VOL. XIII. FEBRUARY 1, 1892. NO. 3.
"UNTIL THE LORD COME."
"Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." --`1 Cor. 4:5`.
The teaching of the Apostle here is parallel to that of our Lord in his parable of the wheat and the tares. (`Matt. 13:24-30,36-43`.) When the zealous servant in the parable inquired, "Wilt thou then that we go and gather them [the tares] up?" the Lord answered, "Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers,* Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."
All through the Gospel age the wheat and tares have grown together, and only the Lord, who could read the hearts, could distinguish between them with unerring precision. But both the Lord and the Apostle, in the above Scriptures, indicate a difference in the time of harvest, and show that it will then be possible for the faithful saints to judge also. With this thought in view, they are told to "judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come."
And now the day of the Lord has come: we are now living in the days of the parousia (presence) of the Son of Man--"the Lord of the harvest," "having on his head a golden crown [divine authority] and in his hand [in his power] a sharp sickle"--the sickle of present truth, the clear unfolding of the "Word of God [which] is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword...and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (`Heb. 4:12`; `Matt. 9:38`; `Rev. 14:14`.) And he is sending forth such "laborers," "angels" or "messengers" into this harvest as he sent forth into the harvest of the Jewish age, viz., his consecrated and faithful disciples, bearing the harvest message--the now fully revealed plan of God and its appointed times and seasons.
The truth thus sent forth is doing its appointed work. Like a magnet, it gathers to itself all who have an affinity for it. Thrust it in wherever you will, it will invariably accomplish its work of finding the loyal and faithful. And we can readily judge, from this affinity for the magnet, who are at heart true and loyal and faithful to the Lord. "My sheep hear my voice," said the Master, "and I know them, and they follow me;...for they know my voice [they are able to recognize his voice of truth]: and a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers." (`John 10:27,4,5`.) Again he says, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."--`John 12:48`.
*"The reapers are the messengers" who bear the truth, the indirect influence of which binds the tares. See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. III., Chap. VI.
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Thus, in this last day, the harvest of the age, this day of the Lord's invisible presence in the world, the truth concerning the divine plan, which he has been revealing since 1874, and which is now being widely testified for the sealing of the elect, is doing its separating work; and the saints, who understand the present situation and watch with interest the progress of the harvest work, can see clearly where the lines of judgment are drawn between the faithful and the unfaithful. And often with astonishment they mark the divisions which the truth makes when some prominent church-member, whom they had always judged to be faithful and true, manifests no affinity for the truth, but turns from it and hugs the error more tightly than ever; or, when some other one, touched by the power of the truth, awakes to earnest self-sacrifice in its service.
"Judge nothing before the time." How could we have judged before this time as to whose hearts were loyal and true? But now, in this day of the Lord's presence, when the magnet of divine truth makes manifest those who have and those who have not an affinity for it--those who refuse to recognize the voice of the "Good Shepherd" and will not follow his leading, and who flee not from the voice of strangers, but hearken to and follow them--it becomes our duty, as well as our privilege, to judge who is on the Lord's side and who is against him; for, says the Master, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."-- `Matt. 12:30`.
"Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come;" but then let your spiritual senses be exercised in observing and marking the heretofore hidden things which the truth, in its effects, is bringing to light. See how it is bringing to light the hitherto covered deformities of the various creeds. Where is the intelligent Calvinist to-day who would not like to bury his creed sea deep, and forever hush this wrangle that has been exposing its deformity for a few years past? And where is the intelligent Armenian that is not trembling lest his turn may come next? Everything is being dragged to the light, whether men are willing or not; for every hidden thing must be revealed. And not only the hidden things of creeds and systems of error and iniquity, but also the hidden things of individual character; "for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known. Therefore, whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops." (`Luke 12:2,3`.) Ah! it is the day of reckoning with the Church, and "the Lord hath a controversy with his people." And this controversy, this reckoning, is not merely with the Church-nominal in its great sectarian branches; but in a special sense it is with those who have escaped from the bondage of error and sectarianism, and who, because faithful to their consciences and the truths brought to their attention, have been served by the Master with present truth as "meat in due season" (`Luke 12:37`), and who have been permitted to enter into some of the "deep things" of God's plan.
The world has not yet come into this judgment: its reckoning is yet future; but ours is now upon us. We, to whom the testimony of divine truth has been borne, before whose mental vision the whole plan of God with all its specifications has been spread out and carefully explained, now stand on trial, yea, under the final tests of that trial which is either to prove or disprove our worthiness to enter into the promised reward of the faithful. Many, as predicted (`Psa. 91:7`), are proving unworthy, and some still stand. And among those whom we fellowship and bid God-speed as faithful brethren in Christ, it is our duty to judge as to whether they are still faithful when the magnet of truth makes their judgment so manifest in this day of the Lord; for it is written (`2 John 10:11`) "If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God-speed; for he that biddeth him God-speed is partaker of his evil deeds." Here is a responsibility with reference to our endorsement of another which we cannot ignore and still be faithful; and except we judge of one's course by his fidelity or infidelity to the truth, we shall be endorsing error
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quite as often as truth. It is our privilege to know the truth and to hold it firmly and to be faithful to it to the end; and if we so abide and walk in the light we will quickly know when one has turned away from the light into darkness, and will be able to render wholesome counsel and warning to such, and to help those who still retain enough of the spirit of meekness to accept the proffered assistance. But, if such a one still pursue the path of darkness and call it light, thus deceiving himself and others, we cannot further endorse him and be guiltless. To do so is to add our influence in some measure, at least, to the error and in opposition to the truth, and thus to become partaker of his evil deeds.
The necessity for this careful discrimination and jealous guarding of the truth in these last days is very manifest, both from the warnings of the Scriptures and from observation of their fulfilment. "In the last days," says the Apostle, "perilous times shall come." (`2 Tim. 3:1`.) Why? Because the prince of darkness will make every possible effort to retain his power and dominion; and ignorance, error and superstition are his strongholds. He first used all his power to keep men in ignorance and to foster superstition. But now God's due time has come for knowledge to be increased (`Dan. 12:4`), and the Millennial dawn is breaking; and not only the Church but the world is now waking up and beginning to think. So the policy of Satan now is to devise plausible counterfeits of the truth whereby to entrap and mislead those who have been making progress in the knowledge of the divine plan. As, in the beginning of our Lord's ministry at his first advent, Satan's efforts were concentrated upon the one object of causing him to stumble, thereby to nip the divine plan in the bud, and during the Gospel age the consecrated members of the body of Christ have been specially opposed and beset by him, so now his efforts are concentrated specially upon the last members of that body, "the feet of him," who are running the race for the prize of the high calling. It is for this cause that so many new and plausible forms of error have been brought forward within this harvest period. Satan is using every effort to thwart God's plan and to stumble the feet. And God even more than permits this:
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he encourages it by sending these strong delusions of Satan among his professed followers--at the same time assuring all who at heart are faithful to his Word and to their covenant of self-sacrifice that they need fear no evil, for he will be with them and uphold them though a thousand fall at their side.
Ever since the plan of God has been made manifest to the saints, the delusions of error have been rapidly multiplying. This was foretold by the Apostle who, referring to our Lord's second coming, said, "And then shall that wicked [the Man of Sin] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the bright-shining of his presence,* whose parousia [Christ's presence] is with+ [or accompanied by] the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they might all be condemned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."++ (`2 Thes. 2:8-12`.) One after another the deluded ones who have fallen into the various snares set for their feet have become active advocates of the several causes they have espoused since they departed from the truth, and are advanced by the adversary as teachers, angels or messengers of new light. They never seem to realize that they have gone into darkness, but imagine they have made great strides of progress in the light. This is because they have been overcome by the strong delusions of this evil day. They verily mistake the darkness for the light, the error for
*The words, "Even him," here supplied by the translators, and not in the original text, as indicated by the italics, tend to obscure the sense of this passage.
+The Greek word "kata," rendered "after" in the common version, should here be rendered "with," as the same word is rendered in `Mark 1:27`; `1 Cor. 2:1`; `Eph. 6:6`.
++Greek adikia should here be rendered untruth or error because contrasted with truth.
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the truth. But, though they be cast thus into the outer darkness of the world and of the nominal professor, thank God, we can now see that by and by the shining forth of the Sun of Righteousness in the Millennial morning shall open all the error-blinded eyes to the full and glorious Truth, though too late to assist any to win the great prize of joint-heirship in the Kingdom.
However, none are ever permitted to be thus overcome who have not in some way been unfaithful to the truth and hence unworthy of it. Upon all such God has said he would send the strong delusion, so that they shall believe a lie. The truth being designed for those only who are worthy of it--the elect--all others are bound to lose it. But it is impossible to deceive the "very elect." God will keep them by his mighty power because of their faithfulness and loyalty to him.
The Lord distinguishes between the nominally elect and the finally elect, and so should we. Not all who have accepted of the Redeemer's favor of justification from guilt, and have heard and accepted the high calling to joint-heirship with Christ in his kingdom and glory, will attain that great prize. All such have entered the race as now the nominally elect, and all such are eligible to membership in the glorified Church as the finally elect; but in order to gain that prize they must fulfil the conditions specified when they entered the race--when they in Christ's name and merit made a covenant with God, to sacrifice themselves in his service. In no other way can they make their calling and election sure.
It is this nominally elect class that is being tried now; and God is now making manifest the secret counsels of the hearts of his people. He puts us all on guard, too, saying, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall;" and telling us to take heed that no man take our crown.
How great is the responsibility of our present position before God, the great Judge of all hearts. He has shown us special favor in revealing to us the wonders of his plan and in setting before us the grand prize of our high calling. Thus far we were counted worthy of those favors and eligible to the prize of joint-heirship with Christ. How worthy have we proved ourselves since receiving this knowledge? Have we received it with meekness and humility and with a gratitude which manifested itself in active service of the truth--in proclaiming it to others and in defending it and standing by it nobly in the midst of all the reproaches hurled against it? Have we refused to compromise the truth to any extent to avoid its otherwise inevitable reproach?
If we are not thus jealous for the truth we are not worthy of it, and some of the deceptions of this "evil day" will surely number us among its victims; for it is in this time of the Lord's presence that Satan is to work so mightily, with great power to deceive and with signs of success and with lying wonders of error. His various schemes will have great success, in comparison with which the success of the truth will seem small; for with these, as with Gideon's band, it will be a time of sifting, and "who shall be able to stand?" But let those who stand girt about with divine truth fear nothing: the Lord is permitting these delusions that they may serve his own wise and benevolent purposes in the separating of the worthy from the unworthy, and for the manifestation of those who are at heart loyal to him.
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PRESBYTERIAN REVISION OF FAITH.
The secretary of the Committee for the Revision of Faith for the Presbyterian Church, which met in New York on January 12th, received reports from nearly two hundred Presbyteries, as follows:--
Twenty-eight unreservedly approve the proposed amendment of the Confession. One hundred and twelve give assent, but ask that it be further amended. Fifteen request that the old Confession be held and that all effort to amend it be discontinued. Thirty-eight, are dissatisfied with the amended Confession and,
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believing that it cannot be sufficiently amended to please them, ask for an entirely new one, which shall be extremely simple and almost devoid of doctrine. These latter would like to be free if the others would let them; but are unwilling to lose their position in the denomination. Each party will doubtless sacrifice principle and stay in, no matter what sort of a Confession the others may exact from them--just as they have done for years past.
The Rev. Dr. Parkhurst, of the New York Presbytery, who, although a Presbyterian minister for over eight years, under vows to believe and to teach its doctrines, it will be remembered, declared that he had never so much as read the Confession of Faith, is one of the pronounced advocates for a totally new Confession. He recently stated himself as follows:--
"I don't believe that the old Confession of Faith should be patched up or revised, but that it should be stowed away among the archives of the Church as a relic of mediaeval theology. To take its place an entirely new Confession should be formulated. The new one should be divested of all the non-essentials which have caused so much dispute. It should be a simple, direct statement of fundamentals of our belief, so worded that the commonest people could understand it. Instead of being 124 pages in length I would like to see it two pages long.
"After the old Westminster Confession is laid aside, I would not advocate its use for instruction in theological seminaries, but would lay it aside altogether."
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THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE.
Our age's sphere of light,
Though widening still, is walled around by night;
With slow, reluctant eye, the Church has read,
Skeptic at heart, the lesson of its Head.--Whittier.
Despite the light that cheers the world to-day,
Shadows surround us, on our heavenward way,
And Error darkens Truth's celestial ray.
Not yet the beams, whose radiant splendors dart
From the fair realms of Science and of Art,
With equal glory shine from soul and heart:
Men worship golden calves and serpents still,
Like cringing slaves bow to their masters' will--
Obey the letter, but the spirit kill;
Still tremble at the Priest's uplifted rod,
For fear that he may doom them, by a nod,
To endless hell-fire in the name of God.
False prophets still the wrath of Heaven provoke,
And hypocrite, and Pharisee, and rogue,
Sit in high places in the synagogue.
As sheep disguised, wolves still make sheep their prey,
The blind still lead the blind the downward way,
And sneaking Judases their Lord betray.
Still is assailed the free soul that aspires,
Still persecution feeds her smoldering fires,
And still, to murder Truth, are leagued the Liars.
Still everywhere a selfish spirit rules--
Men herd themselves in squabbling sects and schools,
And deem dissenting brethren knaves or fools;
Still hack their heads with dull, polemic swords,
Fan the fierce flames of hate with windy words,
And take the Devil's plaudits for the Lord's.
The world, which God gave to his children all,
They parcel into sections, large or small,
And round each petty church "patch" build a wall;
Shout their strange shibboleths and battle cries,
Assert pre-emption title to the skies,
And curse him as a heathen who denies.
Thus bigotry and sect intolerance
Sharpen the infidel's else harmless lance,
And cause the Devil's imps for joy to dance!
Thank God! Religion is a plant that grows:
Its perfect flower perennially blows,
More fragrant and more fair than Sharon's rose.
It yet shall rise from out the sloughs and swamps,
Shed from its shining leaves the dungeon damps,
Break every bond that yet its free growth cramps.
Methinks I see it rising and expand!
Its mighty branches arching every land,
From Zembla's snows to India's sunny strand.
Upward, forever up, I see it rise,
Flashing resplendent glory on our eyes,
Until its crown is lost within the skies.
And there, beneath this everlasting tree,
This Tree of Life and Human Destiny,
I see the nations gather, bond and free,
Gentile and Jew, of every clime and race--
God's children all--and, standing face to face,
Own but One God, their Father, and embrace!
Then, only then, will men indeed be free,
Then will the Golden Age we dream of be,
And Jesus Christ reign universally!
--Charles W. Hubner.
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AN ANCIENT AND INTERESTING DOCUMENT, FOUND IN THE VATICAN AT ROME, WHICH PURPORTS TO BE THE ORIGINAL REPORT OF PILATE, ROMAN GOVERNOR OF JUDEA, TO THE EMPEROR TIBERIUS CAESAR: EXPLANATORY OF THE CAUSES WHICH LED TO THE TUMULT IN JERUSALEM, IN CONNECTION WITH THE DEATH OF JESUS OF NAZARETH.
The Public is indebted to the energy of a Christian minister, W. D. Mahan by name, for calling attention to and securing an English translation of this interesting document. He first heard of it through a German student who had spent a large portion of several years in searching for curiosities in the immense library of the Vatican at Rome. The German Professor did not consider the MS. of sufficient interest to take a copy of it, but years afterward made mention of it to the minister mentioned. The latter felt a great interest in what he had heard, and finally he wrote to his friend, the German Professor, who meantime had returned to Westphalia, Germany, requesting that the latter, who was intimate with Father Freelinhusen-- chief guardian of the Vatican--would undertake to procure a translation of the MS. into English.
This was finally accomplished at a cost to Mr. Mahan of seventy-two dollars and forty-four cents.
The parties concerned in procuring this translation are unknown to us, but the circumstances leave no room for questioning the fact. As to whether or not the Vatican Manuscript is what it purports to be, each must judge for himself. Certain it is that the account does not contradict, but fully corroborates, the accounts given us by the Apostles in the Bible. We give here
AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE LETTER, PURPORTING TO BE PILATE'S.
To TIBERIUS CAESAR--Emperor.
Noble Sovereign, Greeting:
The events of the last few days in my province have been of such a character that I thought well to report the details as they have occurred, as I should not be surprised if in the course of time they may change the destiny of our nation; for it seems of late that the gods have ceased to be propitious. I am almost ready to say, "Cursed be the day that I succeeded Valerius Gratius in the government of Judea."
On my arrival at Jerusalem I took possession of the Judgment Hall and ordered a splendid feast to be prepared, to which I invited the tetrarch of Galilee, with the high priest and his officers. At the appointed hour no guests appeared. This was an insult offered to my dignity. A few days after, the high priest deigned to pay me a visit. His deportment was grave and deceitful. He pretended that his religion forbade him and his attendants to sit down at the table of the Romans, and to offer up libations with them. I thought it expedient to accept of his excuse, but from that moment I was convinced that the conquered had declared themselves the enemies of the conquerors. It seems to me that of all conquered cities, Jerusalem is the most difficult to govern!
So turbulent were the people that I lived in momentary dread of an insurrection. To repress it I had but a single centurion, and a handful of soldiers. I requested a reinforcement from the Governor of Syria, who informed me that he had scarcely troops sufficient to defend his own province. An insatiate thirst for conquest--to extend our empire beyond the means of defending it--I fear will be the means of overthrowing our noble government.
Among the various rumors that came to my ears, there was one that attracted my attention in particular. A young man, it was said, had
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appeared in Galilee, preaching with a noble unction a new law, in the name of the gods that had sent him. At first I was apprehensive that his design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but soon were my fears dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spake rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews.
One day, in passing by the place of Siloe, where there was a great concourse of people, I observed, in the midst of the group, a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told that this was Jesus. This I could easily have expected; so great was the difference between him and those who were listening to him. His golden-colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about thirty years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between him and his hearers with their black beards and tawny complexion. Unwilling to interrupt him by my presence, I continued my walk; but signified to my secretary to join the group and listen. My secretary's name is Manlius. He is the grandson of the chief of the conspirators who encamped in Etruria, waiting Catiline. Manlius was anciently an inhabitant of Judea and well acquainted with the Hebrew language. He is devoted to me and worthy of my confidence. On entering the Judgment Hall, I found Manlius, who related to me the words Jesus had pronounced at Siloe. Never have I heard in the Pettico, nor in the works of the philosophers, anything that can compare to the maxims of Jesus.
One of the rebellious Jews, so numerous in Jerusalem, having asked him if it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar, Jesus replied, "Render unto Caesar the things which belong to Caesar, and unto God the things that are God's." It was on account of the wisdom of his sayings that I granted so much liberty to the Nazarene, for it was in my power to have had him arrested and exiled to Pontus; but this would have been contrary to the justice which has always characterized the Romans. This man was neither seditious nor rebellious, and I extended to him my protection unknown, perhaps, to himself. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble and address the people, to choose disciples unrestrained by any Pretorian mandate. Should it ever happen--may the gods ever avert the omen--should it ever happen, I say, that the religion of our forefathers be supplanted by the religion of Jesus, it will be to this noble toleration that Rome shall owe her premature obsequies, while I, miserable wretch, shall have been the instrument of what Christians call providence, and we, destiny.
But this unlimited freedom granted Jesus provoked the Jews; not the poor, but the rich and powerful. It is true that Jesus was severe on the latter, and this was a political reason, in my opinion, not to control the liberty of the Nazarene. "Scribes and Pharisees," he would say to them, "you are a race of vipers; you resemble painted sepulchers." At other times, he would sneer at the proud alms of the publican, telling him that the mite of the widow was more precious in the sight of God.
New complaints were daily made at the Judgment Hall against the insolence of the Jews. I was even informed that some misfortune would befall him--that it would not be the first time that Jerusalem had stoned those who called themselves prophets--and if the Pretorium refused justice, an appeal would be made to Caesar.
However, my conduct was approved by the Senate, and I was promised a reinforcement after the termination of the Parthian war. Being too weak to suppress a sedition, I resolved upon adopting a measure that promised to establish the tranquility of the city, without subjecting the Pretorium to humiliating concessions.
I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with him at the Judgment Hall, and he came. You know that in my veins flows the Spanish, mixed with Roman blood, as incapable of fear as it is of puerile emotion. When the Nazarene made his appearance I was walking in my court, and my feet seemed fastened with an iron hand to the marble pavement, and I trembled in every limb as a guilty culprit, though he was calm--the Nazarene--calm as innocence. When he came up to me, he stopped, and by a signal seemed to say to me, "I am here."
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For some time I contemplated with admiration and awe this extraordinary type of man--a type of man unknown to our numerous painters, who have given form and figure to all the gods and heroes.
"Jesus," said I to him at last--and my tongue faltered--"Jesus of Nazareth, I have granted you for the last three years ample freedom of speech, nor do I regret it. Your words are those of a sage. I know not whether you have read Socrates, or Plato, but this I know, that there is in your discourses a majestic simplicity that elevates you far above those philosophers. The Emperor is informed of it, and I, his humble representative in this community, am glad of having allowed you that liberty, of which you are so worthy.
"However, I must not conceal from you the fact that your discourses have raised up against you powerful and inveterate enemies. Neither is this surprising. Socrates had his enemies, and he fell a victim to their hatred. Yours are doubly incensed against you on account of your sayings, and against me on account of the liberty extended towards you. They even accuse me of being indirectly leagued with you, for the purpose of depriving the Hebrews of the little civil power which Rome has left them. My request--I do not say my order-- is, that you be more circumspect in the future, and more tender in arousing the pride of your enemies, lest they raise against you the stupid populace, and compel me to employ the instruments of justice."
The Nazarene calmly replied:
"Prince of the earth, your words proceed not from true wisdom. Say to the torrent, Stop in the midst of the mountain home! because it will uproot the trees of the valley. The torrent will answer you, that it must obey the laws of the Creator. God alone knows whither flows the torrent. Verily, I say unto you, before the Rose of Sharon blossoms, the blood of the Just shall be spilt." "Your blood shall not be spilt," replied I with emotion,
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"You are more precious, in my estimation, on account of your wisdom, than all the turbulent and proud Pharisees, who abuse the freedom granted them by the Romans, conspire against Caesar, and construe our bounty into fear. Insolent wretches, they are not aware that the wolf of the timber sometimes clothes himself with the skin of the sheep. I will protect you against them. My Palace of Justice is open to you as an asylum."
Jesus carelessly shook his head, and said, with a grace and a divine smile, "When the day shall have come, there will be no asylum for the Son of Man, neither in the earth, nor under the earth. The asylum of the Just is there," pointing to the heavens. "That which is written in the books of the prophets must be accomplished."
"Young man," answered I, mildly, "you oblige me to convert my request into an order. The safety of the province, which has been confided to my care, requires it. You must observe more moderation in your discourses. Do not infringe. My orders you know. May happiness attend you. Farewell."
"Prince of the earth," replied Jesus, "I came not to bring war into the world, but peace, love and charity. I was born the same day on which Augustus Caesar gave peace to the Roman world. Persecution proceeds not from me. I expect it from others, and will meet it in obedience to the will of my Father, who has shown me the way. Restrain, therefore, your worldly prudence. It is not in your power to arrest the victim at the foot of the Altar of expiation."
So saying, he disappeared like a bright shadow behind the curtains of the palace.
[Concluded in our next issue.]
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"THE RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION."
A subscriber inquires for the signification of this expression. We reply: The difficulty to the English student arises from the word damnation, which is a mistranslation of the Greek word krisis. The Revised Version renders the expression, "The resurrection of judgment," which conveys the true sense much more clearly, although not entirely so; because the word judgment is so often understood to mean sentence merely, whereas it really signifies trial, including, of course, the sentence at its conclusion. The sense of the passage is: Some (the Church) will have passed their trial and will be resurrected to their reward; while others will awake to a trial for life, during the Millennial age, when Christ and his Church will be the judges.--`1 Cor. 6:2`.
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INTERNATIONAL S.S. LESSONS.
SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES, WHERE THESE LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL.
THE GRACIOUS CALL.
LESSON VI., FEBRUARY 7, `ISAIAH 55:1-13`.
Golden Text.--"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found; call ye upon him while he is near."--`Isa. 55:6`.
In our last lesson--`Isa. 53:1-12`--the Prophet brought to view the "Lamb of God" whose sacrifice would take away the sin of the world, and thus prepare the way, legally, for the glorious restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began.--`Acts 3:19-21`.
This lesson opens with the gracious invitation, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." This at once calls to mind the very similar invitation of `Rev. 22:17`--"And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come; and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." It will be observed that the call in both cases is only to those who desire the water of life: "every one that thirsteth" and "whosoever will" may have it; but it will not be forced upon any. Here, as frequently in the Scriptures, water is mentioned as a symbol of truth (See also `John 4:10-14`; `Rev. 7:17`); consequently the invitation to these is to accept or partake of the favor of everlasting life through obedience to the truth.--`John 17:17`.
Isaiah also compares this sanctifying and life-giving draught to exhilarating wine and nourishing milk, which the thirsty, who desire it and have nothing to give in exchange for it, may have without money and without price. The truth or water of life thus offered is the good news of redemption and consequent restitution to perfection and eternal life, through "the precious blood of Christ," "shed for many [for all] for the remission of sins." (`Matt. 26:28`.) Since we were all bankrupt and had no means wherewith to purchase so great a treasure, those who value it will gratefully appreciate its offer as a free gift, without money and without price.
But though these two invitations are virtually the same, the student will observe that that of `Rev. 22:17` is due in the Millennial age, when the now espoused virgin Church will have become the Bride of Christ. Then the Spirit and the Bride (who has no existence as the Bride yet) will say, Come, etc. But that the invitation of `Isaiah 55:1` is intended for those thirsting for truth during the Gospel age is manifest from `verses 2 and 3`, which show that those of this class have not only been desirous of the truth, but that they have been diligently, though hitherto vainly, searching for it. In hope of finding the truth, they have been spending their money for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfieth not. In the Millennial age, none will thus vainly search for truth; for then "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea," and none will teach his neighbor, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know him from the least of them to the greatest of them (`Isa. 11:9`; `Jer. 31:34`); and the way of life will be so plain that a wayfaring man, though unlearned, shall not err therein. (`Isa. 35:8`.) But such is not the case now, when hundreds of conflicting creeds jar and jangle with both reason and Scripture, each one saying to the bewildered inquirer, "This is the way of truth: walk ye in it." Such bewildered, yet earnest, thirsting souls the Lord here counsels to leave the unsatisfying portion and to hearken diligently to his Word, saying, "Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." The reference
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here is to the good plan of God, the clear unfolding of which, in these last days, is meat and drink in due season for the household of faith.
The invitation is synonymous with that of `Rev. 18:4` to the same class, to come out of Babylon (confusion--the confusion of sectarianism); for while they remain in those systems of error, endeavoring to support and defend them, they are prejudiced and blinded against God's truth, wherever it conflicts with their creeds, so that they cannot progress in knowledge while they thus continue to spend their "money"--their influence and their labor-- for that which is not bread and which satisfieth not.
But, thank God, there is a satisfying portion for those who earnestly crave it, and some are eating that goodly portion, and their souls are delighting themselves in fatness. Let the thirsty hear further the gracious invitation, "Incline your ear [turn your ear away from the clash of conflicting creeds, and incline it towards God's own precious word, in simple faith
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accepting all of its testimony, notwithstanding the testimony of men to the contrary], and come unto me: hear [my word] and your soul shall live."
To those who thus heed the invitation there is a special promise given, over and above the promise of life and the satisfaction now, of receiving this gift by faith. It is this: "I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." [He will make an agreement with such that they may share in those sure, holy promises which belong to his beloved Son--the kingdom, power and glory of the world to come.] The name David signifies beloved; and the Apostle shows (`Acts 13:33,34`) that it here refers to our Lord, the Beloved Son of God. And not only is the name David sometimes used in prophecy, as here, to refer to God's beloved Son, but David himself frequently figures as a type of our Lord, as in `Psalm 22:1,17,18`. Moreover, "the sure mercies" or holy promises here referred to as belonging to our Lord, and in which we of this Gospel age are invited to share with him, were made to King David (`2 Sam. 7:8-16`) and will evidently have a partially literal fulfilment, although the substance is in Christ.
These sure mercies or holy things of David (Christ) are clearly set forth in `Psalm 89:20-37`, to be--
(1) That the Lord would anoint him to be a great king, and that he would establish his throne forever--as long as the sun and moon endure;
(2) That no enemy should have advantage over him, but that all should be made subservient to him;
(3) That God's covenant to bless all the families of the earth should stand fast with him, or be fulfilled by his reign;
(4) That his children (by redemption and regeneration) should have such reformatory discipline under his reign as would be necessary for their correction and establishment in righteousness;
(5) And that all the willing and obedient who shall profit by the discipline shall endure forever--that thus he might see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.
`Verse 5` shows how the work will progress among the people of the world after the Christ has been glorified--after all the members of the "body" have filled up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ and entered into his glory.--`Col. 1:24`.
The `succeeding verses` picture for us the blessed opportunities of the Millennial age and the fulness of provision there for all to come into full harmony with God's Kingdom through the Christ.
`Verse 6` shows that when God does thus reveal his grace it must not be trifled with. God has graciously appointed a day [a thousand years--the Millennium] in which he will judge the world in righteousness--granting to each the fullest knowledge and opportunity for a return to his favor and to its reward, everlasting life; but God has determined to "make an end of sin and to bring in everlasting righteousness," and those who do not "seek the Lord while he may be found" will be accounted unworthy of further judgment [trial] and will perish in the second death as lovers of unrighteousness. (`Rev. 21:8`.) Or, as elsewhere stated, when God shall raise up to glory and dominion this Great Prophet, Priest and King (the Lord and his body or bride), it will come to pass that the soul that will not hear [obey] that Prophet shall be cut off from [life] among his people.--`Acts 3:22,23`.
`Verse 7`. That will not be a time for pardoning wicked men, but for pardoning those who desire to forsake their wicked ways and thoughts. Nor are we to understand that the forsaking of the sin brings the pardon, aside from the sacrifice of Christ: this is merely stating the conditions upon which all during the Millennial age will share its favors. `Preceding verses` and chapters have shown how the "Beloved" first, by the will of God, died as the redemption price of Adam and his race, and in consequence inherited the "sure mercies"--the privilege of blessing the world by giving to each full knowledge and a righteous trial for life everlasting.
`Verses 9-11` take note of the present blindness of mankind respecting the gracious character of God--that they will not believe so gracious a message even when it is called to their attention. God reasons with such and shows them why they do not believe that he will be so gracious as he here promises, saying, My plans are not as you would plan, nor my ways of executing my plan such as you would surmise--mine are higher than yours. These my promises are as sure to bring blessings ultimately to all [whether they will hear or whether they will forbear; whether or not they will seek the Lord when he thus draws near], as my blessings now are extended to all--the sun shining upon the just and the unjust and the rain coming upon the evil and the good. "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." I have declared that in the Seed of Abraham (Christ and the elect Church--`Gal. 3:16,29`) all the families of the earth shall be blessed,
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and the whole earth shall be filled with my glory. Although men may count me slack and suppose that this promise and also the promise to bring punishment upon the wicked will never be fulfilled, they are mistaken: they overlook the fact that a thousand years with men are as one day with me. The day so long promised shall come--the day of blessing and restitution to all who shall prove their love of righteousness --the day of vengeance upon all who shall prove their love of iniquity.--`2 Peter 3:8`.
`Verses 12,13` recount in symbolic terms the Millennial blessings of peace and joy for all who love righteousness. Instead of the thorn [the wicked man who wounds and injures his fellow creatures] shall be the fir tree [an evergreen tree, representative of a man possessing everlasting life], having inherent grace and fatness: "his leaf fadeth never."
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THE NEW COVENANT.
LESSON VII., FEBRUARY 14, `JER. 31:27-37`.
Golden Text.--"I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more."--`Verse 34`.
The opening verses of this lesson (`verses 27,28`) point to the return of God's favor to Israel according to the flesh, and have no reference to spiritual Israel, as is clearly evident. `Verse 10` confirms the assurance, saying, "Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and tell it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattereth Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd his flock." `Verse 27` mentions Israel and Judah both, which might at first appear to teach that God has a different blessing for them and that the distinction which had its start after the death of Solomon is to be perpetuated. But no: we see no distinction in the blessings enumerated. `Subsequent verses` ignore all distinctions, thus showing that the object in mentioning both is to prevent any from getting the idea that only the ten tribes would be blessed in the future, and not the two tribes for a time known distinctively as Judah. The distinction really ended with the restoration from Babylon (`Hosea 1:11`); and our Lord and the Apostles used the name Israel as a general name.
It is undeniable by either Jew or Gentile that ever since Messiah's rejection, five days before his crucifixion, when he said to them, "Your house is left desolate," Israel has been under divine displeasure, tempest-tossed all over the world. Surely God has watched over them, as foretold, "to pluck up and to break down and to throw down and to destroy and to afflict" them; and the faithful performance of the evil part of the promise is an assurance of the ultimate fulfilment of the promised blessings. `Jer. 16:13-18` shows the same rejection and punishment of fleshly Israel, promises the same regathering and blessing, and indicates the time when it will commence. See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., Chap. VII.
But while `verses 27 and 28`, and `verses 36 and 37`, refer to fleshly Israel alone, we are glad that others as well as Israel shall have a share in the blessings of the New Covenant related in `verses 24 to 34`. The divine method of hiding truths until the due time for revealing them is peculiar to the Bible. As with the doctrines of Election and Free Grace, some affirm the one and deny the other, and the majority stumble into partial error on one side or the other, while in reality both are taught and both are true, so it is with the majority in studying prophecies of which Israel is the theme. Some will contend that it is fleshly Israel, while others as vehemently claim everything for spiritual Israel--the Gospel Church. The fact is that both are represented in prophecy, and it
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is only necessary to rightly divide the word of truth to see them both and their respective portions.
Israel as a nation had certain inalienable promises yet to be inherited as a nation (`Rom. 11:26-32`), but it was also a typical people. As we have already shown, they as a people and their age and their ceremonies, sacrifices, etc., typified the Gospel Church of the present age. (MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., pages 201-248.) Moreover, they serve again in other respects as a type of those people of all nations who, during the Millennium, will accept the opportunities then offered, and come into covenant relations with God. In this latter sense they are before us in this prophecy of the blessings of the New Covenant. They represent not merely the faithful ones of the natural seed of Abraham, but all who, under those favorable conditions of the times of restitution, will believe God and seek to serve him, as did Abraham.
As proving that Israel typified God's general blessing for the world, notice their three divisions, and what each division represented. (1) Priests, called out from the tribe of Levi and specially consecrated. These, we know, typified Christ our Chief Priest and his faithful, consecrated "little flock," the Royal Priesthood. (2) The Levites, who represented the general household of faith who serve the tabernacle and carry along the work financially and otherwise, yet never see the holy things, "the deep things," in any clear and definite manner. (`Num. 4:5-15`.) (3) The people of Israel, for whom the priesthood made sacrifices and offerings for sins, effecting their atonement and the establishment of the Covenant between them
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and God. These were typical, as well as the Priests and Levites. As the typical sacrifices were made for the people of Israel who desired harmony with God, they typified the better sacrifices of Christ made for the sins of the whole world, who might come unto God by him.
It is when Israel is thus seen to be the type of the repentant, reconciled world that we begin to get a conception of the length and breadth, the height and depth of God's great plan as it embraces "whosoever will" of all the families of the earth. It is when we get this comprehensive view that we understand the Apostle's frequent expression--to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. The worthy, faithful Israelites after the flesh, especially those tried prophets and patriarchs of past dispensations, will take first rank in the blessings of the repentant world under the Millennial reign of Christ. But every promise and blessing to them under the New Covenant, will be also in as full measure to the numberless class whom they typify. No wonder, then, the Apostle reasons on this question that the promises of God to Israel imply life from the dead and general blessing. His words are, "If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?"-- `Rom. 11:15,30-33`.
Realizing, then, that the blood of Christ sealed the New Covenant, not alone for Israel, but, as well, for all the world whom Israel typified, we see that whatever shall be declared true of Israel under that New Covenant will be true as well of all who, after the selection of the royal priesthood, shall become Israelites indeed, by the circumcision of the heart, when the full knowledge of the truth shall, in due time, reach the Jew first and afterward all men.
`Verses 29,30`. "In those days"--days future at the time of the prophecy, and days still future, which shall be indicated by the return of divine favor to Israel--"In those days, they shall say no more, 'The fathers have eaten a sour grape and the children's teeth are set on edge.' For every one [who then dies] shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge." The "teeth on edge" represent the heredity of sickness and death by the human family, and the "sour grape" represents Adam's original sin, repeated and emphasized in his children. We as a race die for Adam's sin, the effects of which we inherit, as also saith the Apostle. (`Rom. 5:12`.) As a part of the New Covenant sealed by the blood of Christ, this present state of things which has continued for over six thousand years is to give place to a new order; and none shall any longer die, as now, for Adam's sin; but whoever dies will die for his own wilful sin--the second death. It will be the second death because the first death sentence covered all. By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death as the result of sin; and thus death passed upon all.
The death of our Lord, "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all," was the full payment to justice of the penalty which came upon Adam, and through him by heredity upon all his race; so that he who paid our penalty thus ratified or made possible the New Covenant under which Israel first and then all the world shall be blessed, and whosoever will may be recovered to everlasting life. Adamic death or the first death, or, as people generally miscall it, natural death, will entirely cease as soon as the Great Priest, Prophet and King (head and body complete) shall take the control of earth's affairs and introduce to Israel, and to the world through Israel, the New Covenant. None, after that, shall die, unless, being proved unworthy of life, they come under condemnation to the second death, for personal, wilful disobedience against fullest knowledge and opportunity.--`Acts 3:22,23`.
`Verses 31 and 32` clearly point out that Israel must not expect these favors as a part of their Law Covenant made with them at Mt. Sinai, when they were on their way from Egypt to Canaan, which covenant they failed entirely to keep, and from which, consequently, they must expect no blessing. They must learn that this favor comes as a result of another--a new covenant; and in learning that, they will learn about him whom they pierced, whose death ratified or made effective this New Covenant. Thus they shall look upon him whom they pierced, and, thank God, they shall mourn as they come to see the actual facts.--`Zech. 12:10`.
`Verses 33 and 34` particularize some of the blessings and advantages of the Millennial age under the New Covenant, contrasting them with Israel's Law Covenant experiences. The Law Covenant written on tables of stone was easily forgotten by the typical people, and God was continually reminding them of their unfaithfulness, and chastising them by sending them into captivity among the nations, by sending blights, drouths, etc., and by sending his prophets to reprove their idolatries (`Jer. 7:25`); but the Israel who will enter into the New Covenant with God, in Christ, shall not be so. It shall be introduced by a greater prophet and mediator than Moses. The Christ shall be Jehovah's agent in carrying out all of its blessed provisions. Its law, Love, will
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be gradually written in the hearts of men during that Millennial age; and so completely will outward sin be kept under control, and so fully will temptations to forsake God be excluded, and so general will be the diffusion of the true knowledge of God (`Heb. 2:14`; `Isa. 11:9`), that it will no longer be necessary, as in the past and present, to be always preaching, "know the Lord;" for they shall all know him from the least of them to the greatest of them. And under this New Covenant, God (through Christ, the mediator of that New Covenant, who sealed it by the sacrifice of himself as our ransom price) will not only instruct all fully, and write his law in their hearts, but he will forgive their iniquities and remember no more their sins, i.e., of such as in that favored time of knowledge shall accept of the privileges offered and enter into the New Covenant conditions, obeying the law of love from the heart as it is written there by the finger of God--by the Great Prophet--the Christ.
It will require the entire Millennial age to re-write in the heart of man the law of God-- the law of love. We say re-write, for the law was written in man's heart, in his very constitution, when God created him in his own likeness. The law on tables of stone was given to Israel after two thousand years of falling had almost effaced the original moral-likeness. "When they knew God they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."--`Rom. 1:21,22,28`.
But God foreknew that the Law Covenant, made at Sinai, and the typical sacrifices for sin which were a part of it, could never take away sin nor make (Israel) the comers thereunto perfect; and he designed it only as a lesson to Israel and the world to point out the real remedy for sin and to foreshadow the better New Covenant and its superior arrangements for the relief of sinners at the hands of the Mediator like unto, but far superior to Moses.
God gave a figure of his original law written in the heart of man and the renewed law as it will be re-written under the New Covenant. When Moses first went into the Mount he received two tables of the law, perfect, from the hand of God--representing the perfect man in the likeness of God, as he came from God's hand. But those tables of the law were dashed in pieces when Moses reached the camp, representing how the fall into sin has almost destroyed the law of God from the hearts of men, effacing the likeness of the Creator. God's method of replacing the broken tablets of the law was an illustration of how he purposes to restore his likeness and re-write his law in the hearts of all who desire to be in harmony with him under the New Covenant. He told Moses to hew out, polish and prepare two tables of stone, and promised to re-write the law thereon. So Christ, whom Moses typified, is to prepare mankind ("whosoever will") for the writing of the law of God. Christ does this, first of all by giving the ransom for all, secondly by bringing all who desire it back into harmony with God and into a full knowledge of the truth, which, as God's pen, will re-engrave the law of Love and godliness in all obedient hearts.
ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM EARNEST WORKERS.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--Just a word to say we are all well and are still rejoicing in the glorious Truth and endeavoring to overcome through the merits of our dear Lord and Redeemer, who has bought us and loves us.
Our time is at present all taken up with things at home, and this seems to be the Master's will according to our judgment.
Find enclosed a draft for $200.00 which is for the Master and for his work to be used as he may direct. We are his stewards in those things. He can trust some of his saints with this world's goods, knowing that they are in harmony with himself, and as he wants, they are perfectly willing to assist in any way they can in his work. So, dear Brother, just use this as your judgment may direct for the Master.
With kindest love to Sister Russell and yourself, in which Sister Webb joins, I am yours in the glorious hope, W. J. WEBB.
[Our dear Bro. W., in addition to the financial aid he is able to give to the Lord's work, has several times so arranged his affairs as to give some months to the Colporteur work, in which Sister W. also joined, taking their two young boys along and sending them to school in whatever town they chose for the work. The little fellows gladly helped in the distribution of tracts and delivery of books, being interested in the truth to the extent that their young minds can comprehend it. God bless the household where his name is enshrined in every heart.--EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I must write to tell you how exceedingly interested I have been in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. III., which I spied out in a bookstore in Los Angeles. I enclose 50 cents, for which I would like you to send me at once Vols. I and II of the series. I would also much like a sample or two of your paper--ZION'S WATCH TOWER--for if it is what I expect it to be, after DAWN Vol. III., I shall at once become a subscriber. Volume III., THY KINGDOM COME, is already circulating among my friends.
Yours in the waiting for Christ's Kingdom,
Pastor First Baptist Church.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Enclosed you will find an order for twenty books, together with money order in payment for the same. I arrived in Buffalo on Friday evening. Cannot tell just how long I shall be here, but not a day longer than is necessary to get my clothing in order for winter. I had a pleasant and fairly profitable canvass in W__________. It is a small place, with only about 650 inhabitants, but I found a few precious souls, a few who, it seems to me, are all ready for the truth. I sold a cloth bound set of DAWNS to the president of the library association to be put in the circulating library there. Nearly all my sales there were of full sets. I did not have books enough to fill them all, and am to go back again.
I called on the Presbyterian minister, a man of about fifty-five or sixty years, I think. I said, I called to show you MILLENNIAL DAWN, and before I got a chance to say another word, he said, "I am glad you came, I have always time to look at anything that treats on that subject." Then he took the books and spent an hour and a half looking at them. I could not get away. He read the preface and table of contents, and then extracts here and there through the books, asking me questions now and then, as to what your books taught about this or that. At last he said, "I believe this will prove to be the most valuable and reliable work I have on these questions, and I am going to write you a line with regard to it that I want you to use here in W__________, and in any place else where it will be of any help to you; and I hope you will urge every member of my congregation to buy the books. I wish you might leave them in every house in town." He then wrote a paper which reads as follows:
"Having examined very carefully the books, MILLENNIAL DAWN, by Charles T. Russell, it gives me great pleasure to recommend it as a reliable and profitable treatment of its subject, and I would advise any one interested in and desiring to study the subject to purchase this work. Pastor Presbyterian Church__________."
Also the principal of the school there says his father, a Baptist minister, has the books, and values them very highly. It seems to me strange that any can read the books, and value them, and still retain their positions as pastors or as members of any denomination.
I believe that I am improving a little in my work, and I do hope I shall learn to be a good worker. I do not like to do inferior work. I want to be able to sell as many books as other colporteurs do.
I wish I could tell you half how precious the blessed truths are becoming to me, but I cannot. I read them over and over again, and they are like the Bible itself, in that they never grow old.
Yours in the harvest work, MRS. M. PECK.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--The package containing Teacher's Bible and DAWN, Vol. III., came duly, also your welcome letter of the 20th inst. Volume Third is far beyond what I could either ask or think. The Teacher's Bible is all that is claimed for it.
As I look back now and view the way the Lord has led me, I can praise him with my whole heart for sending unworthy me this glorious harvest message, and also in giving me an ear to hear it. It is favor upon favor indeed. In looking back I realize how apt, yea, almost sure, I would have been, ere this, to have been caught in some of the many snares of deceptive errors that, according to predictions, abound at this time, had it not been that the Good Shepherd had reached out a helping hand in the shape of the WATCH TOWER publications just in time.
My dear Brother in Christ, I must tell you, for your encouragement, that I am striving daily to put off the old man and to put on the new. I have nothing to boast of, though, for I fail so often; but my full confidence is in Christ and the robe that he provides, and our Father has promised to give power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. I am striving to abide in him by abiding in his word, that I may bear some fruit. Many thanks for that timely article on fruit-bearing in the May TOWER.
I shall do whatever my hands find to do, praying earnestly that the Lord of the harvest may open an effectual door for the harvest message among my own countrymen according to the flesh, that they also may be sanctified by the Truth, and made ready for the glorious consummation of the hope.
Praying God's blessing upon you and yours, your brother in Christ, CHARLES STRAND.
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
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SPECIAL ITEMS FOR REGULAR READERS.
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HARVEST LABORERS.--PRAY FOR THEM!
Brother and Sister Adamson have nearly finished their present field of labor in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have about 4000 Millennial Dawns circulating there now. They have done and are doing a good work--gathering ripe wheat and witnessing to others. Sunday Meetings held by Brother A. help to water the good word of present truth which he scatters during the week by circulating MILLENNIAL DAWN.
Sisters Harper and Weir will soon be a year in Louisville, Ky., and vicinity. The Lord is blessing them, and through their labors quite a number are coming to the Light. They are faithful soldiers of the cross.
Brothers Rogers and West have been in New York City for some months past. They already have over 3000 DAWNS in circulation. They report some very interesting meetings held
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lately--well attended and evidently profitable. God bless them.
Brothers Leigh, Demming and VanHook have spent the last nine months in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. They are earnest and faithful and are blessed and a blessing wherever they go.
Sisters Erlenmyer, Clark and Peck are still laboring in southern New York. We have frequent proofs of their zeal and willingness to endure hardness as good soldiers of the cross-- bearing the good tidings to those who have ears to hear. Their labors are not in vain in the Lord.
Brother Wise is still in the harvest field, in Ohio, seeking the ripe wheat, and, thank the Lord, finding some ready to be garnered.
Brother Smith is making a thorough canvass of Pittsburgh and vicinity. He is letting the light shine and attracting the attention of some of the children of the light. In the portion of the city already gone over, he has circulated over 2000 copies of DAWN, which, sooner or later, will bring results.
Brothers Haynes and Thorn are in Massachusetts. They have recently circulated over 1800 copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN in Lynn, and report considerable interest among readers.
Sisters Vogel and Boehmer are in the work in eastern Pennsylvania, circulating the present truth--"meat in due season"--and accomplishing good, we trust.
Brother and Sister Rogers in Detroit, Brother and Sister Utley in Minneapolis, Brother C. C. Wright in Iowa, Brother Hewes in Philadelphia, Brother and Sister Wallace in western Pennsylvania, Brother Brown in Michigan, Brother Brewer in Atlanta, Ga., Brother Herr in central Pennsylvania, Brother Marchant in Canada, and Brother Dailey in Ohio, are all serving the Lord and his cause earnestly and with success.
Besides the above are some faithful ones who have been obliged to suspend operation temporarily from sickness and other reasons, who, we trust, will soon be in the work again; and who even now, we are sure, are not idle.
But we have only mentioned a few of the noble army of the Lord who are daily battling for the truth--seeking to free themselves and others of the Lord's household from the chains of error and sin. We believe that more than one-half of the WATCH TOWER subscribers are true laborers in the harvest field, whose chief aim in life is, not money, nor pleasure, nor fame, nor any other selfish, earthly object, but who seek chiefly, and with their best endeavors, not only to gain for themselves a share in the Kingdom promised, but to help others to so run as to obtain the same provision of God's grace.
Dear co-laborers, remember one another at the throne of the heavenly grace, and remember us also of the TOWER office, as we do you all. --`2 Thes. 3:1`; `Heb. 13:18`.