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VIEW FROM THE TOWER
Many letters received tell of much interest among our readers. As requested, a number reported the observance of the anniversary of our passover sacrifice. It was very generally observed—reports coming from all directions. The largest of these small gatherings were at Newark, N.J., and in this city, the attendance at each of these being about the same—sixty persons.
The reports indicate that these meetings wherever held, were solemn and impressive—blessed seasons. Here, it was a very precious season. We recounted the scenes of the upper room at Jerusalem 1849 years ago. We looked at the type which Jesus and the twelve had met to observe. We saw through the shadow the substance. Through the type, we saw the antitype—our deliverance from the world through the death of Jesus our Lamb.
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Then, we saw that the law shadow ceased, with that last observance of the passover. That there the reality commenced by our Lamb being slain—the same day. We saw clearly that Jesus had not only substituted himself for the typical lamb, but had substituted his supper of bread and wine (emblems of our Lamb’s body and blood) as instead of the flesh of the type. And we saw how, so often as we celebrated the anniversary with these emblems, we do show forth our Lord’s death.
Then we commemorated the supper, examining as we did so, the import of the broken bread of which we partook, and of the wine of which we drank. We heard Jesus’ words, that it was his body and his blood. Then we heard His further testimony—that if we drank of the cup, it meant that we were sharing or filling up the sufferings of Christ, as members of his body. Next we took Paul’s testimony, 1 Cor. 10:16,17. (Diaglott.) „The cup of blessing for which we bless God—is it not a participation of the blood of the anointed one? The loaf which we break—is it not a participation of the BODY of the ANOINTED ONE? Because there is ONE LOAF we the many are ONE BODY; for we all partake of ONE BODY.”
We endeavored to take in the full import of this teaching; to see how we must drink of his cup of suffering and death, in order to share future glory with him. The breaking of the loaf, represents our mutual strengthening of one another as members of the BODY. Each must do his share, according to his ability to strengthen and nourish and build up the body. We thought of the order, bread first, and then the wine. We saw that thus, our Lord gives us strength through the food—truth, before he passes us the cup of death and sacrifice. None can sacrifice, until strengthened by the exceeding great and precious promises.
We have regretted since our last issue that we recommended raisin juice, as a substitute for wine. Upon further reflection it seems to us that wine is the only proper emblem. All Scriptural references to wine indicate that it was of a sort that would intoxicate. In fact any wine which, when freely used, would not stupefy, (deaden) would not represent what is shown by the cup of which we are to partake. As we part-take of the cup of Christ’s sufferings and death of the human will and nature, it gives a deadness to worldly things. At the same time it gives a blissful peace of mind. This is well illustrated by the symbol—wine. It produces the most thorough stupor or deadness to surroundings of any liquor. Now consider the Apostles words: „Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but (do that which would be symbolized by it) be ye filled with the spirit.” If filled with the Spirit of Christ we will be dead to the world and daily desirous of drinking more and more into His cup, while at the same time filled with a peace the world knows not of.
At our Pittsburgh meeting, both wine and raisin juice were provided; but under the influence of the above considerations, all partook of the wine.
A correspondent inquires, why keep the supper since the Lord’s presence, since Paul says: „Till he come.” 1 Cor. 11:26? Since it is an emblem not only of the death of our Lord Jesus, but also of the death of His Church, which is his body, it is proper that we should thus signify our „participation of the blood of the anointed one.” While any of his members are yet in the suffering, or crucifying condition, the sufferings of Christ are not ended. The head, and all but those of us still in the flesh, have, we believe, entered into the glory of power. The members who preceded us having finished their course, no longer need to declare annually their continued determination to share in his death; but until the Christ in the flesh has fully died, and the Christ—the New Creature has been completed, it is appropriate to show forth the death.
Our Brother Keith, whose trip through Michigan was announced last month, was suddenly called home by the death of a little one. Not, he writes for the sake of the dead, but for the comfort of the living—Sister Keith being quite ill. The Lord bless them and grant that this, as one of the „all things,” may work for their good. Bro. K. writes, that the Lord willing, he will soon make a more extended trip in the direction intended, including other places. You will probably hear from him in due time. Any (in that North-Western direction) desiring him to meet with them, may address this office.
Bro. Adamson is holding some very successful, and we trust profitable meetings in Mercer county, Pa.
Bro. Leigh, who has been preparing for some time, is about to go forth.
The number of orders for „Food,” which come in by every mail, indicates that some are doing effective preaching by loaning reading matter. We have still plenty of these pamphlets. Order all you can use to advantage.
We fear that the last supplement—the „Tabernacle” tract has not had the deep study and care which such a subject requires. It is strong meat even for those who have had their senses exercised (Heb. 5:14), and requires thorough mastication. Read it at least twice or three times. Do not loan this last to any but fully consecrated Christians.
We subjoin extracts from a few of the many precious letters received.
LONDON, ENGLAND, April 5, 1882.
Editor Zion’s Watch Tower.
MY DEAR BROTHER:—The copy of the TOWER and „Tabernacle” came duly to hand, for which please accept my most grateful thanks. I have read carefully to see if I could find anything contrary to the precious word of truth, and confess if this is the mystery hid for the ages, it is magnificently grand and glorious, and worthy of our only immortal God and Father. It is blessed to contemplate as concerning man’s future blessedness and wonderful salvation; in fact it seems to be the embodiment of justice, mercy and love. No wonder Paul exclaimed: „Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!”
I have a brother, a D.D. in the Methodist Church, and have been always told I was called to preach the blessed glad tidings, but I never have felt satisfied with orthodoxy, although I have been a member for twenty-five years. I threw out the doctrine of natural immortality five years ago, the Trinity three years ago, and with the Em. Diaglott and Bible, with other helps, have been feeling after the truth. I left the Methodist Church three years ago, and though often asked to join that and others, never felt willing, the Saul’s armor of the creeds did not fit, and it seemed to me I could not fight the good fight in them. I desire to fight the fight of Faith, and lay hold of everlasting life. I have held up the thoughts given in your works of „Tabernacle” and „Food” to some of Spurgeon’s people, and they were unable to gainsay me. It does seem to be too good to be true, but nothing is too hard for God, and I confess I see a harmony between the infinite Creator and created (fallen) man, given in the Bible as brought out by the light from your exposition, that I never have seen before. It satisfies my understanding and my longing spirit. Can I with fair speaking ability be exalted by our dear Lord to the high honor of telling or preaching the glad tidings, which are to all people, that Jesus anointed tasted death for every man, and all may look and live? Whatever tracts and instructions you have in the divine mysteries of truth will you have the kindness to forward by return mail, as I may be required to leave London by the 1st of May, and please instruct me how and what to preach so as to accomplish the blessed work God wishes done.
Was this a revelation? Where did you get these clear ideas? They must have come from above, for all wisdom comes from God, and He giveth it liberally and upbraideth not. Pray that I may be led into the truth, and that I may be free indeed.
Yours in hope, __________.
CALEDONIA, MISS., April 8, 1882.
DEAR BRETHREN:—The Emphatic Diaglott, mentioned in this month’s issue of the WATCH TOWER, is the very book I want (or rather need). I do wish that some good friend would pay for it for me, as I am not able to at this time. I am a colored Congregational minister, and I am anxious to know the truth of God’s word, but I am too poor to purchase the Bible helps I need. I have learned more from „Food” and „Tabernacle” in two or three weeks than from anything else in ten years. I am grateful to you for them, and for the paper also. I and all that
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have seen and can understand them are much interested. I have no means with which to purchase, and I want them so much that I am forced to beg for them.
Yours in Christ, __________.
NOTTINGHAM, ENG., Feb. 24th, 1882.
DEAR BROTHER:—I thank you most sincerely for what I have received from you this last few days. The „Day Dawn,” reached me on the 15th, and what I have already seen of it, has both pleased and instructed me. Like its fellow—”Food for Thinking Christians,” it needs much careful thought; but I am sure it will amply repay it. Last evening I received the „WATCH TOWER” and „Tabernacle supplement,” and I am looking for more blessing through the perusal of this valuable paper, as each month brings me something fresh.
Tears came to my eyes this morning, as I read the letters of your correspondents who had received so much help and comfort from the December number. To me also it was indeed a „feast of fat things.” The article on the „Creative Week” and the one on the „Importance of
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Baptism” was a great help to me.
In this number the articles on „Assembling Together”—”Consecration to a Work,” and Mrs. Russell’s Answers to Inquiries, are wonderfully pregnant and helpful. I feel as though I must read my Bible all over again, for the difference between Ransom and Pardon, pointed out in your closing article, had never struck me, though obvious enough when you put it before your readers. I wonder if it will ever be my lot to come over to some of your meetings. I very much long to see this happy type of Apostolic Christianity Revived—for such I think it must be—in the persons of its professors and preachers. The books and papers I regard as a blessing sent to my house; and which will bring forth fruit in my own soul, and I trust in my people also. Believe me to be,
Yours most faithfully in our Lord Jesus Christ, __________. (A Minister.)
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Please accept my thanks for your kindness in sending the papers and pamphlet on the „Tabernacle,” &c.
I am thankful to say that all my skepticism has fled away. The darkness is chased away by the light of truth that has shone around me for some time past.
We are having a very happy time in Newark, and I look forward to a number of people of this city being brought under the influence of the truth to rejoice with us in the great plan of salvation.
We had a very pleasant and instructive visit from Brother Keith. He has left a very good impression among the friends in Newark, and we shall be glad to see him again.
Yours in the truth, __________.
Zion’s Watch Tower.
DEAR BRETHREN:—It is with much feeling and thankfulness I send you my greeting for the benefit I have received from perusing your valuable publications. No one knows how I have yearned after the truths found in the Bible that are so much clearer to my mind since I read your valuable paper.
Yours in the cause of truth, __________.
— May, 1882 —