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THE HERALD

of Christ's Kingdom


VOL. VI. February 1, 1923 No. 3
Table of Contents

OUTLOOK FROM THE WALLS OF ZION

THE DEPTHS OF DIVINE MERCY

''BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD

DIVINE DECISIONS CONCERNING THE FAITHFUL AND THE UNFAITHFUL

LESSONS FROM THE GREAT TEACHER IN THE TEMPLE

THE CHRISTIAN'S TRUE SUPPORT

THE FALLEN STAR OF REVELATION NINE

BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION


VOL. VI. February 15, 1923 No. 4
Table of Contents

''THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE"

JESUS IN GETHSEMANE

THE TWO WITNESSES CLOTHED IN SACKCLOTH

JESUS ENTERS DARK VALE OF DEATH

BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION 


VOL. VI. February 1, 1923 No. 3

OUTLOOK FROM THE WALLS OF ZION

THE NEW ORDER BORN THROUGH TROUBLE

EVENTS of surpassing importance and magnitude bearing upon the destiny of the human race crowd upon one another with much rapidity in this the "Day of His Preparation." Marvelous indeed have been the. progress and developments, discoveries, inventions, ,etc., affecting every department of human life, and all of this in fulfillment of Divine prophecy that "knowledge shall be increased." These were the words of the revealing angel to the Prophet Daniel when prophesying of these last times. The careful and devout Bible student alone is able to grasp the 'Solemn import of these matters and only such as have confidence in the super-vision of Divine providence and are in touch with the Great Revealer of secrets through His more sure word of prophecy are able to understand how these marvelous developments and changes in modern times are working out the Divine purpose in preparing the way for the establishment of God's Kingdom which, as His Word teaches, will be for the blessing and uplifting of all the willing and obedient of the human race. These excellent advantages, blessings, etc., that are peculiar to modern times should, one would naturally ,think, under normal conditions, result in man's uplift and to his profit in every way. However, the contrary result is most surely manifest--on every hand is increase of unrest, discontent, and dissatisfaction among all the peoples of the earth.

How few in the past have looked to the Word of the Lord to see what He has to say on the subject; or if they have looked, they appear to have entirely disregarded God's testimony through the Prophets to the effect that the present Age would end and the Millennium be inaugurated, not by Peace Conventions and Peace Treaties and Conferences, but by "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." (Dan. 12: 1; Matt. 24:21.) Yet now, in these days, it is becoming more and more apparent to leading men of the world, who exercise foresight, that the nations of the earth are face to face with just that situation foretold by the Prophets. In confirmation of this, one cannot but be especially impressed with the striking Editorial published in the New York American of January 15, 1923, a portion of which we submit as follows:

"Not since Christ was born in Bethlehem have the stars looked down from heaven upon a world more full of anxiety and fear and that hope deferred which maketh sick the heart.

"All Europe is in distress and many millions of good and industrious men and women, who desire only to be allowed to earn their bread by honest work, see ahead of them only a bitter winter of want and hunger.

"All Asia is in ferment and full of wars and preparations for wars.

"There are more men under arms than there were when the guns began to thunder seven years ago and everywhere, on two continents, the tides of hatred and the tides of despair carry the helpless peoples toward the maelstrom of universal war.

"This year will see Europe either shipwrecked or saved. If there is no higher order of statesmanship than that which has brought all this confusion and distress upon the peoples since the cannon were silenced in 1918 then Europe is doomed, and its governments and its civilization will fall in one- common and mournful ruin.

"Such a catastrophe cannot fail to affect our own destinies and our own fortunes.

"If Europe falls to pieces while Asia arms and consolidates under the leadership of Japan, America will be the last powerful bulwark of the white race and the white race's civilization, and on this continent and on the oceans which wash its shores will be fought the tremendous conflict which will determine the complexion and the type and the institutions that shall rule the world for centuries to come."

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NO PEACE BUT THROUGH THE DIVINELY APPOINTED METHOD

We would not endorse all of, the expressions in the above editorial; nevertheless it clearly shows how leading men of the world recognize the trend of present events.

The Scriptures foretell that in the end of this Age there will be a cry of "peace! peace!" but that there will be no peace. (Jer. 6:14.) This prophecy is being fulfilled in the, various Arbitration Boards, Committees, League of Nations, Peace Treaties, etc., all of which are supposed to have for their object the establishment of universal peace.

Prior to the world-war the machinery that had been set in operation in the direction of peace was supposed to prevent the outbreak of international troubles leading to war. Then the Peace cry received an especially severe shock when, the great war broke out, involving practically all the civilized nations of the earth. When the world-war was concluded and the armistice signed, the cry of Universal Peace went up all over the world. 'There was to be no more wan All difficulties between nations were to be settled by arbitration. How sadly disappointed must those people be, who, in spite of the continued state of war since that time, have continued to cry Peace! Peace! Their theory has been that universal peace between the nations would speedily usher in the Messianic Kingdom.

Notwithstanding the fact that leading statesmen of our own country are wise men, lovers and promoters of peace; and notwithstanding the fact that some think there is no good reason why this country should be involved in the present troubles and complications of the old world, nevertheless many are apprehensive. The great nations of the old world have become grievously impoverished and to a large extent have destroyed their commercial interests in addition to having been robbed of millions of valuable lives by the war. It is but natural that they would not wish to see the United States towering above them in various ways by reason of its isolation and because its suffering and loss from the world- war was small as compared with that of the European nations. It is therefore to he expected that the crafty statesmen of Europe, while professing interest in our better and happier conditions here, will really do all in their power to embroil this nation in their troubles by one device or another.

The futility of all human effort in the direction of a remedy is becoming more and more apparent. The New York American Editorial, from which the above is taken, continues:

"So then, while we are concerned that Europe shall not be shipwrecked, we are still more vitally concerned that we shall not be involved in Europe's shipwreck and destroyed with it.

"What can we do, therefore, to help the peoples across the sea without involving ourselves in their conflicts and complications?

"The most effective thing we can do is an easy thing to do. We ought to make a definite, clear official statement, through the Congress and the Executive, that no aid of any kind will be extended to any people in Europe until the European governments come to some reasonable basis of real peace among themselves and disband their huge armies and send their soldiers home to work and to produce wealth instead of consuming it in military display and idleness.

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It is contrary to all reasonable expectations that the situation in the old world will be remedied through the process suggested in the above statement. All well know that the governments of Europe in their present frame of mind could not come to any "reasonable basis of real peace among themselves and disband their huge armies and send their soldiers home." Only a conversion of the hearts of the people could lead them to take any such course. Indeed, it is not within the power of this government to impart peace and good will to the peoples of the old world.

GLORIOUS THINGS BEYOND

While desiring continued peace in our own land, all who are children of the Highest must desire the Father's will to be done rather than our own. Hence, should our own land become further embroiled in the controversies, troubles, and strife of the old world, in spite of everything that can be done to the contrary, let us not be discontented, but still pray, "Thy will be done." Let us look beyond the present terrible distress of nations to the glorious things which God's Word assures us shall succeed this stormy time, namely Messiah's Kingdom.

We are not authorized to make predictions, nor to prophesy as to the details of just how the present order of things will pass away; it is not for us to be wise above what is written; nevertheless, among the things that are written, are certain descriptions from which we can form a general view as to the consummation of this Age and the introduction of the new order of things.

When we say that the Kingdom lies just beyond, we should bear in mind that according to the Scriptures the great cataclysm or catastrophe which will prepare the way for that Kingdom will continue to make its appearance more or less by stages. Doubtless there will be further wars which will lead to a great revolution, symbolically styled "a great earthquake." (Rev. 16:18.) There are some statements and predictions in the Bible which appear to indicate that with. this social revolution, Churchianity will for a time be considerably exalted as the hoped-for power by which the revolution may be offset and stopped. During that brief time of Babylon's prosperity, the true followers of Christ may be permitted to suffer hard lines from the earthly viewpoint. Nevertheless, "all things shall work together for good to them that love God, to the called according to His purpose."

A further stage of this troublous process would appear to be anarchy, which the Bible everywhere symbolizes by fire, because of its destructive forces and influence, and that would seem to be the time mentioned by our Savior, saying,' "Unless those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." (Matt. 24:22.) The Master tells us, however, that those days of anarchy and general strife--"every man's hand against his brother, against his neighbor, and no peace to him that goeth out or to him that cometh in"--shall be shortened. The establishment of the Church in glory, the bringing of the Elect into control of the world, will shorten those days and -inaugurate the reign of the Prince of Peace.

LIFT UP YOUR HEADS AND REJOICE

How advantageous indeed is the position of all the earnest faithful watchers during this time of unusual stress and trouble! To all such, present conditions, which mean untold anxiety and suffering to millions. are pregnant with evidence of the close proximity of the Heavenly Kingdom. While vast numbers of prorfessed Christians are losing their faith and falling away from their steadfastness therein, those who have drawn near to the Lord by consecration and obedience to His will are enabled by His grace to hold fast to the words of sound doctrine and to experience help from the Lord in a special way. And this is in accordance with the Divine promise to the faithful of this time, "God shall help her [the Church] in the dawning of her morning." -Psa. 46:5.

The solemn question for all who profess to name the name of Christ in sincerity and truth is, Have we heard the call to be the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, to come out of the world, to be dead to the world, to give our wills to Him, to sacrifice our earthly treasures? Have we become footstep followers of Jesus? "If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself [give up his own self-will], take up his cross land follow Me." Have we been following the Master, and will we continue to follow Him? In our hearts we should be saying, Yes.

The Master said that in the regeneration those who would now follow Him would have glorious bodies, like His own. "We shall be like Him, and see Him as He is"--sharers in His Glory. May that be the portion of all of us! Let us rejoice together in the glorious things that our God has arranged for those who are His Church--first for the great Head of that Church, our Lord Jesus, and later for us, His humble followers, who are seeking to become joint-heirs with Him in His Kingdom.

Let us remember that it is not knowledge alone that sanctifies. Knowledge is valuable to the sanctifying of the spirit only when we comply with the conditions that we shall mortify the self-will of the flesh and cultivate more and more of the spirit of our Lord, about which St. Peter tells us. We are exhorted to put off all these: malice, hatred, wrath, strife, etc.; and to put on all these: joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, brotherly kindness, and love. The Apostle Peter says, "If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ"; and "thus an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Pet. 1:5-11.) Let our ambition and aim be to have a share in that Kingdom!

"WHO SHALL STAND?"

Let us remember that we are in a testing season. The Apostles had a similar one during the interim between our Lord's death and Pentecost. After our Lord's res­urrection, He appeared to His disciples a few times, and then they did not see Him for many days. Then they became discouraged and said, "There is no use waiting"; "I go fishing," said one. Two others said, "We will go with thee." They were about to go into the fishing business and leave the work-of fishing for men. This was a testing time for the disciples. So also there is one now. If there is any reason that would lead any to lei go the Lord and His Truth and to cease sacrificing for the Lord's Cause, then it is not merely the love of God in the heart which has prompted interest in the Lord, but, something else; probably a hoping that the time was short; the consecration was only for a certain time. If so, now is a good time to let go.

Very probably it is now as it was when Jesus said to His disciples on a certain occasion, "Will ye also go away?" The answer was, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.." We would starve -spiritually if we went to any other than the Lord's table. We know not anywhere else to go. Surely we shall remain with Him. He has been feeding us on the Message of Truth and Life, and we believe that He will put on the table everything necessary for those who are hungering and thirsting for the Truth; and that the Truth on every subject necessary for us will be given as the Lord is pleased to reveal it; for He has promised, "they shall be filled."

True enough, the Lord's faithful people dwelling in the midst of these distressing conditions in which the present order passes away can do little to mitigate the trouble that surrounds them in the World, but they are to remember that they have no commission from the Lord to bring any special relief to humanity until exalted with their Lord in the Kingdom. Their commission while in the flesh is to follow the example of their Master-to do nothing unnecessarily to offend the world or the rulers of the world, but to be law abiding, peace loving on all occasions, and so far as they have opportunity to bear, testimony to the Divine Message respecting Jesus and the resurrection and the coming of His Kingdom for the relief and deliverance of all the willing and obedient of our race from sin and death. This is indeed Glad Tidings to all the Truth-hungry.

OUR PRIVILEGES IN THE MINISTRY

Owing to the conditions and circumstances of our time, our opportunities for spreading the Message are considerably, curtailed, but still we should press on, doing with our might what our hands find to do. We are still permitted to distribute leaflets, tracts, books, etc., and to preach the Word orally to a considerable extent, and there are encouraging reports from these efforts from time to time. Additionally the letters which come to us from many of the Lord's people over the world testify to the rich blessing received from the visits of this journal. This is, of course, encouraging to us. We could wish, however, that many more might enjoy the blessing -of this ministry and it seems to us that there is a good number of others who, if they had the matter brought to their attention, would be glad to receive the visits of the HERALD. Surely it is not from the standpoint of wishing to make a fair show in the flesh nor of thinking that our strength depends upon numbers but rather the desire of all should be to render service and spiritual blessing to as many of the Truth-hungry as possible. We hear from some of how they have been making special effort during the past year to place the journal in the hands of others. One brother writes the following:

"I thank the Lord indeed for His guidance and blessing in the year past. It has been my privilege to circulate a good number of tracts, "Inauguration of God's Kingdom,"' and "Where are the Dead?" and I could have placed many more if I had them. During the past six months I have secured five new HERALD subscriptions, and it occurred to me to suggest that if other HERALD readers would thus labor in this direction many more might have the advantage of the regular visits of the journal. This would be acting on the principle of the lesson in the parable of the talents -- that of making increase to the honor of our King out of what has been put in our bands by Him for use, and His promise is that all such shall hear His faithful words 'Well done.' "

It seems to us that the Lord's blessing has been upon the faithful efforts of this Brother. and we commend his suggestion to the careful consideration of all. We shall be glad to supply sample copies of the HERALD free to such lists of names as would be recommended for this purpose; or if any would prefer to carry on hand continually a few samples of the journal to bring to the attention of others, we shall be glad to send these to any subscriber free.

Surely this day of special opportunities-this time which we believe is still "the acceptable year of the Lord"--is rapidly drawing to a close, and does it not behoove all who have taken their stand and declared themselves on the side of the Lord, the Truth, and righteousness, that they should make manifest their sincerity and fullness of consecration by witnessing a good confession, in full assurance 'of faith that their labor of love shall be rewarded and that they shall, with the great Leader and Captain of our salvation, see of the travail of their soul and be satisfied. "We shall be satisfied when we awake in His likeness."


THE DEPTHS OF DIVINE MERCY

"The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost."--Luke 19:1-10.

IT is to good effect indeed that the Evangelist introduces the story of the meeting between Jesus and Zacchaeus and the latter's conversion with the word "Behold," for from the human standpoint there were unsurmountable obstacles to the conversion of such a man. He was a chief publican and supervisor over minor tax-collectors. Jericho was an important custom station for the Romans, partly because goods were taxed when passing between Judea and Herod Antipas's province of Perea across the Jordan, and partly because Jericho itself exported large quantities of balsam. The account states that Zacchaeus was rich and had many opportunities for growing more wealthy from bribes and extortions and that he used these opportunities.

It is thus seen that though Zacchaeus was in the employ of the Roman government as a tax gatherer and his office a lucrative one, yet it was one greatly despised among the Jews, because first, their views of patriotism led them to resent the service of their conquerors; second, their tax-gatherers collected for a percentage of the tax, and were at the same time assessors of the amount of the tax, and charged (probably generally with good reason), with gross violations of justice -- taking advantage of their position and of the necessities of their neighbors to reap large usury by advancing them money for the tax and requiring Superabundant security for both tax and usury. Publicans, then, it will be seen, were a disreputable class amongst their own people.. esteemed as financially immoral, and unworthy the confidence and honor of faithful Jews. Zacchaeus as a "chief" probably employed under-collectors to assist him in his contract, and for this reason was designated chief publican.

He had heard of Jesus evidently, and curiosity and possibly other nobler sentiments operated in his heart and led him to desire to see the great Teacher. Possibly indeed he had qualms of conscience respecting his business and business methods, and a longing for peace with God, which his riches could not take' the place of. These nobler and better thoughts and aspirations were quickened as he found himself in the presence of the celebrated Nazarene, of whose holiness and exalted teachings he had heard. Quite probably, too, he had heard that, unlike the Pharisees, this great Teacher did not spurn publicans and sinners, but, on the contrary, treated them kindly. Zacchaeus sought a glimpse of the Master's face, but there being a throng in the way, and he being of small stature, could not discern Him. There was a throng anyway at this season, going up to the Passover, and so notable a person as Jesus would always be an attraction.

JESUS SEEKS THE CONTRITE IN SPIRIT

Zacchaeus soon resolved what to do, for he was a resourceful man; he would run ahead and climb into a tree, and thus get a good view of the Master. We cannot help admiring the courage of this little rich man, ordinarily probably dignified. enough in his bearing, but now, his heart swelling with feelings of interest in righteousness and a desire for reconciliation with God, he ran along like a boy and climbed the tree. When Jesus and the multitude came to the place, the Lord addressed Zacchaeus by name, possibly by that power of knowledge which is beyond our comprehension; or possibly by reason of hearing the. crowd jeer and laugh at the little, rich publican stationed in the tree.

How astonished he must have been when the Master said, "Zacchaeus, come down, for I must lodge at thy house"! So great an honor as this Zacchaeus had not dreamed of, and the -multitude of Jews were likewise surprised. The latter murmured against Jesus because He, as a holy man, should have nothing whatever to do with this publican. Perhaps it was in part to give the Pharisees a lesson, as well as to provide for His own entertainment or to put himself in the way of Zacchaeus, that our Lord proposed this visit to the publican's house. In any event, nothing could have pleased the serious thinking little man more. He came down from the tree immediately, and joyfully took Jesus (and the disciples also we may presume) to his home for entertainment. Thus does the Lord look for and care for and assist those who are of a contrite heart -- those who are feeling after God, and longing, as prodigals, to return to the Father's house. Had Zacchaeus been of other condition of heart we may reasonably presume that our Lord would have paid no attention to him whatever.

What a surging of sentiment took place in the heart of little Zacchaeus! His name in the Hebrew comes from a root signifying pure, and the inference is not unreasonable that his ancestors had been noble and holy, people, and that back of his love for money and dishonest practice's lay good principles, which now, under favorable conditions, were asserting themselves and clamoring for a change of life, worrying his conscience and embittering. all his pleasures and causing him to long for righteousness in his own heart and life. In no other way can we account for his sudden determination to reform. Nor was he content merely to determine upon reform in his heart;. he would seal the matter by a public 'confession. As we read, he stood forth in the presence of his own family, in the presence of Jesus and His disciples, and probably numerous friends and neighbors who had gone along, and publicly acknowledged that he had gained part of his .wealth by unjust exactions, and pledged himself to restore all such wrongfully obtained money, to the extent of his ability, fourfold. More than this, realizing that there were probably many cases of small injustices which it would be impossible for him to ever correct in detail, he publicly pledged one-half of all his possessions to the poor in off -set of these.

ZACCHAEUS BRINGS FORTH WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE

Noble Zacchaeus! Well did. his conduct show that the Master knew what He was doing when He went to lodge with this little man, so much despised by some of the Pharisees. Jesus knew that notwithstanding his wrong course of life he was much nearer to the right attitude of heart than some of the self-righteous who denounced him, although outwardly they were living a cleaner life and a more moral one-making clean the outside of the cup while inwardly it was full of vile affections and selfishness, abominations in God's sight.

Our Lord's reply is striking: "This day is salvation come to this house; forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham." While it is true that "salvation is to be brought unto us at the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"--at His Second Advent--it is, nevertheless, true also that this salvation begins in the present life to all who are of the spiritual house of Israel, who, repenting of their sins, come into harmony with the Lord, and seek to walk according to His ways. It is a salvation of the heart, reclaiming it from sin and selfishness and meanness "filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit."--2 Cor. 7: 1.

The words of Farrar bearing upon this incident are interesting and profitable in this connection:

"But the approving smile, the gracious word of Jesus were more to Zacchaeus than all the murmurs and insults of the crowd. Jesus did not despise him: what mattered then the contempt of the multitude? Nay, Jesus had done him honor, therefore he would honor, he would respect himself. As all that was base in him would have been driven info defiance by contempt and hatred, so all that was noble was evoked by a considerate tenderness. He would strive to be worthy, at least more 'worthy, of his glorious guest; he would at least do his utmost to disgrace Him less. And therefore, standing prominently forth among the throng, he uttered-not to them, for they despised him, and for, them he cared not, but to his Lord-the vow which, by one high act of magnanimity, at once attested his penitence and sealed his forgiveness. 'Behold the half of my goods, Lord, I hereby give to the poor; and whatever fraudulent gain I ever made from any one, I now restore fourfold.' This great sacrifice of that which had hitherto been dearest to him, this fullest possible restitution of every gain he had ever gotten dishonestly, this public confession and public restitution, should be a pledge to his Lord that His grace had not been in vain. Thus did love unseal by a single touch those swelling fountains of penitence which contempt would have kept closed for ever! No incident of His triumphal procession could have given to our Lord a deeper and holier joy. Was it not His very mission to seek and save the lost? Looking on the publican, thus ennobled by that instant renunciation of the fruits of sin, which is the truest test of a genuine repentance, He said, 'Now is salvation come to this house, since he too is -- in the true spiritual sense, not in the idle, boastful, material sense alone -- 'a son of Abraham."'

LESSONS FOR THE BRETHREN TODAY

This salvation means reformation and transformation; and while the Lord can read the heart and see there more than men can see respecting the change, yet, as Brother D. L.. Moody suggests, the change, the conversion, the transformation of life, must have been appreciable even by the most unsympathetic of Zacchaeus' neighbors when, the next morning after this event, Zacchaeus' servant presented himself to the neighbor with a purse of money, and when asked what it was for replied, "My master says that he extorted from you a sum of money years ago, and now returns it fourfold." The conversion that includes recompense -- and that not merely in a skimped manner but abundantly-fourfold-undoubtedly signifies a true conversion, one that is not likely soon to be forgotten or ignored.

We might find parallels to this incident, which belong to the end of the Jewish Age and to fleshly Israel, in the end of this Age and to spiritual Israel. We find today some backsliders from the Lord's Covenant of Grace, as Zacchaeus was a backslider from the Lord's Covenant of the Law. We may perhaps find them living in a measure of sin, in business which they admit is unjust and in violation of their consciences. We are not, therefore, to pass by them with the Gospel Message, the Good Tidings of 'great joy; but if any such manifest an interest in the present 'truth we are to seek to assist them as out Lord and Head assisted Zacchaeus. And there is an encouragement to this class in Zacchaeus' case, for though they may feel themselves sadly short of the stature of a man in Christ, if they have in their hearts a longing desire for righteousness and to behold the Lord's face, they will find opportunity to do so, if they will but humble themselves to take the necessary steps. And sincere reformation today must be like that of Zacchaeus; it must make some outward manifestation expressive of contrition and of a desire to make reparation to the extent of ability. Some one has said, and quite truly, we think:

"No religious profession amounts to anything if it does not include a readiness to put one's property at the service of the Lord. It has been well said that 'a personal consecration' should be spelled 'a purse-and-all consecration.', And the full restitution of all that had been taken wrongfully must be made by a Christian disciple-even' to the stripping of himself of all his earthly goods."


''BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD

IN TWO PARTS--PART II

THE sixth step of blessedness is Purity of Heart-purity of motive, purity of in­tention, purity of effort, purity of will: purity, in the sense of sincerity, of transparency, of truthfulness. In other words, Blessed are he honest-hearted, those who have absolutely right intentions. True, there are worldly people who to some extent might claim honesty of heart, purpose, intention, but until they have come along the way of Divine appointment in Christ, until they have become His followers through faith and consecration to Him, and until they have taken the preceding steps of blessed­ ness, We could not recognize them as being of the class here specified.

Many have misunderstood this statement, "pure in heart," and have thought of it as signifying absolute perfection-not only outward but inward; not only of words and of deeds, but also of thoughts. This view of the matter has tended to discourage some who honestly said to themselves, I am not perfect in deed nor in word nor in thought;. how then can I claim to be blessed under this provision as one of the pure in heart? We answer that this is a misconception. The Lord knows as well and better than we do, that in our flesh dwells no perfection; that by reason of the fall all of Adam's children have their teeth set on edge by the sour grape of sin, so that sometimes we cannot do the things that we would do, and through ignorance we no doubt frequently leave- undone the things which we ought to do.--Jer. 31:29, 30; Rom. 7:16-18.

The Apostle includes amongst the works of the flesh which require putting away, after we are fully the Lord's, the following-anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife. All of these qualities of selfishness are antagonized by mercy, and by it largely they are driven from their secret hidings and entrenched positions in our hearts. The blessed character of Mercy is closely related to Love, for it is in proportion as we obtain the Lord's spirit of Love that we manifest toward others mercy, even as He has manifested His love toward us in the mercy extended to us in Christ. Love and mercy, consideration for others, has much to do with driving out envy. How can we envy those whom we love sincerely? How can we have malice toward those who are our enemies, if we love them and have mercy, compassion, upon them, and forgive them from our hearts, ?

How can we have hatred toward them if we have mercy upon them, and feel toward -them only a forgiving spirit? And how can we be strifeful, if we have a merciful, a forgiving spirit ready to forgive trespasses against us, as we hope for forgiveness of our trespasses against the Divine Law?

"Mercy rejoiceth against justice," the Apostle explains. (Jas. 2:13.) Divine Mercy satisfied Divine justice, and thus prepared the way for the rescue of our race from the sentence of justice: and so those who have become partakers of the Divine spirit, and in whom it has reached a reasonable development, will permit their mercy to triumph over their conception of justice (for they have no law of justice over their fellows which needs to be satisfied).

The Lord taught a great lesson during the Jewish Age by the giving of the Law to that people, with a promise of life attached to it, but the Apostle assures us that, God foreknew, even when He gave that Law to the Israelites, that "by the deeds of the Law should no flesh be justified in His sight"--that on the contrary the clearer the Law would be discerned, the more clear would be the knowledge of sin-of imperfection. God's provision in Christ is that He will forgive. those imper-fections which are due not to personal willfulness, but to the original sin, and the weaknesses and im­perfections which have resulted from it. He will extend His mercy toward us as respects those deflections which are not willful. That our Lord Jesus was not ignoring human imperfection is evident from the statement He makes in reference to the fifth of these blessed characteristics, viz., that the merciful "shall obtain mercy"--an implication of our need of mercy. Having assured us that we may obtain mercy, He is not in this sixth Beatitude declaring that we must be absolutely perfect in thought, word, and deed; for if we were so, or could attain to such a condition, it would be wholly unnecessary for God to provide us mercy and forgiveness of sins through Christ's sacrifice.

The thought of "pure in heart" is not perfection of conduct, nor of word, nor of thought, but perfection of intention as respects all of these. Our desire and effort must be for perfection--in thought, word, and deed. The standard before us, to which our hearts, our wills, must give assent, is the Divine standard, "Be ye perfect, as your Father in, Heaven is perfect." (Matt. 5:48.) God has set no lower standard than this absolute perfection, but He has provided for us grace, mercy and peace through Christ, if we will walk in His footsteps--this purity of heart being one of the essential steps in the Narrow Way.

THE PURE IN HEART SHALL BE LIKE HIM

Only the pure in heart have the promise of seeing God. They continue faithfully to the end of the pilgrimage, not only attaining the likeness of the- Lord Jesus Christ in the present life (Rom. 8:29) in their purity of heart, purity of intention, sincerity of their efforts toward God and men, but eventually according to the Lord's promise, they shall, by the power of the First Resurrection, be changed from earthly to heavenly, spiritual conditions., Then, as the Apostle declares, "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him, as He is." And when we have thus become changed to be like the glorious Son of God, who is "the express image of the Father's person," we shall be able also unquestionably to see the Heavenly Father Himself, and shall be introduced to Him by our dear Redeemer--"complete in Him ... without spot or wrinkle or any such thing."--1 John 3: 2; Heb. 1: 3; Eph. 5:27; Col. 2:10.

In this, as in the other blessings, a portion, a foretaste, comes in the present life. There is such a thing as having the eyes of our understanding opened, that we may be enabled to "comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ." (Eph. 3: 18.) But not all have this opening of the mental eye; not all are privileged to see the glories of Jehovah's character in symmetrical harmony, Divine justice, wisdom, love, and power co-ordinated and co-operating in unison for the blessing of every creature, according to the purpose which God purposed in Himself before the world was.

But who may enjoy this blessing, this clearer vision, and who may, by seeing it, be enabled more and more to grow in likeness of that glorious perfection? Only "the pure in heart," only the sincere, the honest-hearted. Those who have a double mind, a double will, are Scripturally said to have a double vision, a double eye. They see spiritual things cross-eyed, see things double, and proportionately indistinctly. Many of God's people have failed thus far to grow up into Christ in all things, see thus doubly and confusedly-they see something of the heavenly things, and something of the earthly; they see but dimly and indistinctly the lines of the Divine character, and proportionately they lack ability to copy it. Let all who have named the name of Christ seek more and more to have but the One Master, and an eye single to His glory and service--a pure, a sincere, a faithful heart.

THE SONS OF GOD ALL PEACEMAKERS

The seventh Beatitude is an outward manifestation of the sixth. The purity of heart toward God, which others cannot discern, will manifest itself in this seventh characteristic of blessedness and growth-namely, in peaceable desires and efforts to promote peace in others. For beyond question no one will be a peacemaker from this standpoint unless he have already become sincere, pure in heart toward God; and unless he have also the preceding development of grace in his heart: (1) humility, (2) sympathy, (3) patient submission, (4) hunger and thirst for righteous-ness (which includes trust), (5) a love or mercifulness toward others, (6) sincerity of heart. And one who has developed these characteristics to any particular degree can surely be nothing else than peaceably disposed himself, and a peacemaker with others.

Very evidently but a small number of the Lord's people have progressed so far as to have this grace markedly developed and exemplified in their lives. The great majority, even of those who have named the name of Christ, seem to pursue a reverse course, which indicates that even if their hearts are pure and their sympathies large, they have still much to learn in the school of Christ; for instead of being peace promoters they are strife promoters. Yet this is not of evil intent, but rather of habit, and of ignorance and of failure to discern the wide difference between the Divine course of love, and the opposite course of selfishness which prevails in the world. Strife-making is chiefly stirred up with the tongue, though it may be aroused by a gesture or by a glance. Likewise, peacemaking is chiefly done with the tongue, though it also may operate through the eye. How many Christian people we all know who have tongues which are continually stirring up strife! The Adversary controls many in this manner long after they have escaped from his control in many other respects; and this is largely because they do not detect that in this they are doing Satan service-do not even detect that they are stirrers up of strife, hatred, envy, malice, and planters of roots of bitterness by which many are defiled.

THE SIN OF EVIL-SPEAKING

When will Christians learn the length and breadth and depth of the injunctions "Speak evil of no man," and "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good, to the use of edifying"? (Titus 3:2; Eph. 4:29.) How long will it take some of God's true children to learn that in uttering an evil thing (even if they were positive of its truth), they may be, doing a world of evil? How long will it take them to learn that it is not always necessary to speak the truth, nor ever proper to do so except when it would be for the edifying of others? How many lessons, line upon line, must they have to convince them that they are not only to avoid gossip about other people's business, and fault-finding, and cynicism, but that all these are evidences of their deficiency in love-of their deficiency in the likeness of Christ, and their lack of the qualities of the peacemaker; and that these lacks need to be striven again earnestly, if they would make their calling and election sure to a place in the Heavenly Kingdom?

Ah, that all would learn by heart, and continually seek to exemplify in life, the words of the Apostle, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Those who are thinking on the true and lovely and good and beautiful things will speak to each other of the same; hence the importance of having our hearts filled with good things, in order that out of the abundance of the good things of our hearts our mouths may speak continually good things, that the Lord would approve, and that would minister blessing to those who hear.-Phil. 4:8; Luke 6:45.

Such have a very precious promise, well worthy of their efforts--"They shall be called the children of God"--they have God's spirit, the likeness of His dear Son has been traced in their hearts; they have been sanctified with the truth; they shall ultimately be it meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." Only such at heart will the Lord ever recognize as His sons and joint-heirs with His great Son, our Lord, in the Kingdom. Moreover, this is a test which we may well recognize for ourselves particularly, and to some extent for each other, as evidencing the degree of our growth as children of God-our peaceable dispositions, and our carefulness to pursue such a course in life as will tend toward peace.

Some of the Lord's people find in themselves naturally considerable of a spirit of combativeness, unfavorable to peace. Indeed, it requires something of the spirit of combativeness to fight a good fight against the world, the flesh, and the Adversary, and to "contend earnestly for the faith"; so that those who have combativeness naturally find themselves in antagonism with others along some line continually. However, they should not be discouraged by this, but should remember that combativeness is a valuable servant and soldier, if turned and exercised in the right direction. Its exercise toward fellow creatures must be modified by mercy, by a realization of our own imperfections and the imperfections of all. Combativeness must be trained to fight along the lines of love and mercy-to fight for the truth and for all the servants and agencies of the truth, and against the error-but not against the blinded and ignorant servants of the error. Combativeness must be given plenty to do in fighting against the imperfections and weaknesses of our own natures, and being thus busily engaged in this good work, it will find comparatively little time for assaulting others: and realizing the difficulties connected with the conquering of self, it will have the greater compassion for the weaknesses of others.

ATTAINING GREAT REWARD IN HEAVEN

The blessing that comes through persecution is the eighth Beatitude. It is not until the Lord's people have experienced some of these preceding blessings of His grace that they reach the point where they can "glory in tribulations also," as did the Apostle Paul. But our Lord carefully distinguishes as between different kinds of persecution, marking out the blessed kind as distinct from all other sorts. We are not to invite persecution by fault-finding and general cantankerousness and combative opposition to everybody and everything; nor are We to invite persecution by fanaticism. Rather, we are to cultivate the "spirit of a sound mind," and to learn gradually what the sound mind of the, Lord is, as revealed in the Scriptures. Even then, no doubt we will be falsely accused by the world of "fanaticism," because the wisdom of God is oft esteemed foolishness with men, as often the wisdom of men is foolishness from the Divine standpoint.

Whenever a course of action would appear to be fanatical and unreasonable, we are to hesitate to do it until we have first made sure that we find the same spirit, teaching and example in our Lord and in the Apostles: then we may safely follow, regardless of what the world may say or think respecting our course. For instance, from the Divine standpoint it is insanity for a man to labor day and night to amass millions, for his children to fight over at his death; but from the human standpoint this is the reasonable course. From the Divine standpoint it was wise for the Apostles to spend their lives in the service of the Truth, sacrificing earthly interests and prospects, name and fame, to obtain eventually a better resurrection, and eternal glory, honor and immortality; but this, from the world's standpoint was foolishness, fanaticism.

If persecution come to -us as a result of our following the Lord, and the Apostles,--their teachings and example, and if it is because of our faithfulness to the vows of consecration. to His service that all manner of evil is said against us, falsely, then indeed we may rejoice; for so were the Prophets persecuted, so was our Lord persecuted, so were the Apostles and all the faithful ones since persecuted. Being thus in good company in our experiences, it becomes a witness or testimony to us that we shall be in like good company in that day when the Lord shall make up His jewels.

All who have such experiences may well rejoice and if, as the Lord's words intimate, the more of such experiences we have, the more will be our reward in heaven, then the more we may rejoice in these experiences. And if we be without any such experiences, it behooves us to look well to ourselves, lest peradventure it mean that we are not faithfully walking in the it narrow way" of self -sacrifice-or are not doing with .our might what our hands find to do, but are holding back our sacrifice. Should such be the reflection of any, let him not be discouraged, but, in the language of the Prophet, let him "bind the sacrifice to the altar," with fresh cords of love and of zeal, praying the Lord to accept the sacrifice, and to furnish opportunities for being and doing and suffering for His cause, and for the Lord's and the truth's sake.-Psa. 118:27.

The prismatic sum of all these graces is-Love; and those who have them are loveable and shall by and by be made gloriously lovely, with and like Him who is It altogether lovely." Our call is to attain these blessed conditions in the Kingdom.


DIVINE DECISIONS CONCERNING THE FAITHFUL AND THE UNFAITHFUL

"He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much."--Luke 16:10; 19:11-48.

HE teachings of the Savior when taken as a whole unmistakably teach that the es­tablishing of the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth was at that time in the distant IN future. "He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return." Thus our Lord's departure and absence is clearly inferred, and also that during that absence He was to be invested with the Heavenly Kingdom and then return to exercise all power in heaven and in earth as earth's new King, fulfilling His own prayer, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is, done in heaven." Naturally enough, however, the fact that Jesus was on His way to Je­rusalem, the city of the great King, and that He had definitely acknowledged Himself as the Messiah, and that He was exercising a great influence amongst the people, and that under this influence the rich Zacchaeus had been soundly converted, led the disciples, to believe that when they reached Jerusalem, then only fifteen or twenty miles distant, they would immediately see tangible evidences of the establishment of God's Kingdom--that they would see Jesus assume regal robes, power and authority, and that they themselves would be associated with Him in the throne of power, and that speedily Israel would arise from the dust to be the dominant nation of the world, and through its laws, at the mouth of Messiah, supported by His Divine powers, would bring blessing to every nation, people, kindred, and tongue.

It was in view of this erroneous expectation that our Lord gave the parable of the Pounds-to point out to the disciples, and vaguely to others, that Kingdom glories were yet a considerable distance in the future, and that before they could be expected He must leave them and go to the central seat of government and receive His commission from Jehovah, the Father, and return; and that meantime He would give to some of His servants a work to do in His name which would prove their loyalty, their love, by their faithfulness.

The figure used as the basis of the parable was one with which the people of Jericho were quite familiar. They had in their city the palace of Herod, and knew that when his father, Herod the Great, died, Herod Archelaus, then king, set out on a mission to Rome, to the court of the Caesars, the rulers of the world, the object of the mission being to obtain Caesar's authority and investiture of government as the king of Judea instead of his deceased father. They knew that Herod returned, fully equipped with authority, and was in consequence the ruler. They knew also that when he went to Rome a deputation of citizens of Judea was sent after him to make complaint against him, and to urge that he be not appointed; and to inform Caesar that the government of the Herods was no longer desired by the people of Judea. Josephus says that this deputation of the opponents who went to Rome numbered five hundred. The people probably also remembered that when Herod Archelaus returned with kingly power he first of all rewarded his faithful retainers with various offices throughout the kingdom, and subsequently dealt harshly with those who had manifested their opposition. Thus we see that those who heard this parable were much more likely to be appreciative of its significance than the majority of the people of today would be, because customs of the present time are so different.

CHRIST RETURNS FROM FAR COUNTRY TO ESTABLISH KINGDOM

It was understood by those who. heard the parable .that the Lord referred to Himself as the nobleman', that heaven was the far country, that Jehovah Himself was the great King, whose commission was essential to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom, and that Jesus' disciples were the servants to be entrusted with the "Pounds," and that those who would not have Him rule over, them were more or less in love and in league with the darkness of sin. Every one who opposes righteousness, or who loves and serves unrighteousness, is thereby declaring his opposition to, the reign of righteousness, which the Lord proposes, to establish in the earth in due time -- when His Kingdom shall come and His will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

There is in this lesson a severe rebuke (which alas! is not often recognized) to those who claim that the Kingdom of God was set up at Pentecost. They must see, unless they with more or less willfulness close the eyes of their understanding, that this parable is against their theory, and teaches that the Kingdom, is not to, be expected to be set up until the return of Messiah at His Second Advent. It is also a rebuke to those who claim that in some manner, incomprehensible to themselves or anybody else, the Second Advent took place 1800 years ago, at the time of Israel's overthrow, about A. D. 70. They must see, unless with a certain amount of willfulness they close their eyes of understanding against it, that nothing at all corresponding to a Second: Advent of Christ took place at that time -- nothing corresponding to. the setting up of His Kingdom occurred there; nothing corresponding to the calling of those of His servants and reckoning with them and rewarding them with places in the Kingdom took place there; nothing corresponding to the calling of His enemies who would not have Him rule over them, and the punishment of them, took place there -- in A. D. 70.

Indeed, the parable is opposed to every theory respecting the Kingdom except the right theory, and it is in full accord with it; because the right theory is not a human wish or Aim or conjecture to help substantiate some human program of events, but is the sum and substance of all the teachings of the Divine Word brought into harmonious unison and interpreted, thus, Scriptures throwing light upon Scripture, by the Holy Spirit.

Those who heard the parable might have conjectured that it required months, or possibly years for its fulfillment; but probably none, of them expected that it would require more than eighteen centuries-because, as natural men, they would be disposed to look at matters from the natural standpoint, from the standpoint of seventy to a hundred years as being the limit of human life. Nor did the disciples even know how to view matters from the Divine standpoint until after they had received the Holy Spirit. Under its enlightenment, however, the Apostle tells us plainly that "A day with the Lord is as a thousand years."--2 Pet. 3:8.

THE POUND GOD'S GIFT TO EACH SERVANT

We are to notice a difference between this parable of the "Pounds" and a somewhat similar one of the "Talents." The latter represented the natural abilities of the individual--"to every man according to his several ability," some one, some two, some five talents or opportunities. But this parable of the pounds ignores the individual abilities of the servants, and shows them each as receiving the same things and for the same purpose. The pound must therefore represent something that is common to all of-the Lord's people.

The Holy Spirit is common to all the Lord's people, but not in the same measure, since each must receive it according to his capacity; therefore the Holy Spirit could not be represented by the pound. The Word of God is common to all of the Lord's people, but a natural ability to understand the Word of God is not the same in all the consecrated; hence the pound could not represent the Word of God I the Divine revelation. One thing, and only one, we believe, is common to all of the Lord's people in every sense of the word, and that is justification. justification is a gift of God through faith in the precious blood, and is common to every one accepted of the Lord. It compensates for his weaknesses and blemishes, whether they be few or many; it therefore in the most absolute sense represents the one important blessing of God bestowed upon His people. Upon the use of that "pound," that blessing, that entrusted gift, depends the Master's reward in the end. The proper use of it is an investment of it in the Lord's service in a full, hearty consecration. of time, influence and all to the service of the Lord. Any failure to use our justification will signify a complete loss of everything hoped for in respect to the Kingdom blessings and privileges of this Gospel Age. By justification our powers, however humble, are, made acceptable to the Lord as though we were perfect. And every service we are able to render has its merit or value in our justification.

The lessons taught in the two parables-that of the Talents and that of the Pounds are similar, namely faithfulness in the use of our talents and opportunities, and in the use of God's great gift to us, our justification. In the parable of the Pounds the Lord expressed as hearty approval of the one who gained four pounds as He did the one who gained nine. Both did well, both were good, both were faithful. The one with greater talents, in order to be equally faithful with the one of fewer talents, should be able to and should show larger results: and the rewards given would seem to imply the same thing-that greater sacrifices in the present time "work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." And this emphasizes the instructions of the lesson taught in the parable of the Talents, that those who are rich in talents, opportunities and privileges, if faithful, achieve a larger victory and a still grander reward than those who are poorer and who therefore sacrifice less, though the sacrificing be done in both cases with the same spirit, which in both is thoroughly acceptable to God, pronounced well done, and the servant faithful and good.

The servant who hid his talent and returned it, and whose loss of all opportunity to share in the Kingdom is shown, would seem to represent a class not merely justified but sanctified-consecrated fully to the Lord, and made the recipients of the Holy Spirit, even as the other members of the Body. He is called a "wicked" servant; not because he had committed murder or robbery of any kind, but because, having assumed an obligation by which he was entrusted with certain of the Master's goods not given to others, he failed of his covenant and obligation. Such a servant could not be trusted, and properly was considered unfit for any share in the Kingdom; and the blessings which had been entrusted to him were given to the one who had already most, but whose faithfulness had been so abundantly attested by zeal. So to every one who uses present blessings and opportunities well, zealously, further blessings, privileges and opportunities shall be granted, and from those who do not so use them they will be taken away.

THE LORD NOW RECKONING WITH HIS SERVANTS

To our understanding we are now living in the very time represented by this feature of the parable-the time when our Lord, invested with the authority of the Father, is about to take to Himself His great power and reign; and when, preparatory to that reign, He is reckoning with His servants now living, with a view to their appointment to places in the Kingdom He is about to inaugurate. It is from this standpoint that we interpret the testings and siftings now in progress amongst the consecrated ones in and out of all the sects of Christendom. "The Lord your God proveth you, whether ye do love the Lord your God or no." Present truth and present conditions are testing and showing to what extent those who have received the Lord's favor are faithful. This does not imply that others of this class who have died in the past of this Age are ignored: on the contrary the Scriptures assure us that they would be dealt with first, and that those accounted worthy have a share in the First Resurrection preceding those who are alive and remain at the present time.--1 Thess. 4:1-17.

But the living ones pass through an' experience of testing (the ending of their trial) before they die; they must give an account; judgment must pass respecting them; they must either be gathered, as "wheat" into the barn or be left in the field where the "tares" are shortly to be burned . Fortunately for us, the reckoning is not one of an instant, but time is granted to us to make up our accounts; and blessed is he who, finding that he has not been as faithful as he might have been in the past, is now putting forth redoubled energies--"redeeming the time" (grasping opportunities--Eph. 5: 16), in order to make as favorable an account as possible while our King is waiting to, receive them and willing to show us all the favor that could be desired .

Ten servants were chosen as a general number to represent all of the consecrated, but only three of these are mentioned as illustrations of faithfulness and un­ faithfulness. Thus the Lord avoids even intimating I how many of the whole number of consecrated will prove faithful to their consecration and enter into the joys of the Lord--into the Kingdom, and to share with Him in the throne--and how many of them will fail to be accounted worthy of these honors and blessings; and how many of the latter may be counted worthy ,of the Second Death; and how many of them will come, through faithfulness in tribulation, to be honored servants in the Kingdom.-Rev. 7: 9-15.

The enemies of the King are all to be slain, after He takes to Himself His great power and begins His reign; "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." Some would suggest that this slaying will be with the sword of the spirit, and implies a universal salvation; but to our understanding such an interpre­ tation would be utterly at variance with the spirit of the parable, and hence sophistical, and unworthy of any one claiming either honesty or ability as a teacher in Israel. There ought to be a reasonable relationship between the figure of the parable and the reality, as it will be fulfilled. To our understanding the slaying of the enemies represents clearly and distinctly the pun­ishment which the Lord prescribes for the enemies of righteousness, namely the Second Death. However, this by no means signifies that all the people (aside from the specially trusted servants) are enemies. It was not so in the parable, which rather implies four classes: first, the king's servants; second, those specially granted the pounds for use in his service; third, the citizens; fourth, the class of the latter opposed to the king, his laws, etc.

THE KING TO DEAL WITH HIS ENEMIES

After the Kingdom has been established under the King, and His then exalted servants, we may be sure that all in harmony with Him will have cause to rejoice in His favor and the blessings of the Kingdom; and if some of the citizens had misunderstood the King's character, having heard Him traduced and slandered, they will soon perceive, under the blessed conditions of the Millennial Day, how grossly the "prince of this world" had misrepresented the character of the Prince of Peace, telling them that He had a place of eternal torment prepared for them, into which He would surely cast nine-tenths of their number, etc. When these begin to have the eyes of their understanding opened, so that "the light of the knowledge of the goodness of God," shining in the face of the new King, will bring them enlightenment and joyful privileges hitherto undreamed of, many of them unquestionably, instead of longer being enemies and hating the King and hating His rule, will become staunch friends and supporters, and will rejoice greatly that they are freed from the yoke of the former prince, Satan, and will rejoice in his binding, which makes possible their liberation from the bondage of ignorance, superstition, fear, and calumny.

It will require all of the thousand years to demonstrate who are the friends of truth and righteousness, and who are their enemies, The "enemies" of -righteousness are enemies of God and of Christ, and of all who are in harmony with righteousness; and this separation from the King's friends is Scripturally represented as the separating of the "goats" from the "sheep," which will progress throughout that Millennial period, and eventuate in the gathering of all the "sheep" to the right-hand of the King's favor, and the gathering of all the "goats," of contrary disposition, to the lefthand of His disfavor-where, because of their wilful and intelligent rejection of the principles of righteousness (the laws of His Kingdom), they will be counted not His servants or messengers, but the servants or ,messengers of Satan, and as such they will meet their destruction in the symbolical lake of fire, "which is the Second Death."--Rev. 20:14; Matt. 25: 31-46.


LESSONS FROM THE GREAT TEACHER IN THE TEMPLE

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."--Luke 26:49-26; 21:1-4.

TRULY Jesus spake as never man spake. It is not to be wondered at that the leading men of all the various sects and parties in Jesus' day were in perplexity how to deal with Him. They believed Him to be an impostor, because His claims seemed to them to be absurd, contrary to all worldly wisdom-the only kind which they possessed. True, they recognized that He was a brilliant man, that He had great force and power with the common people. But they said to themselves, "Although He does not publicly claim to be the Messiah, He nevertheless gives that intimation-promising His disciples participation with Him in the Kingdom when He shall be exalted to power-and is leading the people to believe that by and by the long-expected Kingdom of God will be established. He is making headway, His miracles being especially effective in supporting His claims; He is establishing thus a new sect, a new party, that will prove antagonistic to all present sects and parties, and diminish our influence with the people. Although we have differences of opinion on many subjects we are striving together for the favor of the great Roman Empire, under whose control we are now. We are seeking to have greater and greater liberties and privileges, and if this new party succeeds it will diminish our influence at Rome and appear to the Emperor and senate like a rebellion. The Romans already have that opinion of us as a people, that we are rebellious, etc., and we have been endeavoring to allay that sentiment and establish confidence in the stability of our religious system and its power over our people. This new religious system, therefore, threatens, not only the prosperity of our various denominations but also the prosperity of our nation. Jesus should be killed for the good of the cause; as patriots we owe it to ourselves and to the whole nation and its future welfare."

They must if possible get Him to commit Himself to some reasonable statement, on account of which they could bring Him before Pilate as an enemy of the Roman Empire and thus have Him legally executed in a manner which the public could not resist. The Romans permitted the Jews to govern themselves, merely stipulating for tribute and loyalty to Rome; and Pilate with his soldiers resided at Jerusalem, not to interfere with Jewish laws and customs, but merely to preserve the peace and the dignity of Rome.

AN ENTANGLING QUESTION

With a view to getting Jesus to commit Himself as an opponent of the Roman Empire, two groups of Jews came to Jesus with a question. The Pharisees in a general way held that the Jews as the people of God were to be the rulers of all other peoples, and that they should never pay tribute, taxes, to other rulers. Their teachings on these lines, however, were privately given, for fear of being apprehended as traitors to Rome. The Herodians, on the contrary, were Jews who took sides with Herod, and stood firmly and boldly and publicly for the suzerainty of the Roman Empire, claiming that it was to the advantage of the people of Israel to be under the Roman power, and that the paying of tribute was right and proper. The common people were understood to specially favor the view held by the Pharisees and were opposed to the view of the Herodians. Representatives of these two classes, coming to Jesus in public *where He was teaching and where the common people could hear the question and note the answer, hoped to get Him to do one of two things: either declare with the Herodians that the tax was right and proper and thus break His influence with the common people, or publicly to side with the Pharisees and common people, denounce the tax tribute, declare it im­proper and contrary to the Divine will, etc.', and thus make declaration that under no conditions then prevailing could the instigation of insurrection amongst the Jews in opposition to the tribute tax be construed as traitorous.

Note the subtlety of the entire program: they addressed Jesus, saying, "Teacher, we know that thou art true and carest not for any one: for thou regardest not the person of man, but of a truth teachest the way of God." Here all the stress was laid upon His courage to utter truth, to be faithful to God at any cost, to be a teacher of the people on whom they could thoroughly rely, fearing nothing for Himself. All this was so stated in order that the Master in the presence of the multitude might be compelled to give a straightforward answer to the question they were about to put, and that answer they fully believed would be one that would convict Him of treason. Then came the question: "Is it lawful [according to the Law of Moses) to give tribute unto Caesar or not?" Shall we give or shall we not give?

A HEAVENLY-WISE REPLY

Our Lord understood the situation in an instant and said, "Why tempt ye me?"--Why do you try to entrap me? Look at the motives in your own hearts and judge of how much sincerity or falsity is there. Get a lesson out of this matter that will do you good; show me the tribute coin. They handed Him a silver penny or denarius of Tiberius Caesar, stamped with the likeness of Caesar and an inscription concerning him, just as coins of today in Europe bear the image and superscription of the reigning sovereign. Jesus inquired of His tormentors, "Whose image and superscription is this [on this coin] ?" They replied, "Caesar's." Then He gave them the answer to their question, saying, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

Jesus did not go into the question of how much advantage the Jewish nation was reaping from the protection afforded the Jews against the assaults of other nations. He did not attempt to declare that justice was connected with every feature of the tribute tax, but He did sum up the matter in those few words, "If Caesar has some just claims against you, render to him accordingly-this will not interfere with God's just claims against you, which you should be equally ready to meet." This answer was not merely an, evasion of the question: it was an answer in the full sense, probably far beyond what they could fully comprehend; but they did comprehend that they had failed to entrap Him, that He had answered their question in a manner which would never have occurred to them, that He had a wisdom far beyond theirs and all natural earthly wisdom-He had the wisdom from above, first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy of entreatment, full of mercy and good fruits.-Jas. 3:17.

ADMONITION APPROPRIATE TO US

The Scriptural assurance that all things work together for good to them that love God is illustrated in this matter. The Pharisees, the Herodians, intended evil to the Lord and His Apostles, their teachings, etc.--they designed their overthrow. But in the Lord's providence the very reverse of this resulted. A lesson came to the common people who heard, a lesson which doubtless bore fruit in any who were in a right condition of heart; but the lesson was especially profitable, we are assured, to the Apostles and to all of the Lord's followers since. Its lesson is that we are not called upon to war with, carnal weapons against the powers that be-that all the followers of the Lord Jesus are to seek peace and pursue it, endeavoring to do good unto all men as they have opportunity, especially to the household of faith, and to speak evil of and to do evil to none.

To the disciples this would imply that the affairs of the world may be safely left with the world, under the Lord"s supervision, for He is able to make even the wrath of men to praise Him; the remainder He can restrain, and in due time all of His gracious purposes will be accomplished. (Psa. 76:10.) Until that due time shall come we are with patience to wait for it, knowing that in the end it will come and will not tarry. The Lord's due time for the changes in the world's affairs is what we are waiting on, and meantime we are occupying, using, our talents and opportunities, not in fighting worldly battles either by tongue or pen or with other earthly weapons, but fighting the good fight of faith, laying hold upon eternal life, whereunto we are called, that we may thus be prepared by the trials and difficulties and sacrifices of the present time for the glorious share in His Kingdom reign and blessing which the Lord has promised to us as His followers if we are faithful.

If Caesar commands taxes and they are general we are not to dispute them. When the Lord's time shall come, when Caesar no longer shall collect taxes from the heirs of the Kingdom, it will be manifest to us, for then Caesar will have no power or authority to collect these. If Caesar merely gives us liberty to vote, it is not at all necessary that we should accept or use that liberty; should he by and by command us to vote, it would be proper for -us to comply and use our best judgment. But in the absence of any command or compulsion it would seem that those consecrated to be followers of the Lamb, to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, would have plenty to do in following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth-in fulfilling the terms of their consecration as members of the Body of Christ, in doing good unto all men as they have opportunity, especially to the household of faith.

"WHOSE WIFE SHALL SHE BE?"

When the Pharisees and Herodians withdrew, discomforted by our Lord's wise answer, representatives of another sect, the Sadducees, came with a question to entrap Him,. To appreciate their question we must understand that the Sadducees were a class of Jews well educated, intellectual, but utterly lacking in any faith respecting a future life. Whether or not they believed in a God, we are not informed, but that they did not believe in invisible angels or spirit beings of ,any kind, and that they, denied that there would be a resurrection. for mankind more than for the brute beast was clearly stated. These were world-wise, men who believed that their countrymen were laboring under a foolish delusion in expecting any blessings in the future. They held that when a man dies that is the end of him. The Sadducees presented a question which they thought should show up the weakness of Jesus' position before the people, and incidently also the weakness of the theories of other Jews.

Their question was probably a suppositious one, though stated as a fact. They cited the Jewish Law respecting Jewish marriage stated in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. The object of that law seemingly was to prevent the obliteration of any family. The suppositions case was that under this law one brother married and, dying without children, the second brother married his wife, and so on until the seven brethren had married the one woman, each in turn. Now the query was, Whose wife should she be in the resurrection, since she was the wife of the seven during her earthly life? The question was intended to show the absurdity of believing in a resurrection, that it would occasion all kinds of confusion, etc.

Our Lord's answer was, Is not your difficulty", your error, this-that ye understand not the Scriptures nor the power of God? If you sufficiently appreciated the power of God, you would know that He who is able to raise the dead is able also to order and direct all the incidental affairs connected with the resurrection of mankind. If you had a proper appreciation of God's character, you would have faith in Him and would not stumble over such a trivial matter as this. Leave it with God. Let me explain, however, that when they shall rise from the dead they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be like the angels in heaven, sexless. This was a new thought to them.

Our Lord did not attempt a particular answer to their question, knowing, first, that they were not sincere questioners, and that such an explanation would be like casting pearls before swine; second, it was not yet time to give an explanation of many of the details respecting the resurrection. Many of those details belong only to the spiritual, and could not be under­ stood by any except those begotten of the spirit, and the spirit begetting could not come until Pentecost, and Pentecost could not come until after the Lord had died on our behalf and had ascended up on high and appeared in the presence of God for us. From our standpoint, however, we see that our Lord, without designating the resurrection of the Church or the resur­rection of the world, stated the matter broadly in such a way as to apply possibly to both.

"NOT THE GOD OF THE DEAD"

Having answered their question that the resurrection difficulties they anticipated arose from a failure to appreciate the Divine power then in control, our Lord passed onward in the argument to show that they did not grasp the spirit of the Scriptural testimony. They had reasoned that the Old Testament said very little about the resurrection anyway. Our Lord proceeded to show them that there were various features of the Scriptures which indirectly taught the resurrection without mentioning it in so many words, He pointed them to the time when the Lord appeared to Moses and spoke to him from the burning bush, saying, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Jesus' argument with the Sadducees was that since Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were at this time dead, for God to thus speak of them implied a resurrection of the dead, implied that He still recog­nized them in some sense or degree, that they were not extinct-that God, for instance, would not speak of being the God of a dead camel or a dead dog, because He had made no provision for a resurrection of camels, dogs, etc., but His provision for the resurrection of the human dead is a fact, and constituted a full ex­planation of His statement here-that He is still the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

A lesson on true sacrifice and self-denial comes to our attention. Jesus went back and sat down in the court of the Temple, called the Court of the Women, one of the principal features of which was the collecting boxes -thirteen in number. The record states that Jesus "looked up and saw the rich men that were casting their gift into the treasury, and He saw a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites." On this incident we have the following appropriate comment:

"While Jesus was sitting there, the multitude were dropping their gifts, and the wealthier donors were conspicuous among them as they ostentatiously offered their, gold and silver. Raising His eyes, perhaps from a reverie of sorrow, Jesus at a glance took in the whole significance of the scene. At that moment a poor, widow timidly dropped in her little contribution. The lips of the rich contributors may have curled with scorn at a presentation which was the very lowest legal minimum. She had given two prutahs, the very smallest of current coins; for it was not lawful, even for the poorest, to offer only one. A lepton or prutah, was the eighth part of an as, and was worth a little less than half a farthing, so that her whole gift was of the value of less than, a farthing; and with the shame of poverty she may well have shrunk from giving so trivial a gift when the rich men around her were lavishing their gold. But Jesus was pleased with the faithfulness and the selfsacrificing spirit of the gift. It was like the "cup of cold water" given for love's sake, which in His Kingdom should not go unrewarded. He wished-to teach forever the great lesson that the essence of charity is self-denial; and the self-denial of this widow in her pauper condition was far greater than that of the wealthiest Pharisee who had contributed his gold. "For they all flung in of their abundance, but she of her penury cast in all she had, her whole means of subsistence." "One coin out of a little," says St. Ambrose, 'is better than a treasure out of much; for it is not considered how much is given, but how much remains behind.' 'If there be a willing mind,' says St. Paul, 'it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.' "-Farrar.


THE CHRISTIAN'S TRUE SUPPORT

Father, thou knowest best­
This thought is all my stay;
I see but just the step ahead,
Thou knowest all the way.

To me, as on I walk,
The way seems all obscure,
But thou wilt guide my trembling feet,
And make my footsteps sure.

E'en though the darkness falls,
And hides the path from view,
Thy rod and staff direct me still,
And will my strength renew.

Father, the way seems long,
My strength is very weak;
Support me still by thy right hand,
And words of comfort speak.


THE FALLEN STAR OF REVELATION NINE

IS IT CONSISTENT WITH THE LAW OF SYMBOLS
TO APPLY VISION OF FALLEN STAR TO MOHAMMED?I

SOME of the brethren have experienced difficulty in applying the vision of the fallen star of Revelation 9:1 to Mohammed, as we have done in the Revelation series that have appeared in these columns. The following communication received, quite fully expresses the difficulty:

"How can Mohammed be said to be in the ecclesiastical heaven prior to his being Mohammed the Prophet? The symbol is that of a star falling from heaven. This would embrace the question as to what 'heaven' in the symbols means, and if we should not always interpret it to mean the same. It does not seem reasonable to apply this to a heathen religion, when in other cases it refers to the Christian religion, either nominal or true."

The reply is as follows: While our Common Version translation of the words of Rev. 9:1 necessitates Our understanding that the "star" was seen falling from heaven, by St. John, other translations, equally reliable, ,convey a different thought. Note the rendering in the Diaglott and other translations: "And the fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star having fallen from the heaven to the earth." This rendering conveys the thought that when St. John saw the star it was neither in the heaven or falling from the heaven, but rather as a star having already fallen. The literal star seen by St. John was evidently of the appearance of a -meteor, and of course must have seemed to have come from the atmospheric heaven, where meteors generate or become luminous bodies. It would, therefore, be perfectly natural that the Apostle, who was relating, not the fulfillment of the symbol, but what he himself actually saw, would speak of it as a star having fallen from heaven, for all meteors fall from the atmospheric heaven. A fallen "star" is the symbol of a false religious teacher. There is a general agreement on this point. In interpreting the star-symbol it would seem to require that we understand it from the standpoint of the place or condition in which St., John "saw" it in the vision as a star already fallen to the earth-therefore, as representing a false teacher at the time when first seen. Another requirement in interpreting the symbol harmoniously would be, that the individual referred to by the star should be seen to be meditating upon and, to .some extent at least, engaged also in propagating religious views, or views concerning God or concerning what would be claimed as God's revelation. It would, however, on the whole, be false religious views that this teacher would be proclaiming. This is what history -seems most clearly So show that Mohammed was doing before he made claim to be God's greatest prophet.

HOW MOHAMMED FULFILLS SYMBOL

That Mohammed was religiously inclined some years before be professed to receive the Divine commission is clearly implied in the records we have concerning him. It would seem unreasonable to think otherwise. His primary instructions, which must certainly have made a deep impression on his mind, are worthy of consideration as establishing a basis for believing that he was, to a certain extent, teaching before he made his great claims. We read: "Waraka, one of his, [Mohammed's] wife's relatives, who bad embraced Judaism, spoke to him of the Jewish doctrine and told him the story of the patriarchs and Israel, not so much as it is told in the Bible, but in the Midrash;* and the gorgeous hues of the legendary poetry of the latter seem to have made as deep an impression on Mohammed's poetical mind as the doctrine of the unity of God and the morale-in its broad outlines--of the Old Testament, together with those civil and religious laws, Scriptural and oral, which are either contained as germs or fully developed in this record. Christianity exercised [also] a minor influence upon him and his spiritual offspring. All his knowledge of the New Testament was confined to a few Apocryphal books,** and with all the deep reverence before Jesus, whom, together with Moses, he calls the greatest prophet, next to himself, his notions of the (true) Christian religion and its founder were excessively vague."--International Encyclopedia.

______________

* The Midrash "is the general name given to the exposition of the Old Testament, which for about 1500 years formed the center of all mental activity, both in and out of schools, among the Sews after the Babylonian captivity." -International Encyclopedia.

** "The Apocryphal Gospels, writings that came into existence not earlier than the fourth century, purported to give the history of Joseph and the virgin Mary, before the birth of Christ, with the history of the infancy of Christ and with the history of Pilate. They are very generally regarded as spurious. They contain accounts of purported miracles that Christ performed in his boyhood days, etc.

_________________

As proving that before the age of forty, and consequently prior, to the date that he made special claims to Divine authority, Mohammed was engaged in the study -of religious (not heathen) views, and, with others, to some extent propagating these, note the historical record:

"About the year 600 A. D., [when Mohammed was 30 years of age], Christianity [in a perverted form] had penetrated into the heart of Arabia. . . . Judaism no less played a prominent part in the peninsula, chiefly in its northern parts, which were dotted over with Jewish colonies, founded by emigrants after the destruction of Jerusalem. Besides these two all-important religious elements, several sects, remnants of the numerous ancient sects which had sprung up everywhere during the first Christian centuries; Sabians, Mandeans, etc., on the frontiers of Syria and Babylonia, heightened the religious ferment, which shortly before the time of Mohammed [that is before he professed to receive the visions in the cave at Mecca] had begun to move the minds of the thoughtful. At that-time there arose, according, to undoubted historic accounts; several men in the Hedjaz, Waraka [the one already referred to as giving instruction to Mohammed], Obeid Allah, Othman, Zayd, etc., who preached the futility of the ancient Pagan creed, with its star worship, its pilgrimages and festive ceremonies, its temples and fetishes." The unity of God, the ancient religion of Abraham, was the doctrine promulgated by these forerunners of Mohammed [that is, forerunners as to the date Moham-med received his revelations], and many of those who, roused by their words, began to search for a form of religion which should embody both the traditions of their forefathers [the patriarchs] and a purer doctrine of the divinity, turned either to Judaism or Christianity. The principal scene of the missionary labors was Mecca, then he center of the pilgrimages of most of the Arabian tribes, and where from times immemorial, long anterior to the city itself, the Kaaba, Mount Arafat, the valley of Mina, etc., were held sacred-the Koreish, Mohammed's tribe having the supreme care over these sanctuaries since the fifth century. It was under these circumstances that Mohammed felt moved to teach a new faith, which would dispense with idolatry on the one, as with Judaism and Christianity on the other hand."

"AS A STAR HAVING FALLEN"'

It was evidently while engaged in propagating his views against the prevailing corrupt forms of Judaism and Christianity, and teaching the unity of God, that Mohammed frequently sought the solitude of the cave at Mecca, where, at the age of forty, he professed to receive the visions. On receiving these visions he then began to proclaim more prominently and zealously, in addition to his former religious views, that he was God's prophet.

The historian-says of him, "He taught that though the Jewish and the Christian religion were sent of God, yet he had himself received a more perfect one than either. He now called upon all his friends and kinsmen to acknowledge his authority, forsake their idols, and worship the one and only true God."

The foregoing would seem to be sufficient to establish the point that Mohammed met all the requirements of a false teacher, before receiving what he terms his special communications from the angel Gabriel in the cave at Mecca. Furthermore, the fact that the "star" in this fifth trumpet vision was first seen when fallen from the atmospheric heaven, by the Revelator, seems to establish the correctness of its application to Mohammed. As bearing on the last statement contained in the above communication--"It does not seem reasonable to apply this to a heathen religion, when in other cases it refers to the Christian religion"--we would say that what was proclaimed by Mohammed was actually against the teachings of all heathen religions, as the above historical quotations show. Mohammed believed in one God. This is a tenet of the true Christian religion. Mohammed believed that Moses and Christ were both prophets of God. His teaching, therefore, would more properly be called a perversion of both the Jewish and the Christian religions, thus making him a "fallen star" or false teacher.

Our understanding of the term "Heaven" in this connection is that it is symbolical of that which is high up, an exalted station--a place in the religious realm. And a star in the heaven would suggest the thought of one occupying the position of a teacher in the religious realm. To see a star "having fallen" would suggest the thought of one teaching and practicing that which is false--as though he had once been a true teacher. Thus we learn from the historian that Mohammed was of that character, in that his conduct and his belief were such as to give him the appearance of one who had been at one time a true teacher and as though he bad fallen from that exalted station, inasmuch as he is seen in the vision in a fallen condition--a teacher of error and of a false religion.

In our revised exposition of the fifth Trumpet symbol we trust to present a more complete unfolding of this vision as a whole; hence will defer going into it further in this connection.


BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION

STUDY CLXIII -- FEBRUARY 11

MEASURING THE HOLY CITY -- Rev. 21:12-21

(866) In what sense is the Bride of Christ pictured in the New Jerusalem scene? And what period of time has been devoted to the preparing of the New Jerusalem? H '21-86

(867) What lesson do we learn from the picture of the "walls" of the New Jerusalem? H '21-89

(868) What is taught by the "Gates" of the City? And what is signified by the fact that they were twelve in number and had the names of the twelve tribes of Israel inscribed thereon? H '21-89

(869) Explain the meaning of the Measure, the golden Reed by which the City, the Gates, and the Walls were measured. H '21-89

(870) Who is represented by the angel whom the Apostle saw measuring the Holy City? H '21-89

STUDY CLXIV -- FEBRUARY 18

THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY CITY -- Rev. 21:22

(871) What is the significance of the statement "I saw no Temple therein"? What does the absence of the Temple mean? H '21-90

(872) In what sense will the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb be the Temple of the New Jerusalem? H '21-90

(873) What is the primary thought or lesson in the institution of the Temple in ancient times? And how will this picture of the Temple services be fulfilled in the future? H '21-90

(874) Is there anything in the picture to lead us to think that the vision is intended to represent conditions beyond the reign of Christ and the restitution of all things? H '21-90

(875) What will be the difference between the position of the glorified Church in the future and the world of mankind with regard to the Temple services? H '21-90

STUDY CXLV -- FEBRUARY 25

THE NATIONS WALK IN THE LIGHT OF THE HOLY CITY
-- Rev. 21:23-27

(876) What is the import of the statement that "the City has no need of the Sun, nor of the Moon? Is the thought of the natural or literal light here to be understood? H '21-90

(877) What is the significance of the statement "the glory of God did lighten it"? Explain how this will be fulfilled. How will "the nations walk by means of its light?" H '21-91

(878) How are the terms "nations" and "kings" to be understood, and in what way or sense will they "being their glory into it"? H '21-91

(879) What is the import of verse 25 -- "and its gates shall not be shut by day"? H'21-91

(880) What important lesson is suggested in verse 27 -- "And nothing common, and that practices abomination and falsehood may by any means enter into it, etc."? What is the meaning of the Book of Life? H '21-91


VOL. VI. February 15, 1923 No. 4

''THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE"

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."--1 Cor. 13: 13.

ST. PAUL in the context makes mention of three of the necessary qualities that characterize the life of the Christian. These are faith, hope, and love. Over and over again in his epistles does he emphasize the importance of all three of these qualities; and not only in the epistle from which these words are taken, but in all his epistles he expresses the thought that love is the greatest of the three. When the Apostle desires to describe all those elements that make up the ideal character, he uses the word "love"; when he desires to point out a single principle, which, if applied in the daily life of the Christian, will be a simple rule of conduct, he calls it "love." "Now the end of the commandment is love, out of a pure heart." "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; love is the fulfilling of the law." One has thus most eloquently described this Divine quality as a principle of conduct:

"Love is the substance of all righteousness, holiness, duty and obedience .... It is the simple principle which constitutes the key to everything in the Christian life. It takes all the complexity out of life, and reduces duty to one simple, primal element of love; to love God and our fellowmen, and every­ thing else will take care of itself. In human machin­ ery, simplicity is the essence of power, and the secret of success. In God's great mechanism of morals and of holiness, there are two simple principles, like the poles on which this globe turns. The one is faith, the other is love, and like the poles, they are true and fixed, when all life revolves, like the great globe upon its axis, with unbroken uniformity and unwavering tran­ quility."

Love is one of the great influential attributes of God's character. It is the inspiring motive that moves Him in dealing with His creatures. Even in man's intercourse with his fellowmen, it is the highest, the most powerful, as a motive of conduct or a principle of action. It has been truly said that "Love will accomplish anything that it undertakes. Love will make any burden light, any task easy. Love will lead the mother through the lines of the hostile army to nurse her dying boy in yonder hospital. Love will lead the devoted wife to sacrifice all the luxuries of her girlhood home, and to toil and suffer with the man she chooses for her life companion, happy under all circumstances, in his smile and presence. . . . Love made Paul's privations like the flight of eagle's wings. Love sends out the missionary without any personal interest on earth, to labor and suffer and die in the heart of Africa, in the very luxury of self-sacrifice and joy. Love will prompt what money could not buy, what force could not constrain, what interest could not urge. Therefore, God has wisely made it the main spring of conduct, just because it has in it an impulsive force that. will lift us to infinite service, and make obedience a delight.

LOVE ALONE YIELDS DESIRABLE FRUITAGE

In the chapter preceding (I Cor. 12) St. Paul has been speaking of the miraculous gifts of power, that were poured out upon the early Church. In chapter 13 he is contrasting these gifts of power with this greatest of all gifts, Love. However, the possession of these powers does not in -itself give evidence of character. In referring to this the Apostle says, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." How solemnly true it is says one "without love eloquence is vain. Even the gift of tongues is empty and hollow. Even the highest wisdom and the most supernatural light are cold and dead. Even the faith that could remove mountains is barren of real spiritual joy. Yes, even the liberality that can give millions, and the sacrifice that could give life, bring no return to the heart untouched by heavenly Love. There may be much without love, much that even God may bless to others; but it profiteth us nothing, if we have not heavenly charity, [love]. We do not say that one may have mighty faith without any love; but the faith may be out of proportion to the love, and where this is so, the work will be ultimately blighted and disappointing. Even the greatest sacrifices may be but another form of selfishness, and may have its recompense in the glory that they win, or the gratification of intellectual pride, or determined self-will. Love alone is the substance of things, and the spring of joy and gladness, and perennial life and fruitfulness."

We might be able to understand theoretically what Divine love in the soul is, and to eloquently describe how one ought to act who possesses it; we might be able, even, to detect the slightest imperfection in its manifestation in another, and yet not possess it ourselves. It is possible to be so blind as not to see in our own lives our great deficiency in this greatest of all gifts. On the other hand it is possible that one may lack all the gifts that make success in the world possible, he may be very, deficient in a knowledge of God's Word, possessing only so much as is required to make one a Christian, and yet be the possessor of this grace of all graces.

BY THIS WE HAVE KNOWN LOVE

This love is exhibited in its greatest degree amongst those who have experienced His favor and have come to love God-those truly His children. "This is my commandment that ye, love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12.) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one for another. (John 13:35.) We, know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren." "By this we have known love, because He [Christ] laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16.) It will be seen from this last quotation that the love required of true Christians one for another is the same in kind as that exhibited, by Christ Himself and is expressed in the words, "we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." This is a greater love, than that which is required by the Law. That required by the Law is stated to be, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." BROTHER RUSSELL has very ably said concerning this: "There seems to be a limitation to the love commanded by the Law-­ 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself'--not better than thyself. Hence if it came to the place, where a neighbor's life was in jeopardy, and we could assist him only by the sacrifice of our own life, it would not be a requirement of the Divine law of Love that we would sacrifice our life for his-that would be loving him better than ourselves, and therefore more than the Divine requirements. Neither should we expect a neighbor to love us better than himself, so that he would sacrifice his life for us. Should he attempt to do so, it would be our proper attitude of mind to hinder it-not to allow him to work a permanent in­ jury to himself, more than we would have been willing and glad to have done for him. It is in this particular that our Lord's course in the sacrifice of Himself in our behalf, transcends anything required of the law -in giving His life a ransom for many, He did more than was required by the Law. It is for this reason that it is designated a sacrifice. To do the whole law was His duty; but when He went beyond this and gave His life a ransom price for mankind, that was a sac­ rifice, and as a sacrifice, it was appreciated by the Father, and especially rewarded with more than ever­ lasting life.

"And the same rule applies to us [His followers] for as He was so are we in this, world, leaving us an example that we should walk in His steps."

A DELINEATION OR PORTRAIT OF LOVE

In St. Paul's epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 13) we have what may be properly termed a portrait or picture of heavenly love in action' , in other words, a portrait of. its conduct toward others, These words of St. Paul may properly be said to be an analysis of love. In considering this wonderful analysis of the God-like character of love, it will be noticed that the Apostle describes it in its passive, its active, and its negative qualities, or aspects. By the passive quality of love is meant that quality that enables one to receive injury or suffering, without resistance-to passively submit to wrong or injury done, or supposed to have been done unto us, and also to patiently submit to the trials, the adversities of life. Three passive characteristics are mentioned:

1 . "Love suffers long." (V. 4.)
2. "Love beareth all things." (V. 7.
.3. "Love endureth all things." (V. 7.)

It will be noticed that these passive qualities are the first and last elements mentioned by St. Paul. Love is first represented by the inspired Apostle as stepping on to the stage of life, suffering--indeed, "suffering long"; the last view that we have of her in this picture as she passes off the stage, is "bearing all things, enduring all things." One has thus most eloquently described this passive quality of heavenly love as it is exhibited in its relation to the various difficulties, trials, and besetments that are inevitably encountered in this present lift, - "Heavenly love. is introduced to us with meek and bowed head, suffering long; and as she leaves our view, she is still drooping under yet heavier burdens, while her face wears the holy light of inconquerable patience, as she smiles her adieu, without a murmur or, a cloud, enduring all things.Between these two features, 'suffering long, and enduring all things,' lie all the other lineaments in the face of Love."

The long-suffering shows its capacity for continual forbearance, or patience under provocation. The "bearing all things," seems to have reference to suffering wrong without exhibiting resentment, or without interfering-to bear patiently neglect or indignities. The enduring all things seems to have reference to trials that come in the providence of God-trials that come in connection with serving the Master and His cause. There are, however, two ways of bearing or enduring trial. One is the Stoic's way, which is to "grin and bear it," the other is the Christian's way, the way of Love, to sing and bear it. The writer above quoted has thus expressed it: "One is to be ever conscious of how much we are enduring; the other is to be so lifted above it, that we almost forget that we are enduring anything, and are so occupied with others that we forget the pressure (of suffering) in the love. That devoted wife who ministers by her suffering. husband, night after night, is so full of concern for him, that it never occurs to her that she is losing her rest and risking her life; and it is, only afterwards, when' the sacrifice has been completely made, that she awakes to realize how much she has endured. So He endured the cross, despising the shame, in the joy of love," leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps.

There are two kinds of trials and tribulations that come to the Christian. One kind includes those that come in the common course of life-the trials that are common to all men. - To such the Apostle makes reference when referring to their beneficial effect upon Christians. "No affliction for the present seemeth to be joyous but grievous, but afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby." Another kind of trials is that which comes because of faithfulness in the service of the Master. Of such were those of Paul and Silas. We read of them that "When they [the magistrates] had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely, who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God," (Acts 16:23-25.) There is nothing that can give greater joy to the true Christian than to know that he is suffering for his Master.

LOVE IN OPERATION

St. Paul next mentions the active qualities of this Heavenly love. We find that there are four:

1. "Love is kind." (V. 4.)
2. "Love rejoiceth in the truth." (V. 6.).
3. "Love believeth all things." (V. 7.)
4. "Love hopeth all things." (V. 7.)

Referring to the first, the Apostle says, "Love is kind." The word kind is from the word kin. As used here, it means that one who possesses this heavenly love will 'treat another as a dear relative, a member of the same family., In one sense it may be said that Love takes all into the family circle of God, and treats them as being closely related to her in that all are objects of God's love--"For God so loved the world." Kindness is defined as a dispositon to do good to others, a disposition to make them happy by granting their requests, supplying their wants. or assisting them in distress. It expresses tenderness or goodness of nature,, benevolence. "Its manner is gracious, its tone affectionate, its expression gentle, its whole bearing is cordial, it is full of considerate and thoughtful service."

The Apostle tells us next that, "Love rejoiceth in (with) the truth " that is, rejoiceth when the truth is honored, or when it prospers, no matter what agency may be employed in its furtherance. It can rejoice in the work of Christ being done by others as well as that being done by itself, and by whatever means the cause of Christ is being promoted, it can say with St. Paul, "Therein do I rejoice, yea and I will rejoice." Its interest reaches beyond its own parish and its own little circle. It is, in full sympathy with every movement that can I promote the cause of righteousness in the world. It longs and prays for the spread of the truth until every creature shall know of, God and His great salvation.

"Love believeth all. things," is the next active quality of love. This does not mean that love believes everything it hears, but rather that it believes when things seem all contrary to love. It puts the best construction possible upon a brother's conduct. It says, I cannot see the heart; perhaps the new nature has been overcome for a time. Love is always eager to believe the best possible of another. It believes that God is love, even when His severe providences would, to the natural mind, seem to indicate the contrary. It says, "He doeth all things well, sometime we'll under-stand." Those who have come to a knowledge of God's Plan are enabled to understand the mystery of permitted evil, of human suffering, and can see that all things will ultimately show that God is love.

Love "hopeth all things." This may -mean that when faith fails, or when one is compelled to believe the worst about another and naturally would turn away from him, hope comes to the rescue, and says, "It is not as it should be, but I trust, I hope it will be yet." Love hopes to the end. Those who experience this love from another--"the love that will not Jet me go"--desire in turn themselves to bestow it upon those who are weak and erring.

THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF LOVE

It is very helpful in our endeavors to develop this love Divine, to note how much of this God-like character of love is displayed in what we are not, and what we do not. The first and paramount requirement of discipleship is that of self-denial. Self-'denial is sometimes described as simply saying, "no" to oneself. "If any man will be my disciple let him deny self, etc." Self-denial has sometimes been described as a great "not" laid across the pathway of the human nature. Considering St. Paul's analysis of this negative side of heavenly love, we find eight characteristics, or "nots" mentioned. We consider them in their order.

The first we notice is, that "Love envies not." (V. 4.) This is well denominated, The innocency or guilelessness of love. Envy is defined as pain, uneasiness, mortification, or discontent at superior excellence, reputation, or happiness enjoyed by another. It is accompanied often with a desire to depreciate the person, and with pleasure in seeing the person depressed or humiliated. Envy results, from pride, ambition, or earthly love mortified that another has obtained what we have a, strong desire to possess. Love is not jealous or unhappy at another's success or achievements, even though that success be along a line that rivals it. Love is glad even to step down and to let another take the place of honor or preference, -and itself to vanish out of sight. Love can rejoice in the good of others as heartily as in its own, and it can "thank God for the graces, the services, and the recompences of others as freely as for its own.

The second negative quality of love, is described in the words, "Love vaunteth not itself." (V. 4.) This has been well called the modesty of love. Vaunting oneself means vainly boasting, ostentatiously setting forth what one is or has. It is the off spring of conceit. It may be described as a desire for display, a desire to court the good opinion of others. -It does not refer to pride, but something lower than pride-vanity. The vain person has often a very low opinion of himself, and for this very reason desires others to have a higher opinion of his worth than he deserves. 'He desires to make use of all resources available in creating a reputation beyond his teal worth. The desire for display is contrary to the law of love. Anything we do with the consciousness of being noticed, with a desire for the praise of men, is a very low form of selfishness.

Another negative quality mentioned by the Apostle is, "Love is not puffed up." (V. 4.) This is well named, the humility of love, Love is not puffed up with pride, or swollen with the conceit of its own goodness, importance, attractiveness or achievements. Love has learned not to think of itself more. highly than it ought to think. Love looks upon itself as, a mere instrument, as a fragile earthen vessel that God may take up and use or that He may lay aside at His will. It has learned to estimate itself as nothing. It is described in the language of the poet:


"Not I, but Christ, be honored, loved exalted.;
Not I, but Christ, be seen, be known, be heard.
Not 1, but Christ, in every look and action,
Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word.

"Not 1, but Christ, to gently soothe in sorrow;
Not I, but Christ, to wipe the falling tear:
Not 1, but Christ, to lift the weary burden;
Not I, but Christ, to hush away all fear.

"Christ, only Christ, ere long will fill my vision
Glory excelling soon, full soon I'll see­
Christ, only Christ, my every wish fulfilling
Christ, only Christ, my All in All to be."

* * * * *

"Oh to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
Oh to be lost in Thee;
Oh that it might be no more I,
But Christ that lives in me."

LOVE'S UNSELFISHNESS

The next negative quality of love is well denominated the manners, or behavior of love, and is expressed in the words of the Apostle, "Love behaveth not itself' unseemly." Love is always good mannered. Love does not act rudely, discourteously. Love does not willingly offend, hurt, or wound another's feelings. Love is gentle and considerate in her manner. One has said: "It is wonderful how the spiritual qualities will transform the exterior life of even very ignorant and uncultivated people, and how their very manners will change and become lovely and attractive from the power of the heavenly principle within." Another way of defining this, expression would be, Love does not behave itself indecently, unbecomingly. It is even modest in its expressions of its spiritual enjoyments.

The words, "Love seeketh not her own," may well be termed the aim or central purpose of love. Love never terminates on itself. Human nature is naturally disposed to look first from the standpoint of self and ask, How will this affect me, or mine? Love inverts the order and thinks first, How will this please Him? How will this help others? To whatever extent our purpose or aim in life is to gratify ourselves, rather than that of bringing glory to God or of being a benefit-to others, to that extent it is deficient in this heavenly love. One who makes it a rule of life to seek the good of others as the Master did, will find that he has discovered the way to possess true happiness, without seeking it, and to at last attain the Heavenly Kingdom. "God will pour in and fill the vacuum, as love pours out and produces it."

Another negative quality of Heavenly love is described in the words, "Love is not provoked." This has been rightly called the temper of love. Love is always good tempered. The word "easily" is not found in the original manuscript. Love is never provoked, and never fails in anything. Had Christ even once failed in manifesting any of the characteristics of love, had He even once lost Himself and became sinfully angry, had He even once been incited to rage,, the world would have no Savior, no Deliverer. Never for one moment in the contest against sin and evil, or in His contact with the most wicked people, did He ever display sinful anger or wrath. In the shame and spitting before the Jewish council, in the smiting by the officers of the high priest, in the terrible anguish and insults of the cross, He did not in one single instance lose His perfect gentleness; and, as one has truly said, "if Christ be in us, His love will not be provoked even as of old."

LOVE'S FORGIVING POWER

Still another negative, quality of this Love that comes from Heaven is described in the words, "Love thinketh no evil." This is variously rendered as, "Love does not surmise evil," "Love imputeth no evil," "Love keepeth no account of evil." In harmony with 'the last rendering, this is named the memory of love. Concerning certain things love has a poor memory, rather, it has the ability to forget as well as to forgive. It has no malignant recollections. It does not forgive and cover over the fault of another today, while carefully keeping it in reserve to use tomorrow if something should provoke a reference to it. It drops the past, it forgets the fault and acts as if it had not been. One has thus commented on the expression, "Love keepeth no account of evil": "It lays up no rods in pickle, no grudges for future avenging, no memories to be poured out at the next opportunity in bitter words; but for its own sake, as well as for others, it loves to forget wrong or injury done to it. It refuses to dwell upon it, it keeps no record of offences, it does not get sullen, and stay until it has had its revenge, by a gloomy moroseness, which has made everybody wretched long enough to inflict a reasonable punishment, and then choose to be sweet again. No; but it quickly forgets the fault, smiles through the springing tears, supplants the cloud with a rainbow, gives, like the crushed geranium leaves, sweetness in return for bruising, 'and still loves on unchanged. It has no account book, no judgment seat; its only business is mercy, gentleness, and pleasing. It is called to bless and curse not, to do good and not evil all its days; to cheer and comfort, sweeten and lift up; but never to depress, to pain, to judge, to harm; even the poor sinner and the erring one are the special objects of its tenderness, and it loves to bless them that persecute, and pour coals of fire upon the head of him that wrong's it."

LOVE'S MINISTRIES TO THE ERRING

The last characteristic of this negative side of Heavenly love is that "It rejoiceth not in iniquity." We do not need to be told that those who possess this Heavenly love are haters of the principle of iniquity. Sin, iniquity is abhorrent to such. We do not think that this was in the Apostles mind when he wrote these words. A' characteristic may be referred to here by him that is quite common on the part of the world, a characteristic which Christians are susceptible to if they are not watchful and prayerful, and if they are not partakers of a large measure of the spirit of Christ, this Heavenly love. His words seem to have reference to one who has been injured, and the one who has caused the injury himself has suffered retribution, possibly through experiencing the same injury. How strong is the temptation to rejoice and say, "I am glad; he is getting what he deserves because of his treatment of me." Love on the contrary is always desirous of returning good for evil.

Another way of interpreting this expression is that "There is a temptation to feel a little flattered when we find another doing wrong, especially if it is one who has been longer in the Christian life than we, and from whom we might expect better things. It seems to give a sort of covering to our faults, or at least, a faint excuse; or if not, there is a certain sort of Pharisaical triumph that makes us feel that we have got the best of them, and are perhaps, a little nearer God. . . . Let us be ashamed of such a spirit, and like our Mas­ ter, let us weep where others fall, even if we have stood. Good Daniel took upon him the faults and sins of his people, and confessed them as his own, and won the recompense of being called the 'man that was greatly beloved.' Let us have that love that will blush with shame for our brother's fault, and for our sister's false I step, that will be so linked with the whole Body of Christ, that if one member suffer, we shall suffer, if one member suffer sin, we shall feel disgraced and de­ filed, and shall find all the strength of our heart flow­ ing out in intercession and restoring love. The most delicate and sacred of love's ministries is to the erring, and only one who has a very loving heart can deal with the. sins of others. Harshness never helps them, cen­soriousness never heals them, a spirit of judging never uplifts them; but ye which are spiritual restore the one that is overtaken in a fault, in the spirit of meekness. , . . Alexander's painter drew his portrait covering the scar on his brow with the shadow of his hand, and so Love ever hides the faults of others, by its own sweet disguises, and thus creates the good which it desires in them."

These eight negative attributes of love, constitute a very large measure of the Christian character. How impressive is the thought that the chief thing we have to do, in order to exemplify the Christian profession, is not to do. How true is the case often with us, if we would honor our Lord and Master, and imitate Him, we can best do so by simply keeping still, "holding back the word unspoken, the thought uncherished, the look unexpressed, the deed undone, and maintain a quiet and silent negative, under the pressure of temptation." "And He answered them not a word.,"

"FOLLOW AFTER LOVE"

The Apostle concludes his wonderful, Divinely inspired portrait of love in the words of exhortation: "Follow after love." (I Cor. 14: 1.) The word, follow would be better rendered pursue. The thought contained in the word pursue is portrayed in the hunter pursuing his game, or the avaricious man pursuing riches. The meaning is to make the exhibition of this Heavenly love the one great object of our lives. just as the great inspiring and controlling attribute of God's character is that of love as we, who understand God's wonderful Plan for His creatures, know, so let the inspiring and controlling attribute of our characters in our dealing with our fellowmen, be that of love., This heavenly love is not earthly in its origin. Indeed, the picture presented in this wonderful description is real. ly that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and it is impossible of duplication by imperfect creatures. The only way to obtain this love even measurably is by coming into an actual union with Jesus Christ. It begins to be realized by receiving His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. This is experienced by receiving Christ as a Savior from the condemnation and guilt of sin, and by the yielding up of our wills entirely to Him-in other words, by becoming justified. "Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. . , I And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which is given unto us."--Rom. 5: 1-5.

In the reception of this Holy Spirit of Heavenly love, there comes real definite experiences. These experiences may be described as a conscious realization of God's favor, a love for Him, a love for Christ, a love for His people, and a love for the erring and sinful world. All of these are entirely new experiences -- old things are passed away, behold all things are become new." However, both Scripture and experience teach that this Holy Spirit of love is retained only by a continued maintenance of an actual union with Christ. This union is maintained in, the same way that it was entered into-by faith. This faith is exhibited in a submission of the will to Christ, as also a dependence upon Him each moment to help us in the exercise of this love in all the relationships of life. In other words, we are first given a real foretaste of this Heavenly love, a real inner experience of what it is, without, at the time, having any special testing of it. Next will come the opportunities to exercise this Heavenly love. In the common everyday affairs of life these opportunities come. It is under these ordinary circumstances and conditions that this new love, this new life, begins to be tested. It is, however, to be tested to the uttermost. On this account we must not think it strange when, in the Divine providence, we are led into most trying and difficult places, in which our own natural love will utterly fail, and we learn the difference between the natural love and the supernatural love. We thus discover our own natural imperfection, our utter weakness, and in this way we learn to trust in Christ to help in our time of need. We will be brought into places where we will be wronged, ill treated, unjustly dealt with, or unappreciated, in order that we may learn to love as God, as Christ loves. It is under such conditions that we will be tempted to say, "It is not required of me to love those who despitefully use me and persecute me and say all manner of evil against me falsely." And yet we are compelled to admit that this is the way that God and Christ love. This was one of the ways that Christ, our 'Master, proved that He possessed this love. We may say, "Who is sufficient for these things? Who is equal to such a love?" The answer must be, No one is sufficient of himself. It is here that we must learn the other lesson, the lesson that St. Paul said he had learned, which is that our sufficiency is of God, and that such sufficiency is se­cured by an actual, vital union with Christ by faith and obedience.

LOVE'S TRIUMPH THROUGH FAITH

That all Christians do not reach this larger measure of love, is a fact no one will dispute. Is it because God does not desire us to reach it? that He is unwilling that we shall possess it? We feel sure that this cannot be the reason. It is, doubtless, true, strange as it may seem, that many Christians do not reach it because they do not desire to do so. There are those who really do not want to love some people. Such find, a secret pleasure in their dislikes, and somehow feel that they would be unhappy if they loved certain persons as they believe God would have them. As another has expressed it: "There is a sort of pleasant resentment in cherishing our prejudices and dislikes, with which we are sometimes unwilling to part, and the result is, God will not give us what we are not willing to receive, and the road of bitterness remains, and the garden is defiled with its growth." God loves humanity not because He sees in them lovable qualities, for in some there seems to be an utter lack of these. He loves because He sees in humanity what they will be when His great plan of love and mercy shall have been accomplished in them. This is the highest type of love. It is here that we have to love by faith--to love even, the unlovely, "even when they are acting in willful, wickedness and offensive hatefulness," because in .His grace He has given us an understanding of His wonderful Plan and we can look forward to the time when they will be made lovable by the operation of His wonderful mercy, love, and power. Occasionally God gives us an illustration of the working of His mighty power of love, as operating through the objects of His grace. We have read of an instance of this kind which we will give, in concluding this article:

"A humble Englishwoman had long suffered from a brutal and drunken husband. At last she felt the trial almost more than she could bear and a voice seemed to whisper, that if she would only bear the worst, deliverance would, soon come. One night he returned to his home, and awaked her from her sleep at a very late hour, and rudely demanded in a -very insulting manner, that she should rise and prepare supper for himself and his boon companions. She rose without a murmur, and with the face of an angel she ministered to these brutal men, receiving their rude and boisterous words with the courtesy of a lady, and treating them as if they were princes. At last their faces flushed with shame, and her loveliness compelled their silent admiration, and he, the husband, after trying in vain to provoke her, at last completely broke down, conquered by her sweetness, and became from that night a humble follower of her own life, and of her blessed Lord. The trial had reached its climax. The testing had done its work. Love was proof against all pressure; and therefore the pressure was no longer needed. The burden was rolled away, the sorrow was turned into joy, the sun broke through the last clouds, the rainbow rose upon the departing storm, and the clear shining after rain covered all the sky. 0 weary heart, who knows how near the end may be to all your testings. Be, brave, be true, and remember that some day we shall look back and almost wish we could be here once more to win, the crown, that is being purified through our sufferings and temptations, and to gain the lessons which God is teaching us here through our trials, and for which some day we will praise Him through the eternal ages."*

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*The quotations in this article are from a little tract written many years ago. The tract is entitled: "The Best Thing," by A. B. Simpson.

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JESUS IN GETHSEMANE

"Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous that He might bring us to God."--1 Pet. 3: 18; Luke 22.

THE Garden of Gethsemane was not a wild woods nor a public garden, but an olive orchard. The name seems to indicate that upon the premises was located an oil-press for the extraction of the oil from the olives. It is supposed to have been the home of the mother of Mark, reputed to have been a wealthy widow, a friend of Jesus' cause. The house and outbuildings were probably in one part of the orchard or "garden." At all events it seems evident that the property was under the control of Jesus' friends, and that He and His disciples were well acquainted with the spot to which, after eating the Memorial Supper, our Lord an(! His disciples adjourned. The site now pointed out as this Gethsemane Garden is about half a mile from the wall of Jerusalem, and contains some remarkably old olive trees, the Garden itself being under the care of some monks who reside near by.

When our Lord and His eleven disciples had arrived at the entrance to the Garden or orchard, Jesus left eight of them there as a kind of outer guard, taking with Him the favorite three, Peter, James, and John, the three who on various occasions had been similarly favored -- for instance, in connection with the visit to Jairus' daughter -- and it was the same three who were privileged to see the "vision" on the Mount of Transfiguration. While Jesus loved all of His disciples, these three were especially dear to Him, probably because of their special zeal and love for Him. But on this occasion not even these, His-specially dear disciples, could enter into or sympathize with the weight which was upon our Lord's heart; hence He stationed. them and went still further along to engage in prayer to the Father. The language of all of the accounts of this incident taken together, especially in the light of the original Greek, shows that a sorrowful loneliness and anguish came upon our Lord with great force at this time. While with the disciples, doubtless in their interest, He had sought to be cheerful and to give them the needful lessons in preparing them for their trials; but now, having done all in His power for them, and having gone to the Father alone, His thoughts turned inward upon Himself and His relationship to the Father, and outward upon the public shame of His trial and conviction as a blasphemer, a seditionist, and further on to the contemptuous mockery of the trial, and still further on to His. public execution between two thieves. All this, now clearly before His mind, was enough for anguish, for pain, for deep poignant sorrow.

"THE MAN OF SORROWS -- ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF"

In viewing the matter of our- Lord's sufferings on this occasion it is well, to remember that His perfect organism -- untainted, unblemished by sin, undegraded, undulled by dying processes-was much more susceptible to the pains and sorrows of the hour upon Him than the feelings of others of the fallen race could be. Under adverse conditions the finer the sentiments and characteristics the greater the pain. A hoodlum ringleader might even glory in a ride in the patrol wagon, while to a refined person the experience would be terrible. Take another illustration: A finely educated musician, with an ear for harmonies well developed, would feel a disturbance and pain from a discordant note that might not at all be appreciated by one of less acute musical talent. We could even imagine that one of the seditious robbers crucified at our Lord's side might have gloried in his death as a triumph had there been over his head those words which were over our Lord's head, "This is the King of the Jews." It is, of course, difficult for us to appreciate perfection, since neither ourselves, nor any with whom we have relationship are perfect; but we repeat that it must be true that the perfect organism of our Lord would suffer far more than any of His followers could suffer under the same conditions.

But there was another reason, and indeed it was the chief reason, we may be sure, why our Lord sorrowed on this occasion so that His agony, becoming very intense, produced a bloody sweat. That other reason was His realization of His own situation in relationship to God and the covenant under which He made His sacrifice. To fulfil the Father's will He had left the heavenly glories, stooped even below angels to take the human form and nature so that He by God's favor might redeem Adam and, in redeeming him, redeem the race condemned in him. He had pleasure, yea, "delight," in this self-abasement, as it is written, "I delight to do thy will, 0 my God: thy law is written in my heart." (Psa. 40:8.) It was this spirit that led our Lord to a full consecration of Himself to death as soon as He was thirty years of age, and could properly thus present Himself as our sin offering. The same' love and zeal kept Him faithful during all the years of His ministry, and enabled Him to count as light afflictions all the experiences of life and the various contradiction's of sinners against Himself-because He realized that He was doing the Father's will.

Why was it, then, that at the very conclusion of His ministry, after He had told His disciples of His coming death, and after He had explained that He would be "set at naught by the chief priests and elders" and crucified-in the face of all this knowledge, confidence, loving obedience, faithfulness to His consecration vow unto death--why did our Lord experience so terrible an ordeal in the Gethsemane orchard?

The words of the Apostle explain the situation: he says of Jesus, "He offered up strong cryings and tears unto Him that was able to save - Him from (out of ) death." (Heb. 5:7.) But others have died, others have faced death in as terrible or even more terrible form, and done it with calmness. Why did our Lord ,break down in such deep sorrow and such strong cryings as to bring on a bloody sweat? We answer that death to him was a very different proposition from what it is to us. We are already nine-tenths dead, or worse, through our imperfections, our share in the fall, which has benumbed all of our sensibilities, mental, moral and physical, and which renders us incapable of appreciating life in its highest, best and supremely fullest sense. Not so our Lord. - "In Him was Life"perfection of life. True He had for three and a half years been laying down His life, using it in the preaching of the Truth, and especially in the healing of multitudes of the sick, when virtue or, vitality went out of Him and healed them all. This indeed weakened His physical frame and strength, but undoubtedly He continued mentally very full of vigor, life, perfection. Besides, our experiences with death and our expectancy of death lead us to estimate it as a certainty sooner or, later. On the contrary, our Lord's experiences were with life; for centuries to us untold He had been with .the Father and the holy angels, enjoying the perfection of endless life; His experiences with dying men were but for a few short years, and hence to Him ,death had a very different signification from what it has to the dying race.

But there was more than this, much more: The heathen have a hope of future life built upon the traditions of their ancients, and God's people have hope of a resurrection built upon the Divine promise and guaranteed to them through the merit of Christ's sacrificebut what hope had Jesus? He could not share the heathen's hope that the dead were not dead, for He knew to the contrary; He could not share hope in a redemption and a raising up through the merit of another. His only hope, therefore, was that His entire career, from the moment of His consecration to the close., bad been absolutely perfect, without flaw in the sigh of justice, in the sight of the Heavenly Father. It was here when alone that this awful fear overwhelmed Him? Had He been perfect in every thought and ,word and deed? Had He pleased the Father absolutely? and would He be able on the morrow, with such a shrinking from the shame and ignominy as He would experience on account of His perfection-would He be able unflinchingly to perform his part? and would He, as a result, be accounted worthy by the Father to be raised from the dead on the third day? Or had He failed, or should He fail, even in some slightest particular, and thug be accounted unworthy of resurrection and thus become extinct ? No wonder these weighty matters bore in upon our dear Redeemer's heart with unsurmountable sorrows, so that He offered up strong cryings and tears unto Him who was able to save Him from death (by a resurrection).

Matthew says He prayed, "If it be possible let this cup pass from me;" Mark says He prayed, "All things are possible;" Luke records it, "If thou be willing," and the substance of all is that our Lord was exceeding fearful of Himself -- fearful lest He should make a misstep and thus spoil the entire Plan of God, which he had so obediently undertaken and thus far so loyally performed. Apparently death in any form would have been sufficient as a ransom for the first Adam's disobedience, meeting His death penalty; but it had pleased the Father to put His Son, the Redeemer, to the extremest of all tests, laying upon Him the ignominy, the shame, of the cross. Our Lord's query was. Could He stand this? Or would it be possible for the Father to deviate to that extent without interfering with the Divine Plan or the great work being accomplished? The necessary submission is indicated -- Not my will but thine be done."

HE WAS HEARD RESPECTING THE THING FEARED

The Apostle declares that out Lord was heard, that is, answered, in respect to the thing He feared-in respect to the cross and the recovery out of death. Prayers for help or deliverance from these troubles may be answered in two ways: The Father may remove the disturbing cause, or He may so strengthen us that we will be able to quite overcome the disturbance. And with us, as with the Master, the Father usually takes the. latter course, and gives us the peace and' strength through His assurance in His Word. Thus we read of our Master that He received the Divine aid necessary, though the particulars of the matter are not recorded; nor is it necessary that we should know; it is sufficient for us to know that the Father answered the prayer, that He was heard respecting the thing feared, that the fear was all removed, that calm reigned in our dear, Redeemer's bosom thereafter, so that in all the affairs and incidents of that night and the following day He was of all men the coolest and calmest. We can surmise that the Father's assurance was that He had the Divine favor, that up to that moment He had been faithful, that He had the Father's smile, and that He would be fully able to meet, when the time would come, all the exigencies of the hour of trial before Him. With the assurance of the Father's approval no wonder sorrow took its flight, no wonder hope, joy, love, and peace streamed into the dear Redeemer's heart, and He returned to the disciples ready for the events that He knew were about to transpire.

"LET US ALSO FEAR"

It is well that the Lord's people strive to live a rejoicing life, giving thanks always to the Father in all things, and rejoicing to be counted worthy to suffer shame, etc., for the cause of Christ. But as the Apostle elsewhere exhorts let us rejoice with fear: let not our rejoicing be of that reckless, self-satisfying kind which might ensnare us and entrap us; let our rejoicing be in Him who loved us and who bought us and who is ever present with us, our best Friend and truest Guide. Let us rejoice, not in feelings of our own strength and courage and wisdom, but in the fact that we have a Savior and a great One, who is able to deliver to the uttermost all that come unto the Father through Him. Thus may the Lord be our strength, our confidence, our shield, our buckler.

In our Lord's case we read that "He trod the winepress alone, of. the people there was none with Him." In His very saddest hour, when He most needed comfort and consolation, it was not possible for even the closest and dearest of His 'earthly friends to enter into His feelings or sympathize with Him. How different with us! We are not so different from others that they cannot enter into our joys and sorrows, our hopes and fears, if they have been begotten of the same Spirit and instructed in the game school of Christ. With us human counsel and sympathy are both possible and proper. Indeed this is the Divine provision as set forth in the Scriptures, which assure us that the Lord desires that we should comfort one another and build one another up as members of the Body of Christ. Nevertheless, we should never neglect the Throne of Heavenly Grace in personal interview with our Father and glorified Lord. Whatever of earthly companionship we may have, the Lord's companionship must never be underestimated or forgotten. The Lord sometimes sends His, angels to us to comfort us, to give us the assurance of His love and to point out to us the sureness of our confidence, our hope. But it is not necessary any longer to send a heavenly messenger, for already the Lord has on the earth angels-messengers, members of, the Body of Christ-imbued with the Master's Spirit and love, and ready always and anxious to speak the kind word, to bind up the broken heart, to pour in the oil and wine of consolation and joy, and in every way to represent to us the Master Himself. What joy often comes through such ministries, what blessing we have received in this manner, and what a privilege we have when occasion offers to be thus used .of the Lord as His ministers of joy and peace and blessing to the fellow-members. Let us be on the alert that no such opportunity pass us by.

The Apostle intimates that we have need of fearing the same thing that Jesus feared when he says, ."Let us also fear lest a promise being left us of entering in­ to His rest, any of us should seem to come short of it." As New Creatures we have tasted of the new life, the heavenly life: our eyes of understanding have to some extent been opened to see the grandeurs, and beauties of the heavenly things which God hath in reservation for them that love Him. And we, too, realize that our attainment to the glory, honor, immortality and joint­ heirship with the Lord depends upon our faithfulness to our covenant of sacrifice. If faithful, we know that He is faithful who has promised; if unfaithful, we, know that we shall fail. of that prize. What manner of persons ought we then to be under these conditions? Let us fear the loss of such a wonderful prospect of glory, honor, and immortality, in the sense that we will seek constantly to fulfil our covenant and to abide in our Father's love and in our Redeemer's favor and smile. All who are thus walking carefully may have their moments in which they will experience something of the shadows of Gethsemane loneliness, for their testing, for their proving, and to develop in them the proper fear necessary to their full knowledge, to their appreciation of the situation and to faithfulness.

"SLEEP ON NOW"

During that hour of intense mental agony our Lord prayed and prayed again, and in the interim came to His disciples, doubtless craving such sympathy as they would be able to give; but He found them asleep, their eyes being heavy from -sorrow, says the Evangelist. The hour was midnight; they were sharing His sorrows, but unable to appreciate them rightly. The Master chided, probably especially Peter, when He said, "What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." The noble Peter had but a short time before declared, "Lord, though all men forsake Thee, yet will not I," and even now he had the sword which he subsequently used in seeking to defend the Lord, and yet he did not realize the importance of the hour; he knew not, as the Master did, how serious were the testings and how close; he knew not that it was a very short time until the Master's words would be fulfilled, "Before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny me thrice." Ali, had he realized as the Master did the trials that were near, how vigilant he doubtless would have been! And is it not so with us today? Are we not as the Lord's people in this Harvest-time drawing close to the Gethsemane hour of the Church? Are we not already in the hour of temptation to a considerable extent? Will not. the last members of the Body soon follow the Head unto complete sacrifice? How ready are we for the ordeal? Are we asleep, or are we heeding the words of the Apostle, They that sleep sleep in the night, but we who are of the day should be awake, sober, putting on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand in this evil day, in the time of trial already upon us, and in the still severer trials which no doubt will be ours in the near future? Are we prepared for the time when there will possibly be a general scattering, as these "all forsook Him and fled"? How courageous we will be in our hour of trial will probably depend much upon our following the Master's example and securing first of all that positive conviction that we have the Divine approval. Let us not then avoid the Gethsemane moment if it come to us in the Lord's providence, but let us also with strong cryings and tears look up to Him who is able to save us out of death by the glorious First Resurrection and let-us remember that we have an I Advocate, we have a Helper. The Lord is our Angel who speaks to us the Father's message, telling us that if we abide in His love all will be right in the end, and that He is. able and willing to bring us off conquerors, yea, more than conquerors through His own merit.

"THE SPIRIT IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK"

This was our dear Redeemer's comment upon His disciples. He appreciated the fact that at heart they were loyal to Him -- He was not unmindful of their forsaking all to be His followers, He is not a hard Master, but on the contrary ever willing to accept our heart intentions, -even where the flesh fails to come up to the perfect standard; and doubtless, therefore, His words, "Sleep on now, and take your rest," were not meant as sarcasm, but in very truth He wished that they might get a little rest, refreshment, in view of the ordeals of the day approaching. But not long did they rest until the trial was upon them. Judas guided a multitude seeking for Jesus -- not Roman soldiers, but a multitude, a rabble of the curious, with certain servants of the High Priest, who was also a judge. These, then, were court officers, an impromptu sheriff's posse, that came upon Jesus in the Garden and arrested Him by night, fearing that an arrest in daylight would create a disturbance at a time when the city was full of visitors to the Passover, and when disturbances were rather to be expected, and by the officers of the law sought to be carefully avoided.

Judas either knew the Garden as a spot frequented by Jesus and the disciples, or had learned at the Supper where the company intended to go subsequently. 'When Satan, entered into him and he resolved to earn the thirty pieces of silver by betraying the Lord, he left the gathered company at the Passover Feast and went to the chief priests and bargained with them, and now, as the result of that engagement, he came forward in advance of the multitude to meet Jesus and to indicate to the soldiers the one they wished to apprehend. As he approached, he saluted, saying, "Hail, Rabbi," and kissed Him. The Greek indicates that he kissed Him repeatedly. Jesus received these expressions that belong to love, and knew that they were traitorous, yet made no evil retort. Instead He most kindly and respectfully said, "Friend, do that for which thou art come." The word "friend" does not signify loving friend-it is not from the Greek word Philos, beloved but from hetaire, which signifies comrade or partner.

AVOID THE JUDAS SPIRIT

Truly every disciple of Christ, realizing that the issue is with himself, will desire to follow such a course as will insure against his ever becoming a Judas to the Lord and His cause. God's foreknowledge that one of the twelve would prove a traitor, not only receiving the grace of God in vain, but using it in a most villainous manner, was not the cause of Judas' fall,. The Apostle says, ."The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Tim. 2:19.) It is for us to determine how the favors of God shall be received and used, and God's foreknowledge in no sense of the word influences us.

We have every reason to suppose that Judas at the beginning of his career as a disciple was sincere. We may safely conclude that the gross deflection of his heart and character manifested at last came upon him gradually-that it began with the merest suggestion and ended with the most awful tragedy. The suggestion was probably along the line of selfishness; that he was not sufficiently honored amongst the twelve; that our Lord seemed to have a preference for Peter, James, and John, and thus showed his lack of superior knowledge and ability--discernment. Doubtless Judas encouraged his own spirit of criticism. Self-complacent, he no doubt thought he saw places where Jesus and the others erred in judgment, failed to take advantage of opportunities, probably said the wrong word at the right time, etc., etc. Such a heady spirit, such a critical spirit, such a self-satisfied spirit, such a selfish spirit, always goes before a fall. The history of the Church -as well as our individual experiences attest this.

When Judas perceived that the cause of Christ was not prospering-that Jesus not only did not respond to the suggestions of the multitudes here and there that he become a king, but that on the contrary his mind turned in another direction, anticipating violence from the rulers of the Jews, the suggestion probably came to Judas that it was time to begin to "feather his own nest," so that when the disruption would come he would be one of the party who would gain and not lose by his experiences as a disciple. Thus selfishness was in control of his mind and led him to pilfering, as it is written, "He was a thief, and carried the bag." That is to say, he was the treasurer of the little company, and appropriated some of the funds to his own personal account. We can even suppose that in his perfidy he exonerated his theft with the thought that he had been giving his valuable time to the cause, and that what he took would not more than reimburse him the value thereof. Such is the spirit of selfishness, the very reverse of I the Spirit of the Lord-the spirit of self-sacrifice and whole-souled service to the Truth. Whoever has this spirit in any measure has the Judas spirit to that extent, and the result will surely be evil whether it amounts to such an awful result as that of Judas or not.

Our Lord declares that -His faithful members in the world represent Him, and that anything done against them is done against Him. We may be sure, therefore, that the Judas spirit of selfishness even today might lead to betrayal of the Lord by the betrayal and injury of one of the least of His followers. Nor should it surprise us that these representatives of the Judas spirit follow his course even to the extent of betraying with a kiss, and. ofttimes profess great love and respect for the members of the Body of Christ, whom they secretely smite for their personal, gain, or in an endeavor to gain place or influence or other selfish aggrandizement. Let each follower of the Lord apply to himself exactly Judas' words, saying, "Lord, is it I?" And let us each examine our own hearts to see to what extent anything of this Judas spirit might be lurking there, seeking a favorable moment, to entrap us and destroy us as New Creatures.


THE TWO WITNESSES CLOTHED IN SACKCLOTH

"And when they shall have completed their Testimony, That Wild Beast Ascending out of the Abyss will make War with them, and will conquer them, and kill them. And their Dead Body shall be on the Street of the Great City, which is 'called, spiritually, Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. And some of the Peoples, and Languages, and Nations, see their Dead Body three Days and a half, and do not permit their Dead Bodies to be put into a Tomb."--Rev. 11:7-9.

THIS portion of the Revelation* visions was treated in an article that appeared in these columns about three years ago. (H. '19-- 282-288.) However a communication has been recently received which, while not objecting to the exposition as a whole, presents a difficulty that would seem to conflict with the application of the vision (of the Beast's war on the Witnesses and of their death and resurrection) to the period beginning just before the great Reformation in the sixteenth century. The interpretation presented in the HERALD of the Wit­ nesses lying dead in the street of the Great City. for 3 1/2 days (years), was-, that they represented the sup­pression of the Old and New Testaments and consequently the suppression of all evangelical testimony during the period from May 4, 1514, to October 31, 1517. Our interpretation of their resurrection and ascension to heaven, covered the period from 15,17 to 1799, when the 1260 years of Papal domination over the saints ceased. The difficulty above referred to is expressed as follows:

"If we apply the 1260 days (years] from 539 to 1799, how can we say that the 3 1/2 days [years] are from 1514 to 1517? because at that time they had not finished their testimony, the 1260 days were not finished until 265 years later, in 1799."

Though this point was covered to some extent in the HERALD series, there is more to be said concerning it, especially as it has since been given more thorough consideration in connection with the revision of the Revelation series for publishing in book form, if it be the Lord's will that this be done. We now briefly set forth our further study of the matter.

THE WAR AGAINST THE WITNESSES

It is admitted that it would seem from the Common Version translation that not until the full end of the 1260 years would the Papal war on the Witnesses and their slaughter (suppression), etc., take place. It reads, "And when they shall have* finished their testimony the beast that ascendeth out of the Abyss shall make war Against them and shall overcome them -and kill them, etc." It should be noted, however, that if we understand the "Beast" that makes war on the Witnesses to be Papacy, we meet with. an insurmountable obstacle, in applying the words, "And when they shall have finished their testimony," as meeting their fulfillment in 1799, for the reason that the inspired record states that when they shall have finished their testimony the' Beast (Papacy) shall make war on the Witnesses and overcome them, and kill them; and no such event, nor anything like it, occurred at or after 1799. Indeed, the very opposite occurred, for it was at this time--the period of the French Revolution--that Papacy received its most terrible blow, at the hands of Napoleon--a blow that so weakened its power that it was utterly unable to wage a war of extermination on the Witnesses of Christ. Indeed, it was at this time that the Witnesses, the saints, and the Word of God as well, was delivered out of Papacy's power. It was at this time that the Witnesses, whether they be understood to represent Christ's saints or the Word of God, or both, ascended to heaven (Matt. 11 :23), that is they came into favor with the powers that be. Furthermore, the overcoming, or death of the Witnesses and their lying dead in the street of the Great City was a result of the Papal war, and nothing occurred in 1799 or since, that can be construed to fulfil these symbols. On the other hand, however, it is an indisputable fact of history, as was shown in the previous article on this chapter, that all these things occurred in the period before, during, and since the great Reformation, reaching their culmination in the humiliation of Papacy in 1799. That Papacy should wage war on the Witnesses and overcome them, is foretold in another vision of 'the Revelation, as we read: "And it was given unto him [the Beast] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them." (Rev. 13:7.) Who can doubt that the same "war" is referred to as in this vision. History records this event, as we read: "At the third Lateran Council (A. D. 1179), the Popedom roused itself collectively to a war of extermination against heretics. Previous to this, separate members of the system, acting alone and independent, had opposed the truth by force and cruelty. But in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, Romanism then in the plenitude of its power, gathered itself together for a great, determined, united, and persistent effort to crush but all that opposed its supremacy, and to clear Christendom of heresy." History further relates. that this "war" continued until May 4, 1514, when the testimony of God's Witnessing saints was silenced.* Furthermore, it is also a fact of history. that this testimony was resumed after 3 1/2 years-in October 31, 1517, and has never been. silenced since. While we believe that what we have shown is sufficient to prove that the war against the Witnesses­ their being overcome, their death, and their resurrection, did not occur at the end of the 1260 years of Papal ascendancy, in 1799, there is another matter that has a very important bearing on the vision's interpreta­tion that is well to have in mind, which is, that if it -were possible to apply this part of the vision to 1799, there would be a passing by, an ignoring in the Apocalypse of the most critical, trying experiences that the true saints of God -ever encountered in connection with their testimony or witnessing for their Lord and Master. It would he incredible to believe that those three centuries before the Reformation, which marked the most terrible persecutions that the saints of God ever experienced, would be passed over in silence, or at least, no special mention be made of them in the Apocalyptic visions; this would be true, if we applied all the symbols of this vision to the end of Papacy's domination in 1799.

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*See H '19--286 for full historical evidence.

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THE TWO WITNESSES PERFECT THEIR TESTIMONY

The indisputable facts of history, above mentioned, that fulfil every feature of the vision, should clause us to examine very carefully and critically the seemingly conflicting words: "And when they shall have finished their testimony the Beast that ascendeth out of the Abyss, shall make war against them and shall conquer them-! etc." In doing this it will be necessary to examine the translation. Thus we discover that there are several different renderings, given by able and eminent Scripture writers. Of these we note three:

"And when they shall be about finishing their testimony."--NEWTON.

"And whenever they shall have finished their testimony."--STUART.

"And when they shall have perfected their testimony." -ELLIOTT.

This last, as we shall endeavor to show, seems to be the correct translation, and it perfectly harmonizes the facts of history, as well as the interpretation of the vision as given herein. If we accept the translation Of MR. ELLIOTT to be the true one, we are enabled to see a most wonderful and beautiful harmony of this remarkable vision with the facts of history, and with the interpretation as set forth in the Revelation series. His translation of the passage under consideration is: "And when they shall have perfected their testimony," instead of, "And when they shall have finished their testimony," as given in the Diaglott. The question to be decided is, whether the Greek verb should be rendered perfected or finished. Concerning this MR. ELLIOTT says

"Let it be remembered, then, that to finish, is by no means its only, or only frequent, sense; but quite as frequently [it has the significance] to complete, or perfect. So in effect our translators [of the Common Version] render this [same] verb in Rev. 15:1, 'For in them is filled up the wrath of God.' For 'filled up' is there intended evidently-in the sense of completed. Liddell and Scott thus speak of this verb. 'The strict significance [of this verb] is not the ending of a departed state, but the arrival of a complete and perfect one; therefore it signifies more properly to bring [the testimony] to such a state of completion and perfectness My conclusion is that much in the same way the two Apocalyptic Witnesses' testimony is viewed in the prophecy as a thing of growth, and that so soon as having gone through the preliminary stages, it should have come to embrace all the subjects of protest [against Papal errors] that it was intended to embrace, and shown forth also all its [the testimony's] evidence of .Divine inspiration,--so soon it might be said, according to the mind of the Spirit, that the testimony was perfected, or had reached its culminating point; yet not so as to imply that the testimony Was to be then at an end; but rather that it was thenceforth to be contin­ued [after the resurrection of the Witnesses] in its complete and perfected form."

MR. ELLIOTT next shows what the testimony that was required of the Witnesses before their testimony would be suppressed for three and one half years comprehended. His words are: "Obviously a protestation for Christ against each of the successively developed and enforced Anti-Christian errors of the Apostasy; errors as defined (not by a commentator so as to suit his own hypothesis of interpretation, but) by the Apocalyptic prophecy itself."

THE WITNESSES' DENOUNCEMENT OF THE BEAST

This writer next enumerates the errors of the Apostasy, noting the places in the visions of the Apocalypse where they are symbolically referred to. It is not the purpose in this brief article to point out the particular places in the Apocalyptic visions in which these gross errors are referred to as characterizing the. Anti-Christian apostasy. It will be sufficient here to say that they relate to an utter perversion of those vital, fundamental truths, that all true Christians recognize as entering into, and as constituting that which is an absolute necessity to, a vital, living union with Christ as Savior and Lord. These errors, as all true Christians know, are:

1. The Sacramental error; in other words, the so-called sacrifice of the Mass, which was claimed by the great apostate, Church to be a continuation of Christ's sacrifice.

2. The Mediatorship of departed saints (so called).

3. The Paganized idolatrous worship of saints, martyrs, and relics, etc., that prevailed almost universally in the Dark Ages of the great Anti-Christian apostasy.

4. The false claim of the Romish Church to be the true Church of Christ on earth.

5. The false claim of Papacy to be the Head of the Church.

These constitute the successively developed characteristics of the Apostasy, noted in the Apocalypse. The protestation of Christ's Witnesses, had, of course, to embrace them all. As soon as they had given such a witness, and proved the same by the sacred Scriptures, it could be truthfully said that their testimony was perfected) in the Divine sense intended. by the expression: "And when they had perfected their testimony, etc." It is an established fact of - history that such a testimony was given during those dark centuries of the great Apostasy. However, it was not until the twelfth century that a testimony against all these egregious errors was finished; in other words until this testimony was perfected. Furthermore, when the testimony of these Witnesses was Perfected, by their making a bold, fearless announcement that the Romish Church and the Papacy fulfilled the Apocalyptic visions of the Harlot and the Beast, we reach an epoch in his­ tory, when the Papacy instituted by a decree, of the third Lateran Council, a systematic warfare against these Witnesses of Christ. The expressed avowal of this decree was the extermination or utter suppression of the testimony of the Witnesses. This occurred in 1179. Mr Mede has said: "Never before this time [that is the twelfth century] had suspicion arisen of the Papacy being Anti-Christian." Another writer has said: "The Beast made not war against the Witnesses immediately from the commencement of his existence,

but in the twelfth century; at which time the war was made by him against both Albigenses and Waldenses, and saints of Christ, called, as it might be by whatever other name."

Concerning this MR. ELLIOTT writes: "From early times we have seen that the Witnesses both of Eastern and Western origin made protestation against the sacramental error, the Mass, and the Mediatorship of saints; setting forth Christ as the one source of life, Christ as the one Mediator and Intercessor; and His Church constituting the faithful, the only true Church; and against the idolatrous forms of worship of the Church of professing Christendom. But against Rome, Papal Rome as the predicted head of the apostasy, and Babylon and Harlot of the Apocalypse, and against the Roman Popes as Antichrist, they for centuries protested not. Nothing meets us nearer to a protestation on this point than the Paulikians saying, 'We are Christians; ye are -'Romans,' until we come to Berenger's notable statement, made in the eleventh century, 'that the Romish Church was a Church of malignants, and its See, not the Apostolic seat, but that of Satan.' And that was but an insulated voice; and made by one who shrunk from acting the confessor. It was a hint, however, not lost. A century later came the time of Peter Valdes [Waldo] and his disciples. The Noble Lesson, written by one of them, as we have seen (H '23-375), somewhere between 1170 and 1200, marks in what it says of Antichrist a preparation of mind, indeed more than a preparation, to make the great step and recognize the predicted Babylon, Harlot, and Antichrist in Rome and the Popedom; a step of advance actually taken ere the termination of the twelfth century, by the Waldenses, or orthodox associated Paulikians, and other sectaries just at this time the mighty act was done of the translation and circulation of the Scriptures, far and wide, in the vulgar tongue. Then the witness-testimony might indeed be considered to have been brought to its culminating point and perfected."

"And what then followed? Forthwith the Popedom -of which previously, the separate members alone, acting independently of the Head [the Pope] had moved against heretics-roused itself collectively in the third Lateran General Council of 1179, And declared war against them."

DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE WITNESSES

To briefly sum up the conclusion then, it seems most evident that the statement, "And when they shall have perfected their testimony," has reference to the fact that the true followers of Christ-Christ's Witnesses--would be enabled to give a full, clear testimony of the fundamental truths of a pure Christianity, which would be in such a marked contrast to Rome's counterfeit of those truths, as to arouse the Papacy to summon her power and might to destroy or suppress their testimony. This would not mean that the Witnesses would be exempt, from persecutions while giving their testimony, but rather that during this period the perse­cutions would not be by an official decree of Papacy; and that they would be inflicted for the purpose of bringing back those called by Rome the "wandering sheep" into what she denominates the "true sheepfold." When the time was reached that a full testimony had been given by Christ's true Witnesses, which was in the twelfth century, Rome instituted a war of extermination. This "war" is referred to in Rev. 13 where we read: "And he shall make war against the saints and overcome them.." This "war" continued during the three centuries following, (the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth) and resulted in the saints being "overcome," or as expressed in the vision under consideration, in the overcoming or killing of the Two Witnesses.

Furthermore, as shown more fully in the article in the Revelation series referred to, in the closing session of the Lateran Council, held May 4, 1514, there went forth a proclamation that all opposition to Papacy had ceased, that no voice of protest against Papacy was heard in any part of Christendom-the Beast had conquered.

This continued until October 31, 1517, when, as if to show that the Witnesses were on their feet again, symbolically speaking, the event that according to historians marked the beginning of the great Reformation occurred. That event was the nailing of the 90 theses by Martin Luther to the Church door at Wittemberg. The testimony of the Witnesses, from this time continued, not, however, without, persecutions, but no more to be suppressed. When 1799 was ushered in, the humiliation of the Papacy by Napoleon occurred. This brought in a state of affairs in Christendom depicted in the vision as the "ascension of the Witnesses to heaven," which means their being treated with such a measure of favor by the "powers that be," as to continue their testimony unmolested by Rome. This specially favored time has lasted now over a century. During the first half of this century the Scriptures were translated in every language and scattered all over the earth. During the last half of this century students of God's Word have come to an understanding of the glorious Message of the true Kingdom. This has been, and is still being proclaimed all I over the territories where apostate Christianity exists.


JESUS ENTERS DARK VALE OF DEATH

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.--Isa. 53: 5; Luke 23: 33-46.

THE story of our Lord's crucifixion is related with a pathos which stirs our souls with sympathy, and begets in us a responsive love from the moment we truly recognize the purport of the Apostle's words: "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." Others have died just as cruelly, and a few have gone to- death voluntarily and composedly. The Lord's death, however, was the first one in which the victim was entirely innocent, entirely unworthy of the death sentence-the only one, therefore, in whose case the matter of dying was wholly voluntary, the only one who needed not to die had He not so willed.

CROSS-BEARING EXEMPLIFIED

The Evangelists relate the incidents of the crucifixion with very slight variations, and the whole matter is before us when we group together the various state­ments, each of which is true. From Pilate's Judgment Hall, after the governor had consented to Jesus' death because unable to stem the tide of Jewish prejudice and vociferous demands, the centurion, with three Roman soldiers, took Jesus to Calvary to crucify Him. As was the custom, the culprit -- in this case the victim -- bore His own cross, which must necessarily have been a terrible task. Our Lord apparently was overcome by the weight of the cross, when a countryman named Simon coming along was forced to assist Him. The statement of Luke 23:26 implies that Simon did not carry the cross entirely, but merely assisted Jesus, carrying the hinder part of it, which usually dragged.

If we ate inclined to wonder where were Peter, John and James and the others of the Apostles that they proffered the Master no helping hand, we are to re­ member that they were "common people" and rather despised as Galileans, and that they had reason to fear that the wrath of the chief priests and rulers against Jesus might also attach more or less to, them, and no doubt these considerations had something to do with their backwardness. Besides, they were in a great maze of perplexity at the experiences through which their Master was passing-they understood not until after our Lord's resurrection and His explanation of the Scriptures bearing upon the subject. We are not, therefore, to plume ourselves upon superior courage when thinking how we would delight ourselves in such an opportunity. We are to remember that we have the light and the knowledge and the Holy Spirit, which they did not then have, and that thus we have much ad.: vantage over them every way.

When we think, however, how nobly Peter, James, and John and the others carried on the work of the Lord-how they took up the cross of Christ in the highest sense as His apostles and servants--we have every reason to rejoice and to do them honor. And now the cross is with us. The truths represented in our Lord, in His teachings, in His sacrifice, are still despised and rejected of men--not only by the world, but also by the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees of nominal Christendom.. The members of the Body of Christ, their hope of glory, honor, and immortality, and the blessing of all the families of the earth, are still laughed to scorn, and there is still room for bearing the cross and experiencing crucifixion of the flesh as the representatives of Him who loved us and bought us with His precious blood. How faithful have we been in the past? how faithful will we be in the future? Here is our opportunity also for coming off conquerors through faithfulness in walking in His steps.

"FATHER, FORGIVE THEM"

Arrived at Calvary, Golgotha, the wooden crosses were laid upon the ground, the victims stretched thereon, and nailed by hands and feet; then, the soldiers lifted the crosses and set them into already prepared holes or sockets. The torture of these experiences can better be imagined than described. It was a most cruel death, though perhaps not more cruel than some other forms by which the Lord's followers and others have died., It was not the pain, not the suffering that was our ransom price-it was the death. The penalty upon father Adam was not the amount of pain he should suffer, but the fact that He must lose life. And so some of Adam's children have lost their lives with great pain, others with little suffering, but over all, the sentence reigns, "Dying thou shalt die." It was sufficient in some respects that the Lord should have died, no matter how, but in other respects this was not sufficient. Under the Mosaic law it was decreed, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." (Gal. 3: 13.) That vilest sentence or curse against sinners under the Law, Jesus bore, that He might not only be the Redeemer of the world in general but also the Redeemer of the Jew, as it is written, "He was made a curse for us" -- experienced the sentence of the accursed ones under the Law.

It was supposed that it was just about the time that the cross was dropped into the sockets, which would be one of the most agonizing moments of the entire experience, that our Lord in the midst of His agony prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." It certainly would be just like our dear Master to utter such a prayer, and we feel very sure that it was the sentiment of His heart, as it was also that of the first martyr, Stephen, who cried in dying, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." It is but truthful, however, for us to note the fact that these words credited to our Lord are omitted from the Vatican Manuscript, which is one of the very oldest; and although they appeared in the Sinaitic, they were subsequently stricken out of the latter as though their authenticity were doubted. We cannot, however, have any doubt that the words represented our Master's sentiments towards His enemies, for they are in full accord with His instructions to His followers, Love your enemies, do good to them that persecute you, and pray for them.

WHEN REVILED HE REVILED NOT IN RETURN

The Apostle points out our Lord's patience under this reviling as an example to us. When He. was reviled He reviled not in return.- How many, cutting things ,our Lord might truthfully have thrown back at His persecutors. The secret of His patience was expressed in His words to Pilate: "Thou couldst have no power ,over Me at all except it were given thee of My Father." The same thought is expressed in the words: "The cup that My Father hath poured for Me, shall I not drink it?" Likewise our ability to take reviling and perse­ cution patiently and unresentfully will be in proportion as our consecration to the Lord is full and complete, and, .in proportion as we realize that "All the steps of the righteous are ordered of the 'Lord,"

One of those crucified with Jesus reviled Him also -- perhaps both, but probably only one -- the other for a time keeping silent, but afterward speaking in defense of Jesus. Doubtless the thief had heard of Jesus, that He was reputed by some to be the Messiah, and notwithstanding the incongruous condition of things, the thief realized that with out Redeemer there was a kingly demeanor, and the thought had doubtless been growing in his mind, What if this be some great one from the. spirit world, who, as He claims, will by and by in another Age establish His Kingdom! What if these rulers are moved by envy and selfishness, and are blind to His teachings! The raillery of his companion only opened his mouth in defense of the Savior. Confessing his own unworthiness, he nevertheless pled for justice, suggesting that both he and his companion thief had reason to be fearful in their dying hour as respects what. might be their future in the hands of the Almighty; but here was one traduced, buffeted, crucified, of whom they were witnesses that "This man hath done nothing amiss."

"LORD, REMEMBER ME"

Having administered the rebuke he appealed to our Lord, saying, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom"--when you receive your kingdom, wherever it may be and under whatever conditions, if it is in your power remember me. I look to you as vastly my superior and the superior of all of us. It seems to me not at all improbable that you are indeed a mighty king, misunderstood by some of your subjects. I venture this appeal to you, even though in the eyes of others it may seem foolish. "Remember me" when you become a king, for I verily believe, sometime, somewhere, You shall have a kingdom, for You certainly would be worthy of it.

The word Paradise, elsewhere mentioned in the Scriptures, refers to the Garden of Eden, from which Adam and Eve were cast out, and to the Paradise restored-the entire earth turned into a Paradise at the Second Coming of our Lord and the establishment of His Kingdom. The Garden of Eden had long been destroyed at the time of this conversation-; the Paradise of the Kingdom is therefore the only one to which the Lord could have referred. The whole question hinges upon the word today, which is not generally used now as in this text, where it is used to express emphasis, and is better appreciated when we transpose the comma and place it after today instead of before it. Then the passage would read, "Verily I say unto thee today [when everything seems unfavorable, when I appear as an impostor, subject to the insults and taunts of My enemies--notwithstanding all this, I tell you] thou shalt be with Me in Paradise." But the Lord and the thief went to hades, the tomb, the state of death, that very day. The Lord arose on the third day, but the thief remained a prisoner in the great prison-house of death, with the remainder of the world, unconscious.

When the Lord at His Second Coming, in due time, shall call forth the thief from the tomb, He will come forth to Paradise, for the whole earth at that time shall he filled with the glory of the Lord, the Sun of righteousness shall fill the earth with the light of Divine Truth. Then that thief of remarkable faith will be remembered and receive blessing proportionate to his faith and to the blessing which he ministered to his dying 'Redeemer. Furthermore, the thief's request was to be remembered when Messiah would come in His Kingdom, and we still pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." There can be no Paradise until His Kingdom shall come. Our Lord's answer, as expressed in the words "Verily, verily," signifies, "Amen, so be it"--Be it as you have suggested, thou shalt be with Me in Paradise, I declare this today amidst all this contradiction of sinners ,and exhibition of the powers of darkness.

A SHADOW BETWEEN HIS HEART AND THE FATHER

The morning, which had opened very bright, became very cloudy, and the darkness from the sixth hour (12 o'clock noon) until the ninth hour (3 o'clock), when Jesus died, was quite noticeable. It was at the close of His experiences, at 3 P.M., -- that Jesus cried aloud with a strong voice, indicating considerable vitality still. His cry was, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Throughout the entire experience of the night and the morning, from the time He had the assurance, in the Garden' of Gethsemane, that He was pleasing to the Father, our Lord was most cool and tranquil of mind. Why was it, then, that at the very close of His experiences He should have so dark a cloud, a shadow, between His heart and the Father? The answer is that it was necessary that He should have the sinner's bitter experience, even to the extent of being entirely cut off from fellowship with the Father. For a moment, therefore, our Redeemer was left in a depth of darkness, and His agonizing cry pictures the loneliness of His heart-yet our Lord triumphed.

It was at this time that our Lord had said, "I thirst," and that a sponge fastened to a hyssop stock and saturated with sour wine (John 19: 29) was lifted to His lips. From it He sucked some refreshing moisture for by this time under such, conditions His wounds must have developed a raging fever in His blood. Then Testis cried aloud again. What He said is not recorded in Mark's account, but Luke gives it as, "Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit"--my life. This indicated that His faith in the Lord was absolute and that the thing He chiefly thought of was life. He was laying down. His life, most loyally, most nobly, in accord with the Father's arrangement. The Father had promised Him as a reward to raise Him up from the dead: He trusted in this promise, and now in His dying breath He expressed His faith.

In referring to the scene of our Lord's crucifixion some one has said: "This 'Scene has often been alleged as a self-condemnation of democracy. Vox Populi, vox Dei (The voice of the people is the voice of God), its flatterers have said; but look yonder. When, the multitude has to choose between Jesus and Barabbas, it chooses Barabbas. If this be so, the scene is equally decisive against aristocracy. Did the priests, scribes, and nobles behave any better than the mob? It was by their advice that the mob chose Barabbas." This is a very wise and very truthful suggestion. The. voice of the people can be relied upon in some matters, and, on the whole, the republican form of government is probably the best of any in the world for civilized peoples under present conditions; but as respects religious things the voice of the people is far from being the voice of God. On the contrary, the Apostle declared, "The world by wisdom knows not God." It must not, therefore, prejudice our judgments to find the popular voice against us. What we seek for and listen for is the voice of the Lord through His Word. With this let us be satisfied as was our Redeemer, content whatever lot we see since it is our God who leadeth us.

We are not to expect similar trials, in all respects like those suffered by Jesus, but we are to expect fiery trials, and we are to note that the results will be in accord with the manner in which we meet them. The lesson to us is that we should follow in the footsteps of Jesus and resolve to be faithful to our Heavenly Father, to do His will at any cost, at any sacrifice of earthly interests-not grudgingly, but, as expressed prophetically of out Lord, "I delight to do Thy will., 0 My God; Thy Law is written in My heart." Let us, leave the outcome of our trials and testings in the hands, of the Lord, assured by His Word that He will make these afflictions to work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.


BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION

STUDY CLXVI--MARCH 4

THE RIVER OF THE WATER OF LIFE--Rev. 22:1, 2

(881) What is the thought suggested in the fact that St John's view of the New Jerusalem was more of an external than an internal view? H '21-102.

(882) Describe the Throne-scene as recorded in chapter 22: 1, 2, and explain how Christ and the Church as the Bridegroom and Bride are herein concerned.. H'21-102, 103.

(883) What is the lesson to be drawn from the picture of the River of the Water of Life proceeding from the Throne of God? H '21-102.

(884) What picture in the Old Testament presents very much the same lesson as given by the Revelator? Note the points of difference between the two pictures. H'21-102.

(885) Present evidence clearly showing that the vision of the River of the Water of Life, relates to the Millennial reign of the Kingdom of God, and in that connection show how humanity will he affected by the Water of Life. H '21-103.

STUDY CLXVII--MARCH 11

THE TREES OF LIFE--Rev. 22: 2

(886) What great truth is presented in the picture' of the Trees of Life growing on either side of the River? H '21-104.

(897) What mistake is generally made by expositors, in their interpretation of this symbolical picture? H '21-104, 105 (888) What is there in this picture that enables us to clearly locate its fulfillment' during the Millennial reign of Christ and the saints? H '21-104.

(889) What is symbolized by the Trees, the Fruits, the Leaves, etc.? H '21-104.

(890) From what state of human life is this picture drawn, and what are the probabilities as to there being literal- lifegiving trees in the future? H '21-105.

STUDY CLXVIII--MARCH 18

THE REMOVAL OF THE CURSE--Rev. 22: 3

(891) What is the force and significance of the statement, "There shall be no more curse"? H '21-125.

(892) Explain how the curse, has affected the human race as well as the earth-their home. H '21-125, 126.

(893) Point out what man's state and prospects will be when this promise is fulfilled. H '21-125.

(894) What is the underlying reason for the assurance that there shall be no more curse?' and what bearing has man's present experience upon his eternal state? H'21-125.

(895) Briefly sum up the Divine remedy or method by which all the willing and obedient of the living and the dead will be ushered into the perfect state. H'21-125.


1923 Index