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THE HERALD

of Christ's Kingdom


VOL. VI. November 1, 1923 No. 21
Table of Contents

''KEEP YOURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD''

NOT HOLDING THE HEAD

''THOU HAST LEFT THY FIRST LOVE''

THAT WONDERFUL STORY OF OLD

LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF JEREMIAH

HOLY CHRISTIAN LIVING


VOL. VI. November 15, 1923 No. 22
Table of Contents

REPORT OF THE VISIT TO AMERICA

THE MINISTRY OF THE SON OF GOD

DANIEL THE BELOVED OF JEHOVAH

"YE ARE MY WITNESSES"

THE GREAT PENTECOSTAL BLESSING

FAITH AND FEELING

CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE


VOL. VI. November 1, 1923 No. 21

''KEEP YOURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD''

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." -- Jude 21.

WE cannot keep ourselves in this love unless we have gotten into it. And that all men do not possess it, or are not in this condition of heart, is not only manifested to our senses through the experiences of life, but testified to by our Lord Jesus, who said to some of the holiness people of His day, "I know that ye have not the love of God in you." -- John 5:42.

We are to distinguish then between natural love and the love of God. All mankind-have some share at least of natural love--self-love, love for family, love of friends. Our Lord, speaking of this kind of love, implies that it is not the love of God, saying, "If ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same." (Luke 6:32.) The love of God, therefore, is a different kind of love to that which is common to the natural man, and we need to be directed into it, and to grow or develop in it, as the Apostle testifies, saying,. "The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God." (2 Thess. 3:5.) We are directed into this love through the Divine Word which brings to our attention the peculiarity of God's love as distinguished from that of the natural fallen man. While love in the natural man is more or less selfish, even in our very best exercise of it on behalf of friends, God commandeth His love toward us as being of a superior kind, in that while we were yet sinners, aliens, strangers, enemies through wicked works, under His gracious, loving Plan Christ died for us. This kind of unmerited, sacrificing love is wholly different from anything that is known to fallen humanity. As our Lord Jesus said, the greatest love amongst men would be that a man should lay down his life for his friends, but to lay down his life for his enemies is certainly a much higher type of love -- unselfish, gracious, heavenly. -- John 15:13; Rom. 5:7.

The first blessing that comes to us, as the eyes of our understanding open and we come to some knowledge of the Divine character and love, is that we perceive or discern or come to realize this higher type of love-the love of God. As the Apostle says, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He [Christ] laid down His life for us." "Herein was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him."--1 John 3:16; 4:9.

HOW THE LOVE OF GOD IS RECEIVED

It is after we have thus perceived the love of God that it begins to operate upon us, if we are in a favorable condition-if our hearts are good ground, prepared under Divine providence for this knowledge. Of such the Apostle says, "The love of Christ constraineth us" -- draws us, awakens a reciprocating love in our hearts, so that in turn we love God. Not that we first loved God, but that His love attracted and developed ours. (1 John 4:19.) The effect of this love upon the good ground heart is that very shortly it decides that it could do nothing less than love similarly in return, and thus be willing to lay down life itself in God's service. It esteems that this would be but a reasonable service, a reasonable recompense for Divine favors.

The Apostle Paul sums up this transformation from selfishness to the love of God in a few words, saying, "We ourselves also were at one time foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers desires and 'pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and* hating one another; but when the goodness and love of God our Savior toward man -appeared He saved us [delivered us from this evil condition of heart], not on account of works of righteousness which we had done, but according to His own mercy, He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior." -- Titus 3:3-6. -- See Diaglott.

This newness of spirit, this new mind, this mind in accord with the love of God, the Apostle assures us is not received except by those who receive the Holy Spirit. Those who merely take the first step of faith and start in the way of justification may to some extent experience a reformation of life, so that instead of living an openly evil course they will seek to live at least moral lives. But none can expect to receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit of love, and thus to become possessed of "the love of God," a self-sacrificing love, unless he takes the step of consec-ration to the Lord, which brings him into the condition in which he may indeed have the Holy Spirit, the spirit of Divine love, shed abroad in his heart. Let none then hope to obtain the love of God in any other than the way which God has provided. Undoubtedly in the Millennial Age it will be made possible for the natural man to come into "the love of God" through a process of restitution; as he shall more and more attain to the perfection of human nature in that time he may to that extent more and more become possessed of the love of God until, when finally perfected, he may possess this love of, God in full measure, because humanity, in its perfect condition, is a fleshly image of the invisible God. But now while we still have these mortal bodies that are imperfect, and while restitution has not commenced, there is only the one way of attaining the love of God -- by obedience to the call of this Age, to present our bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, through Jesus our Lord.

THE LOVE OF GOD PERFECTED

The New Creature is to grow and to be more and more filled with the Holy Spirit-more and-more filled with the love of God; hence we may expect that there will be differences of attainment in this matter, and we should know what to look for as evidences of our growth in grace and of our attainment of this love of God. The Apostle John declares, "This is [proof of our possession of] the love, of God, that we keep, His commandments, and do not find them grievous." (1 John 5:3.) He who keeps the Lord's commandments, but who finds them grievous, has thus an evidence that he is not in heart-harmony with them, that he has not made a full consecration of himself to the Lord-the obedience of such an one would be no proof whatever of the possession of "the love of God." But whoever of the Lord's people is so in harmony with Him that they delight to do His will, have in this an evidence that the love of God is dwelling in them richly and abounding. This is the same thought which the Apostle again expresses, saying, "Whosoever keepeth His Word [loves the Word of God, and takes pleasure not in turning, twisting, and endeavoring to avoid the force of that Word, but who keepeth or cherisheth it, loveth it, and seeketh to conform thereto] in him verily is the love of God perfected." -- 1 John 2:5.

This reminds us of our dear Redeemer, in whom verily the love of the Father was perfected, and who is represented by the Prophet as saying, "I delight to do Thy will, O God; yea, Thy law is within My heart." (Psa. 40:8.) And our Lord marked out the same spirit as being essential to those who would be His disciples, saying, "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." (John 15:10.) There is no suggestion in any of these or in other Scriptures that mere outward formalistic obedience and piety count anything with the Lord. The Lord "seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth" -- such as have the spirit of righteousness, love for righteousness, love for truth, love for all the qualities of the Divine character, and a desire to conform thereto in thought, word, and deed.

Nor are we to make the mistake that some have made, of supposing that the commandments referred to by our Lord are the Ten Commandments upon which hung the covenant which God made with the Jews. We are not Jews, and hence have nothing whatever to do with their covenant, given through Moses, its mediator, at Sinai, nor with the Law upon which it was based. We as Christians have to do with a wholly different arrangement. It is ours to share with Jesus in the covenant of sacrifice, which speaks on this wise -- "Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." This covenant is based upon a still higher law than the decalogue -- a law which instead of saying, "Thou shalt not" do this, "Thou shalt not" do that, is positive, and declares what we shall do, saying, "Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy being, with all thy strength; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." This is a higher law, of which our Law-giver" Jesus, said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love," and of which the Apostle said, "Love is the fulfilling of the law." The Apostle John says, "He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God; he that loveth 'not knoweth not God, for God is love."--1 John 4:8, 16.

WALK IN LOVE

Although the first evidence of the possession of "the love of God" is a love for God, nevertheless the Scriptures. distinctly point out to us that an additional requirement is specified, viz., love for the brethren-for those who have the spirit of God especially, but in a general way at least a sympathetic love for all mankind. Thus the Apostle Says, "If we love one another, [it is an evidence that] God dwelleth in us, and, [that] His love is perfected in us. (I John 4:12.) The same Apostle emphasizes this same point, saying, "Whosoever hath this world's goods [interests, affairs], and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (I John 3:17.) The intimation is that such a lack of love and sympathy, and such a restraint of assistance to a brother in need, would imply that the love of God either did not at all dwell in such an one, or that it was but slightly developed-far from being perfected.

Nor does this love merely exercise itself toward the brethren in matters of temporal necessities; rather, it affects all the affairs of life, leading the one who enjoys it to "walk in love," "forbearing one another in love." (Eph. 5:2; 4:2.) And even were it necessary to speak an unpalatable truth, the spirit of the Lord, "the love of God," will dictate, the speaking of the truth in love, which the Apostle assures us is essential to our growth in Christ. -- Eph. 4:15.

Knowledge is valuable, but only incidentally; of itself the Apostle assures us knowledge would be inclined to puff us up, make us vain and boastful, and thus quite out of harmony with the spirit of God, the spirit of love, meekness, gentleness. Knowledge might make us merely tinkling cymbals giving out a sound, but possessing no real merit in the Lord's sight. But knowledge, when it serves its proper purpose, brings us to the appreciation of "the love [that is] of God" and to a realization of the wisdom of copying His character, that we should seek so far as possible to be like our Father which is in heaven, copies of His dear Son, our Lord. The Apostle brings this position clearly to our attention when he says, "That ye being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height and to know [appreciate] the love of Christ . . . and be filled with all the fullness of God." -- Eph. 3:17-19.

PRACTICE IN THE DAILY AFFAIRS

Undoubtedly. love is the principal thing to be studied, to be appreciated, to be copied and practiced in our lives. We trust that a large proportion, of the brethren have already become partakers of this "love of God," and that all such are, seeking to have it perfected in them, and to be rooted and grounded in it. We have the Apostle's assurance that only those who take this standpoint can make permanent and thorough progress in grace and knowledge. Those who have entered the school of Christ, and who refuse to progress in it toward perfection, may assuredly expect that sooner or later their knowledge of the Divine Plan will slip from them; while those who do make progress - in this proper direction may expect that the lengths and breadths of the Divine Plan will continue opening before them, and that their growth in knowledge will keep pace with their growth in love.

Finally, in harmony with our text, let us remember that this is not a matter that God attends to, but a matter which requires our own attention. God has made all the provisions whereby we may know of His love and may be constrained by it, and may be accepted into it, but it devolves upon us to keep ourselves in the love of God: and we can thus keep ourselves in His love only by seeking to practice in the daily affairs of life the principles of His love; permitting the love of God to constrain us daily to sacrifice ourselves in the Lord's service, for His honor and for the spread of His truth; permitting the love of the brethren to so fill our hearts that, as the Apostle expresses it, we may be glad to "lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 John 3:16) ; permitting a sympathetic love for mankind in general, the "groaning creation," in all of 'its trials and difficulties, to exercise our hearts so that we shall more and more feel kindly and generously toward all with whom we have contact and to make us helpful to them as we have opportunity; permitting this love even to extend to the brute creation under our care, so that we -will not be negligent. of their interests: all this seems essential to our keeping ourselves in this love of God. Let us more and more practice, and thus become more and more perfected in this love, which is the spirit of our Father, the spirit of our Lord, and the spirit of all who are truly members of the Body of Christ.


NOT HOLDING THE HEAD

"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the Body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."--Col. 2: 18, 19.

THE Apostle warns us all against a wrong attitude which at all times has more or less threatened the Body of Christ, in its larger gatherings as well as in its little handfuls; he warns us against the danger of looking too much to ourselves or to other men in the Church and not enough toward the Lord, who is indeed "the Head of the Church, which is His body." Some members he represents as taking a head position, forgetful of the fact that "One is the Head of the Church, even Christ," and inclined in consequence of this forgetfulness to think too highly of themselves, to imagine that the whole weight and importance of the Lord's cause devolves upon them, and to assume too much leadership.

The Apostle warns other less prominent members of the Church against a recognition and support of such a wrong position, assuring them that their condescension is extreme, prejudicial to themselves and to the interests they would serve; that the angels, that is the messengers, the representatives of the Church (Rev. 1:20-2:1), are not to be worshiped, though they are to be highly esteemed in proportion to their faithfulness, good works and humility. He warns other members that such a humiliation as would ignore themselves entirely and cast all the weight and responsibility and influence upon these angels or elders would be improper, would indicate an unfaithful­ness to Christ and a failure to rightly appreciate His arrangements.

DANGERS IN OPPOSITE EXTREMES

Thus, reproving two classes because of taking opposite extremes, the Apostle proceeds to explain that the difficulty with both parties is a failure to hold the Head in proper esteem Christ, the only true Head of the Church. Whether by exalting ourselves, usurping our Lord's place in the Church, and ignoring His words and arrangements and being puffed up as His servants' or whether on the other hand quietly submitting to such things and doing reverence to those who usurp the Lord's place in His Body, in either case the difficulty is the same--a failure to rightly recognize the true Head.

If we accept the fact that Christ is the Head of the Church, let us rest every argument on that basis; let us not feel for a moment that everything will go to pieces unless we steady the ark-that we are main spokes in the Divine program in any little quarter of Zion. (1 Chron. 13:10.) All such self-conceited ideas are traitorous as respects the Captain of our Salvation, for He has told us-and we believe His word -- "Without Me ye can do nothing." Every member of the Body of Christ, whom the Lord has in any sense of the word set in the Church to serve His cause, should realize that he is not at all essential to the development of the Divine Plan, that it is favor pure and simple that he has been granted a share in connection with it, that his blessings day by day more than compensate any little service and sacrifice he may be able to render. So far from feeling heady he should feel humbled by the thought that he is permitted to have any part in the great Plan of God as a servant amongst his brethren, and he should realize distinctly that, so surely as the Lord is the Head of His Church, any who cease to occupy positions of trust in a humble manner will be debased, will lose the privileges and opportunities, perhaps with injury to themselves and to others.

Those humble brothers-and sisters who quietly permit a brother to exalt himself amongst them and to speak of the gathering, large or small, as "my Church," " my followers," etc., are not only doing the brother an injury and encouraging him in a wrong course, but they are disloyal to the real Head of the Church. He who submits to such conditions and language demonstrates that he does not properly appreciate "the liberty wherewith Christ makes free" -- demonstrates either that he is but a "babe in Christ" or that he has gone to sleep as respects a proper watchfulness for the honor of the Church and of the Head 'of the Church. It matters not that such things can be explained away as not having meant anything serious. The fact is that such language. and claims indicate that something serious has already taken place, for no truly humble Elder of the Church of Christ, loyal to the Head, would think of speaking of himself as instead of the Head of the Church, nor think of speaking of the Lord's people as his Church.

Such public offences should be publicly apologized for, otherwise such leaders should be relegated to the back seats. No matter if they had all the oratory imaginable, no matter if none of the others had any talent for public service. The poorest and weakest and most insignificant member of the Body is, in the Lord's estimation, better qualified to teach than is one who vaunteth and putteth up himself and affects to take in the Church the position of the Head. Mark the Apostle's words, "Vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the Body being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increaseth with the increase of God."--Col. 2:19.

SELF FIRST, GOD SECOND

In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 the Apostle assures us that, "In the last days grievous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self,, lovers' of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents [and higher authority in general], unthankful, unholy, . . . traducers, heady, high minded . . . having a form of godliness, but ignoring the power thereof."

This picture certainly fits well to our day throughout nominal Christendom, and it is not strange therefore that something of the. same general spirit at times seeks to invade the camp of the saints-the little companies of the, consecrated who are striving to be overcomers of the world and its spirit. The fact that the Apostle writes thus forcefully on this question does not prove any lack ,of sympathy on his part, and assuredly our reference to his words indicates no lack of sympathy on our part. But the trouble is a grievous one and especially injurious to the brethren who may yield to such headiness: nothing is surer to sap spiritual vitality and to lead us into darkness, both doctrinal and spiritual.

On the contrary the Apostle James warns us against this danger which besets the more talented of the Lord's people. He writes, Be not many of you teachers, brethren, knowing that a man shall receive the stronger testings. (James 3:1.) It is because of our love for the brethren, because of our high esteem for them, and because we appreciate their services and desire that they may be continued in the service of the Lord, not only now but also in the everlasting future, that *we feel it necessary to press this point, not personally, not individually, but generally.

We urge upon all whom the Lord hath set in the Body, either in a humble position or in a conspicuous place, that the Apostle's words be remembered-that as our Lord humbled Himself and was subsequently exalted, it demonstrates a principle at work in the Father's program under which all of His Royal Priesthood must humble themselves if they would in due time be, exalted; also the Apostle's concluding argument is, "Humble yourselves, therefore, brethren, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." Now is not. the proper time for exaltation; to elevate ourselves or others under present conditions is to incur the greater danger of a fall. Hence all who are earnest and of humble heart should both watch and pray lest they enter into temptation along this line, which from the very beginning of the Gospel Age has been the most serious stumbling block in the pathway of this class. We remember that it was amongst the Apostles themselves that the argument took place as to which would be greatest in the Kingdom. Let us also remember our Lord's words of reproof to them, "Except ye humble yourselves and become as little children ye can in no Wise enter 'into the Kingdom."

ONLY THE HUMBLE ARE SAFE

Thus our Lord marks humility as one of the prime essentials of a place in the Kingdom. And we can see the importance, the reason for this. To exalt to the glory, honor, and immortality of the Kingdom and Divine nature one who had not thoroughly demonstrated his humility of spirit would be to place him in a position where he might become another Satan, another adversary, who in time under one delusion or another might wish to divide the Divine honors even beyond the munificence of our Heavenly Father's provision for all those who are truly His consecrated ones.

It will not be very long, dear brethren-let us have patience. Let us have faith, too, not be doubters. Much of the endeavor to grasp and wield authority in the Church is at first undertaken with the best of intentions, with the desire to do and be in the highest interests of the Church. In such cases faith is not strong enough to realize how unnecessary we are to the Divine Plan and how able the Lord is to overrule every incident and circumstance according to the Divine will. More faith in the Lord's power to regulate the affairs of the Church Will counteract largely the efforts of some of His people to run the Church's interests along lines of their own wisdom and ability. Let us remember that He is able, He is willing to work all things according' to the counsel of His own will. Let us remember that out highest place is lying low, that the greatest mastery is self-mastery, and that whatever success we might have in usurping the place and authority of our Lord and His Word would undoubtedly react unfavorably 'to us in the end. Hence in self-preservation as well as in the interest of the Church and in honor of the Lord, we need to keep self under. Let us remember the words of the poet and apply them daily:

"O! to be nothing, nothing,
Painful the humbling may be;
Yet low in the dust I'd lay me
That the world my Savior might see.
Rather be nothing, nothing
To Him let their voices be raised;
He is the fountain of blessing,
Yes, worthy is He to be praised."

Let us keep ever in memory the Apostle's example and words: "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus our Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." -- 2 Cor. 4: 5.


''THOU HAST LEFT THY FIRST LOVE''

THERE is implied in these words that the individual who had lost his first love had come to feel that his first view of the Lord and the Truth was exaggerated, and that a longer acquaintance had lessened his appreciation and good opinion of them, and had cooled his ardor. This is seen in the desire for something new, something novel. The cause of losing our first love is found in the failure to let the Truth have its designed effect of making us know -- become acquainted with God and Christ. The test of first love is to make manifest whether or not the heart is completely satisfied with its object. First love, then, is a complete satisfaction found in Christ-not in His Word simply, which is only a channel, but satisfaction in personal fellowship with Himself. Can we say,

"I've found a friend! O such a friend!
So kind, and true, and tender,
So wise a Counselor and Guide,
So mighty a Defender!''

"CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY"

Commenting on this text another has said that the words teach that there is a mature Christian character, and that those possessing it may be said to have Christ dwelling in them-that the only reasonable interpretation is that we dwell in the love and favor of Christ, and that His spirit or disposition dwells in us; in other words, when the Christ character and life are definitely formed in us, the hope of glory will be ours.' The words of the Apostle come to mind here: "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you."--Gal. 4:19.

In this text the Apostle is pointing out how his care and labor and endurance for those who had been begotten by the Truth was similar to the physical endurance of a mother in nourishing and sustaining the germ of human life until the new human creature is formed, and able to appropriate for itself the life sustaining elements of nature, independent of her life. So the Apostle sought to nourish and sustain these germs of spiritual life until, apart from his own personal work and influence, the believers would be able to appropriate for themselves the God-given elements of spiritual life contained in the Word of Truth -- until the Christ character should be definitely formed in them.

St. Paul feared, and had reason to fear, that the Galatian Christians had not yet come to this condition of established character; that the Christ-life was not yet definitely formed -within them. He said, "I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain" (Gal. 4:11), for already were they giving heed to seducing teachers, who were leading them away from the "Head," Christ, and getting them into bondage to men; thus showing that they were not established in the spirit of the Truth, the spirit of Christ, and hence, Christ was not formed within them. How often it is seen that there are some who are largely dependent upon others for their spiritual life, and if these decline, the dependent ones suffer a similar decline.

The meaning of the expressions, "Christ in you," "Christ formed within," is, therefore, that "'every true child of God must have a definite individual Christian character which is not dependent for its existence upon the spiritual life of any other Christian. He must from the Word of truth, proclaimed and exemplified by other Christians, draw those principles of life, etc., which give him an established character, a spiritual individuality of his own. So positive and definite should be the spiritual individuality of every one, that, should even the brother or sister whose spiritual life first nourished ours and brought us forward to completeness of character fall away, (which the Apostle shows is not impossible -- Heb. 6:4-6; Gal. 1:8), we would still live, being able to appropriate for ourselves the Spirit of Truth."


THAT WONDERFUL STORY OF OLD

"Let the peoples praise Thee, 0 God; Let all the peoples praise Thee."--Psa. 47:1-9; 67:1-7; 100:1-5.

NONE can read the book of Psalms without recognizing its prophetic character. Beauti­ful and inspiring are the many pictures drawn of the oncoming dispen-sation, the Messianic reign, the liberation of humanity from the slavery to sin and death. In view of this blessed outlook no wonder many exhortations are given to sound the praises of the Lord, to sing the song of His loving kindness, and to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

Various are the viewpoints from which mankind regards its Creator. The world of mankind in general notes merely His mighty acts, without appreciating His glorious character. This is suggested by the Prophet, saying, "I will speak of [meditate on] the glorious honor of, Thy majesty, and of Thy wonderful deeds, and men shall speak of Thy terrible acts: but I will declare Thy greatness." The world speaketh of its own, and according to its intelligence respecting the Almighty; but the Lord's people, specially instructed by Him and taught of the Holy Spirit, know of the Lord and His greatness in a sense that the remainder of mankind know them not.

As the Apostle declares, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. . . . But God hath revealed them unto us by His spirit." (I Cor. 2:14, 10.) As our Lord again declared, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom." "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear." (Mark 4:11; Matt. 13:16.), We are not, then, to be surprised at the wide difference of under-standing of God and of His mightiness and of His character, as viewed by the saints and by the world; rather we are to expect such a difference of view. The Apostle explains the reason, telling us that the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, so that the glorious light of God's goodness, shining in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord, does not shine into their hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the Divine character and plan. (2 Cor. 4:4.) And he explains again that we who were at one time in darkness, are now enlightened by the Lord, having been translated out of the dominion of the prince of darkness, into the dominion of God's dear Son. (Col. 1:13.) And it is this enlightened class that the Apostle urges should make progress. in the knowledge of the Lord, growing in grace, growing in knowledge, and thus growing in the love of God and in the appreciation of His character. He urges this, saying that it is necessary, to the intent that we may comprehend with all saints, the lengths and breadths, and the heights and depths, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth all [human] understanding. -- Eph. 3:17-19.

Alas! the great majority of Christian people, while they have escaped from much of the blindness of the Adversary, are still subject to his confusing errors and misrepresentations of the truth, and are thus blinded still in great measure to the Divine Plan; looking at things more from the human standpoint than from the Divine, standpoint, and framing their creeds and confessions, accordingly. Ah, they forget how the Lord has declared, "My plans are not your plans, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My plans than your plans." (Isa. 55:8, 9.) It follows that, not seeing the Divine character and plan in - their true light and beauty, the vast majority of Christian people cannot take the standpoint of the saints in this prophetic testimony before us, but they take rather the standpoint of the natural man; when they think of the Almighty they think rather of His wonderful and terrible acts than Of His own greatness, because they know comparatively little of the glorious honor of His majesty, and do not see how His wonderful deeds declare His, greatness.

From the standpoint of the average Christian, God is anything but gloriously honorable in His majesty; indeed, thinking of the Almighty from the standpoint of their creeds, the majority of noble-minded Christian people feel ashamed of God and of His plan.

THE SONG OF MOSES AND THE LAMB

Only those who see the Divine Plan of the Ages, and the relationship between the past, the present, and the future, are in any degree able to make known the greatness of our God, His glorious, power; and His honorable majesty. This class is referred to by the Revelator as singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb-they sing in the sense of declaring in harmonious and beautiful cadences the relationship of the types and figures of the Law and the Prophets of the Mosaic dispensation with the antitypes of these of the Gospel dispensation; showing that all things written in the Law and in the Prophets are finding glorious fulfillments in the Lamb of God and in the great Plan which the Heavenly Father is working out through Him -- Rev. 15:3, 4.

The Revelator tells us the substance of this song, namely "Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty! just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints!", But what great and marvelous work has God performed, and how shall we see that He is both just and true in all His ways and dealings? From the standpoint of those who can sing this song everything must be clear as noonday!

First amongst the great and marvelous works of the Almighty was the sentence of death upon father Adam and his posterity because of disobedience--not a sentence of eternal torment, which would be as unjust, and unreasonable, as it is untrue and contrary to the Word of God-not the false presentation respecting this Divine act that is held forth in all the creeds of Christendom-but the great and marvelous act which God declares He accomplished when He let fall upon our race the sentence of death, which has brought in its train all the various disasters and difficulties, mental and physical, to which our fallen flesh is heir, all of which are tending to, and resulting in death, the penalty. As we look at this marvelous work, we must concede that it was just (in that it was merited), that it is true (in the sense of not being an unreasonable penalty), true in the sense that it was exactly what God forewarned father Adam the penalty of disobedience would be. "Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of. saints."

But Jehovah's first great and marvelous work of condemnation was, after four thousand years, followed by another great and marvelous work, namely, the work of redemption. How stupendous this work of the ransoming of all Adam's race of hundreds of millions by the sacrifice of one man! 'How great and wonderful indeed this act, and how just and true, and how fully in harmony with every feature of Divine justice and love 1 Even the philosophy of the ransom is explained to the Lord's people-how that all mankind were included in one man's sentence, to the intent that in due time the penalty of sin could be paid on behalf of all mankind by the one sacrifice for sins, "the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all." (1 Tim. 2:5, 6; Rom. 5:12, 18, 19.) Was not this a great and marvelous work? Who that realizes the lengths and breadths, and heights and depths of this manifestation of Divine justice and Divine love, can do aught else than sing this song of Moses and the Lamb, declaring to all who have. ears to hear it, "Great and marvelous, just and true are Thy ways, Lord God Almighty." But few see it clearly; and hence few can sing this wonderful story to others.

EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW

But there is still another feature to this song, and it is glorious also, though it pertains not to the things that are past, but to the things yet to come. It declares, "Who shall not reverence Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name?" It looks forward to the time when this great redemption, accomplished by the blood of the Lamb, shall be made available to every member of the human family. It looks forward to the glorious Millennial Age, to the time when, under Divine providence, the knowledge of the Lord, essential to faith, and to any acceptance of His favor and mercy through Christ,. shall be extended to every creature, Who indeed will not reverence the Lord and glorify His name? Surely, as the Scriptures have declared, at that time, "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess," and while this bowing and confessing may at first be compulsory, and not with all the volition of the heart, yet the Scriptures assure us that ultimately all who will not come into heart harmony with the Lord and with all His gracious arrangements and provisions, shall be cut off from amongst the people, in the Second Death. (Acts 3:23.) So that ultimately, instead of the universe being filled with hundreds of millions who to all eternity will wail and gnash their teeth and blaspheme God's' holy name in agony -- instead of this, the time shall come when every tongue in heaven and in earth shall be heard praising God, and giving honor to Him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb, forever; for by that time all evil-doers, all lovers of unrighteousness, shall be cut off from amongst the people.

But this song continues, and has yet another strain. It declares, "Thou only art holy" -- all holiness, all perfection, wherever it is found, must proceed from God, the great fountain of holiness. How strange, then, that any of God's dear people (and we ourselves were once amongst this number) should so misunderstand the Divine character and plan as to misrepresent the same as being the very essence of unholiness, injustice, unkindness, inequity, lovelessness, toward the great mass of God's creatures! It will indeed be a glad day when all shall reverence God's name, and when all shall recognize that He is indeed the fountain of holiness.

ALL NATIONS SHALL COME AND WORSHIP

But there is still another strain in this song, and it is a grand one also, like all the others -- reaching down into the Millennial Age. It declares, "All nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest." "All nations" will include, not only all the nations then living, but all the nations of the dead, just as does the promise which God made to Abraham, saying, "In thy seed [the Christ, Head and Body] shall all the families of the earth be blessed" -- all nations.

How few, how extremely few, are able to learn this song! How extremely few learn it so well as to be able to sing this song to the glory of God! How many who supposedly were trained to sing "the good tidings of great joy" for all people, are in the pulpits today singing totally different songs; some of them songs of "Evolution," declaring that there was no fall, consequently no redemption from a fall, and consequently that there is to be no recovery from a fall; but that man is grandly climbing up, up, up, and proving to be his own Savior, and hoping to attain they know not what, they know not when.

Others are singing the song of Calvinism, predestination, foreordination, and election. Others are singing the song of Arminianism, and hoping that God will be able to accomplish much in the future through their assistance, which they hold He has unsuccessfully been trying to do for six thousand years. Others are singing the song, "In union there is strength," and seeking to combine for what they term a "social uplift," or the "salvation of society." Others are singing the song of works and universal salvation. But how few are able to sing this song of Moses and the Lamb, or to see how God's great and marvelous works of the past reflect gloriously upon His character, both for justice and love, and give us, the best of all assurances for the working out in the future of the glorious Plan which He has already outlined and begun!

And we are told the reason why so few can sing this song-that it is only for those to sing who have "gotten the victory over the beast and his image and his mark and the number of his name." These symbols, representing earthly institutions which now hinder and bind and enslave the Lord's people to creeds, must be overcome by every soul that would hope to be able to appreciate this song, and to sing it in his daily life to others according to his opportunities.

PROCLAIM LOUDLY THE MEMORIAL

Moreover, in the Prophet's testimony respecting the message, showing forth the Lord's honor and majesty, we find a wonderful testimony to the central feature and greatest manifestation of the Divine character and plan. The Psalmist says (Leeser's translation), "The memorial of Thy abundant goodness shall they loudly proclaim, and they shall sing joyfully of Thy righteousness." (Psa. 145:7.) What memorial has God given us of His abundant goodness? Which of all His great and wonderful works could be thus termed a memorial of Divine favor? We answer that this memorial, this great -act, was none other than the gift of God's dear Son, to be our redemption price, as the Apostle declares, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." (1 John 4:9.) But as very few realize the great act of justice accomplished in the sentencing of father Adam and his race to death, so very few can appreciate, as a special manifestation of God's abundant goodness, the death of Christ as the full offset for Adam's sin, the full ransom, the, full payment of his penalty and that of his race.

The reason for this is that they esteem that the ransom was paid only for the Church, a little flock. From this standpoint it was not a manifestation of the abundant grace and goodness of God, but of a very limited grace and favor for a very limited number, a handful, as it were, out of the great mass of humanity. But when we come to see that our Lord Jesus' sacrifice was "a propitiation for our sins [the Church's sins] and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world," and that this "ransom for all" is "to be testified in due time" to all, and made available to all, that ultimately all may benefit thereby if they will, and return to harmony with God and to eternal life -- from this standpoint only can we see the greatness of that transaction, finished at Calvary, and how it is a "memorial" of God's abundant goodness. And only such as see this tan heartily and loudly proclaim it, and sing joyfully of the righteousness of God, which not only was manifested in the righteous penalty against sin, but which again manifested itself in the righteous payment of that penalty on behalf of every creature.

While the Lord's saints see His greatness and honorable majesty connected with every feature of the Divine Plan, and while they are telling these good tidings to others, and speaking of His mighty doings in the past, their message would not be complete without a testimony respecting His glorious Kingdom. "They shall speak of the glory of Thy Kingdom" -- the Millennial Kingdom. They cannot tell of the majesty of the Divine Plan and not tell about the' Kingdom.

LET US TALK TOGETHER OR HIS POWER

Surely this language expresses the comprehensiveness of the Divine Plan that the Coming Kingdom and judgment work of Christ and the saints is for the uplift and blessing of all humanity who will then hearken to His voice. Earth's future government then will not be one in which Christ and His Church shall, during the Millennial Age, bless merely the living nations of the world, and bring to them the blessings which God has promised, but leave all the remainder of the race who have died for six thousand years, from Adam down to the present time, in darkness, in ignorance, in death, without any opportunity under that Kingdom. Oh no! A human plan might thus favor the millions living at the time of the establishment of the Kingdom, but forget or ignore or pass by the hundreds and thousands of millions who have gone down into the great prison-house of death; but God's ways are not as man's ways nor His plans as man's plans. The glory of the Kingdom of which we are authorized to speak, is a Kingdom which is to bless all nations, the dead-who have gone down into the tomb, as well as those who have not yet gone into death. It is a Kingdom in which God's power will be most marvelously manifested.

Let us "talk" together now of His power as the Prophet has suggested. It will be a mighty power which will overthrow the reign of sin, which will bind the power of Satan that he shall deceive the nations no more, and which will establish the Lord Jesus and His glorious Church in power and great glory, with dominion over all the earth, with authority to execute judgment-to punish sin and to reward every effort toward righteousness. But the power 'of God as it will be manifested, will be still greater than all this; it will be a power which will lift up out of the miry pit of sin, out of the weaknesses of the flesh, out of his imperfections, mental, moral and physical, every member of the human family who desires to make progress and to return to the grand perfection of human nature represented originally in father Adam, and from which he and all in him fell, through disobedience. In this sense of the word it is a resurrection power, raising up, up, up, from the low conditions of sin and death to the high conditions of perfection and righteousness. It not only will thus take hold of the people who will not at that time have fallen asleep in death, but this mighty power of the Kingdom will take hold also of those who have gone down into the tomb, and who are in the great prison-house of death; even as our Lord declared, that He will open the prison-doors and say to the prisoners, "Show yourselves; come forth." "And all that are in their graves shall hear His voice and come forth" (John 5:39), and the coming forth shall be unto a resurrection by judgment-that so many as will, may avail themselves of the blessed privileges and opportunities of that great judgment Day (the Millennial Age), and profit by the stripes and corrections in righteousness which will then be administered, and grow in grace, grow in knowledge, grow in love, and grow in perfection of being, until by the close of the Millennial Age, if they will, they shall have arrived back again into full harmony with God, and received fully all the perfections of human nature lost through the fall, and redeemed by the great "memorial" of Divine favor.

No wonder, then, that the saints, when they glorify God, speak of the glory of His Kingdom and talk of the mighty power of God which shall then be manifested, and how then shall be made known to the sons of men God's mighty acts; how they shall then see clearly the meaning of the original sentence as they do not now see it; how they shall then see clearly the meaning of the great redemption, as they do not now see it, and how they shall then see clearly the provision of Divine power in the Kingdom for their blessing-that seeing these mighty acts of God in their true light, they also may glorify the Father which is in heaven, and -they may appreciate the majesty of His kingdom.


LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF JEREMIAH

SERIES IV

JEREMIAH UNDER TRIAL'S PRESSURE

"Righteous art Thou, 0 Lord, when I plead with Thee: yet let me talk with Thee of Thy. judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? Wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously ?''--Jer. 12: 1.

NOTHING is recorded that indicates how the Prophet's first address, considered in the last article, was received. Knowing as we do, however, the deep piety of Jeremiah, his loyalty to Jehovah, his great love for his countrymen, the fitness and sharp-pointedness of his figurative illustrations describing their backslidden state, and what is of still greater importance, the holy power and Divine unction that accompanied his words, it is impossible to believe otherwise than that it was soon quite generally discovered that a new force and power had entered into the arena of the religious life of the nation.

It seems quite evident that for some time subsequent to his call the youthful Prophet believed that the judgments might be stayed, and the predicted disasters threatening the nation be averted. If it could have been-possible for the pleadings, tears, and warnings of any pure, holy, and earnest soul, to have brought the nation -and. people back from their sad, deplorable, backslidden condition, we may be very sure that Jeremiah would have accomplished it. This, however, could not be done. The terrible evils that Manasseh had sown had so affected the minds and habits of the people, that these most earnest pleadings, exhortations, and warnings, of the Prophet produced little effect.

Jeremiah, however, entered upon his ministry with all the hopefulness that youthful piety inspires. The visions of coming judgments were interspersed with promises of forgiveness to the people, if only the exhortations and warnings were heeded. In this way the Prophet was kept from that which naturally would produce discouragement.

It should be kept in mind that the trials and besetments that Jeremiah encountered constituted the school in which lie was to be perfected in character; furthermore, that the work to be performed by him would become more and more difficult as he developed a fitness for it; and an I increase in fitness to perform it would keep pace-with the Prophet's realization of his own utter weakness and inability. He must learn to trust in the Almighty One for strength. This is a lesson that has to be learned by all the Lord's people. The natural tendency for most of God's people is to drop into a habit of performing their divinely appointed tasks without seeking God and de­ pending upon, Him for wisdom and power. This is not only a wrong course, but disastrous to spiritual life.

HIS LIFE ONE LONG MARTYRDOM

During the years of Josiah's reign the little kingdom seemed safe and secure from foreign invasion. It will be apparent that under such peaceful conditions, the prophetic, forewarnings of calamities and disasters delivered by Jeremiah fell on deaf ears, or met with ridicule and opposition. The prophets were prophesying smooth things, and even the priests were in league with them, and the people loved to have it so. After Josiah's sad death, which occurred about twenty years subsequent to Jeremiah's call, the Prophet seems to have had misgivings of the hopelessness of his efforts to bring the nation to repentance. Fearlessly, and yet almost hopelessly, he continued to deliver his sad and mournful messages and, battling with a kind of despairing heroism against the inevitable, his life became one long martyrdom. In chapter 20:8, we read of his enduring "reproach and derision daily; in chapter 11:21, we learn that his own townsmen, at Anathoth, threatened to slay him if he did not stop prophesying woe; and in chapter 12:6, it is recorded that even his own brethren, the house of his. father, "dealt treacherously" with him.

After the death of Josiah, the party that favored an alliance with Egypt came into power. It was at this time that Jeremiah received a revelation from Jehovah that must have caused' him to see how futile were his efforts to bring the nation to turn from their evil ways. This revelation made known to him that. the judgments would be held back no longer, that the, nation was to go into servitude to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon for seventy years. Already the armies of Nebuchadnezzar were threatening an invasion, and the king and his retainers were looking to Egypt for assistance against them. The law of Jehovah forbade the chosen people to form an alliance with any of the other nations; and even though this had not been so, the Prophet would have been compelled to oppose the strong party in power that was responsible for this alliance with Egypt, for the reason that the nation of Judah had been placed by Jehovah under Nebuchadnezzar's authority.

Thus was Jeremiah brought more and more into disfavor, and the opposition of false prophets and priests was greatly increased. It was during the period that these events were taking place that he was called to prophesy against kings, priests, prophets, and the people. Up to this time Jeremiah's voice was often lifted to Jehovah, pleading for the people that were called by His name. At last came the command of Jehovah to him, "neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to Me for I will not hear thee." (Jer. 7:13-16.) However, he was instructed to continue to pronounce the judgments against them.

COMMANDED TO PROPHESY EVIL

Keeping in mind the naturally timid, sensitive, and shrinking disposition of the Prophet, and his great love for his country, will enable us to appreciate the trying circumstances, and stupendous difficulties that confronted him as he sought to obey the commands of Jehovah. How trying, how difficult it must have been for him to obey the command to cease making intercession for the people and nation he so much loved. He was told that Jehovah would make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant. (Chap. 9:-11.) He was instructed to say to the people, "Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto Me, I wilt not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense; but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble." -- Jer. 11:11, 12.

Thus prophetic visions of disaster and ruin to come to his beloved country, similar to these quoted, were seen time and time again by the Prophet. To proclaim these was the Divine command. To fulfil his Divine mission, to obey the Divine command, would be to almost break the tender, sympathetic heart of the Prophet. Nothing less than Divine power imparted to him could have enabled Jeremiah to perform such a task. The sacred narrative has recorded some of his words which reveal the deep and sorrowful emotions that stirred his heart as he proclaimed these judgment calamities. On one occasion, after having proclaimed a woeful message of evil, we have .him saying, "When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me." Another translation renders the words that follow, "It is the sound of the wail of the child of my people from a distant land! Is there no God in Zion? Is there no king in her! . . . The harvest is past, the reaping is done--but we are not relieved. . . . Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes, that I may weep day and night for the wounds of the child of my people?" (Chap. 8:18-22.) Again, after declaring and describing the terrible, inevitable judgment soon about to fall on his beloved land and people, we have him saying, "Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is grief, and I must bear it."--Chap. 10:19.

On another occasion, the Lord speaks comforting words to him, in which He explains the object of these judgments. The words are found in chapter 9: 7. A modern translation renders the words, "Therefore, says the Lord of Hosts, I refine them thus and test them. For what can I do [else] for the daughter of My people? Their tongue is a poisoned arrow, they speak treason from their mouth, they speak kindly to their neighbor with betrayal in their breath. ­Should I not punish them for these things?" The words which follow are those of Jeremiah mourning for his country because of its desolations. The translator just quoted renders thus the Prophet's words: "I weep over the hills and sob, and wail over the pastures of the plain, for they are desolate! No man passes over them. The voice of the flocks is not heard, or of the birds of the sky, and even the beasts of the field are gone." These are only a few of the utterances amongst the many that express the feelings of heart-broken sorrow that almost overwhelmed the Prophet as he saw these judgments beginning to fall. It was only by superhuman power that he was able to-rise above his feelings as he witnessed these judgment-woes, and declared woes of even a more severe nature coming upon his beloved country.

HIS WAS THE SOUL OF THE NEEDY

Indeed it is in these trying experiences through which Jeremiah passed that we are made to realize the power of the Divine Word working in his soul; and we are enabled to see that Jeremiah naturally was no "brazen wall or iron pillar," that he was no wise or strong hero, but more like a reed shaken in the wind. As one has expressed it, "What he did and said when face to face with the spirit of his times, was due to no natural strength or heroism"; indeed as he himself said, "his was the soul of the needy." Such has been the experiences of many of God's true saints under trial's pressure and in similar circumstances. As has been said:

"What a tale could be told by the walls of the secret chambers of God's saints! What litanies of tears, and sighs, and broken sentences have beaten against them in successive bellows of heart-rending sorrow!

"Those who have seemed strongest and most rocklike in the presence of their fellows, have sunk most helpless on the ground in solitude, confessing that none were so weak as they. Not dissimilar have been the appeals of God's servants, in every age, when they have measured their weakness against the strength of the evils they have combated, and have marked their limited success; the futility of opposing an Ahab, a Jezebel; and the ingratitude of those whom they would gladly serve."--Meyer.

It was so with Jeremiah. It was when he learned that his own townsmen, even his own relatives had turned against him, when he learned of their treachery-then it was that his naturally sensitive nature could bear up under it no longer. It was Jehovah Himself that revealed to His servant the plot that they were forming against him. "And the Lord hath given me knowledge of it, and I knew it, then Thou shewedst me their doings," he said. "But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof; and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that His name may be no more remembered." -- Jer. 11:18, 19.

UNAWARE THAT HE WAS A SPECTACLE OF HEAVEN

It is quite clear that the sorely-tried Prophet was unable to understand why God permitted all this. He was unable to understand why it should be that those who were striving to do His will, who had left all the comforts of home life -- indeed all that was dear on earth -- who were laying down their lives in sacrifice, should suffer at the hands of evil-doers -- why the wicked should be permitted to prosper, and why the righteous should be evil entreated. In other words, like job,, Jeremiah was unaware of the fact that he was a spectacle of Heaven. Why should he be allowed to suffer for his loyalty to Jehovah?

Ah, he did not understand the great mystery of human suffering as it related to the righteous. However, he proved in the end what all the overcomers of both the Law and Gospel dispensation have proved-indeed of every dispensation will have to prove-that the fear and love of God can continue to exist when every inducement of an earthly nature is withdrawn. Indeed may he not have learned, even in that dispensation of lesser light and knowledge, that allegiance to God does not exist for the advantages, it brings, but rather from a love based upon an acquaintanceship with God. Whether a mark or standard so high as this could be possible of attainment in the moon-light of that dispensation, may be a question, but it cannot be one in this.

However, he did not go to his fellowmen with his complaint, but having formed the habit of turning to God in all his trials and, difficulties, and knowing that He and He only could explain to him these mysteries, he makes his complaint to God. His faithful biographer has recorded the bewildered Prophet's words. Let us listen to his words; let us hear the Lord's reply. Both are found in chapter twelve. The Prophet's complaint reads:

"Righteous art Thou, O Lord, when I plead with Thee; yet let me talk with Thee of Thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root; they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit; Thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins. But Thou, 0 Lord, knowest me; Thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward Thee; pull them out [gather together] as sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds;, because they said, He shall not see our last end."

GRAPPLES WITH THE MYSTERIOUS QUESTION
WHY THE PERMISSION OF EVIL

Jeremiah did not have imparted to him the knowledge that is the privilege of God's saints to have today. Many. of the predictions that he and others of the Prophets were moved to make under the power of the Divine Spirit were in some cases only in a measure understood by them. The Prophet's words, expressive of his inmost feelings, were those of one who had not heard the Great and Mighty One who spake as never man spake; and for this reason, due allowance must be made for some of the utterances of the discouraged and perplexed Prophet. He, like Job, who lived long years before him, was grappling with the, perplexing problem of the mystery as to why the Almighty permits the reign of sin and death; why He who has all power, permits evil to reign rampant. It has been the question of the ages and can be answered only by those who have been privileged to understand the Divine Plan and its ultimate purpose. Even in this present time of. light and privilege, some of the Lord's true people have no more knowledge of it than Jeremiah did in his day. While it is quite generally understood by those who accept- the Bible as a Divine revelation that this world is in a wrong way-that the normal course of this world has been disturbed by sin, and that the prince of the power of the air, Satan, is its god or ruler, yet it is not understood except by a few how all this has been permitted by God for the eternal good of the human race. It is not difficult even for those of 'God's people who are in a large measure ignorant of God's Plan to see that the servants of righteousness have to fight, not against flesh and blood merely, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, the wicked spirits in the heavenly places.

Every word of good Asaph's complaint (Psa. 73)--"As for. me my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped, for I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked," was doubtless experienced by Jeremiah, and expressed in his complaint in the words cited above. We may be sure, however, that God has always given sufficient knowledge on these lines to keep his tried and suffering saints from falling. They have had so much confidence in the wisdom, justice, and love of God, that they have realized that the great judge of all the earth cannot do anything but what is right. "We shall know some time," they have said. In the dawning light of that Age so long ago foretold, and now so soon to be ushered in, when everything will be made right, it is now the privilege of God's saints to understand the Divine permission of evil. It was a mystery, the full solution of which God did not reveal to other ages and dispensations. But He cared for His beloved people in those far off days just the same. He did not suffer them, even in those times, to be tempted beyond what they were Ale to bear.

TALKING OVER OUR LIFE WITH GOD

Over this great mystery Jeremiah was perplexed. He had come to the place where everything of an earthly nature that could give him comfort had been swept away, yea, had been given up by him, because of his loyalty to Jehovah. At this time in his trial he began to look around him; all looked dark and full of trouble. His faith began to waver. What should he do? Ah! thank God He had learned what to do. He said in his heart, I will take my complaint to. the One, who, when I was called, said "I will be with thee." O, what an example for those who in these days are brought into like experiences !

"Let us like Jeremiah acquire the habit of turning away from our trials and difficulties to God, of talking over our life with One who does not need to be informed of what transpires, but waits with infinite desire to receive the. confidence of His children. Talk over each detail of your life with God, telling Him' all things, and finding the many needs of the soul supplied in Him."

It was no wonder that Jeremiah, who had never swerved from the narrow path of obedience, who had at all hazards dated to stand alone, denying himself of all the comforts of friends and kindred and home that other men enjoy -- it is no wonder we say, with his limited knowledge of earth's enigmas, especially in his earlier experiences of trials and difficulties, that he became disheartened, discouraged, and almost ready to abandon the work of his call. He was hated by those who once loved him; he was dishonored by those who once gave to him honor; he was persecuted, and more than once threatened with death; hence the question, How was it that He, to whose bidding he had always responded, would allow his enemies to prosper and lie to suffer. It was too painful for him. His feet had well nigh slipped. I

Again we have set before 'us an illustration of the power of the Almighty operating in a weak earthen vessel, overcoming everything, because he took everything to God. Again in considering the words of Jeremiah's complaint we should remember that he was zealous for God's character. Viewed in the light of the words of Him who spake as never man spake -- "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you," there seems to be a touch of vindictiveness in the Prophet's words, "Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter." It is most natural for us to compare these words with the words of Him who said we should love our enemies' and do good to them, etc.; and again with the words of His servant Stephen as he lay crushed nearly to death by the stones which were hurled at him, "Lord lay not this sin to their charge." Viewed from this standpoint we can but think that there is mixed into the better traits of the pure gold of Jeremiah's character some of the dross, that only the fires of trial and adversity could destroy.

"ON THEE HAVE I ROLLED MY CAUSE"

Another has said, "It is possible to adopt the suggestion that the Prophet was predicting the fate of these wicked men, or that he was the Divine mouthpiece in this solemn pronouncement of coming doom. But a deeper and more correct conception of the words appears to be, that he was concerned with the effect that would be produced on his people if Jehovah passed by the sin of his persecutors and intending murderers. It was as though the Prophet feared lest his own undeserved sufferings might lead men to reason that wrong-doing was more likely to promote their prosperity than integrity and holiness. Josiah was the one God-fearing monarch of his time, but he was slain in battle; he [Jeremiah] was the devoted servant of God and his life was one long agony. Was it the best policy to fear God? Might it not be wiser, safer, better, to worship the gods of the surrounding peoples, who seemed well able to defend their votaries, and to promote the prosperity of the kingdoms that maintained their temples? As Jeremiah beheld the blasting influences of sin, how the land mourned and the herbs were withered and the beasts and birds consumed, his heart misgave him. He saw no limit to the awful evil of his times so long as God seemed indifferent to its prevalence. Therefore, He cried for vengeance -- not for the gratification of his own feelings, but for the sake of Israel." And for this reason he said, "On Thee have I rolled my cause," as some: have suggested the rendering of chapter 11: 20. What a lesson for the tried discouraged ones of today, when those who by their very profession should know better,' malign and plot against the Lord's people; when friends forsake, and trials press down; then is the time to roll our burdens on the Lord who is the great Burden Bearer, and leave them there.

THE LORD'S ANSWER

"If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan ?" It is as if the Lord said to His disheartened, discouraged servant, "Call to mind the time I made you a prophet. Do you not remember how I told you of the trials that you would encounter? Did not I tell you of 'the persecutions you would be called upon to endure? the isolation. and loneliness that would be involved in all this? Did I not tell you that notwithstanding all this I would be with you, and make you a 'brazen wall and an iron pillar to all the people of the land'? Do you doubt that up to the present time I have been with you? and that I am with you now? Are you discouraged so soon as this? Have you lost heart now? Compared with what you will soon encounter, you have up to the present only run with footmen, you will soon contend with horses. You are now living in your own native village, where everything is comparatively peaceful. You still have associated with you some few of the friends of your childhood; and you are discouraged, dismayed, disheartened! If your present trials are bearing you down; if the sights you are witnessing now. affect you thus, what will you do when the full tide of sorrow and calamity shall overflow the land? The swelling tide of woe shall soon, like Jordan in the spring-time overflow its banks, and what will you do then?"

It is ever thus with God's tried and tested people. He does not allow the trials to come upon us only as we become strengthened to bear them. If they press us down, it is God's voice calling us to look up to the "hills" from whence alone cometh our strength. The trials that come to us in the present time are never greater than we can bear. To be sure, we cannot bear them alone; therefore look up. Behold the face of Him who is with us, who has promised never to leave nor forsake, us. The trials of our, life are graduated. He never allows the greater ones to precede the lesser., He gives grace for every trial. "There is no trial that can befall you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful and will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation make a way to escape, so that ye may be able to bear it." Let us ever remember that we are now in the threshing time when the wheat is being carried home; as the poet has expressed it:

"When the wheat is carried home,
And the threshing time is come;
 Close the door,
When the flail is lifted high,
Like the chaff I would not fly.
At His feet O let me lie,
 On the floor.

"All the cares that o'er me steal,
All the sorrows that I feel,
 Like a dart;
When my enemies prevail,
When my strength begins to fail,
'Tis the beating of the flail,
 On my heart.

"It becomes me to be still
Tho' I cannot all His will,
 Understand;
I would be the purest wheat,
Living humbly at His feet,
Kissing oft' the rod that beats,
 In His hand.

"By and by I shall be stored,
In the garner of the Lord,
 Like a prize;
Thanking Him for every blow,
That in sorrow laid me low;
But in beating made me grow,
 For the skies."

How blessed, how encouraging to faith that Jeremiah surmounted the trials, overcome all the difficulties and "endured as seeing Him who is invisible.".


HOLY CHRISTIAN LIVING

"I will set no base thing before mine eyes."--Psa. 101:5-8; Prov. 23:29-35.

THE Bible contains numerous cautions against intemperance, and declares that no drunkard shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It follows that this must be a proper portion of the meat in due season. However, since probably only a very small minority of the "saints" are thus endangered, we need not give the subject great prominence in this journal. We do desire, however, to let all know that we are in sympathy with temperance in respect to intoxicants and "in all things."

Solomon the Wise gives us the picture of the drunkard -- redness of eyes; woe; sorrow; contentious; complaining. He advises, "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red and giveth color to the cup and goeth down smoothly. At last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder." It would appear that there is a charm or enticement connected with alcoholic stimulants which gradually wastes the strong and quickly enthralls the weak of will. The wise man associates the demoniacal power of liquor with its twin-sister, fleshly desire and general immorality, saying, "Thine eyes shall behold strange women and thy heart shall utter perverse things." He adds, "Thou shalt be as he that lieth down in. the midst of the sea [like floating wreckage] and' as he that lieth on top of the mast" -- in imminent danger of destruction. He describes the condition of those who become beastly drunk. They are unconscious of injury and seem to have their chiefest pleasure in unconsciousness, so that, upon recovering from one debauch, their desire is to seek the stimulation again. ' Thus are the chains of slavery to a most degrading habit gradually forged and manhood gradually enslaved and earthly prospects, not to mention heavenly hopes, go. glimmering.

We do not wonder that it is written that, "No drunkard shall inherit the Kingdom of heaven"--no drunkard, therefore, can hope to be a member of the Body of Christ, the elect Church. Thank God, this no longer means to us His utter perdition, but it does signify great loss. We are never to forget, however, that, having once been a drunkard and having turned from that deplorable condition, the individual would be a drunkard no longer. Let us remember that only "overcomers" are promised a share in His Millennial Throne and Kingdom. He who loses the mastery of his flesh to the extent of being a drunkard is certainly not an overcomer and not at that time in line for joint-heirship with Christ. A former president of the United States expressed the following sentiment: "To a man who is actively engaged in reasonable work, who must have at his command the best that is in him, at its best -- to him, I would, with all the emphasis that I possess, advise and urge, 'Leave drink alone -- absolutely.' He who drinks is deliberately disqualifying himself for advancement. Personally I refuse to take such a risk. I do not drink."

When this man expressed this he was Secretary of War, and evidently did not disqualify himself for advancement by his total abstinence. General Frederick D. Grant an outspoken total abstainer, said: "Drink is the greatest curse, of Christendom, because practically all crime and all disaster are the result of it. Ninety-five per cent -- I will make it no less -- of desertion and acts of lawlessness in the Army is due to drink. Vice is simply drink in another form. Whoever heard of a saloon completely divorced from the 'White, Slave Traffic,' or a house of infamy without a bar? You may tell the young men that General Grant does not drink a drop of liquor-has not for eighteen, years -- because he is afraid to drink it."

We are in sympathy with the spirit of "total abstinence," too, though we cannot subscribe to all that is said and done and hoped for by its advocates. All true "saints" would surely be glad to forego their own liberty that thereby they might promote the general welfare and fulfil the advice of the Apostle, that -- "We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." Seeing the terrible injury being done by strong drink throughout the civilized world, surely every reader of this journal is now and always will be a temperance advocate -- especially by example -- while telling the "good tidings of great joy."

 Among the many things for which the people of this land may well thank God is the temperance sentiment which prevails here as nowhere else in "Christendom. (Strange to say, "Christendom" is far behind Heathendom on this question.) Throughout other 'portions of the world the blight of intoxication is awfully prevalent, and the statistics show conditions very much worse than prevail here.

THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT

All who have made progress in the School of Christ recognize that there is a far more important sense in which the Christian is to apply the lesson of temperance, moderation, self-control, etc., than in the direction of literal eating and drinking. Children of God translated from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God's dear Son as New Creatures, spirit begotten, are called to walk [to live] not after the flesh but after the Spirit, and must continually recognize this fact, and keep watch that they are walking in line with the spirit of truth, and must know that in so doing they will not be fulfilling the desires of their fallen flesh. The Apostle states this as a positive rule, without exception, that the flesh, the natural inclinations, tendencies, lusts, or desires, are contrary to the Spirit, and likewise the Spirit desires are contrary to the flesh. These two desires being opposed one to the other we cannot gratify both, and whichever is gratified it will be so at the expense of the other. If we ever want to attain to the true liberty wherewith Christ makes free, we should know that it can be only by a persistent warfare of the new mind against every sinful tendency and inclination of the old nature. It is not the new will warring against the old, for the old will we have reckoned dead. It is the new will warring against the flesh, which the old will used to control, and which flesh still has its evil tendencies.

The new will, therefore, needs all the sustaining strength and assistance which it can secure, Many of these are provided for it as food, nourishment, strength, through the Word of God, whose exceeding great and precious promises are given in order that the new will may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might through faith, and conquer in all of its battles with the flesh.

The Apostle's declaration, "Ye cannot do the things which ye would," is in full accord with all our experiences. We can sometimes do as we would in some things, we can gain. the victory over the flesh; but there are certain weaknesses, failings, blemishes in our flesh which are so powerful that the new mind never gets as complete a mastery over them as it desires. Nevertheless, in all the battles being waged the new mind grows stronger and stronger while the flesh grows weaker and weaker. The Scriptural proposition, however, is that we must expect to have more or less of these battles until our dying moments.

Thank God that will be the end of the strife, for in the resurrection we are promised new bodies, perfect, complete, in which the new mind will be able to exercise itself without conflict. That is the rest which remains for the people of God, and associated with it will be various others blessings, honors, dignities and responsibilities which the Lord has promised.

"YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW"

The Jewish Law was prominent before the minds of the early Church, because the majority had come to Christ through Judaism. The Law had its requirements and exactions and condemnations, and it was difficult for the early Church to comprehend the liberty which was property theirs in Christ. Their minds would waver as between the gift of grace in Christ and the rewards of the Law, and hence they were continually in trouble because of a realization of the imperfection of their flesh. The Apostle urges the point that those who have accepted Christ are no longer under the Law Covenant, hoping for eternal life under its impossible conditions. The Law could only approve that which was perfect, and while believers realize that their hearts, their wills, their intentions, are perfect, they realize also the imperfection of their flesh.

The Apostle's argument therefore is, "If ye be led of the Spirit then are ye not under the Law." (Gal. 5:18.) That is to say, You who have accepted Christ, and who are now walking according to the new mind to the best of your ability, are following the lead of the Spirit, and you have nothing to do with the Law, and it cannot condemn you as imperfect because of your fleshly weaknesses, for you are protected under the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the Divine arrangement is that so long as you are following the Spirit, following the new mind, seeking to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit, that long you are justified, approved of the Lord, and the imperfections of your flesh that are contrary to your best endeavors are not charged to your account, but to the Lord Jesus' account. Those unwilling imperfections were all laid upon Him who bore our sins in His own body on the tree, as His perfections have been applied to us through faith to cover those unwilling blemishes.

"AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW"

While the Law Covenant was nailed to Jesus' cross it does not mean that there is no law covering the Lord's people. The very essence of the Divine Law is love for God and for man, and the Apostle points out that our course as Christians walking after the Spirit of Christ would be condemned by no law of God; but on the contrary, if neglecting our consecration to the Lord, we walk after the flesh, there would be condemnation against us because judged according to the Spirit, the intention of our hearts, we are either approved or disapproved by the Divine Law of love.

The works of the flesh the Apostle enumerates, and they are all violations of the law of love under which the New Creatures in Christ are being examined; they all come under the head of selfishness and imply injury to our fellow-creatures. He enumerates these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, malice, wrath, strife, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. The Apostle points out that any one begotten of the Spirit who walks, that is who lives, along the lines of these works of the flesh need have no hope of any share in the Kingdom of Heaven. He does not say that all such would share in the Second Death, but we know of a surety how such conduct persisted in would ultimately result in the Second Death. It is sufficient for our purpose, however, to leave the matter where the Apostle does, and to note that there is no prospect for a share in the Kingdom for any who do these works of the flesh and of the devil.

It is unfortunate for some that they seem unable to realize the scope of this testimony; they seem to think of adultery, drunkenness, and murder as being the crimes that would debar from a share in the Kingdom. They overlook the fact that the Lord defined adultery to be a desire to do evil where only the opportunity is lacking; that He defined murder as represented in that condition of heart which hates a brother. They overlook the statement of the Apostle in this very list that the spirit of variance, the spirit of ambition and jealousy, the spirit of envy and division, are spirits of the flesh and in opposition to the New Creature led by the Holy Spirit. Oh, if all the Lord's people could have in mind these searching tests and apply them to their own lives, what a profit would result, what a blessing, what a fleeing from these weaknesses of the old nature, what a fighting against them for the, liberty of the New Creature and its final attainment to glory, honor, and immortality with their Lord in the Kingdom.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

Having pointed out to us what would constitute walking after the flesh, the Apostle next indicates the conditions and experiences which should assure the Lord's people that they are not only soldiers of the cross and followers of the Lamb, but that they are fighting a good fight, gaining victories over the flesh. He suggests that if we are begotten of the Spirit and guided thereby there will be a fruitage in our life which will be manifest to ourselves and should to some extent also be apparent to others. This "fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance."

There is no law of God against these things, these qualities, these characteristics of the new nature, and very rarely will any law amongst men be found in opposition to them, although indirectly those who practice these things will be unpopular with the world as well as with the Adversary and have trying experiences as a result--experiences, however, which persevered in will work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. On the contrary, he who lacks such fruit in his heart, in his mind, in his experiences, lacks the evidence which he should have ,of his faithfulness as a good soldier in warring against the old nature. He lacks therefore the full assurance of faith, without which as a New Creature he could not have peace and joy. It will be observed that all these fruits of the Spirit are contrary to selfishness. If the Lord's people could but come to the place where daily, morning, noon and night, they would have self-examinations to see to what extent they are growing these fruits of the spirit and to what extent they are rooting out the works of the flesh, it would be to the comfort and joy of all who are in the right condition. Though it might be to the discouragement of others, it would be a discouragement which eventually would be to them advantageous and in the end would hinder them from making shipwreck.

"CRUCIFIED THE FLESH"

Pursuing his subject, showing why we should fight against our natural desires and inclinations toward things that are selfish and sinful, the Apostle declared that they that are Christ's [His' consecrated ones, prospective members of His Bride] have crucified the flesh, with the passions and lusts thereof. What does He mean? -- that those who have accepted Christ as their sin-offering, believing that the crucified One paid their ransom price, have counted their flesh in as though crucified with Christ, saying, Since sin cost the crucifixion of our Redeemer we will be opposed to sin and dead to sin forever. The thought is that whoever has clearly and intelligently accepted Christ as his Savior from sin will be so opposed to sin that he will count his own flesh as condemned to death and be hoping for the new body, the spiritual, and be willing that his flesh should die a lingering death until the last gasp, so strong will be his opposition to sin and everything allied therewith, so strong will his sympathy be with God and the Redeemer, and the holiness which they represent.

"If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit," the Apostle adds. That is to say, begotten of the spirit we reckon ourselves New Creatures, spirit beings, not yet perfect. To us old things are passed away, the things of sin, and all things have become new in harmony with the exceeding great and precious hopes which have been begotten in us by the Lord's promises. If these be true, let us walk, let us live our daily life accordingly, in harmony with this thought -- as New Creatures in Christ, not as men energized by their ambitions or projects, nor as taking pleasure in the things contrary to the new nature.

"PROVOKING ONE ANOTHER"

As before suggested, while our difficulties arise from our own fallen flesh, they are apt to manifest themselves in the affairs of the Church. The old spirit of selfishness inclines to be ambitious for influence, power,, authority, glory amongst the brethren, overlooking the fact that such vainglory and envyings are entirely contrary to the Spirit of the Lord, by which we have been begotten -- entirely overlooking the fact that while this ambitious spirit dominates us in any measure we are unfit for the Kingdom. and will have proportionately less and less of the Lord's favor and blessing and guidance in our hearts and heads. Hence the Apostle urges, "Let us not be vainglorious, provoking one another,, envying one another." Whoever manifests a, vainglorious spirit tempts another in the same direction through retaliation, and thus there is a provoking or inciting to an evil course; whereas the Apostle urges, on the contrary, that the New Creatures in Christ should provoke or incite one another to love and good works, that would be to their mutual advantage and development.

Someone has not inappropriately associated with this lesson on Christian living Psalm 101:5-8. The language severely rebukes the disposition to render evil, the disposition to slander a neighbor, the disposition to deceive and to practice untruth. The solemn word of the Lord is that "I will early destroy all the wicked of the land that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord." This Psalm seems, to be in the nature of a prophecy looking down to the future when His "eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell" in security and safety forever.


VOL. VI. November 15, 1923 No. 22

REPORT OF THE VISIT TO AMERICA

THE visit of our dear Brother H. J. Shearn to this country, announced in these columns some time ago, is now in the past, and the Brother has safely reached his home in London again. We are very glad that a good number of brethren in various parts of this land were permitted to meet and hear our Brother. His time of sojourn here being limited we were of course not permitted to extend his itinerary so as to include other Classes that would have been glad to had the privilege of this ministry.

As the Brother mingled With the friends in various places in this country, and conveyed to them the messages of brotherly love from the loved ones of his home land, it made them feel indeed that though separated by the great ocean, yet in spirit they are very close together -- members of the one Divine family, and hoping ere long to meet one another and to be forever united in the glorious Kingdom of God.

It has been gratifying to hear from a number of the Classes reporting much profit and encouragement received from Brother Shearn's ministry, and some expressing the desire that he might return to them again. We believe that our Brother may feel well assured that the blessing of the Lord has been upon his efforts, and that his work and labor of love are not forgotten by the Lord.

The following report received from Brother Shearn will be read with interest:

On The Atlantic Ocean.

October 15, 1923.

Blest indeed is the tie that binds together, as one family, the hearts of the Lord's people scattered throughout the earth, and every evidence of this tie is welcome as a foretaste of that happy union which awaits us all in the Kingdom. The brethren of the BIBLE STUDENTS COMMITTEE counted the receipt of the letter from the PASTORAL BIBLE: INSTITUTE, inviting a brother from Great Britain to visit Classes in America on a pilgrim trip, as one token of that tie, and, as is now well known, they gladly responded. We left England on August 22 to undertake this mission in the strength of the Lord, the British friends promising to pray for us throughout the journey. Very many brethren requested us to convey their love to the friends in America, and this was duly done. Similar messages aye now being conveyed to the Classes in Great Britain from the friends in America, and we feel assured that the word of loving union in Christ is being strengthened in this way.

The ocean voyage lasted six days; for the first two days the weather was very rough, and the mighty Steamship Majestic was tossed upon the billows. On the third day there was a change, and we finished the voyage under good conditions, and in excellent time. There is nothing very romantic about a voyage to America these days, especially if the passage is made on one of the large Ocean Liners; yet we were impressed with the vastness of the ocean, and all that it represented. It seems difficult to understand how any intelligent person can consider these mighty works of God without paying homage to His Great Name.

Our beloved Brother and Sister Hoskins were at the dock to welcome us to America, and after some preliminaries, we found ourselves treading upon American soil, and wending our way to the INSTITUTE address at Prospect Place, Brooklyn.

The premises of the INSTITUTE are very suitable for their purposes, and with but slight alterations would lend themselves very admirably to the holding of meetings for a considerable number of friends. They are centrally situated too, so that probably at some time the Brooklyn Ecclesia will be enabled to make use of these quarters, much as the Kensington Class uses the premises in Lon­ don. Such were the thoughts that came to our mind as we entered the rooms.

On the following two days we were shown some of the sights which have become of historic interest to most of us, such as the Brooklyn Tabernacle where Brother Russell so often told of our Father's grand "Plan of the Ages," and where he, by the Lord's assistance, unfolded so much of Present Truth-meat in due season for the household. We saw the Bethel home where our dear Brother and so many of his co-laborers dwelt. On the same day we saw the high buildings in New York City which impressed us very much, and we thought of what a terrible conse-quence would follow an earthquake, such as lately occurred in Japan, should one at any time visit this particular spot. From the top of the highest building we obtained a birds-eye view of New York and its suburbs -it was a busy scene and stirred our imagination, though not with that holy joy which the prospect of a restored earth and perfected people brings to the mind of God's enlightened children.

On the day following our arrival the usual weekly prayer and testimony meeting was held in Brooklyn, and we were enabled to share in the blessings attending the meeting. The next evening about thirty friends gathered to bid us welcome, and to make our acquaintance. We were much encouraged by this evidence of loving interest in our 'visit, and also by the kindly expressions of the brethren who willingly promised to pray for us during our pilgrim journey. Surely the Lord has some earnest souls amongst the friends in Brooklyn.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF KINDRED MINDS'

On Friday, August 31, some ten of us took train for Springfield, Mass., to attend the Convention arranged for. It was a happy experience indeed, and our hearts were overjoyed at meeting such a company of those who had proved, steadfast in the faith through many trials. The various messages of the Lord refreshed us and the fellowship was very sweet, reminding us of a similar gathering we had enjoyed in London just a month previous. The friends in attendance added greatly to our burden of love to be conveyed to the various Classes which we were to visit, and also, later, on, to the friends in Great Britain. We shall not easily forget our happy experiences in Springfield.

All the time since our arrival in New York we were taking note of the various customs of the country; observing the differences in relation to travel particularly, realizing there was ahead of us many miles which we would be called upon to travel alone.

Our next appointment was at Lawrence, Mass., where we were entertained in the home of our dear Brother Pritchard, one of the directors of the INSTITUTE. The meeting was arranged to be held in the evening to suit the convenience of the friends. Here we talked of the "Presence of the Lord," reminding ourselves that the chief object of His return is to claim His Bride, as He said, "I will come again and receive you unto Myself." The fulfillment of this promise, with all that it will mean to the faithful watchers, cannot fail to arouse our keen anticipation as nothing else could do. All hearts are refreshed by this precious hope, which is continually drawing nearer fulfillment.

In the town of Andover, a seat of learning of considerable reputation, we were much interested in seeing several houses, wooden structures of large dimensions, in the process of being removed just as they stood, furniture and all, to a spot perhaps a hundred yards away. It was here also that we first saw peach orchards with the fruit in excellent condition just ready to pick.

In this manner commenced a tour covering most of the eastern section of the United States, and also the southern portion of Canada. On this trip we probably traveled three thousand miles, taking in some twenty-five centers, where about fifty meetings in all were held.

During our journey we had the pleasure of visiting the home of Brother and Sister Streeter in Providence, and we were glad to find our Brother in a good state of health, and still active in the Lord's work. It was a joy to renew the acquaintance of old friends, and an equal pleasure to make new ones-friends there were on every hand.

SIMILAR CONDITIONS TO THOSE IN GREAT BRITAIN

Not much time was given to sight seeing, but we did have pleasure in visiting certain spots which were closely connected with the activities of Brother Russell. We saw also the place where his body was laid in the grave, a quiet spot, amidst beautiful surroundings. Much, has happened since our dear Brother was taken from us; many things that have pained the hearts of the comparatively few who have earnestly endeavored to remain faithful to their Lord and Present Truth. We found the conditions prevailing amongst the brethren in America singularly like those existing in Great Britain and elsewhere. This fact might be an indication that the Lord is using these conditions to accomplish a necessary work amongst His people, perhaps a work of greater importance than can easily be discerned. We know however that all who are being rightly exercised by these experiences will profit by them in the end. A goodly number of friends expressed a wish for more frequent pilgrim visits, and many seemed desirous that we should come amongst them again. These things are in the hands of the Lord who will withhold no necessary good things we know.

Even as our pilgrim journey commenced with the Convention held in Springfield, so, in like manner, it was brought to a close with a Convention at Ulster Park in the home of our dear Brother Greiner. The meetings were held amidst most beautiful surroundings, and the weather conditions were all that could be desired. Once again the dear brethren were refreshed and encouraged to continue their walk of faith. Manifestly the various speakers were led of the Lord to direct the minds of all present to the important themes of Peace and Love.

On Friday evening, October 12, a "farewell" meeting was held in the INSTITUTE building, where some fifty brethren gathered to bid us God-speed on our return journey. It was a very impressive little gathering, and the friends were loath to separate after it was over, such is the bond of "Love Divine all love excelling."

Our impressions of the U. S. A. were very favorable indeed; it is certainly a wonderful country. We found the Classes in happy condition when taken as a whole; some of the friends are hungering for more Christian fellowship, and need encouragement; others again seem slow to take the definite stand which conscience marks out for them. Experience shows us that no middle course brings satisfaction to any one, but rather that these are days of decision, and action in harmony therewith.

The PASTORAL BIBLE INSTITUTE brethren are doing their best to serve the Classes with the resources available, and there is no doubt but that the Lord is blessing their efforts. We wish them every good wish in their selfsacrificing work.

We have left our dear friends in America and Canada with considerable regret, and with longing desire for the ,spiritual well-being of all. And now, out on the bosom of the ocean we make these short notes upon our experiences, thinking that others might find pleasure in reading them.

Your loving brother in the Lord,

H. J. Shearn.


THE MINISTRY OF THE SON OF GOD

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life."--John 3: 16, 17; Matt. 9: 35-38; Luke 8: 1-3.

WHEN we consider the office and mission of our Lord Jesus to this world, and reflect upon what He has accomplished in the way of laying the foundation for the redemption of the world from sin and death, it is recognized that His ministry to the human family so far transcends that of all others in importance as to cause them to fade into insignificance, as compared with that of our Redeemer. 'His was indeed the ministry of life. It is not to be wondered at, however, that on account of the centuries of human depravity and degeneracy, the real worth of the Savior Was not appreciated by the masses.

On the other hand, it is a great tribute to the spirit of liberty which prevailed amongst the Jews, that our Lord could and did preach the Gospel of the Kingdom from city to city in their synagogues without molestation. In contrast, we may feel sure that were He to attempt to teach in any of the churches of today, of any denomination, He would be refused the privilege-no matter how faithfully He should adhere to the Scriptural declarations, and the more explicit His teachings the more unsatisfactory would they be to those now in charge, who have a theory of their own respecting the Kingdom, which will not stand investigation, and whose weakness they would not wish to have exposed. And this loss of liberty amongst Christians, as compared with, the Jews, in religious matters, is to their injury -- making it that much the more difficult for them to hear the joyful sound of the present Message.

CONSTANTLY DOING WORKS OF MERCY

Reviewing the ministry of Jesus and His most inspiring example, we have from the pen of Dean Farrar some thoughts that are surely worthy of a place here:

"And it was, as we have seen, a life of toil -- of toil from boyhood upwards, in the shop of the carpenter, to aid in maintaining Himself and His family by honest and noble labor; of toil afterwards to save the world. We have seen that 'He went about doing good' and that this, which is the epitome of His public life, constitutes also its sublimest originality. The insight which we have gained already, and shall gain still further, into the manner in which His days were spent,- shows us how overwhelming an amount of ever-active benevolence was crowded into the brief compass of the hours of light. At any moment He was at the service of any call, whether it came from an inquirer who longed, to be taught, or from a sufferer who had faith to be healed. Teaching, preaching, traveling, doing works of mercy, bearing patiently with the fretful impatience of the stiffnecked and the ignorant, enduring without a murmur the incessant and selfish pressure of the multitude-work like this so absorbed His time and energy that we are told, more than once, that so many were coming and going as to leave no leisure even to eat. For Himself He seemed to claim no rest except the quiet hours of night and silence, when He retired so often to pray to His Heavenly Father, amid the mountain solitudes which He loved so well.,

"And it was a life of health. Among its many sorrows and trials, sickness alone was absent. We hear of His healing multitudes of the sick-we never hear that He was sick Himself. It is true that 'the golden Passional of the Book of Isaiah' says of Him: 'Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed'; but the best explanation of that passage has been already supplied from St. Matthew, that He suffered with those whom He saw suffer. He was touched with a feeling of our infirmities; His Divine sympathy made those sufferings His own. Certain it is that the story of His life and death show exceptional powers of physical endurance. No one who was not endowed with perfect health could have stood out against the incessant and wearing demands of such daily life as the Gospels describe. Above all, He seems to have possessed that blessing of ready sleep which is the best natural antidote to fatigue, and the best influence to calm the over-wearied mind, and 'knit up the ravelled sleeve of care.' Even on the wave-lashed deck of the little fishing-boat as it was tossed on the stormy sea, He could sleep, with no better bed or pillow than the hard-leather-covered boss that served as the steersman's cushion. And often in those nights spent under the starry sky, in the wilderness, and on the mountain top, He can have had no softer resting-place than the grassy turf, no other covering than the tallith, or perhaps some striped abba, such as often forms the sole bed of the Arab at the present day. And we shall see in the last sad scene how the same strength of constitution and endurance, even after all that He had undergone, enabled Him to hold out-after a sleepless night and a most exhausting day-under fifteen hours of trial and torture and the long-protracted agony of a bitter death."

HE ONLY AWAITS THE DUE TIME

Notwithstanding all the healing of disease which our Lord accomplished, there were still multitudes of sick who flocked from various directions to Him, in hope of relief, and when we read that He was moved with compassion for the distressed sheep of Israel, it gives us a deeper appreciation of His kindness, His love, His mercy, and we do not feel that it was strange that He who had left the glory of the Father and the holy angels, and had humbled Himself to man's estate, should now feel compassion for the weak and sinful, the degraded, depraved and pained. Rather, we say, it was just like Him! Without such a spirit, of compassion how would He have become our Redeemer, how would He have left the heavenly glory on our behalf! And when we think of Him as being still the same, it gives us fresh confidence, that notwithstanding our weaknesses and imperfections, and the imperfections and weaknesses of the whole world, "the groaning creation," this same Jesus has compassion, not only upon His people, but in a large sense in due time will have compassion upon all the families of the earth, and grant to all a full opportunity of recovery from the blights of sin, mental, moral, and physical. Surely He only waits for the due time--the time appointed of the Father; then with His faithful, His Kingdom-class, as the Seed of Abraham, He shall indeed, in times of restitution, bless all the families of the earth with a full opportunity of reconciliation to God, and thus of the attainment of life eternal.

At the time of our lesson His work had not yet taken this broad sweep; nor has it yet, although it has advanced beyond the confines of that time. Then His message of reconciliation and His help were extended only to the lost sheep of: the household of natural Israel -- not to the Samaritans nor to the Gentiles. Since then the blessing of reconciliation has been extended so that whosoever has an car to hear, amongst. the Gentiles or amongst the Samaritans, has the privilege of reconciliation during this Gospel Age; but the great time of opening deaf ears and causing all to know the Lord, from the least to the greatest, will be in the Millennial Age to follow this one.

Compassion, however, will be an element of the Lord's character so long as there are any who need help, and desire it; and this will be until the close of the Millennial Age, when all willing to receive the help will have received it, and the only ones not blessed thereby will be those who shall have deliberately rejected His help. Then, and not until then, will His compassion cease to be exercised, for then there will be no need of compassion, that which is perfect having come through the grace of God in Christ.

THE PRAYER FOR MORE LABORERS

Our Lord's compassion for the multitude suggested the. sending forth of representatives, clothed with the power to heat the sick, etc., and in order to bring His disciples into line with His thought He told them that the harvest was plenteous, but the laborers were few, and that they should offer prayer 'on this subject. The substance of their prayer would necessarily be-Lord of the harvest, send forth me as a reaper in the harvest. Jesus Himself was the Lord of the harvest; the whole matter was in His hands, and evidently the twelve Apostles quickly caught His thought and spirit respecting the increase of the work, and in consequence He sent them forth two and two; yet He restricted their going, even as He had restricted His own ministry, to fleshly Israel, because all of God's covenants and promises were still confined to that nation, and would not be open to others until a due time which the Father had fixed, and specified through the Prophet Daniel-namely the end of Israel's seventy weeks of favor-three and a half years beyond our Lord's crucifixion.

"And He gave them power [authority] over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease and sickness." This power was holy spirit power, the same and yet different from that which they received later on at Pentecost from the Father. It was the-same, in that the holy spirit or power of God is always the same power even though it have differences of manifestation. It was holy, in that it was the spirit of our Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit or power which was granted without measure unto Him, which He at this time communicated to these Apostles, that they might, as His representatives, do a work in His name.

Indeed, we may surmise that as the curing of disease caused vitality to go out of our Lord Jesus, to effect the cure, and that thus every cure meant the robbing, of Himself of His own life-powers, His, own vitality, so in this case we should understand that the power for the healing of the sick was Jesus' power, that the disciples did not use their own vitality, but merely His, which He communicated to them, and authorized them to use, saying, "Freely ye have received, freely give." They were giving what cost them nothing, but which was costing Jesus much daily and hourly. It is when we get this thought of our Lord's yielding up His life daily in doing good to others that we can best appreciate how His perfect life was so thoroughly used up in the short space of three and a half years.

SIMILARITY OF THE PRESENT TIME

The healing of the sick and the casting out of devils were but parts and incidents of their mission. In connection with it they were to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom -- the good news that the Kingdom of God was nigh at hand; and the influence of the miracles should properly attract attention to the message, and make the people ready, yea, anxious, for the Kingdom. But so far as the record shows, the people were anxious for the miracles, the healing, but very indifferent respecting that Kingdom. They would take the cures from Jesus and His disciples, but if they wanted information respecting how and when the Kingdom of God would come, they would follow their blind guides as usual.

Nevertheless we may presume that the influence of this mission work throughout Israel was not entirely lost, and that after our Lord's crucifixion, and after the Holy Spirit had come upon the disciples at Pentecost, and they preached the Gospel of the Kingdom from a different standpoint, inviting all true Israelites to unite with Christ, and thus become joint-heirs of the Kingdom with Him --then it was that many, no doubt, of these who had heard previously and witnessed the miracles, were that much better prepared to enter the embryotic Kingdom, the Church, through consecration of themselves to the Lord. And the conversion of several thousands within a few days after Pentecost corroborates this.

The harvest in the. end of the Jewish Age evidently was intended to foreshadow a similar period in the end of this Gospel Age. And now, as then, Jesus is the Lord of the harvest, and His disciples, His messengers, are His agents in the gathering work. And during this time as in the previous one, He seems to have been speaking to these, saying that the harvest is great and that the laborers are few, and that if we have His spirit in the matter, and entreat Him to send us forth in His service, He will be pleased to do so. True disciples have thus prayed from day to day, and have sought to see what more their hands could find to do in the harvest work. And the Lord is graciously with such to guide their service and to bless the results to their own good as well as to the good of others. As all of the disciples then prayed this prayer, and got opportunity to engage in some part of the harvest work, so now all true disciples should be praying this prayer and should be expecting and utilizing opportunities for service.

The methods of the harvest work then and now may be slightly different, and yet they are considerably alike. This is not the fleshly Israel, and the blessings sent at the hands of the harvest reapers are not temporal blessings--not the healings of physical disease; but they are better than these-the opening of eyes of understanding, a far greater blessing than the opening of natural eyes; the removal of deafness as respects the Lord's great Plan, a far more precious boon than the restoration of natural hearing, etc. Likewise, the offering of the Kingdom now is much more tangible and can be demonstrated much more clearly than was possible then, for it is nigh, even at the present doors, and even the world can see the shakings of the present institutions, preparatory to their removal, that those things of truth and grace which cannot be shaken may remain, may be established, under the Lord's reign of righteousness.


DANIEL THE BELOVED OF JEHOVAH

SERIES XIII

THE VISION OF WORLD GOVERNMENTS

"Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another." -- Dan. 7:2, 3.

WE now come in our studies to consider what is very generally termed by Scholars the second part of the book of Daniel, commonly called the prophetical. The first part, which concludes with chapter six, is historical; that is, it gives a history of certain important events that occurred in Daniel's life in Babylon, from the time, when as a youth of less than twenty years, he was carried a captive from his beloved country to that heathen city, to nearly seventy years after, when the great city of Babylon was captured by the Medes and Persians, Daniel at this time had nearly reached the remarkable age of ninety.

The events recorded in the first six chapters are few in number, but are given in chronological order-some of them occurring at widely separated periods. Even the prophetic dream-vision of Nebuchadnezzar, recorded in chapter two, which was interpreted by Daniel, comes in incidentally as a part of that history. This incident occurred in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's career as sole monarch of Babylon. At this time Daniel was only a youth. The events recorded in these six chapters, it will be recalled, occurred during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius the Mede. The much larger portion of the historical part of the book was written in the Aramaean or Chaldee language-the language spoken at Babylon; while nearly all of the last six chapters, the prophetic portion, was written in the Hebrew language. It is very generally believed by reverent students of the Bible that Daniel himself is the author of the entire book.

A question that has been one of more or less conjecture is, Why should certain portions of the prophetic part (chapters seven and eight) which relate to events that occurred in Belshazzar's reign (which reign is included in the historical part), be placed in the second or prophetic portion of the book? The reason seems clearly to be that the purpose of the author, Daniel, was to group together all the prophetic visions and revelations that were given to him. When Daniel was given his first vision, he must have been about seventy years of age. 'This is the vision that he received in the first year of Belshazzar, and that is recorded in this seventh chapter.

SOLICITUDE FOR THE CHOSEN PEOPLE

The receiving of these visions was a wonderful privilege that the Most High gave to Daniel. May if not have been as a reward for his faithfulness to his God during the long period of his life at the court of Babylon. To be given such a privilege would require that he be tried and tested to the uttermost, and thus be proved worthy of so great an honor. Long years of faithfulness had proved his worthiness.

This most wonderful vision recorded in the seventh chapter came to Daniel while he was on his bed at night. It came to him in a dream -- "visions of his head upon his bed." It is most reasonable to believe that the aged saint of God had been meditating upon the Lord's dealings with him and his beloved people. He had reached the time in life when the words of his ancestor, David: "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength, labor, and sorrow," would come home to him with deep significance. He would scarcely expect, in the natural course of things, to live much longer. What would be the future of his people? Would he live to see them return to their native land? He evidently knew that the great empire of Babylon could not last much longer. He knew that its, fall would witness at least a temporary deliverance of his' people. It had been revealed to him in his youthful days that another mighty empire was to succeed Babylon; and that two more in Successive order would follow that one. (Dan. 2.) What would be the future of his beloved countrymen, the chosen people, during the reign of these great empires? How long would the great Jehovah permit these great heathen powers to rule the world?

To his mind at that time, we may be sure, that it would not seem very far distant when God's Kingdom would be established. While realizing, undoubtedly, that he would not live to see it, it is not difficult to imagine with what eager, anxious longing the aged seer looked forward to the time when the Kingdom of the God of heaven would be set up, and earthly kingdoms would pass away. This much of future things was made known to him, when a youth, long, long years before. This Kingdom was the goal of his hopes, as it was also the goal of his own, beloved people.

It is most reasonable to suppose that such would be his thoughts, his meditations. We ourselves know that it is when we are meditating upon the words of the Most High God, and this present evil world is shut out from our thoughts and attention, that the sacred influences from another world, flow in upon us. It was so with Daniel when he received the Divine communication. He tells us that he wrote it all down at the time. He did not wait nor trust it to be handed down by tradition, but he made a record of it immediately, so that when it met its fulfillment, the Lord's people of future generations might compare the predictions with the events that fulfilled them. It was the common custom for the Hebrew prophets to record their predictions. "What thou seest write in a book," was said to the aged St. John long centuries after Daniel had fallen asleep in death to rest 'until the "end of the days," when be "would stand in his lot."

WINDS STROVE UPON THE SEA

 It is said that he "told the sum of the matters." In the Chaldean tongue, we are informed by scholars, this would mean, he "spake the head of the words." The word sum in this passage "means head; and would properly denote such a record as would be a heading up, or a summary -- as stating in a brief way the contents of a book, or the chief points of a thing without going into detail; or per­ haps that he did not go into a minute description of all that he. saw in regard to the beasts that came up from the sea, but that he recorded what might be considered as peculiar, and as having special significance. It is well remarked by Lengerke, on this place, that the prophets, when they described what was to occur to tyrants in future times, conveyed their oracles in a comparatively dark and obscure manner, yet so as to be clear when the events should occur. The reason of this is obvious. If the meaning of many of the predictions had been understood by those to whom they referred, that fact would have been a motive to them to defeat them, and as the fulfillment depended upon their voluntary agency, the prophecy, would have been void, It was necessary, therefore, in general, to avoid direct predictions, and the mention of names, dates, and places, and to make use of symbols whose meaning would be obscure at the time when the prediction was made, but which would be plain when the event should occur. A comparison of verses 4, 9, 11, 14, will show that only a summary of what was to occur was recorded."

That which first attracted the attention of the Prophet was the sea; it may have been the Mediterranean Sea -- at least, some great sea. It was in a disturbed, troubled condition. The winds from the four points of the compass were fiercely blowing upon it, tossing it with fury, and driving it hither and thither. "The four winds . . . strove upon the great sea." The word translated "strove" means to burst or rush forth; that is, the winds seemed to be in conflict with each other. They seemed to rush from all quarters, throwing the sea into wild commotion. The symbol in this place evidently has reference to some wild commotion among the peoples and nations of the earth. It would have its fulfillment in nations agitated by internal conflicts, or by the invasions and conquests of armies from all quarters of the earth.

FOUR BEASTS EMERGE FROM TROUBLED WATERS

While observing doubtless with wonder and awe the storm-tossed sea, Daniel beheld four great and terrible beasts emerge from its troubled waters -- not all at the same time, but in successive order -- one at a time. The first was like a lion, differing from that wild beast, however, in that it had eagle's wings. Observing with deep interest the movements of this beast after it had reached the land, (which movements he does not describe), he records that he "beheld till the wings thereof were plucked," that is, its feathers were torn off. The last he sees of the beast it "was made to stand upon its. [hind] feet as a man"; and instead of the ferocious beast heart, there was given to it the timid, fearful heart of a fallen, degenerate man. We know of course that there is no such animal in nature as a winged lion, but this was the appearance to the Prophet, and it had a special significance.

After he had seen the lion come forth from the sea, and had beheld it undergo these strange and surprising transformations, the Prophet's attention was called to another equally strange and startling sight. It was that of another, a second beast, which was like unto a bear. It also emerged from the troubled, tempestuous sea, and assumed at first a crouching attitude on the shore. It then raised itself up on one side, and Daniel observed in its mouth three ribs of some mutilated creature, "and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh."

 After he had beheld the bear, and its strange actions, etc., Daniel's attention was suddenly attracted to a third beast, like a leopard, which, like the others, came up from the great se . a. It differed, however, from the leopard in that it had upon its back four wings, like the wings of some strong bird or fowl. A still more strange, weird, and startling feature about this beast was that it had four heads. Of this beast, the Prophet states that it was given dominion, or power.

THE FOURTH BEAST "DREADFUL AND TERRIBLE!'

The Prophet next informs us, that he saw in the night visions another, a fourth beast, whose appearance and actions were more strange and terrible than even the three preceding. This, as in the case of the others, came up out of the great storm tossed sea. He describes it as "dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth," and "claws of brass." He observed doubtless with astonishment that "it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it." Furthermore he noted that it differed from all the beasts that preceded it; and that on its head there were ten horns. While considering the action of this terrible beast, and the coming to view of these ten horns, he beheld coming up among them after the ten had all formed, another little horn before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots; and he beholds with astonishment that "in this horn were eyes, like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things." When, later on in the vision, he asks of a heavenly-being an explanation of this little horn, he-says that "his look was more stout than-his fellows," and that this "horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that [when, instead of the beast ruling] the saints possessed the kingdom" or dominion. It is very apparent that this fourth beast, (of which he gives no name) with its ten horns, and especially the strange movements, actions, and words of the "little horn," -- attracted the atten-tion of the Prophet, and awakened his interest and anxiety far more than any of the others. The reason of this, doubtless, was because this horn was directed especially to persecuting the saints of God, and in prevailing against them.

But while gazing with rapt attention and in astonishment and amazement upon these strange and mysterious manifestations taking place upon the agitated sea and land, and contemplating what could be the meaning of the terrible actions of these monsters and particularly of the last one, who acted so evilly against the people of God, another scene-one of an entirely different nature opened before the Prophet's view. While the fourth beast was operating in its "little horn," the Prophet saw "till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit. . . . and the judgment was set, and the books were opened." This scene seems evidently to be associated with a particular event in connection with the "little horn's'' career, for the Prophet says, "I beheld then. ["I was looking for that time," another translates it] because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake." He says further that he continued looking until "the beast was slain and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame"; -- all of which things are very meaningful, and are explained, as we shall see later, by the heavenly revealer to Daniel.

It is at this point that the Prophet relates what occurred to the first three beasts. He tells us that, "As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives Were prolonged for a season and time." This evidently means that as one beast succeeded another, it would have its world-wide. dominion taken away, but would continue to exist, and would be under the sway of the one which conquered it.

After describing the closing scenes connected with the career of the fourth beast and its little horn, the Prophet was given another. a most important, indeed a special vision which must have cheered and encouraged him: "One like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an ever­ lasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."

DANIEL'S HEART MADE HEAVY AND SAD

Daniel relates next the effect the vision had upon him. He says, "I was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me." This doubtless means that his heart was made heavy and sad. One reason for this evidently was because he could not fully understand the meaning of the vision; another, and perhaps the greatest reason was because of the fearful and momentous nature of some of the things indicated by it. Very like this, was the condition of St. John, when eight centuries later he beheld the wondrous vision of the sealed scroll and not understanding it and fearful that it might not be made known to him, he says, "I wept much because no man, was found worthy to open and to read the book." (Rev. 5:4.) How unlike Daniel and St. John are many of the Lord's people today. How, few there are that are in the least measure troubled, or even con­cerned about understanding either -the visions of Daniel or those of St. John. But it has doubtless always been thus; only the few even of the. Lord's people desire to know what is revealed in these specially important rev­elations of the Most High.

The sacred narrative informs us that after he became able to control, somewhat, his grief, Daniel came near to one of them who stood by, and inquired of him the meaning of what he had seen. The angel, for such doubtless he was, graciously acceded to the Prophet's request and explained the meaning of the wonderful vision. The angel in his explanation gives first a general outline of the meaning of the entire vision, and afterwards, at Daniel's inquiry for further information, goes more into the de­ tails. It will be seen from the first-the outline explanation of the angel, that the vision in its fulfillment covers the whole period from the Prophet's day down to the establishment of the Kingdom of God, over the world. His words are: "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings [kingdoms -- See Ver. 23] which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." (Ver. 17, 18.) This was doubtless clearly understood by the Prophet. However, he would not be able to realize the long centuries that would elapse before the goal of his hopes would be reached. It is for the "wise"' of the Lord's people in these days to understand this, and to be able to lift up their heads knowing "the day is near, and the fulfillment of every vision," and that not only we, but Daniel' also, shall soon "stand in his lot at the end of the days."

It will be recalled that in verse 2 the beasts are represented as coming up from the sea, which, as we have explained, represents the agitated, troubled, disturbed state of the peoples and nations. In the angel's explanation we have it expressed more literally -- that these great empires represented by these beasts would spring, up in the world when the peoples and lesser governments were in great commotion, because of wars, revolutions, etc. The Prophet does not have revealed to him how long these wild-beast kingdoms would bear rule in human affairs, but it is made plain to him that their dominion was limited by Divine decree, and that they would be succeeded by the dominion of the Son of Man and the saints.

THE FOUR BEASTS ANOTHER PICTURE OF HUMAN EMPIRES

From this Divine explanation we are enabled to see that the vision of the four wild beasts covers the game period and refers to the same things as that of the image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, which was explained to the heathen monarch some half century before. In the two visions the four great empires of the world are depicted by strangely contrasted symbols. The great and splendid image of gold, silver, brass, iron, and clay, represents the way that a worldly idolater like Nebuchad-nezzar would look upon these great empires. The four ferocious beasts, treading down the earth and breaking everything in pieces, pictures the same empires as a man of God sees them. While the great metallic image of the king's dream refers to the same great empires as do the four beasts in Daniel's vision, the latter vision is far more explicit in details, and seems to have been given more especially to describe those times in the history of the world subsequent to 476 A.D. Of this we shall say more later. Our purpose at this time will be to locate in history the four empires symbolized by the four beasts, and to note how fitting are the symbolic descriptions.

We first note that the captivity of God's representative people in Babylon was the occasion of this vision, as also the one in chapter two, given over a half century prior to this. The object was to cheer, encourage, and sustain God's people, the seed of faith, both Jewish and Christian. The long period of delay, the frequent times of tribulation that the Lord's people were to encounter before the Kingdom of Messiah would be set up, required this. Daniel, as well as his fellow associates, must have been greatly encouraged by this Divine prediction. They would know that the Pagan, wild-beast empires, and their ignorance of the true God, were to come to an end at last. They would be comforted with the thought that God had not forgotten His covenant; that the cruel, brutal, and destructive empires of earth had, their divinely appointed time; that the dark and trying experiences of the people of God were only for a season; and that "the sure mercies of David" were not to fail, though there was to be ample time for God's people to manifest the "patience of hope."

There was nothing in the vision of Nebuchadnezzar's dream that would cause them to understand how long would be the period before the realization of their hopes; and though it is true that there is a mystical period -- a period which has its application to the "little horn," mentioned in this vision of Daniel, yet it did not convey to their mind's any idea as to the duration of the four empires or the "little horn," so as to hinder them from believing that the time might be comparatively short. Daniel was well aware that the kingdom symbolized by the first beast was Babylon, that its duration would be only seventy years, and that these years, at the time he had this vision, had nearly run their course. Whether the three succeeding empires would be longer or shorter could not have been known to Daniel at this time.

THE HISTORIAN MAKES SURE THE INTERPRETATION

Both the vision of Daniel and that of Nebuchadnezzar agree in the assertion that the period of Gentile dominion would be marked out by four successive empires bearing rule; and that the fourth would, after a time, be divided into a commonwealth of ten separate, but associate kingdoms. Even the enemies of Divine inspiration cannot dispute this. Over twenty-five hundred years have passed since this inspired foreview of history was revealed to the aged Prophet. What have these long centuries witnessed? Has there actually and conspicuously occurred such a succession of empires -- empires exercising by right of conquest a rulership over many other kingdoms -- "empires universal, as far as the known world of their day extended-empires that brooked no rival, but lorded it over all during their span of supremacy"? Furthermore, has the course of history up to the present time shown that the fourth was divided into a ten-kingdomed commonwealth ?

The first significant thing to be noted in replying to these questions is that the Scriptures themselves name four kingdoms that have borne universal rule in the earth since Daniel's day. The first is that of Babylon, so stated by Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar in the words: "Thou [that is thy kingdom] art this head of gold." , The second is named by the angel Gabriel in a succeeding vision (chap. 8:20) : "The ram having two horns [corresponding to the bear of chapter 7] is the kings of Media and Persia." The third, the one like a leopard, is described under another symbol, that of a "rough goat," and is stated to be the "king of Grecia." The fourth is called by name over five centuries after Daniel had the vision. It is mentioned in connection with the narrative in the Gospel of Luke concerning the birth of the great Redeemer. "There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed." Caesar Augustus ruled over the Roman Empire. The records of secular history are equally as clear. "One of the most invaluable relics of antiquity which we possess is the Syntaxis of Ptolemy, an astronomer and chronologist, who lived at the time of Hadrian's destruction of Jerusalem (135 A.D.). This accurate writer records in his Canon (in connection with astronomic data verified by modern observations and absolutely certain) the names and dates of fifty-five successive sovereigns whose reigns extended over 907 years, from Nabonassar, the first king of Babylon (B.C. 747), to Antonius Pius, the emperor of Rome, in whose days Ptolemy wrote. He traces thus the succession of the greatest monarchs in the world from before Daniel's time to his own, a period of nine centuries, and presents in one unbroken line imperial rule as it was administered by different dynasties of monarchs from various centers of government, in Asia, Africa, and Europe. The Canon of Ptolemy is an unquestioned and unquestionable authority, both as to history and chronology. He was not a Jew or a Christian, and had probably no knowledge of the prophecies of Daniel. How did the world's history for these nine centuries present itself to him? He divides it into four successive parts, and enumerates twenty Babylonian kings, ten Persian (terminating with Alexander the Great I , eleven in all), twelve Grecian, and ends with twelve Roman emperors, thus bringing the list down to his own time, which was that of the early Roman Empire. He could not, of course, go any further, or foretell [as Daniel did] the fall of the [fourth] empire, and the rise of the Gothic kingdoms of the Middle Ages.

"Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome; this was the order Ptolemy saw in looking back; this was the retrospect of the historian, and it accords absolutely with the outline seen beforehand by the Prophet."--H. G. Guinness.

A PICTURE OF UNBROKEN IMPERIAL RULE

Mr. Faber, an eminent Bible expositor, has called attention to the fact that Ptolemy in his Canon clearly and definitely fixes the very point in history where the different metals of the "image of empires" (Dan. 2) begin and end. He says on this matter:

"In each case [that of Daniel and that of Ptolemy] the principle of continuous arrangement is identical. Where Ptolemy makes the Persian Cyrus the immediate successor of the Babylonic Nabonadius [more frequently spelled Nabonnedus] or Belshazzar [his son] without taking into account the preceding kings of Persia or Media, there, in the image, the silver joins itself to the gold; where Ptolemy makes the Grecian Alexander the immediate successor of the Persian Darius [III] without taking into account the preceding kings of Macedon, there, in the image, the brass joins itself to the silver; and where Ptolemy makes the Roman Augustus the immediate successor of the Grecian Cleopatra [the last ruler of the fourth head of the leopard, Egypt] without taking into ac­ count the long preceding role of the consular Fasti [of Rome] and the primitive Roman monarchy, there, in the image, the iron joins itself to the brass. In short, the Canon of Ptolemy may well be deemed a running commentary upon the altitudinal line of the great metallic image. As the parts of the image melt into each other, forming jointly one grand succession of supreme imperial domination, so the Canon of Ptolemy exhibits what may well be called a picture of unbroken imperial rule, though administered by four successive dynasties, from Nabonassa [grandfather of Nebuchadnezzar] to Augustus and his successors."

How true, how wonderfully true, is it that the Almighty One who gave these remarkable predictions that portray the general outlines of the world's history, also raised up historians, and strange to say, unbelieving historians, to make a correct record of the fulfillment of these predictions! In the Divine providence Herodotus and other Greek historians were raised up "to carry on the records of the past, from the point to which they had' been brought by the writings of the Prophets; and the same Divine providence raised up Josephus at the termination of New Testament history to make a record of the events connected with the destruction of Jerusalem, which was also foretold in one of Daniel's visions." The same Divine providence raised up Ptolemy to record the fulfilment of the wonderful predictions contained in Daniel 2 and 7.

And this is not all by any means. "The ancient Jewish Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, written shortly before the First Advent; the writings of Josephus, who was born during the life-time of our Lord; the Commentary of Jerome, and the writings of other Fathers of the early centuries of our era; the histories of Sulpicius -- all give the same outline. In fact, ancient history is written on this principle; all the best writers divide this subject thus, and the experience of school and college teaches us the truth of Daniel's outline. Do we not study as four separate branches the history of Rome, of Greece, of Persia, and of Babylon?"

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BEASTS SIGNIFICANT

We next take up the consideration of the meaning of the tributary symbols attached to these four wild beasts, as the wings of the lion, those of the leopard, together with the latter's four heads, etc. We will find that all these describe most minutely the peculiar characteristics of these great empires of the world. The lion, with its eagle wings, is a most fitting symbol of the great empire of Babylon; it being the king of beasts, and the eagle the king of birds. Both the lion and the eagle are employed by the Prophets to symbolize Babylon. The wings on the lion are employed to describe the rapidity with which this kingdom, under Nebuchadnezzar, conquered the world. It being made to stand on its feet as a man, and a man's heart being given to it, describes the fearful, timid, spirit shown by the successors of Nebuchadnezzar, especially Belshazzar. This was especially the peculiar character displayed by this king, who, ceasing to extend his conquests, shut himself up in the city of Babylon, which city ,was finally captured by Cyrus and Darius. Thus ended the dominion of the empire symbolized by the first beast.

It should be kept in mind that while the expression in Dan. 2:38, in reference to Babylon, denotes universality, it must be understood with reference to the world then known, as is generally understood by students of the Bible, that there are occasional statements that use unlimited terms in limited senses, and so it is in this prophecy. Nebuchadnezzar's empire never extended at all into Europe. During the period when Nebuchadnezzar was making his conquests, and his exploits were occupying the attention of men, Greece and Rome, and even to a much greater extent, France, Spain, and Britain, were merely peopled by nomadic tribes, which were not known at all by the kingdoms of the East. It was in that region where the human family had its beginning that Nebuchadnezzar was monarch, and the first empires were developed. Even over some Asiatic countries that he conquered, his dominion was not that of an actual administration of government, but rather the exaction of tribute.

The second beast, the bear, symbolizes the great Medo-Persian Empire. The unwieldy, clumsy movements of the bear is a fitting symbol of the manner that this kingdom made its conquests. Nothing of the agility of the winged lion is seen in this kingdom. The Medo-Persian army, even in its less important conquests, numbered not less than a third of a million men. Xerxes came against Greece with an army of two and a half million men. Never in ancient history do we hear of any kingdom bringing such masses of men together and causing the wholesale slaughter of so many individuals as the Persian power. It is further said of the bear that "it raised itself on one side."

Various interpretations have been given this as applying to the Persian power. The true meaning seems to be found by keeping in mind that the expression has reference to the bear's rising from a recumbent position, as if it had been lying down, indicating a state of repose. As applied to the empire, its rising up would seem to represent its arousing itself, after a period of quiet, to make further conquests. It seems difficult to discover the exact time that this feature met its fulfillment. Some writers place it before the conquest of Babylon, others after. The latter seems the most reasonable. Understanding it to be the latter, the three ribs that were seen in the mouth of the bear, would be Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt, these powers being conquered in the order given. "The bidding of it to devour much flesh was fulfilled in the great waste of human life which­ characterized the ponderous aggressions of this power, which never had the speed and agility of a winged lion, but always moved with the huge heaviness and massive strength of the awkward animal here made to represent."

THE FORECAST OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT

The third beast, like unto a leopard, symbolized the Grecian or Macedonian Empire. The leopard, while not considered one of the noblest or greatest of animals, yet it belongs to the lion order more than the bear. The pecu­liar traits of this animal are fierceness and cruelty. It is also noted for its insidious and watchful lying in wait for its prey, and its sudden pouncing upon the objects of its attack. Added to this, its having on its back four wings, made it exceedingly agile and quick in its movements. These are all peculiar and striking characteristics of the Grecian Empire, pre-eminently so under Alexander the Great. It is written of him that he was impetuous and fierce in his warring expeditions, even as a leopard or panther after his prey. History relates that he "came upon his enemies with that speed as if he flew with a double pair of wings." He began his conquests at the age of twenty years, and in twelve years from this time the whole world had been brought to bow under his scepter. In a most emphatic and very special sense did the words of the revealing angel, "dominion was given to him," meet their fulfillment. However, he did not live to enjoy the fruit of his conquests, or to put his vast dominion into a fixed or settled state. The historian informs us that the plans of Alexander were brought to an end by the sudden death of their projector, at Babylon at the age of thirty-three (B.C. 323). Thus cut off in the vigor of early manhood, he left no inheritor either of his power or his projects. When asked on his death-bed to whom he left the empire, he said, 'To the strongest.' But there was none strong enough. Thus the vast dominion broke into fragments soon after his death, . . . and the generals who had fought under him contended fiercely during twenty years for the fragments. In the year 301 a decisive action took place at Ipsus in Phrygia, the result of which gave Syria and the East to Seleucus, Egypt-to Ptolemy, Thrace to Lysimachus, and Macedonia to Cassander." * It was these four powers thus springing out of the one empire founded by Alexander that was clearly represented by the four heads on the leopard beast.

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* Swinton, Outlines of the World's History

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Thus was fulfilled these parts of the prophetic vision seen by Daniel and explained by the angel some two hundred years prior to this event. As the Grecian or Macedonian Empire is referred to in­ later visions and revelations given to Daniel, we reserve further consideration of this great empire until we come to those predictions. The non-descript beast representing the great Roman Empire will next engage our attention.


"YE ARE MY WITNESSES"

"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations."--Matt. 29:16-20; John 17:18; Acts 1 :6-8.

THAT those who should constitute the Church of the Firstborn of this Gospel Age were given a specific commission to carry out is not disputed by any students of the Sacred Word. Jesus had repeatedly instructed His disciples while He was with them that they were to, take up the work of the ministry after His departure; that they were to walk in His steps and let their light shine in a dark place, the substance of this great commission being that they were to proclaim the good word of the coming Kingdom, based upon His sacrificial life, a ransom given for all.

It was in harmony with this thought (that the work which He had begun, His Apostles, and all His footstep followers, were to carry on) that the Master so particularly instructed them during the forty days after His resurrection. It was probably at least a week after He had seen seven brethren in Galilee that He appeared to them again at Jerusalem, where He evidently had appointed the Apostles to assemble. Here He met with them and gave them His final parting, instructions, which were perfectly in harmony with His previous teachings, that their mission was to continue to be a spiritual one, to feed His sheep and to feed His lambs -- to continue the work which He had begun, and to follow in His footsteps. But He impresses upon their minds the fact that they are incompetent for' this work until first they shall have received of the Father through Him a special power from on High, for which He bade them wait at Jerusalem. He reminded them that this blessing for which they were to wait was the same that He already had mentioned before His crucifixion, telling them that the Father would send the Holy Spirit in His name, that it would bring to their remembrance all things that He had spoken unto them, and guide them into all truth, etc.-John 14:16, 26; 15: 26.

He would impress His disciples with the importance of the blessing for which they were to wait, and with the fact that it meant to them a new era, a new dispensation: as they knew of the reformation movement instituted by John the Baptizer, and that. the repentant sinners were immersed in water, He would have them know that now He was instituting a Church on a much higher plane, and that all who would be received into it would be immersed in Holy Spirit, holy power-come under an influence of power from on High. His declaration that this would be not many days hence, was indefinite purposely; first, that they should expect if soon, and not be disheartened or discouraged, and yet He left the exact number of days unstated, so that they might be continually watching for it. This left the Apostles in a waiting attitude, and, as Luke informs us, in an attitude of prayer and expectancy, very profitable to them at this juncture.

WILT THOU AT THIS TIME RESTORE THE KINGDOM

Slowly, during the forty days, the disciples were learning to expect very different things from what they had in mind at the beginning and throughout the Lord's ministry: they were learning that the Kingdom glories and honors . were not to be distributed immediately; but' that a new dispensation, and a new kind of work in harmony with it, was set before them to be done; and gradually their minds reverted to the prophecies in which the blessings of the Lord upon the nation of Israel are set forth, and the intimation given that the blessings upon the whole world are to flow through the children of Abraham in some national capacity. They had confidence in these prophecies, and now they would ask the Lord respecting them. How could these prophecies be fulfilled under the new arrangement, which seemed to ignore the nation and to merely use themselves, the Lord's followers, a mere fragment of the nation. Hence their inquiry of the Master whether now or soon or when the prophecies would be fulfilled, which promised the restoration of Israel to Divine favor as God's Kingdom, thus implying its release from the power of Rome and all other dominions.

Our Lord's answer was not to the effect that they had misunderstood these prophecies, and that they would all have some kind of spiritual fulfillment, on the contrary, by His answer He implied that their conception of the prophecies-was quite proper, but that the time for their fulfillment had not yet come, and that they must not press the question as to the times and seasons; they must trust to God, who has these in His own keeping, and who will abundantly fulfil every promise He had ever made in its due time.

Our Lord, then, drew the minds of His disciples back to their own work, to which He had called them to the work which they were to accomplish as members of His Body in the flesh. He informs them that they shall be specially empowered through the Holy Spirit, which the Father would send in His name; and that using this power, this influence, they would be privileged to be His witnesses -- His representatives-representatives of His character. His teachings and His work, not only in Jerusalem and throughout Judea and Samaria, but also eventually to the utmost parts of the earth. He would have them see that a great Work was being committed to their care. God would attend to all of His promises in due time; now they, to be His co-laborers and witnesses, must be attentive to the work to which they had consecrated themselves, and for which they now were to be thoroughly empowered and quickened through the Holy Spirit.

GO GATHER FROM ALL NATIONS

"Therefore go ye, disciple all nations." Their commission to go and spread Him as Messiah was based on the fact that the Father had accepted His work, finished at Calvary, and had recognized Him with full authority as Messiah, by His resurrection from the dead: therefore we may preach Jesus, the power of God and the channel of all His promised mercies and blessings to all who have "an ear to hear," to all nations, and not, as previously, to the Jewish nation only.

Following the assurance of His authority as the Messiah, our Lord, addressing especially the eleven Apostles, but indirectly, with and through them, addressing all His followers, gave them and us the great commission under which we, His people, have since been operating. It might be termed the ordination of His Apostles and all His followers as preachers, ambassadors, members of the Royal Priesthood, speaking and teaching in the name of the Master, the fully empowered Messiah. The commission divides itself into three parts: (1) "Make disciples of all nations"; (2) "baptizing them"; (3) "teaching them." The word teach in the Common Version (ver. 19) is not from the same Greek word rendered teach in verse 20. The word in verse 19 signifies proselytizing or making disciples of. The word teach in verse 20 signifies instruct.

A wrong thought is derived from this text by 'many students of the Scriptures, when they consider it to mean, Go and convert all nations. This is not the thought,. but rather, Go ye and gather converts from all nations, and baptize them and teach them, etc. This view is in accord with our Master's declaration on other occasions, in which He testified that they would not be converted at His Second Coming, but quite the reverse: "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" This interpretation is in harmony with our Lord's statement in Matt. 24: 14, "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.". Whoever gets the wrong thought respecting the commission is apt to take the wrong action in his endeavor to comply with it. Those who have con­cluded that the Lord intended the conversion of the world are led to various subterfuges, both in mind and in con­ duct, in order to attempt to carry out the commission they misunderstand. This is leading some at the present time to ignore the Scriptural definition of the terms of membership in Christ's Kingdom-to lower the standard both of faith and of conduct, in order to admit a larger proportion of the human family and in order to, if possible, convince themselves and others that the world is growing better and being converted. Some have not only concluded that the preaching of the cross of Christ and faith in the redemption is unnecessary, but have even gone further than this, and have claimed that even a historical knowledge of Christ is unnecessary, and that heathen religions are to be esteemed as part of the preach­ ing of the Gospel, and that the heathen obedience to their religious customs is to be esteemed as obedience to the Gospel. Thus more or less false views of the commission are leading astray many who see no hope in any other way of ever attaining to that which our Lord commissioned nearly nineteen centuries ago, and which otherwise they would feel has thus far failed most miserably, and has no hope of ever being accomplished.

On the other hand we hold that the commission rightly read and understood has been fulfilled; that the message of Christ and the Kingdom has been proclaimed, directly or indirectly, with more or with less force and energy, in every nation under heaven, and that as a result some from every nation have been made disciples; and that incidentally a "witness" has been given to all the peoples of the earth respecting the redemption and the Divine provision for salvation through the Redeemer. Of these disciples gathered out of all nations by the message of the Lord a "little flock" will be found to whom it will be the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom, in joint-heirship with Jesus in glory as the Seed of Abraham, through whom, in the Millennial Age, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. From this standpoint only can our Lord's commission be properly appreciated and its fulfillment recognized.

DISCIPLING THE WORLD

The work of the evangelist comes first -- Go, make disciples of as many as will hear your message. The word disciple signifies pupil, and those interested through the evangelist are supposed to be only pupils in the school of Christ, in the primary department. As they become instructed in righteousness their full consecration is in order, as represented in baptism-death to* self and to the world--buried with Christ by baptism into His death. (Rom. 6: 3-5.) Then comes the third step, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever Christ commanded. Any neglect of this commission and its order of procedure means comparative failure; and yet on every hand we see that its specific features are neglected. We find the majority of professed Christians giving the baptism first, in a wrong order as well as of a wrong kind. Secondly, they disciple them into sectarian denominations and make them members of these, and get them to consecrate their money and energies to these rather than to the Lord. Thirdly, having thus gotten them into sectarian bondage they neglect them, and go out after others, failing entirely to give them the "teaching" which the Lord" indicates is necessary as a preparation for joint-heirship in His Kingdom--teaching respecting the Divine character and plan, and the graces of the Holy Spirit and the necessity for rooting 'out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and developing the spirit of the Lord-meekness, gentleness, patience, brotherly kindness, love.

To follow the Lord's instruction the Royal Priesthood should first, when discipling, inform those who have ears to hear that they are sinners through the fall-imperfect in thought, in word, and in act; and consequently unacceptable to God and under sentence of death, extinction; but that God has made a provision for their rescue, and their return to harmony with Him and to life everlasting: that Christ Jesus, in harmony with the Father's Plan, paid the penalty of Adamic sin and condemnation, and thus purchased the whole race of Adam, and proposes to set at liberty all who obey Him. That now He, is offering release by faith to as many as have the hearing ear -- "even as many as, the Lord your God shall call," and that such as hear and accept the call may reckon themselves as "justified by faith," as having their sins covered, and as being thus reconciled to the Father through faith in Christ; and that now, if they become followers or disciples of Christ they may become joint-sacrificers with Him, and by and by be made joint-heirs in His Kingdom, and its great work of blessing the world.

CALLED TO BAPTISM INTO HIS DEATH

So many as are interested in the message will inquire the way by which they can attain this, and the answer must be that the full acceptance of discipleship must be indicated by a full consecration, heart, mind, and body, to the Lordeven unto death; and that this submission of the will to the Lord is counted as, a baptism, a burial, an immersion with Him into death; and that as soon as they have performed this. real baptism or immersion of the will they should submit themselves to an outward immersion in water, which would symbolize this, portraying their death and burial to self, to sin, and to the world, and their resurrection to newness of life and conduct as members of the Body of Christ.

They are to be urged to take this step of consecration unto death, not in their own strength or name, nor in the name of their instructor; but are to be pointed to the fact that this course is authorized by the Father, by the Son and by the Holy Spirit. It is thus to be done ';in the name of" or by the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and not in the name of a sect or de­ nomination or any human teacher. It is a mistake on the part of some to consider this text to mean that converts are to be baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. On the contrary the Apostle dis­ tinctly declares, that we are baptized into Christ as members of His Body. -- Rom. 6:3-5.

Those who go thus far, who respond to the preaching of the Gospel, and inquire concerning the way, the truth, and the life, and who, with true repentance from sin and contrition of heart, desire to become disciples of Christ, and who then take this step of consecration, are baptized thereby into the Church, "the Body of Christ" -- not the Baptist Church nor any other human institution, but the one true Church, the Church of the living God, whose names are written in heaven. (Heb. 12:23.) They need not that their names should be written in any earthly roll or register. The names of such, we are told, are written in the Lamb's book of life, and if they are faithful to their covenant He will not blot out their names, He assures us. The seal of their acceptance is the Holy Spirit, whose leadings and instructions and marks of character become more and more discernible to them and to others daily, as they thereafter seek to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

But still they will need instruction; in fact, all that has gone before in their Christian experience has merely prepared them to receive instruction; and when they have reached the condition of justification by faith, and then of sanctification (consecration to the Lord, baptism), they have merely become "babes in Christ." As such they are ready for spiritual food, and should first be fed with the sincere milk of the, Word, that they may grow thereby, and as they make progress the Lord Himself stands pledged to it that they shall have "meat ' in due season," and as they are able to bear it the "strong meat" which belongs to them that are developed, strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, "overcomers," soldiers of Christ, having on His armor and fighting a good fight, lifting high the royal banner, and active in helping others to attain the same conditions.

ONE COMMISSION FOR ENTIRE AGE

That our Lord gave His great commission, not merely to the Apostles but to all who should believe on Him through their word, is clearly shown by the words with which He closed the commission, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the Age." The Apostles did not live to the end of the Age, and hence the Lord's words signify that He will be with all of His followers who avail themselves of His commission, and who endeavor. to present His Message to those who have ears to hear out of all nations. He of course did not mean that He would be personally present with them, for He had already told them that personally He would go away, and that personally He would come again at the end of the Age (John 14:2), and His words are not to be understood as contradictory. His meaning in the present instance evidently was that He would supervise their work, He would be the real Head of the Church, He would oversee all of their affairs, He would be with them in the sense of supporting and guiding and counseling those who would walk in His way and proclaim His Message-and in proportion as they were faithful to the charge. This assurance of the Lord's presence was intended to give the Apostles courage for the work He was committing to them. While He was with them in the flesh they merely followed His direction, and as soon as He was smitten they felt as sheep having no shepherd, and now He was going away, but He wished them to realize that His power would be with them and His supervising guidance of their affairs would be granted them, as surely as while He was with them in the flesh -- though apparent only to the eye of faith. According to their faith it should be unto them a strength, a power.

And all the way down through the Age the Lord's people have similarly been required to walk by faith and not by sight, and the lesson no doubt has been valuable to them in spiritual upbuilding, much more so than had He remained in the flesh with us. And if the thought of the Lord's spiritual supervision of His work was to be a source of encouragement and strength to those who would attempt to teach in His name all through the Age, much more may we of the present time realize His assistance in the closing days of this Gospel Age, although we see Him with no other than the eye of faith, yet, believing, we have joy unspeakable and strength and courage for the work. He is with His people today as He was with the Apostles in the sowing of the seed.

CHURCH'S MINISTRY CONTINUES ON
TO END OF HER EARTHLY CAREER

Surely He who was careful to supervise the sowing work is not less interested and careful in respect to the reaping. Let us then go forth with the message with energy and courage, remembering that we serve the Lord Christ, remembering that we are not responsible for the harvest but merely for our energy in finding hearing ears. If the labor be great for the finding of few grains of ripe wheat we are to rejoice the more in those we do find, and -learn to love and appreciate the more that which is scarce and precious.

Some have written of their discouragement in these latter days, of almost concluding that effort to bear testimony to the Truth may now cease-that we may now stand in idleness. We do not share this view. To our understanding there are still opportunities of bearing the Message of Truth; and it continues to have a harvesting effect of separating between the true and the false. While we realize that our opportunities are considerably curtailed, yet we would not draw the conclusion from this that the Lord would have us consider that the mission of the Church is entirely fulfilled, and that there is nothing more to be done. As long as we have the freedom to speak the truth we should be faithful in using such opportunities regardless of the results. For the encouragement of the brethren, we would say that there are still those who give evidence of having the hearing ear and of hungering and thirsting for righteousness-truth. Let us permit the Lord Himself to be the one who shall close the door, and let us labor on while it is called day, for the night cometh when no man can work.

Let us remember, too, while using all, the wisdom we can in this service, that the Lord's object in giving us a share in His work is not so much what we can accomplish as in the blessing that the labor will bring upon us. This will be an encouraging thought to the dear ones who are engaged in the ministry of the truth, both by word of mouth and by the distribution of free literature; and if they find many discouragements and but small results, the reflection that the Master knoweth them that are His, and that He appreciates every sincere effort made to serve His cause and to lay down our lives on behalf of the brethren, will give courage and strength to those who otherwise might faint by the way.


THE GREAT PENTECOSTAL BLESSING

"Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."--Acts 2:1-4, 37-42.

NO more important event to the Church of Christ was possible than that which was represented in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in the beginning of the Age. And how fitting, that those who were to represent the great Redeemer in this world and were to. enter upon so important a commission should thus receive a special ordination -- be specially endued with power from. on High. And too, what an inspiring picture we have before us as we behold this group of faithful, devout watchers, waiting in an attitude of prayer and expectancy, and in readiness to begin their mission of feeding His sheep and lambs. We are not positively informed that any others than the Apostles were present at this time, but from previous statements, to the effect that others (to a total of one hundred and twenty) met with the Apostles, "continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication," we may reasonably infer that they were present at the time of the pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and that the whole company was thus baptized, immersed in the Holy Spirit, which filled the place where they were assembled. There is no good reason, however, for questioning respecting the cloven tongues of fire that these sat upon any but the Apostles. The statement is that "It sat upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." The subsequent statement is that all those who spoke, all to whom the Spirit gave utterance or tongues, were Galileans; but whether or not the Apostles were thus specially recognized at this time, we are assured, not only from our Lord's words, but also from His subsequent revelation, that the Apostles occupied a special place in connection with His Kingdom, His Church, assigned to no others. -- John 6:70; Rev. 21:14.

The Pentecostal blessing signified Divine acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice, finished at Calvary, which our Lord at this time had presented before the Father. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the consecrated believers constituted their begetting of the Spirit to the new nature, and implied thus, that the condemnation upon them as the children of Adam and under the Law Covenant was cancelled, and that now they were accepted in the Beloved, counted As children of God, and if children then heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord, if so be that they would suffer with Him, that they might also be glorified together. -- Rom. 8:16, 17.

GOD'S HOLY POWER

As is implied in our Lord's statement and in His promise, this was a new thing. No such outpouring of the Divine Spirit had ever occurred before as respected the children of Adam. Indeed, no such acceptance and new begetting on God's part was possible until first atonement for sin had been made and accepted. The only thing corresponding to it was the descent of the Holy Spirit upon our Lord at the time of His consecration at baptism in Jordan. He there received the Holy Spirit of adoption in the same sense, but "without measure," He being perfect; those who received this Holy 'Spirit at Pentecost received it by measure, that is, in limited degree. (John 3:34.) Although they were all "filled" with the spirit, yet, because of weakness and imperfections of their organisms, they could only receive limited measures, these differing one from the other according to natural temperaments, etc.

God's Holy Spirit had indeed been manifested in various ways previously, but all of them differed from this manifestation. For instance, it was the holy power of God which moved upon the waters in connection with the world's creation. (Gen. 1:2.) Again, as the Apostle Peter declares, "Holy men of old spake and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit"--mechanically. (2 Pet. 1:21.) He further explains that what they spake and wrote they did not comprehend; because their utterances and writings were not for themselves, but for us of the Gospel Age. We are, therefore, to recognize the fact that the spirit dispensation had its beginning in Jesus, when He was thirty years of age; but so far as others were concerned its beginning was in the sanctified ones at Pentecost, as recorded in this lesson. Neither are we to think that these Pentecostal outpourings and baptisms require a repetition, for the Holy Spirit thus once poured upon the Church was to abide, to continue, with the Church, not to be withdrawn and poured out afresh repeatedly. Some have concluded that there were times when the Holy Spirit was not in the world at all; but this was because they were looking for it in a wrong direction or under wrong conditions. At times the nominal church of outward professors has been so overgrown with the "tare" element that the true "wheat" could not so readily be discerned, yet we are confident that the Lord never left Himself without a witness, and that even in the darkest hour of the Dark Ages there were some of God's true people in the world; some representatives of the Body of Christ; some, therefore, possessing the Holy Spirit; some who therefore constituted the salt of the earth and the lights of the world, even though the darkness was great around them and its influence so powerful that no record of the true Church is to be found, but only the records of the apostasy.

The Holy Spirit, in harmony with our Lord's promise, was sent only to the consecrated class, and was to abide in the true Church class, "the Body of Christ"; and we, and all others who since have come into fellowship and union with our Lord, "the Head of the Body which is His Church," have thus come into and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, our rightful portion and privilege. By this spirit we were begotten to the spiritual nature, and became heirs of all the exceeding great and precious promises which belong to "the Body of Christ."

THE HOLY SPIRIT NOT THE BAPTISM OF FIRE

It was appropriate that the giving of the Holy Spirit should be with certain outward demonstration and manifestation; not merely to impress and convince the Apostles' and the early Church, but also for the benefit of those who should subsequently come into relationship with the Church. Faith must have a ground to rest upon; an assurance that there was at the beginning such a direct recognition of the Savior's sacrifice and of the Divine acceptance of the consecrated ones who trusted in Him. The rushing wind fitly represented this Holy Spirit; indeed the words "spirit" and "wind" are both from the same Greek word; a wind is the best illustration of God's Spirit, because it is powerful, and yet it is invisible. The cloven or split tongues "like as of fire" or light, was also fit symbols by which to teach the Church something respecting the Divine power that had come upon her.

As a tongue it represented the influence which God would use during this Gospel Age as the agency of His Spirit in accomplishing the work He now designs to do; for "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Cor. 1:21.) This way of preaching is not a foolish way, since it is God's way; but it is so different a way of effecting a work from what the natural man would have chosen that it seems to him to be an unwise way. True, at the beginning of this Age, the tongues, the preaching, was supplemented by miraculous "gifts" among the Lord's people, but these were not designed to be permanent, as the Apostle explains (1 Cor. 18: 8) ; and after the Apostles who alone had the power to confer these gifts had died, the gifts themselves of necessity gradually vanished; since which time the preaching tongue has been practically the only instrument which the Lord has used in connection with His great work of calling out and sanctifying the peculiar people to be the Bride, the Royal Priesthood, the Body of Christ.

Some have incorrectly identified the fire-likeness of these tongues with the prophecy of John the Baptist, respecting Christ, saying, "He shall baptize you with Holy Spirit and with fire." (Matt. 3:11, 12.) John's words were not addressed to the disciples, but to the promiscuous, company of his hearers, some of whom were Israelites. indeed, and some, as he declared, a generation of vipers. The Pentecostal blessing was indeed the fulfillment of a part of John's prediction, namely the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5) ; but this was not the fulfillment of the latter part of John's prophecy respecting the baptism of fire. The room wherein the disciples were assembled was not filled with fire, and they were not immersed in it, either literally or figuratively. The cloven tongues which appeared upon their heads were not fire, but light, a fitting symbol of the Holy Spirit, and the message of light and truth and blessing which the Apostles were pro­ claiming. The baptism of fire, which John predicted, came later, not upon the faithful of Israel, but upon the class whom John designated, a "generation of vipers"--upon the class of whom the Apostle Paul says, "Wrath is come upon this people to the uttermost." The trouble, the de­ structive trouble, the fiery trouble, in which that whole na­ tion was figuratively engulfed and baptized, and which ended in A. D. 70, after witnessing the destruction of mil­ lions* of lives, millions of property, and the complete over­ throw of Israel's national polity, was the worthy fulfilment of John's prediction of a baptism of fire.

Continued in next issue.


FAITH AND FEELING

Feeling should never be mistaken for faith, yet there is as much connection between faith and hallowed feeling as there is between the root and the flower. Faith is permanent, just as the root is ever in the ground. Feeling is casual and has its season. just as the root or bulb does not always shoot up the green stem and beautiful flowers, so faith does not always produce ecstasy of feeling. Our faith may be just as strong when we are despondent as when we are filled with joy. As we feel the calamities of war, the pangs of disease, and the hardness of poverty, our feeling sinks down to zero, while our faith may be as firm as the granite that underlies the cloud-kissing hills. Measure not God's love and power by your own feeling. The sun shines as clearly in the darkest day as it does in the brightest; the difference is not in the sun, but in some clouds that are between you and the sun. So God loves as well when we see not the brightness of His countenance as when we do.

If our faith is founded on the immutability of God, our Christian life and love will flow steadily on like a deep, .river, not easily affected by a cold blast nor obstructed by despondencies.

Moses was not governed by feeling when he stood on the margin of the Red Sea, neither was Abraham when he offered up Isaac, nor Israel when they compassed Jericho seven days.

Have faith in God, move forward all along the line, and we shall have the victory.


CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE

Christian experience is not the exaltation of feeling, or ecstasy that finds expres-sion only when inspired by the ardent songs, prayers and exhortations of Christian fellowship.

Christian experience is "putting off the old man with his deeds, and putting on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him."

Christian experience is growth -- "To grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"; to be rooted and grounded in Love, and grow up in all things like unto Him who is our Head.

Christian experience is to build up a character, "adding to faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love."

Christian experience is to be laborers in the Lord's vineyard, workers together with God; and it is to be soldiers of the Cross armed cap-a-pie with the whole armor of God, following the Captain of our salvation.

Christian experience is visiting the widow and fatherless in their affliction, and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world.

As an example, of true Christian experience, you are referred to the. experience of Paul as recorded in 2 Cor. 11 and 12.

It is in such schools as these that the Christians gain experience, and this is the true experience that worketh hope that maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. -- Selected.


1923 Index