outraged a great number of their women. It was pleaded that they had therefore been punished enough; but permission to give evidence was refused, and the peasants were sentenced to fines or short terms of imprisonment. There had been, in fact, a Dragonnade of the locality, and there is no redress.--London Spectator.
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WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.
--ANNUAL REPORT--DEC. 1ST, 1901, TO DEC. 1ST, 1902.--
WE WELL KNOW how the dear friends of the Truth watch for these annual reports. Recognizing that the Lord of the harvest is using the TOWER office as a kind of headquarters for the reaping work now in progress this side the vail, they are deeply concerned, not only respecting their own services in their own quarters, but also respecting the entire field as seen from this vantage point. Believing that such an interest is pleasing to the Lord and profitable to his people, we shall do our best to satisfy it.
(1) The general aspect of the work is favorable. The little gatherings for worship and study of the Word are more numerous and better attended than
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ever: and still better than this, the general spiritual condition of the flock is favorable; even the financial prosperity of the year--an insidious foe to spiritual development--has not prevented a great increase of love and zeal for the Lord and his Word and his brethren. We rejoice in this far more than in the items below, indicating the activity displayed by you all in the circulation of the harvest message: nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that the two are intimately related; for as it is the zeal that leads to the service, so also does service inspire fresh zeal in ourselves as well as in others.
But while thus rejoicing, let us take heed: let us remember that our Adversary is still on the alert, and that so long as he is "the prince of this world" it will be an "evil world," an enemy's country to all true followers of the Lamb until we shall be "changed" or until Satan's rule shall be fully overthrown and our Immanuel shall have full sway. Our Lord, through his Word, forewarns us to expect that neither Satan nor the systems of men organized under his supervision, or more or less controlled by him, will yield peaceably to the new rule; but must be overthrown by Christ after a violent struggle;--during which Satan will be forced to appear "as an angel of light" in order to perpetuate the delusions wherewith he has so long deceived the whole world--putting light for darkness, and darkness for light.--Compare `Rev. 20:3`;
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`16:13,14`; `13:15`; `I Tim. 4:1`; `2 Thess. 2:9-12`.
While we see good evidences pointing to continued prosperity for the Truth during the new year just opening, we note many evidences that it is likely to be a year of severe testing. These evidences are more general, as well as more particular, than heretofore; and it is our duty to give a note of warning to all the watchers--putting them on guard against our Adversary; for "we are not ignorant of his devices." (`2 Cor. 2:11`.) One of his old "devices" (new, however, to some) is his denial (through his agents--and he always secures and uses the best servants he can for his mouthpieces,--`Rom. 6:16`) of his own existence. He comes in a garment of "light;" saying, Your ideas of an old devil are all wrong--a part of the general delusion from which all the intelligent people of our day are getting free--Higher Critics, Evolutionists, Christian Scientists, and the educated world all now admit this, and you must not lag behind in the mire of error. Never mind the Bible's numerous references to a personal devil and a host of demons who occasionally were cast, by the Lord and his apostles, out of those "possessed." Take my word for it; and pay no attention to Jesus' declaration that I was "a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth;" nor to the Apostles' warning that I would deceive and palm myself off as a minister of the light, denying my former self and practices and, instead, working miracles to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect.
Another device in line with the foregoing yet strictly new, is that Satan has become a worker of miracles. This is a token that his "house" is tottering to its fall--else it would not need support so opposed to the general policy of Satan--as our Lord declared, If Satan cast out Satan his house is divided against itself and cannot long stand. (`Mark 3:23-26`; `Matt. 12:26`.) He has long palmed himself off as a teacher --a light-bearer, clothed in light; but Satan in the role of faith-healer is a novelty belonging chiefly to our day--though, undoubtedly, he has had to do with the relic-miracles of Papacy for centuries. The worshiping of a relic-bone of St. Anne or of the "holy shroud" or of a "nail from the cross" served for less intelligent people in a less intelligent epoch; but now, and amongst more enlightened people, faith and prayer are more apt to deceive, and he is using and blessing these, and thus attracting the attention of people away from the Truth which is now dawning gradually upon nominal "Christendom."
Do we deny that "faith cures" are performed by "Christian Scientists" and "Mormons" and "Spiritualists" and "Mesmerists" and "Hypnotists" and "Magnetists" and "Comeouters" and "Christian Allianceists" and "Elijahites"? Surely no one can deny that some cures are performed by all these systems; and just as surely none can deny that earnest, well-meaning people are to be found in all of these systems. Perhaps some of the "very elect" are in them and deluded by Satan's substitution of darkness for light; if so, we may be sure that the Lord will use some means for their deliverance;--we should be glad if he would so use this very item of warning.
We cannot blame "the groaning creation" for desiring relief from pain and death; and we are glad that we can point them to the real relief which God has provided, so near at hand;--the Millennial Kingdom. We cannot wonder, however, if the poor world in gross darkness fails to see coming restitution clearly enough to trust in it and wait for it; but we should expect that the New Creation, begotten of the spirit, would see that the general blessing and removal of the curse is not due until the great Day of Atonement (the Gospel age) is fully ended and the Sons of God, the "very elect," are all glorified with their Lord and Head. These, the saints taught of God, should clearly see that now is not the time for restitution, but still the time for sacrificing; and accordingly should joyfully suffer with Christ as members of his body and not ask back the physical powers exchanged in consecration for spiritual hopes and promises. If
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our wily adversary could get us all to coveting and striving for physical healing and comfort, and to teaching such a gospel to others, it would please him and serve his purposes; for time and thought spent thus would be turned aside from spiritual interests and studies and efforts. Restitution hopes and efforts, which will be in order for the world very soon now, are surely not the hopes or ambitions of the Church called out of the world during this age to be "living sacrifices"--to lay down their lives and become "dead with him."
It will be noted that we are not condemning those who in the various systems "perform many wonderful works," but not by divine power. (`Matt. 7:22,23`.) Nor are we blaming those who have sought and found relief--they only followed a natural course. And if they gave God thanks for the healing, they have the same blessing as though God had performed the cure. If sincere, however, to learn better will mean that they will not accept healings from such sources again. What we now desire to do is to save some from being ensnared by these false doctrines by pointing out that none of these channels of healing give evidence that they are such as God would probably choose. To our understanding, Satan uses faith-healings as bait to catch the Lord's people and turn them away from the Truth.
"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free;" and "he that doeth truth cometh to the light," are our Lord's declarations. "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief;" is the Apostle Paul's prediction. (`John 8:32`; `3:21`; `I Thess. 5:4`.) Excuse may well be made for those who lived and died before the dawning began; but for those now living and continually brought in contact with the light of present truth, what shall we conclude? We must conclude that if servants at all they are such as know not what their Lord doeth; such, therefore, as we should not regard either as favored sons or favored servants of God, as our Lord explains.--`John 15:15`.
Viewed thus, all of these doers of "many wonderful works in Christ's name" (`Matt. 7:22`) lack the proper credentials, in that they do not have the Truth, which they surely would have if they were in the Lord's favor and confidence. Worse than this, the vast majority of them are Christless--deniers of the ransom, its necessity and its results--as well as blind to the light of present truth. The Elijahites are deceived into an anti-Christ position similar to that of Papacy; for while the latter's pontiff poses as Christ's representative and substitute in ruling authority, and misapplies prophecies of Christ's kingly power and authority to the popes,* the Elijahites similarly misapply to their leader the prophecies which refer to our Lord and the glorified Church, as the great "Prophet like unto Moses" (`Acts 3:22,23`), and the "Messenger of the Covenant," whose mission, in the flesh, failing of turning the hearts of fathers and children will result in the "smiting of the earth with a curse" --"a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation."+--`Mal. 4:6`; `Dan. 12:1`.
The Christian Allianceists are thick in the medieval darkness, teaching eternal torment and various other blasphemies and falsehoods. The "Christian Scientists" repudiate all sin, and, hence, all redemption from sin, and thus plainly show that they have neither part nor lot with Christ or his message or power. The Spiritualists similarly deny the foundations of Biblical faith.
The Mormons teach a transmigration of soul, and, hence, deny Adam as the head of the race; hence, deny the death sentence on all mankind through him; hence, cannot logically hold the Scriptural theory that all die in Adam's sentence and were redeemed by Christ's sacrifice.
What reason have we to expect that the power of healing manifested in these variously blinded peoples is of Christ? None whatever. Indeed, they each brand the other as deluded servants of Satan, and we see no reason to doubt that this is true of them all to a greater or less extent. The Lord instructs us to put this test, saying: "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant." (`Psa. 25:14`.) Do any of these miracle-workers see the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the divine plan and covenant? Surely not, else they would be with us heart and voice, declaring the "good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people."-- `Luke 2:10`.
The signs by which the Gospel age was introduced to fleshly Israel were such as would appeal to sincere natural men,--physical blessings typical of greater things in the Kingdom. The signs with which the new dispensation now appeals to spiritual Israelites are spiritual signs, or proofs--the opening of the eyes and ears of our hearts to discern in God's plan wonderful things which the natural man cannot appreciate. Let those whose chief desire is for physical blessings and healings take these; Satan will be pleased thus to turn them aside;--to turn their faces from the direction of the rising Sun of Righteousness and the great and perpetual blessings which God proposes, to transient expedients and creature consolations, encouraging the thoughts that such physical gains are evidences of godliness or evidences of divine favor. The New Creatures in Christ will follow the footsteps of self-sacrifice
*See Millennial Dawn, Vol. II., pp. 292-308.
+Millennial Dawn, Vol. II., chap. 8.
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and rejoice in the evidences of God's favor which the Scriptures warrant. It is our understanding that these delusions will be so strong as to deceive all except the elect, who will be kept by their clearer knowledge of the divine plan. It is our duty to sound the alarm, the warning, the caution, even though we know that some will, nevertheless, be led away from their own steadfastness. Our warning is that the coming year means much of trial and testing along these lines and that zeal in studying and in serving the truth is the only position of safety for any of us. The question of the Apostle is apropos, "Who shall be able to stand?" Let all who have tasted that the Lord is gracious,--all to whom he has shown his covenant, stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and with the Lord, in defense of the Truth and in aid of one another. Thus standing, the opening year will surely result favorably to us.
THE CORRESPONDENCE DEPARTMENT.
This is an important branch of the service--our "Correspondence School." The BIBLE is our text book, the DAWNS and TOWERS are our comments, explanations, etc., and our mail department enables us to point out and emphasize misunderstood parts of the instruction. We believe, however, that the references and indexes in the new "Watch Tower Bibles" will decrease the written communications by enabling students to find answers to their queries in DAWNS and TOWERS. During the present year we received 42,375 letters and cards, and sent out 40,601.
We are always glad of your letters; many a time their kind, encouraging words have come like a cup of cold water in a dry and thirsty land. Some, indeed, are filled with acrimony, and would cause us pain and discouragement did not the Lord's grace and truth sustain us and show us that Satan and ignorance are the real assailants and that the vail of ignorance and power of Satan will soon be cast aside and trampled upon.--`Rom. 16:20`.
THE COLPORTEURING DEPARTMENT.
The postal ruling which seemed likely to greatly interrupt the work has really proved a blessing: it led us to renewed efforts to reduce the cost of the clothbound DAWNS, which efforts were very successful. And these, in turn, are so much more attractive that the general sales of DAWNS this year are above our highest previous standard--over 93,000 copies of Vol. I. alone, and of all volumes, over 128,000. The total sales of booklets for the year are nearly 56,000. The zeal for colporteuring is increasing, and we hear from many who are seeking to adjust their affairs so as to be ready to engage in this evangelistic service by spring. If these hopes are realized, it will increase the above large figures nearly one-half. Our printers are increasing their facilities to keep pace with the demand. We know of no field of service yielding better results than this one; besides, many of these books, little cared for now, will, doubtless, be a helping hand for many in the time of trouble.
THE TRACT DEPARTMENT.
The showing here is equally good;--evidencing great zeal for the Master and his Word amongst TOWER readers, some of whom circulate the message at depots, some on trains and ferryboats and street cars; some privately and some by mail. The blessings are surely as great to those who give as to those who receive them. Total distributed during the year, 1,895,435.
The Volunteer work with the WATCH TOWER is a part of the same tract work and it alone amounted to 1,512,538, or a total of both of nearly three and a half million pieces. This would represent 122,432,732 tract pages. This is a grand showing, in which we may all rejoice.
Is it any wonder that those who attest their loyalty to the Lord and his message thus publicly should have a special blessing at his hand in return? No; it is in full accord with the Lord's general dealings. Them who honor him he will honor; them who confess him he will own and confess; they who water others shall themselves be watered. Not only are those congregations which have done volunteering most persistently, in the most robust condition, but those brethren and sisters who have courageously shown their colors are amongst the most clear and most staunch in the truth. How glad all will be when in the future they look back and note the little services and sacrifices they were privileged to make, as an expression to their Lord of their love for him and for his brethren!
The Lord willing, we will have some fresh Volunteer matter for next year--ready in the spring. We suggest that the various "Captains" send in reports for the year, to January 1, as soon as possible; and that enlistments for next year be recorded and a new election of Captains take place as soon as possible.
THE PILGRIM SERVICE DEPARTMENT.
This work is still growing, and we are continually seeing new evidences that the Lord is owning and blessing it to the spiritual welfare of his dear flock. The announcements of routes, etc., in each issue of the TOWER tends to quicken the general interest, too: the solitary ones can now not only think of and mentally fellowship with the Allegheny Church and at the One Day Conventions, but also in spirit, travel with each of the dear Pilgrims and gather with the
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various bands of hope and love in sundry quarters.
During the past year the "Pilgrim" service of the Society has been administered through twenty-one brethren, who have visited 1208 places, held 1335 public meetings and 2057 parlor meetings, covering a total of 117,746 miles. This record includes the Editor's One Day Conventions and General Conventions. The interest in the "Pilgrim" meetings is steadily increasing, and many of the friends are learning to cooperate with us by appointing some one of their number to send us their request for visits, with particulars, which we now request, for 1903, on page 383 of this issue. In a couple of instances the local leader has seemed a little jealous of the "Pilgrims," and fearful that their superior knowledge or ability or influence would discount his own and undermine it. This is wrong every way: vainglory has no proper place in the hearts of the Lord's true people; and it should be mortified. The "Pilgrims" are humble and earnest, and clear in the truth--on the fundamentals, at least --otherwise they could not represent this Society or travel under its auspices. They will never be found trespassing on the rights of the congregations visited; but, on the contrary, conservators of the peace and liberty of all. Welcome them as Ambassadors of the Great King.
Remember that these services are entirely free, traveling expenses and all; and that no collections are ever taken up by them. The Society meets every expense--except food and lodging, which the friends at each place are always glad to provide. Your donations to the fund, and ours, are the Lord's provision, by which, in this manner, much good is, we believe, being accomplished. We again repeat, as last year, our suggestion that one half or more of the sessions be Parlor Meetings,--specially for the interested.
THE CONVENTIONS OF THE YEAR.
The Conventions--Annual and One-Day--are evidently entrenching themselves in the esteem of those who love the truth, and who love to "speak often one to another." The Lord still hearkens, too, and still pours out blessings as of yore--abundant and spiritual blessings. (`Mal. 3:16,17`.) These gatherings are expensive, both as to time and traveling expense, and, therefore, all cannot enjoy their privileges: however, all do share their blessings; for we have good evidence that those attending carry back blessings to those at home. We will D.V. continue these during the year 1903. Locations have not yet been decided upon: these will be announced in due season in the TOWER.
THE COST OF THIS FINANCIALLY.
After reviewing the figures foregoing, and rendering thanks to God for the privilege enjoyed in the service by so many of us--including all who have shared in any degree in this wide circulation of the good tidings--we naturally ask, What has all this cost, in money, additional to the free labor bestowed by so many? You will be surprised that it could be done for so modest a sum. You would be astounded if you could compare these figures and results with those of other Tract Societies.
From Good Hopes and all other sources.......$28,284.80
For Pilgrim expenses..........$ 4,621.08
" Publishing matter,
circulated free........... 13,983.51
" Expense, Insurance, etc.,
We request that all who in any manner have co-labored with us to the attainment of these results --either by contributing money or by circulating the literature, or both--will, after reading and digesting this Report, join with us in a prayer of thanksgiving to our Lord, the giver of every good, for the privileges enjoyed in his service.
REPORT OF BRITISH BRANCH.
We give Bro. Hemery's very interesting and satisfactory report below, merely remarking that its items are all included in the foregoing.
LONDON, NOV. 14, 1902. DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have much pleasure in sending you the enclosed report of the British Branch operations, and I am sure it will give pleasure to you also. From a perusal of the statement of Tracts circulated you will find that there is quite an increase on the figures of last year; and the same will be noticed from the figures relating to the DAWNS, nearly 2,000 more of these having been sold than were sold last year. I am sure you will be glad to note this increased activity on the part of the brethren here. The circulation of the DAWNS has increased despite the fact that the Colporteurs are less in number than last year. Much has been done through the year by those who have been able to devote only a little time to the work; sometimes this has meant that part of a holiday has been given to it; sometimes that the home work or home life has been arranged that time might be obtained. Much still remains to
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be done, and the time is short. Many of the large towns of England are practically untouched, either with Volunteer literature or DAWNS. We continually pray the Lord of the Harvest that he will send more labourers into the vineyard.
The Volunteer work, and the general distribution of tracts, has been eagerly pushed forward by the brethren, and, for their encouragement, we would say that the work is having an effect in gathering the Lord's "Jewels." You will see, too, that the donations to the Tract Fund show a considerable increase on the previous year, nearly L100 more being received than last year. I have already reported concerning some of these donations.
Besides the above increases, there is, as you will have noticed, a marked increase in the number of TOWER subscribers. As may be expected all this increase has not come from the immediate neighborhood of meeting places; the Truth is asserting itself here
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and there, gathering to it those whose hearts are so disposed. In Ireland, too, much literature has been scattered, chiefly in Dublin and Belfast. In the latter place a considerable amount of Colporteur work has been done. Our hearts are glad because of all the favor of God, and because the knowledge of him is increasing. For all the goodness that has been shown we are deeply thankful.
The Pilgrim visit of Bro. Hope Hay was very much enjoyed by all the friends. I am sure I speak for all when I say we should much appreciate a sight of yourself amongst us. We remember your promise to come on the first opportunity.
If I may add a personal word, I would say how much I appreciate the privilege of working with, and in any way serving, the Lord's people.
The opportunities for service in this country are very many: the "harvest" is indeed "great," and the labourers are few. We hope for great things. In the meantime "we thank God, and take courage."
I am, dear brother,
Yours in the Lord, J. HEMERY.
Tract Fund receipts and expenditures of the British Branch of the Society from Nov. 1, 1901, to Nov. 1, 1902:--
Expenditures. L s d
Deficit from last year.....................537 4 11
Paper, printing, postage, etc., on matter
circulated free...........................222 14 6
"Pilgrim" expenses......................... 50 15 0
Total....................................810 14 5
Receipts from Great Britain................268 15 9
Deficit..................................541 18 8
Letters received............................... 3,448
" sent out............................... 4,329
Total DAWNS sold............................... 17,668
" Booklets sold............................ 2,516
Tracts and Towers circulated free............670,200
Representing tract pages....................23,131,440
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REJOICING IN TRIBULATION.
--`ACTS 16:22-34`--JANUARY 4.--
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
THE International Lessons change with the New Year from the Old Testament to the New, taking up the theme where we left it six months ago. That series of lessons noted (1) Christ as the central figure of Christianity; (2) the Holy Spirit as the motive power of Christianity; (3) the gradual development of the Church from its birth at Pentecost; (4) missionary work by Paul and Barnabas; (5) Paul's second missionary tour, with Silas and others as his companions, and by them the first entrance of the Gospel into Europe. We now take up the subject at this point. The first city in Macedonia--the first city, therefore, in Europe--to hear the Gospel message, was Philippi. One of the Apostle Paul's epistles, addressed to the church there established, is known to us as the "Epistle to the Philippians."
At Philippi the Apostle and his companions, in seeking for those who reverenced the Lord, and hence most likely to have hearing ears for the Gospel, found a little group who met by the riverside for worship. Lydia, one of the number, became prominent for her thorough acceptance of the Gospel message, and her zeal in entertaining the Apostle and his company, and in forwarding, as best she could, the interests of the cause. The meetings were held outside the city, doubtless, on a similar pretext to that which, until recent years, excluded the worship of Protestants in the city of Rome, compelling them to go outside the city if they would hold any gatherings for worship. Philippi had its approved religious system, and would grant liberty for meetings to no other.
It was while the apostles were day by day passing from Lydia's home to the place of worship outside the city gate that they were met repeatedly by a young woman known in that city as a Pythoness, or Sybil (a sooth-sayer or truth-teller or fortune-teller; a foreteller of future events, or prophetess). She was evidently well known to all the people, and the exercise of her profession brought large income to a joint-stock company which owned her as its slave. As the evangelists passed daily she called out after them, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation." These words, though true enough, coming from such a source, and possibly in a jesting voice, might be understood by those who heard them to be sarcasm, ridicule, and, therefore, a hindrance to the Lord's work; or even if uttered in serious tones their coming from such an unsanctified quarter would probably preclude their having any favorable influence with those of such cast of mind and heart as might otherwise have a hearing ear for the Gospel of Christ. This continued many days, the Apostle gradually becoming more and more grieved by it--probably because it was hindering his mission, and perhaps, also, because he was grieved to see a fellow-creature thus made a tool of by the fallen angels, the wicked spirits which controlled her. Similarly our Lord refused to recognize the testimony of the evil spirit who acknowledged him, saying, "I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God," and had compassion upon the one who had the evil spirit, and delivered him.--`Mark 1:24`; `Luke 4:34`.
Present-day higher critics and lower critics are disposed to dispute that there are evil spirits, and that human beings ever are or ever were possessed by demons. Such incline to suppose that either deception or insanity was mistaken by the Lord and the apostles in these cases of obsession. However, to those who have learned to respect the Word of God there is no room for questioning the accounts. Our Lord commanded evil spirits to come out of possessed ones, and they obeyed him; and in this case the Apostle Paul invoked the same divine power for the healing of this young woman --for her deliverance from the evil spirit being which
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had obtained possession of her and made her its slave, speaking through her, and otherwise using her mouth, ears, etc., as channels of communication. These fallen angels adapt themselves to the varying conditions of humanity in all parts of the world, and in connection with all the various systems of religion, all of which we may properly accredit, more or less directly, to the great Adversary of the truth, who worketh by and through those who will submit themselves.*
As this young woman was a money-winner for the people who owned her, we can imagine what consternation was aroused amongst them when they found that not only was their source of gain for the future gone, but also that the large amount of money invested in this slave was lost (for such spirit-possessed ones had a high market value): they became desperately angry. Nothing will so greatly move men as love or selfishness; and under present conditions selfishness moves the vast majority, and with intense power. They had no hope of getting the evil spirit back into the woman; they must have revenge upon those who had financially ruined them. There is much of this spirit abroad in the world today: so long as the truth and the Lord's servants quietly go their way the world will generally be too busy with its affairs to molest them; but so soon as they perceive that truth and righteousness are inimical to their earthly interests and prospects their opposition becomes intense. Nor should we consider it to be the chief business of the Lord's people to stir up the animosity of the world and to bring persecution upon themselves. As a rule it is best that we leave the world to watch its own affairs, while we preach the Gospel, not using it as a sledge-hammer, to break men's hearts, but as the message of peace and love and blessing and joy to those whose hearts under divine providence have been already broken; and who have ears to hear the message of the grace of God. Very generally the apostles pursued as smooth a course as principle would permit, and in this instance very evidently Paul acted under special guidance of the Lord. The Apostle's general instruction is, "So far as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men"--do not go out of your way to stir up trouble, but if the Lord in his providence allows it to arise, be courageous and full of faith in him
*See What Say the Scriptures About Spiritualism? Proofs That
It Is Demonism.
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who has permitted it, that he will overrule it for good.
The owners of the Pythoness evidently had influence, and succeeded quickly in arousing a mob determined to have revenge against Paul and Silas. Of course they did not attempt this by telling the truth. They did not say, We were using a poor slave girl, possessed of an evil spirit, for our financial profit, and these men have restored her mind, her will--released her from mental enslavement to saneness of mind. No; like all who are engaged in a bad cause, they ignored the truth of the matter, and raised spurious charges--that the prisoners were teaching a religion contrary to the laws of Rome, and likely thus to raise sedition. We see that this was contrary to the truth, for the Lord's servants went, according to law, outside the city gates for their worship. However, under the circumstances the false charge, without proofs, was sufficient to bring down upon the Lord's representatives the severest penalties their judges could inflict: their clothing was torn from them, and the command was given that they should be beaten with rods and imprisoned. The customary sentence of the time was, "Go, victors! Tear off their garments! Scourge them!" This was one of the three times Paul was thus beaten. (`2 Cor. 11:25`.) He referred to it in his letter to the Thessalonians, declaring that he was "shamefully" treated at Philippi.--`I Thess. 2:2`.
The prison was constructed with outer cells, which were more or less accessible to the light and air, and with an inner or central dungeon for the most vicious criminals. It was into the latter that Paul and Silas were thrust, and their feet made fast in the stocks, which often were so constructed as to separate the limbs widely and to make any movement very painful. It was under these unfavorable circumstances, with their backs bleeding and raw from the scourging, that reflecting upon the wonders of the divine plan, and their own association with that plan, these faithful brethren were so filled with the spirit of rejoicing that they gave vent to their feelings in hymn-prayers of thankfulness for their privilege of suffering in connection with the Lord's service, of enduring tribulation for righteousness' sake.
How remarkable it must seem to the worldly, who have never tasted of the joys of the Lord, that these men could thus rejoice in tribulation--rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer afflictions for the cause of Christ! How little the world knows of the peace of God which passeth all understanding, that rules in the hearts of the Lord's people who have grown in his grace and heart-likeness! How little can they appreciate the fact expressed by our Lord when he said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." And again, through the Apostle, "We glory in tribulation, also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts." (`John 14:27`; `Rom. 5:3-5`.) And as these faithful servants of the Lord could rejoice in whatever experiences God permitted to come to them in the discharge of duty, so may we remember that ours is the same God, that he changes not; that he is equally able and equally willing today to grant the sunshine of his favor to those who trust him and seek to walk in his ways. It is the reverse condition that the followers of Christ need to dread, need to fear, as expressed by the poet,
"Oh, let no earthborn cloud arise
To hide thee from thy servant's eyes!"
In a general sense, the entire Gospel age is represented as being a night, in which sin and distress prevail, and, as the Prophet has declared, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning"-- when the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams, to scatter all the miasm of sin and death! But even in this night-time the Lord's people do not need to sorrow as others, who have no hope. On the contrary, to his people, "He giveth songs in the night." (`Job 35:10`.) While they are watching, hoping, praying, for the glorious morning of deliverance, their trust in the Lord is as an anchor to their souls within the vail. How could such children of the great King go mourning all their days? Surely especially now, as
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the Millennial morning is dawning, we can say, "He hath put a new song into our mouths, even the loving kindness of our God!" He has given his people the blessed privilege of singing the new song of Moses and the Lamb, that others cannot sing--at least not yet. These who sing and make melody in their hearts unto the Lord will surely also show forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light--theirs will be the psalm of life, manifesting in looks and words and tones and sentiments the love of God received into good and honest hearts.
Since as Christians we have learned that it is our privilege to be always rejoicing--to rejoice evermore and in everything give thanks--we need not, like the world, wait for special manifestations of divine favor to call forth our praise, our homage of heart and our grateful obedience to the Lord. Rather, learning that divine providence is in all of our affairs, ready to shape them for our good, we may rejoice "whatever lot we see, since 'tis God's hand that leadeth us." Some one has well said:--
"If we are not ready to praise God where we are, and with our conditions and circumstances as they are, we should not be likely to praise him if we were differently circumstanced and our conditions just that which now seems to us most desirable. Daniel could sleep better in the den of lions than Darius in the royal palace; he who could not find rest in a lion's den, when that was the place for him, could not gain rest by a mere removal to a palace. It is the man's self which must be changed, not his circumstances or his possessions, in order to his having a heart overflowing with joy and praise."
When, in 1695, Madame Guyon was imprisoned in the Castle of Vincennes, she sang praises to the Lord, composing one of her own hymns, as follows:
"A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields and air;
And in my songs I sit and sing
To him who placed me there:
Well pleased a prisoner thus to be,
Because, my God, it pleaseth thee.
"My cage confines me round,
Abroad I cannot fly;
But though my wing is closely bound,
My heart's at liberty;
My prison walls can not control
The flight, the freedom, of the soul."
The shaking of the prison, the loosing of the chains, the opening of the doors, the waking of the jailer, his dismay and intended suicide, fearing the ignominy which would attach to him from the escape of the prisoners, Paul's call to him to do himself no harm, assuring him that the prisoners were all safe, constitute together a thrilling episode, more remarkable to the jailer than to anyone else. Doubtless he had heard something respecting these men, so different from the ordinary criminals with which he had to do. Doubtless, he had been impressed with their unresisting attitude; their Christlike demeanor even under severe provocation; their moderate submission even to their severe treatment at his hands. In any event he seems to have felt a heart-hunger for fellowship with his Creator such as these discredited men under his care enjoyed. Quite probably he had already been reading the Gospel of Christ in the features and conduct of his prisoners, whose living epistles were always open to be known and read by those about them. Had there not been some such preliminary instruction of his heart, we can scarcely suppose that he would so quickly have resolved to walk in the footsteps of the prisoners--that their God should be his God, and their salvation which was able to make them joyful in tribulation, should, if possible, be his salvation. And this was his inquiry: "What must I do to be saved?"--saved from sin, saved from its penalty,--death, saved from its degrading influence, saved from its unrest of heart and mind, saved to the same peace and joy and comfort and consolation which his prisoners exemplified.
We are not surprised at the reply given by the Lord's servants; we are not surprised that they did not say, Go to the confessional, get the priest to sprinkle holy water upon you, pay him to say masses for your sins, and join the Catholic Church. Neither are we surprised that the message was not that he must feel his guilt a long while, and pray to the Lord a good while, and seek forgiveness at a mourner's bench night after night, and join a Methodist or Presbyterian or other human system. How evident it is that these servants of the true Gospel and builders of the true Church were not Catholics, nor Presbyterians, nor Methodists; and that they neither founded these sects nor taught along their lines; and that they would no more affiliate with or encourage their methods today than they would then have done.
The answer to the jailer is one which commends itself to the Christian mind as being the proper one-- no more, no less: he should believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his Redeemer, as the one who had died on his behalf, through whose stripes he might be healed, saved and through whose sacrifice he might rejoice in at-one-ment with God; and having thus believed with all his heart, whether it required a moment or an hour to explain and to understand these simple first principles of the Gospel, his next step was to consecrate himself, to be baptized into death with his Redeemer, and to symbolize this consecration into death by a baptism in water. And he was encouraged to hope, not only for his personal salvation, but that his family might be sharers with him. We may reasonably suppose that this conversation about his salvation progressed while he was ministering to the evangelists--washing
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their wounds, seeking to make them comfortable and providing them food. We may also reasonably suppose that with many more words than are here presented the Apostle set before the jailer and his assembled family the simple story of the love of God manifested in the gift of his Son; and of the love of Christ manifested in his sacrifice on our behalf; and the evidence of the acceptableness of that sacrifice, as testified to by our Lord's resurrection and by his sending of the holy spirit upon the infant Church; and the subsequent message now going forth to whomsoever had an ear to hear, that there is salvation in him and in no other.
There is a lesson here for us in regard to the promulgation of God's message. We are not to use words of man's wisdom; not to attempt to philosophize and to show our learning; nor are we to say, Now, do not be in too much haste; there is plenty of time, and after we are comfortably fixed we will have all day tomorrow to talk this matter over. We are to remember the declaration of the wise man, "A word in season, how good it is!" We are to remember, when talking
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with those who have an ear to hear and are inquiring the way to the Lord, that there are great crises in the lives of men, momentous occasions, in which one word may be more valuable, more potent, than would be a hundred words or a thousand words at another time, under different circumstances; and we are to be instant in the Lord's service, whether seasonable or unseasonable to ourselves,--gladly ready to lay down our lives for the brethren. The disposition of Paul and Silas to preach Christ to the jailer regardless of their own convenience and comfort and need of rest was in perfect accord with the joy of the Lord which filled their hearts and led them to sing. Dissatisfied Christians, disposed to grumble, would be inclined neither to sing praises under such circumstances, nor to preach the Gospel to a poor inquiring fellow on so out-of-season an occasion. We are to distinguish, however, between out-of-season to ourselves and out-of-season to others; and to be willing to serve others at any time, however out-of-season to ourselves, if it be in season and opportune for them. We are not to intrude even the Gospel itself at inopportune times, however convenient the occasion may be to ourselves.
Let us learn from this brief statement of the Gospel discourse by the Apostle the wisdom of simplicity and directness. The Apostle might have preached a great deal about the Jewish Law, and about the Jewish failure to keep the Law. He might have discussed the various philosophies of the false religions; and all of these might be proper at the right time, but now was not the time suited for these, and hence he confined his remarks particularly to the general statement that Christ was the Messiah, that he had redeemed the world, that he must be laid hold on by faith, and that to all who thus took hold on him he became the power of God and the wisdom of God.
The next morning the rulers, learning something of the circumstances of the night, ordered the release of Paul and Silas; but the Apostle sought to forward the interests of the cause he served by returning word that he was a Roman citizen, and that Roman law had been violated in three particulars in his case: (1) That they had "beaten" him; (2) that this had been done "publicly;" (3) that it was specially reprehensible in that he had not been legally "condemned."
These charges against the rulers might have gone hard with them; hence, it is not to be wondered at that they came to the prison, as the Apostle requested, and brought their prisoners forth publicly, thus giving evidence to the people that they conceded that an injustice had been done them on the previous night. It was agreed that the Lord's representatives should leave the place, and evidently this was as wise a thing as could have been done, at the time, for the publicity given to the Apostles and their teaching would now have opportunity to work, and the new disciples might have a better chance for presenting the truth quietly, in the absence of their leaders, against whom strong enmity had been aroused on account of the healing of the woman. From here the servants of the Lord went to Thessalonica, and undaunted by their experiences (indeed, rejoicing in them) they boldly spoke the word of grace to such as would hear them there.
"Many men of many minds," writes the poet; hence it is not surprising that some with too little reverence and too much self-consciousness are disposed to criticize the Apostle's course in claiming Roman citizenship here and on another occasion. We should approach such criticism from the standpoint of reverence, recognizing the apostles as specially chosen and specially inspired of the Lord and specially guided of him and fit to be our exemplars in all matters (`Matt. 18:18`) unless (as in `Gal. 2:11`) the criticism of their conduct or words is found in the Scriptures themselves. Unquestionably it was proper for the Apostle to appeal to his Roman citizenship as a means to secure justice, not injustice.
Similarly we may properly appeal to every item of the human laws under which we may be living that would protect us in our just rights; but we may not go beyond this and denounce the laws or violate them. Our Lord's admonition was in line with such submission to the ordinances or laws of men, in respect to our earthly affairs; and he explains,--If any man sue thee at the law and take away thy coat resist not, but even let him take thy cloak also. If, however, any man attempts to rob us of our coat without due process of law we are not bound to yield except it seem to be the better policy. In all civilized lands we would have the right to call on the law to protect us from violence.
Such a course would not mean an acknowledgment that we are citizens of this world and renouncers of our heavenly citizenship--even as the Apostle's course did not mean this. It would mean merely that as strangers and pilgrims, we are required to pay taxes for the support of law and order, and that worldly people recognize our rights to certain protection in the laws which they framed.
Similarly the Apostle at times referred to himself as a Jew--not as denying his Christianity, but as one now might say,--I am a German, or an American, thus to appeal not to a religious prejudice, but to a national sympathy, which, if men's hearts were right, would not need to be appealed to, because it would be quite sufficient to say,--I am a fellow man. The Apostle on one occasion, perceiving that his enemies were chiefly Pharisees, cried out, "I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee! For the hope of the resurrection I am called in question!" To imagine a similar case now, suppose that Christians were practically of two parties, one professing faith in the resurrection of the dead, and the other denying a resurrection and future life; suppose the latter were called "Evolutionists," and the former "the Faithful," and that some of us were misunderstood and caught by a mob, and that we perceived that a goodly number of our assailants were of "the Faithfuls," and that we were to cry out, "I am one of the 'Faithful' and the son of a 'Faithful!' It is because I believe in the resurrection of the dead that I am now being molested!" Surely there would be nothing amiss in such a position. And this was exactly Paul's case;--the name Pharisee stood for faith in God and in a future life by a resurrection and for obedience to the Law and, in general, full loyalty to God. The word Pharisee signifies--wholly separated to God; and only that the word has since come to be proverbial for hypocrite any of the Lord's people could still say, I am a Pharisee--I am one of those wholly separated to God.
::R3124 : page 383::
REQUESTS FOR PILGRIM VISITS IN 1903.
THE following information is very important in connection with arrangements for "Pilgrim" services. There is no charge for these services, nor for the traveling expenses; nor are collections ever to be taken up. We expect that all friends of the truth will be glad to entertain the "Pilgrims" during their brief stays, with "such things as ye have;" but where circumstances do not permit this, the "Pilgrims" are prepared to pay their way. If you desire to be remembered by us when we lay out the routes for these "Pilgrims," please answer the following questions--on a postal card or on separate paper from your letter. You need not repeat the questions, but merely number the answers, thus: No. 1--Yes (or No). No. 2--Twice a week--Sunday and Wednesday (or whatever may be the truth). No. 3-- Sunday at 3 p.m. at Bible House, 610 Arch Street; Wednesday 8 p.m., same place (or whatever may be the facts of your case). And thus with each question.
Such as neglect answering these questions, or so many of them as they can answer, must not be surprised if no meetings are arranged for them, or at most for one day. The information aids us greatly in arranging the "Pilgrim" routes.
ANSWER AS MANY AS POSSIBLE OF THESE QUERIES:
(1) Are regular meetings now held in your vicinity? (2) How frequently? (3) Give addresses of meeting places and hours. (4) What is the present average attendance? (5) At what date are leaders or elders chosen? (6) Give full name and address of regularly elected elders,--that arrangements for Pilgrim visits may be committed to them. (7) Is request for a Pilgrim visit the publicly expressed wish of those who usually attend meetings? (8) To whom should the Pilgrim be referred for entertainment? (9) Will suitable places be secured for parlor meetings? (10) Can suitable room for a public meeting be secured? (11) If no regularly chosen elders, give at least one address in full, besides your own. (12) Give your own name and address in full (state if colored) and any other information likely to be useful. (13) If not on the railroad give name of proper station and your distance from it, and the direction. State also if a conveyance would meet the Pilgrim at station and return him to it.
::R3126 : page 383::
AN INTERESTING QUESTION ANSWERED.
THE EXTENT OF JUDAS' KNOWLEDGE.
Question.--The Psalms, quoted from in the New Testament, seem to show clearly that destruction is Judas' end,--but can we decide that the scribes and Pharisees of our Lord's time came under the two Scriptures that specially bear on the case, `I Tim. 2:3-6`, with the will of God that all should come to an "Epignosin" of the truth, and `Heb. 6:4-6` that the ones it is impossible to renew, are those who have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift--become partakers of holy spirit--tasted the good word of God, and powers of the coming age? Did they reach those conditions? I think not.
Answer.--All will agree that no matter how positive a word may be used respecting the bringing of mankind to knowledge before judgment, general knowledge is not meant. To assume that general knowledge of the sciences, or even of the science of religion is necessary to a trial for eternal life, would be to assume that God had not given to father Adam a full, proper or just trial for eternal life;--and from such a proposition we would all dissent, for we know that he was justly tried and justly condemned. His knowledge will help us to understand what degree or kind of knowledge his children must have, before they can come under the responsibility of the second trial secured by the ransom for all. Father Adam's knowledge consisted in a discernment of the right and the wrong of the question before him--and no more knowledge than this was necessary. It was immaterial whether he thought of God as Trinity or Unity; whether he believed in heaven and hell, etc., or not; whether he knew about the sun, moon and stars, and the laws governing their motions, or not. He knew what was necessary for him to know; namely, (1) that God had a right to command his obedience, and (2) that God had commanded him not to eat of that fruit, and had attached thereto some penalty. It did not matter whether he knew exactly all that the penalty implied or not. He knew that to eat would be transgression--sin.
So, we take it, is the responsibility of all mankind, as soon as they come mentally in contact with "the light of the world." We cannot conceive how Judas could be ignorant of the wrong which he committed, after his three years of experience with the Master, and in the use of the power of the holy spirit communicated to him. It seems to us unnecessary that he should know either about the planetary movements, or about all the particulars of the divine plan: he knew of the holy and pure character of our Redeemer; and of his self-sacrificing service of Jehovah and the people; and it seems to us he must have known beyond question that his conduct was treason to God and to righteousness; and to every principle of goodness reprobate. We reason that if Adam's knowledge and transgression were justly punished with death, Judas' knowledge and sin could bring nothing short of the Second Death. However, we leave the matter; any who see it differently are entitled to hold their opinions.
Respecting the scribes and Pharisees: Their conduct seems indeed flagrant; we would find it impossible to imagine that they felt within themselves that they were doing the right thing in crucifying the spotless Lamb of God. Nevertheless, our Lord did not say of them that it had been better for them not to have been born; he merely said, "How can ye escape the condemnation of Gehenna?"--the Second Death. This leaves us abundant room to suppose that they may yet have opportunity to escape that condemnation; but it also suggests to us the probability that some of them will not escape the Second Death--that some of them had so perverted and seared their consciences with pride and wilfulness and love of evil that even the blessings of the Millennial Age would fail to dissolve the callousness of their hearts.
BIBLES, TESTAMENTS, STUDENTS' HELPS, Etc.
SUPPLIES AT WHOLESALE COST PRICES.
Our Society does not supply Bibles free, but it justifies the Bible feature of its name by supplying Bibles, Testaments and Bible Study Helps at wholesale rates. Additionally we give our readers the benefit of our experience and judgment respecting which Bibles are the best value at the wholesale rate. When ordering large-size Bibles always name your express office and company, as well as post office. Letters containing money or stamps accompanying order should always be registered.
BAGSTER TEACHERS' BIBLES.
CONTAINING ALL THE IMPROVEMENTS--LARGE TYPE (LONG PRIMER). --SIZE, 5-5/8 X 8-5/8 INCHES.
No. 8701 French Seal, Divinity Circuit, Red under Gold..........$1.15
No. 8709 Egyptian Seal, Divinity Circuit, Red under Gold,
Leather Lined........................................ 1.65
No. 8721 Norse Morocco, Silk Sewed, ditto....................... 2.75
Postage, 25c each extra; Thumb Index, if desired .25
THE CHEAPEST TEACHERS' BIBLE IN THE WORLD.
MINION TYPE EDITION.
No. 8301 French Seal, Divinity Circuit, Red under Gold.......... .75
Postage, 25c each extra; Thumb Index, if desired, .25
HOLMAN TEACHERS' BIBLES.
COMBINES ALL THE "HELPS" FEATURES, ALSO EIGHTY SPLENDID FULL-PAGE PHOTO-VIEWS OF BIBLE LANDS. BOURGEOIS TYPE--5-1/4 x 7-3/4 INCHES.
No. 4810 French Seal, Red under Gold............................$1.35
No. 8816 ditto, ditto, Linen Lined.............................. 1.85
No. 8838 Alaska Seal, Calfskin Lined to Edge, Silk Sewed,
Red under Gold Edges, Divinity Circuit............... 2.45
Postage, 25c each extra; Thumb Index, if desired .25
COMBINATION TEACHERS' BIBLES.
No. N.A. French Seal, Divinity Circuit..........................$1.10
No. N.B. do do Linen Lined............. 1.25
No. N.C. do do Leather Lined........... 1.55
All Red under Gold Edges.
Postage, 25c each extra; Thumb Index, if desired .25
VARIORUM TEACHERS' BIBLES.
We can supply any of these at publishers' list prices less 25 per cent. discount.
OXFORD INDIA-PAPER BIBLES.
The merits of these wonderful productions of the bookmaker's skilful art are so well known as to render detailed comment unnecessary. By special arrangement we can save our friends one-third of the list price on these Bibles, and have selected the styles which in our opinion, are most desirable. All but No. 01157x contain References, and are Silk Sewed. No. 03554 is Self-Pronouncing. All are bound with Divinity Circuit, are Leather Lined, have Red under Gold Edges and Round Corners. The type increases in size as follows: Pearl, Ruby, Emerald, Minion, Bourgeois and Long Primer. Nos. 03464x and 03581x contain Concordance and Maps, and Nos. 0863x and 0865-1/2x contain full Teachers' Helps. Thumb Index on any of these, 25c extra.
No. 03009x Pearl Type, Persian Levant, postpaid.................$2.25
No. 01157x Ruby Type, French Morocco, postpaid.................. 1.45
No. 03114x do Persian Levant, Postpaid.................. 2.50
No. 03229x do do postpaid.................. 2.65
No. 03265x Emerald Type, Levant Morocco, postpaid............... 3.25
No. 03464x Minion Type, Persian Levant, postpaid................ 3.80
No. 03554x Bourgeois Type, Alaska Seal, postpaid................ 4.20
No. 03581x Long Primer Type, Persian Levant, postpaid........... 4.67
No. 0863x do do Alaska Seal, postpaid.............. 5.21
No. 0865-1/2 do do Levant, postpaid................... 6.55
THE LINEAR TEACHERS' BIBLE.
Hitherto this Bible has been sold by "Subscription Agents" only. Its special feature, differentiating it from other "Teachers' Bibles," is that it shows the readings of the Common and Revised Versions side by side in the same line.
(Those requesting it will be supplied a publishers' price list, showing the special feature.)
No. 350 French Seal, Divinity Circuit, Red under Gold,
Edges, list price $6, our price.......................$2.10
No. 355 French Morocco, Divinity Circuit, Red Leather
Lined, list price $8, our price....................... 3.15
No. 360 Levant Morocco, Divinity Circuit, Red Kid Lined,
list price $10, our price............................. 4.20
Thumb Index, if desired, 25c extra; Postage......... .25
Other Desirable Bibles, New Testaments, Etc.
The Students' Hand Bible.
No. 04403 Minion type, French Seal, Divinity Circuit,
Selected Helps, including Concordance.................$ .75
Post extra....................................... .20
Oxford Self-pronouncing Teachers' Bible.
No. 0823 Bourgeois type, French Seal, Divinity Circuit
Round corners, Red under Gold Edge.................... 1.25
This is a wonderful book for the price, and its
self-pronouncing feature is on a new plan
preferred by some.
Lap Bibles for the Aged.--No References.
These contain Family Registers.
No. 01600 Small Pica Type, Cloth, Red Edges.....................$1.00
Post extra....................................... .25
No. 01603 Small Pica Type, French Seal, Limp.................... 1.35
Post extra....................................... .25
No. 01605 Small Pica Type, French Seal, Divinity Circuit........ 1.95
Post extra,...................................... .25
Ditto New Testaments for Aged.
No. 212 Small Pica Type, Roan Square Corners.................... .35
Post extra....................................... .12
No. 283 Same as No. 212 with Psalms added....................... .45
Post extra,...................................... .15
Pocket Bible with References.
No. 03008 Pearl Type, Fr. Seal, Divinity Circuit................ .60
Post extra,....................................... .07
Pocket Bibles Without References.
No. 01103 Diamond Type, India Paper, Divinity Circuit,
Red under Gold Edges...........................$1.00 .03
No. 178 Pearl Type, Cloth, Red Edges..................... .18 .07
No. 010 Pearl Type, French Seal, Red under Gold.......... .55 .05
No. 013 Pearl Type, French Seal, Divinity Circuit,
Red under Gold Edges........................... .55 .05
No. 038 Pearl Type, Padded, Red under Gold............... .55 .05
No. 035 Pearl Type, Padded and Clasp, Red under
Gold Edges..................................... .60 .05
No. 01150 Ruby Type, French Seal, Red under Gold......... .45 .07
No. 01153 Ruby Type, French Seal, Divinity Circuit,
Red under Gold Edges........................... .60 .07
No. 01327 Minion Type, French Seal, Divinity Circuit
Red under Gold Edges........................... .75 .12
No. 01329 Minion Type, French Seal, Divinity Circuit,
Leather lined.................................. 1.10 .12
No. 215 Nonpareil Type, French Morocco, Divinity Circuit,
Red under Gold Edges........................... .80 .12
No. 602 Thin Vest Pocket Bible, Persian Morocco,
Limp, Round Corners, Red under Gold
No. 2002 Ditto--Divinity Circuit, Leather Lined,
Silk Sewed, References......................... 1.85
CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE.
OTHER DESIRABLE BIBLES, TESTAMENTS, ETC.
Child's Bibles, Profusely Illustrated.
No. 252 Ruby Type, Fr. Seal, Limp...............$ .80 post extra, .10
No. 145 Ruby Type, Fr. Divinity Circ............ 1.00 post extra, .10
Pocket New Testaments.
No. 801 Ruby Type, Limp Cloth.................... .05 post extra, .02
No. 030 Ruby Type, French Seal................... .17 post extra, .02
No. 033 Ruby Type, Fr. Seal, Div. Circuit........ .25 post extra, .02
No. 0130 Same as No. 030 with Psalms added....... .25 post extra, .03
No. 0133 Same as No. 033 with Psalms added....... .35 post extra, .03
No. 287 Brevier Type, Roan, Gilt Edge,
Psalms................................. .35 post extra, .05
No. 010 Diamond Type (very small), Limp
Morocco, Red under Gold Edges.......... .35 post extra, .01
No. 014 Diamond Type (very small), Fr'ch
Morocco, Divinity Circuit,
Leather Lined, etc..................... .80 post extra, .01
Self-pronouncing Family Bibles.
At one-half list prices. Publishers' catalogue sent on application.
"Bible Talks in Simple Language."
This is the best book of its kind we have ever seen. It presents the Bible stories in simple, but not childish language, and seems remarkably free from the bad theology so common in this class of books. All Christian parents should have a Sunday Bible lesson with their children, and this book furnishes interesting topics, to which may be added as much concordant "present truth" as the age of the children will justify. Parents are responsible for their children's training in theology as well as morals. This will assist you in the discharge of this duty, and thus be a blessing to yourself as well as to your children.
624 pages, 250 illustrations; cloth sides, leather back and corners, gilt edges. A subscription book at $3. Our special price 75 cents, plus 25 cents postage.
Two texts and a verse for every day in the year. Have one on your breakfast table with the natural food. Appoint one of the family reader, and call for questions and comments. Feed the soul as well as the body. Small, neat, cloth bound, gilt edges. 15 cents, 2 for 25 cents, including postage.
Concordances and Other Bible Study Helps.
First in this list we mention the several volumes of
MILLENNIAL DAWN SERIES
--referring inquirers to the second page of each issue of this journal for prices, etc. We commend also, as aids, the following publications by other presses, which we supply at specially low prices because of the assistance they will lend to the study of God's Word. We mention these somewhat in the order in which they seem to us to be desirable aids,--putting the concordances last, though they are not by any means least important.
THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT.
This very valuable work, published under the author's copyright by Fowler & Wells Co., New York City, until now (A.D. 1902), has been sold by them at $4 in cloth and $5 in half leather binding. For several years a friend, an earnest Bible student, desirous of assisting the readers of our Society's publications, has supplied them through us at a greatly reduced price; now he has purchased the copyuright and plates from the Fowler & Wells Co., and presented the same to our Society as a gift, under our assurance that the gift will be used for the furthering of the Truth to the extent of our ability, by such a reduction of price as will permit the poor of the Lord's flock to have this help in the study of the Word.
REDUCED PRICES.--These will be sold with ZION'S WATCH TOWER only. In cloth binding $1.50 (6s. 3d.)--includes postage and one year's subscription, new or renewal, to Z.W.T. On thin paper, in full morocco leather, divinity circuit, red under gold edges, silk sewed leather lined, $2.50 (10s. 6d.)-- includes postage and one year's subscription to Z.W.T. The morocco bound edition will not be ready for some time, but orders may be sent in now, for later delivery.
THE TISCHENDORF NEW TESTAMENT.
This is the ordinary Common Version in cloth binding. As footnotes it gives the reading of the three oldest Greek MSS., Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrine, wherever these differ from the Common Version. This is a very valuable little work, published in Europe, which we specially import for the benefit of our readers. Price 40c, including postage.
THE NEW ROTHERHAM TRANSLATION OF THE NEW
Mr. Rotherham's previous translation was good, but so far as we are able to judge, from a hasty examination, this one is better. Our price, in cloth binding, postage included, is $1.50. THE SYRIAC-PESHITO NEW TESTAMENT--MURDOCH'S.
This, too, is a valuable work, and an aid in critical study. It is translated from the Syriac instead of from the Greek. It is claimed by some that it was the language in which our Lord and the apostles spoke and wrote, and that the Greek was translated from this. Our price, in half leather binding, postage included, $1.50.
LEESER'S TRANSLATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
This is the standard translation amongst English reading Hebrews, by one of their own rabbis. It is not perfect, but is a valuable aid in critical study of the Old Testament. Our special price, in leather binding, including postage, is $1.10.
REVISED VERSION TESTAMENTS.
In cloth binding, pocket size, postage included.............. .20
REVISED VERSION BIBLES.
No. 040 Pearl Type, Cloth binding..............45, postage extra, .10 No. 060 Minion Type, do ..............75, postage extra, .20
AMERICAN COMMITTEE'S REVISED (OXFORD) BIBLE.
No. 03570 Bourgeois, Cloth, References............$1.00, postage, .25 No. 03752 Ditto, in Morocco, Div. Circuit......... 1.90, postage, .25
AMERICAN STANDARD REVISED BIBLE.
No. 260 Long Primer, Cloth, References............ 1.35, postage, .30 No. 275 Long Primer, Fr. Seal, References......... 2.50, postage, .30 No. 160 Bourgeois, Cloth, References.............. .90, postage, .20 No. 172 Bourgeois, Fr. Seal, References........... 1.75, postage, .20
PROF. YOUNG'S TRANSLATION OF THE OLD AND NEW
Many regard this as a valuable aid; but we do not specially recommend it as such, as some of its peculiarities are liable to mislead those who have no conception of the Hebrew idiom. In cloth binding, including postage, $4. This is the regular retail price, and the publishers do not permit us to make any reduction. We are at liberty, however, to prepay the postage free and to give as a premium two volumes of the DAWN series in cloth binding.
THE ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES.
In English, Hebrew and Greek, by Prof. Young (Presbyterian). A valuable work for all critical students. Price, in cloth binding, $5, including postage. We are not permitted by the publishers to cut this price; but may and do give postage free and give besides a premium of any three volumes of the MILLENNIAL DAWN series in cloth binding with each Concordance.
THE EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES.
In English Hebrew and Greek, by Prof. Strong (Methodist). This is also an able work, and useful in critical study, but scarcely so good for the average student, we think, as Prof. Young's work. Price, in cloth binding, $6; half leather, $8; full leather, $10. We will pay mail or express charges on these, and in addition give as a premium any three volumes of the DAWN series in cloth binding, with each Concordance.
CRUDEN'S CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES.
A valuable work, but scarcely necessary to those who have either one of the above mentioned. English only. Cloth binding, $1, postage included.
SMITH'S BIBLE DICTIONARY.
This is one of the most desirable editions of Prof. Smith's work. It is a large volume of 1020 pages. In cloth binding, $1.30, including postage.
--WHEN ORDERING ALWAYS NAME YOUR EXPRESS OFFICE AND COMPANY AS WELL AS POST OFFICE.--
ADDRESS ORDERS WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, BIBLE HOUSE, ALLEGHENY, PA.
For Prices in Great Britain, Address us at
131 GREEN ST., FOREST GATE, LONDON.
YOUR "GOOD HOPES" 1903.
[The plan here proposed we designate "GOOD HOPES," because nothing is actually promised--only your generous hopes expressed, based upon your future prospects as they now appear to you. The plan proved not only so beneficial to the cause of truth, but also so blessed to the hopers, for some years past, that we again commend it to all as Scriptural and good. Those who desire to make use of this plan can fill out both of these memoranda. One should be kept for the refreshment of your memory; the other mail to us.]
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY."
Dear Friends:--I have read with interest of the openings for the Dawn and Tract work in foreign lands and here at home. I need not tell you that I am deeply interested in the spread of the Glad Tidings of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of redeeming love expressed for us in God's great Plan of the Ages.
I am anxious to use myself--every power, every talent, voice, time, money, influence, all--to give to others this knowledge, which has so greatly blessed, cheered and comforted my own heart and placed my feet firmly upon the Rock of Ages.
I have been considering carefully, and praying to be instructed, how to use my various talents more to my Redeemer's glory and for the service of his people--those blinded by human tradition who are, nevertheless, hungering for "the good Word of God," and those also who are naked, not having on the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness, the unjustified, who stand at best in the filthy rags of their own righteousness. I have decided that so far as my "money talent" goes, I will follow the rule so clearly laid down for us by the great Apostle Paul (`1 Cor. 16:2`), and will lay aside on the first day of each week, according to my thankful appreciation of the Lord's blessings during the preceding week. Out of this fund I wish to contribute to the several parts of the Lord's work specified on the back of this letter. Of course, I cannot in advance judge or state particularly what the Lord's bounty may enable me to set apart weekly, and hence you will understand the sum indicated to be merely my conjecture or hope, based upon present prospects. I will endeavor to contribute more than I here specify; and should I not succeed in doing as well, the Lord will know my heart, and you, also, will know of my endeavors.
My only object in specifying in advance what I hope to be able to do in this cause is to enable those in charge of the work of publishing and circulating the Tracts, etc., to form estimates, lay plans, make contracts, etc., with some idea of what I will at least try to do in the exercise of this my highly appreciated privilege.
My present judgment is that during the coming year, by self-denial and cross-bearing, I shall be able to lay aside on the first day of each week for Home and Foreign Mission Work (to assist in circulating Millennial Dawn in foreign languages, and in publishing the "Old Theology Tracts" in various languages, and in supplying these gratuitously to brethren who have the heart and opportunity to circulate them widely, and in meeting the expenses of brethren sent out as "Pilgrims" to preach the divine plan of salvation, and in general to be expended as the officers of the Society may deem best), the amount of...............per week.
To comply with United States Postal Laws, all or any portion of my donation may be applied as subscription price for Watch Tower or O.T. Tracts sent to the Lord's poor or others, as the Society's officers may deem advisable.
That the work be not hindered, I will endeavor to send you what I shall have laid aside for this cause at the close of each quarter. I will secure a Bank Draft, Express Order or Postal Money Order as I may find most convenient, and will address the letter to
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"Bible House," Allegheny, Pa.
WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTIONS
--ON GOOD HOPES ACCOUNT.--
The friends who contribute to the "Good Hopes" (described on the reverse of this sheet) at times desire to send the Watch Tower to friends who are not yet interested enough to subscribe for themselves; or to deeply interested friends who are too poor to subscribe and backward about accepting our Lord's Poor offer. They are invited to give us such addresses below--the expense to be deducted from their donations. Give full addresses, and write very plainly please, mentioning the length of the subscriptions.
CHRISTIAN HOME EMBELLISHMENTS.
For several years we have been supplying our readers with handsome text and motto cards for the walls of their homes. Their influence is excellent; for they continually and cheerfully catch the eye and remind the heart of our great favors present and to come, based upon the exceeding great and precious promises of our Father's Word. We commend these as helps in the "narrow way,"--helps in character-building.
We aim to have a good supply of these very choice cards constantly on hand, and for particular description of some (not all) of the styles would refer you to our illustrated list, which will be sent on request. We still recommend the dollar packages as the most satisfactory way, all things considered, of acquiring these texts. They are sent carriage paid for $1.16, by prepaid express whenever feasible.
OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS.
These are published quarterly, copies being sent to all subscribers. Other copies, for distribution among friends, from house to house, for enclosure in letters, and in general for use in such ways as seem judicious, are supplied freely, the expense entailed by the great demand for them being borne by the Tract Fund of voluntary contributions. Write for the tracts as you feel able to use them, even if not so well able to contribute toward the expense; some who are not able, and do contribute, do not have opportunities personally to use all that their contributions pay for, so that the matter is equalized, and all may have a part in this service of disseminating the truth.
A PRIVILEGE AND A SERVICE.
We are convinced that the Watch Tower lists do not contain the names of one-half of those deeply interested in its teachings. The total is small enough surely, and we are not content that the name of any should be missing. We believe that all such will be stimulated and encouraged on the "narrow way" by its semi-monthly appearance on their table, reminding them afresh of spiritual matters which the world, the flesh and the devil continually tend to crowd out of mind and heart.
Hitherto we have required that all desiring the Watch Tower on credit, or free, as "the Lord's Poor," should make personal application; but now we request every subscriber to inquire among those whom he knows to be interested in present truth, and to obtain the consent of all such to send in their subscriptions either on credit or free, as their circumstances may necessitate. Any getting it on credit may at any future time request that the debt be cancelled, and we will cheerfully comply. We desire that as nearly as possible the Watch Tower lists shall represent all those deeply interested in its message.
Our object is not the gain of "filthy lucre," but "the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry"--present and to come. (`Eph. 4:12`.) We offer no premiums, desiring the co-operation of such only as appreciate the privilege of being co-workers with us in this ministry. Our list is now about 17,000; but it should be at least 25,000, and we confidently expect the above program to bring it to that figure. Let as many as appreciate it as a privilege, join at once in this service.
WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTION RENEWALS.
Most of our subscriptions end with the year, so we take this opportunity to remark that we will be glad to hear promptly from such as desire the visits of the Watch Tower continued. This applies to all who get it on the Lord's Poor list as well as to those who pay. When names are dropped and afterward renewed it makes us unnecessary trouble.