ZWT - 1915 - R5600 thru R5819 / R5665 (097) - April 1, 1915
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VOL. XXXVI APRIL 1 No. 7
A. D. 1915--A.M. 6043
Views From The Watch Tower........................ 99
Religious Influences and the War.............. 99
World's Debts Never to Be Paid................100
Bible Students and the Future.................101
Sell the Philippines to Japan.................101
World's Peace Endangered......................101
Some Radical Suggestions......................101
Jewish Palestine Emigration...................102
Why the World Has Not Restitution.................103
Victories Over Modern Giants......................104
The Faith of One Persecuted.......................105
A Friend in Need--A Friend Indeed.................106
Seedtime and Harvest of Character.................108
Thought the Beginning of Character............108
"Choose Ye This Day Whom Ye Will Serve"...........109
A Worthy Example Set..........................109
The Scripturally "Wicked".....................110
Entered Upon Her Last Test....................111
Echoes Sentiments of Many Prisoners...........111
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.
Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.
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COLPORTEUR SUCCESS IN GOOD TERRITORY
The European War and the peculiar financial conditions resulting everywhere are very favorable to our Colporteurs. They find the ears of the public much more often than ever before for the explanations of the present "distress of nations with perplexities," and the outcome, which the Bible alone tells. The Lord is blessing the Colporteur work wonderfully, as He has done from the beginning. The interested can now be sold the entire set of six volumes with a year's subscription to THE WATCH TOWER, for $2.65 almost as easily as previously one volume could be sold--provided the purchaser has money; otherwise he may be able to purchase only one volume. The success of the Colporteurs in introducing the six volumes with THE WATCH TOWER has done much to increase our WATCH TOWER subscription list. Every arrival of THE WATCH TOWER is a fresh reminder in respect to the books, which are valueless unless read.
Colporteur territory has divided itself up into three divisions. It is poor where business is closed down or where crops have been a failure during the past year. Colporteurs should not attempt to continue in such territory, but should inquire for something better. Medium territory would be that in which the Colporteur, with energy and perseverance, can make ends meet. Any having this territory should use it and not attempt to find the best, as thereby he might make a mistake. "Be content with such things as ye have," where they are at all endurable. Good territory is very scarce. It includes the rice and sugar countries adjacent to New Orleans, Louisiana and Mississippi. It includes also territory contiguous to establishments manufacturing fire-arms, also the districts where wheat and corn crops were good last year. This includes portions of Kansas, Nebraska, Northern Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, etc. While Colporteurs in medium territories are advised to stay where they are, those in bad territories, not able to make expenses, are advised to seek new fields. Address the WATCH TOWER SOCIETY--Colporteur Department.
PUBLIC MEETINGS AND CONVENTIONS
Our recent suggestions seem to have been misunderstood. It is not our thought that it is desirable to have Conventions with a view to interesting the public. Conventions are merely for the interested. This should never be lost sight of. The Conventions this year should not be held in large auditoriums, but in such as would reasonably accommodate the interested. Our thought is the holding of little Conventions all over the country, at which friends within a radius of 100 miles could gather for mutual encouragement and refreshment, depending on their own speakers and those of the vicinity, or a Pilgrim appointed to assist.
The thought is to hold these little Conventions in many cities, in conjunction, however, with one large public meeting. For this public meeting only the best Auditorium should be engaged. The little Conventions might preferably close with the Editor's visit and a discourse for the interested on the same day that he would give the public address. All attempts to get up Convention programs, use large halls, and try to get the public in, we advise against. Do nothing of the kind. And if the Class arranging for the public meeting has a good hall, not above the second floor, clean, desirable, they should see Brother Russell about announcing a "Follow up" Meeting for the Sunday following the meeting which he addresses; but this would be wise only under the conditions named and if a Brother capable of giving a good address can be arranged for.
Classes arranging for public meetings by Brother Russell and desirous of having little meetings with the friends of the vicinity in advance, should send invitations to the near-by Classes, advising them of the time, place and other arrangements. In many cases a One-Day Convention will be all that will be possible or desirable. For instance, if Brother Russell's meeting for the public is at night, he may be relied upon for a secondary meeting for the interested. The remainder of the time might be utilized for testimony meetings and addresses by other brethren.
Already this plan has worked excellently in about twenty cities. The Convention Tour to San Francisco and the return journey will include about as many more. Later on, should opportunity offer, Brother Russell will be available for other circuits of about a week or ten days, visiting one city each day and speaking twice. Requests for such visits should be addressed to the Society, care Pilgrim Department.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
INFORMATION from Great Britain describes matters there as prosperous. Business flourishes, supported mainly by the orders for war materials for the Government, building of war vessels, etc. The streets have much the ordinary appearance, except that more black is worn by the women, as indicative of mourning, and more military uniform is to be seen.
Newspaper reports respecting the sinking of vessels by German submarines might give the impression that Great Britain is cut off from communication with the outer world and that few ships enter and leave her ports. Such, however, is not the case. Approximately three thousand vessels entered and left British ports last month, while only about four sustained injury from the German submarines. The good business condition and rise in the price of food are leading to labor troubles, strikes for shorter hours and better wages. The demands are being met very conservatively. Wages of British mechanics are still much below the American level.
Conditions in Russia, except in the war zone, are said to be good. The Government, which has for years had control of the liquor traffic, has entirely suppressed it. The effect upon the Russian people is said to be excellent, tending toward their enlightenment of mind and tending also, with the war demands for labor, toward their financial prosperity.
That part of France, which is outside of the war-zone, seems to be fairly prosperous also.
Germany, according to all accounts, is not nearly as badly off as we might suppose from press reports. The business of the country goes on with remarkable regularity, notwithstanding the war; nevertheless, lacking an outlet for her manufactures, German activities are mainly concerned with Government orders for war materials and home necessities. The food, being under Governmental control, is limited, but is said to be sufficient for the absolute needs of the people. All food supplies are being conserved, as in the case of a besieged
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city. Clocks have been set forward one hour to favor earlier rising and earlier retiring, thus effecting the saving of petroleum.
Great suffering and distress is reported from the war-zone-- Belgium, Northern France, Western Russia, Eastern Germany and the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains. These war-swept districts have suffered terribly-- the fortunes of war sometimes sweeping one way, sometimes the other, but always with terrible severity, not only as respects the soldiers, but also the inhabitants of the districts. Conditions in Servia are said to be terrible also.
The Dardanelles, controlled by Turkey, constitute a new war area. Great Britain has long upheld the Turkish Government and hindered Russia from gaining access to the Mediterranean Sea and the world by water. Russia long ago would have devoured Turkey at great cost; for Constantinople would have given her one of the most important sea-ports in the world. Now England and France must help their ally, Russia. Since they cannot utilize Constantinople themselves, they are anxious that Russia shall not have it. They will propose that the Dardanelles be maintained a free waterway, like the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal. Whether or not this will satisfy Russia is doubtful; and a quarrel amongst the Allies may result. If a quarrel seem unavoidable, it may be determined that the Dardanelles are impregnable and Turkey be allowed to hold on to her possession.
Meantime the Allies are seeking for further assistance to blockade thoroughly and starve out Germany. To this end Italy and Greece are being urged to join in the war, the inducement being that in the settlement Italy shall receive certain Austrian Provinces and Greece be allowed to take over a large share of Turkey's domain --to keep Russia out. Selfishness, statecraft, fear of each other and ambition for world-power are thus seen to be the moving principles, so far as the world is concerned in the present war. Switzerland, Holland and Scandinavia are in fear and know not what to do. The interests of the great belligerents may force war upon them, although they are striving to the best of their ability to remain neutral.
RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES AND THE WAR
At first, the influence of the war upon the people of Europe was terrifying. In their distress they were inclined to become more religious. With the progress of the war this spirit of fear and looking to the Lord for help is passing away, giving place to colder sentiments and greater self-confidence. War is becoming the business of life to those engaged in it. Each of the nations involved sees matters from its own viewpoint. Each honestly believes that it is right. Each has the courage of its convictions and is ready to die for them.
The Germans hold that the Allies, jealous of their frugality and prosperity and thoroughness, have long
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been preparing to crush them, to annihilate them. They claim that if they had waited until the French army had been mobilized on their western frontier, and the Russian army on their eastern frontier it would have been too late for Germany to successfully defend herself; that it was necessary for her to take the steps she did take and to take them with the promptness with which she took them, in order to strike first at France and then at Russia, whose soldiers represented double the number of her own.
The Germans feel a special bitterness toward the British, believing that they are at the bottom of the Alliance and its schemes for the destruction of Germany. The Kaiser is evidently sincere in the thought that he and his people are God's ordained agencies for the propagation of system, law, economy and prosperity throughout the world. The Germans believe their cause to be just and that surely they will succeed. It is freely declared by them that, should they not succeed, they would altogether doubt the existence of God.
The Allies, also, feel that God is for them. Germany's preparation of a great army, they claim, was not in self-defense and to protect her life, but for aggressive warfare upon her neighbors. They claim that Germany stands for militarism and that its successful military rule throughout the world, the rule of force, would be much more injurious than the rule of naval force. Whatever the leaders think and know as respects motives for the war, and whatever their conclusions respecting how it must end in the annihilation of Germany, the public undoubtedly believe that the cause of the Allies is every way just and must surely have God's favor and blessing. The Russians, we are told, are content that they are serving God while obeying the commands of the "Little Father," the Czar. They are content to die. They refer to going to the front and into the tomb as "Off for America." In other words, having a glimmering of a future life and refusing to take the doctrine of eternal torture seriously, they conclude that dying is like setting sail for an unseen country.
The French soldiers are taking the matter of warfare as light-heartedly as possible--much as one might take to a hunting expedition where the chances were recognized to be rather doubtful.
The great generals of the war are saying freely that the war is only beginning; that the Winter time has interfered with operations and that as soon as the Spring floods are past, the bitterest warfare ever yet known to the world may be expected.
Meantime, Japan finds the present a favorable opportunity for gaining the mastery of the yellow race--of mastering China. Her Allies, of course, would not approve of this course, but Japan well knows that they are powerless to interfere. As to the objections of the United States, they will not be worthy of consideration; for the distance across the Pacific is so great and the Japanese navy is more than a match for what United States war vessels could be spared for Far Eastern waters. It would, indeed, tickle Japanese pride to have a conflict with the United States navy in Eastern waters, where they would be so far from fuel and other supplies as to be defeated. It would put Japan in the front rank of "Christian Nations" and the Philippines could be her reward. The Allies probably would be pleased to see the United States humiliated and sharer with them in the weakening influences of the present warfare. Undoubtedly Germany also would be glad to see the United States involved in war, as it would hinder further supplies of war materials going to the Allies. If the United States shall keep clear of entanglement under all these conditions it will be marvelous, almost indicating a Divine supervision of its affairs.
"MEN'S HEARTS FAILING THEM FOR FEAR"
As it is, the United States, indeed all the countries of America, North and South, and all the world except the warring nations, are experiencing most peculiar conditions because of the financial disruption created by the war. Not only Canada, but also Central and South America, China, Australasia and India, have been financed in the past by the nations now at war; especially by Great Britain. Their bank balances and loans are all interfered with by the war and by the necessity on the part of the warring nations of using their capital at home. The United States is not financially powerful enough to meet the conditions and supply money to the remainder of the world, previously dependent on Europe. Indeed stocks and bonds to the amount of five thousand millions of dollars are held in Europe against American improvements, etc. As the war progresses and Europeans need money, they may be expected to sell these American securities in American Exchanges. We have not the money to thus pay our unmatured obligations. Already our banks are full to overflowing with stocks and bonds--some excellent, some medium value, some worthless. Consequently gold will probably go to a premium in the United States as it is already at a premium in Canada. This will bring great distress everywhere, in connection with the liquidation of maturing obligations, bonds, mortgages, etc. No wonder financiers are perplexed--"men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to those things coming on the earth"!--`Luke 21:26`.
THE WORLD'S DEBTS NEVER TO BE PAID
The London Economist roughly estimates the debts of the warring nations at the close of February as follows, in millions of Pounds Sterling. For a rough estimate in dollars, multiply by five:
Debt Loss of Total
(Expressed in Millions) Old New Revenue Debt
L. L. L. L.
Great Britain.......... 661 312 nil 973
France................. 1,315 363 50 1,728
Russia................. 890 520 50 1,460
Germany................ 240 520 50 810
Austria-Hungary........ 490 363 50 903
Servia................. 26 26 4 56
Belgium................ 148 26 .. 174
The article says: "In the case of the five leading belligerents, we take the National Debt before the war, and add our estimate of the war expenditure, and also an estimate of the loss of ordinary revenue, which must, of course, be added to the debt. The figures for Servia and Belgium are guesswork, and may be very wide of the mark. The figures for the belligerents will, we fear, prove well within the mark. Both the old and the new debts are a mortgage on the future industry of Europe. A population which will have lost a large percentage of its best workers will have to find much larger annual
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sums than ever before in interest. In case of failure the State will have to pass into the hands of the receiver, and in its ruin great commercial and financial houses will be involved. We are all slaughtering one another's customers, and every week of international warfare spreads destruction among the fortunes of individuals. There is even a sense in which one may say the greater the success the greater the embarrassment. The debt of the German Empire, like the German Empire itself, is a new creation. The State debts of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, etc., are, separate and together,
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much larger. Austria-Hungary, again, is not a unity like France. Suppose either Germany or Austria become dismembered by external force, or exploded by revolution, what becomes of their national or Imperial debts, or of the indemnities which the Allies might hope to exact? The more one looks into the financial and political future of Europe after the war the darker and more obscure do its problems appear. But that is all the more reason why independent men with knowledge and penetration and foresight should exercise their minds upon the political economy of this war. Never has there been such a collision of forces, never so much destruction in so short a time. Never has it been so difficult or so necessary to measure the calamity, to count the costs, to foresee and provide against the consequences to human society. Philanthropists profess to hope that the peace settlement will bring with it a great international reduction of armies and armaments, which will enable the nations to support their new war debt, and so to avoid the bankruptcy court. No doubt the fear of bankruptcy will count for something; otherwise the peace settlement might be expected to breed another series of preparations for another series of wars. But those who know the forces which really control the diplomacy of Europe see no Utopias. The outlook is for bloody revolutions and fierce wars between labor and capital, or between the masses and the governing classes of Continental Europe."
BIBLE STUDENTS AND THE FUTURE
In all the Continental Armies our Brethren, known as Bible Students, are to be found--not willingly, but by conscription. However opposed to the taking of life, they are subject to the powers that be in everything that does not conflict with conscience. Before the war we recommended to the Brethren that in the event of hostilities they should, so far as possible, if drafted, request positions in the hospital service or in the supplies department, where they could serve the Government efficiently; whereas, if they were ordered to the firing line, they would not be obliged to shoot to kill. We have reasons for believing that these suggestions are being followed and that meantime the Brethren are using the opportunities for proclaiming to their companions in military service the blessed message of the soon-to-be-established Kingdom of Christ, for the blessing of all the families of the earth.
We have exhorted the brethren to strict neutrality so far as the combatants are concerned, whatever might be their natural inclination through accident of birth or association. To Bible Students none of the belligerent nations are wholly in the right, and none of them entirely to blame. Let us more and more seek to take the Bible view of the great Armageddon, of which we are now having the prelude. It is the outgrowth of our civilization, developing in the soil of selfishness. We are seeing fruits which have been ripening for forty years.
We are never for a moment to forget that if the nations were Christian nations, as some of us once supposed, they would be bearing the fruits of the Spirit-- meekness, gentleness, patience, kindness, love. How great the mistake! Christendom--Christ's Kingdom--has not yet been established. It awaits the Lord's time and the manifestation of His power and great glory in its establishment. These are kingdoms of this world, actuated by the principles of selfishness and deceived by Satan, "the god of this world."
The Battle of Armageddon, to which this war is leading, will be a great contest between right and wrong, and will signify the complete and everlasting overthrow of the wrong, and the permanent establishment of Messiah's righteous Kingdom for the blessing of the world. All these things are probably easier to be seen from this side of the ocean than by the dear friends who are nearer to, and more directly influenced by, the war and their national, personal interests. Nevertheless, it is important that we all keep clearly before our minds that this is not the war of the Church, but the war of the world with carnal weapons; and that our sympathies are broad enough to cover all engaged in the dreadful strife, as our hope is broad enough and deep enough to include all in the great blessings which our Master and His Millennial Kingdom are about to bring to the world.
Meantime, another danger to the Lord's consecrated people lies along the lines of worldly-mindedness--neglecting the things of the Kingdom in favor of the things of this present life. Our Adversary is still alert. We, also, must be alert as children of the Light, children of the Day, soldiers of the Cross. There never was a better opportunity than now for lifting high the royal banner of our Redeemer. More people have ears to hear and sharper ears to hear than ever before. Thousands are anxious for the Message which we have to give them and which they do not find elsewhere--the Message of Hope, the Message which explains that the present reign of evil, and the past six thousand years of the reign of sin and death, have reached their culmination, and how and why they are about to be brought to an end by the great Redeemer, in fulfilment of our Heavenly Father's glorious plans which He purposed in Himself from before the foundation of the world.
SELL THE PHILIPPINES TO JAPAN
Two years ago, on our return from the Orient, we sent the below letter of suggestion to the Government with copies of it to the newspapers, some of which published the letter, which read as follows:--
Brooklyn, May 26, 1913. Honorable Wm. J. Bryan,
Secretary of State, U.S.A.
Dear Sir:--I am addressing you, and through you the Honorable President of this Nation, and the Honorable Members of its Congress, upon a subject which I believe to be of prime importance to our Nation and to the world. I would have preferred to make this communication a private one, but believe that its object will be much better served if it be known at home and abroad that the suggestion comes from a native citizen, a minister and ambassador of Christ, rather than if the same suggestion were to emanate from some Official of our Government or from a politician.
THE WORLD'S PEACE ENDANGERED
A year ago I visited Japan and observed the congested conditions there prevailing, and learned that her population is increasing very rapidly, while every foot of arable land is under "intense" cultivation. Japan's need for room for her overflow population has already led her to grasp Korea, and it is no secret that she longs for possession of the Philippine Islands, and would be glad of a reasonable pretext for taking possession of them. Many broad-minded Americans have suggested that the United States has no desire to acquire colonies in an imperial sense, and that, therefore, the Philippine Islands should be surrendered to the Filipinos. The only objection urged against this move is that the Filipinos are not as yet sufficiently advanced in civilization to properly govern themselves. And those most intimate with the situation have not the slightest doubt that if the United States withdrew from the Philippines, the Japanese Government would immediately take control, and shortly the Philippine Islands would be inundated with Japanese--undoubtedly much to their benefit, as the latter people are more thrifty and prudent and energetic than the Filipinos.
SOME RADICAL SUGGESTIONS
I suggest that the United States Government select from amongst the Philippine Islands one island suitable as a naval
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base, and tender to Japan the opportunity to take over the Philippine Islands at precisely the same they have cost the United States. This would give our neighbors of the Far East exactly what they want, at no price at all compared with the cost of war. Additionally, it would make them our friends, and surely all Americans desire a world-wide friendship with all nations. I advise that this step be taken speedily, because there is a "jingo" party in Japan bent upon the acquirement of the Philippines, which party will always be ready to take advantage of such trifles as the California Alien Law to incite hatred against the United States and to force their Government, against its judgment, to seize the Philippines.
It is human nature for the Japanese to want those Islands --to feel that they need them. It is practical common sense to say that they can take them whenever they are ready. The United States could not retake the Philippines except at the expense of many lives and thousands of millions of dollars-- if at all.
Our Japanese neighbors, flushed with their victory over the Russian Navy, and courageous and proud-spirited, anyway, realize fully their ability to capture the Philippines and probably to hold them; but they do not realize that a war with America would be a very different one from that with Russia--that American pride and valor would spend thousands
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of lives and thousands of millions of dollars rather than surrender to Japan. Pride, courage, self-esteem, confidence, on both sides are the real dangers. Surely wisdom should dictate to both Nations that, in the interest of peace, cause for friction should be as far as possible eliminated. I believe that no more fair, no more just, no more honorable method for adjudicating this matter can be found than that we are suggesting--the sale of the Islands at cost to the Japanese.
Japan would give the Filipinos a splendid government-- better, I believe, than would any other nation under the sun except our own Government. No one can visit the Philippines without feeling pride for what America has done for that people--and done in so unselfish and noble a manner, as an elder brother amongst the nations helping a younger brother. Under no circumstances would I favor turning the Philippines over to the domination of a barbaric people. The Japanese are not barbarians, but highly civilized.
My discourse in Washington on the 25th, "Peace Desirable, War a Necessity," was evidently misunderstood by some of my peace friends. While I claimed that nations have never been able to avoid war, and that they never will be able to wholly avoid it until the inauguration of Messiah's Kingdom, nevertheless I believe that all lovers of peace should unite their hearts and voices and pens and every energy in removing all unnecessary friction between nations, by doing in advance those things which would make for peace, and by promoting them. For instance, if the move I am suggesting were delayed until the Japanese had made an attack upon the Philippines, it would be too late. American pride would never consent to an overture of sale under stress; nor would the Japanese probably be willing to purchase then. NOW seems to be the psychological moment, and, as stated at first, it seems best that these suggestions should come from an ambassador of Christ, rather than from a politician of any party, so that partisan feeling may not interfere, but our nation as a whole approve and uphold and carry speedily forward this peace-promoting measure. I call for its endorsement by peace societies and all who believe that war should be only a last resort. Faithfully yours,
A servant of the Lord Jesus Christ,
(Signed) C. T. RUSSELL.
JEWISH PALESTINE EMIGRATION
The following is a synopsis of an article which appeared in the Algemeen Handelsblad of March 6, 1915, published in Amsterdam:
"In Jewish circles the Jewish question is believed to be nearing a crisis. Poland, one of the countries suffering most from the present war, has millions of Jewish citizens. They are mainly artisans and commissionmen, and have with many others practically lost their all. While others have the hope of recuperating after the war is over, the Jews see none because of a strong Polish boycott of Jews. Already articles appear in the Russian press and in the English press, as Russia's ally, expressing the wish that Jews be obliged to emigrate from Poland after the war.
"Since Palestine has become part of the war-territory, the antagonism in the Jewish world against Zionism is disappearing, all seeming to be actuated by greater love for the Land. Conditions in Palestine are not what the news items, mainly from English sources, would cause one to think. The Turk is more favorable to the Jewish inhabitants than to those of other nationalities. When a local official tried to hinder the Zionists he was sharply reprimanded from Constantinople. The German, Italian and especially the United States representatives have contributed a great deal to bring about the good will of the Turk for the Jews. On Dec. 17 the Jaffa officials had 600 Russian Jews transported to Egypt, but the same day the United States representative, Mr. Morgenthau, brought influence to bear on Constantinople which caused the transportation of Jews, citizens of countries at war with Turkey, to be stopped; and now they are permitted to remain, although watched by the authorities. It seems now that even the Anglo-Palestine Company at Jaffa, the Zionist Bank, will be allowed to continue its business. Economically Palestine is suffering. Although the model-farms and the reforesting enterprises are still going on as usual, the individual owners of orange groves and vineyards are suffering on account of the cessation of export trade. Besides, there is practically no import, causing unemployment. But those who are well informed are hopeful for the future, the present need being money.
"America has in a comparatively short period received one million Jews from other countries. Representative Morgenthau is helping the members of his race in Palestine in working out the policy of the United States Government.
"All of the interest manifested at present by the prominent Jewish American financiers is largely selfish. Not only so in the United States, but in all of Western Europe as well. A sudden extensive emigration of Polish and Russian Jews would seriously disturb the economical structure in those countries. And Jews and Gentiles are concerned over the possible catastrophe of emigration of large numbers of Jews from Poland and Russia. In Jewish circles they are earnestly preparing to organize the emigration. This has been the desire of a few for some years, but now that the danger of losing their own well-established positions comes home to them, it is becoming the desire of the majority of influential Jews, and union on that point is in sight. Regulating emigration will probably include diversion of the already over-population of Jews in New York City.
"The Zionists in the Netherlands are at work with might and main to bring together a Palestine fund--a drop in the bucket; but American Jews also are working along this line and the hope is entertained that the non-nationalists among the Jews will join in, understanding the necessity and urgency of the case."
* * *
"God's ways are equal: storm or calm,
Seasons of peril and of rest,
The hurtling dart, the healing balm,
Are all appointed as is best.
In judgments oft misunderstood,
In ways mysterious and obscure,
He brings from evil, lasting good,
And makes the final gladness sure.
While Justice takes its course with strength,
Love bids our faith and hope increase:
He'll give the chastened world at length
His afterward of Peace."
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WHY THE WORLD HAS NOT RECEIVED RESTITUTION
ACCORDING to the Bible presentation our Lord died for the sins of the whole world when He gave His life as an offset for Father Adam's life, which had been forfeited because of sin. The death of our Savior will be sufficient for the whole world, because the whole world are sharers in Adam's penalty by heredity. The merit of Christ's death, sufficient for the sins of Adam and for the sins of the whole world, has not yet been applied, or paid over, either for Adam or for the world. It has merely been put into the Father's hands, without application for anybody.
The Scriptures show us for what purpose the application is to be made; namely, that after our Lord's Second coming and the setting up of His Kingdom He will apply, for the full satisfaction and requirements of Divine Justice, the entire merit of His sacrifice on behalf of Adam and his race. The full penalty of original sin will thus be paid, the race of Adam will be released from that condemnation, and forthwith the work of Restitution will proceed. Meantime, while waiting for the application of the blood to the world, the Father imputes that merit of Christ on behalf of the Church.
CHRIST'S MERIT IMPUTED TO THE CHURCH
In thinking of this subject, this word impute should be considered. To impute is not to give. To give Christ's merit would mean to make it applicable to Adam and all the race. Jesus is not ready yet to give it to Adam and all the race; for to release Adam and his race just now from the present conditions would not be the best plan.
In commercial usage the word imputation has a similar thought of endorsement. If a man endorses a note for a thousand dollars, he does not give even one penny, but he imputes the value of the money. This transaction illustrates the work of imputing merit to the Church. The Church is not qualified to enter into a sacrifice with God. God is unwilling to receive as a sacrifice anything that is imperfect. But Jesus, having a credit in the hands of God, imputes a share of that merit to those who present themselves in consecration. On the strength of that merit, He becomes a surety, or guarantor, to those who wish to become His disciples. No more than this would be necessary; for their consecration is to sacrifice, and they need merely to sacrifice what they have. Since our Lord imputes of His merit to the Church, which offsets what they have not, whatever they are lacking by reason of heredity, when they shall have finished their contract this merit will be released, just as when the note is paid, the endorser is free.
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THE RELEASE OF THAT MERIT
Our Lord Jesus becomes the Guarantor, or Endorser, or Imputer, of His merit to all who make a consecration to God. This includes not only the Little Flock, but also the Great Company, who will be partly faithful and who will need this imputation to complete their Covenant; it also includes those who later become wilfully unfaithful and will go into the Second Death. When all these things shall have been accomplished, then this merit of Christ, having been fully released from all this imputation, will be applied in full measure to the sealing of the New Covenant, of which Christ is the Mediator. Then His Kingdom will be the Mediatorial Government for the blessing and uplift of the world.
The proposition made to the followers of Christ is that they will lay down their human lives sacrificially, just as Jesus did His--in whatever way God's providence may mark out for them. But those who present themselves to God in consecration are members of the sinner race of Adam. God properly declines to deal with these repentant sinners thus. He says, Your lives are already under condemnation; already they are three-fourths gone; in any event, you could not present more than one-fourth of the sacrifice that is absolutely required. However, God's Plan has provided that Jesus can become Surety for those who desire to become His footstep followers in sacrifice. On His account their sacrifices are accepted as a part of His sacrifice, that they may also share in His glory.
PHILOSOPHY OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
The philosophy of the matter is this: Jesus already has in the Heavenly Father's hands--that is in the hands of Justice--a meritorious credit to the value of His human life, which He laid down sacrificially in obedience to the Divine wish. That sacrifice, sufficient for Adam and every member of his family, is waiting in God's hands to be applied in due time--at the time appointed for the beginning of Christ's Millennial Reign for the blessing, uplifting, Restitution, of the world. A certain portion of that blessing or merit of Christ is due to come to each member of Adam's race in Restitution. A certain portion, therefore, would in due time apply to those of Adam's children who, having now forsaken sin, become members of Christ by consecrating to death.
As the Advocate for those who desire to become His followers, Jesus appropriates, or imputes, to them merit which is to His credit in God's account. That imputation is equivalent to the Restitution blessing which otherwise they would have received during the Millennium. This imputed merit, equal to all their imperfection, is, therefore, said to justify these from all sin, from all condemnation. Thus justified by faith these are accepted by God, and their sacrifices accepted of Him as part and parcel of their Redeemer's sacrifice.
Not until all the merit of Christ thus imputed to the various persons who have made consecration during this Gospel Age shall have been released will the full merit of Christ's sacrifice be available for actual Restitution for Adam and all of his race. The portion of merit imputed to each individual follower of Christ is released when that follower dies, because the imputation was merely to permit the sacrifice of the offerer to be acceptable to God. The offerer first gave up his earthly hopes and prospects --the Restitution privileges secured by Jesus for all men. That much he sacrificed instantly at the moment of his consecration, and so disposed of it. His consecration, however, includes all that remains of his talents and powers, vitality and strength, even unto death. Our Redeemer's endorsement for the Church acts as an embargo on the ransom-price which must be paid to Justice as a whole to secure for man restitution privileges.
IMPUTATION OF MERIT ILLUSTRATED
To make an illustration: Suppose that A had deposited a million dollars in the bank, intending it for a specific purpose at a stated time. Meantime some of his friends are needing money or credit. A says to the banker, I do not wish to disturb the million dollars which I have on deposit; but on the strength of its being in your possession, you will be very pleased, I am sure, to extend credit to some of my friends if I endorse their notes. The banker of course would say, Yes. The endorsed notes would be discounted, and A would be liable to the full amount of these notes if they were not paid at maturity. There would, therefore, be an embargo upon his million dollars' credit, to the extent those notes were not paid. But when all the notes were paid, the million dollars
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would be as free from obligation as if those notes had not been made and A's credit had not been imputed to anybody.
So it is with us who become Christ's disciples. Jesus endorses our notes. He becomes our Surety that we will fulfil our engagement, that we will lay down our lives. Until our lives are laid down, this imputation constitutes an embargo on Christ's merit which is in reservation to be applied on behalf of the world. But just as each one of us dies, all imputation of merit in behalf of that one is at an end, because his contract is fulfilled. In the case of those who do not lay down their lives willingly as per covenant, Jesus, as the Endorser, will, nevertheless, see to it that they lay down their lives; some of them in the great Time of Trouble will come through great tribulation, and their death will bring them also some measure of blessing; others will die the Second Death.
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VICTORIES OVER MODERN GIANTS
--APRIL 25.--`1 SAMUEL 17:1-54`.--
GIANTS OF OLD--DAVID AND GOLIATH--NOT BY HUMAN MIGHT, BUT BY GOD'S SPIRIT, OR POWER--FIGHTING THE GOOD
FIGHT--NOT WITH CARNAL WEAPONS
--POWER OF THE PEBBLE OF TRUTH.
THE first giants mentioned in the Bible were those who had human mothers, but whose fathers were materialized fallen angels, as recorded in `Genesis 6`.* These, however, all perished in the Deluge of Noah's day. From time to time since then, there have been human giants found in Asia. Og, king of Bashan, had an iron bedstead thirteen feet long. In their report on Canaan, the spies told of seeing giants there--the sons of Anak. Goliath, the giant of Gath, whom David slew, was probably a descendant of this family.
We have had giants in recent times, also; Byrne, an Irishman, eight feet four inches; Middleton, an Englishman, nine feet three inches; Lushkin, the Russian, eight feet five inches; Chang, the Chinese, seven feet eight inches. Pliny declared that Gabbaras was nine feet nine inches tall. There is, therefore, no room for discrediting the story of David and Goliath.
David, a youth of probably twenty years, visited the army of Israel, in which three of his brothers were soldiers, taking food and delicacies for their refreshment. To his amazement he found the army of Israel facing the army of the Philistines, who had invaded from the west. They were not fighting, each apparently fearing the other. A champion from the Philistines came forth every morning, a giant in size and strength, wearing a bronze armor weighing two hundred and twenty pounds, and brandishing his spear, the head of which weighed twenty-five pounds, and the shaft of which was nearly three inches thick. He defied the Israelites, declaring that a battle between individuals would settle the war. He defied not only the nation of Israel, but its God.
Young David was amazed that this had progressed so long, and that nobody accepted the challenge. A believer in the true God, he realized the Covenant between God and his nation. His faith in the Almighty was such that he accepted the Divine promises implicitly. He wondered at the lack of faith manifested by his brothers and his countrymen. He intimated that, backed by God's promises, he himself dared to meet that Goliath.
King Saul of Israel had let it be known that great honor would come to the one who would meet the challenge of the foe. Young David was brought before him; but, anxious as he was for a champion, the king realized that the sinewy youth before him would be no match for the giant strength of Goliath, one blow from whose spear would destroy him. Then the stripling pleaded his cause. He declared that, as keeper of his father's sheep, he had time and again delivered them from the mouth and the paw of the lion and the bear. He had the courage, and above all he had the faith in God. As God had blessed him in his daily duties of the past, He would give him strength for victory in the duty of the hour, the meeting of the defiance of the giant and his insult to Jehovah.
The king was impressed. He would lend David his armor--the best in Israel. But after trying it, young David declined it with thanks. He was not accustomed to such armor and could be himself better without it. He took with him merely his shepherd's staff, to which he was accustomed, and his sling. Passing over toward the side of the Philistines for the combat, he chose five smooth pebbles from the brook. This slight armament, with God's blessing, was more than sufficient; for he needed to use only one of the pebbles.
The giant was indignant, saying, "Am I a dog, that this boy should come out to meet me with a stick?" According to tradition, as the lad approached the giant laughed, throwing his head backward. His helmet fell off; and he was exposed to the sure marksmanship of his despised opponent. There were no newspapers in those days, nor public libraries; and he knew not of how mighty a place sling-stones occupied in warfare even then, and that often, in skilled hands, they were almost as effective as are the rifles of today. The giant stunned, his armorbearer fled; and young David quickly dispatched him and took his armor as a trophy. The Philistines surprised, dismayed, fled, Israel pursuing them to their own fortified city.
HOW TO MEET MODERN GIANTS
Following Jesus' death, a new Divine order of things was ushered in. Those who have faith in God still have battles to be won, but not with carnal weapons. Their victories, nevertheless, are based upon the same principle which operated favorably with David. Faith in God is lying at the basis--the realization that the cause in which they fight is one approved of God. A courage proper to their faith--a faith gradually developed in previous victories over lesser foes, as in David's case--helps to give courage and strength for battling with the most terrifying giants we may encounter.
Remembering this, each Christian should be daily on the alert to overcome the little weaknesses, the little frailties --to become conquerors in the little battles with selfishness, anger, malice, envy, evil-speaking. Victories over these, and experiences gained with God's help in overcoming these, give preparation step by step for the greatest trials and the grandest victories.
When we learn of the Divine promise, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne," it gives us the thought that a great victory must be won to prove ourselves worthy of the great honor to which God has called His Church. And this victory, as we are happy to learn, is not always to the strong, but to those whom God will bless. And the conflict which God approves and will reward is not strife with friends or neighbors, however unreasonable they may be, but strife against unrighteousness, against sin, against everything which the Divine Law opposes. This strife and victory belong, first of all, in our own hearts and minds and, secondarily, will extend, as the Lord's providence may indicate, in battling
*For further explanation send 6c. in stamps for booklet, "Spiritism --Proofs that it is Demonism." Address, WATCH TOWER, Brooklyn, N.Y.
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against public evils and in support of public and civic righteousness.
We are not, however, to forget that the great giant of sin and iniquity, which has dared the people of God for centuries, will be smitten down only at God's appointed time, and by the antitype of David. The name David signifies Beloved. The antitypical Beloved is The Christ-- Jesus the Head, the Church His Body. Shortly, a sling-stone of Truth is to smite down the great opponent; and the antitypical David will begin the Millennial Reign which is to lift up the world and bless it. As members of this David class, we must have the overcoming spirit, and its supporting faith and trust in God's promise and power.
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THE FAITH OF ONE PERSECUTED
--MAY 2.--`1 SAMUEL 19`.--
SAUL'S JEALOUSY OF DAVID--ATTEMPTS TO INJURE HIM--FREQUENT DELIVERANCES SUPERHUMAN--SATAN OUR GREAT ENEMY SEEKS OUR INJURY--DEVOTION TO GOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS SECURES US DELIVERANCE--WHY SUCH EXPERIENCES ARE PERMITTED-- THE ARMY AND THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL PRAISED AND IDOLIZED THE YOUTHFUL DAVID.
"Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe."--`Proverbs 29:25`.
WARS with the Philistines continuing, David was made a regular soldier, with a command over a regiment and closely in touch with King Saul himself. Victory after victory came wherever David was engaged, and King Saul saw the admiration of the people turned from himself to David. The sentiment reached a climax when, returning from one of the victories, the women and girls of a village came forth singing:
"Saul hath slain his thousands,
But David his tens of thousands!"
The flame of jealousy took full possession of the king, and thenceforth his one purpose seems to have been to destroy David. It was a secret withheld from him that David was already anointed by Samuel to be his successor. He merely knew that Samuel the Prophet had told him that, as a consequence of his failure to carry out the Divine instructions regarding the Amalekites, the kingdom would be taken from him and his family and given to another. He possibly hoped that this might never come true--that his son Jonathan might be his successor.
Jealousy is the bitter fruit of selfishness gone to seed. It unbalances reason, extinguishes happiness. It subjects its possessor to horrible melancholy, so that when it is in control he is really crazy. Not only is this illustrated in King Saul's case, but it is more or less illustrated in the experiences of every human being. Who does not by experience know what jealousy is? and the more he knows of it the worse. It has made murderers of children, as well as of grown-ups. It has wrecked homes, as well as business enterprises. It is the most terrible, and at the
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same time the most foolish, manifestation of selfishness. Every one recognizing it in himself should be alarmed-- should throttle it promptly, seeking victory through vigilance, and if a Christian, through prayer.
SAUL'S JEALOUSY WAS CRAFTY
When under control of these fits of jealousy, King Saul is described as having had an evil spirit from the Lord, but more properly, we shall say, an evil spirit opposite from the Lord's--the reverse of the Lord's Spirit of kindness, justice, love. When the king was laboring under these fits of melancholy which followed the cessation of the Philistine wars, young David could sometimes soothe him by skilful playing on a harp; yet he knew the king's treacherous mood and, keen eyed, on two occasions caught the king with his eye in time to hinder Saul from throwing at him a javelin-scepter which he usually carried.
Intent upon drawing David into a quarrel which might be construed as traitorous and justifying his death, the king promised him his elder daughter to wife, and then gave her to another. David, however, was discreet, and merely commented that he was not of a sufficiently noble family to expect such honors; neither was he able financially to give a sufficient dowry for a king's daughter. Another trap was to betroth to him the king's younger daughter, Michal. Young David again told of his unworthiness of the daughter and his lack of wealth for dowry, whereupon Saul stipulated that the dowry should be the evidence of the killing of a hundred Philistines. No doubt he hoped confidently that in the attempt to meet this requirement David would lose his own life; but instead, young David killed twice the number and received Michal, Saul's daughter.
The king, getting more insanely jealous, told his son Jonathan and his courtiers in general that David must be destroyed. The sentiment of Jonathan was as loving and brotherly as his father's was cruel, jealous, selfish. It was Jonathan who would lose by David's attainment of the honor of the kingdom. Hence the love of Jonathan has become a proverb. Additionally, he had the true spirit of manhood and brotherhood, the spirit of a peacemaker. He interceded with his father for David. His language is a beautiful model of filial respect as well as of devotion to his friend David. He said, "Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to theeward very good: For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel; thou sawest it, and didst rejoice; wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood to slay David without a cause?"--`Verses 4,5`.
The plea of the peacemaker was successful. The king relented. David was brought back and became again a member of the household. But it was only for a time. The king was not without some noble sentiments, but they were not deep enough. They did not control his life. On the contrary he was under the control of the evil mind, the selfish mind, the jealous mind, which is far from, and opposite to, the mind, the Spirit, of God.
Ere long, in a jealous fit again, the king not only made the motion to throw the javelin, but threw it with deadly aim and smote into the wall just behind where David sat; for David was quick and dodged it. David went to his room; but a guard had been stationed there, instructed that upon his coming forth he was to be killed. His wife informed him and assisted him to safety by letting him down out of a window. Possibly the house was built upon the wall, as in the case of St. Paul's similar deliverance.
TWO HUNDRED MURDERS FOR A WIFE
Scoffers seize upon one feature of this lesson to condemn the Bible as encouraging murder and with being, therefore, in conflict with righteousness and in conflict with a God of righteousness. They say, "Here we find David, a Prophet, described as being very discreet and as having the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of a sound mind;
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and yet we see him taking the lives of two hundred human beings as the price of a wife, and not a word in the Scriptures in condemnation."
Such charges and arguments should be met in a reasonable way--they should not be passed over with the remark, "No use reasoning with you; you are an infidel." He that doeth righteousness is righteous; he that doeth unrighteousness is unrighteous. This Bible proposition applies to God and to David, as well as to others. But, when inquiring respecting it, we should approach our subject with unprejudiced minds. Instead of condemning from the standpoint of prejudice, we should rather inquire how this course can be made to square with the principles of justice, which the Bible everywhere maintains.
In the first place, we must have in mind the difference between being a Jew under the Law Covenant and being a Christian under the headship of Christ. Second, we should remember that the Bible does not teach that those who die still live and pass immediately into everlasting torture. It teaches that the dead are really dead, and that the hope which God holds out for them is a resurrection from the death state in the future under more favorable conditions, under the blessed influences of Messiah's Kingdom. The Bible informs us that the penalty of sin is death--not torment after death. It informs us that this penalty was justly inflicted upon Father Adam because of his intelligent and wilful sin. It tells us that the human family are dying because, by laws of heredity, the seeds of sickness, imperfection, death, are in us, from the hour of our birth.
From this viewpoint, our entire world is a world of convicts under death-sentence. This accounts to us for the different treatment which God accords to humanity from that which He gives to angels--joy, peace, life, perfection. This accounts to us for God's permitting various death-dealing circumstances to have control--famine, pestilence, earthquakes, cyclones, etc. When we come to see that the same God who justly condemned all through one man's disobedience has made a provision for the justification of all through the obedience of Christ unto death, then we see things in a new light. When we learn that Messiah's Kingdom is to be set up for the very purpose of bringing light, knowledge of God and full opportunity of return to His favor and everlasting life, our hearts rejoice.
Coming back to our first proposition, we realize that we are not to judge David and people of his time as we would judge ourselves of this Gospel Age. He must be judged by the Law, under which he and his nation were placed at Mount Sinai--"an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a man's life for a man's life." The Israelites were informed that the people of the Land of Canaan had allowed their cup of iniquity to come to the full (`1 Samuel 15:2,3`); and that the children of Abraham were given that entire land, with the Divine approval of their taking possession of it as quickly as possible. They were fully commissioned to slay all their enemies there as being enemies of the Lord, not even being told that the Lord had a future provision for them all in Messiah's Kingdom.
The Philistines were in the Land of Canaan, where they not only held their own portion, but had invaded the portion which Israel had already conquered. They had caused loss of many lives in Israel. It was in full accord with the Divine instruction to the Israelites that the Philistines and all other occupants of Canaan should be utterly destroyed. David, therefore, was merely carrying out what all Israelites recognized as being the Divine instruction respecting the Divine Program. From this viewpoint alone can the Lord's instructions and the conduct of the Israelites in the past be recognized as proper.
Under the New Dispensation which began with our Lord's redemptive work and the Pentecostal blessing, the Lord's people of this Age, the Church, are under new orders, and by word and by example they are to illustrate the principles of mercy as in previous times the Jews were commanded to illustrate the principles of Divine Justice. We are to love our enemies, to do good unto them that hate us and that persecute us and say all manner of evil against us falsely. Thus we shall be the children of our Father who is in Heaven, and manifest that we have been begotten of Him by His Holy Spirit. But the Jews were not children of God. They were a "House of Servants." (`Hebrews 3:5`.) They never thought of speaking of themselves as sons of God. When Jesus declared Himself to be the Son of God they were indignant, said that He blasphemed, and took up stones to stone Him.
The first human son of God was Adam, and when he sinned, he was cut off from that relationship to God; and none others from Adam's time down to Jesus' time were ever recognized or spoken of in the Bible as sons of God. They were sinners, strangers, aliens, foreigners, convicts, under death sentence. But with Jesus came not only the new teaching but the new relationship. "Moses verily was faithful as a servant over all his House; but Christ as a Son over His own House [of sons]; whose House are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."--`Hebrews 3:5,6`.
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A FRIEND IN NEED--A FRIEND INDEED
--MAY 9.--`1 SAMUEL 20`.--
JONATHAN'S LOVE FOR DAVID--A MODEL OF FRIENDSHIP--ITS TEST--ITS ENDURANCE--ITS BASIS--FRIENDSHIP BEING LOST--SELFISHNESS AN IMPENDING DANGER--"EVERY MAN'S HAND AGAINST HIS NEIGHBOR"--THE HEAVENLY MODEL.
"A friend loveth at all times."--`Proverbs 17:17`.
HISTORY records noble examples of friendship; but supreme amongst these is the story of our lesson--the friendship, the love, of Jonathan, son of Saul and prospective heir of the throne of Israel, for David, his rival in the hearts of the people and in the Divine Program. The purity and unselfishness of his friendship demonstrates to us a nobility possessed by some in those days, which we might not have suspected and which is quite in conflict with the Evolution theory.
The loving spirit of Jonathan stands out all the more in contrast with the jealous spirit of his father, King Saul. Apparently his first meeting with David was after the latter's victory over Goliath. Instead of thinking of David as a rival, who should be crushed, the noble Jonathan took off his own princely robe and gave it to him, together with his sword and his famous bow.
Rev. Alex. Whyte remarks, "Jonathan was the eldest son of Saul; and he was thus the heir-apparent to the throne of Israel. Handsome and high-mettled, full of nerve and full of heart, Jonathan was the pride of the army and the darling of the common people. His comrades, for his beauty of person and swiftness of foot, were wont to call him The Gazelle. But for his father's great and disastrous transgressions, Jonathan might soon have
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been the second king of Israel, second in succession to Saul, but second to no king that ever sat on a throne in those great qualities of mind, heart and character that give stability to a throne and add lustre to a crown."
Well was it written by one of the ancients, "Life hath no blessing like an earnest friend"; and a poet has written:
"Life offers no joy like a friend;
Fulfilment and prophecy blend
In the throb of a heart with our own--
A heart where we know and are known."
"A FRIEND IN NEED, A FRIEND INDEED"
Jonathan's friendship, love, was not of the effervescent kind. It was the genuine article. He did not love merely in word, but in deed and in truth--not merely when his father favored his friend and when the public acclaimed him and when he would thus have favor with others; but he loved him just the same when the king became the enemy of his friend and sought his life. Indeed, it may be said that no friendship could be surely counted upon until after it has been tried. The friendship which will not endure trial, testing, the friendship which will make no sacrifices is not the kind to be modeled after.
Jonathan had love of the kind the Lord admonishes His followers to have--the love which in honor prefers one another. While other loves have been great, this one doubtless stands preeminent above earthly love, especially because it was founded on a religious basis. It was because David loved the Lord, and sought to be guided by His will as that will was manifest at that time, that he would wait--that he conducted himself with wisdom, as the record declares. And it was because Jonathan discerned this spirit of wisdom, because he realized David was guided by the spirit of righteousness, that he loved David.
Indeed, we may be sure that in proportion as we understand the Bible and receive the spirit of the Truth, in that same proportion we shall be able to appreciate and to copy and to exemplify the best there is of principle--whether of friendship, or of duty to a monarch, of duty to our family relationship, or of duty toward our God. There are many influences operating toward a spirit of selfishness, avarice, jealousy, while the influences making for true friendship, true love, all the best qualities of heart and head, are from the Lord.
We have already noted in a previous lesson how Jonathan acted as peacemaker between his father the king, and David. Today's lesson brings to our attention another occasion on which Jonathan acted the part of a true friend. David realized that his life was in danger and mentioned his fears to Jonathan. The latter was at a loss to believe that his father would break his word, yet was impressed by David's attitude. The feast of the new moon was at hand; and David was expected to sit at the royal table, King Saul at the head, Prince Jonathan at the right hand, the captain of the host at the left, and David occupying the fourth place, opposite the king. In harmony with an arrangement made between the friends, Jonathan was to ascertain his father's intentions definitely and to communicate these to David.
On the first day of the feast the king said nothing, although Jonathan, to attract attention to the matter and thus to draw out his father, chose a convenient time for taking David's seat. Finally the king asked for the "son of Jesse," as though he hated the very name "David." Jonathan replied that David had gone to keep the feast at Bethlehem by his permission.
The king had apparently been foiled in his intention to kill David at this time and vented his wrath upon his son, whom really he greatly loved. He addressed him as an unruly son, unworthy of his mother, thus implying that he ignored him as his own son. In his anger he threw a javelin at his son, probably not with the intention of striking him, but merely of venting his ferocious jealousy. Jonathan's speech in return shows that he was thinking less of what he himself was risking for his friend and more in respect to the injustice being done that friend. "So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month; for he was grieved for David, because Saul had done him shame."
It is a beautiful friendship which in stress forgets self and thinks only of the interests of the friend. As though in contrast with all the human loves and friendships, we read of Jesus, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Nevertheless, in the case of Jesus, it meant more than any earthly love or friendship; for "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." The Apostle declares that the Lord thus set an example to all Christians, that they should "lay down their lives for the brethren," be ready to die the one for the other. This is the Heavenly love, the Divine friendship, of which the love of Jonathan may be taken as a sample, next to the example of our Lord and the Apostles.
"IS IT NOT BEYOND THEE?"
The next morning David, having returned from his home, was to get Jonathan's judgment respecting the king's sentiments. The agreed-upon signal was that Jonathan with his bow and arrows should go into the field near to a great rock; and in connection with his archery would call out, "Is it not beyond thee? Make haste!" if the message was that David should flee. And so it was done. But the two friends could not think of parting, perhaps forever, without having personal contact. Jonathan went over to the rock behind which David hid. The two embraced, after the manner of the East, kissing each other Goodbye--true lovers, with a manly, noble love.
Here it was that Jonathan indicated his faith in God's providence in respect to David, and asked him to make a covenant with him that whatever should occur he would deal graciously with him and his family, saying, "Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed, forever. And he arose and departed; and Jonathan returned to the city."
Bible history shows us that David never forgot the obligation he thus undertook to be a friend to the family of Saul. The custom of the East at that time was that a new dynasty coming into power should utterly destroy all the males of the dynasty which was being overturned. But this was not so in David's case.
It was on the occasion of Jonathan's death with his father on the field of battle shortly after, in conflict with the Philistines, that David expressed the beautiful words:
"O Jonathan, on thy high places thou wast slain!
I am distressed for thee, my Jonathan, my brother!
Pleasant hast thou been to me exceedingly!
Wonderful was thy love to me, passing the love of women!"
We trust that none can read this story without being influenced favorably toward friendship, to be a truer, a nobler, a more faithful friend than otherwise; but especially should Christians get a blessing from this story of Jonathan's love, leading on as it does to the love of Christ and to the injunction that they should be copies of God's dear Son; and that their friendship should be loyal, true, enduring, especially one for the other, as the Apostle exhorts, "Doing good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially unto the Household of Faith."
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SEEDTIME AND HARVEST OF CHARACTER
"Be not deceived,...he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."--`Galatians 6:7,8`.
THE APOSTLE here brings to our attention the fact that there is danger of some of the Lord's people being deceived. Some might think that they could live according to their earthly desires, fleshly desires, and then attend meeting, or observe other religious forms, and it would make them all right with God. Others might deceive themselves into thinking that they might live according to the flesh, and then by going to the Lord in prayer they might have the matter all forgiven and corrected, and still be as far along spiritually as those who live daily a life of faithfulness to God. Another error which has deceived many is the teaching that, after living according to the inclinations of the flesh in sinful ways, they can go to the priest and obtain absolution, and that this will make them all right again.
Now these are deceptions. God has established a general principle which applies both to the Church and to the world. This general principle operates along the lines of sowing and reaping. Suppose a man unfamiliar with the nature of certain seeds should sow seed of thistles or of tares. A little later he might visit his field and say, "This seed seems to have been all right. I see nothing wrong. It has not hurt the ground in any respect; the field looks as well as if I had sown timothy seed or clover seed. The plants are green and thrifty, and indeed make quite a fine appearance." But later in the season the nature of the crop would make very manifest the dire mistake in the choice of the seed sown.
In the natural world men are sure to reap in kind as they have sown. They would not expect to sow tare seed and reap a crop of wheat. The law of cause and effect is no less inexorable in the spiritual realm. And so the Apostle says that "God is not mocked"--do not think that you can do an evil thing and get good results. Whoever "sows to the wind shall reap the whirlwind"; whoever sows to the flesh will reap accordingly; whoever sows to the Spirit will reap in kind.
THOUGHT THE BEGINNING OF CHARACTER
What is meant, then, by this word "sowing" when referring to spiritual things? Apparently it means a course of life, or conduct, that would bring good results or a course that would bring evil results. We sometimes hear the expression, "That young man is sowing his wild oats." The thought is that the conduct of such a one is evil; and that the conduct of the individual will react upon his character. We might go further and say that all conduct must be incited by previous thought. In other words, our thoughts are the initiative in what we are! To illustrate: When God would create the world He first had a Plan respecting it. All that He has been doing since has been the following out of a Plan that He originally had. We might say that it was the good thoughts of God which led to the good results.
So it has been in the case of Satan. Satan's course in the world has been that of sowing evil things, sowing tares. His course has been fatal to himself and injurious to others, and it was the result of the wrong thought he had before he committed the sin. He had said in his heart, "I will ascend into Heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;...I will ascend above the height of the clouds; I will be like the Most High." (`Isaiah 14:13,14`.) He had a covetous spirit, a selfish, presumptuous spirit, a spirit in opposition to God.
These two spirits are still operative in the world-- God's Spirit and the spirit of the Adversary. In referring to things pertaining to humanity, the Apostle speaks of this Adversary spirit as being the spirit of the flesh-- not that it is the spirit of the flesh in its original perfection, but the spirit of the fallen flesh. It is the spirit of Satan, which has become dominant in the human family. The Apostle addresses the words of our text particularly to the Church, but with a good application to the world also. If any of the Lord's people who have been enlightened and made partakers of the Holy Spirit should live according to the flesh chiefly, they would surely not receive the prize of the High Calling. If they wish to attain glory, honor and immortality, they must live according to the Spirit of God, the spirit of God's Law, the spirit of righteousness. They must conform their lives to the life of Christ their Exemplar, or they can never hope to attain the things promised them.
Because of the imperfection of the flesh inherited through Father Adam, the Lord's children can never in this life attain the perfection that they would wish. There will be blemishes and weaknesses of brain, of thought, and of the entire body. But they should live as nearly up to the standard as possible, and the Lord will compensate for their unintentional weaknesses. His grace will be sufficient for them to enable them to overcome. But if they sow to the flesh, they will reap in the flesh--they will reap the evil. However, if they are still loyal to the Lord, and repent of their derelictions, striving to overcome, He will overrule these experiences for their good.
LOYAL HEART THE FIRST REQUISITE
It is therefore for the Church to sow according to the Spirit, to conduct themselves according to the Spirit of God, who is a righteous Spirit Being. In order to do this, we see that the heart must be right. So the getting of our hearts right is the very first thing the Lord sets before us. We cannot even become His children until our hearts are right. We must turn from sin and accept the atonement of the great Sin-Bearer. Then we must heed the words of our Lord, "If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me." In so doing we are sowing to the Spirit. If we continue thus to sow, we shall reap the great reward-- all the glorious spiritual things the Lord has promised to His faithful ones of the Gospel Age.
But in proportion as we are derelict, as we sow seeds of evil, in that same proportion shall we be sowing to corruption. This does not necessarily mean the Second Death; but there will be corrections and stripes for the things which are improper. Whoever, therefore, sows a little to the flesh will reap accordingly. If he continues to sow according to the flesh, he will reap a much larger measure of results--greater corruption. And if his life be given over to sin, if he has abandoned the life of the Spirit entirely, the effect will be the Second Death, which is the extreme penalty of wilful opposition to God.
Hence, sowing to the flesh might or might not mean certainly to reap the Second Death. It would surely mean to reap difficulty, tendencies away from God, in proportion to the evil sowing. With the spirit-begotten it would surely lead to the Second Death if the course is not changed. We see this matter illustrated in many Christian people. They begin the Christian course, and live to a considerable degree to the Spirit of God, yet they occasionally give way to the things of the flesh and more or less encourage the fleshly mind. They do not perhaps realize any immediate results, but there are evil seeds sown. These evil seeds, evil thoughts in the mind, even if afterwards repented of, may more or less corrupt
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the mind all the rest of life; they tend away from the Lord, away from the Heavenly things, and make so much more to fight against. The Christian should see to it that all of his course in life, his desires, his thoughts, are brought into accord with the spirit of a sound mind, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.
Sowing to the Spirit and sowing to the flesh would, we understand, mean either to live according to God's way or, on the other hand, to live according to the spirit of the Adversary--to sow seed that will result either in the blessed fruits of the Holy Spirit of God or in the fruits of the fallen flesh--the corrupted, Satanized spirit with all its accompaniments. If we live according to our flesh, it will mean corruption, moral and spiritual degeneration; for we are in the corruptible condition.
PRESENT COURSE OF WORLD TO BEAR ON FUTURE
In their present condition the world cannot hope to gain everlasting life; for they have not come into relationship with the Life-Giver, although God has provided, as the Church knows, an opportunity for everlasting life to the whole world of mankind. But while the world is not yet on trial for this everlasting life, nevertheless their conduct has a decided bearing on their future. If now they are living according to the lines of selfishness--self-gratification --they will reap correspondingly, according to the influences that are at work in them. And this will leave them in a more and more corrupted condition as they continue so to live, and they will have more to overcome in the next Age, if they would ever gain everlasting life. They would be much more advanced and advantaged if they would follow the things of righteousness, if they would cultivate the principles of justice and love; and they will be much more degraded and handicapped if they follow the things of selfishness and impurity.
We might carry the matter clear back to Eden. In the case of Father Adam, when he sowed to self-gratification, when he ate of the forbidden fruit, he followed the wrong course; he failed to follow his best judgment, his conscience; he followed inclination. As a result he brought upon himself the death penalty, which gradually led to extinction of life; and all his posterity have shared his condemnation. Sad was the sowing, and most bitter and far-reaching has been the reaping. But through the mercy of God even man's terrible experiences with sin will prove a very valuable object lesson to angels and to all of God's intelligent creatures throughout eternity.
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"CHOOSE YE THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE"
"No man can serve two masters...Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."--`Matthew 6:24`.
THE THOUGHT which our Lord apparently wished to impress upon His disciples was that there is a principle involved in service --that no one can possibly render full service to two opposing interests, two opposing masters; for the one would surely be neglected in the interest of the other. There would be more or less of a preference shown. After making a general observation regarding the impossibility of serving two masters, the Lord applied this principle, saying, "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon"--God and selfishness, righteousness and unrighteousness. Man was originally God's servant. It was natural for him to appreciate the Divine character and arrangements and to render willing service. But mankind were deceived as they got under the control of the great Adversary, being influenced by the powers of evil, the chief effects of which have been ignorance, superstition and selfishness.
One of the deplorable conditions of the present time is that from birth selfishness is almost forced upon one. Man learns to give his time, his influence, for selfish purposes and projects. He fails to see that God is the One who should be served at any cost. But men were born and shapen in iniquity. They are servants of Sin, slaves of Sin. But our Lord Jesus pointed out that through the knowledge of Himself and compliance with His terms of discipleship, there came a release from this slavery, an opportunity to pass over to the side of righteousness.
However, an opportunity to take a stand for right came before our Lord's day. As a knowledge of God was granted to any people, they had an opportunity to assert themselves on the side of right. At the time when the Law Covenant was given, God set forth the principles of righteousness in that Law. The whole nation of Israel accepted God as their Savior, and entered into a Covenant with Him that they would be His loyal people. Yet after they had done this, the influences of evil in their flesh became manifest. They sought to be the servants of God and at the same time of self, dividing their interests between God's affairs and the affairs of self.
A WORTHY EXAMPLE SET
Jesus pointed out this particular fact, and told the people of His day that it was impossible to perform this half-hearted service--they could not serve two masters, for nobody would be pleased. If they were to serve Mammon, serve the Present Order of things, then they could not be pleasing to God. If they wished to serve God, serve righteousness, to whatever extent they did this they would be displeasing to the world; they must be servants of either the one or the other; the two services combined would be impossible.
The example of our Lord Jesus when He came to earth, was in harmony with this position; for He fully renounced the world and made absolute consecration of His life to God and His service. Thus He set us an example. All who have the same spirit should walk in His steps. This was in accordance with the Jewish Law: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy being, with all thy strength." Any one who kept this Law would not be serving self; for his service would be all for God.
Those who are following in the Master's footsteps are all for God, or, as we sometimes sing, "All for Jesus." As we follow the example of Jesus, and walk as He walked, we are rendering whole-hearted service to God. The result of serving this Master will be a great reward. "Him hath God highly exalted, and given Him a name above every name." And the Church has been invited to follow Him. So we should serve God in everything, with all our heart, mind, soul, strength. This is our commission. This we are to do to the point of sacrificing all earthly interests and of laying down our lives for the brethren. This course, followed faithfully to the end, will bring us to the same reward that Jesus received-- glory, honor, immortality.
RENDERING UNTO CAESAR HIS OWN
It may be asked how this text comports with the Apostle's suggestion that one who was bound when he received the Truth should not seek to be free. (`1 Corinthians 7:20-22`.) These words of St. Paul express the thought that when the Truth finds us it does not necessarily change our earthly relationships; that if a man were a slave, for instance, and the Truth of God reached him, he should not rebel against his earthly master. He is not to think of this new relationship to God as changing
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the color of his skin or his earthly relationship. The Apostle is speaking of the body and not the heart when he says, "Seek not to be loosed." Our bodies may be enslaved for one reason or another. It might be a bondage like that of olden times--captured service. Or it might be that we had become the servants of those who were willing to pay for our services. While we are not to do anything contrary to the Divine Law or to our consciences, yet we are to serve our earthly masters faithfully. They have purchased our time, or a large measure of it; and we must render to them conscientiously all that is theirs by contract. If one is a servant in a military way, or in any other way, he should be faithful.
This will not interfere with one's service to God; for our Lord has instructed us to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." Whoever is faithful in this is doing the will of his Heavenly Master. There would be no conflict, but full harmony. The only conflict would be if the master on earth should wish us to do something contrary to the commands of our Master in Heaven. We are to suffer anything rather than do what our Heavenly Lord would not approve, and thus defile our consciences.
Looking into the future, we see that the present master, ruler, of this Old Order is soon to be bound, that he may deceive the nations no more for a thousand years, and that the new Ruler, the new Master of the world, is to be The Christ--Jesus and His Church. We ask ourselves how this principle will apply then. The answer is that there will be only the one Master to obey. There will be no rendering unto Caesar then. All will be made fully aware that this Master is the only one who has the power, the right to command. The knowledge of God's glory shall fill the whole earth--the knowledge of God's Righteousness, the knowledge of God's Power, the knowledge of God's Wisdom, the knowledge of God's Love. Whatever He commands is the right thing, as every one will then learn and fully understand.
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THE SCRIPTURALLY "WICKED"
In the Scriptures Satan is represented as the deceiver of mankind. He puts light for darkness and darkness for light. God's proposition through Christ is that during the thousand years of the Millennial Reign, the whole world will be brought to the true knowledge of God, an accurate knowledge. Deception will be no longer permitted. The world will see what righteousness really is, what its rewards really are, and how desirable it is. As a consequence, the majority will then, we think, be glad to give heed to the one Master. The exceptions are represented as having the same disposition as Satan; and whoever will have that disposition will be destroyed. When a person comes to know the right and when the right is made reasonable, and possible for him, and he then prefers to do wrong rather than right, let him die the death. This will be the sentence. Such will be counted "the wicked," the incorrigible.
The word "wicked" from the Scriptural standpoint, means those who do wrong intentionally. So all the wicked, knowing the wrong to be wrong, and doing it wilfully and purposely, shall die the Second Death. In due time none shall be left alive except those who serve the one true Master. The difficulty with mankind at present is ignorance, which God has not yet lifted from the world. He has permitted the ignorance and darkness of the present time that the world may learn its lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and be the better prepared for the lessons that are to follow. "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine unto them." But these blinded minds shall soon have the obstructions removed that they may see.
Those who have become children of the light, who have accepted the Lord Jesus and become His disciples, and who now see clearly the Divine will and Plan, have much more responsibility than those who have never seen. We also have greater prospects of blessing--not only the present joy, comfort, peace and knowledge, but additionally the hope of making our "calling and election sure," of attaining to joint-heirship with the Master. God will leave the scattering of the darkness for Christ to do. God has let the world go on its way, meantime providing the Savior, the Deliverer--The Christ--who will soon take control of the whole world. He will cause the light, the Truth, to shine out, to flood the earth with knowledge and blessing. Then with the true light shining everywhere, there will be no excuse for anybody who will not walk in it; each one must then choose finally whether or not he will serve the true Master.
BABYLON'S SERMONS, S. S. LESSONS, ETC.
I write to say to you that I left the Presbyterian Church in November. I was baptized Sunday afternoon, January 24th, and am now enjoying full rights as a member of the Body of Christ with the brethren.
This came about by my having read one of your leaflets during the first part of November--a leaflet which had been placed on our front porch by some unknown messenger-- one of the articles printed in it describing the Mystical Babylon's fall with the command, "Come out of her, my people," etc. This struck my mind with such force that I never went back to our Church, my last visit being the evening before Thanksgiving for a prayer service. I was dissatisfied before I left, not only with the weak sermons--sermonettes, I called them--but with the weak Sunday School lessons and fully as weak Bible Class lessons. I was honestly hungry for mental and spiritual food, commensurate with the strength of my mind. I never found it, outside of the Bible, until I bought a complete set of Pastor Russell's books and read them through. I was extremely anxious to have Revelation and part of Daniel's prophecies explained, but did not know where to obtain the needed assistance. Now all is made clear and I have to exclaim over and over, "I would not take a fortune for them and do without them!" My experience is the same as that of the rest of the Class; it is hard to pull ourselves away (even for rest and food) from the study of the Bible when it is done with the aid of those valuable books, "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES." Am so thankful for them.
Last fall the Methodist minister here warned me particularly to have nothing to do with those books or leaflets, saying I would be so drawn in I couldn't extricate myself. This whetted my interest, but I found, unknown to myself, that he really told the truth; for I am drawn in, and what is more remarkable, I would not wish to extricate myself, if I could. I have the full set of books, largest size, have subscribed for THE WATCH TOWER and am pleased with the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY also. I want some of these books to go to some of my Presbyterian friends by mail, sub rosa. Thanking you for your kindness, I am,
Very respectfully, MRS. H. B. PORTER.
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THE VOW AN ADDED SAFEGUARD
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
In the fulness of time the attention of the dear Brethren here was publicly directed to the consideration of the VOW as an added safeguard to the New Creature and a further aid to the development of the spiritual graces. Here the first result was to cause a division in the camp for the time being, some of the brethren assuming an attitude of determined opposition to it. The great Adversary is mightily afraid of that VOW. He realizes that it will always be a most effective check upon his machinations, and so he invents a hundred and one reasons why it should be
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avoided. We had them all: It would "despoil us of our liberties"; it would "hinder our fellowship"; it would "make business intercourse difficult"; and "marriage of the saints impossible." "No, we would not sell our liberties and spoil the loving fellowship we formerly enjoyed." "We would not take the VOW, even though it cast us into outer darkness!"
Here, as always, the Adversary overreached himself, and reason returning, some were constrained to ask, "Could such a course that seems bound to stampede the Lord's flock be of His leading?" And so one after another was led to reconsider his attitude to the VOW; and as this was done, the opposition thereto melted away like mists before the sun. A dear Brother who was strong in opposition to the VOW, was led to see the folly of that course, and was anxious, therefore, to publicly intimate his conversion. This he did in a most noble manner. After explaining his change of front and the reason therefor, he came out and in the presence of the whole class affixed his signature to the enclosed copy. Of course, such action was infectious and to our great joy one after another followed our dear Brother's example until now the opposition to the VOW has vanished into thin air. Praise the Lord for His great goodness to us!
Now we, twenty-four Brothers and Sisters of the Ecclesia at Durban, wish to thank you for the admirable foresight which caused you some years ago to propound such a wise provision for our safeguarding in these evil days; and we wish to assure you that we have made this VOW our own, and are determined by His grace to vow and pay unto the Lord our God. To this end we humbly beseech an interest in your prayers; and in testimony of our determination we have set our names to the accompanying copy. May God give us all grace to be faithful unto death, that we may gain the crown of life!
With continued Christian love to you, dear Brother, and to all those of like precious faith at the Bethel, I remain,
Your Brother in our imminent Hope,
WM. W. JOHNSON.--Natal, S. Africa.
[New readers of THE WATCH TOWER may not fully understand the above letter, not having seen a copy of the VOW. Upon post-card request we will mail a copy of it free.]
HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS ENDORSED
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
In sending in current report I am constrained to bring to your notice a point of some possible moment as respects the arrangements for public meetings at small places.
It appears to me that some of the dear Pilgrim brethren have permitted the large audiences at certain places to create an impression that small audiences are hardly worth while. In consequence, whenever there is a small attendance at a publicly advertised meeting, they advise the brother, "If I were you I should not try a public meeting here any more." At a number of recent appointments, friends have told me practically the same thing.
I find that sometimes not a single grain of wheat will result from a large meeting, while at other times several grains will come from a small meeting. Then, in such little places, everyone knows everybody's business, and if a private class meeting is held there will usually be a few strangers. I don't see why it wouldn't be better to make some little public announcement and get twenty-five strangers instead of a few.
In such places a public meeting is practically no trouble or expense. Often there is no good hall in the place, but a schoolhouse to be had free.
If the Pilgrim brethren would not discourage the holding of public services, but would rather advise as to wisest way of getting results therefrom, I think it would be better.
Another thing: A class recently visited complained about the way the Pilgrims had been "scolding" them. Wouldn't it be an improvement if all scolding was done more indirectly, by example and suggestion, rather than by direct and public criticism.
It has done me great good to perceive the great number who seem to be laying hold on the Truth. Everywhere this is so evident. With much Christian love,
Yours in His name, B. H. BARTON.
ENTERED UPON HER LAST TEST
MY BELOVED PASTOR:--
I was very much impressed by the statement in the Dec. 15 WATCH TOWER: "The Church has entered upon her last test." In applying this to myself and others, I should be able to notice testings of a more peculiar and stringent character than in the past. And I do. One is the test to be especially recognized and honored of the brethren. The Lord has given me victory. I am reconciled to God's ways. In watching others, I can see the same struggle.
In our Berean Bible Class Study, with fifteen or twenty attending, we do not always get around to ask each a question, though all have an opportunity to ask questions and comment. This does not meet with the approval of all the sisters. One Sister, with some teaching ability, is offended because we do not comment favorably upon her questions and answers. She thinks that the Elders are trying to keep the Sisters down, that we are not asking her enough questions and paying due respect to her.
We think it proper not to give too much encouragement where there seems to be plenty, but rather to encourage the quiet and backward ones. We think the Sister is in enough danger anyway, as she is taking upon herself to teach two classes of sisters. We shall strive to live and teach so as to have a conscience void of offense before God and man.
May the Lord help us all, Elders and otherwise, to realize more fully the responsibility resting upon us, and to manifest a more brotherly care for each other, knowing that we all expect to be with the Lord in glory shortly. May God bless you in your service!
Your humble Brother by His grace, __________.
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HUNGRY FOR GOD'S LOVE
MY DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
Your sermons in the newspapers are such a comfort, and I am proud to know that there is a man of God who is brave enough to tell the Truth as he sees it. We go to church, but where is the comfort to be found there? Money! money! money! The poor man is made to feel his position in life so keenly that it is far better for him to stay at home and go out in the fields or on the water and praise God there, for God wants the heart and a good, pure life.
We are hungry for God and for Christ's love--pure, sweet love. We go to church, but we are made to feel that we poor creatures need to know more of God's love! It is there for us, only our eyes are not yet opened. We have attended the same church for twenty years--Presbyterian, and a little over two years ago I had an awful, awful sorrow (I had but the two sons), when my older son was taken ill. Everything was done that could be done for him, but God called him home. His was one of the most beautiful characters. When he was ill and suffering, there was never a murmur. He was on the Produce Exchange, and his employer wrote him a most beautiful letter, stating that they had stood side by side for thirteen years and he had never seen a frown.
After the funeral, and our bills were being settled, we were horrified when the undertaker said to my husband that the minister expected his pay--from five to ten dollars. What a dreadful thing to think that the last prayer over the remains of my precious boy had to be paid for! We have the receipt.
What would our blessed Savior say to that? Oh, keep telling us of God's love! It will help us to bear the cross as we go through life. If it were only known in the pure, simple way, how many dear, discouraged souls it would help! It is not to be found in the churches of today.
Very sincerely, MRS. E. H. LOMAS.
ECHOES SENTIMENTS OF MANY PRISONERS
As one of more than fourteen-hundred prisoners confined in Clinton Prison at Dannemora, N.Y., I wish to thank you and all concerned in the production of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. It has been a great privilege to view the pictures, and I have derived lasting benefit during these past four days.
I but echo the sentiments of every prisoner within these walls when I say that this exhibition has given us a better knowledge of creation, of God and of Christ than we could possibly get, unaided, from any other source. It has made a deep impression upon all of us. It has lifted our thoughts to a higher, better life and has given us a far better understanding of things of which we have heretofore been ignorant.
It would have pleased you to have witnessed the manner in which the pictures were received by the hundreds of men who are considered hardened criminals.
When the motion picture of Jesus' awakening of Jairus' daughter and the healing of the lame and blind was on the screen the prisoners voluntarily joined softly in the hymn of the phonograph singer. This was most impressive; and the man must indeed be hardened whose heart would not be moved.
Again thanking you, please accept greetings and best wishes for a continuance of your health.
Sincerely yours, WILLIAM F. GILLESPIE.
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION CLASSES
BETHEL HYMNS FOR MAY
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 May follow: (1) 43; (2) 273; (3) 318; (4) 303; (5) 173; (6) 24; (7) 83; (8) 165; (9) 330; (10) 20; (11) 327; (12) 293; (13) 119; (14) 7; (15) 264; (16) 221; (17) 155; (18) 188; (19) 4; (20) 54 (21) 17; (22) 105; (23) 52; (24) 282; (25) 87; (26) 104; (27) 88; (28) 213; (29) 1; (30) 45; (31) 172.