VOL. XXXVI APRIL 15 No. 8
A. D. 1915--A.M. 6043
The Sum of All Graces.............................115
The Spectrum of Love..........................116
World's Imitation an Outward Veneer...........116
Unselfish, Sweet Tempered, Sincere............117
Strong, Trustful, Hopeful.....................118
The Editor's Proposition......................118
White Raiment of the Kingdom......................118
"Light Afflictions" Here--"Glory to
As He Was, So Are We, in This World...........120
Our "Covenant by Sacrifice"...................121
"Therefore Glorify God in Your Body"..........121
"Touch Not Mine Anointed".........................122
Training for Kingdom Work.....................122
Earth's Five Universal Empires................123
King Saul's Last Battle...........................124
Returning to Business.............................125
War Hastening Millennium......................126
Memorial Supper Reports...........................127
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
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REVISED CONVENTION ITINERARY
A few changes of dates have been necessary, as below:-- May 9--Pittsburgh, Penna. May 20--Dallas, Texas. " 10--Altoona, Penna. " 21--Waco, Texas. " 11--East Liverpool, Ohio. " 22--Houston, Texas. " 12--Dayton, Ohio. " 23--San Antonio, Texas. " 13--Cincinnati, Ohio. " 24--El Paso, Texas. " 14--St. Louis, Mo. " 26--Riverside, Cal. " 15--Columbia, Mo. " 27--Los Angeles, Cal. " 16--Kansas City, Mo. " 28--San Diego, Cal. " 17--Coffeyville, Kans. " 29--Santa Ana, Cal. " 18--Oklahoma City, Okla. " 30--San Francisco, Cal. " 19--Denison, Texas.
June 7th will be BIBLE STUDENTS' DAY at the Fair, where Festival Hall has been set apart for their use that day. Brother Russell expects to deliver a public address on Sunday, May 30th, at San Francisco and on Sunday, June 6th, at Oakland. He also expects to be with the Conventioners at Festival Hall, June 7th. He will have editorial duties and correspondence needing his attention. He will probably speak only once at the Oakland Convention, aside from the two public Sunday addresses here mentioned and the address at Festival Hall, June 7th.
For information respecting room and board at reasonable rates address I.B.S.A. Committee, Box 473, Oakland, Cal.
THE RETURN JOURNEY
June 8--Sacramento, Cal. June 17--Butte, Mont. " 10--Portland, Ore. " 19--Greeley, Colo., a.m. " 11--Bellingham, Wash. " 19--Cheyenne, Wyo., p.m. " 12--Vancouver, B.C., a.m. " 20--Denver, Colo. " 12--Everett, Wash., p.m. " 21--Colorado Springs, Colo. " 13--Seattle, Wash. " 22--Pueblo, Colo. " 13--Tacoma, Wash. " 23--Omaha, Neb. " 14--Spokane, Wash. " 24--Chicago, Ill. " 15--Missoula, Mont., a.m. " 25--South Bend, Ind. " 15--Helena, Mont., p.m. " 27--Indianapolis, Ind. " 16--Great Falls, Mont. July 4--N.Y. City Temple.
DOCTOR JONES' EXCURSION PARTY
Brother Jones advises that our Convention program seems too long for the proposed plan of Special Car. His latest thought is that himself and some others may overtake Brother Russell at Los Angeles Convention, proceed thence to San Francisco and then return to Chicago direct.
LITTLE CONVENTIONAL GATHERINGS
In harmony with our suggestion the friends at various places where Brother Russell will be addressing the public are arranging for little, quiet, local Conventions. Incidentally, we remark, that these are often amongst the most profitable. We advise that they be not made public --that the public be not invited to them, unless, indeed, it would be the particular friends of those who might be in attendance, especially if they were consecrated people. Some of the places intending such gatherings have sent us the particulars noted below.
Information respecting board and lodging at economical rates, etc., etc., should be obtained from the Class Secretaries. PITTSBURGH, PA., May 9 (other dates not yet determined).
Address R. H. Bricker, Class Sec'y, 1323 Goebel St., N.S. ALTOONA, PA., May 9, 10.
Address Class Sec'y, F. B. McClellan, 322 Cherry St. EAST LIVERPOOL, O., May 9, 10, 11.
Address Class Sec'y, I. Whitehill, 1062 Oak St. CINCINNATI, O., May 13, 14, 15, 16.
Address Class Sec'y, H. Schulz, 201 Lincoln Inn Court. ST. LOUIS, Mo., May 14, 15, 16.
Address Class Sec'y, J. H. Hoeveler, 6126 Waterman Ave. KANSAS CITY, MO., May 14, 15, 16.
Address Class Sec'y, Mrs. R. H. Goza, 4409 E. 27th St. SEDALIA, MO., May 15, 16.
Address Class Sec'y, S. Bowser, 501 E. 4th St. COFFEYVILLE, KANS., May 16, 17.
Address Class Sec'y, Mrs. C. F. Palmeyer, 302 E. 6th St. OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., May 16, 17, 18.
Address Class Sec'y, G. F. Wilson, 801-1/2 W. 9th St. HOUSTON, TEXAS, May 21, 22, 23.
Address Class Sec'y, J. Isaac, Jr., 905 Thompson St. LOS ANGELES, CAL., May 26, 27, 28, 29.
Address Class Sec'y, F. P. Sherman, Peoples Temple, 8th and
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THE SUM OF ALL GRACES
"And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."--`1 Corinthians 13:13`.
THE Apostle Paul has just been referring to the various miraculous gifts of the Spirit then granted to all begotten of the Spirit to the new nature. Any one lacking some such special gift at that time would thus manifest to all believers that he had not become a member of the Church of Christ. These supernatural gifts also served to assist the primitive Church in spiritual growth. They did not have the Bible in those days, and if they had possessed it, but very few could have read it; hence, they needed special assistance which the Church afterward did not need, and which later was taken away.
In this letter to the Church at Corinth, the Apostle, after discussing these various gifts, says, "And yet I show unto you a more excellent way." Then he proceeds to point out the super-excellence of the fruit of Love. Whoever has the Holy Spirit must have a measure at least of this fruitage, whether it be the little flower that contains the fruit-bud or whether it be the partly developed fruit, the fully developed fruit or the ripened fruit. God our Father, who looks upon the heart, knows how His Holy Spirit in the heart is seeking to control the flesh, to guide the mind and all the words and actions. We are not able to judge one another's hearts. The Apostle said that he did not feel able properly to judge even himself, but left judgment to the Lord. He knew that his heart was loyal and that he was endeavoring to be all that the Lord would have him be. Though he was conscious of his inability always to "do the things that he would," he knew that the Master would accept his loyalty of heart; so he would do his best and leave the remainder with God.
Our faith and our hope in the Lord lead us to earnest endeavor to develop the fruitage of love in all its varied and beautiful phases. Gentleness is a part of love; meekness is a part of love; so also are humility and brotherly-kindness. The question at issue with each child of God is not, How tall and well-built am I? or, How fine-looking or well-educated or well-connected am I according to the flesh? or, How many or how fine sermons have I preached? or even, How many have I brought to a knowledge of the Truth? But the vital question is, How much of the quality of love have I developed? How great is the likeness of my character to that of Christ?
LOVE IS THE PRINCIPAL THING
Why is this quality of love made so prominent in the Word of God? We answer, Because it is the first thing, the most important thing, the principal thing. It is the fulfilling of God's Law; and, indeed, the sacrificial love enjoined upon God's saints of this Age goes even beyond the requirements of the perfect law. But why is Love put first? It is not because God arbitrarily so placed it, not because He exercised His power of fiat and declared that it should be first. No. It is because no other quality of character is so lovely, so beautiful, so productive of happiness and joy, so great a blessing to all upon whom it operates. It is the very essence of God's character. "GOD IS LOVE!" This quality particularly represents His personality. While God is all-just and all-powerful, we do not say that God is Justice or that God is Power, but that God is Love. He uses His great Power only as Love dictates and approves. He uses His Justice only in fullest harmony with His glorious attribute of Love. Love is the mainspring of all His doings.
Whoever, therefore, would be God-like must be loving, must have love as the dominating quality of his character and his life. Love and righteousness are inseparable. Love is to continue to all eternity; and only those who become the active embodiment of this gracious quality of character will live eternally. Hence we see the paramount importance of its development in every life.
Next to our Lord's marvelous Sermon on the Mount stands this great homily on Love, recorded in the `13th chapter of 1st Corinthians`. Both discourses teach the same lesson, but approach it from different standpoints. As pupils in the School of Christ, all the instructions of the Divine Word and the Divine providences in our lives are designed by the Lord to develop our characters and to influence our conduct in harmony with the requirements of Love. The Master said, "A new commandment I give unto you [the Church], that ye love one another." Since "Love is the fulfilling of the Law," and is "the bond of perfectness" in the child of God, no wonder we are assured from the Scriptures that "God is Love," and that "he that loveth not, knoweth not God!" Our Lord again declared that "this is life eternal--that they might know Thee, the only true God"--the God who is Love.
This noble quality of Christian character cannot be acquired instantly. It is a growth; and its development is the chief business, the chief concern, of every spirit-begotten child of God who would know God, who would win the great reward of life on the highest plane of existence and who would see our Father and our Savior
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face to face and dwell in their presence forevermore.
ALL ATTAINMENTS VALUELESS WITHOUT LOVE
In this wonderful discourse under consideration, St. Paul points out that this crowning grace of Love is the necessary quality to make any service acceptable to God. If Love is not the motive power controlling us, the greatest zeal, the finest rhetoric, or the richest eloquence, on behalf of Truth and righteousness would pass for nothing in God's estimation, and would bring no reward from Him. If love be lacking, great ability in expounding the mysteries of God, much study and great knowledge, would be as naught in winning the approval of the Lord. Even a mountain-moving faith would be valueless, if, looking into the recesses of the heart, the Father could see that love is wanting. The giving of all one's possessions to feed the poor or to spread the Gospel, if done without love as the moving impulse, would be powerless to bring us God's approbation. Death as a martyr would not be acceptable except it was undergone from love to the Lord and loyalty to His Truth.
Why is this? It is because all these things might be done through selfish motives--to be seen of men or to feed pride or to exercise the spirit of combativeness. Love must prompt all our service for God or all will be utterly without value--as "sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal."
THE SPECTRUM OF LOVE--ITS COMPONENT ELEMENTS
A college professor, commenting upon this word Love, said, "As you have seen a man of science take a beam of light and pass it through a crystal prism, as you have seen it come out on the other side of the prism broken up into its component colors--red, and blue, and violet, and orange, and all the colors of the rainbow--so St. Paul passes this thing, Love, through the magnificent prism of his inspired intellect, and it comes out on the other side broken up into its elements. And in these few words we have what one might call the spectrum of Love, the analysis of Love. Will you observe what its elements are? Will you notice that they have common names, that they are features which we hear about every day, that they are things that can be practised by every man in every place in life; and how by a multitude of ordinary virtues, the supreme thing, the summum bonum, is made up?
"The spectrum of Love has nine ingredients:
Patience--'Love suffereth long.'
Kindness--'and is kind.'
Generosity--'Love envieth not.'
Humility--'Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.'
Courtesy--'doth not behave itself unseemly.'
Unselfishness--'seeketh not her own.'
Good temper--'is not easily provoked.'
Guilelessness--'thinketh no evil.'
Sincerity--'Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in
To the above we add three other ingredients:
Fortitude--Love "beareth all things,...endureth
Trustfulness--Love "believeth all things."
Hopefulness--Love "hopeth all things."
We cannot agree with the professor that these graces can be practised by every man, in every place, nor that they are ordinary virtues. We must contend that these fruits as a whole cannot belong to the "natural man." He may indeed put on some of the gentleness, some of the humility, some of the courtesy, some of the patience, some of the kindness, as men may attach grapes to thorn bushes or figs to thistles; but with the natural man these graces are wholly put on, and not the outgrowth of the inward grace, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love. They are not an evidence of relationship to God. Where the individual has not been begotten again by the Word of Truth and by the Holy Spirit, his imitation of certain outward manifestations of love will not constitute him a son of God nor bring to him the rewards and blessings of sonship, to which there is only the one Door--Christ Jesus.
And with the Christian a mere outward manifestation of patience, meekness, etc., is not sufficient, either in God's sight or in his own sight. These rich fruits are produced only by the indwelling Spirit of love in his own heart. In civilized countries many of the fruits of the Spirit are recognized by the unregenerate as desirable traits and are imitated, as marks of good breeding. In many cases they are successfully worn as a cloak or mask, covering hearts and sentiments quite antagonistic to the Spirit of Love.
WORLD'S IMITATION OF LOVE AN OUTWARD VENEER
While even an outward imitation of the fruit of Love mitigates to some extent the evils and distresses and frictions incident to man's fallen condition, yet it is only a veneer, as times of stress and trial often manifest in a painful manner. We remember a report which we once read of a conflagration at a certain Charity Bazaar in Paris, which showed that the most polished and aristocratic young gentle-men of the most polite city and nation of earth displayed the ferocity of brute-beasts when face to face with death, and that in their mad rush to escape the flames they knocked down and injured each other, and treated thus even ladies of the first rank in France, to whom they had just before been overly polite. We cannot expect more of a love-veneered, selfish heart--even the strong glue of chivalry will not hold the veneer under such circumstances.
The time is now very near when a far greater and more terrible crisis will make manifest to the whole world that much of the politeness and gentleness of our day is only skin deep, and is not from the heart, not the fruitage of the Holy Spirit of Love. In that great crisis, every man's hand will be "against his neighbor and against his brother," as the Word of the Lord graphically portrays. In that great Day of Vengeance, the masks of formal politeness and chivalry will be discarded, and the world will for a short period get such a revealment of its own hideousness and selfishness as will horrify it and will help to prepare it for the blessed Kingdom of Love then to be established by the great Immanuel, the Messiah of God. And this great Day of Vengeance has already begun.
DRAWN BY LOVE DIVINE
The Scriptures inform us that in our fallen estate unselfish love is foreign to our natures, and must be introduced into them by the Power of God. The Apostle says, "Not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the Propitiation for our sins." As we learn of this great love of God, and accept the conditions which He has made for our return to Him, through His Son, the love of God constraineth us to love in return.
The measure of our appreciation of Divine Love will be the measure of our zeal in conforming our characters to the Divine pattern. A naturally rough, uncouth, depraved disposition may require a much longer time after the grace of Divine love enters his heart, before that grace is manifest in all the words and thoughts and acts of the outward man. Others of more refined nature, of gentle birth and cultured training, might even without the grace of God within have many of the outward refinements, so that as a Christian his outward conduct might be much more pleasing. None save He who reads the heart is competent to judge as to who has and who has not this quality of love well developed in his character. We will now take up the various elements of Love.
ANALYSIS OF LOVE'S COMPONENT ELEMENTS
Love is patient--it is longsuffering with the weaknesses
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and imperfections of those who give any evidence of good intentions. Moreover, it is patient even with those who are out of the way, and who oppose themselves to righteousness and Truth, realizing that the whole world are more or less under the influence of the great Adversary and his demon host, who blind the minds of the masses. This manifestation of love was very prominent in our Lord Jesus. How patient He was with His opponents! Let us heed the Apostle's words in his `Epistle` to the `Hebrews`, "Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied [in well-doing and patience] and faint in your minds."
Love is kind in its methods. It not only seeks to do good, but seeks to do it in the kindest possible manner. In proportion as love is attained the effort of the heart will be to have every word and act, as well as the thought which prompts them, full of kindness. Love is tender, affectionate. It has a real and deep interest in others, especially the brethren in Christ. We do well to remember the motto of the old Quaker: "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." This sentiment is especially applicable in the Church of God.
Love is generous, and has no place for envy, which, on the contrary, springs from a perverted nature--from selfishness. Love rejoices with them that rejoice; it rejoices in the prosperity of every good word and work, and in the advancement in Christian grace and service of all who are actuated by the Spirit of God.
Love is humble--it "vaunteth not itself." It does not sound a trumpet before it. Its good deeds are not done to be seen of men, not done to be praised of the brethren, but would be done just the same if no one should see or know but the Lord alone. It is boastful neither of its knowledge nor of its graces, but in humility acknowledges that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father, and returns praise to Him for every mercy received. Love seeks rather to keep self in the background. Some one has truly said, "Love saves a man from making a fool of himself by consequential conduct, and by thrusting himself into positions which betray his incompetence."
Love is courteous--"doth not behave itself unseemly." How beautiful is this trait in the child of God! How much pain is caused by the lack of courtesy, of that thoughtful consideration for others which springs from real love in the heart--love that is trained! Pride and selfishness are at the root of most of the unseemly conduct and boorishness so common to those who think themselves somebody, either intellectually or financially. Perfect love, on the contrary, manifests courtesy along with humility. Politeness, courtesy, may be defined as love in the little things.
The secret of real courtesy is love. A gentleman or lady is one who does things gently, thoughtfully, kindly, lovingly. A true Christian, then, should be a gentleman or a lady in the most real and perfect sense. To ignore the little courtesies of life as unnecessary is a serious mistake in a child of God. A kind greeting, a pleasant smile, little acts of thoughtfulness for others--who has not realized their potency or felt pain from the lack of these?
UNSELFISH, SWEET TEMPERED, SINCERE
Love is unselfish--"seeketh not her own," exclusively or pre-eminently. It never seeks to take advantage of others or to promote its own selfish interests. It goes out to others, and seeks to promote their comfort and happiness. It does not desire to grasp the best of everything for self, nor to have the chiefest seats or the most attention or the highest honors, but rather prefers others in honor, and is willing in cheerfulness to take the lower place. Put into practise, this phase of love--unselfishness --has a great influence for good upon all the affairs of life, in the home, in the Church of God, everywhere.
Love is good-tempered--"not easily provoked." Among the evils abounding today is that of ill-temper, fretfulness, bad humor, touchiness, quickness to take offense. To whatever extent this disposition is fostered or willingly harbored, and not fought against, it is an evidence of a deficiency and a lack of development in the Spirit of God, of deficiency in likeness to Christ, our Pattern.
Very few of the evidences of a wrong spirit receive as much leniency and as many excuses for its continuance as does this fault. However much natural weakness or nervousness may tend in this direction, every true member of the Body of Christ must surely vigorously oppose this disposition to be irritable, fault-finding and morose. He must fight this tendency of his fallen flesh, must wage a good warfare against it in the strength of the Lord. The imposition of a penalty upon one's self for every outbreak of irritability or of unlovely temper would soon bring greater watchfulness over the tongue and over the unloving impulses of the old nature. Few traits of character more truly glorify the Lord than sweet temper.
Love is guileless. It "thinketh no evil"--does not surmise evil. It seeks to interpret the actions, words and manners of others charitably. Being pure and well-intentioned itself, it endeavors so far as possible to view the words and the conduct of others from the same standpoint. It does not treasure up animosities and suspicions, nor manufacture a chain of circumstantial proofs of evil intentions out of trivial matters. "Faults are thick where love is thin," is a wise and true saying. Love makes all possible allowance for errors of judgment rather than impugns the motives of the heart.
Love is sincere--"rejoiceth not in iniquity." It is grieved by evils wherever encountered, but is sympathetic toward all who fall into evil through weakness or who are beset by temptations. In this respect love prompts to an opposite course of action from that of Balaam, who "loved the reward of iniquity." Balaam, it will be remembered, feared the Lord, and as His prophet could not think of doing otherwise than according to the strict letter of the Lord's injunction; but he did not have the spirit of obedience and loyalty, the spirit of love; and hence when a reward was offered him if he would curse Israel, he was willing, in order to secure the reward, to conform to the evil proposition, if only the Lord would permit him.
So there are some Christians who have a respect for the letter of the Divine Word through fear, but who lack the Holy Spirit (disposition) of love, and who by reason of a love for wealth or popularity or ease, etc., are willing to engage in various practises which come as near to injuring the Lord's Cause as possible without being in open opposition to Him. Some of these Balaams are in the ministry; and for the sake of salary and prestige and the friendship of wealthy Balaks, they are willing to preach doctrines which they do not believe, to wink at unholy practises, and in various ways to cast stumbling-blocks before Spiritual Israel, and encourage others so to do. Both our Lord and the Apostles mention these Balaams as being false teachers in the nominal Church. See `2 Peter 2:15`; `Jude 11`; `Revelation 2:14`.
Every one who is seeking to develop in his heart the Holy Spirit, perfect love, should guard this point of sincerity
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of motive as well as uprightness of conduct. The least suggestion of rejoicing at the fall of any person or thing that in any degree represents righteousness and goodness is to be deplored and overcome. Perfect love rejoices not in iniquity under any circumstances or conditions, and would have no sympathy, but only sorrow, in the fall of another, even if it should mean his own gain.
Love "rejoiceth in the Truth." However profitable error might be, love could take no part in it, and could not desire the reward of evil and error. But it takes pleasure in the Truth--truth on any subject, but especially the Truth of Divine Revelation, however unpopular it may be, however much persecution its advocacy may involve, however much it may cause the loss of the friendship of this world and of those blinded by the god of this world. The spirit of Love has so strong an affinity for the Truth that it rejoices to share loss, persecution, distress, or whatever may come against the Truth and its servants. In the Lord's estimate it is all the same whether we are ashamed of Him or His Word; and of such He declares that He will be ashamed before His Father and the angels. Love has no sympathy with hypocrisy or pretense. It is transparent and honest in character.
STRONG, TRUSTFUL, HOPEFUL
Love is strong--it "beareth all things." It is both willing and able to endure, for the Cause of God, reproaches, reproofs, insults, losses, misrepresentations, privations, and even death. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith"--the very center and life of which faith is the holy spirit of love to the Lord, to them that are His, and of sympathetic love for the world. Perfect love can bear up under the most trying circumstances and conditions which the Lord shall permit to come upon His children, and by God's grace come off "more than conqueror through Him that loved us and gave Himself for us."
Love is trustful--it "believeth all things." It is not suspicious, but on the contrary is disposed to have confidence in others, so far as possible, and to give them credit for sincerity. It acts on the principle that it is better if necessary to be deceived a hundred times than to go through life soured by a distrustful, suspicious mind--far better than to accuse or suspect even one person unjustly. This is the merciful disposition applied to thoughts; and of this disposition the Master said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." The unmerciful mind and heart, ready on every slight provocation or imaginary one to think evil of others, is father to unmerciful words and conduct toward others.
Love is hopeful, buoyant--it "hopeth all things." It is not easily discouraged. Hope is the secret of Love's perseverance. Having learned of God, and having become a partaker of His holiness, it trusts in Him and hopes undismayed for the fulfilment of His gracious Covenant, however dark the immediate surroundings. This hopeful element of love forms one of the striking features in the perseverance of the saints, enabling them to "endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ." Its hopeful quality hinders Love from being easily offended or easily stopped in the work of the Lord. Where others would become discouraged and put to flight, the spirit of love gives endurance; for its anchor of hope is fastened securely "within the Veil." It holds firmly to the Rock of Ages, and hence cannot drift into despair.
Not only is Love the greatest of all the graces, but really, as we have seen, it is the sum of all the fruits of the Spirit. It is everlasting--"Love never faileth." It is for those who develop this quality to its glorious perfection that eternal life has been provided. And those who possess the sacrificial love which our dear Master possessed, who so love as to gladly lay down their lives for the brethren, will gain the fullest and grandest life of all--Divine life.--`2 Peter 1:4`.
THE EDITOR'S PROPOSITION
Let us then, dear brethren, more and more cultivate love, remembering that whatever else may be our attainments, all will be in vain without this crowning grace. The Editor has a proposal to make to every reader of this journal, which he believes will prove very helpful to each one who shall co-operate. It is this: That during the remainder of this year (if we shall be spared so long in the flesh) each of us pray every morning that the Lord will bless us in the cultivation of love, in thought, in word, in deed, throughout the day; and that every evening, in reviewing the events of the day at the Throne of Heavenly Grace, we remember to report to the Lord respecting our measure of success or failure.
Then note the results of your watching and praying; keep on the lookout for all encouraging evidences of growth in this fruitage of the Holy Spirit; and when you write us, if you please, mention your progress in willing to love, and in practising it. We shall be especially glad to know of your growth along this line.
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THE WHITE RAIMENT OF THE KINGDOM
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels."--`Revelation 3:5`.
IN THIS text, as throughout the Bible, the thought is maintained that the elect class, who will receive the highest glory, honor and blessing from the Lord, must demonstrate their loyalty by overcoming. It is not sufficient that there shall be an overcoming of the will at the beginning of the Christian career, but subsequently there must be trials and testings endured, and these must be met in an overcoming manner. The consecration having been made, and the trials and testings having begun, the individual yielding under those temptations and testings, and continuing to be overcome by them, would prove that he is not sufficiently loyal; for the Lord has promised that His grace shall be sufficient in every time of need.--`2 Corinthians 12:9`.
Although the Lord's grace is sufficient, this would not mean that we might not sometimes fall into temptation. We might fall into temptation inadvertently, without the consent of our wills, and "be overtaken in a fault." But the Lord's grace is sufficient to bring us out of the temptations as overcomers, enabling us to triumph over them.
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Falling into temptation does not mean falling in temptation --falling when tempted. But when one is temporarily overcome, whether it be a yielding to a temptation of the flesh or whether it be a wilfulness of spirit, or mind, has much to do with the nature and degree of the sin. We may not always be able to triumph fully, completely, according to the flesh, but the will must be loyal. We must triumph in the mind, otherwise we shall not be overcomers.
This overcoming is a gradual work, progressing throughout our Christian course, from the moment of
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consecration down to the conclusion of life. But the text apparently takes hold of the conclusion, rather than the beginning or the middle of the work, and implies that the individual has at the end of the trial, the end of his race-course, this overcoming degree of righteousness, so that he may be classed as an overcomer. Such an overcomer will be clothed in white raiment.
WHITE RAIMENT LOANED TO US
The Scriptures give us to understand that at the very beginning of our Christian experience, we figuratively are clothed in white raiment. This white raiment represents justification--we are justified freely from all things. It is a robe without a spot. It is sometimes spoken of as Christ's robe of righteousness, because it comes to us through Christ. It is to be had only through Him. He is able to impute to us, to loan to us, grant to us temporarily, this robe. It is spoken of as the wedding garment. At an oriental wedding, a wedding garment of white linen was used to cover over the clothing worn by each guest. It was loaned to the guest at the wedding by the host, when he appeared at the wedding-feast.
White linen signifies purity. So when Christ gives us the use of His merit, it is as a white garment to cover out imperfections. It is an imputation of His righteousness, which is to us justification. We are exhorted to keep our garments unspotted from the world. The imputation of righteousness given us, we are to preserve, to maintain. But we cannot fully maintain it of ourselves. Our tongues may sometimes say things that we wish they had not said, and our hands may sometimes do things we would not desire. Hence, God has provided a way by which our blemishes or transgressions may be eradicated--those not wilful. This way is our daily application for the cleansing of these unwilling transgressions, through the precious blood. Thus we keep our garments unspotted from the world. Thus our justification, our white robe, is maintained --should be maintained.
WHITE RAIMENT OUR OWN
But it is not sufficient that we have the imputation of our Savior's righteousness. This imputation is only a temporary arrangement. We need to come to the place where we shall have a righteousness of our own. Our flesh is imperfect; as St. Paul says, we cannot do the things which we would. In spite of our best endeavors things are bound to go more or less wrong. But we are to prove ourselves overcomers--"more than conquerors." The Lord has arranged that at the conclusion of our trial, at the end of the present life, all the overcomers shall receive the new body. This new body will be a body of actual purity. Thus, as the Apostle says, we shall "be clothed upon with our House which is from Heaven." So our raiment will be changed from a garment of imputed perfection, our justification by faith, to that which represents actual perfection. At the resurrection we shall receive that body of inherent purity, without blemish, without spot, which is here pictured as "white raiment."
"BROUGHT BEFORE THE KING"
Furthermore, we read of each of these that the Lord "will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life," in which are written the names of all those who become truly the Lord's people, those who have made with the Lord "a covenant by sacrifice," all who renounce their wills, who present their bodies a living sacrifice. The name of each of these is recorded, entered in the Lamb's Book of Life, when he starts to live the new life, and to demonstrate his loyalty. Just as these are clothed upon with the robe of Christ's righteousness in advance of being actually tested, so their names are written in that Book in advance of being actually tested. If they do not remain faithful, their names will be blotted out of that Book of Life. But if they are faithful their names will not be blotted out of the Book of Life; and they will attain all those glorious things which are promised to those who love Him supremely.--`Revelation 21:7`.
More than this, the Lord says, "I will confess their names before My Father and before His angels." The intimation here is that the overcomers will have such characters that the Lord will not be ashamed of them, but will be pleased to own them in the presence of the Father and the holy angels. We are to be "changed from glory to glory," into the likeness of our Lord. (`2 Corinthians 3:18`.) In the end, these overcomers will each be so grandly developed that the Lord will not be ashamed to confess any of them and to say, Here is one of My followers. Here is another. They have walked in My footsteps and have overcome. But He will be ashamed of any who are ashamed of Him. Of such He says, "Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory and in His Father's, and of the holy angels."--`Luke 9:26`.
It is not a matter of favoritism, but of character-development. If they will not endure to the end, if they do not prove overcomers, they will not be fit for the Kingdom and association with their Lord.
This brings up the thought that there is another class mentioned in the Bible--the Great Company class, as in contrast to the Little Flock--or the antitypical Levite class as in contrast to the antitypical Priestly class. The Great Company had their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life, but they were not overcomers in the truest sense. They did not stand faithful. Because of not proving faithful, they will not be confessed before the Father and the holy angels in the same sense as the Bride class.
It is stated that the Bride will be presented before the Father, and that "the virgins, her companions" (`Psalm 45:13-15`) will be there also--but the latter will not be confessed as the Bride class. We will not say that their names will be blotted out of the Lamb's Book of Life. Their names may remain. But those who go into the Second Death will surely have their names blotted out of the Book; they will be destroyed with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.
ROBES WASHED IN "THE GREAT TRIBULATION"
The Great Company will not have the "abundant entrance" granted the Little Flock. And the same distinction obtains between these two classes in connection with the white raiment. While all receive the robe of Christ's imputed righteousness, some of them do not keep their garments "unspotted from the world." Their white raiment becomes spotted and soiled, bedraggled by contact with the earth. Their justification, or robe of Christ's righteousness, becomes unpresentable. When a spot comes upon it, instead of having the spot cleansed away at once, they allow it to remain, and the spots accumulate until their garment becomes quite soiled. Then at the conclusion of their course, when the examination day comes, their robe is found to be spotted--yet they wear it still. They are not divested of that robe of justification. They have not abandoned the Lord and He has not abandoned them. But they have failed to use the means which the Lord provided for their cleansing.
In the Revelation this class is spoken of as "a great multitude"--the Great Company. We are told that they "will come up out of the Great Tribulation, and will wash
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their robes, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb." Instead of doing a cleansing work day by day, maintaining their justification with God and being ready for the change (by means of their faithfulness) they are, on the contrary, found of Him as unworthy of this chief place. Their robes will not be taken from them, but they will be obliged to suffer great tribulations, with the view to making them ready to wash and make their robes white in the blood of cleansing, so that they, also, will be clothed in white and in their resurrection bodies will be pure. But they will attain this only by passing through "the Great Tribulation."--See `Revelation 7:9-14`.
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"LIGHT AFFLICTIONS" HERE--"GLORY TO FOLLOW"
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our body."--`2 Corinthians 4:8-10`.
THE Apostle Paul is here addressing the Church at Corinth, and in the larger sense addressing the entire Church of the Gospel Age. He is apparently describing to some extent the experiences of himself and those who were with him in his missionary labors. He traveled from place to place, but not as our pilgrim brethren now do; for sometimes he spent an entire year, sometimes more than a year, in one city. Nevertheless, he was a traveler, going about where other missionaries of the Lord had not gone, addressing the Jews and whoever else might give evidence of having a hearing ear. On these tours he took with him assistants. We are therefore to consider that his words here referred not only to the Apostles (for he was the only Apostle of the company), but also to the others with him; and that this Epistle, as are all the inspired writings, was designed by the Lord for the instruction and benefit of all the saints throughout the Christian Dispensation.
The Apostle's assistants were general ministers of the Lord, as are all God's children in proportion as they do a work of ministry. His words would seemingly be addressed, then, to all who are engaged in the Lord's service. In this Epistle he points out that there are differences in the services rendered--"He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully"--and also differences in the experiences of the various members of the Body of Christ. He says that some of them had been the objects of persecution and that others had shared in those persecutions by suffering with those so persecuted, indicating that the Lord recognizes and appreciates this association with those in distress, if there be such association.
This thought is brought out also in St. Paul's Epistle to the `Hebrews. (Chapter 10:32-34`.) If those not so actively engaged in the service are faithfully doing all that their hands find to do, the Lord is as appreciative of it as He is of those who because of greater ability or physical strength or opportunities are able to accomplish more--each doing to the extent of his opportunity the work of the Lord.
The Apostle said of himself and his companions, and of all those laboring faithfully in the service of the Master, "We are troubled on every side." There are many troubles that are common to the whole human family-- lack of employment, sickness, death, poverty, etc. There are multitudinous troubles which come to the world; and of course the Apostle and his companions were subject to these difficulties like other men. To many these trials of life bring distress. But while St. Paul and those with him had their ailments and difficulties, their persecutions and trials, they also had the knowledge of the Truth and the Lord's sustaining grace; and they were enlisted in the army of the King of kings. They were not distressed by their troubles, but were trusting in the Lord's precious promises that these should all work out for their good.
"AS HE WAS, SO ARE WE, IN THIS WORLD"
And so we are not to allow the troubles of life to distress us as they distress other people. We have something that others do not have--the Lord's assurance that everything in our lives shall be a bearer of blessing to us if we are faithful. This enables us to rejoice in tribulation, if we really believe this promise of our Father's Word. There are other troubles that come to the Lord's people, but do not come to the world. The world is more or less in opposition to those who are engaged in publicly preaching the Truth and to those who are associated
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with them. There is a battle on between right and wrong, light and darkness. The world, being attached to their darkness, feel an enmity toward the light, a hatred of it; and they are often disposed to give special trouble to those who are the Lord's representatives in a particular capacity.
Occasionally we find worldly persons who are of good heart and kind intention and who are desirous of helping on a good work; but these are exceptions. Our strongest opposition, however, comes generally, as did that of the Master, from those who are our brethren, though many of them are only nominally so. Then we have the Adversary particularly against us. It is true that the whole world have the oppositions of the Adversary, but he is especially active against those engaged in the public service of the Lord. Satan seems to bring before these special temptations, and it is not surprising that they should be the particular objects of his rage and of his wiles. But those who are thus engaged in God's service have special blessings at His hands, and extra fortifications. So while we may be sure that those in the public ministry have more troubles from the Adversary, they are also given more grace to cope with them.
OUR DEATH THE GATEWAY TO LIFE
"We are perplexed, but not in despair," says St. Paul. The Apostle and his company were not the only ones who have been at a loss to know just what to do. The whole world have been perplexed, and are particularly so today. The general anxious uncertainty of our day results in a large measure, it would seem, from the nerve-racking experiences of the present time. If people knew the right thing to do in respect to their business, their homes and their affairs in general, they would not be so full of doubt and bewilderment. But no one is wise enough to get along without some perplexity; and present conditions in the world are causing much distress and also anxious foreboding for the near future. Those who are engaged in the work of the Lord have some perplexity. But the anxiety or uncertainty of the Lord's people should never go to the length of despair. Those who are of the world, getting out of work and being in various difficulties, become very despondent. Frequently we hear of suicides. Things look very dark to people who take their own life.
It may yet be true of the Lord's people that things
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will look very dark; but they are not in despair, and will not be in despair whatever may come; for the Lord has said that He will never leave us nor forsake us. This gracious promise should give us a hope sure and steadfast. Our anchor of hope should hold. Our position, therefore, is very different from that of the world, who have no particular hope. The world have no solid anchor, no precious promises to hold them fast. We know that if the worst comes to the worst, if we should even die of starvation, our hope lies beyond the Veil, beyond death. Therefore God's saints of today look upon death as the gateway by which to enter into fulness of life, into a realization of all our hopes and joys. If, therefore, there is despair, it would prove that our anchorage has been cut loose. Whoever would find that he is in despair would find that he is letting go his faith, and should immediately seek counsel from the Word of God and from others strong in faith, and should go to the Lord in frequent and earnest prayer, assured that if faith is restored despair will go.
"I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE"
"We are persecuted, but not forsaken." There are persecutions of certain kinds that come to those in the world. Sometimes their neighbors have a grudge against them, and they thus are more or less persecuted. But they have no effective means of dealing with such a matter and nothing to comfort them. Sometimes they give as good as they get. But in the case of one of the Lord's children it is very different. When we feel that justice calls for retaliation, then we should remember that it is not ours to retaliate, to return evil for evil. The Lord has told us that we should leave all matters relating to justice in His hands. "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." He does say that we are to run away from persecutions; therefore we are not to condemn those who run away as following a wrong course. We are told by the Master, "If they persecute you in one city, flee to another." So if a child of God is persecuted in one neighborhood and he can get away to another neighborhood, it would be better to go.
But though persecuted for righteousness' sake, the Lord's people are not forsaken. The world and those possessing the world's spirit may harass and buffet them, but the Lord does not forsake them. When persecutions come to us, however, we are to inquire, "Are these oppositions and persecutions coming to me on account of my loyalty to the Lord, or is it that there is something in my disposition which causes them?" If the latter is the case, we should diligently endeavor to rectify our fault. If, on the other hand, we find by careful scrutiny of ourselves and our conduct that we have been doing our best, our very best, and that the persecutions are coming to us on this account, then we are to rejoice in the persecution.
We are "cast down, but not destroyed." This expression shows that while the Apostle and his companions did not suffer despair, did not feel forsaken, they sometimes felt a heaviness of spirit. This heaviness of spirit, or feeling of loneliness and depression, is natural at times to all mankind under the adverse conditions prevailing in the world. The weight of this casting down may be accentuated to some extent by the condition of the physical health. Those who are weak or in pain physically are apt to feel any mental pressure or trouble. This is all to be fought against in the Christian; for we know that our afflictions and disabilities are something outside and not of the Lord, except in the sense that He permits them for our development, for our future work in the Kingdom. We are therefore to be of good courage. If the Lord permits us to have trouble, we are to exercise fortitude, to patiently endure, and not to allow it to destroy our faith or our happiness or our loyalty of spirit to Him to whom we have vowed allegiance.
We are to put up with whatever our Father permits, in sweetness of temper, and to say to ourselves, "This may be a good lesson to me. Perhaps these cast-down feelings, this feeling of desolation, may help me to sympathize more with others." The poet has truly said:
"Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary."
So let us see to it that we do not allow this feeling of depression to conquer us and to destroy our faith and energy; but rather, looking to the Lord for assisting grace, and claiming His precious promises, we are to rise above the difficulty and press bravely onward.
OUR "COVENANT BY SACRIFICE"
We are "always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus." The Apostle thus declares that the Lord's people, in proportion as they are faithful in His service, have a likeness to the Lord in their service, in their death. Our Lord's experience in the narrow way was three and a half years of dying. He was daily laying down His life--surrendering His life. He was an Example to us of how we should surrender our lives. He laid down His life, not in the service of the world, but of the Lord's professed people. While the merit of His sacrificed life was to be used of the Lord for the life of the world, yet He laid it down in the direct service of His Jewish brethren.
The Hebrew people were the people of God. Our Lord spent His life especially with those who were truly desirous of pleasing God and knowing His will, whether found amongst the rich and influential or amongst the poor and lowly. Jesus welcomed publicans and sinners, and gave His life for them. He knew that among this humble class He would find the greater proportion of true wheat. He was laying down His life during all the three and a half years of His earthly ministry, and merely completed this work at Calvary.
And so it is with all of the Lord's true people. They have made "a covenant by sacrifice." They have consecrated, dedicated their lives to the Lord and His service; and as Jesus their Master laid down His life in doing good, in proclaiming the Truth then due, so they are to lay down their lives in the same manner, whether the time of their ministry be three and a half years or twenty years or whatever it may be--until the Father's good time shall come for their deliverance. They will be in full harmony with the Lord and will gladly have fellowship in the sufferings of their great Head--and properly so; for they are prospective members of His Body. Thus all of these members are continually bearing about in the body the dying of their Lord. They are dying daily as He died, "laying down their lives."
"THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY"
This is all the work of the New Creature. The old creature is merely compelled to follow in the way of the New Creature, and this setting aside of the will of the flesh is the basic feature of our dying. When our dying has been completed, our lives faithfully laid down, it will bring us to that condition where we shall hear the Master's "Well done!"
St. Paul also says that "the life of Jesus" is to be "made manifest in our body." We understand him here to be referring to the human body. The New Creature
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owns this body. With the people of the world there are not two personalities, but merely the one creature. This duality of personality is applicable only to those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit. The old body is suffering; but the New Creature rejoices, glad to be in the service--gives thanks to God day by day respecting its tribulations, knowing that these are working out "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
Thus the life of Jesus is manifested through us to the world, and to the brethren. The world cannot understand. They say, "If I were in your place, in such a trial, I would be miserable. But you are rejoicing!" So they cannot understand. But we have a newness of life that the world cannot appreciate. All who can appreciate this should daily grow in grace and knowledge. We should show forth more and more of the Lord's life in our characters and in our bodies. Thus we shall be manifesting more and still more of the Lord's Spirit, doing more of the Lord's work, becoming more like Jesus --all of which will prepare us for the glory beyond, when the New Creature shall be completed, when all the perfections and glories of the new nature will be ours.
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"TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED"
--MAY 16.--`1 SAMUEL 26`.--
KING DAVID'S TRYING EXPERIENCES--THE CAVE OF ADULLAM
--KING DAVID'S NEPHEWS--WATER FROM BETHLEHEM--
DAVID TWICE SPARED KING SAUL'S
LIFE--LESSONS OF THE HOUR.
"Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you."--`Luke 6:27`.
OUTLAWED and hunted by King Saul, young David had a varying career. He was soon joined by a class of unfortunates, justly or unjustly ostracized from society. Some of them doubtless were criminals; some were debtors, liable to imprisonment, who fled to preserve liberty, etc. At all events young David soon found himself at the head of a company of about four hundred men, more or less armed, more or less desperate.
It was a great training for him in preparation for his kingdom work later on. It gave him an inside view of the conditions of the ne'er-do-wells of society. Himself and his little army doubtless subsisted upon foragings, collecting a toll in the nature of a tax from the farmers. In offset to this toll, or tax, David doubtless defended them from the marauders who frequently came, not only from the Philistines, but also across the Jordan from Moab. Evidently up to that time no adequate police protection had been provided by King Saul's government. Instead of guarding the interests of his subjects properly, the king was mad with jealousy against his faithful servant David, and from time to time instituted pursuits of him, much after the manner of hunting expeditions for wild beasts in the forest.
Amongst those who came to David were three of his nephews, sons of his sister. These afterward became very prominently identified with King David in all his work. One was Joab, who became the captain of the host, or general. Abishai and Asahel were the two others, men of ability, who afterward became renowned in the kingdom.
DAVID'S NOBILITY OF CHARACTER
For a time David and his company had the cave of Adullam as a stronghold. It is greatly to his credit that he refused to plunge his nation into civil war, as he would have been abundantly able to do. Evidently the majority of the people would have sided with him from the first, and his victory over King Saul might have been easily accomplished. And how easily he might have deluded himself into thinking that such would be God's will! He remembered that the Lord, through the Prophet Samuel, had anointed him to be the king; but he remembered also that it was not for him to take possession, but to abide God's time, when Divine Power would overthrow Saul's kingdom and give the control to himself as Saul's successor as king.
How blessed it would be if all of God's people would thus remember to wait upon the Lord! "Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until that Day when I rise up to the prey." The Lord's times and seasons are best for us, and any attempt on our part to push ourselves in advance of the Lord's will would be sure to react unfavorably. It was because David was thus full of faith in God and possessed of the spirit of obedience to Him that he was called a man after God's own heart--not that he was perfect--not that he always did the Lord's will, but that the Lord's will was his real heart's desire; and whenever through weakness of the flesh he took a different course, he was prompt to repent on seeing the mistake, to implore Divine forgiveness and to change his course.
Joseph Parker, commenting, says, "There is no straining of the meaning in discovering in all this picture a type of the position of Jesus Christ in the world. He was despised and rejected of men; He had not where to lay His head; and the people who immediately surrounded Him were characterized by unaccountable expectations, personal inferiority, social degradation, and also by needs of every description; surely it was no valiant or brilliant host that gathered around the Son of God whilst He tenanted this Adullam cave which we call the earth."
While sojourning with his followers at the cave of Adullam, David, in a fit of home-sickness, referred to the fine well-water of his Bethlehem home, intimating how much he would relish it if he could have it here. Thereupon three of his faithful followers, one of them his nephew, undertook the perilous journey, unknown to David. It was perilous for two reasons: first, they were outlaws from King Saul; second, Bethlehem was in the hands of the Philistines at the time; but notwithstanding these difficulties these brave men manifested their love and loyalty to their leader, and brought a water-skin from the favored well.
When they arrived and presented it to David, he showed a wonderful loyalty of heart. Not only did he appreciate the great devotion that they had shown, the risk that they had run and the water that they had brought, but he declared it was too precious and gotten at too great a cost to be lightly used. He poured it forth upon the earth in oblation, a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord for the blessings they were enjoying and for the comfort and support of such loyal associates. Surely the greatness of David and his devotion to the Lord and his faith were well manifested again in this transaction! It marks him as more than an average man--a noble man.
TRAINING FOR KINGDOM WORK
By this time David and some of his followers were at a place called Nob, where Ahimelech the priest showed him kindness. King Saul, learning of this through a spy, slaughtered all the priests of that place and all of their lineage, eighty-five persons. This brought to David one of the sons of Ahimelech with the priestly ephod. One of the prophets had also joined David. All of this helped
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to make David's position the more secure, and to convince Saul all the more that God's favor was departed from him. Nevertheless Saul continued to fight against God and His Divine Program.
Under these circumstances David's forces gradually increased to the number of six hundred, increasing his experience also and preparing him the better for his coming work. As Bishop Wilberforce remarks, "A mighty training lay in that wild outlaw life for the knowledge and government of men. Nothing but the completest personal supremacy could hold such unruly elements under any species of command; and David, the unwilling head of such a following, learned in mastering them the secret of governing men and of knitting together their discordant hearts into an harmonious unity."
Every now and then King Saul would become feverish for the destruction of David. On one of these occasions, David and his company were occupying a cave amongst the bleak rocks on the west side of the Dead Sea, when King Saul, with probably a good-sized company, pursuing David, entered the same cave for rest and refreshment-- for how long we know not. Kitto tells us that some of these caves are quite large enough to shelter fifteen hundred men. Another writer remarks, "A traveler indeed tells us that in one of them, which lies some twenty miles from En-gedi, no fewer than thirty thousand people once hid themselves. These caverns are dark as midnight. One can see outward clearly, but to see four paces inward is impossible."
David and his associates were further back in the cave; and when Saul and his company entered it to rest, the desire of David's band was that Saul at least should be killed, and that thus the trying experiences of them all might be ended and that a just recompense should be made for the evils the king had done and was doing. But David would not consent. Instead, however, he cut a piece from King Saul's robe as a demonstration that the king had been fully within his grasp, and that he could have killed Saul had he chosen--as a demonstration, too, of his loyalty to the king.
Then, when the king and his company had gone a certain distance so that there was no danger, David and his associates showed themselves and protested that the king was not appreciative of the loyalty of his subjects, and that he was seeking their lives when they would not take his. Saul's better nature was aroused; and he wept, saying, "Thou art more righteous than I." And for the time, the hunting of the outlaw David was abandoned with the promise that he would never do so again. Nevertheless, our lesson tells of another similar experience a little later on.
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On this occasion David, with his nephew alone, went into Saul's camp and took away from beside his head his spear and his royal water-bottle. Departing with these, they from a distance on an opposite hill, a ravine between, could safely speak to Saul and his host and be heard. David pointed out to the king that he not only was more vigilant than Saul's soldiers, but that he was more loyal to the king's interests and that if a messenger were sent he would return both the spear and the bottle; that he wished no harm, but merely brought these away to further convince the king of his absolute loyalty; and that to pursue him as an enemy was a mistake.
Such an intrusion into the camp of a king today would be impossible because of modern methods of setting guards, pickets, etc., but not so in olden times, nor to any great extent in eastern countries today. We recall that Gideon and his band similarly invaded a camp. We recall Abraham's pursuit of the five kings, and his finding them enwrapped in slumber without proper picketing. A traveler of large experience in the East says, "The Arabs sleep heavily, especially when fatigued. Often when traveling my muleteers and servants have agreed to watch together in places thought to be dangerous; but in every instance I soon found them to be fast asleep, and generally their slumbers were so profound that I could not only walk among them without their waking, but might have taken the very covering from them."
A PROFITABLE LESSON
David's explanation of his unwillingness to take the life of his enemy was that Saul was God's anointed, and that to have made an assault upon him would have been to attack the Almighty's arrangements. This David could not conscientiously do. "Touch not Mine anointed, and do My ministers no harm."
It is well that we of today should have in mind this principle. We are not to think of the kings of today as being the Lord's anointed, however. They are their own anointed. Their kingdoms are kingdoms of this world. On the contrary, Israel was God's special kingdom, which He had accepted under a special covenant arrangement. By Divine authority King Saul had been anointed with special anointing oil, which typified the Holy Spirit. David's anointing with the same oil was not to give him a right to interfere with the Lord's anointing previously accomplished in Saul, but to give him the assurance that he was to be the successor of Saul, not by his removing Saul, but by the Lord's giving the possession in His own time and way.
Although the coins of all the kingdoms of earth represent that their rulers reign and govern as representatives of Messiah's Kingdom, we know that this is a mistake. Messiah's Kingdom has not yet been established. We are still praying, "Thy Kingdom come."
EARTH'S FIVE UNIVERSAL EMPIRES
When God removed His typical kingdom from the earth, the Message to the last king, Zedekiah, was, "This shall not be the same. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more until He comes whose right it is and I will give it unto Him." Thus was intimated an interregnum, as far as Divine rulership in the world was concerned, from Zedekiah's time until Messiah's Millennial Kingdom. Meantime, however, God did give the Gentiles an opportunity to show what kind of kingdom they would be able to establish in the world. From the days of Zedekiah, 606 B.C., to the present time, we have had four distinct kinds of government, and the fourth one modified in a deceptive manner. These kingdoms were (1) Babylonia, (2) Medo-Persia, (3) Greece, and (4) Rome. The present governments of Europe are the Roman Empire under a new gloss, or pretense. Their laws, methods and ambitions are the same as those of the Romans exactly; but deceiving and being deceived, they style themselves Christian kingdoms; and by common consent the whole world is accustomed to speaking of these as Christendom--that is, Christ's Kingdom.
The Bible pictures this; and in the symbolic image which represented all these governments, the feet were of iron the same as the legs, but were smeared with miry clay to make them look like stone feet--stone being the symbol of God's Kingdom. So these kingdoms of Europe today at war and manifesting anything but a Christian spirit-- manifesting anger, malice, envy, hatred and strife, which the Apostle says are "works of the flesh and the Devil"-- these are the kingdoms which are claiming to be Messiah's
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Kingdom, and are represented in the feet of the image, colored like the Stone Kingdom, which is shortly to fill the whole earth.--`Daniel 2:31-45`.
Messiah's Kingdom is pictured as "a stone cut out of the mountain without hands," without human power; and it, in the days of these kings, represented by the toes of the image, is to smite the image and grind it to powder; and the stone is to become the great Mountain, or Kingdom, of the Lord in all the earth. This smiting, we believe, is near at hand, the present war of Europe being intended of the Lord to weaken the nations and to prepare them for the next stage of trouble, the great earthquake, which in symbol signifies revolution.
Following the revolution quickly, is to come the great symbolic fire which is to destroy the present order of things entirely. This fire represents anarchy, the overthrow of all rule and authority. Thus God is allowing man to prove to himself that his best attainments are but imitations and ultimately lead to disaster. The lesson learned, all mankind will be ready for Messiah's Kingdom, which will then be ushered in and be "the desire of all nations."--`Haggai 2:7`.
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KING SAUL'S LAST BATTLE
--MAY 23.--`2 SAMUEL 2-5`.--
DISTRESSED, HE ASKED AID OF THE WITCH OF EN-DOR--DECEIVED BY EVIL SPIRITS--THE BATTLE LOST--SAUL AND JONATHAN SLAIN--THE SONG OF THE BOW, OR SAUL'S DEAD MARCH--DAVID KING OF JUDAH--THEN OF ALL ISRAEL.
"Jehovah is my strength and my Shield; my heart hath trusted in Him, and I am helped."--`Psalm 28:7`.
TODAY'S STUDY covers an interesting period in the history of Israel and in the experiences of David, the beloved of God. Persecuted and hunted by King Saul, no place was safe for David. The Philistines, desiring him for a friend rather than a foe, gave to David and his followers the city of Ziklag. While residing there, David's conquests were over the Amalekites, and never against the Israelites. He could not willingly battle against the Lord's people, though he felt free to fight against those whom the Lord declared were to be destroyed because their wickedness was come to the full, to the limit of Divine permission.
Meantime, the end of Saul's reign was nearing. A fresh invasion of the Philistines required all the army he could muster, and then he felt very dubious respecting the results. Although as king, in harmony with the Divine regulation, he had ordered all witches, wizards, and all who claimed to communicate with the dead to leave the land of Israel, nevertheless there were some here and there remaining. In his extremity, seeing the Lord would not answer him, King Saul visited the Witch of En-dor--said by some to have been the mother of the king's chief general, Abner.
The witch, after being assured that it would not work ill for her, got into communication with the fallen angels, who she supposed, as spiritualists still suppose, were the spirits of the dead. Doubtless she was honest, and thought it was Samuel that was called. But the Bible assures us that "the dead know not anything." Samuel was sleeping with his fathers, waiting for the resurrection morning, and could give no counsel, could know nothing about matters going on.
The evil spirits, however, in that time as well as now through mediums, personated the dead and, using their superior knowledge, answered as instead of the dead. The questions having been propounded in this case, the answer was that the king would lose the battle the next day, and that himself and his sons would be slain.
We do not know how the fallen angels know so much about the matters of our race, but we do know that it is unwise for any to have any dealings with them; for the Lord has forbidden it. Their sole object is to deceive the people; and, according to St. Paul, through dreams and revelations they have brought into the Church various doctrines of devils (`1 Timothy 4:1`), which, becoming incorporated in our creeds, like the fly in the ointment, have made them to stink.--`Eccl. 10:1`.
Happy would it be for people if they realized what the Bible so clearly teaches; namely, that the dead are dead and can give no information of any kind, that they have neither joy nor suffering, but are simply in a state of suspended animation, awaiting the Dawn of the better Day in which Immanuel, Messiah, will bring the knowledge of the glory of God to all as the result of His Ransom-Sacrifice at Calvary. The teaching that the dead are more alive than they were when they were alive is not only senseless, but contradictory to the Lord's Word, and has become the foundation of all the various grievous errors which have distressed the reasoning faculties of Christian people. None would pray for the dead, or say masses for them for their release from Purgatory, if they knew that their dead friends were merely sleeping until the resurrection morning.
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But, worst of all, this theory that the dead are alive has become the foundation of serious blasphemies against God, in which all denominations are more or less joined as represented by their creeds. These blasphemies consist in declarations respecting God's character and Plan which would be a disgrace to any devil, and are far from the character and attributes of the God of all grace, the Father of all mercies, from whom cometh down every good and every perfect gift.--`James 1:17`.
"THE SONG OF THE BOW"
When David heard of the results of the battle, his sympathy for Saul and for Jonathan was expressed in a beautiful poem, which is remarkable for the fact that it contains not a single suggestion of how Saul had persecuted him or sought his life. It compliments Saul for what good he had accomplished. It tells of the tender love of Jonathan, surpassing that of women. This ode is recorded in `2 Samuel 1:17-27`. The Dead March from Saul is an attempt on the part of the musician to put the sentiment of David's Song of the Bow for Jonathan and Saul into the music of our day; and thus it has become identified with the funeral services of the great today.
In the battle Saul's sons were killed, including Jonathan. Saul himself was wounded. Fearing that if he should fall into the hands of the Philistines alive they would torture him to death, he desired his armorbearer to slay him, and finally suicided with his own sword.
A young Amalekite, thinking to curry favor with David, and knowing something of how he had been persecuted by Saul, brought him the news of the death of Saul and gave him Saul's crown and the bracelet that was on Saul's arm, telling that he had dispatched King Saul at the latter's request--probably, however, manufacturing this part of the story to bring honor to himself. At all events, David received the matter in a totally
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different way from what was expected, saying to him, "How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?" David then commanded him to be put to death. But for Saul and Jonathan he mourned until evening.
David waited upon the Lord those many years, fully confident that in the end he should be the king of Israel, but not hastening the event in any way, simply standing ready for the responsibilities and the power of the office where the Lord should put him. What a wonderful example we have in David's course! How much Christians can learn of patient waiting for the Lord's time in all their affairs--not only waiting for the Kingdom while they pray, "Thy Kingdom come," but also waiting for the Lord's leading and providence in all their affairs, overruling them all for good! It is one of the too frequent mistakes made by Christians, that they overlook the Lord's providence and promised supervision of their interests, and attempt to do for themselves, often to their own disadvantage.
David realized that the time had probably come for himself and his companions to move from the Philistines' country, and he inquired of the Lord by the priest and the ephod. The answer was that he should go into Judea. Next he made inquiry, Into which city? and the answer was, Hebron. Thither David and his companions removed with their families; and the tribe of Judah, his own tribe, promptly recognized him as their king. It was over seven years after this, however, before he became the king of all Israel. Meantime, one of the sons of King Saul, Ishbosheth, had survived; and Abner, Saul's chief general, had him anointed king of Israel. King David of Judah made no attempt to coerce the other tribes, but continued his waiting for the Lord's due time.
Meantime, however, Abner gathered an army against David's servants, and a fierce battle ensued, in which David's forces were the victors; the others lost the fight. Finally Abner, angered with King Ishbosheth, proposed to David that he would become David's vassal, and would assist in turning the hearts of all the Israelites toward him. King David appreciated the proposition, doubtless considering it to be the Lord's will and in harmony with the Lord's promise. However, the matter did not so carry out; for Joab, David's nephew, the chief man of war, slew Abner deceitfully. Again we see David's conduct in contrast with the average sentiment of his time. Instead of rejoicing in the death of Abner, the king mourned for him, and denounced his nephew for the wrong course he had pursued. He was courageous enough in the presence of his own ablest soldier to extol the virtues of Abner as a great soldier, saying, "A mighty man has fallen in Israel."
KING OF ALL ISRAEL
But a little while after this, others, misunderstanding King David, slew King Ishbosheth and brought his head to David as an evidence of his death, expecting doubtless that they would be rewarded. On the contrary, they also were condemned. They had slain the king. They were esteemed worthy of the same punishment, and were themselves slain. Thus did the people see exemplified in David's course principles of righteousness quite uncommon in his day, and we might say, uncommon still. All these things served to endear to the people the king, who, they perceived, was not merely self-seeking, narrow, but was broad-minded and even generous toward his opponents, his enemies. He seems to have had a great appreciation of justice and also a breadth of sympathy for his enemies.
King David was thirty-seven years old when finally the eleven tribes sent a delegation to confer with him, indicating that they would appreciate having him as the king over all Israel. This was seven years and a half after the death of King Saul, and probably about seventeen years after David had been anointed first by Samuel. Faith and patience mark every step of those years and show us King David's character as we could not otherwise have known it. Its grandeur was chiefly shown in that it manifested a devotion to God and a submission to the Divine will.
The king's acceptance as king of all the tribes of Israel marked the third time that the holy anointing oil was put upon his head.
Meantime King David had grown stronger and stronger in conquering his enemies--the enemies of the Lord--those whom God declared should be destroyed. We remind our readers afresh that the Lord declared that the iniquity of the Amorites had come to the full, and thus indicated it to be His will that they should be destroyed from the earth. Whether destroyed in battle or by pestilence or famine, mattered nothing to them, as the Divine sentence of death must be carried out.
However, all the while that God has been permitting sickness, war, famine, pestilence, death, to reign in the world. He has been preparing for human redemption, human salvation through the great Redeemer. Messiah's Kingdom is soon to take control of the earth, to cause a cessation of the reign of Sin and Death, to cause the binding of Satan and to cause the sunlight of Divine Truth to flood the earth. Then all the blind eyes will be opened and all the deaf ears will be unstopped, to know, to understand the true God, His true Message.
Meantime, those who died by Israel's sword will know nothing of the lapse of time. They will awake in the Millennial Kingdom, when all that sleep in the dust of the earth will awake. They will then be under the most favorable conditions we could ask for them--freed from the shackles of ignorance and superstition, with Messiah's Kingdom ready to help them out of their weaknesses and degradation back to human perfection, lost in Eden, redeemed at Calvary.
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RETURNING TO BUSINESS
SOME of our dear readers very commendably arranged their affairs some time ago so as to give their entire time to the Harvest work, not anticipating the prolongation of the Harvest--the gleaning work, the burning of the tares, the threshing of the wheat, etc. Moreover, many of them used in the Harvest work nearly all of their surplus of this world's goods--striving to lay up treasure in Heaven. Some of these dear Brethren and Sisters have nearly or quite gone to the limit of their possibilities, as far as present arrangements are concerned. They are, properly, looking about them to see the leadings of the Lord's providence in respect to their future operations. Will they plunge into business so deeply as to have little time for spiritual things? Will they become identified with some kind of speculation, and, perhaps, get others involved in what ultimately would be a loss? Or will they look for something to do in a quiet way that will enable them to meet expenses, possibly being able to continue to some degree in the gleaning work of the Harvest? The latter is our expectation and, we believe, in accord with the Spirit of the Lord--the spirit of a sound mind.--`2 Timothy 1:7`.
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Let us call to mind the great disappointment of the Apostles in connection with the Redeemer's death. Up to within one day of His crucifixion they had thought that His remarks respecting death, crucifixion, etc., were figurative language, and that in reality He was about to be exalted to power and great glory. The experiences of that time must have been a severe test upon them in every way. Our Lord's resurrection the third day revived their hopes, although His appearances in miraculous manner indicated some wonderful change which they could not understand; but afterwards they learned that it was because He was no longer a man, but a perfected New Creature of the Divine nature.
Then came the long interval between appearances--for weeks at a time they saw nothing of Him, heard nothing from Him. Anxious, disappointing days!--their faith and patience weakened. Finally, utterly discouraged, St. Peter took the lead in announcing his determination to give up all thoughts of further preaching and to return to the fishing business. He announced, "I go a fishing." Promptly his former partners responded, "We also go with thee." (`John 21:3`.) Here were seven principal disciples, abandoning the great work to which they had been invited of the Lord--but doing so in their perplexity, with hearts as loyal as ever.
Evidently this was the occasion Jesus had waited for. We know of no other reason why He should remain forty days before ascending to the Father. He allowed the disciples to go back to their former business and to meet with discouragement. The very first night "they toiled all night and caught nothing!" Poor men! They must have felt as though everything was going against them. However, Jesus was watching over them all the while and purposely permitting them to come to this crisis, so that He might teach them a great lesson--and us through them. The lesson was that He was able to overrule all of their affairs, and that they should firmly trust Him, come what might, so long as they were loyal and following His directions.
Discouraged as to confidence in their own abilities as business men, they were ready in the morning to see Jesus on the shore and to accept His invitation to breakfast with Him from fish already cooked on the fire --from whence came the fish and the fire they knew not. These things were provided by miraculous power, as was the body of Jesus in which He appeared to them and the clothing He wore on it. Jesus said little to them, except to St. Peter--"Feed My sheep, feed My lambs, if thou lovest Me." The Apostles took the lesson and returned again to the preaching of the Gospel as the main business of life. The Lord's blessing was with them. He provided for them according to their needs, although it was sometimes in prison; sometimes in fasting and hunger, nakedness and peril. He gave them of His best for their development as New Creatures.
We do not wish to draw a parallel here and suggest that all the Brethren should abandon earthly affairs, as did the Apostles. We are not Apostles. There were only The Twelve. We are not to expect that we would have as important a work to do, nor that the Lord's providences would be so markedly exercised on our behalf. We are, however, to remember the Master's statement, "One is your Master, even Christ; all ye are Brethren!" While the Apostles were more important Brethren than we, still we are Brethren; and One is our Lord, or Head, and we have all one Father. The Divine promises assure us that all things shall work together for good to us, because we love God and have been called according to His purpose and are seeking to make our calling and election sure.
The lesson we do suggest is that the Divine Plan has not changed. The Harvest surely is not ended. The great Time of Trouble has already begun. Although it is necessary for us to provide things decent and honest in the sight of all men, we are not to forget that our chief business is that of ambassadors for God--representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ--proclaimers of the Good Tidings of great joy which eventually shall be to all people. We are never to forget that we are to seek first, chiefly, the Kingdom of God and the righteousness which it stands for and inculcates.
This is to be our chief work, the chief aim of life for us. Everything else is to be secondary. We are to expect that the Lord will give us necessary wisdom and grace if we seek it, whereby we may serve Him with acceptance and still provide the things necessary for our bodily comfort, without entirely leaving the work. This would mean that we should watch and pray--asking the Lord's direction and then waiting to see which way His providences seem to direct our course. We should watch, also, against the wiles of the Adversary, who would seek to ensnare us in business or pleasure or whatever.
Our advice is that all of the Lord's people put the Kingdom and its interests first, in word, in thought, in deed--giving merely what time is absolutely necessary for the procurement of the things needful for our earthly comforts and the comfort of those dependent on us. Assuredly thus we would be following the example of the Master, pleasing to the Father and helpful to each other. Thus we would be examples to our neighbors, as well as be preparing ourselves for the Kingdom.
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THE TYPEWRITER AND PROGRESS
Amongst the great inventions of our day is the typewriter. It came upon the market just forty years ago, in 1874, as a merchantable and usable convenience, after having been seven years in process of development. The Bible, we believe, marks that same year, 1874, as the beginning of the Harvest of this Age. What a wonderful forty years it has been! What wonderful blessings these years have brought to mankind! What evidence they give of the dawning of the New Dispensation, which the Bible teaches began there! Notice some of the great inventions--the telephone, electric light, trolley-car, perfecting printing press, cheap pulp paper, linotype and monotype machines, gas engine, automobile, aeroplane, talking machine, moving pictures, and a hundred other conveniences, improvements, etc., not forgetting the wireless telegraphy.
Great as are the blessings enumerated, none of them surely can compare with the great blessings that God has given to His consecrated people, who have in these same years been seeking the light of the New Dispensation in the Word of God. The blessing, joy and enlightenment which they have received is beyond all comparison and all valuation!
WAR HASTENING MILLENNIUM
If any one had suggested a year ago the possibility of total abstinence being established by law in Russia, Germany and Great Britain, he would have been considered idiotic. Truly
"God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform."
Men, in the interest of war, are preparing to abolish intoxicating liquors. Russia already has done this. The report is that her millions of people are blessed greatly for the better--improved mentally and materially. Germany is already discussing the matter. The Prime Minister of Great Britain and the King favor total abstinence as a war necessity because the workmen are hindered by the use of liquor from accomplishing the work necessary to be done for the
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prosecution of the war. How wonderful this appears! Is the light of the Millennial Morning breaking upon the world?
Look again! Great Britain and Germany have been fearing Socialism and every way seeking to combat it as destructive of present institutions. As we have already pointed out many of the Socialists will be identified with the Millennial Kingdom. How strange to find that the great war now raging is tending toward Socialism--that while Socialists have joined the army the Governments at war are adopting socialistic measures!
For instance in Great Britain: Speedily after the declaration of war the British Government took over the control of all the railroads of the Kingdom, to facilitate the moving of troops and war materials. Now the British Parliament has given the Government full authority to take over the entire manufacturing business of Great Britain and place it under a central management, with a view to increasing the output of war materials. This bill, which passed on March 9th, the Hon. Andrew Bonar Law declared as a measure, "probably the most drastic ever laid before Parliament." It passed unanimously.
In Germany the Government's action has been no less drastic--the Government has absorbed all power. The extreme in this direction was the seizing of all food supplies and the doling of the same out to the people according to their needs, dictating the proportions of ingredients, the quantity to be eaten and the price to be paid. Could any Socialist imagine the principle for which he contends more fully put into execution--by those, too, who have opposed Socialism in the past?
How will it be when this war shall end? Will individualism and private ownership return to the control of affairs in Great Britain and Germany? If the attempt is made to restore them, will it not bring a clash? Will it not bring the great social earthquake which the Bible declares will immediately follow the war? And will not that social earthquake lead straight on to the fire of anarchy, as the Bible indicates? We so believe: We must with patience wait, nor attempt to hasten the Lord's arrangements. However, let us remember that the Lord declares that He will hasten these things at the present time and that a short work will He make of matters.
Speedily the glorious Kingdom will be established, even though it be through blood and earthquake and fire. How, then, will those feel who are deriding the thought that Messiah's Kingdom is in process of establishment--that this war is identified with its establishment and that it will be fully inaugurated in the midst of the fire of anarchy, which it will quench by bringing in the New Order of things--the new heavens and the new earth--the new ecclesiastical and the new social order--the doing of God's will on earth.
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MEMORIAL SUPPER REPORTS
We have excellent reports of Memorial celebrations this year. It would appear that everywhere it has been the same as here in New York--larger attendance and a deeper appreciation than on any preceding occasion. The New York City Congregation had a most impressive service at THE TEMPLE. It was good to be there! A spirit of sweet solemnity, confidence, rest, seemed to pervade the large gathering in The Temple's fine auditorium.
In harmony with our well-known suggestions, the different little Classes in the suburbs of New York held their own separate meetings for the celebration of the Memorial, even though they reckon themselves part and parcel of the New York and Brooklyn Congregations, and meet as one Church. The reports as to numbers participating show considerable progress during the past year. Quite a number partook of the emblems for the first time. Many of the new ones were more or less attracted to the Truth through the opposition which the enemy has been stirring up. The evil attacks led to examination; and the Truth was all the more beautiful and forceful in its contrast with the error. If the ministers of the various churches become more violent and slanderous they will, no doubt, awaken all of God's true saints and draw their attention more or less to the Truth. For a saint of God to come into contact with the Truth is almost like bringing a piece of steel into close relationship with a magnet.
Nor is the increase of numbers, of interest and of deep piety in the New York Congregation alone. Everywhere, so far as our reports go, the same principle seems to be applicable and the same results inevitable.
We subjoin reports from some of the Congregations already heard from. Compared with the reports of last year the showing is very fine.
Other reports from Memorial celebrations are coming in gradually. Although we have noted only those showing twenty-five or more in attendance, this does not signify that we are not deeply interested in having the reports from every celebration. Please send them in, therefore, as they become the basis of our judgment in other matters connected with the interests of the Classes.
New York City...............1119 St. Joseph, Mo............... 82 London Tabernacle........... 769 Allentown, Pa................ 80 Forest Gate................. 368 Swampscott, Mass............. 75 Chicago, Ill................ 720 Grand Rapids, Mich........... 75 Los Angeles, Cal............ 445 Atlanta, Ga.................. 71 Pittsburgh, Pa.............. 415 So. Chicago, Ill............. 70 Boston, Mass................ 415 Camberwell, Jamaica.......... 70 Detroit, Mich............... 356 Hamilton, Ont................ 70 Philadelphia, Pa............ 300 Youngstown, O................ 69 Minneapolis and St. Paul, Rockford, Ill................ 67 Minn...................... 266 Hartford, Conn............... 66 Toronto, Ont................ 259 Pasadena, Cal................ 65 Seattle, Wash............... 256 Birmingham, Ala.............. 64 Cleveland, O................ 240 Edmonton, Alta............... 64 Vancouver, B.C.............. 237 Newark, N.J.................. 64 Portland, Ore............... 219 Tampa, Fla................... 62 St. Louis, Mo............... 203 Altoona, Pa.................. 61 Washington, D.C............. 196 Memphis, Tenn................ 61 San Antonio, Tex............ 185 Panama City, Panama.......... 60 Cincinnati, O............... 185 Oklahoma City, Okla.......... 59 Indianapolis, Ind........... 183 New Albany, Ind.............. 59 Buffalo, N.Y................ 173 San Diego, Cal............... 58 Columbus, O................. 167 Norfolk, Va.................. 57 Dayton, O................... 165 Omaha, Neb................... 56 Providence, R.I............. 159 New Haven, Conn.............. 55 Kansas City, Mo............. 154 Schenectady, N.Y............. 53 Milwaukee, Wis.............. 153 Jackson, Mich................ 52 Oakland, Cal................ 146 Bridgeton, Barbadoes......... 52 Toledo, O................... 145 Dallas, Tex.................. 51 Victoria, B.C............... 119 Aurora, Ill.................. 51 Baltimore, Md............... 118 Scranton, Pa................. 50 Louisville, Ky.............. 113 Troy, N.Y.................... 50 Roseland, Ill............... 112 York, Pa..................... 50 Oldham, England............. 106 Cumberland, Md............... 48 Edinburgh, Scotland......... 102 Cromwell, Conn............... 48 Lancaster, Pa............... 101 Easton, Pa................... 48 Bellingham, Wash............ 100 Sharon, Pa................... 47 Spokane, Wash............... 98 Wilmington, Del.............. 46 Houston, Tex................ 96 Jacksonville, Fla............ 45 Tacoma, Wash................ 92 Akron, O..................... 45 Springfield, Mass........... 90 Reading, Pa.................. 45 Richmond, Va................ 87 Topeka, Kans................. 45 Binghamton, N.Y............. 82 Moline, Ill.................. 44 Worcester, Mass............. 82 Wichita, Kans................ 43
Des Moines, Ia.............. 43 Harrisburg, Pa............... 30 Port Huron, Mich............ 43 Pittsfield, Mass............. 30 Lawrence, Mass.............. 43 Muncie, Ind.................. 30 Johnstown, N.Y.............. 42 Waterbury, Conn.............. 30 London, Ont................. 42 Flint, Mich.................. 30 Montreal, Que............... 42 Ottawa, Ont.................. 30 Terre Haute, Ind............ 40 Ft. Smith, Ark............... 30 Bloomfield, N.J............. 40 Paragould, Ark............... 30 Watertown, N.Y.............. 40 Tonawanda, N.Y............... 30 New Castle, Pa.............. 40 Newark, O.................... 30 Camden, N.J................. 39 Colorado Springs, Colo....... 30 Joplin, Mo.................. 39 Syracuse, N.Y................ 29 Bay City, Mich.............. 39 Kewanee, Ill................. 29 Passaic, N.J................ 38 St. Petersburg, Fla.......... 29 Knoxville, Tenn............. 37 Iola, Kans................... 29 Mattoon, Ill................ 37 Chatham, Ont................. 29 Auburn, Ind................. 37 Brandon, Man................. 29 Chattanooga, Tenn........... 36 Johnstown, Pa................ 29 Sidney, N.S................. 36 New Philadelphia, O.......... 28 Santa Ana, Cal.............. 36 Anna, Ill.................... 28 Piqua, O.................... 35 Kalamazoo, Mich.............. 28 Crooksville, O.............. 35 Tamaqua, Pa.................. 28 Paterson, N.J............... 35 Owen Sound, Ont.............. 28 Springfield, Ill............ 35 Elwood, Ind.................. 28 Saginaw, Mich............... 34 Haverhill, Mass.............. 28 Boise, Idaho................ 34 Zion City, Ill............... 28 Brockton, Mass.............. 34 Magnet, Ind.................. 27 Warren, O................... 34 Butler, Pa................... 27 Springfield, O.............. 34 Boaz, Ala.................... 27 Canton, O................... 34 Hobart, Okla................. 27 Sacramento, Cal............. 34 Beaumont, Tex................ 27 Lima, Ohio.................. 34 Norristown, Pa............... 26 Tiffin, O................... 33 Toronto, O................... 26 Van Buren, Ark.............. 33 Brazil, Ind.................. 26 The Dalles, Ore............. 32 Port Clinton, O.............. 26 Glens Falls, N.Y............ 32 Tulsa, Okla.................. 26 Hollister, O. (Hung.)....... 32 Calmar, Alta................. 26 Wheeling, W.Va.............. 32 Fairmont, W.Va............... 26 Berne, Switz................ 32 Lowell, Mass................. 25 E. Liverpool, O............. 31 Cortland, N.Y................ 25 Chester and Moore, Pa....... 31 New Orleans, La.............. 25 Jamestown, N.Y.............. 31 Rosenberg, Tex............... 25 Duluth, Minn................ 31 Madison, Wis................. 25 Kirkaldy, Scotland.......... 31
International Bible Students Association Classes