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THE HERALD

of Christ's Kingdom


VOL. III. June 1, 1920 No. 11
Table of Contents

OUTLOOK FROM THE WALLS OF ZION

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION

THE LORD OUR SHEPHERD

REVIEW: THE NOBLE LIFE OF SAMUEL

WORKERS AND WINNERS

LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT


VOL. III. June 15, 1920 No. 12
Table of Contents

ANNUAL MEETING AND REPORT OF THE PASTORAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

THE CONVENTION AT SPRINGFIELD

ON CHARITY

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

DAVID IN CAMP AND COURT

JONATHAN BEFRIENDS DAVID

BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION


VOL. III. June 1, 1920 No. 11

OUTLOOK FROM THE WALLS OF ZION

CHURCH MOVEMENT MEETS HOSTILITY

IN religious circles much interest is being mani­fest in the report recently appearing in the New York press announcing opposition to The Interchurch World Movement on the part of Dr. I. M. Haldeman, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of New York City. While of course we are not in agreement with much that Dr. Haldeman has preached in the past, and while we regret his policy some years ago of opposing the Truth as taught by Pastor Russell, yet we must concede that his statements and position with regard to the Interchurch World Movement are, in the main, well taken.

Believing that it will be of interest to our readers, we are submitting below the report that appeared in the NEW YORK WORLD under date of May 2, 1920:

"FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF NEW YORK VOTES
TO STAY OUT OF CAMPAIGN"

__________

"DOCTRINAL OBJECTIONS ARE CITED BY DR. HALDEMAN"

"Opposition to the Interchurch World Movement has developed among ministers in different parts of the country, it was learned yesterday, following the disclosure that last Sunday the Rev. Dr. I. M. Haldeman, one of the best known Baptist clergymen in the city, and the congregation of the First Baptist Church of this City went on record against the tenets and principles of the movement.

"The resolution, unanimously carried, declared that the First Baptist Church desires to put itself on record as having no. fellowship with the Interchurch World Movement and refuses the invitation of the Northern Baptist Convention to participate therein.

"Dr. Haldeman said last night that he has published a pamphlet pointing out the beliefs in which he diverges from those of the Interchurch World Movement. He said he had done so in response to a number of letters from pastors in different sections of the country. He announced that he will attack the Interchurch Movement tonight in his sermon.

DR. HALDEMAN'S OBJECTIONS"

"The reasons given by Dr. Haldeman for his objections to the movement are:

"It is post-millennial in its attitude and teaching."It is Socialistic, educational and ethical.

"It preaches an ethical, rather than a sacrificial Christ.

"It talks more about the Christ who lived on earth than the Christ who died on the cross.

"It preaches the moral, rather than the penal, sacrifice of Christ.

"It seeks to save society, rather than the individual.

"It preaches a social, rather than a personal, Gospel.

"It makes civilization and not salvation the supreme purpose of the church.

"It talks of the teachings, ideals and principles of Christ and not of the atoning blood of Christ.

"It substitutes the Kingdom of Christ for the Church of Christ.

"It confounds the Gospel of grace with the Gospel of the Kingdom.

"It teaches the kingdom of Christ is to be established by preaching the Gospel, while Scripture declares the kingdoms of this world are to become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ only at His second coming.

"It preaches regeneration, but means regeneration of society.

"It seeks to turn the churches into community centers, to be interested in all that may interest the community; while Scripture demands the. church shall come out, be separated from the community and be interested in one thing--the preaching of Christ and Him crucified.

"It holds out the hope that the world is growing better; while the Son of God declares it will grow worse and become as it was in the days of Noah.

"It teaches God is the Father of all men.

"It teaches the Golden Rule 'intelligently applied,' instead of the personal and second coming of Christ will give peace to the world.

"It has nothing to say about the joys of heaven and seems to have forgotten to say anything about the woes of hell.

"It so emphasizes mere ethics that it opens the door for the Satanic ministry of a blood-less righteousness.

"It threatens pastoral liberty and local church independence.

"It is enthusiastically supported by all theological seminaries, professors, preachers and teachers who do not stand for a whole Bible as the fully inspired Word of God.

"It is modern theology in the disguise of evangelical and missionary appeal. It has the hands of Esau, but the unchanged voice of Jacob."

It is encouraging that Dr. Haldeman sees sufficient of the Truth to enable hiin to recognize that the Interchurch World Movement cannot be the Divine remedy for the present ills that afflict humanity. We could wish, how­ ever, that his illumination might extend still further; that he might recognize the whole truth concerning the Divine Plan of the Ages and the Scriptural facts as to our Lord Jesus' relationship to God's purpose; that as Jesus ap­ peared at His First Advent in sacrificial form and laid down His humanity, His human nature in death, so He will appear the second time without a sin offering as the highly glorified One possessing a glorious spiritual body far above angels, for the purpose of bestowing the blessings upon all the world purchased by His death; that, accordingly, this will mean the awakening of all the sleeping dead and the giving to every member of Adam's race a full individual trial for everlasting life and a restoration to human perfection and paradise of all the willing and obedient of that time.

GREAT STRIDE BY ZIONISTS

Another event of recent date, significant to the Watchers, was that of the National Convention of the Zionist Organization of America, held in New York City, May 10, 11. It was attended by eleven hundred delegates, and during its several sessions the interests of Zionism were zealously discussed. A grand parade in New York City followed by a mass celebration at the Metropolitan Opera House marked the most prominent features of the Convention. Following is a report which appeared in the GLOBE AND COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER under date of May 11, 1920:

"CONVENTION ENDS AFTER ADOPTING
BIG PROGRAM AMID SCENES OF ENTHUSIASM"

BY MARION WEINSTEIN

"With the mass celebration at the Metropolitan Opera House this evening the extraordinary national convention of the Zionist Organization of America will close its two-day session here. Though called together primarily in thanksgiving' for the recent allied dictum at San Remo pronouncing Palestine again the homeland of the Jewish people, its eleven hundred delegates will leave with practical work to their credit. This is a program of action to be presented to the International Zionist conference in Carlsbad July 5, the first of its kind since the outbreak of the war.

"Of the 150 delegates to meet in Czechoslovakia from the leading nations, thirty-nine will represent the American Zionists. They will urge the immediate opening of Palestine by the British government to Jewish immigration, the necessary restriction to be left to Zionist discretion; surveys by Zionist experts, medical and technical, as the basis for reconstruction, the nationalization of land, public utilities, sanitation, and health service; and the mobilization of every Jew-Zionist and non-Zionist--for the restoration of the Holy Land.

"A REMARKABLE CONTRAST

"The Zionist organization has taken a long stride toward this last goal by setting its own house in order. In contrast to the seething discontent that marked the last national convention eight months ago in Chicago, the assembly here has been singularly united in every action. Orthodox and reform Jew, bearded elder and most modern radical, all have combined to pile up an unprecedented record of unanimous resolutions amid storms of applause.

"Even the question of Hebrew education in Palestine, that rock on which the old and the new settlements in the Holy Land and the Mizrachi and their less orthodox fellow-Zionists in America have too often come to grief, brought not the slightest rift in the harmony of this extraordinary convention.

"The session that filled the grand ballroom of the Hotel Astor yesterday gave striking evidence again and again of the united front with which the American Zionists will meet the opportunity for which the Jews throughout the Diaspora have longed and prayed for twenty centuries. But perhaps it was best typified by two incidents.,

"PLEADED FOR CO-OPERATION

"On the dais, where Dr. Stephen S. Wise presided, flanked by Julius Simon, the Zionist delegate from London; justice Louis D.' Brandeis, Dr, Harry Friedenwald and other officials of the Zionist organization, sat Rabbi Udelewitz of New York and Rabbi Jurman of Connecticut, white bearded rabbis, in their black Sabbath clothes and their skull caps.

"Their turn came to speak. Was it criticism? These uncompromising Orthodox rabbis pleaded rather for the mutual co-operation between the old and the new generations in the task at hand, acknowledging in full the latter's right to a strong voice in the affairs of the restored Holy Land.

"And again, Rabbi Silver of Cleveland rose to speak, one of the youngest of the reform rabbis in the country, His English was as eloquent as their Yiddish. With a fervor that stirred the assembly to rousing cheers, he, too, pleaded: 'Let us work as one, united, until the dawn that is now breaking over Palestine brightens into the noon-day of a free, prosperous, dignified Jewish life in Palestine.'

"GRATEFUL REJOICING ON HOLY DAY

"To-day, Jewish office and factory' are -stilled in New York with the hush of a holy day. Here, where opportunity has held out lavish hands to a persecuted people, there is grateful rejoicing. Along the proudest avenue in the world, 50,000 to 60,000 Jews, old and young, rich and poor, march to the triumphant strains of the national Hebrew anthem, 'Hatikwah,' 'The Hope'-thousands of women, thousands of children, thousands of soldiers and sailors and legionaries, veterans of the great war. Their eyes are misty with the surge in their hearts. And with that thanksgiving is mingled an undying gratitude to America, who gave them hope when they were well nigh hopeless, and to her motherland, who has flung wide the gates to the hope of their heritage, Judea, reborn!"

SAW EUROPE ON EDGE OF DESPAIR

How earnestly we desire to see the world's long night time of weeping give place to the morning of joy. (Psa. 30:5.) While maintaining the attitude of watching and waiting for the New Day we cannot but be exercised by the keenest interests in the various viewpoints from which the present distress of nations is discussed and de scribed by leading writers and lecturers of the day. The following, taken from the NEW YORK TIMES of April 17, 1920, presents indeed a sad picture:

WAR CORRESPONDENT. RETURNS A STORY OF CHAOS AND MISTRUST ON ALL SIDES "BELIEVES 'RED' DANGER REAL"

___________

"BOLSHEVISM GROWING AS POVERTY SPREADS IN GERMANY"

"Major Frederick Palmer, war correspondent, writer and lecturer, returned yesterday on the White Star liner Adriatic from a six months' tour through France, England, Italy, Poland, Germany, Austria and Hungary to study the economic, industrial and political conditions in those countries.

The chief interest in Europe to-day, said Major Palmer, centers in Russia and Germany. France is unpopular throughout Europe because of her predominant military spirit. The victory over Germany has revived the old hatred held by the French for that country and the warlike spirit developed by Napoleon in 1796.

"'The French look on Germany as a burglar at the door, and feel that the Allies have deserted them, and that they alone must now stand guard over Germany.

"'If we are to have peace on an established basis in Europe, and commerce and industries are to be restored, Germany must be allowed to have raw materials in order that her men can go to work. While I was in Germany there were thousands of workmen idle in Berlin and other large cities because there was nothing for them to do in the factories. America and Great Britain have realized this, and are willing to let Germany have raw materials, but France says No. We want the raw materials for our country.,

"'There is food in Germany for the wealthy, Major Palmer continued, but the workmen are having a wretched time to support their families because the dole given out by the Government is inadequate and there is no way in which they can earn money.

"UNITED STATES UNPOPULAR

"'The Ebert Government is not popular because it has accomplished nothing for the people. What is wanted now in Germany, the people told me, is a strong body of men at the head of affairs who will start up the factories, the shipyards, steel mills and other industries.

"'The United States is unpopular in Germany, as we are in France, Italy and all over Europe, because they blame this country for everything that has occurred since the armistice, including the high cost of living. People who have it are spending money there as recklessly as they are doing in New York. Foreigners say that America came over and started the League of Nations and then ran away to leave it to others to construct. President Wilson is now without doubt the most unpopular man in Europe.

"'The danger of Bolshevism lies chiefly in Germany. If the German workman is allowed by the Allies to starve, there is no doubt that he will turn to Bolshevism and join hands with the hordes who will swarm down from the Russian frontier to join him and tell them the earth is his.

"The Poles are ready to fight to the last gasp, but they see no help coming from any one and feel they must join the Bolshevists to protect themselves against the Germans, who are only awaiting the right moment to attack.

"'Politicians of high standing in England, France and Italy informed me that it was probable the Allies would have to recognize the Lenin Government before long, as that was the only way trade could be resumed with Russia.

"'The transportation system in Europe generally has been completely demoralized by the war and has not recovered. In every station of any importance one sees hundreds of freight cars and locomotives damaged and out of commission."

"SAYS ALL EUROPE IS IN CHAOS

'All the little countries have started bureaus of their own, without the faintest idea of running a Government, and the result is hopeless chaos.

"'The conditions in Austria and Hungary are indescribable. It is like a carcass left for the vultures to pick. The general opinion there is that Austria will be absorbed by Germany, and Hungary will be a small kingdom on her own account, with a constitutional monarchy. . . .

"'There is nothing but dissatisfaction all over Europe now, and to expect a permanent peace under such conditions is, in my mind, perfectly hopeless."'

In the midst of all this turmoil, how comforting to know that a gentle and sympathetic Providence has complete control of human affairs and that the Hand that is at the present time ministering the rebuke will soon be turned to heal; that the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His beams in order that a sorrowing and suffering world may come with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads, that they may obtain joy and gladness, while sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

SERIES XXXIII

GOD'S SAINTS COMING OUT OF THE TEMPLE

"And after these things I saw, and the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Heaven was opened."--Rev. 15:5.

THE OPENING of the "Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Heaven" as revealed to St. John should not be understood as a transaction taking place in heaven, the place of God's abode, as some expositors teach; but, rather, that it is entirely pictorial, its symbols being drawn from the Jewish Tabernacle or Temple, and we believe portray one of the very important matters made known to the Lord's consecrated of the Gospel Harvest period, those represented in the previous vision as having gotten the victory over the Beast and his Image; which we reviewed in the preceding article. It is evidently designed to teach the discovery on the pars of the Lord's true saints, 'of the significance of those things symbolized by the Temple, particularly its inner apartment, the Most Holy. Furthermore, this discovery seems to be closely associated with (indeed, seems to be one cause of what is signified by the transaction of) the seven angels coming out of the Temple described in the next verse. The expression, "after these things," does not mean after, in the sense of their fulfillment, but, rather, after St. John saw the vision of the "victors of the glassy sea," mentioned by him in the preceding verse. The fact of the matter is that the two visions are contem­poraneous in their fulfillment, as we shall endeavor to show. In our study to discover the meaning of the vision as a whole, and its bearing upon the events of the present closing scenes of the Age, we will need to carefully consider the significance of the various features of the Temple, both of its pure and defiled condition. The import of these features we understand to be as follows:

(1) The "Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Heaven" evidently refers to the inner sanctuary, the Most Holy, of the Jewish Tabernacle or Temple. The same Greek phrase from which this expression is translated is found in Acts 7:44, and is there rendered the "Tabernacle of witness." Mr. Barnes, commenting on the meaning, but not the application of this expression, says:

"The word Temple here does not refer to the whole of the building called the 'Temple,' but to the Holy of Holies. This was regarded as the peculiar dwelling-place of God, and it was this sacred place, usually closed from all access, that now seemed to be opened."

Adam Clarke, commenting on the same expression occurring in Acts 7:44, has said that it describes "the Tabernacle in which the two tables of stone written by the finger of God were laid up, as a testimony that He had delivered these laws to His people, and that they had promised to obey them." In the symbolic vision then it would seem that St. John was permitted to look into this sacred enclosure.

(2) St. John, in the vision, having this disclosed to him, must represent the Church, the Lord's consecrated at the time of the fulfillment of the vision -- the Harvest period -- having revealed to them the symbolical significance of, as well as the various things contained in, this inner apartment, the Most Holy.

(3) St. John, in order to be able to look into this apartment, would seem to require that he occupy, in the vision, a position in the outer apartment, that of the Holy, as it could be only from this place that such a view would be possible. This would represent that those occupying this position in an antitypical sense at the time of its fulfillment would have disclosed to them the significance of all its features. This condition is that of the spirit begotten. The fulfillment of this vision is well known to the careful student to be a matter of history, its fulfillment beginning in the early part of the Harvest period, forty years ago.

(4) Another thing that we do well to keep in mind as having a bearing on the interpretation of the significance of the seven angels coming out of the Temple (mentioned in the next verse), evidently its first apartment, the Holy, is that the place or condition represented by this apartment had become defiled. We do not mean by this that this spirit begotten condition itself could possibly be defiled; but, rather, that this is, the way that the visions of Revelation represent the fact that this place or condition is occupied nominally by mere professors, as well as true saints. In this sense it has been explained by us as the nominal Temple, and this, as we have seen, and shall hereinafter show, was Pastor Russell's interpretation of the same. It was not until the Harvest time that the separation of the true Temple class from mere professors began to be accomplished. At the be-, ginning of this period the light of present Truth disclosed the significance of the inner sanctuary, the Most Holy, to the true Temple class, as representing the heavenly inheritance of the saints; indeed, this caused a correct understanding to be had, also, of what was symbolized by the Holy; that is, that it represents the present earthly condition of those who will attain the heavenly state. This illumination enabled this class to discover also the defiled condition of this feature of the Temple. It has been during this time that, the call to come out of the defiled, nominal Temple has been going forth. This last is what is represented in the next picture that passed before the view of St. John.

THE TEMPLE OF THE TABERNACLE OPENED

"And those Seven Angels Having the Seven Plagues came out of the Temple, clothed with pure bright Linen, and encircled about the Breasts with golden Girdles."--Rev. 15:6.

Before proceeding to show that this was Pastor Russell's understanding of this matter it will be to the point in this connection to note two very striking correspondencies between this vision and that of the seventh Trumpet. (Rev. 11 :15-19.) The correspondency we notice first is that in both visions we have portrayed as opening to St. John's sight the inner apartment and furnishments of the symbolical Tabernacle or Temple: "And the Temple of God was opened in the Heaven, and there was seen the Ark of the Lord's Covenant in His Temple," (Rev. 11:19.) And in the vision under consideration: "And after these things I saw, and the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Heaven was opened."--Rev. 15:5.

There can scarcely be any question that the two visions refer largely to the same thing and apply to the same time. They both occur in connection with the beginning of the sounding of the seventh Trumpet; and there is implied in both instances that during the whole period of anti-Christ's power and evil influence, the significance of this symbolical apartment was, to a large extent, misunderstood. This must not be understood to mean, however, that there were none called, or that none made their calling and election sure to the heavenly inheritance during the long period of the Temple's defilement. In the Divine overruling, all Truth necessary to the accomplishment of the Lord's purpose in the call, consecration and development of the heavenly class of joint-heirs of the Kingdom, has been permitted to shine.

The second correspondency is, that amongst the occurrences of the seventh Trumpet's sounding in the vision of Rev. 11 is that of judgments said to come upon those who "destroyed [corrupted] the earth,". evidently referring to the false religious systems of Christendom. (Rev. 11:18.) This expression is doubtless a general statement of that which is more particularly described in the symbols of the seven last plagues which we have found all meet their fulfillment in connection with the early stage of the sounding of the seventh symbolic Trumpet, and therefore describe the same work of destruction.

THE SEVEN ANGELS, THE LIVING SAINTS

Let the reader now carefully note Pastor Russell's interpretation covering the point of the seven angels coming out of the Temple:

"The next thing shown to John is the coming of the seven messengers out of the Temple to pour out the plagues. [Rev. 15:6.] Since it is the saints who are 'to execute the judgments written' (Psa. 149:9), we interpret these 'seven angels' to mean THE SAINTS -- THE LIVING SAINTS, they being the representatives or active agents of the entire anointed company-as 'the feet of Him..' It is the feet, or last part, who sing the restitution song of Moses and the Lamb, above the sea mingled with fire. 'How beautiful are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth.' (Isa. 53:7.) These same feet, as representatives on earth of the entire Body, are to pour out the seven vials, or be associated more or less directly with the judgments coming. These are clothed with white linen; these have kept their wedding garments; they are robed in the righteousness of Christ -- 'justified by His blood.' They are the servants of God; the girdle representing a servant, and the gold of it representing divinity. They, as the servants of God, have a Divine service to accomplish.

"When they had all gone forth from the Temple it was filled with smoke, so that none could enter it. The Temple symbolizes the nominal church. The coming of the messengers out of the Temple, symbolizes the coming of the overcomers out of the nominal church."--Z June '83-7.

In later expositions by Pastor Russell of certain Scriptures in which this same service of the saints -- of the Harvest is described, namely, some of the parables of our Savior, as also certain of the Revelation visions, this pouring out of the vials of God's wrath is described by him as a work (so far as it applies to them in the flesh) performed by the Lord's consecrated, not with any thought of theirs that they are the executors of God's judgments, but, rather, that through their unfolding and dissemination of those Scriptures that expose the true condition in God's sight of the false religious systems, the destruction of these systems is finally accomplished. Indeed, there are other Scriptures that very plainly state this to be the meaning, and it is in this way that Scripture helps to explain Scripture. The words of St. Paul in 2 Thes. 2:8, "whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth [i. e., by the proclamation of His Truth] and destroy by the brightness [bright-shining] of His coming [presence]," is one of these, and evidently means that the bright shining of Truth on all matters in this day of "increased knowledge," will expose the false claims of these systems, and thus cause their destruction by God's great army (Joel 2:1-11)--the rising masses, the "sea" class.

We have a very interesting and instructive comment by Pastor Russell, which pictures the restful, joyous condition of the last living saints during the pouring out of these judgment Plagues, and which also describes their making use of the "sword of truth," at the same time:

"In speaking of the present time, as we think, the Prophet David [Psa. 149:5. 61 says: 'Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud upon their beds.' The children of God should be joyful at all times-even in tribulation, knowing that these experiences work out for us a development of character and a preparation for the Kingdom glories. The Psalmist here foretells that the saints at this time are at rest upon their beds, while they sing God's praise. This statement might be meaningless to us until we understand from other Scriptures that these beds represent creeds or the sum total of one's religious belief.

"While some are reclining on a short creed bed, which cramps* and fetters them, and the narrow covers of which cannot give them warmth and comfort, the true saints of God have at this time beds of full and proper size, and a cover which is warm and ample. They are shown in this prophetic picture as taking their ease, resting in faith, while others are restless and uncomfortable. But while thus resting in these good beds, representing their mental attitude and heart condition, and while praising the Lord, they are using skillfully the 'two-edged Sword.' This Sword in their hands is the Bible. The thought is not necessarily that God's people have absolute knowledge of every feature of Gods Word; but that they have all the knowledge needful to the efficient use of the Sword at this time, all the knowledge designed for the saints now, when this prophecy applies."--Z '15-346, 347.

Another comment on this same Psalm as showing that he made a distinction between the living saints proclaiming the judgments, and the execution of the same, is very pertinent at this stage of our exposition. It reads:

"Whether the overcoming saints will have a part in the burning of the tare class is a thought not very clear at this time. 'This honor have all His saints, to execute 'the judgments written.' All the saints would include, then, those who would be living in the world when the judgments are executed, as well as the resurrected saints. just how any living here would have a share in executing the judgments written we do not see; but we are keeping our eyes open, with the thought that this may be so. It would seem that the burning of the tares has now been going on for some time."--Z '15-270.

SEVEN BOWLS FULL OF WRATH

"And one of the Four Living ones gave to the Seven Angels Seven golden Bowls full of the Wrath of That God-who Lives for the Ages of the Ages."--Rev. 15:7.

Pastor Russell, in his exposition of this vision did not explain what these Bowls and their contents represented. A recent expositor of the Revelation explains' them to be the six volumes of Scripture Studies written by Pastor Russell and published before his death, together with another exposition or volume termed the "Seventh," with which, of course, Pastor Russell could have no connection. The same expositor interprets the seven Angels, who pour them out, to also represent these same Scripture Studies. It seems quite evident that both of -these applications and interpretations cannot be true; nor would it seem to us that either can stand the test of sound Scripture exegesis; and it is quite certain that the interpretation applying these Scripture Studies to the angels of the vision is in direct conflict with Pastor Russell's interpretation of the same-he making these Angels, as we have shown, apply to the "living saints of the Harvest period, the representatives of the entire Body of Christ." We accept this latter interpretation as the reasonable, true one, it being in harmony with other uses of the same in other visions.

The use of bowls or cups as symbols of God's wrath is not uncommon in Scripture, and an examination of those Scriptures where they are used enables us to form a correct understanding of their meaning as applied to this vision. In Isa. 51:17, this symbol of a "cup of wrath" is presented with much forceful meaning. In this Scripture, as one has said, "Jerusalem is represented as staggering under the effects of [drinking] it, destitute of that assistance which she might expect from her own children, not one of them being able to support or lead her." Another writer, Lowth, thus describes the symbol of a "cup of wrath":

"As the evil which happens to men is the effects of God's justice and severity and the good that happens to them is the effect of His bounty and goodness, therefore in the sacred writings, the one is represented by a cup of wrath, and the other under the symbol of a cup of salvation."

THE CUP AS A SYMBOL

In Jer. 25:15, we have another use of this symbol in which God is represented as saying to Jeremiah, "Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me." The meaning of these symbolic words is that God was about to begin to send heavy judgments upon the nations, the objects of His displeasure; and, as one has expressed it, "the prophet who announced them is considered as acting the part of a cup-bearer, carrying the cup round to those who were appointed to drink of it, the effects of which were to appear in the intoxication; that is, in the terror and desolation that should prevail among them. It is not to be imagined that the Prophet went round in person to all the nations and kings here enumerated, but that he did so in a vision, or else he actually did what is figuratively 'designed; that is, he publicly announced the judgments of God severally against them, as we find in chapters 46-51, inclusive, and which the Seventy [Septuagint translators] have introduced in this place."

In the light of these Scriptures, the cup and its contents-seem to. represent calamitous effects of God's wrath as manifested or displayed in the providential agencies employed to execute His judgments upon His enemies. God, Himself, was the primal cause, Jeremiah was the one called and chosen by Him to make the announcement of this judgment wrath, and other agencies were used to accomplish the work -of execution. This seems to be the meaning of these seven vial judgments: God, as represented in Christ, is the primal cause; the living saints of the Harvest time are to make the announcement of these judgments, and various other agencies are employed to execute them. Mr. Barnes thus alludes to the origin of this symbol, and makes application of the same, as follows:

"The word [vial] would be better rendered by bowl or goblet, and probably the representation here was of such bowls as were used in the temple service. They are called in [Rev.] chapter 16:1, 'vials of the wrath of God;' and here they are, said to be 'full of the wrath of God! The allusion seems to be to a drinking-cup or goblet filled with poison and given to persons to drink-an allusion drawn from one of the methods of punishment in ancient times. These vials or goblets thus became emblems [symbols] of Divine wrath to be inflicted on the Beast and his Image. Full of the wrath of God-filled with that which repre­sented His wrath; that is, they seemed to be filled [to St. John's vision] with a poisonous mixture, which being poured upon the earth, the sea, the rivers, the sun, the -seat of the Beast, the river Euphrates, and into the air, was followed by severe Divine judgments on the great anti-Christian power. See chapter 16:2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 17."

DIVINE JUSTICE IN BOWL OF WRATH

Further applying the meaning of the symbols as used by Isaiah and Jeremiah to this Revelation vision we would understand that the Bowls and the Plagues contained therein represent similarly the calamitous effects of God's wrath as manifested in the providential agencies of whatever character employed by Him to execute His judgments on the anti-Christian systems. Applying the same as illustrated in Jeremiah's receiving at the hand of God the cup, namely, that he was the one called and chosen of God to make the announcement of this judgment wrath, we would understand that one of the Living ones giving to the seven angels the seven Bowls of God's wrath represents a similar transaction, the only difference being that in this case, instead of the symbol representing this is call and choosing to be direct from God's hand, as in the vision of Jeremiah, it is the "Living one" who is rep­ resented as doing this. The "Living one" seems to be a personification of God's attribute of justice, as manifested in the administration of His government. Mr. Barnes thus comments on this part of the vision:

"Which one of the four [Living ones] is not mentioned. From the explanation given of the design of the representation of the 'four beasts' or living creatures, in the Notes* on chapter 4:6, 7, it would seem that the meaning here is, that the great principles of the Divine government would be illustrated in the events [the pouring out of the plagues] which are now to occur. In events that were so closely connected with the honor of God and the triumph of His cause on the earth, there was a propriety inthe representation that these living creatures, symbolizing the great principles of the Divine administration, would be particularly interested."

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*Mr. Barnes' Notes.

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The number seven, mentioned in connection with both the Angels and the Bowls of wrath represents completeness, and is designed to show that the proclamation of the truths which expose the errors and false claims of the religious systems will have seven distinct phases or aspects. These, to a large extent, will operate contemporaneously, and will finally cause the destruction of these systems. The final act, however, which will be executive, will be accomplished by Christ and the glorified saints beyond the veil. It would seem that it -will be at thi's latter stage of the judgments under the seventh vial that the Great Company will finally recognize the hand of God.-Rev. 16:17.

"And the Temple was full [filled] of Smoke from [caused by] the Glory of God, and from His Power; and no one was able to enter the Temple, till the Seven Plagues of the Seven Angels were completed."--Rev. 15:8.

The earlier expositors, as we have noted, nearly all interpret these Temple symbols and their occurrences described in this vision (vs. 5-8), as representing or symbolizing scenes transpiring in heaven, the place of God's abode. The Angels are represented by them to be literal, heavenly angels. They failed to see, at least in this vision, that its Court and Holy, as many Bible students have understood since 1878, are employed as symbols, and describe the earthly conditions of the probationary Church. It was not until the early part of the Harvest period, when God's great Plan of salvation began to be revealed in all its grandeur and beauty, that it became possible for these types and shadows to be clearly understood. (See H '19-282.) Mr. Elliott, as will be seen by consulting his exposition, saw this in a measure, but failed to apprehend that when employed as symbols in the Revelation, the defiled condition of the Holy was recognized and portrayed.

PASTOR RUSSELL'S EXPOSITION HARMONIOUS

It could not be expected that these expositors, mentioned foregoing, writing at so early a date, could see more than they did, the time appointed not having come for God to reveal these matters' Pastor Russell's interpretation of this verse is one in perfect harmony with the types of the Tabernacle and Temple as representing certain features of the Plan of God; and also with the fact that a correct understanding of the Plan revealed the defiled condition of the Holy, as pictured in the Revelation symbols. The fulfillment of this vision as forecast by him in 1882 is now a matter of history, and thus his interpretation can be proven to be the correct one. We quote his interpretation of the significance of the Temple being filled with smoke from or caused by the glory of God after the seven Angels had come out of the same:

"When they [the seven Angels] had all gone forth from the Temple it was filled with smoke, so that none could enter it. The Temple symbolizes the nominal church. The coming of the messengers out of the Temple, symbolizes the coming of the overcomers out of the nominal church. When all such have come out, the Temple (church) will be so full of smoke (confusion), that no man would care to go into it. It was 'filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power , ' that is, the glorious harmony and beauty of Truth as presented by the overcoming class, shows the deformity and confusion of man-made creeds. As the Truth, though rejected, shines out with increasing glory, the whole nominal Temple is seen to be full of smoke-confusion and darkness; and all who remain in it become so blinded by it, that they cannot see the glory of God either as displayed in His word, or its fulfillment in passing events.

"The messengers are now nearly all out, and already the smoke, or confusion in the church is considerable. Few care to enter even now, and recent reports of various sects show that the increase has been very slight for the past year. When we remember that the, large proportion of new members received is from the Sunday School, we can realize how, even now, very few MEN (persons of mature thought) enter the nominal Temple. The nominal church will be in this confusion until the seven Plagues are poured out; during that time the Babylon, or confusion element, will be destroyed [cease to profess to be Christians] and the cleansed Temple of Truth be again opened to receive justified believers-then as heirs of the earthly promises."--Z June '83-7.

In a recent appeal for financial aid made by the Interchurch World Movement and published in a recent issue of a secular paper, we have the following as representing how far away from the Scripture teaching the churches in this movement have at the. present writing drifted from the "faith once delivered to the saints":

"Could the men who labor with their hands ever be far from His [Christ's] thought and prayers? To such men, oppressed and driven, men bent by toil, with hopeless hearts, He spoke a phrase that flamed with power:

"'You are the sons of God,' He told them-Sons of God--brothers of their rulers and employers; with an equal right to happiness, to comfort and opportunity. All the hopes of labor in all the centuries had their beginning in that splendid thought --

"United Financial Campaign, April 25th to May 2nd.

"The Interchurch World Movement of North America.

"The publication of this advertisement is made possible through the co-operation of thirty denominations."

LIBERATED FROM BABYLONIAN BONDAGE

"And I heard a great Voice out of the Temple, saying to the Seven Angels, 'Go forth and pour out the Seven Bowls of the Wrath of God into the Earth.'"--Rev. 16:1.

Let us keep in mind in considering the significance of this Voice, that the Temple from which it proceeds is the same as that mentioned in the previous verses, already explained and understood by Pastor Russell to represent the nominal church. This will enable us to avoid what seems to be the error of most of the early expositors in concluding that this Voice proceeds from the Temple in the heaven of God's presence, and that it represents a command or commission given by God or Christ to the symbolic Angels to begin to perform their work. The feature of the vision represented by the giving of this commission is described in chapter 15:7, in which it is explained that one of the four "Living ones" did this, as we have already shown. Pastor Russell's explanation of this verse is in perfect harmony with his previous interpretation of the significance of the Temple, and is as follows:

"The nominal systems are anxious to retain every member, for each one counts, and their boast is in numbers and wealth; but when they-find any who count all earthly considerations but loss and dross, and who will not be fettered and bound by man-made creeds, they thrust such out, saying, Go, then, do your worst, 'Go your ways.'

"The unfettered, the overcoming class, have nearly all gone forth, we believe, now [1883].* These do not require the Plagues, since the Truth has made them free. This Little Flock by no means constitutes the whole house' of God. No, the house of God-the household of faithis a large class, the majority of whom are still in the nominal church, fettered by its creeds and dwarfed by its worldly conformity. For their sake-that they may be brought into the liberty of the sons of God, even through great tribulation (Rev. 7:14)--we are told that 'judgment must begin at the house of God.' They must be liberated first, and the overcoming class shall be the instruments in striking off the shackles of error. The Plagues [calamities] tire really blessings in disguise, just as an amputation is a blessing though a trying ordeal of suffering to those who require it."--Z June '83-7.

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*Later years he was caused to believe that there were many others to come out.

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FIRST VIAL POURED ON THE LAND

"And the First went forth, and poured out his Bowl on the Land; and there came an evil and malignant Ulcer on Those Men Having the Mark of the Beast, and on Those Worshiping his Image."--Rev. 16:2.

We will not be surprised when we examine the interpretation and application of this symbolic vial, as given by expositors in general, to find that they apply it to a period much earlier than the Harvest. Indeed we find that there has been a general disposition on their part to apply this first vial judgment to the outbreaking of infidelity, beginning just before the French Revolution and Reign of Terror. This outbreaking of infidelity was caused through the circulation of the infidel literature of Voltaire and others of those times. This had the effect of exposing the false doctrines and worship of the Roman Catholic Church, thus weakening its power and influence. It was not until later years that the apostasy of Protestantism began to be seen. It was the thought of these expositors that these vial judgments would affect only the Roman Catholic system. They understood that the Image of the Beast described a particular aspect or phase of Romanism. The larger number of these lived and wrote before the formation of the Evangelical Alliance, which we understand to have been the beginning of the Image of the Beast. Those who keep before their mind the progressive character connected with the understanding of these visions, as history unfolded them, will recognize that it was impossible for these expositors to understand the full significance of these prophetic visions. In the light of the events of history since the Evangelical Alliance was formed in 1846, the various aspects of the anti-Christian apostasy, as represented in these symbols of the "Beast," "Mark of the Beast ... .. Image of the Beast" and "Worshipers of the Image." are more clearly seen. In this fuller light, as we have already shown, we could not look for the first vial judgment to begin until after the "Image of the Beast"--organized sectarian Protestantism -had come into existence.

FORETOLD AND FULFILLED

In considering Pastor Russell's interpretation of these seven vial symbols, it will be of advantage to keep in mind the following basic principle as, given by him. We noted it in our last article, but believe it profitable to restate it at this stage of our exposition. The principle is this :

"It is well also to remember that one Plague or evil goes on increasingly, after a second and a third, etc., are added, until in the end the entire seven forms of evil will be operating simultaneously."--Z June '83-7.

It was his thought that all of these Plagues except the seventh had begun in a small measure to meet fulfillment at the time he wrote these words. With this introduction we proceed to give his interpretation of this first vial:

"These evils, called Plagues or Bowls of Wrath, are designed to rid the world of every form of evil and wrong. The class symbolized by the land or earth, we understand to mean all people under religious restraint, of whatever name or order. Land or earth as a symbol represents settled, organized religious society, as sea represents the restless, irreligious unsettled masses of humanity. Those having the Mark (characteristics) of the Beast (Papacy), and those worshiping his Image (Protestantism), as hitherto shown, are the great mass of non-overcoming and nominal Christians.

"It is upon this [latter] class that the trouble [plague or evil] first comes. While Roman Catholics constitute an important proportion of this earth class, yet the trouble does not affect them at first, as shown from the fact that the ulcer is not upon those worshiping the Beast, but on those worshiping the Image and having the marks or characteristics of the Beast (Papacy), which indicates clearly the various shades and degrees of Protestantism.

"Their trouble is compared to an ulcer--'an evil and malignant ulcer.' To appreciate the symbol let us consider the literal: An ulcer is a running sore; it is an evidence of constitutional disorder, and very painful. A cancer in its worst stages becomes a malignant ulcer. An ulcer is a cankerous sore, that is, one which eats, corrupts and destroys. Now carry the thought-what an ulcer or bad cancer is to a man will illustrate the character of the consuming, life-draining trouble coming upon the systems constituting Protestantism, so-called, which ultimately will destroy it. It arises from within itself; it is a constitutional disorder, caused by the errors inherited and retained from the 'Mother of harlots and abominations.' There is no cure for this evil-the blood is poisoned, it has permeated the entire body, and death must ensue.

"There was a time -- in the days of Luther and the Reformation-when the daughters might have been radically healed, but her false ministers 'healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying peace, peace, when there is no peace.' (Jer. 8:11.) Now there is no balm in Gilead, there is no physician there-therefore she is not healed. Her King is not in her, she is spewed out of His mouth. (Jer. 8:22, Young's Trans. See also Rev. 3:16 and 18:23.) There is no remedy, these systems must die. The disorder comes from within. Already these disorders have broken out, and though the canker is carefully concealed, the bad odor and distress are noticeable."--Z June '83-7, 8.

As this interpretation and forecasting of the fulfillment of this first vial symbol was made nearly forty years ago, it will not be a difficult matter to test its truthfulness. The interpretation in brief comprehends the following matters:

(1) That this "vial" or "Plague" would effect the various sects of Protestantism and their supporters.

(2) That the cause of the Plague would be an inward one, namely, the false doctrines inherited from the Mother system, the church of Rome, and the retention of these false doctrines in their creeds.

(3) That evidences that these false doctrines would eventually cause the death of these different sects began to be seen by God's true saints in 1883.

(4) That the evil effects of these false doctrines retained in the creeds would continue to increase more and more in the forty years-that would follow Pastor Russell's exposition.

(5) That the disease produced by the retention of these false doctrines would eventually prove fatal and result in death to these various sects.

(6) That the incurability of the disease was because of these sects being cast off from God's favor, i. e., because her "King was no longer in her."

(7) That Roman Catholicism and its- supporters would not be affected by this first plague.

EFFECTS OF FIRST VIAL NOW SEEN

Now those who are acquainted with the history of the Protestant sects of Christendom for the past forty years, whose spiritual vision is. not dimmed, have no difficulty in identifying each one of these peculiar features implied in this symbolic vision of Revelation and the analysis of the same by Pastor Russell as meeting their fulfillment in the forty years that have passed. Some of the faithful watchers living today can remember well the conditions that existed in Protestantism just a few years before this exposition by Pastor Russell was written. The signs of decay began to be very manifest after the great Moody awakening of 1877 and 1878. The teaching of Evolution and Higher Criticism (so-called) began about that time, and has since slowly but surely caused the undermining of faith in the Divine authenticity and inspiration of the Scriptures. The false doctrines of human immortality and eternal torment, etc., inherited from the Mother system, which were supposed quite generally to be taught in the Scriptures, continued to be retained in the, creeds, notwithstanding the fact that these false doctrines, except human immortality, were gradually, secretly, rejected by the chief supporters of these sects. The effect of such secret rejection of them-believing them to be taught in the Scriptures, could mean but one result-to gradually undermine faith in the Scriptures. The false doctrine of human immortality, however, was quite generally retained, and as this was taught as a basis or foundation for all hope of a future life, the true doctrine of the ransom sacrifice of Christ was gradually eliminated with some notable exceptions in the preaching of the professed ministers of Christ.

It is not necessary to describe the gradual departure of these sects as a whole from the foundation truths, the positive essentials, the possession of which can alone prove them to be in any measure "plants of the Divine planting" -and we are informed by the Divine Master that "every plant that my Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up." (Matt. 15:13.) It is only necessary to note their condition at the present time to discover that the great climax of apostasy has been reached, and the next thing in order is their "rooting up." The fact that there are still in these sects individuals who endeavor to hold on to these fundamentals and continue to give them (the seats) their support, is no evidence that these sects, as such, have not been judged and "found wanting"--that they are no longer plants of the Divine planting. The Scriptures plainly teach that these systems will continue to contain some, indeed many of the Lord's [deceived] consecrated ones, until the seventh vial is poured out. It is, however, only the symptoms of death, increasing more and more, that is portrayed in the symbolic ulcer's appearance on those who have the Mark of the Beast and are worshipers of the Image.

There can be no question, however, that the discovery of the untruthfulness of these false doctrines of eternal torment, etc., inherited from the Mother system associated with the belief on the part of the great leaders and supporters of the Protestant sects, that these false doctrines were taught in the Scriptures, leading logically to a practical rejection of the Scriptures themselves, has caused these leaders and supporters to have more or less torment of mind. This will be seen as we note the peculiar position in which they have been placed by their unbelief inthe Divine authority of the Scriptures. From this standpoint, if they were honest, they would have to admit that their organizations have no more Divine authority than any of the fraternal, benevolent Societies of the world. This has evidently caused considerable torment of mind, because of their unwillingness to acknowledge these things, and by thus doing be compelled to stifle the voice of conscience. The same trouble of mind caused by stifling the conscience would continue to be felt by those who still persisted in believing in the fundamentals of Christianity and who yet continued to give these various sects their support. The most terrible torment of mind is yet co come, and will take place in connection with the great climax, the death-throes that naturally follow the continued existence of this deadly disease. This will be in connection with the last phase of the great time of trouble coming upon these rejected systems.

How true it is' that the saints who have, through the knowledge of God's great Plan of the Ages, "gotten the victory over the Beast and his Image and over his Mark" are delivered from this first Plague, and, as we shall endeavor to show in future articles, will be delivered from the entire seven.


BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION

STUDY XV--JUNE 13

THE SCROLL SEALED WITH SEVEN SEALS

(71) Describe the Book in the right hand of Him that sat on the Throne, and explain its significance. What is the lesson in -the fact that it was sealed with seven Seals and was written within and on the outside? H '19-39, 40; Z '02-332; D 605.

(72) What is implied in the question, Who is worthy to open the Book, and the further statement that St. John wept much because no man in heaven, nor in earth was able to open the Book, neither to look, thereon? H '19-40; Z '97-150.

(73) Who is referred to in the symbolic representation as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David? and what is the thought in the statement that He hath prevailed to open the Book? H '19-40; Z '97-150, 256.

(74) Describe the Lamb that was seen in the midst of the Throne, and state what lesson we are to gather from this feature of the symbolic vision. H '19-41.

(75) What is signified by the Lamb receiving the Book from the right hand of Him that sat on the Throne? H '19-39-41.

STUDY XVI--JUNE 20

CHRIST RECEIVING THE DIVINE SCROLL

(76) When was the Divine Plan committed to Christ for execution? and when was He permitted to read what was written within and on the outside of the Scroll? Matt. 24:36; 28:18; H '19-40; Z '97-256; '06-39.

(77) What did the opening of the seven Seals by Christ symbolize? H '19-40, col. 2.

(78) What is signified by the fact that the four Beasts and the twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped when the Lamb received the Scroll, and what is implied in their expressions of worship? C 128; D 42.5, 618.

(79) Who are referred to by those round about the Throne, the number of whom is described as "ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands"? What do their acclamations of worship imply and to what time does this apply? See Bible Comments.

(80) Give a brief summary of what was forecast in the symbolic vision of the breaking of the seven Seals. H '19-40, col. 2.


THE LORD OUR SHEPHERD

--JUNE 20--PSALM 23--

Golden Text.--"Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want."--Psa. 23:1.

KING DAVID is the author of the 23rd Psalm, which reflects his boyhood work on the fields of Bethlehem. Most commentators believe that. the Psalm was written in David's maturity, embodying the experiences of many years of trustful following of the Good Shepherd.

Jehovah is my Shepherd, is the Prophet's sentiment, and our Lord's explanation ­of the matter further is that the Great Shepherd's Son 'has been given full charge of the sheep. (John 10:1-16.) Not all mankind, however, are sheep, or have the Shepherd's care. In the present time only those who have heard the Shepherd's voice and responded to His call to become His sheep are of His flock, and His word on the subject is that it is a little flock, to whom it will be the Father's good pleasure eventually to give the Kingdom in joint-heirship with His Son, their "Chief Shepherd." Then will come the time referred to by our Lord when "other sheep" will be found. The entire Millennial Age, with all the forces and blessings of the Heavenly Kingdom, will be devoted to the finding of the other sheep. Our Lord's words are,--"Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold [not of the "Little Flock of this Gospel Age] ; them also I must bring [in due time to a knowledge of the Truth and to the full privileges of sheep], and there shall be one flock and one shepherd." (John 10:16.) Eventually all of God's creatures on various planes of being shall be recognized as one family of God, as it is written of our Lord, "In whom the whole family of God, both in heaven and in earth, are named." (Eph. 3:15.) And again, "He shall gather together in one all things in Christ both in heaven and on earth." (Eph. 1:10.) However, though it may be interesting and helpful and profitable to understand something of our great Shepherd's generous plans for the future, our interest centers chiefly in the Little Flock of the present time, to which alone this lesson refers in many of its particulars.

Professor George Adam Smith gives the following interesting description of the difference between the shepherds in olden times in Palestine and the care of sheep as is known to us of the present day. This is an important point to be remembered, as it was the eastern shepherd who illustrated our Heavenly Shepherd's care for His Little Flock. Prof. Smith says:

"An Eastern pasture is very different from the narrow meadows and dyked hillsides with which we are familiar at home. It is vast and often practically boundless; it has to be extensive, for the greater part of it is barren in fact, the Hebrew word for desert and for pasture is the same. The most of it consists of dry, stony soil, out of which, for the great part of the year, the sun has sucked all life. In this monotony the breaks are few, and consist of paths more or less fitful, gorges or thickets where wild beasts lurk, and oasis of pleasant grass and water. Now in such a landscape of mirage, illusive paths lurking terrors and infrequent herbage, it is evident that the person and character of the shepherd must mean a great deal more to the sheep than it means to sheep with us. With us a flock of sheep without a shepherd is a common experience; every day we may see them left to themselves in a secure field or scattered over a side hill, with a far-traveling wire fence to keep them from straying. But I do not remember ever to have seen in the East a flock of sheep without a shepherd."

THE SHEPHERD AND BISHOP OF OUR SOULS

Doubtless as the Prophet David penned this Psalm, his mind went back to his father's flock and to his' own experience as its shepherd, concerning which we incidentally have the mention that while protecting it he slew a lion and a bear. Under heavenly inspiration the Prophet pictures the Almighty One as the great care­ taker, watching over and protecting from harm all whom He recognizes as His "sheep." Nothing can be farther from the sentiment of this prophecy and illustration than the growing prevalent sentiment which recognizes Jehovah God as the shepherd and father of all 'mankind, and which is frequently voiced in the words, "Father­ hood of God and brotherhood of man." This view ig­ nores man's will and also ignores the Lord's Word, which declares that there are goats and wolves as well as sheep; that while some have become children of God, it is through faith and "adoption," and that many from the Divine standpoint, so far from being recognized as children of God, are referred to as "of your father, the devil, for his works you do." (John 8:44.) Originally our race, represented by father Adam in sinless perfection, was recognized as related to Jehovah, but the breaking of this relationship by man's willful disobedience and departure from God is clearly recognized in the Scripture, so that none are recognized as sons of God today unless they have been begotten again, begot­ ten from above. Nor is it our hope that any in the future will be recognized as sons of God or as sheep of the Lord's fold except as they shall heartily renounce sin, and, being granted knowledge of Divine grace, shall heartily accept the same and "follow on to know the Lord."

Applying the Psalm to the Little Flock, all of its provisions fit most minutely. Because the Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want. Those who are proper sheep will submit their wills to the Shepherd's will and trust wholly to His guidance, and so doing are relieved of that anxious craving so common to the children of the world and which is never satisfied, but the more it gets the more it wants. The Lord's sheep appreciate the heavenly things more than the earthly, and their wants in this respect are more than supplied when they accept by faith the Divine assurance that

"No good thing will He withhold
From sheep which stray not from His fold."

They have given up every I earthly interest in exchange for the heavenly, and, realizing their own insufficiency and lack of judgment, they are trusting to the Lord to grant them such experiences, leadings, trials, difficulties, blessings, etc., in this present life as will be for their highest good, and a,% would work out for them a share of the glorious things of the future to which they have been called. The wants of this class are not of the kind after which the Gentiles seek, and for which they are anxious and strive., They in their hearts rejoice in the sentiment expressed by the poet, "Jesus has satisfied, Jesus is mine."--Matt. 6:32.

IN GREEN PASTURES AND BESIDE STILL WATERS

Although the experiences of the Lord's sheep include many trials in the parched wilderness of sin, yet He graciously gives them restful experiences in cases of Divine favor. These are not always accompanied with immunities from trial, as the world would view the matter, but certainly are seasons of rest and refreshment--to such an extent that the Lord's sheep may truthfully say that they have "the peace of God which passeth all understanding" ruling in their hearts, notwithstanding outward trials, difficulties, perplexities and adversities. Which of the Lord's sheep has not found such green pasturage of spiritual refreshment in his private devotions and studies of Divine things? which of them has not experienced similar refreshment and rest and nourishment from the Master's provision that His sheep shall not forsake the assembling of themselves together as the manner of some is for the study of the Word, for prayer, for testimonies of the Lord's goodness and mercy? All these opportunities and privileges, whether personally experienced or whether they are yet only in the mind through the medium of the printed page, are provisions made for the sheep by the Great Shepherd. Those sheep which find no enjoyment in such privileges and blessings and refreshments have reason to question their faithfulness in following the lead of the Shepherd. And those sheep which, finding such opportunities decline to use them, thus give evidence of lack of harmony with the Shepherd's gracious intentions and wisdom,

The "still waters" are contrasted with the rushing torrent of the mountain slope-still, not in the sense of stagnancy, but rather smooth flowing. At the latter only could the sheep receive proper refreshment. So applying the thought to the Little Flock, we find that the Great Shepherd leads us away from the strifes of worldly ambition, from greatness and power and riches and honors highly esteemed amongst men, but does not lead us to stagnancy-rather to spiritual ambitions which bring with them a restfulness and refreshment of soul obtainable from no other source. The streams of truth and grace are living, but comparatively quiet, waters. As the Prophet intimates, these are not to be found by the sheep alone; to find them requires the leading of the Spirit, Let us give diligence to His voice, remembering His Word that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. Let us discriminate, discern His voice, with its truthful accent, so different from the voice of error. Strangers, true sheep will not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers. They do not like its money ring, or its worldly ambition ring, or its priestcraft tone, or its contradiction of the spirit of the Divine message and method.

"He restoreth my soul." The Prophet does not refer to a restoration of body or of physical health, but a restoration of soul, being. Some of the Lord's most precious saints have been weary and faint and troubled-even the dear Redeemer fainted tinder His cross, and was neither kept whole or made whole miraculously on the occasion. The application of the Prophet's words to the Christian experience would make these experiences, called restoring of soul or being, to correspond with our justification to life. All our lives were forfeited under the Divine sentence, and by faith a complete restitution or restoration of soul is granted to the believer that he might have something to offer in sacrifice to the Lord, "holy, acceptable" (Rom. 12:1), and that in this sacrifice service he may walk in the footsteps of the Great Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep. Thus are the true sheep led in right paths, in proper paths, advantageous to their spiritual development, though frequently trying and difficult to them according to the flesh. This favor and blessing and opportunity comes to them not for their own sakes or worthiness, but through the Lord's grace--"for His name's sake."

THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH

The whole world is walking in the valley of the shadow of death. Mountain tops of life, of affection, were left by the race six thousand years ago, when Father Adam fell from his harmony with God to the plane of sin and death. The valley of sin carries with it the shadow of death, the penalty of sin. In the broad road the whole human family still walks; and even though the Shepherd leads His flock upward, and in the reverse direction from the course of the world, nevertheless, according to the flesh, they are still in the world, in this valley of the shadow of death. However, the true sheep, hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep, have learned to be neither careless and indifferent as are some, nor to be in fear and doubt and perplexity as are the majority. These on-the contrary fear no evil. They realize indeed that the penalty of sin is upon the race, but they realize also that Divine love has provided a redemption. They realize that the whole world is going down to sheol, to hades, but that God has made provision that the Good Shepherd shall deliver His Little Flock from the power of the grave in the First Resurrection, and that subsequently all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man and shall come forth to a full, fair, reasonable, proper judgment-the testing respecting their willingness to be His sheep and to follow Him and to attain everlasting life through Him. The sheep of the Little Flock fear no evil because of the Lord's favor, because He is with them, on their side, and has shown His favor in the redemption price already paid, He is with them, too, in His word-of promise-His assurance that death shall not mean extinction of life, but merely, until the resurrection, an undisturbed sleep in Jesus. What wonder that these can. walk through the valley of the shadow of death singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord, calling upon their souls with all that is within them to praise and laud and magnify His great and holy name, who loved us and bought us with His precious blood, and has called us to joint-heirship with our dear Redeemer.

"His rod and His staff they comfort me." As the shepherd's crook was used to assist the sheep out of difficulties, to defend it from its too powerful enemies and to chasten it when inattentive, and as all of these uses of the rod were for the sheep's interest and welfare, so with the Lord's Little Flock and their Shepherd and His rod of help, defense and chastisement. The true sheep learn to love the providences of the Shepherd and are comforted by them. Knowing the Shepherd's power and His watchful care, they realize that all things are working together for good to them because they are His sheep. Why should they not be comforted, strengthened, encouraged ?

THOU PREPAREST A TABLE BEFORE ME

The Psalm diverges here and leaves the 'figure of the sheep and the shepherd, adopting instead the illustration of a mighty ford who spreads a sumptuous feast for his humbler friend. In olden times an active hospitality meant much, and for a nobleman to receive one as his guest meant responsibility for his safety; and so the thought is that we, as the Lord's people, are accepted of Him, counted as friends, are made to sit down to a bountiful feast, secure from the enmity of those who would injure us-secure from the great Adversary and all the wicked spirits in high places mentioned by the Apostle (Eph. 6:12)--secure so long as we are under the care of our Great Friend, our Heavenly Father. The bounties of our table may indeed include some earthly good things, better or worse than those of the natural average man; but all of these, whatever they may be, accepted with joy and thanksgiving, are appreciated by those who recognize them as part and parcel of the bounties of the friend above all others.

All religious people make more or less claim to spiritual food, and the various parts and factions of Christendom especially boast that they have much advantage every way, and that their tables are spread with Divine truth, promises, etc., food from which they claim to receive their strength. But what a variety of these tables there are and how different are the viands, doctrinally. The food on most of them seems to have been spoiled in the preparation. Some of it is sad, some of it sour, and much of it is musty. For the most part it originated in "the dark ages," and the dear friends who sit down to these tables find that they have little appetite for such food, and we do not blame them. Rather, we would attract their attention to the generous, bountiful supply of Divine Truth which the Lord Himself is dispensing to the household of faith, "things new and old," but all of them pure, sweet, delicious, grand. This table is open to all those who love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength-better than they love houses or lands, parents or children, husband or wife, lodge or society or sectarian system or self.

Is it strange that those so highly favored of the Lord and recognized as His guests and fed at His table should be hated by enemies? It would seem strange to us if it were not for the assurance of the Master Himself, that whosoever will live godly will suffer persecution in this present time, and for the illustration of this in the Master's own experience, that it was the professedly godly, influential, great and nominally religious that persecuted Him to death. We are not surprised, then, to find that our table is-spread in the midst of enemies that now surround us on every hand.

The anointing of the head of the guest with oil was a part of the hospitality of olden times. The antitype of this with us is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all this class-this Little Flock, the Body of Christ,- of which He is the Head, Chief, the Shepherd, the Leader.

"Goodness and mercy shall follow me." The goodness and mercy of the Lord is not to be looked back to as a thing of the remote past, but is to be recognized and appreciated as a thing of the present. Day by day God's goodness and mercy follow us, refresh us, strengthen us, bless us.

The highest hope to which we dare aspire is that of final union with our Great Shepherd, our Heavenly Father, and the Good Shepherd, His Son, in the heavenly state, in our Father's house on high, one mansion or plane of which is intended for the Little Flock, separate and distinct from the -mansion or plane provided for the restitution class of the Millennial Age. The end of all our highest ambitions will be attained, and far more than realized, when we shall be like our Lord, see Him as He is, and share His glory in the Father's house.


REVIEW: THE NOBLE LIFE OF SAMUEL

--JUNE 27-1 SAM. 12:1-5, 13-25--

Golden Text.--"I will instruct you in the good and the right way."--1 Sam. 12:23.

SAMUEL the Prophet stands out on the pages of sacred history a very noble character -- very similar in many respects to Moses. He had served the Lord and the people faithfully for a long period, and then, at the urgent request of the people and with God's assent, he had anointed Saul their king. The latter had been received rather half-heartedly, but the battle with the Ammonites and the great victory which the Lord granted to His people on that occasion united their hearts to Him who had been the visible leader in that victory, and Samuel perceived that the right time had come for a public coronation of the king, and the formal transfer of allegiance to him as the Lord's representative in the temporal affairs of the nation. Accordingly, 4 general convocation of the people was called to meet at Gilgal-- of the several prominent places for public gatherings -one of the places at which Samuel was in the habit of holding court when, as a kind of supreme judge, he went at different seasons of the year to various parts of the territory of Israel to hear and to decide causes and differences which the elders of the tribes could not adjudicate satisfactorily. -

Upon the assembling of the people, the Prophet Samuel opened his address (vs. 1-5) by calling upon God and the people to witness to his own rectitude of character in all of his dealings with them for the many years in which he had served them; to his justice in seeking to decide their various questions righteously; to his honesty, in that he never received even the smallest bribe nor permitted anything to vitiate his judgment; neither had he been an oppressor of his people, but had always sought their good. With united voice the people concurred in the excellence and purity of his administration--a wonderful tribute, one which would be almost inconceivable in our day, in which we find that even the best and noblest officials are sure to have enemies, traducers, backbiters, slanderers. We are not to suppose that Samuel was merely eulogizing his own administration, but are, rather, to attribute to such a noble character a nobler object. He wished to make a lasting impression with this address and this transfer of authority to King. Saul; and, to make his words more impressive and more effective in the interests of his successor and in the interests of the Lord's people, he impressed upon his hearers the fact that his entire life had been one of devotion, and that they might well understand that his words now were in full accord with all the course of his previous life. They would thus realize that he had their best interests at heart, that he was thoroughly loyal to the Lord, and that his example, as well as his advice, would be beneficial to them. Perhaps, too, he would thus set before the people a standard of what they might look for and hope for from their new king, and before the king a standard of the ideal after which he should pattern his rule.

REMEMBRANCE OF GOD'S GOODNESS

Next, he called attention to God's faithfulness to them in the centuries past, from the time that He adopted them as His people and made a covenant with them through Moses and became their Heavenly King. He recounted to the people the many deliverances which the Lord had wrought for them through various agents whom He had raised up. He would not wish them to think of the recent victory over the Ammonites as being the only one; but he desired that they recognize it, in common with all previous victories, as from the Lord, by whatsoever hand they were effected. He. would have them discern that they exercised great ingratitude in forgetting that the Lord had all this time been their King, and in preferring an earthly king to the- government He had established. Nevertheless, now that God had granted their request and given them an earthly king, they must not fail to recognize that he was only the representative of their real King, the heavenly One. Otherwise, their condition would be deplorable in every way. They had the king of their choice and God had set him over them: let the matter thus stand, and from this new standpoint they should go on to make the best of their condition; and to do this, would be to give close attention to the commandments of the Lord.

Obedience to. the Lord would bring blessings both to the people and their king, and disobedience and rebellion or any measure of irreverence toward the Lord and His commandments would bring upon them Divine disfavor and injury. Not that the Lord would vindictively render evil for evil, but the hand of the Lord would be against them in the same sense that the current of the river is against the persons Who attempt to go contrary to it. Divine justice has its steady flow. It is irrepressible; it opposes anything that comes against it, and favors anything that goes in harmony with it. We can recognize something of this principle in various laws of nature; as, for instance, gravitation: Let us also recognize that the principles of Divine government operate in a very similar manner. As fire burns the evil or the good when they come in contact with it, and as the law of gravitation operates in respect to all, whether good or bad, who come into the line of its influence, so the principles of Divine justice operate automatically.

The correctness of the foregoing statement may be questioned by some, who may say that in the majority of cases justice does not seem to operate; that those who tempt, God are set up, and those who work wickedness and deceit often prosper. We reply that in order to understand our position it must be remembered that God's government has never been established in the world except over the one nation of Israel; and, hence, only in that one nation should we expect to find the laws of retribution operating automatically. The Lord said of Israel, "You only have I known [recognized] of all the families of the earth." (Amos 3:2.) Again, the Apostle asks, "What advantage hath the Jew?" and, answering, declares, "Much every way; chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God." God entered into obligations with Israel that if they, as a people, would obey His laws and keep His statutes, they would be blessed in proportion to their faithfulness and obedience; and if they should fail of obedience, they would be correspondingly punished; that He would permit to come upon them various chastisements-diseases, etc.--as the natural results of the violations of the principles of His government. But such an arrangement has not been made with other nations at any time in the world's history.

FAITHFULNESS BRINGS SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS

With spiritual Israel God's blessings and chastisements are spiritual, and do, not extend to temporal affairs. In proportion to their faithfulness they grow spiritually strong and beautiful; and in proportion to their unfaith­ fulness they grow spiritually weak and receive chastise­ ments and lose Divine favor. It is not true with the spiritual Israelite as it was with the natural Israelite, that by obeying the Lord he would be blessed temporally in all his undertakings. On the contrary, to the spiritual Israelite the Lord gives the express declaration and encouragement: "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall [in this life] suffer persecution;" "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you;" "Ye know that it hated me before it hated you;" "Blessed are ye when men shall say all manner of evil against you for my sake: rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven"--in spiritual things, not in temporal matters. -2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Jno. 3:13; John 15:18; Matt. 5:11, 12.

When the Millennial Kingdom shall be established, and, in harmony with the petition of our Lord's prayer, God's Kingdom shall come, and His will be done on earth as in heaven--then the laws of righteousness will work automatically again, and "every transgression shall receive its just recompense of reward," and every proper endeavor will bring its meed of blessing and uplifting influencerestitution. The Divine regulations operating towardfleshly Israel in the days of Samuel differ from those to operate toward the whole world in the Millennial Age, in that the latter will have a greater prophet than Moses, a greater priest than Aaron, a greater king than Saul. The Lord's Anointed will include all the graces, powers and qualities represented in these types, but on a perfect scale and backed by Divine wisdom, justice, love and power, and will put down all insubordination and permanently establish righteousness upon a proper basis throughout the World, eventually destroying all who will not come into accord with its principles. Samuel proceeded to do a miracle before the peopleto cause a thunder shower in the middle of harvest. In Palestine they have the early and the latter rains. The spring rains usually end in April, and the fall rains begin in October or November. A writer on the subject says, "In ordinary seasons, from the cessation of -the showers in spring until their commencement in October or November, rain never falls, and the sky is usually serene. The wheat harvest which the Prophet pointed out to them as just in order, must have been the first of June and, hence, nothing could have been further from the expectation of the people than a thunder-shower at that time. The bringing of it at the Prophet's announcement, was to remind the people how completely their affairs and interests were in Divine power. They were to, discern that the recent victory need not have been theirs except as the Lord had been pleased to favor them and grant them the victory; and that simply by bringing unfavorable showers upon their harvest the entire fruitage of their labors of many months might be quickly spoiled and they be reduced to starvation, and in that way become more thoroughly subdued than by any foreign invasion. The Prophet calls their attention to the wickedness of their course in the rejection of God as their king, and to this power of God, which could easily be exercised, did He wish to requite them according to their dealings with Him.

STEPPING STONES TO HIGHER PLANES

The people saw the point. They discerned that if it were to rain a few days they would lose their all; they recognized that they were wholly in the power of God, and entreated Samuel to pray for them, confessing not only the wrongs they had done in seeking a king, but also their sins; "We have added unto our sins."

As the Lord's mouthpiece, the Prophet assured the people that they need not fear God's taking vengeance upon them, notwithstanding their wrong course. On the contrary, they should more fully than ever determine to turn to the Lord whole-heartedly, and let their mistake, and the trials and difficulties that would come to them as a result of it, prove a blessing to them in drawing their hearts nearer and nearer to the Lord, their true King, who never sought anything but their highest welfare. So it should be with us. If at any time we, find that we have taken a wrong course which is irretrievable, we may expect it to bring the disappointments as the Lord foretold; but He may permit it to bring, as well, some blessings in the way of contrition of heart, and humility toward the Lord, and greater zeal, watchfulness and faithfulness for the future. Thus, even some of the blunders of life may become stepping-stones to higher planes of grace and truth.

The sentiment of verse 22 is very beautiful, and, doubtless, was very encouraging to the Israelites in assuring them of God's continued love and favor toward them because of His having adopted them as His people. Applying this verse -to spiritual Israel, we may take great comfort from it, too. If it was a favor to natural Israel to be adopted as the Lord's peculiar people, as the house of servants, how much greater is the blessing to spiritual Israel, adopted of the Lord as the house of sons under the chief Son, Jesus; "whose house are 'we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end!" (Heb. 3:6.) It is well that the Lord's people be called upon to fear, to reverence, the Lord; but if the Scriptures were entirely made up of commands and reproofs, the Lord's people would all surely have been discouraged long ago. On the contrary, with the reproofs and corrections, the Lord gives us very precious testimonies respecting His love and mercy, His goodness and long-suffering kindness, to encourage us. All the members of the Body of Christ laboring against the course of this world and against public opinion and against the weaknesses of their own flesh and against the great Adversary, Satan, need spiritual encouragement-assurances that the Lord is for them. The Apostle points this out, saying, "If God be for us, who can be against us?"--what will all the opposition against us amount to if God be on our side? He again encourages us with precious words, reminding us of the unchangeableness of God and of the fact that He has already done great things for us and is preparing to do still greater things. If while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly, much more shall His favor be with us now that we are adopted into His family and are seeking to walk in His ways as members of the Body of Christ.

UNSELFISHNESS EXEMPLIFIED

The grandeur of the Prophet's character shines out in the twenty-third verse again:' he seems to have none of the petty animosities which some smaller creatures might have under the circumstances, and was a patriot to the core of his heart, as well as a faithful representative and ambassador of the Lord and mediator of His people. He says, practically: "Nothing that you have done toward me-rejecting me in choosing King Saul-shall in any manner or degree hinder my love for you and my prayers on your behalf. God forbid that it should!, I should consider this a sin against the Lord who has placed me as a kind of representative of Him to you, and of you to Him, and I certainly would be failing of my duty and privilege did I neglect this important office of mediator. You may rely upon it that I not only will refrain from pleading against you with the Lord, but that I will petition Him on your behalf."

The nobility of Samuel's course may well be copied by the Lord's people under various circumstances in life. When those who are near and dear to us flag in their love and devotion, they need all the more our sympathy and our prayers, and, as our dear Master showed us,. even our enemies are to be prayed for and have our good wishes that the Lord would grant them in His providence such opening of understanding, such experiences as in Divine wisdom would be for their highest welfare to bring them into full accord with Himself, and thus back into harmony with us and all who are in harmony with Him. The Prophet indicates that although he was ceasing to be their judge and ruler, he would not cease to be their instructor in the good and right way so long as the Lord's providences might permit him to serve them, and so long as they would accept his aid.

Recurring,, however, to the principal point of his instructions, he points out that reverence for the Lord, serving Him in truth with all their heart, was not only a proper course, but a course which would bring them the Lord's blessing. And as a help to our flagging zeal, we should continually remind ourselves of the Lord's great blessings to us. As we learn to appreciate the goodness of the Lord, if rightly disposed at all, the influences will be to strengthen us and to make us more and more loyal to Him. Failing to seek with our whole heart the Lord's service after we have become His people and entered into covenant relationship with Him, receiving of His favors and blessings in this life, and also, by promise, in the life to come, would mean wickedness which, persevered in, will surely bring destruction. Faithfulness to God should be the keynote of all our desires. "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, 0 Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." -Psa. 19:14.


WORKERS AND WINNERS

Keep striving: The winners are those who have striven
And fought for the prize that no idler has won;
To the hands of the steadfast alone it is given,
And before" it is gained, there is work to be done.

Keep climbing: The earnest and steadfast have scaled
The height where the pathway was rough to the feet;
But the faint-hearted faltered, and faltering, failed,
And sank down by the wayside in helpless defeat.

Keep hoping: The clouds hide the sun for a time,
But sooner or later they scatter and flee,
And the path glows like gold to the toilers who climb
To the heights where men look over landscape and sea.

Keep onward-right on, till the prize is attained;
Front the future with courage, and obstacles fall.
By those, and those only, the victory's gained
Who look not to themselves but to God above all.


LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

APPRECIATES NON-EXTREME ATTITUDE

DEAR BRETHREN:

I am happy to avail myself of this opportunity to express my appreciation and esteem of your labors of love in His service. The subject matter of the HERALD has been helpful. Moreover, it has been a pleasure to notice the consistently non-extreme attitude adopted in the articles passed for publication by the Editorial Committee. Especially valuable has been the series dealing with "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." May I express the hope that when complete this series will be published in book form.

Enclosed is a money order, value 8/--, being the renewal of subscription for the HERALD on the part of Sister and the writer.

That 1920 may be a year of rich blessing to you all in your various positions of responsibility and service is the earnest desire of

Your brother in Him, A. C.-Eng.

DESIRES ORIGINAL LIBERTY AND PURITY

DEAR BRETHREN:

Loving Christian greetings! We were attracted to and have been rejoicing in Present Truth since its early days in England. We were attracted by its simplicity and left sectarian bondage without misgivings. But recently, for the sake of centralization of thought and authority, a categorical test has to be submitted to, which brings us back to the same position from which Brother Russell helped us to escape years ago, and so we have, with many others here, become Protestants.

We desire to extend our grateful thanks for your timely assistance, helping us to maintain the original liberty and purity which Brother Russell so valiantly championed, which drew us out of "Babylon." We commend you for the lofty spiritual tone that has accompanied the HERALD from its commencement, also the lack of pretension of the Editorial Committee. Your humility, and the purity of its message, commends it to lovers of the Lord, and it is a source of great encouragement to us here. Our prayer is that you may continue as you have begun to the upbuilding and edification of the "body members" of the Christ.

We remain, Yours by His favor,

BROTHER AND SISTER W. D.-Eng.

THE LORD POURED OUT RICH BLESSINGS

DEAR BRETHREN:

Brother Blackburn has been here; his brief visit is now past, but the rich blessing that fills every heart privileged to hear him will ever remain. Such words of comfort and encouragement as he gave us, such a manifestation of the Master's spirit as we found in him, surely are the needs of this hour to the Lord's little ones. . . . How glad we are to have been so favored, and how it has inspired us to strive day by day to live more carefully, to be more pleasing to the Father in thought, word and deed.

The Lord overruled the sudden change of dates so that it was possible for nearly every one of our class to attend, and truly the Lord poured out rich blessings upon all, so I could not refrain from expressing to the INSTITUTE my heartfelt gratitude in sending this dear Brother, and trust that the Lord may continue to bless his service as he goes forth to strengthen and encourage all who are seeking the Lord's guidance in the Narrow Way.

I greatly appreciate the HERALD--I like the spirit of the paper. May the Lord continue to spread His blessings through you.. And should the Lord be pleased to further bless us in sending Pilgrims this way, we desire to be communicated with so that arrangements can be made and all interested friends notified. With Christian love, I am

Your sister by His grace, M. A., Kans.

THE LORD'S CHANNEL THE WORD OF GOD

DEAR BRETHREN:

You very kindly sent me a copy of the HERALD some time ago. I have much appreciated it and have had other copies lent me by the brethren. I have enjoyed Present Truth for about twelve years, and have shared in the recent fiery trials which have come upon us. I see more than ever the necessity of keeping close to the Lord's channel of communication with His people--the Word Of God -- and guarding against the introduction of man-made schemes and interpretations. I am delighted to notice the spirit by which the HERALD articles are energized-the spirit of the Master, the spirit which always manifested itself in Brother Russell's writings, the humble, faithful "spirit of a sound mind."

We have been studying the articles on Revelation published in your columns and feel convinced that the Lord's hand is guiding you into the further unfolding of His Word. May His blessing continually be with, you.

I feel, dear brethren, that I want the copies of the HERALD from its commencement, December, 1918, 1 think. If this is not possible, perhaps you can let me have all the issues containing the articles on Revelation up to date. I am enclosing $3.00. Please send HERALD regularly and let me know how far this subscription will cover. With much love in the Lord,

Yours by His favor,  M. F. T.-Eng.

HUNGRY FOR THE TRUTH

DEAR BRETHREN:

Can you send me a -copy of the HERALD of January, 15, 1919. Enclosed find amount to cover same. I am very anxious to obtain this as it breaks the series.

The Revelation articles continue to be splendid. The truth of these articles seems apparent and so in harmony with the inspired Word and our Pastor's writings. Furthermore, the spirit manifested throughout cannot fail to commend itself to any who have the mind of Christ. . . .

Sister G------- and another sister were putting out tracts ("Inauguration of God's Kingdom") the other day in the business offices, and a man stopped her and said he was interested in that, having received one at his house a few days.. before. The result was he attended our meeting this afternoon, and his wife also. Both seemed much interested and hungry for the Truth and have asked us over to their home to answer questions and bring them literature. We have been much encouraged to see that some desire the Truth and that we have the opportunity to give it to them. . . .

Sister G---- joins me in sending love to you all. Hoping we may see some of you at the Detroit Convention, I am

Your brother, W. G.-Mich.

DESIRES TO SPREAD TRUTH

GENTLEMEN:

Having received from your INSTITUTE a few days ago a copy of your little paper, entitled "Inauguration of God' s Kingdom Preceded by Distress of Nations," in accordance with the footnote, I am asking if you will kindly send me half a dozen copies to circulate among my friends. I am deeply interested in it and feel that a wide circulation of it will do much good. Thanking you in advance,

MRS. W. L. W.-N. J.

INTERESTED IN COMING KINGDOM

GENTLEMEN:

A friend recently presented me the pamphlet "Inauguration of God's Kingdom Preceded by Distress of Nations." I am interested and I note a statement at bottom of page 8 that you will deliver free Bible teaching respecting our Lord's return, its glorious purpose, etc. Kindly send me this pamphlet and any others you think may add to my interest.

I Respectfully, J. E. D., Atty.--Md.


VOL. III. June 15, 1920 No. 12

ANNUAL MEETING AND REPORT OF THE PASTORAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

JUNE, 1919, TO JUNE, 1920

THE second annual meeting of the PASTORAL BIBLE INSTITUTE is in the past. In accordance with the Charter of our INSTITUTE which calls for a business meeting for the purpose of electing a new Board of Directors the first Saturday in June, each year, the members came together this year at 3 P. M., June 5. As was expected, the majority of the members taking part in the election were represented by proxy on account of so many living at a distance, being scattered throughout the United States. The attendance in person, however, was very good considering the. fact that we were not holding any General Convention in connection with the annual meeting, and only five days previous, had closed one at Springfield, at which  the annual report of the INSTITUTE had been read. There were about 100 present Saturday afternoon, who showed by their presence and conduct that they were deeply concerned and interested in the affairs and work of the INSTITUTE. The meeting was opened with the usual devotional exercises-singing of hymns and worship.

The officers of the INSTITUTE were asked to report as to the status as well as to the achievements and results of the efforts of the brethren during the past year. These reports were listened to with deep interest, after which they were unanimously approved. The next business coming before the assembly was the election of a new Board of Directors. Votes were cast, and while the ballots were being counted the time was spent in prayer and singing of hymns. Praise and thanksgiving to the Lord marked the business session throughout. The restilts of the balloting showed almost unanimously the re-election of the brethren who had been serving as Directors, as follows:

I. I. MARGESON I. F. HOSKINS
E. J. PRITCHARD H. C. ROCKWELL
P. L. GREINER F. H. McGEE
J. L. COOKE

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned and the Lord was praised for the evidence of His presence, in the beautiful spirit of peace and harmony that prevailed in our midst. We also thanked the Lord for the prospects of another year before us in which to engage in His service-the service of the brethren, and to continue to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Following this business meeting the Board of Directors met and re-elected the following officers:

I. I. MARGESON, Chairman
E. J. PRITCHARD, Vice-Chairman
P. L. GREINER, Treasurer
I. F. HOSKINS, Secretary

Saturday evening and all day Sunday were devoted to discourses in which the things of the Kingdom-the heavenly hopes and promises, were reviewed and the brethren were exhorted afresh to press on in the overcoming life, being assured that He is faithful that promised. Surely the results of these two days of fellowship were that all felt renewed courage and determination in the Narrow Way.

REPORT OF DIRECTORS

Once more it is our pleasure and privilege to submit to the brethren of the Truth our INSTITUTE's report of the activities and ministries of the brethren who have been entrusted with its affairs during the past year. By the grace of God we are able to speak with considerable encouragement of the results of the efforts put forth, and we have nothing but thanks to offer to our gracious Master for the privileges enjoyed at His hands in connection with His service, the service of the Truth and of the brethren-and for His blessing so richly betsowed upon our. humble efforts.,

We recognize our stewardship as being unto the Lord, and trust that the use made of the time, opportunity and means, has been pleasing and acceptable through Him to the Father. But inasmuch as our fellow-contributors to the Fund are to be sharers in our Lord's "Well done!" it is proper that they should know of the results of our united efforts, and thus share our present joys and encouragements. Amongst these co-laborers we reckon not only those who contributed funds, "Good Hopes," etc., and those who contributed time and strength, as Pilgrims, but those also who, having no opportunity for the latter service and no means for the former privilege, have "done what they could" in circulating free tracts and HERALDS. Nor do we forget to reckon amongst these helpers those whose opportunities for service are few, whose efforts are necessarily confined to the building up of their own characters, and the few with whom they are associated, and who often cheer and encourage us with kind words of love, sympathy and fellowship, assuring us as some do, that no day ever passes without their mention of us before the Throne of Grace. Yes, these too, in thus "holding up our hands" do a service that is appreciated by both the Lord and us.

We may not have in some respects attained to all our ideals set for the past year, but, nevertheless, we believe there is no cause for discouragement whatever. The responsibility of the ministry and care of the Lord's people, we realize more and more, is entirely in the hands of the Great Heavenly Shepherd, and our province is to be emptied vessels meet for the Master's use, and instruments ready to serve or to stand and wait according to the good pleasure of the Master of the house.

The brethren will readily recall that our association was originally instituted by a general representation of the brethren from various parts of the country who, finding themselves deprived of their former privileges of fellowship and service enjoyed during our Pastor's life time, thought well to provide a simple arrangement whereby these blessings formerly enjoyed could be once more realized; in brief, to facilitate the fellowship of the saints by keeping them more or less in close touch with one another.

More than this, it has been the thought of the brethren from the first that the effecting of this simple organization would enable them to substantially unite their various powers and talents in carrying on a ministry of the Truth, both as it relates to the building up of the saints in the most holy faith, and in bearing testimony to the truth of the Gospel to all the Truth hungry--unto all who mourn. We consider that the aforesaid objects of our INSTITUTE have been thus far fully attained, as is evidenced by the results and the attendance of the Lord's blessing.

We are pleased to state that a number of the brethren who had been fearful of the organization of the PASTORAL BIBLE INSTITUTE and had remained aloof for a time have come to see and appreciate this arrangement as in every way a practical one and of advantage to the household of faith. From time to time we have expressed our earnest sympathy with those who desire to jealously guard their liberty in Christ. Far be it from us to find fault with, any who strive to profit by the lessons of the past and who, looking upon the history of God's people during the past nineteen centuries recognize that they have been repeatedly oppressed and downtrodden by self-appointed leaders, religious sects and church organizations who have usurped controllership over them and lorded it over God's heritage, robbing the saints of their God-given right to determine for themselves every matter of doctrine, faith and practice. So far from discouraging brethren in the matter. of protecting their liberty in Christ we- have repeatedly called attention to the example and precept of our faithful Pastor,. who vigorously protested against every encroachment upon the liberty of God's people and who urged all the truth and, liberty loving in Christ to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ made them free.

But while giving every encouragement to the brethren to remain. apart from all human sects and religious organizations, we have sought to point out to those who are disposed to go, to the other extreme and who look with suspicion upon all systematic co-operation in the service of the Truth, that we should. be exercised by the spirit of a sound mind--that it is our privilege to Make use of every means at hand to encourage the fellowship of saints and to enable them to co-operate in. the ministry of, the Truth; that in uniting our efforts in the way we have done we are, only. following the admonition of the Apostle: "let all things be done decently and, in order." We have explained that the organization of the PASTORAL BIBLE IN­STITUTE does not mean the starting of another sect or religious organization, for such it is not . It, has no creed; it announces no articles of faith; it applies no tests of fellowship whatsoever, but leaves each and every one entirely free to think and act according to the dictates of his own conscience. And the brethren at large who have organized this INSTITUTE have the management and controllership in their own hands, and have it in their power to make any changes they desire as to regulation's or as to those who represent them in carrying, on the ministry. We have reminded the. brethren that such a simple arrangement, leaving all free in Christ, was exactly what our Pastor had suggested and devised, to be followed after his death. Accordingly he wrote:

"The Society was formed in 1881. at the time of the free distribution of 1,400,000 copies of the pamphlet, 'Food for Thinking Christians' -- now out of print. It consisted of five of the Lord's children and its affairs were entirely in my charge. Later, 1884, at the instance of the friends of the cause, who advised that matters be put lot upon a legal footing so that the work might not be in­terrupted in case of my sudden death, the Society applied for a Charter under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, and received one dated December 13 1884."--A CONSPIRACY EXPOSED--APRIL 25, 1894.

The PASTORAL BIBLE INSTITUTE is strictly of this simple character, in accordance with the above, and has been called into being with the object of enabling the brethren to the better honor the Lord and to serve one another.

Needless to say, it has not been without considerable difficulty and in the face of discouraging circumstances that the brethren have pressed forward with the various branches of the ministry during the past year, but this is only what we were expecting in harmony with the experiences of God's people throughout the entire Age. While the brethren who have had this ministry in charge have met with their reverses and disappointments, they are not unmindful of the fact that the brethren every­ where have -had their share and portion of similar experiences. Through the general correspondence we have kept in. touch with the friends in nearly all parts of the world and have been made apprised of the circumstances and conditions in general. Through these we learn of your hopes and fears, your difficulties and perplexities, your successes and discouragements as individuals and companies. Through these letters we know that many of late have been passing through severe trials and testings, which we trust will all work for their good -- purifying them as gold is refined by the elimination of its dross.

The same mail which brings queries on various subjects and requests for remembrance in prayer, and kind expressions, or occasional fault-findings, from all parts of our land and Great Britain, sometimes brings also an inquiry from individuals or groups of the interested in Africa, or India, or Australia, or South America, or the West Indies, asking for advice from God's Word concerning the ways of life. Some of these require no reply; .or only a reference to a back number of the HERALD, or to Brother Russell's writings, while others require replies at considerable length. But all that we can do is gladly done, for the Lord and His people. It will, perhaps, interest all to learn that we received about 3,678 letters during the past year and sent out 3,397.

THE HERALD OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM

We believe that the Journal issued by our INSTITUTE is doing good and bringing encouragement to the scattered friends throughout the world more than any other feature of our ministry. While our subscription list has not grown so far as numbers are concerned, yet we are sure that our list as it now stands represents far more substantial interest than it did a year ago. Among those on the list at the time the report was given a year ago were many whose subscriptions had been sent in by others more as a trial subscription. The majority of these,. of course, did not renew; Then there were those on the list who had subscribed out of curiosity, hoping to se something new, and -startling published in the, journal The majority of such permitted their names to be dropped Our subscription list now numbers more than 2,000, which would probably mean between seven I and eight thousand readers, and represents those who are at heart interested and giving evidence of deep appreciation of the message contained in the HERALD.

It has been gratifying indeed to be assured by so many that the Revelation series published in the HERALD for the past year and a half is read with increasing interest and profit -- that the brethren who are making a careful study of these expositions assure us that much of the Revelation hitherto dark and obscure has become most luminous and rich with solemn significance, which in turn has meant the strengthening of faith and hope in accordance with the promise: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy." -- Rev. 1:3.

The HERALD list may properly be regarded as a sort of barometer respecting the progress of the Truth, because the terms on which it is supplied surely permit all of the interested to be on its list -- there are none so poor that they can not have it if they will but comply with the standing offer which appears on the second page of each issue. We not only offer it free to the Lord's poor, but we offer credit to those who hope to be able to pay later; and we offer, further, that if they cannot pay later, a postal card request, at any time, will secure a cancellation of the account. This we offer to do, not because of the large amount received from the paid subscription list, for, as a matter of fact, owing to the great increase in the cost of labor, paper and printing, the actual cost of each subscription: to the HERALD is about three times the amount of the price ($1.00) charged for the journal, so that if the publishing of the paper were to depend upon the actual amount received for it, it would be necessary to advance the price and make it triple what it is at present. But because there are those who have a little more of earthly store than others, and who have been deeply moved by heartfelt gratitude and love toward the Lord to donate to His cause, we therefore have this fund to draw from, not only for the Lord's poor and credit subscriptions, but also to make up the amount required to cover the actual cost of the regular paid subscription list. So long as the Lord provides the means we would prefer to handle the expense in this way and not advance the subscription price beyond what the friends have been accustomed to paying for the journal while our Pastor was with us.

PILGRIM SERVICE

During the past year we believe that much good has been accomplished by the brethren who have taken part in this branch of the ministry. The supply of funds, of course, more or less regulates its extensiveness, while at the same time the number of brethren who are, qualified' and have the opportunity of engaging along this line is quite limited. As with every other feature of the service, we have looked to the Lord for guidance that we may make the best use of what we have at our disposal.

Several brethren have been sharing in this branch of the service in more or less of a general way; some of these ministering to nearby Classes Sundays, while we continuing their secular duties though 'he week; others have been able to devote all of their time journeying from place to place, frequently making only individual calls and tarrying for a day or so to have fellowship with and minister to but two or three persons, while in a good many instances visits have been made to regular Classes of faithful brethren who have extended a warm welcome to the Pilgrim and received his ministry with much joy and profit.

These visits have materially served to keep us in touch with the brethren in all parts of the country and have helped to acquaint us with general conditions. Time after time information has come to us telling of how isolated and lone ones, as well as regular Classes of the friends have, midst much confusion and many perplexities, shown most commendable courage and the spirit of discernment by which they have been enabled to come out of conditions of bondage and stand firm for the principles of righteousness and of Christian liberty and have defended these nobly in the face of bitter persecution and at the I cost of having their names cast out as evil by other brethren with whom they not long ago had taken "sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company." (Psa. 55 :14.) From the solitary brethren as well as from Classes have come messages assuring us of deep appreciation of the Pilgrim visits, that the result has been the strengthening of their faith and love, as well as their zeal toward the Lord and 'His cause, making their hope shine all the brighter. Some write us that the ministry of the Pilgrim has enabled them to understand more clearly the issues of the present time and thereby to discern fully what their duty is under the pressure of the present fiery tests.

The pilgrimages of the past year have covered in a general way the principal part of the United States and Canada. Several extensive trips have been taken. One of these included the Northwest and the Pacific Coast, through the Middle South ern States. Two others have covered the Middle West, while still others have covered the Eastern and Southern States and the best portions of Canada. The reports of all these journeyings reveal indeed many good results and strong evidences of the Master's approval, and with this we are content. The summary of the Pilgrim work follows:

Number of Pilgrims  16
Miles traveled  62,000
Meetings held  420
Total attendance  10,190

Our Conventions for the past year, though few, have been seasons of rich, refreshing and profit spiritually. Three General Conventions have been held: at Detroit, Mich., h., Aug. 30 to Sept. 1; Providence, R. I., Sept. 12-14, and Springfield, Mass., May 29-31. Report of these gatherings has already appeared in the HERALD. While these assemblages of the Lord's people were not large, they were attended by what we would consider a good representation of the brethren, and the encouraging impression in connection with each was that the brethren had come together out of a deep desire and purely for the purpose of obtaining spiritual blessings and to receive renewed encouragement by which they might press on to wage the good warfare in the Narrow Way. We feel that we can safely state that what was lacking in numbers was more than compensated for in the richness of. fellowship, heart-union and spiritual blessings enjoyed. We have felt much encouraged ourselves to note that the brethren generally desire to assemble at the Conventions and so much the more as they see "the Day" drawing on, as is evidenced by the fact that four additional Conventions have been requested and are being planned for during this season. These general seasons of fellowship are surely of the Lord, and we know of no better means of encouraging and building up one another in the most holy faith than by such holy convocations which afford so much opportunity for communion of saints.

TRACT DISTRIBUTION

As the brethren are already aware, we have been continuing to encourage the friends everywhere to make us-, of the free tracts, believing that the times and the attitude .of the people in general are such as to make opportune the passing of these leaflets which contain the kernel of the Gospel theme of Glad Tidings of great joy.

This branch of the ministry also depends to a large extent on the Tract Fund and Good Hope donations. As we have before intimated, the advance in the price of paper and printing has more than doubled what it was a short time ago, so that with our limited treasury it has seemed wise to us to caution the friends to be a little more sparing in the distribution of the free literature than in former years, and place them, as far as possible, in localities where there would seem to be some prospects of doing good. We have had printed 100,000 of the new tract, "Inauguration of God's Kingdom Preceded by Distress of Nations," in recent months. More than one-half of these have been shipped and are in process of distribution. Several excellent indications have come from those of the public who have read these tracts in that they have expressed deep interest and made inquiry for further reading matter. In addition to the above, 24,000 booklets have been published and distributed.

We should mention in this connection also that. since our last report was rendered a year ago we have published 12,000 of the special double number of the HERALD containing the matter concerning the Second Coming of Christ and All About Hell. A good many of these have been circulated, and we are pleased to -note that the friends are continuing to make use of them. We desire to remind the friends in this connection that while we still have opportunity of bearing the Glad Tidings to the Truth hungry through the printed page that every such privilege should be highly esteemed, remembering the Master's words: "The night cometh wherein no man can work."

It would seem from the foregoing that the Lord's providence and blessing have been more particularly with those endeavors and ministries of our INSTITUTE that have had to do with the interests of the household of faith-the building up of the brethren in the character of the Lord. It is noted also that while several public meetings have been held in the past few months and a number of endeavors have been put forth to reach the public, yet our opportunities to attend meetings of the brethren and minister to their spiritual needs have been considerably greater than that of a more public work; the public meetings necessitating much more expense in the way of hiring halls, advertising, etc. We would not, however, that any be discouraged with regard to bearing testimony to the Truth to those who have never come to an understanding of its meaning, but our desire is to impress all with a sense of the solemnity of the times and circumstances which make manifest that our opportunities of ministering are curtailed as compared with what they were some years ago; and for all we know the coming months may witness even a still further narrowing down of our privileges for witnessing for the Master; or possibly it may be the Lord's good pleasure to increase our privileges over what they are at the present time. We are not assuming the role of a prophet, nor do we desire to be wise above what is written. The brethren of our INSTITUTE never have made any boastful claims as to the accomplishment of some great work, nor do we see it to be the Lord's leading to now undertake anything spectacular in the world, nor shall we do any prophesying as to working out some unusual mission. All such procedures we believe are contrary to the spirit of a sound mind and unbecoming to the humility and modesty that should adorn the character of every footstep follower of Christ. We desire merely to make use of what the Lord has placed in our hands, and we encourage others to do likewise, while maintaining a readiness to cease our efforts or to press on according as the Lord's providence may overrule and indicate.

INTEREST AND ACTIVITIES ABROAD

What we have said above with regard to conditions and activities among the brethren in America appertains proportionately to the brethren in various portions of the field abroad in the foreign countries. We believe it will be encouraging to all to learn that we have about 600 HERALD subscribers in the following foreign countries: Great Britain and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Denmark, Holland, India, South Africa and British West Indies. While in the majority of these countries named the interested are quite scattered and comparatively few, yet the interest and zeal manifested have given evidence of the Lord's special providence in their midst, protecting and guiding in a special way, such as have indicated loyalty to the Lord and love for the Truth and the principles of righteousness. It is encouraging to know that as these brethren in these war-stricken countries come to understand the meaning of the present events and the significance of the present tests among the Lord's people that they desire to help others become enlightened and to assist them to become established in the right way. By far the larger showing is made by the brethren in Great Britain and Australia, as in both of these countries the correspondence and the HERALD list clearly show that many have become aroused and are active in assisting others to discern the will of the Lord more perfectly.

The foregoing report in some respects seems small in­ deed as compared with that of some of the great systems and church organizations, yet such comparison does not at all discourage us, remembering that the Lord's people throughout the entire Gospel Age have been comparatively an insignificant people whose work has been comparatively small and unworthy of notice from the worldly viewpoint. In fact, the teachings of our Lord and the Apostles clearly show that the Christ in the flesh would never succeed in impressing large numbers of humanity favor­ ably, for, as the Apostle suggests, the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not. If therefore we find the Lord's faithful people today in much the same. circumstances as they have been in the past-overcome in an outward way by great powers of darkness, misunderstood and misrepresented by the great Adversary, and confronted with various obstructions and difficulties, let none despair nor be turned back by discouragement, knowing that hereunto have we been called, to wage a good warfare; and remembering that in the days of our flesh, like our Master,. we have been called to primarily demonstrate our loyalty to God and to be sub­ missive to the Divine will and to develop all the qualities of a Christian character -- to be made ready for the glorious union with the Bridegroom, in the near future, we trust. 

Dear brethren and sisters, remembering that the conditions upon which we shall enter the Kingdom and reign with our Lord are that we shall at the present time bring forth much fruit and attain the character of the Lord, let us indeed unite our prayers and efforts that the year before us may show "a work of love well done" on the part of each of us severally and all of us collectively. Experience proves the wisdom of the Lord's arrangement that "His people" should be developed by "overcoming," and that their love and harmony with His spirit, should thus be put to the test. Let us watch and pray, and continually seek to provoke one another to love and good works. "Pray one for another," and, "Brethren, pray for us."

Great Shepherd of the sheep, continue, we pray thee, to lead and direct thy flock!

TREASURER'S FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Balance on hand May 31, 1919  $1,431.21

RECEIPTS DURING YEAR:
 Tract Fund  $10,505.54
      Herald Subscriptions  2,223.35
 Books, booklets, mottos, etc 481.37 13,210.26
    $14,641.47

EXPENDITURES DURING YEAR:

For Publication of Herald  $6,042.75
For Publication of Free Literature 2,441.93
Pilgrim Expense  2,261.86
Convention Expense  716.05
Miscellaneous Office Expense 1,018.71
Books, booklets, mottos, etc  481.37
Administration Expense  247.20 13,209.87

 Balance on hand May 15, 1920  $1,431.60

STATEMENT BY AUDITING COMMITTEE

Brooklyn, N. Y.

May 22, 1920

Dear Brethren:

In accordance with your request the undersigned have audited the financial accounts of the PASTORAL BIBLE INSTITUTE from January 1, 1919, the date of last audit, to May 15, 1920, and have found the same to be carefully kept and correct. The balance of cash on hand and on deposit in bank has been verified. The Committee -can heartily -commend the economical manner in which the funds have been used in the furtherance of the Lord's work.

Praying the Lord's guidance and blessing on your efforts to serve Him in the spread of His Truth.

Your brethren in Christ,

(Signed) H. E. SPEAR,
 F. G. MASON,
H. H. EDDY,
Auditing Committee.


THE CONVENTION AT SPRINGFIELD

SPEAKING to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 5:19, 20.) Truly the sentiment of the Apostle's language above was very much in evidence in the gathering of the brethren at Springfield, Mass., May 29-31, The occasion was a most blessed one--one, we believe, that exceeded the expectation of the majority of those present. Various were the expressions of appreciation. Some said, "I am happy indeed that I came to this Convention." One was heard to say, "I would not take $1000.00 for the blessing received at this Convention, and I had to borrow the money to come." The number assembled was estimated at about 250. As was expected, the gathering was made up specially of the friends from the Eastern States, and we could scarcely look for a larger number of representative brethren to meet at this time in view of the high cost of travel, board and lodging, and in view of the fact too, that, as in the past, so today, not many of the Lord's people are rich in this world's goods, and it is still true that it is chiefly the poor that God hath chosen to be heirs of the Kingdom.

The order of the Convention was very much according to the printed program which outlined discourses and prayer and testimony services. In such order of service all rejoiced, as we were sure from the New Testament records that this kind of communion and fellowship of saints and the simplicity of it all was such as characterized the conferences of the Church in the days of her primitive purity.

All the sessions of our gathering were beautiful and harmonious throughout, and the spiritual power was excellent, and we trust still abides with those who attended and extends to their home comrades who could not attend.

The brethren who addressed the Convention earnestly endeavored, we believe, to minister messages of sound words-sound doctrine, such as would build up spiritually. In fact the keynote of all the discourses was faithfulness to the Lord, to the. Truth and the brethren -- faithfulness unto death. The brethren were repeatedly admonished to give all diligence and consideration to the nourishing of their spiritual life, the essence of which is represented in those grand qualities of faith, hope and love. The great truths of the Divine Word were reviewed as the foundation and support of these qualities, and all were exhorted to make the Truth their own by continued and persistent study of it, and putting it into practice in the ways of life.

In the discourses, testimonies and prayers, the Lord's dear flock, scattered the world over, were most earnestly remembered. At the Throne of Grace we besought the Lord that in these last days, the very conclusion of the Age, His faithful people passing through fiery trials, receiving their final polishing for the Kingdom, might be kept by the power of God in the right way -and enabled by His grace to remain trusting, firm and steadfast in the Truth unto the end.

This season of fellowship, like many in the past, caused the hearts of those present to burn within them with fervent desire to be present at the final assembly of the saints to meet in the presence of God and in the Throne of our dear Redeemer.

Coming to the final session of the Convention we sang once more, "Blest Be the Tie that Binds" and "God Be with You Till We Meet Again." All seemed to have in mind the great Convention of the future which the Apostle designates "The General Assembly and Church of the Firstborns," in which we hope to participate and which will not break up forever. What a hope-forever with the Lord and those who are His!


ON CHARITY

Oh, be not the first to discover
A blot on the fame of a friend;
Oh, be not of discord the mover,
For hearts may prove true in the end.

We none of us know one another,
And oft into error we fall;
Then let us speak well of each other,
Or speak not of others at all.

A sigh or a smile may awaken,
Suspicion most false or untrue,
And thus our belief may be shaken
In hearts that are honest and true.

How often the friends we hold dearest,
Their noblest emotions conceal!
And bosoms the purest, sincerest,
Have secrets they cannot reveal.

Leave base minds to harbor suspicion,
And small ones to trace out defects;
Let ours be a noble ambition
To love as our Savior directs.


THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

SERIES XXXIV.

THE SECOND PLAGUE

"And the Second poured out his Bowl into the Sea; and it became Blood, as of one Dead; and Every living Soul died.­ Those in the Sea."--Rev. 16:3.

THE SYMBOLS employed in this vision of the second Plague are not dissimilar to some we have found used in other visions of the Revelation: (1) the Sea becoming Blood, as of one dead; (2) that of every living soul dying in the sea.

In some respects the symbols of this second Plague or Vial resemble those of the vision of the second Trumpet. In that, as in this, it is the symbolic Sea that is affected. In the Trumpet symbol, however, only onethird of the Sea, and one-third of the creatures in the Sea were affected; whereas in this, the whole of the Sea and the whole of the creatures in the, Sea are affected. This would indicate that this second Plague judgment will be final, in that the Sea class and those individual units that comprise the Sea would cease to be, that is, as-such. The Sea as a symbol usually represents the masses of mankind; in this instance, seemingly the irreligious masses, those not under the restraint of religious influences. Pastor Russell in his exposition of this second Plague thus explains this feature of the symbol:

"Bear in mind that the Sea symbolizes the irreligious masses of mankind, those not under religious restraint." -Z June '83-7.

The second Trumpet symbol--that of the burning mountain cast into the Sea-we explained as representing the overthrow of the Western Roman Empire, 476 A. D. (H '19-152, 153.) One-third of the creatures in the Sea being destroyed, we explained as representing that proportion of the Sea class becoming" absorbed in the new professed Papal Christian civilization that followed. This feature of the second Plague symbol we explain the same, only that when fully completed, all of the Sea class"those in the Sea"--will become absorbed in the new order, the New Heavens and New Earth condition in which "there will be no Sea." (Rev. 21:1.) In other words, this second Plague is designed to teach that the dreadful conditions brought about by this great judgment Plague will finally result for good in that the irreligious masses of mankind will be brought to acknowledge the righteousness of God's claims to their homage and worship, which will be in connection with the full establishment of God's Kingdom over mankind, as we read, "For all nations shall come and worship before thee, because thy judgments are made manifest." (Rev. 15:4.) We have already noted that these seven last Plagues are designed (using the words of Pastor Russell) "to rid the world of every form of evil and wrong. . . . to cause the ending of the present reign of evil, and a necessary preparation for the reign of righteousness." It will, we believe, be seen that this second Plague has special reference to no other but the "Sea" class. The period of time covered by this second Plague is the same as that of the first. In other words the great unrest and disturbances caused by the discontent of the "Sea" class which mark the beginning of the second Plague commenced about the same time that the indications of death began to be manifest in the Protestant religious systems-the Image of the Beast-these death indications being symbolized by the appearance of the "Ulcer" of the first Plague on the worshipers. The two visions are contemporaneous in their fulfillment and increase in severity until the complete destruction of both takes place.

BECAME BLOOD AS OF ONE DEAD

The exposition we have given thus far of this second Plague would be sufficient to cover the explanation of the vision were it not for the particular statement that the Sea became as, or like, the Blood of a dead man. It would seem as though there must be some special significance attached to this expression. The expression is found only in this vision. To understand the significance will require a careful examination; for we must discover the difference between the blood of a dead man and that of a living man. Pastor Russell has given a very reasonable explanation of this peculiar symbol:

"To appreciate the trouble on this [Sea] class we must study the symbol. Blood in a living creature is full of vitality, but the blood of a dead person is the very reverse. After death, the blood rapidly begins to separate into two parts--a watery liquid called serum, and a more solid substance termed clot. As soon as this separation has been accomplished the clot begins to putrefy or corrupt. Applying this, we understand it to teach that a gre at and thorough disintegration will occur in this large [irreligious] class of humanity, after which, one element will rapidly corrupt and putrefy. Among the irreligious masses have been numbered such noble specimens of humanity as Stephen Girard, Geo. Peabody, -and Peter Cooper, besides. many less notable, honestly skeptical souls.* The result of the commingling of such with the masses imparted a life principle and vitality. But -reading this Plague, we realize that a separation of these two elements is due, the result of which will - be decay and death to every principle of morality and virtue in this class--when every living thing (active element of virtue and benevolence) in this Sea class will perish. In other words, remove the element which advises prudence, morality, and right-doing, from the counsels of the restless masses from the Labor Leagues, and other associations, and let the lower element control itself, and the result would quickly be the destruction of life, property, laws, and peace –a grand reign of anarchy in the name of communism.

______________

*These words were written in 1883. Since that time there have come on the stage of human life--many other men of like stamp.

_______________

"From other Scriptures we are taught to expect just such an uprising-which eventually shall overthrow the kingdoms of earth. But the beginning of this is all we must look for now-the separation of the serum from the clot-of the vital from the corrupting element. This seems to be now [18831 in progress. Men of noble minds who realized the oppression of the masses by money and governments and desired to assist in their amelioration are forced to withdraw because of the spirit of recklessness which pervades the masses, leading to assassinations, in other countries and threats of the same in this land. In England, Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Parnell and others, have attempted to provide some relief for Irish oppression, but must disown all fellowship and sympathy with the dynamite and assassination policy of hot-headed leaders among the masses.

"But we should remember that the full results of this evil or Plague will not be felt for many years; it has its beginning only, now [18831. It is well also to remember that one Plague or evil goes on increasingly, after a second and third, etc., are added, until in the end the entire seven forms of evil will be operating simultaneously."--Z June '83-7, 8.

PRESENT EVENTS MARK FINAL FULFILLMENT

We believe it will be seen that this forecast of events made nearly forty years ago, perfectly fits the symbols of this second Plague vision. It is a most remarkable prediction, and, to our mind, shows that this expositor had especially given to him of God, through a knowledge of His wonderful Plan and the sure word of prophecy, and the then signs of the times, a clear apprehension of all that has occurred in the Sea class of humanity up to the present time; and the near approach of the overthrow of the present order in a state of anarchy and communism. It is a most reasonable interpretation of this second Plague vision, and the history of the past forty years has confirmed its correctness; and while not yet completely fulfilled, all the signs of our times point to this near completion. The disposition that has existed for some time, particularly since the great war, on the part of the rank and file of the labor organizations to disregard the wise counsels of the conservative, law-abiding leaders, is tending to force a separation of these two elements. This evil is assuming a more and more threatening character and indicates the great crisis as near at hand. It is clear, even to many who have no knowledge of the sure word of prophecy, that this great crisis can hardly be averted much longer. The critical strained conditions existing in both the labor and capital world, together with the increased cost of living, and the demands of labor for higher and higher wage point to a serious locking of arms in conflict between these two classes. The student of the Bible, however, is enabled to look beyond the present troubles when the great King, who is divinely appointed to rule, and clothed with power to execute the Divine purposes, and endued with wisdom to solve all these perplexing problems, will assume authority and bring order out of chaos.

Expositors have very generally applied the vision of this second Plague to the events of the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution. This is not to be wondered at, for the scenes that occurred in connection with this momentous event and the causes which led to it were very similar to the terrible scenes that are now closing this Age, and the causes leading up to the same. However, in many respects this application of these expositors fails. The events of the French Revolution and Reign of Terror were, to a large extent, local and confined to France, while those depicted in this vision are world-wide in extent. The events of the French Revolution and Reign of Terror resulted largely in weakening the Papal system, from which, however, it has partially recovered; while the vision of this second Plague has a special reference not to Papacy--but to the "Sea" class of humanity and describes a final ending of the same. There can be no question, however, that Papacy will be affected indirectly by this judgment Plague; indeed, all the religious governments will be affected. These. events, as we shall see, are portrayed in a special manner in other of the "Plague" visions. Furthermore, this Plague cannot be located so far back in history as the French Revolution, but must meet its fulfillment after the Image of the-Beast is formed, which was, as we understand, in 1846. Still further, when this vision of the second Plague began to meet its fulfillment, these evil occurrences among the irreligious classes symbolized, were to increase more and more in severity until the "Sea" class is absorbed in the new order, the New Earth state.

THE THIRD PLAGUE

"And the Third poured out his Bowl into the Rivers, and into the Fountains of Waters; and they became Blood. And I heard the Angel of the Waters saying, 'Righteous art thou, the One who Is and who Was-the Bountiful one; Because thou hast judged These. Because they poured out the Blood of - Saints and of Prophets, thou gavest them also Blood to drink; they deserve it.' And I heard the Altar saying, 'Yes, O Lord God, the Omnipotent, true and. righteous are thy judgments.' "-Rev. 16:4-7.

Two of the principal symbols employed in this vision of the third Plague, namely, Fountains and Rivers, are found. in the third Trumpet -vision. In that, as also in this, the Fountains and Rivers are affected, although in a different way. In the Trumpet symbol the Fountains and Rivers are represented as becoming -embittered (poisoned). (See H. '19-201, 202, for explanation.) In this third Plague vision the Fountains and Rivers are changed to Blood, thus becoming distasteful, loathsome, to those accustomed to drink of them. The Fountains and Rivers, when pure, we explain to be, the true sources and channels of Truth-Christ, the Apostles and Prophets, etc. In this vision of the third Plague the Protestant (so-called) impure, muddy channels seem to be represented. These systems inherited from the "Mother" system, Papacy, many egregious errors, and for a long time they retained and taught zealously these errors in connection with a certain measure of Truth. In the symbol under consideration there seems to be represented the fact that a time came when through increased knowledge and independent thinking this mixture of truth and error became distasteful, loathsome. In the vision this is represented by these Fountains and Rivers changing to Blood.

We are familiar with the interpretations of. this vision given by many expositors, but none seem to meet the requirements of the symbols. We believe that Pastor Russell's interpretation, however, meets all the requirements of the symbols, and its application to the history of the Protestant sects for the past forty years will be found to be correct. His explanation and application of this feature of the vision are as follows:

"This third element of trouble results from the turning of the Rivers and Fountains of waters into Blood. Running waters symbolize truth. The River channels through which water (truth) has flowed, symbolize the various sects or denominations. The Fountains symbolize the founders and schools of these various systems-the places or men in whom these channels had their start or beginning.

"For a long time, water-truly very muddy in some, but nevertheless a mixture of water-has flowed in these various systems, of which many have partaken, and have been ,refreshed. But a change comes, and that which once refreshed, will [and we may truthfully add, has] (gradually) become loathsome as blood. (Blood has been advised as a medical remedy, but in such cases it is taken immediately on being drawn from the animal, else it would be poisonous for its change is rapid-hence a River of Blood could symbolize only loathsomeness and death.)

RIVERS AND CHANNELS DEFILED

"This we understand to be a picture of a change rapidly taking place in religious channels-their creeds, though containing as much truth and error as ever, they are com­ ing to regard differently. General enlightenment is greater, and what was once received without question is now becoming loathsome and death-like. As in a similar Plague (literally) upon Egypt, the people digged wells for water because they could no longer drink of the bloody rivers, so here--independent thinkers are digging for themselves, for purer waters than the regular channels afford. Truly this turning of the waters of their channels into Blood, is among the causes of anxiety and great annoyance to the sectarian, but only the few yet realize this trouble."--Z June '83-8.

Nearly all of the expositors since the Reformation make the Fountains and Rivers of this vision to represent peoples, which is consistent with their (we believe) erroneous interpretation of the same in the third Trumpet--*


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*We refer the reader to the HERALD, 1919, page 262, where we briefly give the interpretation of these expositors.

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However, in the third Trumpet, as also in this third Plague, it seems quite evident that the interpretation of the symbols themselves given by us there and by Pastor Russell in this vision is the correct one. It is perfectly consistent with the laws that should govern in the interpretation of symbols and meets all-the requirements of the vision, and can be successfully proven to be the true interpretation by its application and perfect resemblance to the facts of the history of the Protestant sects for the past forty years.

We next inquire, What is the significance of the next part of the vision-that of the utterance of the Angel of the Waters expressing assent to the justice displayed by the Almighty in the sending of this Plague? "And I heard the Angel of the Waters saying, 'Righteous art thou, the One who Is, and who Was-the Bountiful one; Because thou hast judged These."' (v. 5.) The older expositors, in harmony with their interpretation of the "Temple," the "seven Angels" coming out of the Temple, etc., as representing scenes and occurrences taking place in heaven, apply this Angel to a heavenly being or beings, But in harmony with our interpretation of these features thus far, and which perfectly accords with the interpretations of God's special servant, whose interpretations we have been quoting, we believe it to be more consistent to understand this Angel to represent those in the Harvest time who, because of their understanding of the Truth concerning the wonderful Plan of God and the near approach of the time for blessing the world, are enabled to see the necessity as well as justice on the part of God of exposing the errors of the creeds and making them obnoxious, loathsome to the supporters of the sects and denominations. Pastor Russell's comment on these words is very brief, but reasonable and to the point:

"The Angel of the Waters-or the messenger of the real Truth-is able to see in this a righteous judgment of God against those systems."--Z June '83-8.

POURED OUT BLOOD OF SAINTS AND PROPHETS

We next inquire concerning the significance of the words, "Because they poured out the Blood of Saints and of Prophets, thou gavest them also Blood to drink; they deserve it." (v. 6.)

Whatever may be the import of these words, they ex­ press the reason assigned for the Plague coming upon the false religious systems. Keeping in mind that the Plague is that the mixture of truth and error of the creeds becomes so loathsome that they can be no longer received by the supporters of the sects, and instead of their search­ ing the Scriptures to discover the pure, unadulterated waters (truth) they ignore, or reject the pure channel­ will assist to a comprehension of this peculiar, but. very meaningful I expression. The natural inclination on the part of commentators in general is to understand these I words, "they poured out the Blood of Saints and Proph­ ets," to refer to the persecution unto death by these sys­ tems of the Saints and Prophets. This is the interpreta­ tion of nearly all expositors. We believe that Pastor Russell's interpretation is the more reasonable and correct one, and shows remarkable research and insight into the fulfillment of the vision. The more it is considered in the light of the facts of recent history, the more will its correctness be seen. However, this can only be, grasped by those whose knowledge of "present truth" has opened their eyes to see the true situation in the various Protestant (?) sects and denominations. We give his interpretation of these words:

"The direct cause of this trouble is mentioned--they had poured out the Blood of the Saints and Prophets.

"Is it inquired, in what sense this was done? We an­swer that blood in a person is life, and to pour it out is to waste it. The life of the saints is truth-God's Word-as it is written: 'The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life,' and 'The testimony of Jesus is the spirit [vitality, life] of prophecy.' Hence to have wasted the life principle of Saints and Prophets would be to have wasted the words and testimony of Jesus. This they did by neglecting His Word, and receiving instead the traditions of men, which errors have corrupted and defiled the truths they possess to such an extent that the thinking ones are fast coming to that condition where they cannot drink from those channels.

"In these very channels, or systems, where the teaching of Satan has been preserved, viz.: that man has an existence which can never cease, and hence must continue forever (Gen. 3:4), nine-tenths of them in misery, in these same channels, the teachings of the Prophets that the wages of sin is death, but that God has provided for 'times of restitution of all things, spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began' (Acts 3:21) is neglected, cast aside, wasted. And hence it is that they will get Blood to drink shortly. The creeds of these systems being so mixed with error by the retaining of Satan's lie and the rejection of the Lord's testimony, both through the words and example of Prophets and Saints, they will soon come to recognize them as too obnoxious and nauseating to be palatable to either themselves or the world." -Z June '83-8.

"And I heard the Altar saying, 'Yes, 0 Lord God, the Omnipotent, true and righteous are thy judgments."'V. 7.

The Altar referred to here is doubtless the altar of sacrifice. The words proceeding from the Altar are in response to the messenger of the waters (truth). The significance of this part of the vision is thus explained by Pastor Russell:

"The Altar represents the class of Prophets and Saints whose testimonies for Truth were sealed with their lives, the testimony of whose lives had been wasted. These speak not audibly, but in that figurative way in which Abel's blood is said to have cried out. The testimony of these condemns the present systems as worthy of having this trouble or Plague; because of their previous disregard of truth. While nominal church systems have become great and popular in worldly favor, both in the days of the Prophets and ever since, in the days of the Saints, yet now as ever, this success and popularity has been the result of an alliance with the world and a participation of its spirit. Since, as well as in the days of the Prophets, to live separate from the world and to boldly advocate the Truth in opposition to the worldly mixture of error, has cost persecution and either literal or symbolic beheading--or cutting off. The testimony of every sacrifice for truth acceptable to God is here represented as condemning the course of these systems and justifying the retribution represented in this third Plague-'for they are worthy.'"--Z June '83-8.

THE FOURTH PLAGUE

"And the Fourth poured out his Bowl on the Sun; and to him it was given to burn Men with Fire. And Men were burned with great Heat, and they blasphemed the Name of That God who Has Authority over these Plagues, and they reformed not to give Him Glory."--Vs. 8, 9.

The sun when used as a symbol, generally represents the light of the Gospel; in a wider sense it sometimes represents the light of Truth in general. There is no symbol employed in the Scriptures that is more common. It is used in many of the Old Testament prophecies, and is found very frequently in the Revelation visions. We found it among the symbols of the fourth Trumpet. There we have portrayed a darkening of the sunlight, which we interpreted to represent the substitution of gross errors for the truths of God's Word by the false religious system of Papacy. (See H '19-214, 215.) The effects produced in the world by that darkening of the Truth was to bring in what is generally called the "Dark Ages" of ignorance and superstition, affecting both nations and individuals. The Reformation of the sixteenth century caused the Gospel Sun to shine in a measure; but the formation of the Protestant sects prevented it from shining very clearly. However, there was a sufficiency of light shed by the Reformation to liberate to a large extent the nations from the yoke of Papal bondage, bringing in as the nineteenth century dawned a gradual increase of knowledge. It was in the opening years of the nineteenth century that the Bible began to come into possession of the people in general. It was not, however, until about 1874 that the full blaze of Gospel sunlight began to shine for the benefit of the Lord's consecrated. It was about this time also that the masses of mankind, because of a more general diffusion of light, were aroused to more independent thinking. It was about this time that matters pertaining I to the rights and wrongs of man began to be discussed, and this has gone on increasingly up to the present time. The various organizations of labor and capital, etc., existing today began to be formed back in those days. This increase of knowledge has caused discussions and contentions over the rights and wrongs of the classes and has become more and more heated as the days have come and gone. The tendency is at the present time towards a concentration of all these oragnizations into two classes, in opposition to one another. The shaking and unsettling of the present order of things is causing conditions bringing great trouble and disturbance of mind to mankind in general as the various remedies provided by legislators are tried and fail to bring the hoped-for cure. All this, it is generally admitted has been caused by an increase of knowledge, described in this symbol as an unusual increase and diffusion of sunlight. This, doubtless, is what is portrayed in this fourth Plague symbol.

SCORCHED BY THE GOSPEL SUNLIGHT

The foregoing was Pastor Russell's understanding of the meaning of this vision. We quote his words written in 1883:

"Here [in this fourth Plague] the misery of some is caused by an increase of sunlight. . . . The increase of the sunlight means an increased brilliancy of Gospel light and knowledge. This increase of light is to affect all classes, as is, indicated by its not being limited to a certain class as the other Plagues are limited: to 'sea,' 'land,' 'rivers,' etc. It comes upon men-mankind in general and upon representative leaders of men, in particular. It is the increase of light--knowledge--which is causing independence of thought and action among all classes of society. It causes differences between kings and subjects, between capital and labor, between clergy and laity; the increasing light is doing it all. It is Gospel light too; for no matter how infidels may scoff at the Bible and affect to have superior liberty to that which it teaches, it nevertheless remains a fact, that the grandest liberty is that where Christ makes free; and the essence of Gospel light is in the Master's words, 'Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.' It is truth that is spreading-truth on every subject; truth relative to the rights and authority of kings; truth relative to the rights both of capital and labor; truth relative to the claimed superiority and lordship of a self-elevated class termed the clergy."--Z June '83--8.

To the consecrated, enlightened follower of Christ all these things which are to a very large extent troubling the minds of the great leaders of men, as well as the enlightened law-abiding classes are only causes for rejoicing, knowing that not only their redemption draweth nigh, but that the deliverance of the groaning creation is also very soon to be realized. They know that these are the signs that. were foretold to. indicate the ushering in of the better day for our world. This trouble (Plague) is necessary, and is one special feature of the birth throes of the new era.

"The conflict is between truth and superstition-light and darkness; it will be a severe struggle, but Truth is mighty and shall prevail; debasing the proud and exalting the humble. Those whose deeds are evil-who are in "he wrong-hate the light, is the Master's testimony. It would curtail their power and lower their position to elevate all others to equality. These are scorched or troubled by the increase of light, and none more so than religious lords, for it is the increase of light which doubtless helps to turn the waters of their cherished channels into blood -- corruption-making their doctrines and creeds, which emanated from fountains of the sixteenth century, distasteful and obnoxious.

"After preaching for years doctrines which called God just and loving, but proved Him to be worse than the gods of the heathen-after having defended for years their sectarianisms, some of which teach that God has foreordained the salvation of a 'Little Flock,' and their children, but has also foreordained eternal misery as the lot of the great mass of humanity and their offspring--thus teaching, that 'there are infants in hell not a span long,' etc.--no wonder that such who worship and honor their sect and such teachings, more than they do God and His Word, would feel scorched and annoyed with the great light and heat of Truth, as it is now [1883] beginning to shine out and reach them.

"'And they blasphemed the name of that God.' Blasphemy, as the word is used in Scripture, does not signify profane swearing, but rather a misstatement of character. For instance Jesus was accused of 'blasphemy' because He said He was the Son of God. (John 10:33.) These zealous sectarians become so angry against present unfoldings of Truth which prove the Love and Mercy of God as well as His justice, that they go to the very extreme of opposition and grossly misstate God's character and often wrest His Word from its true import to sustain their theories.

"This, which is a Plague to others, is a wondrous boon to those who are out of Babylon and humbly enjoying the leading of God's spirit from the one fountain direct the Word of God. This increase of Gospel light, - and consequent increased light thrown upon the Law shadows -showing the true teachings of the Tabernacle and its -services and sacrifices, are pointedly foretold in symbol by the Prophet (Isa. 30:26) who says:

"'The light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun, and the light of, the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.'

"It is the same day (period) in which He assembles the outcasts and makes up His jewels."--Z June '83-8.

PASTOR RUSSELL'S EXPOSITIONS SUSTAINED

It is claimed by some, that these expositions by Pastor Russell of the seven last Plagues were premature-that, they were written before the Plagues appeared, and on this account are not reliable expositions. As we have previously stated, those making such claims teach that the seven Plagues are the six volumes of Scripture Studies written by Pastor Russell-and another book termed the "seventh," written and issued by others since his death. According to this exposition these seven last Plagues were successive, each beginning its fulfillment as in consecutive order the volumes were published. We regard this application and interpretation as wholly unwarranted and entirely wrong, In reply to those who maintain such views we would. say that it is clearly shown in Pastor Russell's expositions that all of these Plagues, except a portion of the sixth and all of the seventh begun their fulfillment at the time his expositions were published in 1882. Furthermore, the various troubles mentioned in. the articles as fulfilling the Plagues, are now matters of history, and have increased more and more in severity as Pastor Russell said in the expositions they would; and particularly is this true since his death in 1916.

In addition to this, as further proving the truthfulness of his expositions, we may say that at the time he wrote them in 1882, he was truly, yes we may say, divinely qualified to forecast the fulfillment of these particular visions because of the extensive and clear knowledge he had given to him of all the various features of the Divine Plan. He saw clearly that the religious systems of Christendom were rejected, and that the time of their final judgment by the troubles which would come because of the great increase of knowledge had come. In fact, his knowledge of other Scriptures describing the last closing scenes in connection with the downfall of Christendom, enabled him to grasp the meaning of the symbols describing the fulfillment of these last plagues.

And when we compare these interpretations by Pastor Russell with those of other expositors and particularly with those of recent expositors, it will be seen that they are, like all of his expositions of other Scripture, most reasonable and harmonious. It is a fact, however, that the light of Truth contained in Pastor Russell's six vol­ umes of Scripture Studies, have been so far as religious Truth is concerned the great factor in exposing most of the false doctrines of Christendom. And finally, the facts of present events and past history is the final test to be applied to these expositions. We believe. they stand the test.


DAVID IN CAMP AND COURT

--JULY 4-1 SAM. 17:1-18:9--

Golden Text.--David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and Jehovah was with him.--1 Sam. 18:14.

THE PHILISTINES lived on the border of the Mediterranean Sea to the west and southwest of Israel. They were hereditary enemies, "oppressions" by the Philistines being among the most numerous of those mentioned in the judges. Indeed we remember that the Lord used this powerful nation as His rod in chasten- ing the chosen people when the unfaithfulness of the latter required it on more than one occasion. Thus in the time of Samson the Philistines were the masters of Israel, Samson being used of the Lord as one of His agents in the removal of their yoke--although the work begun by Samson was not completed until the days of Samuel, the Prophet.--1 Sam. 14.

Our lesson shows us another invasion of Israel's bor­ders by the Philistines, Saul at this time being king, though David had already been privately anointed but not publicly proclaimed as his successor. The Philistine hosts had advanced a considerable distance into the ter­ritory of the Israelites, and had reached the more moun­tainous country, where Saul gathered the army of Israel to meet them. A valley lay between the two hosts, and in the center of this valley there was a ditch about ten feet deep, cut through the rock by a mountain stream. The place was favorable for a battle of the kind usually fought at that day. Neither army seemed to be anxious to attempt to cross the steep banks of the brook in the face of its opponent, for under such conditions the at­tacking party would be considerably disadvantaged. Be­sides, the Philistines, knowing that Israel's king stood head and shoulders above his fellow-Israelites--had pitted against him a giant Philistine, Goliath, still taller, about ten feet high and probably stout in proportion, as indi­cated by the weight of his armor, spear and sword. The challenge set forth that the disputes between the two na­tions, of many years' standing, should be settled, not by a general battle, but by a duel between the Philistine giant and the most. competent Israelite who could be found to come against him-who undoubtedly would have been Saul, the king.

For forty days this challenge was made every morning, and the king of Israel and his chief mighty men practically confessed that they feared the giant and would not respond to his challenge. It was at this juncture that David, a young man of about twenty-one, was sent by his father to his brethren in the army of Israel to see how they fared, to take them some delicacies from home and to bring back word respecting the prosperity of the Lord's hosts. The infidel is prone to twit the Lord's people upon the statement of Scripture that David was a man after God's own heart-referring to some of his weaknesses and shortcomings, but in this lesson we see clearly the feature of David's character which God so highly esteemed, and which He has always esteemed in everyone to the extent that he possesses and manifests it. This quality which God esteemed in David was his faith-the same quality that he esteemed in Abraham and in all the faithful of the past. Of all who had "this testimony that they pleased God," it is written that by faith they did thus and so," and it was counted unto them for righteousness."--Gal. 3:6.

COURAGE BORN OF FAITH IN GOD

David's faith in the Lord being great, he was surprised to learn when he came to the army that the Philistine had been boasting himself for forty days against Israel and Israel's God, and that no one of his nation had possessed sufficient faith in God to accept the challenge. He at once proposed that he would accept it himself, and asked to be taken to the king that he might be thus commissioned. Those who mentioned him to the king spoke of him as a "mighty, valiant man," yet when Saul looked upon him he perceived that he was but a youth and was physically no match for the giant. However, he was the only champion who had arisen, and he was full of confidence in his own success as an instrument in the Lord's hands for delivering Israel from the boastful heathen. Saul finally consented,. and proposed to loan Israel's champion his own armor, but, unused to such accoutrements, David found, when he had donned them, that he could not feel properly at home in them. It would require considerable time to learn how to use such armor and implements advantageously and without discomfort, and he decided to go in his usual garb as a shepherd, armed only with his shepherd's club and sling and the scrip or leather bag in which to carry the stones which he selected from the bed of the brook as he passed.

Goliath could scarcely believe his own eyes when he saw that the ruddy youth who approached him had come out to do him battle with a club, for he probably did not notice the sling. He felt indignant and inquired whether he-the great, the mighty, the strong, the well-armed--was regarded as a dog to be attacked by a club, and, cursing David by his gods, he declared that he would make short work of him, and that the fowls should have his flesh.

David's retort shows clearly that he appreciated the situation in all its bearings. He was aware that his opponent was armed with sword and spear and javelin, but, as he states the matter, he was approaching the conflict strong in the strength that God supplies-strong in his faith in the Lord as the decider of battles, as the one who would be able to give him the victory and deliver His people from all their enemies. David noted, and counted well upon the fact, that the issue was not between the two armies, not between two men, but between the God of Israel and the false gods of the Philistines. Faith in God had doubtless been increasing amongst all the Israelites within the twenty years preceding this event. They were gradually coming to learn that, having been punished for their sins and idolatries and having returned unto the Lord, His favor was now with them because of His people, but David seems to have had confidence in God in more than an ordinary degree. Doubtless his own anointing to be Saul's successor in the kingdom gave him assurance that it was God's will that the kingdom of Israel was to be continued, and that God's favor was to be with them still as a nation, notwithstanding the transgressions of the Divine commandment by Saul, noted in a previous lesson. I

The Jews have a tradition that it was while Goliath threw back his head in laughter at his stripling opponent that David's sling-stone struck him in the temple. The, helmets of that time were not neatly so complete as those used extensively in the middle ages, and apparently the neck and a portion of the head were generally exposed., so that David's stone might have struck the vital spot of the forehead even though Goliath's head had not been thrown back in laughter. Neither was David's marksmanship so extraordinary as to be considered wholly miraculous. We have the scriptural record that many in the tribe of David could throw such sling-stones to a hair's breadth. (judges 20:16.) Xenophon mentions the expertness of certain Persian slingers, and Livy speaks of slingers so expert that they could send a stone from a distance through an ordinary wreath or chaplet, and could not only strike their enemies in the face, but in whatever part of the face they chose.

WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD

We cannot call this little incident a type, but we may properly see in it a figure and a lesson respecting spiritual things applicable to all who belong to the anti-typical David--Beloved--the Christ. Goliath fitly pictures the great Adversary, Satan, and all who. are on his side of any controversy, seeking to bring the Lord's consecrated people into bondage either to errors or sins. Satan' as the prince of this world, found no one either willing or able to dispute his supremacy of power until our Lord Jesus, the anti-typical David (Beloved), became the champion of God and the truth and such as love righteousness. As David risked his life for the deliverance of his people Israel, so our Lord Jesus not only risked, but sacrificed, His life for the deliverance of antitypical Israel; as David, after being anointed, encountered the lion, so Jesus, after He had been anointed by the Holy Spirit at Jordan was led of the Spirit into the wilderness I and endured a great fight with the Adversary. He conquered him with the Word of God, answering each of Satan's propositions for His overthrow with the words, "It is written." The Apostle explains: For this purpose Christ was manifested. that He might destroy the bondage of death and "him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil"--eventually delivering all the people of God.--Heb. 2:14.

David's conquest in some respects illustrates battles which all of the Lord's people must engage in. Goliath and the hosts supporting him may well illustrate to our minds various foes of God and truth and righteousness which challenge us and all of the Lord's people.

(I) The hosts of doubt and skepticism are today led about by the great giant of unbelief, whose size, armor, sword and spear are over all the hosts of nominal Christendom--all except the David class-the Body of Christ. This giant is the evolution theory, and his armor-bearer is higher criticism. The records and promises of Israel's God are disdained, and the David class who stand forth in their defense are treated with contempt and their pebbles from the brook of truth disregarded. But science, falsely so called, though it boasts itself today and creates so great an impression that few would think of opposing it, will, nevertheless, meet its Waterloo. It shall fall before the Lord's anointed-David "Beloved"--and its own sword of truth shall eventually complete its destruction in -the morning of the new dispensation; at the same time all the hosts of error shall flee, and many of the people of God, aside from the elect Body of Christ, shall be blessed by these deliverances.

PRIDE SHOULD BE HUMILIATED

(2) Goliath may properly represent pride, backed by a host of worldliness. One of the severe ordeals of the New Creature is the conquering of the love of the spirit of worldliness under the leadership of pride. Worldly pride challenges faith in God and obedience to Him, and only those who are of good courage and full of confidence in the Lord can overcome this giant. It is necessary, too, that the victory should be made complete-that pride should be thoroughly humiliated, killed, so that it can never rise up again to destroy us. It is an individual battle, and the only proper armament against this giant is a stone from the brook, the message of the Lord, showing us what is pleasing and acceptable in His sight, and I assuring us that He that humbleth himself shall be exalted and he that exalteth himself shall be abased. As the poet has expressed it:­

"Where boasting ends, true dignity begins."

(3) Another giant which will sometimes challenge the people of God is fear, distrust. Mighty, imposing and terrifying indeed is the influence of fear, except upon those who have learned to know the Lord through previous experiences, and to trust Him even where they cannot trace Him. The giant of fear and despair must be met with the pebble from the brook, "It is written." The sling of faith must propel the word of promise with such force as to slay the adversary and to deliver us from his domination.

(4) Another giant which assaults the Lord's people, but which in the present time can be overcome only by the David class, the Body of Christ, is the giant of sec­ tarian influence. How strong, how majestic, how well­ armed, how influential is this great giant, whose powers are exercised in a large measure in intimidating the Lord's true children, so that all their lifetime they are subject to bondage and fail to attain the liberty with which Christ makes free indeed! To meet this giant and to resist him successfully and to gain the victory over him, thoroughly armed- as he is with the haughty voice, and large and strongly organized and equipped with worldly power and influences and boycotting opportunities, requires great grace, such grace as is to be found only in the Little Flock, the overcomers, the Body of Christ--the David class, the "Beloved." Thus armed only with the Word of God, and trusting in His rod and staff, we may well be courageous and answer imposing sectarianism as David answered the Philistine. "Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear and a javelin, but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, which thou hast defied."

Let us all remember the meekness and humility of David; note that his conduct was utterly devoid of boastfulness, and that we are to copy this. Like him, our confidence is to be in the Lord, and not in ourselves.

"By whom was David taught to aim the dreadful blow,
When he Goliath fought, and laid the Gittite low?
No sword or spear the stripling took,
But chose a pebble from the brook.
'Twas Israel's God and King who. sent him to the fight,
Who gave him strength to sling, and skill to aim aright.
Ye feeble saints, your strength endures
Because young David's God is yours.

--COWPER.


JONATHAN BEFRIENDS DAVID

--JULY 11-1 SAM. 20:32-42--

Golden Text.--A friend loveth at all times; and a brother is born for adversity.--Prov. 17:17.

HISTORY does not record a more touching story of love than that which existed between Jonathan and David. Both were noble characters, capable of loving deeply, intensely, although in many respects they were men of entirely different stamp. David was the more versatile. His is the broadest character on record. Says Charles Reade:

"In holy writ Moses, Elijah and Paul; in profane history Solon, Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon and others excelled David in one quality or 'another. But David presents a greater number of distinct and striking features than any one of those great men; and that is why I style him the widest character on record--a shepherd, a soldier, a courtier, a famous friend, a fugitive, a captor, a marauder, a general, a king, a statesman, an exile, a priest, a prophet, a saint, a criminal, a penitent, and nothing by halves. His character was a, harp of many strings."

Jonathan, the son of King Saul and heir apparent to the throne of Israel, had also noble qualities. He was a faithful son, who alone could comfort his father in his times of disappointment. He showed himself an able warrior and displayed great faith in God, and his religious nature was apparently as fully developed as was that of David. Evidently these elements of honesty and devotion and reverence for God which these two men perceived in each other, constituted the basis of the great friendship which so spontaneously knit their hearts together in a wonderful bond of friendship-love. Indeed, according to the entire account, Jonathan would seem to have been the larger of these two great souls and his love the greater. From this standpoint alone, since love is the principal thing in the world, Jonathan may be considered to be one of the grandest characters in the world, for he loved much and against his own interests.

DEEP FRIENDSHIP FOR HIS RIVAL

At times friendships spring up based upon mutual admiration, and often with a measure of selfishness in cooperation. But in the instance under consideration selfishness would have operated against the friendship; it is, therefore, a sample of disinterested love. Every success and honor that came to David raised him as a popular idol to the place which Jonathan to a considerable extent had held. Every advancement of David meant the preparation of the people to receive him instead of Jonathan as Saul's successor. The king saw this, so did Jonathan; but they were reversely affected by it. The king was made jealous, angry; Jonathan, reversely, loved his rival, and that from the time of their first meeting, on which occasion he gave to David his armor and court robes. (1 Sam. 18:4.) We read, "The soul of Jonathan was knit unto the soul of David"; their natures interwove, intermixed--a beautiful description of the purest and truest of love. Alexander White says:

"Had I read, 'Jonathan loved David as his own soul,' for once only I should have passed it by as hyperbole, . . . but as I read again, the rest of the story, I found myself saying to the sacred writer, 'Lo, in all this speakest thou plainly, and speakest no hyperbole."'

THE BASIS OF LOVING FRIENDSHIP

Friendship love is not a miracle, but results from certain combinations. The one we love need not of necessity be just like ourselves, but rather would appeal to us more as a counterpart possessing qualities which we admire, but do not so strongly possess. Darkness, however, never loved the light; the light never loved darkness. Hence for friendship-love on a noble plane both friends must have high ideals, noble aspirations, even though they may have these in different measure. Each should see in the other something to esteem and to look up to; although in the case of the Almighty this cannot be true; His love for us must be chiefly along the lines of sympathy for us and appreciation of our, endeavors to attain to His character standards. We may be sure, too, that in Jonathan's case reverence for the Lord had much to do with estopping any feeling of rivalry and with encouraging his admiration for his rival. Who will not admit that such an appreciation of the Divine will and providences would be a help to all friendship, a hindrance to all spirit of rivalry and in general a most valuable uplift in every Christian character? How much it means to us in the way of contentment to know that our Heavenly Father is at the helm as respects all the affairs of His people! How much rest it permits in our own hearts! How much meekness, gentleness, kindness and love it prompts toward others, both to realize that they, as well as ourselves, are subjects of Divine care, and to have a heart so fully submitted to the Lord as to desire that His will shall be done irrespective of our own temporal interests or those of others.

Undoubtedly this was the good basis of Jonathan's love, and undoubtedly it is the fruitful soil out of which all proper love amongst the Lord's people will be developed. We must love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength before we shall be prepared to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to wish for him the same riches of .grace that we desire for ourselves -under the Lord's providences. Still more is it necessary to have this supreme love for God before we could in any measure approximate the degree of love which the Lord set before His followers as a new commandment, saying, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you." Jonathan's love approximated this Christian love, this self -sacrificing love which so loved his neighbor as to delight to see that neighbor have the Lord's blessing upon him, even while this meant his own loss of honor, prestige and kingly power. Oh, that such love as this might more and more prevail in the hearts of the New Creation! It is to such that the Apostle says, "Let the brother of high degree rejoice in that he is abased, and the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted" -- under the Lord's providences.

A DAVID AND JONATHAN BOND

It is not necessary for us to form a society for the propagation of the Jonathan and David bond of love amongst us as the Lord's people. We have this organization which inculcates a love that is even greater. The Head, the Chief, the center of this organization is our Lord Jesus Christ, who not only exhorted us to the highest conceptions and practices of love, but exemplified this in Himself when He laid down His life, not only for His friends, but also for His enemies. "Greater love hath no man than this." This greatest of all lovers, our Lord Jesus Christ, has organized an association of lovers, and has made membership therein dependent upon the willingness of His followers to take up the cross and follow Him, to lay down their lives for the brethren.

Only those who have made such a consecration of faithfulness to the Captain, faithfulness to the spirit of love, faithfulness to one another as members of the Body of the Anointed-only these are admitted-to membership in this exclusive society, "The Church of the Living God, whose names are written in. heaven." And more than this, the founder of our society has told us that He is the Vine and we are the branches; and that every branch in Him that beareth not this fruit of love will be taken away, cut off from the Vine, disassociated from membership in this blessed Church. He assures us further, that our faithfulness to our covenant with this true Vine will bring upon us purgings, prunings from the great Husbandman, that He may develop in us more and more the fruits of the Spirit, the fruit of the Vine-meekness, gentleness, brotherly kindness, love; that these graces may be in us and abound; that thereby the Father may be glorified and blessed, and that we may be made ready, "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light."

So then we see that we need no special organization, but are already members of such a company, if so be that we are disciples of Christ and united to Him as members of the New Creation.

HOW LOVE MAY BE DEVELOPED

David, the younger man of the two, as we have seen, possessed by nature a deep, generous character, capable of intense love, but apparently time was required for its development. And as we perceive Jonathan's love for him, the brighter and more intense at first, we find that David's love was drawn forth, that he loved in return, just as God's love was first toward us and subsequently our love drew out toward Him increasingly. Our lesson tells us how Jonathan endeavored to preserve peace between the king and David, but finding his father intent upon killing his friend, he took occasion to forewarn David that he must flee, as matters had come to that pass where his life would be unsafe anywhere near the king. This warning was given by a previous arrangement in a field at a distance from the palace. David was hidden behind a great rock. As an excuse, Jonathan went forth to practice archery, with I a lad accompanying him, to bring back the arrows. His real mission, however, was to advise David whether or not he must flee that vicinity. His words to the lad, "Make speed, haste, stay not," while appropriate to the arrows, were really intended for David, that he might know the urgency of the situation. Then, sending the boy with the weapons to the palace, Jonathan concluded that he must risk a few moments with his friend. By this time David was realizing the depth of Jonathan's love, which had been proved in so many ways, and now finally in his willingness to protect David's life, when it would have been to his own interest to permit his father to wreak vengeance upon David. Such a love is rarely known, except amongst the saints; and alas, we fear not too much experienced even amongst these. When, however, we do find a friend who sticketh closer than a brother we properly appreciate him all the more because of the rarity of his kind.

At this meeting David bowed himself three times to the earth, an eastern custom expressive of humility and appreciation. The friends kissed each other and wept one with another, David ultimately appearing to be the more heartbroken of the two. Although confident in the Lord, he was leaving his home to be an outcast-an outlaw. He ,not only was losing the companionship of his dear friend Jonathan, but he would be considered by many of the people of his own nation as a traitor, because of the king's opposition and the necessity it would put upon him for becoming a kind of brigand. Then it was that Jonathan said to him, "Go in peace; for as much as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord shall be between thee and me and between thy seed and my seed forever." They parted, according to the record, and never met. again except once, a year or two later, when David was pursued by Saul. Then Jonathan went again to his friend to comfort him and "strengthened his hand in God."--1 Sam. 23:16.

GOD FIRST LOVED US

A glimpse of David's estimation of Jonathan and his love is given in what is termed "The Song of the Bow," David's touching lament at the death of his friend Jonathan. He exclaims, "I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan. Very pleasant hast thou been unto me; thy love to me was wonderful passing the love of women." (2 Sam. 1:26.) But we, dear friends, know of a still more wonderful love than this, of which we sometimes sing:

"Love of Jesus, all divine,
Fill this longing heart of mine."

Love begets love; and so the Scriptures tell us that -it was not that we first loved God, but that He first loved us and manifested His love for us in the gift of His son. So it was the love of Jesus that attracted us and drew forth our love in response. And day by day, as we come to Appreciate more and more the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of the love of God and of Christ, which passes all human understanding, the more our love toward them will increase and abound. And as it increases we ourselves become more Godlike and correspondingly also from us proceeds a love for others who love us not; and our love for them will excite the love of some in return, and lead them to a greater appreciation of this principle which stands in opposition to the spirit of the world, the love of the world, the selfishness of the world. Let us then seek to cultivate this Godlike quality. Let us notice not only that the Scriptures declare love to be the principal thing in the world, but that it is the very essence of the Divine character, the very essence of the Divine law which is fulfilled in this one word, Love. Let us remember then that in the exercise of this quality we are preparing ourselves for the glorious possibilities to which we have been invited, and which by our Lord's grace we are seeking to obtain by making our calling and election sure.

In the Scriptures sharp contrasts are drawn; and while this love of Jonathan, and the love of the Father and of the Son are set forth as worthy of emulation, another kind of character is also pictured, as when our Lord is represented in the Psalms as saying respecting Judas, 

"Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, -which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." (Psa. 41 :9.) Let us see to it that this spirit of love, our spirit of friendship, proceeds, from the fountain of love itself; for God is love. Let us also have in mind the Apostle's declaration that there are only two great sources: a sweet fountain cannot send forth bitter waters, nor a bitter fountain send forth sweet waters. (James 3:11.) Let us, therefore, settle it in our hearts that any spirit of treachery toward a friend, toward a brother, is not in any sense of the word connected with the spirit of .love, but in opposition to it. Let us remember that a sweet fountain, a pure fountain, a love-fountain, cannot send forth bitter waters of hate, of malice, of envy, of strife. We must recognize such a stream of evil as coming from a different quarter, a different fountain, from. the enemy of God and man. These qualities are there­ fore set forth in the Scriptures as works of the flesh and of the devil. Let us remember, too, that a radical change from an attitude of love and friendship to an attitude of bitterness and enmity is not an instantaneous, but a gradual work. In the case of Judas we see a gradual deflection which at first merely murmured because others had honors bestowed from the Lord; yet that spirit of murmuring increased, until within a, week it took delight in betraying- the Friend of all friends, who. was even then laying down life on his behalf. Let us remember that by nature we have seeds of evil; of selfishness, received from the Adversary -through heredity, through the fall; and that we need continually to be on guard to uproot all such roots of evil , and need continually to be cultivating the tender plant of love, that its fragrance may fill our entire lives and prepare us for association with Him who is love and with Him who is the friend above all others.

OUR GOLDEN TEXT

Well has the wise man said that a friend loveth at all times. He who merely loves at a time when he thinks it will be to his, own advantage to love knows not love. He who loves and is a brother in prosperity merely, and whose love and friendship wither under the heat of persecution and adversity, has never known love in its true sense, but merely a certain brand of selfishness-the love of the world.

As God commended His love toward us and showed us that not through selfishness, but generosity, at a great cost to Himself, He provided us release from our prison, and gave us privileges of sonship, so true love will be willing to sacrifice. Let us judge then of our love for others, for the Lord, for the brethren, for our families, for our neighbors, for our enemies even, by our willingness to sacrifice in their interest and for their highest welfare. If we find ourselves sacrificing nothing in the interest of -the Lord's cause, let us not delude ourselves by saying that we, love the Lord. If we find ourselves, unwilling to endure, to sacrifice in the interests of the brethren and others dear to us, let us not mistake the matter and call it love. If we find ourselves unwilling to do kindness even to our enemies when they are in heed, let us make no mistake; for the Lord hath declared that a course of goodness and mercy and self-denial is the only index of a loving heart. - If once we can see that such a love of heart is essential. to a place in the Kingdom it will make us doubly earnest in the attainment of such a character. If still farther than this we see that none will ever gain eternal life in this Age or that which is to come, except as he or she shall possess a heart of love, it will help to awaken us to realize that love indeed is the principal thing, the most important thing to be attained and cultivated by ourselves, yea, by all.

Note Canon Farrar's earnest words: "My brethren, the love that sees goodness and beauty in all human nature, helps to. make goodness and to make beauty in human nature. To those who love, even a common person is a human, soul, who walks in the transfiguring glory of their affection. You think a person dull. Why ? That is because you are dull. An angel has been with you and you have known it not; and I imagine that to a spirit full of malice and self-conceit an angel would be very dull. Each human soul is like a cavern full of gems. The casual observer glances into it through some cranny, and all looks dark, sullen and forgotten. But let light enter into it; lift a torch up to the walls; let God's sunlight fall into it and flood its open recesses; and lo, it will flash with crystals and with amethysts, and each separate crystal will quiver under the touch of brightness with a transporting discovery of its own nature. If souls do not shine before you it is because you are bringing them no light to make them shine. Throw away your miserable, smoldering, fuming torch of conceit and hatred; lift up to them the light of love, and lo! they will arise and shine; yea, flame and burn with an undreamt glory."


BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION

STUDY XVII--JUNE 27

LOCATING TIME OF BREAKING SEALS

(81) What is our reason for believing that the breaking of the seven Seals portrays certain events and occurrences relating to the Church and the world throughout the Gospel and Millennial Ages.? H '19-54.

(82) Has the opening, of the Seals progressed during the past nineteen centuries? and what, was Pastor Russell's thought as to this? Z 116-253.

(83) From Pastor Russell's statement, what points are well for us -to keep in mind? H '19-54.

(84) What further statement, from our Pastor do we have that assists us to locate the events portrayed in the Seals? Z '07-233.

(85) To what time in history do 'the words of the faithful martyrs apply, "How long, 0 Lord," etc.? H '19,54.

STUDY XVIIII--JULY 4

THE FIRST SEAL OPENED

(86) What is portrayed in the opening of the first Seal? and who is addressed in the word "Come "' ? H '19-55.

(87) From what phase of life is the symbol of the rider upon the white horse taken, and what three char­acteristics are brought to our attention? H '19-55.

(88) Where should we look for the fulfillment of this symbol, and what was there in the religious world early in the Age corresponding to this symbolic description? H '19-55.

(89) What is the testimony of the historian. bearing upon the fulfillment of this symbol? H '19-55, 56.

(90) To what did the -rapid spread of Christianity lead, and-what have been the ultimate results in harmony with the Divine Plan? H '19-56.


1920 Index