VOL. XXXII JANUARY 1 No. 1
A.D. 1911--A.M. 6038
The New Year's Outlook............................ 3
Morgan's Church Federation.................... 3
The Message to the Jews....................... 4
The Harvest Work for This Year................ 4
One Word of Caution........................... 4
We Are in the Morning of the New
Reports From the Society's Foreign Branches....... 6
British Branch Report......................... 6
Swedish Branch Report......................... 7
Danish Branch Report.......................... 8
Australasian Branch Report.................... 9
The Prayer-Answering God.......................... 10
Your Good Hopes--1911............................. 11
A Discouraged Prophet's Flight.................... 13
Some Glad, Sweet Day (Poem)....................... 13
A King Sold Himself............................... 14
Some Interesting Letters.......................... 14
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies............. 15
THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION
THIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.
Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S. S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.
This Journal stands firmly for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated,--Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (`I Pet. 1:19`; `I Tim. 2:6`.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (`I Cor. 3:11-15`; `2 Pet. 1:5-11`) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God"--"which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed."--`Eph. 3:5-9,10`.
It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken;--according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.
TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the
Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and
the chief corner stone of his Temple, through which, when finished,
God's blessing shall come "to all people," and they find access to
him.--`I Cor. 3:16,17`; `Eph. 2:20-22`; `Gen. 28:14`; `Gal. 3:29`.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these
"living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready,
the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection;
and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting
place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--`Rev. 15:5-8`.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom
for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that
cometh into the world," "in due time."--`Heb. 2:9`; `Jno. 1:9`; `I Tim. 2:5,6`.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as
his joint-heir.--`I John 3:2`; `John 17:24`; `Rom. 8:17`; `2 Pet. 1:4`.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's
witness to the world; and to prepare to be kings and priests in the
next age.--`Eph. 4:12`; `Matt. 24:14`; `Rev. 1:6`; `20:6`.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to all by Christ's Millennial Kingdom--the restitution
of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient,
at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church--when all the
wilfully wicked will be destroyed.--`Acts 3:19-23`; `Isa. 35`.
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.
Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: 24 Eversholt St., London, N.W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne.
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE. SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED. FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.
Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows:--All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the STUDIES, etc.
ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, AND DANISH EDITIONS. SAMPLE COPIES FREE.
ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS
AT WHICH BROTHER C. T. RUSSELL WILL BE PRINCIPAL SPEAKER
FRIENDS FROM NEARBY PLACES ARE CORDIALLY INVITED.
PHILADELPHIA, PA., JAN. 15
Morning Rally for Praise and Testimony at 10:30 o'clock in Students Chapter Hall, 1319 Susquehanna Av.; also meeting for the interested at 7:30 p.m. in the same hall. Discourse for the public at 3 p.m. in Grand Opera House, cor. Broad and Montgomery Av.
BUFFALO, N.Y., JAN. 22
Morning Rally at 10 o'clock and discourse for the interested at 11 in Fraternity Hall, Jefferson St., near North St. The public Lecture in the afternoon at 3 will be held in the Star Theatre, Pearl and Genesee Sts.
WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 29
Morning Rally for Praise and Testimony at 10:30 and evening discourse to the interested at 7:30 in Old Masonic Temple, 9th and F Sts., N.W. Public discourse at 3 p.m. in Convention Hall, Fifth and New York Aves.
BROOKLYN, N.Y., FEB. 5
In conjunction with the Brooklyn meeting on the first Sunday in February, an opportunity will be given for the symbolizing of Baptism in water. Robes, etc., will be provided.
Any desiring to make use of this opportunity will please give us timely notice.
TRENTON, N.J., FEB. 12
ALLEGHENY, PA., FEB. 19
FALL RIVER, MASS., FEB. 26
TISCHENDORF NEW TESTAMENTS--ENGLISH
A new importation is on the way from Germany, where they are published. The demand for these is considerable. They are of the Common Version, but with foot-note readings showing the variations of the three oldest Greek MSS.-- The Sinaitic, Vatican and Alexandrian. Price with postage, 50 cents. In stock Feb. 1.
TABERNACLE CHARTS 35c., THREE FOR $1
These charts are quite neat looking, three feet long, on paper with metal hangers top and bottom. With these goes a picture of the High Priest in his glorious robes, High Priest in sacrificial garments, and an under-priest in the style of clothing supposed to have been worn of old.
JEWISH HOPES AND PROSPECTS
We have in the English a pamphlet which gives certain extracts from STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. III., and the Jerusalem sermon, 10c. each; in quantities, 60c. per dozen.
For those Jews who read Yiddish we have secured a large edition of the newspaper, Die Stimme, which contains Jerusalem news and reports of several of Brother Russell's sermons to the Jews.
This paper is very acceptable amongst the Jews. It does not point them to Jesus of Nazareth, but does point to the Messiah of Glory. It gives assurances that the time of the establishment of his Kingdom is near, and that then the Jews will be blessed. It points them to the land of Palestine as the place where the national blessings will begin. It does not say so, but all WATCH TOWER readers well know that according to prophecy it will be then and there that Israel's blindness will be turned away and they will recognize him whom they pierced.
It is not our expectation that the Jews will be converted to Christianity. Theirs is the chief of earthly blessings. If some few of them have the hearing ear for the spiritual message, they will hear it, but they will be the exceptional few.
We can supply these Die Stimme papers in any quantity-- free. Any of our readers who would like to have some for free circulation amongst the Jews should advise us immediately, as we are about to order a new edition.
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THE NEW YEAR'S OUTLOOK
OUR SOCIETY'S very encouraging report for the old year in the December 15 issue naturally directs our mind to the New Year and inquires the prospects--the outlook. Our view respecting the financial and social outlook may appear to be prejudiced. We believe from the Scriptures that we are in that particular time which immediately precedes the great period of world-wide anarchy foretold by the Prophet Daniel as marking the end of Gentile Times and the inauguration of Messiah's Kingdom. But while we expect such troubles and believe them near, it would be unwise for us to attempt to predict strife, lock-outs, panics, etc.-- though all of these will be prominent factors in the precipitation of the anarchy which all so justly dread.
While the world is outwardly at peace, there is a great unrest in the hearts of humanity. The general increase of knowledge has brought general increase of dissatisfaction and ambition which cannot be satisfied, except in a very few instances. This discontent has already made itself felt in Russia and in Japan and is likely to precipitate trouble in India and China, the most populous parts of the world. Only the Lord knows to what extent and how long the winds of strife will be held, as pictorially set forth in Revelation.
Governments are beginning to learn that great battleships and military fortresses are sources of danger, as well as of protection. For instance, quite recently the government of Brazil purchased two war vessels of most modern type. Scarcely were they put into commission and manned by the Brazilian sailors when their crews rebelled. After considerable damage and loss, the government evidently feels that they are more of a menace than are foreign warships in their harbor. It has been suggested that the guns from the vessels be taken ashore and stored against time of need and to keep them out of the hands of rebels.
Similarly Portugal is having trouble. The revolution unseated the King and established a Republic, only to find that the soldiers and sailors now feel that they are masters of the situation and may demand such wages and treatment as they think proper. When the time is ripe the trained soldiers of Europe will probably have at their control the great arsenals and immense stores of war material for the overthrow of the governments which provided them. These are not pleasant prospects to hold up at the beginning of the year; but why should we deceive ourselves? Here in the United States we have had a somewhat similar exhibit. A street car strike in the capital city of Ohio has been maintained for months, accompanied by violence. The State Government has sought to maintain order, but has been able to do so only to a limited degree. Regiments of State militia, brought to the scene of trouble, sympathized with the strikers and declined to maintain order and were returned to their homes.
While there is a great deal of prosperity as compared with former times, the manufacturing plants of the world, equipped with modern machinery, have so large a capacity that business seems depressed, because only one-third of the possibilities are being accomplished. A semi-evident lack of confidence prevails, based upon the fact that the intelligent people know that there is not one-half the money necessary for business prosperity, because of the demonetization of silver. While this situation was brought about by the bankers and inures to their advantage in keeping up the rate of interest, nevertheless even for them it has its drawbacks, producing a feverish financial condition--a panicky condition in dread of a public loss of confidence and demand for deposits. Altogether there is an unquiet financial undertone or feverishness unfavorable to the smaller business interests; large and profitable enterprises are being well sustained financially, but these are retarded by the smaller industries and enterprises which they supply and, to some extent, depend upon for business. In a word, financial matters are top-heavy and nobody knows when something may occur to jostle and overturn them.
MORGAN'S CHURCH FEDERATION
The newspapers have recently informed the world that at a recent Episcopal Church Council the world-famed multi-millionaire banker, J. Pierrepont Morgan, who was a delegate, contributed ten thousand dollars as a start for an expense fund, having for its object the organization of a religious trust. Mr. Morgan's well-known business capacity, exhibited in connection with financial trusts, encourages many to believe that he will accomplish the desired end in connection with the movement. More and more all denominations are craving a religious trust or Federation and are becoming more and more willing to sacrifice doctrines and principles formerly held dear, in order to accomplish the Federation. This is a confession of denominational weakness and an intimation that the strength and power to be gained by Federation is considered valuable. Prime movers in this undertaking dilate upon the great economy of the federated churches
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in respect to ministers and management. No doubt there is some truth in this, but the real reason lies deeper. It is believed that Federation would soon acquire a political power, and hence a financial backing, before which undesirable truths would be forced to seek shelter or be publicly pilloried and secretly ostracized.
Evidently this Federation is near at hand; the Scriptures have long foretold the Federation, as we have been pointing out therefrom for thirty years. It is to us one of the special signs of our day, one of the special indications marking the end of the Gospel Age and the inauguration of Messiah's Kingdom.
THE MESSAGE TO THE JEWS
The Scriptures are explicit in declaring that with the close of the Gospel call of this age and the completion of the Bride class Divine favor will turn again to natural Israel. We have from time to time noted favorable climatic conditions in Palestine and later on how the Zionist movement has stirred the Jews everywhere to an interest in their home land and a desire to re-possess it. But these hopes and ambitions have seemed impossible of attainment and the fervor of Zionism has recently been on the wane. Just at this juncture Divine Providence seemed to bless our message to the Jews. Most remarkably the message has been scattered all over the world, partly by Jewish journals interested in the message and partly by others opposing it--nevertheless The Voice (Die Stimme) has gone forth to the ends of the earth.
As a result Jewish hopes are turning more and more toward the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures. The result bids fair to be such a work of grace as the Scriptures describe when telling that the Lord will pour upon Israel at this time the spirit of prayer and supplication. The message to them now is that the land is theirs--that their period of chastisement is at an end and that shortly Divine blessing will come to them--not as Christians, but as Jews. Subsequently they will recognize the Spiritual Messiah referred to in `Daniel 12:1`. Their journey thenceforth will be an easy one, for the Kingdom will prevail, and Israel will be blessed and become the channel for Divine blessing to all the families of the earth--the chief blessing coming to them from the glorified Christ on the spirit plane and operating through his spiritual, invisible government.
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THE HARVEST WORK FOR THIS YEAR
Day by day it becomes more evident that there is a great sifting work in progress amongst those who have been so highly favored of the Lord in respect to Present Truth. During the past thirty years those who have not been thoroughly captivated by it, those who have not rejoiced to present their bodies living sacrifices in its interest, those who have been lukewarm rather than hot, are evidently being rejected of the Lord from any part or lot in the Kingdom of God. Others in turn are coming into the Truth--of all denominations and classes and ages. Some of these are ripening very rapidly. Indeed, some who have newly learned the Truth, at times put to shame those who have had much larger opportunities, but who have of late been neglecting them. Our advice still is that to keep thoroughly in touch with the Truth and to keep the world out of the heart, it will be found an excellent plan to read so many pages of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES daily--if possible twelve--because this reading permits a review of the entire six volumes in less than a year.
We still also recommend "the Vow." Surely it is proving a great blessing to many of the Lord's people, not only reminding them daily of their own interest in the Harvest Work, but also keeping them in a sympathetic and prayerful touch with all the brethren. And finally, amidst the increasing besetments of our day, it places a bulwark of resolution around the consecrated soldier of the Cross. But while this sifting and testing and purging of the Church is in progress it is noteworthy that the purged seem to be more earnest, more zealous, more faithful, more loyal to the Lord and to the Truth and to the brethren.
Additionally we note a broadening of the work within the past year, which, for aught we know, may continue during the year beginning. More than one thousand newspapers, reaching more than ten millions of people weekly, is certainly a broadening of the message of the love of God to every member of Adam's race. Similarly the public meetings of late have been much better attended than ever before and more interest has been manifested. We should expect this door to open still more widely during the coming year.
We have just contracted for the printing of forty thousand PEOPLES PULPITS per day for 1911, and we expect this amount, twelve millions, will not be too many for our Volunteer work and for use in advertising public meetings. Nevertheless we recognize that we have made a large contract and that ability to distribute this number depends upon the loyalty and zeal of the readers of this journal. We urge energy in this Volunteer work, not alone for the sake of the public, but also for the sake of WATCH TOWER readers. It is our experience that those who love the Lord most and who most appreciate his goodness and favor are those most anxious and most willing to circulate the message to others, and to these the Lord gives proportionate blessings. This, then, is our reason for urging WATCH TOWER readers everywhere to become preachers of the Truth in this simple manner, as well as orally, if they have the natural ability and opportunity.
On the whole, dear friends, it is our present opinion that the year 1911 offers greater opportunities for service of the Lord and the brethren and the Truth than any other in the past. Let us be zealous to do with our might what our hands find to do.
ONE WORD OF CAUTION
We deprecate everything akin to sensationalism and everything calculated to the spread of fear amongst the Lord's people. Our attitude, based upon our faith, should be that of confidence, serenity, knowing that the powers of evil, whatever they may accomplish with others, cannot harm the "elect," who abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Therefore let us put away fears as marks or evidences of lack of faith, lack of trust in him who has declared that "all things shall work together for good to those who love God, to those called according to his purpose."
But while deprecating fear we should not close our eyes to what we see going on about us. The courage we want and which the Lord will appreciate is not the courage which closes its eyes and refuses to see, but that which trusts the Lord in the presence of apparent danger.
We remind our readers that about two years ago a variety of incidents was brought to our attention, seeming to demonstrate that the fallen angels were more than ever active and that the evidences of their ability to materialize were increasing, and that their reported tendencies toward licentiousness comported well with the record of their fall, as portrayed in the Genesis account.
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At that time we suggested the possibility of evil spirits materializing, so as to personate some of the Lord's people and then committing flagrant crime, and dematerializing, vanishing, leaving the not-guilty one to face the righteous indignation aroused by the crime. We suggested that possibly, in some such manner, great odium might be brought upon the servants of the Truth and thus upon the Cause itself. We suggested further that possibly the same Divine providence which permitted the crucifixion of our Redeemer might permit such experiences, and that possibly through these a great persecution, as unjust as that which came upon Jesus and his followers eighteen centuries ago, might come upon us today.
HOW FEW OF MANKIND KNOW OF THE FALLEN ANGELS!
For some two years we heard practically nothing along these lines. We had about concluded that the Adversary had misled our attention to this direction, in order that he might make the more serious attack upon the minds and hearts of the consecrated. Now, however, after two years of silence, we have a report from far-off Australia which seems to confirm our worst fears as respects the course that will be pursued in the time of trouble by the demons, the fallen angels.
Brother Nicholson, of the Australian Branch, writes us of an astounding circumstance. One of the Australian Brethren has a wife who is neither for nor against the Truth, and who professes no sympathy for Spiritism. Quite recently the Brother, returning to his home, had a harrowing tale related by his wife. She declared that Brother Russell had appeared to her. (Possibly she had seen his photograph). She declared that he made improper proposals, to which she yielded.
At such a distance it is easy enough to prove an alibi --to prove that the Editor was not there. But suppose the materialization in all of its particulars had transpired in Brooklyn, or in the Bethel home, or in any of the various cities which the Editor visits in the preaching of the gospel, or in a Pullman sleeping car, in which he frequently travels--it is easily seen than an alibi might be very difficult to prove in such cases. And what would be true in this respect of the Editor might be true in some respects of many of the Pilgrim brethren; yea, true of all of the Lord's people everywhere.
How few of mankind know of these fallen angels, or believe at all in their power to communicate with men! How few, especially, believe in their power to materialize! Could we blame such people if they should mob the innocent under such conditions? Would not all explanations seem like foolishness to them? If such matters as this shall form any part of the Church's experiences during the year 1911, it will mean very stirring times indeed and that some of us wholly innocent may have opportunity of dying cruel and very ignominious deaths, after the manner of the Master.
"AS DECEIVERS AND YET TRUE"
Nothing in all this need make the Lord's consecrated people timid or fearful. Nothing can by any means harm us as New Creatures. If such experiences come to us, let us decide, as did the Master, that it is the cup that the Father has poured for us, and let us seek his aid in the drinking of it with courage. Whatever may be the Lord's portion of experience for us, his grace is sufficient, and he is able to make an ignominious death a joyful one to those who put their trust in him.
WAS THE ALARM CLOCK RIGHT?
Chronology (time prophecies in general) was evidently not intended to give God's people accurate chronological information all the way down the path of the centuries. Evidently it is intended more to serve as an alarm clock to awaken and energize the Lord's people at the proper time.
We have no fault to find with the chronology, nor with the prophetic periods built upon it, as already presented to our readers in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. We would not know how to improve on the statements therein presented if the books were to be written today.
But let us suppose, for instance, that October, 1914, should pass and that no serious fall of Gentile power would occur. What would this prove or disprove? It would not disprove any feature of the Divine Plan of the Ages. The ransom-price finished at Calvary would still stand the guarantee of the ultimate fulfillment of the great Divine Program for human restitution. The "high calling" of the Church to suffer with the Redeemer and to be glorified with him as his members or as his Bride would still be the same. There would still be the two salvations--the one on the spirit plane to which we are called now; the other to the human plane under the terms of the New Covenant during Messiah's blessed reign. It would still be true that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It would still be true that it is for the called to be faithful, in order to be chosen--to make their calling and their election sure. The only thing effected by the chronology would be the time for the accomplishment of these glorious hopes for the Church and for the world.
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WE ARE IN THE MORNING OF THE NEW DISPENSATION
Suppose that our chronological calculations (never set forth as infallible) should prove to be fallible and in error. Our conclusion would merely be that the error could not be very great. Outward signs of restitution multiplying on every hand tell us that the rising of the Sun of Righteousness is near at hand. Church Federation tendencies attest the same thing, corroborating the Scriptures respecting the conditions which will prevail at the very closing of this age. The movement amongst the Jews similarly implies an awakening and a preparation for Messiah much in harmony with what we must expect in the close of this age. The stress along the lines of social, political and financial affairs all indicate that the great time of trouble and anarchy with which this age will end cannot be far off--cannot lie much, if any, beyond October, 1914. And if that date pass it would merely prove that our chronology, our "alarm clock," went off a little before the time.
Would we consider it a great calamity if our alarm clock awakened us a few moments earlier in the morning of some great day full of joy and pleasure? Surely not! Rather we would say that we were glad that the alarm went off early and that we were around early, so that we could see, appreciate and enjoy more.
We are in the morning of the New Dispensation. We give thanks to the Lord daily for the privilege of living in this wonderful time--and for the privilege of having our eyes of understanding opened to appreciate the Divine Plans for this day. If, then, it should prove eventually that the crisis of earthly government will not be reached by the end of 1914, should we not be very faithful anyway, and remember that had it not been for that alarm clock which helped to awaken us from the worldly stupor, we might not yet have been sufficiently awake to appreciate and enjoy the wonderful spiritual blessings which daily crown our lives?
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The Editor thanks God for any and everything which has helped to awaken him to an appreciation of the length and the breadth and the height and the depth of the Divine Plan now visible to the "household of faith." The Editor will not repine, but thank God, even if the expected time shall pass without seeing the fruition of our every hope. He feels convinced that "Who led us first will lead us still," and gladly sinks into his will.
* * *
The Editor requests that the dear friends who send him Greetings at this season do not expect personal replies, which are impossible. Such will please accept, with all WATCH TOWERS readers, his best wishes for their best interests during 1911 A.D. As no special Motto Card for 1911 was prepared he here offers the following:--
SUFFICIENT FOR THEE
PERFECTED IN WEAKNESS
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1910--REPORTS FROM THE SOCIETY'S FOREIGN BRANCHES--1910
BRITISH BRANCH REPORT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Enclosed is the report of the British work for the financial year ended on October 31, 1910.
Your perusal of the account will show you that though all the branches of the work have not made progress the work of the year is one of general increase. The Volunteer work, the distribution of the PEOPLES PULPIT, has made great increase. We have sent out from London during the year well over 4,000,000 of these copies, and still the brethren are crying out for more, which we are proceeding to supply.
That this distribution of the glad tidings of great joy is effective to the stirring up of many minds is abundantly evidenced: Our inquiries are both numerous and general from all over the Kingdom. It is true, however, that the distribution of the free literature has been and still is mostly among the urban population. In London alone the brethren--helped on the occasions of your two visits by some brethren from the Provinces and from Scotland--have given out from door to door, and from office to office, over 1,500,000 of these messengers of Truth. This has meant much labor, for in London there is no system of each dweller in a flat having a letterbox at the foot of the stairs, and therefore each one must have a separate delivery effected. We do find evidences of the tracts having percolated into the country districts, but there is much work to be done before this Christian country is enlightened with the true light now shining so brightly.
Last year a brother spent several months going through the southern part of England, visiting the small towns and the villages which have no representative of the Truth. He worked exceedingly hard, most of the days giving out nearly a thousand of PEOPLES PULPIT; and this year something has been done, but on a much smaller scale. It is not easy to judge the result accurately, but it is probable that the country people, the rural population, do not respond to our request for inquiry so readily as do the town people. But the Lord surely has many people amongst these and we have an earnest desire to send out the Truth to them. We hope that the newspapers will help supply the need.
The labor has been blessed of the Lord, both to the distributors, and, as is clear, to many of those to whom the tracts have gone. Many have expressed their thanks for the light which is now beginning to shine so clearly. Your last two visits and the six large meetings in the Royal Albert Hall have meant much labor and expense, but both have been expended to advantage, for there is plenty of proof that your name, and the work so closely associated with it, are now well known, and less introduction of the STUDIES is necessary when the Colporteurs present the book in their canvass.
The Colporteur Department has not made increase. Indeed the sales are rather less than last year. It is not easy to explain how this comes about, for the difficulties do not appear greater than before. Perhaps it is owing to the expense of the public meetings and a lessening of energy owing to the labor and time which the public service has demanded. There has been less "sharp-shooting" this year, and the regular, whole-time Colporteurs have not increased in number. However, the decrease is but small, and perhaps it seems a little disappointing because we are always desirous to have the increase which the work seems to demand.
We are of the opinion, expressed in our report of last year, that there is a large class of people, of moderate means, the people who have been the backbone of Christian work, and whose hearts lean towards God, who have not yet been touched with the Harvest message, and who ought to be reached by Colporteurs. No doubt this means that the Colporteur must be of good average ability; but we have many amongst us well able to do any work of the kind, and who could place sets of the STUDIES amongst the best of them.
The donations to the Tract Fund are in excess of those of last year; particulars are given in the report, showing whence the items come--from London or the country.
From your personal observation you will know that the work in the United Kingdom goes on well, accomplishing the gathering of the "wheat into the garner," and witnessing of the approach of the Kingdom; that the Brethren are closely united in the bond of Christ, which is the bond of love; and that they are ready for the work of the Lord as it may be revealed to them.
While we say this we nevertheless believe that the brethren might do more in the Colporteur work. We believe there are many Brothers and Sisters of ability who could do well enough to make a livelihood in the work, and who could thus become ministers of the Word to a large class not yet made aware of the harvest message. Besides, many cities and villages have not yet been Volunteered. We hope for more of this work in 1911; for the spirit of fellowship in the labors and sufferings of Christ is on the increase.
While we joyfully report the prosperity of the Brethren, gratefully acknowledging the mercies of the Lord in this respect, we know that the warning you give in the current issue of the WATCH TOWER is timely, for it is clear that as the Day approaches the discrimination as to who shall be "cast out" is getting keener, and we
::R4737 : page 7::
do well to take heed to ourselves. We daily commend you to the grace of the Lord, and we know you remember us all on this side. With much love in him, and on behalf of the Brethren,
I am your Brother in his grace and service,
Cost of Public Meetings and
newspaper work.................. L.1,476 11 2 = $7,146.50 Cost of Tracts, postage, office
expenses, etc................... 2,170 11 5 = 10,505.55
L.3,648 2 7 =$17,652.05 Studies, Bibles, Booklets, sold at cost, not included. Tract Fund Donations, "Good
Hopes"....................... L.1,719 2 10 = $8,320.64
------------------------- Deficit.......................... L.1,928 19 9 = $9,331.41
::R4738 : page 7::
SUMMARY OF WORK ACCOMPLISHED.
Copies SCRIPTURE STUDIES, sold at cost............ 34,345 (Magazine edition) sold at cost................... 10,742 Booklets, MANNA, etc. sold at cost................ 84,012 PEOPLES PULPIT, issued free....................... 4,062,485 Other free tracts................................. 353,750 Free literature, estimated as tract-pages.........69,345,560 Newspaper sermons circulated (estimated)..........12,000,000 Correspondence:
Letters and cards received....................... 19,870
Letters and cards dispatched..................... 12,745
SWEDISH BRANCH REPORT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
It is once more my duty to send you herewith the usual Annual Report from this part of the field. This is a great pleasure, because it will, partly at least, show you how richly the dear Lord has blessed his Harvest Workers here also during the past year, and how our humble efforts to glorify his holy name by spreading the Truth regarding his character and plan have been successful in different ways. All the honor and praise belong to him alone.
A review of the work of the past year, combined with present prospects, shows us that almost unlimited opportunities for work still present themselves for the "harvesters," though even here we can clearly see how the oncoming "night" has commenced to cast its shadows, and how the threatening clouds gather about us. This fact leads us, however, to appreciate still more the precious opportunities we now possess, and to pray for increased grace and strength from above while we wait for our approaching redemption.
This year we are able to report an increase in the circulation of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES of nearly 12,000 copies. This increase would have been at least 15,000 copies but for the shortage during the first four months of the year--before we had the re-translated Swedish edition of Vol. I finished, in the end of the month of March.
The 10,000 copies we then published were all gone after six months and now we have already sold a good portion of a second 10,000-edition thereof, and are preparing for the third. Would you not advise us to take 20,000 copies at once this time? It is very difficult, if not impossible, for the Colporteurs to sell whole sets of three or six volumes at once here, because of the poverty amongst the people; the increase has been chiefly in Vol. I. Yet we have also sold a good many of the succeeding Vols., specially Vol. 4, which we have also had the privilege of translating into Swedish this year and of publishing in an edition of a little more than 6,000 copies. Besides this we have sold over 6,000 more of other books and booklets than during the preceding year.
Recently we have also increased our stock with a 10,000 edition of the "Evolution" pamphlet, which had not before been published in Swedish. At present we are going on with the printing of a little booklet containing the questions on TABERNACLE SHADOWS, principally for the sake of the younger classes of Swedish Bible Students who have not earlier used these questions, when published in the Swedish TOWER. This booklet will also contain some small parts of the Berean Bible Teachers' Manual, of special interest for Bible Students. Brother Sjo is now busy with the re-translation of Vol. 2, in harmony with your authorization to me to republish the same if opportunity should occur.
The number of subscribers to the Swedish WATCH TOWER has increased only by 165, yet this cannot be seen by comparing this report with the last annual one, as that report, as well as its predecessors, included the TOWERS sent from here to the Head Office, on your order, but which TOWERS are excluded from this report. Although we have wished to see the Swedish list of subscribers twice as large as it is, yet the friends of the Truth in general seem to more and more assimilate and appreciate the blessed spiritual food from the Lord's table so abundantly spread through you, his faithful servant. As a proof of this I can mention that before we had gotten ready any of the Swedish Manna-book, which we have just translated and published in an edition of 5,000 copies, according to your advice, we had received orders for more than 2,000 copies thereof, after only one little advertisement about the coming book, in one single issue of the Swedish TOWER.
Our dear friends here seem also to be able more and more to realize and appreciate their privilege of taking part in one way or another in the blessed work still going on and increasing. Thirty-six brethren and sisters have given all or part of their time in the Colporteur work during the year and every one of these seems thereby to have greatly profited spiritually. The volunteer work also shows some increase, as you will see, and the donations to the Tract Fund amount to a good deal more than four times the sum of last year. According to our lists here the number of donations during the year is 773.
The Pilgrim service has been greatly extended and clearly and richly blessed of the Lord. Seven Swedish brethren have taken part in this work, two of them giving all their time thereto. Hundreds and hundreds of truth-hungry people have gathered at many places all over the country and have listened most attentively to the Glad Tidings of the approaching Messianic Kingdom. For instance, when two weeks ago I visited a large town not very far from this place, and had spoken in the evening to a very intelligent audience of more than 500 for two hours on the subject, "Is there salvation after death?" the people would not go even then, but remained nearly another hour and a half, asking questions on misunderstood Scripture texts, etc., until I had to leave them in order not to miss my train. The following Sunday, in the afternoon, I visited another place outside of Orebro (after having talked in a well-filled hall here in the morning), and there also the people crowded the comparatively very large meeting hall, giving good attention to our presentation of the true Gospel, for fully three hours; then we were obliged to stop and empty the hall, which was to be used for other purposes.
Besides the regular Pilgrim service we have had during the year two General Conventions (one in Orebro and the other in Stockholm) and fifteen very good and
::R4738 : page 8::
well-attended Local Conventions in different parts of the country, all of which were clearly used to a large degree of the Lord in the encouraging of his people. The Swedish friends appreciated very much your kindness in sending us the dear Brothers Rutherford and Pierson last spring when you yourself could not visit us. We now look forward with eagerness to your own return here, desiring it as soon as it can be arranged.
Permit me, please, to add a few words about the Harvest Work in Finland, also, before I close. As you have earlier been informed respecting our Colporteur work amongst the Swedish-speaking people in Finland and my Pilgrim trip to that country in the beginning of the year, I will not here repeat, but will say that, amongst the few ripe "grains" gathered in that land through the Truth sent from here in Swedish, were two dear brethren, Bro. Osterman and Bro. Von Hartman, whom the Lord has surely chosen as his harvest messengers to the native (not Swedish-speaking) Finnish people, and it is a few statements regarding their labor and experiences amongst that people that I, in harmony with their own wishes, have the privilege to give you.
It is only about two months, practically, since their work amongst the native Finnish people began, but they had previously made preparations for it, in that they had translated and published in Finnish (I have been informed by Finnish brethren, both in the States and in Sweden, that their translations are very good) one edition of 5,000 copies of Vol. I, two different issues of PEOPLES PULPIT and a large quantity of hymn sheets for public meetings, translated from the Swedish DAWN-HYMNS, etc.
During these two months their efforts have progressed wonderfully. Since October 1, 1910, they have circulated about 2,000 copies of Vol. I, and have just now a new edition of 10,000 copies, besides a 10,000 edition of the "Evolution" pamphlet in Finnish and the third issue of the Finnish PEOPLES PULPIT. As a result of rational advertisements in the largest newspapers, concerning "The Divine Plan of the Ages," they have gotten orders for the same at an average of about twenty letters a day. They have also begun the translation of Vol. 2 and the "Hell" booklet into Finnish. In addition to this they have held, during these weeks, six public meetings in the largest cities of the land, visited by altogether 10,000 attentive listeners to the Harvest message. Some of the Finnish papers have stenographed their lectures and published them in tens of thousands of copies, spread broadcast over the country. Next Sunday, December 4, they expect to have the third Finnish meeting in the capital of the country. They use the largest and finest halls obtainable, which are even then overcrowded and often too small to hold the people attending their meetings. In one place lately the "noblesse" of the city had to stand on the street outside the hall for half an hour in order to gain entrance to a lecture by Brother Von Hartman.
Those Brethren ask me now to convey their deeply felt thanks and gratitude to you, our beloved Brother Russell, for the great spiritual blessings you have brought to them through your writings and your faithfulness to the Lord's cause.
We remember you daily, and with thankfulness, in our prayers, and ask humbly for your prayers on our behalf. May the Lord's blessing be upon you continually, to the glory of his holy Name and the profit and joy of all his true people.
Your brother and fellow-servant,
Secretary Swedish Branch.
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SUMMARY OF THE WORK
(Finnish work and expenses for same are not included in these figures):
Copies of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
circulated....................................... 19,011 Various other books and booklets, MANNA,
TABERNACLE SHADOWS, etc.......................... 17,353
--------- Total............................................. 36,364 Number of subscribers to the Swedish TOWER........ 1,445 Old sets Swedish TOWER, cloth-bound and
unbound.......................................... 917 Bibles sold....................................... 125 Volunteer Tracts and sample TOWERS................ 629,186 Expressed in usual form of Tract pages............ 7,779,984 Number of meetings held........................... 1,246 Number of miles traveled in preaching tours....... 54,796 Letters and cards sent out........................ 2,551 Letters and cards received........................ 3,203 Total number of various sendings, by mail
and by railroad.................................. 17,584
Pilgrims, Conventions and
other meetings.....................kr. 9,123.13 = $2,259.07 Translation, printing, binding,
paper, etc......................... " 25,524.09 = 6,879.81 Freight and postage................. " 2,228.16 = 600.58 Helps to poor Colporteurs........... " 3,020.01 = 814.02 Office expenses, rent, light,
heat, telephones, etc.............. " 4,345.62 = 1,171.32
Voluntary donations to Tract
Fund...............................kr.18,649.48 = $5,026.81 Swedish TOWER subscriptions......... " 1,921.42 = 517.91 Books sold, etc..................... " 17,350.24 = 4,676.61
Total..............................kr.37,921.14 =$10,221.33 Deficit.............................kr. 6,319.87 = $1,703.47
THE WORK IN DENMARK
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have the pleasure to send you the report of the little Harvest Work accomplished in this country during the past year. That the number of books sold is not larger is partly due to the fact that one of our most successful Colporteurs has been out of the work very much this year on account of ill health.
Meetings have been held in a number of towns and cities which had been previously canvassed, and considerable interest was manifested at the meetings. I have strong reason to believe that in spite of the comparatively small figures representing the work accomplished here, yet a larger number has started studying the Truth, and more have become truly interested this year than in any previous year. We hope for still better results to come through the grace of the Master of the Harvest, who is so dear to our hearts.
SUMMARY OF THE WORK.
Output of DAWN-STUDIES............................ 4,429 Output of various booklets........................ 2,323
Total............................................ 6,752 Tracts free....................................... 48,663 Letters and cards received........................ 1,148 Letters and cards sent out........................ 793 Parcels sent out.................................. 974 Copies of Danish WATCH TOWERS sent out
With much Christian love, yours in our Redeemer,
Danish Branch Secretary.
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AUSTRALIAN BRANCH REPORT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
We are pleased again to render account of the year that is past, and rejoice that we can show some improvement on the previous one. We realize that many hungry hearts have found the Truth and are today happy in the glorious prospects which it has unfolded to their view, as a result of the year's work.
You will notice that there has been a fair increase of STUDIES put out, but according to present prospects we cannot hope to reach the same mark in the approaching year, as we have lost our ablest Colporteurs in Brother and Sister Richardson, who have gone to India at your request. This leaves us quite short of such workers, yet Australia has been gone over only once, whereas parts of the United States have been colporteured several times, so we are wondering if the Lord is going to send us any others from America; or, may be they will be raised up from the friends in Australasia.
Our output of Free Literature has increased fourfold, and this we hope to maintain and further develop, as the friends are awakening more to their opportunities in this direction, and we believe are realizing a blessing in the distribution of Volunteer matter in their own districts, as well as in co-operating with us in the mailing of the PEOPLES PULPIT. In this effort not only have the Melbourne friends done nobly in addressing wrappers, wrapping and delivering, but the same zeal is shown in other centers. The friends at Hobart, though only few in number, undertook, and have carefully carried out, the work of putting a "Where are the Dead?" in every home in Tasmania as far as the Directory will supply the addresses. All we did was to supply the PEOPLES PULPITS; they did the rest, even to the posting, and then, by their donations to the Tract Fund, have paid for the PEOPLES PULPITS also. Again the friends at Ardrossan are writing the wrappers for all South Australia, and the Wellington and Auckland friends are doing the same for New Zealand, while at Sydney they are arranging to wrap and post for New South Wales as well as to write the wrappers. So you will see that we are a happy, busy company in loving co-operation with the Lord of the Harvest, in thrusting in the Sickle of Truth.
Though we have had the PEOPLES PULPIT running for only about four months, already there have gone out about 70,000 of the special issue, through the post, and enquiries are coming in daily as a result. Our Subscription Cards number about 250 and many of these have subscribed for quantities of from ten to hundreds. We believe that the Lord is blessing this work, so "that all his saints here shall be 'sealed in their foreheads' before the four winds (of trouble) are let loose."
In regard to Pilgrim Work: With the exception of the more isolated parts, the friends everywhere have been visited, some more than once, and we believe they have been encouraged and strengthened. This means that some 10,539 miles have been traveled by rail and boat, about 56 public meetings have been held, and about 108 private and semi-private meetings, with a total attendance of about 2,265, besides many personal visits made, the traveling cost being L.63 10s. 2d.
Regarding funds: We would like to be able to show Australasia as supporting the work on her own shores; this, however, has not been attained, though a big move in that direction has been made. In the previous year L.91 were all that were received by way of donations to the Tract Fund. In the year just closed the total of Tract Fund, Good Hopes and PEOPLES PULPIT contributions has reached L.213 17s. 1d.; this is simply the work of the Truth in the hearts of the Lord's people, not a penny has been solicited in any way. Then if we were to add to this the amount which the friends in various parts have spent in connection with the Pilgrim meetings of the International Bible Students Association, which, as far as we have particulars, would be about L.40, it makes a total of L.253 17s. 1d., which is much beyond anything that has been done in the past. We know that many of those who have contributed have done so at quite a little personal sacrifice, and yet have realized a joy that money cannot buy in thus co-operating with the great Lord of the Harvest in bringing the joys of the Truth to others.
We believe that the interested ones all over have made good spiritual progress and our meetings in Melbourne have increased in interest, and slightly in numbers also. We have just undertaken a special effort in the way of Saturday Night Chart-Talks in South Melbourne. The first was last Saturday and was quite encouraging; some twelve or thirteen of the friends distributed about 12,000 PEOPLES PULPITS with a good advertisement on the back. We hope to find some new interest in this way. With Christian regards to yourself and all the happy household,
Yours in the Service of our Redeemer,
R. E. B. NICHOLSON,
EDWARD NELSON, Auditor.
SUMMARY OF THE WORK.
SCRIPTURE STUDIES, sold at cost................... 11,927
" " (Magazine edition)............. 470 Booklets.......................................... 2,481
Total............................................ 14,878 Free Literature:
Old Theology Tracts.............................. 114,710
Debates, Sermons, TOWERS, etc.................... 54,411
PEOPLES PULPITS.................................. 267,600
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Representing Tract pages.......................... 7,924,792 Letters received.................................. 1,944 Letters sent out.................................. 2,829
TRACT FUND EXPENDITURES.
Deficit from 1909................................L.969 17 7 General expenditure (including freight,
postage, rent, etc.............................. 211 12 5 Pilgrim work, meetings, etc...................... 107 1 7
L.1,288 11 7 Good Hopes and donations to Tract
Fund from Australasian friends..................L.197 3 4
------------ Deficit now owing Brooklyn.....................L.1,091 8 3
NORWEGIAN BRANCH REPORT
SCRIPTURE STUDIES................................ 2,023
Tracts and PEOPLES PULPIT circulated free........ 342,600
These in Tract pages............................. 5,480,000 Letters and cards received........................ 1,164 Letters and cards sent out........................ 710
BROOKLYN BETHEL HYMNS FOR FEBRUARY
After the close of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for February follow: (1) 259; (2) Vow; (3) 301; (4) 75; (5) 60; (6) 135; (7) 129; (8) 333; (9) 176; (10) 238; (11) 38; (12) 105; (13) 293; (14) 170; (15) 172; (16) 245; (17) 313; (18) 8; (19) 279; (20) 145; (21) 229; (22) 256; (23) 98; (24) 164; (25) 162; (26) 160; (27) 208; (28) 303; (29) 222; (30) 267.
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THE PRAYER-ANSWERING GOD
--`I KINGS 18:1-40`.--FEBRUARY 12.--
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve."--`Joshua 24:15`.
THE word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year instructing him to manifest himself to King Ahab, with a view to the termination of the drouth. This may have been the third year of the Prophet's sojourn at Zarephath, or it may have been the third year after Elijah's announcement to Ahab. The land of Israel may already have been experiencing a six-months' drouth when Elijah announced to the king that no rain was to be expected until he, as God's servant, would announce it or bring it. In any event we have the assurance that the entire period of drouth was three and a half years.--`Luke 4:25`; `James 5:17`.
When the time was fulfilled God directed Elijah to present himself to King Ahab, because the time had come when God was willing to relieve the drouth--when a sufficiency of punishment had come upon the Israelites for their iniquities--when at least some of them had been called to their senses, reminded of their Covenant with the Lord and his engagement to give them blessings or adversities, according to their obedience. On arriving at the palace Elijah called for the Royal Superintendent, or Prime Minister, Obadiah. He was a godly man and, of course, distressed by the idolatrous course of the King and the Queen. If he was not sufficiently courageous to protest openly, he was, nevertheless, courageous, for, in a time when the servants of Jehovah were being persecuted to death by Queen Jezebel, Obadiah hid one hundred of them and supplied them with the necessities of life--evidently at the risk of his all. When Obadiah met Elijah and was told to tell the King that Elijah was there to see him, Obadiah feared to do so. He declared that himself and others had searched the entire country over most carefully to find Elijah and found him not. He realized that the Lord had hidden him. He protested that if now he would declare that Elijah was ready to see the King, the probabilities were that, by the time the King would get there, the spirit or power of the Lord would somehow carry Elijah away. Then the King, infuriated, would cause Obadiah's death; but Elijah reassured him.
When the King met Elijah his first word was, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" This is the worldly custom. The fearless minister who tells the Truth and relates the Divine prophecy respecting the rewards of evil-doing is held accountable, as though he had caused the trouble. But Elijah was not intimidated. He promptly answered, I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy parents' house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and followed Baal. Three years before the King would have probably ordered the execution of Elijah; but the fulfillment of his word and the pangs of hunger had humbled him. He was anxious that the blight should be removed and responded to the demands of Elijah that the eight hundred and fifty prophets of idolatrous Baalism should meet at Mt. Carmel and that thither all the people of Israel, represented by their chief men, should also assemble. The design, evidently, was a contest between Elijah, the representative of God, and these murderous priests of Baal, proteges of Queen Jezebel.
"CHOOSE YE THIS DAY"
This gathering of the priests and of the prophets required time, but was finally accomplished. When the meeting convened Elijah declared that it was time to have a testing and showing as to who really was God, Jehovah or Baal. The test was to be that two altars were to be built and two bullocks were to be sacrificed. The Baalites were to provide the bullocks themselves and to make choice of the one for their own altar. Whichever God would answer by fire and accept the offering, would be acknowledged as the only true God. The proposition was so fair and reasonable that the prophets of Baal could not refuse it.
To them came the first opportunity. They had the noontime opportunity, when the fierce heat of the sun seemed almost warm enough to set fire to the fat of the bullock. They prayed; they shrieked; they cut themselves with knives, entreating that Baal would answer by fire and prove himself the mighty god. Hour after hour this proceeded until evening, when they were forced to give over and admit their inability.
Then came Elijah's turn. He commanded that water be brought and that the altar which he was to use should be thoroughly flooded with water. No one must have room to say that there was a secret smoulder of fire beneath. And, since the sun had gone down, no one could claim a spontaneous combustion. Then Elijah prayed calmly, earnestly, reverently and the Divine answer came--a fire from heaven consuming the sacrifice and licking up the water in the trough of the altar.
Then the people recognized the difference. They fell on their faces and said, Jehovah is The God! A great lesson had been learned.
A lesson for us is that the masses of Christendom are deceived today, as were the masses of Israel then. And when, by and by, God shall open their eyes of understanding through the agency of Messiah's Kingdom, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. The knowledge of the Lord will fill the whole earth.
Complying with the Lord's direction through Elijah, the Israelites slew all the prophets of Baal. We are not to understand this to represent the Divine command to us today to put all false teachers to death. We are to remember, as before suggested, that Israel was a special nation with which God dealt in a special manner, and that many of their doings, under Divine direction, were typical of higher things to be accomplished in God's Kingdom. Ultimately, after full opportunity, every false teacher and every wilful sinner will be destroyed. "All the wicked will God destroy." The death of those priests of Baal foreshadowed the destruction in the Second Death of all who work iniquity; but those priests themselves did not suffer the Second Death. Like all the remainder of Adam's race, their resurrection from the dead was provided for at Calvary, and they, as well as all others, must be brought to a knowledge of the Truth and to an opportunity of reconciliation to God. Following this denouncement came the long-desired rain, not only physically refreshing, but also showing a return of Divine favor. It fell on the evil and on the good, to make both better.
"When clouds hang heavy o'er thy way,
And darker grows the weary day,
And thou oppressed by anxious care
Art almost tempted to despair,
Still wait upon the Lord.
"When friends betray thy loving trust,
And thou art humbled in the dust,
When dearest joys from thee have fled,
And Hope within thy heart lies dead,
Still wait upon the Lord.
"Whate'er thy care, believe his word;
In joy or grief, trust in the Lord.
Good courage he will give to thee,
And strong, indeed, thy heart shall be,
By waiting on the Lord."
YOUR "GOOD HOPES" FOR 1911
[The plan here proposed we designate "GOOD HOPES," because nothing is actually promised--only your generous hopes expressed, based upon your future prospects as they now appear to you. The plan proved not only so beneficial to the cause of Truth, but also so blessed to the hopers, for some years past, that we again commend it to all as Scriptural and good. Those who desire to make use of this plan can fill out both these memoranda. One should be kept for the refreshment of your memory; the other mail to us.]
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY."
Dear Friends:--I have read with interest of the openings for the Dawn and Tract work in foreign lands and here at home. I need not tell you that I am deeply interested in the spread of the Glad Tidings of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of redeeming love expressed for us in God's great Plan of the Ages.
I am anxious to use myself--every power, every talent, voice, time, money, influence, all--to give to others this knowledge, which has so greatly blessed, cheered and comforted my own heart and placed my feet firmly upon the Rock of Ages.
I have been considering carefully, and praying to be instructed, how to use my various talents more to my Redeemer's glory and for the service of his people--those blinded by human tradition who are, nevertheless, hungering for "the good Word of God," and those also who are naked, not having on the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness, the unjustified, who stand at best in the filthy rags of their own righteousness. I have decided that so far as my "money talent" goes, I will follow the rule so clearly laid down for us by the great Apostle Paul (`1 Cor. 16:2`), and will lay aside on the first day of each week, according to my thankful appreciation of the Lord's blessings during the preceding week. Out of this fund I wish to contribute to the several parts of the Lord's work carried on by our Tract Society. Of course, I cannot in advance judge or state particularly what the Lord's bounty may enable me to set apart weekly, and hence you will understand the sum indicated to be merely my conjecture or hope, based upon present prospects. I will endeavor to contribute more than I here specify; and should I not succeed in doing as well, the Lord will know my heart, and you, also, will know of my endeavors.
My only object in specifying in advance what I hope to be able to do in this cause is to enable those in charge of the work of publishing and circulating the Tracts, etc., to form estimates, lay plans, make contracts, etc., with some idea of what I will at least try to do in the exercise of this my highly appreciated privilege.
My present judgment is that during the coming year, by self-denial and cross-bearing, I shall be able to lay aside on the first day of each week for Home and Foreign Mission Work (to assist in circulating SCRIPTURE STUDIES in foreign languages, and in publishing the PEOPLES PULPIT in various languages, and in supplying these gratuitously to brethren who have the heart and opportunity to circulate them widely, and in meeting the expenses of brethren sent out as "Pilgrims" to preach the Divine Plan of Salvation, and in general to be expended as the officers of the Society may deem best), the amount of __________ per week.
To comply with United States Postal Laws, all or any portion of my donation may be applied as subscription price for WATCH TOWER or PEOPLES PULPIT sent to the Lord's poor or others, as the Society's officers may deem advisable.
That the work be not hindered, I will endeavor to send you what I shall have laid aside for this cause at the close of each quarter. I will secure a Bank Draft, Express Order or Postal Money Order as I may find most convenient, and will address the letter to
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, BROOKLYN TABERNACLE, 13-17 HICKS ST., BROOKLYN, N.Y.
or, 24 Eversholt St., London, N. W., England; or, Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne, Australia.
(Post Office) __________ (State) __________
Watch Tower Subscriptions
ON "GOOD HOPES" ACCOUNT
The friends who contribute to the "Good Hopes" (described on the reverse of this sheet) at times desire to send the WATCH TOWER to friends who are not yet interested enough to subscribe for themselves; or to deeply interested friends who are too poor to subscribe and backward about accepting our Lord's Poor offer. They are invited to give us such addresses below--the expense to be deducted from their donations. Give full addresses, and write very plainly, please, mentioning the length of the subscriptions.
Watch Tower Subscription Renewals
Most of our subscriptions end with the year, so we take this opportunity to remark that we shall be glad to hear promptly from such as desire the visits of THE WATCH TOWER continued. The Lord's Poor friends have been requested to send their applications in May. When names are dropped and afterward renewed it makes us unnecessary trouble. When desiring to know date of expiration, look on your TOWER wrapper. Date is given in lower left-hand corner.
Hymns of Dawn with Music
Our readers have for years inquired for this book. We now have it for you in handsome cloth binding and at cost price. It is the best and the cheapest hymn book in the world, at 35 cents per copy, postpaid, and contains 333 of the choicest hymns of all ages. By express, collect, 25c each, in any quantity.
Watch Tower Binders
These are substantially made of stiff boards, and can hold two years' issues of THE WATCH TOWER. They prevent soiling and loss. Price, postpaid, 50c.
Christian Home Embellishments
For several years we have been supplying readers with handsome text and Motto-Cards for the walls of their homes. Their influence is excellent; for they continually and cheerfully catch the eye and remind the heart of our great favors present and to come, based upon the "exceeding great and precious promises" of our Father's Word. We commend these as helps in the "narrow way"--helps in character-building.
We have imported an extremely choice line of Motto-Cards of entirely new design. We also have some of the good old standbys, which are difficult to improve upon. We again adopt the $1 packet (postage included) plan as every way the best and cheapest. Remember that our prices are about one-half the usual charge, and the very choicest.
Packet M.A.--Nearly all old, but choice, medium sizes.
Packet M.B.--Old and new designs, about equally assorted.
Packet M.C.--All new, specially recommended to those who have already had our old standbys.
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Hitherto we have required that all desiring THE WATCH TOWER on credit, or free, as "the Lord's Poor," should make personal application; but now we request every subscriber to inquire among those whom he knows to be interested in Present Truth, and to obtain the consent of all such to send in their subscriptions either on credit or free, as their circumstances may necessitate. Any getting it on credit may at any future time request that the debt be cancelled, and we will cheerfully comply. We desire that as nearly as possible THE WATCH TOWER lists shall represent all those deeply interested in its message.
Our object is not the gain of "filthy lucre," but "the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry"--present and to come. (`Eph. 4:12`.) We offer no premiums, desiring the co-operation of such only as appreciate the privilege of being co-workers with us in this ministry. Our list is now about 28,000; but it should be at least 30,000, and we confidently expect the above program to bring it to that figure. Let as many as appreciate it as a privilege, join in this service.
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A DISCOURAGED PROPHET'S FLIGHT
--`I KINGS 19`.--FEBRUARY 19.--
"They that wait upon the Lord shall
renew their strength."--`Isaiah 40:31`.
SO signal a victory of Truth over error, of God over Baal, doubtless greatly encouraged Elijah, the Prophet. It was God's victory and Elijah rejoiced on that account, and because he had, in so large degree, been the Divine agent in the matter. But soon he learned that Queen Jezebel was as implacable a foe as ever. She viewed the matter, not as a combat between the Almighty and Baal, but as between her prophets and Elijah. When she learned that her prophets had been slain, she was enraged and sent word to Elijah that his fate must be the same. So unexpected a turn of affairs Elijah had not anticipated. He had the courage to meet the King and to denounce the eight hundred and fifty priests of Baal, but a mere message from a woman sapped his courage. He fled into the wilderness--there, strangely enough, to pray the Lord to take away the life which he had run away to protect.
Let us not forget, however, the suggestion in the previous study that the course of Elijah was intended to be typical--to foreshadow the experiences of the Church during this Gospel Age. Let us examine this feature a little further and note the type and antitype:
Not only is Jezebel referred to in Revelation as symbolizing a corrupt Church system, inculcating false doctrines amongst the Lord's nominal people (Ahab, her husband, as representing the civil power and Elijah typical of the saintly class of the Church), but let us also note that the time of no rain was also typical, as mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Four times is this same period of three and a half years referred to as the period in which the true saints of God were hidden from the eyes of the world in general in a wilderness condition. And during the same period there was a great drouth and famine, spiritual, amongst the people. Those three and a half years, in Revelation, are styled three and a half times, and again, twelve hundred and sixty days, and again, forty-two months.--`Rev. 12:14`; `12:6`; `11:3`; `13:5`.
In Revelation, however, these various references to three and a half years are symbolical--each day for a year--and hence signify twelve hundred and sixty years in the antitype. Many believe that those years began to count in 538 A.D. and that they ended in 1798. Those who thus understand the matter recognize the increased interest in the Bible which followed 1798 to signify the time of rain (refreshment and blessing), which for the past century has brought great enlightenment to the whole world. But, however we may apply those three and a half years, symbolical years (twelve hundred and sixty literal years), most evidently they cover the antitypical period represented by Elijah's wilderness experiences.
If this be a true application it implies a measure of fear and cowardice for a time on the part of God's saintly people. As Elijah again went into hiding it would imply that the saintly ones became obscure. While they were in this wilderness condition a second time, God directed their course and taught them some important lessons, represented in Elijah's experiences related in this lesson. He was shown a strong wind, tearing the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks, but this was not the Lord's manifestation of himself, but merely an illustration of power. The next lesson was an earthquake, but neither was this the Lord. Next came a fire, but not in this could Elijah fully discern the Lord. Finally came the still, small voice and wonderful message of grace and Truth. In this Elijah recognized God as he did not recognize him in the other manifestations.
The antitypical Elijah, God's saintly people, are today learning to discriminate between different manifestations of Divine power through different agencies. Windy strife of words, which comes even as a hurricane, bringing devastation to the present order of Society, is not the voice of God, but the voice of humanity. The earthquake, representing a great time of social unrest, disturbance, upheaval, is not God's message to Elijah, but, nevertheless, is a manifestation of another power which he has in the world, by which, ultimately, the present order of things will give way before the Kingdom of his dear Son. The fire, representing consumption, destruction, anarchy, is not the Lord, but merely human passions which he will permit. The Elijah class are to understand God through the still, small voice heard by the ears of their hearts-- the voice of Truth, the voice of God's Word speaking to his people today most wonderfully, yet unheard by the antitypical Ahab, Jezebel and others, intended only for the antitypical Elijah class.
"I HAVE YET SEVEN THOUSAND"
Notwithstanding this voice, Elijah felt disconsolate and desired to die, thinking of himself as being alone consecrated to the Lord. But the Lord answered him, "I have left me seven thousand in Israel who have not bowed the knee unto Baal." Similarly today there are two classes in spiritual Israel. One class is in the wilderness condition, separate from the world. Another, a large class, is still more or less associated with and bound up in Babylon, although at heart they do not acknowledge any but the true God nor bow the knee to others.
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SOME GLAD, SWEET DAY
Some day, some glad, sweet day
We shall be like our blessed Lord
And see him as he is.
Soon we shall strain our
Weary eyes no more
To catch, beyond this earthly
House of fettering clay,
A gleam of heavenly glory
From his radiant face.
Some day, some fair, sweet day
His loving hand will wipe
Away our tears. His tender
Voice will thrill our souls
With rapture, when we
Hear him say, "Well done,
Dear heart, Well done,
My joy is thine; for thee
The victor's crown is won.
"Thou hast been faithful,
Thou hast borne the cross,
The thorns have pierced thy feet;
But now the Night is past--
The Day has come--bright,
Glorious Day of endless joy and love.
The trial time hast proved thee true,
And thou art safe, beloved,
In thy Father's home."
O, glorious Day, for thee we long!
We will be faithful, will the
Burdens bear, sustained by grace Divine.
In meek submission to thy holy will,
Dear Lord, by faith we clasp thy hand
As side by side we tread the Narrow Way
And wait--for it will surely come--
Some day, some dear, sweet day,
O, tarry not too long!
LIZZIE C. RAMSDELL.
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A KING SOLD HIMSELF
--`I KINGS 21`.--FEBRUARY 26.--
"Take heed and beware of covetousness-- which is idolatry."--`Luke 12:15`; `Col. 3:5`.
TO King Ahab Elijah said, "Thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord." The effects of the drouth gradually disappeared, but its salutary lesson remained with the King and with the people to a considerable extent. The true God had some recognition. Baal's influence was considerably broken. Queen Jezebel evidently relented concerning her threat against Elijah. He returned and founded various Schools of the Prophets in Israel, himself being the master-spirit amongst them.
Our present lesson shows the meanness of covetousness and the awful power of a wicked woman. Ahab had two fine palaces; one of them, at Jezreel, was an "ivory" palace, but even its possession did not make the King happy. He desired to attach to it a fine vineyard owned by Naboth. He sent Naboth word of his desires, offering to purchase with money or to trade for it another vineyard. Naboth, asserting his rights, declined to sell for any price.
As a result the King was disappointed, heart-sick, vexed, pouty. He had allowed covetousness to grow in his heart. He wanted that vineyard. He was King, so it was very disrespectful of Naboth to refuse to take a good, liberal price for it. Naboth declared as his objection that the Lord's regulations forbade that he should sell his family inheritance. Apparently it was a hopeless case and Ahab, solemn and sour, lay abed, refusing food.
Then entered Jezebel the Queen, inquiring the cause of his sorrow. Hearing it she answered, I will give it to you. Forthwith she wrote letters to the chief men of the city, signing the letters with her husband's seal. With brutal frankness the letters told the select men of the city what was desired of them.
(1) They were to make a mockery of religion by keeping a fast.
(2) They were to act hypocritically to their neighbor Naboth by giving him the most prominent place of honor at the fast.
(3) They were to provide two worthless scamps (presumably by bribery) who, at the appropriate time in the fast would take their places near Naboth and then, with feigned religious fervor, protest against him and denounce him as a blasphemer of God and the King, corroborating each other with sworn testimony that they had heard the blasphemy with their own ears.
(4) The penalty of blasphemy was recognized to be that of stoning and the decree was to be carried out and Naboth thus to be gotten rid of.
If we are inclined to feel or speak strongly of the wicked course of Jezebel, as we should, let us not forget that somewhat similar practices prevail in our day. True, no one today could be stoned to death at the suggestion of a Queen in civilized lands. Nevertheless, people have been heard to express the wish that they had lived in former times, so as to have had an opportunity for stoning those whom they disliked. But take a case in point: Suppose a man conducting a successful business. Suppose covetous neighbors set up a competing business, as they would have a full right to do. But suppose, then, that one or the other, coveting the whole trade, were to attempt sharp practises in business, selling commodities at below cost, interfering with the other's credit at the bank, or slandering the other, would not this be covetousness in action--covetousness of the same kind which King Ahab entertained? And would it not be reprehensible in God's
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sight? And dare any who respect the Lord, so thoroughly neglect the Golden Rule of his Word?
Another illustration: A storekeeper doing a good business was offered a certain commodity at a less price than he had been paying under a three-years' contract. He accepted. The party who had been selling him this commodity in the past was angry, covetous of the trade. He set up a competing business and sold goods at a loss, as he could afford to do, being wealthy, until the first storekeeper failed for lack of business. Then the new store was closed down, because it had effected its work as a business assassin. It had killed Naboth. Indeed, covetousness and Jezebel methods, adapted to present-day conditions, prevail much more generally than the majority of people suppose and chiefly amongst the very rich, who have enough and to spare, but who covet their neighbors' stocks and bonds, gold and silver, etc. If God denounced Ahab as having sold himself to iniquity, what would the Lord's verdict be on some of the customs of our day, which has so much greater degree of light and knowledge than Ahab possessed?
"THAT WOMAN JEZEBEL"
As per instructions, word was at once sent, which came to the hands of Jezebel, saying that Naboth was dead, as per the King's wishes. The Queen then said to her sullen lord, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth; he is dead.
The King seems to have had no qualms of conscience, but to have been in some respects as bad as the Queen, but with less courage. At all events he proceeded to take possession of the vineyard--as though he did not recognize that there is a God of Justice to whom he must ultimately account.
Then Elijah, under Divine direction, went forth to meet the King and, by the Lord's command said, "Hast thou killed and also taken possession? In the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood." And this prophecy was fulfilled to the letter very shortly after. Note, however, the King's attitude and how inclined he was, as before, to ignore the Lord and to think merely of the Prophet.
Ahab accosted Elijah, saying, "Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?" He received the answer, "I have found thee because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord."
Covetousness is one of the most crying evils of our day. It is causing more heartaches and trouble of every kind, perhaps, than any other sin.
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SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Though you, dear Brother, are so busy, with the dear Lord's work, I am sure you will be pleased to know that the passing year has been the best ever to me, your humble sister in Brazil.
Please take my case as a positive, living proof that there are none too far away to be reached by the "River, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God."
It is with thankful heart I mention God's wonderful providence in the mail system of this his day, which brings to me the precious truths through his chosen "Servant," THE WATCH TOWER, etc. I rejoice with you in the new and wider fields
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of usefulness--especially your recent messages to the Hebrew people--and I am trying to "Keep awake and watch the stately steppings of our Present Lord amongst the affairs of mankind."
I had some difficulties in understanding the question of "Our Advocate and the World's Mediator," but now I see clearly the Scripturalness of your teachings, and thank God for the light on this and many other points. The only "assembling together" there is for me is in the printed page. Therefore, "the Vow," "Manna," the hymns, THE WATCH TOWER, DAWNS and sermons, and our dear new Bible, are unspeakable treasures to me.
May the Lord's presence abide with you continually. Pray for me, as I do for you daily.
BELLONA FERGUSON.--Brazil, S.A.
DR. L. W. JONES, Chicago, Ill. MY DEAR DOCTOR:--
Your letter dated October 18 reached me in time. I am sorry not to be able to help you along on your Chicago meeting. I have no one in Chicago with whom I could make you acquainted with a view to help along that noble movement, which has as its end the spreading of that wonderful message concerning the future of the Jewish people. My experience with Pastor Russell's literature, particularly that part that treats the Jewish question, has taught me that in the very near future we shall have created a great movement among the Jews, a movement which probably will have no equal in the history of my people.
All over the country, where Pastor Russell's words reach, they are received with the greatest enthusiasm. But a certain method must be adopted to reach my people. They are very suspicious, when they hear a Christian speak about their future. They immediately think there must be something wrong behind it. Besides, Pastor Russell has created a great number of enemies among my people. Some of the influential rabbis, and some of the Jewish editors, have seen the majority of the Jewish people turn with great enthusiasm to Pastor Russell's literature. They have seen the popularity that this man has gained within a short time. They have heard that in Jewish meetings, in synagogues and elsewhere Pastor Russell's sermons are read and discussed. Immediately many thought that this man is about to become a leader among Israel, and they are trying their best to discredit Pastor Russell.
You know, my dear Doctor, what representatives of the Christian dogmatic church are trying to do, in order to minimize Pastor Russell's influence in the Christian world. Both Jewish rabbis and Christian ministers are led by the same motives. They are afraid of a man who proclaims the Bible as the supreme authority; the Bible as interpreted by itself.
I hope that your meeting will be a great success. There is no doubt in my mind that it will. By this time, every Jew in this country and in others has heard something about Pastor Russell. I wish I could be present in Chicago and help you along as much as possible, to make that meeting the success it deserves to be.
I have great news for all who take interest in Pastor Russell's work and would like to see his great ideas and noble
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teachings become universal. The news that I am referring to will make history as soon as it is made public.
Very truly yours, ADOLPH B. LANDAU.
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
When "the Vow" first came out I was undecided for some months as to whether I should take it or not. I could not see any objection to any of its features, although I felt that I had made a full consecration to the Lord and hence did not need to add anything to it. In the meantime many friends seemed to be greatly blessed through the taking of "the Vow," and I came to the conclusion that I could not afford to miss any blessings, so I took it.
It went along about a year and the Lord finally showed me, through "the Vow," that after all my consecration had not been as complete and deep as it might have been. Then and there "the Vow" became to me a real thing and for the past year I have had a wonderful blessing through it in the way of a closer walk with my Lord and Master.
The contemplation of what "the Vow" has done for me during the past year proves to me that it is only another feature of the Truth--"meat in due season."
My daily prayer for you is that you some day may hear the "Well done."
Your brother in the Anointed, S. M. PETERSON.
BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study IV.--The New Creation Predestinated.
(1) Explain the doctrine of Election as generally and erroneously set forth. P. 163.
(2) Briefly state the correct and Scripturally supported view. P. 164, par. 1.
(3) Have the non-elect suffered any injury by God's election of the New Creation? Give illustration. P. 164, par. 2.
(4) Distinguish between the "elect" and the "very elect." P. 165, par. 1.
(5) To what unfaithful class does the Scripture, `1 John 5:16`, apply? P. 165, par. 2.
(6) How do the Apostles Peter and Jude describe this class? P. 166, par. 1.
(7) Why is it impossible to renew unto repentance the class mentioned in `Heb. 6:4-9`? P. 166, par. 2.
(8) While there is wilfulness on the part of both these classes, how do those referred to in `Heb. 10:26,27,31`, differ from these just mentioned? P. 167, par. 1; P. 168.
(9) What class is referred to as the Great Company, and why do they fail to be of the "very elect?" P. 168, par. 2.
(10) Explain the parable of the Vine in connection with the New Creation. P. 169, par. 1.
(11) Is it sufficient that we attain a place among the true branches of the Vine? If not, what more is necessary? P. 169, par. 2.
(12) Mention other elections in the past, brought to our attention through the Scriptures, and name the chief difference between these and the election of the New Creation. P. 170.
(13) Did any of these elections in any sense apply to the everlasting future of any individuals? P. 171, par. 1.
(14) Explain the types of Jacob and Esau with respect to election. P. 171, par. 2.
(15) What is the proper thought in the statement, "Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated"? (`Rom. 9:13`.) P. 172, par. 1.
(16) Cite a notable instance of God's exercise of authority in the affairs of mankind in general. P. 173, par. 1.
(17) Give scientific and Scriptural illustrations of different methods of carrying out a death penalty. P. 173, par. 2; P. 174, par. 1.
(18) In his election or selection of individuals and nations in the past ages, did God coerce their wills? P. 174, par. 2.
(19) Explain Jehovah's statement regarding Pharaoh, "For this very purpose have I raised thee up." P. 175, par. 1.
(20) How did God "harden Pharaoh's heart"? P. 175, par. 2.
(21) Quote several Scriptures which declare God's election of the nation of Israel. P. 176, par. 1.
(22) Briefly outline how the election passed from natural to spiritual Israel, as described by the Apostle in `Romans 9-11`. P. 177, par. 1.
(23) Name the features of the original election which still remain with natural Israel. P. 178, par. 1.
(24) Explain the significance of God's grace or favor in its relation to the elect New Creation. P. 178, par. 2.
(25) Does `1 Peter 1:2`, or any other Scripture, teach a Divine foreknowledge respecting the individuals composing the elect Church? P. 179, par. 1.
LECTURES BY BROTHER WILLIAM CRAWFORD
Edinburgh...................Jan. 14-16 Birmingham..................Jan. 26, 27 Blythe...................... " 17 Cardiff..................... " 28, 29 Newcastle................... " 18 Llanelly.................... " 30 Middlesborough.............. " 19 Bristol.................Jan. 31, Feb. 1 Eston....................... " 20 Gloucester..................Feb. 2 Otley....................... " 21 Tewkesbury.................. " 3 Bradford.................... " 22 Cheltenham.................. " 4 Dewsbury.................... " 23 Oxford...................... " 5 Sheffield................... " 24, 25 Reading..................... " 6