VOL. XXXI OCTOBER 15 No. 20
A.D. 1910--A.M. 6038
Views From The Watch Tower........................323
Prepare War! Wake Up the Mighty Men!.........323
Decline of Non-Conformists in Britain.........324
New Church Union Movement.....................325
The Heavens Rolling Together..................325
A Catholic Church Prop........................326
Abraham Lincoln's Confession of Faith.........326
Higher Criticism Influence Appalling..........327
Cumbered With Much Serving (Poem).................327
Pastor Russell Addressing Enthusiastic
Jewish Mass Meeting at Hippodrome.............328
"Wilt Thou That We Command Fire?".................330
"A Savior and a Great One"....................330
Told for a Memorial of Her........................331
"She Hath Done What She Could"................331
"The Poor Always With You"....................331
"This Do in Remembrance of Me"....................332
Israel's First-Borns Passed Over..............332
God's Estimation Different From World's...........333
Some Interesting Letters..........................334
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.
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INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS
LONDON, ENGLAND, OCT. 23, 30, NOV. 6
CLEVELAND, OHIO, NOV. 20
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., NOV. 27
BROOKLYN, N.Y., DEC. 4
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
Some confusion seems to prevail amongst the dear friends in respect to the proper manner of using the above mentioned title, owing to the fact that mistaken advertisements, signs and letter-heads do not read properly, but are misleading. The I.B.S. Association is here at Brooklyn--a regularly organized Association. We suggest that letter-heads, etc., used elsewhere read somewhat as follows:--
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
Hereafter regular Colporteurs (working on assignments of territory and making regular reports with lists of names of purchasers of STUDIES) will be supplied free on request, one of the wonderful book-marks for each set of STUDIES of three or more volumes. In other words, they may order one heart for each copy of Vol. III. These are proving to be great aids in the sale of the STUDIES.
PALESTINE REMEMBRANCERS OF OLIVEWOOD
When in Palestine we thought of THE WATCH TOWER readers everywhere and surmised that they might like to have some little remembrancer of our visit. Accordingly we placed an order for a sufficient number of olive wood articles to supply an estimated demand. These have only now arrived. The articles are paper-knives, paper-weights and pin-cushions, the latter made of two thin pieces of olive wood a little larger than a silver dollar, with velvet cushion between for pins and needles. The wood is cut crosswise of the tree and is polished.
It would especially please us to send these out to the different friends without money and without price, but we cannot afford to do this. We can, however, supply these at a very low price, 7c each, including postage or expressage.
Wherever possible we advise that the friends bunch their orders; but we are prepared to send them out as they may be pleased to order them--even singly. State what you prefer and give your address very plainly. Order at once, before the Christmas rush. Those receiving THE WATCH TOWER on the Lord's Poor List may have one of these souvenirs without charge, upon request.
THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE
Those of the friends who are using the Bibles containing our special Berean Helps write us that they are in love with them more and more as the days go by and they learn their usefulness. Some, however, forget what a valuable assistance to Bible study they have close at hand, with comments or other information on the major portion of God's Word and references to SCRIPTURE-STUDIES, TOWERS, etc.
We have these in two different styles and five different grades--the cheapest as low as $1.65, the very best and most complete at $3.50. They will be described in the next issue.
BROTHER RUSSELL'S SERMONS IN GERMAN
The sermons are now published regularly in a German newspaper. Order it through THE WATCH TOWER office and get the advantage of our clubbing rate--$1 per year; $1.50 to Canada and foreign addresses.
LITERATURE FOR HEBREWS
We have obtained a supply of a newspaper published in the Yiddish language, which our readers are welcome to have for use amongst their Hebrew friends. Its contents are Zionistic. It is composed largely of quotations from Brother Russell's writings and sermons. We have already arranged to supply some of the larger cities, but still have some for the smaller places. Order no more than you can and will use judiciously.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
"PREPARE WAR! WAKE UP THE MIGHTY MEN!"
WHILE peace conferences are being held and while disarmaments are being considered, preparation for war goes steadily on. Germany is fortifying her islands nearest to Great Britain, and is now demanding that Holland shall likewise fortify her seacoast. The apparent motive behind this interest in Holland's fortification is that Germany proposes at no distant day to make Holland a part of the German Empire, and would like to have it fortified in advance. This would bring Germany within a few hours' sail of British ports. The British believe that it is the intention that they shall be invaded and conquered and made a German Province. Undoubtedly both Holland and Belgium would be parts of Germany today were it not for Great Britain, which protects these nations as a barrier between her and Germany's army. A panicky feeling prevails in Great Britain. We make an extract from the Naval and Military Record, the writer being a secretary of the National Service League. We quote as follows:--
"We want a million men with six months' training now, and after that another million in reserve, and these must be intact when all our regulars have left our shores. Without them we can neither fight by land nor sea. It is evident to all but to our ill-informed and apathetic people, that our supremacy at sea is slipping from our grasp, and our rivals feverishly prepare to dictate terms when we are least expecting war.
"We must be prepared to send 500,000 of our finest manhood and maintain that force abroad if we would save our interests and keep our friends in Europe. By 1915 Germany will have her ports and naval arsenals, her wharves and jetties and her fleet and transports ready, and when ready she may strike like lightning. Then, not far from Waterloo, must come the clash of nations fighting for their very life.
"Round Holland and Belgium the nets are drawing closer every day. We already harbor a million of the enemy within the gate. Our politicians mostly lie, or dare not speak the truth. Disaster stares us in the face. At the outbreak of war our food supplies will fail, and prices will be far beyond the pockets of the poor. Employment, then, will cease, and starving millions will demand surrender."
THE METHODISM OF WESLEY VANISHING
"For the fourth year in succession the Wesleyan Methodist Church reports a decrease in membership, running into thousands each year. Thousands of 'pious persons' are on the books, some paying to the support of the church, and some not. In course of time many of these paper members, having no living interest in the church, drift away, and are then classed amongst those who have 'ceased to meet,' though they never have met in their lives.
"Many others are still retained on the books long after the 'ceased-to-meet' period, the explanation often being given that the minister will not take the responsibility of 'unchurching' them. A time at length comes when the thing has grown to be such a palpable farce that something must be done. Besides, chapels and churches are assessed in their payments on the numbers on the class books, and grumblings begin to be heard from those who have to find the wherewithal. A drastic pruning then takes place, and decreases are reported. Those who maintain that numbers mean nothing pooh-pooh the returns. 'Things are just as they were,' they say; 'but honesty for the moment has prevailed.'
"There is truth in this view of things, but not the whole truth. The plain fact is that the numbers reported are never wholly reliable. There are thousands of others on the class books whom the ministers know right well are not genuine members, but whom they are afraid to strike off because of the trouble their action might bring on them at the conferences. No church likes to see its membership declining, and any tendency that way is keenly questioned. Only recently the writer sat in a meeting called for the purpose of 'pruning' where many worthless names were allowed to pass muster through that unwholesome fear. Some little time ago the writer was shown two membership tickets written by the minister for two people who had been dead a considerable time, and another for a person who had removed from the neighborhood.
"It is maintained by many loyal Methodists that a true and faithful record of membership would prove that the Wesleyan Methodist Church is far more seriously declining than the returns to be discussed in the conferences show.
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"The causes of the decline are not far to seek. The old Methodism of John Wesley is rapidly vanishing, or, where it still lingers, is tabooed by the upper circles of the church. Not only that, but scores of the very men who are paid to maintain it are constantly declaring that the Methodism of John Wesley has had its day, and that it is not respectable enough for the age in which we live.
DECLINE IN PREACHING
"The preaching in the Methodist pulpits is another cause of the decline. There may be more scholarly men in the pulpits than formerly, but the impassioned note in the preaching common amongst the early Methodists, has almost clean gone out of the sermon. And this is acknowledged by many ministers themselves, but, in explanation, they will tell you that we are living today in a time of changing creeds, and that the most careful language has to be employed in dealing with certain great themes. The truth, however, is that scores of ministers hardly know what they believe, and, therefore, it is not likely that they can grow impassioned over something of which they have only a very hazy idea.
"I do not know whether they are right or not. I am a layman, and not an expert in theology, but the men in the pulpit who have thrown over the old views of the atonement, the resurrection and other great tenets which Methodists used to believe with all their strength cannot expect to fill churches with the dry husks which they offer their congregations instead."--London Dispatch.
DECLINE OF NON-CONFORMISTS IN GREAT BRITAIN
Reports in Great Britain show that Baptists, Congregationalists and the various Methodist denominations there are declining in numbers and prestige. The cause of this is not far to see. Gradually the common people are losing their sectarian spirit. Those once told directly or by implication that the members of their sect
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alone would escape eternal torment and attain heavenly bliss have outgrown such teachings. As a result all now teach that one denomination is practically as good as another in the Lord's sight and equally sure of heaven. And the general sympathy and mental breadth of all Christians have increased to the degree that preachers are expected at funeral services to make the heavenly portals broad for all--the white and black, ring-streaked and speckled sheep of every kind and name and to have a large corner for those who have made no profession, but have lived ungodly lives to the very end. For the latter the hope is expressed that they may have said a prayer before drawing their last breath.
By common consent neither people of civilized lands nor people of heathen lands are now going to the hell of torment which our fathers proclaimed and believed. The only ones being roasted there are such as went at least more than thirty years or more ago.
As a result Christianity and Church fellowship and saintliness stand for nothing. Christianity has become merely another name for decency and civilization. All doctrines are abandoned as merely speculations. Churches are becoming merely social clubs in which form and ceremony mark the quality. Consequently the masses are inclined to attend worship, either to hear an entertaining lecture or to hear beautiful music by a trained and well-paid choir or for a ceremonial religion with plenty of show and movement. This accounts for the growing unpopularity of those sects which once stood for the highest standards of earnestness and Christian zeal and liberty, non-conformity and simplicity.
The Methodist Church in the United States is very different from all the various smaller Methodist bodies of Great Britain. The Episcopal feature in it constitutes its clergy a great hierarchy with a vast influence. It is a masterpiece of organization in which the smallest teacher or lay preacher is attached to the one above him, in order to hold his own position. And the ordinary minister is attached to his presiding Elder. And the presiding Elders are attached to their Bishops. Its management, its system, its watch-care over every interest is second only to that of papacy--the masterpiece of all the organizations of the world.
A LAMENTABLE DECLINE
The Methodist Census again shows a decrease in membership, this time of 2,267, as compared with last year's decrease of 1,444; the total reduction in the past four years amounting to the startling total of 9,869. The fact that this falling-off represents but two per cent. of the entire body is of comparatively little moment in the face of the grave fact that, in spite of the huge and continued effort, instead of proportionate progress there has been a steady decline. The outlook is even more serious, for there is, as might be expected, a decline in the sources from which the members are chiefly drawn; thus, when the numbers "On trial for Membership" and of the "Junior Society Classes" are taken into account, "the total loss in all grades of membership for the four years is 23,996."--London Christian.
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP DECLINING
The figures presented to the annual meeting of the Baptist Union this week, showing a decrease of Church membership by 1,553, while there is an increase of some 38 places of worship, are causing a good deal of heart-searching among the leaders of Nonconformity. There was also a decrease in the previous year. It is curious that while the facilities for worship increase, the number of adherents or recognized members decreases year by year.--Darlington (Eng.) Times.
WHERE THE FAULT REALLY LIES
Rev. H. C. Morrison, in a sermon preached at the Desplaines camp meeting, said:--
"I am not afraid of the blatant infidelity of Tom Paine or of Voltaire or of Robert Ingersoll, but I am afraid of the infidelity that masquerades in clerical clothes and in the sanctuary. I believe that that infidel, Rev. Lyman Abbott, has done more evil than any other of his class in America," said the preacher.
"The reason why the working men are rejecting the Bible and are no longer in fear of its warnings against sin, why the Ten Commandments are discounted and the church and the ministry are not respected as they once were, is because men like Lyman Abbott have so instilled doubt into the public mind as to the reliability of the Bible as the Word of God that the average person has lost faith in its commanding authority."
We quite thoroughly agree that the infidelity of the colleges and seminaries and pulpits of today is much more injurious than that of Paine and Voltaire. But Brother Morrison in the quotation above discloses the fact that he does not understand the situation. The real fault lies back of his criticism--in the creeds of the dark ages which defamed the Divine character and, by foolish interpretations of the Bible, overthrew the faith of some of the noblest specimens of our race--turning them into Higher Critics.
The real fault, therefore, lies in the doctrine of eternal torment, which is still held forth in all the Church
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creeds and outwardly, at least, endorsed by the Rev. Morrison and thousands of others of all denominations of Christendom. These false doctrines are turning the hearts of honest and logical ministers and other thinkers away from God, who has so long been misrepresented to them, and away from the Bible, which they have so long misunderstood. It is useless longer to ask intelligent people to worship a God described to them as worse than themselves, or to accept as the Divine Plan such an unwise, unjust, unloving one as they represent the Divine Program to be.
A NEW CHURCH UNION MOVEMENT
Recently (July 18) twelve clergymen and twelve laymen of the Episcopal Church incorporated in the State of New York under the name of Christian Unity Foundation. It was announced that this is the official start of a movement which began in St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, last February. Bishop Courtenay was announced as the first President. The organization starts with a gift of $10,000 for individual expenses and is ready to receive further contributions. Its object purports to be the bringing about of a union of all the Christians of the world--Protestant, Roman Catholic and Greek.
The new organization differs from the one organized three years ago, styled The Federal Council, which, without disturbing present organizations, speaks for Federation. The new movement provides for one great religious body in which all names and divisions would be removed. Mr. Rockefeller and everybody else is prophesying a united Christendom. They believe such a union or fusion necessary. Our opinion, based upon the prophetic Scriptures, is well-known to our readers. As long ago as 1880, in these columns, we pointed out, when others did not expect it, that such a Federation is sure to be accomplished and that, according to the Scriptures, the effect will be baneful, injurious in the extreme. Nevertheless we still see that while outwardly injurious to the highest interests of the "sanctified in Christ Jesus," it will not really injure this class. On the contrary it will provide the very oppositions and restraints and persecutions which, under Divine supervision, will work out blessings for the elect and separate them more completely than ever as wheat from the chaff of nominal Christendom.
"In your patience possess ye your souls," declares the Master. We are living in a momentous time. Much is accomplished in one year. What may we expect by October, 1914, the date of the termination of Gentile times? Let us not speculate, but let us keep awake and mark the stately steppings of our present Lord amongst the affairs of mankind--leading onward to the inauguration of the glorious Kingdom of the Son of God, and, through it, to the blessing of Israel and all the nations of the earth.
THE HEAVENS ROLLING TOGETHER
Under the symbolism of the rolling together of the heavens as a scroll the Bible pictures the end of this age, its time of trouble, and how, as a result, the extremes of the ecclesiastical heavens, Catholic and Protestant, will be drawn together. A scroll does not always roll equally from both ends. If one end be fastened the other end will do all the rolling. Thus far Roman Catholicism has made little advance toward fellowship with Protestantism, but the latter is daily rolling a little nearer to Catholicism. Notice, as an instance, the great Eucharistic Congress at Montreal, Canada, the first of the kind to be held in America. One hundred and twenty-five bishops were in attendance and thousands of visitors from all parts of the world.
Cardinal Vannutelli, the special Legate or Representative of the Pope, enroute to the Congress, stopped in England, in spite of the legal statute which forbids the entrance into Great Britain of Papal Legates. The newspapers note that he is the first Catholic of this rank to enter the Island of Great Britain in three hundred years. Evidently the Law on the subject is a dead letter. Catholics and Protestants have both made an advance since that Law was made.
The Government's representative in Canada, Judge Girourd, welcomed the Cardinal Legate in the words, "The administration of the Dominion of Canada presents its homage to his excellency and bids him welcome."
At the Congress, Father Vaughan of London, one of the leading delegates, attacked Protestantism, declaring that Protestantism is dying out; that soon there will be nothing left of it; that Protestants, if they wish to conserve their religion, should labor for the abolition of race suicide.
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WELL EXPRESSED--SHOULD BE HEEDED.
In the Atlanta Weekly Journal, Bishop Warren A. Candler says, "Nothing is more schismatic than the effort to impose conditions of Christian fellowship upon others which the holy Scriptures do not impose." Not only should Methodists, Episcopalians and Catholics heed these true words, but all denominations of Christ should heed. All should remember that there is but one "Church of the Living God, whose names are written in heaven," and that it has but one Lord, one faith and one baptism, and one God and Father over all. All such, recognizing the Scriptures as the message of God through Jesus, the Apostles and prophets, should judge themselves and fellow-members, not by fanciful standards of the dark ages, but by the Word of the Living God which liveth and abideth forever, and according to which, the Master tells us, we, and, in time, the world also shall be judged.
CHEAPEST AND BEST LIFE INSURANCE
Of course, the Lord's consecrated people recognize that they have no earthly life to preserve--that it is consecrated to death in the service of the Lord and of his cause. From this standpoint the best and cheapest policy is a full consecration of baptism into Christ's death and the Lord's receipt, the earnest of our inheritance, the begetting of the holy Spirit. Such are assured by the Scriptures that they will from time to time receive dividends in slander, evil-speaking and persecutions, generally from "false brethren." But even these experiences are guaranteed to work out for the insured special blessings, and to constitute assurances of Divine favor continued with them.
But our particular thought at this time is to answer the queries of some respecting the insurance of their earthly lives in the interests of those dependent upon them for temporal support. So far as the Editor is concerned, he carries no life insurance of any kind and desires none. Nevertheless all are not situated alike. To our understanding a father, having dependent wife and children--if the latter be of tender years and unable to make their own living--has some responsibility for them; according to the Apostle's statement, "He that provideth not for his own is worse than an unbeliever." It may, indeed, be argued that this, in the Apostle's day, could not have applied to life insurance--that at most it could have meant that a man should pay his just debts, keep his family in reasonable comfort, and, if possible, lay
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aside for them some small provision in the way of a cottage, or what not, that would stand between them and immediate want, in event of his death. But in case he could not do this, he might now be able to discharge his duty toward them through the medium of life insurance.
True, we have said, and still say, that we believe the time is near when insurance companies, with all the other arrangements of our present civilization, will be overwhelmed in the great time of trouble foretold by the Prophet `Daniel (12:1`). It is equally true that we anticipate that that climax of trouble is not farther away than 1915. Our thought is, further, that the so-called mutual insurance companies will fail sooner than those styled "old line" insurance companies, which have the backing of vast accumulations of money and the support of the more wealthy. The mutual companies will fail, first, because, as times get hard, many will be unable to pay their assessments and drop out and thus make the assessments larger for those who remain in. And, as the pinch continues, these also will withdraw and the mutual companies will fail. We are not writing as the agent or emissary of any insurance company; hence we mention no names, but merely offer a suggestion for the benefit of our readers who feel that they have an obligation toward their families to the amount of $1,000 or more. All the "old line" companies have a variety of policies, some of them more, and some of them less favorable. And the agents who solicit insurance get larger commissions from the more expensive kind of policies, hence are not so likely to introduce the kind which we are about to recommend and which may be obtained from any first-class insurance company and is the lowest-priced insurance granted by any of them. We describe it as follows:--
It is known as a "Five-Year-Term Policy." It expires at the end of five years, but that should be no objection to us. It is convertible at any time within four years to a longer term policy. These policies grant full immediate benefit and, so far as the insurance feature is concerned, are as good as any other higher-priced policy for the time mentioned. As for the cost:--
For a person of fifty-three years of age, the cost would be $25.65 per $1,000 for the year. For younger persons the rate would be cheaper; for older persons, dearer.
A CATHOLIC CHURCH PROP
The Roman Catholic Church evidently finds its revenues diminishing, as its people become less fearful of the terrors of Purgatory. It has devised a new scheme whereby to provide for its faithful both earthly and Purgatorial Insurance.
The new scheme is an insurance company along ordinary lines, but Catholics only are expected to patronize it. The religious feature of the arrangement is that the insurance premiums are to go to the Catholic Church treasury and to be credited to the insured as instead of direct payments. This is a long-headed scheme. Perhaps it would work well with the various Protestant denominations. Why not?
THE EUPHRATES DRYING UP
In Revelation we read of the drying up of the Euphrates River, that the way of the Kings of the East may be prepared. (`Rev. 16:12`.) This is symbolical, of course. It calls our attention back to the typical Babylon and her fall before Cyrus. Babylon was built upon the River Euphrates, which ran through the midst of the city. Her wall was impregnable, but Cyrus' army turned aside the river into a new channel, leaving the old channel dry and enabling him to march his army under the Babylonian gates, which otherwise served as the city's defense.
We are to expect a parallel to this in connection with mystical Babylon--Christendom. In the symbolical language of Revelation, waters symbolize people; hence the turning aside of the "waters" would represent the alienation of the people and the alienation of the people would be indicated by their withholding of financial support.
Gifts of money to ecclesiastical institutions represent love or fear. The increasing light of modern times has not only decreased love for the creeds of the "dark ages," but it has also decreased fear for their threatenings. As a result neither love nor fear is operating as strongly today as once it did in the minds of the masses. What wonder if the result would be the drying up of the Euphrates and the ultimate collapse of mystic Babylon! The matter is under the control of the antitypical Cyrus, of whom it is written, "Thus saith the Lord to his anointed (typical), to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places." (`Isa. 45:1-3`.) Thus saith Jehovah, "That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers; that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid." (`Isa. 44:27,28`.) As the typical Cyrus encouraged and gave liberty to the Jews to return from Babylonian captivity, so the antitypical, our present Lord, will see to the drying up of the Euphrates and also to Israel's opportunity and encouragement to return to the land of Abraham.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S CONFESSION OF FAITH
"I have never united myself to any church, because I have found difficulty in giving my assent, without mental reservation, to the long complicated statements of Christian doctrine which characterize their Articles of Belief and Confessions of Faith. Whenever any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both law and gospel, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself,' that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul."
SCIENTISTS ARE VERY COURAGEOUS
Common people hesitate to be out of line with truth, even a little, but scientists think nothing of thousands of millions of years. An illustration of this is found in their statements respecting the age of our planet. The Scranton Tribune quotes the scientific (?) estimates as follows:--
Lord Kelvin, of England, some years ago, guessed the earth's age to be about ninety-eight millions of years-- days and months not stated. Five years later this scientific gentleman revised his figure, estimating mother earth to be from twenty millions to forty millions of years old.
Scientist D. D. Lapparent, in 1890, estimated the earth's age at from sixty-seven to ninety millions of years.
W. J. Sollas, in 1909, estimated the age of the ocean as from eighty millions to one hundred and fifty millions of years.
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Charles D. Walcott, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, in 1893 gave as the earth's maximum age seventy millions of years.
The latest scientific (?) declaration on the subject is from the Smithsonian Institute which, being under governmental control, gives its estimate an official standing. The figures are given by Frank Wigglesworth Clark and George F. Baker, of the United States Geological Survey, whose pronouncement is not above seventy million years, nor below fifty-five million years.
Ordinary men obliged to confess themselves perplexed to the extent of from fifteen million years to one hundred million years, would be apt to keep very quiet lest some one would criticize them and say they didn't know their business; but scientific men are so used to guessing on every subject that they do not take their own situation so seriously.
These scientific gentlemen usually feel that they are damaging the credibility of the Divine testimony on the subject. We doubt if the majority of them know that the Bible does not undertake to say when the earth was formed, though it does undertake to say when the ocean was formed. Bible students will note that Genesis declares that when the first of the creative orders or epochs began, "the earth was without form and void." In SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. VI., we have presented the Bible's own testimony, to the effect that each of the creative days was 7,000 years long and that we are living in the seventh epoch day and that six-sevenths of it are in the past. One more thousand years will complete it-- complete an entire cycle of 49,000 years and usher in the glorious fiftieth of absolute perfection.
REMARKABLE WORDS IN A PROMINENT PLACE
It is well known that the Union Railway Depot in Washington City is thus far the finest on earth--the new Pennsylvania Railroad depot in New York City alone excepted. It is nearing completion and the following three texts of Scripture are quite prominent over the main arches of the entrance:--
(1) "Thou hast put all things under his feet."
(2) "The truth shall make you free."
(3) "The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose."
Our friends and our enemies alike will be inclined to suppose that in some manner we engineered the putting of those texts in those prominent positions. We want, in advance, to disclaim the honor. The selection was made by Prof. Eliot, formerly President of Harvard University and now prominent as an advocate of a Christless Christianity--Evolution and Higher Criticism of the Bible, which mean no Bible. How came he, then, to select these texts of Scripture? Answer: "God is able to make the wrath of man to praise him."
HIGHER CRITICISM INFLUENCE IS APPALLING
Secretary Foster of the Detroit Y.M.C.A., speaking to the World's Sunday School convention at Washington the other day, made this discouraging statement: "Seventy-five per cent. of all the boys over thirteen years of age in the Protestant Sunday Schools of the United States are lost to the church, and never make professions of faith." He added, so as to leave no question about his facts, "I have made that calculation after study, observation and experience," and practically all the delegates in the meeting agreed with him. An English delegate, shocked by it, remarked, "This is the most astonishing statement I have heard in this country. In England we do not lose more than three per cent."
Mr. Foster's statement, which the Englishman called "astonishing," might be called appalling by every sincere Christian, and at once provokes the questions, What are the churches and the Sunday Schools doing? Would the result be better or worse if the latter were abandoned altogether? What happens to the children after they leave the Sunday School to wean them from the faith? Do the Sunday Schools really give them any faith at all, that it is so easily and generally rubbed off afterwards?-- Detroit Free Press.
"HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE"
We have been requested to reprint the following from our issue of March 1, 1898:--
"There is no necessity for discussing with honest minds what is and what is not meant by the expression--the Lord's death. Some, in an anxiety to get away from the doctrine of the ransom, or, rather, in their anxiety to get away from the logical deductions associated with the doctrine of the ransom, are claiming, regardless of all Scripture to the contrary, that our Lord Jesus had two deaths, one when he came into the WORLD, and the OTHER at CALVARY; and that the death of the "man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all," at Calvary, was of small importance as compared with the other. They seem willingly ignorant of the fact that the Scriptures declare, 'In that he died, he died unto sin once'; and that that one death, and the only one ever referred to by our Lord or his apostles, was the death at Calvary.
"The Apostles declare that Jesus spoke of the death which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. This one and only death of our Redeemer is what is symbolized in the Memorial Remembrancer--his body, his flesh broken for us, and of its merits and life all who would have life everlasting must partake."
CUMBERED WITH MUCH SERVING
"Christ never asks of us such arduous labor
As leaves no time for resting at his feet;
This waiting attitude of expectation
He ofttimes counts a service most complete.
"He sometimes wants our ear, our rapt attention,
That he some sweetest secret may impart;
'Tis always in the time of deepest silence
That heart finds fullest fellowship with heart.
"We sometimes wonder why the Lord has placed us
Within a sphere so narrow, so obscure,
That nothing we call work can find an entrance;
There's only room to suffer--to endure.
"Well, God loves patience; souls that dwell in stillness,
Doing the little things, or resting quite,
May just as perfectly fulfill their mission,
Be just as useful in the Father's sight
"As they who grapple with some giant evil,
Clearing a path that every eye may see;
Our Savior cares for cheerful acquiescence
Rather than for a busy ministry.
"And yet he does love service, where 'tis given
By grateful love that clothes itself in deed;
But work that's done beneath the scourge of duty,
Be sure to such he gives but little heed.
"Then seek to please him, whatsoe'er he bids thee,
Whether to do, to suffer, to lie still;
'Twill matter little by what path he leads us,
If in it all we sought to do his will."
[On this page a picture of Pastor Russell addressing a Jewish audience at the Hippodrome consumes over three-quarters of the page. The following is the caption below the picture:]
Pastor Russell, of the Brooklyn Tabernacle,
Addressing an Enthusiastic Audience at the Jewish Mass Meeting at the Hippodrome.
(From New York American, October 2.)
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PASTOR RUSSELL TO
Remarkable Gathering to Take
Place in Hippodrome
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Pastor Russell, of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, is to address a giant mass meeting of the Jews of New York on Sunday, October 9, at 3 o'clock, in the Hippodrome. He is considered one of the most eloquent Protestant preachers, and has gained a wide audience among the Hebrews by his sympathetic treatment of Jewish questions.
Pastor Russell's sermon will be on "Zionism in Prophecy." His appearance before a representative mass meeting of Jews will be the first time that a well-known Protestant minister has been asked to deliver an address to such an assembly.
Prominent Jewish citizens are arranging to make the meeting one of
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the largest gatherings ever held in this city. The Yiddish newspapers and Jewish societies are represented on the committees in charge of arrangements.
HE IS HIGHLY ENDORSED
Counselor Leo Wolfson, president of the Federated Roumanian Jews of America and Vice Grand Master of the I.W.S.O., when seen at his office, said:
"As one who is interested in the Jewish question and an old worker for the Zionistic movement, my attention was called to Pastor Russell's interest in the Jews.
"I feel that an address by him on Zionism and Jewish prophets will present the question from a new point of view, and a point of view that I will be very willing to learn.
"I am sure that Pastor Russell's treatment of the question will be sympathetic, and will doubtless create widespread discussion of Zionism, its aims and ideals."
In speaking of the coming meeting and Pastor Russell's address, J. Pfeffer, of No. 139 Delancey street, said last night:
"Many of Pastor Russell's sermons have been printed in Jewish papers, and in these sermons he has preached sympathetically upon Jewish questions. This is primarily the reason why the Jews are anxious to hear him speak of the future of the Jew.
UNUSUAL COURSE FOR GENTILE
"Pastor Russell has been and is agitating Zionism. From a religious point of view he seems to believe in Judaism. It is a new occurrence for the Jews to have a Gentile take so much interest in problems and topics that are of special interest to them.
"Judging from the preparations and the interest already manifested in the announcement of the meeting I am of the opinion that it will be a very large gathering."
Pastor Russell, it is reported, will leave after next Sunday's meeting for London. While he is in England he will address many gatherings. One of these meetings will be a Jewish mass meeting. The London mass meeting will be held in Albert Hall, the largest auditorium in Great Britain.
The committee in charge of next Sunday's meeting in the Hippodrome includes: A. B. Landau, editor of The Warheit; Louis Lipsky, editor of the Maccabean; J. Pfeffer, editor of the Jewish Weekly; Abraham Goldberg, editor of the Yiddish Volk, and Leo Wolfson, editor of the Yiddish Spirit.
(From New York American, Oct. 9.)
PASTOR RUSSELL CHEERED BY AN AUDIENCE
4,000 in Hippodrome Applaud When Venerable Brooklyn Clergyman Advocates Establishment of a Jewish Nation.
Hearers Who Came to Question Gentile's Views on Their Religion Find He Agrees in Their Most Important Beliefs.
The unusual spectacle of 4,000 Hebrews enthusiastically applauding a Gentile preacher, after having listened to a sermon he addressed to them concerning their own religion, was presented at the Hippodrome yesterday afternoon, where Pastor Russell, the famous head of the
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Brooklyn Tabernacle, conducted a most unusual service.
In his time the venerable pastor has done many unconventional things. His religion is bounded by no particular denomination, and encompasses, as he says, all mankind. His ways of teaching it are his own. But he never did a more unconventional thing than this--nor a more successful one.
He won over an audience that had come--some of it, at least--prepared to debate with him, to resent, perhaps, what might have appeared like a possible intrusion. "Pastor Russell is going to try to convert the Jews to Christianity," was the word that many had received before the meeting. "He wants to proselyte us."
RECEIVED AT FIRST IN SILENCE
In the crowd which filled the big showhouse were scores of rabbis and teachers, who had come to speak out in case the Christian attacked their religion or sought to win them from it. They had questions and criticisms ready for him. He was received at first in a dead silence.
But the pastor did not seek to convert the Jews. To their unbounded delight, he pointed out the good things of their religion, agreed with them in their most important beliefs as to their salvation, and finally, after a warm advocacy of the plan of the Jews establishing a nation of their own, brought about a tumult of applause by leading a choir in the Zionist anthem: "Hatikva--Our Hope."
A more interesting audience the Hippodrome never held, perhaps. From all parts of the city came serious-minded Hebrews to hear what it was an alien, a Gentile, might have to say to them at a service, held during their week of feasting, Rosh Hoshana. They were quiet, well-dressed, thinking men and women.
Among them were many prominent figures of the Hebrew literary world. Some of these escorted Pastor Russell to the Hippodrome in a motor car and then took places in the auditorium. The literary men recognized the pastor as a writer and investigator of international fame on the subject of Judaism and Zionism. Some of those present were Dr. Jacobs, editor of the American Hebrew; W. J. Solomon, of the Hebrew Standard; J. Brosky, associate editor of the same; Louis Lipsky, editor of the Maccabean; A. B. Landau, of the Warheit; Leo Wolfson, president of the Federation of Roumanian Societies; J. Pfeffer, of the Jewish Weekly; S. Diamont, editor of the Jewish Spirit; S. Goldberg, editor of the American Hebrew; J. Barrondess, of the Jewish Big Stick, and Goldman, editor of H'Yom, the only Jewish daily.
NO RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS THERE
No symbol of any religion at all greeted them when they gazed at the Hippodrome stage. It was entirely empty save for a small lectern and three peace flags hanging from silken cords above. One was the familiar white silk banner with the Stars and Stripes in its center, together with the words "Peace Among Nations" in letters of gold. Another bore a rainbow and the word "Pax." The third was a silken strip bearing miniature representations of all the nations' flags.
There were no preliminaries. Pastor Russell, tall, erect and white-bearded, walked across the stage without introduction, raised his hand, and his double quartette from the Brooklyn Tabernacle sang the hymn, "Zion's Glad Day." The members of this organization are Mrs. E. W. Brenneisen, Mrs. E. N. Detweiler, Miss Blanche Raymond and Mrs. Raymond, Emil Hirscher, C. Myers, J. P. MacPherson and J. Mockridge. Their voices blended perfectly, and the hymn, without any instrumental accompaniment, was impressive.
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But still there seemed an air of aloofness about the audience. They did not applaud, but sat silently watching the stalwart figure of the pastor. When he began to talk, however, they gave him respectful attention.
With a powerful, yet charming voice, that filled the great playhouse, the unconventional clergyman made his every word audible to every hearer. His tones pleased their ears, his graceful gestures soon captivated their eyes, and in a few moments his apparently thorough knowledge of his subject appealed to their minds. Though still silent, the 4,000 were "warming up" to him.
RESERVE AND DOUBT VANISH
It was not long before all reserve, and all possible doubt of Pastor Russell's entire sincerity and friendliness were worn away. Then the mention of the name of a great Jewish leader--who, the speaker declared, had been raised by God for the cause--brought a burst of applause.
From that moment on the audience was his. The Jews became as enthusiastic over him as though he had been a great rabbi or famous orator of their own religion. He hailed them as one of the bravest races of the earth--having kept their faith through the persecutions and cruelties of all other people for thousands of years. And he predicted that before very long they would be the greatest of the earth--not merely a people, any longer, but a nation. By a system of deductions based upon the prophecies of old, the pastor declared that the return of the kingdom of the Jews might occur at so near a period as the year 1914. Persecution would be over and peace and universal happiness would triumph.
As he brought his address to a conclusion the pastor raised his hand again to his choir. This time they raised the quaint, foreign-sounding strains of the Zion hymn, "Our Hope," one of the masterpieces of the eccentric East Side poet, Imber.
The unprecedented incident of Christian voices singing the Jewish anthem came as a tremendous surprise. For a moment the Hebrew auditors could scarcely believe their ears. Then, making sure it was their own hymn, they first cheered and clapped with such ardor that the music was drowned out, and then, with the second verse, joined in by hundreds.
* * *
The discourse has already been reported in the newspapers which publish the sermons weekly.
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"WILT THOU THAT WE COMMAND FIRE?"
--`LUKE 9:51-56`.--OCTOBER 23.--
Golden Text:--"And it came to pass, when the days were well-nigh come, that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem and sent messengers before his face."
THIS week's study relates an incident which occurred on the occasion of our Lord's journey from Galilee to Jerusalem just before his crucifixion. He knew that his hour was come; that his sacrificial life of three and a half years should be accomplished. The Great Teacher was full of courage. "But of the people there were none with him" in the sense of sympathetic appreciation of the conditions. True, he had informed the twelve Apostles respecting the consummation of his work and its nearness, but they had been slow to believe all the things written in the Law and the prophecies concerning him. Their minds naturally grasped the glorious things spoken of the Messiah. They were so busy thinking of his glorious Kingdom, and of their glorious association with him in that Kingdom, that they failed to note the other prophecies which, with equal distinctness, foretold his sufferings and ignominy. Similarly, they overlooked the Master's own words concerning his death. They thought of him as speaking in some figurative, hyperbolic manner. And Peter even attempted to rebuke him, saying, "Be this far from thee, Lord; it shall not happen unto thee."
REFUSED BY THE SAMARITANS
Another account intimates that James and John visited the Samaritan city for the purchase of bread and supplies for the party. The Samaritans recognized them and inquired, would the Great Teacher recognize the Samaritans and heal their sickness or would he treat them as Jews in general treated them--unkindly? They believed the latter. The Apostles frankly told them that the Great Teacher was sent only to the Jewish nation and would not stop to heal their sick ones, because he was "not sent save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Naturally enough the Samaritans resented this and were angry. They said, Very well. Buy bread from the people whom you instruct and whose sick you heal.
St. John and St. James were greatly incensed at this. Was not Jesus the greatest Teacher? Was he not the Messiah? Had he not, as such, the right to determine the will of God respecting who should and who should not receive his benefactions? With this answer they came to Jesus and, relating the circumstances, asked, "Wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven to destroy these men and their city?"
WHAT SPIRIT ARE YE OF?
We listen with keen interest for the Master's response. As we once viewed the matter of the Divine program it would have seemed right for the Great Teacher to have said to the Apostles, Never mind, my dear disciples; wait just a little while and all those Samaritans will die and my Heavenly Father will deliver them over to the devils for an eternity of torture. In comparison with eternal
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torture that which you propose in the way of burning up their city and incidentally burning them for a few minutes would be as nothing. I appreciate, my dear disciples, your spirit, that it is God-like; that you desire to do all the roasting and burning within your power, and I commend you for it. Continue to thus copy your God and to cause suffering to as many as possible of your fellow-creatures who do not think exactly as you do.
Was this the answer of the Great Teacher? Thank God, No! His teaching was the very reverse--sympathetic, loving, kind. And he had the Father's Spirit and understood it and followed it perfectly. In answer to their query, we read, "Jesus turned and rebuked them" and said, "Ye know not what spirit ye are of! The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them!"
"A SAVIOR AND A GREAT ONE"
The language spoken in Palestine in Jesus' day was the Syriac. One of the Great Teacher's titles is The Savior. And this, in the Syriac language, signifies, "The Life-Giver." The whole world was damned enough before Jesus came. He came not to damn (condemn) them more, but that they through him, might have life!--`John 10:10`; `3:17`.
Life! Did they not have life? No. All human life
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was forfeited through father Adam's disobedience. All mankind are dying as a result. A Life-Giver, a Savior from death (and not from eternal torment), was what was needed.
The first work of the Savior is the redemptive work of Calvary. His second work is the selection of his Church to be his joint-heirs in the Kingdom. His third work will be the saving of Adam and all of his race from sin and death--from all the mental, moral and physical degradation which came through father Adam's disobedience and through his children being born in sin and shapen in iniquity and in sin conceived by their mothers.
The saving of the Church is a great work! How faithful we should be if we have heard, if our eyes have seen, if our hearts have tasted of the grace of God in this wonderful privilege of becoming members of the Bride of Christ. However, we cannot suppose that the saving of merely a handful of select ones is the purpose of God in the creation of the world and the redeeming of the world. On the contrary, this elect "Little Flock" is spoken of as a "first-fruits unto God of his creatures." (`Jas. 1:18`; `Rev. 14:4`.) This implies an after-fruitage much more numerous. While God does not propose to save anyone out of death and to life eternal contrary to the individual will, he does propose that every creature lost in Adam and redeemed by Jesus shall be brought to a clear knowledge of the Truth, that they may be saved. He does propose that only the willingly obdurate shall be lost; and their loss will be the loss of life--as the Apostle declares, "everlasting destruction."
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TOLD FOR A MEMORIAL OF HER
--`MATTHEW 26:1-16`.--OCTOBER 30.--
Golden Text:--"She hath done what she could."--`Mark 14:8`.
IN a previous study we considered the Great Teacher's triumphal entry into Jerusalem on an ass, and his tender of himself to the Nation of Israel as their King, in fulfillment of the prophecy of `Zechariah 9:9-12`. That was five days before the Passover. For several days Jesus taught in the temple, going at night to the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary at Bethany. He knew what to expect --that his hour was come. He knew that even then the chief priests and elders of the people were considering his destruction and hesitating only lest it should cause tumult. Their indignation against the Great Teacher was that he did not teach as they taught and that his teachings had much more power with the masses than all their teachings combined. Anger, envy, hatred, united in branding him as an impostor and in sending him to his death, "for the good of the cause."
The feast at Bethany referred to in this study may have been on the night before our Lord's betrayal, two days before the feast of Passover. But the concensus of opinion seems to be that it occurred on the Sabbath evening preceding the triumphal ride to Jerusalem. It matters not, however. There was such a feast. Jesus and his disciples were present. During the feast a woman approached with an alabaster flask of very precious perfume. She poured it upon his head and the entire room was sweet with the odor. The woman was Mary, the Sister of Lazarus and Martha.
Another account shows that the protest made by the disciples against this as a waste was instigated by Judas, the treasurer of the little company of the Lord's disciples. John remarked that he was a thief and carried the bag and intimated that he was more interested in the money than in the poor and that his mention of the poor was merely a subterfuge. But the Great Teacher rebuked his disciples, saying, "Why trouble ye the woman; for she hath wrought a good work upon me; in that she hath poured this ointment upon my body she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I say unto you, Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this which this woman hath done be told for a memorial of her." (`Matt. 26:10-13`.) How considerate was the Great Teacher! How sympathetic! How appreciative of everything done for him!
"SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD"
The Lord, in line with all the Scripture teachings and usages, declines to recognize woman as a teacher of religion in the Church amongst his followers. No woman was given a place amongst the twelve Apostles--nor even when the seventy evangelists were sent forth with the simple message, which any woman could have given, surely as glibly as any man, or more so; even on this mission he did not send women, nor even a representative of the sex. The man, in Scriptural usage, is the figure of the Lord; the woman, the figure of the Church. It would be out of harmony with the figure that the Church should be the instructor and the Lord the pupil. Consistently, therefore, it would have been improper for woman to have been commissioned to represent the Lord. Hence, women as teachers in the Church have no authority in the Bible for the position. We read that the serpent beguiled Mother Eve and made of her a teacher of error to her husband. We read that the evil spirits used a certain young woman as a medium to announce the Apostles. But we find no Divine sanction of woman as a teacher in the Church, but that the young woman who acted under the spirit of divination and attempted to preach Christ and the Apostles was rebuked by the Apostle Paul and the spirit of divination dispossessed.
All this, however, does not indicate that either Jesus or the Apostles were either rude toward women or unappreciative of their qualities of heart and mind. Quite the contrary. Amongst the Lord's followers were many "honorable women" and his special love for this Mary and her sister Martha is particularly recorded. Let us learn the lesson from the Book and not attempt to teach the Book.
"THE POOR ALWAYS WITH YOU"
Our Lord, in reply to the argument of Judas, that the ointment should have been sold for a large sum for the benefit of the poor, answered, The poor ye have always with you. Whensoever ye will ye may do them good; but me ye have not always. Poverty is sure to be a factor in the social order during the present time, because, in our fallen condition as a race, some are more brilliant of mind than others and selfishness is the general rule. Hence, until the end of the reign of sin and death the poor will be here. And there is a blessing attached to every good deed, every noble endeavor to help any member of the race to higher and better conditions, mentally, morally, physically. By and by there will be no poor, for, under the Kingdom condition, love will be the ruling principle, instead of selfishness. Under the Messianic rule righteousness will soon become universal; God's will is eventually to be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
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"BUT ME YE HAVE NOT ALWAYS"
This was true of the Master. A little while and he was gone from them, ascended to the Father's right hand. The same principle prevails in respect to the Lord's followers styled, "The members of his Body." Whatever we can do for these members, the great Head will consider as though done unto himself. While, therefore, it will always be in order to do good unto all men as we have opportunity, it will always be in order also to do good "especially unto the household of faith." These should always be first in our thoughts.
The spirit of selfishness in Judas led on from one degree to another of covetousness until he was willing to sell his Master to his enemies. Alas, what a terrible power for evil is selfishness! How many are willing to barter the Truth for the sake of worldly ease or prosperity! Such as have the spirit of the Truth to a considerable extent should beware of where selfishness leads if followed--to the Second Death.
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"THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME"
--`MATTHEW 26:17-30`.--NOVEMBER 6.--
THESE studies are selected for us in advance. Otherwise our preference would have been to consider the incident connected with our Lord's closing of earth life in the Spring of the year about the season at which that occurred. But Truth is always precious to us and has always profitable lessons.
Jesus was a Jew and was, therefore, obligated to every feature of the Mosaic Law. He came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. Today's study points us to the fulfillment of one feature of the Law--the Passover; not that it is already entirely fulfilled, but that the type has for more than eighteen centuries been in process of fulfillment and the complete fulfillment, sure to come, is, we believe, near at hand. To appreciate this study we must have clearly in mind the type:--
Approximately 3,500 years ago God delivered the people of Israel from the despotic power of Pharaoh, King of Egypt. Time after time Pharaoh had refused to let the people go, preferring to hold them as chattels, slaves. Time after time God had sent plagues upon Egypt as chastisements. Under the influence of each plague Pharaoh repented and through Moses entreated God for mercy upon himself, and for the people relief from the plague. Nevertheless, every manifestation of Divine mercy tended only to harden his heart until finally the tenth plague, the severest of all, was necessary. That plague consisted in the execution of the death sentence against all the first-born of Egypt. But the Israelites in Egypt were exempt from its provisions under certain conditions. Each family was required to have its own lamb, not a bone of which was to be broken. Its blood was sprinkled upon the door-posts of the house and the family, assembled within, partook of its flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, pilgrim-like, with staff in hand, ready for departure out of Egypt in the morning.
ISRAEL'S FIRST-BORNS PASSED OVER
When that night the Divine sentence slew all of Egypt's first-borns, the first-borns of Israel were passed over or spared; hence the name--Passover. And this ceremony, as a reminder of the great blessing of the Lord upon Israel, was commanded to be observed yearly as a memorial of God's goodness and because it typed, or illustrated, a still greater mercy and blessing yet to come.
A little later on those spared first-borns were exchanged for one of the tribes--Levi. Thereafter the Levites were the passed-over first-borns and were specially devoted to God and his service.
THE ANTITYPICAL FULFILLMENT
Those experiences of the Israelites and their first-born ones were very real and properly very interesting to them; but they are still more interesting to Christians, who themselves are antitypes now being passed over. By Christians we do not mean all who merely make profession, nor all who attend Church, however regularly. We mean merely the saintly few who are now being called and being tested as to faithfulness to the Lord and by faith being passed over--from death unto life. These are Scripturally styled, "The Church of the first-borns, whose names are written in heaven." (`Heb. 12:23`.) As the deliverance of the nation of Israel from Egypt took place after the sparing or passing over of the first-born, so, correspondingly, the Divine blessing will come upon the world of mankind directly after the completion of "the Church of the first-born"--directly after their passing from death into life, by the power of the First Resurrection. If there is a first-born class it implies that there will be an after-born class. Thus the Scriptures everywhere distinctly teach that the present call, trial, testing, proving and final rewarding of the Church will not be the end of Divine mercy toward humanity, but, on the contrary, will be only its beginning; for since the saintly are spoken of as the "Church of the first-born," or as the Apostle declares, "the first-fruits unto God of his creatures," we are assured thereby that after-fruits are equally part of the Divine Program.
Amongst the Levites were several divisions representing different ranks and grades of the Church of Christ. But the principal division or section of the Levites was the priestly family of Aaron, just as there is a special class amongst the antitypical Levites, the faithful few, known in the Scriptures as the Royal Priesthood.
THE ANTITYPICAL LAMB AND HIS BLOOD
In Jesus' day the time had come for the fulfillment of the antitype of the Passover. Jesus himself was to be the Passover Lamb. By faith the merit of his sacrifice, his blood, was to be sprinkled upon the door-posts of his people's hearts, and his flesh, the merit of his earthly perfection, was to be eaten or appropriated by them in their minds. With it they were to eat the unleavened bread of the Divine promises and the bitter herbs of trials and adversities, and withal they were to drink wine, the blood of the grape, symbolically implying their participation with the Lamb in his ignominy and sufferings.
The Lamb of God, Jesus, the antitypical Passover Lamb, was slain nearly nineteen centuries ago on the exact anniversary of the killing of the typical lambs. The sacrifice of Jesus needs not to be repeated, for by faith we all sprinkle this same blood today, and in our hearts feed upon the merit of the same earthly sacrifice, and have plenty of bitter herbs of persecution and drink of the blood--share the Master's spirit and its reward of suffering for righteousness' sake.
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Not many have appreciated these privileges during all these nineteen centuries--in all but a "little flock." Nor are there many who envy them their present experiences; nor are there many who appreciate how great will be their reward and blessings in the life to come. Then, instead of suffering with Christ, they shall reign with him in glory, honor and immortality.
"THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME"
Jesus, about to begin the fulfillment of this type by dying as the antitypical Passover Lamb (Christ our Passover is slain for us--`I Cor. 5:7`), instituted for his followers an annual remembrancer which, in their minds, would take the place of the type and continually remind them of the great Antitype. Instead of the literal flesh of the lamb, the Master used bread, and instead of the blood, the fruit of the vine, and instead of a further commemoration of the type, he directed that this be done in remembrance of the antitype--"the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world," and the passover coming to the Church of the first-born, as precedent to the great blessings to result for Israel and all the families of the earth.
Our Lord as a Jew was obligated to keep the typical passover, eating of the literal lamb, etc., first; but subsequently, after that passover supper, he instituted with the bread and the fruit of the vine his substitutionary memorial of himself, saying, "Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them; and they all drank of it. And he said, ...Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of God"--until his second coming in power and great glory to receive the Church as his elect Bride and Joint-Heir in his Kingdom and to shower blessings richly upon Israel and through Israel upon the whole world of mankind.
JUDAS, THE SELFISH BETRAYER
The hour for the betrayal was drawing near. The Master knew by some power unknown to us who would betray him, etc. Breaking the matter to the twelve, he said, "One of you will betray me." Each asked, "Is it I?" Even Judas brazenly challenged the Master's knowledge of his deceitful course and said, "Is it I?" The answer was, It is as you have said--you are the betrayer. The Divine programme was carried out by the traitor, and the Scriptures were fulfilled which declare that he should be sold for thirty pieces of silver; but the coincidence marks the Divine fore-knowledge without implying that God in any manner instigated the traitorous conduct, hence the statement, "Woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!" From this standpoint we are to understand that there is no hope for Judas in a future life. His sorrow and anguish before his death were such as found no compensation in any happiness he had enjoyed in previous days.
IN MY FATHER'S KINGDOM
In giving the disciples the bread, which represented his flesh, and the cup, which represented his blood, the Master pictorially offered them justification and sanctification, and, as St. Paul explained, he did more than this --he offered them a participation with himself in the sufferings of the present and in the glories of the future (`I Cor. 10,16,17`; `Matt. 26:29`.) The antitype of the cup in its higher sense will be the new joys of the Kingdom which all the faithful in Christ will share with the great King of glory, when he shall take unto himself his great power and reign.
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GOD'S ESTIMATION DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD'S
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I request your opinion upon the correctness of a thought found in one of the Convention Reports in the following language:--
"When the holy Jesus died, it was as a victim of Sin, which, for the moment, seemed to have the victory. Indeed, he could not have died had sin not been imputed to him; for all the promises of health, prosperity and life which were by the Law were his. The Law said--"The
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man which doeth those things shall live by them." (`Rom. 10:5`.) Thus came a necessity for our Lord to be accounted a sinner, in order that he might die for the people. For this reason we do not see that it is possible for the members of the Church to die unless, like him, they are accounted sinners."
I am well aware that the Lord Jesus would not have died (the Report says, "could not have died") if there had been no sin to be atoned for. But if our Lord died, as above suggested, it seems to me that his death must have been a penal death and not a sacrificial one. Could he die both a penal and a sacrificial death? It seems not so to me. If the Lord Jesus died a penal death it would appear to me that he could have no life rights left to his credit to bestow upon either the Church or the world.
I anxiously await your reply, for if the foregoing expression is correct, I have seriously misunderstood both the Scriptures and the DAWNS.
Your loving brother in our dear Redeemer,
W. W. M.--, Suffolk, Va.
DEAR BROTHER M.:--I am glad to note your careful discrimination in your Scripture studies. This is one lesson that all of the dear friends in the Truth need to learn--not to accept implicitly everything that they read in a Convention Report, nor everything that even a regular Pilgrim may express. The same principle, of course, holds true with respect to our own presentations, oral and printed. All that we receive as spiritual food should be thoroughly masticated before assimilation. We have great confidence in all of the dear Brethren engaged in the Pilgrim service; otherwise they would not represent the Society. However, we must not be held responsible for their every expression. We believe them to be thoroughly well-intentioned, but perfection alone will be reached beyond the vail. We come now to your question.
We cannot quite endorse the phraseology of the statement you quote. All of the Church die as the victims of sin, in the sense that sin and death are mentioned in a personified way in the Scriptures. Sin has actuated all those who oppose the Truth and persecute the Lord and his consecrated footstep followers. But we cannot agree with the thought that our Lord's death was a penal one. One Scripture might be considered as supporting this thought, namely, the words, "He was made sin for us who knew no sin." But this Scripture we understand to signify that our Lord, who knew no sin, was made a sin-offering on our behalf. We remember also the Scripture which declares that "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." The serpent, indeed, is the symbol for sin. But we can think of only one way that our Lord was viewed as a serpent --in the sense that he underwent all the experiences which a sinner could have been required to undergo. Thus he suffered as a sinner, and for the sinner, the same
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penalty that might have been required of any sinner. But while, in the eyes of men, he was a malefactor, a sinner, etc., he was the reverse of all this in the eyes of his true followers and in the Father's sight.
What Jesus did he plainly stated:--He laid down or surrendered his life because thus he could best serve the Father's purposes. He did not give away his life, nor did he die under condemnation as a sinner, nor did he forfeit his life; nor did the Jews or Roman soldiers take his life from him contrary to his permission. He laid it down of himself. Had he died a sinner in God's sight, with sin imputed to him by the Father, he would have had nothing to give for the redemption of Adam and his race;--he would have been unable to become their regenerator in the "times of restitution."
We submit that the only proper view of the Lord's death is that it was a manifestation of his absolute obedience to the Father's will. That extreme of obedience was rewarded with the divine nature and glorious exaltation in his resurrection. The risen glorious Redeemer made no satisfaction of Justice and paid nothing over on behalf of anybody until after he had ascended up on high. Then he appropriated of his merit to all who, during this age, will accept the Father's call and drawing to become members of his Body. To these he imputed enough of his own merit to make good the deficiencies of their flesh, in order that they, like himself, might present to God sacrifices holy and acceptable and thereupon be begotten to the spirit plane. Later on our Lord's human life, unforfeited, not yet given away, will be given away on behalf of Israel and the world, canceling the sins of all the people and securing the Mediatorial Throne of the Millennial Age for the blessing of Israel, through its Mediator, and also for all the families of the earth through Israel and under Israel's New (Law) Covenant.
We note your second question relative to our statement in March 1st WATCH TOWER, page 88, second column, where we set forth that Satan's "little season" will be after Messiah shall have delivered up the Kingdom to the Father. It is true that some years ago we were not so clear on this as now--less positive. The great Mediator will indeed "destroy from amongst the people" all who will not obey him throughout the Millennial Age, so that at the transfer of his Kingdom, at the time of his vacating of his Mediatorship, the world of mankind will be perfect. The Mediator will step from between God and man, and Divine tests will be applied to prove, to demonstrate the heart-faithful. The sentence upon the disloyal will be, "There will come down fire from God out of heaven and destroy them." This indicates a testing and punishing by Divine Justice similar to that which came upon father Adam. This would not be possible so long as the Mediatorial Kingdom held sway. However, we understand that our Lord will be the Father's representative in connection with that exhibition of Divine Justice, which will follow his Mediatorship, just as he was the Father's representative and agent before he came into the world to be our Redeemer.
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SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
FROM THE SALVATION ARMY
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have often wanted to tell you something of what the knowledge of Present Truth has meant to me, but I find it very difficult to put it into words.
From my earliest recollections I have been "feeling after God," lending an eager ear to any who seemed to know something of him and his ways, and who sought to conform their lives in accordance with their belief. When but twelve years of age I was "confirmed" in the Church of England. I looked forward to that ceremony with happy anticipations, thinking that it would surely work a great change in me for the better. My disappointment was bitter when the expected "change" did not take place, but resulted in the decision, for the time, that such things were not for me; that I must be more depraved than the rest of humanity, and that, therefore, it was of no use for me to try to "be good."
A few years later I was "converted" in a Methodist Church revival, and a year later joined the Salvation Army. My reason for becoming a Salvationist was that they were the most earnest Christians I had ever met, and, too, I had a great desire to work for the Lord in return for his wonderful goodness to me. For sixteen years I remained in the Army, fourteen years as an officer, devoting all my time to the work. The last seven of those years were spent in New York City, where I was working in the Editorial Department at National Headquarters. For six years I was Assistant Editor of The War Cry and Editor of the children's paper known as The Young Soldier. This brought me into close touch with the young people, of whom I became very fond, and among whom I was known as "Cousin Sunshine," they writing many letters to me under that nom de plume, which letters were printed in The Young Soldier, together with one from myself addressed to the young people.
But while I enjoyed my work my heart was not satisfied on doctrinal points. My Bible told me that God was love; the creeds of the Salvation Army and other sects depicted him as a fiend, torturing millions of human beings eternally, while I would not torture a kitten for one moment. Jesus said, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me," yet I saw that not only were all men not drawn to him, but that very few of them were, and fewer still were consecrated footstep followers of the Lord. Surely he desired that all men should be drawn to him, but since they were not, the only logical conclusion must be that Satan was the stronger, and that God was not the Almighty God the Bible proclaimed him to be. The creeds could not help me in this matter, for they explicitly declared that the majority of the race would not be drawn to the Lord Jesus and be saved, and some even went so far as to say that God had never intended that all men should be so "drawn."
These and other questions caused me great distress of mind and heart, and I prayed earnestly that God would send me the key that would unlock the Scriptures and smooth out the seeming contradictions in his Word and show me what was Truth. You can understand, then, dear Pastor, with what great joy I examined, with my Bible, "The Divine Plan of the Ages," the "Hell" pamphlet, and others, as put into my hands by a dear Brother whom the Lord used as his messenger. I knew it was the Truth; it stamped itself so by the very
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Word of God. And oh, how I thanked him that at last I had the key that unlocked the wonderful treasures in his Word. In a few months I had left the Salvation Army. Few among its members, even my close friends, understand my position, but grieve over me as one who has been deceived by a "strong delusion." I rejoice that the light will so soon come to them. Many of the young people do not know what has become of me, but in answer to their earnest inquiries have merely been told that "Cousin Sunshine is no more." I am sorry to have grieved their young hearts, but must leave that, too, with the Lord.
My testimony up-to-date is that the Lord and his Truth are more precious to me than ever, and the pathway truly "shineth more and more." The Vow, the Covenants, etc., have been wonderful sources of strength and joy to me, and I praise him more and more for having granted me the great privilege of understanding as much as I do of the wondrous things that are written in his Word--"written for our admonition." (`I Cor. 10:11`; `2 Tim. 3:16,17`.) Truly "He hath brought me into a large place," and my heart rejoices daily in his goodness to even me.
Pray for me, dear Pastor, that I may be faithful, and that even I may be "counted worthy to stand before the Son of Man."--`Luke 21:36`.
I remember you daily in my prayers, praising God for your faithfulness to the present time, and praying that you may so continue to the end of the way.
Your sister in the hope of immortality,
MRS. A. I. RITCHIE. (Formerly Staff-Captain Nina Maitland.)
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
About a year ago a paper, issued not far from my home, began publication of your sermons. Of course, I was delighted that so many of my neighbors and friends would thus be brought within touch of the Truth, which I so dearly love. Recently the sermon feature was discontinued. Then I bethought me that I had not specially encouraged the publishers, nor told them of my deep interest in the matter. I supposed, however, that others had been more faithful than myself in this respect. I concluded that, although late, I would endeavor to retrieve my opportunity. I wrote to the publisher on the subject and felt vexed with myself and others that it was possible for the publisher to write to me as follows:--
"I do not know how many of our readers care for the sermons, but no one has complained of their discontinuance so far but you. This leads us to believe that they were not very popular with our readers. We never heard from anybody who did take pains to say that he cared for them."
I trust that this will be a lesson to me that I should not only pray for God's blessing upon the work, but also be on the alert to do my part to help forward his glorious message-- however others may care to do their parts. With Christian regards,
Your brother and servant in the Lord, __________.
We sympathize with this case. There are others just like it, and probably will be more. Brethren and sisters, particularly those possessed of the talents of penmanship and of good expression, have a glorious opportunity for serving the Truth, which many of them, we fear, do not properly appreciate until after it has passed them by. It is apt to be thus with all of God's blessings.
Incidentally, let us remark that some dear friends send us newspaper subscriptions for friends and neighbors, without inquiring of them whether or not the gift of the paper would be acceptable. This is a serious mistake. The intended kindness becomes an injury if the favored one writes to the newspaper refusing it and declaring that he never ordered it. We have sent papers to some of the Lord's poor at the Society's expense--newspapers never do this, and thanks to them is wholly improper.
We would not reflect upon all of the dear friends. Some are very thoughtful and are continually, every month or so, noting to the publishers some appreciated features of certain sermons and expressing their gladness that the Gospel is reaching the many who rarely attend Church services. We might remark, however, that dear friends who are poor writers and very ungrammatical would serve the Truth better by not writing much. It is the work of the gifted, who can serve the Truth best along the lines of encouraging newspaper publishers, to do so. If they neglect the opportunity they will surely regret the matter sometime. Large weekly newspapers do not need special encouragement in the way of subscriptions: it is your nearby daily or smaller weekly that needs your subscriptions and those of your friends.
I have seen the first number of your periodical (P.P. Spanish), and have pondered the contents in my heart. Glory be to God! In my position as preacher of the Gospel (30 years), I have not encountered such brilliant truths as I now see in the four pages of your blessed little paper. My mind, stupefied by human theories, has hindered perfect reasoning on the plan of God. Now all I see is clear, logical and true.
The article, "Where Are the Dead?" was for me a celestial light which let me see a glorious eternity. I am conducting amongst this people a Mexican Mission, attended by thirty to forty individuals; we keep no accurate account. I preach the Gospel to them and their characters have been modified so that they are now good men. Although I am an ordained minister of the Baptist Church, I do not work in connection with them nor with any denomination. Last Sunday I preached a sermon on the theme of "Where Are the Dead?" and the congregation received this new light with great joy.
I have here a good friend, a Mr. John R__________, with whom I conversed on this subject, and he told me more particularly about these things, so new to me, and which have helped us here so much. Glory be forever to the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus!
From your brother in the faith,
C. TEZEDA Y VALDIVIA.
(Translated from the Spanish.)
DEAR BRETHREN IN CHRIST JESUS:--
I advise you that I have received a copy of the PEOPLES PULPIT (Italian), which treats on the subject of "Where Are the Dead?" and I read the same with pleasure. I desire that you do me the kindness of sending me other discourses along Scripture lines, because I aspire to be a helper in the Lord's work in the Italian field.
Your brother in Christ, DEN ANTANACCI.
(Translated from the Italian.)
"SOW BESIDE ALL WATERS!"
EDITOR OF PEOPLES PULPIT:--
Through a friend there has come to my hands a copy of your PEOPLES PULPIT, which has interested me exceedingly to the very end, for I see that you invite inquirers to send for additional literature. I hope I may be favored with some--"The Thieves in Paradise," "The Rich Man in Hell" and "Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom." I also wish to know more fully about the book entitled "THE PLAN OF THE AGES." Anticipating the kindness, I am,
Yours very truly, MANUEL R. LANUZA.
(Translated from the Spanish.) Philippine Islands.
"FORSAKE NOT THE ASSEMBLING"
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
In my pilgrimage, especially of late, I find numerous Truth friends unmindful of Paul's admonition, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, and the more so as ye see the day approaching" (or drawing on). And to my query, "Why not have a meeting of the friends regularly, as do the Truth friends in other places?" I am almost invariably given the excuse, not a real or valid reason, "there is so much prejudice in this community," or, "our people are scattered," or "there are so few of us here," etc.
The dear friends do not realize that all this is true of every locality, and in view of all the circumstances the conditions could not well be otherwise. In several places I have brought the friends to a realization of the necessity of meeting regularly for testimony and Berean Bible study, irrespective of all seemingly adverse conditions or unfavorable circumstances. I find much more Christian warmth and fellowship amongst those who do assemble regularly than amongst those who neglect to avail themselves of this blessed privilege. If there were no other incentive for meeting than this, it should be sufficient for Truth friends everywhere to assemble themselves, even though there be but three or four who could regularly come together.
The great Apostle surely gave wise counsel when he unconditionally admonished us to assemble ourselves, as others are doing, irrespective of convenience or inconvenience to ourselves. We owe to others spiritual refreshment and Christian fellowship, and we need the polishing derivable only by coming in contact with one another.
Some of the Truth people deplore their inability to serve the Lord, as well as their lack of opportunity for so doing. Bless their hearts, here is just the very best kind of a chance to serve the Master. Their attendance at a meeting is in itself a testimony of love and faith in God and his saints.
Where the Friends meet regularly, too, the class is growing in numbers as well as in spirituality, I find.
It seems to me that a TOWER article right along this line would be timely and helpful. I wonder if the other pilgrims have a similar experience? There is much to be said in favor of regular services amongst the brethren and not one thing I can think of that would be a valid argument to the contrary. There is no good reason for not having meetings regularly anywhere that I have ever been.
Your brother in Christ, J. A. BOHNET.
BROOKLYN BETHEL HYMNS FOR NOVEMBER
After the close of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for November follow: (1) 259; (2) Vow; (3) 301; (4) 75; (5) 60; (6) 135; (7) 129; (8) 333; (9) 176; (10) 238; (11) 38; (12) 105; (13) 293; (14) 170; (15) 172; (16) 245; (17) 313; (18) 8; (19) 279; (20) 145; (21) 229; (22) 256; (23) 98; (24) 164; (25) 162; (26) 160; (27) 208; (28) 303; (29) 222; (30) 267.
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STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
SERIES I., "The Plan of the Ages," gives an outline of the Divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal-- at the extremely low price of 5c. a copy, in any quantity, postage included (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.
SERIES II., "The Time is at Hand," treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
SERIES III., "Thy Kingdom Come," considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
SERIES IV., "The Day of Vengeance," shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of `Matt. 24` and `Zech. 14:1-9`: 660 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)
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SERIES VI., "The New Creation," deals with the Creative Week (`Genesis 1` and `2`), and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the Body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)
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