VOL. VIII. January 15 & February 1, 1925 Nos. 2 & 3
VOL. VIII. January 15 & February 1, 1925 Nos. 2 & 3
PERHAPS no feature of the Christian faith is so precious to us as the grand bond of sympathy, of tenderness, and of love that unites the members of the Body of Christ! Thus wrote the great Apostle Paul, "If one member suffer, all suffer." The entrance of death and its laying hold upon a fellow-member becomes occasion for us to recognize the priceless value oŁ this feature of our faith. As brethren the world over are learning oŁ the death of our beloved Brother R. E: Streeter, their hearts are deeply moved and they are recognizing as the hours pass that they are truly bereft of a most worthy servant of God and teacher in the Church; and that the departure of our dear Brother signifies the removal of a spiritual light, a 'hallowed influence,' from amongst the Lord's people that can be replaced only by the Lord Himself. And yet in the consciousness that the great God of heaven doeth all things well, and with the splendid, evidence that our dear Brother's life has been crowned with success, and that the conclusion of his race has been a victorious one, there is a sense of blessed joy that triumphs over our sorrow. Truly, "we sorrow not as others who have no hope." We are sure that this is the sentiment of the host of brethren the world over, who had become acquainted with Brother Streeter through his lumi-nous writings and faithful ministry.
Enters Death's Dark Vale
Brother Streeter was born February 11; 1847, at North Smithfield, R. I. His parents moved to Providence in 1850. Here he spent his youthful days and grew to manhood, entering the jewelry business. In 1877 he moved to Auburn where he lived the rest of his life.
He was first married in 1868 to Isabel Brown of Providence. After thirteen years death bereft him of his companion. Their union was blessed with three children: Frank E., Arthur B., and Elizabeth Streeter. In 1882 he married Margaret E. Brown, sister of his first wife, who survives him. Four children have blessed the second union: Mrs. Frank H. Thompson, Mrs. John L. Leonard, Alice M., and Randolph H. Streeter.
It was not until a few days before his death that Brother Streeter's illness assumed grave aspects. He had been suffering for some weeks from an attack of the grip, which had resulted in generally weakening his system. This was followed by fever, which assumed the symptoms of typhoid, and was declared to be such by his physician. Under the influence of this fever his strength began to rapidly fail, and death came to him on the evening of December 20. Though very weak and scarcely able to speak the last two days prior to his death, he was conscious up to within a few hours of the end. All his family -- Sister Streeter, three sons, and four daughters being present at the time.
The remains of our Brother. were retained in the home until the following Tuesday, December 23. At 11 o'clock of this, day a brief service was held in the home; at which time there were present the members of the family and a few friends and relatives. The service consisted merely of the reading of a few comforting passages of Scripture followed by prayer. Arrangements had been made for the funeral proper to beheld in the Stewart Street Baptist Church. In the vestry of this Church brethren in Providence have been holding their meetings regularly for about two years, the Pastor, H. B. Carpenter, having displayed a very friendly and brotherly feeling toward Brother Streeter and the friends. At 12 o'clock the body was brought to the main auditorium of the Church where a large number of brethren in the faith as well as friends and acquaintances of Brother Streeter had assembled to pay their loving respects.
A large and magnificent display of flowers surrounded the casket in front of the rostrum. Of these there were beautiful floral pieces from various congregations of other cities, and there were representatives present from these Classes, such as Boston, Springfield, Brooklyn, etc.
To our dear Brother A. N. Pierson of Cromwell, Conn., is due a large measure of credit, for the floral display. He was present and at great inconvenience had supervised the transportation of the flowers from his immense gardens, and the placing of them, in the Church.
While the body was being brought into the auditorium, the pipe-organist rendered in a very impressive manner appropriate hymns. The service was opened with prayer by Brother Rockwell, in which the Divine blessing was earnestly implored on behalf of the bereaved family. Thankfulness and praise were also expressed that we have so great a God and that He has promised in His infinite mercy to ultimately turn away sorrow and death from the earth. This was followed by a discourse' in which the life-work of Brother Streeter was carefully reviewed, and a number of. items dealt with relating to his connection with the Lord and the Truth. A number of brethren were asked to speak briefly -- brethren who were more or less acquainted with Brother Streeter for many years. The report of the. addresses appears on another page. The service was concluded with prayer.
At the Grave -- Thy Will be Done
In addition to the members of the family and relatives, a number of friends followed our Brother's mortal remains to its last resting place. Poor, tired-out and worn vessel! Through the long years it had labored and, struggled and suffered; and so recently racked with the torture of fever and pain, but now peaceful and at rest; all is quiet and repose. Now we are standing at the yawning grave, and though our hearts are touched with deep sorrow that we shall not look upon our Brother's face again, yet as we realize chat the eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms, our faith is firm, and strong. Brother Streeter, the new creature, we believe has entered "the house not made with hands," and is clothed with garments of light. At the grave we linger a brief space, and with bowed heads lift our hearts in worship and in grateful resignation to the Father of mercies and to the God of all comfort. Again committing the dear bereaved family to His love and to the word of His grace; and again expressing our grateful thanksgiving to Him who is from everlasting to ever lasting, because He hath declared to us His glorious and benevolent purpose to make known in due time His majesty in all the earth, and to establish His dominion amongst the sons of men whereby "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
REVIEW OF HIS LIFE
NO TWO of the Lord's people have exactly the same experience in reaching a state of justification before God. and in becoming His children; and no two have exactly the same experiences, through their Christian lire. The difference in temperament makes necessary that God's providence shall operate variously with His people. The method which the Lord used in originally calling Brother Streeter to repentance and to consecration was the one no doubt best adapted to his case. Our dear Brother tells his own story of how he first came to know the Lord and of his laying hold upon the Christian life; additionally of his experience in association with one Christian sect or another, and of his efforts and struggles to progress in the knowledge of the Lord. Elsewhere in this issue is presented his own statement in detail, bearing upon the matter of his early Christian life and of the subsequent experiences.
He Became A Christian
It was while he was yet a comparatively young man, about thirty years of age, that the Lord's providence operated in his life so as to impress him with a sense of his need for Divine grace, and begot in him the desire to become a Christian. His conversion thus took place late in the year 1877. He immediately united with a Free Baptist congregation, in which association he continued for about threes, enjoying pleasant and profitable fellowship, especially as in this stage of his Christian experience he was becoming fixed upon the foundation, and learning primary features and principles of the Christian faith. His ability and aptness as a teacher were soon recognized and he was appointed to teach the adult Bible class, which only stimulated his zeal in seeking the knowledge of the Lord. In this early period of his religious experience, he seemed to catch the inspiration of the Divine message, that the Truth is progressive, that the Christian life is progressive, and that there should be constantly a going forward, advancing to a knowledge of still deeper things and richer experiences of Divine truth and grace. It was not long, therefore, till our Brother recognized that the association in which he found himself was one in which he was hampered and restrained; one in which efforts to move forward were hindered and discouraged. A careful consideration of the situation led him to see his duty and the Lord's leading to withdraw from this association, and to look in another direction where larger opportunities and privileges in Christian service and fellowship were tolerated. This, act of separation from the Baptist denomination marked the first crisis in his Christian career.
From Grace to Grace
His next step was to unite with an Evangelical Advent Church, in an adjoining city. The creed of this association was very much the same as the one from which he had withdrawn. Nevertheless he found here more of the spirit of freedom and liberty to grow in knowledge and grace; and while his faith and zeal were active in advocating and teaching lines of thought that were more or less erroneous, he was in an attitude and atmosphere to make progress. Our Brother tells of how he thus labored in this Church for some two years, and enjoyed much the privileges and seasons of fellowship with God's people.
Following this the circumstances indicated that he should take steps with a number of other Advent brethren, to organize another congregation in Auburn, his own home town, which was intended merely as another branch of the same Church. This was done, and it prepared the way for him to let his light shine more abundantly in his own immediate environment. It seems that the question of launching out into Christian work upon a definitely fixed creed was not looked upon with favor by this newly formed congregation, but rather the disposition was to maintain an open Bible and the spirit of readiness to walk into further light than the Adventist creed contained. This congregation developed to a considerable extent as an independent association of Christians, and Brother Streeter was appointed its pastor, in which position and association he earnestly labored in the work of the Gospel for the next twenty years, not only addressing his own congregation regularly, but lecturing at various other points.
Walking in the Light
In 1896 the first volume of the Millennial Dawn series fell into his hands. But he was not then ready for it. He rejected it as false teaching, and burned the book. In 1897 he was sent by a Christian Mission on a missionary and lecturing tour to South America and the West Indies; he visited Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts, and Barbados, and was engaged in these parts for several months. in evangelical work. His efforts were attended with marked success, thousands attending these meetings and showing much interest. It was on this tour that the Divine Plan once more came into his hands, and on his return journey he read the Volume. This time it found ready reception; he accepted it fully. The receiving of present Truth cost him his association with the Mission as well as with many in his own home congregation at Auburn. Others there were of his associates who took this advanced step with him into further light on the Plan of God. In fact this experience of receiving present Truth marked another crisis in his Christian career and constituted a test of his faith in-and loyalty to the Lord, inasmuch as the severing. of cherished relations and fellowship with brethren always means severe trials and tests.
In 1892 a little paper was started in Auburn, called, "The Testimony of Jesus," announcing itself. boldly as a "Pre-Millennial" journal. Brother Streeter was a regular contributor to this paper, and finally became its sole editor. For some years subsequent to receiving present Truth, in 1897, he continued publishing the paper and setting forth one and another of the various truths received from Brother Russell's publications. Then, as he realized that he could serve the cause of Truth more efficiently by uniting in larger, and more intimate way. in the methods and arrangements employed by Brother Russell and his association, the little paper "The Testimony of Jesus" was discon-tinued, and Brother Streeter was invited by Brother Russell to enter the general pilgrim service. About 1902 he gladly responded to this call, entering the ministry as one of the regular pilgrims, and with the exception of certain periods of necessary rest he continued this work until near the time of Brother Russell's death, in 1916.
A Final Crisis in His Life
It is to be seen that our dear Brother's life was one of rigorous perseverance and continual progress in the path of light and in the footsteps of his Divine Master, and that the blessing of God accom-panied him all the way. But another crisis, another great test was to come to him. The passing of Brother Russell in 1916, as is well known, became the occasion for a general crisis in the work in which we were all engaged; many problems, questions, and issues of the most vital importance, involving. the Truth and the liberty of. the people of God, carne before the brethren the world over. As our dear Brother was brought face to face with these problems and issues, we find him again earnestly seeking Divine guidance, that he might be led aright. And again his zealous efforts, we believe, were rewarded, and his prayers answered. He saw clearly the guidance of the Lord and recognized his privilege of once more taking his stand in support of truth and righteousness, and in defense of the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.
Out of this crisis and upheaval that immediately followed Brother Russell's death, in which brethren all over the world were deeply affected, there came into existence this association, designated the "Pastoral Bible Institute," one of whose chief activities has been the issuing of this journal semi-monthly. As the voice of Brother Streeter had been heard amongst others at this time, fearlessly pointing out the way and the will of the Lord in these painful circumstances, and as he had exhibited marked qualities and ability as a teacher in the Church, he was chosen as one of the Editorial Committee of five, to assist in supplying and supervising the matter that should appear in this journal. In this position he has served unceasingly and with untiring love and zeal, until stricken with his last illness. In June, 1923, he was elected as a member of the Board of Directors, and re-elected in June, 1924.
Many of our readers will recall that when an invitation came from brethren in Great Britain, in 1920, and again in 1922, for a represen-tative from America to attend their annual conference in London and to deliver lectures at various points, Brother Streeter was chosen as one of two brethren to make this pilgrimage. And during these tours he addressed brethren in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The results of this ministry abroad clearly. showed that the Divine blessing very richly attended his efforts. And a goodly number of the friends in those countries have been much strengthened and blessed as a result of our Brother's sojourn in their midst.
Not Great in His Own Eyes
Another has prudently remarked that "there are some things that ought not to be spoken of the living man; but our lips may perhaps be unsealed when God has taken him," Thus we are making mention of some things in these pages that may now be more profitably made known.
While appreciating very much his privileges of ministering to the Lord's, people, and ever diligent in the performance of his duty, yet his service and achievements .did not seem great in his own eyes. In one of his letters he remarked, "Nothing in any sense or degree in connection with the Lord's work or with individual saints depends upon Brother Streeter."
It is worthy of our observation that our Brother did not take to himself the credit for the knowledge of truth he had derived. He freely acknowledged the source from which he received his help. He realized it was his privilege to look into the writings of various teachers and expositors who gave evidence that they were true men of God, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus in his writings he is constantly referring to these and giving them credit for having illuminated the pages of Divine revelation.
An extract from his writings in 1901 after he had come clearly into the Truth, well represents his humble attitude, as follows
"God has made us so dependent upon one another as members of Christ's Body that it is hard to make proper acknowledgments of help received. (1 Cor. 12:13-28; Eph. 4;11-13.) God no doubt intended it to be so to keep us all humble and to teach us to give Him the glory always. Every good gift comes first from Him. -- James 1:17.
"Yet God has placed teachers in the Body, whom we do well to listen to attentively, and mention of them we hold not to be an improper recognition of them, They are not inspired, and so we must examine carefully the Scripture proofs they offer for their teachings. God evidently has not intended that all the brethren should learn everything by independent research, or He would have given each the time and ability to do so.
"We deem it a pleasure to mention at least three writers that have helped us very much in our study of the Word. Of the near approach of the Millennial Kingdom, we first learned through a faithful pastor, arid the writings of H. Grattan Guinness (in 'The Approaching End of the Age,' and 'Light for the Last Days'). On the subject of the mortality of man, we were first settled through the writings of T. H. Pettingell (in 'Life Everlasting'). For the distinction between the earthly and the heavenly inheritance and a general harmony of the Scriptures, we are greatly indebted to the writings of C. T. Russell ('Millennial. Dawn' series). Praise God for the light that is shining in our day."
Shared in the Sufferings of Christ
That Brother Streeter bore his share of the sufferings of Christ there is abundant evidence of the trials and tests of the Narrow Way, he was fully aware. His record shows that he drank the cup which the Master offers to all His footstep followers; and he knew full well the bitter as well as the sweet of the Christian life. Writing to one of the brethren concerning one of his severe trials, he said:
"I am fully assured, that if it had not been for some wise purpose, or good to be accomplished in me, the Lord would not have permitted these perplexing difficulties to come in my path. The trials, themselves do not seem difficult to bear; it has been rather the strain of mind, associated with getting the Lord's mind, just what to do under the circumstances. My firm purpose all the time has, of course, been to act in that way that would be pleasing to the Master."
Like all those invited to suffer with Christ, his trials were varied, and of such severity as to call into full exercise all the wisdom and grace which he had received from God, and whatever lessons he had previously learned in the school of experience became of use. Yet not only was his peace undisturbed, but he bears witness that the conviction so rooted itself in his inmost being that irk all this God's goodness was being shown, that he would have had nothing different. The greatest trials bore fruit in the fullest blessings and sometimes in clusters of blessings.
He reflected that God was aware of all this; he comforted himself with the consoling thought that he was seeking his Master's glory; and that if 'in this way the greater glory would accrue to Him, for the good of His people, it was no concern of the servant; nay, more than this, it behooved the servant to be willing to go on in this path of trial, even unto the end of his course, if so it should please his Master, who guided his affairs with Divine discretion.
"The joy of loyal service to the King
"Was it not indeed that the harvest-time,
"And so the years flowed on, and only cast
Address delivered at the funeral by Brother Hoskins.
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished 'my course I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." -- 2 Tim. 4:6-8.
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do .follow, them." -- Rev. 14:13.
MY friends, it is with the utmost sense of unworthiness that I stand before you at the bier of this man. Mingled feelings of grief and joy contribute to a storm of emotion in my soul, as attempt to express a message of comfort concerning our dear Brother and his departure. The task before me seems beyond my strength, and I should utterly shrink from it were it not for the fact that it was our dear Brother himself who requested this service of me, almost with dying breath.
I feel, friends, that we are assembled at the bier of a great man of God, and that this is one of those supreme moments that rarely come to us in life -- one of those occasions when our tears, our emotion, our bowed heads speak with far greater eloquence than any words of human tongue. My feelings are well represented in the language of another, who, standing at the bier of one he greatly loved, said: "My brother, against this day of thy burying have kept this alabaster flask, and come now beforehand to anoint thy body for the burial."
I wonder if we are thinking and saying today that a great master in Israel has fallen. If so, let us reverse the matter and take the standpoint of faith, and say rather that a great master in Israel has risen. In gathering at this place today in deep and tender love of our Brother's memory, and to pay to him our loving respects, we realize that he needs nothing that we have to say; nor can we add anything to him or to his life by any word or act of ours; for he is indeed beyond all need and all danger; but it is for ourselves who are remaining awhile in the valley of shadows, that we sorrow; it is for our own edification that we tarry here, to consider some things pertaining to our Brother's life, hoping thus to gain some new impulse, some fresh inspiration, by which to press on faithfully in the path of duty and of service.
A Burning and Shining Light Removed
I am most confident, dear friends, that we are at the bier of one whose departure now signifies that a brightly shining spiritual light has been removed from our midst, for indeed the life and ministry of our dear Brother Streeter was such. And, do we ask what it was about this man that constituted him a light amongst the brethren? Our reply is, that our dear Brother was one who knew God; he lead become well acquainted with His Divine Master; he had learned to walk with God. Such a character and such a life always constitutes a burning and shining light in the Church of God. Long years ago he came to know the Lord; and responding to His call, to His voice of truth and grace, he experienced conversion. Then, following on to know the Lord, he saw his privilege, he recognized as the will of the Lord that he should dedicate his life and all his possessions to Him to be used in His service. As the years have rolled by, consistent with his profession as a child of God, he walked in the path of light, the pathway of truth and righteousness; learning more and more oŁ the Divine plans and purposes, which qualified him to be a true minister of the Divine Word. His was indeed a progressive life; his record shows that he was ever seeking to advance in the path of light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Like all faithful children of God he has let his light shine before others, and has sought to impart the knowledge of the Lord's goodness and grace to all with whom he has come in contact down through the years.
Our dear Brother had the courage of his convictions; from time to time as he saw the Lord's leadings and recognized fresh .truths, he was faithful and courageous in taking his stand on the side of the Lord and in defense of the truth. He overcame the fear of man which bringeth a snare.
I count myself most happy to have enjoyed certain special privileges and blessings in association with Brother Streeter, having traveled thousands of miles with him, on land and sea, both in this country and in Great Britain. We have crossed the Atlantic Ocean together four times. During these weeks and months of companionship and travel, we have had many precious moments together, and our fellowship in the Lord has been very sweet. It has been a source of special strength and comfort to me to realize that I had his confidence and his love: His large experience as, he has passed through the various stages and departments of the Christian life and of Christian development, has peculiarly qualified him to be a wise counselor. And as we have talked over together the various features of the Truth that go to make up our faith, and have considered many things pertaining to the victorious Christian life, I have felt, and realize more abundantly now, that my privileges have been very great.
Scenes At His Death Bed
I feel that I may with propriety and profit at this time, make mention of my last opportunity of contact and communion with our dear Brother, for truly in some respects this experience is treasured more highly than any other: It was only a few hours before his death. Having learned that our dear Brother's condition was growing steadily worse, and that he was more seriously ill than I had known, I went to his home with our dear Brother Margeson. After a few moments of intercourse with members of the family, I was given opportunity to go to Brother Streeter's bedside alone. He appeared to be asleep, but he seemed to recognize immediately that some one had entered the room, and so opened his eyes. As our eyes met, I am sure there was but the one thought in his mind and in mine. For I recognized at once that he was a very sick man, that unless a miracle were performed, his sickness was unto death; the one thought in my mind, therefore, was, the hour has at last come.
We had often talked together of the close of his earthly pilgrimage, and he had frequently remarked that he realized that his journey in the Narrow Way must end in the not far distant future. He had expressed solicitude that he might finish his course and receive the Lord's blessed approval. Therefore as I now looked into his face and saw his life ebbing away, it seemed as if I could hear him say, "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of, my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day."
I am sure that he recognized from my countenance that this was my conviction, for it was impossible for me to restrain my emotion. There was a moment of silence, for neither of us could speak. I could only lift my hand and point heavenward; and as I did this, he knew full well what was in my mind, and nodded his head affirmatively. Then I said, "Brother Streeter, it is all right; everything is all right with you; you have nothing to fear." He replied in a broken whisper, "Yes it is all right; I can trust Him." Another silence. Then he proceeded, saying, again in a faint whisper, "I cannot remember ever having had such a severe sickness before, and it seems that my work in the Master's vineyard is about over." I replied, "Yes, Brother Streeter, I realize the situation and know that you must feel as you express." Then he proceeded further, and said, "It may be that I will recover from this sickness, but if I should not recover I desire that you take full charge of the services, and give the address, etc." I assured him that everything would be carried out according to his instruction.
Fearing that further conversation would only intensify his suffering and aggravate the difficulty, I left his bedside. Then, after a little time, I went back again. This time he put out his hand front under the cover and moved it feebly back and forth, saying, "Goodbye, Goodbye." I replied, saying, "Goodbye, Brother Streeter." Then he proceeded, saying, "Be faithful." I replied, "Yes, my dear Brother, I want to be faithful. You have been faithful, Brother Streeter, and all is well with you." Then he added, "You have been faithful"; and I replied, "I desire to be more faithful in the future. Just think, Brother Streeter, of the gIorious meeting that is just ahead of you; of the glorious change just at hand, and the heavenly greeting of all the loved ones on the other side." "Yes," he said, nodding his head; and I continued, "We cannot sorrow for you, Brother Streeter; it is for ourselves that we sorrow, for you are leaving us behind; but we all expect to join you and all the other dear ones in the near future, we trust. And as you meet them on the other side, take our greetings to them and tell them that we are looking forward to the glorious gathering of all the faithful there shortly." Then again he said, "Goodbye, Goodbye," and I took my departure.
These last moments with our dear Brother were most precious and inspiring to me, and I thank the Lord most earnestly that He gave me this privilege.
A Progressive Christian
'There were various important and outstanding features in Brother Streeter's life. One of these was that he had been so exercised by Divine truth and the discipline of the Lord that he was truly a tolerant and broad-minded Christian. He had come to recognize what many still do not properly appreciate, namely the necessity for granting liberty to all the brethren to think and decide for themselves matters of Christian doctrine, and he exercised that liberty himself-studying the Divine Word and exercising his discretion and discernment as he saw the Lord's leading. He was able to take by the hand in full Christian fellowship all those who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ unto obedient faith, regardless of whether or not they saw with him on other items and points of the faith. Thus the love of Christ, the spirit of his Divine Master shrine out in his experience in such a way as to convince us fully that he clearly appreciated the foundation of Christian brotherhood, and what it is that constitutes us members of the Body of Christ.
Like all great Christian leaders he has lived in advance of his time. While many brethren have truly appreciated the life-work of our Brother, yet we are sure that many others subsequent to his day will more abundantly value his service. Like other leaders too he has spoken truths that have not always met with ready reception; truths that have antagonized some, who, living much in the present, and slow to believe, would throttle and bind the truth and hinder its progress; for through all the, ages there have been those amongst the Lord's people who have been dull of hearing and slow to discern the Divine Message and the progress of Truth.
Our dear Brother did not profess perfection in the flesh, and I am sure that were he present today, he would resent any disposition on our part to magnify his personal merit and worth. We realize that there have been none perfect down through the ages except the One who is our glorious Redeemer, and He is our example in every way. But we are sure that our dear Brother was constantly seeking that higher life, and in heart and purpose was pure and holy, ever trusting, however, in the merit of the precious blood, as all must do who would maintain their standing in full fellowship with the Lord.
Amongst Great Prophetic Students
I feel that I can truthfully say that our dear Brother has taken his place amongst the great prophetic students, for such he was. Very early in his Christian experience he became a searcher and student of history as well as prophecy, for truly he who would understand prophecy must become informed respecting many details of history. Brother Streeter has devoted many long years to the study of history and prophecy, and this has peculiarly qualified him to write and speak along those lines to the people of God.
Do we ask why was he especially interested in prophecy, and why did he devote so much time to this study? The reply is that like the holy ones of old, he was deeply interested in the Divine purpose for the redemption of the world; the promise of God's Kingdom to be established here on this earth, causing the Divine will to be done amongst men as is done in heaven, and the promise that the time would therefore come when all in their graves should come forth, and sorrow and sighing should be no more-these promises were of great import to our dear Brother. And again, like the men of ancient time, he longed to know when the King of Glory would comes in and establish His Kingdom, and When He would put an end to the reign of sin and death Like the beloved Daniel of old, our Brother inquired, "How Gong shall be the time?" The Lord did not rebuke Daniel for making this inquiry; nor has He reprimanded other saintly ones who have made similar inquiries down the ages. Indeed the Lord has indicated His hearty approval of the attitude and disposition on the part of His faithful, trusting children, to know more distinctly their Father's plans and purposes, that their faith might be stimulated and strengthened, and that they might thereby become more efficient servants the Lord, in letting their light shine in this dark world.
Illumination of Daniel and Revelation
Thus this disposition was most obvious in our beloved Brother. The book of Revelation in the New Testament and the prophecy of Daniel in the Old seem to occupy places of greatest importance amongst all the books of prophetic testimony. These two books of the Bible were given much study by Brother Streeter -- study which was rewarded with deep insight into their many lessons and visions. Like the great Apostle Paul it is probable that our dear Brother saw more deeply into the meaning of prophetic testimony, and grasped more fully certain facts and truths set forth in these prophecies, than he was able to express with either tongue or pen. We recall how St. Paul tells us that he himself was caught away to the. third heaven and was privileged of the Lord to see various things that were not possible for him to relate-so stupendous and marvelous were they. And what were those things? Ah, they were those grand and sublime things that appertain to the glorious consummation of the great Plan of God. The third heavens or the third great dispensation of human experience is the one marked out in God's purpose and providence for the redemption and deliverance of humanity from sin and death; Therefore, this third great dispensation mentioned by St. Paul is the one in which God's King-dom shall rule and bring in the recovery of the dead -- the resurrection and restoration of all the willing and obedient to paradise and to everlasting life. My friends, are we not all interested in these great and sublime things that relate to the salvation of the Church and the world?
His Labors Finished
In the course of time Brother Streeter, we believe, was specially blessed of the Lord in being given an opportunity to write down the things that had come to his mind, after long years of study of these prophecies in connection with history. And so we feel specially favored today in that he has performed an important part in supplying for the Lord's people a completed exposition of the book of Revelation. But this is not all for our Brother has also greatly assisted in illuminating the book of Daniel. He was engaged in finishing this exposition when his last illness overtook him.
Most deeply impressed was I with others this morning when we were at Brother Streeter's home and visited his little study-room upstairs. There lay on his table his books and papers just as he had left them when he ceased his efforts a few days ago. There had appeared in "The Herald" all but the last of the articles on the book of Daniel. And now here, lying on his table was the manuscript for the last article completing the series, almost finished. This scene was truly an inspiring one, as it seemed to speak to us eloquently of the fact that the Lord's providence has been specially manifest in sparing and sustaining the life of our dear Brother until he should finish this, his last work on earth. And we now thank God for this evidence of His love and care.
It has been my great privilege to be in close association with Brother Streeter in preparing these matters for publication, and I have noted unmistakably the evidence of the Lord's blessing upon the efforts put forth to illuminate the pages of His holy prophecy. I have been partic-ularly impressed more recently in following the exposition through the eleventh chapter of Daniel. As I have done this carefully, I am convinced beyond .any doubt that what has been presented is the true solution of that marvelous prophecy.
He Saw The Time Drawing Near
You will remember that Daniel had been making earnest inquiry of the Lord as to the meaning of certain visions, and in the eleventh chapter of this book there is the record of the angel's special message to Daniel. It commences with a reference to the Kingdom of Persia. then existing, approximately five hundred years before Christ's Advent. As we trace the angel's message through this Entire chapter we find that we are brought right up to the time of the establishing of Messiah's Kingdom, for the first verse of chapter twelve commences, "At that time shall Michael stand up and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake," etc. Throughout this chapter which covers the long sweep of human history, approximately 2500 years, from the kingdom of Persia unto the Kingdom of God's dear Son, the great outstanding features of history are dealt with; the terrible .strife, the cruel wars that have been waged between certain great leading powers of the world seem distinctly marked. The prominent and over-shadowing kingdoms and powers that have existed from that day to this, such as have more or less bearing upon the development of the Divine Plan, and that stand more or less related to the interests of the people of God during all this long period of time, are distinctly referred to. Amongst these are the Greek and Roman Empires; the great anti-Christian Apostasy, the Mohammedan. power, the Ottoman Turkish power, etc. In fact, in the light of this marvelous prophecy we find ourselves borne across the stormy ages of human strife, to this time when very little remains to be fulfilled. The journey of the people of God toward the Heavenly Kingdom is almost at an end, and it is to be seen that the Kingdom of God's dear Son and the restitution of all things are amongst the grand and sublime features next in order.
No wonder then that our dear Brother, whose life-work and memory we honor today, has been deeply concerned in the study of these things, and that he longed to impart to others the blessings of knowledge and truth enjoyed by himself.
What a blessing indeed these expositions of the book of Revelation and that of Daniel have been to God's people in these days! We are in a position to know definitely, for there are hundreds of letters that come before our attention from all parts of the world, which give implicit confidence that great blessings upon heart and head have been received by a goodly number of fellow-travelers in the Narrow Way. Brother Streeter himself has read many of these letters, and we are sure his own heart was cheered thereby.
Gone Home to Immortality
We behold now that our dear Brother has laid down his cross, he has put off the armor of his Christian warfare, for he no longer needs that; his fight is finished, and the crown of glory, we are confident, is his. His hope was that he might be one of the faithful who would share the glory of the Lord and be given the unspeakable privilege of reigning with Him in His coming Kingdom, and of assisting in the blessing of all the world. As he was confident that we had reached that point of time when the Second Presence of Christ was due, and when all the signs about us indicate the fact _or His presence, his trust was that the moment of his death would be the moment of his change; "changed in a moment, in the. twinkling of an eye." He therefore believed that we were living in that time referred to by the angel. in. Revelation 14:13: "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them." His expectation was, that faithfulness unto death at the present time would therefore mean to share in this unspeakable blessing of being changed in a moment, without entering into a period of sleep in death, and not: needing to wait any longer, since the time of the gathering of the Church to glory is at hand. What joy therefore we share today, in this confidence that our dear Brother has -put on immortality and is forever with the Lord !
Oh, my brethren, what an inspiration to those of us who are left behind in this dark vale, to press on in the life of trust, of obedience, of service, faithfully unto death! What holy incentive and impulse come to us as we thus by faith look beyond the stormy and troublous scenes of the present time, and realize that there is awaiting all those who are faithful, a grand and glorious greeting and reception in the Heavenly Courts! Let us think much of that glorious gathering in the Holy City of God, wherein is no darkness at all, no pain, no sorrow, no death; for it is indeed the City of life and of light. And may we resolve upon this solemn occasion to bend all our energies toward the fulfillment of our sacred duty, that like our dear Brother we may finish our course with joy and receive at last the "Well done" of our Divine Master. Amen.
"Now, the sowing and the weeping,
pruning, sharp, unsparing;
"Now, the long and toilsome duty
"Now, the spirit conflict-riven,
"Now, the training, strange and lowly,
FINE EXAMPLE OF CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP
By Pastor H. B. Carpenter
H. B. Carpenter, Pastor of the Stewart Street Baptist Church, the church where Brother Streeter held his services Sunday afternoons, and where he was highly esteemed, said in part:
We liked Brother Streeter here at Stewart Street, because he represented the type of Christian disciple who, in these days, makes the 'strongest appeal to men.
He was not a fundamentalist, for he was never intolerant; always kindly, gracious, courteous, though his views may not have always harmonized with the views of others. He was not a modernist, for he was never destructive. He did not tear down what others cherished on the pretext that it was not the truth. He was a constructive force in the Kingdom of God.
He was a middle of the road student of the Scriptures, searching and finding the pure milk of the Word. To such a fine example of Christian discipleship, to such a man of vision and faith, we can not say Goodbye, but, just Goodnight, until the morning breaks and the shadows flee away.
FILLED WITH SPIRIT OF CONSECRATION
By Brother Harvey A. Friese
It is but a few short weeks since we sat in the auditorium at Ulster Park, N. Y., on the border of lovely .Mirror Lake, and listened to Brother Streeter's sermon on "Consecration," which was so clear and comforting.
It has been my privilege to know dear Brother Streeter over a period of about twenty-five years, and I count it among my richest blessings. I remember his first visit to us in Springfield, more than twenty years ago, when he spoke twice to the little Class in the home of our dear Brother Kihlgren -- in the afternoon from the book of Ephesians, and in the evening from Revelation. Over these intervening years we have heard him many times, and we feel we owe to him much in the Lord. His last address in Springfield was given at our Convention there on Sunday, August 31, last. It was indeed a most helpful discourse, filled with the spirit of consecration to the Lord.
I can never forget him in those wonderful early morning prayer-meetings at the Ulster Park Convention last September, when we gathered before the day's services to obtain help and strength for the speakers of the day. And there, as we knelt around the throne of heavenly grace, beloved Brother Streeter's earnest petitions seemed to draw us, in a special way, very close to the Lord. The sweet savor of those prayers, unitedly, will ever abide.
But dear Brother Streeter's own words will be better than any I may utter, so I will just give two thoughts from his last discourse at Ulster Park, as I jotted them that day in my notebook. He said: "The great purpose of this Convention to us is, that we may be filled with the Spirit and power of God, to the end we may be faithful to our consecration, even unto death. You have received wonderful mercies and blessings from God. Are you sufficiently appreciative of them?"
CHRIST-LIKENESS IN HIS WALK IN LIFE
By Brother A. N. Pierson
About three weeks ago I expected to have Brother Streeter come to make me a little visit at my home, but when we went to meet him, we were told that he had been taken sick, and I felt much disappointed that he could not be with us.
I first met the dear brother about twenty-two years ago, at the home of Brother David Kihlgren, in Springfield, Mass., and I was much interested in his clear way of presenting the Truth, and the humble, Christian Spirit he exhibited. I met him many times after that at conventions, always finding him the same. I have every reason to believe that he has made his calling and election sure. Have we anything to do with the making of our election sure? Yes, indeed. We read: "Whom He did foreknow He did predestinate to become copies of His dear Son," and I think that he snowed that he was one of these predestinated ones, in his humble Christ-like spirit which he manifested in his walk in life.
Brother Morton Edgar of Glasgow, Scotland, who, with his brother, John, wrote the book on the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, was my guest for a couple of weeks, and I have become very much interested in the teachings of the Bible "in stone," and its passages, pointing. out the different dispensations of God's dealings with the human race. Referring to the Grand Gallery, representing the whole of the Gospel Dispensation from Pentecost to 1914, taking a Pyramid inch for each year, a three-foot slab standing at the top of this narrow way, brings us exactly to 1914. What is there beyond this slab of stone? We have the Ante-chamber, representing a school-room, and it seems to me that Brother Streeter in this School of Christ, had taken up the writing of the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, as his last piece of work left for us to study and enjoy. And in this connection I am reminded of the fifth chapter of Revelation, where we read about the scroll in the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne, and that no one was found worthy to open that scroll (representing God's great Plan) until our Lord Jesus had secured the ransom. Our dear Brother Streeter was found not only worthy to look upon this scroll, but also to disseminate its truths.
We shall miss him, very much, both by his writings and his presence; so it has been said: "earth will seem the poorer to the Lord's people, but heaven beyond, the richer."
LONG YEARS OF FAITHFUL SERVICE
By Brother Ingram I. Margeson
Just one month ago today, he to whom we are paying the last earthly respects, addressed a congregation of the Lord's people in Boston. His text was, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." He died in active service in the Lord's vineyard, for them he loved so much -- our Lord Jesus Christ and the dear Heavenly Father; and the service rendered was always a loyal and loving one. Such an example to us all His faithful ministry for more than twenty years has been blessed by God to me, but especially during the last eight years, which has seemed like borrowed time from the Kingdom for a special purpose here. Through his ministry I have been the recipient of much rich spiritual blessing, and I am sure I have not been the only one so blessed. He has sown faithfully for more than forty long years, and that faithful sowing has been a blessing to many.
During these eight loaned or extended years God gave to him an almost unhoped for privilege, namely that of writing an exposition on the book of Revelation -- an exposition which has been published in two volumes, containing more than 1200 pages. These books have gone already to various parts of the earth, and many Christians are greatly rejoicing in the unfolding of the symbols in the message of Jesus 'Christ to His Church. The letters of appreciation have come not only from America, but also from distant points -- Australia, New Zealand, India, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, as well as from other places. The. precious seed thus sown by those who have written, and have entered into their reward, proves a wider blessing than the writers could have hoped.
A word here to the children: Father has gone from you. He has entered into His eternal reward. Soon you will lay yonder on the hillside all the remaining mortal. But bear, in mind that if father could speak to you today, he would exhort you to seek Him whom he long ago sought and found to his great joy and rejoicing. And this joy has been, with him during all these long years of faithful service for the Lord Jesus Christ, the world's Redeemer.
Permit me to mention a few words which fell from his lips not long before his change came. They were spoken after his recent illness had greatly weakened his mortal body, and they are so precious to me. Last Tuesday as I stood by his bed, he said, "Brother Margeson, it has been a long day; more than forty years in the vineyard of the Lord Blessed years of service! But they are almost over now." Looking up, he continued: "The treasure is all right -- all right up there. I can and I do trust it with Him." Then on last Thursday when I was privileged again to see him, his last words to me were: "Over, there God shall wipe away all tears. There shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." A little later he added: "I am trusting, trusting in Him, and it is all right. Brother Margeson, Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye." .
Brother R. E. Streeter was a most loving and in deed a most courageous Christian. As he lived so he died. "It is finished!" When our Lord had uttered these words at Calvary, He had finished bearing the cross and laid it down. But each of. His followers, each of His disciples must take up his cross and bear it after Him. Our Brother had taken 'it up long, long years ago, and he faithfully bore it. His cross-bearing ceased at 4.20 P.M., December 20, 1924, and the crown-wearing, we believe, then began. The mortal was laid aside and our confidence is that he was rewarded with immortality. What a Christmas present is his in 1924! joint-heirship with Jesus Christ in the mansions of glory. Blessed consummation of his hopes!
"HE WAS A GOOD MAN, AND FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT"
Slowly, gently, almost tenderly the casket is sinking into the grave. Ferns and flowers now for a moment yield their place to it, then, as it disappears from view, close their ranks again, in what might be taken for a loving embrace. A brother is praying -- imploring our Father, the God of all comfort, to comfort our hearts, to give special grace to the dear bereaved ones left behind. Tears are held back by some with difficulty; with others they are flowing freely.
Our party had traveled more than twenty-four hours and had arrived just in time for the closing scene in the service of December 23, a service, the memory of which brings feelings to the heart at once so bitterly sweet, and yet so sweetly bitter. Bitter, as we contemplate the future and reflect that we must engage in its cares and duties without his word of cheer, his smile of welcome, his wise and loving and fatherly counsel; sweet, as our thoughts turn upward and we remember that he has entered into the joys of our Lord.
And now the privilege has been extended to me of expressing through the pages of "The Herald" some of the feelings which we are all experiencing at this time, which well up in our hearts in such an uncontrollable way. How shall I find fitting words of tribute to and appreciation of our dearly beloved Brother Streeter whom the Lord has just called home?
Some one has said that "Human life means tender teens teachable twenties, tireless thirties fiery forties, forcible fifties, serious sixties, sacred seventies, aching eighties, shortening breath, death, the ,sod, God." Except for the "aching eighties," these words seem to find an appropriate fulfillment in the life of our dear. Brother.
It was only in his "sacred seventies" that it was my privilege to become intimately acquainted with him, and though from his own lips I learned from time to time something of his earlier years, I shall confine my remarks to those impressions gathered through the intimacy of those "sacred seventies" which became each year more endearing.
Of Barnabas it has been written that 'He was a goodman, full oŁ the Holy Spirit", and perhaps these words will best describe my impression of our dear departed Brother in Streeter. Indeed, this was the impression he made upon all with whom he came in touch. As soon as people saw him, and especially when they heard him speak, his quiet, unassuming, meek, Christ-like spirit won their confidednce. Then, too, as was the case with Barnabas, what a ,comforter of the brethren our Brother proved himself to be. When our dear Brother Russell rested from his labors, now more than eight years ago, many of the dear friends were in sore need of comfort. At that time our dear Brother Streeter was leaving his "serious sixties". He had reached a time of life when no just criticism could have been made had he disclosed a disposition to take things easy, to pass on to younger shoulders the pastoral cares which pressed upon him. But his seventies will always be remembered by us as sacred when we reflect upon the diligence and zeal with which he sought to comfort, with the comforting words of Jesus, those in Zion that mourned. Truly he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit.
While it is this trait in the character of our dear Brother on which I love most to dwell-the meek and quiet spirit of the Master, the gentle and lovable disposition of Christ's man, which will ever be an inspiration to me, and I trust to us all as we each seek to finish our course here -- yet there are two other phases of his character which I would briefly mention ere I close my tribute of appreciation. The first is that of thoroughness in the study of God's Word, and the second that of courageous loyalty thereto. By those who knew him, no words of mine are needed to attest these. By those who had not this privilege, clear convincing proof may be seen in the writings he left behind, especially in his exposition of our Lord's Revelation and of the book of Daniel. Happy may we count ourselves that the Lord left him with us long enough to unfold these visions. May it be with us as it was with Brother Streeter, as it had been before with Daniel; when he listened to the voice of prophecy: "When he had spoken unto me I was strengthened."
May God's comforting strength be given our Brother's dear partner, whom he loved so well, and to the other members of his family. May the brethren with whom he was associated in the ministry be guided in their future deliberations by the same clear counsel which he was wont to give. May the Lord grant us all to follow him even as he followed Christ, for Jesus' sake, Amen.
P. L. Read, Indianapolis, Ind.
A SACRED MEMORY
The telegram announcing Brother Streeter's "passing beyond" -- funeral arrangements -- our attendance and return home -- all seem like a dream. Brother Streeter gone? Yes, to meet "face to face" the One whose last message to the Church he had been so intent upon interpreting.
It is remarkable (yet we are assured that "He safely leads His Church alone") that Brother Streeter should have been spared us long enough to finish his exposition on Revelation before laying down the pen that had so faithfully been used in his ministry to the saints -- "Immortal until his work was done." And what labor bestowed upon that which embraces the 1900 years' career of the Church and comprehended in the two volumes on "The Revelation of Jesus Christ"! What searching of Scripture, of history, and of the writings of saintly men from Polycarp's day down to the present-noting the ever-increasing light upon the "path of the just" "that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." The work of a life time! "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Can we wonder at the sweet spirit that pervades the writings of one that sat at Jesus' feet, pondering His message to the Church through the beloved John! How sweet too the Preface to the First Volume of the Revelationas -- as though from Brother Russell's pen.
A brief visit to the Streeter home was an added privilege. The "Study" -- a sacred memory -- open Bibles, pencil notes, memoranda -- all silent, but potent evidences of a scholar in the School of Christ having unexpectedly been called away. If the walls could speak -- What communications with the Heavenly Father! What wrestlings with the Lord for guidance -- light, more light! How "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
What an incentive so inspiring a life, to a "closer walk with God"!
With much Christian love,
Your brother in Christ.
E. W. V. Kuehn, Toledo, Ohio.
"My days are gliding swiftly by,
"For O we stand on Jordan's strand,
"Should coming days be cold and stark,
"Let sorrows rudest tempest blow,
SAVED BY GRACE ALONE
[This article was written by Brother Streeter in 1887,
IN MY youthful days I was denied the formative influence of a Christian home. I never heard the voice of prayer there; and while there was a Bible in the house, it was never read or even opened. Of my. very earliest years I have a dim recollection of attending Sunday School until I was eleven. This, together with about a year's attendance, at the age of fifteen, was all the religious privileges I ever had, or at least availed myself of, until my conversion at the age of thirty. I do not think I ever heard more than half a dozen sermons in my life until this time. Neither do I remember of a single person ever speaking to me about my need of Christ. I did not have the faintest idea of what it meant to be a Christian, and of course never felt the slightest drawing in that direction.
At the age of seventeen I got into the society of those who despised all religious things; and from this time, up to my marriage at twenty-two, and on to the age of thirty, I grew more and more skeptical concerning the Christian religion, and this, without any examination of its evidences.
I even became bitter and outspoken in my opposition to Christians, and would frequently speak disparagingly of them. In fact I became an agnostic, and seemingly almost confirmed in infidelity. In all these years my foolish heart was indeed enmity against God; and yet .He was patient with me, and ever had me in His mind, and when the proper time came, He arrested my steps, and revealed Himself to me as the God of love.
I can look back now, and see how even in my unbelief and hardness, He was, unconscious to myself, preparing me to face the great question, "What will you do with Christ?"
I am satisfied that God uses those agencies to arrest the footsteps of the unregenerate and willful which are best suited to the condition and circumstances of each. Arid it was so in my case. I was ignorantly prejudiced against the Church, and could not be influenced to attend any of its services. I would not have listened to a personal, appeal from a Christian, because of my blind suspicion of them. And so God took another way to remove what seemed to me to be, the sincere distrust I had for His professed followers.
I had nearly all my life been studious in my habits, and had acquired quite an extensive knowledge of many things, and particularly of history. I loved the study of the latter, and spent much of my leisure time acquainting myself with its general outlines. My knowledge of the Bible was limited wholly to that which had been acquired through the writings and sayings of infidels. I had never thought of examining it for myself. But in the wise Providence of God something transpired which awakened .within me what was at first only a curiosity to examine its contents for myself.
In the shop where I was employed, I sat beside a man about sixty years of age, who was a professing Christian. This man was far above the average in mental capability and was well informed on many topics, and had been a very thoughtful student. In fact I wondered that one of so much knowledge was not engaged in a different profession in life. He knew of my distaste for religious things, and would rarely mention the subject. However he would converse on other matters, and as he was so well informed, I enjoyed much our conversations together.
On discovering my love for the study of history, this subject would be very frequently discussed, and I soon learned that his knowledge in this direction was much superior to my own. Quite frequently, while talking on this subject, would he refer to the Bible as containing the best information about the earlier history of man. At other times, when referring to the general unfolding of history up to our own time, he would remark that God's Prophets had foretold this, thousands of years before it came to pass. At first I would pay little attention to this, being skeptical, but after a while I would find myself thinking that a man so well informed about other matters, whom I had come to believe was strictly honest, might after all not be mistaken about it.
I soon had awakened within me a desire to find out for myself whether it was so. And on one occasion, when the subject had been concerning the rise of the Roman Catholic Church and some of its distinguishing features, I carefully noted some of the places in the Bible which he said contained these predictions. And when in my home, all alone, I would get the Bible, and after long searching, find these Scriptures, and read them over and over. Among these references was, the seventeenth chapter of Revelation. I would read it carefully, and it was not long before I began to see, although dimly, that there was, to say the least, a strong correspondence between the history of the Papal Church and these predictions.
This was the beginning of what came gradually to be a regular habit. It soon became a custom with me to read the Bible every day. At first it was simply with a desire to get familiar with its contents. After a while I became strangely fascinated with it, and would read the book of Daniel quite frequently. It was not long before I became sufficiently familiar with some of the prophecies of this book to see their corres-pondence to history, although at first not very clearly. Up to this time I had not attended any church, neither had any person ever spoken to me about God's claims upon me.
I grew more and more interested in my new found study, and this was a subject of comment by different members of my household. I began to read the New Testament (the. Gospels) and it became to, me more interesting than my other books. It began gradually to have a certain influence in my life. This, at first, was noticeable in my being restrained from the use of profane language. At first it seemed impossible for me to believe the miracles to have been actual occurrences. The more I read, however, the more my doubts seemed to vanish, and the story of Jesus, became intensely fascinating.
My life, up to this time, had been like that of the average man of the world. I had sought pleasure in different directions. I had a lucrative employment, and while not extravagant, I used my means in one way and another in seeking happiness. God had given me a good and true wife, and three children; the oldest about nine. My wife in her earlier, days had been brought up to have reverence for the Christian religion, and through these influences was a believer in the Bible, though not a professing Christian. She was early taught to pray, however, and during our eight years of married life, she had continued to keep up this practice.
At the time of which I write I had taken up my residence in a quiet place, about three miles from the center of the city of Providence. I had for about a year previous been exerting all my energies to obtain a little home of my own -- had succeeded, and was now living in it. As I look back at this time and remember all my experiences in getting this, my desire, gratified, I can see the overruling hand of God, and the strange drawings of His Spirit. Quite frequently would I find myself during the erection of this home, thinking that there must be a higher power, outside of myself, that was mysteriously leading me on; and quite often I would try to think it must be God, and I would endeavor to pray to Him, at the same time, I would be filled with doubts concerning His interest in me. I had looked forward with much pleasure to the time when I should be able to occupy my new home, expecting, somehow, that this would bring to me my highest ideal of happiness. But now that I had obtained my desire, I found that it did not give me what I sought.
One evening, while sitting in my home, with the old Bible in my lap (which had now become a familiar book to me), and my children gathered close by my side, and my companion busy nearby with the household duties, a strange impression took possession of my mind. It seemed to me as if the happiness which I had been seeking, and which thus far had eluded me, lay somehow hidden between the lids of that old Book. I mentioned it to my companion, and as my eyes rested upon my children, so happy in their young innocence, the tears flowed freely, and it seemed to me at that moment God was very near me.
As 1 have already said, up to this time no one had ever spoken to me about my need of God, and of Christ's claims. I do not know that it would have done any good before this time. But God had a message for me, and a messenger to deliver it; and one day while conversing with a man in the shop where I was employed, I was asked a very pointed question, one which afterwards would frequently intrude itself upon my mind.
"Mr. Streeter," he said, "if you should ever come to see that it was your duty to become a Christian, would you become one?"
With scarcely a moment's thought, little thinking at the time that I would have occasion very soon to test the sincerity of my reply, I said,
"Yes, certainly, if Christianity is true I surely would become a Chris-tian."
A day or two following this incident, I was invited by this same person to go and hear a certain preacher who was to be at the church in the village where I resided. Although I had not been inside a church for many years, I had such a desire to learn more about the Bible that I readily accepted the invitation.
I attended the service: the sermon made little impression on my mind, but at the close, the speaker gave out an invitation which brought me face to face with my statement of a few days before. "If there are any here tonight," he said, "who are inquiring about the truth of these things, who would like to know whether Christianity is Divine, I will assure such, if they will publicly express such a desire, God will surely meet them, and give them a knowledge not to be gainsaid."
I sat like one stunned, and thoughts came into my mind, which seemed as real as though a voice was speaking to me, and saying, "That means you; you know that already you have become convinced that the Bible is true, and you ought to rise." I endeavored to rise to my feet, but it seemed as if a heavy weight was holding me down. Then conflicting thoughts would flit through my mind, and what seemed like another voice would say, "Don't be foolish, what will. your friends say?" And then my pride asserted itself, and as the speaker lingered, waiting for a response, it seemed as if every one in the room knew it was I, he was waiting for. Then what seemed like another voice, would say, "You said you would be a Christian if you were convinced you ought to be"; and I felt that if I was honest I would respond. But the meeting closed without my doing so, and I rushed out into the night, avoiding conversation with any one, and it slowly dawned upon my mind that I had come face to face with God.
A brother who was not a Christian, and who had sat by my side in the meeting, walked with me to my home. I said to him, "W_____ , I ought to have responded to that invitation." He immediately answered, "R______ , I felt I ought to, too." And then he told me that he had frequently when attending meetings in another place, felt it his duty to become a Christian. I turned and said, "W_____ , I never had such feelings as these before," and with great earnestness, I repeated, "W______, if Christianity is true I want to be a Christian, and I am determined to be one; but," I added, as all my old prejudices against a church arose in my mind, "I do not think it is needful to get it in a church, but believe it can be obtained at home."
On reaching my home that night, after all the members of the household had retired, I instinctively took up the Bible, and without any thought of reading any particular portion, I opened it. Who can doubt but that the unerring hand of the Almighty guided me that night. My eye rested upon the twenty-first of Matthew, and I began to read It was the parable of the householder, and the wicked servants to whole he let out his vineyard I had never read it before; but supernatural light seemed given to me. I knew that Jesus Christ was giving a parabolic picture of the Jewish nation I read of the householder sending his servants to gather the fruit of the vineyard -- of the evil treatment they received; I read on, until I came to the thirty-seventh verse, I read, "And last of all He sent His Son."
I stopped reading, and to my inner consciousness there seemed to come a voice, "He came for you! He died for you!" And then I felt myself a poor unworthy sinner, undeserving of God's love; and I could no longer contain my pent up emotions, and I sobbed aloud, and the tears flowed freely down my cheeks. I was convinced of the Divinity of Jesus Christ's mission to this world. But as yet I had no peace. I retired to my bed, but sleep refused to come to my eyelids. I tried to pray, but did not know how. I requested my wife, who seemed to be conscious of what I was passing through, to pray for me. But although she had observed the form of prayer for years, she could not grant me my request.
Morning came. I arose and mechanically went to my work. All day long, I could think of nothing else than that I wanted to be a Christian, but did not know how. Tears would be continually filling my eyes, and I longed to know God. Toward the close of the day I thought of the meeting which I knew would be held in the church that evening Conflicting emotions stirred my mind. Sometimes I would think I would go to it, and then I would determine to keep away. Finally, however, I decided to go and publicly make known my determination to become a Christian. This decision I knew was a wise one, because it gave relief to my mind. I went home. I told my wife of my purpose, and each time I made known my determination I would feel that I was doing that which was right.
I attended the meeting, this time accompanied by my wife. At the close of the meeting when a request was made for all who were seeking Christ to rise, I responded. I was almost a stranger in the church, but I afterwards learned that my rising was only the beginning of quite a general seeking after God in the village of Auburn.
I went home! I struggled! I wrestled! I prayed! yet no peace came. Another almost sleepless night. Again I went to the shop. As yet I had spoken to no Christian about my condition, neither had any spoken to me. I sat beside the old man who had first caused me to read the Bible. I overcame my pride; I spoke to him; I told him my feelings; I said to him, "Mr. L_____, I want to be a Christian, and I am willing to do anything to become one." And as if he had been the mouthpiece of God (and he surely was to me that day), he said, "You have nothing to do yourself; Jesus Christ has done it all." Immediately I saw it all in an instant, and the heavy burden was lifted, the joy and peace filled my soul; I knew that I had been accepted and made a child of God, and I believed the record of God concerning His Son, and confessed Him as mine.
This was years ago, and the way has become brighter, and Christ has become dearer, and as I have had the Spirit unfold the wonders of His great Plan of the Ages, and as I realize the wonderful destiny of the called out ones of this Age, I can but ascribe "glory, and honor, and might, and power, unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever."
A RELIGIOUS AUTOBIOGRAPHY BY THE EDITOR
[This article was written by Brother Streeter in 1901, and published at that time in "The Testimony of Jesus," of which he was editor]
THROUGH a reading of the Bible with a sincere desire to know the truth, the writer was first awakened to a sense of his accountability to God. This was at the age of thirty, at the close of 1877, it being the first time that a desire was begotten in us to become a servant of God. We did not have to seek long before we obtained a consciousness of favor with God through a hearty acceptance of Christ as our Savior.
Joined to Babylon
Being at the time very earnest and zealous in our desire to serve God, we did that which seemed to us the best thing at the time -- accepted an invitation to join a Free Baptist Church after symbolizing our consecration to the Lord in the true manner by immersion. For a little over two years our association with this people was very pleasant as well as helpful in our establishment in the precious foundation truth of Christ's death for sinners.
Very soon after becoming a Christian, we were appointed a teacher of an adult Bible class, which had the effect of increasing our desire and efforts. to acquire a true knowledge of God's Word. And, doubtless, had we not cultivated that desire, we would have been satisfied to remain in this precinct of Babylon until the present time. We sought in every way, however, to cultivate this desire, and on account of this, encountered very soon the first crisis of our Christian life, for our eyes began soon to open to the fact that it would be utterly impossible for us to advance in our knowledge of God's Word, and be faithful in our service for Him, if we continued to remain in this one of Babylon's many sects.
This first crisis was brought about by a discovery, through searching the Scriptures, that our Lord was coming back to earth to establish a righteous kingdom over all the world. This truth, while only very meagerly understood by us at the time, was very precious. Greatly desiring to learn more about these solemn. matters, we quite frequently attended a church in an adjoining city, whose pastor made very prominent in his preaching these most interesting themes. In our conscientious desire to do our duty, however, we would not allow these pleasant seasons of refreshing to interfere with the duties which we had assumed when joining the Free Baptist sect.
The First Step Out of Babylon
Being a young Christian and therefore unacquainted with the sectarian prejudices existing in the churches, we very earnestly began to give testimony in our own church concerning these matters which were so precious to us. We very soon, however, were made aware that we would either have to refrain from mentioning these things in the church or be compelled to withdraw from the organization. We soon found that the former would be impossible if we were to continue in our growth in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And so after much prayer, we were led, after a public statement to the Church of our reasons, to request a letter of withdrawal from the Church, to unite with an Evangelical Advent Church in an adjoining city.
We did not do this without many regrets, for we had learned to love our Free Baptist brethren, as well as to prize the little gatherings which in many respects had been so helpful to us in our progress in the earlier and necessary experiences of Christian life. Arid thus because of our desire for liberty to study and testify to God's truth, we were led, three years after our conversion, to remove from one precinct of Babylon to another.
The step cost us at the time much misrepresentation and some persecution, but we were encouraged not a little by the fact that it was for the truth's sake, and have since come to understand clearly that it was the voice from heaven calling, "Come out of her My people," etc. - -Rev. 18-:4.
The Evangelical Advent Precinct of Babylon and Its Creed
We now found ourself housed in the Evangelical Advent precinct of Babylon. Our new creed was in many respects similar to our old one. We tried hard to contend earnestly for what at the time we. supposed to be the truth of God -- the heathen Papal dogmas of natural immortality and eternal torment -- and hugged with superstitious reverence the erroneous and mystical doctrine of the trinity. We rightly believed that no one could be saved without repentance and faith in Christ, and while aware of the fact that nine-tenths of the human family had never heard of the Savior, yet we believed that the heathen were dying at the rate of a hundred thousand souls a day and passing to the awful doom of eternal torment, and that the churches of Christendom, so-called, were responsible for this awful calamitous state of affairs.
These things we had succeeded in making ourself think we believed, because we supposed that they were all taught in the Bible. It would not have done for us, therefore; to consider for a moment the unreasonableness and injustice of our creed, because we thought it would be exhibiting disloyalty to God.
In joining this sect of Babylon, we were privileged to enjoy as much as we could our belief in these things, even as we were in our previous quarter of Babylon. We had, however, in addition to these, a few more articles of faith, which, with the others mentioned, seemed to us at the time to contain about the whole Plan of God in a nutshell. We also believed our Lord was soon coming, and in, as far as that coming was to effect us who were prepared for it, we had occasion to, and did rejoice in it greatly. But the other features which our creed declared was the object of His coming, were not to us occasion for rejoicing. We believed when He would make His Advent, the great Plan of Redemption would be immediately finished, the great judgment Day (a literal day of twenty-four hours) would be inaugurated, and the destiny of the human family (notwithstanding that we believed that each individual's destiny was decided at death) would be decided on that day: We believed the spirits of the righteous world come from their happy abode, where some of them had for thousands of years been in the enjoyment of heavenly bliss, and uniting with their bodies again, be taken up into the clouds with their Lord. The earth would be then set on fire and all the human beings, as well as other creatures which had life, would be immediately destroyed. We further believed that while this fire would end the sufferings of the animals, it would not end those of human beings, as their souls would go down into hell torment to join the other numerous host there. The fire would be so fierce that it would literally dissolve the earth into a liquid mass, and after the traces of sin were thoroughly burned out of it, it would cool off and be immediately made over new again. We further believed that after this work would be finished, which would occupy but a few, days or weeks at the most, the comparatively few righteous who were all this time up, in the air with their Lord, would descend to the earth and begin to build and plan it, etc.
After the saints had enjoyed a thousand years of perfect happiness on earth, the souls of the wicked would be brought out of hell torment, and uniting with their bodies again, would stand, a mighty host (sonic forty or fifty billions), on the earth. Satan would be let loose and would assume the leadership of this host. After organizing them, he would lead them in an attempt to capture the New Jerusalem (which according to our creed was a literal city which came down out of heaven at the beginning of the thousand years), where the saints had entrenched themselves. Just when it seemed as though this myriad host was about to overwhelm God's immortal saints, fire would come down from God out of heaven and devour them all. But this would not be the end of this wicked host, for our creed further taught that 'their immortal spirits would again be embodied and they would then be cast into a lake of literal fire where they would be preserved and tortured forever and ever. This, according to our creed, would end sin on the earth, and in so far as this comparatively small company of saved ones was concerned, there would be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither would there be any more pain. But in this other abode of sin and sorrow, all these things excepting literal death, would exist without end.
Another Step Out of Babylon
After remaining a year (from 1881 to 1882) in this precinct of Baby-lon, and (notwithstanding that we had some misgivings that some parts of our creed might not be just right) enjoying many precious seasons of fellowship with God's people there, we then took steps, which had the hearty co-operation of our fellow Christians in this sect, which finally resulted in the organization of a branch church of this (to our mind) model church, in our own native town.
The Lord, who knew all things from the beginning, permitted this, for He saw how it could be overruled to our advancement in a knowledge of His Truth and Plan, as we still held very tenaciously to the true Protestant tenet, that the Bible itself must ever be the final test of creeds. After the organization of a church of twelve members, the question of adopting the above creed came up for consideration. It was, however, providentially postponed from time to time, until at last we found that our prayerful study of the Scriptures had resulted in the discovery that our creed bed was altogether too short to stretch ourself out upon, and its covering too narrow to wrap us up in comfortably. In other words, we found many things in the Bible that holy men of old had spoken of that we were unable to fit into our creed at all. We began also for the same reason to have many misgivings that it might be possible that some things stated in the creed light be incorrect, if not indeed gross misrepresentations of the God we so loved to serve and honor.
Outgrown Our Creed
We therefore ceased to press the matter of adopting the creed of the Evangelical Advent precinct of Babylon, and continued to study our Bible, until we very shortly discovered that we had outgrown our creed entirely, and finally concluded that the Bible itself was the best and safest creed to adopt, as that was fixed and unchangeable and we were always finding new revelations; and beside all this it was a creed that would never need to be revised.
It would occupy too much space in this brief sketch to describe how, through Bible study and trials of various kinds, we were led to reject one after another of the false Babylonian dogmas in the creeds, and progress slowly but surely out into the clear light of God's great Plan of Redemption. The defiling of the true sanctuary class was foretold by both Daniel and John. The process by which this 'class was to be cleansed from these false doctrines we have since learned was foretold in one of the visions of Revelation.
HOW HE BORE TESTIMONY TO THE
another. extract from the paper, "The Testimony of Jesus"
As the writer was thus brought face to face with these inevitable conclusions, so momentous, and fraught with such eternal conse-quences as affecting the destiny of the greater majority of the human family, a conviction of the Truth began to take possession of his mind. This conviction grew deeper and deeper as in a prayerful, meditative frame of mind he began to consider other Scriptures which now began to have a new and fuller meaning concerning the far-reaching effects of the sacrifice of Christ. Once having settled conclusively the meaning of John 3:16 as it related to the two points mentioned above, hundreds of passages were found all harmonizing the same blessed teaching. The crisis was passed, and while there were many things yet that needed further light before he could be clear in his mind to give out that light to others, it began to dawn upon his mind the effect of an open frank avowal of his new found light.
He understood full well that this fuller knowledge of God's great Plan meant a complete revolution of some of his theological views, and that an open avowal of them would cause a separation from him of some of his fellow Christian workers, as well as possibly affecting his future ministry in some quarters. He therefore spent many hours at different times in prayer and study that he might make no mistake, but go on with God whatever might be the consequences.
The first thing the writer was led of God to do was to make known privately to some of his fellow-workers in the church of which he was pastor, and afterwards to speak publicly on the truth of one opportunity of salvation for all the race. It was not, however, until December 1898, that he was led to give out the Truth in "The Testimony." It was in a series of articles under the heading of False Views of Election. From that time up to the present the writer has spent much time in prayer, waiting on God to obtain the special matter for each issue of "The Testimony," as also in giving it out to his Church. The Truth has met with opposition; but has been a great blessing to the writer in giving it out, and has resulted in some subscribers discontinuing their subscriptions, but new ones have filled their places.
As regards the church of which the writer is pastor, the Truth has had a wonderful reviving effect upon its members. It is a harvest truth, and like no other causes siftings and separating.
goeth forth and weepeth, seed of grace in sorrow bringing,
"HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES." -- REV. 2:7.
[We publish below the last sermon delivered by Brother Streeter, about four weeks prior to his death. The notes of this discourse have been copied just as they were found in his note book, that the reader may thereby gain all the more accurate impression as to the delivery, nature, substance, etc., of the sermon. In consideration of all the circumstances and conditions existing among the Lords people, it is recognized that the lessons herein presented are of peculiar and solemn significance to the Church of Christ.]
"Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus write These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seen golden candlesticks."
The Lord alone makes His ministers. A church can neither make them or remove them. A church may remove one by its votes from serving it; but if that one is one that the Lord has made, He will find other service for him.
"I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars
"And hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.
"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
"Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen ; and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
"But this thou hast, that thou hatest the .deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." - Rev. 2:1-7.
I. The importance of these Epistles.
II. The individuality of the application of text.
III. The peculiar significance of the expression "what the Spirit- saith," etc.
IV. An examination of the meaning of "the churches."
V. A few of the commendable characteristics possessed by this Church.
VI. The one great evil that overshadowed these characteristics.
"Let any one who has an ear, listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches." -- Rev. 2:7.
I. To any one who professes to be a follower of Christ, it would seem almost unnecessary to emphasize the importance of these epistles of our Savior. And yet, as we look around us and see how little they are read and studied, we are compelled to believe that it is necessary. In calling attention to a few things that prove them of more than special importance, we note
1. They are among the very last words of Christ, given by Him to St. John sixty years after His disciples saw Him ascend to heaven.
2. The very searching exhortation of the text is repeated seven times.
3. Another thing that shows their importance is their wide application
a. To pastors or elders, the two words being synonymous. (It would seem to be one of the special duties of this class to read, to study, expound, and make forceful the lessons contained in these messages.)
b. To the Church of Christ in all generations.
c. To individuals especially.
4. Furthermore, when rightly understood, it is discovered that they depict the various stages of decline in both individual and church life.
5. And last, but not the least important, they make known those things which must be overcome in order to at last inherit the Kingdom honors.
II. Let us pause to note briefly the individuality of this exhortation. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
1. Most naturally the inquiry is, Do not all have ears
If we view the words from the natural standpoint, our answer would be, Yes; that is to say, those whose physical hearing has not entirely gone.
But all of us know that the words are not to be understood in this way. It is not the physical ear that is referred to by the Savior.
People might hear these messages of Christ over and over again a hundred times and not hear in the sense that Christ means.
2. The Savior is addressing those who have come into possession of a peculiar condition of mind and heart:
a. Those who have come to recognize, acknowledge, that Christ is God's representative; who have heard and believed the Heavenly Father's words, "This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him."
b. Those who have in some way had implanted in them a great longing desire to hear all that Christ has to say to them.
c. Those who have come to realize that God has appointed His Son Jesus to be the great judge of all men.
d. Those who have come to fully realize, and keep it ever before their minds that we who are true Christians are to appear without disguise before the tribunal of Christ, each to be requited for what he has done with his body, well or ill."
We know that all through this earthly pilgrimage there is a sense in which if is true that we are standing at the bar of our Lord's judgment; He is testing us, proving us, to see whether or not we love Him above all others, as well as whether we love the things which make for righteousness. He marks the degree of our love by the measure of our selfdenials, and self-sacrifices for His sake.
3. However, while all this is true, the Apostle is not referring to this. He is rather referring to the final inspection.
The words are addressed to saints only, and the appearance at this seat of judgment is pressed upon . all believers as the most urgent stimulus to fidelity and diligence in service for the glory of God.
All who appear at this tribunal will not come into judgment with the world. --Rom. 8:1; John 5:24.
a. There will undoubtedly be those who make profession of Christ, and who seem to be doing wonderful works who will not appear before this judgment at all "Not every one that saith unto Me Lord, .Lord," etc.
b. There will be others there who will not be able to stand this most searching inspection; they will lose altogether their reward -- "be saved as it were, so as by fire."
c. In 1 Cor. 9:27 St. Paul urges the control and subjection of the body to the new mind, "lest that by any means I myself should be a castaway." The literal meaning of this Greek term is, "unable to stand the test," and the reference is to this test of his deeds at the judgment seat of Christ.
This judgment of the saints is not only an inspection of deeds, whether good or ill, but an inspection of the motives and intentions that influence us in our service and decisions here below. The one referred to in the text is the one who endeavors to keep before his or her mind these words of St: Paul in 2 Cor. 5:10.
Concerning himself the Apostle says,: "I am prepared for this change by God, who has given me the Spirit, as its pledge and installment. Come what may, then, I am confident I know that while I reside in the body, I am away from the Lord, (for I have to lead my life in faith, without seeing Him) and in this confidence I would fain get away from the body and reside with the Lord. Hence also I am eager to satisfy Him, whether in the body or, away from it; for we have to appear without disguise before the tribunal of Christ, each to be requited for what he has done with his body, well or ill."
III. A thing about this exhortation that seems strange until closely examined is that while the words are those of Christ Himself, the exhortation is for the one who has an ear, to hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.
1. There must be something peculiarly significant in this. We would naturally think that Christ's own words would be all sufficient. However, this exhortation is in perfect harmony with His own teaching contained in the promise, that He would send the Holy Spirit and that it would be a teacher, a guide, a counselor, and in this place He exhorts-may we not say-commands us to listen to this teacher.
2. How shall we explain this peculiar matter?
a. Not by thinking of the Holy Spirit as a person.
b. Neither by going to the other extreme and thinking of the Holy Spirit as simply any influence that may be exerted for good.
c. On the contrary this is a spirit that the world does not in any sense or degree possess.
It is called the Spirit of God; the Spirit of truth; the Spirit of holiness; the Spirit of wisdom, of counsel, of might.
Referring to the Holy Spirit as being given to Christ, the Prophet said: "It shall make Him of quick understanding in the sight of the Lord."
3. It certainly is a very pertinent. inquiry to ask: In what manner does the Spirit speak?
Of one thing we are quite sure, that the Holy Spirit does not speak today in audible words; i. e., to the physical ear. Rather is it that the Holy Spirit speaks through the Word; gives life to that Word.
He unfolds to one who has the "hearing ear" the great principles of justice and righteousness.
He speaks to the conscience, and shows how these principles are to be applied in the every-day affairs of life.
He reveals to those who have the ear, how to act in the various matters that come up for our decision; matters of which the Word of God does not speak, directly. The Holy Spirit reveals to us how to deal with our fellow-men.
The Holy Spirit speaks often through the preacher. However, it must be understood that it is the preacher who does not depend "upon the plausible arguments of human wisdom, but on the proof supplied by the Spirit and its power."-1 Cor. 2:6-16.
Under such preaching the hearer often thinks that the preacher is singling him out, when he may have no such intent. .
The Spirit moves upon the hearer, and points out some existing evil, perhaps, before forgotten; something in the life that is not right; some action towards another that was not right; some unrepented of sin; some sin that has not been confessed and of course is unforgiven. It will depend on the measure of the tenderness of the conscience-how firm is the determination to please, to obey the Master's words, no matter how humiliating it may be, or what may be the cost-as to the measure the Spirit's voice is heard.
The Spirit may be grieved, the Spirit may be quenched, the Spirit may be resisted. We. may say as did Felix, "Go thou thy way," etc.
This subject of the Holy Spirit and its place in the Church of God is one of such great importance that it cannot be emphasized, unfolded, and enforced too much.
May it not be that we have given so much attention and time in proving that the Holy Spirit is not a person that we have failed to see and unintentionally failed to recognize the Holy Spirit's place in the Church of God.
The best treatise that is in existence in proving the impersonality of the spirit is "Scripture to Studies," Vol. V; but the great object of that treatise is not so much to show the importance of the Spirit's work as it is to prove that the Holy Spirit is not a person.
Some of the best unfoldings we have ever seen of the divinely appointed work of the Holy Spirit, in the administration, in the affairs of the Church of God, have come from the pens of some of those who were not seeking in any measure or sense to prove or disprove the personality of the Spirit.
However, we do not need any human being to show us the great importance of this subject. The Scriptures themselves reveal to us the measure of emphasis that should be given to every truth. We find ourself in perfect agreement with the words of another on this subject:
"God's Word, in God's order, with God's emphasis should be the watchword of every diligent student of its inspired pages. The Bible is not a book of hobbies. It never emphasizes one truth at the expense of another. Neither does it deal in fragmentary truth. The book is a grand mosaic, divinely perfect in all its parts, and perfect in its Divine completeness. The various truths contained in this wonderful book are set forth in the measure of their importance, and it behooves every careful student not only to study God's truth in God's order, but to observe closely the emphasis He places thereon."
Leaving out of our consideration the entirely different operation of the Holy Spirit in Old Testament times, and even those predictions that foretell a most remarkable outpouring of the same to come in the then future, we confine ourself to the New Testament.
John the Baptist first mentions it as coming upon Christ. He bore this testimony: "I saw the Spirit descend like a dove. and rest on Him. I myself did not recognize Him; but He who sent me to baptize with water told me. He on whom you see the Spirit descending and resting, that is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit."
The life of our blessed Master, in all its varied manifestations, was simply an exhibition of the almighty, power of God, which He received at this Divine anointing. It was by the mighty power of God, imparted to Him at His baptism, that He performed all His mighty works. It was by the power conferred upon Him, at this time, that alone enabled Him to carry out His vow of consecration unto death. The Scripture states that "it was through the power of the eternal Spirit, that He offered Himself without spot to God."
He speaks of it as the indwelling of the Father, and says: "I can do nothing of Myself but the Father who dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works."
At different times in His ministry He spoke of this Holy Spirit, and of a time to come when His disciples would become recipients of this same Divine power. In His closing words to the disciples just before His death He told them of the coming of this Holy Spirit upon them and in them
"If ye love Me keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter [Helper] that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive,
"These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things," etc.
"But now I go My way to Him that sent Me. . . . But because I have said these, things unto you, sorrow bath filled your heart.
"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you."
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine and show it unto you."
And just before His ascension to heaven, forty days after His resur-rection, we have Him instructing His disciples to "tarry in Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on High."
When Christ entered upon His ministry on High, we are told over and over again-that He sat down at the right hand of God.
It was when He thus assumed His official work in heaven that these many promises met their fulfillment, and the paracletos came down from on High and took Christ's place in the Church, the Temple of God, to rule and control in all the affairs of the Church.
It is difficult to realize that to the Holy Spirit the entire administration of all the Church's affairs is committed. And it is over and over again taught in the Scriptures and exemplified in the life of the early, primitive Church that the oversight of the Holy Spirit in the Church extends and comprehends even the slightest details connected with order in God's house, holding every believer responsible to be subject to the great Head, and directing in all the Church's affairs in harmony with the Divine purpose.
How clearly is this taught in St. Paul's words in 1 Cor. 12:
"But I want you to understand about spiritual gifts brothers. There are varieties of talents, but the same Spirit; varieties of service, but the same Lord; varieties of effects, but the same God who affects everything in every one. Each receives his manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. One man is granted words of wisdom by the Spirit, another words of knowledge by the same Spirit; one man in the same Spirit has the gift of faith; another in the one Spirit has gifts of healing; one has prophecy, another the gifts of distinguishing spirits, another the gift of tongues in their variety; another the gift of interpreting tongues. But all these effects are produced by one and the same Spirit, apportioning them severally to each individual as He [the Holy Spirit] pleases."
Mr. Fenton's translation of these words is unique. His translation is called the Bible in Modern English:
"And to each man is given the manifestation of the Spirit for mutual benefit. For to this man through the Spirit is given philosophic reason; but to another by means of the same Spirit, comprehension of thought; and to a different person, faith by the same Spirit; while to another, gifts of healing by the same Spirit; and to another, genius for government; while to another, eloquence; to another, discernment of character; and to another, a genius for languages; and to another talent for translating languages.
But the same Spirit energizes all these in the individual, distributing to each person as He considers best."
A noted Christian writer of the last century who usually has the habit of expressing cutting truths mildly, has 'said
"Whether the authority of this one ruling sovereign, the Holy Spirit, be recognized or ignored determines whether the Church shall be an anarchy or a unity, a synagogue of lawless ones or the temple of the living God."
What was the cause of the great Apostasy that came in the early centuries, and which at the present time covers the greater part of Christendom?
Was it not because of at first ignoring the Holy Spirit and then substituting a man to rule and exercise authority in place of the Holy Spirit?
Was it not in the servants in the Church assuming control, encroaching little by little on the were given prerogatives of the Head, till at last one man sets himself up as the administrator, and daringly usurps the name Vicar of Christ?
Who is the Vicar of Christ? Is it not the Holy Spirit that was appointed by Christ to fill His place?
The Apostle Paul pictures the culmination of rejecting. the Holy Spirit. He pictures the culmination of usurpation, when writing by the Spirit of God he describes the one who has -sat for long centuries in the city of Rome.: "So that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is a God."
Do we ask, What is the temple of God, and who presides there?
"Ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you."
"Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are budded for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
How plain are these Scriptures that the Holy Spirit represents Christ in the Church; and a failure to recognize that Holy Spirit is the cause of all departures pinto backsliding and apostasy!
We may never be tempted by Papacy's pompous claims. We have had it demonstrated time and time again that the claims of that man who sits at Rome are false and absurd beyond degree.
We may say we can never be deceived by clericals -- an order of ecclesiastics -- archbishops or cardinals intruding into the sacred place, but, as the writer just quoted has said:
"Let us remember that a religious democracy maybe guilty of the same sin as a hierarchy, in settling solemn issues by a 'show of hands,' instead of prayerfully awaiting for the guidance o the Holy Spirit -- in substituting the voice of a majority for the voice of the Spirit.
"Of course, in speaking thus we concede that the Holy Spirit makes known His will to the voice of believers, as also in the voice of Scripture. Only there must be such prayerful sanctifying of the one and such prayerful search of the other, that in reaching decisions in the Church there be the same declaration as in the first Christian council: 'It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us. --Acts 15 :28.
To each of the seven churches the voice of Christ is heard, saying: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
IV. Let us hear more particularly what the Word says concerning the Holy Spirit in its ministry and government of the Church of God.
In St. Paul's exhortation to the elders of the Church at Ephesus, he says
"Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock in the which the Holy Spirit bath made you bishops to feed the Church of God."
Nothing can be more plainly taught in the Scriptures than that in the beginning, biships or pastors were given by the Spirit of God, not by the suffrages of the people.
The office itself as well as the one who filled it were alike divinely- appointed. This is in perfect harmony with St. Paul's teaching in his letter to the Ephesians
"When He ascended up on High, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And He gave some to be apostles, and some, pastors and teachers and some to be prophets; and some to be evangelists; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the Body of Christ."
The object of the ascent of the Lord and the descent of the Holy Spirit, are here shown in their necessary relation in the office each is to fill throughout the Gospel Age.
May it not be truthfully said that in the one event Christ assumed his position in heaven as "Head over all things to His Church," and in the other the Holy Spirit came down to begin the great work of building up the Body of Christ.
Is it not true, then, that all the various offices to be used in carrying on this work are appointed by Christ; and those selected to fill them are chosen by the Holy Spirit.
Men have invented offices that are not mentioned in the inspired list, and by so doing have introduced confusion into the Church of God.
However, the history of the Church in every age has shown that it is possible to sacredly continue and maintain these ministering offices, which without question were established for the building up of the Body of Christ, and yet for men to take it upon themselves to fill these according to their own. preference and will.
This is not, we feel sure, pleasing to Christ, and is one way of grieving the Holy Spirit.
Even the Apostles and disciples of our Lord once made such a' mistake and it doubtless was recorded for our instruction and admonition. Such an admonition, indeed may we not say, warning, we find recorded in the first chapter of Acts. We know that because of Judas' deflection a vacancy existed in the apostolic office.
Standing up in that upper room where the hundred and twenty were gathered, waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit, Peter, after rehearsing the apostasy of Judas, boldly affirmed that this vacancy must be filled, and filled by one of those who had been with them all the time until the day Christ was taken from them. Of this number Peter said, "one must be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection." But Peter and the rest of the disciples had evidently forgotten that up to that time they had had no voice in choosing apostles. Our Lord Jesus has done this of His own sovereign will. "Have I not chosen you twelve?"
At this time our Lord had gone away from them into heaven; the Holy Spirit which was to be His Administrator had not yet arrived to enter upon His office work.
The Divine arrangement was that when Christ ascended on High. He was "to give some apostles."
"But in spite of this we have it stated that they brought forward two men, Joseph called Barsabas, and Matthias; and they prayed, "O Lord,. who readest the hearts of all; single out from these two men him whom Thou bast chosen, to fill in this apostolic ministry . . . . Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell. upon Matthias who was assigned his position with the eleven Apostles."
There is not the slightest intimation anywhere that this choice was ever ratified by our Lord. On the contrary we hear no more of Matthias; his name passing into obscurity.
Some two years after this, however, the Lord called Saul of Tarsus; he is sealed with His Spirit, and he certified by such evident credentials of Divine appointment that he boldly introduces his letters "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, not of man, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father." -- Gal. 1:1.
V. We believe that the apostolic office, in so far as its being filled by any living man, has passed away. The original Twelve are still apostles in their testimony preserved to us; a witness of the Lord's resurrection being a thing impossible since the last witness died.
However, let it be impressed deeply on our minds that the office of pastor, elder, bishop, or teacher of the flock still remains.
And we cannot find anywhere in the Scriptures taught that the Divine Plan has changed. As it was back there, so has it been always, and is at the present time, that the words of St. Paul are true "Take heed unto yourselves and to all the flock of God, in the which the Holy Spirit bath made you bishops to feed the Church of God."
How instructive then and solemn is the beautiful symbol of the one like a Son of Man, moving among the candlesticks. How wonderfully impressive is the symbol of His "holding the seven stars in His right hand."
While He holds them whom He. has chosen by His Spirit in His right hand, does He not require that we ask of Him alone for their bestowal? Surely He does. "Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He should send forth laborers into the harvest."
If when He ascended on High, He gave some pastors and teachers, surely we should all show our appreciation oŁ this promise, that we may have pastors and teachers of His choosing
The Apostle Paul, years before our Lord addressed this epistle to Ephesus, had predicted that after his departure from them there would grievous wolves enter in among them not sparing the flock, and that of their own selves should men arisen speaking perverse things to draw away disciples, after them.
And now our Lord, speaking to this same Church. of Ephesus, this Church of which Paul said the elders had been chosen of. the holy Spirit, reveals Himself as the Chief Shepherd and Bishop, still the Appointer of elders, as seen in His holding the seven stars in His hand.
However, with all their good qualities, sad change had taken place. For some cause not stated He tells them that they had left. their first love.
When this is lost, the peril becomes imminent that the candlestick may be moved out of its. place; and so He sounds the solemn warning: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit with to the churches."
The Spirit not allowed to rule, to control, in the Church, the candle-stick can shed no light, and the Church loses its place of testimony.
Churches of this character, whose witness has been silenced, even though the lifeless form remains, are seen all about us.
And the only safeguard against such a condition is to "Quench not the spirit."
Our Lord's voice must be heard in the Church, and, as we have seen, to the Holy Spirit alone has been committed the prerogative of communicating that voice.
In the language of a most noted Pastor, who years ago "fed the Church of God, over which the Holy Spirit had made him a bishop, not far from where I am now standing:
"Majorities are no more to be depended upon than minorities, if there is in both cases a neglect of patient and prolonged waiting upon the Lord to know His will.
"Of what value is a show of hands, unless His are stretched forth who holdeth the seven stars in His right hand?
"Of what use is a unanimous choice, except the living voice of Christ is heard by His Spirit?
"The Spirit is the breath of God in the Church, the Body of Christ. While the Divine body survives and it must, multitudes of churches have so shut out the Spirit from rule and authority and supremacy in the midst of them that the ascended Lord can only say to them:
"Thou hast a name to live and art dead.
"Some trust in creeds; and some in ordinances; some suppose that the Church's security lies in a sound theology; and others locate it in a primitive simplicity of government and worship. "However, so vital and indispensable is the ministry of the Spirit that without it, nothing else will avail."
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
"At last the gentle tons was heard, that falls
"'Friend, go up higher!' So he took that night
"What then? Eye hath not seen, ear bath not heard!
"He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; arid some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ." -- Eph. 4:11,12.
IN THE life-work of Brother R. E. Streeter we observe the confirmation of the above words of the great Apostle Paul, uttered in the beginning of the Age. Standing as we are in 'the evening of the Christian era when all the signs about us betoken the fast falling night, and the complete close of this dispensation, we recognize as we glance backward over the experiences of the Church, "the Body of Christ," as revealed on the pages of history, how graciously the Divine Lord has supervised the spiritual interests of His people, as, expressed in the inspired words of the Apostle.
Order of the Primitive Church
During the initiatory stages of the development of the Church, the special ministrations of the Apostles and Prophets were necessary for its inauguration and establishment in faith and doctrine, preparatory for the mighty conflict with the allied forces of evil which have assailed the Church on all sides, for now nearly nineteen centuries. Following the days of the Apostles and Prophets, and with the establishment of the various Ecclesias or Classes of the Lord's people, there arose the need for the services or ministrations of evangelists (pilgrims) to travel from place to place, meeting with the different congregations to confirm and strengthen the Christians in "the faith once delivered to the saints." There arose, also, the need of pastors and teachers "to feed the flock of God over the which the Holy Spirit had made them overseers," by expounding or teaching the Word of Truth, the Scriptures.
These pastors and teachers were not to add to the inspired testimony of the Scriptures, but to interpret and explain the instructions of Christ, the Apostles, and the Prophet, as the Holy Spirit would guide and direct them in the understanding of the Word. All through the Age, therefore, the great Head of the Church has been with His faithful followers, even as He promised, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the Age" -- representatively by the Holy Spirit, the "Com-forter," which, guiding and directing these devout servants, would lead them into all truth and reveal unto them things to come that they might minister to the spiritual needs of the Body of Christ.
Pastors and Teachers in the Church
In harmony with these Divine arrangements and the heavenly promises we find that in every epoch of the Church's history; saintly characters, holy men of God, as pastors and teachers, have stood forth and advanced the progressive light of the Truth on the pathway of the just. Gradually the knowledge of the truth, the understanding of the Divine Word, has unfolded more and more along doctrinal and prophetic lines, under such great teachers as Wycliffe, Huss, Calvin, Luther, Knox, Wesley, and others. These noble characters are surely amongst those who adorn the Church's hall of fame; and in the more recent past, still others there have been whom the Lord has used to clarify one feature or another of the Truth.
So far as it is possible to humanly observe and estimate, each of these men of God has been a high and noble exemplification of the Christ-life in the times in which they have lived. They have not been ambi-tious leaders, not self-seeking, not thinking of themselves as some great ones; but utterly unassuming, humble, and Christlike, "as ensamples to the flock." Only such the Lord uses, for pride and arrogance are an abomination unto the Lord. By the rich fruitage of the Holy Spirit in their. lives and characters, the disposition of meekness, kindness, godliness, and love, these whom the Lord has used gave indisputable evidence that they were true servants of Christ, and duly qualified under the Spirit's guidance to perform the monumental work assigned them. Through this blessed ministry in the Church, which has been extended to our day; all the doctrinal truths of the Bible have been brought together in beautiful harmony, and have been clearly explained, thus revealing the mystery of God which had been concealed for many ages -- The Divine-Plan of the Ages. This focusing of the light of the whole Age on the doctrinal teachings of the Scriptures has produced a message which has been circulated to the remotest parts of the earth and has exerted a tremendous influence on the minds and hearts of God's people everywhere.
Blessed Light of Prophecy
The ministry performed by Brother Streeter has been a valuable one. Certain great prophecies of the Bible, such as the book of Daniel and the Revelation, contain messages that doubtless were intended for the comfort of the Church of the last times; and during the last century especially, these two great prophecies have been much illuminated by able and godly expositors. Brother Streeter who has devoted long years of his life to the examination of these expositions and to the study of history and prophecy, has in a remarkable manner gathered together the rays of light and focused them upon these two prophecies, enabling the truth seeker to discover their real import. We are assured that what has been presented on this subject is supported with such facts and logic as to bring conviction and as to leave no doubt of the truthfulness of the general conclusions-reached. Messages are received at our office daily from one quarter or another of the world, making special mention of the profit and spiritual help derived from these expositions of the book of Revelation and that of the Prophet Daniel.
As an example of such expressions of appreciation we submit in this connection an extract from a letter recently received from a brother who writes of what benefit is being received by himself and others in the study of these helps. The brother who is thus writing is one who has been long in the Christian way, and many years ago. served in the Pilgrim work. under, Brother Russell's. direction. His words follow:
"The articles on Daniel and the Revelation are indeed just what Brother Russell . said the book of Revelation would be -- a comfort to the Church; and the articles on Daniel read in connection with the Revelation studies become a clincher to the studies. For instance, I had some serious doubts as to the correctness of some of the Revelation expositions until after I read and studied the articles on Daniel, and now I heartily agree as to their correctness. As a result we here are now studying the Revelation with all the helps we can get, and we cannot begin to tell you brethren what a stimulus this has been to the friends. And it is even reaching out beyond the Class here and others are reading and studying with good accomplished. Practically our entire Class is becoming much interested.
"The historical features which are presented with the studies are so helpful. They surely show that the history of the Church is written in blood, and that following in the footstep's of our Lord is a very exclusive pathway. When we consider the Balaamism, the Nicolai-tanism, and the Jezebelism that has prevailed for the centuries past, and the hundreds of thousands and even millions who raised their voice against these evils, and who loved not their lives unto death, for the word of God and the testimony which they held, and then consider that only 144,000 will be found worthy to walk with Him in white, it makes us stop and think, What are we doing to show our love for the Master? Will we be found worthy?"
Timely Lessons from the Ages
It has been in connection with his study of the visions of prophecy as well as the lessons contained in the history of God's people, that Brother Streeter has been impressed time after time, to exhort and admonish the Lord's people to guard well their liberty, in Christ. He has pointed out from prophecy and history how designing. and ambi-tious men have all along through, the, Age., crept, into the Church and subverted the true message; how they through their cunning and strategy have exalted themselves in a the Church and have subtly led the professed people of God into bondage to certain systems and organizations, over which they have presided; making boastful claims as to their sacred unction, and as to having received from God Divine authority to regulate the teachings that the Church was to receive.
Indeed how often has history been repeated, and how many times the Lord's people have. been taught that they themselves do. not have the power or right to interpret the Scriptures and decide what is truth, but must look to certain human leaders and systems to regulate their faith and belief. Thus our dear Brother with others, was led to recognize that every apostasy that has occurred has come about as a result of the Lord's people being robbed of their liberty, and of being deceived into believing that they-should fear and reverence and obey man-made teachers and. leaders instead of the great Head of the Church and His inspired 'Prophets and Apostles,
Still Need of Doctrinal and Prophetic Truth.
In the light of these marvelous prophecies which are before us today, the duties and, obligations of the true saints are indeed clear, and that is that they must stand aloof and free from every bondage, and recognize that not until they reach the Kingdom will the Lord's people as the true wheat class all be found gathered in one place, free from tares, and as such constitute the Bride of Christ.
In the light of what the Lord's people have before them today, how true are the words of the Master, "The Spirit of truth shall guide you into all truth [doctrinal truth] and shall reveal unto you things to come [prophetic truth]." He called this Spirit, the Comforter. Do not the Lord's people need the comfort and the sustaining power that is derived through the knowledge of both the doctrinal as well as the prophetic truths? As we consider the importance of the prophetic Word as taught in the Scriptures, may we not conclude that the knowledge of the doctrines, the Plan, is not alone sufficient to enable one to stand in the evil day, but that it is essential to likewise have a knowledge and understanding of the word of prophecy.
Extract from a Late Sermon by Brother Streeter
"As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
The question that will most naturally arise in our mind at this point is, Are heavenly bodies in any sense or degree "flesh" bodies? It would seem that this is one of the very important points the Apostle in his argument or teaching, has been all the time leading up to: Can fleshly bodies inherit or exist in the Kingdom of God? the heavenly, spirit phase of it? Hear his answer, "Now this I say brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God," etc. The Apostle does not tell us of what the heavenly, spirit body is made. If he had known, he probably would have told us; but he tells us of what it will not be made. And here we will have to leave it.
The mystery is what? "Not all the saints will sleep." But all will be changed. In 1 Thess. 4:16, 17 we have a similar thought presented. The words are (Fenton)
"For we say this to you as a message from the Lord, that we, the living, the survivors until the appearance of the Lord, will not precede those who sleep. For the Lord Himself in command, with the voice of an archangel, arid with a signal from God, will descend from heaven; and first the dead in Christ shall rise again: then we, the living remnant shall at the same time be carried up in clouds for an introduction by the Lord into the eternal condition ; and then we shall always be with the Lord."
The Scriptures we have thus far considered teach: the change will be from earthly, human to heavenly, spiritual. It will be at the Lord's Second Advent. Those who had died, at the Second Advent will be resurrected first, or changed.
Those who live at that time will not sleep, but will experience, however, the same change as the resurrected ones. The change of both as individuals will be- in a moment. The change of both the dead and living will be at the same time.
There is still one matter not quite clear, which is:
Will the living ones, the survivors until the presence, i. e., those who remain over until the presence experience their change all at the same moment? While to some the Scriptures already cited seem clear enough to teach that they will not, others think they teach that they will.
We inquire, Is this the last revelation in the Scriptures on this matter? We answer, No, we find that our Lord Jesus Himself gives us the last word or. this matter. It is contained in His Revelation, thus illustrating again, the progressive character of God's teaching on any subject.
In Rev. 14:13, in a vision describing the harvest, the end of the Age; we read: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time, Yea, saith the Spirit, for they shall rest from their labors and their works accompany them.
"And again I looked and saw a white cloud, and upon the cloud One sitting like a Son of Man, wearing a golden crown upon His head and holding a sharp sickle in His hand," etc.
The teaching here completes the solution of the mystery. There will be some who die in the Lord from a certain time. We of course could not understand that these will all die in one single moment. These are dead ones who die. These "die in the Lord," and are therefore those who have counted themselves as dead with Christ. These will be especially blessed. They are the ones who the Apostle says "will not sleep."
1. Changed in a moment.
2. The tent exchanged for a palace, a building.
3. Rest from the weariness of labor.
4. Greet the loved ones gone before.
5. Faith exchanged for sight.
6. Hope exchanged for glad fruition.
7. No longer to be misunderstood, but to know as we are known.
"'Yet speaketh!' For the echo lingers yet
"'Yet speaketh!' Glowing hymns, like heavenly breeze,
"'Yet speaketh!' In the memory of those
"'Yet speaketh!' By that consecrated life,
"'Yet speaketh!' E'en the shadow, poor and dim,
"Deep teachings from the Word he held so dear,
Dayton, Ohio, January 4, 1925.
At a meeting of the Dayton Ecclesia, Associated Bible Students; on the above date, the following Resolutions were: adopted:
WHEREAS it is with mangled sentiments of joy and sorrow that - we have received the tidings of the passing away of our beloved Brother in the Lord, R. E. Streeter; joy for one who has given .so many and convincing, evidences of being a faithful footstep follower of Jesus Christ, and who therefore we have faith to believe has now been happily united with his, present Lord; sorrow that his family, his associates. of the Pastoral Bible Institute, and the Church in general have lost a dear companion, friend, and valued counselor; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, by the Dayton Ecclesia, Associated Bible Students, that we hail .the passing of a Prince in Israel to his reward; that. we extend, our sincere sympathy .to those who. mourn. the, separation brought about through, his death; and we exhort our Brethren of the Chureh in general to follow his example of fidelity to those things of Christ that we have learned, and of open-mindedness and receptivity toward the light that "shineth more and- more unto the perfect Day"; and be it further
RESOLVED, that a copy of these Resolutions be forwarded by our Secretary, to the family of the Deceased, a copy sent to the Pastoral Bible Institute; and a copy be spread upon the. Minutes of our- Meeting.
I feel like extending to you my sympathy for .the loss of Brother, Streeter, for I know you were unusually close in the ties, of friendship. and Christian love. -- A grand old brother, and we shall all miss him I know.
I have always been thankful that I met him last January in Philadel-phia, and again for the fellowship at Ulster Park. He was one it was good to know, and I am glad I knew him even for so short a time. There seems no doubt that he, has gone to receive that crown laid up for all who love His appearing; Let us strive more earnestly to attain unto that end. May we all rejoice some day when we shall meet to part no more and. see Him as He is, and be like Him. What a glorious prospect! I pray none of the Lord's people may miss its fulfillment.
I am enclosing check for "Herald" subscription; balance to be used as you see fit.
Sincerely yours in the hope of our calling, and-- with much Christian love,
S. D. B.=N. J.
While I am imparting to you my personal feelings regarding Brother Streeter's death, I feel that others with wham I am associated havesimilar sentiments.
Words fail, us in expressing our sorrow in the loss of our dear Brother, but as we think of the grand Christian character- which he .;had attained, we cannot but realize that another one of "the Elect" has been called Home, to be forever with the Lord. What rejoicing there must be! He overcame by, the "blood of the Lamb," and has heard the "Well done; good and faithful servant."
How it stirs our hearts as we meditate an these things, for we take great consolation in the fact that we too shall soon be called Home to be with our blessed Master and Heavenly Father. "Home, Home, Sweet, Sweet, Home, Prepare me, dear Savior, for glory my Home." This is the sincere of our hearts and this is what our dear Brother Streeter always sought to have us strive for, a place in the Kingdom.
It has been our conviction for years that he would surely be one of the "Bride Class," because we saw in him the outworkings of the "Holy Spirit." He so manifested the Spirit of the "Master" in every way. He was kind; gentle; loving, and yet he had that firmness of character so manifest in the Apostle Paul.
He was always concerned over the welfare of the true Church.; and those who really knew. him, these who saw his earnest endeavors far the "unity of tale Spirit do the bond. of pears" and knew of his trials, could not but admire him for his outstanding courage. He counted "all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ." His one aim in life was to please God at any cost to himself. And it is just such characters that the Lord is choosing from among men. We can now see how the Father was preparing him, when an early Christian, for the work he was to do in later .years, and which now we believe he has finished. We feel that a great influence and light of the Church has bean. taken. Thank God for the close association of such a "man of God"!
Brother Streeter had. learned what it meant to "abide in the secret of His presence," and as, we realized this it gave us great confidence in him as a faithful overseer in the Church of Christ. We feel that the Lord has all down through the Age had these outstanding "men of God"; and we should seek to follow them even as they followed the Lord, as said the Apostle Paul. For years our dear Brother manifested a pastoral responsibility over the Church, which we cannot doubt the Lord entrusted him with. He was peculiarly fitted for the office, both because of his wide knowledge and because of his humility. All true followers of our Lord recognized the spirit of his messages. He always sought to show the necessity of walking close to the Master. One, of the hymns which he loved, expressed such sweet fellowship with the Lord:
"Draw me, Oh Lord, to that great heart of Thine,
We can never forget his gentle, loving spirit, so blessed with humility. Is it any wonder that he was used of God in the vineyard to help along the saints? His way of counseling was worthy of admonition. One would never go to his home for counsel but his first thought was to kneel in prayer, and there at the "Throne of Grace," pour out his heart for guidance in the matter under discussion. He had a wonderful faith in prayer and had learned what it meant to "pray without ceasing," to be "instant in prayer." May God bless , his memory and his ministry.
Yours in the bonds of brotherly love,
W. Y. A-R. I.
I received quite a shock to receive the news of Brother Streeter's death. Although I did not know him, I felt a real closeness to him because of his splendid writings, his fine methods of assembling facts and presenting them. I am sorry he is gone, .and still I suppose one should not feel that way. Am very glad, however, that .he was spared long enough to complete the "Revelation." I have the idea that was his work. Is that correct? When I sent my long, letter. of, questions to him on the volumes, you replied he was ill, and I felt uneasy from then on. You stated you would reply to the letter, and I would be very glad if you would.
_________ -- D.C.