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VOL. XIV. JANUARY 1, 1893. NO. 1
ZION’S WATCH TOWER
HERALD OF CHRIST’S PRESENCE.
PUBLISHED TWICE A MONTH.
TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY,
ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
C. T. RUSSELL, EDITOR.
SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 A YEAR, IN ADVANCE, INCLUDES ALSO A SUBSCRIPTION, FOR ONE YEAR, TO „THE OLD THEOLOGY” (TRACTS), QUARTERLY,
By Express Order, Postal Money Order, Bank Draft, or Registered Letter. Foreign only by Foreign Money Order.
FREE TO THE LORD’S POOR
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.
SPECIAL ITEMS FOR REGULAR READERS
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YOUR PROMPT RESPONSES
Thanks, dear friends, for the promptness with which so many of you are responding to our request to know whether or not you desire the WATCH TOWER visits during 1893. Your welcome letters are just pouring in upon us. This together with the other extra work of this season has quite overpowered our office force. All are busy, but all are insufficient. We usually send a card of acknowledgment for all sums of two dollars or more where books, etc., are not ordered (leaving the date on the address-tag to indicate the receipts of smaller sums). But as we are quite unable to do this at present we know that you will kindly excuse us. We cannot at present find time even to give the ordinary newspaper receipt on the address-tag: this receipt we will endeavor to give to all on our next issue.
Just a word of answer now, therefore, to all your letters at once, to say that we greatly enjoy the testimonies which so many of them give, of your clearness of mental vision on spiritual subjects; of your devotion to the Lord, and to the Truth, and to us, as their servants and yours. God bless you!
The donations to the Tract Fund accompanying the above mentioned letters (which must be acknowledged in like manner) have been unusually large, and the newly filled out „Good Hopes” for 1893 are very numerous. The interest thus manifested is greatly appreciated by us, as well as by the Master, in whose name we receive and in whose service we use them. Be assured that every self-denial of an earthly sort these may cost you will be more than compensated for in spiritual favors. We regard this increase in your free-will offerings as a sign, either of much more prosperous times than before or else of a richer spiritual growth in appreciation of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of the love of God. We believe it to be the latter; and we praise God on your behalf.—Phil. 4:17.
THE PREVAILING TYPE OF PREACHING
The Rev. Robert R. Proudfit, of Highlands, N.J., has withdrawn from the Presbyterian Church. His reasons are these:
„While humbly receiving the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as containing the Word of God, I decline to subscribe to a merely human declaration of their contents, even though that declaration be so able and so venerable as the Westminster standards.
„I further decline to be called ‚reverend’ as being too much like being called ‚rabbi,’ against which our Lord expressly enjoined his disciples.
„Again I decidedly prefer not to be identified with any particular denomination of the followers of Christ, such names and the spirit which they engender seeming to me unscriptural and baneful rather than beneficial. It is sufficient for me to be a ‚companion of all them that fear God.’
„Finally, I suspect that the world and the visible church are somewhat surfeited with preaching, at least of the prevailing type. Like the army of the Potomac early in 1862, the church has been abundantly, perhaps excessively, organized and drilled.”—Selected.
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BACK TO THE HOLY LAND
There is a report from Jerusalem that Baron Edmond de Rothschild has completed negotiations with the Turkish government for the establishment of Jewish colonies on the Rothschild lands in Palestine, and also for permitting Russian Jews to settle there.—New York Sun.
ALLEGHENY CHURCH MEETINGS
Our meetings are held in Bible House Chapel, Arch Street, Allegheny, Pa. Readers and friends will be warmly welcomed. Preaching in English every Sunday afternoon at 3:30 o’clock.
Preaching in German at 10:30 a.m.
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RETROSPECTIVE AND PROSPECTIV
At the threshold of each new year it seems but natural to look about us—backward at the year just gone, and forward to the year drawing on—reviewing our conflicts and God’s mercies past and, with hope as our telescope, prospecting the future.
From your letters and otherwise, dear readers, fellow-servants of our King and fellow-heirs of his glory, we know something of the trials temporal and spiritual which have bestrewn your paths; but we know much more of how the grace of God has blessed you all spiritually through Christ. And we earnestly trust that, with us of the TOWER Office, you can apply to yourselves the words of the poet—
„Looking back, I praise the way
God has led me, led me day by day.”
Our day is peculiar in many respects. Not only is it a day of blessings, advantages and conveniences beyond any other, but it is a day of dissatisfaction and discontent beyond any other. Not only is it a day of greater light and understanding respecting the Lord’s plan, but it is a day in which the great Enemy of the truth is permitted to spread before the awakening nominal and real Church more sophistical delusions in the name of „new light” than ever before. Not only is it true that a man or woman has five times the opportunity for usefulness in God’s service, ever before enjoyed, but it is also true that business, worldly pleasure and ambition are five times as active and powerful to keep us back from this possible usefulness. It behooves us, therefore, not only to get awake to our present privileges, blessings and opportunities, but to keep awake to them. He who does not realize that this will require a constant battle with selfishness, within and without—with the World, the Flesh and the Devil—is very liable to fall into the snare in learning of it.
Nevertheless it is possible, even now, for the intelligent Christian to have absolute contentment, to escape the errors of our day and to keep himself actively in the love and service of God. This blessing, with the peace that passeth all understanding, is, however, only for the few: for those whose faith is resting in the perfect work of Christ—in the ransom which he gave—and who are fully consecrated, heart and body, to the Master’s will and work and way in every matter. Such he does not leave in darkness and doubt in this day when the hearts of the worldly-wise are „failing them for fear and for looking after those things coming upon the earth,” but to them are fulfilled the promises—”He will show you things to come;” „Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”—free from the bondage of error, free from the bondage of fear, and from those other bondages of creeds of men and of social and religious societies into which fear is driving many under the plea of „Union.”
But while we do well, dear friends, to remember gratefully the mercies of the past year and to rejoice in the grace sufficient with which it was so richly supplied, it is wise for us to look carefully to our steps for the year beginning.
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While we did not fall last year, some did. Our trials and testings may be more severe during the year beginning, and unless we feel our own insufficiency and look to our Master continually, we shall be liable to depart from humility, to become puffed up with pride and haughtiness, the sure precursors of a fall. And again, if we look merely to our own weaknesses we will become so discouraged as to yield readily to the adversary’s assaults. Our only safe position will be to feel humble and to realize our insufficiency, but to trust implicitly and always to him who has promised that he will never leave us, nor forsake us. (If there be any breach between us, if any leaving and forsaking, it will be on our part, not his.) We can safely trust our all to him who assures us that „All things shall work together for good to them that love God (with all their hearts)—to those called according to his purpose.” We need have no fear of the ultimate results, so long as we find our wills fully submitted to our Master’s will, and our hands and thoughts filled with his work. We may have full confidence, and may rest in peace upon the promise, „He will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, provide also a way of escape.”
„Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist [by standing] steadfast in the faith, knowing that similar afflictions are being accomplished in your brethren in the world.”—1 Pet. 5:8.
The more we realize that we are in the harvest—the winnowing and testing time—the more we should each seek to follow the Apostle’s advice, „Make straight paths for your feet lest that which is lame be turned out of the way.” Each of us has learned some of his weak or vulnerable points of character, and each should seek, not only to strengthen these weak points but also specially to fortify himself against temptations and besetments of the adversary upon those weakest points, lest he thereby be turned out of the straight and narrow way.
This means a circumspection of your affairs in general: home affairs, business affairs, all, should be ordered and systematized with a view to protect your own weak points to the Lord’s praise and to the good of yourself and others. See that your heart is fully given up to the King, and then, with the wisdom which he will supply those who seek it, divide your time and talents among your various duties so as to spend and be spent more to the honor of the Lord and to the service of his truth, and you will find yourself liberally repaid in spiritual favors.
We suggest to all WATCH TOWER readers as a motto and watch-word for 1893 the words of the great Apostle Paul—
„Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you
like men, be strong. Let all your deeds be done
in love.”—1 Cor. 16:13,14.
THE POLITICAL OUTLOOK
Dissatisfaction and unrest tell the story of the entire civilized world. The growth of intelligence is making the world more unhappy daily, because selfishness is the basis or principle upon which every fresh degree of enlightenment must be erected; for the world knows not of the other basis, upon which the new nature builds, the basis of Love. Consequently, intelligence makes possible gigantic Trusts, Pools and swindling schemes on the part of many who occupy places of power; and the same intelligence permits those less favorably circumstanced to detect the frauds, to see their own comparative disadvantage so far as a rapid or fraudulent accumulation of wealth is concerned. Hence the gradual unrest. None but real saints of God know what full rest there is in Christ—the result of having the Christ-basis—Love for God and men—substituted for selfishness.
We clip the following on this subject from a New York Tribune editorial, and call special attention to its closing sentence:—
„And yet how far from realization is this noble idea of peace to-day. That Europe is an armed camp is a hackneyed truism. England holds millions of Oriental peoples under her sway, not by the bond of brotherhood, but by the iron hand of force. France is rent into factions by a great national scandal, in which many of her honored sons figure as despoilers
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of the widow and orphan. The tragedy of the great anti-Semitic persecution is not yet played out in Russia, and in some other European
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countries the echoes of its cry of hate are ominously distinct. Nor has the shadow of gaunt famine yet ceased to fall athwart the land of the Muscovite. At the same time, a social unrest unparalleled in history has taken possession of the nations of Europe, and has found a lodgment even in our own land. Its dominant note is a profound dissatisfaction with things as they are, not always rational or intelligent, but based on certain facts which no candid investigator will deny. This unrest is constantly leading to the social insurrection known as anarchy, and to the industrial wars known as lockouts and strikes. It may not be that the present social system is disintegrating; but it is certainly true that it contains within itself movements and elements which are symptomatic of a change in its character. And whether that change shall come by evolution or revolution depends largely on the wisdom and discretion of those who now hold the places of influence and power in the world. These are the facts that confront us this morning as we repeat the angels’ song of peace and good will. Does not the situation suggest to us rather those words of the Master, recorded in holy Writ, ‚I came not to send peace, but a sword’?
„Nor is the prophetic dream of brotherhood, for which Christmas stands, realized in the churches. The great Roman Catholic Communion in this country is stirred to its depths by controversies that vitally affect its very life and character. Every Protestant denomination is touched with the same unrest that is affecting social life. Old traditions and dogmas are in process of reconstruction, and new views are forcing themselves to the front. As a result of all this, there is strife to-day between those who join in singing the praises of the Babe in Bethlehem, and multitudes of good men are arrayed against each other in a deadly conflict of opinion.”
* * *
After the conflict will come rest, and after the battle will come peace. Happy those who, in this enigmatic age, in spite of so much that is calculated to puzzle and sadden us, have such a clear prevision of the future that they can see the coming triumph of truth over error, of good over evil, in every land and clime.”
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EXALTATION VIA HUMILITY
„Let him that would be greatest among you be servant of all. … One is your master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren.”—Matt. 23:10,11
Pride is selfishness gone to seed. The selfish spirit greedily gathers to itself as much as possible of all that it esteems good and valuable—wealth, learning, honor, fame and distinction among men. A measure of success in the acquisition of these treasures further leads the selfish soul to a feeling of self-complacency, independence and indifference to the well-being of others, which, gradually but rapidly developing into arrogant and self-assertive pride, will continue to ripen with every gleam of the sunlight of temporal prosperity. As selfishness continues to ripen it swells itself to ridiculous proportions and delights to vaunt itself, and gloats over its imagined importance and worthiness of honor and praise.
Who can love such a disposition? It is utterly unworthy in all eyes save its own. No wonder, then, that it is written, „God resisteth the proud and giveth his favors to the humble.” And again, „Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” How could it be otherwise? for these inflated values must at some time come down to a solid
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basis: wind will not always pass current for worth, and the punctured bubbles of earthly vanity will reveal the true status of every individual. And well will it be in the cases of those in whom the humbling realization does not awaken a spirit of rebellion and strife against God, which must inevitably end either in contrition or in destruction.
How much easier and how much wiser is the course of humility. The humble spirit seeketh not its own, is not puffed up, and does not attempt to speculate on inflated values, does not think of self more highly than it ought to think, but thinks soberly—neither overrating nor underrating its own acquirements or achievements. Humility strives always to do business on a solid basis, though it strives lawfully to acquire a real worthiness and to achieve the true glory of the divine commendation and favor.
The man who underrates his worth comes much nearer the truth than the man who overrates; for the fact is that no member of the
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fallen race, however favorably he may compare with some of his fellows more bruised by the fall, has anything whereof to boast. Consider, for instance, how meager is the aggregate of human knowledge in every direction. As a race we are unable to trace our own history for centuries from the beginning, or to account for our origin, or to prognosticate our destiny. We are unable to fully comprehend the deep philosophy of our physical and mental organisms. There are mysteries within us and all around us which the wisest men cannot fathom; and only those narrow souls whose world of thought is bounded by the horizon of their own temporal interests ever vaunt their learning or wisdom, or feel that they have aught of which to boast. Their fellow-men may call them great and wise and reverend, but they know too well how small and ignorant they are and how unworthy of reverence, realizing that beyond the ken of their short vision are vast unexplored fields of knowledge. The truly noble soul feels humbled upon the borders of the vast unknown, thankfully accepts the divine revelation as to his nature, origin, destiny, etc., and patiently awaits the Lord’s good time for a fuller understanding of all the mysteries of his wondrous grace. Pride of wealth or of fame is of still more ignoble character. Wealth selfishly hoarded and enjoyed certainly adds no degree of merit to the possessor, whether he inherited or acquired it; and fame among fallen men only proves that he who gained it has not to any considerable extent outstripped the popular limit of advancement. At best he is only abreast of his times. The man who has outstripped the current of popular thought is never a popular or famous man. Every such one has had to attest his true moral courage by facing popular opposition and enduring the popular reproach; or, in other words, by humbling himself.
In view of these considerations we see how just and wise is the divine rule for abasing the proud and exalting the humble, and how sound our Lord’s counsel to his disciples, to cultivate the spirit of humility and to avoid even the appearance of pride. Observing the growth and manifestation of this spirit among the Pharisees, who did all their works to be seen of men, who loved the uppermost rooms at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues, and to be called of men Rabbi, Rabbi, he said, „But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren”—or, in the language of to-day, Be not ye called Reverend Doctors of Divinity, and let there be no distinctions of clergy and laity; for one is your truly reverend Lord and instructor, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. „Let him that would be greatest among you be servant of all;” for the divine rule is that „whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
God’s plan, viewed as a whole, shows that the exaltation of any individual or class of his creatures is always for the purpose of blessing others who are not so exalted. Thus, for instance, the exaltation of our Lord Jesus and his Church is for the blessing of all others; so also was the election and special favor to Israel to result in blessings to the nations not so favored.
Such a rule, it will readily be seen, is the prompting of the highest benevolence and of the fatherly love of God for all his creatures of every name and order, and manifests the depth of his wisdom as well as his love, both in rewarding the truly worthy and in bringing righteous and benevolent power forward for the accomplishment of righteous and benevolent ends. Thus in benevolent service and mutual love he will in due time bind together in one the whole family in heaven and in earth, through the mediation and service of the greatest of all servants, Jesus Christ.
Let us heed this counsel of the Master, and let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time. (1 Pet. 5:6.) We have already done so to some extent in refusing to own as our masters the various heads of the great nominal church. We own neither Luther, nor Calvin, nor Knox, nor Wesley, nor Campbell, nor any other man or body of men, as our master; nor do we own the pope of Rome as our pope, our Father: God is our father, and his anointed Son is our Lord and head. To them, and not to our brethren, let us look for the reward of faithfulness: „For,” says the Apostle (Heb. 6:10), „God
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is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love which ye have shown toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
It is indeed no easy matter to tread the pathway of humility, to continually check the human aspirations and to keep the sacrifice on the altar until it is fully consumed. But thus it is that we are to work out our own salvation to the high calling with fear and trembling, lest we come short of worthiness for the prize of the high calling promised to the faithful overcomers who tread closely in the footsteps of our blessed Forerunner,—who was meek and lowly of heart.—Phil. 2:8,12.
It is when we are thus humble and faithful that the Lord makes us his chosen vessels to bear his name to others. Thus emptied of self, he can fill us with his spirit and with his truth, and we can go forth strong in the Lord of hosts and in his mighty power to do valiant service as soldiers of the cross.
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AT CLOSE OF DAY
If you sit down at set of sun,
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying act, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard,
One glance most kind,
That fell like sunshine where it went—
Then you may count that day well spent.
But if, through all the livelong day,
You’ve cheered no heart by yea or nay;
If through it all
You’ve nothing done that you can trace,
That brought the sunshine to one face;
No act most small,
That helped some soul at trifling cost—
Then count that day as worse than lost.
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IN OUR DAY
„Beware, therefore, lest that come upon you which is spoken of in the prophets: Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.”—Acts 13:40,41; Isa. 29:14; Hab. 1:5
This prophecy was one of sufficient importance to be recorded by two of the Lord’s prophets, Isaiah and Habakkuk; and from the Apostle Paul’s reference to it in speaking to the people of his day, which was the end or harvest of the Jewish age, we see that it had an application to that peculiar time. And since that age with its harvest and all its peculiar circumstances was, as we have seen (MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., Chapter vii.), a type of the Gospel age and its harvest, we recognize this prophecy, as well as the other prophetic features of the context, as having a yet fuller and more special application to the present time—the harvest period of the Gospel age.
It is true to-day, as it was in the harvest of the Jewish age, that there are many despisers of the truth—especially of the truth due and now coming to light in this, our day. But, nevertheless, the Lord’s great work goes steadily forward: he is doing „his work, his strange work, and bringing to pass his act, his strange act.” (Isa. 28:21,22.) It is indeed a strange work to those unacquainted with the Lord’s plan, which sets aside all human theories and plans, and pursues a course in direct opposition to them all. The world looks on and beholds this work of the Lord, and with fear and trembling as to the final outcome they regard its wonderful progress. And not only the world, but the vast majority of his professed followers, too, who have not been living on such intimate terms with the Lord as to be led into a clear knowledge of his wonderful purposes, regard the future with fearful forebodings, and his present „strange work” as an innovation rather than as a preliminary preparation for the glorious reign of the Prince of peace; for they wist not that this is „the day of his preparation” spoken of by the Prophet (Nahum 2:3), for the setting up of Christ’s kingdom.
Before that kingdom can be fully established in the earth, all power and authority, of whatever sort it be, which belongs to this present
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order of things, must pass away. As a consequence of this preparation for Christ’s kingdom, which is now nigh, even at the door (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., The Time is at Hand), we behold the shaking of the nations and the trembling of the very foundations of the whole structure of human society as at present organized unwittingly under Satan, „the prince of this world.” The great crisis of this world’s affairs has not yet been reached, but the preparations for that crisis are progressing steadily both in civil and in ecclesiastical circles. And if we would be among those who are truly wise we will apply, not only our heads, but also our hearts, unto the instruction of the
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„sure word of prophecy that shineth as a light in a dark place until the day dawn;” for it is written (Dan. 12:10) that „none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise [not according to the wisdom of this world, which shall perish (Isa. 29:14), but with the wisdom of meekness which confesses human ignorance and relies solely upon the wisdom which cometh from above: they] shall understand.”
Those who thus rely upon God, and are simple hearted enough to take him at his Word, view his present work in the light of his glorious plan: they see light in his light: they realize the necessity for the great scourge of trouble which shall shatter all human ambition and pride and humble the nations in the dust. They see, too, the deformities of human theories and the fallacy of human arguments and the futility of all human schemes for the uplifting and blessing of the world, as they view them in contrast with the divine plan of the ages which God is working out. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I.) In consequence of this superior vantage ground from which, as children of God, we are permitted to view „the work, the strange work” of our day, we are not at all surprised to see all systems of men tottering to their final overthrow; nor are we dismayed as we are brought to realize that their utter destruction is sure.
But what do we see, as from God’s standpoint we look out over „his work, his strange work,” in this our day? We see, first of all, that which interests us most, viz., that the Lord is gathering together his saints and separating them as wheat from the tares—as loyal, devoted children of God from a great multitude of mere professors. (Psa. 50:5.) We see that such are being wonderfully led by a path which hitherto they knew not, enabling them to comprehend the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God as manifested in his wonderful plan of the ages.
Secondly, we see the binding together of the various companies of tares into great denominational bundles and labeled with various sectarian names. (Matt. 13:30.) Thirdly, we see the present heavens (the ruling religious powers of the world—viz., Roman Catholicism and Protestantism) beginning to roll together as a scroll. (Isa. 34:4.) That is, each is retaining its own distinctive features, yet both are coming closer together in mutual recognition, sympathy and co-operation—rolling together just as a scroll does, from the two ends. Any one at all familiar with the trend of thought in ecclesiastical circles to-day will mark this rolling together of the heavens. Protestantism is very solicitous, for instance, for Roman Catholic cooperation on the subject of Sunday legislation and various other proposed reforms, and to this end is constantly courting the favor of Rome. Presbyterians are anxious to expunge from their creed that clause which recognizes the Papacy as the „Man of Sin;” Methodists speak of it as a „great Christian camp,” and Protestants of every name and order are doing homage to what they are pleased to call the mother church, all unconscious apparently of the fact that the Lord calls it a harlot church and the mother of harlots. (Rev. 17:1-5.) Union! is the watchword to-day throughout the length and breadth of Christendom, so called. In union is strength, they say; and strength to brave the coming storm, of which they all feel apprehensive, is what they all feel the need of. Singly and alone they realize that they are unprepared to meet the great time of trouble of which the Prophet Daniel declares that it shall be „a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.” (Dan. 12:1.) And consequently they are all willing to make any compromise necessary to secure what they call Christian unity. They
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want so-called Christianity to make an imposing appearance before the world in numerical strength. And Papists are none the less anxious than Protestants, though, seeing the anxiety of Protestants, they prefer rather to stand back and be courted than to take the initiative in this movement. But they are quite willing for policy’s sake to speak now of the Protestant heretics as their „separated brethren,” and Catholic priests are quite willing to sit side by side on the platform with Protestant clergymen in religious gatherings.
In no particular instance is this disposition of the heavens to roll together more manifest than in the proposed religious congresses which are to convene in Chicago during the season of the great International Exposition. There it is proposed to gather together for religious conference and co-operation, not only the representatives of all the creeds of Christendom, but of heathendom as well; and many are the religious enthusiasts who seem disposed to persuade even the heathen that they are Christians if in any degree they manifest the Christ spirit, which they define simply as a disposition of love to God and love to man.
In seeking a basis of union it is also clearly observable that Christians of every name and order are willing, for the sake of what they call Christian Unity, to drop out of their creed the only true foundation of Christianity, viz., the doctrine of the ransom. Such are some of the indications of the rolling together of the ecclesiastical heavens, or ruling religious powers.
Fourthly, we see the elements of the earth—civil society—getting ready for the final conflagration when, it is said, „the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2 Pet. 3:10-12)—the heat of human passion and wrath. We see the angry nations armed to the teeth and impoverishing their treasuries to equip themselves for the emergencies of the near future, while statesmen and politicians everywhere view the situation in civil affairs as extremely precarious, and are put to their wits’ ends to devise ways and means for the protection of civil government against the dangers that threaten it from the growing dissatisfaction among the masses of the people. This was very manifest in the policy of Prince Bismarck of Germany in his course with reference to the church of Rome, when, a few years ago, he sought to rid Germany of Popish influence; but finding subsequently the necessity of that influence for the preservation of civil authority in Germany, he retraced his steps from considerations of mere political policy.
We see, further, that men in every condition of life are banding together to resist others of opposing sentiments, so that the appearance of the world to-day is that of a great battle-field where mighty hosts of contending parties are definitely mustering their forces and preparing for a desperate conflict. Such has been the condition of things for a few years past, and the perfecting and equipping of these organizations will be the work of a few more years; and then will follow the world’s crisis—a crisis in which all the powers of light and darkness will struggle for the ascendancy; and the result will at first seem to be disaster and utter ruin, until above the wreckage of all human law and order the power and authority of the Prince of Peace begin to be recognized.
Such is the outlook of our day as viewed in the light of the holy apostles and prophets; but the conservative Phariseeism of to-day shakes the cautious head and says, Nay, it is not so; we cannot be on the eve of a new dispensation and of a revolution so stupendous, involving the whole present social structure, both civil and religious; for Lo, „all things continue as they were from the beginning.” (2 Pet. 3:4.) And in their zeal to bolster up the tottering structures of priestcraft and statecraft, whose interests are so closely allied, they array themselves in bitter opposition to the present great work of the Lord and the promulgation of the truth concerning his plans and purposes. And as the heralds of the divine purpose spread abroad these tidings, and the great work of the Lord in this our day is shown to be along the exact lines of his revealed purposes and for the utter destruction of the present order of things, the opposition increases and both the truth and its advocates are despised and rejected. And, strange to say, many of God’s children are among the despisers, having partaken of the spirit of this world and become lukewarm and
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indifferent to God’s truth, while they have sought out many incongruous theories and devices of their own and consecrated their lives to these human purposes.
It is to such that the words of our text are addressed—”Beware, therefore, lest that come upon you which is spoken in the prophets.” What is that? It is spiritual blindness and darkness; „For the wisdom of [even] their wise men [even the honored and learned doctors of divinity, the leaders and representatives of nominal Christianity] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” „The priest and the prophet [the leaders and teachers] have erred through strong drink [being intoxicated with the spirit of the world]: they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment,” and hence cannot discern the wonderful plan and work of the Lord in this our day.—Isa. 29:14; 28:7.
Greatly to be dreaded indeed is this spiritual blindness which shuts out from view the glorious vision of God’s wonderful plan of the ages and the work of the Lord—his „strange work”—in this our day, and its glorious outcome when his wrath is overpast. Such despisers of the truth, however highly they may be esteemed among men, must fail to enter into the reward of the faithful overcomers of this age, who are to live and reign with Christ a thousand years.—Rev. 3:21; 20:6.
Let us, then, beware of that spirit which despises the instruction of the Lord, and when in his providence some human instrumentality
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is raised up in God’s own time and way to declare the divine plan and work, let us rejoice and be glad. No human instrumentality has anything in this matter whereof to boast: the work is the Lord’s, and the highest honor that any man can claim is to be his mouth-piece, his messenger. The prophecies concerning present truth were all securely closed up and sealed until this time of the end (Dan. 12:9), and no wisdom or learning could break those seals until God’s due time had come. Let us, therefore, as we now behold the work and plan of the Lord, „lift up our heads and rejoice,” remembering, as the Psalmist expresses it, that „God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth [society as at present organized] be removed, and though the mountains [kingdoms] be carried into the midst of the sea [though they be engulfed in a sea of lawlessness and anarchy]; though the waters thereof [the ungovernable masses of humanity] roar and be troubled, [as we see them now and shall see them much more so, and] though the mountains [kingdoms] shake [with fear and dread and with an uncertain stability] with the swellings thereof.”—Psa. 46:1-3.
With joy we have seen the light of truth breaking, and with joy it is our privilege to view every prophetic fulfilment, whether it be in the advancement of the truth, or in the cumulation and culmination of the troubles of this evil day; for every step of the Lord’s great work brings us nearer the glorious outcome of everlasting peace not many days hence.
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A MOMENTOUS STRUGGLE BEGUN
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I enclose you herewith another editorial from the New York Sun of Dec. 15th, 1892, on the Prof. Smith heresy case. It is of the same purport as the Dr. Briggs case, and points clearly to the inevitable dilemma of the future, either to give up the Bible or give up the creeds. The Sword of Truth is certainly doing its work effectually now, exactly as you have interpreted the Scriptures. How easily would the acceptance of the truth of the Bible settle all their disputes if they could but see it. Yours, J. C. BELL, JR.
„At last a Presbyterian heretic has been found guilty. He is the Rev. Dr. Smith, a professor in the Lane Theological Seminary of Ohio and a prominent minister of the Presbyterian church.
„The charges against him were substantially the same as those on which Dr. Briggs is now undergoing trial in New York. That is, he has taught that scientific Biblical scholarship proves that there are errors in the Scriptures.
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Like Dr. Briggs and many other distinguished and nominally orthodox Biblical critics, he rejects the Mosaic authorship of the first five books of the Bible, upon which, according to the Rev. Dr. Birch, the authority of the Gospel rests, and generally in his teachings he has been in agreement with this modern school of criticism.
„On Monday the Cincinnati Presbytery pronounced such doctrine to be contrary to the doctrine of the Bible itself and of the Westminster Confession, and it condemned Dr. Smith to suspension from the Presbyterian ministry until he renounces and recants his heretical teaching. Of course, he will not purchase his restoration at that price: and he will not be tempted to make the humiliating submission by fear that he will be burned at the stake. Even if the constituted Presbyterian authorities refuse to tolerate his doctrine, he knows that he can get toleration for it elsewhere, and even among Presbyterians themselves. The Cincinnati Presbytery convicted him by a small majority only, though his teaching is opposed to the Westminster Confession in both its spirit and its letter, and is utterly subversive of the Presbyterian faith in the Bible as held for generations past.
„If it is thus made apparent that Dr. Smith has sympathizers with his views even in the conservative Cincinnati Presbytery, how must it be here in New York, where leading Presbyterian ministers and laymen have expressed their agreement with Dr. Briggs so openly? What does his suspension amount to under such circumstances? Because of his condemnation as a heretic by the one party he is all the stronger with the other party. If the Presbyterian Church drives him out as a heretic, he is only the first of a great company of its ministers whom in justice it must condemn to go out with him.
„Dr. Smith will appeal from the Presbytery to the Ohio Synod and thence to the General Assembly, thus keeping alive an issue of tremendous importance to the Presbyterian Church. Unless the sentiment of both of these appellate courts changes radically meantime, there is no probability of his obtaining a reversal of the judgment from either of them. The great majority of the General Assembly has been strongly opposed to such views as his for two years past, and there are no indications that the opposition will be less next spring. It is more likely to become more intense. Even at the risk of dividing the denomination, the Presbyterians must hold their ministry to the teachings of their doctrinal standards, for it is better to split than to go to pieces altogether. If the Bible is not the perfect and absolutely true Word of God received by inspiration from heaven, Presbyterianism has no foundation of divine authority: it rests on human reason.
„That is the issue, and the Presbyterian Church must meet it squarely and decide it positively. It may be confused by subtle theologians like Dr. Briggs and Dr. Smith, even in their own minds, but really it is the issue between faith and agnosticism. The conviction of Dr. Smith is only the beginning of the most momentous struggle in the whole history of Protestantism.”
* * *
At this writing the decision of the New York Presbytery in the case against Dr. Briggs is announced as decided in his favor. Thus has the Presbytery of New York—one of the most influential religious bodies in the world—decided and proclaimed to the world its disbelief in the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and its conviction that the few Bible statements which measure up to Nineteenth century ideas should be treated respectfully for that reason, and that the remainder should be regarded as legends and old wives’ fables. Truly the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.—EDITOR.
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„ALWAYS FOR ALL THINGS”
„And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”—Eph. 5:15-21
From the contrast here instituted between being drunken with wine and being filled with the Spirit, as well as from the fact that Christians and not worldlings are here addressed, we understand the wine to be used as a symbol of the spirit of the world. And the Apostle here warns the children of God not to become intoxicated with the spirit of the world, but counsels us, on the contrary, to be filled with the Spirit of God. It is not enough that we banish from our hearts the spirit of the world, but we must keep filled with the holy Spirit of
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God, else the spirit of the world will come in unsolicited and take possession.
The spirit of the world—the disposition and sentiments of the world on every subject—we find all about us, and the inclination of our natural mind is in the same direction: it is the mind of the flesh, the carnal mind, the selfish mind. To partake largely of this mind or disposition is to become intoxicated with it; and this intoxication stupefies the spiritual senses and beclouds the reasoning faculties, and so greatly mystifies the vision of truth that its clear discernment is impossible. But the spirit of Christ has the very opposite effect: it is the spirit of love and of a sound mind, whose healthful tendency is to illuminate the understanding and to invigorate every noble faculty of the soul.
The effect of such spiritual invigoration and illumination is that of joy and peace and praise; and when two or three such meet their hearts naturally flow together; and while they make melody in their hearts together to the Lord, they often delight to express themselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and in prayers of thanksgiving to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Nor do such ever find themselves so beset with the cares and vexations of the present life that they can find no cause for thanksgiving; for, being graciously enlightened by the spirit of God, they know that all things, however vexing or perplexing or trying they may be, are working together for good to them that love God—to the called according to his purpose; and therefore it is their privilege to rejoice at all times and under all circumstances, and their pleasure always to give thanks to God
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for all things.
As for days of national thanksgiving, we, as citizens of the heavenly kingdom, have no special need of them; for every day should be with us a day of thanksgiving for all things—for the prosperity of our „holy nation” under the righteous authority of Christ our King, for its peace and joy and its glorious hope, for its privileges of spiritual enlightenment and blessing, for the perfection of its laws and the shaping of its course and destiny, and for the needed discipline as well, which is to prepare it for its future exaltation and glory. Let the people of the world and less enlightened Christians give thanks, as doubtless many of them do, out of a sincere heart, for the common blessings of this present life—for the air and sunshine and rain, for bountiful harvests and for seasons of comparative peace with the nations abroad. Yes, blessed be God, out of his abundant mercy, these rich blessings are common to all—to the just and to the unjust—and it is well that the attention of all men should be called to mark and consider them. But they tell of no special favor to any of the nations or kingdoms of this world, all of which, as soon as the appointed „times of the Gentiles” are fulfilled, must give place to the universal Kingdom of God. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., Chap. xiii.) God’s supervision of these in the present time is not any interference in their chosen course, but simply an over ruling of their free course so that they may not interfere with, but rather that they may ultimately minister to, his own wise ends, in the same sense as it is said that He maketh even the wrath of man to praise him.
And while the world thus marks and rejoices in, and in some cases returns thanks to God for, the truly glorious common blessings which our loving and benevolent Father showers alike upon the evil and the just, let our hearts not only rejoice in these things, but also in the higher spiritual favors bestowed upon the sons of God, giving thanks always and for all things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Truly this is a happy frame of mind to be in, and those who can do this at all times and under all circumstances have reached an enviable altitude of Christian character and experience. All about us are trials and vexations on every hand, and the man or woman who has become so superior to these that he takes cognizance only of the end to be gained by this refining process, and who therefore patiently and even thankfully submits to the painful ordeals in hope of the glorious end designed by Divine Providence, may also confidently rejoice in hope of the final reward of the overcomers.
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Along with this beautiful frame of mind produced by the indwelling spirit of God, the Apostle also links the grace of humility or submission—”submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Where the spirit of joy and thankfulness reigns pride finds no place, but each, in lowliness of mind and in the fear of God, submits himself to the other for helpful, loving counsel or criticism, to the end that so, by mutually taking heed to the word of the Lord and seeking to measure up to all its requirements, the bride of Christ may make herself ready for the marriage.
It is in view of the urgent necessity of sober watchfulness and attention to the will of the Lord regarding us that the Apostle calls upon all who are to any extent intoxicated and stupefied by the spirit of the world, saying, „Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”—Put away the worldly spirit and awake to the importance of being filled with the spirit of God, and look to him for the light that will surely follow, with its blessed, invigorating and health-giving influences.
„See then that ye walk circumspectly” [carefully, picking your steps. Oh, how carefully we must tread this narrow way!] not like ignorant persons, but as wise men, securing the season for yourselves [taking advantage of your opportunities] because the days are evil. [The times are perilous, and only by sobriety and the wisdom of meekness shall we be able to walk this narrow way to its glorious terminus.]
„Wherefore,” he adds, „be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” And may the will of God and the joy and peace of God fill our hearts and leave no room for the spirit of the world to intrude upon us.
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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.
JOSHUA THE TYPICAL HIGH PRIEST
I. QUAR., LESSON IV., JAN. 22, ZECH. 3:1-10
Golden Text—”Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”—Heb. 4:14
Although this chapter is not stated to be a vision, that is the inference. It will be remembered that a mixed multitude of those who trusted in God’s promises, out of all the tribes, had returned from Babylon to the Holy Land. They had endeavored as best they could to restore the temple and its services, and Joshua was the High Priest; but withal their matters were in but a poor condition, very unlike the former glory of Solomon’s time. The object of this vision was in part, no doubt, to encourage the then fainting hearts of Israel, and to lead them to trust in the acceptableness of their humble arrangements for God’s service.
However, the vision’s special significance is as a prophecy, in which the literal Joshua, of the prophet’s time, has nothing whatever to do. Our interpretation of the vision, briefly stated, would be about as follows:—
Joshua typified the entire „Church of the first-born ones” during the present life—beset and opposed by their adversary, Satan. Our Lord Jesus is represented by the head and his consecrated followers by the body of the typical High Priest. All are opposed by the same adversary, for „He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” The body of Joshua was represented as clothed in filthy garments—which represents the fact that „all our [the Church’s] righteousness is as filthy rags.”
The change of raiment typifies the removal of our sins and the providing instead of Christ’s righteousness in and through God’s arranged way—Christ’s sacrifice—which was not then made known. The announcement of the angel to the cleansed Joshua (verse 7) corresponds to the Church’s high-calling to the divine nature and Kingdom of God after its members have been justified by faith in Christ.
VERSE 8 addresses Joshua separately from the under priesthood (—his body—just as our Lord and the royal priesthood under him—his body—are sometimes addressed separately), telling them that they are not the reality, but merely types of the true Christ. „Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, and thy companions, sitting before thee, for they are sign-men [or types]. For, lo, I am about to bring in my [Real] Servant
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the Sprout”—a fresh sprout—one not of the old Adamic stock, blighted and dying because of original sin, but a new sprout, having fresh vitality: holy, harmless and separate from sinners, and yet a man—”the man Christ Jesus.”
Using another symbol, a stone, the Chief Corner Stone, to represent this coming One, verse 9 declares: „Behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua [the type]. Upon that one stone rest seven eyes [perfect or divine wisdom, seven representing perfection and an eye representing knowledge]. Behold, I will engrave the engraving thereof, saith Jehovah of hosts. [God is superintending the engraving of his character and law upon all the „living stones” of the Church—the body of Christ—as surely as he superintended the trial development of our Lord, the Chief Corner Stone: as it is written, They shall be all taught of God.]—1 Pet. 2:4-7.
„And I will remove the iniquity [unfruitfulness, etc., as well as sin] of the land in one day [the Millennial Day—”a day with the Lord is as a thousand years” with men]. „In that day, saith Jehovah of hosts, ye shall call every man his neighbor, under the vine and under the fig tree.”
The Golden Text is very appropriate. Our Lord, the Captain of our salvation, has been proved perfect through obedience to the things which he suffered; and now, in the completing of his body-members, he stands not only as our Redeemer, to make us fit to stand trial under the high-calling; and also as our Example of how to overcome, but more: he, as our High Priest, makes good our unintentional shortcomings, and also stands ready to succor all his consecrated members—promising that we shall not be tempted above that we are able to bear, because he will provide, for such, ways of escape.
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ZERUBBABEL THE TYPICAL BUILDER
I. QUAR., LESSON V., JAN. 29, ZECH. 4:1-10
Golden Text—”Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts.”—Verse 6
This, like the vision of the preceding lesson, was doubtless intended to encourage the Israelites living at the time it was given; but, like
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it also, its chief lesson belonged not to them, but to us.—1 Pet. 1:12.
The golden candlestick (literally, lamp) with seven branches (or burners) is the same as that which, in the typical Tabernacle and Temple, shed the only light of „The Holy.” The same seven lamps in one are brought to our attention in the Book of Revelation (1:20), and there explained to symbolize the Church of Christ during the present time. The seven represents perfection or completeness; hence as a whole the lamp-stand represents all the true saints or light-bearers in all the various phases of the Nominal Church development.—Rev. 2:1,5.
The oil represents the holy spirit which, burning in the true believers, causes the illumination of the sanctified in Christ Jesus.
The two olive trees from which the olive oil proceeds to the seven lamps we understand to be typical of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments—God’s two witnesses. The holy spirit is „the spirit of the truth;” and God’s Word is truth! God explained this to Zerubbabel (verse 6), saying, „Not by an army nor by force but by my spirit [the spirit of the Truth—the spirit or influence of God given through his exceeding great and precious promises, etc.—the olive trees—(2 Pet. 1:4) the Word], saith Jehovah of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain before Zerubbabel? Thou shalt become a plain, and he shall bring on the headstone with shoutings of, Grace, grace unto it.”
A mountain symbolizes a kingdom; and the one here represented as an obstruction before Zerubbabel typifies Satan’s kingdom—the dominion of evil under the Prince of this world. Zerubbabel typifies Christ. His name signifies „a shoot [or sprout] out of Babylon.” Literally, he was a son or shoot out of David and Jesse (as our Lord also is called), and secondly, as a sprout out of Babylon [confusion], he was a further type of Christ, who was out of, and yet separate from, sin and all mixture of evil. Undoubtedly the people of that day understood Zerubbabel to be the branch or shoot mentioned in the vision of Chapter 3:8, not realizing that Zerubbabel and Joshua were but types of Christ, in whom the two offices of King and Priest would be combined.
VERSES 9,10 blend the type and the antitype. Zerubbabel had begun the rebuilding of the literal Temple, and the people understood that it would be completed by him. They might not then despise the humble beginning of the work, but rejoice to see it progress under his direction—realizing that the seven eyes (i.e., the perfect wisdom of God which holds survey of all the earth) were superintending the work.
The real application of these verses is to Christ, who began the construction of the true Temple of God—”which temple ye are.” His earthly ministry and the work of his followers have all along seemed small and weak, and far from what might be expected by any respecting so great a Temple for so grand a purpose. But those who realize the situation from God’s standpoint can rejoice in the outcome, realizing the Lord’s promise that „the day of small
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things,” the day of suffering, the day of trials, will soon give place to the Millennial Day of joy, perfection and blessing. The despised „little flock,” whom the world knows not, even as it knew not its Master, will soon be glorified with him, and share his Kingdom. The poor, rich in faith, and those that are nought, and that are despised, and that are foolish according to the wisdom of this world, are soon to be gloriously manifested as the Sons of God, the body of Christ and the embodiment of divine wisdom and power and love, that as his Kingdom they, with Christ their Lord and Head, may, as the „Sun of Righteousness,” shine forth in blessing and life to the groaning creation—already redeemed by the precious blood.
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ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM EARNEST WORKERS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—The TOWER, to which I subscribed some time since, comes regularly to hand, and is much enjoyed by myself and wife. I note that you like to hear from subscribers, and I thought it might not be uninteresting to you to learn that I am one of those into whose hands „Food for Thinking Christians” [now out of print] fell, in London, about the year 1881. I had several years previously given up as entirely unscriptural and ridiculous the wretched dogma of eternal torment and the inherent immortality of mankind. I remember well your book being loaned to me by a friend, and my taking it home, sitting up all night and literally devouring its contents. Unfortunately it was read too quickly for perfect digestion and assimilation, but looking back, I can see now that it was not altogether seed sown by the wayside. I have been wandering about among the sects all these years since, „seeking rest and finding none,” becoming successively a Methodist, a Disciple, a Baptist and again a Methodist. I have been clinging to the latter church, because it seemed to me that it had more love and zeal than some of the other denominations, but I have had no sympathy whatever with the erroneous doctrines I knew it to be teaching.
A year ago, in Baltimore, it was my good fortune to meet a Baptist brother who had been reading the DAWNS. He kindly lent me the volumes, one after another. I again swallowed their contents—getting through the three books in a little over a week, besides verifying most of the passages. I can scarcely tell you the change they have wrought in my whole religious life. I have been set to thinking as I have never thought before; and the blessed Word of God, which has to a large extent hitherto been a sealed book to me, is now unfolding to my mind in a truly wonderful manner. It is now my only study, and I have renounced all worldly ambition in order that I can find out fully what is the will of God concerning me, and that I may learn how best to do it. Many times in the past I have felt sick at heart at the thought that it seemed impossible to learn the truth fully, in view of the extraordinarily divergent teachings of the numerous sects, all claiming to expound the Bible aright; but it has been my humble and constant prayer to the good Lord to lead me into the light; and now, thank God, I feel that my prayer, to a very large extent, has been answered, and I am still trusting to the same leadings of the energizing and illuminating Spirit of God, praying fervently that the Word may yet become a „Lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.”
I am glad to tell you that I was found by Brother Hewes some two months ago, when he called at my house selling DAWNS. Since then myself and wife have been meeting regularly at his house for study of the Word, singing and prayer, and these meetings have been wonderfully profitable to us. I have read, re-read and am still reading DAWNS with increasing interest and profit, and so is my dear wife; and we do feel that you have been the means, in the Lord’s hands, of disseminating the needed light upon much of Scripture hitherto hidden, but now due to be revealed, and we are abundantly thankful to him therefor.
Yours in the one hope, W. J. C__________.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I am impelled to write and thank you for the last TOWER, especially the article, „Obedience Better than Sacrifice.” It has been a great blessing to me, not only in awaking me to a realization of my own condition, but also in aiding me to regain at least a partial footing in the way of light and peace. The devil has surely been leading me by a quiet and subtle way into a condition of lethargy and doubt that found me, on awaking, nearly in the „outer darkness.”
No doubt from a spirit of pride and overconfidence I was easily assailed. He began by persuading me that many of the expressions used in the TOWER, as regards false doctrines, were uncalled for. While I did not feel in sympathy
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with such doctrines and theories, yet I can see now that he was leading me as an „angel of light,” very stealthily but surely in this and other ways. I had partially realized it as I had begun to lose that rest and peace which should be ours; but your article seemed to be sent of God to awaken me, and lead me back. I assure you, dear brother, I feel my own unworthiness and weakness, and for a time I hardly dared to look up; but I know he is willing to help me.
Just at the proper time the devil caused the enclosed article on „Inspiration” to come in my way, and I seemed in just the condition for it to cause a disturbance—a doubtful spirit. How thankful that I was awakened before it was too late!
My object in writing you is not only to thank you, but to ask you to pray for me. I need it. Pray that I may be given a spirit of humility and strength to obey, and that my own will and pride may be subdued. Oh, I am so anxious. Your article was indeed to me „a word in season.” I thank God for it! How forcibly I have learned to know the meaning of Paul’s words, „Let him who thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Pray for me!
TOWER PUBLISHING CO., DEAR BRETHREN:—
… Robed in his righteousness, I am looking forward to be clothed upon with a glorious body, to have this mortal put on immortality, to when there will be no more a law in the body at variance with the law of the mind; but alas! before I am made meet for an entrance upon this inheritance of the saints in light, how much cleansing from the filthiness of the flesh, how much washing with water by the Word, I need; how much refining before the dross is all consumed, and how little will there be left. Nothing left but the will to be one with the members of his anointed body—one in Him.
Yours in our blessed Redeemer,
W. C. BROWN.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Enclosed please find $1.00 for the TOWER for ’93. It can never be more appreciated than it has been, for it is more precious to me than its weight in fine gold. It has been like a mirror in aiding me to adjust the robe which my Master has given me, that I might appear at the royal marriage of the King—where (if I hold out faithful unto the end) I hope to meet you. I see so much to be done, by way of adorning the robe; and all I can do makes me realize all the more that it is all of Christ and nothing of self; yet I love to „wait upon the Lord.” Yea, I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord than to dwell in a palace.
It seems as if I am now a mere drone in the bee-hive of earnest workers, but I leave that all to the Master of the harvest. He knows my heart. Paul tells us, „Having done all, stand;” and here is the standing in which patience is to have her perfect work. I find it requires strength from above to do this. I have done all I could, and now I am just resting with childlike confidence in my Lord, for he has answered my petition for strength to so do.
Yours in the blessed hope,
MRS. S. H. RAY.
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I enclose you a dollar for renewal of TOWER for 1893. Being a newspaper publisher of over thirteen years experience, I know the value of prompt renewals. The dollar in advance saves interest, saves disappointment and worry, and gives the sender an easy conscience. I would not do without the TOWER if I had to live on two meals a day until I saved the money to pay for it. Its teachings are priceless to the true child of God. May its influence for good increase from year to year, and be the means of scattering light and truth to the uttermost parts of the earth.
J. E. A__________.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I should like, if possible, to express to you my love and thankfulness for the blessings I have received through the reading of ZION’S WATCH TOWER during the year just closed. Many times have I been seemingly cold and despondent when the TOWER would come so full of rich food that in reading it the fire of zeal would glow in my heart, and I would feel like shouting praises to God, the Father, who has prepared such great things for his children. All praise to God, who gave his Son to die for us—and not for us, only, but also for the whole world—and to Christ, our blessed Redeemer.
May his favor ever abide with you and Sister Russell, that you may hand out meat in due season during the year just ahead. A happy new year to you both, is my prayer. I am glad to feel that I am remembered by you at the throne of grace, that the grand truths may become more clear to me.
Yours, in the Redeemer, J. F. SHEHORN.
„With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”