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This is the first number of the first volume of “ZION’S WATCH TOWER,” and it may not be amiss to state the object of its publication.
That we are living “in the last days”—”The day of the Lord”—”the end” of the Gospel age, and consequently, in the dawn of the “new” age, are facts not only discernable by the close student of the Word, led by the spirit, but the outward signs recognizable by the world hear the same testimony, and we are desirous that the “household of faith” be fully awake to the fact, that—
“We are living, we are dwelling
In a grand and awful time;
In an age on ages telling
To be living is sublime.”
And not alone to help awaken, but to assist them to “put on the whole armor of God, that they may be able to stand in the evil day;” and, besides all this, that giving all diligence, they add to their faith, virtue, and to virtue, knowledge, self control, [temperance,] brotherly kindness, charity; when, as a result of these indwelling and flourishing graces, they shall be God-like [godly].
But, recognizing the beauty and necessity of these adornments of the spiritual man, they fail not to recognize that the merit toward God lies not in these moral virtues, but in Christ’s perfect sacrifice, and though adorned by all these gems of character, we could not be recognized as God’s children now, nor permitted ever to enter His presence without the robe of Christ’s righteousness, the “wedding garment” necessary to our participation in “the marriage of the Lamb.”
“Let us wear the white robe here,
E’en on earth our Father dear,
Holding fast they hand, and so
Through the world unspotted go.”
Christians to whom an apology would be needed for directing attention to these things, should blush and be ashamed. Everything desirable, hopeful and precious stands closely and ever connected with them. They embrace nearly all the great motives to faith, watchfulness, obedience, holiness.
If God has given us a revelation, and tells us that it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work, where do so many Christians who profess to accept that Word of God as their rule and guide, get liberty to ignore more than one-half of it, thereby virtually saying it is unprofitable? When God has given us “a sure word of prophecy whereunto we do well to take heed,” and when “the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done,” shall those servants feel under no obligation to seek to understand those heavenly messages?
Should they heed worldly men and a worldly church who deem it pious and wise not to bother with these things, who would have us put them aside as empty fables and curious stories, and strange imagery, which could only unsettle our minds and interfere with Christian work; or shall we heed God who declares “these saying faithful and true” and says: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein?” Surely He knows what is best calculated to inspire “a zeal according to knowledge,” and what is necessary that we “be not soon shaken in mind.”
“To him that hath an ear to hear what the spirit saith unto the churches,” ZION’S WATCH TOWER hopes to give assistance and encouragement. It is in bondage to no man, no party and to no creed but the Bible; yet in the bonds of love and sympathy to “all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in truth and sincerity.” It aims to represent “the chaste virgins,” the prospective “Bride of Christ,” and with them acknowledges only one master and head—Christ Jesus.
As its name indicates, it aims to be the lookout from whence matters of interest and profit may be announced to the “little flock,” and as the “Herald of Christ’s Presence,” to give the “meat in due season” to the “household of faith.”
It issues monthly, and if you desire its visit to your home, address at once as per notice on this page. If you have a neighbor or friend whom you think would be interested in or benefited by its instructions, you might call it to their attention; thus preaching the Word and doing good unto all men as you have opportunity.
The terms, fifty cents a year, (postage paid,) are moderate; but to all interested and desirous of having it, who cannot afford to pay, we will gladly send it free, but you must ask that ye may receive.
— July, 1879 —