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INTERESTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED
HOW SHALL WE VIEW SUICIDE?
Question.—How shall we view suicide? How serious is this matter? Should it be considered a crime?
Answer.—Suicide should be considered a very serious crime, unless it be the act of a deranged mind whose responsibility in the sight of God and men would, thereby, be considerably lessened.
Since the greatest gift of God is eternal life, through Christ, we may reason that life in any measure is an inestimable boon, privilege. For any sane mind, enlightened by present truth, to contemplate suicide would be unthinkable. We, above all others, realize the value of the present life: we see through it a special opportunity for the development of character along the lines of divine instruction. We see that the development of such character is essential to a share in any part in our heavenly Father’s plan; we see, then, that whatever would prematurely take away our life privileges would be that much working against us, and our highest and best interests. We have faith to believe that our heavenly Father will even protect our lives so that nothing could happen to cut them off up to that point where we shall have had the full privilege and opportunity of character-development—making our calling and election sure. Any attempt on our part to cut short our own privileges would mean not only a rebellion against the divine will, but a folly as regards our own interests, incomprehensible, as we have just said, except under some mental delusion.
The Lord’s people, especially in the light of present truth, should be overwhelmed with the privilege of living at such a time as this, as well as with the privilege granted to us of making our calling and our election sure to a share in the Kingdom honors. There is no antidote for despondency so good as the medicine of the Lord’s Word—its assurance that our Savior loved us so as to purchase us with his own blood, and his assurance, in turn, that “the Father himself loveth us,” and the additional assurance that “all things shall work together for good to us because we love God and have been called according to his purpose.” “He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself,” and has with the hope a ground for joy and peace and trust and contentment which the world can neither give nor take away. Alas, poor world! We wonder that more of its number, without God, without hope, without intelligent knowledge of the divine plan working out blessing for the groaning creation, should not be tempted to do away with the present life—seeing in it no special value, no special blessing, no special opportunities, such as we see and enjoy and hope to realize.
“WHO IS BLIND, BUT MY SERVANT?”
Question.—To what or whom does Isa. 42:19-21 refer? Is it applicable to our Lord Jesus?
Answer.—This Scripture seems to apply to our Lord Jesus, and incidentally to the Church which is his Body. These are to be blind to some things—blind to earthly ambitions and prospects and worldly wisdom, to the intent that they may the more diligently render obedience to their high calling which leads them to ignore present advantages,—to sacrifice them all, laying down even life itself in the service of the truth. It is not the blindness of ignorance, as is indicated by verse 20, “Seeing many things [“but” omitted], thou observest not [heedest not: it is not that we do not see earthly advantages, but we purposely reject, close our eyes, to all such earthly allurements.]” The word “perfect” in v. 19 has the significance of surrendered or devoted. With this blindness Jehovah is well pleased; he accepts it as the atonement sacrifice, and thereby his law is proven to be reasonable, possible to be kept by a perfect man; yea, indeed, it is multiplied and shown to have a still higher and deeper scope than was ever previously comprehended.
— April 1, 1903 —