VOL. XIII. MAY 15, 1892. NO. 10.
"THE GLORY THAT EXCELLETH."
"For if the ministry of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory; for that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect by reason of the glory that excelleth."-- `2 Cor. 3:9,10`.
The Apostle is here contrasting the two covenants --the law covenant, which ministered only condemnation to death to those under it; and the new covenant in Christ, which ministers righteousness, the imputed righteousness of Christ, or justification to all who by faith in Christ come under its gracious provisions. And while he points us to the superior glory of the new covenant, which glory is as yet only apprehended by faith, he reminds us of the glory of the old covenant, and calls attention to the typical character of that glory.
In referring to the law covenant as the ministration of death and as less glorious than the new covenant, it is not the Apostle's object to underrate the truly glorious character of that covenant; nor does his language, when properly understood, do so. Let the reader call to mind his noble defense of that covenant and of the righteous law upon which it was based, when he said, "The law is holy, and the commandment [to obey it, and to expect its reward of life for such obedience, is] holy and just and good." (`Rom. 7:12`.) There was nothing wrong with the holy, just and good law of God: it was a law "ordained unto life." (`Verse 10`.) Its object was to grant life to all its obedient subjects. And God's first covenant or promise of life on condition of obedience was sure to all the obedient. But nevertheless, says the Apostle, this law, though it was "ordained unto life" proved "to be unto death." (`Verse 10`.) Why? how is this? It is because of our inability, as a fallen race, to keep that law, no matter how sincerely and earnestly we endeavor to keep it. We have inherited from our fallen parents mental, moral and physical infirmities which incapacitate us from keeping that law, which, to a perfect man, would be easy and natural. All that we imperfect men and women can now do is to strive against the increasingly downward tendencies of the fallen nature and to press painfully forward toward that perfect standard of character which the law of God requires.
But even though we do thus strive against sin and press toward perfection, there is no promise of life for the striving. The covenant or promise of life is only for actual conformity, without the slightest deflection for a single instant, from the very dawn of existence and forever. This was the covenant made with Adam in Eden, and the very first small act of disobedience forfeited the covenanted blessing of life: and from that moment forward the dying man and his dying posterity were incapable in their dying condition of obeying that law. Hence that law which was "ordained unto life" (whose principles are not only worthy of life, but are absolutely necessary to life and happiness) proved, after the fall, to be "unto death," because no man was able to comply with its covenanted conditions of life. Then,
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as the result of sin, the negative side only of the covenant came into force: Because Adam (who was originally able to keep inviolate the law of God then inscribed in his nature) had forfeited the blessings affirmed on condition of obedience, he and the race represented in him came under its negative provision of death, the absence of life.
Since the whole race was thus involved in sin and brought under the negative provision of the first covenant, which provision was unto death, if God would ever again offer them life, it must be under some new covenant whose prescribed conditions man could fulfil. Such a covenant Israel, not discerning the philosophy of God's plan, thought they had. Theirs, however, was not a new covenant: it was the very same that was made with Adam in Eden--a promise of eternal life on condition of perfect and continuous obedience to God's perfect law. It was given to Israel on tables of stone; but it was given to Adam written on the fleshly tablet of the heart: in other words, his was a law-inscribed nature. Adam could have kept that law, but Israel could not; and its presentation to Israel on tables of stone, with the promise of life if they should keep it, was not with any expectation on God's part that they could keep it, though he knew they would try to do so, and many of them made commendable progress. It was merely to convince them that they could not do it, and thus to prepare them to accept the favor of life upon new conditions, which God afterward would provide--viz., the conditions of a new covenant. "The law was a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ."
The making of a new covenant with man was a legal impossibility while yet, under the negative provision of the first covenant, he was still condemned to death. He must be released
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from that condemnation before anything could be granted to him. Such a release, he in his completely bankrupt condition, and under the just sentence of death, was utterly unable to secure; and no man could by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for his soul, because all were under the same condemnation. Thus we see that man's first probation ended when the old Edenic covenant passed away, leaving him under its condemnation to death. And since he could not be under condemnation and on probation at the same time, there must be both a legal release from the condemnation of the old covenant and the establishment of a new covenant before a new probation or trial could be instituted. The former was accomplished by the sacrificial death of Christ, our Redeemer; and the latter will be granted to the world in general in the Millennial age. But to a select few, the Church, it is granted in the present Gospel age. God devised and executed the wonderful plan for our deliverance: he sent his only begotten Son, who redeemed us from death by the sacrifice of himself --who "gave his flesh [his human existence] for the life of the world," and who was raised again--not as a man, because he had sacrificed his human nature for our redemption, but as a spirit being, of the divine nature, henceforth to be unto us a merciful high priest who, having redeemed us by his blood, might afterward by his life and teachings lead us back to harmony with God, and to the original likeness to him.
The release from condemnation having been thus provided for all who desire to accept it (for God will not force his favors upon any who do not appreciate or desire them), God now makes a new covenant with all who still love his law and desire to keep it. This new covenant is based still upon that same inflexible and gloriously perfect law whose integrity can never be impeached nor its force abated, but it contains a promise which exactly meets the conditions of our case. Having shown us that we cannot, in our fallen condition, fully obey his law, and that we are all condemned to death by it, but that provision has been made for our release from that condemnation and for a return to divine favor and life through Christ, God now covenants with all such who are at heart loyal to his law, and who are therefore trying to the best of their ability to keep it, to give them life on the simple condition of faith in Christ and continued loyalty to truth and righteousness.
Glorious covenant! how perfectly it fits our case. "For what the law [covenant] could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh [because
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of the infirmities of our flesh on account of sin], God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh [the human likeness], and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh [condemned the sin to an overthrow], that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For they that are after the flesh [who have no ambition to keep the law of God, but simply try to please the flesh--the fallen, unregenerate nature] do mind [observe and follow] the things of the flesh; but they that are after the spirit [who desire and endeavor to cultivate in themselves the spirit of God], mind [observe and follow] the things of the spirit. To be [thus] carnally minded is death [Those so minded are still under condemnation--unjustified]; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."--`Rom. 8:3-6`.
While we are thus shown the blessed provision of the new covenant for the infirmities of our flesh, the fact is here made very clear that faith in Christ will profit nothing except to those who love God's law and who desire and endeavor to keep it, and who yet, realizing and acknowledging their short-comings, humbly claim the promised boon of life as the gift of God's bounty, through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord, whose righteousness, imputed to us by faith, makes up for our deficiency. Thanks be unto God, who giveth us this great victory over death and over the downward tendencies of our fallen nature, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
It will be observed that these two covenants are really one in substance and purpose; and that the only difference existing between them is in the special provision of the new covenant which releases man from the condemnation incurred under the old, and enables him to fulfil its righteous conditions by proxy (through Christ) in so far as he is unable to fulfil them actually and personally.
The old covenant required perfect obedience to the fullest extent, as our Lord explained it (See `Matt. 5:21,22,27,28`), but the new covenant makes allowance for all the slips occasioned by our imperfections and takes cognizance of our efforts to discern and follow its spirit--its general disposition--while Christ our Redeemer makes up for our deficiencies, our faith in him being counted to us for righteousness --for full obedience to the perfect law. And it was with reference to this difference that the Apostle wrote (`2 Cor. 3:6`): "God hath made us able ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter [the absolute, strict, personal conformity to every jot and tittle of the law, as required under the old covenant] killeth, but the spirit [the manifest disposition to obey the law, and the acceptance of the righteousness of Christ to supplement our deficiency--the conditions of the new covenant] giveth life."
This expression of the Apostle has been greatly abused by some who wish to have this understood as a general principle laid down by the Apostle for the interpretation of the Scriptures. Wishing to put various fanciful interpretations on the Word of God, different from its plain and obvious meaning, they call the former the spirit of the Word, while the real meaning of the Scriptures they thus characterize as "the letter which killeth." Very reckless, if not indeed deceitful, handling of the Word of God is this, and very far indeed from the Apostle's thought. Let the true sheep beware of all such false teachers who thus open wide the flood-gates of error and endeavor to swamp the Church in human philosophies and sophistries.
It was that old covenant of absolutely perfect obedience to the very letter--to every jot and tittle of the law of God--that killed every man who came under its conditions, except the one perfect man--"the man Christ Jesus." To him alone was it a ministration of life. Under it he stood approved of God, and his willing sacrifice of the life to which he was thus proved worthy was therefore accepted by God as our ransom-price. But the new covenant, which requires only that we have the spirit or disposition of Christ with reference to God and his law, giveth life: "Now the Lord is that spirit" (`2 Cor. 3:17`)--he is a manifestation or pattern to us of the spirit or disposition which we should have toward God's law. We should love it as he loved it (`Psa. 119:97`); we should study and endeavor to conform to it as he did; and we should glory in it and by word and example
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teach it to others as he did. And in whatever heart this spirit of the Lord dwells together with the same trustful faith which he manifested in Jehovah's covenants, there indeed is liberty from the condemnation of the old covenant under which all the rest of the race still rest through Adam's transgression.
Such is our favored condition, beloved household of faith. But let us observe particularly the glory of this divine covenant. When the old covenant was given to Israel, written on tables of stone, there were great manifestations of supernatural glory: A cloud enveloped the mountain where the presence of God was manifested; and there were thunderings and lightenings and the voice of a trumpet, and the mountain quaked.--`Exod. 19`.
And when Moses came down from the mountain the skin of his face shone so that Israel could not behold him without a veil between. Such was the glory of that first covenant, which proved to be only a ministration of death. But the Apostle gives us to understand that that glory was only a typical representation of the greater glory of the new covenant--the glory that excelleth. That glory we may now behold by faith; but let us not, like Israel, put a vail before it, so that we cannot see it; for we all with open (unveiled) faces may behold in the mirror of God's Word the glory of the Lord as revealed in this new covenant. And as we thus behold his glory--the glory of his majesty and wisdom and power and love and grace--we ourselves shall be changed, transformed, into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.--`Verse 18`.
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The following letter, addressed to a certain journal which sets before its readers a medley of conflicting doctrines, is well worthy of notice; and the same remarks would apply to many more which evidently are not called of God to any such service. Our Lord said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (`John 8:31,32`). And we have no commission to set before the household of faith anything which we do not believe to be truth. "If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle?" The letter is as follows:--
"Dear Brother--The enclosed I clipped recently from your journal. Gladly would I help spread the truth of God, gladly shed light upon the path of those who are in darkness; but really, my brother, it seems to me your readers would hardly know what to believe, so varied are the theories set before them. And I ask you in all candor, Is such an array of doctrine conducive to stability of faith, or to leading the unsettled into the truth? Is it not rather calculated to drive them farther into skepticism and doubt, until they make final shipwreck amid the breakers of error or upon the rocks of infidelity? My own experience leads me to think it is. Conflicting theories, boldly advocated, came near driving me to doubt everything; but grace triumphed and I was led to the rock foundation of harmony which does exist in the Word of God despite the efforts of men, whether put forth with evil or good intentions, to cause the world to think otherwise.
"I was much impressed with an article in the first number sent me, with the following title, 'What do we Believe?' You declared yourself to be in the position of Paul, only on a very different subject, when he partly believed. In short, you acknowledged yourself 'unsettled on a good many points.' You say 'you are just foolish enough to investigate, and for that reason are at present a little agitated, but if there is a God in Israel, you believe you will be rooted and grounded in the faith.' Surely there is a God in Israel, and may he grant you to be rooted and grounded in the truth; for he has declared by the mouth of the great apostle that he 'hath from the beginning chosen us to salvation
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through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth,' thereby showing that belief of the truth is a necessary qualification for salvation. He then goes on, by the mouth of the same apostle, to exhort the Thessalonians-- and he exhorts us as well--to 'stand fast and hold the traditions which they had been taught, whether by word (of the blessed Master) or our epistle.'
"I know there are many in these days who think it of little consequence what one believes,
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if he is only sincere. It seems to me the first words of Paul above quoted would dispel that delusion of the adversary, and the second quotation should cause every one to see to it that the traditions they hold were given of God and not of men. We have a sure foundation given in the Word of God, upon which every doctrine must rest if it be of him, that of 'the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.' I would I might see you settled in the truth, and your little sheet advocating the same, instead of printing the medley of conflicting theories it now does. It is a positive fact they cannot all be truth; some of them must be errors, and we know, according to the Word, that the teaching of error overthrew the faith of some in Paul's day. Is it likely to do any different now?
"Now, my brother, in Christian love, but also in candor, I can only say I fear it is not for the good of the cause of God to present matters thus. I wish you could look at it in a different light, then study the Word by the aid of the holy Spirit to lead you into the truth, and then use printer's ink, and writer's ink, for its dissemination. Then bear in mind that no scripture is to be taken by itself: that spiritual things are to be compared with spiritual. I pray you to be settled in the truth. Could I be of any service in the accomplishment of this object, I would be glad to render aid, but I pray God to lead you and that you may be willing to be led of him. Yours in the bonds of faith in Christ, MRS.__________."
O! THE DEPTH OF DIVINE WISDOM!
"I would not choose the garden fair
Which lieth full in view,
All square and trim with faultless beds
Of scarlet edged with blue.
I love to wander unobserved
Through many a leafy nook,
And where the fragrant woodbine path
Winds downward to the brook,
With flowers in ambush, shy and sweet,
Awaiting my returning feet.
"Old ocean, too, would lose her charm
Could I her depths explore,
Or with a powerful telescope
Discern her farther shore.
I love the boundless mystery,
The tireless ebb and flow,
I love the wondrous history
That hideth deep below:
If all her secrets she should tell
Old ocean would not please me well.
"My friends were less my friends, I trow,
If I could once suppose
They had no yearnings high and strong
They ne'er to me disclose.
Kind, truthful tones of trust (regard
Implied, yet not expressed)
We hold the longest in our hearts,
And value most and best;
For, where the floods are swift and great,
The waters sometimes will abate.
"And shall I love thee less, my God,
Because in thee I find
A majesty outstripping far
The finite human mind?
Nay, rather, while for all thy grace
I bless thee and adore,
Because thy name is 'Wonderful,'
I praise thee even more.
This word within my heart I keep--
'Thy judgments are a mighty deep.'"
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THE EPISTLE OF JAMES.
"James, a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting."--`James 1:1`.
It will be observed by the careful reader that this epistle, unlike any of the other apostolic epistles, is addressed, not to the Church, the sanctified in Christ Jesus, but to the twelve tribes of Israel scattered abroad. And from the incentive to patience held out in `Chapter 5:8,9` --viz., that "the presence [Greek, parousia] of the Lord has approached," and "Behold, the Judge is standing before the door"--we see that its special application is to the present day, the day of the Lord's presence as judge. Since he did not come as judge at his first advent (`John 12:47`), the reference is manifestly to his second advent.
Notice too, that these are recognized by the
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apostle as brethren of the household of faith. (`1:2,3`.) So while this epistle is addressed to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, it is thus restricted to those who are also of the household of faith, who still have faith in the prophecies and who are getting their eyes open to see in Jesus the promised Messiah and Deliverer. We recognize it therefore, as a special message to those of scattered Israel in this day of the Lord's presence, from whom blindness is being and will be turned away, and who are coming to recognize the Lord Jesus as the promised Messiah.
This thought calls to mind the words of the prophet `Isaiah`: "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her appointed time is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." (`Chap. 40:1,2`-- see margin.) We have seen that Israel's double of chastisement was fully accomplished in the year 1878. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., page 232.) And since that time we have also seen a marked beginning and a gradual progress of the turning away of blindness from fleshly Israel. How characteristic it is of the Lord, that he should have a word of recognition and comfort recorded for those chastened and returning ones at this time, whom he is now ready to recognize by the old familiar term, "My people!"
Observe now the character of the epistle. First of all it recognizes the fact of Israel's great trials* of faith and patience as now experienced in the special persecutions and hardships which, though they regard them as calamities and with fearful forebodings of greater trouble, are really working together for good to them in driving many of them back to the land of promise and preparing them for the blessings God is shortly to bring to them. And then it bids them rejoice even on these tribulations, and exhorts to patience, faith and stability of character and to dependence in God for wisdom--for further enlightenment concerning his plan, which he assures them they shall have if they ask in faith. --`Chap. 1:1-8`.
`Verses 9-11` strike first thing at their prominent national greed for gain, exhorting them to learn to rejoice in those principles of righteousness which are destined to equalize the conditions of men, by humbling the rich and mighty and exalting the meek and humble; and showing how the rich man, as such, must pass away in the great leveling process of this day of the Lord.
`Verses 12-15` trace the inevitable course of unrighteousness--how that lust, undue desire of any kind, brings forth sin, and sin when finished brings forth death. Therefore, "Blessed is the man that endureth trial [who does not follow the course of the depraved desires]; for when he is tried [i.e., when his trial is over], he will receive the crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love him"--the everlasting life provided for all mankind who will accept it on God's conditions.
`Verses 16-18` teach that though God is permitting persecution and trial to come upon his ancient people and will make them work together for good to them, yet they must not err in attributing these things to God. (`Verses 16,13`.) Only the good gifts come from God: such, for instance, as the truth whereby you are now begotten; for know ye not that Israel is to be a kind of first fruits unto God of his creatures? Mark the expression a kind of first fruits. The very first fruit of God's plan is the glorified Christ (`Rev. 14:4`), and Israel is not first in this sense, but is to be the first-fruits unto God of the nations.
`Verses 19-25` are most appropriate words of counsel in view of these things: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren [of Israel, and of the household of faith], let every man [of you] be swift to hear [the truth of God], slow to speak, [his own opinions, and] slow to wrath [Let him not waste his time in wrathful denunciations, etc., against the persecuting powers; but in the midst of it all let him humbly and thankfully recognize the hand of Providence which is about to work out such a deliverance as Israel never knew before--`Jer. 16:14,15`]; for man's anger does not work out God's righteousness."
"Therefore, discarding all impurity and overflowing malice, embrace with meekness the implanted
*The word rendered temptations in `verse 2` should be trials, as in the Emphatic Diaglott.
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word which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves; for if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; for he beholdeth himself and goeth his way and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he, being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
`Verses 26 and 27` show the kind of character and disposition which pure religion or piety must necessarily manifest, viz., a character which refuses to be contaminated by worldly ideas and practices, and which takes delight in doing good. And if any man have not such a disposition, and the unbridled use of his tongue manifests the very reverse, a profession of piety on his part is vain and a mere self-deception.
CHAPTER II. `Verses 1-9` counsel humility and condescension to men of low estate rather than preferment of the rich, which respect to persons is a violation of that commandment of the law, to love our neighbors as ourselves. `Verse 5` points to the fact of God's choice of some of the poor of this world to be exalted as heirs of the Millennial Kingdom.
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`Verses 10-13` counsel charity and leniency in any judgment of fellow-men, in consideration of the weakness common to all, showing that if they are going to exact perfection of their fellows, that is, if they are going to judge them by the strict law of God, they also will be condemned under the same law.
`Verses 14-26` show that works of righteousness must follow a true faith, that they are inseparably linked, and that a faith which does not so manifest itself is dead.
CHAPTER III. shows that as not many are qualified to be teachers, or expounders of divine truth, and in view of the responsibility of such to God, none should undertake it who are not so qualified of God. "Do not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that [by so doing] we shall receive a severer judgment [trial]." The position of a public teacher or expounder of divine truth, while it is one of privilege, is one that must be held with meekness and sobriety, and when faithfully filled involves both labor and sacrifice. But if one assumes to become a teacher and permits his tongue to run at random according to his own imperfect will instead of the will of God, who can tell the extent of damage it may do in overthrowing the faith of many and in establishing error and beclouding the truth? But (`verses 13-16`) "Is any one wise and endued with knowledge among you, let him by honorable conduct show his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This [kind of] wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish; for where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom from above is indeed first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easily persuaded, full of mercy and of good fruits, without partiality, without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who practice peace."
CHAPTER IV. is a continuation of the exhortation to humility and brotherly love, and points out pride and selfishness and greed of gain as the causes of all the wars and misery of the past.
CHAPTER V. `Verses 1-6` show that great distress and trouble shall come upon the wealthy classes of the world who have long held a monopoly of earthly blessings. `Verses 7-9` proclaim the great Judge at the door--"The presence of the Lord has approached and behold, the Judge standeth before the door" and his wrath is about to be revealed against all evil doers. But ye, brethren, who are on the Lord's side, stablish your hearts and be patient in the midst of the great trial which shall culminate in the full establishment of the kingdom of God, under which you, as a first fruit unto God of the nations, shall be first blessed. Then follow the special counsels of `verses 10-20` encouraging to patient endurance and cheerfulness, sobriety of conduct, trust in the Lord, and patience and helpfulness toward stumbling or erring brethren, etc.
`Verse 14` also counsels their looking to the Lord for the healing of physical infirmities, and promises that the prayer of faith shall save the sick. This promise, we believe, has its
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special application in the time indicated by `verse 9`--when the Judge has arrived and the Times of Restitution have begun.
In no other time, we believe, could this promise have had full application; for had the promise been intended to apply to the whole Gospel age, and had it been verified to all who in faith claimed it, many faithful souls of the past would still be living. It would signify nothing short of full restitution and everlasting life, which cannot, according to God's plan, be granted to any until the appointed "Times of Restitution" have come. For God to make such an engagement would be to frustrate his own plans. At the time, therefore, when this message is due to Israel, and when they shall begin to recognize it, we believe that this promise may be fully claimed, and that any who ask in faith may have life and health continually renewed and need never die--the restitution time having come and the restitution work being thus begun in them. In answer to the prayer of faith together with humble confession of sin, sickness will be continually rebuked throughout the Millennial age, and health and life will be granted to all the willing and obedient.
But in order to such faith, a knowledge of the facts upon which the promise is conditioned is necessary. While we see that death still reigns, so that not one of the generations past has escaped or eluded its grasp to witness the truth of this promise to the present generation, unless we can see some qualification which limits it to some particular time, either present or future, we cannot intelligently claim the promise. And many who have claimed it before the appointed time have been greatly disappointed. We think now of two most remarkable instances of misplaced faith on this subject. One was a dear young brother in a neighboring city, fully consecrated to the Lord and leading an exemplary life, who was prostrated with consumption. He was visited by friends who encouraged him to claim this promise, which he did, refusing medical aid, and trusting to miraculous healing. But he died; and his last whisper was, "Mother, I will soon be well. God is bringing me down so low only to manifest his power in raising me up." A moment more, and all was over; and the faith of many went out with that young life.
Another instance was that of the wife of a brother from whom we heard the following circumstance related. The lady was an amiable and faithful Christian woman; she trusted in this promise, and several of her friends prayed with her and trusted for her recovery; a large circle of those who preach faith-healing were interested in the case, and her husband waited anxiously for the turning point toward health. But she died; and, said her husband to the writer, I for a time lost all faith in the Bible. But afterward, said he, mastering my feelings, I said to myself, Perhaps the old Book may be true after all, if we only knew how to read it. And since then God has been gradually leading him into the truth concerning his plan.
These instances, related to us with an inquiry for light on the subject, led to this re-examination of the epistle of James with the above conclusions. When we thus locate the promise in the appointed time, all is plain. And while the epistle, as a whole, is addressed specially to scattered and now returning Israel, which is to be a first fruit of the nations, and which in the near future will greatly need its timely counsel and encouragement, its wise and helpful counsels, warnings and promises have a general application to all whose hope, in common with the hope of fleshly Israel, is in the restitution to human perfection and all its attendant blessings. And its lessons, though recorded specially for the restitution class, are profitable to the Church as well.
When Israel comes to an understanding of the plan of God, with the systematic order of its times and seasons, they will see that the restitution time has actually come and that they may claim its precious promises at once. And so may all others who intelligently and heartily accept the truth, except those who appreciate the still higher privilege of presenting their bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, and who, in compliance with this covenant, cheerfully sacrifice the human nature even unto death, that in due time they may receive the divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ in his kingdom. MRS. C. T. RUSSELL.
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JEWISH ITEMS OF INTEREST.
THE INFLUENCE OF JEWS IN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS.
If any one suppose that the Jews are not a power in Europe even outside of the money market, he is mistaken. In England, though they number only one in eight hundred of the population, Jews recently occupied eight seats in the House of Commons. Though only two per cent. of the population of Germany, they hold in the universities seventy professors' chairs. And of the twenty-three Liberal and Progressive journals in Berlin, all but three are directly or indirectly under Jewish control. There are only 40,000 Jews in Italy, but eight of them are members of the Chamber of Deputies. In France, out of a population of 37,000,000, only 60,000 are Jews; yet, says the London "Spectator," "The Jews sit in the Senate, three in the Chamber, four in the Council of State, and two in the Supreme Council of Public Education. One Cabinet minister, M. David Raynold, is a Jew, and so are no less than ten chiefs of ministerial departments, who are probably more powerful than ministers. Three Prefects are Jews, seven Sub-Prefects, and four Inspectors General of Education. The same community furnishes two Generals of Division, three Generals of Brigade, four Colonels, one Judge of the Court of Cassation (the President) and ten Provincial Judges."--Presbyterian Banner.
The change in the position of the Jew within the last half century is one of most remarkable character. Fifty years ago the Jew was inert and imbecile: now he exercises a greater power than in the days of David and Solomon. The Jews to-day influence more people, control more bullion, and exercise more legislative power than they did when they had their temple, their land, and their sceptre. They have been stationary for eighteen centuries, and hunted into obscurity: to-day they attract wider attention than ever before in their history. Out of twelve hundred students of law in Berlin, six hundred were Jews. The Berlin and other Councils are ruled by a Jewish majority, and all offices are in the gifts of Jews. The German tradesman sinks to a secondary position alongside his Jew competitor, the best squares are filled with Jew shops, the best estates have passed into their hands. In Germany they have ousted the best families from their patrimonial possessions. This is true of Holland also. The Jew is the world's chief banker to-day. Almost the whole of the liberal press of Germany is in their hands. The two leading papers of Rome were, and possibly still are, edited by Jews. The power of the Jewish press of the continent of Europe is very great in matters political, scientific, and theological. ...As the Jew has entered the civilization of the age and become a part of it, Rabbinical Judaism has necessarily undergone considerable modification. Amongst multitudes of them in Germany, the hope of a Messiah has totally disappeared. A spirit of skepticism has laid hold of the younger generation, so that conviction has disappeared....All idealism is gone, and nothing is considered to be useful and worthy of effort but that which promises material advantage--wealth, honor, power and enjoyment. Of two thousand shops kept by Jews in the city of Paris, not over a hundred are closed on Saturday. Of the seventy thousand Jews in New York City not over twenty-five hundred are attached to the synagogue. --Missionary Herald.
One of the most remarkable facts of the present age is the eagerness with which the New Testament is being read and studied among the Jews. They are not only reading the book, each in the vernacular of the country in which he resides, but many of their number are studying it in Hebrew. It is reported that the two principle Hebrew versions of the work have had circulations exceeding that accorded to the most noted books of fiction, and a complete Hebrew commentary on the New Testament is one of the latest things to be announced as in course of publication at Leipsic. Nor is this the only Christian literature that has found ready acceptance with them. Such works as Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" and Milton's "Paradise Lost" have been translated into the same old language and meet with ready sale.
All this proves that the Hebrew is far from being the dead language most folks suppose it to be. The fact is, the study of it has been revived among the Jews in the last few years, not so much in this country as in the Old World, and it is considered probable that as many human beings now speak it, either purely or in some jargon form, as spoke it at the time of the Exodus, when the Jews are supposed to have first asserted a claim to nationality. Furthermore, it may be stated as probable that the number of Jews who are reading the New Testament in Hebrew exceeds that of the Christians who are studying the Old Testament in the
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same language. The Jew is not necessarily reading the New Testament with intent to become
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a Christian. He does so rather because the story is an important one in the history of the race, even though the divine origin of Christ may not be conceded by him. And, in fact, there is not a vast amount of difference between many of the reformed Jews and some Unitarians in matters of faith, though it may be remarked that the orthodox Hebrews are the most noted for containing among their numbers men who read the New Testament.
Another interesting point in this connection is the fact that not a few students are now disposed to believe that the Hebrew is the parent of a large part of the Saxon, German and other tongues which belong to the same sub-family of languages as they do. The work by Dr. Rodosi, recently published, in which many derivations from that to them are traced, is deserving of more attention than has yet been accorded to it, being really a remarkable production, though not the only effort made to prove a connection of lineage between the old and the comparatively new. Probably the one thing which chiefly stands in the way of accepting the theory is the fact that it is a discarded one. Up to about two centuries ago it was generally believed that the Hebrew was the parent of all other languages, and the revulsion came when it was discovered that the Latin, Greek, and most other European tongues have a close affinity with the Sanscrit, which was the language of the people who invaded India perhaps not far from the time of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. It is well known to be more difficult to obtain assent to a truth which has been once discarded because mixed with much that is false than if it had not been in such bad company. Yet it may be possible to admit a close connection without conceding all that was unwisely claimed when literary men knew far less than they do now.
There can be no doubt that the Jews are rising to a prominence to which they as a people were strangers through many centuries. They are proving their right to it in commerce, science, literature and art, and now the eyes of the whole world are turned upon them as a consequence of the persecution in Russia. It is at least in harmony with this better recognition by other peoples that they should study the history of the Christian religion as closely interwoven with their own. Hence they do well to read the New Testament, and read it, too, in the language of their forefathers.
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TO WHOM SHOULD WE PRAY?
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--At one of our recent meetings I mentioned the subject of contributing to the "Home and Foreign Missionary Fund." Although the suggestion appeared in the Nov. '91 TOWER, I had not heard a word from any of the brethren, and was greatly surprised to find so much indifference manifested. It was not until Brother A__________ mentioned the subject, and wanted an explanation, that I thought it was time to bring the matter before the meeting, which accordingly I did. There were but ten present. All, however, except one brother who has no income whatever, have promised to give something. It was suggested, instead of each individual member sending his name and the amount contributed by him, to have but one general fund, and to make it a contribution from the Church at Baltimore; to which all agreed, the amount ranging from five to twenty-five cents per week. I have not been able to see all our members, and so cannot state definitely what the total amount will be. I think, however, it will aggregate fifty or seventy-five dollars. I wish it were more.
[If this union plan seems to suit you better than the individual one, we trust, nevertheless, that the names of all contributors may be sent, that they may appear upon the Tract Society records. We like to know all the dear sheep personally as well as by groups.
In this connection we take pleasure in telling the friends that the apostolic plan of laying by weekly according as the Lord hath prospered them (`1 Cor. 16`) is proving to be a great
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blessing to the givers (who write us of their joy), as well as in forwarding the general spread of the Truth to others.--MRS. R., Secretary.]
From early childhood I had been taught to address my petitions to God the Father, for Jesus sake. In fact, it is the general custom, I believe, of the nominal church to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. Last night, however,
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at the house of Brother Davis, a lady friend who was present made a very strong plea, showing that our prayers ought to be addressed to Jesus; that in honoring him we honor the Father; and that the Father is well pleased when we go to Jesus in prayer. Furthermore, he is our head, and we, as members of his body, are dependent upon him for our life, and all power is given unto him in heaven and in earth. He is also our ambassador, and in approaching the throne we ought to lay our petitions before Jesus--just as now, should we have important business with the Queen of England, we would not think of dealing directly, but would communicate through our representative abroad.
I was very much impressed with her remarks. On my return home my heart went to Jesus in prayer; language flowed freely and naturally, and I felt a nearness of his presence which I never experienced before. I believe it is right, and that we are by no means dishonoring the Father, but on the contrary are honoring him so much the more by honoring the Son. If I am wrong, dear brother, my earnest prayer is that I may be set right.
Yours in the Redeemer, H. N. RAHN.
REPLY--"ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED."
It is undoubtedly proper enough for us to address petitions to our Redeemer and Advocate, who loved us and gave himself for us. He is still interested in us--still loves us. He is still the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, and we are his sheep. He is still our faithful High Priest, who can be touched with a feeling of our infirmities and who is ready still to succor them that are tempted. And although we are nowhere instructed to make petitions to him, it evidently could not be improper so to do; for such a course is nowhere prohibited, and the disciples worshiped him.--`Matt. 28:9,17`.
However, it would be a serious error to suppose that we ought to address our petitions to our Lord Jesus and not to the Father--"For the Father himself loveth you" [who are in Christ]. And it is proper to remember that every good and perfect gift cometh from the Father. All things [blessings] are of the Father, and are by the Son. (`1 Cor. 8:6`.) Jehovah is the fountain of our blessings, and our Lord Jesus is the channel through which they reach us. "We know that God heareth not sinners" (`John 9:31`); and consequently, we, who by nature were sinners even as others, could have no audience with Jehovah until justified by faith in the sin-offering, made on our behalf, once for all, in the offering of the body of Jesus, our Lord. As he declared, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." But now, since we do accept of our Lord's sacrifice, and realize it as the price of our justification, we have boldness to enter into the Most Holy [into communion with God] by the blood of Jesus, and "draw nigh with cleansed hearts and with full assurance of faith," realizing that "we are accepted in the Beloved."
Our Lord Jesus not only prayed to the Father himself, but instructed his followers as to the general style of their petitions, saying, "After this manner pray ye--Our Father which art in heaven," etc. And over and over again our Lord instructs us to ask of the Father in his name. (`John 14:13,14`; `15:16`; `16:23,24,26`.) In his name means more than merely by his authority; and it means more than the formal closing of a prayer with the words, "For Christ's sake." It means that the petitioner coming to the Father must realize his own actual unworthiness to be received at the throne of the heavenly grace, or to have his petition regarded and answered; and that therefore he presents it in the name and merit of Christ, his Ransomer--by faith accepting a share in the justifying merit of the great sin-offering which he made once for all.
Adam had access to and communion with God, the Father, when he was perfect--before he sinned and fell under divine condemnation. As many of the redeemed race as shall accept of the grace of God to be extended to all through Christ shall, when perfected again, have back this communion and all that was lost. And we who in the present age are justified by faith in his blood--in his sacrifice for our sins --have now this communion--only, so long as we are not actually perfect, it must always be exercised through our Mediator; and hence to hold communion, we must recognize not only the Mediator, but the ransom which he gave for all, by which we are made acceptable to the Father, in him.
STUDIES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
--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. PUBLISHED IN ADVANCE, AT THE REQUEST OF FOREIGN READERS.
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LESSON IX., MAY 29, `DANIEL 2:36-49`.
Golden Text--"All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."--`Heb. 4:13`.
Nebuchadnezzar's deeply significant and prophetic dream and the divinely inspired interpretation of it by the prophet Daniel, as recorded in this lesson, are worthy of the careful study of every earnest Christian who would follow the Apostle's injunction to take heed to the sure word of prophecy which shineth as a light in a dark place until the day dawn. (`2 Pet. 1:19`.) The reader is referred to MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., page 248 for an elucidation of this prophecy.
May all the truly consecrated indeed see and appreciate their privilege of being part of that kingdom symbolized by the stone which in due time is to destroy and displace all the other kingdoms and fill the whole earth with its glory and its blessings of righteousness and peace.
In the midst of the unsettled and unsatisfactory conditions of the past and the present, while the groaning creation waits for the establishment of God's kingdom in the earth, how comforting to the hearts of them that believe are the words of the golden text--"All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (`Heb. 4:13`.) In far-seeing wisdom God has permitted all the present disorders, yet, in the end, even the wrath of man shall praise him and the remainder he restrains. (`Psa. 76:10`.) See Vol. I., Chap. vii., "The Permission of Evil and its Relation to God's Plan."
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THE FIERY FURNACE.
LESSON X., JUNE 5, `DANIEL 3:13-25`.
Golden Text--"When thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."--`Isa. 43:2`.
The familiar story of this lesson is one full of instruction to the thoughtful, as viewed both in its historic and in its prophetic light. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had set up an image, and had commanded all his subjects, including Israel, the Lord's people, to bow down to it in idolatrous worship. And any refusal thus to acknowledge his supreme authority, even in matters of conscience, was made a treasonable offence, punishable with death, in the midst of a fiery furnace.
Three Hebrews of the captivity, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refused to obey the king in this instance, where such obedience would necessitate disloyalty to God. In their faithfulness to God, these three men preferred a dreadful death--should God permit them thus to die--rather than the alternative of disloyalty to the King of kings, whose command to Israel was, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Yet they confidently expressed their faith in God's ability, and their belief, in view of his promises, in his willingness to deliver them. (`Verse 17`.) Nevertheless, no matter what course he should see fit to take, they were fully determined to be true to God.
Thus they proved themselves "Israelites indeed," and in consequence of their faithfulness the promise of the Lord, made to Israel as a people, and sure to them so long as they kept their covenant with God, was verified, even though it required a miracle to accomplish it. The promise reads--"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: [This was wonderfully verified to the whole nation when in faith they obeyed the Lord's command and passed through the Red Sea and then over Jordan.] When thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." Doubtless this promise of deliverance from the power of the fire would have been verified to all the Israelites in Babylon, as well as to the three mentioned, had all, like them, proved their loyalty and faithfulness to God. God is faithful to all his promises, and blessed are all they that put their trust in him; for only the faithful can claim a share in his promises.
It would be a mistake, however, for all people to claim and appropriate literally these promises which the Lord made literally to fleshly Israel only, as his peculiar and covenant people. God's remarkable dealings with Israel --his care, his guidance, his discipline and chastisements when they were disobedient and unfaithful, and his wonderful deliverances of them when loyal and obedient, as well as his instruction and training of them--were typical of his course with the whole world during the Millennial age; but in the present time no such
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promises belong to the world. Nor do they belong to Christians except as in a symbolic sense applied to them as new creatures in Christ, during this Gospel age.
On the strength of these promises of temporal deliverance, no Christian, and certainly none of the world, can claim general exemption or deliverance from present calamities, though God does sometimes deliver them. God, who promised to defend Israel both nationally and individually whilst obedient, has never promised to defend so-called Christian nations against their national enemies, nor Christian communities nor individuals against persecution for conscience' sake by fire or sword, nor from calamities of various sorts, but on the contrary forewarns us, "They shall despitefully use you and persecute you." "Yea, and whoever will live Godly in this present time (the Gospel age) shall suffer persecution." Yet as an offset God has given us spiritual advantages and "exceeding great and precious promises," much more valuable than length of days under present conditions and deliverance from present persecutions. And we have his blessed assurance that all the temporal evils which are permitted to befall us shall work together for our good, so long as we remain loyal and faithful to God--"work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
To be loyal and true to God in these days requires as much courage and true heroism as was necessary in the days of gross idolatry. True, in civilized nations there is now no compulsion to worship images; but, nevertheless, there are idols of another sort just as potent in their influence upon the public mind, and Christians (Spiritual Israel) as well as all others are called upon to do homage to these idols-- the work of men's hands. We refer to the various creeds of Christendom, the traditions which men have set up to intercept the worship of the true and living God in whose Word alone is life and peace.
Few are the faithful "Israelites indeed" who boldly stem the tide of opposition and declare themselves fully on the Lord's side by fearlessly discarding the traditions of men and daring to believe and teach the Word of God
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to the contrary. The many prefer the favor of men to the favor of God, and are quite willing to prove their disloyalty to God in order to obtain it. Rejecting the testimony of his Word, they blindly assent to the idols of human tradition and bow down to and serve them. But the devotion and zeal of the loyal and true are not unnoticed, and will not fail of their reward in due time, even though some such may yet be called upon to walk through the fiery furnace of affliction to prove their devotion to God in not bowing down with the majority.
"When through fiery trials their pathway shall lie,
His grace all-sufficient shall be their supply.
The flames shall not hurt them--God only designs
Their dross to consume and their gold to refine."
Not only have there been in the past such trials of faith and loyalty, but there are also at the present time; and in some respects a still more fiery trial yet awaits God's consecrated ones, as we understand the Scriptures, and as the signs of the times read in the light of the Bible clearly attest.
Of this indication, mention has already been made. The time is fast approaching when the religious liberty now enjoyed will be greatly restricted and when, as a consequence, the present work of disseminating the truth will be interfered with by the strong hand of combined civil and ecclesiastical power. And therefore, in view of such interference, we are forewarned by the Lord that "the night cometh, when no man can work" (`John 9:4`); and by the Prophet `Isaiah (21:12`) that "the morning cometh, and also the night." And those who properly heed the warning will let it have its designed effect of increasing their diligence in the use of present opportunities.
That the persecuting power which is thus to interfere with and cut short the opportunities of the consecrated, to spread the truth, is to arise from the allied powers of Christendom, or more particularly from allied Protestantism under the direction and control of the spirit of the Papacy, is clearly indicated in the symbolic prophecy of `Revelation 13th chapter`, under the figures of the "Beast" and his "Image." Those of our readers whose file of TOWERS extends back to January, 1882 (we have no more), will find the teaching of `Rev. 13`th therein set forth. There we showed that the "Beast" which was to command and receive the homage of the world for 1260 years is the great Papal System; and the "Image of the Beast," subsequently set up, after the "Beast" had been largely shorn of its power, is the great Evangelical Alliance of so-called Protestant denominations.
The image or likeness of this organization to the "Beast" consists in its doctrines and in its general policy. And although the likeness is not yet complete, the Revelator, in `verse 15`, indicates that the persecuting power will ere long complete this, and that the order will go forth practically that all who will not worship (reverence) either the Papal "Beast" or the Protestant "Image" shall be killed, although the killing is not necessarily to be understood as physical: it may be in some instances, though more probably it will be killing in a social
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sense--cutting off their influence, their name, etc., and allowing them no standing or liberty as Christians.
The thoughtful observer of current events in ecclesiastical circles may readily note the trend of events in this direction. The ghost of the future power of this great Image is already filling the minds of scheming ecclesiastics of all the denominations of so-called Christendom, as their numerous utterances from pulpit and press clearly show. But let the loyal and faithful few be fully determined within themselves to be firm and uncompromising in their zeal for God and the truth, assured that, even though they may be called upon to go through a furnace of affliction, God will be with them in the midst of the fiery trial, and, as spiritual new creatures in Christ, they shall not be hurt --but blest by the Master's presence and communion.
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THE DEN OF LIONS.
LESSON XI., JUNE 12, `DANIEL 6:19-28`.
Golden Text--"No manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God."--`Dan. 6:23`.
The teaching of this lesson is the same as that of the preceding lesson. Because of his faith and loyalty to God Daniel was delivered, according to the Lord's covenant of blessing and protection to Israel as long as they were loyal and obedient. See `Deut. 28:1-14` and `Isa. 43:1,2`.
And yet, notwithstanding all the promises of protection and defence to Israel, both as a nation and as individuals, so long as they continued loyal and obedient, the Apostle Paul reminds us of the fact that God permitted some of them to prove their loyalty and faithfulness by willingly enduring great persecutions, even unto death. He says they had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings and of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth; and they were tortured, not accepting deliverance [on ignoble terms which would necessitate disloyalty to God].--`Heb. 11`.
But why did they endure all these things, even in the face of an apparent failure of God's promises for their protection? Was it because of any direct promise of God that such faithfulness, even unto death, should receive a special reward in the resurrection? No; we know of no such promise in the Law or the Prophets, although the Apostle (`Heb. 11:35`) says they did it in hope of a "better resurrection."
What ground was there for such hope? We answer that it was a fair inference based upon their knowledge of the character of God and his promises to Israel. With the nobility and grandeur of a fixed purpose they said, "We will be loyal and true to God at any peril and at any cost; and if, as we know, God appreciates faithfulness at small cost, much more will he appreciate it when manifested under the severest tests. And such faithfulness will not fail of special recognition in the resurrection, if not before." Such was their love for God that they longed for the fullest possible manifestation of his love and favor in return when the full trial of their faith and patience should prove their worthiness.
In the clearer light of the Gospel dispensation, and especially of this day of the Lord, we see the blessed reward that awaits those ancient worthies who shall be made princes in all the earth during the Millennial reign of Christ (`Psa. 45:16`--See also MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., Chap. xiv.); whose probation being ended, they may from the dawn of their new existence--in the resurrection--be perfect men and exalted to power and great honor and glory. Such was God's purpose towards them in permitting them thus to suffer that he might exalt them in due time. Indeed, they shall shine as the stars forever. (`Dan. 12:3`.) These righteous ones shall be held in everlasting remembrance among the restored human race as noble examples worthy of all honor and imitation. --`Psa. 112:6`.
Evidently Daniel, as well as the three Hebrews of our last lesson, believed that God was able and also willing to deliver them according to his covenant of favor to Israel, if he saw fit; but, nevertheless, they believed that if he should not grant them a present deliverance, he would, in his own good time and way, grant them a still more glorious deliverance and reward of faithfulness. See `Dan. 6:10` and `3:16-18`.
LESSON XII., JUNE 19.--Comment unnecessary.
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ZION'S WATCH TOWER
HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE.
PUBLISHED TWICE A MONTH.
TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY, "BIBLE HOUSE" ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
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SUBSCRIPTION PRICE $1.00 A YEAR, IN ADVANCE, (INCLUDES ALSO A SUBSCRIPTION TO TWO COPIES OF OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS QUARTERLY) By Express Order, Postal Money Order, Bank Draft, or Registered Letter. Foreign only by Foreign Money Order.
FREE TO THE LORD'S POOR.
N.B.--Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
PROVIDING FOR COLPORTEURS' EXPENSES.
"GO YE ALSO INTO THE VINEYARD."
During the Colporteurs' Meetings which followed the regular meetings of the recent Convention, some of the older and more experienced Colporteurs made the suggestion that hereafter all colporteurs be authorized to sell the MILLENNIAL DAWN series of books at Thirty-five cents per volume, or three volumes for One Dollar--explaining to any who might notice and inquire, that the books could be had at Twenty-five cents each if they chose to send to the Allegheny office; but that the Colporteurs are allowed to charge the ten cents to cover their additional expense connected with delivering the books. With the consent of the office several had tried the higher price plan and the results had been highly satisfactory: they had sold about as many as at Twenty-five cents.
The object of the suggestion on the part of those proposing the higher price was not money-getting, but a desire to forward the work. While they are able to meet their traveling and living expenses and a little more at twenty-five cents, they well know that many others cannot do so on account of being less successful salesmen, or of having encumbrances in the way of family duties and expenses. Indeed, the plan proposed is that all who can do so shall return to the Lord's treasury all that can be spared from their actual expenses, that it may assist in the general work of spreading the Truth, to which all of our lives are consecrated.
We requested all the Colporteurs present at the meeting to make a trial of the Thirty-five cent rate for one week, and then to report their success or failure. And the reports turned in confirm the view of the suggesters, that the additional ten cents will be no hindrance; but that people concede that a book of 350 pages on good paper is cheap at 35 cents--or over 1100 pages for $1.00. As a consequence we have decided on this change.
There are at present about forty Colporteurs, and we trust that the new price will soon double the number; for quite a number who started and were unable to fully meet expenses, and who got deeply in debt to the Tract Society at the twenty-five cent rate, will now be able to meet their expenses and perhaps a little more. Thus the cause of the Lord will, we trust, be prospered by the new arrangement. It is not the thought to attract worldly people into the work of selling Dawn. We desire only such as engage in the work as ministers of the gospel, and from the conviction that what they are presenting is the Truth, and in no other manner can they so fully and faithfully serve the Lord and his people. We do not know of one now in the colporteur work merely as a business: all are doing what they can as unto the Lord. We know of several who could earn nearly or quite a thousand dollars a year in other occupations, who gladly give their all for the Truth for the mere necessities of food and clothing; and one at present getting two thousand dollars a year is about to leave it and engage his time and talents in the Lord's service. He has already tried it and finds that he can make expenses, and seeks nothing more.
COLPORTEURS' RATES ON MILLENNIAL DAWN IN PAPER COVERS.
Single copies delivered by colporteurs, 35 cents.
Three " " " " $1.00.
Single copies by mail from the office, 25 cents.
Five (or multiples of five, 10, 20, 40, etc.) copies of any one volume by mail, post-paid to one address, each, . . . 15 "
Five copies or more of any volume by express or freight at colporteur's charges, 12-1/2 "
As a result of this arrangement we hope soon to hear of many ready and glad to give all their time to the work. The Master, the Chief Reaper, saith, "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto everlasting life."
The DAWNS in the German language are now under the full control of Brother Zech, and all orders for them should be addressed to-- Otto von Zech, Euclid Ave., Allegheny, Pa.