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VOL. XXII. OCTOBER 1, 1901. No. 19
Views From the Watch Tower……………………307
The Jews and their Prospects………………308
Hatred Against Jews in Gt. Britain…………309
To Abolish Prayer Meetings………………310
The Costly Pearl……………………………310
Cleveland Convention Echoes…………………311
The Impending Industrial Crisis………………311
Momentous Project of Men Arming……………312
In the School of Adversity……………………313
“For God was with Him”………………………315
Words of Cheer and Encouragement………………318
Motto Cards for Home Embellishment……………306
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ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE
MOTTO CARDS FOR HOME EMBELLISHMENT
For several years we have realized the blessing accruing to the Christian home from a liberal supply of Scripture Text Cards and mottoes displayed upon its walls—as reminders of faith and patience and love and perseverance in the narrow way of life. They should greet the eye in the parlor, dining-room and bed-room as Holy Spirit messages.
We have supplied these to the friends practically at cost for several years—from time to time reducing the price as our purchase of larger quantities enabled us to secure lower prices from the publishers. Very generally our supply has been short of the demand, so this year we have ordered early and in large quantities from the London publishers and have secured prices which will permit us to supply our subscribers below American wholesale rates.
These are mostly printed in silver on dark red and green glossy cards with cord hangers; but some are on light cards embellished in choice colorings and designs. The majority of course are such as are usual and never grow old; but each season adds a few new and choice ones and these we have up to date. In ordering state if you have had any of our $1.00 packages and how many. Then we can know about what assortment you already have, and can pretty surely supply you such as you have never yet had.
This year we will put up $1.00 packages such as ordinarily would amount to $2.00 purchased elsewhere: and we will prepay postage. We aim to do all in our power for the spiritual strengthening and encouragement of the Lord’s flock. These prices are open to all.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
THE EVIDENCES looking toward a federation of the various Christian sects are multiplying;—city federations, county federations, and state federations are announced from time to time in the daily press, and thus the way is being prepared, the idea is being hatched. In England the movement seems fully as far advanced as here; there the Church of England is the preponderating power, and, as the Scriptures indicate, will have much to do with effecting the union whenever it comes.
The Protestant Episcopal Church has always held aloof from other Protestant bodies; claiming (as do the Catholics) that there can be no true and authorized ministers competent and authorized to preach the Gospel without Episcopal ordination;—that all others are fraudulent pretenders. They are willing to fellowship as “clergymen” any Protestant ministers of good character who will submit to re-ordination at the hands of an Episcopal bishop, but no others.
In the light of these facts the following cablegram will be read with interest:—
“WAITS ON ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY”
ENGLISH ARCHBISHOP HESITATES IN SENDING DELEGATES
“London, August 29.—Will the Archbishop of Canterbury, officially or otherwise, send a representative to the Ecumenical Methodist conference which opens Wednesday? This question, according to Bishop J. W. Hartzell, is attracting the attention of
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many of the delegates who are in London to attend this most important church meeting.
“The question is important,” said the bishop, “because of the meaning which the outside world will place on the archbishop of Canterbury’s action. Invitations were extended to all the churches to attend. Acceptances have been received from the Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians and the Salvation Army. The primate of all England, alone, has not been heard from. We anticipate that the conference will have an important bearing upon the future growth of the church. It ought to tend to increase fraternity, dissipate the remnants of antagonism and organize into unions the smaller bodies of the different continents. The aggressive propagation of Methodism will be carefully considered by the gathering.”
The conference will sit for 12 days, and Bishop C. M. Galloway will preach the opening sermon. The American and Canadian delegates, who are here to attend the conference, number 300, while the English delegates number 200. Chile, Brazil and Mexico are represented in the conference for the first time.
On September 5th, the Archbishop of Canterbury replied to the invitation to the effect that he hoped soon to see all Methodists united to the Episcopal Church. The Conference refused to take any notice of the reply, or even to permit it to be read in conference; the reason assigned being that the Archbishop had ignored the Council in toto, in that he addressed his reply not to it, but to a newspaper editor. No doubt this was intentional—the Archbishop’s position is such that to address the Council would be to recognize Methodism as “branch” of the Church of Christ, a thing which Episcopalianism has never yet done officially. However, this may raise a point to notice the settlement of which will solve the federation problem.
* * *
SCIENTISTS DUPED BY CLEVER TRICK PLAYED YEARS AGO
MYSTERY OF FAMOUS PLIOCENE SKULL CLEARED BY PREACHER’S CONFESSION—BURIED AS A HOAX
Los Angeles, Cal., Aug. 1.—The Rev. W. H. Dyer, an Episcopal clergyman of this city has confessed that the celebrated mystery of the human skull found in a gold mine in Calaveras County, Cal., in 1866, about which antiquarians have wrangled for 35 years and which inspired Bret Harte’s poem, “To
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the Pliocene Skull,” was buried as a joke to puzzle the men of science. Dyer says he was one of a coterie of jokers who knew of the scheme and who were greatly astonished at the noise it made in the scientific world. According to the story, R. C. Scribner, who kept a store in the camp, now Los Angeles, got an old Indian skull, went to the bottom of the shaft while the miners were away and buried the skull deep in the auriferous gravel. It was soon found and he assisted in having it sent on East to be submitted to geologists and authorities on the birth of the human species.
The result of the examination of the skull at Harvard University caused a great stir in the scientific world. The problem it presented was taken up by the Government, through the geological survey, and all the scientific publications gave columns of space to the speculations of the scholars.
Bret Harte declined to regard the discovery as a serious matter, and wrote the famous poem ridiculing the craze it had caused.
Scientists deserve our pity if not our sympathy. They have established scores of theories relative to the formation of the earth and of man upon it; and of course reject totally the Bible account of the creation of Adam in God’s image six thousand years ago. They are on another track; they will read only the rocks, etc., and from them will get the truth. And they will accept as truth only such things as agree with their preconceived opinion, viz., that God did not create man in his own image—that he was evolved from a monkey by a “law of nature” which operates whether there is a Creator or overseer or not; and they greatly doubt if there is a personal God, and of course there could not be an impersonal one.
God’s people need continually to remember the Bible’s testimony, that although all the upward tendencies operating in the world to-day are of God and through more or less godly channels, yet “The world by wisdom knows not God.” “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass her master’s crib,”—but the natural man, if a “scientist,” seems to know not his Creator. His self-confidence hinders his seeing the truth. Only “the meek will he guide in judgment and teach his way”—”the wise are taken [entrapped] in their own craftiness”—they are too wise to learn, too great to be “taught of God” through his word. Psa. 25:9; 1 Cor. 3:19.
The finding of an old bone some time ago created quite a stir. It was surely a proof of pre-adamite man—so gullible do scientists become in their search for the proofs to contradict the Bible. Of course a scientist with keen imagination could allow for certain abrasions and erosions, and could proceed to make an entire anatomy to conjecturally fit with the wonderful bone. The matter was quickly dropped afterward when the explanation came that it was found in a long abandoned wooden sewer leading from a butcher’s place, and that it was the bone of an old sheep.
Likewise the finding of the skull above referred to was “wonderful!” Its owner must have lived thousands, if not millions of years before Adam’s day; and this skull found embedded in the gravel of the Pliocene division of the Tertiary Period was absolute proof sufficient to tickle scientists. Surely if these great men could and would search as diligently and reason as astutely to uphold and corroborate the Bible’s simple statements, they would be taught of God.
But their school will open by and by—during the Millennial reign of Christ and the church, who will be their instructors. Mark the great teacher’s words: “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Let us, as the Apostle urges, “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt us in due time.”—Luke 10:21; 1 Pet. 5:6.
THE JEWS AND THEIR PROSPECTS
Mr. Zangwill, a Jewish writer of note, forecasts the future of fleshly Israel in considerable harmony with the prophetic delineation; but he fails utterly to recognize the divine power which, operating in and with Messiah’s Kingdom, shall take hold of “Jacob” and lift up that people and use them as beacon-lights for the world. “Thus all Israel shall be delivered [from blindness], as it is written: There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer [the Christ—Jesus the head and the church his body] and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins. … For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.”—Rom. 11:26-32.
Mr. Zangwill says in part:—
“I am not a prophet with a definite vision of the future of the Jews. No man can forecast the precise directions their activity will take in the twentieth century. I can only point out what the position of the Jews has been for the last nineteen centuries and some powerful forces which have just arisen and which will undoubtedly mold them during the present century.
“One thing seems increasingly probable—that the Jews will return in increasing numbers to Palestine, their old and never-forgotten home. By the year 2000 A.D. I don’t see why there shouldn’t be 2,000,000 Jews inhabiting the land, transforming it into a garden of beauty and fertility and supplying it with harbors and railways, with a government of their own, which will be the model government of the world. I am firmly convinced that the mission of the Jews is this: To be a people set on a hill—Zion’s Hill—whose social, political, agricultural and religious condition will be the moral beacon light of the world. From the laws of that community other nations will learn to govern wisely. From her social condition other nations will learn the science of sociology. From her spiritual supremacy other nations will learn the real meaning of religion. In short, I believe the hope of humanity lies in the development of the Jewish race after its return to Palestine.
“From the time of Christ until about this generation the outside world knew practically nothing of the life and work of the Jews. For long centuries the Jew was persecuted by Christian and Pagan in every country, and this very fact led to the preservation of
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his individuality. Frowned upon everywhere, the Jews grew closer to one another, intermarried among themselves, and had comparatively little intercourse with the outside world. And this was their salvation.
“Recently, however, the absolute freedom granted them in almost all civilized countries has tended to destroy their identity as a race. They are no longer bound to one another by the strongest ties in the world—those of persecution—but have mingled with the general community, and the Jew is to-day seeking his own interests, financial or social, largely forgetful of his fellow Jews. The common idea that all Jews work unselfishly for each other is no longer true. They have imbibed the paganism of your so-called Christian nations, and every man is trying to get the better of the other. Five years ago this condition was absolutely alarming. It appeared as though the Jewish race would shortly become merged with other races and disappear altogether, after its wonderful preservation during 3,000 years.
“My hopes for the race lie largely in the Zionist movement, whether in its direct or indirect effects. Under the enthusiastic guidance of Dr. Herzl, it is making steady progress. Its first object is to raise sufficient money to obtain the Land of Palestine from the Sultan, under whose suzerainty the movement would be carried out. Already about a million dollars has been contributed to this fund, and every city and almost every village in the world has its band of enthusiastic Zionists.
“This money has not been contributed by the rich Jews generally, but by the poorer classes of Jews. The rich take little interest in the scheme. They are often men who have the bent for mere money-making and have largely lost their patriotism. They stand at the top of the social ladder in the world’s chief centers of activity; their position is secure; they have nothing to gain by reclaiming Palestine, and seem to care little for the plan. This, however, does not in the least dampen the enthusiasm of the ardent Zionists. Money is fast coming in from every quarter of the globe, and it is believed that in a few years there will be a sufficient sum to accomplish our desires. Then, having gained possession of the land, we should not be so foolish as to rush great numbers of uneducated, unskilled Jews into the country, but would use Jewish shrewdness in sending skilled agriculturists, carpenters, merchants and men and women generally who, under the guidance of practical idealists, would form a sound basis of the model community that is to be.
“Finally, I think the world is daily coming round to the Jewish conception of life. Christianity has proved a failure. Look at the Christian nations to-day warring against one another like savages. What a spectacle is presented by the allied armies in China! The battle of the future is between the old Judaism and the new paganism. A sense of justice is what the world needs to-day—such justice as was preached and foretold by the great Jewish prophets; and I believe it will be left to the Jewish race—whether as a model community in Palestine or as a spiritual army scattered over the world—to supply this need and to make justice supreme in the hearts of men.”
HATRED AGAINST THE JEWS IN GREAT BRITAIN
In every nation of Europe except Great Britain the Jews have suffered persecution, and labor under more or less restriction of privileges. As we have already pointed out from the Scriptures, fleshly Israel is to suffer yet more—”the time of Jacob’s trouble” is to last up to the very close of the “day of vengeance” when they shall be delivered by the setting up of the Kingdom. This persecution, we believe, will extend to all nations—our own included—and will tend to still further cause the Jews to long for the Land of Promise and the good things foretold for them under Messiah’s Kingdom. We quote a cablegram as follows:—
“London.—Anti-semitism is on the verge of open and widespread outbreak in England, according to Isaac Suwalsky, editor of ‘The Jew,’ an influential East End Yiddish newspaper. He asserts that daily attacks are made on poor Jews in the streets of the Whitechapel district, and that symptoms of hatred toward the Jews exist even among the highest political and social classes in the kingdom.
“He says that unless this feeling is promptly and forcibly bridled Judaism in Great Britain is threatened with persecution outrivaling anything in Russia, France, Austria or Germany.
RACIAL PREJUDICE PLAIN
“The symptoms to which the editor refers have become alarmingly common in the London Ghetto. During the last three months the Whitechapel police courts have been regularly called upon to punish persons for assaults on Jewish peddlers and householders. Several ‘Jew hunts’ have lately occurred on the highways in this district. Testimony in most of the cases proved that racial prejudice was the sole cause of attack, the victims being industrious, law-abiding residents, frequently inoffensive youths.
“When the outbreaks fail to take the form of injury or robbery the persecution assumes a terrorizing character. The policemen who guard the crossings are kept busy rebuking truck drivers and ‘busmen guilty of hounding Jews with brutal taunts and of making deliberate attempts to run them down.
BOTH PARTIES ACCUSED
“‘Anti-semitism is aggressively intrenched in the United Kingdom. It reaches from the slums to the Whitechapel office of the prime minister. Both political parties are deliberately pledged to it. The conservatives espouse it under the guise of immigration reform. The liberals employ it when they persistently and venomously charge that the Boer war is being waged at the behest of Hebrew capitalists. Jewish candidates belonging to both political parties in all parts of London were fought throughout the late general election by means of placards petitioning the people, ‘Don’t elect a Jew.’
“‘When anti-semitism gains full momentum in England there will be sad hours for the Jews in this country, where liberty of action and speech are so pronounced that the passions of the populace can only be controlled with difficulty.
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SENTIMENT OF RICH AND POOR
“‘There is at present more hatred of Jews in the West End of London than in the East End. The roughs of Whitechapel are Jew baiters for amusement. The cultured people of Downing street and Park Lane are anti-semites by conviction.
“‘Down here the Jews are suffering from the country’s excessive patriotism. Because most of us wear beards we are called ‘Kruger’ by the Hooligans of the neighborhood. I am ashamed to confess that some highly placed personages of our own faith are largely responsible for the coming crusade. They are so wrapped up in the pursuit of titles that they have little time for and less interest in the amelioration of the condition of their pauperized brethren in the East End.
“‘There has as yet been no bloodshed in Whitechapel on account of the race animosities inspired at present by distinguished supporters. However, anti-semitism in London may soon reach that stage.'”
TO ABOLISH PRAYER MEETINGS
The pastors of the Christian churches of Kansas City, at a meeting recently, adopted a resolution, declaring it to be their sense that the mid-week prayer meeting, as it is conducted in a majority of Protestant churches, has outlived its usefulness, and appointed a committee to prepare and report a program for such meetings which shall be more modern in its character and better calculated to meet the needs of present day church people.
Dr. George H. Combs, pastor of the Prospect Avenue Christian Church, who brought the subject up, and at whose suggestion the committee was appointed, declared that he thought the age had outgrown the old-fashioned prayer meeting. He said: “The prayer meeting was perfectly adapted to the needs of the time which brought it into existence, but that time has long been past. The best men’s lives have now become so full of other things that they cannot be induced to come out and spend an evening in prayer.”
No minister who took part in the discussion that followed this somewhat advanced statement dissented from any part of it. The remarks of each indicated that he had only been waiting for an opportune moment to so express himself.
The above is a significant sign of the times. The Christian that neglects prayer cannot live the Christian life—cannot “walk as He walked”—the narrow way to glory, honor, and immortality. And congregations composed of praying people could neither desire nor afford to abandon prayer meetings, which perhaps more than any other kind of meetings have been blessed of God to the keeping alive of the spiritual few among the cold and dead nominal professors of Babylon for lo these many years.
Yet it is a good movement—it will work out blessings for those who really love the Lord; for it will open their eyes to the deadness of Babylon and lead them to give closer ear to the Lord’s message, “Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues”—soon to come in a great time of trouble.—Rev. 18:4.
On the contrary we urge that amongst those who read this journal and are interested in the harvest message, prayer and testimony be given an increasingly prominent place—such as it held in the primitive church. The injunction to watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation, is applicable to each individual Christian, but specially applicable to them as a company, as a church, as we are entering the hour of temptation that shall test all that dwell upon the whole earth.—Rev. 3:10.
The Allegheny church has six such meetings every Wednesday evening in the homes of the friends in different parts; and it is specially noticeable that those who love and attend these meetings, while probably no less tempted and tried than others, are much
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less likely to fall into the snares of the Adversary than those who neglect them. Usually at least four prayers are offered and most of the time devoted to hearing testimonies respecting the Lord’s providences and their experiences during the week (up to date testimonies) especially along the lines of the previous Sunday afternoon’s discourse at Bible House chapel. These are so profitable that we wish all might enjoy them. They are open to all, but though none are urged, nearly all take part and thus both give and receive a blessing.
Recently we have adopted the plan of having one meeting each month devoted almost exclusively to prayer and praise—voluntary prayers being called for by the leader, two at a time, until all present have had full opportunity to address the throne of grace—interspersed with praise, and with opportunity for two or three short testimonies in the middle of the meeting. The results are excellent. Whoever addresses the Lord from a sincere heart is sure to have a blessing.
Brethren, let us watch and pray, in the congregations of the saints and in private, more zealously than ever, as we approach the dark hour of earth’s great trial. No other ground is safe. This has the Master’s approval and example.
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THE COSTLY PEARL
The pearl of greatest price I sought.
Alas! I sought, but found it not.
The hours of work and sleep were wasted,
The fruits of pleasure passed untasted,
And still with eager zeal I hasted,
The charms of fortune to entice
With some new gift or sacrifice.
Until, one sad, discouraged day,
A spirit, meek and quiet, lay
Upon my brow a hand restraining,
It smoothed away my lips complaining,
Upon my brow a hand restraining;
And while I joyed in perfect rest,
I held the gem, of all the best.
R. B. Henninges.
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CLEVELAND CONVENTION ECHOES
EVEN AT the risk of seeming repetition we must say that this last General Convention quite surpassed all of its predecessors;—in numbers, interest and enthusiasm.
About 500 WATCH TOWER readers met, many for the first time, and the feast of soul was delightful. Nine of the “Pilgrim” brethren were present and, with the Editor of this journal, delivered most of the fifteen addresses, to most attentive hearers. The Convention was in constant session from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M., except intermissions for refreshments, from Thursday noon, Sept. 12, to Sunday night, Sept. 15. It closed with a love-feast at which seven Pilgrims and five brethren representing the Cleveland church in one hand presented a broken loaf, shared symbolically, while with the other they received and gave parting greetings as the congregation filed past them.
It was good to be there. Those present will probably never forget its spiritual joys and uplifts. The principal attendance was at the Sunday afternoon session, when some one who counted reported 823 in attendance. The next largest attendance was on Saturday at 3 P.M., when after a discourse on baptism—its proper form and real significance—twenty-five brethren and forty-one sisters (total 66) symbolized full consecration by water immersion;—the ages of the participants ranging from 22 to 70 years. The occasion was a deeply impressive one, both to participants and witnesses.
Those in attendance came from every quarter;—from Nova Scotia, Ontario and Montana on the north, to Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas on the south, and especially from the intermediate States—about sixteen in all being represented.
A colporteurs’ meeting showed 23 in attendance, while about 30 new ones expressed the intention of giving all, or a portion of their time hereafter to colporteuring, and took lessons from expert brethren and sisters in an ante-room. This is one of the features of this harvest work which the Lord has been pleased to specially bless in leading his people out of darkness into his marvelous light. The meeting indicated a renewed zeal along this line of the service. Others may be contemplating such service and we invite correspondence respecting methods and territory; say what territory you would prefer.
Our hope is that the considerable expense entailed by such conventions (railway fare, etc.) will be more than compensated for in the spiritual blessings which will surely go with those in attendance to their neighborhoods, and especially to the various smaller congregations of the saints. May the Lord add his blessing to the efforts put forth by the Cleveland Church and by all in attendance.
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THE IMPENDING INDUSTRIAL CRISIS
JOHN SWINTON, widely known as a writer upon labor conditions and prospects, sums up his recent cogitations in an article in the New York Herald. We make some quotations that will be of interest to all who have read Millennial Dawn Vol. IV. He says, under the above caption:
“We may have stormy times in our country before the twentieth century has gone far. We may see some apocalyptic illustrations of the workings of that industrial Revolution which is now transforming our body politic into “something new and strange” and which is bringing about organic changes in our Republic, our Commonwealth, and our social system, by means both visible and invisible, through agencies containing the ‘promise and potency’ of a kind of development not to be foreseen. We may yet see that gigantic modern power called Capital and those immeasurable latter day forces grouped under the name of Labor engaged in performances of large interest and concern to the American people.
“Already there are signs and omens not to be disregarded, and more of them are coming in sight all the time, as we whirl along.
“There are other things than the great labor revolts of our time, so numerous, so continuous, so disquieting and so portentous, which prompt me to write these words.
“Those of the readers of the Herald who can recall the years that immediately preceded the election of Mr. Lincoln will be able here to make comparisons of a suggestive character. They do not need to be told in how far the passions, the contentions and the menaces of that portentous period resemble those that have come into existence of late years through the discord between the great wielders of capital and the millions of workers for wages, and through the ceaseless strain of both parties in the strenuous struggle. As forty years ago each party declared that it would ‘never submit or yield,’ so now again the defiant words are heard in the contentious camps.
“But I shall refrain from further suggestions in this line, as I recall the passions and the events that stirred our country forty or more years ago and that led up to the other years, never to be forgotten. Let warning be taken while yet it may. And let it be said of the present writer in days to come that he was an ‘alarmist’ at the opening of the twentieth century, as was another man in the year 1859, when he wrote ‘The Impending Crisis,’ a crisis for slavery which came so unexpectedly in less than two years after Mr. Helper’s book was printed.
“The magnitude of the labor revolts that have broken out within a year has never been paralleled in any other time or country. I need not speak of those of the many building trades, the coal miners, the machinists, the San Francisco unions, the factory hands, the clothiers, the steel workers, or a hundred lesser industries. By the estimate of an expert, who has kept count as nearly as possible, it would seem that not far from a million wage workers have ‘gone on strike’ during the last twelve-month; and
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this, of course, signifies that a much greater number of other people have been disturbed or have suffered in consequence.
“No wonder that a foreign writer, in reviewing the situation, gives his essay such a headline as ‘The Industrial Anarchy in the United States.’ The importance, the gravity, the passionateness and the significance of some of the strikes have been very great. They have affected business, trade, Wall street, the markets, politics, and the daily life and welfare of large masses of our people. They have brought heavy losses to many of the parties concerned in them; they have rent many schemes and crippled many enterprises; they have caused bankruptcies; they have been the source of woes unnumbered; they have wrecked lives and broken hearts; have sent men and women to the poorhouse, the madhouse and the graveyard. …
“Notwithstanding the magnitude and the multitude of the convulsing strikes, it is altogether likely that they will become yet greater, more numerous and more convulsing as the industrial and financial powers advance in their development. The forces now in operation by which they are promoted are very sure to increase in strength and momentum as time goes on. A generation ago but a few hundred men used to take part in a strike; some time afterward thousands of men would go out on strike; nowadays hundreds of thousands of men join in a strike, and, moreover, a score of different trades in as many States sometimes ‘back up’ one trade during a strike, while the great body of organized workers sympathize with the strikers, even if they do not always enter into a ‘sympathetic strike.’ Looking at the
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growth of labor unionism everywhere, and in nearly all industries, it is not difficult to make forecasts, applicable to the years that are not far off.
“The domination of unlicensed capitalism and the existence of labor unionism are at stake in these contests.
“It is to be remarked here that the many and great strikes of recent times have been almost wholly free from violence or riotous conduct on the part of the workmen, though the militia have sometimes been called out in the name of the law, as at Buffalo and Troy. The strikes may be properly characterized as ‘peaceful revolts.’ Passion has run high in some cases at times, but self-restraint has kept it within safe bounds. Every organization, when its members go on strike, always declares that its desire is to secure success in a peaceful and orderly manner; and there can be no doubt that this desire is sincere, for its sincerity has been made manifest by circumstances beyond enumeration. Any suggestion of offering resistance to law is sure to be denounced, as are any unlawful means of gaining an object. Were this otherwise the formidable labor revolts of our day would be a terror indeed.
MOMENTOUS PROJECT OF MEN ARMING
“A short time ago, however, when the great strike of the steel workers got under headway, the Herald startled the country by printing a despatch from West Virginia that the first military company ever formed by a labor union had been organized at Wheeling by Crescent Lodge, Amalgamated Association. Here, at last, it looked as if there were occasion for both alarm and amazement. One seemed to catch sight of armed and uniformed hordes of steel workers in full array, stalwart men, twice a hundred thousand of them, three times stronger than the regular army of the United States. It is true that the report, after telling that the labor soldiers were ‘not to be in any way under the control of the State,’ said that they were organized only for self-defence and the protection of property; but that could hardly be regarded as consoling by those people who hold their property under the protection of the State which the Amalgamated Military Company had refused to recognize. There seemed to be something like amalgamated humor in the Crescent report from Wheeling. But soon after the appearance of the first despatch the Herald printed another, which gave the information that, on account of the excitement created by the first report, Crescent Lodge had resolved to postpone the organization of the military company till the steel strike was ended.
“The interest in the original report, however, has not been diminished, for it is now known that the Crescent Lodge, at Wheeling, is not the only one that has taken the subject under consideration, and that other labor organizations in different parts of the country have done likewise. They claim that the ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms’ is guaranteed by the constitution, and that, as the working-men are the ‘bone and sinew of the country,’ the constitutional right cannot be denied to them.
“It would be foolishness to ignore such things, since the publication of the startling Wheeling despatch in the Herald. The news, however, does not convey a menace to any man’s rights. It is quite undisturbing; not at all dangerous in a democratic republic.
“The members of workingmen’s organizations are often trained and disciplined to some extent, after the manner of the militia, as may be seen on Labor Day. They drill for their parades; they are proud of their appearance on the march; they follow their flags; they pay honor to the union that makes the best show, and they are also to have experience in athletic exercises.
“At this point it may be mentioned that a good number of trade unions, especially of those in the Western States, have recently prohibited their members from joining the regular State militia, under pain of expulsion, and the reason given for this action is that the State troops are used ‘in the interest of capitalism,’ against the labor element, and in the suppression of justifiable strikes. It is a fact, nevertheless, that, at least in Pennsylvania and Illinois, the State militia have, on several occasions, suffered from the charge of being unduly sympathetic with labor in the case of a strike. …
“Before closing my remarks, I would make note of one thing that undoubtedly has an influence in disturbing the mind of the commonalty in these times. I refer to the oft repeated public reports of
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the stupendous incomes of certain great trusts, flamboyant millionaires, banking institutions, big corporations, stock speculators, market riggers and indescribables. To go no further back than the current month, we have had in August such figures of the dividends of the Standard Oil Company, and the revenues of the billion dollar Steel Trust, and the ‘earnings’ of at least one of our banks, and the incomes of some of our heavy investors or operators; such figures, I repeat, as might well ‘make humanity stagger’ and cause Croesus to take to the woods.
“To the ordinary mind, these reports, even when trustworthy or official, are inexplicable, incomprehensible and bewildering. Never before, in all time, did the golden stream, the millions and the billions, roll so rapidly as now, rolling into treasuries so vast that they could not be compassed in a day’s march by all the labor unions in America. The ordinary mind is apt to become excited in reading about them every day, and to ask why it is necessary to cut down anybody’s wages, even if he gets two or three dollars a day, and joins a union to keep them up.
“The news of the latest dividend of the billion dollar Trust was printed simultaneously with other news of strikes, more strikes, and yet other strikes. Can any one be surprised that even thoughtless people are led to indulge in thinking?
“I am asked to make a guess as to the outcome of all these big passionate and ominous labor revolts, which are constantly growing in magnitude, momentum and force. I can’t do it. I cannot see how they are to be prevented or put down without a change of circumstances so great as to be unthinkable, or without a change in bodies of men who are beyond reason, or without some kind of change in the relation between capital and labor. It is possible that there may be something in the theory of ‘spontaneous generation,’ and that it will work out all right in the end, regardless of the lesser movements of either of the belligerents. I can’t tell, nor can Mr. Morgan. It would certainly be bad business to use the regular army or the State militia against masses of men striking for life. It would certainly be poor policy to carry ‘government by injunction’ further than it can be enforced. It is surely folly to abuse and threaten organized labor in the interest of organized capital at periods of storm and stress consequent upon an industrial and social transformation, when our country is passing out of the old into the new and the unknown.”
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IN THE SCHOOL OF ADVERSITY
—GEN. 39:20-40:15.—OCT. 13.—
“For God was with Joseph, and showed him mercy”
AS THE FAVORED child of his beloved wife, Rachel, Joseph was no doubt esteemed by his father as the special inheritor of the Abrahamic promises. He remembered his own experiences, and how the divine favor had come to him, making him an heir of that promise; and doubtless he had, to a greater or less extent, communicated these hopes and promises to all of his sons, and especially to Joseph, his favored one. Joseph’s dreams, which so angered his brethren, must have appealed to him and to his father as rather an intimation on God’s part of his pre-eminence. It must therefore have caused great disappointment and chagrin to Joseph, first to find himself in the pit, and his strong cryings and tears unheard both by his brethren and the Lord. It must have been a source of bitter disappointment and chagrin when he found himself sold to the Ishmaelites, to be a slave. But however disappointing these circumstances we can see that they were profitable experiences, tending to develop in him a proper character, if rightly accepted—to develop patience, obedience, trust.
There are good lessons in Joseph’s experiences for all who are hoping to be heirs of the spiritual features of this same Abrahamic covenant,—joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord. (Gal. 3:29.) The promise is sure, and the privilege of inheriting is ours; but in order that we may be prepared for that service and its responsibilities it is needful that we should learn lessons of humility, patience, faith, endurance. Our Lord, the head of this “Seed of Abraham,” endured such contradiction of sinners, and trials and testings, and learned obedience to the Father’s will even unto death,—although he was perfect, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. Much more does it seem necessary that we who are called to be “members of his body” should pass through severe testings and trials, to be fitted and prepared for the glory that shall follow.
Arrived in Egypt, the Lord’s blessing was upon Joseph in a remarkable manner, in that he was sold
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as a slave to a wealthy master. We have little insight into Joseph’s previous history, but apparently he was a remarkable boy when he entered Potiphar’s house at seventeen years of age. His manliness and sedateness and faithfulness to duty and quick intelligence were a good inheritance from his father, who had earnestly desired his birth;—which was, indeed, in answer to prayer. He evidently inherited considerable of his father’s faith, benevolence and executive ability, and as a result rose rapidly in Potiphar’s house to a position of great responsibility, to have charge over all his master’s affairs. We cannot doubt that the boy’s mind frequently reverted to his father and brethren, and his dreams, and to the Abrahamic covenant. Unquestionably he believed in those promises, and doubtless often wondered how they would be fulfilled,—what would be the leadings of divine providence in his affairs. His faith in God, his trust in the promises, served to separate him from the evil influences connected with that sudden transfer of his life from the pasture fields of Canaan to the busy scenes and luxuries and pleasures and sins of one of the greatest cities in the world at that time, a capital of the most renowned nation in that day.
So it is with every life; there is need of an ideal, of a hope, of a good ambition, to act as a ballast and to keep the life steady in the midst of the divers winds
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and currents of the present evil world. The boy or the girl who has had a proper training by godly parents, especially in respect to the hopes set before us in the gospel, has much advantage every way over youthful companions who have no specific object and motive in life, who lack the ballast of the divine promises, and are driven hither and thither by the changing winds of time, generally into folly and often into sin, in search of satisfaction, which all crave. Christian parents who have been derelict of duty toward their children cannot too quickly correct the fault and help them to settle their minds upon the only things that can bring them true peace and joy and satisfaction, and balance, in the storms of life.
But if Joseph thought he had learned all the necessary lessons of experience, and that his course henceforth would be one of prosperity, he was mistaken. Divine providence had marked out for him a higher station than that of chief overseer of the household affairs and business of General Potiphar; and if his station was to be a higher one, likewise also he must receive further lessons in a still severer school, in order to be prepared for the still greater exaltation in due time. Suddenly, while evidently enjoying his master’s confidence and his mistress’ favor, calamity came upon him, and that through no fault of his own, but really because of his faithfulness to his master. He was falsely accused by Potiphar’s spited wife. He was cast into prison; and this expression, “prison,” meant and still means something entirely different in Egypt and all eastern countries from what it means in Europe and America. There prisons were dark, loathsome, terrible places; and prisoners were frequently horribly mistreated, bound in iron fetters, etc. That this was Joseph’s treatment, at first, seems evident from a reference to the matter in Psalm 105:18: “Whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in iron.” This must have been a severe trial to Joseph, a doubly bitter experience by reason of the hopes he had been entertaining respecting divine favor and future exaltation.
And so it is with the spiritual heirs of the Abrahamic promises: sometimes, while in the discharge of duty to the best of our ability, and when apparently we have the Lord’s blessing and favor upon us and our affairs in a most marked degree, suddenly trouble may arise, adversity come, the powers of darkness seem to triumph, and for the moment we may be apparently culprits in the judgment of our fellow-men, and apparently forsaken by divine providence. The only consolation in such conditions is that we have suffered wrongfully—”as deceivers, yet true.” Such experiences, doubtless, are needful to us; for though we may sing:
“I would rather walk in the dark with God, Than go alone in the light”
yet this might be but an empty boast unless we were put through the trying experiences which would develop such faith, such a trust, as would hold to the Lord’s hand, and trust divine providence in the darkest hour. We are to learn to walk by faith, and not by sight, to trust our Lord where we cannot trace him.
Joseph’s faith evidently stood the test, and his nobility of character shone out even under those adverse conditions; and this became a sign to the master of the prison that the Lord was with Joseph, that he was a peculiarly exemplary and wise young man—now twenty-seven years old. The warden of the prison was anxious to have such a faithful servant to assist him in his work. Indeed, there is always room in this world for efficient men and women, and the most efficient are those in whom is the spirit of the Lord, and who have “the wisdom which cometh from above—first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits.” (James 3:17.) The prison keeper doubtless was actuated by selfish motives to favor Joseph and put him in charge of the prisoners. But no matter for this; it was the operation of divine providence, nevertheless, and not merely Joseph’s abilities that secured for him the position. However, we are to note that those whom God specially favors, and specially uses, must have character. A rough diamond may not look better than an ordinary pebble, but it has something of firmness and purity about it that ordinary pebbles do not have, that justifies the cutting and polishing and ultimate mounting as a gem. So we are to remember that while all our blessings are of the Lord and through Christ, nevertheless we have something to do in the matter of “making our calling and election sure”; we must have the love, the devotion, the zeal for God and for righteousness; and not only must we have this character, but we must have the submission which will enable us to accept and profit by the various trials of faith and patience which divine providence sees proper to permit us to experience for the trimming and polishing of the jewel.
Not only were Joseph’s experiences as a slave and as a prisoner calculated to give him a sympathy for those in adversity, but additionally he was learning lessons of experience and wisdom, educational in their character, which would prepare him in time to stand before King Pharaoh and to be made his Prime Minister. Some of these experiences he gained in the prison, as related in this lesson. The prisoners at that time were not all culprits, but sometimes the subjects of the king’s displeasure. Two such persons high in Pharaoh’s household (the “butler” or cup-bearer to the king, being one of the highest officers in honor and trust, and the baker, the manager of the king’s culinary department, and general steward of the household) were cast into the same prison with Joseph because of having in some manner offended the king; and as Joseph had by this time chief charge of the prisoners he must have come frequently and into intimate contact with these men, so well versed in the affairs of the kingdom. And under the circumstances they would undoubtedly be communicative to Joseph, as we may be sure he was receptive to all the information obtainable. They must have thought him a very different sort of prisoner from others of that time when he even noticed so small a matter as sadness upon their faces, and enquired considerately respecting the same. So all of the spiritual heirs of the Abrahamic promise, while passing through the trials and difficulties needful to their preparation and polishing for the future glory, must learn to be compassionate. “Blessed are the merciful; they shall obtain mercy.” Their own experiences help to mollify
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their hearts, and make them tender-hearted toward all who are in trouble. All of the Lord’s people should be peculiar in these respects—”full of mercy and good fruits.”
Joseph’s expression of sympathy soon brought from the prisoners an explanation of their sadness—they had each dreamed on the previous night, and each was troubled, thinking that his dream foreboded evil. Joseph was blessed by the Lord with some intuitive understanding of dreams, and promptly gave their interpretation—one of the officers would in a short time be released, while the other would be executed; and having sympathized with the one who would suffer, and having congratulated the one who would be released, Joseph made request of the latter that in his coming days of prosperity he would remember him and his kindness, and if possible secure his release through the king’s mercy.
Joseph’s two dreams, and now these two dreams of the butler and baker, and two subsequent dreams by Pharaoh, all give evidence of having been in some manner divinely inspired, and intended to exercise certain influences and to bring about certain results. In our accepting these for all that they were, we are not to be understood as endorsing the thought that every dream is of the Lord, or is to have a special prophetic or providential fulfilment. Quite to the contrary, we believe that the majority of dreams are mental fictions, the result frequently of disordered stomachs and of the brain being partly asleep and partly awake, producing often unreasonable and absurd images, without special meaning except as warnings for better care in respect to our eating. We may even go further than this, and say that we feel sure that there is still a third kind of dreams,—dreams of a still
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different origin—neither inspired by the Lord nor by indigestion, but by evil spirits, for the purpose of misleading the dreamer. To make sure that our dreams are not the inspiration of evil we must make sure that we are not the children of the Evil One, but that having renounced sin and fled for refuge to the hope set before us in the Gospel, we have, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus our Lord, obtained adoption into the family of God, and thus obtained relationship to him and protection from the power of the Evil One, and his delusions as respects our affairs; and come under the gracious promise that “all things shall work together for good” to us because we love God and have been called according to his purpose. In the dreams mentioned in this connection we are to notice that those of the butler and baker and Pharaoh were not the dreams of God’s people, but nevertheless were evidently inspired of him, and that the purposes of these dreams were not specially in the interest of the dreamers, but largely in the interest of Joseph.
As respects the Lord’s people of to-day, there is much less necessity for dreams than in olden times. We have the Word of God—God’s testimony bearing upon every subject needful to us. This message is so complete that the Apostle could say that by it the man of God might be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work. (2 Tim. 3:16,17.) This should not hinder us from recognizing a dream as from the Lord, provided it would stand the tests of the written Word—provided the dream was not in any sense in conflict with God’s revelation in the Scriptures. If the dream be in conflict with the Scriptures we are to reject the dream. If we find it in harmony with the Scriptures we are to accept it because of that harmony, and merely allow it to draw our attention more particularly to the Scriptures with which it accords. But whether by dreams or walking by faith entirely, and not by sight or dreams in any particular, the true child of God, the heir of the spiritual promises to Abraham, is to look for, to expect, to find, to realize, more fully even than our Golden Text says of Joseph, that “the Lord was with him, and showed him mercy.” If the Lord be with us and show mercy toward us, no matter how he may do this, we are to take his favor with grateful hearts, and to show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, and who eventually will bring us out of the prison-house of death into the glories of the everlasting Kingdom, to joint-heirship with his Son.
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“FOR GOD WAS WITH HIM”
GEN. 41:38-49.—OCT. 20
“Them that honor me, I will honor.”—1 Sam. 2:30
DIVINE FAVOR was the secret of Joseph’s success, as it has been the secret of the success of all who have attained true greatness in the world. In previous ages true success was more or less identified with earthly prosperity, riches and power; but during this Gospel age—the spirit dispensation—true success and divine favor stand related to spiritual prosperity, attainments and usefulness, as exemplified in our Lord Jesus, in the Apostles, and in the less prominent servants of the Cross from their day until now. The principle is the same, though the mode of operation is different. Adversity is still the school in which the chief lessons in character-building are to be learned—in which the correct ideals of life are to be formed, and ultimately to be crystalized into fixed character. The story of Joseph’s experiences, which in this lesson culminate in great advancement and blessing, illustrates the fact that God has to do not only with the shaping of national affairs, but also with the individual affairs of all who are “called according to his purpose,” and who are seeking to live up to the requirements and conditions of that call.
It was probably because Joseph had some basis of character that the Lord chose to use him to prepare the way for his family to come into Egypt, etc. And we may be sure that had he proven neglectful of the lessons and experiences through which he passed the Lord would have changed or modified his dealings accordingly. As it was, the Lord’s favors and blessings were evidently bestowed upon a worthy character, which, so far as we may judge from the record, responded obediently and trustfully in every trial. That Joseph’s faith in the Lord was the basis
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of his strength of character, fidelity to duty and to principle, there is no reason to question. Had he doubted the Lord’s providence in his own case, as foreshadowed in his own dreams, he would have been inclined to say to his two princely prisoners, when they related their dreams, as recorded in the last lesson, that they should have no confidence in dreams, for he had proven their unreliableness to his own bitter chagrin, having dreamed of power and influence, and having received, instead, degradation, slavery, and imprisonment. But he evidently still believed in his dreams, still expected release in some manner, and believed that the Lord was overruling in his affairs.
Such a trust and confidence in the Almighty Ruler, as our Heavenly Father, is still more appropriate in us, the spiritual heirs of the Abrahamic promise; because we have much advantage every way over Joseph and others of our predecessors, who were heirs of only the natural blessings. Those who lived before Christ, no matter how high their station, at the very most were members of the “house of servants,” while we of this Gospel age are freely recognized of God as sons, members of the “house of sons,” of which our Lord Jesus is the Head. The sons not only are granted, through the holy spirit, deeper and clearer insight into the divine plan, but much advantage every way over the house of servants and over the world in general. Yet as with Joseph and the typical throne of Egypt, it is not sufficient that we should be favored of God and called to joint-heirship in the Kingdom of earth; but it is necessary that we shall prove submissive and tractable under his disciplines and instructions; that we may be “meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.” It is necessary especially that our faith should be strong, and to this end that it should be tried, that it may be to the praise of his glory who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Joseph’s confidence in his ultimate deliverance, and the fulfilment of God’s promise, did not hinder him from doing all he could in a proper manner to effect his own deliverance. We notice how, after kindly treating the imprisoned butler, explaining his dream for him, and rejoicing with him in the prosperity intimated, he solicited that when the prince would again be in royal favor he would kindly remember that his comforter, Joseph, was still in prison, and if possible secure the royal pardon for him. It was proper that he should thus take reasonable steps toward his own liberty, and no doubt the two years longer that he remained in prison brought testings of his faith, of his trust in the Lord; for the butler seems to have forgotten him entirely when his prosperity returned. However, in all this, as we can now see, the Lord was caring for him. He was learning the lessons of patient endurance, of suffering for righteousness’ sake, of faith in the Lord. Had he been released by royal decree and set at liberty, he might have gone back to hunt up his father and his brethren in Palestine; or he might have gotten immersed in business of some kind in Egypt; but under divine providence he was kept safely in prison, learning necessary lessons, until he was thirty years of age; and it was at this time that Pharaoh the king, having had two remarkable dreams, which seriously impressed themselves upon his mind, and having consulted the wise man of Egypt, could find no satisfactory solution for them. It was then that the butler bethought him of his own dream while in the prison, and of the wonderful young man there who had interpreted it so accurately, and whose kindness he had so quickly forgotten. Here was an opportunity of serving the king and serving his prisoner-friend; so he mentioned Joseph to Pharaoh in most complimentary terms. Thus we see illustrated the fact that kindnesses done to others, even though they seem to be quickly forgotten, may possibly return in blessing on our own heads later on, and be used of the Lord as channels of blessing.
Pharaoh called for the prisoner, and the explanation of his dreams was so thoroughly satisfactory that he could not doubt their truthfulness, and corroborated by the testimony of the butler, he concluded that Joseph’s ability as an interpreter resided in the fact that God was with him; that God was using him; and that in some manner or other the God who had given these dreams, and such an interpretation to so remarkable a young man, would be pleased to bless and to use his servant still further in connection with the precautions to be taken to avert the severity of the famine predicted. Pharaoh was possessed of autocratic power, and was at liberty to exalt whom he would to authority in his kingdom, and very wisely he concluded that none could be more safe to trust than the one whom the Almighty trusted and made his friend;—the one to whom and through whom he revealed the secrets of knowledge. There is a lesson
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of wisdom here for the Lord’s people and for all—to the effect that although the Lord’s people may not be perfect, it is safer, in an emergency, to trust those whom the Lord has trusted than any others.
Joseph was at once made what we to-day would call Prime Minister of Egypt. He was the representative of Pharaoh, and as such had greater power than any monarch or Prime Minister of Europe, except the Czar of Russia and the Sultan of Turkey or their representatives. Many have inclined to doubt the possibility of such an exaltation from prison to second place in the throne; but such are not sufficiently familiar with the customs of eastern countries. A story, for instance, is told of the Sultan of Turkey, that one day having a severe toothache, and his usual dentist being absent from the city, his servants were sent to get any dentist they could find. They found one in comparative poverty, clothed him suitably to be presented to the Sultan, who, after he had performed the service, gave him the title and emoluments of Pasha, with both a city and a country residence, wealth, etc. Joseph’s experience was not much more extreme than this. Doubtless, though the narrative does not show it, some explanations were offered respecting his previous character as Potiphar’s servant, and as the trusty overseer in prison; satisfying Pharaoh’s mind that he was an honorable man, worthy of confidence and trust, besides the attestations of divine favor. So there is likely to be in all of our affairs a time of change, in which, if we have been misunderstood and misrepresented, the truth will ultimately be brought forth, as the Lord
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declares, “He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.” (Psa. 37:6.) We are to wait patiently for the Lord, and to take patiently such experiences as his providences may mark out for us, questioning not the wisdom, the love and the power of him with whom we have to do—of him who has promised that all things shall work for our everlasting welfare, if we abide faithful to him.
Pharaoh’s ring was a signet ring. In ancient times royal commands were not signed and sealed, as at present, but sealed only, the monarch having a peculiar seal which, wherever it went, was recognized as his, and to have counterfeited which would have been gross felony, punishable with death. It was this seal that was given to Joseph, that by and through the authority expressed in it he might issue such commands as he pleased in respect to the accumulation and building of granaries and storing in the same part of the surplus crop of the seven years of plenty.
The honor and distinction of Joseph as next to Pharaoh seems well to illustrate the glorious exaltation of our Lord Jesus (in which the church, as his body, will soon share). Our Lord was tested, yet notwithstanding his faithfulness he went into the great prison-house of death; on the third day was delivered and raised up to power and great glory, and to be next to Jehovah God in the throne of the universe. The divine signet was given to him, and the proclamation was that “All men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father,” and that nothing should be done except at his command—that all power in heaven and in earth was committed unto him. (John 5:23; Matt. 28:18.) The faithful members of the elect body of Christ, the Church, the overcomers, must also be tried in various ways, and for righteousness’ sake must suffer in the present time, be misunderstood, misrepresented, etc. These also must go into the prison-house of death, and be therein parts of three great days (thousand-year days), a part of the fifth thousand, all of the sixth thousand, and early in the seventh thousand years, or third thousand-year day, their resurrection is due; that they may become joint-heirs with Christ their Lord and Head, in the glorious things of the Kingdom. All this was well marked by the parts of three years which Joseph spent in prison, and his subsequent exaltation.
The meaning of the new, Egyptian, name given to Joseph is rather in dispute, Canon Cooke claiming that it means “Bread of Life.” It was appropriate in view of the great work which Joseph accomplished—the accumulation of a great store of wheat during the years of plenty,—sufficient to supply the necessities of the whole people during the seven years of famine. In this respect again we are reminded of Christ, who called himself the “Bread of Life.” We are reminded, too, that it was through a work which he accomplished that the living bread is provided, for the whole world of mankind typified by the Egyptians; and that through him also the bread of life comes to his brethren, typified by Joseph’s brethren and Jacob. As there was no life for all the people there except through Joseph and his work, and as Joseph did his work as the agent or representative of Pharaoh, so we see, as an anti-type, that there is no life for anyone of the world except in and through Christ Jesus our Lord, and that his work is accomplished in the name of, and as the representative of our Heavenly Father, the supreme ruler of the universe.
Some are always ready to make objection and to find fault, rather than to make reasonable explanations, and some such object to Joseph’s course in collecting one-fifth of the harvest of the plentiful years, and using it later on to strengthen the authority of Pharaoh and his control over all the people of his realm. We might say that even the one-fifth of the crop increase might not be considered an unreasonable tax, as it is the usual amount of rental charged in that vicinity to-day, and even more than that is frequently charged here and elsewhere in civilized countries; but we do not know that the one-fifth was exacted from the people as a tax. We do not know that Pharaoh’s purse and bank account were not drawn upon for the purpose of this storage-wheat at the low price which would prevail during a period of such great surplus. We shall presume the latter, in the absence of any information to the contrary; and as for using this to strengthen the authority of the throne, and the contrariness of this from all democratic ideas, we have nothing to say except that it remains to be proven that a republican form of government is in all respects the best for fallen humanity. The Lord does not propose as a remedy for present ills, social, political, moral, etc., to introduce a Millennium along the lines of a republic; but he does propose its introduction along the lines of a monarchy—an absolute monarchy, in which his Son, who redeemed the world, will reign to bless the world by the exercise of autocratic power; for the subjugation of evil; for the bringing of all mankind into full appreciation of the principles of righteousness, and, so far as they will, into full accordance with the great supreme ruler, Jehovah—that they shall be his subjects forever, as the people of Egypt typically became the perpetual servants of Pharaoh.
As Pharaoh gave to Joseph a wife, named Asenath (signifying “Favor”), and she became Joseph’s associate in honor and dignity, and co-laborer and helpmate with him in his work of blessing Egypt, so Jehovah God proposes a bride for his exalted Son, our Lord, and she also will be a favorite. It has required all of this Gospel age for her betrothal and preparation for the marriage, and the time is now nigh at hand when she shall be brought near to the King, as the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife, adorned in the glorious linen robe of her Lord, fitly embroidered with the elements of character which he can approve.—Psa. 45:13,14.
Joseph’s head was not turned by the prosperity which came to him; he showed himself worthy of it—that he had profited by previous experiences, so as to know how to use the prosperity wisely. He was not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit; and seeing that the Lord had opened the way before him we find him immediately taking steps to carry out his mission. His first move was to travel throughout the lengths and breadths of Egypt, to determine the most eligible sites for the building of granaries, or storehouses; and the Lord’s blessing continued with him and prospered him in the work thus given him to do.
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So it should be with us; in whatever department of the Lord’s service he is pleased to open the door of opportunity to us, we should enter it promptly and with energy—with zeal for him and for the cause to which he has called us. This is one condition of our acceptableness with him. If we are slothful, inattentive to opportunities, undoubtedly they will be removed from us, and given to others, for the Lord is abundantly able to raise up one or another to serve his cause without interfering with, or overruling our free moral agency. Let us more and more appreciate what a privilege we enjoy in being co-laborers together with God, and especially in connection with this great service which our Lord and Master Jesus is executing, and to fellowship in which we have been called, as his bride and joint-heir.
They that honor God he will honor, in his own way; and his way will always be found eventually to be the best way. We not only are to honor the Lord by word of mouth, but especially are we to show forth his praises in the affairs of life—in connection with home duties, business duties, service of the truth: in all things we are to glorify him in our bodies and
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spirits which are his; and those who thus do shall be blessed indeed of the Lord and be used of him. The slightest service here permitted us is an honor indeed, and faithfulness in these slight services of the present time are eventually to be blessed and rewarded with the greater and grander service of the Kingdom.
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WORDS OF CHEER AND ENCOURAGEMENT
Dear Brother Russell:—After a thankful and (to me) blessed perusal of the last issue of Watch Tower, I want to state that I have truly come out of Babylon, since I read the very first Tower that ever came into my hands—March 15 and April 1, 1900. So powerful was the impression made upon me by it that I was then, and have been ever since convinced of these great truths, and all my former doubts are satisfied forever. Now I realize what the blessed Master meant by the words, “The truth shall make you free.” Regarding churches in general, when I think of the good, conscientious Christians, many of whom I would fain emulate; and think of seeming to be better than they, I feel very much troubled and very humble. Nevertheless, I can never believe their way again. I often think of the church at Allegheny, and wish I might enjoy the blessing of meeting with you all at times.
The lesson on “Patient Endurance,” and that on “Duty-Love” in May 1 Tower, are my constant study. I was a member of the Episcopal church. Our minister has called time and again and kindly solicited my return. I have deferred telling him of my change of views only out of consideration for him, as he has been deep in affliction the past year, and when I look at his kind face and think how I may hurt him, I cannot but forbear. This is my standpoint at present. Do not think I am ashamed to own my Lord; O, no! I am watching my opportunity, which will be soon, I believe. I have distributed tracts to many, having myself enjoyed the blessed truths revealed in them; truly God assisted you to write them. I thank you for their precious lessons. When I think of my unworthiness, and humble station, and realize what great things the good Lord has called me to, can I do aught but press onward to the attainment of the high “mark”?
May God bless and strengthen you in preparing the marginal references you contemplate for the new Bible! Pray for me that I may do all for Him that I can find to do. Yours in the Master,
Mrs. R. L. Jones, Ohio
[I am glad, dear Sister, to note that you are “tender-hearted” and trust that when, in withdrawing, you announce your present position to the minister and members of the church, it will be worded kindly, inoffensively. See the “Withdrawal Letters” which we supply free for this purpose,—sufficient for all the church membership. But, dear Sister, when you feared to cause pain and disappointment to an earthly minister and friend, did you forget the Friend above all others—the Lord—and his smile of approval? Remember the poet’s words,—
“O, let no earthborn cloud arise,
To hide thee from thy servant’s eyes”
Let us see to it, dear Sister, that the Lord’s approval has first place in our hearts.—Editor.]
Dear Brother Russell:—Our “Volunteer Rally” yesterday was a success every way respecting the amount of work done and the spiritual blessings received. The Lord was evidently with us paving the way, and the interest manifested by the friends from surrounding towns who came to help in the Harvest work was certainly strengthening and encouraging to us here, and the meeting together of all after the day’s work was edifying in the extreme. That our hopes and aims are one, was beautifully brought out in the testimonies, praise, prayers and thanks; and it was manifest that the Holy Spirit was in our midst. It was “spontaneous combustion,” so to speak, and the afternoon was not half long enough to give all an opportunity to voice their gratitude for blessings received, and for being privileged to do something for Jesus in the “Volunteer” work. We realized how we had been called and thus far led; and that if we continue to walk faithfully nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God. Bro. Russell and his helpers, and all of the Lord’s children everywhere were remembered in our prayers.
The number engaged in tract distribution was seventy-nine, as follows: From Tiffin, 19; Ft. Wayne, 6; Auburn, 1; Ypsilanti, 3; Battle Creek, 1; Pt. Clinton, 5; Detroit, 3; Fostoria, 2; Bowling Green, 1; Ottawa Lake, 1; Findlay, 1; Toledo, 36; total, 79. Tracts distributed about 5,000; churches served, about 55. The weather was extremely hot,—harvest weather—just the sort to ripen wheat, and the volunteers proved themselves veterans, and turned up smiling
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and content, receiving ample pay in the mysterious blessing that comes over one when handing out tracts. Certainly the Lord is our strength in all our ways!
We feel satisfied so far as the day’s work went, and know the Lord will bless it in his own time and way. Praying that the Lord will further bless us with his grace, we are, dear brother,
In the “Harvest” work,
The Toledo Class, Ohio
Dear Brother Russell:—Just a line to thank you for the Gospel Truth as I believe Christ would have us know it, and which I have received at your hand. I think I have made good use of the tracts sent me a few months ago; since that time I have learned of the meeting-place of the brethren in Liverpool and got a blessing. My family are members of the Methodist church, to which I am attached, but now I see the Gospel in a different light, thank God! With the help of prayer I am trying to do a little of the Lord’s work among my shipmates, many of whom are skeptics; I am trying to convince them of a living God and a future judgment. Please let me know if there is a meeting-place in or around Boston that I can attend while my ship is in port. I am willing to be at your service in delivering God’s Word, in the shape of tracts or magazines at church doors or meetings of any kind in Liverpool or Boston.
God bless you in the work of spreading the true gospel throughout this wicked world. I pray his Kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Your loving brother in Jesus,
James H. Wallace, England
My dear Brother:—I have at last decided to give up all, and I have prayed earnestly for help to make the surrender complete; God forbid that it should be otherwise!
My contract in the business indicated above (insurance) will expire in November next; but I want to be wholly occupied in a better work long before that time. In fact, I can’t hold my tongue now, I must declare the light I have found (through your help) in the Scriptures; these are now my delight, where before they were uninteresting, though I have been a member of the Missionary Baptist church for twenty-three years, and a deacon fourteen years, but I will send in my letter of withdrawal soon.
I have been a leader in the Reform Party in politics, in this State, for ten years, and have held many positions of trust; but have found that a failure, and will give it up. Have been a drawing speaker, but my voice is nearly gone, hence I will have to supplement it with literature in spreading this “good news” so little known in these parts. I am willing to take a very humble place in the ranks because of my extreme unworthiness and the lateness of the hour.
I have seen in some of your literature that you have colporteurs for Millennial Dawn, and other works. Write me terms and full particulars, also any help you can give me on my spiritual condition.
Yours thankfully, H. L. Brian, Texas
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THE ASSASSINATION AND ITS PROBABLE RESULTS
It is difficult to account for the peculiar operation of the brain of the anarchist who shot the noble President of this nation,—William McKinley. What could he, or the class he is supposed to have represented in the act, hope to gain by such an act? What motive of any kind could inspire such a deed? It is most charitable to view the assassin and his accomplices as mentally unbalanced to a greater degree than are the majority of the human family; so that to their view the essential of peace and blessing is less law: whereas those who are directed by the Word of the Lord know that the world needs yet more stringent laws for the correction of evil-doers. How blessed the assurances of the Scriptures that the great reign of righteousness—law and grace—is near at hand. That the Millennial Kingdom will not only effectually restrain such unbalanced creatures, but by restitution processes will lift them up toward soundness and righteousness.
A cypher letter has just been found and interpreted. It announces that the anarchists have plotted the assassination of President Roosevelt, Senator Hanna, the governors of all the States and the financial princes—J. D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan and C. M. Schwab. It seems difficult to suppose that the anarchists hope to terrorize the people so that no one would accept office. Do they not know that there are several millions of men anxious for a chance at these offices and willing to brave every risk? Anarchists are comparatively few in these days of prosperity: not in prosperous times,—not until “trouble like a gloomy cloud” shall have gathered world-wide and shut out the light of hope, need we fear that the insanity of anarchy will prevail to the extent predicted in the Scriptures—the overthrow of the entire social fabric.
We see no special significance in the assassin’s deed as respects the peculiar times in which we are living—the “harvest”—except that it will probably lead to stringent repressive laws against anarchists. Such we would approve, but opine that a restriction of liberty in this approved direction might soon lead to an abuse of power and a restraint of proper liberties;—an attempt to restrain any and everything not favored by general public sentiment. For instance WATCH TOWER publications have thousands of enemies who would not hesitate to misrepresent its teachings as anarchistic, and in doing so think they did God service;—after the example of Saul of Tarsus. We are expecting some such violent interruption of the “harvest” work within a few years now; but will conclude then that “the door is shut.” Meantime let us each and all “labor while it is called day; for the night cometh wherein no man can work.”