ZWT - 1911 - R4733 thru R4942 / R4771 (065) - March 1, 1911
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VOL. XXXII MARCH 1 No. 5
A.D. 1911--A.M. 6039
Views From The Watch Tower........................ 67
Money to Be Dictator.......................... 67
Pope Pius X. Congratulated.................... 68
Federation in Fact............................ 68
The Immortality of the Soul....................... 69
Mr. Edison and the Bible...................... 70
Cardinal Gibbons' Words Agree to This......... 71
The Kingdom of God in Sad Condition............... 72
All a Great Mistake........................... 73
Murders Her Grandchildren......................... 73
1911--Memorial Supper--1911....................... 74
Too Much Money.................................... 75
Priests Poor Business Men..................... 75
The Duty of the Hour.......................... 76
Some Calculations on the Jubilee Cycles........... 76
The Wise Choice................................... 78
One Sacrifice Sufficient.......................... 78
Interesting Questions............................. 79
Berean Questions in "Scripture Studies"........... 79
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.
Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: 24 Eversholt St., London, N.W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne.
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE. SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED. FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.
Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows:--All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the STUDIES, etc.
ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, AND DANISH EDITIONS. SAMPLE COPIES FREE.
ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS
AT WHICH BROTHER C. T. RUSSELL WILL BE PRINCIPAL SPEAKER
FRIENDS FROM NEARBY PLACES ARE CORDIALLY INVITED.
The interests of the Far West this year will be served by the Convention trip already announced in these columns. Particulars of this will be repeated before the time. It is not possible to add any other points to the itinerary.
Favorable dates for three-day Conventions will probably be fixed for Toronto, Canada, and some point in Nova Scotia --announcements later.
Mountain Lake Park, Md., has been selected as the place for the principal Convention for the year. Its location in the top of the mountains is splendid. The dates there will be September 1 to 11--not the best, but the best that we can secure, as the association holding the Park property keeps the months of July and August for its own use.
At this season we will not expect as large an attendance as we had last year at Celoron-Chautauqua at the height of the season. Additionally the widely scattered tour and the Toronto point will reduce the attendance. We hope later to announce very desirable excursion rates with full particulars. We announce the date thus early for the convenience of the friends who must arrange for leave of absence to attend.
IMMERSION SERVICE IN BROOKLYN.
Sunday afternoon, April 9th, opportunity will be given those desiring to symbolize their Baptism into Christ's Death by water immersion. Robes, etc., will be provided.
BROOKLYN BETHEL HYMNS FOR APRIL
After the close of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for April follow: (1) 60; (2) 155; (3) 67; (4) 105; (5) 6; (6) 160; (7) 170; (8) 110; (9) 41; (10) 281; (11) 325; (12) 112; (13) 25; (14) 176; (15) 130; (16) 145; (17) 293; (18) 113; (19) 115; (20) Vow; (21) 46; (22) 4; (23) 259; (24) 145; (25) 264; (26) 88; (27) 233; (28) 47; (29) 179; (30) 230.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
MONEY TO BE DICTATOR
THE trust system seems to be laying hold of everything--railroads, steamships, steel production, smelting, bridge works, oil refining and selling, meat, produce, groceries. Above all it has made a money combination or banking system, the most gigantic the world has ever known. Billions of dollars of the people are in the banks, and the banks are controlled by wealthy syndicates. This money trust has a power of control which is marvelous. As in Great Britain the titled aristocracy hold the land and collect immense revenues and bring great pressure to bear socially and financially, so now it is in this country, with evidently more to follow.
AN ILLUSTRATION OF THIS POWER
As an illustration of this power we note the facts recently set forth in the New York Press respecting the Magazine Trust. This Trust has recently bought up several magazines and put them under one management. And directly and indirectly it is able to dictate the policies of nearly all the others. The Editor of Hampton's Magazine sets forth that, having refused to enter the
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combine, his magazine is suffering boycott. Thus the capitalist syndicate, which is said to be headed by J. P. Morgan, the banker and trustifier, says: "Hampton's Magazine is warned to cease 'muck-raking,' to cease attacks upon Wall Street methods, to cease attacks upon the trusts in general." Mr. Hampton says:--
"Constantly increasing pressure has been brought to bear on us to change our policy since Wall Street started its attempt to corner the magazine market and organize the biggest of all trusts. First this took the form of withdrawal of advertising. That failing to be effective we have been threatened in various ways. A few months ago we were notified that if we printed an article relative to a certain great corporation, the president of that corporation would make trouble for us with our stockholders. We printed the article. Within a month various magazines and newspapers and 'news bureaus' began to attack the stock of Hampton's Magazine.
MONEY WIELDS CLUB
"About this time we were advised that 'no bank with Wall Street connections' would have anything to do with this corporation as long as it remained under its present management. Also stockholders advised us that they had been approached, apparently by agents of Wall Street brokerage houses, who endeavored to secure their proxies to vote at the meeting.
"The American people are in the grasp of the 'money trust.' In the past the banker's only question has been the character of the business man, his experience and skill, the nature of his business, its conditions and the probable chances of success. Conditions have changed. 'Thou shalt not run counter to Wall Street' is not the eleventh commandment--it is the first in the American business world. The money of the United States is cornered in Wall Street, just as wheat is cornered by a small group of men. No banking institution of whatever size dares to hazard a conflict with this influence.
"As an illustration of what can be done, the current issue of Hampton's Magazine is being held up on the news stands. The Union News Company, because the magazine contains an article that offended Standard Oil, has ordered its agents not to sell it. The magazine lies on the stands, but the agents have their orders not to dispose of it, and when February 20 comes the copies will be returned unsold."
This matter of coercion along financial lines is one of the most powerful methods of warfare ever known. Yet it keeps within the law. The effect will be to keep the surface of things quite smooth, whatever may be the turbulence beneath. The cry of "Peace, peace," where there is much discontent, will apparently be borne out by the facts, so far as the great newspapers and magazines represent them. The excuse will be that the public will get as much information as is good for them. What will happen to personal liberty under such conditions no one can foretell. God's people are to be peacemakers, to "seek peace and pursue it." Nevertheless the Scriptures forewarn us that all of these attempts to control the pressure and growing discontent of our time will prove unavailing, so, ultimately, there will be a great explosion, which will reach to the uttermost corner of the earth-- the time when newspapers and banks, politicians and everybody will be lost, and when every man's hand will be against his neighbor. We see it coming.
While we see the storm coming, let us remember the words of the Prophet, "We will not fear though the earth (society) be removed, and though the mountains (kingdoms) be carried into the midst of the sea (anarchy)." --`Psa. 46:2`.
"BE AT PEACE AMONGST YOURSELVES"
[`1 THESS. 5:13`.]
Because general discontent prevails in this our day, and because God's children, although not of the world, are in it, are influenced by it, therefore it becomes daily more necessary that each child of God shall be on the
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alert to keep his body under, to keep his tongue from murmuring, to keep his heart from discontent, to be filled with thankfulness and gratitude to God in appreciation of all his benefits towards us.
Additionally the characters being called and drawn of the Lord during this Gospel Age must all be firm of texture --strong characters. God seeketh such to be of his Son's Bride and joint-heirs. Their firmness, positiveness, is in contrast with the supineness and indifference of others. Their weaknesses through heredity are as great as those of others. Hence when a number of these are brought together, as in a class for Bible study, there is a great need of patient forbearance one with the other. If differences and clashes come, the damage one to another is sure to be greater than with people of less character, of less positive convictions, of less determination. Consequently these find the Apostle's words true, "Ye have need of patience."
With the Truth, therefore, to this class God proposes there shall also go the spirit of the Truth, the spirit of holiness, meekness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love; otherwise serious friction and damage would result.
If in any class of Bible Students, STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES be neglected, weakness, worldliness, love of pleasures, lack of zeal in the Lord's service, etc., are sure to manifest themselves. And if STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES are prosecuted but not applied to the heart and life the fruits of the Spirit will be deficient--meekness, gentleness, etc. Every item of knowledge should be used as the foundation for soil in which further graces of the Spirit will be developed for the enrichment of the character of the New Creature.
We have had occasion at times to call the attention of the classes to the fact that those chosen to be their servants, ministers, elders, are not to be recognized as their "lords," and are not to be upheld in any attempts to "lord it over God's heritage." (`1 Pet. 5:3`.) Now, on the other hand, we wish to call special attention to the fact that a hypercritical spirit might be engendered by the class, which might lead some of the members to take a wrong attitude. It would evidently be just as contrary to the Lord's Spirit if the class were to "lord" it over the elders. They are to be loved, to be upheld, to be appreciated; and if they have some imperfections, like other men, they are no less worthy of sympathy and forgiveness and exoneration.
In proportion as the Elders or ministers are faithful, humble, diligent, in the service of the flock, they should have the hearty co-operation of every member of the class. "Honor to whom honor is due; praise to whom praise is due."
Some of God's people, like some of the people of the world, take a hypercritical view of some trifling things, such, for instance, as parliamentary usages in connection with meetings. We are to remember that the Bible lays down no particular parliamentary usages, but gives to God's people the one broad, general law to govern each one of them in all the affairs of the Church. This Law the Master mentioned in few words, saying, "A New Commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you."--`John 13:34`.
Let this law of love measure all of our relationships as God's people; whether we be of those chosen to be Elders or not chosen, the law of love should be used to measure our every act, our every word--yea, our very thoughts. If we can all, dear brethren, have this rule continually in mind, it will save a great deal of friction, heart-burnings and heart-achings. It will make us more like our blessed Master, better representatives of him before each other and before the world. It will incline us to be as methodical and careful as possible ourselves in all that we do and then lovingly not to expect quite as much of others until after they shall have learned the beauty of the right way by observing our course. Let us be content whatever the method adopted by the majority, if it expresses the will of the majority, however the conclusion may be reached. If we think the majority less wise than we, let us learn patience and wait, as the Lord does, until they learn the error of their course and amend it. In a word, let us each more and more seek to be peacemakers: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."--`Matt. 5:9`.
POPE PIUS X. CONGRATULATED
The present Pope is taking steps for the elimination of all Higher Critics and other unbelievers in the Bible from the Catholic priesthood. All the clergy and all the clerical students are required to swear their allegiance to the sacred traditions and to oppose what is styled "modernism," higher critical infidelity. The oath includes not merely the teachings of the Bible, but also the teachings of the Church.
If loyalty to the Bible alone had been enjoined we could have wished that all the different Protestant denominations might have followed suit. That would have meant the cutting off of more than half of the ministers, trustees, etc., who freely confess that they have lost all faith in the Bible and are Bible teachers in name only-- Bible opposers, in fact.
FEDERATION IN FACT
"Few people realize that most of the important Protestant denominations in America are united in a federation that is as real as the federation of States. Even the members of those denominations themselves who are
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aware of that fact are, for the most part, probably unaware of its significance. Nothing has so seriously hampered the Church as a moral force, as its sectarian divisions. If the Protestant branch of the Church is undertaking to remove from the field of moral power the hurtful influence of these sectarian differences, its power in shaping the lives of men will be incredibly enhanced. That is just what the Protestant churches of America are doing.
"As our readers know, there assembled in Philadelphia two years ago last December, for the first time, the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America. These churches found their common interest, not in a creed--though they agreed in the assertion of their attitude toward Christ--nor in a common ritual or form of government, but in a common work. On the 24th and 25th of last month, in the city of Washington, the Executive Committee of that Council held their second annual meeting. It is noteworthy that all their discussions pertained to common activities of service. Whatever discussion there was concerning beliefs was the by-product of the consideration of a practical measure, and it was of no effect upon the final action. In all such organizations the crucial question is the financial one. People are ready to gather together for talk; but when they make appropriations, one may be sure that they are to be reckoned with. The denominations constituting the Federal Council are assessed, and most of them have paid their assessments already. Moreover, out of these assessments the Executive Committee have appropriated funds for defraying the cost of the common work.
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"Under authority of this Executive Committee there has been a careful investigation conducted in co-operation with the chief Home Missionary Societies; and the resulting recommendations have been adopted by nearly five-sixths of the home missionaries west of the Mississippi river. Under the authority of the Committee a branch of the Council, the Commission on the Church and Social Service, has made an important report on the relation of the Church to industrial conditions in a center of steel manufacture. The Executive Committee of the Council at its meeting appropriated $5,000 for the use of the Commission on the Church and Social Service.
"Compared with the great mass of people composing the constituency of this Council--about fifteen millions-- the sum appropriated seems minute. But the size of the sum is of much less significance than the fact that thirty denominations, including virtually all the larger ones, have formed a Federation that is exercising the power of the purse. By disregarding differences in creed, polity, and traditions, and by federating with the object of engaging in a common work that costs, these thirty denominations have, we believe, followed the course that will lead to real Church Union."--The Outlook.
OPPOSITION TO JEWS IN TURKEY
Turkey has long had the honor of being one of the few countries in which Jews enjoyed all the rights and privileges of preferred citizens. The Turkish Revolution was supposed to mark an era of special favor to the Jews residing in Turkey. It now seems that this is not the case. We quote from the Hebrew Standard:--
"Dr. Israel Auerbach states that the era of good feeling produced by the successful outcome of the revolutionary movement among the young Turks has vanished. Turkish officials were disposed to exhibit an anti-Semitic tendency toward the Jews in the last year. In place of efforts to make the Jews of Turkey an important element of the body politic, an attempt to repress them is noticeable. Unlimited immigration of Jews into the Ottoman empire is likely to prove a chimera; an immigration statute, providing for restrictions more or less severe, is in process of enactment."
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THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL
MR. EDISON has taken time from his scientific investigations, which have centered chiefly in electricity, to take a look into things metaphysical and spiritual. In a magazine article recently he discussed the immortality of the soul. He brought to his subject the reasoning and philosophical powers of a gifted brain accustomed to look more carefully than usual at the relationship and bearing of one principle upon another, one theory upon another, one fact upon another. Mr. Edison denies the immortality of the soul; he declares that he can see no facts in nature leading to any such conclusion. As a sample of his close reasoning on the subject we quote one of his statements, which he considers too self-evident to need proof. Indeed we doubt not that Mr. Edison's position would be that human immortality is not to be assumed, in view of the fact that we are a dying race. We presume that his position is that the proofs must be sought in the opposite quarter--that man must be assumed to be mortal and that any disputing this position must give the proofs of his immortality. We quote Mr. Edison:--
"A man's intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the innumerable cells which form him--just as the intelligence of a community is the aggregate intelligence of the men and women who inhabit it. If you cut your hand, it bleeds. Then you lose cells, and that is quite as if a city lost inhabitants through some tremendous accident."
PHILOSOPHERS OF THE PAST HANDICAPPED BY DREAD
OF THUMB-SCREWS, ETC.
It will not do for us to claim that Mr. Edison is not a philosopher because he disagrees with philosophers of the past. We must admit that his attainments in science have all been results of the exercise of a naturally philosophical mind, which now for years has been trained in philosophical study, and that for this reason he has his splendid rank as a scientific man. On the contrary, we must admit that many of the philosophers of the past in their reasoning on theological questions were handicapped by dread of thumb-screws, racks and other tortures of the "Dark Ages," as well as by certain ignorance and superstitions, which, thank God, are gradually passing from the minds of all intelligent people. Indeed, we must remember that nearly all the philosophies as respects cosmogony and chemistry have proven themselves fallacious, and the latest researches of science astound us by threatening a revolution of the philosophies respecting astronomy. Perhaps philosophy has made progress in every other direction than along religious lines. And in this particular we note that the great majority of the learned have entirely abandoned the philosophies of their fathers and are known as "Higher Critics," "Evolutionists," etc. Only in the Catholic Church are the theological philosophies of a century ago given the slightest weight amongst the learned, although these theories, embodied in Protestant creeds, still hold a powerful sway in the minds of many Protestants who still like to think that what their fathers believed was infallible on every subject.
Meeting Mr. Edison's statement, above quoted, with such candor as the gentleman's intellectual prowess seems to justify, we must admit that there is a great deal of force and logic in his deduction. Mr. Edison has Apostolic authority for considering man as made up of various members, each intimately related to the welfare and intelligence of the whole. St. Paul uses this argument in illustrating the true Church, "the Body of Christ." He likens one member to the hand; another to the foot; another to the eye, etc., and declares that each is necessary to the completeness and harmony of the whole and adds, So, also, is the Church.
We will not here follow the Apostle's argument to the Church to note particularly how Jesus is the Head of the Church, how every member is united to each other member and interested in each other member. We will take the same example of the human figure. It seems to justify the statement that a man's intelligence is represented in the intelligence of all his members. Human skill is related to human intelligence. Consequently the man who has lost his hands has less intelligence, less opportunity and less skill than previously. If he lose also his feet, his intelligence decreases proportionately. If he lose his sight, his hearing and his sense of smell, each loss diminishes his intelligence. A whole village of people devoid of sight, hearing, taste, the sense of smell and of touch, would be a very unintelligent community. This we understand to be Mr. Edison's argument, expressed in different terms. Mr. Edison's terms seem appropriate if we take a sufficiently broad view of his language. To illustrate: If one
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lose a few drops of blood, the loss may make no perceptible impression upon his intelligence. But if he lose a quart of blood, his intelligence will be considerably diminished; faintness, stupor, may be expected. This would seem to prove Mr. Edison's statement correct, and that the loss of a few drops of blood is really a loss, to some extent, of vital power, and hence a loss of intelligence, but in so small a degree as not to be appreciable to one in health.
PUZZLED OVER BELIEF THAT BLOW THAT WOULD KILL
WOULD ENABLE MAN TO KNOW EVERYTHING
In olden times we were told, and tried to believe it, that a dead man knew more than a living one. We were puzzled by the fact that a blow on the head might stun one to insensibility, in view of the fact that we were told that a heavier blow, that would kill the man, would enable him to know everything in an instant. The philosophy (?) of this was handed to us thus: The soul is the intelligent being, of which nobody knows very much. It is imprisoned in our mortal bodies and can operate in them only unsatisfactorily. The moment of death is the moment of release to the soul, which then can think and reason more soundly than when obliged to use the brain.
Many of us tried in childhood years to believe such unphilosophical philosophy. We asked for proofs and were told that it was the voice of the Church's philosophers, and if we would doubt it we would be damned to eternal misery. Believing this, and not willing to be doomed to eternal misery, many of us restrained ourselves and that portion of our brain became well-nigh atrophied.
Even the religious found it difficult to believe in so immaterial a soul and inquired, Why, then, a resurrection of the dead? Will the resurrection signify another real imprisonment of the soul and a decrease of intelligence, as this philosophy (?) would seem to imply? Some gave up the quest for knowledge in despair and sought for something more intelligent outside of all the creeds and philosophies of "science falsely so-called." Others of us have held to the Word of God and sought to see its philosophy, its teachings, and to harmonize them.
We are glad to belong to this growing class of Bible students who declare, Let God and his Word be true, though it disprove many of the theories we once believed and almost worshipped. (`Rom. 3:4`.) We want the Truth!
MR. EDISON AND THE BIBLE
We are not personally acquainted with Mr. Edison, nor with his religious views, but we believe that his philosophical mind is turning quite into line with the teachings of the Bible respecting man and his future. We do not say that he has attained the Bible viewpoint, but merely that he has taken a good step in that direction. Without discounting good features contained in our own creeds, we must admit that many of them are thoroughly illogical and unscriptural. For instance, the theory that a human soul is an invisible entity specially created by God and full of Divine intelligence and that this intelligent soul is introduced into the new-born child and is the real child--this is no longer reasonable nor logical to us.
We wonder that our forefathers of the darker period, in their wonderful philosophies, did not see the absurdity of such a position. If it were true, would it not make the Almighty Creator a co-laborer with fornicators and adulterers in the bringing into the world of illegitimate children? Still worse, does not this theory charge to the Almighty God of Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power the creation of idiots and mental imbeciles and moral degenerates? If the human parents merely bring human bodies into existence as receptacles for souls which God individually and specifically creates in each instance, then not the parents, but the Almighty is responsible for all the degeneracy we see in the world, for it is the soul that is responsible, as all must admit.
THE FIRST MAN, OF THE EARTH
The center of the mistake on this subject, handed to us from the philosophers of the "Dark Ages," is the assumption that the real man is the spirit being, the soul. St. Paul assures us to the contrary of this, saying, "The first man was of the earth, earthy." The Lord through the Prophet David declares the same truth, saying, "What is man that thou art mindful of him?...Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels." (`Psa. 8:4,5`.) The angels are the lowest in rank on the spirit plane, and man, although in God's image when perfect, was still lower than the angels, in that he was not a spirit being, but a human, an earthly being--"of the earth, earthy."
The Scriptural proposition is not that God made a body for man out of the dust of the earth and put a spirit man into that body, but that God made man of the dust of the earth, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (an animal life) and "man became a living soul"--an animal or earthly soul. In other words, the entire Adam became a living soul--a living being. That one man was subsequently made twain for the very purpose of propagating living souls in his own likeness. And thus for six thousand years the Divine command has been in process of fulfillment--"Multiply and fill the earth." God created but the one soul originally, divided it, and then, by natural processes, generation after generation of human souls have been born. Man is an earthly soul or earthly animal, as are all the earthly creatures, only that his is a higher nature--an earthly image of his Creator, who is a Spirit Being.
From this standpoint how clearly we can discern the mistakes of the philosophies of the past and the true philosophy revealed to us only in the Bible, although discerning, penetrating, philosophical minds like that of Mr. Edison may reach the same truth from the study of the great Book of Nature.
From this standpoint we see that the entire man is a living soul--that is to say, a sentient being. The formation of Adam was very important, just as today, under the same Divine regulations, the shape of the brain has to do with the character of the man--gentle or vicious, criminal or conscientious, benevolent or stingy, reverential or otherwise. As the Bible declares: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (`Prov. 23:7`.) And a man's thoughts shape themselves according to the structure of his brain. Thus phrenology is a widely-recognized science. Not only so, but physiology tells us that the various portions of the human body are so intimately related to the brain that the quality of the mind can be discerned in the general features, not only in the shape of the nose, the curl of the lip, the glance of the eye, but also in the grasp of the hand and its general shape, even to the particularity of a finger print.
All these outward signs indicate the character of the soul, being--all are identified with it. In a word, a soul is a person. The various districts of the brain representing the various sentiments and passions of the individual, are like so many members, each having its own personality. Amongst these various members of the human mind some are stronger, some weaker, and the stronger ones dominate. There are exceptions, of course, to this rule in what we sometimes term conversion. Conversion
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means the establishing of a new rule or order in the individual life. Note the method of its accomplishment:--
(1) Certain matters are brought to the attention of the person or soul which seem to indicate a wiser course than the one pursued in the past. The various districts of the brain, like so many members of a council, consider the proposition, weigh its pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, and then reach a decision. That decision we call will. Sometimes there is desperate struggle in the brain, the various members of the council of thought battling and struggling against each other. The will may be strong or may be weak, just as a party in Congress may be strong or weak while in power. But the will rules with more or less vacillation or strength, according to the number and power of the members supporting it. Thus we have found some possessed of strong characters; others who are weak, vacillating--"double-minded."
THE WILL REPRESENTS THE SOUL, THE PERSON,
Some of the qualities of the mind may be styled the "flesh"--this term represents the lower and more animal qualities of the person, the soul. To the contrary of these are the higher organs of the mind--reverence, spirituality, conscientiousness, sublimity, ideality, etc., and these are called the heart, because they include the affections and qualities of the mind to which God appeals, saying, "My son, give me thine heart."
Thus seen, we are daily making soul-character, influenced by our environment and the lessons and experiences which come to us through our senses. The character develops either upward or downward--toward God or toward sin. But there is no such thing as total depravity, except in idiocy, for, by Divine providence, some features of the original Divine likeness in which father Adam was created still persist in all of his children who have reason. The effort of all reformers is to appeal to the mind, either through fear or love or selfishness, to effect an organization of the mental qualities favoring the things of righteousness and opposed to sin. The permanent conversion which produces the saintly character is the appeal of love--"The love of Christ constraineth us." The love of the Father is potent in the hearts of all who receive it. It can effect changes in conduct, in language and in thought, which can be accomplished by nothing else.
A METHODIST BISHOP'S DEFINITION OF SOUL
A Methodist Bishop is credited with the following definition of a soul: "It is without interior or exterior, without body, shape or parts, and you could put a million of them into a nut-shell." Mr. Edison does not believe in such a soul. In repudiating such a view he places
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himself in accord with the Divine teachings.
The word immortality is rarely used in its strict, academic sense, as signifying deathlessness or that which is proof against death--inherency of life, requiring no sustenance. Immortality in this sense of the word is, of course, a quality which belongs to God alone. As the Scriptures declare of him, "He alone hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see." Immortality in this sense of the word, possessed by the Heavenly Father and his only begotten Son, the world's Redeemer, is promised as a special reward (not possessed by angels or any other creature) to the elect, saintly few, called, chosen and faithful during this Gospel Age. These are styled the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, and the promise to them is that they shall receive this great reward of glory, honor and immortality when the Redeemer shall appear in his glory in the end of this Age to grant to them a share in the First or Chief Resurrection from the dead. With this attainment of immortality they are promised also new bodies, no longer flesh, but spirit, no longer in the likeness of the first man--"As they bore the image of the earthly, they shall also bear the image of the heavenly." --`I Cor. 15:49`.
ARE ALL MEN IMMORTAL?
Mr. Edison is in full agreement with the Bible in his conclusion that human soul or personality is always identified with an organism or body. We must also agree with the Bible and with Mr. Edison that all souls die. The Bible declares, "The wages of sin is death," and again, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." The Bible explains that Adam, as a living soul, might have continued his existence perpetually had he not transgressed the Divine Law and that the transgression brought to him the penalty of death. Mr. Edison agrees with this conclusion without, perhaps, admitting original sin or anything else connected with the Scriptures.
Where, then, is human immortality? We answer that there is no human immortality, in the same sense that there is a Divine immortality--in the sense that God is death-proof. He alone has immortality in that sense. When we speak of immortality in respect to mankind, we use the word, not in an academic sense, but in a relative way. We mean that death does not end all for Adam and his children--that a future life is arranged for them in Divine providence--when, where and how the Bible clearly tells.
We wish that Mr. Edison and many thinkers who have no confidence in the Bible might see the beauties and harmonies of its presentations. The Bible declares that the eternal life lost by father Adam has been redeemed for him by the death of Jesus Christ, "the Just for the unjust." It tells us further that as all of Adam's race share by heredity in his death penalty, so they all shall be permitted to share in his recovery from the power of the tomb, from sin and death. Thus the Scriptures declare, As by a man comes death, by a man also comes the resurrection of the dead; for as all in Adam die, even so shall all in Christ be made alive, every man in his own order or company.--`I Cor. 15:21-23`.
The great Apostle Paul declares that there shall be a "resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust." The Hebrew Prophet declares, "Many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake." The awakening time will be the morning, as the present is the night-time of sin and darkness. The glorious morning nears, as the night of sorrow and tears passes. There will be a glorious dawn to that great day of a thousand years, whose light is already fore-gleamed in the wonderful inventions of our time, in which Mr. Edison has been used of the Almighty to assist. Shortly the Sun of Righteousness shall shine forth, scattering the darkness, ignorance, superstition, sin, death. Shortly the reign of the Divine righteousness and love, co-ordinated, will bring blessings to our race, now resting under the sentence or curse of death. Shortly all will have the opportunity of recovery from the fallen condition of weakness and degradation, being uplifted or resurrected gradually to the full perfection of human nature, earthly nature, in the image and likeness of the Creator, in the midst of a world-wide Paradise.
CARDINAL GIBBONS' WORDS AGREE TO THIS
Cardinal Gibbons gave an interview to a reporter of the Columbian Magazine in answer to Philosopher Edison. Noting with interest the Cardinal's defense of the
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doctrine of immortality, we have clipped and below produce the essence, the kernel, of his argument on the subject as based upon the Scriptures. We are pleased to see that, like ourself, the Cardinal finds the Scriptural proof of a future life, not in the philosophies of a darker past, but in the resurrection promise of the holy Scriptures, as follows:--
"Christ brings to humanity the certainty of eternal life. He proved it by his own resurrection; and if anyone thinks the evidence for Christ's resurrection is weak, I ask him to study and think deeply over the `fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians`. No sane scholar, remember, denies that we have the testimony of St. Paul himself; nor that St. Paul is honestly setting down the testimony of those who claim to have seen our Lord after death. If so many sane men, Apostles and disciples of Christ, are mistaken, if they cannot believe the testimony of their own eyes, if such a delusion can keep so firm a hold on so many different characters for so many years and become the basis of all their beliefs and the transforming power of their lives, then no human testimony is of any value; then let us close our courts of justice, for no case is proven by so many trustworthy witnesses. No!" the Cardinal said, in the tone of deepest conviction, "Christ is risen; and his resurrection is the plainest evidence of man's immortality."
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THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN SAD CONDITION
BISHOP HUGHES (Methodist), of California, recently spoke in Boston. He complimented the Catholic Church and berated his own denomination and, incidentally, called attention to the sad state of God's Kingdom. In its report of the address the Boston Transcript says: "Praise for the Roman Catholic Church and what it does for its children, was given by Bishop Edwin H. Hughes, of California, before a large congregation at the Bromfield Street Methodist Church last evening at the final session of the Sunday School Institute. Bishop Hughes said:--
"'You talk about the wonderful hold the Roman Catholic Church has upon its people. You ask, how does it do it? I will tell you how it does it. They instruct their children. It is borne in upon the consciousness of every child in every good Roman Catholic home, as soon as it comes to any sort of understanding, that the Church is the instrument of his salvation, and he is held right to that idea. They establish their catechetical classes, they run their parochial schools with a religious purpose, and they lay an enormous emphasis upon taking care of their children.
"'I say to you, if the Roman Catholic Church is willing to pay that price for holding its own, and the Methodist Episcopal Church is not willing to pay that price for holding its own--then I say the Roman Catholic Church deserves to be the coming Church.
"'The Protestant Church that does not see that its future is inevitably bound up with the religious instruction is just as certainly doomed to failure as I am standing here tonight. If the members of the Roman Catholic Church are more willing, under the instructions of their priests, to obey the laws of God with reference to the children of the Church than our people are, under our instruction, then I say that the Roman Catholic Church is entitled to the credit of the whole business. "'When God Almighty puts into the arms of any earthly parents a new life, then I say that God Almighty pays those parents the biggest compliment that he can possibly pay. That child is God's child ere he is our child, and he is to be held as a member of the Kingdom of God. We of the Methodist Church hold that all children, by virtue of the unconditional benefits of the atonement, are members of the Kingdom of God. If this is so, then the biggest task we have is to keep them members of that Kingdom. I believe the greatest church on earth is the Christian home; the finest sanctuary to be found anywhere is the Christian home.'"
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL EFFECT
The Bishop used the above words in connection with an address on Sunday School Work. His words endorse our presentations of the subject. In STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. VI., we call attention to the fact that Sunday Schools are an innovation little more than one century old. We point out that they are the expression of human wisdom merely--that neither to the Jews nor to Christians did God give directions respecting Sunday School organizations. The Divine arrangement is that each family should complete a unit and that the parents should be the instructors of the children in religious things. In disregarding this Divine arrangement two evils have ensued:--
(1) The parents have felt relieved of the responsibility of teaching their children and thus have lost a great blessing and source of personal instruction.
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(2) The children have been taught to look elsewhere for the highest information, and correspondingly to disrespect their parents as unqualified to be their instructors. As a result, disrespect and disobedience to parents have increased and parental interest in and control over their children have diminished.
We urge upon all parents everywhere within the range of our influence to weigh the responsibility resting upon them in respect to their children. Whoever brings into the world a child, should feel the responsibility toward it for food and raiment and reasonable comfort, and particularly for moral and religious instruction. Regardless of what others do or do not, all of the Lord's consecrated people should be faithful to this great trust. No service to the Lord could possibly be acceptable as a sacrifice if it meant the neglect of duty to one's children.
ATONEMENT AND THE KINGDOM
We are glad to note that Bishop Hughes recognizes the unconditional benefits of the Atonement in respect to all children. His reference to the Kingdom of God, however, clearly shows that his understanding respecting it is quite vague. There are at this moment at least eight hundred millions of children under ten years of age. If these all be members of the Kingdom of God, our Savior was quite in error when he declared: "Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." Eight hundred millions could hardly be called a little flock. And besides, Jesus said the Kingdom had not yet been given. On the contrary, did he not teach us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven"?
We ask the Bishop, and as many as this article shall reach, to consider the improbability of the Bishop's view of matters being true--the incorrectness of the Methodist view. If earthly parents have a responsibility for their children, how about the heavenly Creator or Parent, "In whom all live and move and have their being?" Has God no responsibility for all the children born into the world? Would he neglect his duty, if earthly parents
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did neglect theirs? Are the thousands of millions of heathendom and Christendom going to a burning hell because of neglect of their education by the great Life-Giver or Father?
Let us reason a little on the Bishop's statement of Methodist views. If Christ made an atonement for the sins of all mankind, of what purpose or value has it been as yet to any but the handful, the "little flock," whom our Lord declares will receive the Kingdom of God by and by--the Kingdom prayed for?
We look all about us for God's Kingdom quite in vain. The heathen three-fourths of humanity are surely not God's Kingdom, nor any credit to any Kingdom or government. The one-fourth of humanity known as Christendom (Christ's Kingdom) does not appear to be the genuine article. It is full of jarring creeds, selfish antagonisms, bitterness, envy, hatred, strife, "works of the flesh and of the Devil." Its most civilized nations are spending thousands of millions of dollars on war preparations --and this after more than eighteen hundred years of the reign of Messiah, as Bishop Hughes and the Methodist friends think.
ALL A GREAT MISTAKE
Our Methodist friends and many others have, according to the Bible, made a great mistake in their theology on this point. God's Kingdom is not here. It has not yet come. We are still, in the language of the Apostle, "waiting for the Kingdom of God's dear Son." The promise is still more sure that the faithful, saintly overcomers of this Gospel Age will sit with Messiah in his Throne of spirit control during his Messianic Kingdom. We are still waiting for it. Neither the heathen children nor the heathen parents, nor the Christian children, nor the Christian parents are yet in the Kingdom which has not yet come.
We are glad that the Bishop sees that the Atonement of Christ is universal--for all mankind. We ask him to look again at the subject and to note that in the present Age, during the past eighteen centuries, God has been merely selecting the saintly followers of Jesus to constitute with him the Kingdom or ruling class. These are the little children, or humble children of God. "Beloved, now are we the sons (children) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."
God has not only arranged that the Atonement work of the Savior shall be for the sins of the whole world, but he has also provided that there shall be a time and an opportunity in which the Redeemer will make his atonement work available to all mankind--heathen and Christian, old and young. To them he will give the opportunity of Restitution to all that was lost in Adam and provided for at Calvary. This will be at the Second Coming of Christ, as St. Peter explains in `Acts 3:19-23`.
Then Messiah will set up, establish, his Kingdom--a thousand years' reign of righteousness. Satan will then be bound and the darkness which belongs to his reign of sin and death will give place to the glorious light of the knowledge of God. Under those favorable conditions humanity will not have an opportunity of becoming kings and priests unto God, members of the "little flock"; but they will all have the opportunity of becoming identified with the Kingdom, not as kings, but as subjects. They will all have the opportunity of attaining everlasting life as human beings in this world, which will then gradually be transformed--Paradise regained. Meantime the unwilling, rebellious, disobedient, as St. Peter says, will be "destroyed from amongst the people"--Second Death.
RESPONSIBILITY OF CHRISTIAN PARENTS
The fact that God has not neglected his responsibilities, but is working out his glorious purposes to fulfil them, must not make Christian parents negligent. On the contrary, the example should make them all the more careful by showing them a parent's obligations. Some of the children may so respond as to become eligible to a share in the Kingdom proper, as members of the Royal Priesthood, who shall sit upon the Throne; but to the others, parents also have a duty. Such should be taught, not that all transgressions will be punished alike, in eternal torment, but that every transgression, great and small, will receive eventually a just recompense of reward. They should be taught that whatsoever is sown will be reaped, and that advancements under the blessings of the Kingdom may be promoted or retarded by their present conduct, by obedience or disobedience to the Divine law. Such rational teaching will appeal much more quickly to the children than will any amount of falsification and misrepresentation concerning eternal torment, fire, etc., in which no reasonable person longer believes, and which came not from the Bible, but from the "Dark Ages."
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MURDERS HER GRANDCHILDREN
EASTER SUNDAY'S LESSON
--APRIL 16.--`2 KINGS 11:1-20`.--
"Blessed are they that keep his testimony, and that seek him with the whole heart."--`Psalm 119:2`.
JEZEBEL'S daughter, Athaliah, on the death of her husband, became Queen Dowager of the Kingdom of Judah, her son Ahaziah becoming King. In Oriental lands the King's mother is still the highest authority in the Kingdom, as, for instance, in China. This was the custom with the Jews. As Queen Dowager Athaliah had exercised a powerful and baneful influence against the true God and his worship and in favor of Baal worship. Here is not the only instance in which the intermarriage of the kings of Israel with the daughters of foreign kingdoms brought great injury. Her mother Jezebel was another notable illustration. And we remember that it was Solomon's foreign wives who ensnared him.
In line with all this we remember that the Divine command to all Jews was that they should not intermarry with other nationalities. Every deviation from the Divine Law seems to have brought with it serious penalties. This is strictly in harmony with God's arrangement with that one nation alone, that they should be his people in a peculiar sense, that other nations were not his people and that obedience to his laws would bring them blessings and disobedience bring them adversities. That Law is still upon the Jews, but it is not upon others.
A proper recognition of the antitype, or spiritual significance of that item of Jewish Law, should be observed by all; it is applicable to Christians, who constitute, from the Divine standpoint, "a holy nation, a peculiar people." Christians are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Christians are to come out from the world and be
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separate. This, however, does not apply to nominal Christians, but only to the spirit-begotten class, who have made a full consecration of themselves to the Lord. These are counselled to marry "only in the Lord"--only the consecrated. Those who disregard this Divine injunction endanger their own spiritual development, as well as their own happiness and the happiness of the worldly person with whom they become yoked.
MURDERING FOR POWER
When King Ahaziah was slain by Jehu, his mother, the Queen Dowager, realized instantly that this meant her loss of rank and power--the power and honor and riches which her selfish, proud heart so loved. She realized that the moment her grandson ascended the throne she must vacate her position in favor of her daughter-in-law. Her selfish, proud heart resolved that on no account should this be. Rather, she would be a murderess. Forthwith she caused her grandchildren to be slain, except one, an infant, who was hidden by his aunt in a room used for the storage of sleeping mats, and, in our lesson, styled a bed-chamber. Subsequently, he was nursed until his seventh year, in one of the rooms connected with the old temple, which was in disuse during Queen Athaliah's reign, as she favored and upheld the worship of Baal.
One lesson for us here is the power of pride. We may well hope that many could not be influenced to become murderers, even with such inducements. But not many of us will ever have such a temptation either to grasp a throne or to retain hold on one already possessed. Other illustrations of the power of pride leading to murder, in the interest of a throne, are mentioned in history. For instance, King Herod's murder of all the infants of Bethlehem of two years and under was to preserve to himself and his heirs the throne of Israel. History tells us of how Laodice poisoned her six sons, one by one, that she might be Empress of Constantinople. Another mother named Irene, which name signifies peace, gouged out the eyes of her own son that he might be incapable of ruling the Empire over which she sought to reign alone.
No wonder the Bible declares that the heart of man in his fallen condition is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked! No wonder the Bible tells us that the blessing of the New Covenant which God will establish with the world through Israel, during Messiah's reign, will operate to the taking away of the stoniness of the heart and to the return to mankind of a heart of flesh --a proper human sympathy such as the perfect man had when he was created in the image and likeness of God! How glad we are that Messiah's Kingdom will not merely restrain sin and sinners, but, by restitution processes, take away the stoniness of heart and bring as many as are willing of mankind back to tender-heartedness and into harmony with the Divine Law of Love for God and for the neighbor!
Since we are not kings and queens and have not their temptations, let us note that the same principle of hard-heartedness operates in the business world, in the social world and in the family. In the business world, it operates to the destruction of a rival concern. In the social world, it cuts rivals, prompts to misrepresentation, slander, etc. In the home, as between parents and children, brothers and sisters, it frequently means injustice. The correction for all this is a love of righteousness which will lead each to love and to obey the Golden Rule and, as nearly as possible, to comply with the Divine will, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy mind and all thy being and all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself."
CROWNING THE BOY KING
The young King was named Joash. He was kept in hiding six years and, in his seventh year, was crowned. Jehoiada, the High Priest, whose daughter had rescued Joash, superintended the inauguration ceremonies. With great wisdom he called together the chiefs of the nation at a festival time, when their coming would not be thought strange. Likewise the guards were so disposed as to give every protection to the young King and leave the palace without protection. The ceremony passed off successfully. The Queen Dowager, hearing the shouts, "Long live the King!" came forth from the palace to the temple to investigate and, realizing the situation, cried, "Treason, treason!"
So it is that injustice sometimes becomes intrenched and fortified in human minds so that an attempt to establish righteousness is considered treason, rebellion, outrage. The lesson to all the Lord's consecrated children is, "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."--`Prov. 4:23`.
When the crown was put upon the young King's head, on top of it was laid the Testimony, the parchment scroll of the ten commandments. Thus was indicated that the Divine Law was superior to the crown. Such should be the estimation of the matter in every well-balanced mind. Divine Law comes first; human laws second. And human laws are usually up to as high standards as the people who make them are worthy.
Judah must have been considerably sunken in the qualities of patriotism and manhood to allow the Dowager Queen to usurp the throne by murder for six years. Similarly states and cities, permitting and recognizing the domination of frauds and combines against the public interests, are usually getting as good treatment as they deserve. It is the heart, the intellect, the mind that is to be educated up to the higher standards--then those high standards will be attained by the body politic.
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THE JEWISH PASSOVER, which lasts for a week, begins this year on Thursday, April 13, which, in Jewish reckoning, is the 15th of the first month. In Jewish reckoning a day begins to count in the evening at 6 o'clock, consequently the 15th begins Wednesday night at 6 o'clock. Wednesday, April 12, would be the 14th day of the first month, and it, in turn, begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, which is thus the anniversary of the first celebration of the Lord's Supper.
It is the custom of WATCH TOWER readers all over the world to celebrate our Redeemer's death on its anniversary. We trust that the celebration this year will be a very general one. The significance of the Memorial is described in our issue of February 1 and also in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Series VI.
On the evening of April 11 at 7:30 the New York City Church will assemble in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, 17 Hicks street, for the celebration of the Memorial. All Christians in fellowship of heart with the Lord are cordially invited to be present. We do not, however, specially invite or urge brethren from other congregations meeting
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similarly for this celebration on the same evening. We believe the instructions of the Lord's Word on the subject imply that each congregation or family of the Lord's children should meet together for this celebration.
There will be a baptism service on the Sunday preceding the Memorial--April 9--in the Brooklyn Tabernacle at 3 p.m. The subject of baptism is also discussed in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Volume VI. All thinking of participation in this symbol are requested to make a very thorough study of the subject, that they may act with proper intelligence.
We recommend that all gatherings of Bible students, if possible, provide an opportunity for immersion preceding the Memorial. The Memorial celebration should be esteemed a great privilege. If any one is out of heart fellowship with the Lord, his first work should be to get right with him. And the Lord directs that any coming to his altar, should, as far as possible, before coming, get into heart harmony with all of the "household of faith." This should, therefore, be a time of heart searching and purifying. This, in the Jewish Passover type, was prefigured by the search made for leaven of every description --leaven being a symbol of corruption, sin, contrariness to purity, righteousness and love.
Whoever finds himself out of harmony with the Lord at this season and avails himself of the privileges above suggested and seeks a return to Divine favor will surely experience a great blessing. And whoever passes by the opportunity will lose a blessing which none can afford to lose. A realization of our own imperfections at such time must not discourage us or make us faint. Rather we should remember God's provision for our reconciliation through our great Advocate, whose death the Memorial celebrates. Let us also remember our Covenant of sacrifice, by which we become members of the Body of Christ.
It may not be amiss that we remind our readers that for some reason which we cannot explain it has for years appeared to us that Satan is granted special power to tempt the Lord's consecrated people at this Passover season, as he had special power at this season when our Lord was crucified. Then Judas entirely succumbed. St. Peter stumbled badly, and all of the Apostles temporarily forsook the Master and fled and were in deep perplexity until Pentecost. The Master's advice then is good still, "Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation."
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TOO MUCH MONEY--FURTHER OFFERINGS REFUSED
FREE-WILL OFFERINGS ONLY
A LESSON FROM THE FAR PAST ON GIVING FOR RELIGIOUS
PURPOSES--TREASURERS WITHOUT BONDSMEN
--APRIL 23.--`2 KINGS 12:1-16`.--
"Then the people rejoiced for they
offered willingly."--`1 Chron. 29:9`.
SIXTEEN years passed after the incidents of our previous study and found King Joash in his twenty-third year. Already he had made suggestions to the priests respecting the repairs of the temple, which was considerably dilapidated, because the people were still half-hearted in the worship of Jehovah. The influence of the idolatry of surrounding nations was still upon them. Some of them still burned incense upon the altars of Baal.
PRIESTS POOR BUSINESS MEN
King Joash found that allowing the priests to collect the money wherewith to repair the temple showed no results. Not every good-hearted man has executive ability. The record does not tell that the priests were dishonest in the use of the money collected for their affairs. Nor does it say that they spent the money unwisely. Possibly the people did not have confidence in the priests and did not give so freely on that account. However, the King noted the fact that the temple continued to be dilapidated and called for the priests and said to them, Why repair ye not the breaches of the temple? The answer of the priests is not given, but the King's mandate was, "Now, therefore, take no more money from your acquaintances." The King passed over the matter as lightly and courteously as possible, without charging the priests with embezzlement or neglect.
A new procedure was to have a specially prepared money-chest inside the temple court, convenient to the worshipers who passed in and out, and under the care of the priest, who served as doorkeeper. This method proved successful. The money speedily accumulated. Ere long there was a sufficiency to make the repairs and more. Further donations for this purpose were refused. The temple was put into good order and a general blessing followed the experience.
There is a lesson in this matter for us. The people like to see results. (1) They want to know that monies that are donated for benevolent purposes are not all absorbed for office expenses. (2) Voluntary offerings have the approval of both God and men, rather than offerings that are importuned, coaxed, begged, wheedled from saints and sinners. Everybody who gives to the Lord's cause is advantaged thereby; he not only forwards a benevolent cause, but cultivates generosity in his own heart. Our Lord said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive"--where the giving is willing and voluntary.
Church begging is undoubtedly doing great harm. The remark has been made that the chief item of religion in some churches is begging for money--private solicitation, and also public solicitation, by the passing around of the collection box. Church fairs, church suppers, grab-bags, etc., are still more reprehensible than the collection box and private solicitation. Some one has called such efforts the "milking of the goats." The Lord's people are supposed to be sheep; the world's people, goats.
The proper thought seems to be what the Scriptures inculcate, namely, that each Christian should give according to his ability and interest in the work and that non-worshipers should not be expected to give nor requested so to do. But who does not know that a large proportion of the money collected for church purposes is unwillingly given by people who not only are not directly interested
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in the projects, but sometimes even opposed thereto! Thus Protestant business men often give to Catholic charities, rather than offend good customers. Likewise Catholic business men donate to Protestant enterprises with which they have no sympathy.
It is a good time to return to the Gospel admonition, Let each one of you lay by in reserve on the first day of the week according as God has prospered you--for religious and charitable objects. Only such voluntary giving has any merit whatever in the sight of God or in the sight of good men. Only such will receive the Divine blessing upon it, whether it be the widow's mite or the rich man's munificence.
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BREAKS IN THE TEMPLE WALL
Viewing the spiritual temple we perceive that, outwardly, as represented by the magnificent churches of metropolitan cities, nothing more could be desired than what is now enjoyed. Describing the church conditions of our day, the Scriptures portray our condition under the figure of the Laodicean Church, thus: "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert hot or cold. So, then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."--`Rev. 3:15-18`.
It is from the spiritual standpoint, therefore, that the temple of today needs to have repairs. Outwardly, the church is rich; spiritually, she is poor. The majority of her educated, including ministers, have abandoned all faith in the Bible as the Word of God. Yet they are not known as infidels, but by the less harsh term, "Higher Critics," "Evolutionists." With many the faith in a personal God even, is shaking and they incline to wonder if, somehow or other, we have not an unintelligent God-- nature--and mankind and all other intelligencies merely evolutionary products. The cause and foundation of this disastrous condition is not far off.
The absurdities of the creeds formulated during the "Dark Ages" are so great that intelligent people can no longer accept them. We have made the mistake of supposing that these absurdities are based upon the Scriptures and well supported thereby. The Truth is that our creeds of the past not only contradict each other, but also contradict the Bible. To learn this, to believe it, signifies a return to Bible study with the colored spectacles of our fathers removed and with our hearts uplifted to God that he may give us the light promised to his faithful people in the end of this Age, of which we read that we should "give heed to the sure word of prophecy as to a light shining in a dark place until the day dawn and the day star arise."--`2 Pet. 1:19`.
THE DUTY OF THE HOUR
Noting the spiritual impairment of the House of God, the Church, all who love the Lord and who worship him should do their part, make their contribution, toward the improvement of these spiritual conditions. It is not to be left wholly in the hands of the clerical or priestly class. The people in general are to appreciate the situation and each delight to do his part in the rebuilding of the spiritual walls of Zion. Those spiritual walls consist of "the faith once delivered to the saints."
Each Christian should ask himself, What am I doing toward these repairs? How am I manifesting to the Lord my zeal for Truth and righteousness and my hatred of sin and untruth? And as an answer to this question each should redouble his efforts to understand the Truth and to help others to an understanding of it, whatever may be the cost to the creeds and systems of the "Dark Ages."
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SOME CALCULATIONS ON THE JUBILEE CYCLES
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Your calculation of the Jubilee Cycles (as published in September issue of Overland Monthly, 1910) beginning the count from the time Israel entered the land of Canaan, is so remarkably simple that I am surprised it did not come to my attention sooner; as it is with this added new viewpoint that certain questions which have somewhat puzzled me before have now been thoroughly cleared up in my mind, I am noting them for your consideration. They are as follows:
1. Why did not Israel celebrate 20 instead of only 19 Jubilees in the land before the great Cycle of 50 Jubilees began their count, so that the entire 70 Jubilees would be complete?
2. Why did the Jews remain in their land 19 years after the celebration of their last typical Jubilee? Why did they not immediately go into captivity?
3. Did the 70 years of desolation typify anything? If so, what?
As a result of your article in the Overland Monthly I have been helped to a solving of these questions, and I am sending you herewith my calculations and conclusions for any comments or added thoughts you may have or can suggest.
This is my understanding of your reckoning as presented in Overland Monthly:
"To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for
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as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill three score and ten years."--`2 Chron. 36:17-21`.
In the above quotation we find the entire number of Jubilee years the Lord purposed for Israel to be 70, which mark 70 cycles or periods of time. Each cycle was 49 years and its Jubilee the 50th year.
70 times this number (50 years) would be.......... 3,500 yrs. And this period, measured from the time Israel
entered Canaan, which occurred before the date
known as A.D. 1.................................. 1,575 "
----- Hence the years since A.D. 1, to complete above
period of 3,500 years, are....................... 1,925 "
Or 1925 A.D. marks the date when the full number of Israel's Jubilees would have been accomplished as indicated by the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet.
THE SECOND CALCULATION
This calculation is based on the Jubilees from the standpoint of the Law which was given to Israel as a nation and to which they bound themselves, and which has been and is now being fulfilled with regard to the Jews.--`Lev. 26`.
This calculation in no way antagonizes the view as expressed in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. 2, chapter 6, paragraph 2, page 180; also page 181; but is considering it only with regard to the Jewish nation and their land and not with regard to the restitution or antitypical Jubilee as set forth in S.S., Vol. 2.
The multiplying of the Sabbath or 7th day by 7 (7 x 7 = 49) pointed out Pentecost, the 50th day, or Jubilee day, which followed.
The multiplying of the Sabbath or 7th year by 7 (7 x 7 = 49) made the cycle which pointed out and led to the 50th year or Jubilee year.
The multiplying of the Sabbath or 50th year by 50 (50 x 50 = 2,500) made the cycle which pointed out and led to the 51st cycle or Jubilee cycle.
As the Jubilee day was not celebrated on the last or 49th day, but on the following or 50th day, and the Jubilee year was not celebrated on the last or 49th year, but on the following or 50th year, so the Jubilee cycle (of 50 years) was not celebrated on the last or 50th cycle, but on the following or 51st cycle.
The Law required that where the typical system ended, the antitypical counting should begin.
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Total number of years in Great Cycle.............. 2,500 yrs. From the celebration of the last Jubilee by Israel to
the year A.D. 1.................................. 625 "
----- The number of years since A.D. 1 necessary to
complete the cycle of 2,500 years................ 1,875 "
If the year 1875 A.D. marks the end of the Great Cycle of 50 x 50 years, then the following 50 years, or from 1875 A.D. to 1925 A.D., will be the Jubilee Cycle or period of time during which the Jews will be returned to their possessions. (This date, 1925 A.D., as we have seen, is the date originally intended by Jehovah as marking Israel's full number of Jubilees.) And how harmoniously does this agree with the ending of the Times of the Gentiles, which terminate during this Jubilee period; their lease of power departing from them allows the Law to be fulfilled toward the Jew, who can now come into his possessions.
Here we get the key to the matter regarding the celebration of only 19 and not 20 cycles before the Great Cycle (of 50 x 50 years = 2,500 years) began to count. The last or 20th Cycle of 50 years was reserved for the Jubilee Cycle to follow the Great Cycle.
Jubilees celebrated in the land by Jews........... 19 Jubilees represented in Great Cycle............... 50 Jubilee period representing the time in which the Jew,
according to Jubilee celebration, should return to his
"And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a Jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
"A Jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed."-- `Lev. 25:10,11`.
Here we have two statements made respecting the Jubilee year:
1. The RETURN of every person to his possession; and
2. The REST of the land.
"Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land REST and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall REST; because it did not REST in your sabbaths when ye dwelt upon it."--`Lev. 26:34,35`.
Here again we find that while Israel celebrated the Jubilee when they dwelt in the land, and each man may have returned to his possession and family at the Jubilee period, nevertheless the Lord declares that the land "did not REST" in its Sabbaths when they dwelt upon it.
So the Lord provided the REST feature of the Jubilee for the land when Israel went into captivity for 70 years, and here the 70 Jubilees of REST were accomplished for the land, but during that time the other feature of the Jubilee was neglected (the RETURN of each man to his possession and family), for we find the very reverse of this condition to be true. The Jews, instead of returning to their possessions during that time, were in captivity to and serving the King of Babylon.
How, then, and when will this returning feature of the Jubilees be accomplished?
As shown in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. II., chap. 6, Israel celebrated 19 Jubilees before going into captivity, and we have no reason to doubt that at each of these celebrations the RETURNING of the people to their possessions was accomplished to the best of their ability.
Now, as 70 was the number of Jubilee Sabbaths or years of REST celebrated for the land (during the captivity), but only 19 Jubilees or years with the RETURNING feature were celebrated, when will the other 51 Jubilees or years with the RETURNING feature be fulfilled? We answer:--
70--Full number of Jubilee Cycles ordained of God. 19--Cycles (with Jubilees) celebrated (50 years
each)........................................ 950 yrs. ---- 51--Cycles remaining (without Jubilees) celebrated
(49 years each).............................. 2,499 "
Total years............. 3,449 Number of years Israel entered Canaan before the
date known as A.D. 1............................. 1,575 "
----- Total number of years since date known as A.D. 1
to complete above period of 3,449................ 1,874 "
Or the year 1874 A.D. completes the above period as was actually fulfilled. This date, 1874, is just 51 years prior to the year 1925 A.D., which, in the first calculation, was found to be the date originally intended by Jehovah as completing the Jubilees for Israel.
Here we have the 51 Jubilees or years to be celebrated all at one time and not individually as were the first 19. What wisdom on the part of our Heavenly Father! The land has already enjoyed the REST feature of the Jubilees (while the Jews were serving in captivity to Babylon) and now Israel, being deprived of the privileges of the RETURNING feature of the Jubilees for 51 Cycles (of 49 years each), can celebrate the 51 Jubilees with RETURNING feature from 1874 A.D. to 1925 A.D. And this we find fully corroborated, for in 1874 the first Jewish colony was founded in Palestine. (Overland Monthly, September, 1910, page 324, 7th line from top of page.) And we see every year the increase of Jews RETURNING to their land and fulfilling the purpose of these 51 Jubilees.
The further question as to why Israel remained in the land 19 years after the celebration of the last Jubilee, is answered, to my mind, as follows:--
IS THIS TOO FAR-FETCHED?
If a day symbolically represents a year in Scripture, and 7 days mark to Israel the Sabbath which was carried out in the larger or 7-year system, would not the year symbolically represent the next greater time measure, or the Cycle period? If so, then, after the typical feature had ceased and the Great Antitypical Cycle began to count, Israel's 19 years in the land and 70 years captivity would fitly represent, or typify, the 19 Jubilee Cycles which Israel celebrated in their promised land, and 70 Cycles or (70 x 50 years = 3,500 years) 3,500 years of captivity before they would be permitted to FULLY POSSESS again their land.
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Number of years in 70 cycles...................... 3,500 yrs. Number of years Israel celebrated their last Jubilee
before the date known as A.D. 1.................. 625 "
----- Number of years after date known as A.D. 1. when
the 70 cycles end................................ 2,875 "
The year 2,875 A.D. is just 1,000 years from 1875, the time the Jews began to return to their possessions. At that time, we trust, according to the sure promises of the Lord, the Jews, as well as all mankind, will not only be established in their land but be capable of POSSESSING it and WILL POSSESS it; and it shall be for Abraham and his seed for an everlasting POSSESSION.
Your Brother, sincerely for truth, in love,
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THE WISE CHOICE
"Choose ye this day whom ye will serve; as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."--`Joshua 24:15`.
THE Children of Israel had crossed Jordan. Moses was dead and Joshua was their Leader. They were having no difficulty at that time; but Joshua thought that it was proper just then for them to make their decision--proper for them to decide whether or not they would be faithful to the Lord, or would allow themselves to be led away by the idolatry of the people who lived in Canaan. Joshua had called them together and had recounted to them the Lord's blessings and favor which they had thus far enjoyed, and then expressed himself in the grand and noble sentiments of our text.
So, dear friends, we who realize that the Lord has been blessing, guiding and sustaining us in the past, should come to a full, positive decision as respects our course of life. The very fact of coming to a positive decision is a great blessing and a great help in the formation of character. Every time we come to a wise decision on any question, it strengthens mind and character, and makes us much more ready for another test--along some other line, perhaps.
We well recognize the fact that the entire consecration which the Christian makes, leaves nothing out; but we need to have some touchstone, something which will enable the mind to reach a decision quickly, and this touchstone should be God's will, so that to perceive the Lord's will on any subject would be to settle it without any temporizing. Again, it is highly proper that we should reiterate our consecration, and thus make it prominent before others.
For instance, if this were New Year's Day, and we were at a testimony meeting, there would be nothing wrong in saying, "Whatever any one else may do, I acknowledge God and will serve him!"--not as a new vow, but as a fresh acknowledgment of the consecration Vow we have already taken.
We are to recognize the difference between making a new covenant every day, and the daily renewing of our covenant; the one would be an impropriety; the other would be proper. If we have made a binding covenant for life, we should no more think of breaking it than would a man who had leased a house or sold it.
Every day we should renew our covenant with the Lord--renew it and make it fresh in our minds, thus showing that there has been no change on our part; that we are still in the same attitude. This is the same thought as was in the making of our consecration; we are dead with Christ--"Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price." We are exhorted to make this review of our lives and renewal of our consecration daily; to continue to keep this before our minds and hearts; to render our sacrifice to the Lord. Thus we are baptized by baptism into his death; and this baptism continues just as it was with our Lord. He had made his consecration and so it had to be completed; so it is with us; our vow, our covenant is unto death.
If the Lord's consecrated people could be brought to the point where the chief aim in life, the burden of all their prayers, would be that they might have a larger measure of the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of holiness, the spirit of the Truth, the spirit of Christ, the spirit of a sound mind, what a blessing it would mean! If then they should wrestle with him until the breaking of day, their hold upon him would be sure to bring the desired blessing. The Lord reveals himself for the purpose of giving this blessing; but he withholds it until we learn to appreciate and desire it.
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ONE SACRIFICE SUFFICIENT
"Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins and then for the people's; for this he did once, when he offered up himself."--`Heb. 7:27`.
IT HAS been asked how the Church could in any way be identified with the offering of this sacrifice.
To get the Apostle's thought we are compelled to take one of two views; either that the High Priest in this case meant our Lord Jesus alone, separate and distinct from his Body, or else that it did not mean our Lord Jesus alone, separate and apart from his Body.
In another place the Apostle tells us that God foreknew the Church; therefore, in the Divine Plan it was a foreknowledge that there would be a Church selected from among sinners, even as it was predestinated of Jesus himself that he should be the Head: "He [the Father] hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself." (`Eph. 1:4,5`.) Consequently, to take any other view would indicate blindness respecting the Scriptures. For this reason, we think that Paul referred, in the text under discussion, to the High Priest as a whole --Head and Body.
Although this feature of the Plan was not revealed until the end of the Gospel Age, we see, nevertheless, that the Apostle was discussing the change of dispensation, and that everything pertaining to the Tabernacle and the "Most Holy" passed away to give place to the "better sacrifices" of the Gospel Age--all these things coming in instead of those things. And this is what the Apostle is reasoning out. When, therefore, he speaks of the High Priest, saying, "And this he did once," he is referring to the one sacrifice of two parts. He does not mean to say that the Priest offered merely one sacrifice of one part, but that the Priest made first the offering of the antitypical bullock, and afterwards the offering of the antitypical goat.
In the type these things were done year by year; but in the antitype, which must be greater than the type, and which must really put away sin--"this he did once." Instead of doing this year after year, as represented in the typical atonement day sacrifices, the Great High Priest first offered the sacrifice of the antitypical bullock on behalf of those who are accepted as members of his Body, and afterwards the sacrifice of the antitypical goat on behalf of all the world of mankind.
We also see that this second part has not yet been accomplished; after it shall have been finished, then will begin to follow the long-promised glory--"The sufferings of Christ and the glory that shall follow." (`I Pet. 1:11`.) And again, "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us."--`Rom. 8:18`.
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Question.--Kindly explain the following text, especially the forepart of it: "The Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all."--`I Tim. 2:5,6`.
Answer.--Our Lord gave himself a corresponding price for all--a ransom. The application of this price will be made in due time. It has been, at the present time, appropriated to the Church, imputatively, on account of their turning from sin and walking in the footsteps of Jesus. The next step in its application will be, not the imputation, but the actual giving of this to the world, bringing them up out of their imperfection, during the thousand years of the Mediatorial reign; bringing them back into that condition in which they shall be in harmony with God, even as Adam was in harmony with him before the fall.
Regarding the expression, "The Man Christ Jesus," we would say that the Man who gave himself seems to be the particular point. That Man who gave himself, the anointed Jesus, who finished the giving of himself at Calvary, is the "Mediator between God and men," between
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God and the world of mankind. In harmony with the Divine Plan, during this Age, before his work of uplifting mankind is due to begin, he is doing another work that the Father has ordained; namely, the selection of brethren over whom he is placed as the "Captain of their salvation." These are counted in as members of the Body of the Messiah, he being Head over them-- "the Church which is his Body."
So, then, the Man Christ Jesus is the Redeemer of the world. But in the interim--as noted above--before the application of his merit shall be made for the world, the testimony is given to a few--as many as have ears to hear and are joint-sacrificers with him. These will be associated with him as Prophet, Priest, Mediator, King and Judge between God and men during the Millennial Kingdom.
Question.--After Adam sinned, could God have made with him such a Law Covenant as he made with the Jews --a Covenant offering him life upon condition of fulfilment of the Law?
Answer.--We think it would not be reasonable to suppose that it would be consistent with the Divine principles, after Adam had had a full and complete trial, and after he had failed in that trial, and after he had been sentenced to death, that God should belittle his Government and his decision by making another proposition to him, after he had gotten into a more or less fallen condition. It would seem that even the suggestion of a trial would have been inconsistent with Divine principles, unless full satisfaction had first been made for the transgression already committed. We see quite a difference between Adam and the children of Adam, who were born in imperfection and who have never willingly and wilfully and intelligently sinned against God and who have never been given an offer or opportunity to see whether they would be able to keep that Divine Law.
God gave Israel certain surroundings of typical justification and typical sanctification, etc., for the purpose of imparting general instruction foreshadowing the great blessing which he ultimately will bestow upon all mankind --giving them the opportunity of coming back into Divine favor and eternal life.
BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study V.--The Organization of the New Creation.
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE NEW CREATION
(1) When will the organization of the New Creation be complete, and how is it illustrated in the Scriptures? P. 195.
(2) In view of the foregoing, what shall we say about a temporary organization of the New Creation? P. 196, par. 1, first part.
(3) What is the character of the Divine arrangement with respect to this preparatory work, and why is the granting of liberty the best plan? P. 196, par. 1, last part, and par. 2, first part.
(4) Why has the simplicity of the organization of the Church by the Lord and the Apostles been regarded by many good persons as unsatisfactory and inadequate? P. 197, top.
(5) Taking Natural Israel as a type, should we expect to find a nominal as well as a real New Creation? P. 197, par. 1, first sentence.
(6) What judgment is permitted the New Creation as to the "wheat" and "tares," and has any "branch" in "the True Vine" the right to criticise, rebuke or otherwise prune any other "branch"? P. 197, par. 1; P. 198.
(7) How differently are such matters dealt with in human organizations? P. 198, par. 1.
(8) Explain what is signified by the "Mystery of God." P. 199, par. 1, first part.
(9) Describe its counterfeit, the "Mystery of Iniquity." P. 199, par. 1, last part; P. 200, par. 1.
(10) What course toward these "tares," or imitation New Creatures, has the Lord pursued and instructed his people to follow? P. 200, par. 2.
(11) When did the Mystery of Iniquity begin to work, and why did it not make much headway in the Early Church? P. 201, par. 1.
(12) What spirit led gradually to the organization of the great Anti-Christ? P. 201, par. 2.
(13) How has our great Adversary thwarted every fresh effort to reach the Truth since the Reformation period? P. 202, par. 1.
(14) Cite certain facts which prove conclusively that the Scriptures have been preserved in comparative purity, and that the systems claiming to have been organized by the Lord and his Apostles are totally different from the Church which they did organize. P. 202, par. 2, to P. 204, par. 2.
(15) Why has God permitted the world of mankind in general to exercise their mental and moral qualities according to their own inclinations? P. 204, par. 3.
(16) How has the Lord been dealing with "Christendom?" and how and when will he bring order out of confusion? P. 205, par. 1.
(17) What special feature of the Divine Plan characterizes "the ends of the Ages?" (`1 Cor. 10:11`.) P. 205, par. 2.
(18) As originally instituted, who was the Head of the true Church? P. 206, par. 1, first part.
(19) What is meant by the "True Vine" and the "Vine of the Earth," and what are their respective fruits? P. 207, top.
(20) Did the Lord and the Apostles recognize any division in the Church, or were the various names applied to the Church as a whole, and even the smallest gatherings, intended as proper names? P. 207, par. 1.
(21) What spirit led to the use of various unscriptural names during the Dark Ages? P. 207, par. 2.
(22) How many Apostles were chosen, and what were their names? P. 208, par. 1.
(23) Who was chosen by the Lord to succeed Judas, and what are the Scriptural proofs? P. 208, par. 2.
(24) What Scriptural evidence have we against "Apostolic Succession?" P. 209, par. 1.
(25) Why has the Church no reasonable need for more Apostles? P. 209, par. 2.
(26) How were the twelve Apostles selected by our Lord? P. 210, par. 1.
(27) What were doubtless some characteristics of the Apostles, and why were they chosen so early in our Lord's ministry? P. 210, par. 2.
STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
SERIES I., "The Plan of the Ages." gives an outline of the Divine Plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
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