VOL. XVI. JULY 1, 1895. No. 13.
Special Items: The Pastor Denies It...............150
That Modern Methodism Article.................150
Missionary Envelopes; Dawns...................150
Views from the Tower..............................151
"The Peace of God"................................153
Poem: If We Had but a Day.........................157
Bible Study: The Golden Calf......................157
Bible Study: The Offering of Strange
The Memorial Anniversary..........................160
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THE PASTOR DENIES IT.
The Pastor of the Calvary M.E. Church, Allegheny, called at our office and assured us that the rumor (See page 140 of our last issue), that servants were not wanted at that church, is wholly without foundation. He presumes that their fine new edifice may have led some one to mention it as a "rich-man's church;" but that so far from the Board of Trustees taking any such action, they reduced the charges for many sittings, so as to bring them within the means of people in very moderate circumstances. We are glad of such assurance, and glad to make it known.
The rumor, it seems, got its start in the fact that originally only two pews had been provided whose sittings would be as cheap as six dollars each per year; and, furthermore, that a Committee on pew-renting had been granted more than usual powers which it was feared, perhaps uncharitably, would be used against the poor.
THAT MODERN METHODISM ARTICLE.
Several readers inquire concerning the article in our last issue, on Modern Methodism: Did we publish the article entire? In which issue of the Northwestern Christian Advocate did it appear?--Right-minded people find it difficult to believe that others could so lose the spirit of the gospel as to glory thus in their own shame.
We reply, that we published the article entire, word for word, as it appeared in the Northwestern Christian Advocate of March 28, '94, over the signature of its writer, Rev. Chas. A. Crane, who has since removed to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A portion of the paper containing this article was found by Brother Compton and sent to us, but the date of it was missing. We at once wrote the Advocate, and also to Rev. C. A. Crane, and from the latter received the date of the journal; but too late for mention in our last issue.
The date, the fact that such an article was published over a year ago, read by thousands of Methodists, and by scores of editors of Methodist and other journals, and not commented upon by any of them, and that it only raises a "breeze" when it reaches the awakened readers of the WATCH TOWER, gives all the stronger evidence that the sentiments of the article were well received and approved, by Methodists in general, as the truth, and that a larger number than we had supposed are glorying in their shame.
Later.--We have received a whole copy of the Advocate mentioned, and after a very careful search we find that we erred in saying that it was published without one word of comment; for four pages away the Editor gave exactly eleven words of comment as follows: "Mr. Crane's friendly satire on existing Methodist conditions will awaken thought." The article itself bears no evidence of insincerity: we fear, as does the Editor, that it is too true a picture of "existing Methodist conditions."
We are placing an order for another lot of our usual Missionary Envelopes, and make the proposition that any who can use 5000, can have them at less than half the usual cost,--with their card printed at the corner. This is to induce a very general circulation of this tract envelope. Order at once.
MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOLS. I., II. AND III., English and German, VOL. I. in Swedish and Dano-Norwegian, at uniform prices, 25 cents per volume in paper covers, $1.00 per volume in embossed cloth binding.
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VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.
THE term "Infidel" will probably soon die out: it is being replaced rapidly by the terms, "Higher Critic," "Reverend," "Professor," "Doctor of Divinity," etc. The President of Rochester Theological Seminary (Baptist) takes his stand with the Evolutionists and Higher Critics. Some Baptists remonstrate but are powerless. The Trustees, representing the money influence, support the President.
The Northwestern University of Chicago, at its recent commencement exercises, had Dr. Lyman Abbott deliver the principal address, on Evolution, in which he derided the Bible account of Adam's creation, saying, "I would as soon have an ape for an ancestor as a mud man; and that is the choice." He scouted the idea of a fall from purity into sin, denied redemption and declared Evolution to be the real redemption. At a ministers' meeting a few wished to rebuke the president of the University for having the speaker and his subject on such an occasion, but their objections were suppressed by the majority.
The same unbelief or infidelity is spreading in Germany, beginning, as here, with the learned college professors, who, professing to be wise, are becoming foolish and having their foolish hearts darkened. (`Rom. 1:21,22`.) Recently the Professors of Bonn University addressed an audience of ministers who were at Bonn, on a vacation. They pursued the same methods as our American higher critics, holding up the earlier portions of the Bible as myths and generally discrediting the entire Book, implying a general stupidity on the part of our Lord, the apostles and all who, following their example, accept the Old Testament writings as the Word of God.
While the religious teachers of Christendom are thus blindly leading their flocks away from the Lord, we need not be surprised that, bewildered and without any divine anchorage, many are falling into various pit-falls of error-- Christian Science, Theosophy, Spiritism, etc., and in substance concluding that God is a principle not a being, a principle of good;--that man is the highest embodiment of this "good" and intelligent principle which pervades all space and all times; hence that man is not only the highest form of animal, but the highest expression of God. Thus, while God is dethroned, man is enthroned, man is his own god. Ah! how Satan must be rejoicing in the success of his latest move. He can afford to do a few cures for Spiritualists, Clairvoyant Mediums, Christian Scientists and Mormons.
The readiness of people to fall into these traps is before the reading public daily. For instance, the Philadelphia Press tells how Rev. J. H. Davis, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at Sodus Point, N.Y., recently drove ten miles to consult a mediumistic fortune-teller respecting the whereabouts of his son who mysteriously disappeared recently and was supposed to have been murdered. As people leave God and his Word, they are ready for anything. --See `Rom. 1:25,28`.
But, however many may be ensnared by Satan, or fall before the pestilence of Infidelity now issuing from the "high places" of learning, we may rest assured that in due time "the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together" (`Isa. 40:5`), and that that due time is not far distant; for although there will first be a dark and stormy time, it is nearly due time for the Sun of Righteousness to arise with healing in his beams. And, further, we may rest assured that the Lord knoweth them that are his, not only his in profession, but his in deed and in truth, and that none can pluck them out of the Lord's hand. It will not be possible to deceive "the very elect;" hence those
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deceived are not the very elect, whatever may be their station in the future.
While seeing error flourish often in high as well as in low places, we are reminded of the grand truth expressed upon the old seal of the Huguenots. It represented an anvil with broken hammers scattered all around it, and bore this legend:
"Hammer away ye hostile bands!
Your hammers break,
God's anvil stands."
While the professed advocates of God and his Son and Book are turning traitors and firing their heaviest shot against the Book they enlisted to serve, it is refreshing to find Mr. Charles A. Dana, the editor of one of the leading New York journals, addressing the Wisconsin Editorial Association as follows, respecting the book which has done more for the world than all other books combined, and which has been attacked by professed friends and professed foes as no other book has ever been attacked. Mr. Dana said:--
"What books ought you to read? There are some books that are indispensable--a few books. Almost all books have their use, even the silly ones, and an omnivorous reader, if he reads intelligently, need never feel that his time is wasted even when he bestows it on the flimsiest trash that is printed; but there are some books that are absolutely indispensable to the kind of education that we are contemplating, and to the profession that we are considering; and of all these the most indispensable, the most useful, the one whose knowledge is most effective, is the Bible. There is no book from which more valuable lessons can be learned. I am considering it now, not as a religious book, but as a manual of utility, of professional preparation, and professional use for a journalist. There is perhaps no book whose style is more suggestive and more instructive, from which you learn more directly that sublime simplicity which never exaggerates, which recounts the greatest events with solemnity, of course, but without sentimentality or affectation: none which you open with such confidence and lay down with such reverence. There is no book like the Bible. When you get into a controversy and want exactly the right answer, when you are looking for an expression, what is there that closes a dispute like a verse from the Bible? What is it that sets up the principle for you, which pleads for a policy, for a cause, so much as the right passage of Holy Scripture?"
An English journal, commenting upon the observance of Whitsunday (which memorializes Pentecost), says:--
"Reunion Sunday" is the new title by which we are to recognize Whitsun Day. The Pope has set apart the whole of Whitsuntide for special effort and prayer towards the reunion of Christendom. From Lambeth Palace, also, the desire had been expressed that the prayer for unity in the Accession Service should be recited among the collects of yesterday."
Thus it appears that in Europe, as well as in the United States, the day and the week were devoted to Union. We may look for results within a few years--results favorable to Churchianity, but unfavorable to individual Christian development and liberty. However, by that time the "elect" will probably be nearly all out of Babylon and
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waiting for a little further polishing before sharing the great work of blessing the world. See `Matt. 13:43`; `Rom. 8:19`; `Gal. 3:16,29`.
We clip from The Independent, of New York City, the following, in illustration of Papal love for Protestants.
"The Catholic Times, of Philadelphia, which puts whiskey advertisements in the same column with its appeal for St. Joseph's House for Homeless Boys, gives room to the following illuminating paragraph in its Paris letter:
"'The first batch of soldiers left Paris this week for Madagascar....The Protestant sects have had their own way there far too long. The time is approaching when our missions will receive a substantial support from that European power which, whatever the faults at home, has never failed to protect Catholic interests abroad. It is the fashion to speak of French policy in Madagascar as a check to England. It is nearer to the truth to regard it as a check given to British Protestantism.'"
"The French invasion of this native African State, already largely Christianized, with a Christian queen and a Christian government, is supported by Catholics, it seems, as a war upon Protestantism. This is a shameful confession. See how these Catholic Christians love the Christians of Madagascar! The gospel was carried by Protestant missionaries to the Malagassy while they were yet savages."
The United Presbyterian commenting on the Pope's latest Encyclical on Christian Union inquires, "Why is it not possible for Evangelical Scholars, representing all denominations, to get together and come to an absolute agreement upon all Christian doctrines?"
It may be that it is not our answer to this question that is desired, but we give it gratis, for all that, and say: It is not possible simply, (1) Because the so-called "scholars" have generally lost faith in the only standard of doctrine that exists, and are "at sea." (2) Because neither they nor the people they would represent are really anxious for the truth. God has provided the truth only for those who hunger and thirst after it; and consequently they alone will be filled with it. (3) Because people reverence the errors upon which their various Denominations are built and are too indifferent and too engrossed with money-getting and pleasure-seeking to dig for the truth "as men search for silver." (`Prov. 2:1-15`.) (4) They are afraid to investigate what they now hold as faith, lest even it slip away and they find themselves with none.
Hence, no such plan will be considered feasible; and the easier method of federation or "union," in which each denomination will respect the others' errors or foibles, will be preferred.
But the "union" will last only a short time. The great time of trouble will swallow it up, root and branches. And then, when consternation fills the hearts of all the world and the "foolish virgins," they will hear the command, "Be still, and know that I am God! I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!" (`Psa. 46:8-10`.) Then tremblingly and in fear the "foolish virgins" with the Jews "shall look upon Him whom they have
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pierced," and rejected in rejecting his Word! Then they shall be surprised to hear the Master speak peace to the nations and to them in the terms of his New Covenant sealed with his precious blood.
But the Bride, the "little flock," the "royal priesthood." What of this class? "God shall help her, and that right early" in the morning of that Millennial day.-- `Psa. 46:5`.
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"THE PEACE OF GOD"
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." --`Phil. 4:7`.--
PEACE is defined to be a state of quiet or tranquility, freedom from disturbance or agitation, calmness, repose. Such a state of mind is here affirmed of God. His is a mind tranquil, calm, undisturbed and never agitated nor even wearied nor perplexed by any of the cares of his vast dominion. Yet this perfect peace of God, the Scriptures show, is not due either to the fact that there are no disorders in his vast dominion, nor yet to any stoical indifference to pain or pleasure, but rather to that perfect poise of his glorious attributes which makes him Master of his situation as Sovereign of the whole universe. Have we admired the coolness and calm self-possession of a great general such as Grant or Napoleon in the midst of the confusion and smoke of battle? or of a great statesman such as Gladstone or Bismarck in the midst of national perplexities and perils? or of able and skilled physicians or others in critical times and places?--these are only faint illustrations of the peace of self-possession and self-confidence which rules in the mind of God. He is never confused, bewildered, perplexed, anxious or careworn, nor in the least fearful that his plans will miscarry or his purposes fail; because all power and wisdom inhere in him. The scope of his mighty intellect reaches to the utmost bounds of possibility, comprehends all causes and discerns with precision all effects; consequently he knows the end from the beginning, and that, not only upon philosophical principles, but also by intuition. As the Creator of all things and the originator of all law, he is thoroughly acquainted with all the intricate subtleties of physical, moral and intellectual law, so that no problem could arise the results of which are not manifest to his mind. "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." --`1 John 1:5`.
God, the Creator of all things, is also the competent
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Sustainer of all things. In silent grandeur, from age to age, the whole physical universe fulfills his will, without a suspicion of disorder or mishap; and the same power is pledged for its sustenance throughout the eternal future.
Thus, from his own vast inherent resources of power and wisdom, springs the peace of God. But not from this source alone is the divine peace; for peace is the certain concomitant of inherent goodness. God is the impersonation of every virtue and every grace; consequently he has the blessed satisfaction and peace of conscious moral perfection as well as inherent wisdom and power.
Yet we find this peace of God coexisting with much of disorder and trouble. As a Father he shows us that he bears a father's love to all his intelligent creatures--"the whole family of God in heaven and in earth"--and that for his "pleasure they are and were created." (`Eph. 3:15`; `Rev. 4:11`.) He created them in his own likeness--with the same mental and moral attributes, so that he might have communion and fellowship with them as sons, and they with him as a Father, that thus, in mutual fellowship and communion, the Creator and the creature might find pleasure, happiness and delight. This likeness of God includes in all not only the same mental faculties, but also the free exercise of the same in the formation of character. A creature incapable of thus forming character would not be in God's likeness. And for the purpose of developing character the alternative of good and evil must be placed before him. The right and wrong principles of action must be discerned and the individual left free to his own choice in the matter, that the pleasure of God may be realized in the virtuous character resultant from the free choice of righteousness.
Since the love of God for his newly created and innocent creatures is akin to, though much stronger than, the love of an earthly parent for an innocent infant; and since that loving interest and solicitude does not grow cold as he advances in years, but earnestly watches for the development of the principles and fruits of righteousness, it is manifest that, like an earthly parent, God experiences the sense of either pleasure or pain, according as his free intelligent creatures choose the right course or the wrong. Of this we are fully assured, not only by this reasoning from the fact of his fatherhood, but also by all of those scriptures which speak of some things as abominable, displeasing, hateful and despicable to him and as giving him no pleasure; which say that his anger burns against them, and that his indignation and wrath wax hot, even to their destruction; and, further, by those scriptures which speak of his pleasure, love, joy and delight in other things--in the principles of righteousness and those who obey them. The appreciation of pleasurable emotions necessarily implies ability to appreciate emotions of an opposite character; for pain and pleasure may properly be considered the ebb and flow of the same emotion.
These exhibitions of the mind of God indicate clearly an emotional nature in the divine being, of which fact we might also judge from the realization of our own emotional nature, since man was created in God's image. No, dear friends, God is not a God of stoical indifference, insensible to the emotions of pleasure and pain; but the perfect poise of his attributes preserves the equilibrium of peace under all circumstances, whether of pain or pleasure.
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With this thought, then, let us consider the circumstances under which the marvelous "peace of God" has been perpetually maintained. The deep-laid plan of God in all his creative works required long time for its accomplishment. Across the vista of ages he saw in his purpose the glory of an intelligent creation in his own likeness, established in righteousness and worthy of his gift of eternal life. He therein foresaw the mutual pleasure of the Creator and the creature, and with a peaceful patience he resolved to wait for the glorious consummation. As the plan developed and time rolled on, the free moral agency of his creatures, misused by some, was enabling them to develop evil characters, and by this means discord was introduced into his family ("the family of God in heaven and in earth"-- all his creatures, angels and men), and the family was divided, some holding to righteousness and some choosing to do evil. But such a contingency was one of the foreseen necessities of the far-reaching plan, the glorious outcome of which, was, in the divine judgment, worth all the cost of both trouble and loss which he foresaw.
What a dreadful thing is family discord! How a prodigal son or a wayward daughter often brings the gray hairs of the human parent down with sorrow to the grave! Ah, the heavenly Father knows something of such sorrow; for he saw Satan, one of his sons (`Isa. 14:12`), an angel of light, as lightning, fall from heaven (`Luke 10:18`); and for six thousand years at least, that son has been in open and defiant rebellion against God and most actively and viciously engaged in inciting further rebellion and wickedness. He saw many of the angels leave their first estate and become the allies of Satan, and then he saw also the whole human race fall into sin. Did ever any human parent find such a conspiracy--so virulent and hateful--spring up in his family? Surely not. Then God has found it necessary to perform the unpleasant duties of discipline. In his justice he must disown the disloyal sons and deal with them as enemies; and though all the while his fatherly love was preparing to bless the deceived and fallen ones when the purposes of redemption should restore the repentant to his favor, love must be vailed while only stern, relentless justice could be manifested. This has been no happifying duty, nor has the attitude of the sinner been pleasing to him.
Consider the love against which these recreants sinned: that though from God cometh every good and perfect gift, his favors have been despised, his love spurned, his righteous authority conspired against and defied, his character maligned, misrepresented, made to appear odious and hateful, unrighteous and even despicable. Yet, through it all "the peace of God" continues, though for six thousand years he has endured this contradiction of sinners against himself. And still, O wondrous grace! his love abounds; and it is written that he so loved the world, even while they were yet sinners, that he gave his only begotten Son to die for them; and that through him judgment (trial) is also to be extended to those angels that fell, with the exception of Satan, the leader and instigator of the whole conspiracy--the father of lies.--`John 3:16`; `Rom. 5:8`; `1 Cor. 6:3`; `Jude 6`; `Heb. 2:14`; `Rev. 20:10,14`.
This gift of divine love was another indication of the cost to our heavenly Father of his great and marvelous plan. Not only did he behold the fall into sin of a large proportion of his family, but their recovery cost the sacrifice of the dearest treasure of his heart, and the subjection of this beloved one to the most abject humiliation, ignominy, suffering and death. Again the illustration of a parent's love assists us in comprehending the cost of this manifestation of Jehovah's love. With what tender and yearning emotions of love must he have made this sacrifice of his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased. In addition to all the graces of his character manifested since the very dawn of his being was now added the further grace of full submission to the divine will, even when the pathway pointed out was one of pain and humiliation.
Ah, did the Father let him go on that errand of mercy without the slightest sensation of sorrowful emotion? had he no appreciation of the pangs of a father's love when the arrows of death pierced the heart of his beloved Son? When our dear Lord said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death," and again, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt," did it touch no sympathetic chord in the heart of the Eternal? Yea, verily: the unfeigned love of the Father sympathetically shared the Lord's sorrow. The principle taught in the divine Word, that true love weeps with those that weep and rejoices with those that rejoice, is one which is also exemplified in the divine character. The immortal Jehovah could not himself die for us, his divine nature being proof against death. And, even if he could have died, there would have been no higher power to raise him out of death, and all creation would have been left forever without a governor, and only disaster and ruin could have ensued. But God could and did sacrifice at great cost to his loving, fatherly nature, the dearest treasure of his heart, and thus he manifested (`1 John 4:9`) the great love wherewith he loved his deceived and fallen creatures. If this sacrifice cost him nothing; if it were impossible for his mind to realize any painful emotion, even under such a circumstance; then the gift of his Son would be no manifestation of love; for that which costs nothing manifests nothing.
Our Lord Jesus also manifested his great sympathy for the Father in the misrepresentation of his character which he has so patiently endured for ages. It was the one effort of his life to glorify the Father and to rectify among men the false impressions of his glorious character--to show to men his goodness, benevolence, love and grace, and to lead them to love the merciful God who so loved them, even while they were yet sinners, as to seek them out and to plan for their eternal salvation.
Yes, there has been great commotion in the disrupted family of God--commotion in which the Lord declares he has had no pleasure (`Psa. 5:4`); but, nevertheless, "the
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peace of God" has never been disturbed. In the full consciousness of his own moral perfection, his unerring wisdom, his mighty power, and with the fullest appreciation of justice and the keenest and most ardent love of the beauty of holiness, patiently and peacefully, and even joyfully in the midst of tribulation, he has endured the contradiction of sinners against himself for six thousand years. But during the seventh millennium, according to the divine purpose, it will be the joyful privilege of our Lord Jesus to fully manifest to all creatures in heaven and in earth the Father's glorious character. Then will the Father rejoice in the grandeur of his finished work and in the everlasting peace and happiness of his family in heaven and in earth, "reunited under one head." (`Eph. 1:10`--Diaglott.) This blessed consummation will not be realized, however, until the incorrigible fallen sons of God, disowned and disinherited because they loved unrighteousness and would not be reclaimed, shall have been cut off. This will be the last unpleasant duty of the Creator and Father of all, who positively declares that it is a sad duty, yet nevertheless a duty which he will have the fortitude to perform in the interests of universal righteousness and peace. Hear him:--"As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" --`Ezek. 33:11`.
Thus we see that "the peace of God" is compatible with great commotion and with sorrow and pain of any kind; for it is not dependent upon outward circumstances, but upon the proper balancing of the mind and the conditions of a perfect heart. Such peace--the peace of God-- was enjoyed also by our Lord Jesus in the midst of all the turmoil and confusion of his eventful earthly life. And this brings us to the consideration of our Lord Jesus' last legacy to his disciples, when he was about to leave the world, as expressed in the following; his own words:--
OUR LORD'S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth [in stinted measure or in perishable quality], give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."--`John 14:27`.
Thus, with abounding compassion and tenderness, did our Lord, on the last night of his earthly life, bestow upon his beloved disciples his parting blessing, his legacy of peace. It was the richest legacy he had to bequeath, and was one of priceless value. It was the promise of that tranquillity of soul, that rest and ease of mind, which he himself possessed --the peace of God. It was the same peace which the Father himself has always enjoyed, even in the midst of all the commotion which the permission of evil has brought about; but it was not derived from the same source. In Jehovah this peace was self-centered, because he realized in himself the omnipotence of power and wisdom; while the peace of Christ was centered, not in himself, but in God, by faith in his wisdom, power and grace. So also if we would have "the peace of God," the peace of Christ-- "my peace"--it must, like his, be centered in God by faith.
Yes, the peace of Christ was a priceless legacy; yet how quickly the storm-cloud of trouble, which was even then growing very dark, burst in its fury upon the heads of those very disciples to whom the words were directly addressed. It followed almost immediately the gracious bequest, and struck consternation, bewilderment, confusion, to their hearts and shook their faith from center to circumference. Then, where was the peace? While the Lord was speaking the words the foul betrayer, Judas, was out on his murderous errand, then followed the agony in Gethsemane and the terror and consternation among the disciples as they began to realize the fate of their beloved Lord. Soon their almost breathless suspense deepened into more fearful forebodings as he stood alone before his merciless accusers and persecutors in the hall of Pilate and the court of Herod, while they were powerless to shield him; and then came the tragic end, the horrors of the crucifixion.
Where was the promised peace under such circumstances --when, overcome with fear and dread, they all forsook him and fled; and when Peter, although anxious to defend him, was so filled with fear that three times he denied his Lord and with cursing declared that he never knew him? Well, the peace had not yet come; for, as the Apostle Paul tells us, "Where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament [a bequest] is of force after men are dead; otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." (`Heb. 9:16,17`.) But as soon as the tragic scene was over and the cry, "It is finished," fell upon their ears, strange as it may seem, there is evidence that peace began to steal into their hearts. The darkened heavens, the quaking earth, the rending rocks, the torn vail of the temple, all spoke to them a message of comfort which the world could not receive.
To the world (Jews and Gentiles, both participating in the crime) the language of those events was that of divine wrath and indignation against them. And as fear fell upon the people and the clamor and excitement of that awful day died away, they smote upon their breasts and returned to their homes; the guilty conspirators, having accomplished their work, slunk away to hide, if possible, from the wrath of God; Judas, filled with remorse, went out and hanged himself; and the Roman centurion and they that were with him, fearing greatly, said, "Truly this was the Son of God." But to the disciples of the Lord these events spoke a very different language. The cause of their blessed Master was their cause and it was God's cause; and these supernatural demonstrations were evidences to them that God was not regarding this matter with indifference; and though through the vail of darkness they could not read his bright designs, in these events there was to them a whisper of hope.
Three days later hope was revived by the news of his resurrection, confirmed to them by his appearance in their midst, and again forty days later by his ascension after his
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parting counsel and blessing and promised return and the instruction to tarry in Jerusalem for the promised Comforter, the holy spirit of adoption, not many days thence (at Pentecost). Then the peace of Christ, the Lord's rich legacy, began to be realized, and the tarrying days of prayer and expectancy were days of abiding peace--peace which flowed as a river. But when, on the day of Pentecost, the promised Comforter came the river of their peace found a deeper bed, and their joy knew no bounds.
But not alone to the early Church was this legacy of peace bequeathed: it is the blessed inheritance of the entire Church, even to the end of the age. The Lord showed his thought for us all on that very day, when in his prayer he said, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for all them also that shall believe on me through their word."
The peace promised, observe, was not the short-lived peace of the world, which is sometimes enjoyed for a little season--while fortune smiles and friends abound and health endures, but which quickly vanishes when poverty comes in, and friends go out and health fails and death steals away the treasures of the heart; but "my peace," the peace of God, which Christ himself by faith enjoyed, who, though he was rich, for our sakes became poor, who lost friend after friend and in his last hour was forsaken by all of the few that remained--the peace that endured through loss, persecution, scorn and contempt and even amidst the agonies of the cross. This peace is something which none of the vicissitudes of the present life can destroy, and which no enemy can wrest from us.
What richer legacy could the Lord have left his beloved people? Suppose he had bent his energies during his earthly life to the accumulation of money, and that in so doing he had amassed an immense fortune to leave in the hands of his disciples wherewith to push forward the great work of the age when he should be taken from them-- money to pay the traveling expenses of the Apostles and to defray the numerous expenses incidental to the starting of the work in various places, such as the renting of lecture rooms, the payment of salaries to traveling brethren, etc., etc.--how soon would it all have vanished, and how poor would be our inheritance to-day! Why, "the Man of Sin," would surely have gotten hold of it in some way and not a vestige of the legacy would have reached this end of the age. But, blessed be God, his rich legacy of peace still abounds to his people.
The peace promised is not such as the world can always recognize and appreciate, for the possessor of it, like the Lord himself, and like the heavenly Father as well, may have a stormy pathway. Indeed, that it must be so to all the faithful until the purposes of God in the permission of evil are accomplished, we are distinctly forewarned, but with the assurance that through all the storms this peace shall abide--"In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in me ye shall have peace."
If we would know the foundation and security of this abiding peace which is able to survive the heaviest storms of life, we have only to look to the teaching and example of the Lord and the Apostles. What was it that held them so firmly and gave them such rest of mind while they suffered? It was their faith--their faith in the love, power and wisdom of God. They believed that what God had promised he was able also to perform, that his righteous and benevolent plan could know no failure; for by the mouth of his prophets he had declared, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure....Yea, I have spoken it,
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I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." "The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?" (`Isa. 46:9-11`; `14:27`.) On the assurances of God they rested. In him their faith was anchored, and it mattered not how fiercely the storms raged or how they were tossed by the tempests of life while their anchor still held fast to the throne of God.
The language of our Lord's faith was, "O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee." He had been with the Father from the beginning, had realized his love and his goodness, had seen his power and had marked his righteousness and his loving kindness and fatherly providence over all his works. And so it is written, "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." (`Isa. 53:11`.) The knowledge which he had of the Father gave to him a firm footing for faith in all his purposes concerning the future. Hence he could and did walk by faith. And that faith enabled him to overcome all obstacles and secure the victory even over death.
So also it is written for our instruction--"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"--that faith in God built, in our case, upon our Lord's testimony of the Father; and again it is written that, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." It is only through steady, unwavering faith that the peace of God--the peace of Christ --will abide with his people. While the Lord was with his disciples, and they saw in him the manifestation of the Father, their faith was firm and they had peace in him, as he said, "While I was in the world I kept them;" but not until after he had left them was their faith anchored in God. After Pentecost they experienced the same peace that Christ had enjoyed--the blessed peace that came from a knowledge of the fact that God acknowledged them as sons and heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ, if they would continue faithfully to follow in his steps.
Herein is also the basis of our peace. No matter how heavily the storms of life may assail us, we must never let go our anchor and allow ourselves to drift, but always remember that "the foundation of God standeth sure;" that "his truth is our shield and buckler;" that "what he has promised he is able also to perform," notwithstanding our human imperfections and frailties; that covering these we have the imputed righteousness of Christ, our surety and advocate; and that "the Father himself loveth us," and "he considereth our frame and remembereth that we are dust," and so has compassion for the sons of his love and
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is very pitiful and of tender mercy. Indeed, "what more could he say than to us he hath said," to assure our faith and to steady and strengthen our hearts to patient endurance in the midst of the trials and conflicts of the narrow way of sacrifice?
There is nothing that puts the Christian at greater disadvantage in the presence of his foes than for him to let go, even temporarily, his grip upon the anchor of faith. Let him do so for a moment, and of necessity darkness begins to gather round him: he cannot see the brightness of his Father's face, for "without faith it is impossible to please God;" and while he grapples again for the anchor, the powers of darkness fiercely assail him with doubts and fears, based generally upon his human imperfections, which he should ever bear in mind are covered by the robe of Christ's righteousness.
If we would have the peace of God reign in our hearts, we must never let go our anchor, "nor suffer Satan's deadliest strife to beat our courage down." The language of our hearts should always be, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." With this faith the peace of God, the peace which the Master bequeathed to us, ever abides. Thus the peace of God which passeth all understanding will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; for it is written again, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee."
In the midst of the Christian warfare let our hearts be cheered and our minds stayed, not only with such assurances that all the divine purposes shall be accomplished, but also with such promises of personal favor as these,--
"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him; for he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." "Can a woman forget her sucking child?...Yea, they may forget; yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." "The Father himself loveth you," and "It is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." "Such as are upright in their way are his delight." "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart"--the peace of God which passeth all understanding, even in the midst of storm and tempest.
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IF WE HAD BUT A DAY.
WE should fill the hours with the sweetest things,
If we had but a day;
We should drink alone at the purest springs
On our upward way;
We should love with a life-time's love in an hour,
If the hours were few;
We should sleep, not for dreams, but fresher power,
To be and to do.
We should hold our wearied or wayward wills
To the clearest light;
We should keep our eyes on the heavenly hills
If they lay in sight;
We should hush our murmurs of discontent
At a life's defeat;
We should take whatever a good God sent
With a trust complete.
We should waste no moment in weak regret,
If the days were but one,
If what we remember and what we forget
Went out with the sun;
We should be from our clamorous selves set free
To work and to pray;
To be what the Father would have us be,
If we had but a day. --Selected.
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THE GOLDEN CALF.
--JULY 14.--`EXOD. 32:1-8,30-35`.--
Golden Text--"Little children, keep yourselves from idols."--`1 John 5:21`.
AS soon as Israel had been delivered from the bondage in Egypt, God began to educate and deal with them as a nation, and his dealing was such as to distinguish them from all the other nations on the earth. The first step to this end was the giving of the law from Mt. Sinai, through Moses, their divinely appointed leader. The import and character of that law we considered in our previous lesson.
This lesson calls to mind the peculiar circumstances of the giving of the law, and the covenant based upon that law, instituted through their mediator, Moses, and solemnly assented to by all the people, who, with united voice, responded to the Lord's proposal, saying, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do." For the Lord had said, "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." (`Exod. 19:4-8`.) And it was in pursuance of the conditions of this covenant that God at once called Moses up into Mount Sinai and delivered to him the law.
But how quickly Israel violated their part of the covenant this lesson shows. While yet Moses was in the Mount with God the whole nation lapsed into the most degrading idolatry, utterly ignoring their covenant and forsaking the Lord who, with a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm, had so recently recovered them out of Egyptian bondage, led them triumphantly through the Red sea, destroyed their enemies, fed them with manna in the wilderness and refreshed them with water from the barren rock. In this sudden and disgraceful apostasy, there is not the record of a single dissenting voice. Even Aaron, who had
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been so intimately associated with Moses, and had been left in charge during Moses' absence, weakly hearkened to the demands of the people and became their leader in their idolatry. Thus the whole nation, within the brief space of forty days, forsook the Lord, despised their covenant, and plunged into sin. "Up, make us gods," they said, "which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him." So, at Aaron's call, they brought their earrings to Aaron and he made them a golden calf; and they praised the work of their own hands and said, "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."
This tendency to idolatry on the part of any people, and especially of Israel, manifested on various occasions, may seem strange to many, but the evil had its root, both with Israel and with other nations, in the depravity of the fallen nature which gravitates toward sin and yet seeks to silence the protests of conscience with the sanction of religion. Man is naturally inclined to worship. In his fallen condition, however, it is not love or gratitude or reverence for superiority of wisdom, power or goodness, but superstitious fear, that prompts it. He desires to do evil: conscience protests, and fear and superstition suggest the joining of the desired evil practices with a form of worship; and the form of worship seeks some central figure, real or imaginary, to receive it; and that central figure is the god. And this god is supposed to have just such characteristics as the evil mind of his inventor and worshiper desires. Idolatry, therefore, is not the blind reverential adoration of superior dignity or power or moral worth; but it is wilful and sinful devotion to degrading self-gratification.
It is clear, therefore, that idolatry is the synonym of evil; and it precludes the recognition of the one true God, whose purity and holiness are directly adverse to the spirit of idolatry. The Apostle Paul gives an apt description of it in `Rom. 1:21-32`,--a description which not only fitted the ancient heathen nations, but which also characterizes very prominently the heathen nations of to-day. It reads thus: --"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, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor
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their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections."
The sin of idolatry is most prominently set forth in the Jewish law, the very first commandment being,--"Thou shalt have no other gods before me;...for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous god." The worship of the one true and righteous God, whom we are commanded to worship in the beauty of holiness (`Psa. 29:2`; `96:9`), is elevating and ennobling, and calculated to develop in us the glorious moral likeness of God; and only those do truly worship him in the spirit of the truth--in the beauty of holiness-- whose fruit is always unto praise and honor and glory.
In considering the gross idolatry of Israel, acquainted as they were with God by such marvelous experiences of his goodness and grace, we may smile at the puerility which would erect a golden calf and call it a god, as well as despise the faithless degeneracy of a people so favored; but before we judge Israel harshly let us see to it that no semblance of the same sin lies at our own door. Not forgetting that Israel after the flesh was a typical people, let us beware of being identified with her antitype in sin.
The Apostle Paul in `Col. 3:5` and `Eph. 5:5` says that all covetousness is idolatry; and the Lord, in reference to the same disposition, says, "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." (`Matt. 6:24`.) The sin of covetousness, the worship of Mammon, the idolatry of money, is the great sin of "Christendom," the antitype of fleshly Israel. Nor is she less blameworthy in this idolatry than was fleshly Israel in the worship of the golden calf; for if fleshly Israel had witnessed many manifestations of the divine favor, "Christendom" has surely seen many more. It is a lamentable fact, too, that while all "Christendom" is plunging into this idolatry of money, so that even the heathen nations about us say that money is the Christian's god, the religious leaders of the people make no resistance, but, like Aaron, weakly assent and throw their influence also into the common current.
We have already called attention to the fact that Moses, the mediator of the law covenant, was a type of Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant. His return to the people from Mount Sinai corresponded to the second coming of Christ, which marks the idolatrous worship of the golden calf as corresponding in time also to the present worship of mammon on the part of Christendom.
The action of Moses in the destruction of the calf, burning it in the fire and reducing it to powder, then sprinkling it on the waters of which the people must drink, aptly symbolizes the foretold destruction of hoarded wealth in the great time of trouble due in the end of this age, and the bitter experiences of the rich while their wealth is burned in the fire of trouble and becomes to them bitterness.
But while Mammon is the popular god that commands the worship of Christendom in general, let us not forget that there are also many other forms of covetousness less general, and beware of being overcome by them. Only God is worthy to be enthroned in our hearts; only those principles of righteousness and truth so gloriously exemplified in his character are worthy to control our lives; and only those incentives which his wisdom and goodness present are worthy of our ambition and effort. And every thing that is short of this partakes of the spirit of idolatry. Therefore the beloved Apostle said, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols."
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THE OFFERING OF STRANGE FIRE.
--JULY 21.--`LEV. 10:1-11`.--
Golden Text--"Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee."--`Verse 9`.
THE text of this lesson introduces to us the typical religious service of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, instituted by God in connection with the giving of the law to Israel.*
The tabernacle, with all its appointments and service, is of special interest to Christians, not merely as a matter of Jewish history, but because, both in its construction and in its service, it was typical of spiritual things in store for the Gospel Church. The plan and materials of its construction,
*See TABERNACLE SHADOWS.
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every board and curtain, every article of its furniture, and the colors and designs of its ornamentation, as well as its priesthood, its sacrifices and all its forms and ceremonies, were full of significance as "shadows of heavenly things," of the divine plan of redemption and reconciliation through Christ, which began to be wrought out in Christ at his first advent, has been gradually working out all through the Gospel age and will be completed in the Millennial age.
There are three points to which special attention is called in this lesson; viz, (1) The sanctification or setting apart of Aaron and his four sons to the priesthood; (2) The abuse of the office on the part of two of the sons, and (3) The penalty which followed. While these things would have but small interest to us as mere matters of history, they are seen to be of immense importance to all Christians, when their typical significance is considered.
The High Priest, Aaron, and the under or subordinate priests, his sons, in their typical official capacity, represented Christ Jesus and his Church during the Gospel age, whose chief duty during this age is to offer the acceptable sacrifices of this antitypical day of atonement, as represented in the type. (`Heb. 9:22,23`.) It should be observed that the number of priests, five, in comparison with the hosts of Israel, who represented the whole world, was very small. So, in the antitype, it is but a "little flock" (`Luke 12:32`); and they are chosen for their office for the purpose, not of condemning, but of serving and blessing the world, as shown in the type and indicated by the term priesthood.
It is a great honor now, as it was then in the type, to be called to this high office of service with Christ our Lord and Head, to be, with him, a royal priesthood, a holy nation a peculiar people; but as such let us not forget that we are to be a people zealous of good works--a people cleansed from sin, as symbolized by the washing and the clean white linen robes of the typical priesthood. We must by faith appropriate the robe of Christ's righteousness; and then, as the typical priesthood was anointed with the holy anointing oil, so must we be anointed with the holy spirit, and thereafter fully submit ourselves to the leading of the holy spirit of God, which speaks to us in no uncertain tones through his precious Word.
While it is a great privilege and honor to be called to the priesthood, and to be robed and anointed for its service, the typical incident of this lesson conveys to us a solemn warning of responsibility. Nadab and Abihu, the two eldest sons of Aaron, without authority presumed to offer incense before the Lord. This duty was appointed to Aaron only. It was to be performed in a particular way, and only on the day of atonement, and with fire taken from the altar of sacrifice. (`Lev. 16:2,11-13`.) In offering the incense these two members of the priesthood took upon themselves to do what they were not commanded to do, and also in a time and manner unauthorized, taking the fire also from some other source than the altar of sacrifice. Their burning incense was therefore called "strange fire" --unauthorized. Their sin was a presumptuous sin, and the penalty was death. As immediately following the record (`verses 9-11`), there is the prohibition of wine or strong drink to the priests in the service of the tabernacle, the intimation seems to be that the two offenders were to some extent under such influence when they offered the "strange fire"--strange or unacceptable incense.
What is the lesson here shadowed forth for the antitypical priesthood, the truly consecrated and anointed Church of Christ? The special lesson to all such is, Beware of presumptuous sins! The offering of incense by Aaron, the typical High Priest, and made by fire from the altar of sacrifice, represented the sweet odor unto God of the perfect obedience of Christ, our great High Priest, even when tried in the fires of the altar of sacrifice. As thus on the day of atonement, after the offering of the sin-offering, Aaron burned the incense in the holy place before the Lord, so Christ, after offering his great sacrifice for us, entered into heaven itself with the sweet incense of his perfect obedience, and his sacrifice was therefore acceptable to God on our behalf. (`Heb. 9:24`; `Rev. 8:3`.) And as the offering of the sacrifice with the incense was on behalf of the under-priests and of all Israel as well, so the offering of Christ is for the priesthood, the Church, as well as for the whole world. (`1 John 2:2`.) True, we are to be laid with him on the altar of sacrifice; but our sacrifice would avail nothing were it not for his sacrifice and the sweet odor of his personal merit ascending God with our prayers for a share in his meritorious covering.--`Rev. 8:3`.
We, the Church, the antitypical under-priests, must therefore beware of the presumptuous sin of offering strange fire, strange incense, before the Lord, of presuming to approach God in our own righteousness. Only in acknowledgement of the sweet savor of Christ's righteousness, applied to us by faith in his blood, are we acceptable with God. Another lesson is that we should pay our vows unto the Most High with scrupulous exactness, and, to this end, keep the head clear and the heart right by obediently abstaining
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from the intoxicating spirit of the world; but "Be ye filled with the spirit"--the spirit of obedience and of a sound mind. (`Psa. 19:13`; `Eph. 5:17,18`; `2 Tim. 1:7`.) In so doing we shall not be tempted to offer strange fire before the Lord, but will humbly trust in the acceptable incense of Christ our Redeemer, and ever observe a well defined line between the holy and the unholy, the clean and the unclean.--`Lev. 10:9-11`.
The displeasure of the Lord against those who presume to approach him with "strange fire"--knowing that they are not coming in his appointed way--is indicated, and the penalty illustrated, in the fate of the two sons of Aaron. (`Verse 2`.) "And there went out a fire from the Lord [probably a lightning stroke] and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron [in explanation of the summary judgment], This is what the Lord hath spoken, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace."--`Verse 3`.
The destruction of the two presumptuous priests who thus attempted to present themselves before the Lord in other than his appointed way illustrates the teaching of the Lord and the apostles that the second death will be that "sorer punishment" which those of the antitypical priesthood will incur who attempt to appear before the Lord and to offer strange fire--strange incense which he did not authorize and cannot approve. The righteousness of Christ is the only acceptable incense; and we dare not come in our own. That we have been called to the priesthood and anointed with the holy anointing oil (the holy spirit) is no guarantee that we shall retain that office if we do despite unto the spirit of favor, despise God's appointed way, and so forfeit his approval. (`Heb. 10:29,30`.) Nor is the penalty indicated merely the forfeiture of the official honor; but it is death, the second death, from which there shall be no awakening. Let us not lose sight of the fact that the Lord has declared that he will be sanctified, that his name shall be honored before the people in those whom he owns as his consecrated priests. And those taking upon themselves the vows of the priesthood and receiving the divine anointing, who afterward at heart despise the Lord's appointments and ignore their covenant relationship with him,
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have no other hope than that indicated in the death of the two typical priests who offered strange fire.
"And Aaron held his peace." In the office of high priest, Aaron was a type of Christ, the High Priest of our profession, who will make no intercession for the recovery of those who sin unto death. His silence approves the judgment of God.
And Moses called the relatives of the two dead priests and said unto them, "Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. So they went near and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said. And Moses said unto Aaron and unto Eleazer and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads; neither rend your clothes, lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people; but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled [bewail the fact that these had so incurred the wrath of God]. And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation [--ye shall not leave the holy place to follow after and lament the dead ones], lest ye [also] die; for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you [--i.e., you are consecrated to full submission and obedience to the will of God]. And they did according to the word of Moses"--the representative of God.--`Verses 4-7`. So all who remain loyal to God will approve his righteous judgments. Nor will they leave the holy place of fellowship and communion with God to follow those spiritually dead into the outer darkness. And all who have the spirit of God will show by their conduct that, while they approve God's righteous sentence, they feel as he does about it, when he says, "As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth."--`Ezek. 33:11`.
It is a fact worthy of notice that one-half of those called and consecrated to the typical priesthood (as under-priests, representing the consecrated of this age) forfeited their lives by offering the strange fire. If this proportion is typical of a similar loss amongst the called and consecrated of this age, it bids us be all the more upon our guard to make our calling and election sure.
While the death penalty was promptly visited upon the erring typical priests we must not forget that theirs was not the "sorer punishment"--the second death--due to a violation of the New Covenant obligations by the antitypical priesthood. They forfeited only the present life, or rather the few more years they might otherwise have lived. In the resurrection-day they also will come forth to trial for everlasting life under the favorable circumstances of Christ's glorious reign.
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THE MEMORIAL ANNIVERSARY.
BROTHER Mott's letter, below, may be of general interest as supporting the views already presented in this journal on the subject. See our issues of March '91, April 1, '94 and March 15, '95.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--In the course of a study as to the origin and history of Easter Sunday, I discovered some facts which appear to confirm the view that the Lord's Supper should be observed as an annual memorial.
The Americanized Encyclopaedia Britannica, [We can supply this work at $5.00 per set of 20 volumes, paper covers, postpaid.], under the title "Ecclesiastical Calendar," contains the following:
"So early as the second century of our era, great disputes had arisen among the early Christians, respecting the proper time of celebrating Easter, which governs all the other movable feasts. The Jews celebrated their Passover on the 14th day of the first month, that is to say, the lunar month of which the 1st either falls on, or next follows, the day of the vernal equinox. Most Christian sects agreed the Easter should be celebrated on a Sunday. Others followed the example of the Jews, and adhered to the 14th of the moon; but these, as they usually happened to be the minority, were accounted heretics, and received the appellation of Quartodecimnians. In order to terminate dissensions, which produced both scandal and schism in the church, the Council of Nice, which was held in the year 325, ordained that the celebration of Easter should thenceforth always take place on the Sunday which immediately follows the full moon that happens upon, or next after, the day of the vernal equinox. Should the 14th of the moon, which is regarded as the day of full moon, happen on a Sunday, the celebration of Easter was deferred to the Sunday following, in order to avoid concurrence with the Jews and the above mentioned heretics."
It is conceded that there exists a great diversity of opinion as to the proper time for the observance of the Lord's Supper, indicating that early in the history of the Church this most important ordinance had been tampered with by the great apostasy, the mystery of iniquity, which began to work in apostolic times, but is now fully developed and recognized as the Man of Sin.
The difference of opinion which gave rise to the "great disputes" mentioned in the article quoted could not have been with reference to Easter, which, as every one knows, is intended to be in memory of the Resurrection--which could not by any process of calculation be made to fall upon the same day as the Passover of the Jews. It was clearly the Lord's death which was in question, and those poor "heretics" were contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, protesting, by their adherence to the true traditions of the Church, against the innovations of a corrupt and ambitious priesthood, who were willing to make any concessions to the pagan world in exchange for temporal power.
Pasch (Greek, pascha, for Passover) is defined by Webster as "The Feast of Easter."
The month of April was also called "Mensis Paschalis" (Passover Month), and "Easter Monath" in honor of the Anglo-Saxon goddess, Eastra; which further supports our position that Easter is nothing but a heathen substitute for the Christian Passover, wholly unauthorized by the Lord or his apostles, and another of the vile counterfeits of Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.
Yours for the One faith, E. C. MOTT.