VOL. XXIII. SEPTEMBER 15, 1902. No. 18.
Views from the Watch Tower........................275
"There Were Giants in Those
Prof. Moorehead Much Troubled.................277
Our Present Civilization......................280
Our Annual Conventions............................280
Poem--A Savior and A
"So Moses the Servant of God
"Be Strong and Of Good Courage"...................284
Interesting Questions Answered....................287
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FAVORABLE METHODS OF SERVICE.
The chiefest service we could commend, open to all who are unencumbered and in active use of their faculties, is the colporteur work. It is an honorable form of ministering the truth from house to house, as the apostles served. It is a service which the Lord seems to have blessed as much or more than any other for gathering the "wheat." It is apparent at once to all that to sell such books as the DAWNS at 25 cents each, cannot be for money-making: that it is merely another way of preaching the truth. No other religious books are sold at any such price. Indeed few subscription books sell for less than two to three dollars each. Any who can serve in this work are invited to write to us for "Hints to Colporteurs."
OUR NEW BIBLES.
The three dollar grade is gone, except a few which we have agreed to hold until the end of the year. We still have a hundred or two of the two dollar grade, but they will not last long.
We have a few of both grades without pictures, to permit their being sent by mail to foreign countries. We will hold these for the foreign friends until November 15th: after that they will be open to all, for same prices, $2 and $3 postpaid.
"TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF BETTER SACRIFICES" is out of stock temporarily (both English and German), but we hope to have plenty very soon.
WE REGRET inability to supply charts promptly--except the 25c wall chart with metal hangers. Will fill orders for others as quickly as possible. Painters as well as printers in this vicinity are extremely busy at present.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
"THERE WERE GIANTS IN THOSE DAYS."
Recently W. F. Clarke, of Wilkesbarre, Pa., addressed to President Baer of the Reading R.R., appealing to him on religious grounds to end the anthracite coal strike. Mr. Baer's reply, which has excited general criticism, follows:--
"My Dear Mr. Clark: I have your letter of the 16th inst.
"I do not know who you are. I see that you are a religious man, but you are evidently biased in favor of the right of the workingman to control a business in which he has no other interest than to secure fair wages for the work he does.
"I beg of you not to be discouraged. The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for --not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given the control of the property interests of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends. Do not be discouraged. Pray earnestly that right may triumph, always remembering that the Lord God omnipotent still reigns, and that His reign is one of law and order, and not of violence and crime. "Yours truly,
"GEORGE F. BAER, President."
Now that the world is passing under the dominion of the "giants" (trusts, combines, etc.), it should not surprise us to find the claim advanced that these are of divine creation and have divine rights. Mr. Baer's view is not hypocritical in our opinion; but is the result of failure to discern that Satan is the "prince of this world" or dispensation, who under his law of selfishness is permitted of God to "deceive the whole world:" in order that eventually all may see to what lengths Selfishness would lead--ultimately wrecking the present order--social, political, financial and religious--and thus preparing for the establishment of Christ's Millennial Kingdom of love and righteousness upon the ruins of Satan's dominion and the binding of Satan that he may "deceive the nations no more until the thousand years are ended." --`Rev. 20:1-4`.
Seeing present conditions foretold in Scripture we can look with sympathy on both parties to the coming conflict. We see the battle between them clearly set forth in God's Word. We see both parties to that struggle awake to certain truths and blind to each other's arguments. From our vantage point we see both right and both wrong--both contending conscientiously for "rights", yet both missing the real standard of right, because blinded by selfishness. We see that the fault lies less with the people on both sides of these controversies, and more with the false selfish standards which constitute the warp and woof of all present institutions: so much so that it cannot be patched, but will be permitted of the Lord to work out its own destruction, as a preparation for the new order of things promised the groaning creation under the glorified Christ and his Kingdom.
The New York Times declares that President Baer's utterance "verged very close upon unconscious blasphemy." The New York Tribune declares:
"Strict-construction theologians have before now insisted upon the close relations between Calvinism and coal. It is something new, however, to find a hardheaded financier setting up as a doctrine of the business world the predestination of the Pennsylvania coal mines to the all-wise control of President Baer and his fellow presidents of coal companies. Doubtless good Calvinists have accepted the management of the coal operators, like everything else that is, as being somehow or other in some mysterious way in harmony with the ultimate designs of a God who endures evil and makes even the wrath of men to praise Him. But few of them have reached the point of considering the so-called 'coal barons,' as shining examples of God's perfect work, in which His loving designs for the welfare of the whole human race were made manifest. It seems, however, that is the true doctrine which all religious men should hold....
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"It will take a load from the consciences of many earnest people to have this authoritative declaration that God, through the kindness of the coal operators, will be able to manage this strike in accordance with the dictates of infinite wisdom. There have been some persons who believe in law and order, and have no sympathy with riotous strikers or demagogic agitators, who have not hitherto been able to detect infinite wisdom sitting at any of the coal presidents' desks, but doubtless they were mistaken. In their blindness they have said it was the duty of the operators to operate; that they should either meet their men half-way and settle the difficulty, or, under the protection of the State, put other men to work and mine coal. They have had a notion that God put the coal in the earth to furnish heat for men's needs, and thought there was some slip in the cogs of the universe when they could not buy coal because President Baer, God's vicegerent at the mines, would not work them. But if it is a part of the divine order that we should all pay $10 a ton till the surplus stock is worked off, so let it be. Only we should like to ask a question or two. Are the coal operators infallible individually, or only when they are gathered together, like a church council, about an office table to fix rates and say what each retailer must sell his coal for on pain of having his God-given supply cut off? Was the agreement of two years ago, which the operators say was so unwise and has made so much trouble, also dictated by infinite wisdom?"
The New York American & Journal, always extremely caustic in referring to labor troubles, and evidently predisposed to score the wealthy to the extremest limit, uses the following very severe language:-- THE ASTOUNDING BLASPHEMY OF A MODERN PIRATE.
"'The rights and interests of the laboring man,' writes President Baer, of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, to a correspondent who appealed to him as a Christian to end the coal strike, 'will be protected and cared for, not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given control of the property interests of the country.'
"Mr. Baer, as one of the most influential members of the Coal Trust, no doubt sincerely feels that he is especially commissioned to carry out the Divine will as a protector of labor and manager of the property interests of the country. He is so happily constituted that he can see no satire in the old syllogism:
"'The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof. His saints shall inherit the earth.
"'We are the saints:
"'Therefore we inherit the earth.'
"Heaven, whose deputy Mr. Baer so ingenuously and modestly declares himself to be, while endowing him with a shark's appetite and capacity for seizing things, has mercifully denied him the sense of humor. Thus is he spared the consciousness of sin when he blasphemes. Indeed, when Mr. Baer blasphemes he does so solemnly, with a warming and uplifting feeling that he is performing a religious rite and doing a virtuous deed. This blessing is vouchsafed only to those who in all things except money-getting are dense beyond the understanding of ordinary men.
"Not since last February has one of the pious plutocracy --who protect the 'rights and interests of the laboring man' and 'to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given the control of the property interests of the country'--favored a subject people with a specimen of unconscious blasphemy at all approaching in stupendous insolence and monstrous self-righteousness that of Brother Baer.
"It was in February that young Mr. Rockefeller, heir apparent to the Standard Oil millions, informed the Young Men's Christian Association of Brown University that the trusts are God's work--that it is by the Almighty's design that small competitors are killed off in order that a great monopoly may arise. He soared to flowery illustration, thus:
"'The American Beauty rose can be produced in the splendor and fragrance which bring cheer to its beholder only by sacrificing the early buds which grow up around it. This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working out of a law of nature and a law of God. There is no real difference between business and the Christian life.'
"And the whole history of the Standard Oil monopoly is the history of a crime!
"Brother Baer, proclaimed by himself an agent sent of God to take possession of and care for the property of the rest of us, though blind to blasphemy in himself, has doubtless a hawk's eye for detecting a sacrilegious spirit in others.
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"The Coal Trust, according to Mr. Baer, being, like that American Beauty rose in the commercial garden, the Standard Oil Trust, a Divine institution, it manifestly follows that he regards any meddling with its sacrosanct operations as an affront to Heaven. It is true the Coal Trust violates those human laws which forbid the railroad companies that comprise it to engage in coal mining and to form a combine, but the Coal Trust being of celestial origin and under the direct protection of Deity (President Baer vicegerent), what are human laws to it?
"The pious pirate is no new thing. Often in the old days the prayerful buccaneer imperilled in a stormy sea vowed candles to the Virgin in exchange for a safe deliverance, and to add a wing or a tower to a church was not an unheard of act of gratitude after a voyage in which much booty had been gathered and many passengers and seamen on captured galleons made to walk the plank.
"But President Baer and the relations between a just God and the thieving trusts must be left to the pulpit for adequate treatment. Only the pulpit can deal with blasphemy so crass and horrible as it ought to be dealt with, without seeming to be as blasphemous as Baer himself. And all the privileges and immunities of the sacred desk will be needed for a task which no layman may undertake who would not sin against reverence even in appearance.
"The Lord God Omnipotent still reigns,' exclaims the amazing Baer of the Coal Trust, 'and his reign is one of law and order, and not of violence and crime.'
"And still stands the Commandment, delivered through Moses on awful Sinai to all men:
"'THOU SHALT NOT STEAL!'"
* * *
To avoid extremes of sentiment on questions of this kind which appeal to the favored classes in one light and to the masses in another, it is necessary that we take a broad comprehensive view of the subject--
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past and present. Selfishness has been the law of our race ever since Sin and Death gained control; and even where the nobler organs are given a voice in shaping our convictions and conduct, Selfishness, more or less, twists and colors all conclusions. Even amongst those begotten of the Spirit to newness of mind the fact that the new mind must be exercised through the fallen flesh is very sure to pervert its judgment in some measure, for a time, at least, until the new will learns to use the Golden Rule with accuracy.
It was natural that the doctrine of "the divine right of kings" should establish itself--that the favored classes and individuals should claim divine power in attaining and maintaining their authority and power over mankind. Indeed in ancient times the great rulers claimed not only divine favor, but further that they were related to the gods and were, therefore, properly objects of worship: in accordance with this thought the Emperors of Rome were styled Pontifex Maximus (Chief Priest), and their statues were set up for homage and adoration. This view possibly came originally from Israel, whose kings were, indeed, of divine appointment as part of a typical system which foreshadowed the yet to be Kingdom of Heaven established upon earth, for which we still pray, "Thy Kingdom come." With the passing of Israel's Kingdom as a type, all kingdom-types passed away and we now look only for the antitype. Nevertheless, the Czar of Russia and the Pope of Rome are each still accepted as "Pontifex Maximus" by millions; and all kings--especially the German Emperor--like to appeal to their people for obedience and support along this line.
Mr. Baer in a recent interview with Senator Quay on the same subject declared:--
"We are not fighting labor organizations. We fully recognize the right of men to organize to protect themselves from oppression and to benefit themselves in any legitimate way. But we do oppose their unreasonable interference with the discipline and ordinary management of our business. We will not permit them to select our employes. Neither politics, religion, nationality nor membership in labor organizations shall debar any competent man from working for us. We are fighting the battle of freedom for the individual, and his right to labor on his own terms.
"The coal operators say that they cannot mine coal, because the miners make demands which render it impossible to mine coal profitably, and that the state has enacted laws prohibiting the employment of men in the mines unless they have worked two years in the anthracite mines, and therefore they cannot, for the time being, mine coal. How, then, under the circumstances can there be any violation of public duty?
PROF. MOOREHEAD MUCH TROUBLED.
Professor W. G. Moorehead of Xenia College, is well known to readers of Millennial Dawn and Zion's Watch Tower, as the one man in the world found capable of writing a tract against Millennial Dawn that has circulated widely. His has made the Professor famous in heaven and in earth; because no one else being able to write anything on the subject worthy of printers' ink, his tract has been reprinted by the hundreds of thousands by various of our enemies North, South, East and West. The Professor owes something to Millennial Dawn for his earthly fame surely; but alas, we fear he has a contra account in heaven where sophistical "dust" deceives none, and where a man's condemnation corresponds with his misuse of his talents!--`Matt. 25:20`.
The "Moorehead Tract" may have blinded some, we know not, "God knoweth"; but we feel sure that it has injured and permanently blinded none of "the very elect," and we are giving ourselves no concern about it, but are trusting that the Lord will overrule it and all things to his praise, according to his own wisdom. Those who have seen it will remember that the Professor's chief objection to the Millennial Dawn was that it was being "forced upon the people at the ridiculously low price of 25 cents." Why he should object to this we do not know, unless he has some publications which look dear in comparison. However, he is even with us now, since his tract is absolutely free and being literally forced upon many.
Brother Moorehead is a "Pre-Millennialist," too, by the way; and we presume that his wrath against Millennial Dawn is chiefly on account of our "following not with him." (`Mark 9:38,39`.) His tract was his method of forbidding us, and stopping us; though he must admit that it has proved a miserable failure; for Millennial Dawn has gone forward amazingly and his opposition and that of his friends has had no evil effect so far as we are aware, except upon those who use it to fight against God, and against the truth.
Why do these so called "Pre-Millennialists" of whom Prof. Moorehead is an acknowledged leader, oppose the truths heralded by Millennial Dawn and Zion's Watch Tower? What different views do they hold? We don't mind advertising their views, and are sure that all of our readers are sufficiently in advance of them to appreciate the distinctions quite clearly.
(1) They are generally members of so-called "Orthodox" sects and hold in common with them that the great mass of mankind have gone to an eternal hell and a small minority to heaven; and that the conditions of all of these are eternally fixed at death, so that "the Kingdom of God's dear Son" (`Col. 1:13`) will profit them nothing. They hold that all who will be so lucky as to be alive when the Kingdom is established, will be blessed with extravagant opportunities and privileges of which their fellow-members of Adam's race have for six thousand years been deprived, to the eternal torment of almost all of them! True, they accept as true the Lord's words "All that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth," (`Jno. 5:28,29`) but they explain the transaction a little differently--that all that are in heaven shall come down and all that are in hell shall come up, at the Lord's command. They generally conceive this to be the work of a 24-hour judgment day at the close of the Millennium, and that the poor creatures will merely come forth for a farcical exhibition and be
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remanded to heaven and hell, and that at the same time the Lord and the good of earth will go off to heaven and the earth then take fire and burn up.
We, on the contrary, hold that none but the elect have gone into the heavenly condition; that the remainder of mankind are still sleeping in the tomb (sheol, hades) unconscious of the lapse of time or of anything else (see `Eccl. 9:5`), and that the Millennium is the promised time for the blessing of all with a clear knowledge of the truth and a full opportunity to embrace and obey it under the guidance and assistance of their Redeemer and his Bride; and that wilful rejectors will eventually be destroyed--not tormented. --`Acts 3:23`. We hold, with the Scriptures, that "the earth abideth forever" and that the "fire" coming is symbolic of the great social, financial and religious trouble which will overwhelm "the present evil world" and usher in the Millennium.--`Eccl. 1:4`; `Zeph. 1:18`; `3:8`; `Gal. 1:4`.
(3) They still hold the dark ages view of Trinity --that three times one is one. That Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three names for one God. Hence, that the Father and Holy Spirit died if Christ died. But that since God cannot die, and the universe could not be supposed to go on for even one day without its Creator and Ruler, and since Christ is "the same in substance" with the Father and Holy Spirit, therefore Christ cannot have died really, but merely in appearance
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--deceptively. That similarly, to produce an effect, our Lord cried on the cross "My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?" That again for effect and deceptively he said to Mary, "I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
That we may be seen not to misrepresent the subject of three Gods in one, we quote from the Presbyterian "Shorter Catechism:"
"Q.5. Are there more Gods than one?
"A. There is but one only, the living and true God.
"Q.6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
"A. There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory."
Surely it is high time that thinking Christians should repudiate such nonsense for which not a word of Bible testimony can be produced! Will not the Professor, if he still differs with us, take the trouble to publicly meet the editor of this journal in a candid, Christian, brotherly discussion of the disputed points, using for proof the Word of God only? We will bear all the expense, willingly. We suggest to him that in our opinion this would be a much more noble, much more gentlemanly, much more Christian method of procedure than sending out a scurrilous tract full of invectives and appealing only to the prejudices, and calling the writer "hydrophobic" and styling Millennial Dawn "nocturnal hallucination" and "the product of insanity," because it is perhaps too reasonable and logical and Scriptural for him to appreciate it.
We promise not to retaliate but, on the contrary, to treat the Professor as though he were a Christian gentleman in every sense of the word.
(4) They believe with us that Jesus was a spirit-being before he became a man; but they deny that in his resurrection he became a spirit-being as in the beginning. They claim that he is still "the man Christ Jesus" in heaven, altho they admit that all the holy angels are ministering spirits; and would doubtless admit that conditions suitable to spirit beings would be quite unsuited to fleshly beings. They hold that our Lord's second coming will be in flesh and that he and the apostles and all the saints will have thrones and palaces and earthly court and pomp and splendor much as earthly kings now do, only on a more lavish scale, etc., etc.
We object to this as being contrary both to the Scriptures and to sound judgment. It is not reasonable to suppose that our Lord's obedience to the performance of the Father's will even unto death, (`Heb. 10:9`), should to all eternity cost him the encumbrance of the flesh--and that with scars and wounds, as is claimed. We hold with the Bible that "Now the Lord is that spirit" (`2 Cor. 3:17`); and that though he was "put to death in the flesh he was quickened in spirit" (`I Pet. 3:18`); and that "tho we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth, know we him [so] no more." (`2 Cor. 5:16`.) We hold with the Bible that "flesh and blood can not inherit the Kingdom of God" (`I Cor. 15:50`), and that when that Kingdom is established it will be spiritual and invisible; and hence that men shall not say, "Lo here" or "Lo there!" for "the Kingdom of God cometh not with observation" (outward show) but shall be in the midst of men unseen.--See `Luke 17:20,21`.
We hold that Christ and his glorified Church will be as invisible to men as are Satan and his angels now;--because they will be spirit beings; that this is the meaning of the "change" promised; "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (`I Cor. 15:51,52`), "we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (`I Jno. 3:2`), and share his glory; and his glory and presence are now like those of the Father, "whom no man hath seen nor can see," "dwelling in light which no man can approach unto." (`I Tim. 6:16`). Only because of her "change" can the Church behold her Lord's glory and that of the Father.
THE PROFESSOR'S GRIEVANCE.
We will let the Professor tell us of his troubles --how he stared, and rubbed his eyes and felt vexed and annoyed by our "astonishing translation of `John 1:1`", --the more so because he could not deny its correctness. The clipping (from Watchword and Truth) reads thus:--
A NEW RENDERING OF `JOHN 1:1`.
The publication of the little tract entitled "Brief Review of Millennial Dawn" by the Watchword and Truth seems to have disturbed somewhat the defenders of the heresies of that book. From three different sources there has come to the writer an astonishing translation of `Jno. 1:1`. One is found in "Zion's Watch Tower," dated April 1, 1902, and received a few days ago. The translation in this paper is
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heavily marked with a blue pencil, and on the margin are written in blue pencil the words, "Moorehead should read this." Well, yes; he has read "this," and had read it before with some attention. Here it is: "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with the God, and the Logos was a God: the same was in the beginning with the God." (The italics are in the paper referred to above.) When I first read this translation I rubbed my eyes and stared. When the last of the three came with its blue pencil emphasis and the marginal exhortation, I polished my glasses, re-read and stared! Obviously the import of it is, to remove this text from the sphere of testimony to our Lord's pre-incarnate Deity. It is thus employed in the little tract. Therein it is asserted the verse teaches (1), Christ's eternity: (2), His eternal separate existence: (3), His Deity. The Millennial Dawn translation seems intended to exclude this interpretation and to fasten another and a very different meaning on the verse. It makes Christ a God as distinguished from the God!
The Millennial Dawn people may perhaps ask: "but is not our translation of the verse exactly literal?" Yes, surprisingly literal. The reader who is not acquainted with the Greek may be here informed that the definite article the is very often attached (not always) to the term God in the original of the N.T. Its use there is idiomatic. Our English forbids it save in certain well-defined cases, as e.g. "The God of Abraham," etc. Its presence or absence in each is governed by the genius of the two tongues respectively.
But let us follow the example of the above queer rendering of `Jno. 1:1`, and apply the method to other places of Scripture. In this same first chapter of John four times the Greek word God is found without the definite article the. Let us read these and hear how they sound: `verse 6`. "There was a man sent from a God whose name was John:" `verse 12`, "But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the children of a God: `verse 13`, "Which were born...of a God:" `verse 18`, "No man hath seen a God at any time." Quite recently I read the eighth chapter of Romans through in the original, and found that ten times the apostle uses the name without the article, and in each instance the name is employed to designate the Supreme God. Let us read but one verse with Dawn-ist translation inserted: `verse 14`, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of a God, they are the sons of a God." How does it sound, brethren? This silly nonsense is matched only by the Reims version of `Heb. 11:21`: "By faith Jacob when he was a dying
Nor is this all. One of the commonest rules of Greek Grammar as touching the use of the definite article the is this: In a simple sentence the subject generally takes the article while its predicate omits it. `Jno. 1:1`, third clause, is a simple, definite statement with a subject and a predicate; the subject is, "the Word" (Logos), and its predicate unquestionably is, "God," and hence the latter word does not take the article. Will some one kindly loan these gentlemen a Greek Grammar?
Furthermore, there is a Greek adjective that expresses exactly the idea of a divine or god-like being, but who is not necessarily himself God. It is the word theios. This word John might have used had he wished to convey the idea that Christ in his pre-incarnate state was like a God. But John does not use this term, instead he employs the supreme title of God and applies it most emphatically to the Lord Jesus Christ in his eternal pre-existent state.
Once more, if John had inserted the article the before the term God in the third clause of the verse, then the word would have embraced the entire Godhead, and a distinction of the Persons in the Trinity would have been obliterated. Had he written (to follow again the example of the Dawn translation), "and the Word was the God," then Christ would have been the whole of the Trinity. He might as well have written, "The Son is the Father," for that would have been the exact equivalent.
But enough of this. The only justification of this brief article lies in the bizarre rendering of `Jno. 1:1` which has been offensively thrust upon the writer as a triumphant reply to his use of that text as proof of Christ's everlasting equality with the Father, as himself God; and this, too, with blue pencil emphasis and marginal admonition.
--W. G. Moorehead.
* * *
We are sorry that such trifles so worry the Professor, and advise our friends that they hereafter remember that the more head a Professor has the more bother he has in using it,--if the arguments are against him. We reflect, that if the brief reference to `John 1:1` made so much rubbing of eyes necessary, it is fortunate that the Professor did not first see the full and extended treatment of this and cognate passages in Millennial Dawn, Vol. V., for then he might have rubbed his eyes out. However, on the other hand, blind eyes need considerable rubbing and washing
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and especially anointing before sight comes. We hope and pray that the Professor may have such a blessing in this respect as the Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian Christians.--`Eph. 1:17,18`; `3:17,18,19`.
And now, what about the above? It is certainly an improvement on the "Moorehead Tract" in that it is a little more honest and Christian in its general style, avoiding some of the slang and invective of the latter; yet, we must confess disappointment that ten years of "growth in grace" has accomplished so little improvement: that the Professor is still so willing to "handle the Word of God deceitfully" and to throw "dust" into the eyes of those who have reason to expect better things of him as a minister and a Professor of theology! See what the Lord says respecting such bell-wether professors who befoul the waters of truth so that his sheep cannot drink at the streams of truth.--`Ezek. 34:18,19`, read also `verses 10-16`.
The Professor being unable to deny the exactness and literalness of the translation, acknowledges it in such a manner as to mislead those unacquainted with the Greek and who trust to his candor, by effecting irony, saying, "Yes, surprisingly literal" and again referring to it as "this queer rendering of `John 1:1`." Again, without denying the absolute correctness of the rendering, he throws more "dust" into the eyes of his credulous friends by a little "acting," to deceive;
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saying, "Will some one kindly loan these gentlemen a Greek Grammar?" His assurance in this is based upon the fact that only a small minority of his readers have Greek New Testaments or any ability to understand them and to see his trickery.
We make no claim to originality in respect to `John 1:1`. It was written and printed nearly eighteen centuries before we were born. It is God's Word and not ours--the article showing emphasis and all, and any sport made of it is answerable for to God, and to him who said "Whosoever is ashamed of me and of my words of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed." We do not even claim originality as to the proper translation of `John 1:1`. Our attention was called to it by The Emphatic Diaglott--an interlineary word for word Greek and English New Testament, in general use and of high repute.
The Professor's quotations from `John 1`, and `Romans 8`, "a God" is so much more "dust". We make no claim that the Greek article showing emphasis is used every time the Father is referred to as God; but, on the contrary, that its use in `John 1:1` is made necessary to distinguish between God the Father and God the Son, and to show what our Saviour's words fully attested; saying, "My Father is greater than I." "I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." "I seek not to do mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."--`John 14:28`; `6:38`; `5:30`.
Notice carefully the next to last paragraph of the Professor's article. He here most positively acknowledges the correctness of our translation;--acknowledges that the article (the) in the third clause must be omitted, in order to show that Christ is not the God but a God. The Professor evidently has a Greek grammar and knows how to use it too, if only it suited his theory to tell the whole truth.
OUR PRESENT CIVILIZATION.
What is the real character of our present civilization? We may as well face the facts. It is gigantic in invention, discovery, enterprise, achievement; but it is gigantically worldly; sometimes and somewheres monstrously God-denying and God-defying. This "Christian civilization" has produced giants in these days, men of renown, but they often use their intellect, knowledge and fame only to break down, as with the iron flail of Talus, all Christian faith. Philosophy now blooms into a refined and poetic Pantheism, or a gross, blank Materialism, or a subtle Rationalism, or an absurd Agnosticism. Science constructs its systems of evolution, and leaves out a personal God; Spontaneous Generation becomes the only creator, Natural Law the only determining power, and Natural Selection the only Providence.
"Such men as Strauss and Renan, Hegel and Comte, Goethe and Kant, Mill and Spencer, Darwin and Huxley, Matthew Arnold and Theodore Parker are specimens of men who owe their education, refinement, accomplishment, to the very Christianity they attack. The cubs first nurse the dam, and then turn and strike their fangs into her breast. Civilization itself is turned into the stronghold of unbelief; its imaginations and inventions are high towers that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, and the thoughts of our great thinkers have not been brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
"We have the ripest form of worldly civilization, but the ripeness borders on rottenness; while men boast of the fabric, its foundations are falling into decay, and that awful Anarchy which is the last result of Atheism even now threatens to dissolve society itself. Government is rendered helpless by the destructive forces which science has put into the hands of the ignorant and lawless. The ballot and the bullet alike become weak in competition with dynamite, and wars become impossible until men are ready for mutual extermination. Rev. A. T. Pierson, D.D.
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OUR ANNUAL CONVENTIONS.
ON THE LAST page will be found notices of the two conventions for this year. In some respects we would have preferred to have but one, but the distances to be traveled, and hence the expense involved, would have been too great for many. By having the one at Washington and the other at Des Moines a much larger number of the Lord's people can be served, and thus the blessing which usually attends these meetings can be distributed to a larger number. Only yesterday we heard from a brother who last year attended the Cleveland Convention, relating how great a blessing he had received, and that it had continued with him throughout the year, and that he would attend one of the conventions this season. We do not write to urge any to attend who are not financially able--and we know that this is true of many of the Lord's faithful ones--but we do urge that those who propose attending shall promptly send us their addresses that accommodations may be secured for them in advance, and that thus they may be freed from annoyance and we also be spared the inconvenience of arranging during convention hours such matters as might better be all arranged beforehand. We desire that the convention time be appropriated wholly to spiritual matters--not only by the visitors, but also by the brethren and sisters of the home church. If, therefore, you have determined to attend either convention, and have not yet sent us your address with full particulars, as to the names, sex, color, etc., of your party, do so immediately--before you forget it. All rooms for the conventions ought to be engaged by now, as both cities will be full to overflowing on account of the cheap excursion rates.
Such of the friends as may be able to afford the expense of travel, but not the expense of entertaining will please write us specially to this effect, and some arrangement will be made for them by our kind entertainers.
On the mornings of the opening of the Conventions (and on preceding evenings if notified) representatives of the home churches will be on hand at the various depots, to assist and direct arriving friends. These may be known by carrying in their hands or other conspicuous place copies of the Watch
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Tower, and all visiting friends should likewise display copies of the Watch Tower, that they may be identified. However, should you arrive at another time, or should you fail to meet the watchers, the addresses furnished in the announcement on last page of this issue will be quite sufficient to enable you to reach the convention without trouble.
We are hoping for delightful seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, as usual, and trust that all who attend will come seeking to bestow a blessing upon others as well as to receive blessing upon themselves. Let the spirit of love, peace, contentment, joy in the holy spirit, rule in our hearts and make them thus receptive to the blessed influences of the word of grace and truth.
Those who cannot attend, of course, will be many more than the few who will be present; but they will be remembered in our petitions, as we trust we shall be remembered in theirs. We hope that those not in attendance, will, during the sessions of the conventions, let us have their hearts and sympathies, that they too may share the blessing. And our trust is that, as on former occasions, those who do attend the conventions will carry home with them rich measures of the spiritual refreshment poured out upon the assemblies according to divine promise. Let us see to it that we bring our consecrated hearts and powers fully into accord with our Lord and his providential arrangements, that thus we may claim his promise to pour us out a blessing that we will not be able fully to receive, but which will overflow upon others far and near.
We learn that tickets to Washington Convention will not be on sale in season to permit all to get there for the opening. We have therefore added another day.
Some seem to get a wrong impression respecting the purchase of the excursion tickets to these conventions;
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they seem to think that it would be wrong for us who are not "Odd Fellows" nor members of the "Grand Army," to avail ourselves of these cheap excursions. This is a decided mistake; the excursions are open to anybody, and probably not more than one-half of those using the tickets will be members of the orders named. There is nothing dishonorable about it. It is fully understood by the railways, and not only ourselves but others make it a habit to hold conventions at the same time with these large conventions, so as to take advantage of the cheap rates granted by the railways--which are only granted because of the large numbers expected to be in attendance. The railways do what they can to get as much travel as possible on these excursion tickets.
A SAVIOR AND A GREAT ONE!
A ghastly sight shows in the shivering air
On Calvary's brow:
The Savior of mankind, in love, hangs there;
While followers bow
The head low on the breast and sadly sigh,
"How can he be Messiah--if he die?"
A jeering mob surrounds the cursed knoll
And mocks the Lord;
Yet to his lips comes from his stricken soul
The precious word--
"Father, forgive; they know not what they do--"
E'er o'er his face creeps dissolution's hue.
"'Tis finished," rings in triumph through the sky;
He bows his head.
And, while the querying soldiers mark the cry,
The Lord is dead.
All anguish past, his triumph doth begin,
The world is saved, a death blow dealt to sin.
Jerusalem, amazed, hears soldiers tell
(With terror cold)
How Christ has vanquished Satan, death and hell,
As he foretold.
And feeble fishers forcefully proclaim,
"There is salvation in no other name."
A Sabbath's journey from the city gate,
With sorrow shod,
Two sad disciples bear their sorry weight
To their abode.
The Christ appears, while holden are their eyes
And doth expound wherefor Messiah dies.
Emmaus reached, the Lord would further go.
They gently chide--
"Thou hast beguiled our weary tears, and so
With us abide."
He brake their bread,--then vanished from their sight.
Their hearts did burn with holy joy that night.
Still thus he comes; and though the faulty sight
Of clouded eyes
Perceives him not, he makes the burden light,
And stills our cries:
For, like weaned babes, we mourn, the while he would
Our hearts sustain with stronger, richer food.
The tale is old, but ever sweetly new,
Why Jesus died.
The nail prints, doubting one, he shows to you,
And in his side
A spear thrust gapes--a passage rent apart,
For easy access to your Savior's heart.
It was for you, my brother, that he shed
His life so free.
For you, for me, he bowed his godlike head
On Calvary's tree;
That, trusting in the merit of his name,
We might be saved from sorrow, sin and shame.
The past sufficeth, surely, to have spent
In sinful deeds.
Come, join our band; and be our footsteps bent
Where Jesus leads.
So in his righteousness serenely dressed
We'll meet him face to face among the blest.
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"SO MOSES THE SERVANT OF GOD DIED."
--`DEUT. 34:1-12`.--SEPTEMBER 21.--
OUR LORD ALONE EXCEPTED, no character of history stands out before us so grandly and majestically as that of Moses, the great Apostle Paul, even, being overshadowed by him. If we think of him as a man, we see a sublime grandeur and nobility of character, combining strength with humility, wisdom with love and gentleness. If we consider him as the leader and deliverer of Israel, we find that he accomplished a greater work than any of the kind before or since. If we consider him as the lawgiver, we find in his code of laws justice, wisdom, mercy and an appreciation of human nature far superior to anything of his day, and the basis upon which the laws of Christendom in this twentieth century are built. If we consider him as a statesman, we find him wise, prudent, careful, yet broad. We see how he brought order out of confusion, and changed a disorganized rabble of over a million into a thoroughly organized and well ordered nation. But it is when we come to consider him as the servant of God that his character shines out most brilliantly. His faithfulness to God; his faithfulness to the trust committed to him as the Mediator for his people; his self-sacrificing spirit in connection with the entire work, indicating that he served not the god of fame or of ambition or of self-love, but the Lord of hosts.
The greatness of Moses would be incomprehensible to us from any other standpoint than that which the Scriptures set forth; viz., that he was under special divine direction as God's servant, and that, therefore, being naturally an able, efficient, humble, good man, had these manifold qualities of his character intensified by reason of the Lord's power working in him and through him for the effecting of the divine purposes.
Moses was now 120 years old; 40 years of his life had been spent as an Egyptian prince, in the court of Egypt, educated, trained, and in the public service as a general and a ruler. The second forty years of his life he was a shepherd in the wilderness, because of his love for the Lord, his appreciation of the divine promise, and his preference to share these with his brethren, the Israelites, rather than to continue in the favor of the Egyptians, their enemies and oppressors. We have already seen how this wilderness experience was probably valuable to him, enabling him to transform and transmute the knowledge and experiences already gained into a broad and deep philosophy, the foundation of which was faith in God and respect for his promises. Thus does God sometimes work by natural means to prepare the instruments for his service. The closing forty years of his life were devoted to the exercise of all the knowledge, experience and mental philosophy and faith previously gained, to the service of Israel as their leader, lawgiver, statesman--prophet, priest and king. And now his work was finished--the work which the Lord intended him to do. Another, Joshua, was to take up the work of leader, and he had already, by the Lord's direction, been formally and publicly ordained to this office, and Moses was ready to die.
In considering the fact that Moses was not permitted to go into the promised land, we are to bear in mind that he, as well as the nation of Israel, was being used of the Lord in a typical manner. We are not to go to the extreme of higher criticism, and to think of the deliverance from Egypt as an allegory. It was all true; the history of a series of facts; but truths and facts, under the Lord's guidance, may be so arranged as to be types of still higher facts, illustrations of still higher principles. One of the reasons mentioned why Moses was not permitted to lead Israel into the land of promise was the second smiting of the rock. The smiting the first time (`Exod. 17:1-7`) was by the Lord's direction, and the waters gushed forth, but the second time (`Num. 20:2-12`) the Lord said to Moses, "Speak unto the rock," but instead he smote the rock a second time.
In this he spoiled a type, while he made another type. Christ Jesus, the true Rock, was to be smitten but once for our sins, and as a result of that one smiting at Calvary the water of life would be obtained for all true Israelites to all time; and if for a season the flow was stopped it was only necessary that the Rock should be invoked in the name of the Lord, that the waters might again flow forth. Christ dieth no more; death has no dominion over him; therefore in the type the Rock should not have been smitten a second time. But the second smiting, nevertheless, made a new type, because as the Apostle explains, there are some now who crucify Christ afresh, and put him to an open shame--some of his professed followers denying or ignoring the value of the original sacrifice, denying the blood that bought them, are counted as committing the sin unto death--Second Death--and of these Moses became a type, and as a type of a class which would have to do with the antitype of the rock, he was debarred from Canaan.--`Heb. 6:4-6`.
But even aside from the making of this type, Moses would not have gone into the land of Canaan; because, from another point of view, he was the type of the Law Covenant, which must end before the people can enter into their rest. As Moses was the representative of the Law Covenant, so Joshua became the representative or type of the New Covenant and of its mediator, Jesus, the Deliverer. "The Law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." The Law was a pedagogue or guide to prepare and bring the Israelites along to the borders of Canaan, but the Law could never give them rest, could never take them into the land of promise. Christ, the antitype of Joshua, must do that. We are to remember, too, that Moses' error in smiting the Rock, did not involve him in the Second Death, nor will it work any injury to him as respects the future. It was comparatively a trivial matter, and taught him a valuable lesson which he evidently learned to the Lord's pleasement, and his failure to go into the land of promise, therefore, should not indicate a continuance of divine indignation against him, but merely a continuance of the divine purpose in making of him a type of a class who would have to do with the antitypical
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Rock, the antitypical water, and the antitypical smiting.
We might remark here, too, that those who smote the Lord the first time, at Calvary, have the promise of full forgiveness. They shall look upon him whom they pierced, and shall mourn for him, and the Lord will pour out upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication, and they shall have full opportunity of recompense and reconciliation. (`Zech. 12:10`.) It is those who, with greater knowledge, and after they have become partakers of the holy spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the age to come, sin wilfully and count the blood of the covenant a common thing--these are they who commit the real sin unto death, and for whom the Scriptures suggest no hope, or further opportunity, because they have sinned wilfully.
MOUNT PISGAH VIEWS.
At this time the Israelites were in the land of Moab, at the northern end of the Dead Sea, opposite Jericho, and nearly in line with the city of Jerusalem. They awaited the Lord's direction, by the pillar of cloud, before crossing Jordan to take possession of Canaan. Here, Moses' work being accomplished, the Lord led him up to Mount Pisgah's top, a lofty peak 3,586 feet above the sea-level. From this point an extended panoramic view was possible--is possible today. Here Moses saw much with his natural eyes, but much more with the eye of faith, seeing the promises which God had made to the tribes of Israel, through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and by his own mouth. He saw of the travail of his soul, and was satisfied. We hear not a murmur respecting the transfer of leadership and the cessation of his own labors. If God had used him in his service to the extent that he was pleased to do, the servant was thankful and satisfied.
"So Moses, the servant of God, died"--not from weakness and infirmity of age, for "his eye was not dimmed nor his natural force abated";--he died according to the word of the Lord. Throughout his
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life he had been the Lord's servant, used and blessed as such, protected and kept by the power of God through the many vicissitudes of life, and he who thus kept him, buried him in one of the many little inaccessible valleys of this Mount Pisgah. The Lord not only hid Moses in the grave, but hid the grave, so that no man knoweth its place. This also illustrates the divine wisdom; for, (1) had the place of the grave been known it no doubt would have been an object of veneration amongst the Israelites, a Mecca, to which pilgrimages would have been made, and the man Moses would have been honored, rather than the God whom this man represented, and whose servant and mouthpiece he was. (2) Doubtless, also, the hiding of the grave was typical, and represented that the Law Covenant, which died and passed away, was not to be revived; that the New Covenant, not only displaced, but thoroughly replaced it, so that there would never more be need for the Law Covenant in connection with the bringing of Israel to all the precious promises of God.
"Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime;
And departing leave behind us
Footprints in the sands of time."
This great truth, so beautifully expressed by the poet, finds a grand illustration in Moses. His life and character are a noble example, not only for the Lord's saints, but also for natural men. No one can study the life of Moses, and note its purity, its lofty ideals, its humility, its obedience to the Lord, its faithfulness to his fellows, without being bettered, ennobled, by the contemplation. And each one thus bettered himself by contemplating this noble character, should in turn seek to leave noble and enduring footprints for others, that perchance "some forlorn or shipwrecked brother seeing may take heart again."
The Book of Deuteronomy is chiefly composed of addresses by Moses to the Israelites, setting before them the various lessons they had received from the Lord, expounding to them the divine law, their duty to God and to man. It closes with the Song of Moses, and Moses' blessing of the nation, two poems whose beauty and literary merit are acknowledged as being of the highest order. Jacob called his twelve sons when dying and pronounced over them certain blessings. So now Moses, as the father of the nation, in these poems, completes his admonitions respecting them, his warnings and encouragements; and in these prophecies, not only their trials and difficulties and failures are foretold, but also their final victories, as we believe these victories shall ultimately be attained by all the Israel of God--all who will become by faith the children of Abraham--the Jew first and also the Gentile, during the Millennial age.--`Rom. 11:11,12,28-32`.
This song of Moses was evidently not merely for Israel, but prophetical, and was referred to by our Lord (`Rev. 15:3,4`), long after that nation had been blinded and given up as respects the high calling of this Gospel age. This is the song of Moses and the Lamb, which the overcomers are to sing, those who, with Christ, shall be members of the body of the great Prophet who shall bless, not only the literal seed of Abraham, but all the true Israel of God; all who shall become Israelites according to the faith and obedience of Abraham. This song, after telling of trying experiences, ends with rejoicing, saying, "Rejoice, all ye nations with his people!" The poem of blessing, which applied most particularly to the tribes of Israel, tho doubtless also typical of the elect 144,000 ends with rejoicing, saying, "Happy art thou, O Israel! Who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord?"--`Deut. 32` and `33`.
The scribe who wrote the Book of Deuteronomy at Moses' dictation finished its account as a historian, describing the death and burial of Israel's great leader, and declaring the great honor in which he was esteemed, recounting his mighty works, and ascribing these as did Moses himself, not to Moses personally, but to the Lord, who sent him to do them.
JOSHUA THE NEW LEADER.
Joshua was now eighty years of age, and was accepted by the Israelites as Moses' successor without murmur. They had, doubtless, learned some valuable lessons in their wilderness discipline. Joshua,
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it will be remembered, was Moses' companion when he went up into the mountain, Sinai, and there received the Law, and indeed throughout the wilderness journey he seems to have been the one above all others upon whom Moses could thoroughly rely. He and Caleb were the two spies who brought the favorable report, declaring that by the help of the Lord Israel might go up and assuredly take possession. In the change of leadership Israel learned another great lesson; viz., that their confidence and trust must not be in man; that so long as they recognized the Lord as their Leader they might feel safe and confident; because, altho others might pass away, the Lord would abide faithful and could raise them up at any time just such leaders as he saw best.
There is a lesson in this matter for spiritual Israelites as well. We are not to put our trust in leaders, but in the Lord. This does not signify that we are not to trust leaders, and not to acknowledge leaders, for all the history of the Lord's dealings with his people, the typical as well as the antitypical, shows us that he is pleased to use human agencies as his representatives in the teaching and leading of his people from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge. The lesson to be learned is that the Lord is thoroughly competent to manage his own work, and that while we may look for his leading through human agencies our trust is not in them, their wisdom, their strength, but in the Lord's wisdom and strength, guiding them and us through them.
Another lesson here set forth is found in the words, "Israel hearkened unto him [Joshua] and did as the Lord commanded Moses." Joshua was to be followed only as the people could realize that he was following God's instructions, given through Moses-- through the Law. In the antitype the great Deliverer Jesus, will be the commander of the people, will bless the people during the Millennial age, and they must hear him and must obey him, but all that he will speak and all that he will order will be in full accord with the divine law, as represented by Moses. The Christ, during the Millennial Kingdom, will attempt nothing on behalf of mankind in violation of the laws of righteousness, the laws of God. But everything in the way of lifting mankind up, will be by magnifying the Law of God, and making it honorable, and assisting all to conform their lives thereto, but not by that Law Covenant which is forever dead.
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"BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE."
--`JOSHUA 1:1-11`.--OCTOBER 5.--
JOSHUA, the newly appointed leader of Israel, had been Moses' "minister" or servant, not in a menial sense, but in that higher sense in which we speak of "ministers of the Lord", Ministers of State, Prime Ministers, etc. He was eighty years of age at this time, and hence must have been forty when Israel left Egypt. He was of the tribe of Ephraim, of one of its leading families, his grandfather, Elishama, having been a captain of the army of the Ephraimites, 40,500 in number, at the organization of the Israelites soon after the exodus. We find Joshua with Moses as his special companion, in Mt. Sinai; we find him again as the representative of Moses, the general of all Israel in the first battle fought with the Amalekites; we find him again one of the leading men of all the tribes, sent to spy out the land of promise, and on this occasion he and Caleb were the only two whose faith in the Lord enabled them to return a favorable report, and, as we have already seen, in the giving of this report these men hazarded their lives;--so great was the chagrin and disappointment of the Israelites, and so fully were they in sympathy with the report of the majority.
All these events seem to indicate that Joshua was a man of large faith and large courage; moreover, we remember that notwithstanding his high position as Moses' chosen minister, he seems to have been entirely void of that ambition which led to the overthrow of Korah, Dathan and Abiram and many of the princes of Israel, and which previously had affected Miriam and Aaron. Although he is not mentioned as being so meek as Moses, we may from all these considerations, judge that the one whom the Lord chose for Moses' successor was indeed a meek man, and that his courage, exemplified in every feature of his history, was the result of his faith in the Lord and not the result of self-confidence. The lesson to be drawn from this by spiritual Israel is the one mentioned by our Lord; namely, "Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (`Luke 14:11`.) In this Joshua was a type of our Lord Jesus who, in turn, is the pattern which must be followed by all those who would be finally acceptable in the Lord. The Apostle's argument along this line, to all the spiritual Israelites, is, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."--`I Pet. 5:6`.
Israel unquestioningly accepted the Lord's choice of a leader. As a people they were evidently learning something by their experience in the wilderness training school. At the beginning of their sojourn they were scarcely willing to recognize even Moses; but now they had come along so far as to be able to see that the Lord was their real Leader, and that even though Moses had died without bringing them into the promised land, God who had made the promise of Canaan to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and themselves, was abundantly able to accomplish his promise, and hence they were willing to accept whatever leadership the Lord should indicate. Spiritual Israelites, too, are to learn the same lesson; human leaders are important in their way--in so far as they are the divine choice--so far as we can see fulfilled in them the Lord's promised guidance of his people. But we are never to think of human leaders as indispensable; and God is likely to do again as in this case of Moses; namely, to remove a trusted leader and to appoint another in his stead, to the intent that
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his people may learn that he is their real Leader, that with him as their Guide they will surely have success, and that without him all earthly leadership would be in vain.
As we have seen, Moses prefigured the Law, the school-master which was to bring God's people to the promised land, to the promised blessing, restitution, etc. We have seen that as Israel was unready to enter in and to possess the land because of lack of faith in the beginning and, therefore, had its wilderness journey extended to forty years, so on account of lack of faith at our Lord's first advent they were prevented from joining with him in the restitution work and were made to wander to gain further experiences and leadings during the past nineteen centuries; and now at the close of these experiences, they, as well as spiritual Israel, are again on the borders of the land of promise--the Millennial Kingdom. This time Joshua will take command, the Jordan will be crossed and the gracious promises begin to have their fulfilment. Meantime, the Joshua class, the Church, has been in process of development, and after the great time of trouble which is near at hand, the world in general will be ready to follow the leadership of Jesus as it is written of that time, "Many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths."--`Micah 4:2`.
As, meantime, Joshua needed encouragement, so now the Lord's consecrated ones, the members of the body of Christ, need encouragement, need to have pointed out to them the sureness of the divine promise, its lengths and breadths and depths, just as the Lord pointed out to Joshua the land of promise, from the wilderness to Mt. Lebanon, and eastward to the river Euphrates and westward to the Mediterranean Sea. Does faith waver and are we inclined to wonder how it will be possible for the new dispensation to accomplish such wonderful things as are necessary to be accomplished for the blessing and uplifting of the world of mankind? If so let us look backward and see how the divine power was exercised in a miraculous manner, not only through Moses at the crossing of the Red Sea and in the giving of the manna, in the victory of the Amalekites and in the water from the rock, but let us also notice how the Lord's providences were miraculously with Israel in various ways during the period of their favor, and let us remember that this same power of God in still larger measure is to be with the antitype of Moses, with the new Leader of the world, the great Messiah --Christ the Head and the Church, his body, in the work of blessing and restitution on behalf of all those who shall, under that full enlightenment, desire to be the people of God. As it was God with Moses and God with Joshua that brought the victories, etc., so it will be the power of God with the Church that will bring the coming victories. "The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath." (`Psa. 110:5`.) "I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." (`Psa. 2:8`.) Again the Apostle declares that the Millennial victory of Christ shall be by and through the Father's power. (`I Cor. 15:27`.) As none were able to stand before Joshua as the Lord's representative, so none of the great forces of evil and the obstructions now in the pathway of the fulfilment of God's promises shall stand; all must fall before the antitypical Joshua. "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (`Rom. 14:11`.) Satan himself shall be amongst these great enemies to be overthrown and utterly destroyed, and all of his works of evil--death itself being finally completely blotted out as an opponent of those in harmony with God and approved by him,--all others having been destroyed in the Second Death, which is not an enemy either to God or to those who are in accord with him or to any principle of righteousness or truth or goodness.
The land of promise is here mentioned as being the "land of the Hittites". Higher Critics were once inclined to think this reference to the Hittites an egregious error because they could find no record of such a people, and because from their standpoint the Bible is to be considered on a lower plane than are the secular histories of the world. However, all this has been changed because in the last few years excavations made in Assyria have disclosed ancient tablets whose testimony fully corroborates the statement that the Hittites were at this time a mighty people. Those who discount the Bible statements are at a disadvantage, while those who accept them are sure to be on the right side and, sooner or later, to have confidence and faith justified by evidences.
Three times in this lesson is Joshua encouraged by the Lord, "Be strong and of a good courage," "Be
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thou strong and very courageous," etc. (`vs. 6,7,9`.) There are different kinds of courage; one sort is begotten of egotism and self-reliance, another kind is begotten of a recklessness which fails to take into account the difficulties of the situation, but the courage which the Lord inculcates and which all the spiritual Israelites are to seek to possess is the one which, while coolly and calmly discerning the trials and difficulties of the way and while humbly realizing its insufficiency for the occasion, is supported by a faith in the Lord--a trust in the divine promises which enables them to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. This was to be Joshua's courage and it is to be ours in respect to all the things of the present life, as well as in respect to all the things of the Kingdom, confidence in the Lord whose servants we are, and whose work he has commissioned us to perform. The expression, "Turn not from it (the Law) to the right hand or to the left" does not signify a turning aside completely, but rather, according to the original, it means, Require neither more nor less than the divine standard; seek to keep as nearly as possible in absolute alignment with the divine Word. We find some Christian people disposed to add to the Law of God in great complacency, feeling that in thus getting in advance of the divine requirement they are showing the Lord a special zeal for righteousness. Some of the Pharisees of the Lord's day
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were thus disposed to add to the Word of God and to lay heavy burdens upon the people beyond what the Lord had required of them in the Law. The Lord's faithful ones are not to do this any more than to subtract from the divine requirements. Truth is truth; God's Word is God's Word; we are not authorized to take from it or to add to it. Many today have come to realize that the Bible does not teach an eternity of torment, and yet feeling that this doctrine may possibly help through fear to drive some into church membership, or to deter some from grosser forms of sin, they are rather inclined to favor the doctrine even though they admit it to be a blasphemy against the divine character, and in total violation of all principles of righteousness. Those who would be of the Joshua class are to learn that it is not their right or privilege to make laws or to ignore those already made, but so far as lies within their power to observe the divine principles of righteousness laid down in the divine Word, and to teach the same to others, leaving the consequences with the Lord.
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QUARTERLY REVIEW.--SEPTEMBER 28.
Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God.--`Deut. 8:18`.
A very profitable review of this quarter's lessons may be found in `Deuteronomy, 8th chapter`. There Moses, himself, summarizes the experiences of Israel's humiliations, and bases upon them great and important lessons respecting their future. He shows that the lessons properly learned and applied, will bring lasting blessings, riches and divine favor; and these to be rightly enjoyed and really profitable, must continually draw their hearts to God in thankfulness and in acknowledgment of his providential care and guidance. Any neglect of such recognition of divine favor would be sure to lead to pride, and thus more and more toward sin and farther and farther away from the Lord, and ultimately to the cutting off of the supply of blessings because of separation from their fountain.
All of this lesson may well be applied to spiritual Israel. As the poet has expressed it,
"My highest place is lying low
At my Redeemer's feet." The more we come into possession of the spiritual blessings which the Lord has promised us, and which we have accepted by faith, the more need we will have of humility; and our humility will be proportionate to our appreciation of divine goodness and our thankfulness therefor. The grateful, thankful heart may go on from grace to grace, from strength to strength, from knowledge to knowledge, from attainment to attainment; but if gratitude begins to wane and our advantages are accepted either as matters of our own attainment or of good luck, in that same proportion we will find ourselves growing cold spiritually, and with unthankfulness will come unholiness, spiritual self-conceit and pride, and all of this will lead to spiritual dearth, and if persisted in to spiritual death.
"Give me a thankful heart, from every murmur free,
A heart which always feels thy blood, so freely shed for
Although the entire Pentateuch--the five books of Moses--was designated the law of Moses, the Book of Deuteronomy was in Joshua's day particularly the book of the Law, it being rather a summary of the teachings of the other four books. However, we are not to confine the thought of the Lord's words simply to the Pentateuch, but are rather to remember that "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" is a part of the divine law which we, as the antitypical Joshua are to reverence, to study and, to the extent that we are able, obey. We have already seen that the divine law in this sense speaks more than simply forms and ceremonies and justice, to us, spiritual Israelites; we see that speaking through Jesus Christ, our Lord, God has in our later times spoken mercy and peace and reconciliation and love and adoption into his family. As the antitype of Joshua, our Lord Jesus declares, as represented through the Prophet, "I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart," and thus it must be with all those who shall be ultimately acceptable as members of Christ's body, the glorified Church, the Royal Priesthood; they, each and all to be of that company, must be in this respect copies of God's dear Son--they must all have the divine law in their hearts, in their wills, in their intentions, and so far as possible each must see to it that this divine law is obeyed in all the affairs of life. As Jesus was to have his success in proportion to his obedience to the divine law, so we will make our calling and election sure in proportion as we shall strive to come into conformity with the regulations of the divine law which has come to us, the sum and substance of which, as our Master declared, is that we love the Lord our God with all our mind, being and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves. In proportion as we do these things, we shall have "good success". Not good success as respects earthly prosperity perhaps, earthly fame and name, but good success as respects our real object in life, the attainment of the prize of the high-calling set before us in the gospel, the attainment of joint-heirship with our Master in the Kingdom. And nothing can more thoroughly stimulate us and encourage us in this direction than absolute faith, confidence in the Lord. To battle with the world, the flesh and devil requires more strength than we possess; we need the courage coming to us from the divine assurance given to Joshua, "Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
The time had come for entering the promised land and Joshua, full of the proper courage, gave the necessary instructions--that the people should prepare victuals for three days during which they would be marshalled as an army and be in process of crossing over Jordan into the promised land. When we remember that our Lord Jesus declared that his flesh which he would give for the life of the world is
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the bread which comes down from heaven, and when we remember that the preparation of this bread meant the death of our Lord Jesus, and not only so but his resurrection as a spirit being, and when we remember further that he was in this state of death or preparation, for parts of three days and that he arose on the third day, it gives us the suggestion that quite probably the Lord meant a lesson for us spiritual Israelites in connection with those three days of preparing of victuals as mentioned in our lesson. Our Lord seems to have referred to three larger days also on several occasions; as, for instance, when he said, "I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected," we understand him to have included with himself his Church, and that he spoke respecting large, or thousand year days. He was living in the beginning of the fifth thousand; this would be the first of the three days, then followed the sixth thousand year day, the second, and the third would be the seventh thousand. During the first two of these days the Lord and his Church have done cures, cures of sin, binding up the broken hearted and assisting whoever was willing to a measure of newness of life, and in general doing good to all men as opportunity has been afforded, and on the third day, that is in the seventh great day, or the Millennium, early in the Millennial morning, he shall be perfected, the entire body of Christ complete, and then the great work of restitution will begin. Again the same three days are referred to, and the temple is mentioned as a figure or illustration; our Lord's words were, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up"; the writer adds, "But he spake of the temple of his body." (`John 2:19-21`.) The Apostle assures us that
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the Church is the temple of God, and that it is the body of Christ under Jesus its Head. Various agencies have been in antagonism with the Church, Head and body for the two days mentioned, the fifth thousand year period and the sixth thousand year period, and it still continues while we are in the beginning of the seventh period; but the Lord's promise is that now shortly the temple, the Church, his body, shall be complete and he will raise it up, raise it from ruin, raise it to the perfection and glory of the Millennial Kingdom. It is in harmony with this that we may recognize the Church with her Lord as being a part of the bread which God is preparing. Our Lord Jesus was the bread which came down from heaven, and we have partaken of him, of his merit, and have been thereby transformed; and we, as the Apostle declares, have become part of the one loaf, the one bread, and we also, as part of the one bread, are being broken with our Lord, and thus indirectly this preparation of the Church and her association with her Lord are represented in the three days victualling which is provided for the world of mankind, and necessary to them before they can pass over Jordan and enter into the Millennial Canaan.
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INTERESTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED.
TOTTEN'S ONE YEAR MINISTRY.
Question.--Please state in what respect Prof. C. A. L. Totten is in error concerning the length of our Lord's earthly ministry?
Answer.--One of the points made by Mr. Totten is that the lamb must be of the first year; and on this he builds his conviction that our Lord was in his first year at the time of his death; at the same time you (and so far as we know he also) reckon that our Lord did not die in his first year, but in his second year; that is to say, that his ministry, beginning in the fall, lasted at least for one and a half years. We, with many others, claim three and a half years, on the evidences. In any case it was not the first year, except in the way in which we regard the matter; viz., That our Lord's sacrifice was made when he was exactly thirty years of age: this was his first year, and the very beginning of it. According to our understanding that was where the sacrifice was made and completed. There the human nature, typified by the bullock, was slain in the sense of consecration, by the new creature, typified by the priest. The subsequent work in the three and a half years of ministry was in the types represented by the taking of the blood into the "Holy," the offering of the incense there, while the fat was being burned in the "Court," and the offal outside the Camp, and all this sacrificing ceased when our Lord died at Calvary. But the point is that his death was reckoned to him from the very moment of consecration, just as it is the case with us: "Reckon ye yourselves dead indeed." This is the only sense that we know of in which our Lord can be shown to have been the Lamb of the first year.
SATAN'S POWER OVER INSECT LIFE.
Question.--In an old WATCH TOWER the suggestion is made that Satan possesses some special power relating to insect life, etc. Are we to infer from this that your thought is that he has power to create life? and if so, by what authority?
Answer.--We had no thought that anyone would understand us to mean that Satan would have life-giving power, or power to create something out of nothing. The thought which we wished to convey is that just as a mule is hybrid, or a cross between the horse and a donkey, so various mixtures and conglomerations are possible, especially in the lower forms of life--insects,
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etc. Satan is probably much better informed on many of these than is mankind, and yet mankind has learned how to develop life in varied forms, and this is one of the studies amongst doctors, scientists, etc. They find various kinds of bacilli, for instance, and learn now that they can propagate these various species, and to some extent modify and alter them under various conditions. For instance, it is claimed by the best scientific men of the schools, that nearly all the diseases to which humanity is exposed are the result of evil species of animalculae. Similarly diseases in plant-life are caused frequently by little creatures, so small as to be only discernible with high-power microscopes.
We suggested that many of the insects of modern times, the pests which so greatly annoy farmers and gardeners, are probably developments of these infinitesimal or microscopic animals--developed into larger kinds and species, along lines which our adversary thoroughly understands.