VOL. XIII. MAY 1, 1892. NO. 9.
ECHOES FROM THE BELIEVERS' CONVENTION.
Many whose hearts were with us in the recent general meeting for Bible Study, in connection with the celebrating of the Memorial of our Lord's death, will be looking expectantly for some report of it--for some particulars more
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than were given in few words in our last issue.
The program, as announced, was carried out, five days being devoted to Bible study, and two to the interests of the Colporteur work, with social meetings in the evenings, except on the anniversary of our dear Redeemer's death, when it was memorialized, as he had instructed, with unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine.
Our chapel, which is an upper room on the third floor of the Bible House, over the office of the Watch Tower, had been put in good order, and upon the walls several motto-texts served to enforce both the letter and the spirit of the Word of God. As many will be interested, we will describe them: (1) The one back of the platform reads: "Let Him that would be Greatest Among You be Servant of All."-- "One is Your Master, even Christ."--"All Ye are Brethren."--"God Hath Set the Various Members in the Body as it Hath Pleased Him." (2) The one to the right of the platform reads: "Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth."--"Whosoever Doeth the Will of My Father Shall Know of My Doctrine." --"Let Nothing be Done Through Strife or Vain-glory." (3) The one alongside the organ reads: "Praise the Lord, O my Soul."--"He Hath Put a New Song into my Mouth." (4) The next, along the side wall, reads: "Thou Shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy Heart, Mind, Being and Strength; and thy Neighbor as Thyself." (5) The next reads: "Blessed are the Meek, the Merciful, the Peacemakers, the Pure in Heart, They that Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness, and Those Persecuted for Righteousness' Sake." (6) The next reads: "The Love of Christ Constraineth Us; for We Thus Judge that if One Died for All, then were All Dead, and that We Should Live the Remainder of our Lives unto Him Who Loved Us and Died for Us." (7) The last, next the door, reads: "One Lord--One Faith--One Baptism."--"One Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom for All, to be Testified in Due Time." Besides there are the three beautiful texts painted by Brother Ganoung upon celluloid cards furnished by Sisters Erlenmyer and Clark-- mentioned in our last issue.
So far as we are aware nearly all who attended the Convention were greatly blessed. We have made selections from some of the letters received since, which together will convey a fair impression of the joyful season of communion. And yet cold type fails to give the impressions gained by personal contact with the dear ones, so full of love and knowledge and zeal, from every quarter of our land and from Canada. The letters below are generally extracts, except Brother Adamson's, which was handed to the compositor without even a reading, because such was the request of our dear Brother who is the senior Colporteur. ::page 132::
Dear Watch Tower Readers:--
The Anniversary meetings just closed were probably in all respects the best ever held here. There was no waste of time. Those who came to the city early had an interesting meeting in the hall on Wednesday, before the formal opening on Thursday, which was set for the first day of the feast. Again, interesting meetings were held after the week of feasting appointed. Besides this, the testimony meetings, which heretofore filled almost the whole of the first day of the meetings, were held in the evenings at three houses on the hilltop, viz., Brother Zech's, Brother Russell's and Sister Raynor's.
The questions came thick and fast, and Bro. Russell must continue to be meek and teachable, since his knowledge and great capacity to teach are still on the increase. Will the dear Lord grant us for many years to come the services of this wise and willing and holy teacher!
On the first day of the Conference some words of welcome came from Bro. R. (and the Allegheny Church) to the two hundred visitors who had left their homes and interests to go in some cases many hundreds of miles to become more perfectly interested in God's Word and will and ways. His discourse also traced some of the present deceptions of the Adversary, including also an invulnerable argument for the Ransom.
Questions filled in the time Thursday afternoon, Friday all day and Saturday morning session. On Saturday afternoon the clear, convincing sermon on Baptism was followed by the symbolizing of their real baptism or immersion into Christ on the part of about forty persons.
On Sunday morning Bro. Zech preached a beautiful and timely sermon on the Truth-siftings now in progress and yet to come; taking for his text Peter's denial of Christ, his severe treatment at the hands of Satan, the sifter, and the meaning of the conversion that followed. The sermon on "Love," from `1 Cor. 13`, which was preached by Bro. R. in the afternoon, will not soon be forgotten by many who heard it. Evening brought the proper time to commemorate the Supper which memorializes the greatest event and transaction the world ever saw. By the Lord's death all mankind were redeemed from death (`Rom. 5:19`), and the same all may eat or appropriate life by his merits: "I am that bread which if a man eat he shall live forever." But before the world in general can be fed this bread or life, both Christ and his Church must be broken and suffer (often at the hands of the nominal church), which breaking is beautifully shown by the breaking of the unleavened bread used, "for ye are all one loaf." It seems impossible that any reasonable person present could fail to be convinced of the truth of our teaching on this subject. At least three hundred persons participated, and thoughtfulness and solemnity seemed to be over all.
On Monday question meetings continued, while Tuesday and Wednesday were canvassers' meetings, to which many who were not Colporteurs remained, drawn partly by the evidences of God's love and providence to this class, which came out incidentally. From all sides came wonderful testimonies of God's care and keeping, his mercy, providence and grace, and these, added to the great treasure opened of things new and old--the words of life handled--the communion and fellowship so sweet between joint-participators in the same struggles and temptations, joys and sorrows, trials and blessings --must be invaluable to those who have now separated and gone forth to serve Christ's cause and Kingdom during the Christian year on which we have just entered.
J. B. ADAMSON.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--On my way home from the meeting I stopped over night with Brother and Sister Hewes, in Philadelphia. I found them well located, evidently desirous and preparing to do the Master's work. We had a good visit. I talked and prayed with them, asking the Lord to bless their efforts in that city.
I arrived in New York Saturday, 2:30 P.M. Was quite surprised to find the floor of our little meeting-room nicely covered with matting, and supplied with a new organ. I presume it is safe to give Brother and Sister Fairchild principal credit for this kindness.
By request of some of the brethren here, the time of our meeting yesterday was nearly all used in giving a report of the Allegheny meeting. I talked for about an hour, trying to give a fair idea of the subjects considered and truths brought out, as well as the spirit that prevailed throughout the meeting. I am sure it would have done your heart good to hear the testimonies given by all who attended from here. I pray that the meeting may be as great a blessing to all who were present as it has been to the company that went from here.
During the entire meeting this year it seemed evident to me that the Master was present, guiding in all that was said and done. But there were times when this seemed specially noticeable. Sometimes during a prayer, after a sermon or a few words of exhortation, it would seem as if the dear object of all our thoughts was there standing in our midst, saying, "Peace be unto you." And there was no desire on the part of some to see him with the
natural eye, being still more blessed to recognize him by the eye of faith. The sweet influence of his love shed upon us during these meetings will, I trust, go with me during the entire year, and beyond, even unto the end, when we, if faithful, shall partake with him in the Kingdom.
With much love in the Lord, Yours,
S. D. ROGERS.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I arrived here Thursday evening; and I must say that I am glad that I attended the meeting. I thank you very much for your kindness to me while there. I took extracts from your discourses, and I am now looking them up with my Bible and Concordance in hand. Will just say that it is very profitable employment.
I learned more about canvassing the few days I was there than I would in a long time by actual experience. But I am only selling the one volume at 35 cents, apparently with as good success as I did at 25 cents, but will not say yet. Please send me a few volumes of the leatherette as per enclosed order, and I will try them. I remain your brother and servant in Christ, C. C. WRIGHT.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Sister Vogel and I reached our field of labor yesterday morning. Sister Lizzie was very glad to see me and to learn that our brother had been immersed and would also go into the "harvest field."
May this year prove very profitable to us all. I have learned many things during the past two weeks, which I think will enable me to serve the Lord with more profit than in the year past.
Enclosed find P.O. money order for two hundred copies of DAWN.
May the Lord's blessing continue with you and Sister Russell, is the prayer of your sister in the Lord's service, HELENA BOEHMER.
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I am very sorry that I could not be with you at the Memorial Supper of our dear Lord, but it was some comfort and satisfaction to think that the fruit of my raising should furnish a part of the entertainment of the saints who there represented the Body of Christ, and perhaps the dear Lord and the apostles saw and took notice of the fruit I gathered for him [Our dear Brother's orange crop was nearly a failure this year, but he gathered one barrel and sent them here to be sold for the benefit of the Tract Fund. Sister Fisher, to whose care they were consigned, paid the freight and turned over the luscious fruit for the benefit of the Convention. It was highly appreciated and the donors remembered. --ED.], although I had no idea of receiving so great an honor as you and dear Sister Fisher have brought upon me. Strange to tell, the thoughts awakened by Sister Fisher's letter in reference thereto make me weep, not with sorrow, but with a variety of emotions too deep for utterance. I feel so little like an "overcomer," and it seems to me the Lord is not helping me, but letting me feel my inefficiency as one of his messengers, and now it seems as though you, dear Brother, and the dear ones who met at Allegheny, had united in bringing my little offering to his notice, and perhaps he looked on it as he did on the widow's mite, at least with love and pity. Lord grant that it may be so!
Oh, if he will only strengthen and encourage me, and help me earn my expenses, I will give my time continually in circulating his gracious gospel of love. The spirit is willing, but oh, the flesh is weak, and I am a very coward, afraid of my shadow, and the sharp, quick ring of the door bells that I must ring often makes me tremble. I would rather face death than the prospect before me, and I hope the Lord will soon relieve or strengthen me for the work. Pray for me.
Give my love to Sisters Russell and Fisher and accept same for yourself, from a very poor fellow-servant. Yours, W. A. WHITCOMB.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Knowing that you will be glad to learn what effect, if any, the Passover services have had on those who attended, I think it not amiss to add my report.
I went praying and hoping that God's blessing would rest on me and all that would be present. And now for my part I can say that my prayers and expectations were not in vain. I was indeed greatly refreshed and strengthened in the Lord.
I have had several opportunities of magnifying my Lord since, and (need I say?) I gladly availed myself of them. Next Sunday at 4 P.M. I am to address the Y.M.C.A. meeting at Cortland, N.Y.
I was there about a month ago and got them greatly interested--so much so that one young man said openly: "Now I have some incentive to study the Bible." I was then invited to address them at some future time, and I have arranged to do so next Sunday. Pray that the Lord may help me to glorify his name. If you have any suggestions to offer they will be very acceptable.
I have some of No. 5 (Bible Study) tracts, and I purpose giving one to every one who attends. I may not have enough as the secretary
writes me he is going to advertise the meeting. You might send me about a hundred more.
With much love to you and Sister Russell, I am yours in the glorious hope,
S. O. BLUNDEN.
DEAR TOWER BROTHERS:--Please accept a few lines from Bro. Chase and my unworthy self in thankfulness for your kindness while attending the Convention in Allegheny. O! how thankful we are that the Lord permitted us to attend those meetings. I thank the blessed Redeemer for light I have received, and my prayer is that it may increase in me daily, and I humbly ask an interest in the prayers of God's dear children that I may prove worthy of my high calling--that I may meet the Lord with joy.
Brother Chase and I met at Brother McPhail's house last Lord's-day, and had a good lesson on the Ransom. In the evening we met at Brother Chase's home and had a lesson on the Resurrection. Two of Brother Chase's neighbors came in, and they seemed to be interested. Hope it may prove to be "meat in due season" to them.
Brother McPhail started out yesterday to the "harvest work" to help gather in the sheaves. Brother Chase will also start in a day or so to spread the good news to all that have an ear to hear. May the Lord go with them. The Lord willing, I shall do what I can here at home, as my health is poor, but as soon as there is a way open I too will go forth regularly to help spread the good tidings of great joy. Thank God, I am not afraid to read my Bible now. There is nothing in it now to make me afraid. O! We have a Heavenly Father and a blessed Redeemer that we can love now since we know them better. O! I am so thankful that the Lord has led me into his marvelous light; and I thank him specially for the gift of his only begotten Son to be "a ransom for all."
Dear Brother Russell, may God ever bless you in your labor for the Truth. Yours in Christian fellowship, R. S. MOORE.
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"WHO IS WORTHY?"
In the visions of the Apocalypse we read of a wonderful scroll in the right hand of the great King who sits upon the throne of universal dominion. This scroll is a forceful representation of the divine plan, originally existing only in the mind of God, and which could not be made known to men until some one was found worthy to open the seals and display it to view. But "no one in heaven nor in earth was able to open the scroll, neither to look thereon," until one came whom the Revelator describes as "The Lion [the strong one] of the tribe of Judah, the root of David," of whom the testimony is given--"Thou art worthy to take the scroll and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain and hast redeemed to God by thy blood out of every kindred and people and nation; and hast made them unto our God a kingdom and priesthood; and they shall reign on the earth."--`Rev. 5:1-5,9,10`.
Excepting the bare promise (written on the outside of the scroll--`verse 1`) of salvation through the Seed of the woman, nothing could be known of the wonderful scheme for human restitution until the Son of God, having left the glory of the spiritual nature, took our nature and by the sacrifice of himself redeemed us from death. Then, having his righteousness imputed to us by faith, we are counted worthy to look upon the scroll as he opens the seals one after another.
Great was the favor bestowed upon the Strong One of the tribe of Judah, in being permitted to open the seals--to carry out and make manifest the grand designs of infinite love--and great is the privilege of those who are permitted to look thereon as the seals are opened. It is not our purpose here, however, to treat of the peculiar symbols relating to the opening of the seals, but rather of what constitutes worthiness in us to look thereon, and what favor of God to us is implied in this privilege of looking.
The knowledge of God's purposes is due only to those able and anxious to co-operate with him in their development; for God does not display his plans to satisfy mere idle curiosity. First, then, if we would comprehend what is revealed within the scroll we must have faith in what is written on the outside--the promised redemption through the precious blood of Christ --and must be sincerely desirous of knowing the details of God's plan in order to an earnest
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co-operation with it. In other words, there must be the earnest inquiry arising from a heart grateful for the promise of life through the Redeemer-- "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Such, and such only, are worthy to know, and such only ever come to see, in the sense of understanding and appreciating, the deep things of God written within the scroll. Such are the called according to the divine purpose, to be educated in and to serve the truth. Such are the righteous for whom the light (truth) is sown. Such was our Lord's attitude when he said, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." (`Heb. 10:7`.) He was meek and lowly of heart and ever ready to render implicit obedience to the will of God; and it is to those who are similarly meek that he was sent to preach the good tidings (`Isa. 6:1`)--to open the scroll. "The meek will he guide in judgment; the meek will he teach his way." (`Psa. 25:9`.) If any man have this evidence of worthiness--this acquaintance with the truth --let him rejoice in his privilege and by his works manifest his continued worthiness.
This worthiness is inquired for not only at the beginning, but all along the path of light. If we are not found worthy by the various tests applied from time to time, we cannot proceed in the path of light; and unless the unfaithful ones arouse themselves to greater diligence and watchfulness, the light that already is in them will become darkness. And how great, how intense must be the darkness of one cast out of light. (`Matt. 6:23`.) To find the glorious hope that once inspired our hearts slipping away and the truth whereon we built that hope beginning to seem like an old song or an idle tale, or as relics of the past to be displaced at any time by any plausible subterfuge of error which our wily adversary may be pleased to palm off as advanced divine truth: these are indications that should arouse any one who discovers them to a realization of the fact that he is going into darkness--a darkness that will only become the more intense as he slips and slides along the backward track.
All along the way, as we have said, we will find tests applied to prove our worthiness to proceed from knowledge to knowledge and from grace to grace. Who is worthy?--worthy to receive the truth, worthy to continue in the truth, worthy to suffer and to endure hardness as a good soldier for the truth, worthy to have part in the ministry of the truth, and finally to be exalted to power and great glory when truth and righteousness shall be exalted in the earth and their glorious triumph begun.
Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (`Luke 9:23`.) At the very beginning of our course we each found some cross confronting us, and had we not taken it up we would not have been counted worthy even to look with intelligent appreciation into the precious truths of God's plan. And as we advance from step to step and find the truth increasingly precious--sweeter than honey from the honey comb--we have these additional evidences of continued worthiness and should greatly rejoice in them as such. Our possession of these truths has thus far proved us meek enough to discard the popular theology of the nominal church and be counted as heretics, turncoats, fanatics, cranks, or whatever our former friends are, in their ignorance, now pleased to term us. And it has proved us meek enough to bear willingly this reproach for the great joy of thus realizing the Lord's approval and of seeing by faith the great blessings in store for us if faithful unto the end.
But "let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall;" for sudden and sharp will be many of the tests applied to prove our continued faithfulness. The world, the flesh and the devil all conspire to allure, ensnare and overcome us. The world will present its allurements through friends or wife or husband or children. They will try to encroach upon the clearly defined line which you have drawn between yourself and the world. Then the flesh will grow weary in fighting the good fight of faith, weary of the reproaches of the world, weary of the alienation of former friends and weary of the self-denying, sacrificing and daily cross-bearing life. Then if you turn aside for a moment to ponder on these things the devil will quickly see his opportunity and will cunningly devise some trial specially suited to your
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peculiar condition of mind, and a crisis comes in your experience, the result of which will prove the exact strength of your devotion to God and his truth. These tests God permits and even desires to have come upon us, in order that we may be thoroughly tried and proved either worthy or unworthy of the great reward he has in keeping for those who remain faithful unto death.
The Lord is seeking his precious jewels. Many of them are indeed diamonds in the rough. The real diamond is a noble, loyal, faithful character, devoted and uncompromising in its allegiance to God. Sometimes the circumstances of life have deprived such of education or culture and have left them only sufficient means for the barest necessities of life. But no matter, God's eye is on them: character is what he is looking for, and in due time, when that character is sufficiently developed, confirmed, tested and proved worthy of exaltation, he can and will add to it all the glories of knowledge and wisdom and grace and beauty. But first he will subject it to all the necessary tests. If it is a true diamond it will receive and it will also transmit to others the light of divine truth. Nothing so gloriously reflects the light as the diamond; and nothing so gloriously reflects the truth as the worthy character of the true and faithful saint.
Another way of testing a diamond is to put it under pressure. If it is a real diamond it will stand the pressure, for the diamond is the hardest substance known; but if it is not a real diamond it will go to pieces and thus prove itself. So God allows us to come under the constant pressure of years of toil and care and self-sacrifice to see how we will endure; and blessed is that diamond-proved character that endures to the end.--`Jas. 1:12`; `Matt. 10:22`.
Sometimes the tests come in the way of trials of faith, and we are called upon to prove ourselves whether we be in the faith (`2 Cor. 13:5`) when some subtle errors are presented to us as advanced truth. But if we know the voice of the "Good Shepherd" we will not be easily beguiled. We remember the inspired counsel, "To the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them" (`Isa. 8:20`); and to the law and the testimony we go, and, relying implicitly upon this as the infallible teaching of the Spirit of God, we are enabled to arrive at definite, clear and positive doctrine. We are not left in doubt as to what is truth, but are enabled to give a solid Scriptural reason for the hope that is in us, on which hope we dare implicitly to rest our faith and with humble boldness to successfully withstand the assaults of error. But O! how dead to selfish ambition, how fully devoted to the will of God such must be.
Let us, dearly beloved, as we realize that thus far God has counted us worthy to look upon the scroll of his plan which has been unsealed for us by our blessed Lord Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, prove our worthiness to continue to look therein and to read the wondrous things of his law, by faithful obedience and loyalty to it in all things. Let us not undervalue our great privilege in being counted worthy to suffer some reproach and some hardness as good soldiers for the truth's sake; and also in being counted worthy to have some part in the blessed ministry of reflecting the light of divine truth: let us prove ourselves jewels of rarest value, diamonds indeed, heartily receiving and beautifully transmitting to others the light of truth, and faithfully enduring the severest pressure that God may permit to come upon us; for, if faithful in these small things, we shall in due time be counted worthy also to reign with Christ in power and great glory. Let us not be like some who have only a little good earth on the surface of their hearts while the heart is really hard and stony. Let the good seed of divine truth sink down and take deep root, and then let it branch out in the life and bear its abundant fruitage to the Master's glory. So shall we be accounted worthy to see the King in his beauty and to live and reign with him as his beloved bride and joint-heir. And when to the "worthy Lamb that was slain" the voice of the multitudes ascribes blessing and honor and glory and power, they will also exclaim, "Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." --`Rev. 5:13`; `19:7`.
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TRAVELS IN THE HOLY LAND.
AUGUST, 1891.--EDITORIAL NOTES.--NO. III.
Next let us visit "Solomon's Quarries," whence the stones for the temple were obtained. They are wonderful in extent, underlying, probably, more than one-half of the city. With lighted candles and our guide we see as much of the quarry as we desire to see, noticing the ancient marks of the quarrymen, and the places from which immense stones had been taken and others are ready to be taken out--reflecting the while upon the quarrying of the living stones, which the great Master Mason, Christ our Lord, is now taking out, fitting and squaring for places in the antitypical temple in the antitypical Jerusalem above.
The space left by this quarrying may yet be utilized for the arrangement of a general sewerage system for the city of Jerusalem, we suggest; and so, too, the taking out from the world of the living stones for the heavenly Temple, the Church, will ultimately redound to the benefit of the world--cleansing it from sin and all uncleanness.
Sunday has come, and we will endeavor to improve its opportunities by becoming acquainted with the missionaries and their work. We attend service at the Protestant Episcopal Church and hear a good practical discourse in English, but find no opportunity for speaking to any of the three ministers present, assisting in the service, nor with any of the congregation. We are rather disappointed at the result of our efforts to gain an acquaintance. We will try another plan, and in the afternoon call upon some other ministers at their homes. We find the Bishop and one of the other ministers absent for the summer season, but find an Episcopal mission service in Arabic, and attend that. The congregation is an interesting one, of native young men chiefly. Upon inquiry, we learn that many of these are employees of the mission in one capacity or another.
On the whole we are forced to the conclusion that "the Americans" had some ground for their charges that the missionaries here misrepresent the spirit of Christ by their rather haughty demeanor. The natives call the residences of the ministers palaces; and indeed they are the finest buildings of the city, aside from hotels and public buildings.
It is a lamentable fact that although some of the missionaries seem to have a desire to do good, they have not that sympathy and consuming desire to do good to the poor creatures about them that they should have, to accomplish much. Here, as everywhere, it requires the truth to sanctify wholly and rightly direct body, soul and spirit in the service, which demands continual self-negation and sacrifice under present evil conditions. The truth is the one thing needful even for present service; but in no place do the "religious people" seem more self-satisfied. The Jews, too, are full of the same spirit, and surely not without some cause. Their synagogue services are more reasonable and intelligent than those of the various "Catholic" denominations entrenched here. They worship individually and singly, or in groups, read the Scriptures and talk concerning their signification. The Talmud, against which our Lord spoke as "the traditions of men," explains away or adds to the Word of the Lord and is their chief shackle. Nevertheless, we find one small congregation of Jews here who reject the Talmud and accept only the Mosaic Law and the Prophets. Their Rabbi, through an interpreter, tells us that there are many similar and larger congregations throughout Turkey and Russia. They call themselves "Caraims." The Jews here would be a most hopeful class for a truth-girded, working, self-sacrificing missionary, such as our Lord or Peter or Paul. As it is, a conversion of a Jew or a Mohammedan is a rare matter: almost the only converts are children cared for as infants, and who grow up Protestants or Catholics in form and name. To offset this, the Jewish schools and orphanages are now active and receive all classes.
Let us go about the city outside the wall and through the valleys, and for this service the docile donkeys will be just the things.
Passing out of the Damascus Gate we soon
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reach the "Tombs of the Kings." They are spacious vaults cut in the solid rock, communicating with a central spacious room which connects with the outside by a small doorway closed by a rolling stone, like a large grindstone, such as closed our Lord's sepulchre. Outside this small door is a spacious platform suggestive of a place for public gatherings, funeral services, etc., and from it broad steps (about thirty feet wide) lead up to the surface. The Tombs of the Judges are near our course, a little further along upon the side of the Mt. of Olives. They are large and interesting, but less so than the Tombs of the Kings. We will turn and go down the Valley of Jehoshaphat, otherwise known as the Valley of Kidron. Our path crosses and recrosses the bed of the brook Kidron (dry at this season), and passes near the Garden of Gethsemane; and we recall that the Master and his twelve apostles often walked here in going to and from Olivet and Bethany. (`John 18:1`.) Looking upward on our left, the slope of Olivet is thickly covered with stone slabs, marking graves and sepulchres centuries old. This Valley of Jehoshaphat is the synonym and reminder of God's promise of a resurrection.
We pause for a drink of water from the long-celebrated fountain Enrogel. Farther along we pass the "Kings' Gardens" on our right, and on the opposite side of the valley is the village of Siloam, and a little below it a new Jewish colony in new, small, stone houses, erected, we believe, by Sir Moses Montefiore's benevolence; all very neat and comfortable looking. Just above these villages is the "Mount of Offence," so called because there, to please his heathen wives, Solomon erected temples to the false gods of the Ammonites and the Moabites, Moloch and Chemosh.--`1 Kings 11:1-7`.
Here we turn aside and climb the hill-side to visit the Pool of Siloam, opposite the village of the same name. See, a few of the steps leading down to the pool from the hill Zion may still be discerned. We recall the obedience of the blind man who here received his sight on the Sabbath day, and remember that we are already in the early dawn of the antitypical Sabbath--the Millennium--when the Satan-blinded eyes of men's understandings shall be anointed with the ointment from the Lord's mouth mixed with the clay of human instrumentality, and when by faith they shall wash in the fountains of truth then opened to them. How precious the promises, "Then the blind eyes shall be opened," and "The blind shall see out of obscurity." (`2 Cor. 4:4`; `Isa. 35:5`; `29:18`.) Never before did we realize so fully as during this journey the need of the whole world for the promised eye-salve; and
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none seem to need it more than the nominal Christian churches.--`Rev. 3:18`.
Leaving the Kidron we pass eastward and then northward along the Valley of Hinnom or Gehenna--once used as a place for the destruction of offal and garbage and for the destruction of the dead bodies of the vilest criminals by means of fire and brimstone, and used by our Lord to symbolize the utter and hopeless destruction by the second death, into which all shall be cast who, in the judgment of the Millennial day of trial, shall be found unworthy of life. At the lower end of this valley is the reputed Aceldama or field of blood where Judas hanged himself. The valley is much filled up at present--the natural result of the stone-throwing warfare of former times and of the many destructions of the city and its walls. It is now a fertile garden of olive trees, fig trees, etc., at the lower part.
Passing onward we find ourselves in the Valley of Kidron with its two pools or water reservoirs still fairly preserved. Here it was that Solomon was anointed King of Israel by the command of King David. (`1 Kings 1:30-40`.) On our left as we ascend the valley are the clean, neat-looking dwellings of "the Germans," or Society of the Temple. We regret that we will not have time for calling upon them.
Now we reach the new Jerusalem, rapidly building up to the northwest of the walled city, with creditable modern structures, among which is our stopping place, the Hotel Jerusalem.
We have but one day more at our disposal, and will visit Bethlehem and Solomon's pools. The carriage road is good and our contracting guide and friend has provided us a good coach and team, and we are not long in reaching
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Bethlehem, the town honored as our Lord's birth-place. On the way we pass "Rachel's Tomb." Near here the beloved Rachel died when giving birth to Benjamin, and tradition declares this to be her tomb. (`Gen. 35:16-20`.) Here is a cistern where tradition says the star appeared to the wise men the second time to guide them to Bethlehem and the manger. (`Matt. 2:1-10`.) This reminds us that from the tower upon Olivet we saw the reputed fields where the shepherds to whom our Lord's birth was announced watched their flocks by night (`Luke 2:8`), and the road we have just traversed in coming from Jerusalem was probably the same that they traveled. We render hearty thanks to God that in the truest sense we have found him that was born King of the Jews and King of all kings, or rather we have been found of him: he has revealed himself to us. "My Beloved is mine and I am His."
Bethlehem is built on a hill in the shape of a crescent. The buildings are of white stone and fairly good for these parts. It has about seven thousand population.
The ancient dress and customs are better preserved here than elsewhere, we are told and we believe. The Bethlehemites are clever people, above the average in intelligence and hospitality. We consider them much better samples in every way of our Lord's times than the people of Jerusalem.
Bethlehem was the home of Boaz, and here it was that Naomi came with Ruth, who became the wife of Boaz and mother of Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David the king. But while notable as the birthplace and home of these, Bethlehem's honor comes as the birthplace of David's Lord, the well beloved son of Jehovah God--"Thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, art not the least among the cities of Judah; for out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel." (`Micah 5:2`; `Matt. 2:6`.) Here, to Bethlehem as the chief city of their province, came Mary with Joseph her husband, according to the decree of Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, to be taxed, and here the infant Jesus was born.--`Luke 2:1-12`.
We visit the Church of the Nativity, built upon the spot. It is in the joint possession of the Roman, Armenian and Greek Catholics, but the apparent harmony between these is somewhat enforced, as appears from the presence of armed Turkish (Mohammedan) soldiers, found necessary to be stationed here by the government to preserve peace between the sects. We descend some steps to about ten feet below the church floor, to the reputed birth-place of our Savior, which is marked by a large silver star, upon which is inscribed, "Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est," i.e., "Here Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary." Another spot marked by a marble slab is claimed to be the place where the holy manger stood.
Connected with this, a long underground passage leads us to a spot where, it is said, the angel appeared to Joseph, directing him to flee with Mary and the child Jesus into Egypt. Farther along we come to the Altar of the Innocents, said to be over a cave into which the children, massacred by Herod, were thrown. Above these memorial spots are several chapels and convents; one, the chapel of Helena, built by the mother of Constantine the Great, A.D. 327, being one hundred and twenty feet long and one hundred and ten feet wide. It contains fourty-four marble columns taken from Mt. Moriah, and supposed to have been pillars of the porches of Solomon's Temple.
Passing along the principal street of Bethlehem to its farther end, we come to the celebrated "Well of Bethlehem," whose water was so highly prized by David. (`2 Sam. 23:15-16`.) From this point we get a view of the Shepherd's Field. The field is probably the same where David as a shepherd boy tended his sheep, and where his grandmother Ruth gleaned in the field of the wealthy Boaz. "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them ...and said, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people."
Oh! would that the shepherds of the Lord's flock were watching: they would now be advised of the second coming of the Lord's Anointed-- not again a man, nor to suffer, to die, to redeem, but now in dignity, authority and power, to
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bless and to offer healing and restoration to all whom he then purchased with his own precious blood. Could they but hear it, the message of peace and blessing given eighteen centuries ago has now new force and beauty: it is indeed "good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people." But now, as then, the wise--the truly wise--shall find and know and worship the King, while others know not of his presence: they will see and be guided by God's star; but this time the guiding star will arise in their hearts in connection with the sure word of prophecy, as saith the Apostle.--`2 Pet. 1:19`.
In returning to Jerusalem, we make a detour to the Pools of Solomon. These are vast reservoirs by which the summer water supply of Jerusalem was gathered and stored. From these pools aqueducts conduct the water for miles to the city. These are now much out of repair, and consequently of little use. Indeed, the shortage of literal water fitly represents the scarcity of the truth in these parts. May the fountains soon be opened!
Our return journey from Jerusalem to Jaffa is a very pleasant ride at night, in the full of the moon. We reach Jaffa early in the morning, and have time for a visit to a Jewish agricultural school on the outskirts, before taking steamer for the Suez Canal, and thence by rail to Cairo, to see the Great Pyramid.
We conclude our visit to the Holy Land with the hope that ere long the earthly blessings promised may come to the seed of Abraham according to the flesh and to the land of promise, as well as the spiritual blessings upon the spiritual seed, Christ and his Bride, the heavenly Jerusalem, the city or Kingdom from which all of God's blessings will flow to the world--shortly.
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PREPARING FOR THE "IMAGE OF THE BEAST."
A Jewish Rabbi in New York--Dr. Silverman --in his discourse of Sunday, April 3rd, made a suggestion which seems likely to meet with a hearty response from moral and religious people generally. He proposes a Board of Morals to which, as a part of the government, he would favor giving a general supervision of the conduct and teachings of all public assemblages (theaters, lectures, churches, etc.), books, magazines, newspapers, art exhibitions, etc.
We cannot doubt the sincerity of his motives in propounding such a scheme. He and others probably fail to see that while his scheme would indeed be useful in restraining vice, it would put an immense power into the hands of majorities by which the liberties of minorities on various subjects would soon be interfered with, and adjudged subversive of public peace and morals. For instance, any book or magazine opposed to sectarianism (as are Millennial Dawn and the Watch Tower) would come under the ban of the majority who consider that opposition to the sects is opposition to God, and hence contrary to public moral welfare.
However, we fully expect from the teachings of the Bible that such ideas will make considerable progress and ultimately be carried out in connection with a general federation or league of all the principal denominations of Protestant Christians, which will find Roman Catholicism its aider and abettor in all such efforts to restrain all liberty of thought under the name and guise of moral reform.
We subjoin an extract from the discourse in question:--
"The ethical ideal underlying Judaism has become the basis of all modern religions, and to-day both Christian and Jewish churches are earnestly enlisted in the cause of the moral conversion of the masses.
"The masses have been neglected too long. There is such a seething hot-bed of vice, crime, and all manner of corruption that we almost despair of a remedy. This true religion, with its prayer and preaching, with Bible and song, is peculiarly adapted for influencing the moral sentiment, but the moral sentiment of whom? Of those only who willingly go to the church, who are already morally trained up to the point at which they are susceptible of higher development. But what becomes of the masses outside of the church, who cannot be brought within range of the preacher's voice? How can they be morally influenced? There is no doubt that the pulpit, as regards moral reforms on a large scale, is helpless without the aid of the Government.
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"Dr. Parkhurst has demonstrated the fact that the Government does not feel obligated to come to the aid of the pulpit, in carrying out its attempts at moral reform, and that the men in authority will only proceed to act in a case of indisputable civil action. We believed that all along, but now it is demonstrated.
"We have no particular grievance in this regard against the men in authority. It is not they that are entirely wrong in this instance, but the principle by which they are guided. We are brought squarely before the issue that many office holders, politicians and statesmen hold, that the Government is only a civil and not also a moral power. We submit that this view of government is extremely narrow and unstatesmanlike. James Bryce, in his 'American Commonwealth,' has taken the trouble to emphasize this peculiar defect of the Americans. 'The State,' says Bryce, 'is not to them, as to Germans and Frenchmen and even to English thinkers, an ideal moral power, charged with the duty of forming the characters and guiding the lives of its subjects. It is more like a commercial company, or perhaps a huge municipality created for the management of certain business, in which all who reside within its bounds are interested, levying contributions and expending them in this business of common interest, but for the most part leaving the shareholders to themselves.'
"In accordance with this view the duties of the government may be summed up as follows:
"First.--The protection of its borders, commerce, honor and property.
"Second.--The administration of its laws and economy.
"Third.--The development of its resources and prosperity.
"Fourth.--The education of all its people in keeping with its idea as a secular institution.
"Fifth.--The protection of personal liberty and life.
"But is that all? Has the Government no higher object or higher duty? Is it more important to have a strong and rich nation than a moral one? I have no hesitation in maintaining, and I believe you will agree with me, that the morals of a free people are equally, if not more, important than their education, health, parks, bridges, commerce, speedway, etc. In a monarchy the stability of society and of the Government is maintained by the threat of a large standing army: in a republic, by the virtuous manhood of the people.
"The only recourse for the pulpit thus far has been to resort to a number of private societies for the prevention of crime and cruelty and for the prevention of the dissemination of obscene literature. But all such societies, and even a dozen more of them, would be inefficient, because they do not represent a scientific, systematic, and absolutely authoritative treatment of public morals.
"The evils which we desire to combat are so great that we need State institutions and State
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moneys for the purpose. Just as there is a Board for Public Works, a Board of Public Education, a Board of Public Health, so we need a Board of Public Morals, whose duties shall be to study the moral needs of the masses, to suggest proper legislation, to have the authority necessary for the protection of public morality, and for the creation of such means as will develop it. This board should be non-partisan, appointed by the Supreme Court of the State, and should consist of men of unquestioned integrity, who have made the study of practical morality a specialty, of men from both the clergy and the lay ranks. Without going into the details of such an institution, I submit that this is one of the practical ways in which the State could deal with public morals.
"There are many directions in which such a board could at once act. The crying need of the hour is the regulation of vice. Let such a board or commission undertake to study this intricate and perplexing question. Another much mooted question is the instruction of unsectarian morals in the public schools. There can be no doubt that such instruction is desirable, but it must be wholly unsectarian. By that I mean it must be entirely disassociated from religious teaching or practice. The elements of morality are honesty, chastity, cleanliness, industry, frugality, unity of thought and speech, truthfulness, etc. The Church could privately supplement the public moral instruction.
"The Board of Public Morals should also be empowered to exercise a sort of moral censorship over the press, the stage, literature, and advertisements.
"I believe the time is now when the Church is ready to concede that it cannot alone influence the masses morally, and that the cause of religion will be advanced if the State will undertake non-sectarian work in the field of ethics."
Mr. Talmage says:--"I was opposed to overhauling the old creed at all, but now that it has been lifted up, and its imperfections set up in the sight of the world, I say overboard with it, and make a new creed. There are to-day in our denomination five hundred men who could make a better one. I could make a better one myself."
STUDIES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
--INTERNATIONAL S.S. LESSONS.--
SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES, WHERE THESE LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL. PUBLISHED IN ADVANCE, AT THE REQUEST OF FOREIGN READERS.
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OUR HOUSE OF MANY MANSIONS.
LESSON VI., MAY 8, `PSALM 84:1-12`.
Golden Text--"Blessed are they that dwell in thy house."--`Verse 4`.
`Verses 1 and 2`. "How lovely are thy dwelling-places, O Jehovah of hosts. My soul desireth, yea, it longeth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." Thus every soul that hungers and thirsts after righteousness longs to be separated from the evil of this present time and to enter that felicitous state where under God's promised kingdom all things in heaven and in earth will praise him and have his communion, as Adam enjoyed it before his disobedience and fall from favor. Not only so, but, under the provisions of the New Covenant (sealed and made operative by the death of our Lord and Redeemer, by "the blood of the New Covenant"), his people, accepted as sons (`John 1:12`), become his tabernacles, his dwelling-places. As it is written, "I will dwell in them and walk in them," and "Ye are the temple of the living God." (`2 Cor. 6:16`; `1 Cor. 3:16`.) And all such temples indwelt by the spirit of the truth become beautiful, lovely, amiable, in the eyes of all who have the same spirit; and thus God's children may now have fellowship with him through each other.
Such are not only temples or tabernacles, individually, but the Church of Christ as a whole is made up of living stones in the one great Temple of the future--Christ Jesus himself being
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the chief corner-stone--the top-stone. These "living stones" are now being developed, fitted, polished, proved and selected for positions in the future glorious Temple of God. These glorious courts or dwelling-places of God will be transcendently grand; and for a place among those "overcomers," in the immediate presence of God and with our Redeemer--where he is and like him--these are indeed the things for which our hearts and our flesh cry out.
Very different are these views of the dwelling-places of God from those generally entertained by Christian people, who, as they read these verses, will think of the ornate temples of wood and brick and stone in which they worship as the houses of God. But the Apostle declares not only that the truly consecrated saints are the living stones of God's great future temple, and each a miniature temple, but also that "The Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands."--`Acts 7:48`.
`Verse 3`. Our common version here gives the inference that sparrows and swallows built their nests in the altars of the Tabernacle and the Temple. But those familiar with the care bestowed by the priests upon the keeping of the Golden Altar will readily see that no such desecration of the sacred precincts of "The Holy" would be tolerated; while the Brazen Altar in the Court--surrounded continually by Levites-- upon which sacrifices were kept burning continually, it can be seen would be one of the last places for a bird to choose for a nest in which to rear her young. Lesser's translation is better: "Even as the sparrow hath found a house and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, [so have I found] thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, my God." We must remember that this is a prophecy, representing the experiences of the head and body of the Lord's anointed, and not representing the experiences of the prophet. The rest and peace which the saints find in the two altars is here brought to our attention. The altar in the Court speaks of the great sacrifice for sins on our behalf by our great High Priest, and the Golden Altar in the Holy speaks not only of our Lord's overcoming and acceptableness to God, but also of our acceptableness as joint-sacrificers with him--acceptable through the merit of his sin-offering on our behalf.
`Verse 4` declares the joy of all who now or ever shall enjoy a place in the Father's house.
`Verse 5` portrays the journey of the consecrated toward that heavenly home.
`Verse 6` represents this present time of conflict and disappointment and sorrow--"the valley of the shadow of death," in which, nevertheless, the holy ones may sing for joy and rejoice evermore. "Passing through the valley of weeping, they will change it to a spring: also the early rain covereth it with blessings." The most dreary place and condition is made cheerful and endurable by the presence of those in whom God dwells by his spirit of truth and love. Not only is it blessed to such themselves, but also to all who come in contact with them comes a blessing. The early rain represents the Pentecostal blessing which followed the presentation of the great Sin-offering on our behalf
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--upon the Church. The latter rain will be the outpouring of the Millennial blessing after the great time of trouble is ended, at the second advent.
`Verse 7`. Here the progressiveness of the journey is shown, and the fact that it is an individual work and not a congregational or sectarian one.
`Verses 10 to 12`. "For better is a day in thy courts than a thousand [elsewhere]: I would rather choose to wait at the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." Here the saint is represented as waiting during the present life for admission to "the Father's house," and having here no rest no home. Yet even here, to such, "The Lord God is a sun and shield." As our sun he enlightens us and fills us with a sense of his greatness and perfection, and yet through Christ he is also our shield. After realizing the divine perfection from the divine law we might indeed feel that in our own imperfection it would be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But whilst showing us the perfectness of his law he reveals to us the shield which he has provided because of our present weakness-- the merit of Christ our Redeemer freely imputed to all who will accept it as their covering or shield. To such as long for his courts and who wait at his threshold and who trust in him as both their sun and shield, even now "the Lord will give favor and honor [as his children --even though mixed with tribulation, working patience, etc.], and no good thing [nothing really advantageous to such and useful to fit them for the Father's house] will he withhold from them that walk in uprightness in this way." Yea, verily--"O Lord of hosts, blessed the man [both now and forever] who trusteth in thee."
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PRAISE YE THE LORD.
LESSON VII., MAY 15, `PSALM 103`.
Golden Text--"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."--`Verse 2`.
`Verses 1 to 5`. In the beginning of a Christian's experience fear more than love, alas, too often, has the chief control of his heart and lips. And this because of a false theology, taught him from earliest infancy, even in nursery rhymes impressing upon the simple mind theories which, while denominating God the very essence of Love, paint his character and plans as the most atrocious conceivable, and wrest the Scripture "parables and dark sayings" to their support. In this early stage of general Christian experience, therefore, fear, and not a heart full of love leads to worship. This fact is noted by the prophet.--`Isa. 29:13`.
The bondage of fear in many instances fails to hold the penitent or to draw him near to the Lord, and consequently we frequently hear expressions similar to those of the old familiar hymn--"Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul-reviving view
Of Jesus and his Word?"
Some, however, in spite of all their false ideas, learn in their hearts what they are much slower to learn with their heads, that "God is Love." They drink in the spirit of the Scriptural teaching even when, misled by misinterpretations and twistings, they think that the letter of God's Word is in opposition. Their hearts are better than their theology or their heads.
Such, and still more especially those whose heads as well as their hearts are illuminated by the grace of our God, reach as a development this higher state of Christian experience indicated by the prophet in the verses under consideration. They reach the place where acquaintance with and appreciation of the Lord cast out all fear, and where their whole being loves and praises and desires to serve the grand one who is so worthy.
Such do not generalize too much God's favors: they particularize. And naturally and properly (`verses 3 and 4`) the first item for praise is the redeeming love through the sacrifice of his son as the propitiation (i.e., satisfaction) for our sins, which has forgiven our iniquities, healed our diseases, and redeemed our lives from destruction. "Hallelujah! What a Savior!" Not that this is all done for us yet. No; only by faith can we reckon it as done. But God has begun the good work, the sacrifice for our sins was paid on Calvary, and shortly we shall be presented before the Father blameless and unreprovable, without any of our present mental, moral and physical diseases and weaknesses, and in the full possession of the new life and the new resurrection bodies.
`Verses 6 to 10`. Having expressed the sentiments and attitude of the saints, the prophet next turns to the people in general--the half-hearted Christians as well as the worldly--and declares (`verse 6`) that God is on the side of justice and makes the cause of the weak and oppressed ones his cause. He declares (`verse 7`) that this was fully illustrated in the laws which he promulgated through Moses and in his dealings with Israel, including their deliverance from the task-masters of Egypt. And all these show (`verse 8`) God's general goodness and sympathy and compassion.
`Verse 9`. Yet none must presume upon God's love and mercy, and trample upon his laws; for although slow to anger and plenteous in
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mercy, "He will not always chide [contend with the wayward] neither will he keep [i.e., retain or hold back] his anger forever."
`Verse 10`. What chastisements he has so far given are not to be esteemed as the full penalty for our sins. He has been holding back the full penalty in mercy according to his provision in Christ. So far "He hath not dealt with us according to [the just desert of] our sins, nor rewarded us according as our iniquities deserved" under his own law. But we must not suppose, therefore, that he will never execute that law which declares that death is the full penalty for full wilful sin. The Lord through the Apostle Peter declares this same truth, that thus far he has held back the full penalty, because willing that all should come to a full appreciation of the truth, and by acceptance of it be saved from the full penalty of wilful sin.--`2 Pet. 3:7-10`; `Acts 3:23`; `Heb. 10:26-30`.
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`Verses 11 to 18`. But the Lord, in thus threatening the wilfully wicked, does not wish to awaken dread in the hearts of those who do love him and seek to know and to do his will. Hence when these find that their lives are imperfect, much as they desired and endeavored to have them otherwise, they are not to be in fear of the "wrath" and "vengeance" which are to be let loose upon wilful sinners in due time. Ah, no! God considereth our frame; he knows our weakness, and as the Apostle declares, we shall be saved from wrath through Him (Christ, our Redeemer). Toward all such as love and reverence him, and who are in covenant relations with him, and hence under the blood of the new covenant, God's compassion is far beyond that of an earthly parent. As high as the heaven is above the earth, so great is his love for such, and as far as the east is from the west, he has removed their transgression--laying our sins upon his own spotless Lamb, our Redeemer, and imputing his purity to all who will accept it, as in due time this gift of love is testified to all. And not only does God's blessing rest upon these his "saints," but in some degree it follows even to their children.
`Verses 19 to 21`. Here prophetically the reference is to that great kingdom for which we pray, "Thy kingdom come." In it the angels (messengers) and ministers (servants) of God will fully carry out his great plan, his goodness to all, showing mercy unto thousands of those who love and obey him, and executing also the judgments written (destruction--not everlasting torments, the judgments which some have imagined, but which would be in violation of the things written) upon those who treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath and perdition of ungodly men.
`Verse 22`. Then, with a clean universe, after the close of the Millennial age, all God's works in all places of his dominion will praise and honor him. And all who are in full accord with the great divine plan can even now in advance hail that grand, gracious time with joy and exclaim, "Bless the Lord, O my soul!"
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QUARTERLY TEMPERANCE LESSON.
LESSON VIII., MAY 22, `DANIEL 1:8-21`.
Golden Text--"Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank."
The scrap of history furnished us in this lesson teaches a most excellent lesson in favor of total abstinence from intoxicants. The immense injury that has come to the weak, fallen human family through the evil of drunkenness cannot be stated; and indeed it is so apparent to conscientious people that a statement would be needless. All who love their fellow-creatures as themselves will gladly deny themselves liberties which to others less strong would surely be injurious.
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CONSECRATION TO A WORK.
The following, clipped from the "National S.S. Teacher," well illustrates what we have sometimes stated, namely, that the word consecration is given only a limited meaning by the majority of Christians--that to these it means consecration to a self-imposed or sect-imposed work, rather than a full giving up of their all TO GOD, to seek, to learn and to do his will regardless of party, sect or self. The clipping reads:--
"By consecration is meant such devotion to any given line of Christian work as will secure oneness of aim and effort. It is fundamental to success. No S.S. teacher can hope to be a winner of souls without it. Pupils can easily perceive the difference between the teacher who is consecrated to his work and one who is not. After all it is the key to the situation. What we as teachers need above all things else is thorough consecration to our work. But let us remember that God alone can consecrate. We can dedicate ourselves to his work and then await his consecration. Have we taken the preliminary steps. I have in mind a teacher who was eminently successful in winning souls to Christ. Some envied her, others praised her and wondered at the secret of her success. It is all summed up in one word--consecration."
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE.
PUBLISHED TWICE A MONTH.
TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY, "BIBLE HOUSE" ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
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N.B.--Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
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PROVIDING FOR COLPORTEURS' EXPENSES.
"GO YE ALSO INTO THE VINEYARD."
During the Colporteurs' Meetings which followed the regular meetings of the recent Convention, some of the older and more experienced Colporteurs made the suggestion that hereafter all colporteurs be authorized to sell the MILLENNIAL DAWN series of books at Thirty-five cents per volume, or three volumes for One Dollar--explaining to any who might notice and inquire, that the books could be had at Twenty-five cents each if they chose to send to the Allegheny office; but that the Colporteurs are allowed to charge the ten cents to cover their additional expense connected with delivering the books. With the consent of the office several had tried the higher price plan and the results had been highly satisfactory: they had sold about as many as at Twenty-five cents.
The object of the suggestion on the part of those proposing the higher price was not money-getting, but a desire to forward the work. While they are able to meet their traveling and living expenses and a little more at twenty-five
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cents, they well know that many others cannot do so on account of being less successful salesmen, or of having encumbrances in the way of family duties and expenses. Indeed, the plan proposed is that all who can do so shall return to the Lord's treasury all that can be spared from their actual expenses, that it may assist in the general work of spreading the Truth, to which all of our lives are consecrated.
We requested all the Colporteurs present at the meeting to make a trial of the Thirty-five cent rate for one week, and then to report their success or failure. And the reports turned in confirm the view of the suggesters, that the additional ten cents will be no hindrance; but that people concede that a book of 350 pages on good paper is cheap at 35 cents--or over 1100 pages for $1.00. As a consequence we have decided on this change.
There are at present about forty Colporteurs, and we trust that the new price will soon double the number; for quite a number who started and were unable to fully meet expenses, and who got deeply in debt to the Tract Society at the twenty-five cent rate, will now be able to meet their expenses and perhaps a little more. Thus the cause of the Lord will, we trust, be prospered by the new arrangement. It is not the thought to attract worldly people into the work of selling Dawn. We desire only such as engage in the work as ministers of the gospel, and from the conviction that what they are presenting is the Truth, and in no other manner can they so fully and faithfully serve the Lord and his people. We do not know of one now in the colporteur work merely as a business: all are doing what they can as unto the Lord. We know of several who could earn nearly or quite a thousand dollars a year in other occupations, who gladly give their all for the Truth for the mere necessities of food and clothing; and one at present getting two thousand dollars a year is about to leave it and engage his time and talents in the Lord's service. He has already tried it and finds that he can make expenses, and seeks nothing more. COLPORTEURS' RATES ON MILLENNIAL DAWN IN PAPER COVERS.
Single copies delivered by colporteurs, 35 cents.
Three " " " " $1.00.
Single copies by mail from the office, 25 cents.
Five (or multiples of five, 10, 20, 40, etc.) copies of any one volume by mail, post-paid to one address, each, . . . 15 "
Five copies or more of any volume by express or freight at colporteur's charges, 12-1/2 "
As a result of this arrangement we hope soon to hear of many ready and glad to give all their time to the work. The Master, the Chief Reaper, saith, "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto everlasting life."
The DAWNS in the German language are now under the full control of Brother Zech, and all orders for them should be addressed to-- Otto von Zech, Euclid Ave., Allegheny, Pa.