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FAVORABLE PRESS COMMENTS FROM AUSTRALIA
“MILLENNIAL DAWN is the title of a book of 350 pages dealing with the future age of peace and content to which the Scriptures point and to which the whole creation moves. The preface indicates that six other volumes are to follow, so that on the completion of the seventh volume there will be a whole library on a very absorbing and interesting study. Much in the book commends itself to us, and while some current theologies would almost reject it in toto, it is a sound exposition of Scripture along the line of pre-millennialism, a theory which, based on Scripture, advocates the view that the Millennium must be preceded by the second advent of Christ.
“We believe the positions taken up by Mr. Charles T. Russell, the author, to be in the main true, and in accordance with the Bible teaching. The chart given in the front of the volume is a help to the understanding of the subsequent chapters. There is no doubt that matters pertaining to the last things are, in the mind of the average believer, in a state of flux. … In this volume much is cleared up, and a scheme of the “Ages” propounded which is both interesting and edifying, if not quite final on the subject.
“The book as a whole is most loyal to the Scriptures, and has interesting and vindicating chapters on The Permission of Evil, The Day of Judgment, Ransom and Restitution, The Existence of an Intelligent Creator, The Bible as a Divine Revelation, viewed in the Light of Reason; and in matters of eschatology would probably open the eyes of Presbyterian and Methodist divines to their profit and advantage. The book is issued by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, Allegheny, Pa., U.S.A.; it is neatly got up on good paper, has clear type, and is a marvel of cheapness.”—Evening Mail, Bendigo, Vic., Oct. 7, 1904.
“MILLENNIAL DAWN,” by Charles T. Russell:—Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, Allegheny, Pa., U.S.A.
“Whenever human methods of reasoning have failed to solve the ‘Divine Plan of the Ages,’ whenever our system of theology has failed to harmonize in itself every statement of the Bible, we have been prone to console ourselves with the unsatisfying reflection that God’s ways are not our ways. Revised versions of the Bible have helped but little, for we have been content to accept as unquestionable a system of theology based in many cases upon an erroneous interpretation of Holy Writ. The book under notice convinces us that this is so. It claims to unfold a system of theology that harmonizes in itself every statement of the Bible, and appears to thoroughly justify its claim. Where it differs from the system of theology commonly preached, it upholds its claim by the strongest scriptural evidence. It is designed to be a ‘helping hand for Bible students,’ and will, we believe, be hailed as a book of glad tidings, strengthening the earnest and encouraging the weakhearted. Those who have loved their Bibles and found therein comfort and help in adversity, will find new beauties revealed, and derive fresh hopes in the light of this interesting guide.
“The various creeds of to-day teach that the many hundreds of millions of Christless heathen are on the road to everlasting torment. Most Christian people appear to accept this idea with a shudder, perhaps, at the awful punishment for blameless ignorance. Missionary enterprise is not without energy, but among such countless hordes, the best missionary efforts in the world are as the drops of water that wear a stone. Then, there are those humane persons, who argue that a merciful Creator will not punish with eternal torture the blameless ignorance of the heathen. In other words, that either Christ’s sacrifice or heathen ignorance will suffice for salvation. They don’t mean this, but that is what the argument amounts to. When asked ‘What must I do to be saved?’ the Apostles answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.’ ‘There is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.’—Acts 4:12.
“These difficulties have long wanted a solution in vain. Altogether it cannot be said that the system of theology commonly accepted among Christian peoples is a satisfactory one. Not only has it been repugnant to our ideas of justice that the ignorant shall be punished while salvation through ignorance is opposed to reason and Scripture; but it has occurred to many that of those who fail in the broad light of Christianity, all are not equally culpable. Some have been brought up surrounded by every influence for good, others in associations of vice and wickedness. Clearly the struggle has not been at all equal. Christ said to Capernaum, ‘If the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.’
“The author of ‘MILLENNIAL DAWN’ quotes many Scriptures to show that the day will come when all, under whatever conditions they have lived, will have equal opportunities, when any who sin wilfully against full light and ability will perish in the second death. And should anyone during that age of trial, under its full blaze of light, spurn the offered favors, and make no progress toward perfection for a hundred years, he will be reckoned unworthy of life, and will be “cut off” tho at a hundred years he would be in the period of comparative childhood. Thus it is written of that day: ‘As a lad shall one die a hundred years old.’ (Isa. 65:20.) Thus all must have at least one hundred years of trial, and if not so obstinate as to refuse to make progress, their trial will continue throughout the entire day of Christ, reaching a culmination only at its close.
“This is a very different idea of the Judgment than that ordinarily held by Christians, but it is a hopeful one, and tho space does not permit us to give the whole array of reasoning put forward by the author, we trust sufficient has been said on the point to induce a study of the book. … We heartily commend it to all Bible readers, and hope that it will prove the boon to them we anticipate from our careful reading.”—Daily Argus, Bathurst, N.S.W., Nov. 17, 1904.
— May 1, 1905 —