VOL. XXVII OCTOBER 15 No. 20
A.D., 1906--A.M., 6035
Views from the Watch Tower...................323
The Heavens Shall Roll Together...............323
A Few National Reform Utterances..............323
A Remarkable Forecast.........................324
The Gathering of the Churches.................324
"She Hath Done What She Could"................330
Anointed for His Burial.......................331
Selfishness vs. Generosity....................332
"This Do in Remembrance of Me"................333
"Take Eat; This is My Body"...................333
"Drink Ye all of It"..........................334
New Wine in the Kingdom.......................334
For the Remission of Sins.....................335
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
THE HEAVENS SHALL ROLL TOGETHER
IT is interesting to those who see the approaching Federation of Christian churches, as set forth in the Bible, to note the various little straws which denote the gradual change of sentiment on the part of the public into harmony with what the Bible teaches us to expect. For instance, how strange it seems that Presbyterians and Congregationalists, after fighting so long against all forms and ceremonies and liturgies and "printed prayers," should now be adopting these. The Congregationalist attitude toward the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer is thus set forth in their new
BOOK OF LITURGY FOR CONGREGATIONAL SERVICE
The Congregational attitude toward the English Book of Common Prayer is thus expressed by one of the leaders in that body: "Our real inheritance is in the English Book of Common Prayer, which gathered up the best elements of the service books of its time, both historic and reformed, and was the possession of the undivided English Church from which we derive. Our fathers used their liberty in discarding it. If we mean to return to written forms, we shall be using our liberty if we return to it, or such a modification of it as shall suit our modern life. We shall impoverish and not enrich ourselves by stepping further outside of the tradition of the whole Church. "The time is ripening for such a revision of the Book of Common Prayer as may serve our need."--(New Haven) Journal and Courier.
A FEW NATIONAL REFORM UTTERANCES
"We want State and religion; and we are going to have it."--Jonathan Edwards, D.D. In other words, they want a State religion. "Constitutional laws punish for false money, weights, and measure. So Congress must establish a standard of religion, or admit anything called religion." --Prof. C. A. Blanchard. And this will mean an established religion. "Our remedy for all these malefic influences is to have the government simply set up the moral law, and recognize God's authority behind it, and lay its hand on any religion that does not conform to it."--Rev. M. A. Gault. And this means religious persecution. They desire an amendment to the Constitution that will "place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our Government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land."--Art. 2 of their Constitution. That is, they desire the Christian religion made the "legal" religion of the nation. "Those who oppose this work now will discover, when the religious amendment is made to the Constitution, that if they do not see fit to fall in with the majority, they must abide the consequences, or seek some more congenial clime."--Dr. David McAlister. This is what Rome said after Christianity, so-called, became the established religion of this empire. Justinian told the people that if they did not embrace the established religion, confiscation and other punishments would follow. "Give us good Sunday laws, well enforced by men in local authority, and our churches will be full of worshipers, and our young men and women will be attracted to the divine service. A mighty combination of the churches of the United States could win from Congress, the State legislatures, and municipal councils, all legislation essential to this splendid result."--Rev. S. V. Leech, D.D. A young man recently from Russia attending a Baptist Church service at which a resolution was offered urging legislation on the Sunday question arose and said: "I am from Russia, the land of intolerance, the land of a union of Church and State. I have seen the scars on the wrists of the missionaries whom you sent to my country,--scars made by chains placed on them by Russia's union of Church and State. I joined the Baptist Church in Russia because it trusted in God, not in the State. And now I come to America and enter my beloved Baptist Church, and hear you petitioning Congress for a law to bind chains on the wrists of your fellowmen. In the name of God, send your petitions to
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the throne of God, and not to the Congress of the United States."
A REMARKABLE FORECAST
In a sermon, in the year 1846, Charles Beecher declared: "The ministry of the evangelical Protestant denominations is not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy. Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead?--Another general council! A world's convention! evangelical alliance, and universal creed!" When this state of things shall have been reached, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force. The following striking paragraphs show how another, with remarkable foresight, outlined this federation movement years ago: "There has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed--however important they might be from a Bible standpoint--must necessarily be waived." "When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result."
OUR OWN TESTIMONY ON THIS SUBJECT
Our older readers will recall that, so long ago as Oct. 1881, this journal set forth that this Church Federation as the "image of the beast" (`Rev. 13`), was constructed in The Evangelical Alliance organized in 1846; and that the giving of life or living power to this federation might be expected by now, and that shortly it would prove its likeness to the original papal system which it imaged by violent suppression of the truth and persecution of its defenders. In all these twenty-five years the matter has been ripening, though nothing then seemed farther from realization. Our presentation on the subject in Millennial Dawn Vol. III., p. 119, is or should be in the hands of all of our readers.
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THE GATHERING OF THE CHURCHES
--BY EUGENE WOOD--
WE QUOTE the following from the columns of Everybody's Magazine, not by way of endorsing it, but because it gives a fairly good view of the way the "worldly wise" look at matters; and in order to the better point out the writer's erroneous view. Introducing the article the editor of Everybody's says; "We asked Eugene Wood, whose frank article on consumption set people thinking intelligently about the white plague, to attend the two religious conferences organized to discuss the unification of the churches, and to report what he saw and heard. This is his report. It is presented exactly for what it is-- the individual impressions and thoughts of a plain-spoken man, who is himself a believer, but who takes the ground that Christianity is greater than dogma and more important than its sects. We submit this article to you, our readers, not as a contribution to theological controversy, for that has no place here, but in the sincere belief that a little "talking out in meeting" now and then will help the Christianity most of us profess, and aid morality and virtue. There are many new things in the world to-day. Thought is a living and growing thing. Modern scientific investigation has lightened up dark places in the annals of the race and we are all looking at life through different peep-holes from those through which our grandfathers viewed the eternal problem. Knowing more of the beginnings of religion than our ancestors, and realizing as we must that other men in other lands are thinking about the selfsame problems that are our concern, it is impossible not to believe that the God our forefathers regarded as a private possession of their particular sect is the God of the Chinese and the Hindus and the Mohammedans, as well as of us Americans and Europeans. As our outlook widens, we begin to see that the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount is of higher consequence than the Apostles' Creed, and that though forms may differ, most honest men, be they Buddhists or Confucians, Protestants or Roman Catholics, are struggling toward the same goal, looking up at the same stars, praying to the same God and for much the same things." The writer, Eugene Wood, takes as his text the words of Prof. Goldwin Smith, and begins: "This anxious gathering of the churches shows that they believe a religious crisis to be at hand. It is also a social crisis." Two extremely significant, not to say portentous, conferences, with apparently the same underlying purpose, were held in November last on nearly coincident dates, the New York State Conference of Religion at Rochester, 13th-14th, and the Inter-Church Conference on Federation, in Carnegie Hall, New York City, 15th-21st. To say that the underlying purpose of both conferences was to further the unity (either after the flesh or after the spirit) of the many dissident religious bodies will not be vividly interesting to the public at large. It might have been fifty years ago, when there wasn't much else to talk about, but being absorbed in weightier matters than differences of opinion as to the orthodox way to sharpen a lead pencil, or whether wetting the top of a man's head is more efficacious than having the water run out of his shoe-tops, the public has long ago dismissed the subject as impracticable and
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unprofitable. It is perhaps a little late in the day to query: Why separate organizations for the Reformed Church in America and the Reformed Church in the United States of America? Why a Presbyterian Church, and a Reformed Presbyterian Church, and a United Presbyterian Church, and a Welsh Presbyterian Church, and a Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and so on, to the end of the chapter? Why the colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, and an African Methodist Episcopal Church, and an African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church? There is a Methodist Episcopal Church and a Methodist Episcopal Church South (and, I am told, some Methodist Episcopal churches in Baltimore that are neither one nor the other, but kind of betwixt and between), between whom there is no difference in doctrine or polity, but only a soreheaded poutiness about a quarrel fifty years old, settled forever by the rude arbitrament of war, as to whether the negro was ordained of God to work only for his board and keep, or for wages that will just about pay for his board and keep, if he is lucky in getting jobs and careful with his money. Conferences to make up the clothes-line fusses between Mrs. Cassidy and Mrs. Ryan would possess about the same interest for the general public, were it not for the notable fact that it sometimes happens that more comes out of the bag than was put into it. This is my only excuse for blackening good white paper to tell you what happened in Rochester and in Carnegie Hall on the dates I have given.
THE PLAN OF FEDERATION
Not by way of reporting so much as by way of refreshing your recollection, I will say that the Inter-Church Conference on Federation adopted a Plan. Delegates from some thirty evangelical bodies voted for it, and the legislative assemblies of these thirty religious bodies will ratify the Plan in due season, provided it doesn't prevent their sharpening their lead-pencils their own orthodox way. Then they will elect members of the Federal Council, four for each denomination, and one in addition for each 50,000 communicants. This Federal Council will meet for business in December, 1908, and once every four years thereafter. So there won't anything be done precipitately; we can rest easy as to that. "The Federal Council shall have no authority over the constituent bodies adhering to it; but its province shall be limited to the expression of its counsel, and the recommending of a course of action in matters of common interest to the churches, local councils, and individual Christians. It has no authority to draw up a common creed, or form of government or worship, or in any way to limit the full autonomy of the Christian bodies adhering to it." So we need not fear drastic action; we may rest easy as to that. To the objection that this seems a rather tenuous bond of union one may say that mighty empires have been formed of States whose first coming together was quite as--er--quite as--well, "cage-y." To speak of "Christian bodies adhering" to such a confederacy seems rather a brilliant metaphor than a precise statement, but we shall see--what we shall see. It's all over until 1908, anyhow. ***
MANY SECTS--ONE RELIGION
Membership in the Inter-Church Conference on Federation was representative. The delegates went there and voted, not as they thought as individuals, but as they thought their denominations thought, which is the same as what the most unprogressive of their denominations thought, the Uncle Billy Hardheads
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with ear-trumpets up there in the front seats. The fact that membership in the New York State Conference of Religion was individual, and that a man went there to represent himself, made all the difference in the world between the two conferences. At Rochester they didn't formulate a plan. I think all the voting that was done was on whether they should thank the city of Rochester for its hospitality, and whether they should accept the kind invitation to go to Schenectady the next time. Clergymen and laymen from the dissident bodies, Christian and Jewish, were present and spoke. The motto of this conference was "Religions are many; religion is one," and the effort was not so much to arrive at corporal union; not so much to constitute a council which should have no authority to do more than say that it looks like rain but may clear up after all, as to declare that spiritual kinship subsists of itself and without formulated effort--kinship not only between the Reformed Church in America and the Reformed Church in the United States of America; between evangelicals and the misguided but well-meaning creatures who think there is no hell; but also between Catholics and Protestants, between Christians and Jews--nay, more, between those whose heritage is the Bible, and Mohammedans, Buddhists, Jains, Parsees, Confucianists, Shintoists, Brahmins, even those who "in their blindness bow down to wood and stone.
GOD IN IDEAL OR IDOL
There were none of these latter present, but they would have been welcomed if they had come, for at this conference it was seen that whether a man forms a god with his hands and it is called an idol, or forms one with his mind and it is called an ideal, the Father of us all, in whom we live and move and have our being, knows how it is with us: how we grope in the darkness that is about us if haply we may find him. And the homage we pay to his broken reflection in idol or ideal he takes unto himself as he spake by the mouth of his prophet Malachi, saying, "In every place incense is offered unto my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the heathen, saith the Lord of Hosts."
[This the Revised Version of `Malachi 1:11`, is not in our judgment correct. The Common Version reads: shall be instead of is, and thus agrees with facts and other Scriptures. See `I Cor. 10:20`.--Editor Z.W.T.]
ROMAN CATHOLIC APPROVAL
The air at this Rochester Conference was clearer, freer of the smoke of Smithfield and Geneva. Said one good soul: "It is of more importance that I shall understand your position than that you shall understand mine." You couldn't jaw with that man because he doesn't sharpen a lead-pencil the way you do. As a result of that spirit at Rochester, Jews learned that Christians, for all their insistence upon the Three Persons in the Godhead, can say with them the Sh'ma Israel, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is One," and Christians learned from Jews that Jesus was a typical Jew, and that what divides the creeds is not
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his teachings, but concessions made to heathen Europe afterward. It is matter for regret that at Rochester and at Carnegie Hall there was no representation of either the Roman Catholic Church, whose membership is estimated at about one-eighth of the entire population of the country (certainly one-third of the entire population of New York City is Roman Catholic), or of that unorganized but perhaps even larger body known as the Big Church, whose members loaf around home Sundays and read the paper. Of these two great bodies, the Big Church stayed away probably because it feels much as Noah did when a storm began to blow up. And the Roman Catholic Church stayed away because it knows there won't be much of a shower, anyway. If there were, there would be something about it in the "Summa Theologiae" of St. Thomas Aquinas. I haven't seen what the Roman Catholics have said of the Rochester Conference, but the Boston Pilot approved of the stand taken for the divinity of Jesus by the Federation Conference (meaning the shutting of the door in the face of the Unitarians), and the Rev. Morgan M. Sheedy in another Catholic paper commended the irenic spirit which prompted the gathering, and mentioned the significant fact that Catholics and Protestants found themselves able to cooperate in good works, as in associated charities. The purpose of the Federation, by the way, is "to promote catholic unity," but "catholic" and "Catholic" are not quite the same. Not quite.
BIG CHURCH DOCTRINE
The Big Church would have approved the Rochester Conference the more heartily of the two. For instance, Rabbi Schulman, of the Temple Beth-El, of New York, in his paper, "Our Definition of Religion," said that "religion is human life lived in the presence of God." Prof. Joseph Leighton, of Hobart College, in the discussion following, denied that the idea of God was necessary to religion, which in his turn he defined as "the tendency of personality to enlarge itself, the persistent demand for the ideal by the actual. Religion represents the demands of the individual for ideal environment," differing from philosophy mainly in method. This does not violently contradict the creed of the Big Church. But the most radical expression at the Rochester Conference was that of the Rev. Algernon Crapsey, D.D., rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church of that city. He was replying to the Rev. Dr. Josiah L. Strong, who had argued that in order that the coming generation should seek after righteousness of conduct it behooved us to see to it that the public schools taught these three formal dogmas: The existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the future accountability of all men. (By the way, I hear that the proposition to split the kindlings for Dr. Crapsey's bonfire was defeated by a vote of three to two.) In this discussion he said: "I must take issue with Dr. Strong. The remedy he proposes is impracticable, and the three dogmas of the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the future accountability of all men are without ethical value. The Mohammedan believes all three far more devoutly, far more earnestly than the average Christian, and because he believes he murders Christians. The Russian believes all three, and because he believes he massacres the Jews. Those who have been prominent in the conduct of affairs, those whose wealth threatens the country now, are firm believers in the three propositions. If you were to pick out a man to-day who stands firmest for these three things it would be the Master of Standard Oil. "Every man's God--for 'God' is an abstract term --every man's God is the exact reflection of that man's moral nature. He makes his God in his own image. It is impossible to do otherwise. Therefore, a man's God to any human mind is simply the measure of his own ethical progress. Therefore, you will get in the name of God every sort of action from the sacrifice of a man's son upon an altar to the sacrifice of himself upon the cross. "To teach the existence of God is not to advance at all. It is the same with belief in man's immortality, because a man's notion of the life he is to live beyond will exactly correspond with the life he is living now. When we think of immortality it is with the idea of continuation, going on and doing the same things we are doing now. We seek to keep on in our own personality, we shrink from annihilation; our picture of the life beyond is a reproduction of the life we are living here. It is without ethical value.
ORTHODOX INSURANCE THIEVES
"So with the accountability of man," continued Dr. Crapsey. "Our notion of how we are to account for ourselves will accord with our ethical conception of what we do here. I do not think for a moment that those gentlemen lately so much spoken of in the public prints have been disturbed in their sleep, because I have known some of them. Those men who have taken $150,000 a year for not knowing anything about life-insurance are all real believers in God, in their own immortality and accountability, but their understanding of it is such that they can account for every dollar they have taken; can account to themselves, and thus account to God." That's Big Church doctrine, pretty High, perhaps, certainly very much Higher than Bob Ingersoll. As for Tom Paine--oh, well, he was a Low Churchman, away 'way down Low. That is, he would be nowadays. The essence of their doctrines is the same: That belief in the supernatural has no influence on conduct. But hark to this that follows from Dr. Crapsey: "We are living to-day in the midst of a great dissolution. We are standing by the death-bed of a great religion." That's Big Church through and through. In the discussion following, the Rev. Nelson Millard, D.D., said that the students of parochial schools where the teaching of religion is an emphatic factor were not more moral than those of the so-called "godless" public schools. He added: "In the South there is a very bad state of morals. Yet the South is most orthodox. The three points of belief in God, the immortality of the soul, and the future accountability of all men are well understood. Also, it is a demonstrated fact that Mammon is unimpeachably orthodox."
AN IMMINENT CRISIS
The Rev. Dr. Strong in closing said that he had been making investigations himself, and he had found that the hundred richest men in the United States who had the greatest influence in the financial world are
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almost without exception orthodox Church members. Here, at any rate, more came out of the bag than was put into it. What has this assumption that Mammon is immoral, no matter how orthodox it may be; what has this statement that this is an "age of dissolution," and that "we are standing by the death-bed of a great religion," to do with finding a common ground of unity of all faiths? What has it to do with federating the churches, and trying to get the scuffling sects at home to show the same table-manners that they do in the missionary field, where they do not all grab for the same piece at once, but carve the turkey so that it will go all around? Very much, very much indeed to do with it. "This anxious gathering of the churches shows that they believe a religious crisis to be at hand. It is also a social crisis." The Inter-Church Conference was less moved by this impending crisis than that at Rochester. Its getting together was more numerous and prolonged, but that was all. It was right after the elections, when, as you recollect, men heard the voice of God speaking through the people as it had never been heard before. The earth was still trembling with it. The laymen who spoke had much to say about the "awakened heart and conscience of the people" and the "new impulse toward civic righteousness," but all that got entirely by the reverend clergy, white-headed within and without. Their latest news on any subject is dated 1859.
THE CLERGY BEHIND THE TIMES
Apparently they could not discern the signs of the times. If they saw at all, they saw only that the evening sky of a dying day shines redly through the gloom. They wist not that it promises that the morrow shall be fair, fairer than earth has ever seen before. I heard one gentleman with a white tie whose theme was "Labor and Capital" make a fervent and a loud appeal for "a fair day's wages for a fair day's work," the open Bible, and the public schools. I am sure if he had had more time he would have said a good word for wearing rubbers when it is wet. And a bishop who may be described as the most extinct of his species squabbled and scolded at apartment-houses as destroyers of the home, and denounced the law by which a woman tied to a drunken, worthless hound may free herself and her children from him. To tell the honest truth, it wasn't much better at Rochester. The paper read that attracted the keenest attention was that of the Rev. Washington Gladden, D.D., on "The Relations of Moral Teachers to Predatory Wealth." He said that "predatory wealth" was that which has been "gained by plunder rather than by legitimate commerce, and which is used to promote the facilities of plunder. It has not been won by open and honorable competition, but by getting unfair and generally unlawful advantages; by secret agreements and rebates; by the liberal use of money to corrupt legislation and to subsidize the press; by using trust funds for private purposes; by arts which corrupt character and destroy the foundations of the social order........ It is childish," he urged, "to deny the existence of a class of rich men whose presence is a menace to liberty and a blight upon the national life......The battle of the mart is often fierce, and men are often tempted to be hard and false and cruel. But the ordinary American manufacturer is not in intent, or in fact, a thief or a plunderer........We may admit that he is not a saint, but he is not a pirate, and there are a number of things he will not do to win a fortune." And so on. The moral teacher, this being the case, must carefully distinguish between millions made honestly and millions made piratically. The truth is that "tainted money" taken by the moral teacher for his Church or charity or college does more harm than it does good. It isn't like taking the contributions of a gambler or the keeper of a house of ill-fame, because they are under the ban, and it is understood that whatever gifts they give will not take off the curse. But the predatory rich ought to be under the ban and are not. They are applauded, flattered, and courted; they sit in the seats of the mighty, which is an awful miscarriage of justice. Dr. Gladden's economics may be summed up by the statement that you have a right to beat your wife, only you mustn't hit her with a wagon-spoke. The moral teacher and panhandler may take the money gained by "open and honorable competition," but he must give back that "gained by plunder."
GRAFT IN THE WAGE SYSTEM
"Open and honorable competition!" What do our "moral teachers" think the scuffle for a living is? A game of tiddledywinks? If two starving men see a loaf of bread, is it going to be "After you, my dear Alphonse"? And if the two starving men see one job of work, will one give way to the other or will each underbid the other until the man that gets the job makes out of it just enough to keep him going? Part of what the Federation of Churches is to do when it gets started is to denounce "graft." Indeed, but what's the whole wage system but graft? What are profits but the difference between what a man earns and what he can live on, that difference going to his employer as a tip, a gratuity, a bribe--graft, if you please? And this employer must enter into "open and honorable competition" with others in the same business. Tell me, you American merchants and manufacturers whom Dr. Gladden praises so, how is it with you? Is it "After you, my dear Alphonse," or is it "Dog eat dog"? You know well enough what you hate to do and yet what you've got to do or go out of business. You've no illusions about "open and honorable competition." Is there such a thing? Tell me. Honestly now......
If there were, we'll say, a dozen factories in a given trade, each outfitted with an expensive plant and a long salary list, but just managing to scrape along, working on half-time, we should see something doing in the reorganizing line right suddenly. It calls for no great intellect to see the similarity of a dozen denominations in a town, all outfitted with expensive plants, churches with stained-glass windows, altars, pulpits, organs, pews, carpets, Bibles, hymn-books, prayer-books, lesson-leaves; officered with pastors, lay-readers, organists, choristers, teachers, vestries, ushers, sextons, and Ladies' Aids; heated, lighted, swept, and garnished; running on one-seventh time and a little while after supper on Wednesday evenings, to very light business; all in debt up to the roots of their noses, and all grabbing
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after any stranger that appears. (I must tell you of a personal experience of mine. I was in my shirt sleeves and ragged trousers, opening up the barrel that had the dishes in it, when the bell rang. The gentleman in black I found at the door apologized for interrupting before we had got settled in our new home. "But," said he, "there's so much competition nowadays, I thought I'd call early and ask you to come to our Church.") The fruits of competition are skimped wages and scamped wares. Did you ever have to look to a vestry or the Church trustees for your money? I hope not. I know a very fine young man who, a little while ago, contemplated taking holy orders. His mother was distressed to death about it. It was terrible for her to think of him just throwing his life away, as you might say. And that brings me to another personal reminiscence. The rector of the parish went past the barber shop. "A fine man," I said to the barber. And he was, too, the finest all-around man I think I ever knew. "Yes," said the barber, "a fine man--in a mighty poor business. I'd be ashamed to get my living that way."
CLERGYMEN AND CHURCH FAIRS
And the barber isn't the only one of that opinion. Once in a while you get an inkling of what the clergy think about it themselves. Do you suppose when they were in the seminary, all on fire with high and holy enthusiasm for the souls of men, they ever thought it would come to trotting from hen-party to hen-party, from the Ladies' Aid to the Helping Hand; to rigging up catchpenny devices wherewith to get in the winter's coal, or pay the interest on the debt; to naming committees who should "mace" the department stores and the neighborhood groceries for contributions to the fancy-goods counter and the household counter, cash if you can get it, but if not, something to sell chances on? Do you suppose they like to do that? I know that some won't allow chances to be sold at Church fairs. They say it's gambling. I don't admire a gambler greatly, but I guess I think full as well of him as I do of a beggar. Do you suppose the clergy like to do this sort of thing? Not more than you, American merchant and manufacturer, like to do the things you have to do or get out of the business, the things we know about, but will not tell here. You have to; so do the clergy. Who can thunder at the Mammon of unrighteousness when the Mammon of unrighteousness is right down there in the best pew, when he is on the board of trustees and pulls the parish out of every financial hole, and when in an age of rampant unbelief he is "unimpeachably orthodox"? Who can denounce "predatory wealth" from the pulpit for getting "unfair advantages" and railroad rebates when the churches share the benefits of government and dodge paying taxes, and the clergy get transportation at half rates?
RICH MEN'S SINS UNREBUKED
If a son ask his father for bread, will he give him a stone? Ask your fathers in God for counsel. Shall I, as alderman, take the consideration that this set of capitalists wants to give me for a street-railway franchise? Somebody will get it if I don't. Shall I, as capitalist, give up to the demands of the aldermen? If I don't, the other set will, the set that would ask nothing better than to down me. What shall I do? It isn't because your fathers in God don't mean to do right, but because they don't know what is right. There's nothing about these problems in Suarez; there's nothing about them in Pearson on the Creed. All are very clear as to the wickedness of taking chickens off a roost after dark. That's a poor man's sin. But when it comes to the consideration of the fact that the
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public street is the only place in which we are free men, and that in every other place we exist only on the sufferance of our lords, who treat us as conquered people; that the very center of these streets solemnly dedicated to our common use is taken by our lords for their own private use, a continuous strip of the best city real estate, which no money could or should buy--the right of way of a street railroad--why, that's a rich man's sin. The experiment of Federation has been tried. Doubtless you have lived in a small town where there was a Union Church. There weren't enough Baptists or Methodists or Presbyterians or Lutherans or Congregationalists for each to maintain a separate little conventicle, so they all combined. Instead of a dozen stoves, they had one big comfortable furnace, and saved on the coal bill; instead of a dozen reed organs, or footy little heart-breaking thousand-dollar organs, they had one $10,000 organ that you could do something with; instead of a dozen preachers that hemmed and hawed and stumbled through their sentences, making a brave stagger at getting verbs to agree with their subjects, they had one smart, fine-looking man who could talk it right off. A great advantage over the old system. Yes, but as soon as enough Baptists and Methodists and Lutherans and Presbyterians and Congregationalists moved into town for each sect to set up its own conventicle, they left the Union Church.
AT THE DEATH-BED OF A RELIGION
Just hold that a minute, and consider another experiment in Federation, the Young Men's Christian Association. That is far from fizzling out. What's the difference? The Y.M.C.A. looks to the good of all, physical, mental, and moral. Right now. Here on earth. "Service" is its motto, not "support." That's the difference. The Rev. Dr. Crapsey has told us that we are standing by the death-bed of a great religion. Some of us are. An increasing number. But not all. This great religion is very much alive indeed, and long will be, to every man yet in that stage of progress in which he thinks that nothing is more important than that he save his own particular little soul. The whole world may well be lost if only he is not. What does it matter anyhow, these cruel wrongs, these black injustices, this trampling down of human souls and bodies by those who have seized the earth for their own possession? It will all be over in a few years, and then--a heaven of endless happiness. So long as "he that believeth not shall be damned," it is highly important to be "unimpeachably orthodox," and so to save one's soul (which is not incompatible with gaining the whole world, too, as Mr. Rockefeller has shown us). Federation with those who have
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different notions of the way to sharpen a lead-pencil will not appeal to such. Those of us who have risen beyond such blunt, frank selfishness, who turn the question end for end, and ask what it shall profit the world if it be wholly lost to save here and there a soul, will not linger in the death-chamber to see how long the doctor's oxygen of Federation defers the inevitable. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and so must die; that which is born of the spirit is spirit, and can never die. All this clothes-line quarreling of the churches is born of the flesh, and except they be born again of the Spirit of the Coming Age, they cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith now as of old time, "How can these things be? Can all the sects enter the second time into their mother's womb and be born?" And, as of old, is the answer: They must be born again. They must start all over, start now as in the very beginning with the vivid expectation of the speedy coming of that age in which the sword of competition shall be beaten into the plowshare of cooperation, so that in no line of effort shall we be forced to skimp wages and scamp wares; when our government in city, state, and nation shall privilege no man or set of men, but shall be so just that it shall be in very deed the kingdom of God. "Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously, every man against his brother?"
"EVEN SO, COME!"
That was how Christianity started. In their little sodalities they had all things in common, so the Bible says. "The communion of saints" was no empty phrase to them. And why did they look so earnestly for His coming, expecting it any day? Because then that kingdom, the Life of the Coming Age, would spread the whole earth over. And we, too, who see the western sky of this dying day all flaming with the red glow that promises a fair morrow; we, too, who have heard with our ears the oracles of God, speaking to us in the voice of the people last November; we, too, whose hearts are torn with grief at sight of the miseries of our brothers, when the world is rich enough for all; we, too, who see how special privilege rots the very souls of those who hold it; we, too, must pray the words the early Christians prayed, putting our own meaning upon them, it is true, but longing with the same unutterable longing as theirs--we, too, must cry with them, Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
OUR VIEW OF THE FOREGOING
In the above is set forth the sentiment of the worldly wise in respect to the federation of the various denominations. This class of thinkers usually take a very practical view of everything, and mix with it very little of faith in the supernatural. It is still fashionable to refer to a personal God, though a great many of the worldly wise have lost any real conception of such a being, and think of God as merely a great force or power in nature. Others personifying nature as a God, leave out all thought of a personal being of body, shape and parts, willing, thinking, planning, creating, maintaining, etc., "working all things according to the counsel of his own will." (`Eph. 1:11`.) To this type of mind, which is to be found in many pulpits, banking houses and among many of the more intelligent mechanics, and which is rapidly growing, the foregoing article will appeal strongly. The last paragraph of the article, for instance, illustrates our point. The writer sees Socialism, and he sees that there was a start in this direction in the early Church at Jerusalem. He approves of that start, not as a divine example of what ought to be, but as a mere suggestion of something greater, that men will work out for themselves shortly. He dreams of an ideal kingdom in which love will be the controlling influence, and hopes that man will bring this about for himself through Socialism, though perhaps not without trials and difficulties by the way. To this writer and others the voice of the people last November was the voice of Nature--the voice of Reason, the voice of Right, the voice of God. To him it speaks of a social revolution and the bringing in by Socialism of a glorious Millennium. Carrying his figure of speech to the closing words of the article, he quotes a Scripture passage respecting the Lord's second advent, "Even so come, Lord Jesus." Not that he believes in the second coming of Jesus, but that the expectation of the early Church--that the second coming of Jesus would bring the Millennial Kingdom-- accords somewhat with the conception of the worldly wise, in that they are hoping for the Spirit of Jesus to come into the world through Socialism--hoping for the spirit of love to gradually take possession of the world and reorganize it, and bring in the new heavens and new earth. As the Prophet has declared, "God is not in all their thoughts"--such plans and schemes of Socialism, etc., are purely worldly wise and are far from the hopes and expectations of those who are truly the Lord's people and directed by his Word. From our standpoint, the overturning of the political machines and the investigation of trusts and the bringing them under a measure of governmental control, are all very good in their way, as indicating that the world in general desires righteousness to the extent that they can see righteousness. Where their earthly interests would be advantaged, they would welcome so-called reforms, investigations, better politics, etc., but otherwise not. Alas, the poor world does not know itself: it does not realize that selfishness is at the basis of its every move and ambition; that the number who are not thus moved, controlled, is so insignificantly small as to be without weight and influence. Nor is it our thought to deride any efforts toward righteousness, even though they be inspired by selfish motives. We merely point out that the true Christian view of matters is a still different one--is the Bible one--that it recognizes God, the divine will, purpose, plan, revelation, as having to do with and overruling all of this world's affairs. It sees in the present upheaval of politics, the present uncovering of financial scandals, etc., another force making ready for the great time of trouble which the Scriptures indicate will be fully upon us in 1915, and gradually approaching in the meantime. From this standpoint it has been necessary that the gross superstition of the "dark ages" should to a considerable extent be dissipated, that the minds of the people might be set free, not only from a religious superstition but also set free from allied superstitions respecting the divine right of certain families to inherit
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the kingdoms, the dominions of the world, and to live on higher places of social privilege than other families. All these matters are now coming in review before the world, and Socialism is rapidly coming to the fore as the world's savior, deliverer from priestcraft, superstition, and political and financial autocracy. The world is being invited to look not to him who redeemed us with his precious blood, and promised to come again and establish his Kingdom in righteousness, but to look to itself, to its own affairs, to its own success at the polls, etc., as the only hope--thus ignoring the Lord and his overruling providences and the divine inspiration respecting
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the future outcome of present conditions in a glorious Millennial Kingdom. From our standpoint the gathering of the churches is the fulfilment of Scriptural prediction, and the Lord's intelligent and faithful and consecrated people are warned against having any part in any such Church federations, the Word of the Lord being to such, "Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear nor be afraid." (`Isa. 8:12`.) It is the tares that are to be federated and bundled and gathered together for the great trouble time, which is shortly in a great revolution of society to set fire to all the social, religious, financial institutions and arrangements of this present time, eventuating in anarchy, which by overthrowing all things incompatible with righteousness will prepare the way for the Kingdom of God's dear Son at his second advent, a spirit being, in power and great glory, which will be manifested in various ways through earthly channels and agents.
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"SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD."
--`MATT. 26:6-13`.--OCTOBER 28.--
Golden Text:--"She hath wrought a good work upon me."
THIS STUDY turns us back from the discourse of the Tuesday preceding our Lord's death to the Saturday night preceding his death--the close of the Jewish Sabbath day. In harmony with the prevailing custom, Jesus and his disciples and others were invited to a feast that evening. They had just arrived the previous evening from Jericho as intent upon keeping the feast of Passover at Jerusalem--the feast of which our Lord Jesus said, "With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." (`Luke 22:15`.) Although Jesus had been telling the apostles that he was going to Jerusalem and would there be crucified, they seemed not to realize the matter, probably because he had spoken so many things to them in dark sayings, as, for instance, when he told them that he was the bread that came down from heaven, etc., and that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. Perhaps the crucifixion suggested was also hyperbolical language; at least they could not realize that it would be so, even though Peter had been reproved for his disbelief in the matter. The feast was in the house of Simon the leper. Simon was a common name in those parts at that time, and this Simon was distinguished by the fact that he had been a leper--quite possibly he had been healed by the Lord, and this may have been the beginning of the intimate acquaintance between Jesus and the family of which Lazarus, Martha and Mary were prominent members. One of the Evangelists tells us that Lazarus was one of those who sat at the feast, that Martha was one of those who served, and the lesson before us tells especially of the work of Mary, who, while the Lord was reclining, approached and broke the seal of an alabaster box of precious perfume (not ointment, in the present use of the word). One of the accounts says that it was very precious, another that it was worth 300 pence, which in our money would be about $50. Such anointings were very rare, usually for kings or princes or nobles; and the disciples, under the lead of Judas, who seems to have been the spokesman (see John's account), were all filled with indignation at the waste. John tells us that Judas was a thief, who carried the bag, the treasurer of the company, and that his solicitous remarks respecting the use of the money for the poor were hypocritical. In any event we may sympathize with the other apostles for falling in line with his arguments, for they were all poor men, unused to such luxury and extravagance, and in this respect probably represented the majority of the Lord's people today, who likewise would consider a perfume bill of $50 a very extravagant waste of money. We are all the more interested to know how Jesus himself regarded the matter. We realize that our conceptions of matters of this kind are more or less biased by our own selfishness or poverty and necessity for economy.
"WHY TROUBLE YE THE WOMAN?"
Our Lord discerned at once the criticizing, fault-finding spirit amongst his disciples and promptly took the part of Mary, saying, "Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me." Woman's intuition had guided Mary in the doing of the proper thing at the proper time. She realized that she owed the Master a debt that she never could pay, and that this costly offering of the perfume would be but a small tribute, a small expression of her gratitude. She had found in the Lord an object worthy of her heart devotion; she was not a woman's rights advocate; she found no fault with the Lord that he had not chosen her and Martha to be members of the company of apostles and to go abroad preaching his name and fame. Doubtless she would have gladly undertaken this work had she been so directed, but her womanly instincts did not lead her in this direction nor cause her to take offense at the Lord's showing a difference between the male and the female as respects the promulgation of his message. Although debarred from the honorable service of a public ministry of the Truth, our Lord declared, "She hath done what she could." She did what pleased the Lord; she illustrated the noblest and truest qualities of the feminine heart, love, devotion, fidelity; she spoke by actions rather than by words, and the perfume of her acts of love and kindness and adoration of her Lord have come down through the ages, filling the entire Church of Christ with the sweet odor of the perfume she poured upon his head and subsequently upon his feet. This is in accord with what our Lord prophetically
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declared respecting the act, "Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there also this that this woman hath done shall be told for a memorial of her." What a sweet memorial of Mary! How we all love and reverence her true womanhood, and appreciate the fact that her intuitions in respect to this anointing of the Lord were superior to the reasonings of the twelve apostles on the subject --they were too cold and calculating, too business like. She made up for this deficiency in the warmth of her loving devotion. Undoubtedly woman has filled profitably just such a niche as this in the Church's history during all the centuries from then until now. Without her part undoubtedly the religion of Jesus would have been much more cold and business like and formal than it is; but the broad, deep sympathy of true womanhood has helped to interpret the heart of Christ, the love of Christ, and has proven a blessing to all of the followers of the Lamb.
"THE POOR YE HAVE ALWAYS"
It is a miscalculation to suppose that the moments spent in communion with the Lord, in the study of his plan, and the dollars and hours spent in his service, in the promulgation of his Truth, are wasted, and that thus the poor have less. On the contrary, in proportion as any one has true, loving devotion to the Lord, he will have devotion to his service and to the poor. No one can love the Lord in sincerity without being the more sympathetic and the more generous proportionately to the poor and to all within reach of his benevolence. As the Scriptures admonish us, "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty"--to want --to poverty of soul as well as poverty of purse. (`Prov. 11:24`.) The Lord's followers are to be prudent, economical but not parsimonious, not miserly, not stingy, not hoarders of wealth. They are to cast their bread upon the waters; they are to do good and trust to the Lord for the results; they are to use freely the riches of the Lord as entrusted to them, both temporally and spiritually, and are to receive their blessing from the exercise or increment of these. This very act on the part of the devoted Mary and our Lord's commendation of it have doubtless been helpful to the Lord's people along these very lines throughout this Gospel age. Similarly we were once inclined to consider the One-Day Conventions and the General Conventions of the Lord's people to be entirely too expensive, to represent a waste of money that might have been used otherwise; but our experience is that there is a blessing in the using of the money talent--that whoever fails to do some investing, some sacrificing in the interest of the Truth, will surely fail to get the large returns of spiritual blessing. Whoever on the contrary seeks to use his means in serving the Truth to others and in nourishing his own heart receives proportionately the greater blessing. We are even inclined to think that the Lord makes up to them in temporal matters also; but should this not be the case--should they be the poorer in temporal matters as a result of their spiritual feasting--we know that spiritual nourishment, fatness of soul, prosperity as New Creatures in Christ, is by far the most important matter with which we have to do. It is the very object of our present membership in the school of Christ, association with the fellow-members,
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that we may grow in this very grace as well as in knowledge and love in the Master's likeness.
ANOINTED FOR HIS BURIAL
Our Lord declared that Mary's action was a preparation for his burial. We remember that several of the honorable women of the Lord's company came to the tomb early on the first day of the week with spices and ointment, perfume, for his anointing, after the custom of the time, and because they failed to remember and recognize his prophecy of his resurrection from the dead on the third day. Their motive in thus going was undoubtedly a proper one, and yet Mary's conduct in anointing our Lord before his burial was very much more to the point, very much more appreciated by him. And so it is with us: with our dear friends, the brethren and others. It behooves us to anoint them with kindly words, loving sympathies, tender expressions, while they are still in the valley of conflict, before they have reached the end of the journey. We know not how much even the very strongest of the Lord's followers may need a word of sympathy and encouragement at times, and we do our own hearts good when we tender such sympathy. We do not mean that fulsome flattery should be poured upon one another; but there is a wide difference between flattery and encouraging, sympathetic words; and who is there of sympathetic heart, possessing a heart filled with the love divine, that is not himself an alabaster box of perfume, which should be opened and poured upon the spiritual brotherhood and all of our earthly friends and relatives as we might come in contact with them, and in proportion as the blessing of the Lord would be appropriately theirs. Let us not forget this; let us use these opportunities which are ours day by day of scattering flowers in life's pathway for others, and perhaps as we do this the Lord will allow some one to scatter some flowers also for us. On the principle that he who watereth others shall himself be watered, he who helps others should never go hungry, he who comforts others should never lack comfort. Doubtless the Lord will see to it that in proportion as we have and exercise the proper spirit of benevolence and generosity toward others, we will have our share of rich blessings in return when most needed.
"OF THE PEOPLE THERE WERE NONE WITH HIM"--ABLE TO SYMPATHIZE FULLY
Very evidently at the close of his ministry our Lord was feeling more or less of disappointment that a larger number of the Jews had not received his gracious message, had not believed on him. Especially would this thought come to him as he read in the mind of Judas that he already was planning to be his betrayer. Moreover, he saw something of the same spirit of fear in the other eleven of his apostles, for he already knew who should betray him, and knew also that the others would forsake him and flee in fear in the hour of his distress. If his message, if his love, if his Spirit communicated to these men would still leave them so weak in many respects, it argued that he had accomplished comparatively little in his ministry, and that the other five hundred brethren might not be more devoted than the twelve. What a comfort it must have been to the Lord in the midst of these thoughts to find that there was one loving
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soul which did appreciate him and brought the alabaster box and anointed him before his burial. The joy, the comfort, the blessing that came to the heart of our dear Master, and that strengthened him for the experiences of coming days, was worth far more than the 300 pence. Not only was he willing that the matter should be told for a memorial of Mary, but we may safely conclude that in the everlasting future Mary will be ranked very high amongst the faithful followers of the Lord. She may not be one with the apostles upon the twelve thrones of Israel, but we may be sure that she will have some grand, some honorable place near to the one she loved and for whom she showed her devotion. An unknown writer says, "Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their lives with sweetness. Speak approving, cheering words while their ears can hear them and while their hearts can be thrilled and made happier by them; the kind things you mean to say when they are gone, say before they go. The flowers you mean to send for their coffins, send to brighten and sweeten their homes before they leave them. If my friends have alabaster boxes laid away, full of fragrant perfumes of sympathy and affection, which they intend to break over my dead body, I would rather they would bring them out in my weary and troubled hours and open them, that I may be refreshed and cheered by them while I need them. I would rather have a plain coffin without a flower, a funeral without a eulogy, than a life without the sweetness of love and sympathy. Let us learn to anoint our friends beforehand for their burial. Post-mortem kindness does not cheer the burdened spirit. Flowers on the coffin cast no fragrance backward over the weary way."
SELFISHNESS VERSUS GENEROSITY
Our lesson concludes with the account of how Judas soon afterwards went to the chief priests and bargained with them that for thirty pieces of silver he would seek an opportunity and betray Jesus into their hands. What a sharp contrast is here drawn between the love and generosity of Mary and the mean selfishness of Judas! The one was so full of love that she could not do enough for the great Teacher at whose feet she loved to sit, from whose lips she had received so many blessings, such joy of heart, and by whose power her brother had been recalled from the tomb and probably previously her father healed of a loathsome disease. We also should remember how much we owe this same Teacher, that his are the wonderful words of life which have brought unto our hearts joy, peace and blessing. By his words we ourselves have been called from the dead condition, for, as the Apostle declares, we were once dead in trespasses and sins, but now are quickened, energized, by the Spirit of the Lord, by the spirit of love. We ourselves also had the leprosy of sin, condemnation, were children of wrath even as others, but our sins have been graciously covered by the Redeemer, the leprosy has been cleansed, and we have been made whiter than snow in the sight of our Lord through faith in the precious blood. We, too, have learned to sit at the Master's feet and to enjoy his teachings, and have been transformed thereby by the renewing of our minds. Is it not appropriate that we should feel that no offering we could bring him could in any sense or degree express the gratitude of our hearts? Can we not also find alabaster boxes of precious perfume for the Master? True, the Head has been glorified, and the members of the body, too, are now passed beyond the vail, but his "feet" are still with us, the last members of the body of Christ are here. Let us hasten to do all in our power, both temporally, and spiritually, for the feet of Christ; let us do all in our power to cleanse them from earth defilement, even though it cost us tears; let us anoint them with the precious spikenard perfume. The more costly the affection and love that we bestow upon the members of the body of Christ, the very lowest and humblest of them, the better; all should be but an expression of the warmth of love which is in our hearts for Him and His. The time is passing rapidly--soon the last members will have crossed and be beyond the vail, beyond our anointing and beyond the blessed word; "She hath done what she could." Let us earn that expression from the dear lips of our Lord by faithfulness to those who now represent him in the world--to the household of faith, to the members of the body of Christ.
FOR THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER
Selfishness seems to lie at the very foundation of all the mean, ignoble deeds of our fallen nature. It was selfish ambition that led mother Eve to grasp the forbidden fruit, and it is safe to say that selfishness ever since has prompted to all the mean and ignoble things of the six thousand years' reign of sin and death. The spirit of a sound mind is what we should each and all strive for. This would mean, on the one hand, that we should not be too extravagant, and, on the other hand, that we should not be too parsimonious. But if we should err on either side would it not be safest and best that we should err on the side of too great generosity rather than on the reverse? Well did the Apostle write that the love of wealth is the root of all evil. This might include not only money but wealth of honor, name, influence or power. The Apostle adds, "which some coveting after have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."--`1 Tim. 6:10`. As an illustration of this class take the case of Judas in our lesson, selling his Master for thirty pieces of silver! No matter if he did reason that Jesus had said that he was about to die, and said that this perfume was associated with his burial. No matter if Judas were sure that all these things would happen to the Lord anyway, and thought that he might just as well have the thirty pieces of silver. It did not condone the offence. Selfishness and meanness had so far been encouraged in his heart that, notwithstanding his intimate association with the Master, his knowledge of his precious words and mighty acts, neither love nor reverence stood in the way of selfishness. Judas "went to his own place," the Second Death, and that with a realization that it would have been better for him had he never been born. Whoever will allow selfish ambitions of any kind to have control in his heart, whoever will not allow the Lord's grace and truth to come into his heart and enlarge it and fill it with love, will likewise go to his own place, the Second Death. The divine provisions are only for those who will eventually be filled with love, the Spirit of God, the spirit of generosity. Let us all
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then more and more avoid the Judas spirit, the heart of selfishness, money love, self love and ambition, and let us more and more have the loving heart of Mary and her humility, which not only made her willing to spend her means to serve the truth, but made her willing also to humble herself even to the extent of tears and the use of woman's highest ornament, her hair, in the service of her Master, her Lord, and that upon his humblest members, the feet of him.
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"THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME"
--`MATTHEW 26:17-30`.--NOVEMBER 4.--
WHILE holding, in common with the great majority, that the Memorial Supper was instituted by our Lord on Thursday night in connection with his last celebration of the Passover, and that he was crucified on the next day, Friday, we have no contention with those who suppose that these events took place on other days of the week. We lay great stress on the fact there accomplished and its significance as the antitype of the Passover instituted by Moses, and as the finishing of our Lord's great sacrifice for sins--the sins of the whole world. For these vital principles we are willing to contend earnestly, as they are part of "the faith once delivered to the saints;" but as respects the particular days of the week we will not contend, as in our estimation they are trifling matters, of no value, no consequence, and should therefore in no sense of the word disturb the minds or heart-fellowship of the Lord's people. Our lesson opens with our Lord's instructions to his disciples as to where they should prepare for him and themselves, as a special and peculiar Jewish family, a place in which to celebrate the requirements of the Law in the type which pointed to our Lord Jesus as the Lamb of God. Respecting this supper our Lord himself said, "With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." He did not refer to the principal feast, which lasted a week from the 15th day of Nisan. He was referring to the roast-lamb supper, eaten with bitter herbs, which preceded the general feast, and which reminded them of their deliverance from Egypt, and became the basis of their subsequent rejoicing as a liberated people. The upper room was provided for this supper. Things were made ready, and at even, at sundown, after six o'clock, our Lord and the twelve assembled. One of the accounts tells us that there was a dispute amongst the disciples respecting the more honorable positions at the supper, and that Jesus rebuked this ambitious spirit in them by washing their feet, thus illustrating his own humility of heart, his readiness to serve each and all of them. Thus he set them an example that he, whom they esteemed greatest amongst them, should be their principal servant, willing and ready to serve any and all.
"ONE OF YOU SHALL BETRAY ME"
While they were eating Jesus remarked that one of them would betray him, and at once a spirit of sadness spread over the company, and each one--feeling it incumbent upon him to prove his innocence of such a charge--asked, "Lord, is it I?" With the rest, Judas also put this question, realizing that if he did not also ask, it would imply his acknowledgment that he was the one, and in response to his inquiry Jesus replied, "Thou hast said,"--that is to say, "Yes, I refer to you." Another account tells us that Jesus answered the query by saying that the one for whom he would dip a sup would be the betrayer, and having dipped the sup--a piece of the lamb and a piece of the unleavened bread they were eating--Jesus gave it to Judas, thus indicating him without directly naming him. It would appear, too, that the other disciples up to this time had not learned to know Judas--that it was subsequently they ascertained that he was a thief, etc. Amongst the Jews and Arabs deceit and betrayal were not so very uncommon, but there was a code of honor recognized according to which no one would eat the food of the person he would in any wise injure. As food was seasoned with salt, it was probably this custom that was known as the "covenant of salt"--the covenant of faithfulness. To succeed in having an enemy eat at your table or take of your food seasoned with salt was at that time amongst those people the equivalent of a pledge of his lasting friendship--that he would never do you injury. Apparently Judas was so lacking of a proper spirit that he did not even acknowledge and obey this custom of the time--to be loyal and faithful to the one whose bread he ate, of whose salt he partook. Hence our Lord's words, "He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me." Nevertheless Jesus testified that his death was not a victory on the part of his betrayer and his enemies, but in harmony with what had been written of him before by the prophets. Nor are we to consider that Judas in this matter was merely fulfilling a prophecy irrespective of his own responsibility, his own wilfulness in the matter: such a thought is negatived by our Lord's statement, "Woe unto the man by whom the Son of man is betrayed. It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." These words leave no question, we think, that Judas had already enjoyed his full share in the great atonement work through the intimate opportunities he had of coming to a clear knowledge of the truth, and the corresponding responsibilities. Evidently his was the sin unto death--the Second Death. Hence, aside from any future existence we are to consider that his life was a useless, wasted one, and that its joys did not overbalance its sorrows and anguish when to the latter were added his subsequent despair and suicide.
"TAKE, EAT; THIS IS MY BODY"
It was after the Passover Supper, after the eating of the lamb with the herbs and unleavened bread, etc., that Jesus instituted the Memorial Supper which, with all of his followers, by his direction takes the place of the Passover Supper of the Jews. This was a new matter, and the apostles listened with interest to his words as he blessed some of the thin cakes of unleavened bread and then brake them and handed portions to each of his disciples, saying, "Take, eat; this is my body." What could he mean? During their
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three years in his company they had learned that he spake in parables and dark sayings. On another occasion he had declared in their hearing that he himself was the bread which came down from heaven, of which if a man partook he would live forever. Now he was handing them some unleavened bread and said it was his body. They evidently understood him to mean that this bread to them would represent or symbolize his body, for he told them on this occasion that thenceforth they should do this in remembrance of him--thenceforth they should remember him as the slain lamb and use unleavened bread to represent his flesh, and partake of this instead of eating as previously of a literal lamb. He could not have meant, as Roman Catholics and some Protestants believe, that the bread was by his blessing turned into his actual flesh, for he still had his flesh--he was not killed for about fifteen hours later. Hence all the arguments to this effect are foolishness and sophistry. When he said, "This is my flesh," it was as much a figure of speech as when he said a little later, "I am the vine," "I am the door," "I am the Good Shepherd," "I am the way, the truth and the life," etc. The right, sane view of the Master's words is apparent: he was represented in all these different ways. In the case under consideration the bread would represent him, his flesh, to his apostles and to all his followers throughout the Gospel age. As bread stands for and symbolizes all food (indeed wheat is said to contain every element of nutriment in its proper proportion), so the teaching of this symbol is that whoever would have the life which Christ has to give must accept it as the result of his sacrifice. He died that we might live. The rights and privileges which he surrendered voluntarily may be eaten, applied, appropriated by all who have faith in him and who accept him and his instructions --such are reckoned as having imputed to them the perfect human nature, with all its rights and privileges lost by Adam, redeemed by Christ. None can have eternal life except by the eating of this bread from heaven. This applies not only to believers of this present time, but also to those of the future age. Their life-rights and privileges must all be recognized as coming to them through his sacrifice. In a word, the bread representing our Lord's body teaches our justification through the acceptance of his sacrifice.
"DRINK YE ALL OF IT"
Next our Lord took a cup containing the fruit of the vine. We are not told that it was wine; therefore it is an open question whether it was fermented or unfermented, and in view of all the circumstances of our time and the requirements of the Lord's Word, we may feel sure that unfermented grape juice or raisin juice will fulfil the terms of his injunction. Since it is never called wine, but merely the
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cup and the fruit of the vine, there is no room for disputation amongst the Lord's followers. Each may be free to follow his own conscience in the matter of what kind of a fruit of the vine he shall use: for our part we prefer the unfermented as being less liable to do injury or to awaken dormant passions for drink in the Lord's followers. In connection with the cup the Lord said, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (the two oldest Greek MSS. of the New Testament, the Sinaitic and Vatican, omit the word "New"). True, the New Covenant must be sealed with the blood of the Christ before it can go into effect, and it is not to go into effect until the opening of the Millennial age. But there was another Covenant--the old Covenant, the foundation Covenant of all covenants--namely, the Abrahamic Covenant, which was sealed by our Lord's death. That it would be thus sealed was typically represented in the figurative death of Isaac at the hand of Abraham and his figurative resurrection from the dead. The Apostle assures us that Isaac represented our Lord Jesus, and also declares, "We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise" --the Oath-bound Covenant.--`Gal. 4:28`. Applying our Lord's words thus to the Abrahamic Covenant, which he was sealing or making sure, we see that it was by his death that he became the heir of that Covenant and all of its glorious provisions for the blessing of all the families of the earth. And from this standpoint we see a special meaning and force in Jesus' words to his followers, "This is my cup, drink ye all of it." Thus understood, the invitation to drink of the Lord's cup signifies an invitation to all of his elect Church of this Gospel age to partake with him of his cup of suffering and death--to lay down their lives with him that they also might have a share with him in the coming glories of the Kingdom, which will be the divine channel for the fulfilment of the Abrahamic promise, the blessing of all the families of the earth. While the eating of the bread and participation in the justification effected by our Lord's death and by the acceptance of the same, will be necessary to the whole world if they would have the restitution blessings purchased by our Lord's sacrifice, nevertheless the cup is not for the world but only for the Church, only for the consecrated of this Gospel age. "Drink ye all of it"--not only all of you drink of it but all of you drink all of it--leave none. There will be none of the sufferings of Christ left over for the coming age, no more suffering for righteousness' sake will then be known to the world--only evil doers will suffer thereafter. Now is the time when whosoever will live godly shall suffer persecution, and when all of the Lord's followers who would be loyal to him and counted worthy to share in his Kingdom glories must expect to drink of his cup. Hence again the Lord unites the two thoughts, saying, "Except ye eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, ye have no life in you." Those who consecrate during the present time as the Lord's disciples, to walk in his steps, must not only share in justification through faith, but must also share through sacrifice the cup if they would gain the life eternal promised to the elect who now forsake all to be his disciples.
NEW WINE IN THE KINGDOM
In declaring, "I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom," our Lord implies a new wine under different conditions at some distant date. He thus confirmed in their minds what he had been teaching them for some weeks previously, namely, that he would not at this time set up his Kingdom, but that instead he would suffer, be crucified, and that they must expect also to suffer with him; and
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that by and by, when the Kingdom should be established and himself be in glory, his disciples should be with him in his throne. These new thoughts in their minds were confirmed by the lesson now given. The cup in the present time must speak to them of the crushing of the grapes, the blood of the grapes, their Master's blood, the life sacrificed, poured out, and their lives also sacrificed with him in his service, in his cause. But the sufferings of this present time were linked with the glory that should follow by the thought that all who would drink of the present cup of suffering, ignominy and death would also share in his cup of joy and blessing, glory and honor in the Kingdom. This same thought should be before our minds, and like the apostles of old it will help us more and more to look forward to the Kingdom as the time when suffering for the name of Christ shall cease, and when the glories shall follow and result in the blessing of all the families of the earth. Our Lord here identifies his Kingdom with his second advent, and in no sense of the word intimates that they would drink of this new wine at Pentecost, nor at the destruction of Jerusalem, nor at any other time but in that mentioned in the prayer which he taught them, saying, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." This should be the thought before our minds also: in waiting for the Kingdom we are waiting for the second coming of our Lord and his subsequent setting up of the Kingdom; that is, the resurrection change, the glorification of his faithful ones who must be with him and share his glory. No wonder the Apostle declared that he who hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure. (`1 John 3:3`.) He that hath this hope of the new wine in the Kingdom, the participation with his Master in those glories and honors and blessed opportunities for uplifting the world of mankind, will take lightly, yea, joyfully, suffering, trials, sacrifices of this present time--yea, he will be glad to suffer with the Master that they also may be glorified together.
"FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS"
So far as we are concerned, it is in vain that men teach that God forgives sins without exacting a penalty therefor from anybody. It is in vain that they claim that Christ was not the ransom price for the sinner, that it was not necessary that he should die, the Just for the unjust, in order that he might bring us back to harmony with God--in order that God might be just and yet justify the sinner. It is in vain, too, that they claim that it was sufficient that Jesus was a great teacher, by whose words the world should be saved. Our reply is in harmony with the Master's statement here and elsewhere and the testimony of all the apostles, that it was necessary that Christ should die for our sins; that our sins could never have been forgiven by divine justice except through the divine arrangement by which he paid our penalty. To us it is a most precious thought, therefore, that our Lord's blood was indeed shed for the remission of sins of the many. And it is also a precious thought to us that we are privileged to be so intimately associated with him as members of his body; that our little sacrifices covered by his merit are in God's sight esteemed as part of the great sin sacrifice for the world; that as joint-sufferers with Christ we are permitted to drink of his cup and be immersed in his baptism into death. It is equally vain for Evolutionists and Higher Critics to tell us that, so far from man falling from God's likeness into sin and death, he has been on the contrary evoluting upward step by step, from beastly conditions to where he now is. We believe them not. We hold fast the divinely inspired testimony that there was a fall, and that this made necessary the redemptive work; that Christ was the honorable servant of God, privileged and authorized to make atonement for the sins of the whole world; that he began this atonement work in the sacrifice of himself; that he has been carrying it on during this Gospel age by the sacrificing of the members of his body, and that he will soon complete it, when he, with all of his members glorified, shall during the Millennial age distribute to the world the blessings of that redemptive work, causing all to come to a knowledge of the Truth, of the love of God; that its height and depth and length and breadth are immeasurable, yea, all accomplished through him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood.
"IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME"
The Apostle Paul, referring to this Memorial Supper, quotes our Lord as saying, "This do in remembrance of me," and then adds, "As oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show the Lord's death till he come." (`1 Cor. 11:24-26`.) The thought is that we are to thus celebrate this great transaction until the time come for the Kingdom celebration of it with the new wine, the joy, the glory, the honors, which we are to share with him who loved us and bought us. The Apostle evidently does not mean merely until the parousia, the presence of the Lord to gather his servants and reward them, but rather until all shall have been gathered and the Kingdom class shall all thus have been set up and glorified. The same Apostle in the same epistle (`1 Cor. 10:16,17`; `12:12`) emphasizes the thought of the unity, the oneness of the Church, with each other and with the Lord. He declares, "The loaf which we break, is it not the communion [the fellowship] of the body of Christ?" Are we not all as parts of one loaf broken with the Lord? "For we being many are one loaf and one body: for we are all partakers of that one loaf"; and again he adds, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion [participation, fellowship] of the blood of Christ?" Assuredly this is the thought then, that from God's standpoint there is the one great Messiah, the elect Head and the elect members of his body. These, as one loaf, constitute from God's standpoint the bread of
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everlasting life for the world, and in order to fill this picture each and all must be broken, each and all must partake of the cup of Christ's suffering and death before entering into his glory. And not until all these sufferings have been completed will the Lord's time come for the new dispensation, the new day, the day of blessing instead of cursing, the day of restitution instead of dying, the day of uplifting instead of falling, so far as the world is concerned.