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VOL. XXIII. MAY 15, 1902. No. 10
Views from the Watch Tower……………………147
Science Falsely so Called…………………147
Who is on the Lord’s Side?………………147
Rejected for Unbelief……………………148
“The Extinction of Adam”…………………148
The Meaning of Europe’s
The Gospel of Forgiveness of Sins……………149
Good Friday and the Mass……………………151
Enduring Hardness as Good Soldiers……………152
The Memorial Supper Celebrated………………155
The New Bibles Thoroughly
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ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.
DAWNS AND TRACTS IN QUANTITIES
The Postoffice ruling interfering with what we claim are our legal rights in respect to mailing our paper-bound editions of the MILLENNIAL DAWN at newspaper rates, as for years past, has led some of the friends to join together, and by giving a united order for one hundred DAWNS to get them by freight. We commend this plan, and will supply them thus to WATCH TOWER subscribers for $10.00 per hundred, any assortment.
Remember, that our subscribers under our new arrangement can send to a friend, post-paid, any volume of DAWN in cloth binding, for 25c. No other similar books are supplied at such prices—nor, indeed, at any price; and the book in cloth cover will make a more favorable impression than in a paper cover. Tracts may be ordered in the same box if convenient;—free.
By this time nearly all who have responded to our call are supplied with the new “ammunition;” use up first any old ammunition you may have on hand, but expect no more of it.
We find that some have not understood our object in sending out two kinds this time. It is not the thought to give each person the two papers, but the very reverse. As people usually leave churches in family groups, the distribution of one paper to each is apt to put two alike into many homes; our desire is that, if possible, they shall be different.
Our suggestion therefore is, that the captains see to it that each bundle (consisting of equal quantities of February 15 and March 15 WATCH TOWERS) is thoroughly reassorted so that the two papers can be handed out alternately. Let each “volunteer” see to this and assist also. We have plenty now; order all you can use judiciously.
Again we urge that in the distribution you do not go inside the churches, nor stand upon their steps;—if possible not even on the public pavement in their front. It is better rather, where possible, to stand 100 feet or more away from their exits.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
SCIENCE FALSELY SO CALLED
WE ARE GLAD to note that the Richmond Christian Advocate is not yet ready to repudiate God’s Word and accept the theory of evolution.
We agree that scientists who deal in millions and billions of years evidently forget the meaning of the word “science.” We clip from its issue of March 6 the following:—
“THE ORIGIN OF MAN
“We had hoped that after the repeated failures to find the missing link in the chain of evolution the advocates of that theory would be less bold and positive in their assertions. True science is always cautious in its statements. Its teachings are supposed to be based on determinate and well-ascertained facts. Otherwise it ceases to be science and becomes mere speculation. These remarks have been suggested by the following extract from the Chicago Inter-Ocean:
“‘The International Congress of Zoology, in session at Cambridge, England, during the current week, was remarkable for a fascinating paper by Professor Haeckel on the world’s present knowledge of the descent of man. He did not hesitate to declare that science has now established the absolute certainty that man has descended through various stages of evolution from the lowest form of animal life during a period estimated at 1,000,000,000 years. This knowledge, which must now be accepted as the crowning achievement of science during the nineteenth century, was won through recent discoveries of fossil remains in Java, Madagascar, and Australia, and is made still more complete evidence by available proof of discoveries wherewith Darwin’s name is most commonly associated.’
“Professor Haeckel is known to be a Darwin of the Darwinites. Indeed, in some of his views upon his pet theory he has gone far beyond Darwin himself. Why does he seek for proofs of the doctrine of evolution in such remote and widely-separated regions as Java, Madagascar, and Australia, instead of the original centers of population? Besides, Professor Haeckel must have known that the evidences he adduces from certain fossil remains in Madagascar and Australia have been demonstrated to be utterly unreliable. What particular find he refers to in Java we do not know; but take it for granted that it is worthless as the rest. The fact is, the evolutionists have been so pushed to find that ‘missing link,’ without which their whole system falls to the ground as incomplete and insupportable, that they have been ready to snatch at anything which would seem in the remotest manner to connect the broken series.
“The Professor evidently intends to allow himself ample time to work out his progressive developments from a protoplasm to an ape, and from an ape to a man. He assumes a round billion of years. We say assumes it, for every one must see that it is sheer assumption. Why not say five billions instead? There is no geological table by which he could fix the time at one billion of years. When science thus goes out of the domain of exact truth, we have a right to question its statements and its calculations. We don’t know where Professor Haeckel got his arithmetic, and he does not know himself. When he declares, and does not ‘hesitate’ to declare, that ‘science has now established the absolute certainty that man has descended through various stages of evolution from the lowest form of animal life during a period estimated at one billion of years,’ we demand proof; but the proof is not forthcoming. The declaration is about as satisfactory and sensible as the silly reply that Aaron made to Moses when the latter questioned him about the golden calf. He said: ‘I cast the gold in the fire, and there came out this calf.’ So the evolutionists would have us believe that all these wonderful things in nature just ‘came out’ of themselves entirely apart from divine agency.
“Which is the more rational theory, that all things were made by Him ‘who is before all things and by whom all things consist,’ or that things just evolved of their own free will and accord? Which is worthier of our credence,
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that ‘God made man in His own image and after His own likeness,’ or that man developed out of an animal of the Simian species?
“Evolutionists admit that man is the final product of the series. If so, why is it that the fossil remains of the animal connecting man with his ancestral ape cannot be found? It would be the latest fossil, and should be most easily found. O, where is the living link, if the fossil cannot be found? Echo answers, Where?”
WHO IS ON THE LORD’S SIDE?
The Presbyterian, of Philadelphia, attacks the Evolution and Higher Criticism errors of our time in good style, as follows:—
“There has arisen a class of preachers, who are proclaiming a social gospel, a scientific gospel, a literary gospel, a reformatory gospel. The cry appears to be, Anything to get rid of the Old Gospel, which ‘the orthodox religion’ upholds and preaches. All kinds of political reforms are initiated; critical theories in theology are ventilated; the newest industrial formations are given currency; and the thought and effort are centered upon the material, intellectual, and moral improvement of earth. It is no wonder that in the enthusiasm kindled over these and other efforts for human amelioration, there is considerable diversion from ‘the orthodox religion;’ but it has
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a staying and conquering power, and it will always have myriads in this and the oncoming ages to heed its teachings as a message from God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It would be a magnificent thing if all would turn away from the siren voices which lure away from the Old Gospel of salvation through personal repentance of sin, faith in Christ as the only Redeemer of mankind, and holy living, or through a renovated soul and life by the transforming grace of the Holy Ghost; but where any prefer to pass it by as of no account at such a time as this, the responsibility rests with them, not with those who press it upon the mind and heart of old and young. A conceited age may think it has a different message than that which the Son of God has given it, but the Christian religion, which has done so much for all classes and conditions in the past, will ever vindicate its right to exist, and will work out the purposes for which God gave it until latest periods.”
REJECTED FOR UNBELIEF
The New York Times tells (April 15) of an examination of a theological student, Mr. Noll, before a Presbytery, as follows:—
He was being examined on a chapter from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, where the Apostle speaks about Adam. The examiner asked Mr. Noll what he thought about Adam, and he said he did not think Adam was a historical character, but rather a myth. The ministers, or at least many of the older ones, began to move uneasily in their seats.
“What!” said one of them, “Then you must have come to the conclusion that St. Paul did not know what he was talking about.”
It was here the trouble began, but this was not the only point of doctrine on which the candidate had shown himself “unsound.” When he was examined on the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah he boldly asserted that the prophetic sayings there referred to the Hebrew people, not to Christ, as a majority of the ministers would have it.
He was rejected by a majority vote after considerable discussion; but the account says further that the Rev. Dr. Gregg of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church was a visitor at the meeting, and remarked: “This young man would have been received with a hurrah in the Brooklyn Presbytery. We do things differently there.”
How evident it is to every observing mind that “the faith once delivered unto the saints” is becoming more and more scarce in Babylon;—and properly it is becoming more and more precious to those who have it to the extent that they are able to “give to them that ask it a reason for the hope that is within them.” Harken to the inspired advice, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong!”—I Cor. 16:13.
“THE EXTINCTION OF ADAM”
Exchanges of April 29th, report the matter further as follows:—
“The Elizabeth, N.J., Presbytery yesterday granted a license to preach to one of the applicants who had expressed his disbelief in the story of Adam and Eve, although he still adhered to his conviction that the story was merely ‘allegorical.’ He will be ordained for foreign mission duty.
“With the sanction of so eminent a religious body to sustain us we may now all freely admit that we no longer consider Adam and Eve our first parents, but regard them as wholly mythical personages. This will be a sad loss to literature and art, but it will relieve the human race from a sense of long-standing injustice.”
AGNOSTICISM IN JEWISH PULPITS, TOO
Baltimore, Md., April 13.—Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, of Chicago, delivered a lecture at the Har Sinai Temple here today, which took the breath of most of his listeners, despite the fact that it is the most liberal congregation in the city. In his sermon Dr. Hirsch said:
“Think of God as you may, so long as you have the proper conception of man you are in harmony with Judaism. Even if Moses never existed, if the ten commandments did not come from Sinai—and I don’t believe they did—Judaism still lives.
“The Bible is literature; it is mythology. It did not come from heaven in a mechanical way. A new Bible has come forth, strangely different from what our fathers loved. The old idea is a God who holds in one hand a club and in the other a stick of candy. This God was man. He has been dethroned. Our soul needs a God who is superior to man.”
Yes, truly a great falling away from the faith is in progress amongst all nationalities—especially among the “wise” and “learned.” This poor Rabbi is no more to be blamed than Christian ministers who are taking the same position. No wonder, then, that leading ministers join in dedicating Jewish synagogues and Rabbis in dedicating Christian churches. It is only a “ceremony” anyway—to impress and please the common people.
Evidently, however, the secret of nearly all the rebellion against the Bible is the result of a lack of knowledge of God and his plan and his Book. How thankful we should be for the opening of the eyes of our understanding, which alone keeps us firm and secure when all around is shaking! Well did the Lord foretell the blindness coming upon the “learned” and worldly-wise and of the blinded followers of the blind leaders. “My people are destroyed [dumbfounded] for lack of knowledge.”—Hos. 4:6; Isa. 29:14.
THE MEANING OF EUROPE’S GREAT ARMIES
The brother who sends the below clipping remarks: “How truly this bears out the statements of Millennial Dawn, vol. IV., respecting the “Lord’s great army!”
If you look at the map of Europe you will see in Russia a Czar with a million armed men that he can use as he pleases. A million rifles, or five million, if reserves are called upon, the Czar can aim this way or that as a child aims its bow and arrow. In Germany a vigorous young man, controlled partially by custom, common sense and the fear of the Social-Democratic party, has another million of armed men to play with. In Italy, in Austria, in Spain, you find monarchical figureheads directing huge bodies of armed men. If you look superficially at these great armies, you will say that they are a permanent menace to liberty. You will say to yourself: “How can kings be destroyed when such power is in their control?”
As a matter of fact, the greatest DANGER TO KINGS lies in the work that is done by these great standing armies. Apparently, they mean security for the monarchical idea. In reality, they mean education of the people, the spreading of radicalism, and rebellion against the claims of birth and money.
The German army system captures the yellow-haired peasant of Wurtemburg. He is dull of speech, slow in thought, kind-hearted, simple, reconciled to his own inferiority, ready to pull off his felt hat at the sight of livery worn by the servant of the great. This peasant is taken to Berlin or Frankfort. If he is slow at drill he is slapped in the face, kicked, ridiculed. He is compelled to hold himself for hours in a certain rigid position. He learns that he is entirely at the mercy of a whipper snapper in a lieutenant’s uniform. He bitterly hates his own degradation and those responsible for it. During his hours of rest he meets and talks with another soldier, perhaps the orderly on duty at the officer’s casino, who drags the lieutenant to a narrow lounge behind the curtains when the lieutenant is too drunk to stand up. Or he meets the young soldier from the city, the intelligent Jew with five hundred years of independent thinking behind him, or the non-commissioned officer, who sticks in the army because he takes pleasure in making socialists out of country recruits.
That humble peasant arrived from Wurtemburg believing himself of less importance than the dog of a country nobleman,
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and looking upon the German Emperor as the abstract equal and the concrete superior of Providence itself. At the end of his five army years the German peasant is transformed sometimes into a man of force, oftener into one with a supply of revolutionary catch phrases that make him dangerous because he has not brains enough to assimilate them.
Millions of such simple-minded peasants are changing into radicals and socialists all over Europe. The far-reaching arm of enforced military service leaves no quiet, peaceful, title-fearing corner in any of the empires. Every young man as he reaches maturity has the veneration for rank kicked out of him, and the knowledge of HOW TO FIGHT kicked into him. This is a serious thing for the kings. It means their ultimate undoing.
Already they are finding this out in Belgium, where the King is afraid of his own troups, knowing that their sympathies are with the striking men and women in the streets, and not with him, or his preposterous pretensions, or his spending of public money on ballet dancers in the Paris opera.—N.Y. Journal.
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THE GOSPEL OF FORGIVENESS OF SINS
—ACTS 13:43-52.—MAY 25.—
“Through this man [Jesus] is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.”—Acts 13:38.
PAUL AND HIS COMPANY, passing through the Island of Cyprus to the city of Paphos, at its southern end, did not tarry there. Its climate is miasmatic, and this is presumed to have been the reason for a hasty departure for the high lands of Asia Minor—Galatia, etc. The Apostle is presumed to have referred to his own semi-invalid condition at this time when later, in writing the Epistle to the Galatians, he said, “Through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel to you at first.” (Gal. 4:13,14.) Galatia was the name of a district or state in which were located a number of cities and churches mentioned in the account of Paul’s missionary tours—Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, and Antioch on the borders of Galatia, in the state of Pisidia. The Antioch of this lesson should not be confounded with the larger city, Antioch of Syria.
In our last lesson we noticed Mark as the companion and servant of the two missionaries, but he discontinued his service at Paphos and returned to Jerusalem; hardships or discouragements or home-sickness, we know not what, evidently, for the time quenched his zeal as a servant of the Lord and of the truth,—assuredly much to Mark’s disadvantage. Whatever the cause, evidently the Apostle Paul considered it quite insufficient; so that on another occasion, when Barnabas suggested Mark’s accompanying them similarly, the Apostle declined—which he evidently would not have done had Mark’s desertion been fully justified by considerations of health or necessity. It was a labor of love, however; no salaries were attached, and if Mark chose to discontinue his sacrifice it was his own business, and he was the loser.
So it is today, the Lord leaves his people free from restraints; free from threats; free from compulsion; to the intent that they may present their bodies living sacrifices day by day. Now, as then, whoever grows cold may discontinue his sacrificing, but himself will be the loser. We want to keep distinctly before our minds that while God condemns sin, and while his people have no liberty in this respect, but are obligated to do their best to withstand sin, it is different in the matter of sacrifice. The Lord is calling for free-will offerings, and whatever is not given with a hearty good-will, yea, with an earnest desire, with zeal, may as well be kept;—but the rewards promised to those who imitate the spirit of the Master and his devotion will be lost also.
There is an element of encouragement, however, in Mark’s experience. Later on he evidently became quite a thorough and devoted soldier of the cross, was again accepted to the Lord’s service, and we find that the Apostle Paul made acknowledgment of appreciation of his faithfulness. (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11.) Mark’s recovery of lost ground and his reinstatement by the Lord in his service should be an encouragement for any who similarly have grown cold and lax as respects their devotion and sacrifice, and who have been consequently dropped out of active service of the truth. The Lord is very merciful to us in our weaknesses and imperfections, and as he restored Mark, undoubtedly he is willing also to restore all who will similarly learn a lesson from their failures, and who earnestly desire and strive for re-instatement and the privileges of service.
The first stop made in Asia Minor was at Antioch of Pisidia. The usual custom was followed, of going first to the Jews—to their synagogue. The missionaries were recognized as strangers and also as men of talent, and after the regular services of the synagogue had been introduced by the reading of the usual lesson from the Law, they were invited to address the assembled people—Jews by birth, and Jewish proselytes from the Gentiles. The Apostle Paul was the speaker, and made a telling address. He recognized the fact that his hearers had faith in God’s promises regarding the coming Kingdom: he did not need, therefore, to emphasize the Kingdom feature in this discourse. Rather, his hearers needed to see that there could be no Kingdom and no permanent blessing of all the families of the earth, such as was implied in the promises made to Abraham, unless in some manner divine forgiveness of the world’s sins could first be secured.
The trend of his discourse, therefore, was to show how God had established a (typical) kingdom in the past, which had never reached the grand stage essential to the fulfilment of the Abrahamic promises, and that the thing necessary and lacking was a redemption of the world and the forgiveness of sins. Then he presented to their attention Jesus as the Messiah,—not merely a crucified Messiah, but also a risen one who, because of his death for the sins of the world, was able to save unto the uttermost all that should come unto God through him. Having put the matter squarely before them, the Apostle, in the words of our Golden Text, offered his hearers forgiveness of sins as the very essence of the Gospel.
Forgiveness of sin is still the essence of the Gospel, altho mankind now, as then, are generally loth to accept it thus,—it disappoints them by condemning them, and showing up the fact that all are sinners;—that there is none righteous, no, not one;—that all need just such a redemption as God has provided
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in the sacrifice of Christ. It disappoints also in that it shows a necessity for repudiation of sin in the heart, and, so far as possible, resisting it in all the conduct of life. Few are prepared for this—few have an ear to hear this message. The majority are ready to say, Preach unto us smooth things! Praise us for our religious fervor! Point out to us how much superior we are, not only to the heathen world, but to the masses of those who are about us! Tell us that we are God’s people, and that he could not get along without us! Do not tell us that we are sinners, and under condemnation as others; and that all who would come unto God through Jesus Christ must come by the same strait and narrow gate of faith, and repudiation of sin, and heart-consecration!
The discourse had its effect,—a two-fold effect. The honest hearted, realizing the truth regarding God’s perfection and their own imperfection, realized their need of just such a Savior as the Apostle had preached: these were specially drawn to the missionaries, who, recognizing their right attitude of heart, assured them that they were already in God’s grace or favor; and that now the message of salvation through Jesus was an additional unfolding and development of the same favor that had already been extended to the Jews; and that they should continue in the grace of God,—continue to let God lead and guide them in his way,—continue to be the recipients of his mercies and blessings, which now were multiplied to them through Christ Jesus, and the atonement work he had accomplished. Others were much less prepared for the Apostle’s words, and rather inclined to be envious of the attention bestowed upon the missionaries and their teachings,—which meant corresponding disregard for the usual leaders of the meeting and for the doctrines previously set forth, which the new views were calculated to supersede entirely.
So we find it today also: the essence of the Gospel preaching of today, as eighteen centuries ago, must be man’s sinful and condemned condition, and his need of redemption, reconciliation and recovery from sin and its wages, death. This is the Gospel, which is falling into disuse in the pulpits of churchianity, in response to the itching ears of the majority, the “tares,” and their call for the preaching of smooth things.
Additionally, it is proper now to emphasize the Gospel of the Kingdom, which the Lord and the apostles made so prominent; and to show that the little flock, the elect of this age, are to constitute the Kingdom—which, in the coming age, is to rule and bless the world, by restraining Satan and every evil device, and causing the knowledge of the Lord to abound. Now, as then, the larger unfolding of the truth, the divine plan of salvation, is interesting to some—to the honest-hearted; and repulsive to some—the vain-glorious, the sectarian, the proud, the self-satisfied. Now, as then, when we are appealed to by those who have an ear to hear present truth, they should be encouraged to “continue in the grace of God.” They should not be told that their ignorance of present truth implies that they have none of the grace of God, but that because they have received
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of his grace into good and honest hearts it is the will of God that they should continue therein and grow and increase and abound;—that to this intent he is sending forth present truth to his people in every quarter, that the true wheat may be ripened and gathered to his garner.
News of the new religion—supplemental to the Jewish—spread throughout the little city in which Judaism had evidently gained a good foothold and great respect;—so that the whole city gathered on the next Sabbath to hear the message of the missionaries—probably the majority coming merely out of curiosity, to see the difference between the doctrines of these and of the regular Jewish teachers. “The whole city” may be understood hyperbolically, as signifying a large concourse; or that all classes and conditions of citizens were well represented. The gathering of such a multitude could not be held, probably, in the synagogue, but we may presume, in the yard or court surrounding it, or both. Such attention to two strangers and their new doctrine, which threatened an overthrow of Judaism, naturally awakened a spirit of jealousy in those whose interest was much in forms and ceremonies, honor amongst men and denominational pride, and, as a result, they contradicted Paul’s statements with blasphemy. Not that they blasphemed God’s name, but that they slandered or blasphemed the Apostle and Barnabas—speaking evil of them; we may surmise, misrepresenting their motives, their characters, etc. This is the usual course of those who fight against the truth, and it is so today. The truth cannot be gainsaid; it is irresistible; but it can be misrepresented; it can be denied; the presentations of it can be distorted, and its messengers can be slandered, vilified. The Adversary seems to adopt this method on every occasion. It is the method now in vogue. Those who oppose present truth will not dare to meet it openly in public discussion before the people, but they will distort and misrepresent it, and say all manner of evil against its advocates and will persecute those who favor it.
The missionaries were not discouraged by the opposition, but were rather made the more courageous, and brought to the point where they explained to their vilifiers, plainly, the true state of the case: that they were rejecting God’s favor, God’s plan, against themselves—to their own injury, to their own loss. They pointed out that God, in his mercy, had long favored Israel, and that in sending the message of Messiah to them first he was still favoring them; but that according to his direction it was their duty to proceed, and to tell the Gospel to whoever had ears to hear—to the Jew first, but also to the Gentiles. They pointed out that the lamp of truth which God had now lighted was not to be to the Jews exclusively, as had been his previous favors, but, as the Prophet had already declared, was to be “a light to lighten the Gentiles”—salvation unto the ends of the earth.—(Luke 2:32; Isa. 42:6; 52:10.)
This feature of the Gospel specially aroused the opposition of such Jews as were in the wrong condition of heart, but was proportionately attractive to the few who were in the right attitude. So it is today: the message which is now due to Christendom is—More Light! It shows that the lamp of God’s Word of promise, which at the beginning of this age
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was permitted to bless both Jews and Gentiles in proportion as the eyes of their understanding were opened to see it, is shortly now to give place to a greater light; that whereas the Word of God has been a lamp to the feet and a lantern to the footsteps of his faithful for over eighteen centuries, God’s purpose now, shortly, is that this lamp shall become unnecessary, because “the Sun of Righteousness shall rise,” and the whole world shall be flooded with the light of the knowledge of the goodness of God.—Mal. 4:2.
Those of God’s people who are in the right attitude of heart will be gladdened by this expansion and unfolding of the truth: no feelings of jealousy will be theirs. But the majority, full of sectarian theories and plans and selfish sentiments, and blinded largely by false theology and by misrepresentations of the Word of God are violently opposed to any thought of God’s general goodness being extended to every creature,—not only those who have not yet gone to the prison-house of death, but also to the fifty thousand millions who have already gone down into the silence of death, in ignorance of the only name given under heaven or among men whereby we must be saved. But all the faithful, all the honest-hearted, will ultimately rejoice at the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of God’s plan, to be consummated during the Millennium by the glorified Christ, Head and body.
Many of the Gentiles were glad as they heard of God’s favor being broader than they had previously supposed—some, we may infer, were merely pleased that something had been shown up that was broader than the Jewish teachings, but some others, we are assured, believed in the true sense of the word—accepting Christ as their Redeemer and as their Law-giver. And so today also we see two classes among those who favor the present truth: some who hail it with joy and gratefully worship and serve the Lord more fervently than ever; and some who are merely glad to find that there is no Scriptural ground for the popular theory of an eternal torment for the vast majority of mankind; but are not specially drawn or constrained by divine love and mercy.
The more the truth spread the more angry became its opponents, the Jewish leaders; and what they could not oppose with argument or logic they did oppose successfully with prejudice and superstition, arousing these baser sentiments by misrepresentation. They secured thus the co-operation of some of the most honorable and notable people of the city, to such an extent that the missionaries were obliged to depart from them. The Adversary’s methods are the same today in this respect also, that by misrepresentation he secures for his agents, often unwillingly, some who are noble and honorable people. This teaches us two lessons: First, to be careful ourselves—to be on guard against the Adversary’s methods, if we are honorable and well-intentioned; to see to it that we are not inveigled into opposing the truth while supposing that we are doing God service. It teaches us also to have respect for those who are our opponents, and who give evidence of sincerity, even in their persecution. Some of the best friends of present truth today were once its bitter enemies, revilers and persecutors. We are hoping for many more recruits for the truth from this class of people. Their opposition is the result of misapprehension of the facts; they are blinded by the Adversary. Some may not get proper sight of the matter until the Kingdom binds Satan and opens their eyes; but others we may hope are the King’s own and will be helped in time for them to make their calling and election sure in the Kingdom “little flock.”
AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE, BELIEVED
The word “ordained,” here, may properly be translated disposed; and thus we get the thought that as many of those who heard the gospel and its offer of everlasting life, and were disposed to accept the terms, became believers—obedient to the faith. So it is still. The truth, wherever it goes, finds some who like it and some who dislike it; some who appreciate the doctrines and rewards which it presents, and some who prefer the pleasures of sin or the affairs and rewards of the world. It is the time for each one who has heard to take his choice. Soon the number of the elect will be complete, and then the work of the elect will begin—the blessing of mankind.
We assume that the expression, “shook off the dust of their feet” is a figurative one, as we would use it today, meaning that we took our departure. Our departure, under such circumstances, would be a witness against those who rejected our message and those who persecuted us—a witness which they would remember in coming time. Yet the departure of the missionaries was not in anger, for we are assured that they were filled with joy and with the holy spirit—rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake, and to have their names cast out as evil;—rejoicing also that they had, by the Lord’s grace, accomplished something in the service. The expression, however, included more than merely the missionaries: it included those who remained as well as those who went. All were rejoicing. The truth and its spirit are constant causes for joy of heart to those who have them. On the contrary, the persecuting spirit, the jealous spirit, is always the unhappy one. Let us see that our rejoicing is of the same kind—in the Lord, in the truth, in the service, notwithstanding persecutions, trials and difficulties.
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GOOD FRIDAY AND THE MASS
IN OUR ISSUE of February 15 we referred to Good Friday as representing to Roman Catholics the “great Mass day.” One of our readers, formerly a Roman Catholic, calls our attention to the fact that on this one day the Mass service is less used than on any other day of all the year, and wants to have our explanation. We reply that the word Mass signifies “oblation,” “offering”; and that the Roman Catholic Church does specially set apart Good Friday as the day of all the year for celebrating the great “oblation” “offering” or “Mass” which our Lord Jesus gave for us at Calvary. However, it is customary among Catholics to reserve this word Mass as the special name for what they term “the unbloody
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sacrifice,” which their priests perform repeatedly, daily, for the cancelation of sins of the people.
The original bloody “offering,” “oblation” or Mass at Calvary, Catholics recognize as the basis of atonement—canceling original sin and making possible the sinners acceptance with God. “The sacrifice of the Mass” offered by priests, repeats the original “oblation,” Mass or “offering,” for divine appeasement, in connection with subsequent, personal sins. We quote from Deharbe’s Roman Catholic Catechism, pages 263, 265, 288, as follows:—
“The Sacrifice of the Mass was instituted by Jesus Christ, when at the Last Supper he offered himself up under the appearances of bread and wine to his Heavenly Father, and commanded his Apostles thenceforth to celebrate this his sacrifice.
“The Mass is the perpetual Sacrifice of the New Law, in which Christ our Lord offers himself, by the hands of the priest, in an unbloody manner, under the appearances of bread and wine to his Heavenly Father, as he once offered himself on the cross in a bloody manner. The sacrifice of the Mass is essentially the same Sacrifice as that of the cross; the only difference is in the manner of offering. Because, in both it is the same High-Priest who offers, and the same Victim who is offered—namely, Jesus Christ our Lord; and because in the Sacrifice of the Mass the oblation [synonym for Mass] which Christ made of himself on the cross, for us, to the Father, is commemorated and continued. … By it we obtain from the Divine mercy, (1) Graces of contrition and repentance for the forgiveness of sins; and (2) Remission of temporal punishment deserved for sins. … The temporal punishment due to our sins is that punishment which we have to suffer here on earth or in Purgatory.”
The difference between the Romanist and the Protestant view then is, chiefly, that the latter would claim that there was but one offering “oblation” or “Mass” for the sins of the whole world, and that its sacrifice was finished at Calvary; and that the Lord’s Supper merely commemorates this; while the former claim that the sacrificing of the “oblation” “offering” [or Mass] is to be continuously repeated, in an unbloody form.
In the same article Z.W.T., page 64, we say, “Every Roman Catholic who makes the slightest claim to faithfulness to his church is expected to be present and participate in the services of Good Friday, whether he attends Mass at any other time of the year or not.” We regret this error. Instead of saying Good Friday we should have said Easter-time—that is, Passover-time—which begins on Palm Sunday and continues two weeks—till Low Sunday. The Council of Lateran (A.D. 1215) commanded that all the “faithful” must receive communion at least once a year, and that within the Easter-time. Altho the distinctions are quite small, and in our opinion nothing of importance is involved, we suggest that any who think otherwise have our full consent to the cutting off of said page, 64, so as not to loosen the front page, before handing out any of those papers.
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ENDURING HARDNESS AS GOOD SOLDIERS
—ACTS 14:8-19.—JUNE 1.—
“Thou, therefore, endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”—2 Tim. 2:3.
LEAVING Antioch of Pisidia, Paul and Barnabas went to Iconium, about 100 miles distant. There also they preached the Word faithfully, and there also opposition was aroused and persecution threatened; “and when there was an assault made, both of the Gentiles and also of the Jews, with their rulers, to use them despitefully and to stone them, they were aware of it, and fled unto Lystra.” They did not allow fear to hinder them from the preaching of the gospel with courage, boldness; neither did they fear threats; but when the persecution took a positive form they delayed no longer, but fled. Why did they not wait, and expect the Lord to grant them some miraculous deliverance? Why did they not challenge their opponents to see whether the power of God or the power of Satan was the stronger? We answer, Because they were better instructed respecting the divine will. They were following the instructions of the Lord. He did not say to them, Be fearful of persecution, withhold your message, and put your light under a bushel; but the reverse. He did not say, Flee in fear, when there is no danger; but he did say, “When they persecute you in one city flee ye to another.”
Arriving at Lystra, the preaching of the gospel was begun afresh, as courageously as tho there had been no previous opposition. Amongst the auditors was a cripple, presumably a Jew or a proselyte, who manifested much interest in the Apostle’s words. Paul, perceiving this, and that the man had faith, stopped in his preaching and called out to him, “Stand upright on thy feet!”—a thing he had never done. He had the necessary faith and obeyed the Apostle’s command; and thus a miracle resulted, evidently to the astonishment of the entire congregation. The effect upon the people was electrical, and they shouted in their own dialect, “The gods have come down to visit us!”
The city of Lystra figured as the scene of a mythological event, the tradition being that Jupiter and Mercury, two of the gods of mythology, having once come to their city in the form of men, had been everywhere refused lodgings until they came to the lowly hut of a poor man who entertained them to the extent of his ability. They rewarded him by turning his hut into a gorgeous temple, and punished the others of the city with a flood. These traditions were very old, but were perpetuated by a statue of Jupiter at the gate of the city, as its protecting god.
It is easy to discern how a comparatively ignorant and superstitious people might jump to the conclusion that the visit of Paul and Barnabas was a repetition of this visit of Jupiter and Mercury, handed down to them through tradition. They called Paul, Mercury, because in their tradition, Mercury was the orator, the speaker; and they called Barnabas, Jupiter, and forthwith the priest of Jupiter prepared to offer a sacrifice of oxen before the statue of Jupiter, at the gate of their city, in honor of the supposed gods present with them as men, in the persons of Barnabas and Paul.
The missionaries were probably preaching, or conversing and explaining quietly, to the more interested ones, when they heard of the commotion in the city, and of the sacrifice which was about to be offered. They did not for a moment think of taking advantage of the superstition of the people to make of themselves some great ones, nor did they attempt
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to turn the event to a service of the truth by claiming that God was Jupiter, and that Jesus was Mercury, and that they represented them. On the contrary, most earnestly and simply they entreated the people to desist; explaining to them that they were nothing but imperfect men like themselves, “of like passions,” and that their mission was the very reverse of what they supposed, and that Jupiter and Mercury and their fabled deeds were only products of imagination, ignorance and superstition. They ran in amongst the people while they, full of excitement, were preparing for the sacrifice, and with difficulty, even then, amid protests of their own nothingness, did they restrain the people from sacrificing in their honor. Noble men they were, and their faithfulness to the Lord and to the truth attested the wisdom of the divine choice in sending them on this missionary errand.
We may draw a lesson from the incident, helpful to all of the Lord’s people who are to any extent his ambassadors, representatives, teachers of the truth. The truth itself, especially in the light of our day, is so wonderful, so brilliant, that it naturally reflects some of its brilliancy upon those who represent it, causing men to marvel, and to say, as of old, “Whence hath this man this wisdom?” In some instances it might lead to an undue deference, to an ascription of undue honor, and to a subserviency which it would not be proper for the Lord’s ambassadors to receive, and which they should as promptly and as thoroughly repudiate and refuse as did Paul and Barnabas refuse the honors which the Lystrians were about to bestow upon them. From the worldly standpoint this would be an unwise course. Those who will accept flattery and adulation and honor more than is due, are likely to be prospered in this course to some extent by the Adversary, and apt to find that the worldly spirit likes to worship worldly heroes, Jupiters, Elijahs, etc. The only wise course for the Lord’s servants is, therefore, the one followed by these missionaries of our lesson—to repudiate the entire matter; to confess that they are men of like passions with others; to hold up the light of God’s Word, and behind it to hide and ignore themselves entirely. Not alone will this be profitable as respects the finding and development of the true children of God whom he is now gathering out of the world, but it will be profitable also for the Lord’s ambassadors; for in this way they will grow in the Lord’s grace and likeness; of which humility was a prominent trait. Thus they will best abide in his love, and ultimately attain to the still greater exaltation which God has
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promised to all of his children who are faithful and humble under present conditions.
The Apostle, in pointing out to the Lystrians that their ideas were vanities, well knew that this could not bring him the favor of his hearers; for it is not human nature to appreciate being told of our follies. To have worked his way into their good graces he would have needed to tell them a lie—that they were very wise, and that their course was a very proper one, etc. He, therefore, in his endeavor to be candid, and to serve the truth, risked their disappointment and displeasure; and he was undoubtedly keen enough to know this in advance, and what result to expect. Nevertheless, as God’s mouthpiece, he shunned not to declare the whole message, whatever its results might be as regarded himself and his work. Here are good lessons for all of the Lord’s people. It requires comparatively little courage to be a soldier of the cross and faithful to the truth amongst those of like precious faith and obedience; but it requires great courage to resist improper honor of men when we know in advance that this resistance will not only deprive us of their honor and friendship, but make us ignoble in their sight, and turn them into enemies. True soldiers of the cross still have the same trial, and it still requires hardness—a hardening campaign of experience in the Lord’s service—to endure these things and come off joyful in the Lord. The babes in Christ, the weak, the untried, those who have not passed through trials and experiences and development of character, are not hardened, and could not stand such experiences. Hence it is that the apostle advises the Church that even proper exaltation to a service in the Church should not be accorded to a novice, lest he should be puffed up and thus be injured himself, as well as become injurious to others. (I Tim. 3:6.) It requires time and seasoning to know how to either rightly accept and appreciate the honors of the brethren or others along proper lines, or to decline honors and dignities along improper lines.
The Apostle pointed out to his hearers that in times past God had been permitting all the nations to walk in their own ways. He had interfered particularly in the affairs of only the one nation, Israel; all the others had been permitted to take their own course, except in so far as they might be crossing some feature of the divine plan. Thus the Prophet expressed the matter to Israel, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth.” (Amos 3:2.) The reference to “time past,” implies the change of dispensation which had just occurred in connection with the death of Jesus and the cutting off of Israel from any special favor, and the throwing open of the gospel call to all who had ears to hear;—to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Now God was sending a message of instruction to all the nations, that they should turn from such vanities and should recognize the only living and true God, and his Son who had redeemed the world, and whom he had ordained should in due time become its King and ruler, to put down sin and death, and bless with his reign of righteousness all the families of the earth. The Apostle points out that altho God had left the nations without the instructions of the Law Covenant the Prophecies, he had given them some indications of his care in making provision for their necessities,—causing the sun to shine and the rain to fall upon the just and the unjust, upon the evil and the good.
The sudden change of public sentiment, the result of the Apostle’s explanations and plain statements of the truth, led the Lystrians to look at the missionaries with very different eyes, now that they were, according to their own declarations, common men like themselves. We may even suppose that they felt rather mean about their own superstition, which had so quickly aroused them to do reverence to men who repudiated it and acknowledged their unworthiness of it. It was while the populace was in this spirit that certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium came thither, explaining to them that the missionaries were
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impostors, working upon the credulity of the people, “turning the world upside down,” raising questions about theology, and disturbing the minds of the people. The populace was ready for just such leading in the reverse direction, and disposed to feel somehow that if these men were not really Jupiter and Mercury they were pretenders and falsifiers who had deceived them and should be put to death. As a result, Paul was stoned, and dragged outside the city, and left for dead.
How erratic is the natural mind, in its condition of ignorance and superstition! How easily the priest of Jupiter could lead the ignorant in one wrong course, to make gods of men,—and how readily he could lead them again in an opposite direction! But altho the greatest of all the apostles, and one of the most remarkable orators and logicians the world has ever known, was in their midst, how few, comparatively, he could and did influence in the right direction—for the truth and for righteousness, in obedience to God. The world is in many respects the same world that it was then, altho civilization and general intelligence have done considerable to lift it out of that abject benightedness which leads to idol worship,—altho Mohammedanism, Confucianism, churchianity and a certain kind of Christianity, have put a veneer of respectability and reason and common sense upon the world, yet under this veneer the masses are still in a very unsatisfactory condition—disposed to be humbugged; disposed to appreciate those who would be boastful and pretend to be great; disposed to worship that which demands worship, rather than that which is worthy of it; disposed to misunderstand God and his plan, and to consider these from a devilish standpoint, rather than to appreciate the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God,—rather than to understand that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher than man’s ways, and God’s plans than man’s conceptions.
But God was not through with the Apostle Paul; he was not stoned because of God’s indifference, nor because of his lack of power to protect his servant. On the contrary, quite probably the Lord was teaching the Apostle some great lesson, valuable both to himself and to the Church, for whom he was a general minister,—and to whom even today he ministers in the matter of these experiences. Quite probably the Apostle, while being stoned, remembered afresh the death of Stephen, to which he had consented; and quite probably, too, the result was a fresh realization of his own unworthiness to be so prominent a representative of the Lord and of his truth,—a humbling of his heart before the Lord, profitable to him and to the Church also.
Had the incident of the sacrificing not been thus followed by some trying experiences, who knows but that the Apostle might have felt a little of self-gratulation, such as would be natural to any man who, having honors thrust upon him, had voluntarily renounced them. He might have been disposed to glory in his strength of character; but his experiences led him in an opposite direction—as he himself subsequently wrote, “I will glory in tribulation.” All of the Lord’s faithful ones can learn good lessons here; can learn to trust to the Lord’s providences in all of their affairs;—not only in those which seem to go favorably, but in those also which apparently are working disadvantage and disaster. The Lord said concerning Paul, when declaring that he was a chosen vessel for his service, “I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” From this lesson we may draw the inference that when the Lord’s servants are permitted to suffer for his name’s sake (not for wrong-doing, not for anger, malice, hatred, strife, evil-speaking, etc., but for his sake) it is an attestation of the Lord’s favor, in the acceptance of his sacrifice—as in the type, Abel’s sacrifice was accepted with fire.
As the disciples stood about the prostrate form of Paul, supposing, as the others had, that he was dead, he rose up and returned to the city. We are not to suppose that all of the citizens joined in the mob which stoned him, tho we are to suppose that there must have been a general sympathy on the part of the majority, else such mob violence would not have been possible. It is quite probable, therefore, that the Apostle’s return to the city was in a very quiet manner, so as not to unduly re-arouse the passions of the mob. The spirit of bravado which impels some people seems to have been absent in the case of these missionaries. They had the true courage and endured hardness as good soldiers in the way which the Lord approved; but we never see them tantalizing the people by boastful manner or words. They, and not others who misinterpret the divine will by an opposite course, should be our patterns, our examples, in such matters.
Their entire public preaching at Lystra was at an end, and the next day the missionaries went to Derbe, a distance of 35 miles—which implies that the Lord wrought a wonderful miracle in Paul, in that, after receiving so severe treatment, a stoning unto apparent death, he was able on the next day to continue his journey. The Lord sometimes works marvelously for his people, as in this instance; at other times he leaves them to the general vicissitudes of life as other men.
We are not informed that the Apostle made special prayer for his recovery, but are reminded of Timothy, who was one of the converts at Lystra, and to whom the Apostle, years afterward, wrote in his epistle that he should use some natural means “for his stomach’s sake and his often infirmities”—without a suggestion of miraculous intervention, other than whatever the Lord might be pleased to give voluntarily without special request. And so it should be with us. We should use natural means for the reasonable
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care of our health or for recovery from sickness; not denying or ignoring the divine power, but accepting the divine providence in all of our affairs; rejoicing if, in the Lord’s providence, our health and strength and opportunities for service are preserved to us; rejoicing also if they suffer impairment, especially if the impairment come in connection with the service of the truth; rejoicing, if the will of God be such, if we are quickly and miraculously healed, and rejoicing equally if, in the Lord’s providence, we use natural means for the alleviation of our often infirmities, as the Apostle directed in the case of Timothy. The child of God, is to recognize that all of his affairs are in the Lord’s hands and under his direction. In the meantime he is to seek to use his every talent and opportunity to the best of his judgment, according to the
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spirit of a sound mind, remembering that the Lord’s will concerning us is that we should learn not to walk by sight, finding everything going favorable to us; but that we should learn rather to walk by faith, tho this necessitates that at times things should go unfavorably and that we should be without any special manifestations of divine protection or relief.
No particulars are given regarding the ministry of the truth at Derbe. We may presume that it was without special incident. Having gone thus far, instead of proceeding and returning homeward by the nearer route, via Tarsus, Paul’s home city, the missionaries determined to retrace their steps,—their motive in so doing apparently being their realization that the little groups of believers at Lystra, Iconium and Antioch in Pisidia would by this time need some encouragement and establishment in the truth;—that because of the fierce opposition in these places there would probably be more or less contention and trouble, and questions arising which the new converts would not be competent to solve.
This was pastoral work; and in the homeward journey there is no intimation that the missionaries attempted further missionary work. They had no expectation whatever of converting all the people at these cities; they understood the plan of God too well to have any such expectations as modern mission workers seem to have. They knew very well that the mission of the gospel was, not to convert the world, but to choose or select out of the world a special people. (Acts 15:14.) They had witnessed the truth to these people, and had confidence that the Lord was behind them, and that such as had the hearing ear and the understanding heart (the only one, therefore, worthy of the truth) had already been reached by them, or would be reached through those who had already been enlightened. They accordingly contented themselves with the work of upbuilding the little flock,—encouraging them to make their calling and election sure to a place in the Millennial Kingdom which, in God’s due time, in the age to come, shall be glorified, empowered, and then be used of the Lord in the world’s blessing, the world’s conversion, the world’s uplift.
The brethren of these various places were, doubtless, surprised that if the gospel was of God its servants, its ministers, should be so at the mercy of the forces of evil; and this may have tended to shake their confidence considerably, because the natural expectation would be that God would protect his servants. The Apostle explained this to the believers—that tribulations are necessary for the perfecting of the saints, for the trial of faith, for the testing and the preparation of those who would be joint-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom; and that after the permission of evil shall thus have served its purpose during this gospel age—the purpose of keeping the little flock separate from the world and polishing and refining of them for the Kingdom—then the time will come when Satan shall be bound,—when the righteous shall be persecuted no more, but reign as joint-heirs in Christ’s Kingdom.
Concerning the return of the apostles to these cities where they had previously been persecuted, an able writer suggests: “Precautions of secrecy they doubtless took, and cheerfully faced the degrading necessity of guarded movements, and of entering cities perhaps in disguise, perhaps only at late nightfall and early dawn. The Christians had early to learn those secret trysts and midnight gatherings and private watchwords by which alone they could elude the fury of their enemies.” The missionaries returned, without further incident, to the Church whose special representatives on this journey they had been, and made their report to the Church at Antioch in Syria.
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THE MEMORIAL SUPPER CELEBRATED
THE MEMORIAL celebration appears to have been quite general this year. More and more it comes to be a distinguishing sign of those who trust in the ransom;—as was evidently the divine intention. And why not? Why should those who “count the blood of the Covenant common [ordinary]” specially celebrate its shedding? Why should those who believe that our Lord was sinful flesh expect any greater results from his death than from the death of other men of the sinner race—knowing that Divine Justice cannot look upon any sin with allowance? Why, either, should those who deny that our Lord was “made flesh,” and who, on the contrary, claim that he was a spirit being who merely used the flesh as a cloak, who deny that the spirit being died, and claim that only the “cloak of flesh” died,—why should they feel any special interest in commemorating such a farcical proceeding as the crucifixion of the “cloak”?—Why should they attribute any merit to that, or anticipate any virtue from it?
Only those who see, as we do, that our Lord was wholly and solely for the time “the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” and who realize that he was not as other men, not contaminated with sin and the sinner race, but “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” can see how he could be, and as the Scriptures declare was, a ransom-sacrifice, a corresponding price for the sins of the whole world;—that as the world was in Adam when he sinned and shared his sentence, so Adam being redeemed,—bought back from under the curse by Jesus, his substitute,—the benefits of that atonement must extend beyond Adam to all his posterity; insuring to all a possibility of return to divine favor under the Millennial Kingdom soon to be established for that purpose, by the Redeemer.
In this doctrine of the ransom we have the firm foundation of all our hopes. (1) Its necessity lay in God’s Justice and unchangeableness.
(2) It evidenced his love toward those he had justly sentenced to death: so that, if ever tempted to doubt the Lord’s love and care for us as his people, we can with the Apostle go back to the ransom and reason ourselves right again, saying, If God so loved us as to give his Son for us while we were yet sinners, much more will he love us and grant us all things needful,—now that we are justified by faith in his blood; yea, and begotten and sanctified by the holy spirit.
(3) As its merits have already led to the call and
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acceptance of the “elect,” it implies that ultimately all of the dead world shall be awakened, granted hearing ears and thus the opportunity of coming back into harmony with their Creator, during the Millennium of his grace;—”the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”—Acts 3:19-23.
(4) Naturally enough those who do not believe in the ransom do not believe in the promised restitution either. The ransom of something lost, forfeited, implies that it was valuable, and the promise of its restitution signifies the same; and both these words ransom and restitution contradict and are in violent conflict with all evolutionary ideas—respecting Adam’s original imperfection—that he was so low that he could not fall and did not fall and did not need to be redeemed from a fall, and that restitution to his original condition would be a sad calamity instead of a blessing.
To those who appreciate the divine plan of the ages the ransom and its memorial are sure to become more and more precious as the few remaining years of their pilgrimage roll around: each year will see them the more zealous to “do this” in remembrance of the death of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world;—which is the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins (the Church’s), and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.—I Cor. 5:7; 11:23-26; Jno. 1:29; I Jno. 2:2.
The occasion was surely a very enjoyable one to all who participated in a right spirit. It could not be otherwise. If any true believer sought a blessing in commemorating, and failed to obtain it, let him inquire within, and find that it was because he had not first “purged out the old leaven;”—because envy, malice, hatred, evil-speaking or evil-surmising—works of the flesh and the devil—still had a place in his heart, which should, instead, have been filled with the Lord’s spirit of love,—gentleness, meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness;—the love which is not puffed up, envieth not, thinketh no evil and is full of mercy and good works. If any find themselves to have missed the real communion, by reason of such “defilements” let them purge their hearts with the water of truth, the Word of God, and let them celebrate four weeks later—on May 18th, as was arranged for the typical Israelite who because of defilements was hindered
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from keeping the feast at its appointed season.—Num. 9:10,11.
The occasion was a very enjoyable one in Allegheny;—solemnity commingled with joy as we thought of our dear Redeemer’s sufferings and ignominious death on our behalf; yet rejoiced in its blessed results already experienced by us and in prospect for the world. In few and simple words we recounted the meaning of the ordinance—in type and antitype. We viewed the unleavened bread, which symbolized to us our Lord’s humanity, given as our ransom, that we by partaking of his merits might have justification and life imputed to us by the Father,—so fully as to permit us to be reckoned in with our Lord as members of the one loaf, the one body, and to be broken with him, sharing his sacrifice that in due time we may participate in the feeding of the whole world with this bread of life. We considered “the cup” similarly, as our Lord’s consecrated blood (sacrificed life) sealing the New Covenant for the world of mankind. We partook of it thus, and also as joint-participators with him—pledged to be dead with him that we may also live and reign with him.—I Cor. 10:16,17; Rom. 6:8.
About 335 were present at the Memorial service, and fully 300 of the number partook of the emblems with every evidence of intelligent sincerity;—witnessing to each other our faith in the Lord and his work for us, and our devotion to him and his even unto death, at any sacrifice;—his grace assisting, according to his promise. Endeavoring to preserve the blessed communion with our Lord we consented to forego usual greetings and conversation at the end of the service, and after singing, “What a friend we have in Jesus” we went silently to our homes,—full of holy joy and thankfulness. Twelve, prevented by illness, from being with us, were served subsequently by friends on their way home.
THE CELEBRATION ELSEWHERE AS REPORTED
Some of the reports expected are a little slow in reaching us, but those received are encouraging. We give you a very few of these for your joy and encouragement,—believing that like ourself our readers generally esteem the interest manifested at the Memorial season a good index to the spiritual health of the Church.
The fellow-members of the Lord’s body everywhere were remembered in prayers by the Allegheny congregation; and letters received show that this appreciation of the oneness and fellowship of the Church was general. One hundred and seventy-five reports received up to this writing, show an average participation of 27. The average last year was twelve and the previous year 10. This is very encouraging, to us all, surely. The general tone of the reports too indicates fervency of spirit. We can, of course, give but a few extracts.
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Dear Brother Russell:
I am sure you will rejoice with us in that this year in Washington 50 (38 white and 12 colored) persons celebrated the Memorial Supper and partook of the emblems of sacrifice, as against twenty-six last year, our company having nearly doubled in numbers. The services were conducted by Bro. Thomson and were most impressive throughout. We were mindful of the friends elsewhere and united in prayer on their behalf, especially remembering the laborers in the Watch Tower office—yourself in particular. As time goes on we feel the greater need of coming together. So thoroughly do the friends here appreciate this means of grace that very rarely is one absent from a meeting.
Praying the Lord’s grace to be with you, I remain,
Your brother on the altar of sacrifice,
J. A. B.—Washington City.
Dear Brother Russell:
Five brothers and sisters whose trust is in the merit of the precious blood met at our home last evening at 7:30 and partook of the emblems of our Redeemer’s broken body and shed blood. The Lord’s blessing was with us; a blessed unity of the spirit prevailed; our prayers ascended to the throne of grace for a greater filling with the Lord’s spirit for ourselves and all the family of God.
We do feel that it is a great favor to be counted worthy to have a share in the sufferings of our Lord and Redeemer. Four others who met with us on previous anniversaries were detained this year on account of sickness and other causes.
Assuring you of our continued love toward, and prayer for, you and all the office helpers, I remain,
Yours in the love and service of Christ,
F. H. R.—Catskill, N.Y.
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My Dear Pastor in Christ:
This has been a blessed day of sacred communion with the Master and his “brethren.” From the first of the morning testimony meeting till the last hymn was sung at night was a continuous season of profound spiritual blessings and favors, such as we believe few if any of the friends have ever experienced before in this city. About sixty-five were in attendance at the morning service; and how refreshing it was to listen to the earnest, fervent words from various lips as they testified to the goodness and love of the Heavenly Father as conveyed to us through Christ in his gracious providences!
During the afternoon a baptism service was performed, preceded by an able discourse on Consecration, showing how the water immersion beautifully symbolizes this,—our becoming dead with Christ,—sacrificing the old nature, our wills, our all; and henceforth to arise and walk in newness of life,—the life that is “hid with Christ in God.” This was a very impressive service—twenty-one being immersed, thus witnessing to others that they are wholly and completely Christ’s, to do the Father’s good pleasure, even unto death. Eighty-six were present at this service.
The Memorial Supper, commemorating our dear Redeemer’s great sacrifice,—his broken body and shed blood, and the sublime honor and privilege granted us to share in his sacrificial suffering and death, was partaken of by seventy-two of the Lord’s chosen ones. A feeling of absolute harmony and love prevailed. As the speaker portrayed our Lord’s great sacrifice begun at the time of his baptism and completed on the cross, at Calvary, all seemed to realize very fully how great was the price given to ransom us from sin and death.
With full and grateful hearts we gave thanks to God for the gift of his dear Son, and for his glorious invitation to become joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him.
Having partaken of the emblems we sang a hymn (No. 23) which seemed to voice the predominating sentiment or spirit of the meeting most appropriately.
The friends in various parts of the earth were remembered, and we trust that all realized clearly the near and dear presence of our Redeemer and King, Jesus the Anointed One.
With much Christian love, I am truly yours in the patient waiting for the Kingdom.
H. C. R.—New York City.
Dear Brother Russell:
Eighteen of the friends met at our hall this evening to celebrate the memorial of our Lord’s death. We had a very impressive service; and I think we all had the same experience as that of one brother who said: “I understand the meaning of the service better than ever before.” Six of the friends from this place symbolized their death with Christ by baptism this afternoon. We feel rejoiced in these evidences that the Lord is blessing our efforts to spread the truth, and feel more determined than ever to spend and be spent in His service.
With Christian love,
Yours in Him,
C. P. B.—Lynn, Mass.
Dear Brother Russell:
The church in and near New Brighton celebrated the Lord’s Supper last evening at the home of Brother Garver. The participants were only eight. Although few in number each one seemed animated with the same spirit, and all felt like saying with Paul “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” The occasion was one of solemnity and blessedness, long to be remembered.
Yours in our dear Redeemer,
B. C. R.—New Brighton, Pa.
There were just twelve at the Memorial Supper last evening. Several were hindered on account of sickness. Bro. Gaylord gave a good talk in the afternoon on the Memorial and Baptism.
All seemed greatly interested and refreshed in spirit.
Yours in our Blessed Redeemer,
F. L. H.—Denver, Colo.
Dear Brother Russell:
Once more we have been permitted to commemorate our Redeemer’s death. Twelve of us met together at the home of Bro. Watson, and we shall long remember the hour we spent together in sweet communion with our Lord and Savior in spirit. There was a beautiful spirit of harmony and of brotherly love, that could have come from no other source but from our Master’s presence. One brother spoke very feelingly on the subject of the ransom, after which we all joined our voices in singing that beautiful hymn, No. 122, then an opportunity was given for each one to express a thought, and every one spoke a few words. There were a few precious moments of hearts drawn together in loving sympathy, as we heard the experiences, the hopes and the joys of our brethren in the pilgrim way.
A brother spoke on the “bread” as the food upon which the “new man” feeds and gathers strength, and grows. After the unleavened bread had been partaken of by each, another brother spoke briefly on the wine as the symbol of the life-blood poured out for us, and not for us only but for the whole human family. Then we partook of the “cup.” After a prayer and thanksgiving we sang No. 259 and immediately went to our several homes. It was, by far, the most blessed meeting we have yet enjoyed, and we sincerely hope that the dear ones in Christ everywhere have been likewise blessed.
Your brother in Christ,
E. G. P.—Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Dear Brother Russell:
We had the best celebration of the Memorial Supper spiritually that was ever held here. In the afternoon we studied the text, “Watch and pray, etc.,” and in the evening endeavored to learn a lesson on the oneness of the body of Christ, and that the disciple is not above his Master. Fifteen was the number of the partakers. The meeting was held at my house. In Christian love and fellowship,
S. K.—Port Clinton, O.
Dear Brother Russell:
It is with thankfulness that I send the report of the Memorial Supper, as observed by the class at Cincinnati, O. There were thirty-seven present, and all partook of the symbols, in memory of the great antitypical Passover Lamb, slain for all that die in Adam.
Among the number present were eleven who had never partaken of the memorial with us before. They all expressed themselves as filled with joy and love at the clear exposition of the subject, and most of them confessed that they had never seen the true meaning of it before. It was indeed a season of rejoicing for the class here.
With love toward all in the “Tower” office and all God’s children, I am,
Yours in the love of Christ,
E. F. R.—Ohio.
Dear Brother Russell:
Our little band of five (two brethren, three sisters), met last evening at the appointed hour, to remember the anniversary of our dear Lord’s death. We had a very blessed occasion and humbly asked our dear Father that all of his dear “sheep,” everywhere, would be blessed also. Each one of our little band is intensely desirous that this shall be the most faithful year in our consecrated life, and that our dear Father will continue to polish and prune us, that we may bear more fruit, and hope to be completely broken with Christ. “Brethren, pray for us!”
Your brethren in the one glorious hope, the Church at Carbon Hill.
W. H. W.—Carbon Hill, Ills.
Dear Brother Russell:
The Cleveland church met last night to commemorate our dear Lord’s great sacrifice for us. Bro. Hess led the meeting and we spent an hour before the evening service in prayer and testimony. Many pledged themselves afresh to follow in His footsteps, and we remembered all the dear ones of like precious faith. Forty-nine participated in the Supper, and we indeed had sweet moments, which were rich in blessing. We closed with hymn No. 276 and retired silently.
Yours with much Christian love,
F. S.—Cleveland, O.
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My dear Brother Russell:
I was deputed to inform you, in accordance with the desire expressed in the “Tower” for such information, that the Church at Portsmouth, Va., observed the annual Memorial of our dear Savior’s death last evening.
There were present eight persons, including myself, who are trusting in the blood of our dear Redeemer and who have consecrated unto the death the old man with all his hopes, desires and ambitions. There was a feeling of deep solemnity; but holy joy pervaded each heart, and confession was made of and sorrow expressed for all short-comings in the past, and a renewal of our Consecration vows, with the fixed purpose and determination on the part of each one to continue striving for the Mark of the Prize of our High Calling, by the help of our now present Lord and King.
Your brother in the Blessed Hope,
W. W. M.—Portsmouth, Va.
Dear Brother Russell:
The Church of Boston and vicinity observed the annual memorial of the Lord’s Supper in the usual manner last evening, at our regular place of worship, one hundred and thirty-eight adults being present and participating.
In the afternoon a baptismal service was held at People’s Temple, at which thirty-two friends symbolized their consecration by water baptism.
Yours in the blessed hope,
H. L. A.—Mass.
Dear Brother Russell:
Our Memorial meeting was a most solemn one in which fifty-one participated.
To say that our hearts were full of praise and thankfulness hardly expresses our feelings. The deep solemnity of the occasion seemed to impress each one as we symbolically renewed our vows of consecration to our dear Lord—all present seemed to realize the position and the necessity of continuing the race more and more earnestly as the time is so short and also the great necessity of a oneness of heart and mind seemed to pervade the whole assembly.
Yours in our Master’s service,
E. S.—Toronto, Canada.
Dear Brother Russell:
It was the privilege of the church at Detroit to assemble last evening, and partake of the emblems which symbolize our participation in the death—sacrifice of our dear Lord and Master. Seventeen were present.
As some members living at a distance were delayed, we listened to the testimony of several who have been consecrated sons of God for many years. While the individual experiences varied, yet the result was the same in all—the submerging of the will in the will of God, that He might be all in all.
As there were four present who had never before partaken of the Memorial with us, our leader spoke at some length regarding the significance of the bread and wine. He showed, that all believers who partake of these symbols in sincerity of heart, are benefited, but that to us there is a fuller, deeper significance than the world can ever understand: that in the “cup of blessing” we participate in the blood of the anointed one and that we are a part of the loaf broken and given to the world that they may be fed, in the next age.
That in partaking of these emblems, we declare the Lord’s death till he come in kingdom power, and to ourselves renew our covenant to be buried with Him, that we may be with Him in the resurrection of the first-born, and share with Him in His glory and power.
The thought that we share in our Lord’s sacrifice, not merely that we may win the prize to be won by the overcomers, but that as a part of the seed of Abraham we may share in the work of “blessing all the families of earth” in the next age, gives a broader and grander aspect to our sacrifice, and helps us in our daily struggle to overcome the old fleshy nature, that the new and Christlike character may take its place, and that all God’s purpose may be fulfilled.
May God bless and preserve you and your co-laborers in spreading the “glad tidings” abroad.
With much love from the members of our Church here, I remain,
Sincerely in Him,
F. C. S.—Detroit, Mich.
Dear Brother Russell:
We wish to inform you of the precious season enjoyed at the Memorial Supper here for the first time as a church. There were eight present and all partook of the emblems of Christ’s body and blood. One, an earnest seeker for truth, came a distance of fifty or more miles.
This sister had read Vol. I., and came on purpose to get more light and help. Tonight after reading and searching the Scriptures she made this remark, “I would have gone round the world to have heard what I have heard tonight.” And as we closed our reading for the night, she had her Bible open and read for her testimony the 103d Psalm, “Bless the Lord, O my soul,” etc.
With deep gratitude, we remain,
Yours in the glorious hope,
H. E. F.—Ithaca, N.Y.
Dear Brother Russell:
The friends of truth here observed the Lord’s Memorial. We were blessed spiritually, and I think all felt the importance of the occasion, and that it was good to be there. Twenty-nine partook of the elements representing our Lord’s broken body and shed blood. Having the pleasure of several brethren and sisters from adjoining towns, our numbers were increased above our usual attendance.
The Church here unites in expressing their Christian love to you. We all pray that our Heavenly Father may strengthen and keep you, enabling you to give to His loved ones the “meat in due season.”
Your brother in the glorious hope,
C. H. A.—Baltimore, Md.
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THE NEW BIBLES THOROUGHLY APPRECIATED
ALTHOUGH we have not yet been able to fill all the orders for the new Bibles—sending them out as rapidly as the binders can furnish them—nevertheless, we have heard from quite a number who have received them that they give great satisfaction.
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We cannot do better perhaps than give you extracts from a few of these letters as follows:—
Dear Brother Russell:—I have received that beautiful Bible. I am in ecstasies about it. I am profoundly grateful to our Father, yourself and all those connected with its making and perfecting. It is indeed a wonder. I did not expect half as much when I first read of the work you were going to undertake. It is a great blessing indeed to all interested in present truth, and who are fighting the good fight of faith, and urging on toward the mark of the High Calling.
Yours in love, fellowship and service,
W. H. P.—Toronto, Can.
Dear Brother Russell:
The wide margin Bibles for the Washington congregation sent in lot to my address were received this morning and some of them I have already delivered. Those who have seen them are perfectly delighted and say they would not take many times the price for them. It would do you good to hear the satisfactory remarks concerning these remarkable Bibles—the only ones of the kind in existence—and to note the beaming face and glad light in the eyes of the beholder. If I were tendered twenty-five dollars for mine I should not entertain for a moment the thought of parting with it if I could not secure another, altho I had already marked one of my Bibles in this way from the copy at the Watch Tower office. I have found that Bible more helpful in Bible study than all the other helps combined, hence know from experience how helpful this Bible will be to students of the Word. The Topical Index is an entirely new feature, and a happy surprise. It alone is worth the price of the book. I can in a sense realize the stupendous undertaking to prepare this work. We all owe you a debt of
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gratitude for your solicitude on our behalf. I am sure the Lord will bless your effort and amply reward you. But you always declare that He already has rewarded you, and that you are striving to render some return for his goodness. To him be the praise in using you so admirably to the furthering of his cause. Brother, I cannot thank you sufficiently for this treasure. I prize it above everything I have. May the Lord continue to direct your mind and heart in this blessed service, and may your joy be full as you seek to know and do his will. My prayers are with you and for you as I know yours are ascending on my behalf. Continue to remember me at the throne of grace that my faith fail not. We are having splendid meetings with an average attendance of about twenty-five, and the Tower office force is always remembered in our prayers.
Your brother in the love and service of the truth,
J. A. B.—Washington, D.C.
Dear Brother Russell:
In behalf of Sr. Black and self, I wish to thank you for the new Bibles. Our hearts were strangely touched as we examined with considerable care the different features of the work; and we trust it will prove a new incentive to faithfulness. The value of the work is far beyond our sanguine anticipations.
The literature is being read here with a good deal of appreciation and our work does not seem to meet with much opposition. What proportion of the results will be reaped early is in the hands of the Chief Reaper.
We realize an ever-increasing joy in the privilege of engaging in this feature of Harvest work. All join in gratitude for your faithful service and in prayers for God’s abundant blessing on every feature of the work now drawing so near to its close.
Your brother in the One Hope,
W. W. Black.
Dear Brethren in Christ:
My new Bible has arrived and I feel that my heartiest appreciation of your services in providing for us such a treasure is but a very small return for your kindness. The whole arrangement of the work is so neat, compact, comprehensive and first-class that it seems as tho no improvement could be made in the book. To have the help of such a volume adds greatly to the pleasure of study and research. The material of the Towers and Dawns is available now in a moment’s time and this fact will be greatly appreciated by those of us who have not been in the truth for any great length of time.
May the Lord use this book for the upbuilding of His Church in the truth, is my prayer.
Your sister in the truth,
L. S. W.—Ontario.
My Dear Brother Russell:
I today received my copy of the Bible, for which I have been looking, and praying. I have had time only for a general examination of it, but that examination has filled my heart with gratitude and praise to God for his wonderful help in the study of his Word. I could but fall upon my knees and express that gratitude to him for such a book, and to implore the life-giving power of his ever blessed spirit to shine upon it and our hearts as we descend to a deeper level of the great mine of golden truth. It impresses my heart very deeply, that he has restored my sight, for six months ago had the same book been put into my hands I could not have read a word, but now thank his dear name, I can feast on the good things there, and aid others to a like feast. Praise our great, loving and merciful Heavenly Father! And I feel that our thanks are due you for the great treasure you have (by the blessing of God) put into our hands.
Yours in the love of the truth,
W. F. E.—Maine.
* * *
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We felt sure in advance that all the dear friends of the truth would appreciate having just such a copy of our Father’s Word, and are glad that we were not mistaken. The publishers were astounded when they learned that the edition of 5,000 had been nearly all subscribed for in advance. It is now the turn of those who receive them to feel amazed that so splendid a book could be produced for the money. We are glad indeed to know of your appreciation of our efforts in your behalf; and now we trust that a systematic use of the new Bible will be instituted as quickly as possible amongst the friends.
We trust that all of you will promptly acquaint yourselves with the various new features of this new Bible; and for a complete explanation we refer you to a description which follows its title page, under the heading, “Special Features of This Edition—Berean Bible Study Helps.” Therein we offer some suggestions respecting Bible-study meetings. The regular leaders everywhere will have no difficulty in understanding the suggestions, and we believe that they will be found so helpful that speedily such meetings will be a part of the regular order amongst the friends in general. Indeed where there is no experienced leader, there should be no difficulty in conducting not only an interesting but a profitable and instructive service. If you cannot have a large meeting, remember the Lord’s special promise to the twos and threes gathering in his name—claim the promise by fulfilling your part of it. “Forget not the assembling of yourselves together,” as the Lord, through the Apostle enjoins,—and “so much the more as you see the day approaching.”—Heb. 10:25.
The custom of the nominal church systems, to have one member of the congregation do all the preaching, all the teaching, is one that has done much injury, in that it has given rise to a division of the church into classes—clergy and laity;—additionally it has laid too much work upon the few called the clergy to permit of their attention to things of this present life, providing things honest in the sight of all men; and by taking away from the majority of the Lord’s people their responsibility and share in the ministry it has deprived them of a great blessing, and hindered their growth in grace and their development as servants of the truth.
We are not opposing the preaching of the gospel by those who have the talent for it; but our thought is that the Lord never intended the meetings of his people to be all of the preaching kind. It was not so in the early church as the Apostle explains (I Cor. 12; I Thess. 5:11.) An effort should be made to develop whatever talent there is in any little company—to incite and draw out thought and expression respecting the divine plan as presented in the Word. Let those who have ability to preach do so in moderation; let them also help others to various shares in the service of the truth. As each seeks to grow in grace and to assist others, the Lord will open further and wider doors of opportunity—perhaps in near-by towns or in other quarters of the same city. The harvest is great and the laborers are few, and it should be the constant effort of all who are faithful to the Lord and to the cause, not only to serve one another, but to help one another into the service. We pray the Lord that the new Bible may be greatly blessed of him in this way—in helping many to engage in the ministry of the truth as leaders of Berean Bible classes.