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TRUTH SIFTING IN THE TOWER
We would like every interested reader to feel that he has an interest in the WATCH TOWER, and that it is our paper: a paper belonging to the Lord and hence to all his children. It is, and we hope will always be conducted, with an eye single to God’s glory and hence to the blessing of his children. Like the Bible, it will not discuss questions, but will state what is believed to be truth and nothing else; accepting—The harmony of God’s Word—as the definition of truth. No compromising with error to double the circulation; no withholding of truth lest some should be offended. No, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is our motto.
But who shall judge what is truth, and how? This, to every conscientious editor, becomes an important question, but in our own case it is doubly so, because the subjects treated in our columns are, many of them, „new” (Matt. 13:52) and „strong meat.” We believe our readers are more effectually armed against error, by being instructed in the harmony of God’s Word, than by having the columns of the W.T. devoted to the dissecting of all the various forms of error. Let the sunlight in, and the darkness will flee away. And with the plan of God clearly before the mind, the deformity of error is easily discoverable. The Bible, then, is our only standard, by which to test the truth or falsity of any subject.
We will inform our readers what has been our method of sifting truth, that they may know of our carefulness in trying to separate truth from error.
The editor seeks to test his own articles by the Word of God, but every article which appears in the paper, has the special criticism of some one or more of those who are walking in the light. If it be a new point of interpretation, it must have the assent of at least two of those best posted and most conversant with the Scriptures before it shall appear. If not seen by these intelligent and conscientious persons to be truth, it will lie over until such time as it shall be seen either to be truth and published, or error and destroyed.
This rule which we apply to our own writings, we apply to others also, and as a consequence, very many articles are written for our paper which are never seen in it. This stringent rule is not liked by some, who consider it a reflection against their ability, thus proving that their human nature is not yet crucified,—the dead have no reputation to sustain or wound. But to those who are intent only on getting and spreading truth, this rule is generally very agreeable.
We know of no other way to do, and the Lord has seemed to bless this method, for he has fed us richly; and though we stand ready to contradict the statements of any issue when shown to be erroneous, and would feel it both a duty and a privilege to do so, yet to the praise of our Lord’s leading the course and teachings of the W.T. for the past three years have been connected, progressive and harmonious. And furthermore, those who are teachers of these things, never saw truth with so clear a vision as to-day, and never were so harmonious in sentiment.
Be not offended then, if your article, should not appear. It is treated with the same loving consideration as all other articles. One dear brother to whom we returned an article with criticisms for re-consideration, in his reply, gave the following quotation: Offended—how could I be?—”Great peace have they who love thy law and nothing shall offend them.”
The course which we pursue relative to the dissemination of truth, we commend to our readers—use your time, your means, your influence, for truth, not error. Teach nothing, lend nothing, give nothing—neither book, paper nor tract, by whomsoever published, which you have not carefully examined and feel sure would glorify God.
— January And February, 1882 —