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VOL. XXIV. NOVEMBER 15, 1903. No. 22
Views From the Watch Tower……………………419
The Battle of the Great Day………………419
Making Hades too Hot……………………420
Bishop Fowler on Money and
„I Have Chosen Him”…………………………426
„The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning
What a Triumph of His Grace it
Public Ministries of the Truth………………432
Items: The Pittsburg Gazette…………………418
Increased Price of Dawns………………415
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WORDS TO BE REMEMBERED
„Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness sake.”
„They shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”—Jesus.
THE PITTSBURGH GAZETTE
In our last issue we mentioned the engagement of the Gazette to publish Pastor Russell’s Sunday Sermons every Monday, and proposed a clubbing rate for the Gazette and the Watch Tower for a year at $3.25 (13s. 7d.) We now add, that those who have already subscribed for the WATCH TOWER need be at no disadvantage on this account: they may send us if they choose $2.25 (9s. 5d.) more, and we will see that they get the Gazette. If for any reason the publication of the discourses should be discontinued, the pro rata amount will be refunded.
Our British friends may send their subscriptions to the London office, in the usual way, from whence they will be transmitted to us.
The British Branch will also be able to supply the special edition containing the complete report of the recent debates at the same rate as supplied here, viz., 1d. per copy, or 1/2d. each for 50 copies and over.
Our own stock of the special issue of the Gazette containing all the debates is large enough to supply any quantity ordered. Friends are using these reports to good purpose amongst denominational people, whose prejudices sometimes hinders their acceptance of a tract. A perusal of the two sides presented leads to further inquiries concerning the Truth. We already have quite a number of reports along this line.
These are now in stock in large quantity. Every letter you send through the mail may be a more or less potent messenger of the truth, even on its outside by the use of these envelopes. They catch the attention not only of those to whom they are addressed, but postmen and others have an opportunity, and often the curiosity, to read their message of peace,—the gospel in a condensed form. Cheap, too,—25c. per hundred, post paid.
INCREASED PRICE OF DAWNS IV., V., VI.
In consequence of raise of prices for printing and binding just after we had reduced our price on cloth-bound DAWNS, we have been selling all volumes of the series at a loss for the past six months. The loss has been specially heavy on the thicker volumes, and we now feel compelled to increase the price on these to 40 cents, plus 10 cents postage. Subscribers’ wholesale rate 20 cents plus 10 cents postage. These prices take effect Nov. 1, 1903.
Volume VI. will have over 700 pages and is hoped for in December. Those who have already paid for it at old prices need not send additionally.
WATCH TOWER BINDERS
Remember, that we have these in good supply at 50 cents each, delivery free. Each Binder will hold two years’ issues, and they are very convenient for easy reference and preserving the papers from injury and soiling.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY
As illustrating the progress being made toward the condition described in the Bible as that of the immediate future, when „every man’s hand shall be against his neighbor” (Zech. 14:13; Ezek. 32:21), we give below without comment copies of two circulars being widely distributed among manufacturers—urging them to organize for mutual protection against the „unreasonable” demands of organized labor. These purport to go forth from The Press of the National Association of Manufacturers. The two circulars follow:—
WHITHER ARE WE DRIFTING?
At the late meeting of the American Federation of Labor, held in New Orleans, the following resolution came within four hundred votes of being adopted:
Whereas, Capital being the product of all the toilers of the human race, and as wages can never be regarded as the full equivalent for labor performed, and since it is the mission of the trades-unions to protect the wage earner against oppression, and to fully secure the toilers’ disenthrallment from every species of injustice; therefore be it
Resolved, That this twenty-second annual convention of the American federation of Labor advise the working people to organize their economic and political power to secure for labor the full equivalent of its toil and the OVERTHROW OF THE WAGE SYSTEM, AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRIAL CO-OPERATIVE DEMOCRACY.
This resolution was introduced by delegate Max Hayes, one of the radical socialists from Cleveland, Ohio. In the final action on this resolution the socialistic element almost secured control of the convention. The struggle lasted a full day. The debate on the resolution was the most exciting of the meeting. John Mitchell’s United Mine Workers’ organization cast one thousand eight hundred and four votes solidly for this resolution. This is the organization which evoked so much maudlin sentiment and brought the whole country to its knees in the Anthracite strike. It is confidently prophesied that the socialists will be in full control of the Trades-Union movement in the United States by the time of the next A. F. of L. Convention.
Max Hayes’ resolution means that there is to be an attack upon the productive wealth of the country. Productive wealth, as interpreted by the socialists, means capital, factories, plants, machinery, railroads, etc. The socialists mean to take possession of all the money and private properties. Not content with getting their share of the consumable wealth of the nation, clothing, food, etc., which is being distributed more generously and cheaply to the people than ever before in the history of the world, the followers of Hayes are determined
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to seize upon all the productive wealth. It has been estimated that if all the productive wealth of the country were to be divided up equally among the inhabitants of the United States that there would be but Two Hundred dollars for each person. Yet Hayes and his followers are determined to seize this two hundred dollars if they can get the backing. The basis of this movement is human greed and envy. Unless this movement is checked, it will lead to enormous industrial damage to the United States, for nothing but chaos and anarchy can come from a proposition to seize the private property of individuals. These are the people who are demanding that the political and commercial destinies of the United States be intrusted into their hands!
Is it time to organize?
ANTI-INJUNCTION LAW OR REBELLION
The special committee which reported on President Gompers’ annual report at the recent American Federation of Labor meeting at New Orleans, said in connection with the anti-conspiracy bill now pending in Congress:
„The use of injunction in labor disputes is becoming more and more general; its value to the employer and its danger to the workmen is becoming better and better understood. It is an effort to retain through judicial decisions and orders, the power over the working people, which has long been legislatively surrendered, and seems to have as its governing cause the concept that the ownership of a mine, a factory or a means of transportation, carries with its ownership so much of the working power of the laboring class as will make such factory, mine or means of transportation profitable to its owner. This concept has in it an idea of peonage (the word „Peon” is of Spanish-American origin, meaning a debtor held by his creditor in a form of qualified servitude, to work out a debt), which, if permitted to grow, will re-establish peonage in its most objectionable form. If through the use of the equity power vested in the Courts, our rights as workers to quit work at will, and to induce others to quit with us, can be taken away, then the peaceable evolution toward industrial democracy is cut off, and the workers will be compelled to look to more REVOLUTIONARY measures for redress of existing grievances, and the obtaining of better conditions in the future. If we are permitted to withdraw our labor in unison from any establishment where we have grievances to be redressed, then the development may go on the lines of the development in England toward political democracy, through parliamentary control over taxation and appropriation. If it is to be taken away, then we might as well now realize that PEACEABLE DEVELOPMENT will stop, and the POLITICAL HISTORY
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OF FRANCE WILL BE THE INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY. For these reasons your Committee recommends that NO EFFORTS BE SPARED TO INDUCE THE LEGISLATIVE POWER TO CURTAIL THE JUDICIARY BRANCH OF OUR GOVERNMENT BY THE ENACTMENT OF THE ANTI-INJUNCTION BILL.”
The report of this Committee was enthusiastically concurred in, and so well pleased were the delegates with the President’s attitude towards employers, that immediately thereafter, upon proper motion, Gompers’ salary was increased $500 a year.
Thus it will be seen that Organized Labor never intends to stop, until it can secure class legislation by which the BOYCOTT and the PICKET are to be LEGALIZED, and every employer in this country be placed at the mercy of agitators, who hold for the employing class nothing but envy and hatred. This program of terrorization and despoliation can only be met with an organization which will embrace every manufacturer in the United States.
Is it not time to organize?
Six Washington City Churches formed a Base Ball League, and during the past season contested every day, except Sunday, from May 18 to July 25. Let us hope that this liberal attention to „bodily exercise” did not trench too heavily upon the hours usually set apart for prayer and the study of the divine Word. The following Churches composed the Association:
Calvary Baptist Church,
Fourth Presbyterian Church,
Gunton-Temple Presbyterian Church,
Sixth Presbyterian Church,
Temple Baptist Church,
Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church.
MAKING HADES TOO HOT
A passion for accuracy seems to beset a revivalist in Texas. His idea of the best way to get people to heaven is to frighten them about hell, and he gives them exact facts. For instance he tells them that the temperature of hell is four hundred and fifty-three degrees Fahrenheit. On what he bases his calculations we do not know. But this we do know, and we wish to state it for the comfort of his hearers: If they fell into such a heat they would not know whether it was hot or cold, and there would be absolutely no feeling of any kind, but instantaneous annihilation.
It is a comfort to think that today the man who talks about the temperature of hell seems simply a humorous creature and is taken no more seriously than an old nurse with ghost stories. As to the man who tries to preach the hideous theory that in frightful torments of heat human beings are kept alive and constantly tortured by a „merciful Creator,” his statements are now considered blasphemous. No man would dare to make them, save to the most ignorant and degraded audience.—Exchange.
BISHOP FOWLER ON MONEY AND SALVATION
„Salvation is reduced to a question of dollars and cents.”
„Now, don’t misunderstand me. The goblins’ll get you if you do.”
These were the characteristic words of Bishop Charles H. Fowler in his address to the ministers and laymen of the Cincinnati Methodist Episcopal Church Conference Saturday morning. Bishop Fowler said further: „We have the doctrine, the Redeemer, the experience, the schools; we have the railroads, the steamships; we have masters of languages—all we need is money. We have everything else. A famous New York layman once said, ‚If you will give me enough money, I will make a Christian city of New York in thirty years.’ I say to you, ‚Give me money and I will make a Christian city of Cincinnati in thirty years.’ I would let the old sinners go anywhere they please, but I would save the young ones and the little ones. You can’t make a Christian city of Cincinnati on one-half a cent per person. The world must be conquered, and money is needed with which to do it. I want you laymen of the Cincinnati conference to be diligent in business. Get the money. The more you have the easier it will be to get still more. A soul set on fire for the Infinite God can’t get money enough. I want you to believe all I have said. Do as much as you can without utterly disrupting your moral natures.”—Daily News.
ANOTHER WAY OF „COUNTING THE COST”
Discussing the cost of „soul saving” as between the expenses of large and small churches the Brooklyn Standard Union says:
From 248 churches, evenly divided into large and small, it is shown that the cost of new converts is almost twice as much in the former as in the latter, ranging from $262.22 to $150.14, though the average annual expenditure of each member when safely in the fold is much more nearly equal—$14.09 against $13.05.
Of course the inevitable question, Does it pay? must be met by the churches, as well as by every other form of human organization and activity, and as with all other forms of the higher and better types, the attempt to answer it would be idle. One might as well ask, Does the family, the State, society at large, pay? There are fortunately some equations of life in which the factors are not convertible, and where to ask the question is to admit that its answer is impossible. A better form of the inquiry may be found in a book once read more than it is today, „What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” It may be just as well once in a while to admit that there are some things which cannot be expressed in the terms of daily business, that cannot be measured by dollars and cents, and that the institutions, no matter by what name called, which go to make the world better worth living in, even though they require money and a good deal of it, are worth all they cost. The little churches, particularly, and those who love them and work for them, may well take heart.
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„LIFE is a battle,” some one has truly said. We see amongst the brute creation a constant struggle for existence, and it is the same with humanity. In business competition it is a battle; in politics the strife goes on continually; in the family, between the parents and the children, there is frequently strife for mastery; and throughout the world it is largely each family for itself and each individual for himself, all this strife being along the lines of ambition and selfishness, sometimes almost to the extent of necessity.
The Lord’s soldiers were recruited from these miserable conditions, but to another and different warfare—a war against selfishness, avarice, covetousness and all unrighteous, all unloving methods, all sin.—The Captain of our Salvation is our exemplar, whose methods of warfare we are to copy. Although he was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners,
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he was an inveterate foe to sin, and laid down his life in opposing it. All who would be accepted as followers of the cross must follow his example—”faithful even unto death”—if they would have the great prize, the crown of life.
As we look at the world of which we once were a part, „Children of wrath even as others,” we see that all of its strife is for some purpose. The politician strives for emoluments and sometimes for honor; the merchant strives for affluence and wealth; the struggles in the social arena are for place and influence. These are their prizes, and in their efforts to attain their ideals many are the sacrifices that are endured, many are the risks that are run, many are the night vigils and careful plans and schemes and plottings. Nevertheless, few of those who strive ever attain to their hearts’ desires. The prize eludes their grasp; and the more fortunate ones who do grasp the prizes find that there is much bitterness connected with the success, much disappointment as to the real pleasure accompanying them. The Apostle compares these earthly ambitions of the world with the higher ambitions of the soldiers of the Lord’s army. He points out that those who strive in earthly matters, either as race runners or as prize fighters in any department of the strife of earth, put themselves to certain tests of patience, endurance and self-denial in their endeavors to attain their ambitions; and he indicates that much more the soldiers of the cross should highly esteem the great prize for which we are called to fight the good fight—the prize of life eternal. The Apostle says, „Every man that striveth is temperate in all things: now they do it to attain a corruptible crown [reward], but we an incorruptible.”
These who strive for earthly prizes do so in the face of much uncertainty. Every politician admits the strong probability of his defeat; every one who seeks wealth will acknowledge a strong probability that he will fail in his fight for it; but not so with the soldiers of the cross. The prize is not only superlatively great and grand and incorruptible, but it is a certainty, as the Apostle adds, „I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.” We know that faithfulness as followers of our Captain will bring results not only blessed to ourselves, but results which will be under the Lord’s providences a blessing to all the families of the earth. It is in view of this certainty on our part as to the results and the grandeur thereof that the Apostle intimates that we, as soldiers of the cross, should be willing to endure much greater hardness and self-denial and buffeting for the sake of the cause we represent than would those who strive for the earthly crowns and prizes. And if they practice self-denial and disciplines late and early, in season and out of season, when convenient and when inconvenient, whether of food and drink if preparing for some physical contest, or of comforts and conveniences and pleasures if for political or business contests, much more should we not be slothful in our business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, fighting the good fight of faith, laying hold on eternal life as a sure thing, not an uncertainty. The Apostle applies this thought too, saying, „I keep my body under [its ambitions, appetites, desires], and bring it into subjection [to the new mind]: lest by any means when I have preached to others I myself should be a castaway [rejected from being a member of the little flock].”—1 Cor. 9:25-28.
The first essential in becoming a soldier of the cross is a proper understanding of the only terms of enlistment—that it is not for an occasion, nor for a year, but for life. Many err on this point, and after fighting faithfully in a few skirmishes they seem to have the impression that they have fulfilled the conditions of their enlistment, and drift into some other service, some other kind of fighting, or into a slothful, indifferent ease in the presence of the enemy and the evil against which they pledged themselves to war a good warfare even unto death. Such occasionally get revived under the stimulus of the Gospel or mental excitement, and for a time fight a little more, only to relapse again into indifference and slothfulness. Some even plume themselves upon these repeated reenlistments and purpose further reenlistments before they die, not discerning that this is a wrong view of the situation—that no volunteers are accepted save upon the terms of the Captain: „Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Such need to see that participation in a few battles is not the condition of our call and enlistment, and that the rewards—glory, honor and immortality—which the Lord has promised to the faithful cannot be expected by those who do not fight the good fight faithfully and continuously. We are not here discussing what portion will come to those who are careless in respect to the terms of their enlistment. We are not saying whether their portion will be in the „great company” or elsewhere; but we are seeking to make clear that none can be counted worthy of a place in the little flock, in the glory of the Kingdom, unless he shall have the proper appreciation of his enlistment, and have been, at heart at least, thoroughly loyal to and active in the defence of the principles for which his covenant stands committed—the principles of righteousness at any cost, even unto death.
It will be found a great help to the weaknesses of the fallen nature to have understandingly made a full consecration of the will,—a full enlistment of every power and talent of mind and of body. He who takes this proper view of his consecration to the Lord and
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enlistment in the Lord’s army, realizes that he has nothing more to give to the Lord, and hence, whatever struggle of the will he may have is all ended when he has finally decided—”As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The others, who do not so recognize the matter, have continually a battle with their wills before they can engage in any measure in defence of the Truth. How important it is, therefore, that all the soldiers realize that the term of the enlistment is until death, and that there is no room for even considering any suggestion to withdraw from the battle and cease even for an hour to fight the good fight of faith.
The new recruits to the Lord’s army frequently have difficulty with themselves because of the very different kind of fighting to which the Lord’s soldiers are called. Used to fighting in the battle of life as members of the fallen race, a battle for the Lord along the same lines is the natural tendency—with carnal weapons, carnal objects, actions, methods, etc. Such, however, are to heed the voice of the Captain, to fight only as he directs—for righteousness instead of unrighteousness, for love and generosity, and against selfishness instead of for selfishness. They may not even take the suggestions of certain moral reformers and begin a battle for pure politics nor for total abstinence nor for social uplift—because the Captain’s commands have not been along these lines. They may, nay they should, feel a deep sympathy with all of these commendable efforts, and should smile rather than frown upon them; but their time, their influence, their talents may not go in these directions, however much their sympathy may go toward them, because they are under the orders of the Captain. They are not fighting at their own charges nor to accomplish their own wills; they are not the heads of the army, but the subordinate members, and thus look for their directions to the Captain. He has called them for a special purpose, and has given them particular instructions respecting the same, and their every energy and talent, not absorbed in procuring the necessities of life, must be considered as devoted and beyond their control.
After enlistment each soldier should expect his share of the provided armor—helmet, breastplate, sandals, shield and sword; and his first work must be to put on this armor—to prepare himself. The armory from which these articles can be obtained is the Word of God, which is so well stocked that „The man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work.” (2 Tim. 3:17.) He who rushes into a fight without waiting to hear the Captain’s command and without waiting to put on the armor provided, is certain to meet with measurable defeat and a disaster more or less consequential. Would that every soldier who enlists could realize the necessity for hearkening to the Word of God, and appropriating to himself the armor of Truth which it provides. The helmet, representing the Truth, which would fortify the Lord’s soldiers intellectually by giving them a clear and intelligent appreciation of his plan, is necessary; the breastplate, which represents the knowledge of righteousness and an appreciation of God’s provision for our covering in the great redemptive sacrifice, is also essential as a covering for our hearts, for our spiritual protection; the sandals, representing our expectation of trials and difficulties in the narrow way and our readiness to accept them all, with the assurance that they would all work for our good, are indispensable; also the shield of faith, which grows larger and larger in proportion as it is handled and used, is very important; no soldier can possibly acquit himself acceptably to the Captain except he have such a shield—without it he would be exposed to the darts of the enemy. Notwithstanding his having on the whole armor, the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword, must not be forgotten. He who has not on part of the armor will be unable to keep the foes of righteousness at a respectful distance; and this sword becomes stronger and larger in the hands of the soldier as he
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grasps it firmly at the hilt and uses it in his battles for the Lord and the Truth.
Many soldiers in the Lord’s army are surprised to learn that the Captain’s name is the Prince of Peace, and that all the enlisted ones are expected to battle for peace. The matter seems at first to be contradictory. Battling is warfare, peace is the result; we are called to be soldiers and called to be peacemakers. Many of the soldiers, without waiting to learn the rules and commands of the Captain, without waiting to study the proper use of the sword of the Spirit, spring courageously into the fight and begin to wound their neighbors, their friends, and sometimes their fellow soldiers in the Lord’s army. This is a great mistake: this is an attempt to use the spiritual weapons in a carnal manner and is contrary to the example and word of our Captain. All such would do best to put up their swords again—to refrain from using the word of God in a belligerent manner, in a smiting way against those with whom they have to do. We must learn who is our foe, and not recklessly and blindly smite down any and everything opposing us.
But some one inquires, Are we not to smite down error, and does not this mean the smiting of those who uphold the error? We answer that those all about us who are upholding error, and those who despitefully use us and persecute us because we are on the Lord’s side, are blinded by ignorance, and it is not the Lord’s intention that we should fight against them;—rather we would fight for them to lift them out of their ignorance and blindness, their superstition. So the Lord expressed it when he said, „The Son of man came
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not to destroy men’s lives,” but that they might have life, and that more abundantly. He has not changed in the interim; he still has the same generous sentiment toward the poor world that he had when he died, when he tasted death for every man. The Apostle will instruct us who are our foes. He says, „We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers and wicked spirits in exalted positions.”—Eph. 6:12.
Ah, then, our real opponents are the fallen angels, the demons; and our poor fallen fellow creatures who oppose us and who oppose righteousness do so because they are under the power of Satan, more or less blinded by his sophistries and deceptions,—as it is written, „The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not”—has deceived the whole world.—(2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:2,3.) Our sentiment against all opposers of righteousness amongst men should therefore be that of benevolence and compassion, realizing that they are under the Adversary’s power, though they know it not. And if we suffer at their hands as soldiers of the cross, our sentiments should be, „Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.”—”Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” As the Apostle Peter explained respecting those who crucified the Lord Jesus, that in ignorance they did it, so we should regard that present oppositions to righteousness and to those who are on the Lord’s side are largely the results of ignorance and superstition, and of the blindness which comes from the great deceiver against whom we are enlisted and seeking to fight a good fight.
Our good fight of faith, as the Apostle explains, consists in a considerable measure in our defense of the Word of God, which includes also our defence of the character of God. This is implied in the Apostle’s words, „Contend [fight earnestly] for the faith once delivered unto the saints.” This will mean our willingness to stand for the Truth at any cost and against any number of assailants—against the creeds and theories of men, which would misrepresent the good tidings of great joy which the Lord and the Apostles have announced, and which shall, thank God, yet be unto all people. As the Apostle again says, „I am set for the defence of the Truth.” We can do no less than defend the Truth. The Truth is God’s representative, Christ’s representative, and hence our standard, and as true soldiers we must defend our standard, even unto death. Not every truth, however; for although we may feel in sympathy with all truth yet we are enlisted under a Captain whose command indicates that it is one special line of truth that we are to defend with our lives—the truth of divine revelation—the divine message, the Gospel, the good tidings of redemption through the precious blood, forgiveness of sins, and in general the divine plan of salvation as set forth in the inspired Word. It will be noticed that his measurably ignores truth on other lines, on mathematics, on astronomy, geology, not to mention other sciences falsely so called, respecting which the Lord has given us no revelation—respecting which, therefore, his sword of Truth has never been sent offensively nor defensively. It is for the „faith once delivered unto the saints,” and that only, that the soldiers of the cross are to battle.
We have already noticed that the contesting is not to be with carnal weapons, even when it is for the faith once delivered unto the saints; and by carnal weapons we understand more to be meant than many at first surmise. Not merely are swords, spears and guns carnal weapons, but anger, malice, hatred, strife and a general contesting and combative spirit are all carnal weapons; and whenever these are used in defence of the Lord’s good cause they do it injury instead of benefit, whatever the users may intend. It is important to remember that all the soldiers fighting in this battle for the Truth win not by injuring others, but by showing to others such noble examples of fidelity to the principles of righteousness (truth) even unto death, as will commend to them the Lord and his cause. Those who fight with anger and malice and strife, who fight carnally, misrepresent the Captain, however unintentionally, and do injury to his cause. There are many of these fighters who are not warring a good warfare, not fighting a good fight, and who will consequently fail of the chief reward—the glory, honor, immortality and joint-heirship with the Lord in the Kingdom.
It may be inquired, then, How can these soldiers expect to have any battle if they abstain from carnal warfare either with their hands or their tongues, speaking only that which is good, and endeavoring so much as lieth in them to live peaceably with all men? How can such soldiers have any battle at all? who would contend with them? Surely, says one, it is not supposable that the world would battle or in any wise injure or oppose those who seek only its good, its welfare, its blessing, its peace. Nay but, we answer, the Master suffered for his fidelity to the faith once delivered, and forewarned us, saying, „Marvel not if the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” „The world loveth darkness rather than light.” Guided by the Master’s words, we look to see what constituted the world from his standpoint. We perceive that he could not have meant that the enemies of the saints would be wholly nor chiefly the hoodlum element of society, the thieves and thugs and murderers. Not from these are we to expect the
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hatred and persecution which, the Lord forewarned us, all true soldiers would experience from the world. When the Master said that the world hated him, we perceive that it was not the heathen or Gentile world, but the religious world as we might term it—the churchianity of his day—the chief priests and scribes and Pharisees who took counsel against him and who finally secured his execution. It was the same professedly religious world that through the dark ages persecuted the light and the Truth even unto death, and it is the same nominally religious world, deficient in the Spirit of the Lord surely, and more or less blinded by the god of this world, which will continue to be the persecuting power against the soldiers of the cross down to the very close of this dispensation—until the last soldier of the cross shall have proven faithful unto death and the elect company shall be finished.
Here we get the broad view that the heathen religions are all of Satan, that he has misled the heathen people into gross darkness, and that whatever measure of superstition and darkness still clings to Christianity is so much the power of Satan working in and through those who are nominally and professedly the Lord’s people. The soldiers of the cross all down through this Gospel age, following the example of the Captain and of his lieutenants, the apostles, have held up the banner of Truth, the light, not aggressively but defensively, and have been considered faithful in proportion as they have endured hardness with meekness and patience and long-suffering, brotherly kindness and love, not rendering evil for evil, slander for slander, reviling for reviling, but, like the Master, when reviled reviled not again, but blessed their enemies, and did good to those who despitefully used them and persecuted them, praying for them and hoping for them divine mercy in the future, to the opening of the eyes of their understanding. So also we must expect it to be today.
Doubtless, in harmony with the Scriptural declaration, we may expect that in the near future all the soldiers of the cross will be exposed to much more severe attacks from the great Adversary and those whom he has blinded. The attacks are to be so severe that, according to Scriptural declaration, a thousand shall fall at our side to one who will stand—the merely nominal soldiers will fall. Only the faithful, the overcoming ones, the very elect, will be able to stand in that evil day, and they because they will have on the whole armor of God provided for their protection. The Apostle mentions all deceivableness of unrighteousness in the perishing ones as being one of the characteristics of Satan’s manifestation in our time. We see some of this deceivableness manifested in the many wonderful works, healings, etc., performed by Spiritualists, Mormons, Christian Scientists and others—calculated to deceive if possible the very elect. But it will not be possible to deceive this overcoming
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class, because the true soldier will take careful heed to the instructions of the Captain and will have on the whole armor of his Word for their defence and protection from all the wiles of the Adversary, who, now that his kingdom is tottering to its fall, is forced to bolster it up by feigning works of mercy and goodness as a garment of light.—Matt. 12:26; 2 Cor. 11:14.
Foregoing we have considered the outward battlings of the Lord’s soldiers; let us now notice the more secret drillings and battlings which come to each individual soldier, to test his loyalty and to develop his character.
We have already noticed that the soldier is the New Creature and not the flesh, that the enlistment was a surrender of the fleshly will and the acceptance of the headship or captaincy of the Redeemer. From that moment of full surrender to the Captain, enlistment under his orders and in the service of righteousness, the New Creature has experienced a conflict with its mortal body and its weaknesses, passions and tendencies for sin. The new will cannot free itself from the fleshly body, and although the reward promised by the Captain is a new body, perfect and in full harmony with himself and with righteousness, nevertheless the new will is required to demonstrate its loyalty to the Captain and to righteousness by its faithful combat with the flesh—with the desires and propensities of its own mortal body.
Here is the great and continual battle, for although the new will asserts itself and puts the body under and compels its subjection to the new mind, nevertheless the mortal body, not being actually dead, is continually coming into contact with the world and the Adversary and is continually being stimulated by these and reinvigorated with earthly cares, ambitions, methods, strivings, conflicts and insubordination to our new will. No saint is without experiences of this kind—fightings without and within. It must be a fight to the finish or the great prize for which we fight will not be gained. For although the New Creature masters the mortal body by the Lord’s grace and strength repeatedly, nevertheless until death there can be no cessation of the conflict, for the „flesh lusteth [desireth, striveth] against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”—Gal. 5:17.
The Apostle urges that we do not seek for the cooperation of the flesh, but rather anticipate in advance its opposition and proceed at once to mortify [put to death] the flesh with its affections and its desires, assuring us that as the death of the flesh will result in our begetting to the new nature, so the death of the flesh actually will be a precedent to our attaining
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the birth of the Spirit. The Apostle’s words along this line are comforting to us. He says: „For which cause we faint not [in our battlings]; but though the outward man perish, the inward man is renewed day by day [we become stronger in the Lord and in the power of his might], for our light afflictions [trials, etc., which may include these battlings with our own flesh], which are but for a moment [as compared with the eternity we hope to gain], work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”—2 Cor. 4:16-18.
It is because the Adversary works in the hearts of the children of disobedience, and because the children of the light, the soldiers of the cross, are in contact in the flesh with the children of this world, that thus the Adversary is able to work powerfully against them and repeatedly to resuscitate their flesh, so that all need to follow the Apostle’s course as expressed in his words, „I keep my body under”—the thought being that there is a tendency for the body, the flesh, to arise from its condition of reckoned deadness, and that hence the new nature needs to be continually on the alert to maintain its ascendency, to fight the good fight of faith and to gain the prize as an overcomer. These battlings of the new mind against the flesh are a good fight in the sense that they are fightings against sin and weaknesses that belong to the fallen nature. They are a fight of faith in the sense that the entire course of the New Creature is a course of faith as the Apostle says, „We walk by faith and not by sight.” The New Creature has faith in the Word of God, in the promises therein contained, and with the eye of faith sees the heavenly city and the crown of righteousness which the Lord has in reservation for the overcomers, joint-heirship with the Redeemer. It is a fight of faith in the sense that no one could keep up this battle against his own flesh and its propensities and desires, and come off conqueror, except as he can exercise faith in the promises and in the Lord as his helper.
Considering particularly what some of these battles of the new nature are, we suggest that many of them pertain to the weaknesses of the flesh through heredity—sin working in our mortal bodies and seeking to bring us more and more into captivity and to separate us from the Lord and the righteousness which he in every way represents. In proportion as the Lord’s people receive the new mind, the gross sins of the flesh become distasteful to them—for instance, robbery, dishonesty, murder, filthy communications, etc., and when these are put away unquestionably a large victory has been gained—a great advance over what was in some hearts when first they heard the voice of the Lord. But the spirit of murder and the spirit of dishonesty often lurk in the hearts of those who have become thoroughly the Lord’s people, and these dispositions hide themselves, cloak themselves in such a manner that they frequently deceive the new will, which indeed needs to be educated up to an appreciation of principles.
It is an advance lesson in the school of Christ that gives us to understand that he that hateth his brother is a murderer, and hence that those who enlist as soldiers of the cross are not only to hate murder but are to hate the murder spirit and to cast it out entirely, so that they would have nothing but love in their hearts for any, even their enemies. Only the more advanced and better drilled of the soldiers of the Lord see clearly and distinctly the meaning of the Apostle’s words when he denominates anger, malice, hatred, strife, envyings and evil speakings to be all works of the flesh and of the devil.
As soon as this is perceived, the true soldier starts a campaign against these well-intrenched evils and weaknesses of his own fallen flesh, and he needs to keep continually before his mind the thought that perfect love must rule in the hearts of all who in the end will be esteemed of the Lord overcomers, worthy of a share with him in the Kingdom. He must see that perfect love worketh no ill to his neighbor (Rom. 13:10); he must see that evil speaking comes from evil thinking, because „out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh;” consequently he must see that there is an evil condition still intrenched which needs eradication, and only in the name and with the assistance of the Lord can he hope to conquer fully and completely all such evil heart conditions. True, the Lord reckoned us pure in heart from the moment we made full consecration to him, and his mercy covers all the blemishes that were in us, ignorantly and unwillingly, and thus he receives us into his school, into his army—but receiving us meant our education, our instruction, our drill. As the instruction progresses, the obedience must also have made progress, else we will not have been considered in the Lord’s sight as pure in heart, pure in intention. Evidently it is the divine purpose that all in this school of the Lord shall ultimately come to the place where their hearts will approve nothing but that which is approved of the Lord—noble, pure, good—however perfectly or imperfectly they may be able to express all this in their mortal flesh.
If once the soldiers of the cross could get the proper thought that slander and evil speaking are assassinations of the character of another, and that defamation is the robbery of another’s good name, the sooner they will see this matter in its truly awful light as it must appear in the Lord’s sight, and once seeing the matter from this true, divine standpoint must awaken the new creature to the greatest activity possible
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in the overcoming of such works of the flesh and of the devil. Each will seek to purge out the old leaven of malice and envy and strife and crookedness and evil speaking, that he may be pure in heart, a copy of the Lord.
The Scriptural declaration is „Speak evil of no man,” and all who can see the matter in its true light as above set forth will feel a zeal for God and for righteousness that will burn against all such iniquity wherever it may be found, especially in his own flesh.
But if it be reprehensible to speak evil of any person, if that be contrary to the spirit of love, the Spirit of the Lord, how much more evil in the Lord’s sight must it be if any of the Lord’s brethren should speak evil of one another—speak evil of a member of the Lord’s body! How terrible is the thought, how surely an evil-doer would lose the Captain’s favor and ultimately be cut off from all relationship with him and with the body. The Lord refers to such, saying, „Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son [all of the house of sons, brethren of Christ, are figuratively represented as being the children of the Sarah covenant, the Abrahamic covenant.] These things thou hast done, and I have not kept silence; Thou thoughtest I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee.”—Psa. 50:19-22.
Many have the thought that the evil speaking which the Scriptures forbid refers to false witness; but not so. The Lord certainly does not expect any of his people to have any sympathy with lies. If we might speak of sin in a cumulative way, we might say that to speak evil is a sin, and that if the matter were untrue it would be doubly sinful in the Lord’s sight. The principle which underlies the matter should be clearly discerned by all of the Lord’s people. It is this: The law of the New Creation is love, and whoever loves another would not only not lie to his injury,
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but would not even speak to his injury if the thing were the truth. Whoever, therefore, finds in his heart, in his own disposition, a love to tell about others something that is to their detriment, to their discredit or injury, should see that he is proportionately deficient in the spirit of love, in the Spirit of the Lord. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, justly or unjustly; it is ready to believe all that is good, and anxious to disbelieve and avoid mentioning anything that is discreditable. Only duty would move it to speak at all of that which is to the discredit of another, and then it would be spoken only in such a manner as the Scriptures and the spirit of love would approve to those who ought to know, and with a view to the assistance of the wrong-doer.
Let us then as New Creatures be encouraged with every better understanding of the Captain’s word and will respecting us, full of confidence in his wisdom and in his grace—that he is willing and able to bring us off conquerors in the full sense if we are obedient to him. Let us strive that we may be able to say with the Apostle at the close of our experiences, „I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at that day.”—2 Tim. 4:7,8.
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„I HAVE CHOSEN HIM”
—1 CHRON. 28:1-10.—NOVEMBER 29.—
Golden Text—”Trust in the Lord with all thy heart.”—Prov. 3:5.
WE have already noted the fact that in King David’s seventieth year, when it was evident that he was nearing the close of life, one of his elder sons, Adonijah, following the example of Absalom, attempted to seize the kingdom, evidently surmising or perhaps knowing that his father had already determined that Solomon, his younger brother, should be the successor to the throne. We saw how, under the Lord’s guidance, Adonijah’s plans were frustrated and Solomon was duly anointed and proclaimed King of all Israel before the conspiracy had hatched. Solomon at this time was about twenty years old, a very young man to succeed to the throne, but evidently the best qualified of all. Of his elder brothers Farrar says, „They were men of fierce passions and haughty temperament, and would be singularly unfitted to carry out the peaceful and religious designs which David wished to bequeath to his successor.” King David had evidently been an over-indulgent parent, and, occupied with the larger affairs of the kingdom, he probably had neglected the training of his children in the ways of the Lord. Solomon, born after his legal marriage to Bathsheba, and at a time when the King’s misguided course had brought him to a very humble position before God and man, and educated at a time when Absalom’s rebellion had perhaps taught the King a great lesson, we may reasonably suppose that the education of Solomon and his younger brothers was along different lines from those previously pursued with their elder brethren. In line with this thought we find that Solomon’s education was under the care of the Prophet Nathan and in every way characteristic of him.
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Not content with his own appreciation of Solomon as the most suitable heir to the throne and the one approved by the Lord, the King gathered a great assembly of the chief men of the nation to, so to speak, ratify Solomon’s appointment and anointing. These princes represented (1) the heads of the families, in the twelve tribes; (2) the captains of industry and their subordinate officers; (3) in a word he gathered all the influential representatives of the nation, civil, military, and commercial. This was evidently a wise course, and points a lesson to the Lord’s people of the Church of this Gospel age. It is not sufficient that those who serve the Lord’s flock shall be sure that they understand the divine will in respect to the general interests of his work; it is expedient that they seek the cooperation of the entire congregation either directly or through their chosen representatives. David’s assurance that God had chosen Solomon was a guarantee to him that the Lord would so overrule and influence the nation that they would gladly accept the divine choice. At the same time, the course would have been the wisest one in any event, because it is an element of human nature to prefer to be considered rather than to be ignored.
Notwithstanding the King’s age and decrepitude, and the fact that it was usual to sit in such assemblages, he stood upon his feet as implying the importance of the matters to be dealt with. His salutation to the officers and representatives of the realm was a gracious one: „Hear me, my brethren, and my people!” King David was not evidently of the dictator class, and all noble men and women will appreciate him all the more because of this. Notwithstanding his greatness, his success as a soldier in establishing and enlarging the kingdom, and his eminence as a poet, and his evident favor with God, he was not by any or all of these things made haughty, domineering, tyrannical, but even in speech was a faithful, humble shepherd to the people over whom God appointed him. No wonder his name is reverenced to this day not only by the Jews, his countrymen, but by all who love the Lord and the principles of righteousness.
With full candor the King related to his princes his own desires for the glory of God and the nation in connection with the building of the Temple, and with equal candor he explained why the Lord rejected the work at his hands—because he had been a man of war and had shed blood. Herein we see a wide distinction between the character of our God and his Temple and that of other gods and their temples. The gods of the heathen are gods of war and their mighty ones are their bloody ones. One is impressed with the same thought in connection with some of the homage given to war heroes in the nominal Christian church. For instance, in Westminster Abbey the names of generals and admirals and men of the world in general are almost the only ones made prominent. Nor was this an exceptional matter in David’s case: we see the same principle pointed out in the Law. (Num. 31:19.) Those who participated in battle were unclean and required purification for seven days before participating in the privileges of citizenship.
David called attention to the fact that the Lord had chosen him to be their King; that he had decreed that he should be their King forever—that is, that the kingship should be in the line of his posterity. He called their attention to the fact that the tribe of Judah was the tribe of royalty by divine appointment, and that in the tribe of Judah the house of Jesse had been chosen by divine direction through the Prophet Samuel, and that in the family of Jesse, above all of his sons, the Lord had chosen David to be King over all Israel. In this speech the King was not attempting to defend his position on the throne, for that was conceded by all the tribes; but he did wish that the people should recognize the matter in a still higher light—that it was God who was their real King, and that God had taken the supervision of the affairs of the nation and had ordered and directed matters up to that juncture. It is well that spiritual Israelites should refresh their memories similarly; that they should call to mind that God, who was the King of typical Israel, is specially the King of spiritual Israel, and that being our King the affairs of his Church are not left to chance or haphazard, but are, in their largest interests at least, under divine supervision and care. The Apostle points this out in respect to our Lord, the great High Priest, saying, „No man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God.” So our Lord Jesus called not himself to a position of headship in the Church, but was evidently appointed to that position by the Father, as the Apostle declares, „God hath given him to be the head over the Church, which is his body.”—Eph. 1:22,23.
Likewise throughout the Gospel age we may be sure that the affairs of God’s Church have not been overlooked by him—that at all times during this age he has had the care of the interests of his people, and has raised up for them such helps and teachers as he saw best. Similarly, we may know that he still has the supervision of Zion’s interests, as the Apostle declares, „God hath set in the body the various members as it hath pleased him.” (1 Cor. 12:18.) If this thought were more in the mind of the Lord’s faithful they would be more on the lookout to note the will of the Lord in respect to the affairs of the Church—whom he sets and where. With this thought in mind the choice of elders would not be conducted along lines of earthly preference or family kinship or selfish ambition, but instead the Lord’s preference, the Lord’s choice,
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would be sought. And, so far as the Lord’s mind would be discerned, none other than his choice would be recognized by any of his faithful ones.
David had no doubt whatever respecting the Lord’s choice for his successor. How he knew the mind of the Lord on the subject we are not informed, but evidently he had assured Bathsheba years before that her son Solomon should fill the throne, and now he probably announced the matter, declaring that God had given him assurance that Solomon should build the great temple which King David had not been permitted to build, but for which he had accumulated great stores of gold, silver, iron, marble, precious wood, etc. The word of the Lord, „I have chosen him to be my son and will be his Father,” we are not to understand as meaning that Solomon was lifted up from the house of servants, of which Moses was the head, and made a member of the house of sons, of which Christ is the head—”Whose house are we if we hold fast the confidence of our rejoicing
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firm unto the end.” According to the Scriptural record, the first opportunity for any members of the house of servants to become sons of God was granted at the time of our Lord’s first advent, and in view of the fact that he had already made consecration of his life as man’s redemption price. (John 1:12,13.) Solomon was God’s son in a typical sense—he typified God’s great Son, the Christ.
That Solomon was a model young man at the time of his induction into the kingdom, is evidenced from the statement of verse 7: „If he be constant to do my commands and my judgments as at this day, I will establish his kingdom forever.” Here again, however, we see how the Lord, while making certain definite promises sure to be fulfilled, attaches them to certain individuals only upon conditions of their loyalty to him. As a matter of fact we know that Solomon did not continue in divine favor, but was led astray by the dangers of his lofty position and forfeited for his posterity their share in the Levitic promise. Hence it is that our Lord is not of Solomon’s line, but a descendant of another son of David, Nathan.—See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. V.—pp.145-150.
Having thus set forth the reasons guiding him to the anointing of Solomon as his successor in the kingdom, the King charges responsibility upon the chief men of the nation—that they should maintain their relationship to the Lord and his arrangements faithfully; that they should not only observe the commandments of the Lord as already understood by them, but that they should continually seek to know the divine will in all things. He points out that as a nation this would be necessary to them if they would continue to possess the goodly land of Palestine. We know that they did not continue faithful to King David’s exhortation, and that as a result the goodly land was lost, first by ten of the twelve tribes going into captivity, and subsequently by the two tribes being transported to a foreign land as prisoners. Nevertheless, God’s promise to David still stands sure, and, like the promise made to Abraham, can have its fulfilment only when the greater than Isaac, greater than David, greater than Solomon, the antitype of these, shall take the throne and inaugurate the Millennial reign.
Turning to Solomon his newly appointed successor, the King exhorted his son, „Know thou the God of thy father and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind.” Here knowledge is given its proper place. First, it is only in proportion as we come to know God that we can properly trust him or faithfully serve him, and the Christian’s course should be a progressive one in these respects. To the first knowledge of God and the first faith on that small knowledge and first obedience following, come in God’s order increased knowledge, increased faith and increased obedience. We are to remember, however, that the range of knowledge and faith is limited to natural things until the full consecration of heart is made and the begetting of the holy Spirit received, because „the natural man receiveth not the things of God neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.” God hath revealed them unto us [begotten of the Spirit] by his Spirit, which searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.
Solomon is exhorted to remember that God not only knows the outward things which man can see and of which they can imperfectly judge, but that he knows also the heart, the intents, the thoughts. The antitypical children of God need continually to have this in mind, for we walk by faith and not by sight. To us, too, the exhortation applies that we are to keep continually seeking the Lord if we would be continually finding him more and more precious, and that if we forsake him and break our covenant with him he will cast us off forever.
The last verse of the lesson refers to the typical Temple which Solomon did build as God’s sanctuary. He was strengthened in wisdom and in power and did accomplish that work. The antitype of Solomon, the Christ, has been strengthened, has been faithful, has been an overcomer, has been approved of the Father. He already has nearly prepared all the living stones which will constitute the living Temple of God for the coming age, through which the divine blessing will be administered for the restoration of the groaning creation. The building of the house, the growing together of the living stones, is already in progress; soon the capstone will be brought on with shoutings of grace, grace, unto it!
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WHAT A TRIUMPH OF HIS GRACE IT WILL BE
What a triumph of his grace it will be
When the King shall take me home, even me;
Lifting me from low estate,
Passing by the wise and great,
What a triumph of his grace it will be!
What a triumph of his grace it will be
When at last he saves, through faith, even me;
Faith that he, the work begun,
Will watch o’er me till ’tis done,
What a triumph of his grace it will be!
What a triumph of his grace it will be
When, my sad mistakes all ended, I am free;
Free at last to do the right,
All my weakness turned to might,
What a triumph of his grace it will be!
What a triumph of his grace it will be
When he says, „Well done!” at last to even me;
When in glory he shall own me,
And with my Lord enthrone me,
What a triumph of his grace it will be!
C. J. W.
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„THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM”
—1 KINGS 3:14,15.—DECEMBER 6.—
SOLOMON began to reign when he was twenty years of age, and under unfavorable conditions in several respects. His elder brothers were ambitious for the throne, and the chief General of King David’s army, Joab, had been deflected from the course of fidelity to the King. So had Abiathar, one of the chief priests, so that the young King had not a path of roses before him. The loyalty of his heart to the Lord and to the duties imposed upon him by his divine appointment to the kingship are remarkable for one so young. They clearly indicate the good training he enjoyed, and his father’s wisdom in putting him under the tuition of the Prophet Nathan. Amongst the earliest acts of Solomon’s reign was the calling of a religious convention, to which was assembled the chief men of the nation at Gibeon. Solomon realized the importance of religion to himself and to the people—that God must be first; and this assemblage was doubtless intended to stir up the religious enthusiasm of the nation, as well as to convince all that Solomon acknowledged the Lord, and that the course of the new kingdom would be after the same pattern as that of his father—loyalty to the Lord as the great King, and recognition of himself as merely his servant and representative.
It is generally understood that the thousand burnt offerings sacrificed on this occasion were burnt offerings only in the sense that they were offered in connection with a religious ceremony in acknowledgment of God, that certain of the inward parts were burned upon the altar, and that the shoulder of each was devoted to the priesthood. It is generally understood that the multitudes feasted upon the remainder of the flesh of these sacrificed animals. This custom was not only recognized in Israel but in various heathen nations, each acknowledging its own gods. Thus Croesus, King of Lydia, „offered up three thousand of every kind of sacrificial beasts,” to the god of the Delphian oracle, as Herodotus relates. Xerxes, according to the same authority, „made an offering of a thousand oxen to the Trojan Minerva.” Whether the heathen nations copied these sacrifices from the Jews or not cannot be positively stated, but the earliest and most authentic histories seem to so indicate.
It was while Solomon’s mind was active in religious matters at Gibeon that the Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked him to choose what he would of any gift. We are not from this to infer that all dreams are of the Lord, but simply to understand that God is able to use dreams when he so chooses to convey lessons and instructions to his people. Many illustrations of this might be sighted—for instance, Joseph’s dream Nebuchadnezzar’s, Daniel’s, Paul’s, Peter’s. We have the best of inspired assurance that these were really messages from the Lord, and hence are justified in attaching importance to them, believing in their fulfilment, etc. It is well to remember, however, that many dreams are simply operations of nature; that by reason of indigestion, or some other abnormal condition, one department of the brain seems to be awake while other departments are benumbed with sleep. Such dreams are apt to be inconsistent and unseasonable, because the judgment and counterpoise of reason from various standpoints and various sides are lacking. Such dreams are inconsistent and meaningless. Another kind of dream or vision should be mentioned, namely, those which are quite evidently inspired by evil spirits and which not infrequently represent the Lord as speaking to the individual, directing, commanding, etc.; these are in line with trance-medium development of spiritualism. The authorship of dreams being so much in doubt, as well as the fact that with the death of the apostles plenary inspiration ceased and the inspired class canonized, should make us very dubious, very skeptical, in respect to dreams that might come to any
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of us. Hence every dream and the lesson which it would seem to inculcate should be considered quite subordinate to the written Word of God. If they speak not in harmony with this Word, it is because there is no light in them. Those who are misled by dreams ascribe to them authority of a special revelation, and in so doing are not wise, but are greatly in danger of being side-tracked by our wily Adversary.
Solomon was living in a time before the Scriptures were completed, at a time when it could not be said that the Scriptures are able to make wise, sufficient that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished. (2 Tim. 3:17.) Besides, the declaration is that his dream or vision was from the Lord. Even then we see that the Lord was not operating contrary to the freedom of Solomon’s will, because had the young King’s mind been full of ambition for power, for victories over his enemies or for great riches, undoubtedly in the dream he would have responded by asking the things uppermost in his heart. His reply shows us that he was full of appreciation of the great work which God had committed to his care, that he recognized that his father’s success had been of the Lord and not of his own power, and that whatever others thought of his father’s real sentiments. Solomon recognized his loyalty to God, to truth, to righteousness, to uprightness of heart. In acknowledging the Lord’s kindness in raising him to the throne he was acknowledging that God was the real King, that he merely sat upon „the throne of the kingdom of the Lord.” This is further evidenced by the words, „God, thou hast made thy servant King instead of David my father.” What a strength it gave this young man to realize that he was in God’s hands; that it was not merely to his father’s foresight and wisdom that he came to the throne, nor by the superior prestige of his father’s influence over the army and the majority of the people, but of the Lord’s providences.
Similarly, this should give strength to all of the Lord’s consecrated people who realize that they have come into the present grace and Truth not by their own wisdom nor by the wisdom of others, but through the wisdom and grace of the Lord. The same thought should be entertained by all who serve the Church of God as ministers, servants in any department, in any manner responsible to the Lord for their position in the household of faith, and their opportunities to serve as the Lord’s mouthpieces should be felt and confessed. But failure to confess it even implies a failure rightly to appreciate it.
The humility of the king is beautifully indicated by his declaration, „I am but a little child and know not how to order my course in life, my outgoings and incomings,” and yet he was in the midst of the Lord’s people, the center or head of the nation—though he felt himself incapable of the proper management of these high and responsible duties. He did not say „my people,” but „thy people which thou hast chosen.” We feel like suggesting a lesson here to some of the elders of the Lord’s flock, who, after the manner of the Babylonians, are inclined to speak of the congregations to whom they minister, as „my people,” „my flock,” „my church.” They probably do not realize how inappropriate are such expressions; that if natural Israel was the Lord’s people, whom he had chosen, how much more the antitypical Israel should be thought of and spoken of as the Lord’s people, the Lord’s flock. The very fact that any one would speak of the congregation of the Lord’s people as his own indicates a dangerous condition of mind and a tendency to be heady, high-minded, injurious, detrimental to the interests of spiritual Zion. Those who have had such a tendency of mind should correct themselves with fasting and prayer, peradventure their wrongdoing may be forgiven of the Lord and they may be kept from stumbling into further self-assurance. And the Lord’s flock everywhere should be quick to resent any such human ownership or control. A failure to quickly discern and properly resent such self-assurance on the part of leaders is an indication that the flocks to whom they minister are not fully appreciating and enjoying the liberty with which Christ is pleased to make free all who are truly his sheep and who acknowledge him as their chief Shepherd.
In speaking of the numbers of Israel, Solomon used a form of expression common in his day for a large multitude—namely, a great people that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. It is estimated that the numbers at this time were about 6,000,000, and probably without the conveniences at hand for taking an enumeration it was actually impossible to determine the number of people—the facilities for keeping track of births and deaths being much less convenient and much less accurate than at the present time.
With this preamble as showing his estimate of his own incapacity and of the greatness of the work, and that the people were the Lord’s people, and that he himself was the Lord’s appointment to be the King, Solomon now comes to the expression of his choice, namely, „an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people?” Solomon recognized that the most necessary thing for the welfare of the nation was righteous judgment of the various questions pertaining to the nation’s welfare as well as those affecting individual matters. Doubtless he had come to realize, as his subsequent written proverbs clearly indicate, that selfishness is a foe to justice, and that the very wisest and best of governments need to be carefully guarded lest the selfish interests of some should work injury to others—to many. The whole world realizes this today, and if we would ask civilized humanity in
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general what is the one great need of the world, the answer unquestionably would be, We need to have righteousness established between nations, between individuals, and we need wisdom to discern the right from the wrong, the false from the true, the pure from the evil. Many of the wisest people of the world, although realizing the needs of the present time, have reached the conclusion that it is useless to attempt to secure evenhanded justice in all particulars, amongst all classes; and those who are best informed respecting the teachings of the divine Word have been led to pray with greater earnestness than ever before, „Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” They realize that earthly beings are all more or less fallen, more or less selfish, and that a crying need of the world today is for a perfect government, backed up by full power to enact, and to execute as well, laws of righteousness which shall control the whole world, subduing evil, exalting good. The antitype of Solomon, the Prince of Peace, Messiah, is to accomplish this in the world in the Father’s good time, in the Millennial age.
The Lord was pleased with Solomon’s choice; he could not have chosen better. Some have suggested that he might have chosen spiritual things, and thus have made a still wiser, better choice; but such forget that the spiritual things were not open to be understood or to be chosen or to be acquired in Solomon’s day, nor until the great atonement for sin had been made—until the call went forth inviting believers who had fled from sin and who had laid hold on the hopes set before them in Christ to become self-sacrificers with him, joint-participators with him in the holy Spirit of adoption and ultimately to be joint-heirs with him in the kingdom. Solomon, therefore, chose as wisely as was possible for him to choose of the things that were known to him and attainable in his day.
It was just like our heavenly Father to give Solomon the riches and honors which he had not asked as a reward of his appreciation of wisdom. Indeed it is Solomon himself who expresses the thought that riches and honors are in the right hand of wisdom as her reward. It is thus implied that the Lord in giving to anyone wisdom, grants also the rewards which wisdom brings—namely, riches and honor. Some one then may inquire, How comes it that those who now seek the wisdom from above, the highest of all wisdom, first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated and full of mercy and good fruits—how is it that such very rarely get earthly riches and honors? We reply, that in Solomon’s time the Lord was dealing with natural fleshly Israel, and his promises were along natural fleshly lines, but that during this Gospel dispensation he is dealing with spiritual Israel and his promises and blessings are along spiritual lines. The wisdom that his people are to seek and to enjoy, the wisdom that cometh from above, is not the wisdom of this world, as the Apostle clearly points out that the riches and honors which are in the hands of this heavenly wisdom, which comes to the Lord’s consecrated Church, are spiritual riches and spiritual honors which the world sees not and appreciates not in this present time—which, like the wisdom itself, can be appreciated only by those whose eyes of understanding have been opened and who can and do thus discern the riches of God’s grace toward his elect Church, which „eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of [the] natural man, but which God hath revealed unto us by his Spirit.”—1 Cor. 2:9,10.
The riches and honors which came to Solomon incidentally with his wisdom are world-renowned, and the blessing of long life which was made conditional was partly fulfilled. Solomon lived to be sixty, whereas, we believe, under this promise he would have lived until eighty had he been more obedient to the divine will, but with him as with many others, prosperity was much more difficult to stand than adversity.
When Solomon awoke and realized that these things had been a dream, a visitation of the lord, he returned to Jerusalem, the Capital city where the ark was located, and presented himself as a sacrificer, offering burnt offerings and peace offerings and making a feast for his servants, and realizing that the Lord was
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prospering him in the matter to which he had called him, he evidently was full of joy and satisfaction and peace. So it should be with all the Lord’s people who have been called to be heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord, for „an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept through faith and by the power of God unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” They, too, should realize that the proper way to show their appreciation of the Lord’s promised blessings is by a manifestation of faith in him, confidently trusting and rejoicing in these. Wherever we find fear, trepidation, unrest, we may know that these are symptoms of some spiritual malady; because whatever may be the outward disturbances, troubles, vexations, it is the privilege of those who are the Lord’s to have the peace of God which passeth all understanding continually ruling in their hearts. It is their privilege to realize fully, thoroughly that all things are working together for good to them because they love the Lord, and with this thought of their call to the Kingdom and of the Lord’s willingness that they should serve therein, and with the assurance that he will give grace and glory and no good thing withhold from those who walk uprightly, we certainly have reason for thankfulness and heart-rejoicing before him.
[Nov. 15 insert]
Bibles, Testaments, Students’ Helps, Etc.
SUPPLIED AT WHOLESALE COST PRICES
Our Society does not supply Bibles free, but it justifies the Bible feature of its name by supplying Bibles, Testaments and Bible Study Helps at wholesale rates. Additionally we give our readers the benefit of our experience and judgment respecting which Bibles are the best value at the wholesale rate. When ordering large-size Bibles always name your express office and company as well as post office. Letters containing money or stamps accompanying order should always be registered.
BAGSTER TEACHERS’ BIBLES
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THE CHEAPEST TEACHERS’ BIBLE IN THE WORLD
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COMBINATION TEACHERS’ BIBLES
This Bible shows the variations of the Revised Version at the foot of each page. Otherwise it is an ordinary „Teachers’ Bible” with maps, concordance, etc.
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OXFORD INDIA PAPER BIBLES
The merits of these wonderful productions of the book maker’s skillful art are so well known as to render detailed comment unnecessary. By special arrangement we can save our friends one-third of the list price on these Bibles, and have selected the styles which in our opinion are most desirable. All but No. 01157x contain References, and are Silk Sewed. No. 03554 is Self Pronouncing. All are bound with Divinity Circuit, are Leather Lined, have Red under Gold Edges and Round Corners. The type increases in size as follows: Pearl, Ruby, Emerald, Minion, Bourgeois and Long Primer. No. 03581x contains Concordance and Maps, and Nos. 0863x and 0865-1/2x contain full Teachers’ Helps. Thumb Index on any of these 25c extra.
No. 03009x Pearl Type, Persian Levant, postpaid……………..$2.25
No. 01157x Ruby Type, French Morocco, postpaid……………… 1.45
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No. 03229x do. do. postpaid……………… 2.65
No. 03265x Minion Type, Levant Morocco, postpaid……………. 3.25
No. 03485x Minion Type, Persian Levant, postpaid……………. 4.60
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No. 03581x Long Primer Type, Persian Levant, postpaid……….. 4.60
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VARIORUM TEACHERS’ BIBLES
We can supply any of these at publishers’ list prices less 25 per cent. discount.
THE LINEAR TEACHERS’ BIBLE
Hitherto this Bible has been sold by „Subscription Agents” only. Its special feature, differentiating it from other „Teachers’ Bibles,” is that it shows the readings of the Common and Revised Versions side by side in the same line.
(This is the Bible of which we procured a special edition with wide margins and Dawn & Tower references thereon; and of which edition we have no more.)
No. 350 French Seal, Divinity Circuit, Red under Gold Edges, list price $6, our price……….$2.10
No. 355 French Morocco, Divinity Circuit, Red Leather Lined, list price $8, our price………. 3.15
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The Students’ Hand Bible
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Post extra………………………………… .20
Oxford Self-Pronouncing Teachers’ Bible
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This is a wonderful book for the price, and its self-pronouncing feature is on a new plan preferred by some.
Holman Lap Bibles for the Aged; References; Very Light
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(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)
OTHER DESIRABLE BIBLES, TESTAMENTS, ETC.
Childs’ Bibles, Profusely Illustrated
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Pocket New Testaments
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Self-Pronouncing Family Bibles
At one-half list prices. Publishers’ catalogue sent on application.
„Bible Talks in Simple Language”
This is the best book of its kind we have ever seen. It presents the Bible stories in simple, but not childish language, and seems remarkably free from the bad theology so common in this class of books. All Christian parents should have a Sunday Bible lesson with their children, and this book furnishes interesting topics, to which may be added as much concordant „present truth” as the age of the children will justify. Parents are responsible for their children’s training in theology as well as morals. This will assist you in the discharge of this duty, and thus be a blessing to yourself as well as to your children.
624 pages, 250 illustrations; cloth sides, leather back and corners, gilt edges. A subscription book at $3. Our special price 75 cents, plus 25 cents postage.
Two texts and a verse for every day in the year. Have one on your breakfast table with the natural food. Appoint one of the family reader, and call for questions and comments. Feed the soul as well as the body. Small, neat, cloth bound, gilt edges. 15 cents, 2 for 25 cents, including postage.
Concordances and Other Bible Study Helps
First in this list we mention the several volumes of
MILLENNIAL DAWN SERIES
—referring inquirers to the second page of each issue of this journal for prices, etc. We commend also, as aids, the following publications by other presses, which we supply at specially low prices because of the assistance they will lend to the study of God’s Word. We mention these somewhat in the order in which they seem to us to be desirable aids,—putting the concordances last, though they are not by any means least important.
THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT
This very valuable work, published under the author’s copyright by Fowler & Wells Co., New York City, has been sold by them at $4 in cloth and $5 in half leather binding. For several years a friend, an earnest Bible student, desirous of assisting the readers of our Society’s publications, has supplied them through us at a greatly reduced price; now he has purchased the copyright and plates from the Fowler & Wells Co., and presented the same to our Society as a gift, under our assurance that the gift will be used for the furthering of the Truth to the extent of our ability, by such a reduction of price as will permit the poor of the Lord’s flock to have this help in the study of the Word.
REDUCED PRICES.—These will be sold with ZION’S WATCH TOWER only. In cloth binding $1.50 (6s. 3d.)—includes postage and one year’s subscription, new or renewal, to Z.W.T. On thin paper, in full morocco leather, divinity circuit, red under gold edges, silk sewed leather lined, $2.50 (10s. 6d.)—includes postage and one year’s subscription to Z.W.T.
THE TISCHENDORF NEW TESTAMENT
This is the ordinary Common Version in cloth binding. As footnotes it gives the reading of the three oldest Greek MSS., Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrine, wherever these differ from the Common Version. This is a very valuable little work, published in Europe, which we specially import for the benefit of our readers. Price 40c, including postage.
THE NEW ROTHERHAM TRANSLATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Mr. Rotherham’s previous translation was good, but, so far as we are able to judge from a hasty examination, this one is better. Our price, in cloth binding postage included, is $1.50.
THE SYRIAC-PESHITO NEW TESTAMENT—MURDOCH’S
This, too, is a valuable work, and an aid in critical study. It is translated from the Syriac instead of from the Greek. It is claimed by some that it was the language in which our Lord and the apostles spoke and wrote, and that the Greek was translated from this. Our price, in half leather binding, postage included, $1.50.
LEESER’S TRANSLATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is the standard translation amongst English reading Hebrews, by one of their own rabbis. It is not perfect, but is a valuable aid in critical study of the Old Testament. Our special price, in leather binding, including postage, is $1.10.
REVISED VERSION TESTAMENTS
No. 0100 Cloth Binding, pocket size, postage included……….. .20
REVISED VERSION BIBLES
No. 040 Pearl Type, Cloth Binding……….. .30, postage extra, .10
No. 060 Minion Type, Cloth Binding………. .75, postage extra, .20
AMERICAN COMMITTEE’S REVISED (OXFORD) BIBLE
No. 03750 Bourgeois, Cloth, References…………$ .80, postage, .25
No. 3752 Ditto, in Morocco, Div. Circuit……… 1.70, postage, .25
AMERICAN STANDARD REVISED BIBLE
No. 260 Long Primer, Cloth, References…………$1.15, postage, .30
No. 272 Long Primer, Fr. Seal, References……… 2.20, postage, .30
No. 160 Bourgeois, Cloth, References………….. .80, postage, .20
No. 172 Bourgeois, Fr. Seal, References……….. 1.55, postage, .20
PROF. YOUNG’S TRANSLATION OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS
Many regard this as a valuable aid; but we do not specially recommend it as such, as some of its peculiarities are liable to mislead those who have no conception of the Hebrew idiom. In cloth binding, including postage, $4. This is the regular retail price, and the publishers do not permit us to make any reduction. We are at liberty, however, to prepay the postage free and to give as a premium two volumes of the DAWN series in cloth binding.
ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES
In English, Hebrew and Greek, by Prof. Young (Presbyterian). A valuable work for all critical students. Price, in cloth binding, $5, including postage. We are not permitted by the publishers to cut this price; but may and do give postage free and give besides a premium of any four volumes of the MILLENNIAL DAWN series in cloth binding with each Concordance.
THE EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES
In English, Hebrew and Greek, by Prof. Strong (Methodist). This is also an able work and useful in critical study. It has some advantages over Young’s; after getting used to it we prefer it. Price, in cloth binding, $6; half leather, $8; full leather, $10. We will pay mail or express charges on these, and in addition give as a premium all six volumes of the DAWN series in cloth binding, with each Concordance.
CRUDEN’S CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES
A valuable work, but scarcely necessary to those who have either one of the above mentioned. English only. Cloth binding, $1, postage included.
SMITH’S BIBLE DICTIONARY
This is one of the most desirable editions of Prof. Smith’s work. It is a large volume of 1020 pages. In cloth binding, $1.30, including postage.
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YOUR „GOOD HOPES” 1904
[The plan here proposed we designate „GOOD HOPES,” because nothing is actually promised—only your generous hopes expressed, based upon your future prospects as they now appear to you. The plan proved not only so beneficial to the cause of truth, but also so blessed to the hopers, for some years past, that we again commend it to all as Scriptural and good. Those who desire to make use of this plan can fill out both of these memoranda. One should be kept for the refreshment of your memory; the other mail to us.]
„WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY”
Dear Friends:—I have read with interest of the openings for the Dawn and Tract work in foreign lands and here at home. I need not tell you that I am deeply interested in the spread of the Glad Tidings of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of redeeming love expressed for us in God’s great Plan of the Ages.
I am anxious to use myself—every power, every talent, voice, time, money, influence, all—to give to others this knowledge, which has so greatly blessed, cheered and comforted my own heart and placed my feet firmly upon the Rock of Ages.
I have been considering carefully, and praying to be instructed, how to use my various talents more to my Redeemer’s glory and for the service of his people—those blinded by human tradition who are, nevertheless, hungering for „the good Word of God,” and those also who are naked, not having on the wedding garment of Christ’s imputed righteousness, the unjustified, who stand at best in the filthy rags of their own righteousness. I have decided that so far as my „money talent” goes, I will follow the rule so clearly laid down for us by the great Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 16:2), and will lay aside on the first day of each week, according to my thankful appreciation of the Lord’s blessings during the preceding week. Out of this fund I wish to contribute to the several parts of the Lord’s work specified on the back of this letter. Of course, I cannot in advance judge or state particularly what the Lord’s bounty may enable me to set apart weekly, and hence you will understand the sum indicated to be merely my conjecture or hope, based upon present prospects. I will endeavor to contribute more than I here specify; and should I not succeed in doing as well, the Lord will know my heart, and you, also, will know of my endeavors.
My only object in specifying in advance what I hope to be able to do in this cause is to enable those in charge of the work of publishing and circulating the Tracts, etc., to form estimates, lay plans, make contracts, etc., with some idea of what I will at least try to do in the exercise of this my highly appreciated privilege.
My present judgment is that during the coming year, by self-denial and cross-bearing, I shall be able to lay aside on the first day of each week for Home and Foreign Mission Work (to assist in circulating Millennial Dawn in foreign languages, and in publishing the „Old Theology Tracts” in various languages, and in supplying these gratuitously to brethren who have the heart and opportunity to circulate them widely, and in meeting the expenses of brethren sent out as „Pilgrims” to preach the divine plan of salvation, and in general to be expended as the officers of the Society may deem best), the amount of……………per week.
To comply with United States Postal Laws, all or any portion of my donation may be applied as subscription price for Watch Tower or O.T. Tracts sent to the Lord’s poor or others, as the Society’s officers may deem advisable.
That the work be not hindered, I will endeavor to send you what I shall have laid aside for this cause at the close of each quarter. I will secure a Bank Draft, Express Order or Postal Money Order as I may find most convenient, and will address the letter to
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
„Bible House,” Allegheny, Pa.
WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTIONS
—ON GOOD HOPES ACCOUNT—
The friends who contribute to the „Good Hopes” (described on the reverse of this sheet) at times desire to send the Watch Tower to friends who are not yet interested enough to subscribe for themselves; or to deeply interested friends who are too poor to subscribe and backward about accepting our Lord’s Poor offer. They are invited to give us such addresses below—the expense to be deducted from their donations. Give full addresses, and write very plainly please, mentioning the length of the subscriptions.
CHRISTIAN HOME EMBELLISHMENTS
For several years we have been supplying our readers with handsome text and motto cards for the walls of their homes. Their influence is excellent; for they continually and cheerfully catch the eye and remind the heart of our great favors present and to come, based upon the exceeding great and precious promises of our Father’s Word. We commend these as helps in the „narrow way,”—helps in character-building.
We aim to have a good supply of these very choice cards constantly on hand, and for particular description of some (not all) of the styles would refer you to our illustrated list, which will be sent on request. We still recommend the dollar packages as the most satisfactory way, all things considered, of acquiring these texts. They are sent carriage paid for $1.16, by prepaid express whenever feasible.
OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS
These are published quarterly, copies being sent to all subscribers. Other copies, for distribution among friends, from house to house, for enclosure in letters, and in general for use in such ways as seem judicious, are supplied freely, the expense entailed by the great demand for them being borne by the Tract Fund of voluntary contributions. Write for the tracts as you feel able to use them, even if not so well able to contribute toward the expense; some who are not able, and do contribute, do not have opportunities personally to use all that their contributions pay for, so that the matter is equalized, and all may have a part in this service of disseminating the truth.
A PRIVILEGE AND A SERVICE
We are convinced that the Watch Tower lists do not contain the names of one-half of those deeply interested in its teachings. The total is small enough surely, and we are not content that the name of any should be missing. We believe that all such will be stimulated and encouraged on the „narrow way” by its semi-monthly appearance on their table, reminding them afresh of spiritual matters which the world, the flesh and the devil continually tend to crowd out of mind and heart.
Hitherto we have required that all desiring the Watch Tower on credit, or free, as „the Lord’s Poor,” should make personal application; but now we request every subscriber to inquire among those whom he knows to be interested in present truth, and to obtain the consent of all such to send in their subscriptions either on credit or free, as their circumstances may necessitate. Any getting it on credit may at any future time request that the debt be cancelled, and we will cheerfully comply. We desire that as nearly as possible the Watch Tower lists shall represent all those deeply interested in its message.
Our object is not the gain of „filthy lucre,” but „the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry”—present and to come. (Eph. 4:12.) We offer no premiums, desiring the co-operation of such only as appreciate the privilege of being co-workers with us in this ministry. Our list is now about 17,000; but it should be at least 25,000, and we confidently expect the above program to bring it to that figure. Let as many as appreciate it as a privilege, join at once in this service.
WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTION RENEWALS
Most of our subscriptions end with the year, so we take this opportunity to remark that we will be glad to hear promptly from such as desire the visits of the Watch Tower continued. This applies to all who get it on the Lord’s Poor list as well as to those who pay. When names are dropped and afterward renewed it makes us unnecessary trouble.