VOL. XV. FEBRUARY 15, 1894. NO. 4.
KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN.
SINCE the Lord has so graciously led his consecrated people into the knowledge, not only of his wonderful plan of salvation, but also of its times and seasons, it is important, especially in this eventful period of transition, that we keep our eyes open to observe the accurate fulfilments of prophecy now being brought to pass. Indeed, with open eyes, one can seldom glance over a daily newspaper without seeing some verification of the sure word of prophecy in the direction of a widespread expectation of some great revolutionary change in the social and religious conditions of the whole world.
Even those who have no knowledge of the divine plan of the ages and its systematic and precise times and seasons are now reading the signs of the times so clearly as to approximate the time of their issuance in a new order of things within but a year or two of the time prophetically indicated. They see that a great revolutionary change is not only inevitable, but imminent; though they are quite at sea in their prognostications of the final outcome, believing as they do, that the shaping of the destinies of nations and individuals is in the hands of the present generation of "Christendom," instead of in the hands of him whose right it is to take the kingdom and to possess it forever, and whose time is come.--`Ezek. 21:27`.
As a single illustration of this, out of many that might be adduced, we present to our readers the following able and significant address of the Rev. Dixon, of New York, on
THE PERIOD OF TRANSITION.
His text was `Matt. 16:3`,--"Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" He said:--
"History seems naturally to divide itself into periods. These periods of history have characteristics which distinguish them from the centuries which precede and the centuries which follow the era of the crusades as clearly and distinctly marked in medieval history. The period of the French revolution in like manner has its special characteristics, and is clearly defined in the history of the world. So in ancient times there were centuries of development which are distinctly marked. There are, upon the other hand, the crises of transition between the great historic centuries of development. These periods of transition are the seed times, while the great centuries of revolution and construction are the harvest times of history.
"The nineteenth century is peculiarly a century of transition. It is a period of preparation. It has been one of tremendous development, and yet it is the development of a promise rather than the fulfillment of that which has gone before. The most marvelous development of the nineteenth century is the prophecy it gives of the twentieth. With all our wonderful achievements there is nothing so wonderful as the universal hope inspired in the human breast that we will do something better in the near future.
"The import of action in a period of transition is of inestimable importance. What is impressed upon the character of this age will constitute the elements of strength or of weakness in the new century that is to be born. That which is now shaping the forces that shall dominate the life of the twentieth century must
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partake of permanence. In many respects it will be decisive.
"There are certain elements in our current life which reveal to us the fact that the century before us must be constituted in its social, economic and political life upon a new basis. This must be so,
(1) "Because of the rapidity of material progress during the past generation and its speed in this generation. The elimination of time
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and space has been one of the most remarkable developments of our period of invention, and the period of the world's invention is the latter part of the nineteenth century.
"In the eighteenth century the world was divided into isolated continents and isolated nations. There was little intercourse, and what there was came through the slow travel by sail on water and stage on land. The facilities for gathering news and distributing the history of different nations among one another were of the most meager kind.
"All this has been changed in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The world has literally been made a great whispering gallery, and every nation gives its quota to the day's story. There is no longer isolation of any sort. England and America are to-day in closer contact than were Massachusetts and New York in the eighteenth century. It is possible for a man to leave America in one week and visit the dead civilizations of the east in the next. It is possible for a man at his breakfast table to know all the important events that happened the day before in every nation of the world. We cross the ocean in less than six days. We go round the world in two months, and we come in contact with the current of the life of all people and all nations.
"Our civilization is a symposium. The very delicacies of our table are the products of the whole earth. What we eat, what we wear, what we place in our homes are the joint product of the effort of the world.
"The problem of time and space has within a few years been practically annihilated. The use of steam and electricity has brought the world thus in close contact. But the speed with which we are making progress even in annihilating time and space is so great that it is possible within the next generation that the rate of travel will be increased from four to five-fold at least. It may be possible for the children of the next generation to have their suburban homes 500 miles from the place of their daily business. Such an achievement would mean the development of the city until it shall literally cover the whole earth.
"In mechanical developments our rate of progress has been a marvel during the past generation, but it is more marvelous to-day. Armies of men and women now give themselves exclusively to the work of mechanical invention. Our daily life has been literally revolutionized by mechanics. What our ancestors did by hand, we do by machinery. This tremendous force, brought into play by cranks and wheels and levers, is the development of the world's life. The bureau of statistics in Berlin estimated in 1887 that the steam engines at that time at work in the world represented not less than 1,000,000,000 workingmen. That is to say, the steam engines at work in 1887 did more than three times the working force of the entire earth. Their earning capacity at that time was three times greater than the muscle power of the world.
"The advance in the application of mechanical power to the problems of life since 1887 has been most marvelous of all. Since that time electricity has taken in large measure the place of steam in a thousand avenues of life, and where the steam wheel made one revolution the electric motor makes ten. If we increase at this rate during the next generation the working force of the world, it will be possible to do all the work necessary for the production and distribution of economic goods within a few hours of every week, if society can be organized upon the co-operative rather than the competitive basis.
"It can be seen at once that it is impossible for society to receive each day this tremendous army of wheels and levers without causing a radical disturbance in the existing social order within the near future. Labor organizations in their blind ignorance have fought the introduction of machinery in the labor of the world. But as they become educated they will not be slow in seeing that the work of the world can be done by machinery in a few hours when that machinery is harnessed by a co-operative social order.
"The developments of science during the past generation have been so marvelous that we literally live in a new world because of those developments. Each day reveals new wonders. The present rate of progress, if maintained, will give a civilization in the early part of the twentieth century the very outlines of which no prophet can foretell to-day. The only problem is: Can the present rate of progress be maintained in the discovery of nature's secrets by those who are searching for them? The probability is that it will not only be maintained, but accelerated; for where there was
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one man in search of the secrets of nature for useful ends twenty years ago, there are 1,000 men to-day searching with might and main for these secrets to give immediately to the world as a practical contribution to its social and economic life. Speculative science has everywhere given way to practical science, and the man of speculative mind cannot refrain from making the application even on the page of his philosophic speculation.
(2) "The growth of cities has been so remarkable within the past generation, and is so rapidly increasing in the present, that it presages a new life in the near future--a new life, social, economic, religious. A glance at the development of the cities within the past decade and a comparison of each decade in the century will reveal that the growth of the city has been one of the marvels of modern life.
"In 1790 the population of the United States was in round numbers 4,000,000. The population of the cities at that time was in round numbers 131,000--3.35 per cent of the whole population, leaving a rural population of 96.65 per cent In 1890 we had a population of 62,000,000. The population of the cities had grown to 18,250,000, about 30 per cent of the entire population as contrasted with 3 per cent in 1790. The city has grown, in short, to dominate the life of the century. The rural district has lost its power. The scepter of import has been transferred to the streets of the great cities, and from the streets it has sunk to the gutters, and the dives, and the sewers.
"The domination of city life over rural life is one that cannot continue long without a radical change in the whole social order. The growth of the city means the growth of the darkest elements of our life, at the expense, for the time being, of the saving elements. The growth of the city means the growth of the active principles of our civilization. The city is the center of activity. It is the center of good and the center of evil. It means, therefore, the necessary intensification of life. It means the intensification of crime. The development of crime within this latter part of our century has been put out of all proportion to the progress of law and order. We have 7,000 murders in America and 100 legal executions.
"The daily record of our crime is something appalling to the heart of those that love their fellow man. The generation of criminals who have served their term in penal institutions is increasing with marvelous rapidity. A penal colony within the body of civilization is something with which we have never before been confronted. The number of convicts of various degrees which are at present adding to the slum population of our cities is something beyond computation. Corruption in society, in government and in commerce has increased in geometrical proportion to the pressure of life.
"We have to-day the most corrupt civilization in some respects that the world has ever seen. If we take our own city of New York as an example in the development of political life in the close of the nineteenth century, we will have food for the philosopher and the philanthropist. In the past generation in this city corruption ruled in municipal life, but it was a corruption so manifest that public indignation could be aroused and the criminals brought to justice. The Tweed regime was routed in short order when once its rascality was made a matter of public comment and public suspicion. But this generation has reached a point of scientific development in public crime of which Mr. Tweed never dreamed. Tweed was a thief who rose from the lowest walks of life to roll in luxury, to sport his diamonds and his carriages out of public plunder. But he was a clumsy thief.
"To-day his successor in office is the boss of our political life. He is the most important factor in our American politics to-day.
"A few years ago he was a prize-fighter, a general sport, and he was poor. To-day he lives in a palace, he owns magnificent rural estates, he sports the finest blood horses in America and his wealth must be estimated by the millions. He holds no public office and has no visible means of support, save as the boss of a political club organized for plunder in a great city.
"Not only have we such corruption before our eyes and absolutely master of our municipal life, but more--they add insult to injury. The people are unmercifully taxed to fill the pockets of these thieves, and the masses of the people in the cities must bear the burdens.
"What is true of New York is true in a smaller degree in nearly all of the great cities of America to-day. This intensification of life has brought us the marvelous increase of wealth and the painful increase of poverty. Our life to-day may be termed the tropics of civilization. It is probable that the Astor estate alone has reached $500,000,000.
"There are single individuals in this city whose income cannot be less than $20,000,000 a year.
"There are 1,000 men in this city whose wealth is vastly over $1,000,000.
"There are a dozen men in this city who can, if they will, both control the financial
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development of the nation and dictate its political policies by the use of their money.
"The poverty of the poor is in like manner increasing to the degree of starvation from day to day.
"While 1,000 men in this city estimate their wealth at over $1,000,000, it can be safely said that there are 100,000 people in this city who are hungry for bread every day in the year. The number of people who sleep on boards, and who drift about with nowhere to sleep, approximates 100,000 daily. The children of this generation of paupers seem to increase with greater rapidity than the normal rate of the increase of the average population of the world.
"While the evil elements of life have thus been intensified, we take hope from the fact that the better elements of life are also being intensified. The heroism of this life in its crying wants, its needs, is as brilliant in the individual examples as at any time in the history of the world. While crime and corruption and debauchery have increased in the city, the army of self sacrificing men and women who are willing to give their lives for the betterment of mankind daily increases.
"The number of women that have poured their lives into the current stream of active endeavor has been, within the last twenty years, increasing as never before in the history of the human race. According to the report of the census of 1880 there were in America among women who earned their daily bread outside of domestic service the following numbers in different professions: 110 lawyers, 165 ministers, 320 authors, 588 journalists, 2,061 artists, 2,136 architects, chemists, pharmacists; 2,106 stock raisers and ranchers, 5,145 government clerks, 2,438 physicians and surgeons, 13,182 professional musicians, 56,800 farmers and planters, 21,071 clerks and bookkeepers, 14,465 heads of commercial houses, 155,000 public school teachers.
"This was by the census of 1880; but by the report of the last census of 1890 there is recorded the remarkable fact that in these ten years the army of women who earn their daily bread outside of their homes now reaches the enormous total of 2,700,000.
"For the first time in the history of economics woman has entered as an active factor. Her influence in developing the history of the next generation can but be marvelous. Her influence in molding and fashioning the life of society when thus brought in active contact with its working force cannot be less than it has been in other spheres where woman's influence has been felt when woman's position is recognized as it should be in the world of economics.
"We stand upon the threshold of an economic evolution, of a new social order. It means, sooner or later, that woman will be emancipated from the slavery in which she has labored in the past, in an unequal struggle with man, and that society in its working force will be elevated, refined and humanized by her touch, her sympathies and her life.
(3) "The rise of the common people to political equality in government with the traditional ruling classes has been accomplished within this century, and is but the beginning of a revolution that is not yet accomplished. Robert Mackenzie says: 'Sixty years ago Europe was an aggregate of despotic powers, disposing at their own pleasure of the lives and property of their subjects. To-day the men of western Europe govern themselves.' Popular suffrage, more or less closely approaching universal, chooses the governing power, and by methods more or less effective dictates its policy.
"One hundred and eighty million Europeans have risen from a degraded and ever dissatisfied vassalage to the rank of free and self-governing men. This has been an accomplishment which has simply put into the hands of the common people the weapons with which they will fight their battles in the twentieth century. The battles are yet to be fought, the revolution is yet to be accomplished. They have simply been given the ballot, and the consciousness of their power has only begun to dawn upon them.
"In the early part of the twentieth century we may surely look for a sufficient diffusion of intelligence to bring this tremendous mass into the aggressive assertion of the fullest rights of manhood. Hitherto they have been dominated by bosses, by tricky politicians, and they have followed skillful leaders blindly.
"So intense are becoming these elements that they cannot continue longer without an explosion. The lamp has been lit and has been left burning. A woman in a western home during the war sent a servant into the cellar with a lighted candle to look for some object. The servant returned without the candle. The housewife asked where she had left it. She said she had left it in a barrel of sand in the cellar. The housewife remembered that there was a barrel of powder standing open in the cellar. Without a moment's hesitation she rushed below and found that the ignorant girl had thrust the candle down into the loose powder and left it burning.
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She carefully lifted it out and extinguished it.
"The movement for universal suffrage in this century has placed the candle of knowledge, without a candlestick, in the loose powder of the common people. This light of knowledge is burning closer and closer, and the heat is becoming more and more intense with each moment. There is no power on earth, under the earth or above the earth that can remove that candle from its position. By a law as sure as the law of gravitation, the flame is approaching the powder, nearer and nearer every day. When it reaches the end, that is, the point of actual, conscious contact with their mind-- there will be an explosion that will unsettle thrones and traditions, whether occupied by the Czar of Russia or Richard Croker I. of New York.
(4) "The universality of education is a factor in the closing of the nineteenth century which must make a new world in the twentieth.
"We have now entered upon the democracy of letters. Hitherto in the history of mankind knowledge was confined to the few. The higher professions were open only to the sons of distinguished men. Now they are opened to the child of the state born and reared in obscurity and disgrace and poverty. There is no limitation to the possibilities of human endeavor, because education has been brought within the reach of all. In America we have 13,000,000 children in our public schools. This means that the next generation will be a new people. With this wide diffusion of knowledge has come the scientific spirit of inquiry.
"New blood has been brought into our world of science, our world of philosophy. Men no longer reason by the standards of Aristotle and Plato. They do not ask what has been taught by the great men of the past and stop there. They do not seek authority for action. They search for truth itself. They refuse to be bound by the traditions of the past. The time was when knowledge was confined to a certain clique in society. They had their own peculiar ideas. They were educated in their own peculiar schools. They thought in ruts. Their minds never traveled beyond certain well-defined limitations, and in consequence they traveled in a circle continuously.
"With the universal diffusion of knowledge and the introduction of new spirits in the field of investigation all this has been changed. Nothing is now settled save that which is settled upon the basis of proved fact. Every tradition, every theory, every creed must stand the test of this investigation. Every theory of State, every notion of society, every theory of religion must be resubmitted to this court of last adjustment--the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
"For the first time in the history of the world this spirit dominates the educated mind. Hitherto we have simply clung to the past with passionate and blind devotion. Now all things are being made new. All things are being brought in question. Nothing is accepted as authoritative because it is ancient. The creeds of Christendom are all undergoing radical revision. The traditionalists may resist with all their power--they fight against the stars.
"The creeds of the world within the next generation will be fixed on facts, not fancies. Superstition and tradition are being destroyed with a rapidity that will give the world a new religion within the next twenty years, and that religion will be the Christianity of Jesus Christ in its simplicity as Jesus lived it and preached it.
"The barriers of national lines and prejudice have all been broken down. The heathen world is now in vital contact with the Christian world and the Christian world's civilization.
"A hundred years ago Japan was utterly isolated from the rest of mankind. There was a law in force providing that 'no ship or native of Japan should quit the country under pain of forfeiture and death; that any Japanese returning from a foreign country should be put to death; that no nobleman or soldier should be suffered to purchase anything from a foreigner; that any person bringing a letter from abroad should die, together with all his family and any who might presume to intercede for him.'
"Every heathen nation has been opened to Christian influences and to the advance of the civilization of Christian nations. Not only this, but they have of necessity been compelled to study modern science. Japan stands to-day practically within the pale of modern civilization. I took my seat in the Johns Hopkins University around the seminary table, in the study of political and social science, with young Japanese students from the capital of Japan. China is studying the methods of the modern world and introducing of necessity
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modern inventions. The whole human race is thus of necessity being brought into vital contact, and this for the first time in the history of mankind.
"Thus the universal spread of education among all people ushers us immediately upon a new era in the history of mankind. We are not satisfied with the present attainment. The workingman's child who receives the same education as the millionaire will not be content
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to be his slave in the next generation, and there is no power of Church or State or society that can hold him so, for there are no traditions that can bind him.
"President Andrews, of Brown University, says: 'If anything has been made certain by the economic revolution of the last 25 years, it is that society cannot much longer get on upon the old libertarian, competitive, go-as-you-please system to which so many sensible persons seem addicted. The population of the great nations is becoming too condensed for that.'
"Bishop Westcost, of Cambridge University, says: 'On every side imperious voices trouble the repose which our indolence would wish to keep undisturbed. We can no longer dwell apart in secure isolation. The main interests of men are once again passing through a great change. They are most surely turning from the individual to the society.'
"Another writer says: 'We are now approaching a crisis. No human wisdom can predict its shaping any more than it can prevent the issue. The air is full of auguries; even our fiction has become very precisely apocalyptic. It is theoretic prophecy, anticipating the realization of perfect scientific and social economics --the paradise of outward comfortableness.'
"William T. Stead says: 'Everywhere the old order is changing and giving place to the new. The human race is now at one of the critical periods in its history, when the fountains of the great deep are broken up, and the flood of change submerges all the old established institutions, in the midst of which preceding generations have lived and died.'
"It is impossible to educate the human race without at the same time lifting it into the consciousness of the resistless power of numbers. We are now about to enter upon the period of activity which will be the result of this universal consciousness of the inherent power of manhood. Who can foretell its results?
"The child of the hodcarrier to-day is better trained than kings and princes in the not very far past. All the dishes placed on the table of Louis XIV. were tasted in presence of the king before he would touch them, and each guest was supplied with a spoon for the purpose of helping himself from a common dish. Anne of Austria, the queen who was celebrated for her beautiful hands, it is said, once gave a piece of meat to her neighbor, which she had just taken from her plate with her fingers, and allowed him (and this was the point which the historian recorded) as a special favor to lick off what remained on the hand.
"The child, of the commonest workingman, that attends our public school is more cultured in all the essentials of real civilization than were kings and queens and princes in the eighteenth century. When the common herd are thus lifted to the position of kings, they will not be long in fitting themselves with a crown."
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A SERIOUS QUESTION.
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."--`2 Pet. 3:11`.
IF this was a serious consideration in the Apostle's day, how much more weighty does it seem to-day, when we stand at the threshold of the new dispensation, and in the very midst of all the disintegrating influences of the old. A few more years will wind up the present order of things, and then the chastened world will stand face to face with the actual conditions of the established Kingdom of God. And yet the course of the Church is to be finished within the brief space of time that intervenes.
Seeing, then, that all these things--present political, social, religious and financial arrangements --are to be dissolved, and that so soon, and also how apart from these things are the real interests of the saints, how comparatively unimportant should the things of this present order seem to us: they are not worthy our time or words, which should go to the things which alone will survive. And, having such hopes as are set before us, and so clear a knowledge of the grand outcome, as well as of the minutiae of the divine plan, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness? And yet with what carefulness we need to guard against being overcharged with the petty cares of this present time, and against imbibing the spirit of the world, which is all about us, and mixed with every question of the hour.
Only by constant watchfulness and prayer can we keep ourselves unspotted from the
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world. We need to keep a vigilant watch over our general character to see that it bears the divine likeness: that meekness, sincerity, moderation, temperance and truth are always manifest in us. And then we should see that all our conversation is such as becometh saints.
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FAITHFUL OVER FEW.
--MRS. F. G. BURROUGHS.--
O BLESSED Lord, how much I long
To do some noble work for thee!
To lift thee up before the world
Till every eye thy grace shall see;
But not to me didst thou intrust
The talents five or talents two,
Yet, in my round of daily tasks,
Lord, make me faithful over few.
I may not stand and break the bread
To those who hunger for thy Word,
And midst the throngs that sing thy praise
My feeble voice may ne'er be heard;
And, still, for me thou hast a place,
Some little corner I may fill,
Where I can pray, "Thy Kingdom Come!"
And seek to do thy blessed will.
A cup of water, in thy name,
May prove a comfort to the faint:
For thou wilt own each effort made
To soothe a child or aid a saint;
And thou wilt not despise, dear Lord,
My day of small things, if I try
To do the little I can do,
Nor pass the least endeavor by.
To teach the wise and mighty ones
The weak and foolish thou dost choose,
And even things despised and base
For thy great glory thou canst use:
So, Lord, tho' humble be my sphere,
In faith I bring to thee my all;
For thine own glory bless and break
My barley loaves and fishes small.
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THE WORK FOR A CONVERTED WILL.
"The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."--`Prov. 16:31,32`.
TO besiege and capture a city is a great undertaking, because every city has its massive defences of law and force, and is built with all the probable contingencies of attacks from enemies in view. In olden times the defences were walls and gates; but now they are of the improved order of governmental arrangements. Cities and communities of immense proportions are now banded together into great nations for mutual co-operation and defense, so that to attack a city now is to attack a nation, and to be withstood with all the defensive armory of the nation; and in no instance can one undertake it single-handed and alone. He who would undertake it must be backed by other powers equal, or at least apparently equal, to the emergency. And the victory of such a general will depend on his superior skill and ingenuity in utilizing the various forces and advantages in his possession against those employed by the defenders of the city.
Such ability as is thus required in a great general is quite rare. It indicates indomitable purpose, methodical planning and skill in execution, though these good qualities are often exercised in a bad cause. Such ability has always been highly esteemed among men, and the aspirants for fame have, therefore, in times past, sought it chiefly along this line, though they gained their laurels at the expense of the blood and groans of millions of their fellow-men.
While the exercise of these successful qualities along the lines of human ambitions is required of earthly heroes, the exercise of the similar qualities along the lines of God's appointment is required of those who would be heroes in his estimation. If there were not a similarity in the kind of the effort and success, the comparison would not be instituted. Let us first notice the similarity, and then the difference, that we may see clearly what the Lord here commends.
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To rule one's spirit (mind, disposition) implies a conflict similar to that of taking a city; for, no matter when we begin, we find intrenched therein many armed and opposing powers. They have possession by heredity,-- they are there as the result of the fall. And, if we have passed the days of youth, they are the more intrenched, and require the greater skill and generalship to rout them. But, whether he begin early or late, he that would rule his own spirit must war a good warfare-- he must "fight the good fight" of faith down to the very end of the present existence. If a man would rule his own spirit, he must not only storm all the fortresses of inherited evils which seem to be almost a part of his nature, but, having gained possession and taken his seat upon the throne of this symbolic city (viz., the will), he must thereafter be continually on the defensive; for the old enemies are constantly on the alert, and ever and anon seeking to regain possession, so that he that continues to rule his own spirit is one who not only has routed the enemy, Sin, from the throne of his being, but who continues to keep him at bay.
To rule one's own spirit is by no means an easy task; and, as in the illustration, it cannot be done single handed and alone. Consequently, the wise general will invoke all the assistance at his command, remembering the words of the Apostle--"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the powers of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." These powers of the world, the flesh, and the devil are all closely allied; and, therefore, he who plans for conquest and an established reign thereafter must seek alliance with another and a stronger power; which power is tendered to all who earnestly undertake the great work. This power is none other than the almighty arm of our God, who says to all who accept his strength, "Greater is he that is for you than all they that be against you;" gird yourselves like men, fear not, be strong.
The ruling of this symbolic city--one's own spirit--never will be done until first the commanding general, the Will, has decided to change his allegiance from Sin to God, and to rout the rebels who resist the change. But, in the words of a trite saying, "Where there is a will there is a way;"--for good or for evil. God will assist, through various agencies, toward good; Satan, with various agencies, toward evil. If the Will says, It must be done, it calls in the needed and available help, and forthwith it sets all the other faculties of the mind at work, first to subjugate and then to rule and regulate the entire being. The Conscience is commanded to keep a vigilant watch over all the mental operations; and the Judgment, under the influence of the Conscience, must decide as to righteousness or unrighteousness and report to the Will, which is under the same moral influence. Thus we have the three departments of government established --the legislative, which should always be the Conscience; the judicial, the Judgment; and the executive, the Will. And in every well regulated or righteously ruled mind all the other faculties must make their appeal to this Congress, and that, as the Will insists, in due and proper order. Their appeal to the Will to execute their desires before submitting them first to Conscience and Judgment should never be tolerated; but, when approved there, they may freely urge their claims upon the executive power, the Will. But the Will governs; and, if it be weak, the government is slack, and the whole man's appetites and passions and unholy ambitions take advantage of the situation: they seek to overbalance Judgment and to silence Conscience, and loudly clamor to the Will to have their own wild way. If the Will be weak, yet striving to keep under the influence of Conscience and sound Judgment, it will be fitful and irregular in its rulings, and the government will be unstable and ultimately wholly at the mercy of the appetites, passions and ambitions. The condition of such a soul is one of anarchy, which, unless its wild course be speedily arrested, hurriedly sweeps the whole being toward destruction.
It is all important, therefore, that the Will be consecrated to God and righteousness; and, secondly, that it strengthen itself with the Lord, and in his name and strength rule with a
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firm hand, cultivating as its assistants Conscience and Judgment, in determining the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, as expressed in his Word.
The Will has the most difficult office to fill; and the Lord's commendation is to the man of resolute Will, under the influence of a divinely enlightened Conscience and Judgment. Blessed is the man who sets his house in order, and who maintains that order to the end of his days. Truly, to such a one the hoary head is a crown of glory. The warring elements of his nature having been brought into subjection, the arts of peace have been cultivated, and now they flourish and adorn his character; and as Mr. Whittier beautifully expressed it--
"All the jarring notes of life
Seem blending in a psalm;
And all the angles of the strife,
Now rounding into calm."
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THE BOOK OF `GENESIS`. III.
DIVINE AUTHORITY AND INSPIRATION OF THE BOOK.
THE claim of this book, to be regarded as a part of divine revelation, is established beyond question by the authority of Christ and his apostles. It was a part of that collection of sacred writings, the Oracles of God, which were committed to the care and guardianship of the Jewish people. (`Rom. 3:2`.) Of these writings, collectively, the Savior and his apostles often speak as the Word of God; recognizing, and directly asserting, their divine authority and inspiration. See such passages, for example, as `Matt. 5:17-19`; `John 5:39`; `Rom. 3:2`; `Matt. 22:43`; `Mark 12:36`; `2 Tim. 3:16`; `1 Pet. 1:10-12`; `2 Pet. 1:21`. This book, was, therefore, as a part of these divine writings (called in the New Testament the Scriptures, the Holy Scriptures, the Oracles of God), expressly recognized by the Savior and his apostles as of divine authority, and was declared to be "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." --`2 Tim. 3:16`.
The genuineness of the book (in other words, that it is a DIVINE BOOK; that, in this sense, it is not a spurious production) is thus established by the highest authority. It is a question of less importance by whom the book was written. In regard to many books of the Old Testament, this can not be determined with certainty. Nor is this necessary to be known; nor would it by itself prove their inspiration and divine authority, which must rest on other grounds. The authority of a writing, claimed to be divine, does not in any case rest on the particular writer or human instrumentality, but on the divine attestation given to it; and this attestation can be given, as in many cases it has been, to writings which have come to us anonymously, and of which the particular writer cannot be determined with certainty.
COMPOSITION OF THE BOOK.
The attentive reader will observe very marked peculiarities in the composition of the book.
There are striking variations of style and manner, not only in treating of subjects differing in their nature, where it might be expected, but also where the subjects are of the same general character. These variations are observable even in a translation, and still more so in the original text, where words and forms of expression, familiar to some portions, are never found in others. With these variations in the general manner of the writer are connected certain other peculiarities, which mark the transition from one portion to another. In the first subdivision of the book, for example, embracing the first chapter and the first three verses of the second, the name of the Divine Being is uniformly GOD. In the second, extending from the fourth verse of the second chapter to the end of the third, it is uniformly JEHOVAH GOD, except in the quoted words of the tempter's address to Eve, and of her reply (chap. 3:1-5), which are not the language of the narrator. In the third, contained in the fourth chapter, it is uniformly JEHOVAH, except in the quoted language of Eve, verse 25. In the fourth, contained in the fifth chapter, it is again uniformly GOD, except in verse 29 in the words quoted from Lamech.
In the subsequent portions of the book, the alterations are more frequent and less regular, but no less distinctly marked.
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For the object of this section it is not necessary to add further illustrations on this point. But the careful reader will also observe that there are portions where the name GOD is chiefly employed, with the occasional use of the name JEHOVAH, in which the sense is complete,
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and the connection clear, without the passages containing the latter name. Take, for example, chaps. 6-10. If the reader will inclose in brackets the passages containing the name JEHOVAH, namely, verse 3 and verses 6-8 in chap. 6, verses 1-6 and the last clause of verse 16 in chap. 7, verses 20-22 in chap. 8, verses 20-29 in chap. 9, and verse 9 in chap. 10, he will find that the thread of the narrative is unbroken, and the sense complete, when this portion is read without these passages. They make additional statements which are important in themselves, but are not necessary to the coherency of the narrative.
The natural inference is, that the Book of Genesis consists of different revelations, made at different times, anterior to the age of the inspired writer to whom we owe its present form; and that he embodied them in a connected narrative, supplying what was wanting in one from the others and adding himself what was necessary for its completion. This in no degree detracts from the divine authority of the book, which (as already remarked) depends not on the human writer, or on our knowledge of him, but on the divine attestation; and this is given to the book itself, irrespective of the human instrumentality through which it was communicated.
This conclusion is strengthened by the character of large portions of its contents, consisting of genealogies, or accounts of births and other incidents of family history, anterior to the age of Moses, the writer of the book.
Of the date of the earliest of these divine communications there is no intimation. But it would be unreasonable to suppose that the ancient patriarchs, Enoch and Noah, who "walked with God," Abraham the "Friend of God," had no authentic and divinely attested record of these truths, on which their own relation to the Divine Being depended, and without the knowledge of which it could not be understood. We have therefore reason for holding that these earliest revelations come to us from the inspiration of the remote and unknown past, beyond the date of the writings of Moses himself.
THE WRITER OF THE BOOK.
The truths recorded in the Book of Genesis are pre-supposed as known in the books which follow it in the Pentateuch, and in all the subsequent books of the Hebrew Scriptures. The Book of Exodus takes up and continues history, from the point where it is left in Genesis, with an express reference to what had been related in that book. (Compare `Exodus 1:1-8`.) It recognizes incidentally, as known facts, God's "covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob" (chap. 2:24), his relation to them as "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (ch. 3:6), and their posterity as "his people" (verse 7), styling him "the God of their fathers" (verses 13,15,16), and "Jehovah, God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (chap. 4:5); his "appearing to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob," and his "covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojournings" (chap. 6:3-5 and 8); the charge given by Joseph (Gen. 50:25) respecting his remains (chap. 13:19); the six days of creation and the rest on the seventh.--Chap. 20:11.
These are only incidental allusions to things known, and necessarily presuppose the revelations and historical details in this book, to which they refer.
Without these revelations, the Hebrews would have had no knowledge of the God whom they were required to worship and obey, as the Creator and Supreme Lawgiver, or of the guilt of idolatry as a sin against him. Without these historical details, the frequent allusions to their connection with the early patriarchs, and with the promises made to them, would have been an unintelligible enigma.
The Book of Genesis was therefore an integral and necessary part of that divine code, which, under the name Law (`Deut. 31:9,24`), Law of Jehovah (`Ex. 13:9`), Book of the Law of God (`Josh. 24:26`), Book of the Law of Moses (`Josh. 23:6`), Law of Moses (`1 Kings 2:3`), is ascribed to him as the writer. This is claimed by himself, in the body of the code. It is there said, that "Moses wrote this law" (`Deut. 31:9`), that he "made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished."--`Deut. 31:24`.
That the writings which bore this general name, including Genesis, were from the hand of Moses, is thus proved by his own assertion, and by the uniform testimony of the writers nearest to his own age.
The Book of Genesis comes to us, therefore, with the authority of the inspired Lawgiver, having the same divine attestation as the writings first communicated through him.
ITS DIVISIONS AND CONTENTS.
The general divisions and contents of the book are as follows:
First division, chapters 1-3. Account of the Creation, and of the entrance of moral evil into the world.
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Second division, chapters 4-9. Account of sinful man, and of the prevalence of irreligion and immorality, from the fall to the first universal manifestation of divine justice in the destruction of the guilty race.
Third division, chapters 10,11. Continued development of its history and proof of its alienation from the true God, and of the want of a self-renovating power.
Fourth division, chapters 12-50. Initiation, and progressive steps, of the divine arrangement for the renovation of the race.
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.
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TRIAL OF ABRAHAM'S FAITH.
I. QUAR., LESSON VIII., FEB. 25, `GEN. 22:1-13`.
Golden Text--"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac."--`Heb. 11:17`.
`VERSE 1`. "God did tempt Abraham." This statement must be considered together with that of `James 1:13,14`. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own desires and enticed."
The words rendered "tempt" and "tempted" in both cases signify to try, to prove; and the statements seem contradictory until we consider the full statement of the Apostle James. He is referring to the fact that that which makes any applied test of character a temptation to evil is either the weakness of an undisciplined character, or else an inherent disposition to evil which has an affinity for the evil alternative before him, for neither of which things is God responsible. If the character were established in righteousness, no presentation of known evil could awaken a desire for it. Thus it is with God: he is so confirmed, so established, in righteousness, and he so fully recognizes the nature of evil, that "he cannot be tempted with evil:" no presentation of any evil could possibly induce him to turn from righteousness. In the sense, therefore, of inclining or inducing a man to evil, God never tempts any man, although he does frequently apply the tests of character by causing or permitting the alternatives of good and evil to be placed before the individual, the results of which trial or proving makes manifest the good or evil tendencies of the man's character and their strength or weakness.
In the test applied to Abraham, God proved his servant under a fiery ordeal which manifested a character which he could approve and highly reward, and Abraham was called the friend of God.--`James 2:23`.
`VERSES 2,3`. The test which God applied to Abraham was not an arbitrary one: the whole incident was designed to be a type of a subsequent transaction in the interests of the whole world. It was a typical prophecy of God's great gift of his only begotten and well beloved Son.
To this typical feature of the transaction the Apostle refers, saying, "Abraham is the father of us all [who are of the faith of Abraham], like unto him whom he believed, even God, who...calleth those things which be not as though they were [using them as types]." (`Rom. 4:17`--margin.) In the type, as the Apostle suggests, Abraham represented God; and with this suggestion it is not difficult to see the significance of the whole event. If Abraham represented God, then Isaac his son represented the Son of God, and his offering up by Abraham was a symbol of God's sacrifice of his Son for the sins of the world, as the Apostle also indicates in `Heb. 11:17-19`, saying that Abraham offered up his only son in whom centered all his promises, and that in a figure he received him from the dead. And, looking still further, it is not difficult to see that Isaac's wife, Rebecca, was also a type of the true Church, the bride of Christ. A full consideration of these types would go beyond our present limits of space as well as lead away from the main feature of this lesson, viz., the faith of Abraham and its worthy example for our imitation.
We observe, first, that Abraham's faith was a childlike faith. He trusted God's love and believed his wisdom superior to his own, and accepted his authority as paramount to every other consideration. The severest possible test of such a faith was the command to slay his son with his own hand and to offer him upon the altar of sacrifice.
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This, too, was his only son (for Ishmael was not counted in the full sense a son, but rather a servant): the son in whom centered all the great anticipation of his life, the son
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of promise and received in a miraculous way, the son of his old age, and the one through whom all the promises of God were to be fulfilled. Doubtless, too, he was a dutiful son and well instructed in the right ways of the Lord, and a joy and comfort to Abraham and Sarah. But all these considerations of head and heart were set aside, and with unquestioning promptness Abraham prepared to fulfil the Lord's command, to sacrifice his son, Isaac.
`VERSES 4-6`. When they came in sight of the place of sacrifice, Abraham felt the need of renewed strength from on high that his courage might not fail; so, with Isaac, he withdrew from the servants that they might have a season of communion with God. This drawing near to God in private prayer and communion was the secret of Abraham's steady unwavering faith and obedience. He became personally acquainted with God; and the knowledge of God's works and ways and promises heretofore had been handed down through faithful patriarchs and were believed and trusted in by Abraham. And this knowledge of and acquaintance with God gave the faith and love and courage to obey. Thus it must be with all God's children who would be pleasing and acceptable to him. First let them make sure that it is God who speaks, and then let obedience be prompt and unquestioning. Then he sometimes spoke to his people by an audible voice, or by an angel, but in these last days he speaks to us through his inspired apostles and prophets; and their testimony he declares sufficient for our guidance into the doing of his will. (`2 Tim. 3:17`.) That upon which our faith should rest is not, therefore, voices from heaven, either real or imaginary, nor the whisperings of a diseased imagination, but the sure Word of prophecy unto which we do well to take heed, as did faithful Abraham to the voice of God as he then spoke.
A faith thus rooted and grounded in a knowledge of God's works and ways and an intimate personal acquaintance with him is one which cannot be tossed about by every wind of doctrine, and which is pleasing and acceptable to God.
"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!"
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SELLING THE BIRTHRIGHT.
I. QUAR., LESSON IX., MARCH 4, `GEN. 25:27-34`.
Golden Text--"The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment."--`Luke 12:23`.
The incident of this lesson, which should be considered together with `chapters 27` and `28`, is one which is generally viewed as casting great reproach upon Jacob, while Esau is regarded with sympathy and pity. Jacob is regarded as an unprincipled sharper and deceiver, and Esau as an innocent dupe, overpowered by unfortunate circumstances and his brother's ambitious cunning. But, since the special favor of God attended the transaction, it is evidently wise to reconsider the matter, lest haply our conclusions may be found to be against God as well as against Jacob. Since God seems to approve Jacob's course, we ought to expect to find some evidence of Jacob's integrity in the matter. And so we do. We find that which God could commend and reward, and which, properly viewed, was entirely right.
The birthright, the chief inheritance in estate and authority, in patriarchal times belonged naturally to the eldest son of a family. And in the case of Isaac, the father of Jacob and Esau, it included not only personal possessions, but also the covenant blessing of God specially promised to Abraham and inherited by Isaac; and, as Isaac had reached advanced age, he began to realize that the covenant blessing was not to be realized in himself personally, but was to be transmitted to his posterity. This was also indicated to Rebekah, Isaac's wife, when she was told that "the elder should serve the younger." Thus Jacob was shown to be the divinely chosen line through whom the covenant blessings should be realized. The words of Isaac in blessing Jacob (`chapter 27:28,29`) indicate the transmitting of the Abrahamic covenant blessing to him-- that in him and in his seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed;--and the blessing was further emphasized when Jacob was about to depart to seek a wife in Padan-aram, when he said, "God Almighty bless thee and make thee fruitful and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee and to thy seed with thee, that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham." (`Chapter 28:3,4`; `Heb. 11:20`.) And this covenant was confirmed to Jacob by
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a special message from God, as our next lesson indicates. See `Chapter 28:13-15`; `1 Chron. 16:17`.
Now for the integrity of Jacob's course. Observe (1) that Esau manifested but very little appreciation of his birthright, in that he was willing to sell it for the small price of a mess of pottage; (2) that he only regarded so much of it as pertained to the present life, and that its chief feature, the Abrahamic covenant, was quite overlooked, showing that he had little or no faith in it and no appreciation of it. (See `verse 32`.) (3) We remember the line of descent of the covenant favor was hinted to Rebekah in the promise that the elder should serve the younger (`Gen. 25:23`), which promise was treasured up by Rebekah, and doubtless communicated to Jacob, who was inspired by it to look for some honorable way to acquire it from his brother to whom it pertained by natural descent, he being the first-born. The occasion above referred to was such an opening; and Jacob, who had faith in the promise of God to Abraham and its future fulfilment and also in the Word of the Lord to his mother, seeing his brother's lack of faith and appreciation, embraced the opportunity to lawfully purchase the birthright at the price freely agreed upon by Esau. Thus lawfully he came into the inheritance to which God had called him.
(4) Some years after (`25:27,31`; `26:34,35`; `27:1-10`), Isaac, feeling that his course of life was nearing the end, determined to bestow his blessing, the birthright, upon Esau; or, in other words, to make or declare his last will and testament. (`27:1-4`.) Here Esau should have reminded his father that he had sold his prospective birthright to Jacob; but this he evidently failed to do, as he prepared to disregard the contract entirely. But, providentially, Rebekah overheard the father's expressed intention, and, fearing that his preference for Esau would lead him also to disregard the contract, if he indeed knew of it, she planned the artifice by which Isaac was misled and caused to bestow the blessing upon Jacob.
That Jacob lied to Isaac in claiming to be Esau we do not understand, since in the lawful purchase of the birthright he stood in the place of Esau as the representative of the first-born. Even so the Levites were called the first-born of Israel because they represented the first-born. Esau, in selling his birthright, actually made Jacob his attorney in fact to receive, hold and exercise at any time and forever all of his (Esau's) rights and privileges pertaining to the birthright in every way and manner. So Jacob had a perfect right to appear as Esau, name and all; and Rebekah did no wrong in aiding in the transaction, she too being actuated by faith in the promise of God and by a due appreciation of it. And God showed his valuation of the faith which thus trusted and appreciated his promise.
In this view of the matter we see a reason for God's approval and rewarding of Jacob. Jacob was a man of faith who had respect unto the promises of God, although, like Abraham, he might have to die in faith and to wait in the grave for the realization. This great favor he earnestly sought; and, having obtained the promise, he never bartered it away, nor walked unworthy of an heir of such a hope. He loved and worshiped God, and diligently sought to know and to do his will.
Esau, on the contrary, steadily pursued a wayward course. He married heathen wives who were a cause of grief to Isaac and Rebekah (`26:34,35`); and he hated his brother, and determined to slay him.
But, if we read this incident as a mere scrap of history, we fail to receive the special benefit which its recital was designed to teach, as indicated by the Apostle Paul, who refers to it as a type of God's purpose as to election, the two sons of Isaac representing the Jewish and Gospel dispensations of peoples--Esau the Jewish and Jacob the Gospel dispensation and house.
The two boys were twins, and so were these two dispensations. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., chap. vii.) And as it was foretold of these that the elder should serve the younger, so also the Gospel Church, though younger, is to take precedence to the Jewish house or church. The younger or Gospel house is to partake of the root and fatness of the Abrahamic covenant, while the elder is to receive mercy and favor through its mercy.--`Rom. 11:31`.
So God's purposes according to election stand (`Rom. 9:11-16`); and it is his will that all who in this acceptable day of the Lord make their calling and election sure shall have the chief blessing as the Church of the first-born (`Heb. 12:23`), though actually the Jewish house was first developed. The latter will constitute the earthly phase of the Kingdom, while the former will be the
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higher spiritual phase in power and authority.
Those who in the Gospel dispensation make their calling and election sure, being counted the worthy seed of Abraham and heirs of the promise of God, will be such as have too high a valuation of it to part with it for a mess of pottage. Yet many who were called to this high office, like Esau and fleshly Israel, fail to appreciate the calling and, lacking faith and perseverance, ignominiously sell their high privilege as the prospective heirs of God and joint-heirs of Jesus Christ. Israel after the flesh, the natural descendants of Abraham and heirs of the promise, fell through unbelief and through failure to appreciate the goodness of God in the gift of his Son and in the blessings offered first to them through him. They preferred, instead, to pursue the course which their own pride and self-will dictated. Thus, as Esau, they profaned their birthright. (`Heb. 12:16`.) And so also many of the Gentiles, since favored with the call, have likewise fallen from this grace.
Let those who appreciate their privileges in Christ take heed lest they also in some unguarded moment sell their privileges for the paltry recompenses of this present life.
ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.
OUR DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:-- Subjoined you will find list of subscribers, so that we may have the remainder of the sheet for personal chat. First allow us to send our most affectionate greeting, and to wish you all the joy of the season. But this, as you well know, is backed by our earnest prayers on your behalf, that you may not only be preserved from all evil but led into all truth. Truly, we need to bear each other up before the throne of grace in prayer, for the powers of evil are even now most malignant and manifest; and well need we take warning and comfort from our Father's message--"if possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Ah! thank him, we know that it is impossible; for he will never leave, never forsake; and "no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." We are finding it a very trying time. The wheat is being sifted, and so, instead of increasing, our numbers are getting rather less; but this brings out a point that it is more and more needful we should keep to the front, and that is, real conversion and consecration, not to a particular work, but to Christ. This is forced upon us when we see some very eager for the "truth," and who seem most promising for a time; but the novelty wears off, the trials come and they stumble because they have not realized their greatest need; i.e., that they are only sinners at best, until they are wholly given up to and begotten again of Christ. Then, too, Spiritism is spreading so rapidly as to be almost a fashion, and the church nominal is most rapidly rushing to destruction. Here we thank God and you for the help received from TOWER, both on "Higher Criticism" and Parliament of Religions.
But let us always be kept humble by remembering that we are acceptable only in Christ our Lord. I feel there is much danger of thinking that we are acceptable for our works' sake; and oh! I do pray, my dear Brother and Sister, that you, who have such a mighty responsibility upon you, may be kept from all evil.
Brother Rogers will possibly tell you of my visit to and meeting him and the dear ones in London during my Christmas holiday. But I cannot help feeling uncomfortable and somewhat grieved that the meetings in London are likely to be more disputatious than is compatible with loving and gentle helpfulness. There are some such loving and dear souls amongst them; but some seem to manifest more of the contentious than the Christ-like Spirit. Perhaps it is that they are "freshmen." But we must pray the Lord to touch them, to search their hearts before them, to teach them and to keep them from divisions.
The dear ones here send most loving greeting, and pray the Lord to keep your steps, and to bless you ever more and more abundantly.
Ever yours in the Beloved,
A. P. AND P. C. RILEY.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I have felt very sorry that I could seemingly do so little, but God knows best. Now I am going to make a proposition to you. I own two forty-acre plots in Orange County, Florida. The town of Apopka lies between them, and there is a railroad depot near each. There are no improvements on either. Now, as I cannot do much any other way, if you will accept them for the Tract Fund, I thought you might sell them in five or ten-acre lots, and make more out of them than I could. Your Sister in Christ,
MRS. M. TURNER.
[We have accepted the Sister's kind donation, and now offer the land in plots of five acres each, to anyone desiring a Florida home. Price, $100. Five acres in Florida make a good sized orange grove.--W.T. Tract Society.]
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ZION'S WATCH TOWER
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THE POPE AND THE BIBLE.
THE wave of liberal sentiment which in this country lays irreverent hands upon every thing sacred, and which more and more tends toward bold and open infidelity, the denial of all divine inspiration of the Bible and the enthronement of Reason, has also recently found a voice within the pale of the church of Rome. A rector in the Catholic institute of Paris, Mgr. d'Hulst, has written a pamphlet teaching, in harmony with Dr. Briggs and those of his class, that the Bible as a whole is not an inspired book, but that it contains some inspired dogmas and moral precepts.
The pamphlet was written in defense of doctrines already set forth by M. Loisy in the same institute. The stir which this public teaching of prominent Catholic authorities made, necessitated some prompt action on the part of the Pope, to whom other professors of theology were anxiously looking for some decision. And in consequence Leo has issued an encyclical, declaring the Bible to be inspired in whole and in detail--a verbal inspiration in the original languages.
One cannot help remembering on reading such utterances the very different attitude of former popes toward the Bible, and how the hunting of heretics and the burning of Bibles were important features of papal policy a century or two ago. But now circumstances are changed: the Bible is in the hands of the people, and heretics are too numerous to persecute. But another fact has also become manifest; viz., that it is quite possible for men to reverently accept the Bible as a whole and as verbally inspired of God, and even to go through forms of Bible study, and still to reject or ignore its teachings, if only the mind be firmly fettered in a bondage to false creeds which pervert its solemn truths and make the Word of God seem to support false doctrines.
Only so long as the mind can be thus held in slavery to priests and clerics can the Bible be of any use to the antichristian systems which claim its support. It was because the Papacy doubted its ability to effectually blind the eyes and fetter the consciences of men, that in the days of her power, she sought to conceal the book and to keep it in the sackcloth and ashes of dead languages. But, failing to do this, her present policy is to pose as the friend of the Bible and of Bible study.
It is quite possible, however, that in the not far distant future the truths of the Bible, which now make the character of antichrist so manifest to the household of faith, will show to the world the enormity of her sins and her fitness for destruction; and that this book, which the "infallible" head of the papacy is now virtually forced to admit as inspired in every detail, will be seen to contain the most scathing denunciations of the whole antichristian system, and that it is really her death-warrant.
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MGR. SATOLLI PURCHASING CATHOLIC UNION.
Father Kolasinski, some time ago, after a very sensational trial, was "unfrocked" and removed from the Roman Catholic priesthood, for insubordination and conduct unbecoming his office. Since then he has bestirred himself amongst the Polish Catholics, and has built "one of the finest churches in the West," furnished "with the finest organ in the city of Detroit," and other matters to correspond. He began preaching in it as an "Independent Church." An agent of Mgr. Satolli, ablegate of the Pope in the United States of America, recently visited Kolasinski; and, as a result of some bargain agreed upon, Father Kolasinski announced to his congregation on February 11 that he would on next Sunday apologize in three languages before his congregation, and do a week's penance, and be received back to the priesthood. He has since done so.