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Vol. XX. DECEMBER 15, 1899. No. 24.
Higher Criticism Enthroned—The
Dr. DeCosta’s Letter to Bishop
Evolution Among the Baptists………………279
The Methodists also Distracted…………….279
The Year 1900 a Papal Jubilee…………………279
Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society’s
Report for 1899………………………..281
“The True Light Which Lighteth
“Bless the Lord, O My Soul”……………….285
Kind Words for Millennial Dawn,
Vol. V., At-one-ment……………………287
Items: Extra Copies of Nov. 1st and
Dec. 1st Issues—Z.W.T. Visits…………….274
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HIGHER CRITICISM ENTHRONED—THE BIBLE DEBASED
SO PRONOUNCED is the acceptance of Evolution and Higher Criticism in the Episcopal Church that the Rev. Benj. F. DeCosta, D.D., has felt that he can best serve God and the cause of truth by separating himself from the denomination. As heretofore set forth in this journal, it is only a question of time until all men and women of character and true Christian principle will be forced to take similar steps out of all denominations,—from the pews as well as from the pulpits. We are in the “harvest” time of this age, and divine providence is permitting conditions which will demonstrate who are “wheat” and who are “tares.” Such a separation must take place before the great symbolic burning day for “tares” can come, and before the “wheat” can be glorified as God’s Kingdom in power.
“Babylon is fallen, is fallen; come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:24.) But there is a wide difference between leaving “Babylon” and leaving the Lord’s Church or Kingdom. All along it has been true that “the Lord knoweth them that are his:” he knew every consecrated one even tho surrounded by the unconsecrated ten or twenty times more numerous. Now the Lord will demonstrate what he already knows by separating the wheat from the tares. However, from the divine standpoint none have ever been recognized as the Kingdom class except the faithful little flock—the fully consecrated “wheat.” And this is shown by our Lord’s word when again, referring to the separation work of this harvest period, he declares that “he will gather out of his Kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity.”—Matt. 13:41.
Evidently, then, it is one thing to gather out of Babylon his people, and quite another thing to gather out of his Kingdom the offenders: yet both expressions cover the same events. The “wheat” have always been the heirs of the Kingdom—the “tares” have never been such, tho both have grown side by side throughout this Gospel age. In the past the “tares” have at least nominally professed to be “wheat”—professed faith in our Lord’s Word and in his redemptive work. But now, under divine providence, they are being led of their error to repudiate the “wheat” altogether—as “non-critical, old fogies.”
They have abandoned both the Book and the Blood—not in word, but actually, logically. It is to all a test of standing, of holding to the anchorage of faith or of being blown by the winds of worldly wisdom, called “higher criticism,” far, far away from our Savior and his inspired Word.
Really, then, the “tares” leave the “wheat,” by utterly abandoning the faith once delivered to the saints. Thus God gathers them out of or away from his Kingdom class. But, since the latter are a minority, they must leave the meeting-houses to the majority, who thus carry them with them “out of his Kingdom,” to be places of musical and literary entertainment instead of places for worship and for hearing the Word of the Lord and for renewal of vows.
The minority must leave the organizations of Babylon also—in order to be faithful to their Lord and his Word and to “show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.” This at first seems a trial—until we learn the difference between human organizations and the divine organization, and that the former never were instituted nor authorized by our Lord or his apostles; and that none of them ever were connected with any such human organizations; and that to leave the human organizations is
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merely to leave a “tare” institution of the long ago and has no bearing whatever on the real organization of which we still remain members, with our names written in heaven—in the Lamb’s Book of Life.—Heb. 12:23; Rev. 13:8.
DOCTOR DE COSTA’S LETTER TO BISHOP POTTER
Doctor DeCosta, in withdrawing from a church where he found the friends of the Savior and the Bible in a hopeless minority, wrote a letter to the Bishop of his diocese, setting forth some of his reasons: and very properly he made public the contents of the letter;—otherwise his reasons for his action might have been misunderstood by some of his friends and misrepresented by some not his friends. And a similar privilege and duty presents itself to all who withdraw from any division of Babylon.*
We give liberal extracts from Dr. DeCosta’s letter, believing that it will be of general interest to God’s people, and well knowing that not only the religious, but also the secular press will be loth to give it much notice. The truth, let us remember, never has been popular with the world, and the “tare” influence, direct and indirect, is generally sufficient to either exclude such like matter or to ridicule it as “superstitious and cranky.” The extracts follow:—
“New York, Oct. 7th, 1899.
The Rt. Rev. HENRY CODMAN POTTER, D.D., LL.D.,
Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Diocese of New York:—
“DEAR SIR:—I hereby respectfully resign the office of Presbyter.
“It is proper for me to give some reason for this course, which, at the end of long years of service, is adopted deliberately and in the fear of God. I must now, however, confine myself to a few points. In what I have to say at this time I desire to speak with entire plainness, as well as with kindness and respect; while, to avoid any possible misapprehension, I would add that I do not resign on account of any personal grievance.
“I cannot reconcile my convictions with the present condition of the Episcopal Church, which, contrary to its own principles, has been drawn into the adoption of a policy of toleration toward a school of theology and Biblical criticism which in my judgment is hostile to revealed truth.
“Further permit me to say respectfully that I do not find that you have been ‘ready with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away from the church all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word;’ while much less have you seemed inclined ‘both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to do the same.’
“On the contrary, I think the testimony proves that you have discouraged and baffled men inclined to take such action. I do not, however, undertake to impugn your motives or charge upon you the ‘lamentable ignorance’ and deliberate ‘malice’ which some time since in the public press you attributed to men by no means your inferiors either in learning or charity. I desire, nevertheless, to indicate that, as I view the subject, whatever may have been your own views, you have acted with and defended those who have struck at the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the plenarily inspired and infallible Word of God.
DOUBT SPREADING RAPIDLY
“The progress of doubt during the last few years is most notable. If Newman had lived in our day, he would hardly have been able to write that beautiful eulogy of the Bible in which he says of the Englishman that ‘It is the representative of his best moments,’ and that ‘all that there has been about him of soft, and gentle, and pure, and penitent, and good, speaks to him forever out of his English Bible. It is his sacred thing which doubt has never seen and controversy never soiled.’ Even in Episcopal seminaries the inerrancy of Holy Scripture is boldly and systematically denied.
“You, right reverend sir, have entered the field at a crucial hour, plainly declaring that the system of denial or negation embodied in the ‘higher criticism’ forms an allowable method of interpretation, and that the acceptance of the methods and its conclusions does not disqualify candidates for the ministry. You have therefore deliberately received into the denomination, and you have approved as proper teachers for the people, men who declare that the Scriptures are errant and do not form an infallible guide, but abound in myths, fables, scientific and historical errors.
“The long catalogue of errors credited by so-called ‘higher criticism’ to Holy Scripture may or may not in your estimation appear as trifles. That, however, has nothing to do with the present issue, but the system that you vouch for as within the liberty of clergymen leaves, in my judgment, no sufficient authority for the Christian religion. We are plainly told that ‘The prevalent dogmatic theories of the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible have been undermined in the entire range of Biblical study, and it is a question in many minds whether they can ever be so reconstructed as to give satisfaction to Christian scholars.’
“The worst is that the church approves your course. Future candidates may openly deride the story of Pentecost as the world has understood it from the time of the apostles.
*We have prepared what we term Withdrawal Letters for the use of our friends. They are printed in typewriter type, and in kind but clear and forceful language explain some of the reasons moving to the withdrawal. You merely need to sign, date and mail these to the pastor and all members of the sect you have been bound to, and at once you are free. We supply these free, accompanied by missionary envelopes and tracts—enough to supply every member of the congregation one. Order a sample one first and see if it will suit you—then send for required quantity. These “Withdrawal Letters” should be sent out as soon as possible after you decide on regaining the liberty wherewith Christ hath made free his people. Every day or month or year that passes before sending them is a distinct disadvantage to you and to the truth: both are sure to be misrepresented by an informal withdrawal. You joined not the minister, but the congregation,—not secretly, but publicly; and your withdrawal should be after the same manner.
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“The former belief in the Bible is no longer required. Candidates of the school to which I refer will indeed continue to sign papers, agreeing to accept the Scriptures as the Word of God, but such subscriptions practically will prove little better than perjury.
“The phrase ‘Word of God’ is now a phrase only; its meaning has been juggled away.
“‘Higher criticism’ has struck every diocese in the land, and from all the States in the Union there is coming a wild, ungovernable flood of opinion and sentiment that renders your position still more significant. You do not stand alone. You are upborne by the power of unconsecrated wealth. Your Convention, which has just closed its session, is with you, having overwhelmingly vindicated your laisses faire Standing Committee by indorsing its dark act. Your examiners give unqualified support. Thus far the case is diocesan; but venerable and saintly men like the Bishop of Minnesota, men of superior judgment and influence, applaud the ‘wisdom and good sense’ displayed in this phase of your administration, while the criminal silence of other Bishops speaks louder than words.
“The press, being creedless, is, for the most part, with you, and hails you as the exponent of incoming ‘liberal thought.’ A leading editorial, in a prominent daily, describing present society as one that ‘has outlived the faith of dogma,’ claims that your position is ‘invincible.’ Humanly speaking, it is indeed secure. The masses of Episcopalians are with you.
“I can understand why the Bishop of Western Texas is obliged to admit:—’We know that the young men are not in the churches and the laboring classes are entirely alienated.’ The president of your Standing Committee has just reported to Convention that the youth of the denomination ‘deny any obligation to go to church. They go if they please, but if not, it makes no difference.’
“Indeed, what have they to go for? To listen to the reading of what preachers pronounce myths and fables. Substantially, the battle for the Bible has been fought. The case is lost, and now you can present no inducements for either youth or age to go to church. By a town meeting process the Bible has been declared ‘literature.’
“This new relation of your denomination to the Bible changes the relation of the denomination to other religious bodies, and never again can Episcopalians approach the Presbyterians calling to union on the basis of a common Bible.
“Unbelief is in the air. Indeed, I must here call attention to the fact, as yet little noticed, that the worst of the prevailing scepticism does not appear in print, nor even in public addresses. In private not a few of both clergy and laity openly repudiate the authority of Bible and creed, using no concealment.
“One very prominent rector, who stands high in the ranks of your supporters, speaks of the New Testament as a bundle of left over documents. Another has declared that the first three chapters of St. Matthew form simply a beautiful legend; while another ridicules even the Apostles’ Creed. Important positions are held by men of this class, who remain in the pulpit to win present bread or accomplish ulterior ends.
THE ONLY WAY
“Evils have been pointed out privately to the bishops, and the pessimistic reply of one, ‘Things will never be any better in your day or mine,’ may be accepted as the expression of nearly all. Letters in my possession from some of your associates in office form instructive reading. For myself, recognizing the situation as I do, there is but one course; and, therefore, whatever other men, whom personally I esteem, may do, and however they may regard their obligations, mine seem clear.
“While no action on your part could lead me to go out, I recognize a condition that no one man, or any possible combination of men, can now successfully meet. The Episcopalian scheme, based on private judgment, is not only far overshadowed by doubt that will characterize the incoming twentieth century, but it is possessed by the unbelieving spirit. The storm is already here, but the Protestant Episcopal body has no anchors. The future is clear. Your people are hastening to accomplish their evolution. Few will be misled by the pompous diction of that bishop who in his last charge foretells great victories. Fewer still, allow me to say with all kindness, will be persuaded by your own phraseology, where you speak of ‘the Book’ as ‘incomparable and precious,’ since it is commonly believed that many churchmen would not now disdain such language if applied to the works of Shakespeare and Homer.
“One can very well anticipate the reply of men who, with assumed indignation, deny that they refuse the Bible as the Word of God, but discerning persons know the value of phrases out of which the erstwhile faith, robustness and honesty have departed.
A REMARKABLE DISCOVERY
“You charge that ‘a modern fetichism which has dishonored the Bible by claiming to be its elect guardian has shut it up these many years within the iron walls of a dreary literalism, robbing it thus alike of interest and of power.’ You have furnished a remarkable discovery. All along the people have regarded the Bible as a free book. It has stood, the pride and glory of the nations, accredited with the uplifting of society and the advance of civilization and modern thought. No language has been found too superb in describing its work of emancipation and purification.
“Now, however, you assure us that we have been mistaken, that all the while the Bible has been shut up within iron walls, robbed of interest and power. Do you, right reverend sir, suppose that the people of the land, who have organized Bible societies and carried them on at a large cost for many years, are sufficiently ignorant of the history and influence of the Bible to accept tamely this charge? Your language is astonishing! I deeply deplore the necessity which exists for saying this, yet you are winning laurels among infidels far and wide.
“The particular kind of usefulness that your criticism may aspire to is indicated by the language of one of your own friends, the Bishop of Washington, who declares that, ‘under the influence of the “higher criticism” thousands have lost their faith in the Old Testament as the inspired Word of God;’ while ‘the faith of multitudes is so shaken that even Sunday school children
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speak of the Scriptures with an irreverent freedom that would have amazed the preceding generation.’
“One may, therefore, safely dismiss your statement where you speak of what ‘a higher scholarship has done for us in our generation for the advancement of godliness and good learning throughout the Christian world.’ It is, on the contrary, driving people away from the religion of Christ.
“Furthermore, it might be remembered with profit that Christianity was never designed to entertain any comparative religions, and the system you applaud can only degrade the Episcopal denomination to a plan where the maintenance of the simplest elements of Christianity will prove impossible. As for your own diocese, the central and most important, when its actual state is known, it will be seen that it is rapidly approaching the condition of the bloodless heart. Spiritually your strongest corporation is failing. The appearance of prosperity, as the statistics prove, is unreal. As things are tending, far sighted friends say that if the Cathedral is ever finished it will prove the sarcophagus of Episcopalianism, the coffin of its creed. It is to be devoutly hoped that the policy with which you are identified may yet be paralyzed.
“For myself I cannot bow to the guidance of the ‘distinguished critics’ whom you have set forth as teachers and examples for the faculties in Episcopal seminaries, masters in Israel—who now, side by side with the professional infidel, stand forth to lecture on the ‘Mistakes of Moses.’ My sense of right would not support me in any such course. I retire from the field, convinced that I am no longer called to struggle with an overwhelming and rapidly increasing force. I cannot accept the revolution or drift with the tide. Your school is indeed benevolent, and quite willing to tolerate catholic faith, bestowing upon it from time to time nothing more severe than ignoble terms. But for myself I ask no favors. I will not remain where doubt commands a premium, and the belief in an infallible Bible enjoys simply the immunity granted to a fallible Koran.” —From The New York Herald.
* * *
DR. DE COSTA’S PARADOXICAL POSITION
At first it would appear paradoxical, if not absurd, that the gentleman who poses as a defender of the Bible in the language quoted foregoing, should conclude that the same honesty which led him to protest against the Protestant Episcopal communion as deserters of the Bible, led him into the Roman Catholic Church as the communion of the Bible’s friends with whom alone he could find fellowship. Yet this is the Doctor’s position: and in harmony with it he was received into the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, Dec. 4. He has since published his reasons for the step, from which we extract as follows:—
“I do not, however, propose to offer any apology for entering the Catholic Church. Standing in the midst of modern religious systems, toppling to their fall like columns in the temple of Karnak, no defense need be offered for accepting a firm and unshaken Catholic faith. … The Church of Rome stands before the English speaking people and Protestants everywhere as the
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unique and solitary defender of the Bible in its integrity and entirety.”
Dr. De Costa denies that the authorities of the Catholic Church are unfavorable to the circulation and use of the Bible, saying that it is the duty and privilege of Catholic scholars to study the Bible thoroughly in the original tongues. The gentleman must consider the Latin the original tongue, for surely it is it that is chiefly, almost exclusively, studied by Romanist priests,—or rather compiled and arranged extracts from the Latin New Testament and not the book itself.
The Doctor concludes thus:—
“On the Protestant theory there is no visible Church, the only body being a mystical body in the air. On this theory Christianity has failed; the empire that triumphed over the Roman empire has perished. This is simply pessimism resumed. Reformation, religionism, therefore offers no moral or intellectual outlook for coming generations, and leaves the world forced at last to choose between rationalism and the Catholic Church. I believe in the Holy Catholic Church and the life everlasting.”
Poor Doctor, he must have our sympathy, if we give him credit for candor and love for God’s Word; and we believe there are many in his position. He sees inconsistencies on both sides of the question and has jumped from one horn of his dilemma to the other, instead of escaping from both. Thus:—
(1) Dr. De Costa has forced himself to forget that for centuries Papacy has been the implacable foe of the Bible; that she has officially through her popes (claimed to be infallible) cursed the Bible Societies and denounced their work as of the devil; that she has caused Bibles circulated among the people to be gathered and publicly burned—“auto da fe.”
He cannot be ignorant of the fact—and hence he must merely close his eyes to it, and try to forget—that Papacy’s advocacy of the Bible and permission of the people to have it and to read it is but a recent move (within the last ten years), and that only in the United States, and hedged about with certain restrictions governed by the priests and from translations containing Roman Catholic comments as footnotes. The Doctor utterly ignores the fact that Papacy has not really changed—boasts that she never changes,—and hence is no more the friend of the Bible than she was during the “dark ages,” but merely appears to advocate the Bible so as to disarm suspicion and to gain the good will of the most enlightened nation in the world. He forces himself to forget that the portions of “Christendom” where the Bible is free and in the vernacular of the people are the most enlightened and the most Protestant—The United States, Great Britain, Norway,
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Sweden, Germany, Switzerland: and that the dark places of superstition and cruelty are the places where Papacy has persistently hindered the circulation of the Bible—Spain, Portugal, Italy, Southern Ireland, and as far as possible France and Austro-Hungary, Mexico and the South American countries. Well does Papacy know that the Bible—”the sword of the spirit,” the Word of God, is her greatest foe: and she will never be its supporter and defender, except as a pretense,—even as Satan would pose as an angel of light instead of a prince of darkness to accomplish his purposes.
(2) Having blinded himself on the above point the Doctor seeks to account for the Reformation movement as not being to secure a free Bible as the true light upon the Church’s pathway. On the other hand he declares it was a mistaken effort to repudiate the visible church and to recognize it only as a spiritual body.
Would to God the Doctor told the truth in this statement! Would to God all Protestants (and Romanists too) recognized the Scriptural teaching that the Church of Christ is not an earthly organization with names upon sectarian rolls of membership, but instead is a heavenly union and communion “whose names are written in heaven”—”in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Heb. 12:23; Rev. 13:8.) But alas! the Doctor is as much mistaken in this as in his other proposition, for Protestants as well as Romanists have earthly organizations and honor these as the true Church, and do not see that they are “Babylonish”—confused mixtures in which “wheat” and “tares” commingle—the “tares” predominating and consequently ruling.
Erring on both these points, Dr. De Costa has gone from bad to worse—from one bad “tare” bundle to another containing still less “wheat.” Oh, how many of God’s people are confused, bewildered, and ensnared thus and otherwise! Only the meek, the humble, will go earnestly to God and be taught of him and be led out of all human entanglements and bondages into the liberty wherewith the Son of God makes free his sheep.
EVOLUTION AMONG THE BAPTISTS
In evidence that the latest and worst form of Infidelity is permeating all denominations, all colleges and seminaries, note the following just clipped from the Rochester, N.Y., Post-Express:—
“President A. H. Strong delivered last evening at the Rochester Theological Seminary an address on ‘The Growth of Theological Thought During the Last Fifty Years.’ Dr. Strong took advanced ground, accepting fully the theory of Evolution and approving the methods and general results of the higher criticism.”
The Rochester Baptist Seminary is the principal one of that denomination in the United States and furnishes its most prominent ministers.
THE METHODISTS ALSO DISTRACTED
The Boston Morning Journal of Dec. 8th announced as the leading news of its first page—
“NINE STUDENTS QUIT BOSTON UNIVERSITY.”
It then quotes the statement of one of the students, Schenk by name, as follows:—
“Coming from the West to Boston University School of Theology a year ago, I was shocked to find the most rabid rationalism being taught as Old Testament exegesis, under cover of a leading Methodist school. Coming to Messianic prophecy, only half a truth was taught. Further on Jesus Christ was no authority on Old Testament Scripture. The miraculous conception was set aside and the atoning blood made non-essential.”
The worst of the matter is yet to be told, namely, that Prof. Mitchell is heartily endorsed by the other professors of the institution and by nearly all the students of the seminary—the soon-to-be preachers of Methodism; for the President of the institution says that the dissenters are only “eight or nine out of an aggregate of 178 students.”
It seems, too, that the seceders appealed to the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but got no redress but on the contrary; as a result the students who protested against the decimation of the Book and the rejection of the precious blood were notified that they must be quiet on the subject. Thereupon they nobly withdrew.
* * *
So the leaven of error is rapidly permeating every branch of the nominal church, and the tests are coming to each individual Christian to prove him either “wheat” or “tare.” The “wheat,” today as of old, will be counted “fools for Christ’s sake” by the worldly-wise.—1 Cor. 4:10.
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THE YEAR 1900 A PAPAL JUBILEE
POPE LEO XIII. has issued a decree, or “bull,” designating the last year of the century a Jubilee year, a holy year, in which all his faithful are called upon to confess their sins, make many pilgrimages and prayers, and thus obtain forgiveness and indulgences—release from purgatorial sufferings justly merited and now in store for them. The bull has been translated into English and published broadcast, and we quote a portion of it, as follows:—
“In opening the treasures of indulgences, whereof
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it is the dispenser, the Church invites the whole of Christendom to the hope of pardon. …
“Raising our eyes to God, with his help and with the approbation of the cardinals, we order a universal Jubilee, to commence in this sacred city of Rome with the first vespers of Christmas, 1899, and to cease on the same day in 1900.
“During the Jubilee Year we concede full indulgence and pardon of sins to all Christians truly repentant, who confess their sins and partake of communion, and who will visit the basilicas of St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s, St. John’s, or that of Sta. Maria Maggiore, in Rome, at least once a day during twenty days, if having domicile in Rome, or, for pilgrims, during ten days. All ought to pray for the exaltation of the Church, for the extirpation of heresies, for the concord of Catholic princes, and for the salvation of Christian peoples.
“Those who through sickness or other legitimate causes cannot visit the Roman basilicas, if they confess and communicate, may also benefit in the indulgence.
“To Rome we invite you, with love, sons of the Church throughout the world.”
* * *
This pronunciamento of papal power in heaven and hell, on earth and in purgatory, is extremely mild and unassuming when compared to those of Leo’s predecessors.* The statement is milder to suit the changed
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conditions of papal influence and general enlightenment; but the same thought, the same error underlies—that the power to forgive sins has been lodged by the Almighty in the hands of the pope and his conferees. If it were true, what an awful responsibility it would place upon these men! What if they had forgotten or neglected to appoint this Jubilee? And then, again,—if such confessions, prayers, pilgrimages, etc., can affect such blessings and releases from sufferings, why are not Jubilee years more frequent—every year? Think for a moment of the loss, the terrible loss, sustained by the pope’s faithful who have died, and will die, before the time he and the cardinals have set!
We notice with pleasure that, while “the extirpation of heresies” is mentioned, the injunction is to pray for this, and not as in olden times to labor for it by extirpating heretics as vermin. Let us continually thank God for the breaking up of the solidarity of Antichrist by the Great Reformation of the sixteenth century. The more it breaks up, and the smaller the fragments, the better for the truth and the true children of God,—the true Church “whose names are written in heaven.” (Heb. 12:23.) Not the true “wheat,” but the imitation, the “tares,” need to be bound in bundles, by sectarian creeds and obligations of human device and imposition. And altho it is clearly pointed out in the Scriptures that a federative union of the various sects of Christendom will soon occur; and tho we know that this will mean a great increase of opposition, hatred and persecution of all who will not “join” nor be “bound” in the bundles, but who stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made them free, still we may sing,—
“I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me!”
—knowing that ere long all the “wheat” will be garnered and shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of the Father with their Lord;—to bless all the families of the earth.—Matt. 13:30,43.
Now, not to disparage the pope’s efforts (which we will presume to be sincere and honestly intended to be a means of grace to his people), but by way of showing forth the error underlying the whole theory on which the pope’s efforts are based, we will make a pronouncement: one which every true child of God as an “ambassador” and member of the “royal priesthood” is privileged to make daily, or so often as opportunity offers, namely,—
IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,
THE GREAT SHEPHERD (BISHOP) OF THE SHEEP,
PONTIFEX MAXIMUS, VICAR OF GOD
AND PRINCE OF
THE KINGS OF THE EARTH,
—I declare that whosoever cometh unto the Father by him is acceptable; because by him whosoever believeth in him as his Savior and Shepherd is justified freely from all things,—from which the Law could never justify or deliver him:—I therefore declare unto all who thus renounce sin and lay hold of the Deliverer with the arms of their faith, that without waiting for Christmas day, 1899, or any other date, and without pilgrimages to Rome or Allegheny or elsewhere, and without visiting cathedrals or other holy places, or having the prayers of popes, cardinals, bishops, underpriests or laymen, and even without prayers of their own, they may have this grace—even as it is written, “Being justified by faith [not prayers nor works], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ [not through other mediators].”—Rom. 5:1.—Moreover, by the authority of the same Great Potentate we declare unto you the efficacy of his Calvary-sacrifice not only thus to cleanse from sins that are past, but also to keep you reckonedly cleansed and pure in God’s sight, so long as you abide by faith in Christ. For his blood cleanseth us from all sin—continually covering our unwilful imperfections; as it is written,—”My strength is made perfect in weakness,” and “my grace is sufficient for thee.”
* * *
Verily, the god of this world (Satan) has not only blinded the heathen (2 Cor. 4:4), but he is quite
*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 9.
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considerably blinding two thirds of Christendom represented in the Roman and Greek Catholic communions, as evidenced by such proclamations as that of the pope and by the continual practice of their priests.
Nor do we find the Protestant element of Christendom fully enlightened and clear on this point of there being no necessity for the intervention or mediation of men or prayers between the sinner and his Savior. The great majority of Protestants consider prayers and intercessions essential—as evidenced by the various “revival” methods—mourners’ benches, kneeling at the altar, rising for prayers, inquiry rooms, etc.—all so contrary to the simplicity of the Scriptural arrangement, which is,—Preach the message of God’s grace in Christ, and whosoever believingly accepts it is thereby justified and at peace with God: and his prayers that should follow such belief and acceptance would be thanksgivings for divine favors received and pledges of his own future faithfulness to the Light, the Truth, the Way.
“I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me [Jesus] shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.”—John 8:12.
Very evidently the reason for so much darkness is that, under Satan’s misleading, those who see the true light to some extent get to following Popes, Councils, Presbyteries, Conferences and Confessions of men, instead of following the Lord who is the True Light. We should esteem very highly for their work’s sake all who have been or may be used of the Lord as finger posts to point us to the Light, the Way, the Truth, but no more—we are not to follow them, except as we discern clearly from the Word that they are closely following Christ. He is to be our Pattern and our only Light.
* * *
Meantime in an endeavor to “make a fair show in the flesh” it is the proposition of the pope and his coadjutors to open during that Jubilee year one of the greatest cathedrals in the world in the greatest metropolis of the world—Westminster Cathedral, London. It is said to have already cost over ten millions of dollars: and that millions more are being collected in various parts of the world where “heretics,” whom they condemn to hell torments unceasing, are by taxes, etc., feeding the Romanist poor in the almshouses of Christendom. Thanks be to God for the light and better day coming for the poor, deceived, “groaning creation” and for the blessed opportunities of eternal life which that Millennial Day will bring to them.
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WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
—REPORT FOR THE YEAR, DEC. 1ST, ’98, TO DEC. 1ST, ’99.—
VERY PROPERLY all who are truly the Lord’s people feel a deep interest not only in the Truth itself but also in all pertaining to it and its propagation;—not only in their own vicinities but also in its world-wide field and mission. And what is thus generally true seems to be intensified in all such after they have become acquainted with the “harvest” message—the light of the last days of this age,—the light of the parousia;—the bright shining of the present one—the epiphania—parousia.
We are conscious therefore that many eyes will look for and carefully scan this report of the work accomplished in the year just ended,—especially all who have had a share in it, great or small, “every man according to his several ability” (Matt. 25:15), whether as a contributor to the funds which propel the work or an assistant in the labor of circulating the truth, or both. All such we know will be rejoiced in heart, refreshed for fresh endeavors for the new year as they read what we have to present. Rejoice, for it is your work, our work, the Lord’s work. And as we realize how comparatively few there are whose eyes of understanding are opened that they can see the light, and when we remember too, that (as our Lord foretold) among them there are not many great or wise or rich in this world’s riches and wisdom, we must say that the showing is “marvelous in our sight.”
(1) To begin with, we always reckon the truest progress of the cause to be indicated by the WATCH TOWER’S subscription list; for however interest may be awakened, by tracts, booklets and DAWNS, it is rarely fixed and riveted except through the regular visits of our semi-monthly pastoral. You will be pleased then to know that the WATCH TOWER list grew considerably during last year: and that the evidences point to a still larger increase during the year now beginning. And as each reader is interested in and praying for such results, each will proportionately lend a hand to the answering of his own prayers, by doing what he can to increase the circulation. Are there not friends to whom you have loaned and given tracts and books and whose interest is partially awakened? Why not go to such with a sample copy of the TOWER and ask them to look it over and consider the advisability of having its visits regularly?
We offer no “premiums” to those who thus labor for this journal. Oh no; our friends need no such inducements, for they render this service with gladness and willingness of heart—”as unto the Lord” and on behalf of his brethren. But we will gladly furnish you
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sample copies free. And furthermore to assist you we will arrange a “special offer” thus: Anyone who is already a WATCH TOWER reader may send in new subscriptions for the year (one dollar each) and to each
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we will send one volume of the DAWN series free—whichever volume may be designated in your order;—but all such orders should be designated “Special offer” that we may understand that they are in compliance herewith.
Furthermore: some of the brethren have intimated that they would like to send the WATCH TOWER for a while to their friends, with a view to awaking their interest in its teachings and have asked whether or not we will receive six months subscriptions under such circumstances. Assuredly we will and we will do more than that: we will share with you in the service by sending four six months trial subscriptions for ONE DOLLAR, eight for TWO DOLLARS, twenty for FIVE DOLLARS, forty for TEN DOLLARS. But we will accept only new subscriptions and none for longer than six months on these terms. Not that we are unwilling to treat old friends as well as new ones, but that our regular terms (page 2) are amply reasonable—those who cannot afford to pay one dollar a year for the WATCH TOWER cannot afford to pay anything, and such are as welcome to it as to the air they breathe, if they will apply for it on terms stated.
(2) THE COLPORTEUR WORK has prospered during the past year as will be noticed by the Secretary’s report following. The number of DAWNS put into the hands of the people exceeded the number circulated the previous year by fifty per cent; and the number of booklets over one hundred per cent.
This increase is due in great measure to the financial prosperity which permits people to purchase books, and thus has permitted colporteurs who had been driven from the service by the “hard times” to reenter this fruitful quarter of the “harvest” field: besides the Lord has raised up new laborers willing, yea anxious, to spend and be spent in serving to others the meat in due season which has so blessed and strengthened their own hearts. It doubtless is true that tho money is more plentiful by reason of the “good times,” the time to read the literature is curtailed thereby: nevertheless, the truth-hungry will find time for it; and if it costs some self-denial the blessing will be the greater. Others will find plenty of time in the not distant future when another financial collapse will carry labor to the lowest plane it has occupied for fifty years. Remember continually in your prayers the dear brethren and sisters of the Colporteur service.
(3) THE PILGRIM SERVICE. During the year this branch of the service has been increased and its field widened—hundreds of meetings being held from Canada to Georgia and Texas, and from Massachusetts to California and Oregon. Many letters testify to good accomplished through this department of the work. We are planning for its still more effective operation during the coming year, as the Lord seems to be opening up ways and means. To him let our praise and thanks ascend: let us remember in our prayers the dear brethren serving as “Pilgrims.”
(4) THE TRACT DISTRIBUTION. This department has shared in the general prosperity, as you will see by the report of the Secretary following. It is the largest showing we have ever been able to present. It speaks volumes for the loving zeal of the Lord’s people in the distribution of these tracts as well as in the providing of the funds for their publication. We publish no names: it is not necessary, for we are unitedly laboring for the Lord’s approval and final “Well done!”
(5) THE VOLUNTEER SERVICE. A year ago we called for volunteers to undertake the distribution of the booklet, The Bible vs. the Evolution Theory, to church attendants in every city and town on Sundays at respectful distance from church edifices. Responses were prompt—many true soldiers of the cross accepted the offer as the God-given opportunity, for which they had often prayed—opportunities to do and to serve, and opportunities, if need be, to suffer joyfully for the truth’s sake. These, it is needless to say, besides the blessing they carried to others, received a great blessing in their own hearts, and are the stronger, and the closer to the Lord in consequence. Let us not judge some who discontinued as soon as they found some of the cross and its reproaches attached to this warfare for the truth—this endeavor to preach the gospel to those dear brethren who are shut off from other means of hearing the good tidings of great joy: let us even think very charitably of those who not only did not go out to the battle themselves, but who sought to discourage others from enlistment. Let us remember the noble Apostle Peter who sought to hinder our Lord from his sacrifice and thus became his “adversary,” but who subsequently became one of his most faithful and zealous soldiers; and let us hope and pray that each true soldier of the cross may become bold to serve the truth according to the convictions of his own conscience, and brave and willing in some manner to endure the cross, that in due time we all may rejoice together as crown wearers in our Captain’s Kingdom.
(6) THE CORRESPONDENCE feature of the harvest has grown gradually to vast proportions; and we believe it is used of the Lord to the blessing of his flock. During the year just ended we received 31,956 letters and postal cards and sent out 23,676, or a total in and out of over a thousand per week during the year,—some brief, others lengthy. What a wonderful privilege to be thus in close touch with the household of faith, the
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“brethren” and other truth-seekers! We esteem it a great privilege to lend a helping hand to all in this way and welcome all your letters. But remembering the numbers, please condense your queries and separate them from orders in your letters. And do not be offended, if we refer you briefly to some back TOWER or to some page of the DAWN series for reply.
(7) THE FINANCIAL end of the work,—has prospered amazingly, too,—for us “not many rich.” The Treasurer’s report shows nearly fifteen thousand dollars handed in by the Lord’s people for use in his service—without one penny of it being begged or even asked. The most we ever do is to inform the friends of the cause that there is a Fund to which such as desire may contribute little or much as their holy spirits prompt them and their circumstances will permit. We do not even blow a trumpet for them nor herald their names—the matter is left between each soul and its Lord and each is encouraged to use his own best judgment in serving the Lord’s cause and to look to him for the rewards of faithfulness and self-denial.
True, fifteen thousand dollars is not much money—it is less than the salary of some ministers of the gospel in the nominal church, not to mention many in worldly positions who receive salaries or have incomes of as much or more. It is as nothing compared to the vast sums donated by the various denominations, by gift and bequest, to home and foreign missionary work, to their Bible Societies and Tract Societies. Yet this little under the Lord’s blessing is accomplishing much in the keeping up of meetings through Pilgrims and in circulating nearly sixty-five millions of pages of literature throughout the length and breadth of the civilized world. It reminds us of the widow’s cruse of oil and remnant of meal.—1 Kings 17:9-16.
(8) THE FOREIGN WORK is constantly growing. Brother Weber is still the representative of the French work, laboring in Switzerland. Brother Winter looks out for the interests of the Truth in Denmark, while Brothers Lundborg and Nelson do the same in Sweden. Sister Giesecke is the Society’s representative in Germany. The latter has just sent in report which shows 246 letters received and 263 letters sent out, and a free circulation of reading matter representing 258,664 tract pages. The work in Great Britain we do not reckon as foreign, because of close connection and one tongue, but it is prospering, too, and our stock of books and tracts in Brother Hart’s care is larger than ever, made necessary by increased demands.
All of these “brethren” need our love and sympathy and prayers. Let us remember all the interests of Zion when we approach the throne of the heavenly grace. And finally, dear brethren, pray for us of the home office, who occupy not only a place of interest in your hearts, but a place of prominence for the great Adversary’s attacks. Pray that we may have more and more of the Master’s blessed spirit—the spirit of wisdom and of might, the spirit of patience and of meekness, the spirit of zeal and of a sound mind, the spirit of love and devotion to the Lord, his truth and his “brethren.” And as you thus pray, you will be drawn nearer to us and to the Lord and to the same spirit which worketh all in all. Very truly,
Your brother and servant in the Anointed,
T. RUSSELL, President.
TREASURER’S ACCOUNT, DEC. 1ST, ’98, TO DEC. 1ST, ’99.
Receipts—Cash, “Good Hopes”……………. $11,303.32
” ” from other sources………. 3,467.20
Expenditures—Pilgrim Account…………… $2,612.01
” Publishing tracts and
postage, etc., on same……………….. 11,286.97
Cash balance for 1900………………….. 871.54
SECRETARY’S ACCOUNT, DEC. 1ST, ’98, TO DEC. 1ST, ’99.
Copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN circulated
during the year,…………………….. 95,354
Copies of various booklets circulated
during the year,…………………….. 43,361
Copies of ZION’S WATCH TOWER supplied
gratis to the Lord’s poor and sent
as samples,…………………………. 156,536
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Copies of tracts and booklets sent out
during the year,…………………….. 2,566,073
This, represented as usual when referring
to tracts, aggregated tract pages,…….. 64,650,204
C. HENNINGES, Sec’y & Treas.
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“THE TRUE LIGHT WHICH LIGHTETH EVERY MAN.”
—DEC. 24.—ISA. 9:2-7.—
“Unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”—Luke 2:11.
CHRISTMAS-TIDE always brings some lesson associated with our Savior and the great salvation, the gift of God, provided through him. This year the chosen lesson is most excellent and beautiful. Appropriately, the first verse of the chapter is omitted: in Leeser’s Translation it constitutes the last verse of chapter 8.
Our lesson had no local and immediate application at the time of its delivery: it is strictly prophetical, as are indeed the preceding fifteen verses. We cannot even apply the lesson to the people and time of the first advent: its scope is far beyond the Jewish nation, and can only be applied to the worldwide blessings which follow the second coming of Christ and the establishment of his glorious Kingdom in power and great glory. Nevertheless, there is just a bare connection with the past in the expression, “Unto us a child is born”—thus indicating the humble beginning and earliest manifestation
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of the great light, the Sun of Righteousness, which has not yet arisen, but whose day-star is now shining in the hearts of the faithful.—2 Pet. 1:19.
The two divisions of the first verse of the lesson in poetic form merely repeat the same thought with variations. The people that walk in darkness who are to see the great light are practically all mankind, for “gross darkness covers the people”—the exception, the very small minority, the Church, as our Lord declared, is “not of the world.” (John 17:16.) This broad thought is emphasized by the next statement, for the whole world surely is “the land of the shadow of death:” “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together” under the sentence or curse of death which, with its accompaniments of pain and sorrow, casts a deep shadow in every heart and in every household.
Surely, the whole world needs this great light—the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord—the very light which the Apostle declares the world cannot now discern, because the eyes of their understanding are darkened by the misrepresentations and deceptions perpetrated by the god of this world, the prince of darkness.—2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:3.
The fact that this is expressed in the past tense does not signify that this light has already shined, even as the statement, “Unto us a child is born,” did not signify the birth of Christ at a time prior to Isaiah’s prophecy. It is merely a usual form of prophetic statement: the standpoint is taken away off in the future, and from that future standpoint the thing to be accomplished is stated as tho already done.
Here, then, we have a prophetic assurance of the great light of the knowledge of God coming to all mankind: and this, be it noted, is in fullest agreement with the testimony of John 1:9, that Christ “is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” The fact that every man born into the world has not yet been enlightened by this great light, so far from disparaging the statement, gives us assurance that the time is coming when to him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, and all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest, and knowing him have full responsibility or trial for everlasting life or everlasting death.
Verses 3-5 intimate the process by which the great change shall come, and the world be prepared for the shining of the great light—the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his beams. Scholars are divided in their opinions respecting a proper translation of the first sentence of the third verse. The majority seem to favor the translation given by the Revised Version, “Thou hast increased the nation, thou hast increased her joy.” Leeser’s Translation renders it, “Thou hast multiplied the nation, made great her joy.” In harmony with the context we must interpret this nation to be the world of mankind under the new administration of the Millennial Kingdom; for the kingdoms of this world will then become the kingdoms of our Lord, God’s Anointed, and many nations shall go and say, “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.”—Rev. 11:15; Isa. 2:3.
Thus, instead of the Lord’s empire being a typical one over a little nation of Israelites, as in the day of Isaiah’s prophecy, it will be the antitypical one in which Immanuel shall be King over all the earth, and his name great to the ends of the earth.
It is the joy of this great people that is described: it will not merely be a quiet joy of satisfaction, but an hilarious joy, as of men who are in the midst of plenty, in a harvest season; and as men rejoicing when dividing the fruits of victory. But what will be the cause of the rejoicing? The answer is given. Because from off their shoulder the great burden has been removed: the burden of sin and its curse will have been removed, and the rod of the oppressor, Satan, will be broken, and he himself then will be a captive, no longer permitted to oppress and deceive and blind mankind.—Rev. 20:2.
An illustration of the process of the deliverance is given: “As in the days of Median.” The suggestion obviously is that as Israel was delivered in the day of Midian by Gideon and his little band, armed with trumpets and pitchers with lights in them,—by the blowing of the trumpets, the breaking of the pitchers and the shining out of the lights—discomfiting the Midianites, so that they slew one another with a great slaughter, so likewise will be the deliverance by which the Lord will bring in the new dispensation. (Judges 7:19-25.) Our Lord Jesus is the antitypical Gideon, and his “little flock,” the Church of this Gospel age, the “elect,” are the antitype of Gideon’s little army. And it will be through the intervention of these (on the other side of the vail) that the hosts of sin and the present enginery of evil will be utterly discomfited and work its self-destruction through anarchy, etc., in the great time of trouble rapidly drawing near.
This great time of trouble is briefly yet graphically described in the fifth verse as being more severe, more intense, than all preceding troubles, for it is declared that all such victories are expected to be with tumult and bloody garments, but this shall be with a more furious destruction, best likened to a consuming of fuel in the fire. And it will be noticed that the fury of the final conflict of this age, which shall transfer the rule to our Prince Immanuel, is everywhere likened to a fire—throughout the prophecies and in our Lord’s parables
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—evidently because of the intensity of the trouble and its destructiveness.
Then comes (vss. 6 and 7) the explanation from the Lord’s side of how all these things are of his provision and supervision—beginning with the birth of our Lord as the babe born in Bethlehem; next presenting him as God’s Son, given on our behalf,—his sacrifice beginning at Jordan and culminating at Calvary. “Wherefore,” as the Apostle says, because of his obedience unto death, “him hath God highly exalted and given him a name above every [other] name,”—honor, dominion and power above all others, next to his own.
The change of dispensation will be ushered in because the Father’s “times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:19-21) will have come,—the time for Christ to receive the honor, glory and dominion promised him, with which he shall fulfil all the gracious things predicted by God through the prophets: hence the declaration is that then “the government shall be upon his shoulder”—the mantle of authority shall rest upon him. And when he shall thus assume the control of earth’s affairs, his character of love and justice, his wisdom, and the all-power in heaven and in earth given unto him, insure all the faithful that his reign will be a time of blessing, of peace and of joy to all who love righteousness and truth; and equally a time of burning destruction against all who shall sin wilfully after having been brought to a knowledge of the truth.—Heb. 12:26.
His names, his titles, representing the gracious things of which he is the representative, are brought to our attention: to all the world of mankind he will then be (and the Church, his body, with him) “Wonderful”—Great—beyond the power of human comprehension, as he is indeed the express image of the Father’s person. He will be the “Counselor,” whose instructions in righteousness will be satisfactory and respected by all the world of mankind seeking a return to divine favor and full restitution. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hear that Teacher, that Counselor, shall be cut off from among the people. (Acts 3:23.) He shall be called “Mighty God,” or Mighty Mighty One, for indeed in him shall rest all the power and authority of the All-mighty One, Jehovah. He shall
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be called the “Father Everlasting,” because in truth he shall be a Father unto the race, a Life-Giver to all who will accept life under the terms of the New Covenant, sealed with his own precious blood. Adam, the original father of humanity, through his sin and under its sentence, failed to give lasting life to his race, and death destroyed all his offspring; but the restitution life which our Lord will give, to as many as will receive it upon his terms, will be an everlasting life, and hence he, as the Giver of this life to all, will be an Everlasting Father. He shall be called the “Prince of Peace,” for, altho his empire will be established by a smiting of the nations with a rod of iron, and breaking them in pieces as a potter’s vessel, in the greatest time of trouble the world has ever known, nevertheless, every blow will be struck in the interest of peace, and so his entire reign will further the ends of righteousness and peace, even tho to the very end thereof there shall from time to time be destructions of the wicked.—Isa. 65:20; Rev. 20:9,14,15.
Leeser’s Translation reads thus:—”The Prince of Peace for promoting the increase of the government and for peace without end upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to establish it and to support it through justice and righteousness from henceforth and unto eternity: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
In this last verse of the lesson the Millennial Kingdom is associated with the typical Kingdom of David. We are to remember, however, the statement that David sat upon the throne of the Kingdom of the Lord—he and his kingdom were typical. The name, David, signifies “beloved,” and our Lord Jesus himself was proclaimed as the real David—”This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God hath appointed him heir of all things, and he is David’s Lord, as David himself testified.—Heb. 1:2; Matt. 22:41-45.
We fear that there are many Christians who have lost faith, not only in the prophetic promises, but in our Lord’s and the apostles’ exposition of them, and that such frequently pray merely with a lip service, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.” But so much the more as we discern such blindness on every hand, such lack of faith, let us, the eyes of whose understandings have been opened by the Lord’s mercy, be the more faithful, the more circumspect, and the more confident, remembering, in the words of this lesson, that an abundant fulfilment is assured, for “The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform all this.”
REVIEW OF 1899.—DEC. 31.
Golden Text.—”Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”—Psa. 103:2.
The end of one year and the beginning of another is a most favorable occasion for circumspection and retrospection.
We trust that as each reader reviews the year just closing he will be able to repeat our Golden Text appreciatively,—with the spirit and with the understanding also. One of the least expensive offerings we can present to the Lord our God, and yet one which he will appreciate very highly, is thanksgiving—for mercies past and present. The ungrateful are disdained among men, and we may well suppose are far from pleasing in the sight of the Almighty. While every creature throughout the world might find some cause for thankfulness and gratitude and praise, how much more should we who have received so abundantly of the riches of divine
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grace in the knowledge of his truth—the plan of the ages. We may well apply to ourselves on this occasion the words of our dear Redeemer, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear; for verily I say unto you, that many prophets and many righteous persons have desired to see the things which ye see and have not seen them, and to hear the things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”
We said that thanksgivings were cheap offerings; but whoever presents to the Lord real thanksgiving with lips of praise will follow his lip service with something more substantial; and this is intimated in our Golden Text by the words, “O my soul!”—the appeal is not merely to the lips, but to the entire being. And so we find it with ourselves and others today: whoever is truly thankful to the Lord and offers him praise, remembering his benefits, will seek to render substantial thanks also in deeds that will be acceptable and pleasing to the Lord.
While prayers, adorations and praises are the most direct offerings of “incense” to the Lord, nevertheless, he has so arranged matters that we cannot offer these sincerely and acceptably except as we have his spirit: and if we have his spirit, we will at the same time that we offer this incense on the Golden Altar be offering also upon the brazen altar in the “Court” good works—”doing good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the household of faith.”—Gal. 6:10.
The close of the year is an excellent time also for the making of new resolutions for the year to come, and on the present occasion there is an added force from the fact that the year before us will be the last one of the century. Let us, beloved brethren, make plenty of good resolves respecting what we shall be willing to be, to do, to suffer, in fellowship with our Lord; that we may by his grace make of it the best year thus far of our lives—the year of largest hopes, of largest endeavors, and by the Lord’s grace of largest successes in self-sacrifice, in overcoming the world and its spirit, in vanquishing self and the desires of the flesh, in resisting the Adversary, and in glorifying our Lord and blessing his people.
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Enclosed please find $1.00, renewal subscription for ZION’S WATCH TOWER, year 1900. The Spiritual food becomes more necessary and more enjoyable as time rolls on.
I find in DAWN VOL. V. a grand spiritual feast, filling my heart with praise and love to our Heavenly Father, the giver of all good. I am thankful to have you Scripturally prove (effectually silencing subtle arguments of the adversary) the human perfection of our precious, sinless Redeemer, coming as he did in the line of David through Nathan—not Solomon’s ancestral line.
Brother Russell, this has been a very profitable year to mother and me, continuing to enter into the joys of our Lord; every experience, every trial has contained valuable instruction much to our advancement spiritually. We are daily learning that the advantage of the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the holy spirit.
I do not write often to the Bible House as I am quite busy, but in spirit I am ever with you and all the dear “harvest” workers. I am sure we are all rejoicing because we are one year nearer our eternal home.
My husband is now in Pittsburg; he has a position there. The Lord willing, mother and I will join him in the spring. What a blessed privilege that would be if God should permit us to again assemble with the saints that meet from time to time in the Bible House. And yet it seems with every blessing there is a trial;—there are dear friends in __________ from whom it will be hard to separate.
Kind greeting to yourself and all the Church at Allegheny. MRS. A. E. POWER,—Missouri.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Accept my heartfelt thanks for yours of Oct. 11th. The advice and admonitions it contained have proved blessings to me. I know that God is filling your heart with kindness and your mind with wisdom and all good, and often thank him in prayer for it. I often wish I could say something that would give you joy. I have many opportunities to converse with clergymen and other “professionally” religious people, and when I see the great darkness in which they are, and how firmly they are tied in it, my heart is filled with gratefulness to God, and to you as his earthly instrument, for the light which he has given me.
You may well believe that I am glad Brother Nelson is coming over to help me. It is needed help, I assure you. I am so inexperienced and a “child” as yet. I am filled with a sense of my own smallness when I consider the amount of work that ought to be done. My heart is open for him and I am anxiously awaiting him,—hope he will come soon.
Please send me 800 copies Vol. I. and 100 each of II. and III., in all 1,000 copies, and as many tracts as you see fit. I would suggest about 3,000 of each in the Swedish language.
I am traveling again, but I do not spend all my time thus. I am acting on your suggestions in your letter. I try to be as practical as possible. I visit every house in the towns I go to. But I have also tried to follow the advice you gave in an earlier letter, namely, to get into communication with as many as possible of the leaders in the Salvation Army and other religious bodies, and to seek out such as appear to be unprejudiced and free among God’s children. All this I have tried to do. My mode of traveling is cheap, I have a strong body, and can stand considerable hard usage, for instance, traveling by freight steamers, where the only accommodations are the bare deck, or on freight trains, always the cheapest way. The time spent in transit I use to speak to people and to study the Word and DAWNS, and am at the same time resting from the rather wearying walking connected with colporteuring. I take the addresses of all to whom I sell.
I cannot find words to express how grateful I am for all your kindness to me, in giving advice, etc. My highest desire is to please my Savior in all things. He fills my whole heart. Praise be to his name!
That God may constantly bless you and keep you is my constant prayer. Your brother in Christ,
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KIND WORDS FOR MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. V.
The New Bedford (Mass.) Standard says:—
“Charles T. Russell, editor of ZION’S WATCH TOWER, and author of several volumes of theological writings, five of which are included in his MILLENNIAL DAWN series, has issued a new volume of Bible study, The At-one-ment Between God and Man. Mr. Russell clings close to the Bible, as he interprets it, and endeavors to offset the theory of the evolutionists that, as no fall occurred, no redemption and atonement are necessary, by teaching the cross of Christ.”
The Jacksonville (Fla.) Times Union Citizen says:—
“In this neat volume of five hundred pages we have a most reverent treatment of profound subjects, respecting which many Christians have wondered and prayed, in a clear and lucid style which even a child may understand. The author’s loyalty to the Bible is pronounced and inspiring, and we do not wonder that some have denominated his books Bible Keys. In the volume under review the author examines his subjects from both the human and the divine standpoints—the necessity for atonement on man’s part, and why it is demanded on God’s part, and then what are its grand possibilities for all the race of Adam—’Whosoever will.’ The writer’s scope embraces the doctrine of the divine trinity.”
The Worcester (Mass.) Evening Post says:—
“Among the most notable of the recent works on religious subjects is a publication from the press of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Allegheny, Pa., The At-one-ment Between God and Man. The book is one that treats of theological subjects in an entirely new and decidedly attractive manner. It advances no new dogmas nor seeks to combat old ones in any but a spirit of truth seeking. It makes plain in a particularly clear and helpful light many things that have heretofore puzzled students of the Bible and Biblical lore. It teaches the universal fatherhood of God and teems with the expression of his loving kindness for the creatures he has made. At the same time it is a text book of theological science and dissects its truths and principles in a logical and reasonable, yet reverent manner.
“No single chapter of any recent book is more notable than the section of this work which deals with the ever-confusing mystery of the divine trinity. It must be said that a more convincing explanation of this axiomatic doctrine of theology has never yet presented itself, yet it is strictly along the lines of orthodox thought. The general effect of the book on the average reader who seeks for light on the subjects that to him have dark meaning, is most gratifying. It quickens faith and makes strong hopes that are dear to every serious and thinking mind.
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The tone of the book is reverent and wholesome, and it seems destined to bring happiness to many a doubt-laden heart.”
The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Herald says:—
“Pastor Russell’s new book, The At-one-ment Between God and Man, is of the sort that awakens Christians to do some thinking along theological lines. It is one of those ‘epoch-making books’ destined to influence thought not merely for the hour of their perusal, but for life—and for centuries. The book will make its author foes as well as friends, for there are people ready to fight for their dogmas, however unscriptural and unreasonable. However, many thinking Christian people, who hold to the Bible as the inspired Word of God and who have all their lives been troubled in their endeavors to harmonize it with their consciences and with facts, will surely welcome this volume as ‘a helping hand,’ and praise God for the light it sheds on many subjects hitherto dark to all except theologians and possibly to many of them also. One thing is certain, and that is that every lover of the Bible must admire the author’s loyalty to the Scriptures and his reverential style of dealing with church dogmas, which he rejects as being contrary to the divine Word, character and plan.”
The New Haven (Conn.) Courier Journal says:—
“The reverential spirit of the work, its earnestness, its clearness of statement, impress the reader. It is a strong, forcible and logical setting forth of the doctrine of atonement for sin through Christ, the Mediator, and of the orthodox Christian belief in general regarding the great foundation of the Christian faith and scope of salvation. It is a work that appeals to all on a subject of such paramount importance.”
The Pittsburg Times says:—
“The title explains the object of the book. The author, as is usual with him, fortifies his opinions and assertions by a close adherence to the Scriptures. He writes with great enthusiasm and with an apparent sense of strong conviction, and the book will be of considerable aid to those who find occasion to study the points treated.”
The Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald says:—
“Mr. Russell is an able as well as an exceedingly voluminous writer on religious questions. The present bulky volume is the fifth of a series of books under the general title of MILLENNIAL DAWN. It discusses the fall of man, the penalty or curse upon him, his redemption and the terms of his ‘At-one-ment.‘ It undertakes to explain the perplexing doctrine of the trinity and to render it simple and reasonable. The author is loyal to the Scriptures, but not always to church dogmas, which he deals with according to their agreement with the divine Word. All Bible-students will find matter for thought in Mr. Russell’s writings.”
The Indianapolis (Ind.) Sentinel says:—
“This book is sublimely comprehensive, and unquestionably its treatment will be pronounced a masterly one by many Bible students. ‘The fear of the Lord is the only fear in evidence in this volume; but altho ‘traditions of men’ are treated fearlessly, they are kindly handled, and even partisan sticklers for exploded errors must concede the author’s Christian spirit and courtesy, while all must admit his honesty, and his fidelity to the Scriptures. If human creeds suffer, it is in the interest of the Bible, which the author accepts as his only creed, in the interest also of love and justice and Christian common sense—all important considerations as against nonsense of the ‘dark ages,’ often mislabeled ‘orthodoxy.’
“After reading this book and comparing its numerous Bible citations, intelligent Christians will often say to themselves: Where have I been? What have I been thinking of? What poor use have I made of my Bible and my reason for years that I did not see the beauty, harmony and reasonableness of the divine Word! But the author lays no claim to superior ability or inspiration, merely claiming that God has a ‘due time’ for everything, and that now is God’s due time for shedding light upon his Word in the interest of all his faithful people, and his aspiration is to be a humble servant of the Lord’s flock, dispensing to them the ‘meat in due season.'”
The St. Louis Christian Advocate says:—
“Concerning this volume, a recent reviewer has said: ‘Pastor Russell’s new book, The At-one-ment Between God and Man, is remarkable in fact, if not in its title. It is sure to make a stir among the dry bones of fossilized orthodoxy, as well as amongst the higher critics. Not that it is agnostic—for it is decidedly Biblical; nor that it is bitter and drastic and cutting toward those theories of the dark ages which have barnacled the good ship Zion—for it handles them gently, courteously, tho thoroughly. Its strength lies in the gentle persistence with which the writer uses his Biblical dynamics.'”
The New York Merchants’ Review says:—
“A NOTABLE WORK.—A hell of fire and brimstone has no place in the belief of some intelligent Christians, man’s folly and wickedness providing hell enough on earth, according to their views of the matter, but Pastor Charles T. Russell, in The At-one-ment Between God and Man, of the MILLENNIAL DAWN series, presents many arguments to show that hell, sheol or hades, has no existence at all as a place of punishment, the word in its different forms meaning simply the sleep which the human race passes into, to be awakened from at Christ’s second coming.
“His arguments are based upon copious texts from Scripture, as also is his attempt to prove that the orthodox view of the holy trinity has no foundation in the Bible. The Scriptures, and nothing but the Scriptures, are the guide of the author in his search for the truth in the various problems examined by him in his interesting book, and naturally he opposes ‘Evolution.'”
The St. Albans (Vt.) Daily Messenger says:—
“This volume, like all others from this writer, differs from other theological writings in several particulars. (1) It is simple in style, easily understood by any Christian—making abstruse subjects plain to even the wayfaring man if he be of the class addressed by the author—the justified in Christ. (2) It entirely ignores all creeds and theories of men and appeals solely to the Scriptures and treats their testimony as inspired, authoritative, decisive—citing as well as quoting them freely. (3) It is logical as well as Scriptural, and whoever reads without prejudice is sure to be convinced. (4) Those who read and accept the presentations of this volume will not only know what they believe, but why they believe it; and will ‘be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them’—which cannot be said even of clergymen respecting the dogmas of the several denominations.”
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