VOL. IX. August 1, 1926 No. 15
VOL. IX. August 15, 1926 No. 16
IX. August 1, 1926 No. 15
THE fulfillment of the prophetic pictures, symbols, and visions of the Bible, descriptive of the coming Age of man's return to paradise, must without doubt involve discoveries, inventions,. and revolutionary changes in the affairs of mankind, compared with which, those of the present will seem small and insignificant. The providing of food, raiment, and shelter for all of the awakened dead, their uplift out of every kind of weakness, degradation, and degeneracy, their final establishment in the perfect state of the image and likeness of God in, a restored and transformed earth, from which every vestige of the curse, thorn, thistle, and. destructive blight and insect, etc., will have been removed, will necessitate the employment of forces and agencies at present entirely unheard of. Indeed the discoveries and wanders of the coming Age may be equal to and even exceed the wildest dreams and visions contained in many of the stories of fiction, examples of which we find in "The Arabian, Nights." We read of how Aladdin's palace was lifted off the ground and whisked many, many miles through the air across the desert and over the mountains by the slaves of the lamp; then, there is the story of "The Magic Carpet of Bagdad"; these being but fantastic figures of the imagination of the novelist have been dismissed by the reader as gigantic impossibilities. yet who will dispute that even now in advance of the Age of the administration of the Kingdom of God there are exhibitions of genius knowledge, and skill from which we see results that only a short time ago could not have been believed. Who could have thought a generation or two ago that man would be able to exercise such control over the forces of nature as to so successfully and safely travel through the air; or that mechanical devices could be produced so that men could speak with one another thousands of miles apart, without wires or any visible connection between, or that the photograph of a man could be taken by the use of a similar device. May not the wonderful productions and discoveries of our day be hints of greater and larger possibilities of the near future?
Claims a New and Powerful Invention
There comes to our attention, at this time an article of recent publication describing a new and marvelous invention that it is alleged is capable of what would seem to be impossible of achievement. Knowing that many of the readers of this journal are observing with special interest the signs of our day that mark the imminence of the new dispensation and the Kingdom of God, we quote liberally from the article in question:
"Garabed T. K. Giragossian earnestly asserts that he has discovered an engine, a 'free energy generator,' which will actually perform the miracles of the Arabian Nights and will quite completely revolutionize the world's affairs and lift civilization to a higher plane.
"The invention' is a motor run by a mysterious and hitherto unknown force, without fuel and without expense and producing at no cost unlimited power. Nobody has seen it, or has any idea of what it is like; but the House of Representatives at Washington passed the other day a joint resolution (which awaits action by the Senate), guaranteeing to Mr. Giragossian exclusive property rights in his machine on condition that a commission of five scientists, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, shall find it new, practical and in conformity with the claims made for it.
"The inventor has sought a special protection from Congress because he believes that his secret, once divulged through the recording of an ordinary patent would be promptly pirated, involving him in endless and expensive litigation.
"'My secret' he says, 'has nothing to do with perpetual motion. The engine, which I call the "Garabed," is not electrical. It is operated by a force that already exists, merely waiting to be utilized, just as electricity always existed, waiting to be put to work. This force it concentrates, yielding condensed energy.
"'In the nature of this force lies, the secret which I have discovered; my invention, is the engine that makes it work. The engine generates electricity in unlimited quantity free of cost. It will do away with the need and use of fuel of any kind. Operating without smoke and without danger of explosion, it is much cheaper and many times lighter than a steam engine of equal size, and can be installed conveniently in any dwelling, warming and illuminating the house, furnishing heat or cooking, freezing water for ice in the refrigerator land driving fans.
"'There is in nature an unlimited supply of the force of which I speak. The problem, which I have solved, is to concentrate it, as the force of the winds, or of the tides, must be concentrated in order to run machinery. With a slight adjustment of the motor, ten horsepower can be raised to 100 horsepower. The Garabed can produce hundreds of thousands of horse-power, and, if desired, transmit the energy in the form of electricity over wires.
"'Within an area no larger than the Boston Common, forty-eight acres, enough power can be produced to drive, all the industrial machinery in the world. With unlimited free energy supplied by the Garabed, the United States can feed and dress all the people on the terrestrial globe.
"'With no expense for motive power,' the inventor continued, 'every one can afford to drive a car. That item of cost for automobiles and trucks being eliminated, urban populations will rapidly become decentralized, spreading outward.
"'Garabed in the cellar of each home -- if it be thought worth while to have a cellar, when there is no furnace and no fuel to be stored -- will 'Supply, in the form of electricity, all the energy needed for domestic purposes, including the running of the washing machine and sewing machine. The requisite apparatus is simple, portable, almost foolproof and occupies only a small space.
"'Furnaces, cookstoves that use fuel, fireplaces, pipes to carry heat and all such devices will forever disappear from houses. Petroleum, no longer needed for motive will find other uses. The Garabed will supply free power, as well as light and heat, to every farm and factory.
"'Every vehicle of travel and transport will be run by costless energy. One of my engines mounted on a railroad track, can haul without expense the heaviest train ever moved by the most powerful double locomotive. Without fuel and without cost it will propel the biggest ship that ever floated on the sea, at greater speed than she could attain when driven by the most improved oil engines.
"'Steam engines will pass away,' the inventor asserted, 'relegated to the junk pile. Future generations will see them only in museums and will look upon them as curiosities.
"'The future of aerial navigation depends upon a potent engine. Provided with a Garabed to supply motive power the airman requiring no fuel, will be free from danger of fire. He will not be obliged to descend to the earth for "gas" or water, and so can stay up in the air as long as he pleases. These advantages gained, the problem of commercial and passenger air navigation will be solved.
"'The airship of the near future may be enabled to keep afloat merely by using electricity, supplied from her engine, to neutralize. the force of gravity. Such a craft can be sufficiently heated to overcome the difficulties of Arctic travel. A Garabed can furnish her with 10,000 horsepower, or as much more as may be desired, so that she can circle the globe several times without being obliged to descend so far as requirement of energy is concerned.
"'I deem it not too imaginative to conceive of flying houses in the sky, held aloft by neutralization of gravity, and provided with huge gyroscopes to give them stability. They may be, as comfortable to live in as any earthfast dwellings we have today, and not less luxuriously equipped. The next generation may see, flocks of them traveling south to Florida in Autumn and returning in the Spring.
"'How much more agreeable and convenient to move the house entire and complete, together with its contents, than to remove one's furniture and other belongings out of a house in one place into a house in another place! With free energy available for such transportation, houses may be built specially for travel on wheels. A family residing in the East, and wishing to spend the Winter in California, will simply say au revoir to the neigh-bors and "step on the juice."
"'The Garabed will eliminate human labor and animal power from the agricultural field by substituting cost-free electricity.
"'Unlimited free energy should bring about a revival of weaving and other, industries in the home. It should encourage women to take up useful employment which agreeably occupied the time of our grandmothers Automatic looms and other improved apparatus, easy to operate, would help. In urban communities such a revival of household manufacturing might not have much appeal, but, with women in rural districts it ought to gain approval.
"'I do not think that I speak in exaggerated terms when I say that my invention is more important and of greater value to mankind than the discovery of a new world. Once turned properly to account, it will reshape the destinies of the human race.'
"Mr. Giragossian lives in Boston. He is by birth an Armenian, and came to this country in 1891. His invention is the product of more than twenty years' incessant labor. With no knowledge of machinery he began in a little store that he kept, in Worcester, Mass., to experiment in the construction of 'a new kind of engine.' The 'Garabed' is the perfected result. It was a long and arduous struggle before that result could be attained;' but, as he says, 'some kind of intuition enabled me to grasp the principle."'
THE PROMISED RESTORATION
"For thus saith the Lord, Sing -with 'gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye.. praise ye, and say, O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel.... Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock." -- Jer. 31:7-10.
AT SUCH a time as this when infidelity in its myriads of forms has made inroads in nearly all the great institutions and professions of the Christian faith, it is well and in fact necessary to the believing child of God to consider again and again the various testimonies provided in the Divine Word in defense and support of the faith. One of these important and convincing lines of evidence is represented in the records of the ancient Hebrews, including that vast array of prophetic testimony which portrays the present state of that race, and what is at this time most imminent in the way of a great chage -- a change profoundly important, in that all the interests of the human race and the plan of deliverance in the next dispensation are linked together in the Divine Plan with the hopes and promises made long ages ago with the Hebrew race -- promises which still await fulfillment.
For more than twenty-five centuries the Jewish race have been subject and in bondage to one or another of the Gentile nations of the world. For more than eighteen hundred years they have been scattered over the face of the whole earth, oppressed, persecuted, despised and unmercifully treated, and yet they still exist, as distinct in manners, feelings and hopes, as when Moses was their leader, and Aaron was their priest. Since God shook them out of their ancient dwelling places, nations, thrones, and kingdoms have risen, flourished, fallen and lost their proud subjects in the ever-varying stream of human affairs; but Israel still stands apart, unshaken by earth's mutations, with the accents of David and Isaiah still on the people's lips, and still looking for the promised Shiloh, to take them back in triumph to their fatherland.
"The Christian Church herself, glorious as she is in her list of martyrs and attirements of grace and truth, has, since then, been depressed, diminished, enfeebled, by violence and defections which she has found it hard to survive; but the house of Judah, with all their wrongs and spoilations, have only strengthened with their trials, whilst all the bitterness of their cup of sorrow has never made them forget that they were Hebrews, or lessened the tenacity with which they cling to God's peculiar covenant 'with them. . . . Popes, councils, bishops, monks, kings and peoples seemed 'equally enraged, against them, and equally determined on their extermination'. To effect this, every expedient has been tried, but all have failed." Their enemies are represented as saying: "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel 'May be no more in remembrance." (Psa. 83:4.) Like their experiences in Egypt in their early history, the more they have been afflicted, the. more they have multiplied and grown.
Rejection and Restoration Forecast,
Jeremiah was one of those prophets whose predictions are prominent amongst others in outlining God's judgments upon the kingdom of Judah and also upon all the nations that oppressed both Israel and Judah. As is well known by all who have studied his prophecy he deals considerably with the return from the captivity in Babylon, the com ing of the Messiah, and especially with a second return, to their land in the latter days -- a far distant period from Jeremiah's day. This. return is to be that of a gathering from among all the nations in which they have been scattered since 70 A.D. The exhortations and prophecies were uttered at different periods in the life of Jeremiah and are not arranged in chronological order. They were probably collated before his death, and, re-arranged according to their subjects. Chapters 30 and 31 are understood by scholars to have formed a distinct prophecy, the subject matter of which relates to our own days.
An understanding of this prophecy is of much importance in enabling us to discern the signs of the times, and to realize our close proximity to the establishment of the Kingdom of Messiah. The prophecy has reference not only to Judah, but to Israel as well. The words were dictated by Jehovah Himself: "Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book." "These are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah." -- Jer. 30:1, 4.
The prophecy opens with a prediction concerning their final trouble, and while of brief duration, it will be more dreadful than any they have ever yet experienced. It is called the "time of Jacob's trouble." The prophecy goes on to say that they "shall be saved out of it"; and that it is still in the future is seen from the words: "For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break this yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: but they: shall serve the Lord- their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. "-Jer. 30:8, 9
That this great trouble occurs after they have returned to their land, and have become prosperous as a nation, and is caused by an invasion of their country by allied hordes who are seeking spoil and plunder, is seen by a reference to Ezekiel 38 and 39. That it refers to the time when the, present order will be overthrown, and when Messiah's Kingdom shall be in process of establishment, is seen in the words which follow: "Therefore fear thou not, O My servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am With thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and I will not leave thee altogether unpunished." -- Jer. 30:10, 11.
"I Will Forgive Their Iniquity"
His prophecy however goes on to show that the desolation and troubles of Israel are to have an end; that "it shall come to pass, that like as I [Jehovah] have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant." And these words are followed by a statement of the institution of a new covenant with them -- "with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that. I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, . . . but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. And, they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." -- Jer. 31:28-34.
Next in order follows a most remarkable utterance by Jehovah -- an utter-ance that has comforted and encouraged the true and, loyal Israelite for over twenty-five hundred years of their sad and checkered history -- words which it would be well for the Church of God, as well as the nations, to carefully make note of lest they be, as the inspired, Apostle Paul has said, "wise in their own conceits," and become blind concerning coming events. The utterance we quote entire:
"Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the, sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: If those ordinances depart from before Mile, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall, cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus saith the Lord, If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel, for all that they have done, saith the Lord, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the city shall be built to the Lord from the. tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goeth. And the whole, valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto. the. Lord; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever." -Jer. 31:35-40.
Literal Fulfillment of the Promises
David Barron, a noted convert to Christianity, in a reply to some exposi-tors who vainly attempt what is called a spiritualizing of these prophecies concerning Israel, making Israel and Zion to mean the Church, and the. land to signify heaven, has said: "I confess this. system of interpretation has no consistency about it, and makes the Word of God the most meaningless and unintelligible book in the world. For instance, it says here. 'I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, and I will cause, them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers.' If Israel be the Church, who is Judah? If Judah be the Church, who is Israel? and which the captivity the Church has endured? and where is the land from which the Church has 'been driven out, and to which it will return?'"
This intelligent Jewish Christian. next proceeds to quote the Scriptures we have above cited, and adds: "And what will our allegorical interpreta- tions make of the hill of Gareb, and Goeth, and the brook Kidron? Now all of these are known to me in the environs of the literal Jerusalem in Canaan; but I confess some difficulty in locating them in heavenly places. If Israel does not mean Israel, and the land God 'gave their fathers,' does not mean Palestine, then I do not know what it means. . . . The announce-ment is, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him.'
"Now when it comes to scattering Oh, yes this is allowed to refer to literal Israel, to the Jews, 'scattered and felled,' but when, in the same sentence, a gathering of the same people is mentioned Oh, no, this is the gathering of spiritual Israel. What consistency or honesty, I pray, is there in such interpretations?"
Another has said: "To what may we attribute the loose system of interpreting the language of the Psalms and Prophets, and the extravagant expectations of universal conversion of the world by the preaching of the Gospel, which may be observed in many Christian writers? To nothing so much, I believe, as to the habit of inaccurately interpreting the word Israel, and the consequent application of promises to the Gentile Churches with which they have nothing to do. The least errors in the theology always bear their fruit Never does man take up an incorrect principle of inter-preting Scripture, without that principle entailing awkward consequences, and coloring the whole tone of his religion.
"I do not deny that Israel was a peculiar typical people, and that God's relations to Israel were meant to be a type of relations to His believing people all over the world. I do not forget that it is written, 'As face answereth to face, so does the heart of man to man' (Prov. 27:19), and that whatever spiritual truths are taught in prophecy concerning Israelitish hearts, are applicable to the hearts of Gentiles. I would have it most distinctly understood that God's dealings With individual Jews and Gentiles are precisely one and the Same. Without repentance, faith in Christ, and holiness of heart, no individual Jew or Gentile shall ever be saved. What I protest against is the habit of allegorizing plain sayings of the Word of God concerning the future history of the nation of Israel, and explaining away the fulness of their contents in order to accommodate them to the Gentile. Church. I believe the habit to be unwarranted by anything in Scripture, and to draw after it a long train of evil conse-quences."*
"Scattered and Gathered"--Bishop Ryle.
Through Long Centuries of Discipline and Judgment
Referring especially to our text, we note that the words are not so much addressed to Israel as to the Gentile nations: ."Hear the word. of the Lord, O ye nations. He that scattered, Israel will gather him." (Ver 10.) While it is said that the Lord was the one who scattered Israel and Judah, it should be kept in mind that it was accomplished in His overruling providence. It. was on account of their disobedience to and apostasy, from His covenant that they were punished. He simply withdrew, as He said He would, His protecting care. a favor from them, thus permitting the great nation of the earth to be His instruments in executing His chastening judgments.
In the very beginning of their history the children of Israel were given promises of God's protecting care. At once they experienced, His wonderful power. in their deliverance, from Egypt's bondage, and many times during the first ten centuries of their history, up to the end of the period of their kings, did they experience wonderful deliverances notwithstanding all this, they departed more and more from His ordinances and precepts, relapsing into the grossest idolatry, until at last the judgments could 'no longer be stayed. They then began to experience disaster after disaster, and defeat after defeat, at the hand of their foes. After Solomon's death, because of oppressive taxation, the nation was divided, ten of the tribes choosing Jeroboam as their king and occupying the northern part of the land, and the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin continuing under, Rehoboam, Solomon's. son, and dwelling in the southern part. About 745 B. C., the judgments began to fall on the Northern Kingdom, and in a little more than half a century, the people of this part, of the kingdom were all carried away 'into captivity, and the land was for a time laid desolate, until finally, strangers, foreigners, were settled in it. For about one hundred and sixty years after the captivity of Israel, the Southern Kingdom of Judah continued, and then after the death of the good king Josiah, the predicted judgments began to fall upon Judah.
When the Final Overthrow Commenced
Jehoahaz' the youngest son of Josiah; was placed upon the throne by the people. This was about 609 B.C. He occupied the throne but three months, when the king of Egypt came 'against, Jerusalem and took Jehoahaz a prisoner to Egypt, where he died. Eliakim, the oldest son of Josiah, was next placed upon the throne by the king of Egypt, as his tributary and his name was changed to Jehoiakim. In his (Johoiakim's) third year, Nebu-chadnezzar came up against Jerusalem, captured the city, and made Jehoiakim his vassal. At this time the temple was partially despoiled; and some of the most intelligent of the nobles and princes, among whom was Daniel, were carried away captive to Babylon. After three years Jehoiakim, rebelled. against Jehovah's decree that he should serve Nebuchadnezzar, and in Nebuchadnezzar's eighth year, he came again against the city. At this time Jehoiakim suffered an ignominious death, and Jehoiachin, his son, was placed upon the throne.
The narrative. of the events seems to imply that after a brief period of three months, Nebuchadnezzar, not willing to trust Jehoiachin's faithful- ness to serve him, came again to Jerusalem, and Jehoiachin and his mother voluntarily gave themselves up and were carried away to Babylon and placed in prison, where, he remained for thirty-seven years, This is called the great captivity. It occurred about 598 B. C. Of it we read that Nebu-chadnezzar "carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel, had made in the temple of the Lord as the Lord had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. And he carried away Jeholachin, to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land; those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen, and smiths a thousand; all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought Captive to Babylon. And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed, his name to Zedekiah." -- 2 Kings 24:11-1.7.
Final Desolation and Scattering of the Nation
From the words of Jeremiah 27:12-15, we learn that had Zedekiah and the people obeyed the words of Jehovah and continued to serve the king of Babylon for the remaining period of the seventy years (about fifty-one all told), they would have been permitted to remain in their land, but we are informed that Zedekiah refused to obey the Lord's word and rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, who again came up against the city, captured it, destroyed both it and the temple, and carried Zedekiah and the remainder of the people captive to Babylon. This was about the year 588 B. C. This completed God's judgments for the time, and since that event, with the exception of one brief period in the days of the Maccabees, they have been subject to the nations.
In 536 B. C. about 43,000 returned to their land; but because of a wrong condition of heart, before the Lord, there was a delay of about sixteen years in building their temple and city. They continued to dwell in the land until the year 70 A. D. when, because of their rejection of Messiah, their city was taken by the Romans, their beautiful temple again destroyed, and soon after they were dispersed 'and scattered among the nations of the earth.' Their city and land continued in possession of the Romans, except, for one brief period when the Persians captured it, until 637 A. D., at which time: the city was taken possession of by the Mohammedan power and the celebrated Mosque of Omar was erected on the very site of Solomon's Temple, where it remains to this day.
All these events, with very many detailed particulars, were foretold by Moses and other of the Prophets, including Jeremiah. The early Church was made up of a few, comparatively, Jewish converts who were enabled to see, in Jesus of Nazareth, their, long promised Messiah. Since that time only a few of the nation have been able to see that the crucified One was the Messiah, the Savior of the world. In the language of one of their own countrymen, the Apostle Paul, only a remnant of them were saved, and came out from under their covenant of bondage into, the liberty of the sons of God, to be joint-heirs with the Redeemer in His Heavenly Kingdom, soon now, we believe, to be established over the world.
"He that Scattered Israel Will Gather Him,"
'While it is generally admitted by students of the prophetic Scriptures that all these predictions concerning ,the scattering of this people among the nations of the earth were the subject of much of Old Testament prophecy, yet it is not so generally admitted that they shall again be gathered and restored as a nation to their land, and possess it forever. Such need to read more carefully Jehovah's message to the nations: "Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him." (Jer. 31:10.) The same God who pronounced these manifold judgments upon them and permitted the nations to be the unconscious executors of His wrath -- the rod of chastening for them -- not only predicted and promised their gathering again, but also pronounced judgment upon the nations who have so mercilessly and cruelly mistreated them. Concerning the first of .these nations, He said: "And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, I and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations." -- Jer. 25:12, 13; see also Jer. 50 and 51.
A prophecy 'that applies to all the nations that have despoiled Jerusalem and made desolate the land of Palestine, is recorded in Jer. 25:15-33. A portion of this prophecy reads: "For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by My name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations; He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Thus saith the, Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground." (Ver. 29-33.) There can hard ly be any doubt that the World-war of 1914-1918, the most colossal tragedy the world has ever witnessed, came the nearest to fulfilling this solemn prediction yet even this dreadful trouble comes considerably short of meeting all the requirements.
As we have noted, the judgments on the nation of Israel began to come on the ten-tribe kingdom first, and they next fell upon Judah. The judgments upon the four great empires that scattered Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem, began with Babylon, and one by one the three great empires that succeeded Babylon and oppressed to a greater of less extent the nation of Israel fell under the providential overruling judgments of the God of Israel.
The Paradox and Miracle of Modern History
The eminent writer on prophecy, A. J. Gordon, has most eloquently expatiated on the remarkable preservation of the Jewish race, and also their future restoration and conversion to Christ:
"Persecution which would have blotted out any other nation seems in their case to have been so blended and tempered with Divine preservatives, that, like the symbol of their Jehovah, the burning bush, they present the astonishing spectacle of a nation always girdled about with the fires of judgment, but never consumed. Scattered like dust to the four winds, they have yet preserved their national unity as firm and compact as a rock; driven out of their land, and kept from it by an inexorable decree, they have beheld their supplanters guarding with scrupulous care their most sacred shrines, as though unconsciously waiting to surrender them back to them on the expiration of their lease; so utterly homeless that they have had no city or foot of land for centuries which. they could call their own, they have nevertheless been the bankers of the world, as though destined always to have on deposit the wealth needful for restoring the desolations of Zion, if the hour for such restoration should come.
"This, mingling of mercy and misfortune in their career has, constituted the Jewish race, the paradox and miracle of modern history. It has awakened a constant curiosity, and speculation in the minds of the thoughtful of their future. Incomparably dark as has been their history for eighteen hundred years, men have, been constrained to see in that darkness, the shadow of Jehovah's hand turned over them for their protection and preservation! And in the very sharpness of the judgments that have overtaken them, not a few have discerned the presage of a future glory far surpassing anything in the past.
"Left Desolate Until"
."Have we thought what an undertone of hope there is even in the Divine condemnations of the Jews? The single word 'until' constitutes a kind of epitomized, prophecy of Israel's restoration. The picture Which our Lord gives in the Gospel's of the destruction of the Holy City and the dispersion of the Jews is one of the darkest in all the Scriptures. What a massing of the. shadows of doom; what a crowding together of successive chapters of woe! And yet, as we reach the middle of that sentence which summarizes whole centuries of Divine retribution, 'Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,' we are conscious of a certain powerful relief from the strain that has been put upon us. 'Until' -- amid the dense surrounding darkness, this one word fairly gleams with the promise of a better future for the suffering race. It is only a hint, an intimation, that is given us; but it is so pregnant with the hidden light of hope, that it impels us instinctively to fix an end to the desolations of Zion. So in our Lord's pathetic farewell to the temple, after His rejection, there is the same refrain, 'Behold, your house is left unto you desolate'; and 'Verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.' Until the time come --here certainly is a flash of light upon the dark prediction of Israel's desertion. It is but a word again; but it is heavy with the burden of prophetic expectation. Next to the silence. which says nothing contrary to our hope, the hint which barely breaks the silence in its favor is the most significant. And this is all we have here; but how much is in it!
"In St. Paul's discourse upon the hardening and healing of his people, like phraseology occurs: 'Blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.' Thus again and again, this word 'until' is heard, like a cadence in the solemn strain of the Divine threatening in which Jehovah's voice seems to drop, for a moment from the stern tones of anger and imprecation, to those of His 'old love,' and tenderness.
"O then that I
"For surely He
"They Shall Look Upon Him Whom They Have Pierced"
"But let it not be supposed that, we have in the New Testament only inspired hints and implications concerning Israel's restoration. The eleventh chapter of Romans is a compact and well reasoned argument upon this theme, conducting us step by .step from sorrowful promise to triumphant conclusion 'Hath God cast away His people?' is the question considered. 'God hath not cast away His people whom He foreknew,' is the conclusion reached. And this upon two grounds -- present fact and future fulfillment. Though the nation has been cut off, there is 'a rem-nant, according to the election of grace,' who have believed on Christ to their, salvation, and therefore have been preserved in the favor and fellowship of God; while on the other hand, those remaining outside this remnant have been hardened; 'the rest were blinded.' 'But concerning this rejected majority, there is hope, because of the sure covenant of God. And though like the branches of an olive tree, they have been broken off, we are told first, that, 'God is able to graft them in again'; and a little later after, 'How much more shall these which be natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree.' Not only possibility, but certainty, of Israel's restoration is thus predicted. And the argument culminates in the grand, conclusion, 'And so all Israel shall be saved' -- an elect and individual redemption, at last succeeded by a national and complete redemption. And, this full recovery, it will be observed, is in connection with the second coming of Christ in glory. As it is written: 'There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and, shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.' . . .
"'Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also that pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over Him.' (Rev. 1:7, R.V.) If, with most expositors, we must understand, 'the tribes' in this instance to mean the kindreds and peoples of the world, we cannot so interpret the Old Testament prophecy of which this is a quotation. In the profound mourning so graphically pictured by Zechariah, in which 'every family apart,' is seen sobbing out uncontrollable grief, the scene is by general consent, in the Holy Land, and the subjects the house of Israel. And what has come to pass? The bounds of another prophetic, 'until' have been attained for Jerusalem. 'Upon the land of My people' God threatened thorns and briers, forsaken palaces and deserted towers 'until the spirit be poured out upon us from on high.' (Isa. 32:15.) That time has now been reached, and. the word which God spoke by the mouth of Zechariah is fulfilled: "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of, grace and supplications; and they shall, look upon Him, whom they have, ,pierced, and mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his own son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one in bitterness for his, first-born.' The point of departure at last becomes the 'point of return.' The wounds of Jesus were the death sentence upon national Israel; and now they become the source of life to that long-rejected people. For immediately upon the prediction of their mourning. for Him, whom they pierced, it is added: 'In that, day there shall be a fountain opened to. the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and uncleanness.'
'"Nationally or individually, there is but. one way of salvation for Israel -- the way of the Cross; the one way of repentance -- a total reversal of attitude towards the Nazarene."
In just what way the Jews shall be brought to repentance and experience a complete reversal of their attitude. toward Christ we cannot definitely know. We have those strong, positive statements quoted, above to the effect that there will be such a general conversion, and turning to God. Doubtless it will come in connection with the setting up of Messiah's Kingdom and by the putting into operation those powerful influences and agencies which the Lord will use in administering the affairs of His Kingdom such, as the Prophet refers to when he says, "When Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn' righteousness." The operation of God's Kingdom, as is testified to by many Scriptures, is to extend to and include all the nations of the earth through the inauguration of the New Covenant which He will make with the house of Israel and the house of Judah in those days. And, in all this change, development, and progress, will be realized the great consum-mation of the Divine Plan such as is embodied in St. Peter's prophecy concerning the times of restitution of all things spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began.
(Continued from last issue)
THE PILGRIMAGE INTO EUROPE
WE WERE well on with the pilgrimage through Great Britain when the decision was reached to include a visit to a number of the European countries. For several years past our brethren in America, have been in communication with friends in various portions of Europe, as there are brethren in nearly all of those countries, who have had to meet the same tests as others in Great Britain' and America, and who have taken their stand in defense of the Truth and of their liberty in Christ. Likewise these brethren also have been cast out and ostracized as not sound in the faith and unworthy of fellowship because of their fidelity to the Lord.
It was while we were still engaged on the tour in Great Britain that communications came from the brethren in some of the European coun-tries; amongst these was one from Brother August Lundborg, who for many years has been in charge of the work of spreading the Truth in Sweden, but within the past year I was dispossessed of his priviledges because of his convictions and activities adverse to the methods, teach-ings, and innovations that have displaced to a large extent the ministry as carried on by Brother Russell. Brother Lundborg wrote us of the encourag-ing, outlook in Sweden at the present time declaring that many were awakening to a realization of the deceptions and bondage in which they found themselves and were much in need of encouragement. The follow-ing extract is from his letter, which indicates the general situation:
"Just now after my arrival home from a blessed pilgrim trip, I had the pleasure of receiving your kind and appreciated letter dated March 22, from 'Leviathan.' Your half-promise therein to 'visit Sweden 'the latter part of May' made me very glad, both for my own sake and for the sake of the many hundreds of real Truth friends in this country, which I think need this visit from you just now.
"If it would be possible for you to arrive in Sweden (in Gothenburg for instance, or in Copenhagen, Denmark), about May 20, 1 would, be pleased to then arrange some meetings for you in either place for one or two days and I will be present as your interpreter, and to thereafter go with you to Orebro, where we had already, before the arrival of your kind letter, planned to arrange a little convention May 23-25. Then I would suggest that you spend at least one week more in Sweden if you can. I will be responsible that enough meetings in different places during that time will be arranged for you and will also go with you as your interpreter all through Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries if you want me to do so. From Sweden I would suggest that you go with me to Finland and spend a few days there, especially in Helsingfors, where you already have many good friends. I am expected and advertised there about three weeks from now, on April 22-28. Then it seems to me that it would be the most practical and economical way for you to go from Finland to Poland. I should think that you have many friends there, too. One of our most able elder-brethren in the Stockholm Ecclesia is also there, in Poland now, and he would probably be able to do you some profitable service there. Then from Poland you could go to Germany, and so forth. If you will kindly permit me now to only say what I think is best, under the condition that it suits your plans, of course. I will say that it is of great importance that you by all means come to Sweden not later than the 20th or 21st of May."
Similar communications were received from Germany and Switzerland; and after taking the matter earnestly to the Lord in prayer, it seemed truly to be a most opportune time and in accordance with His leading and providence that we should have this further privilege of serving amongst a number of the European countries.
By the time we had finished the pilgrimage through Great Britain, the, plan of service, appointments, etc., for these countries abroad was in readi- ness in about the following order: Leaving England we were to pass through France to Switzerland, thence northward through Germany to Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. As it was thought also at that time that we should include Poland. The plan was to go southward from Finland to Poland, thence westward through Germany again, taking in Holland, and returning to England, necessitating altogether about six weeks. The above plan was carried out with, the exception of the visit to Poland owing to revolutionary conditions which developed about that time so that it seemed most ill- advised to undertake anything in that country.
From London to Paris
Recalling that at the conclusion of the pilgrimage through Great Britain early in May we were in the midst of Britain's greatest industrial strike referred, to in the first section of this report, when all kinds of transpor-tation facilities, railways, street cars and busses were at a standstill, we had the problem before us of getting from England to France; various outbreaks and mob violence were threatened in different sections of the country and there appeared to be no settlement of the strike in sight. The difficulty of getting out of England however was soon solved by deciding to act upon the suggestion of making the trip by aeroplane; we, were assured that there was a regular, daily passenger air service in, operation between London and Paris.. Though the service through the air has not yet reached that stage of efficiency that enables one to feel perfect safety in traveling that way, yet, under the existing circumstances it seemed not to, be tempting Providence to undertake that means of travel.
In accordance with arrangements made some days in advance, leaving., London at, about one o'clock, on May 10, the. passage through the air was made to Paris. It was in a large, passenger plane, having a seating capacity for ten persons in addition to the two men in charge. We presume the sensation was not unlike that felt by others who have their first experience flying far above the earth. A sense of fear seizes one at first, arising from the thought that there may be a crash at any moment and from the fact that the entire procedure appears to be in complete defiance of the laws of nature. On the other hand faith in God has much to do with quieting one's fears under those circumstances as in all the affairs of life. We were confident, that we had the Lord's sanction in undertaking such a passage and His keeping power is surely no less in the heavens than upon the earth. In fact after the first few moments and when we had gotten well started on the journey it proved to be a most delightful experience. The position of one in the plane is such that he can have a complete view of everything below. We were flying sufficiently close to the earth, ''about one-half mile high, that all the scenery, beneath was very plain and distin-guishable. Rapidly. passing over cities, fields, roadways, forests, lakes, etc., became indeed very fascinating, Moving objects on the earth such as railroad trains, busses, and even an object as small as a man, could be readily, discerned. Then at another moment, the entire scene would change and we would be passing through a cloud; this was our experience over the English Channel. The passage to Paris, required a little more than three hours.
On realizing that we were safely landed at our destination we looked to the Lord with thanksgiving for His keeping and providential care. We found everything generally operating in a normal way in France and soon were safely conveyed to one of the hotels in Paris. Here our problems with the foreign tongues commenced. It seemed that comparatively few of the French people speak English and as we could not understand French we encountered a measure of inconvenience. We had no appointment in Paris and spent the few hours at our disposal the following day in visiting certain notable points of interest. Amongst these were the Notre Dame Cathedral and Eiffel Tower.
As yet the awakening among the friends in France is but meagre and very few up to the present have realized their privilege of resisting the encroachments of error, or are free from the entanglements of bondage. Our first appointment was at Mulhouse in Eastern France near the border of Switzerland. This is in Alsace Loraine and of course was the possession of Germany prior to the World-war. During the war this section of the country and particularly the town of Mulhouse was the scene of many bloody conflicts. This place was conquered by first one and then the other of the contending parties several times. In the final settlement of the war, Alsace Loraine was returned to the French Government and is now their possession.
On our way to Mulhouse we passed through other portions of the war zone in France and observed some of the scars of the war that still remain -- some of the trenches and great cavities in the earth caused by the explo-sion of powerful shells.
Our First Meeting at Mulhouse
Arriving at Mulhouse at midnight we were met at the station by five brethren whose smiles and hearty greetings made us feel welcome at once, and gave confidence that they were friends indeed. One of these was Brother R. A. Lauster, who had come from his home in Stuttgart, Germany, to join us in the travels through Switzerland and Germany as our interpreter. Another was Brother Samuel Lauper who had journeyed from his home in Degersheim, Switzerland. Brother Lauper has for several years past been translating many of the articles in the "Herald" into the German language and publishing them, and his paper has been going regularly to many of ''the friends in Switzerland and Germany, as 'well as to some in America who can read, only German. Additionally, he has translated and published in German the First Volume of "The Revelation of Jesus Christ"' and this likewise is proving a blessing to many of the friends in Switzerland and Germany.
Our first day with these brethren in. Eastern France was a most interesting one, for both of these brethren, Brothers Lauster and Lauper, as well as others in this place, proved to be very conversant "with the general developments and circumstances amongst the Truth people in these countries. What they had to tell us of their own experiences and observa-tions was of much importance and assistance in connection with the preparation for meetings ahead. In fact it became evident at once that we were confronted with exactly the same problems in those countries as those that have had to be dealt with both in Great Britain and America.
Following this general informal conference during this first day, we met in the evening with a company of about thirty-five friends and had our first experience of attempting to speak the Word of the Lord through an interpreter-. It was also Brother Lauster's first experience of that kind. The Lord; we believe, very graciously added His blessing to the feeble efforts which seemed to be a in means of refreshment and comfort to those present. Following the discouse of about an hour a number of questions were asked which required nearly two hours more making the entire service about three hours. This length of service which we then thought to be the exception proved to be the rule in all the appointments in Switzer-land and Germany. Apparently, the friends in these countries are accustomed and prepared to hold their services much longer than the English-speaking brethren. Surely they are to be commended for their spirituality and zeal for the Master. The warm greetings and expressions of love at the close gave assurance of deep appreciation of the service and fellowship.
To Zurich, Switzerland
The next day accompanied by Brothers Lauster and Lauper we journeyed on into Switzerland. Two appointments had been arranged in this country. The first was that of Zurich. This is the capital of the Swiss province by the same name. This town is reputed to be "the most populous, the most important, and on the whole the finest town in Switzerland, and till 1848 was practically the capital of the Swiss Confederation," In addition to the fact that there are various points of beauty about Zurich it has also considerable of historical interest. Some of its old buildings, church edifi-ces, etc., or portions of them, date back more than a thousand years. Some of these we had the pleasure of visiting.
Here at Zurich, were gathered rather a mixed company of 120 friends. Some of these were apparently more or less still sympathetic with the old association, and owing to various conflicting voices and opinions it was evident that there was considerable confusion prevailing regarding the is- sues and questions that are prominently before the Truth people through-out the world at the present time. Here we took occasion to present that position; and attitude, as well as what we believed to be the Scriptural viewpoint, important for all of God's people to clearly. understand in this time of so much perplexity and bewilderment. We assured these friends in Zurich as indeed we did all the gatherings in other places that we had not, come to them as representing any Church system, organization or sect, that we were entirely free in Christ, as indeed were all the brethren at home with. whom we were particularly associated in the ministry. We stated that, we had no ulterior purpose in the way of a new religious scheme, organzation, or movement to, advance in coming into their, midst. In answer to queries, reference was made to our service and ministry at home as being merely that of an association of brethren who, finding themselves separated from former associations by unscriptural tests, methods, and teachings, had associated themselves together for mutual comfort, service, and fellowship in, the Lord. We assured the friends that we were not forming any new sect or party of religionists, that our only creed is that of the Bible, that, there are no tests of fellowship in our midst other than those specified by Christ and the Apostles, which are those of faith and obedience: that we were, not. permitting any kind of bondage to enter into our counsels, but that the friends were left free in Christ to study and believe each thought best; and that the great rule of action laid down by the Savior, that of love, we were constantly endeavoring to, keep prominently before the minds of all; that during these recent years in which we have, been thus laboring together in America the Lord has given much assistance and encouragement by His blessing.
Not New Light but the Character of Christ
Additionally, we felt it upon our heart to assure the brethren that we had not come to them with a new message or any so-called new light, or any new doctrinal teaching; that while We were open to see still more clearly of the Divine will and purpose, we believed that so far as the general plan and system of the Truth is concerned, which many of us have been holding for years past, cannot be improved upon, that there is, no new Plan of the Ages to be found, for the one we already have is of Divine origin and is entirely satisfactory, and that the most important matter of concern for the Lord's people everywhere at. the present time as we understand it, is that of having worked out in the life and character, the power and effects of the truths that we already know; of becoming transformed or conformed to the image of God's dear Son, preparatory to the great change to be forever with the Lord.
We were glad to, recognize that there was a 'hearty response to this sentiment and it was encouraging in all the places we visited to find that after all the disagreements, confusion, and disorder amongst the friends, there is that clear discernment, that the one and all-important thing for all is the attainment of the character of Christlikeness and of reaching that overcoming stage where the individual can be approved as worthy of the crown of life.
The evident earnest desire of these friends in Zurich to learn the way of the Lord more perfectly, and the close attention given to what was said during the three hours' service of discourse and answering, of questions through our interpreter made us feel that the labor was not in vain in the Lord and that He was richly adding His blessing. Many of the friends gave assurance of their heartfelt appreciation.
We learned. from the brethren of how there are many of the professing "truth friends" of the present who are much, confused and perplexed and dissatisfied with the management, teachings, and practices of those whom they have been recognizing as their leaders; and that because their fears had been appealed to by threats and intimidating methods, these did not have the courage to enable them to attend services such, as we were conducting.
Several hours ride the next day, through some very beautiful sections of Switzerland and in full view of some of its celebrated mountains, brought us to the little village of Degersheim. Here in Brother Lauper's home there was a gathering of fourteen friends in the evening, and again we had the opportunity of an extended service of about three hours discussing various points of mutual interest to us as new creatures in the Lord, the results of which we believe were 'refreshing and uplifting. We had special interest in hearing more of Brother Lauper's experiences in the Christian life and of his becoming interested in the clearer understanding of God's Plan nearly thirty, years ago. His zeal for the Lord and for the spread of the Truth impelled him to seize every opportunity of service; and commencing more than twenty years ago he was for several years engaged in the colporteur service, serving in this capacity in many of the prominent cities of Germany and Switzerland. He met Brother Russell several times on his visits to these countries and had the privilege of co-operating in preparing for his coming by way of arranging and advertising meetings. He is a brother whose full consecration to the Lord one would have no doubt of on becoming acquainted with him, and one too, who knows from experience much of the meaning of the cross and of the sufferings of Christ. We were not surprised on learning that when very soon after Brother Russell's death the elements of apostasy became most active in the movement that Brother Russell had used Brother Lauper at once discerned the change of spirit and sentiment and lost no time in taking his stand on the side of the cause of truth and in assisting other brethren to an appreciation of their obligations and duties under these trying circum-stances,
Where the Fires of the Reformation Were Kindled
Our next journey was to Germany to the town of Stuttgart. This ride was most interesting. For many miles we rode by Lake Constance, situated between Switzerland and Germany, and finally made a stop of some hours at the town of Constance. Here again we were interested in looking at certain points that occupy prominence in history. This place was the center of the religious activities and conflicts of the great reformer, John Huss. We visited the famous building and hall where he was tried and condemned to the stake by his critics and accusers who were the ruling religionists of his day. A short distance from this hall is marked the spot where on June the 8th, in the year 1415, he was burned at the stake. Those who have faithfully recorded the events of that time leave no doubt as to the sincerity and genuineness of the faith of Huss, that it was because he protested against the established order of religion in his day that he suffered a martyr's death. It is said that "many incidents recorded in the histories make manifest the meekness, fortitude, and even cheerfulness with which he went to his death."
After he had been tied to the stake, and all arrangements for his torture were in order, he was for the last time urged to recant. His only reply was "God is my witness that I have never taught or preached that which false witnesses have testified against me. He knows that the great object of all in my preaching and writing was to convert men from sin. In the truth of that gospel which hitherto I have written, taught, and preached, I now joyfully die." In the midst of the flames it is said that his voice of prayer could be heard until finally stifled in the smoke. A further word from the historian here is of interest:
"Not many words are needed to convey a tolerably adequate estimate of the character and work of the 'pale' thin man in mean attire, who in sickness and poverty thus completed the forty-sixth year of a busy life at the stake. The value of Huss as a scholar was formerly underrated. The publication of his Super IV. Sententiarum has proved that he was a man of profound learning. Yet his principal glory will always be founded on his spirutual teaching. It might not be easy to formulate precisely the doctrines for which he died, and certainly some of them, as, for example,. that regarding the church, were such as many Protestants even would regard as unguarded and difficult to harmonize with the maintenance of external church order; but his is undoubtedly the honor of having been the chief intermediary in handing on from Wycliffe to Luther the torch 'which kindled the Reformation, and of having been one of the bravest of the martyrs who have died in the cause of honesty and freedom, of progress and of growth towards the light."
In reviewing these scenes of the persecutions wrought by the intolerance and bigotry of centuries ago, we felt thankful indeed that we are living when such cruel forms of torture are no longer permitted; but yet, we were deeply saddened at the thought that practically the same spirit of superstition and intolerance still prevails in our midst and is manifest in the bitter words of invective and denunciation heard from many who name the name of Christ and profess to be His disciples indeed. But there is always the comforting thought that God makes the wrath of men and devils to praise Him. Thus the fiery trials through which God's faithful people all along in the past have suffered, have been caused by His providence and wisdom to contribute to their spiritual development and final preparation for the exalted state of the future.
To Stuttgart, Germany
It was rather late Saturday evening when we reached Stuttgart, Germany, Here we were met by a committee of brethren and comfortably lodged in a hotel. This city is located in the southeastern part of Germany and is the capital of what was formerly the Kingdom of Wurttemberg with a population of approximately 300,000. It is "in the center of a network of railways, placing it in direct communication with all the principal, towns of the south of Germany." It has the reputation of being in all its main features an essentially modern town and few of its buildings are older than the nineteenth century.
On Sunday morning, May 16, arriving at the hall, we found a fine gathering of about 80 friends. They were seated around tables with their Bibles open and apparently, ready to investigate and "prove whether those things were so." We were told that these friends were such as had more or less gotten a proper balance with regard to the various issues and matters involving their liberty in Christ and that they were standing free from all human entanglements. As Brother Lauper had been accustomed to doing in other places, he gave a brief address of introduction, explaining to the friends how and for what purpose we were journeying through the country, and engaged in this ministry. Additionally he explained our association and connection with the spread of the Truth in, past years, etc. Again at the close of this day we could only acknowledge with thankfulness the grace and assistance of the Lord by which the weak efforts were blessed in much refreshing and comforting the hearts of the friends. In addition to two discourses there were many questions asked and answered, requiring in all about four hours. The questions that were propounded in the meetings were much the same in all the Classes visited in these foreign countries.
Many Interesting Questions
It will be interesting to note briefly the nature of some of these inquiries. We were asked why we were no longer identified with the association and movement of the brethren as in Brother Russell's time. We were asked to explain the circumstances that had led to the general crisis in 1917, and to set forth the various differences between the teachings, methods, and spirit of Brother Russell and those of the management that has had charge of the movement since his death. The question was asked if "Christ came to His temple in 1918," and if the war between Michael and the dragon had taken place between 1914 and 1918; if the Kingdom of God had been estab-lished, upon the earth. We were asked whom we should regard today as having authority and controllership of God's Church upon the earth, and. whose voice should be obeyed in the counsels of His people.
In consideration of the, peculiar circumstances of our day we could not wonder at the character of the questions that have been troubling many of the friends. When it is remembered too, that the brethren in these far off countries have been so removed from the center of the scenes, circumstances and activities of these recent years and have had placed before them the various garbled reports and misrepresentations of the facts, one could not expect them to be otherwise than filled with queries, and earnestly desiring to know the truth and the facts concerning many happenings and developments of the past ten years.
We truly felt the responsibility in hearing and answering these questions, and this feeling of responsibility was only deepened when some of the brethren remarked to us and said that they had been wondering prior to our coming if we would express and show forth the same sweet spirit of the Lord, the spirit of Christ, that had been observed in the columns of the "Herald" thus far. The grace and wisdom, of the Lord were earnestly sought that we might be enabled to speak only that which would be according to His Spirit and for the edification of the hearers, and honoring to the Lord. We believe the friends had a right to hear the truth in regard to the various points of their queries in order that they might be enabled thereby to see more clearly the path of duty and service before them.
The Visit at Munich
On leaving the friends at Stuttgart, we rejoiced at the various assurances of hearty appreciation of the services, and the friends were very fervent in wishing us God speed and in expressing the wish that there might be a repetition of the visit in the Lord's due time. A large portion of the following day was spent on the journey to Munich. This city lies more in the center and south of Germany and was the capital of what was formerly known as, the, Kingdom of Bavaria, and said to be the third largest town of the German Empire. Arriving in time for an evening service, we found an assembly of about 35 friends gathered in a home, and again there was a session of about three hours of discourse and answering questions, in which we believe the blessing of the Lord was very manifest in the satis-faction and peace of heart that the brethren seemed to derive from the season of fellowship.
For the time being our ministry in Germany was concluded, as in accordance with the plan and itinerary for Denmark and Sweden our appointments were to commence at Copenhagen on May 20th We therefore parted company with Brother Lauster at Munich, Brother lauper having returned to his home in Switzerland from Stuttgart, following the service there. The understanding was that we would meet these brethren again in about three weeks for several more appointments in Germany, after the visit to the northern countries, the report of both of whic we leave for another chapter.
I. F. HOSKINS.
(Continued from last issue.)
"Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with
MANY points and items that assist to an appreciation of the privilege of prayer and to our continuing in the same, may be cited, but one thing apparently above all others is needful and that is the office of the Holy Spirit and its work upon our minds and hearts; this is most needful and as to do with giving us an appreciation of our relationship to God and all the privileges that are associated with it. God's Holy Spirit operates in many different ways. It works upon our reasoning powers, upon our imagina-tions, upon our habits. Has the habit of our mind been wrought upon by the Holy Spirit? The mind that is stayed upon God will be stimulated to continuous prayer. Thus sanctified we will naturally have holy thoughts and will continually be in an attitude of prayer. Prayer will not then be an effort, but an overflow of the mind, the heart, and we will have continuous blessing.
And what are the results of this continuance in prayer? Ah, most blessed is the effect upon the heart and life. It keeps up the spiritual tone of the mind. Do we not day by day find ourselves prone to slip somewhat perhaps from our spiritual attainment? We seem like some stringed instrument, the tendency of which is to decline from concert pitch. Unless the body be continually refreshed by breathing the pure air, it will droop. The soul is as dependent upon refreshment as the body, and the soul's refreshment is prayer.
Prayer Upon Our Going Out and Coming in
Dear brethren, we cannot be strangers to the Throne of Grace. Nothing pleases Satan more than to intercept our prayers. He tries to disturb our regular times of prayer, and if failing in that, he will try to make us strangers to continuous prayer. How often have we found in life that insensibly we become almost strangers to those we once knew well. Frequent intercourse has been gradually broken off and as time rolls on we miss the accustomed fellowship less and less. Just so, Satan tries to make the child of God a stranger to the Throne of Grace, knowing that the heart will become gradually less desirous of talking with God. The confidence in his heart will decrease and as it becomes more and more reserved, it will turn in more upon itself. We may feel that we have something to do, something to overcome before we can speak to God. And this feeling of strangeness is one that grows rapidly.
Another good result of continuance in prayer is that we can bring multitudes of things before God as they arise, which otherwise might have been forgotten. Little things are soon forgotten and yet, as we have seen, they are often of great importance. They are gone from our minds without. even having been committed to God; but though gone from our minds, they have not gone from the field of action. They have linked themselves with other things for the production of some result. By continuing in prayer and asking the Lord's blessing upon everything we do, upon our outgoing and our incoming, upon special acts and experiences -- "Lord help me in this"; "Lord, avert that" -- a special blessing is sure to come.
If we are ever living in supplication, we shall also be living in giving of thanks. No matter how great or varied our need, we shall always have a resource, we shall always have a "very present help," And amid all the changes and varied experiences of life, we shall have that peace which the world cannot give nor take away. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee."
Ask in Faith
Another requisite in this life of prayer is, to "ask in faith, nothing doubting" -- to believe that an answer will come, and to patiently look for it. A great many prayers are offered without any positive expectation that they will be answered. How different do we act toward God than toward. man. When we go to our fellowman for anything, we hope to receive it; but when we pray to God, for definite things, we do not always think about receiving an answer and we are not watching for it. Since we have so many precious promises in the Scriptures that the Lord will hear us when we ask in faith believing, surely it is pleasing to Him that we should take Him at His word, and look confidently for an answer to our petitions. Let us note a few of these assurances:
"What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." "And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." "If ye abide in Me, -and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." - Mark 11:24; John 14:13; 15:7; James 1:5, 6.
From the above Scriptures we see that there are conditions attached to our receiving an answer to our petitions. First of all we must abide in Him and have His Word abiding in us, and then we must have faith. We are to pray in the name of Christ; and to pray in the name of Christ is to pray in the mind, will, and spirit of Christ. The answer to our prayers then does not depend upon the greatness or the smallness of our requests, but upon the impulse which prompts them. If that impulse proceeds from our own, will, the prayer is not in the name of Christ. But when the impulse to, prayer is derived from an inward, Divine operation, it is truly in the name of Christ and will have His answer. If we are "dead with Him," we shall be careful to bring the required sacrifice of our Christian covenant -- a crucified will.
One means of strengthening our expectation in prayer is by reasoning upon the character and attributes of God. We know that God is true. He is not indifferent to the interests of His children. He cares for them; He wishes them to have everything that is good for them; His heart's affection is set upon them. The consciousness of another's love makes us bold to ask for favors. If this is true with respect to those on earth, how much more should it be true with respect to our Heavenly Father. Never was love so true as His. He is our Father and we should expect from His love just as a child expects from the parental love. He is also omnipotent and has all resources at His, command, and is able to fulfil His good promise to make all things work together for good to them that love Him.
But, what are the results of this expectation this steadfast faith in prayer and in receiving an answer to our petitions? One result will be that of more precision of meaning in our prayers. There are many things which we think we ought to pray for, things which our spiritual knowledge tells us a child of the Lord should desire, but do we really desire them? Are we, really anxious for them? And do we desire that God should grant our requests quests in His own way? If we have learned to expect in prayer, to believe that an answer will really come, we will surely be precise in what we ask of God. We are precise in our dealings with our fellowmen. We do not go with a vague petition, to give us something, nor with a meaningless petition for something we do not want. So let us not deal with God with less earnestness and reality than we employ with our fellowmen. When we pray to Him, let us mean what we say.
Another good result of this expectation in prayer will be a greater readiness to pray. If we believe that God will grant our petitions, we will surely be all the more ready to come and ask. One cause, of backwardness in prayer is our doubt and uncertainty about the answer. This takes Away our cheerful readiness in prayer and makes it hard labor instead of a blessed privilege.
Still another good result of this expectation in prayer is a less expectation from man and less leaning upon man, realizing that we have the Everlasting Arm, the Everlasting God Himself as our support. We are all prone to lean upon the arm of flesh instead of the living God. We have a beautiful instance of the turning away from man and of the simple leaning upon God with expectation from Him in prayer, in Ezra 8:21-23, 31:
"Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God to seek of Him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him; but His power And His wrath is against all them that forsake Him. Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way."
Casting All Your Care Upon Him
Knowing that God is both willing and able to answer our prayers, let us tell Him our needs and not lean upon man. Thus bringing our all to Him and hopefully watching for the answer to our petitions, we shall he unbur dened and can go forth with cheerfulness. The very fact of having committed our care to Him will give' us comfort and peace. With confidence we can say, "My God will take this matter and arrange everything for my best good; He will bring His wisdom and resources to bear on my behalf; my care is cast on Him."
Do we sometimes feel as sad after prayer as when we begin? Perhaps we took our burden to the Throne and brought it away with us again. If we left any of it with God, it was only a part. It is possible for us to keep our burden strapped tightly to us, thinking it too much to expect God to bear it. This is "like the man who was toiling along the road bending under a heavy burden, when a wagon overtook him, and the driver kindly offered to. help him on his journey. He joyfully accepted the offer but when seated in the wagon, continued to bend beneath his burden, which he still kept on his shoulders. 'Why do you not lay down your burden?' asked the kind, hearted driver. 'Oh!' replied the man, 'I feel that it is almost too much to ask you to carry me, and I could not think of letting you carry my burden too.' "Just so, some Christians who have given themselves to, the Lord continue to bend beneath the weight of their burdens and continue to be "weary and heavy-laden." If we have gone to the closet with tears, with heavy tread, bearing care upon our hearts, let us come forth with lightened step, cheerful, in the expectation of our prayer being answered
Some might be inclined to question this as taking away from the energy in the use of means for our deliverance or help in trouble. But not so. Expectation, watching in prayer, will give more energy. The child of God knows that while God can work without means, He almost always uses means. It is very seldom the means are not plainly indicated. We should pray that they may be manifest to us and then we can work with zeal and energy.
Praying and Waiting Upon God
But we who are. calling upon God should not forget to look for the answer. It is possible for us to send forth our petitions and give them little further thought, as though it were a matter of indifference whether or not the answer comes. If we are in this state of lethargy, our prayer might be answered and we would fail to recognize it. We would therefore lose much of the blessing and also fail to render thanks to God for or it. It is hot honoring to God to pray and yet not to watch for the answer. He is robbed of the glory when He gives and we do not recognize what we have received as His gift. In all our watching, however, let us be patient. This patience in expectation is of utmost importance. God's ways are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts. Many of our prayers may not be answered at just the time we had thought, nor in just the way we had thought. We may expect our patience to be tried, but God is honored when His children wait upon Him. We may be sure that Satan will not see them waiting without endeavoring to shake their faith. All attempts to hurry God's answer to our prayers will produce bad results. Even when we are most sure of having asked according to God's mind, we must leave the time unreservedly to Him. It may be hard to wait in patience when all things seem to be going against us, when week after week, or month after month passes and the answer has not come. But it is for us to wait at His footstool, and not to try to hurry His arrangements.
Another feature that enters into the "effectual prayer" is that of fervency, intensity. There are two special occasions when our prayers are more intense than other times: when circumstances have created a special need, and when we are being wrought upon by immediate and independent operations of the Holy Spirit.
Come With Fervency to God
We are sometimes brought into circumstances when, we need to take quick action upon a certain matter. God often teaches us the meaning of intensity in prayer by thus permitting this condition. Realizing our need of higher wisdom than our own, we come with fervency to God. We then realize with how little intensity we have often prayed.
When suddenly calamity comes to us and we. find ourselves plunged into trouble, bereft of our resources and of our friends, at such times we find ourselves brought into the immediate presence of God. Feeling that we must have more than human support or we shall be unable to bear the pressure, we are driven by our great distress, to intensity in prayer. It is, thus that sudden calamity should be met. Nothing will so calm our mind and fit us for deliberation as a few moments of intense prayer. We may rest assured that God will be with us, that with Him we will be able to meet that which we would be unable, to meet without Him. When we have a special realization of the magnitude or importance of the things for which we need to pray, we have another reason for intensity in prayer. We do not always realize how great are the blessings for which we pray and on this account our prayers are dull.
Again, we often learn intensity in prayer when we have been completely shut up in our own resources and there is heavy pressure upon us. Without knowledge we may be permitting one slender resource to effect our in- tensity in prayer. We do not wish to do so. We want to cast ourselves wholly upon God. We want to look to Him alone, but our poor weak human nature would lead us to have our eye on some means which seems at hand or from which we should hope much if !only we could get it within our reach.
Then with respect to the operation of the Holy Spirit upon us, sometimes causing us to pray with greater intensity: perhaps we have just failed in some point in which we have earnestly desired, and in which we have been determined to do well; it is as if the spirit of God were working upon us, showing us our weakness, proving us as to what we are in ourselves, even though we be honest and well intentioned and active in making the effort, being pained and filled with self-reproach and perhaps fearful with reference to the future we are quickened to intensity in prayer. We look to God; 'we seek Him as our refuge. We remember our standing in Christ, and perhaps in our intensity in prayer we utter the words: "Unto Thee do I cry, O Lord, my Rock, be not silent unto me."
In all spiritual things we know that God will not deny an answer; hence we can say with Jacob: "I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me." With us this refers to spiritual blessings alone. All else we leave unreservedly to God. And even in the matter of spiritual blessings -- how, when, and through what instrumentality they are to be answered we must leave wholly in God's, hands.
let the Father do what He will;
VOL. IX. August 15, 1926 No. 16
AN interesting report comes to our attention in the public Press by a correspondent in London, who apparently is well informed as to develop-ments and progress up to date in the Holy Land. It is published in part as follows:
"About the last place on earth where. one would expect to find need of a skyscraper is Jerusalem. But the Holy City is soon to have its first building, of this kind. It will be down near the Jaffa Gate, through which the Savior must have passed many times.
"The skyscraper will perhaps be eighteen stories high, of approved Ameri-can design and will be mainly used to house the British Provisional Government. It will be occupied also by the various organizations interes-ted in the development of the Holy Land's long sacred capital.
"Besides the skyscrapers, Jerusalem is to have many other modern improvements. The tops of the ancient walls which surround the city are being cleared of the debris of centuries and a board walk is being constructed along them. When it is finished, a thoroughfare will extend all around the time-worn ramparts and the tourist can walk completely around Jerusalem and look from the very spots where Solomon and the other kings of Israel gazed out upon their domain. When the rampart walk is completed, it will be the longest and most perfect medieval boulevard in existence, surpassing those of Carcasonne in France, Chester in England, and Nuremberg in Germany, its nearest parallels.
"Jerusalem is also getting a perfect water supply, comparable to that of New York. The Pools of Solomon, reservoirs which once supplied Jerusalem with water, are being cleaned out and restored. Other reservoirs are being blasted out of the hills miles away in the Ain Farah gorge, where there is an, inexhaustible spring. It was at this spring that David took his sheep to water and which gave him the inspiration for the beautiful Twenty-third Psalm, 'The Lord is My Shepherd.' From this reservoir 200,000 gallons of water will be pumped daily.
"In addition to all this, a comprehensive system of parks, gardens, and open spaces is being planned and four thousand trees are being planted yearly to give back to the city the charm that was its own when, it was at the height of its glory. Ancient structures are being restored, the market places are being modernized and made clean, and the fosse or deep ditch that used to encircle the city at the base of the walls is being cleaned out and, turned into a huge garden.
"Electric light and power plants are being built, and the energy for these will be supplied by the river Jordan, which is being dammed at certain points to take advantage of the flow. There will be a large municipal theatre, in which will be given both modern plays and the best of the motion pictures. Perhaps the most revolutionary step is the naming of all the streets, and the numbering of the houses, which will make it possible for strangers to find their way about and have their mail properly delivered.
"It is, in fact, a New Jerusalem which is in progress of coming to be, and the automobiles already jostle the camel and the little donkeys for room in the narrow streets.
"The ancient city is ultimately to be put into the shape that it was in the days of David and Solomon, when it was at its best. There will be no widening of streets or tearing down of old time hallowed buildings, Around this ancient city, however, will be built -- and is, indeed, now being built -- an essentially modern one.
"Of course, all this costs money. A great deal of money, in fact, and, the question arises who is to pay for it. The mass of the population of Jerusalem is far from rich and, not able to bear the increased tax rates that such operations would bring in American cities. They would like plenty of water, of course, but, if water meters were installed the coin registering mechanism of most of them would soon grow rusty from disuse. And again many will wonder. what there is in Jerusalem, anyway to warrant skyscrapers and similar buildings. Who is there to occupy them? Jerusalem is not a big industrial centre. There are no great factories there; it is not a business centre or a great market place, such as New York is. It is just an old, drowsy city hallowed by the holiest of memories. So most people think -- and they are almost entirely wrong.
"In the first place, the population is greater and richer than it has been for many centuries. Since the war ended, an average of three thousand Jews a month have been entering the Holy Land, and many of them have settled in Jerusalem. 'There are strict immigration laws, and every family must bring in at least $2,500 as a guarantee against becoming a public charge. While many are eager to settle in some of the agricultural colonies, there are more who are altogether unfitted! for life in the country, and these swell the industrial population and make the demand for homes in Jerusalem still the more insistent.
"As a result, the city is experiencing a real estate boom that is quite American -- the first time, without doubt, such a thing has ever been known in Palestine. While the population is, therefore, far better able to bear increased taxes than is commonly understood, the cost of the improvements is being largely borne by the British Provincial Govern-ment, philanthropic Jews throughout the world, who are quietly and unostentatiously subscribing large sums for the rehabilitation of Palestine, and organizations like the Zionists and the Pro-Jerusalem Society, which is, made up of interested and prominent Christians, and which has undertaken the bulk of the work of restoring the old walls and buildings and developing many industries for the inhabitants.
"Many millions of dollars have been pouring into Palestine every year since the war through collections made by such organizations as the Zionists and the Keren Hayensod, all of which are used for the upbuilding of the resources and industry of the land. The sum of five million dollars has just been raised in the United States to be utilized in this way. Banks have, been established in Jerusalem to handle the funds.
"There is enough fertile land in Palestine to make it the granary of a good portion of the East, and Jerusalem is the natural centre for the commerce that will follow this development. But there are, certain peculiar industries which are being revived and that will give employment to many thousands of workmen, whose products will find a ready market all over the globe. . .
"So it will be seen, that this new Holy City is not at all the sleepy, dead-alive place that so many believe it.
"And then there is to be considered one of the, most important industries of all -- the tourist industry. Even in its recent dilapidated, unsanitary past the visitors to Jerusalem numbered many thousands every year. With railroad, hotel, and automobile facilities, a beautiful city, perfect water supply, electric lights and all 'modern improvements,' the stream of tourists will certainly he swollen tenfold. All this means money spent among the merchants and lustily growing prosperity.
"The individuals and organizations which are spending vast sums in the modernizing are not gambling.. They know they will get their money back with plenty of interest.
"No one can say how great will be the population of this ancient capital in the years to come. In ancient times it could hardly have had more than a hundred thousand population regularly. At the siege conducted by Titus in the year 70 A. D., it was said to have held a million, but these had fled thither from all over Palestine to aid in the defense of the city. The development within the historic walls will be limited, naturally, but there is practically unlimited space in the new suburbs, and extensions are being planned in all directions."
"A MODERN APPRECIATION OF THE MOSAIC LAW"
"Comparative religionists think to find in the laws of Moses little more than taboos, totemisn, and other forms of primitive superstition. They do not explain why the taboos of Africa and Polynesia have left a degraded and often exhausted folk while the Jews in spite of all the hygienic handicaps of centuries of Ghetto life remain sound and virile above other peoples. Thus under the Lloyd George Insurance System the Prudential pays out three and one-half times, the amount of sick-benefit insurance that the Jewish Fraternal orders do in the East end of London, and the East End of London is no health resort. Why is it that, the death-rate of Jews within the Russian pale is but half that of Orthodox Russia?
"Mr. Zangwill sees in Judaism under Mosaic tutelage an eugenic experi-ment of the first importance and declares that scientific men are awakening to its importance. 'The secret of Jewish longevity, of Jewish immu- nity from certain diseases, is he tells us, 'at last being sought.' One of the greatest practical authorities on medicine, Sir James Cantlie, is reported as testifying that we, have never offset one single law of Moses in regard to hygiene, sanitation, or medical science; that all that the scientists today with their microscopes and textbooks books have done is to prove that the ancient lawgiver was right, and that we have been trying hitherto to cure disease instead of preventing it as Moses did. To the same effect is a work entitled 'Moses the Founder of Preventive Medicine,' by Capt. Percival Wood, a doctor returned from fighting disease at the front, where he discovered the hygienic value of the Mosaic Code." -- "Sunday School Times."
Under the above heading some one attempts in rather a sensational manner to arouse some professing Christians who have become victims of spiritual lethargy and lukewarmness, as follows:
"'Morbus Sabbaticus,' or Sunday sickness, is a disease of church members. The attack comes on suddenly every Sunday; no symptoms are felt on Saturday night; the patient sleeps well and wakes feeling well; eats a hearty breakfast, but about church-time the attack comes on and continues until services are over for the morning. Then the patient feels easy and eats a hearty dinner. In the afternoon he feels much better, and is able to take a walk, talk about politics, and read the Sunday papers; he eats, a hearty supper, but about church time he has another attack and stays at home. He retires early, sleeps well and wakes up Monday morning refreshed and able to go to work, and does not have any symptoms of the disease until the following Sunday. The peculiar features are as follows:
always attacks members of the church.
While the description given above, of the symptoms of this disease, would seem to fit many. thousands of professing Christians and church-goers, it is regrettable that it is to be found applicable to a considerable number of those claiming to be in the Truth and professing consecration to God. Yet this lukewarmness is one, of the signs of the last days referred to, by our Lord, as well as by the Revelator. (Matt 24:12; Rev. 3:15, 16.) Such, are exhorted to "Buy of Me gold tried in the fire," the implication of which is that they should by a renewal of their vows of consecration to the Lord seek through fiery trials and tests to develop that faith-character that is said to be more precious than that of gold that perisheth. All who are properly filled with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of devotion, to and love for the Master, will delight in assembling regularly and often with others of God's children to commune together on those blessed and sacred themes that strengthen and build up the inner man.
"Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the. new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him." -- Col. 3:9, 10.
HOW reasonable and fair are all the arrangements of the Lord when understood. How eminently proper and wise are all His purposes when the ultimate outcome is seen. His way of leading Israel of old was a way in which they were sorely tried, disciplined. Yet had they been properly exercised by those experiences they would have been greatly profited above all other people, and at our Lord's First Advent He would have found them as a nation ready to be received in the new order or house- hold that He came to establish. Even as it was, that Age of discipline, trial, and chastisement will in the future dispensation prove to have meant much advantage to them, principally on account of the valuable lessons which the clear understanding of the Truth at that time will enable them to' apply.
The same is true of the present Age during which the Church, the Bride, or Body of Christ is called out of the world and led of God's providence through a difficult, thorny, and narrow way, termed the way of the cross. The special lesson that God has imparted to all His faithful ones of the past is that of a thorough consecration to Himself and the doing of His will; the necessity for a full surrender of all the powers of one's being to be used as He directs. In other words, it is the Divine call to obedience, to do the will of God in any Age that should claim our most sober consideration. Those who hear that call to fellowship with God and submission to His will, and who obey it in the present Age, realize, through the illumination of the Spirit that they enter a way of sacrifice. The Spirit of Christ prompts to such a course as it did in the case of the Great Head of the Church, who has set us an example that we should follow in His steps, as saith the Apostle: "We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." More than this the wisdom and providence of God operate in this Age to make the occasion of laying down of life and all in His service one of opportunity for or a blessed exaltation; one in which such consecrated and sacrificing ones may experience a change of nature from the human plane to that of the spiritual and-Divine plane of life. Thus the way of God, or the way to life immortal, is a way of death. Therefore, in view of the circumstances and call of the present Age, the full consecration of every talent, power, and opportunity is Scripturally indicated to be a covenant with God by sacrifice, unto death of the humanity. "Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. " -- Psa. 50:5.
Not My Will But Thine
All whose consecration is real and genuine must experience the death of the human will. Self-will must go and the Lord's will be accepted in its stead. And since the will is the real ego, the real person, the thought is that the old ego, will, or person has died, and that the new creature, having no will of his own, but being wholly under subjection to the Divine will as expressed in Christ, who is the Head of this Body, has come into control. Let us not lose the thought-picture here conveyed. We are not new individuals or persons, for it was individually and personally that we ceased to be when we gave ourselves, over by full consecration to the Lord. Our new. condition is that of members or parts of the larger corporation or body of which our Lord Jesus is the Head. Whoever has a will of his own is properly to be considered an individual; but whoever has dropped his own will, and accepted instead of it the will of another, has ceased or figuratively has died as an individual. And this is the picture which the Apostle presents in his Epistle to the Colossians and in various other presentations of this subject. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 12, the same writer declares that the entire Christ is one body of many members; but that the will resides not in the members, but in the Head. To whatever extent, then, the Lord's people have fully consecrated hemselves, to Him as members of the Body Christ, they should be in absolute subjection to the will of God in Christ; and so far their own wills are concerned they should have none, but in that respect should be "dead."
This is the Apostle's thought in addressing the Colossians; but he carries it further, saying that as our own wills, ambitions, aims, and hopes were consecrated and reckoned dead, so we should reckon ourselves as members of the Christ, risen from the dead, new creatures, possessed and controlled by the new will, the mind of Christ. It is this class that the Apostle addresses, and from this standpoint that he declares, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand. of God."
The thought is that all of this class have, as justified earthly beings, desiring and hoping to attain joint-heirship with Christ, in His Kingdom, been taught of God and inspired by the exceeding, great and precious promises of His Word to come to this position of self-consecration. We are to note how our Lord Jesus laid down His earthly life, and was by the Father exalted to a heavenly condition and the right hand of power -- as a criterion for our course as followers in His footsteps. We are to remember continually that joint-heirship with the Lord in that spiritual condition and in His heavenly power and Kingdom are the hopes set before the Church of this Age, and we are to "seek those things" -- seek chiefly the Kingdom of God" -- seek to make our calling and election sure to participation with our Lord in the Kingdom honors and glories to which He already has attained as a reward for His faithful sacrifice. -- Col. 3:1; Matt. 6:33; Rom. 2:7; 2 Pet. 1:10.
Our Present and Future Heritage
The Apostle wishes us to understand how we are to "seek" those things. We are not merely to seek them in prayer, although prayer is an excellent aid in the seeking. We are to seek them by setting our affections on those things, and by lifting our affections from earthly things.
Comparatively few realize to what extent we have the forming of our own characters -- to what extent our minds, our affections, are gardens, in which we may plant either the thorns and thistles of sin, or plant the merely moral and practical qualities corresponding to the useful vege-tables, or plant those seeds which will produce the fragrant and beautiful flowers which more particularly would represent the heavenly and spiritual graces. That which a man soweth he shall also reap in kind, whether he sow to the flesh or to the spirit. Whoever, therefore, seeks for the heavenly things, joint-heirship in the Kingdom, etc., must plant or set out in his mind, in his affections, those qualities and graces which the Lord marks out as essential to the development of characters such as will be "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." -- Col. 1:12.
Thus the Lord throws upon all those whom He calls to, this "high calling," this "heavenly calling," and who accept the call and covenant thereunder, the responsibility of their success or failure in attaining it. Through His Word He tells them of their own natural weaknesses and imperfections, and shows them how He has provided a full offset or counterbalance for these imperfections in the merit and sacrifice of the Redeemer. He shows them also what are the fruits and graces of the spirit which they must possess, in heart at least, if they would be joint-heirs with Christ. He shows them also in the Redeemer's life as well as in His teachings the copy which all must follow who would reach the same glorious station and be His jointheirs. We might look at this matter merely from the standpoint of the responsibility which it throws upon us, and might well feel over-awed thereby; rather, however, we should view it from the standpoint of Divine grace, and consider what a blessed privilege has been granted us, not only of being transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we might come more and more to know and to strive for the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God, but in addition to all this God has set before us the grandest reward imaginable for the doing of that which is merely our duty and reasonable service -- doing of that which would bring us the largest measure of joy and peace, aside from a future reward. -- 2 Pet. 1:3, 4.
Weeds of Earthly Desire and Attraction
There is a natural attraction to earthly things for all mankind; even though the earthly things, during the reign of evil, be blemished and in many re- spects distasteful to those who have learned to love, righteousness and hate iniquity, there is nevertheless still a strong attraction to the marred and blemished earthly things. Like weeds, earthly affections and desires spring spontaneously from seeds which come we know not whither. The Christian, therefore, who would keep 'his heart in the love of God must not only keep planting out or setting his affections on heavenly things, but he must keep rooting out the weeds of earthly desire and attraction.
As the Apostle intimates, our new life is not manifest to all, nor upon all occasions; it is a life of new desires, new aims, new aspirations, which the world can neither see nor fully appreciate, though it see some outward manifestations of the new life in our daily conduct. Even the "brethren" may not be able to appreciate the progress of the new life in us; and even we ourselves may at times be somewhat perplexed respecting the rapidity and strength of its growth, and we may need to look back over weeks or months, or perhaps years, in order to determine unquestionably that it is growing. Our new life, represented by our endeavors to follow the new will of Christ, is hidden thus in Christ and in the Father.
It is from this standpoint that the Lord's people are instructed that they are not capable of judging one another and are not to undertake to do so; that only the Lord who is able to read the heart and to understand all the circumstances, trials, and tests to be striven against is capable of rendering sound judgment. Even the Apostle Paul declared, "Yea, I judge not mine own self." (Rom. 14:4; 1 Cor. 4:3; Jas. 4:12 ) It is therefore the course of wisdom that the Lord's people refrain from condemning others who profess, to be serving the Lord as best they can. We should each and all persevere in the Divine service and in the life of overcoming, and exercise that faith that will trust all to Him.
He cometh for us, and so long as our hopes and aims and objects of life are centered in the heavenly things, and, our lives thus hid with Christ in God, we need fear no evil, present or future, for the Lord will be with us and bless us and keep us from falling and ultimately present us blameless. -- Psa. 23:4; Jude 24; Col. 1:22.
How to Carry Out Consecration Vows
This condition of things is to last throughout the entire Gospel Age, and is to apply to all the members of the Body of Christ. All are to be dead to the world and all are to have their ambitions and hopes for life hidden with Christ in God. As the Father has done for our Lord, so He will do for all those who are truly united to Him; and the time for bringing these blessings to the Church is, the Apostle states, at the second coming of the Lord. Then the Lord's people will no longer be misunderstood by each other nor by the world; then the faithful will all appear with the Master in glory, and then will begin the work of blessing all the families of the earth with a knowledge of the truth and with an opportunity for full restitution to all that was lost in Adam.
Having thus set forth the proper course of the Church in the line of aspirations, hopes, etc., the Apostle turns to the other side of the question, and gives us particular and explicit directions how we should proceed to carry out our consecration vow of deadness to earthly things and, live only toward the heavenly things. It will be noticed that he does not counsel retirement from the world and its busy cares to cloisters, monasteries or nunneries, but taking the Lord's consecrated people where they may be, he advises respecting the methods by which they can best accomplish the desired results of mortifying or deadening their appetites, desires, etc:, which are rooted and grounded in their fallen flesh or earthly nature. He mentions these besetments, commencing With the more gross and ending with the most subtle.
Fornication was very prevalent in the Apostle's day, and he would have the saints recognize this gross, prominent evil, and then in connection with it notice others which they might be much more likely to overlook. First of these in order is "uncleanness." What a searching thought is in that word! It means anything that is not pure, not chaste, not holy, not clean. If a good many of the saints might feel that it was useless to mention to them so gross an evil as fornication, they would be forced to admit that in their imperfect condition they required guarding, counseling, on the score of "uncleanness." This reminds us of our Lord's words to the disciples on the night before His crucifixion. He said to Peter, when proposing to wash his feet, "Ye are clean, but not all." So the saints consecrated to the Lord are clean of heart, pure of heart; yet they are not all clean -- the members which touch the earth, their sensibilities and passions which come in contact with the defiled human nature, need cleansing, need "washing with water through the Word." All filth, all uncleanness, every "spot and wrinkle," needs attention, and the "precious blood" is the antidote for every stain. -- Eph. 5:25-27.
"Inordinate affection," is one of the things mentioned as needing attention and correction by the saints; this signifies earthly or animal passions. The saints are to mortify these, that is, to deaden them -- not only to seek not to cultivate, not to enliven, not to arouse, such passions, either in themselves or in others, but on the contrary they are to seek to deaden these as well as to cultivate the higher and nobler joys and sentiments. The deadening or mortifying of these, and the self-denial according to the flesh thus implied, is a part of the antitypical fasting in which all of the Lord's people should seek to engage, each according to his zeal, opportunities and possibilities.
Keep Thy Heart With All Diligence
"Evil concupiscence" (or, in more modern language, desires for forbidden things) is a step higher in the Apostle's list of evil tendencies that should be rooted out and mortified, deadened. In addition to renouncing all forms of evil, and in addition to our determination to put away everything that the Lord has forbidden, we are to labor for that cleansing of the heart and the subduing, through the assistance of the Lord's grace, of even those longings and desires that do not belong to our heritage as new creatures. If such a course is faithfully persevered in, it will mean truly the sanctifying of the spirit, including the thoughts and intents of the heart. Evidently many there are who are failing along this line and as a result are constantly beset by temptation; entertaining secretly the desire for things that are detrimental to them spiritually. Under such conditions comparatively little progress can be made in the higher life. The Apostle would set before us the proper course to be pursued, if we would win the great prize -- namely the high standard of bringing the very thoughts, wishes, desires of our hearts into full conformity to the perfect will of God; and only those who do so are properly making progress, running the race set before us in the Gospel. -- 2 Cor. 10:5.
The Apostle concludes his list of things against which the "new creature" must war to the death by naming "covetousness," and declaring it a species of idolatry In other words, if the hearts of the Lords people are running after any earthly thing (even if it be not an evil thing of itself), if they are centering their affections upon even good things of an earthly kind, and are neglecting to set their affections upon the heavenly things, they are failing to run the race successfully. This is amongst the most seductive trials of the Lord's people. Some will set their affections upon a wife or a husband, or upon parents or children, or upon a good name before the public, to, such an extent that when testings come as to whether or not they love these more than they love the Lord, their conduct proves that they have given to these earthly good things a degree of love beyond that they accorded to the Lord.
Frequently the Lord's people do not at the time realize that this is the case. They love the Lord, and they love their families and friends, and a good name, which is to be preferred to great riches; and they do not realize that they love the Lord less than they love these other things. The Lord, however, will test every one whom He will receive to the high calling along just these lines; He declares in advance, that whoever loves father, mother, children, or any other thing more than Him is not worthy of Him -- not worthy to be counted as a member of the: Body of the Christ in glory -- the overcoming Church. The Lord is seeking for overcomers to whom He can ultimately assign positions as victorious conquerors. And this implies that they will have been sacrificers to the fullest extent; giving evidence all through life that the love and approval of the Lord is their chief delight, to the extent of excluding the love of all others if need be for the Lord's sake. This has been the test all along through the Age and is still upon all the faithful. Realizing this, how essential that all the faithful earnestly endeavor to lay hold of the spiritual things and to practise that self-denial toward earthly things that will leave no room for conflict with our vow of consecration to the Lord.
Children of Disobedience
The Apostle sums up this, list of evils to be deadened by saying that it is in the seeking of these earthly things, because of such things growing in their hearts, that the Lord's wrath is to come "on the children of disobedience." Who are these children of disobedience? Are they the wicked, the worldly, the unregenerate? No, none of these; for they are not "children" at all. The reference evidently is to those who have become children of God by His legitimate arrangement of (1) justification and (2) sanctification through faith in Christ. He is referring to those who are of the class "called to be saints," but who fail to make sure their calling and election to joint-heirship with the Lord, as members of the Kingdom "little flock." He refers to those who do not property set their affections on heavenly things, but allow their affections to centre chiefly in earthly things. He refers to some who, because of loving father or mother, houses or lands or something else, to such an extent that they fail to keep their covenant of sacrifice, will be accounted, unworthy of a share in the Kingdom, and instead will be subjected to severe discipline and correction of the Lord. - 1 Cor. 3:15; Rev, 7:9-15.
This does not signify, however, that such persons have become exceedingly corrupt in their lives, but merely that they are continuing in the course of life in which they were before making their covenant with the Lord. This is clearly expressed in the seventh verse of our lesson.
Things to Put Away
Coming down to particularization of the change which should take place in those who have consecrated themselves wholly to the Lord, the Apostle enumerates certain alterations of disposition which should be attempted, and, so. far as possible, accomplished; namely the putting away of all the following anger, wrath, malice, evil-speaking, impurity of language, and falsehood in its every form. At first thought such correction of life might seem to be unnecessary to mention as being too coarse and entirely opposed to every true Christian. principle; but as we scrutinize the matter, we find that the Apostle has really taken into his list nearly all the weaknesses of the flesh which beset those who have become "new creatures in Christ'." What is more common with Christian people than to become angry? How many there are who have named the name of Christ who have malicious or at least unkind thoughts respecting others, and who harbor these, and sometimes permit them to influence their conduct! How many there are who indulge in evil speaking, that is, slander (here trans- lated "blasphemy")! This is often done in such a manner as not only to deceive the hearer, but also to deceive the speaker as respects his real intention in speaking of others discreditably, unkindly.
What a wonderful world this would be if all the evil or impure language were avoided! Every Christian should see to it that henceforth every word which proceeds from his mouth shall be such as will minister grace to the hearers -- such words will do only good and be edifying. Finally, how much need there is not only of having good intentions in the heart, but also of expressing these good intentions truthfully one to another -- without deception, without hypocrisy. But it requires that a heart be very pure and very full of love if it would be very truthful, otherwise it would lead into trouble continually. If the unloving, ungenerous, unkind hearts, full of evil surmising, malice, hatred, and strife, were to, express themselves frankly it would add immensely to the trouble of the world. The Apostle therefore urges, first, the purifying of the heart, and then general candor.
Dead to Sin Alive in Christ
These corrections of life are urged as the reasonable and proper outcome of our transformation from the Adamic and fallen nature, reckoned dead, to the new nature of Christ, of whose "body" we have become reckonedly members, controlled and renewed in knowledge through our new Head, Christ Jesus.
And the Apostle then shows that in this new condition, as members of the Body of Christ, we are to remember that previous differences of man are ignored, for whoever is accepted of the Lord as a member of His body is a fellow-member with every other member thus accepted -- whether, accor-ding to the flesh, they were Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, Barbarian or Scythian, bondman or freeman; because all who come into Christ are reckoned dead to their previous condition, and alive to the new conditions which are alike for all. Thus, a slave being set free is dead to his former slavery, and may figuratively be said to have started on a new life. Thus also a citizen may renounce his allegiance to the land of his birth and may swear allegiance to another country, and become a citizen of it, and thus be reckoned as dead to the nation of which he was a citizen by birth, and to have become alive as a citizen of the new nation to which he has been accepted. Thus it is with all those who are in Christ. They may have been Welshmen or Spaniards, Britons or Gauls, blacks or whites, Indians or Malays, but as soon as they are accepted of the Lord as new creatures through faith and consecration they are to reckon themselves dead to all their former relationships and obligations, and as having come into new conditions as citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom, and reckonedly heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.
This does not mean, however, that the white man will become a black man, nor the black man a white man; it does not mean, necessarily, a change of language either, nor a revolution in all the tastes and peculiarities wherewith one was born; nor does it mean a full release, according to the flesh, from obligations to the land of our birth, nor imply that we should not be subject to the powers that be, except as their demands might conflict with the positive commands of our King; nor does it imply an ignoring of the differences of sex and the proprieties which belong to each sex, and, which, according to the Scriptures, are to be continued and preserved during this Age. It does imply, however, that in thinking of each other as new creatures in Christ Jesus all are to be considered as on a common plane or level -- none are to be disesteemed as "brethren" because, of color, speech, or sex.
Walking in the Spirit
With this thought before our minds -- of the oneness and equality of those who have been accepted into the Body of Christ, the Apostle urges upon our attention the necessity, not only of putting off the evil dispositions of our fallen flesh, but the necessity also of putting on, cultivating, the various graces of the Spirit exemplified in our Head, Christ Jesus. He specifies these: (1) Bowels of mercies, or, in more modern language, compassionate sentiments; a disposition toward. largeness and, gene-rosity of heart toward everybody and everything -- toward the saints, toward our neighbors and friends and relatives, toward our enemies, and toward the brute creation, Amplifying, he continues, showing that it would imply (2) kindness toward all; (3) humbleness of, mind, the reverse of boastfulness, headiness, arrogance; (4) meekness, or gentleness of disposition; (5) longsuffering, or patient endurance with the faults and weaknesses of others. It implies that we should bear with each other's peculiarities of temperament and disposition, freely forgiving one another, if there be cause of offense found in each other -- learning the meanwhile to correct ourselves, as we see our own blemishes more or less mirrored in others. And the standard for all this course of conduct is found in the Lord's course toward us, for He surely has been generous, kind, forbearing and forgiving.
The Apostle wishes us to notice that he is not attempting a reformation of the world along these lines, but merely a transformation of those who have entered into a special covenant with the Lord, namely the Church: "the elect of God, holy, and beloved." Nevertheless, all who are thus covenanted to the Lord, and hope to make their calling and election sure to membership in the glorified Church, will not only seek to have these fruits of the Spirit in their own lives, but will seek also to encourage the same as they may have opportunity in their friends and neighbors; above all will such seek to exercise such a good influence upon their own families -- that as their children receive from them, as parents, the natural life and the necessary instructions and start therein, they may also if possible receive from them their start in the new life, and the necessary instructions and equipment for the same.
Above All Put on Love
But the Apostle, as the mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit, is a thorough instructor: not only does he tell us what dis-graces to put off and what graces to put on, but viewing the Lord's Body arrayed in these glorious qualities of heart compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patient endurance, forbearance and forgiveness, he adds, "And above all these put on love, which is the bond of perfectness." Love is thus pictured as the "girdle" which binds and holds in place the folds of the robe of Christ's righteousness, with its various graces. In other words, the Apostle would have us see that forbearance, meekness, patience, etc., must not be matters of courtesy merely, or matters of policy merely, but however much they might partake of these qualities at the beginning, the wearers will not be perfected in heart, not be fit for the Kingdom, until they have reached the place where these various graces of their. wills, or intentions, are bound to them by the cords of love -- love for the Lord, love for righteousness, love for the "brethren," and sympathetic love for the whole groaning creation. Love is indeed the bond, of perfectness, the very spirit of the Lord.
How forceful in their place are the words "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts to the which also ye are called in one body. [one corporation, one Church-the Body of Christ], and be ye thankful." Not until God's people have reached some measure of what the Apostle has here outlined, can they know experimentally the blessedness of having Divine peace rule in their hearts and lives, controlling their relationship with every member of the Body of Christ. under the bond of love, and producing more and more in them the spirit of gratitude and thankfulness to God, for mercies and blessings enjoyed. And such gratitude will find its natural and proper outlet in endeavors to serve the Lord: endeavors which the Lord will be sure to accept from such hearts, reckoned holy and acceptable through Christ Jesus, the Head and Redeemer.
THE annual meeting of the Pastoral Bible Institute will this year be held on Saturday, September 4th, at 2 p. in., at the headquarters, 177 Prospect Place, Brooklyn, N. Y.; having been this year postponed by vote of the members from the first Saturday in June, the regular time of holding it.
Primarily the object of this meeting is the election of the directors or trustees of the Institute, as the provision in its constitution is that the term of office shall be but one year. By this provision there is opportunity for a change in the personnel of the management each year, if the brethren deem wise. The trustees are elected from the membership of the Institute and any members is eligible for nomination for this office. While the nominations and elections take place at the one meeting, yet a provision has been made whereby brethren or Classes living at a distance, who would not expect to be in attendance personally at the annual meeting may offer the name of a brother as nominee for director at the election, and the names of such nominees are published in connection with this announce-ment of the annual meeting. No such additional names have been submitted by any Classes in connection with the coming election. The following are the names of the brethren who constitute the board of directors serving at the present, and whose office expires on September 4th:
Margeson, Westwood, Mass.
It is always encouraging to see a general representative gathering at this annual meeting, so that as many as possible may be brought in personal touch with this ministry and its progress, as of course in connection with the election there is a general report of the directors regarding the various features of the work. Any of the members are invited to offer any suggestion or constructive criticism that is desired. The management represented in the present directors has been going forward harmoniously and the brethren have been of one mind with regard to what has been undertaken and, what is now being carried forward in the name of the Lord. There is always the consciousness, however, of imperfect service and the wish that more might have been accomplished and larger results attained. Nevertheless, the brethren who have been serving are content in feeling that they have tried to do the best they could under the circumstances.
A brief word of explanation may here be appropriately made concerning the Institute: It is a general co-operation of brethren from various parts who have associated themselves together upon a legal basis for the protection of any goods or funds that are contributed, and in order that they would be in a position to transact business and carry on any business dealings necessary in connection with the different branches of the ministry, such as the issuing of the journal, publishing books, tracts, etc. This form of association has been found best, too, in that it leaves no opportunity for an ambitious leader to appoint himself and declare his headship of the ministry. No business is transacted in the name of any one
individual or number of individuals. All the proceedings are entirely subject to the control and direction of the brethren themselves who form this association.
Let it be known, however, that this is not any sectarian church organization or channel with a creed and tests of fellowship, or church membership. Nor is there any kind of unscriptural test or bondage, or interference with any brother or Class of brethren in their study of the Lord's Word and in teaching and preaching what each one believes to be the truth. All of such form of organization has no part nor place in connection with the arrangement of this Institute, which is one that accords to all fullest freedom and liberty in Christ. The condition of membership involves merely an expression of interest and desire to co-operate in the advancement of the cause of truth. Hence the provision, that any person thus interested and becoming a donor to the extent of $5.00, is accorded membership, which carrier, with it the privilege of voting and a voice in any business taken up at the annual meeting. Any who have made such contribution and have not received a membership certificate should advise us at once.
Any one holding such a certificate may vote at the election by proxy if he is not able to attend in person, but in such event it is necessary to indicate the names of the seven brethren for whom he wishes his vote to be cast for directors. Such proxies may, be sent to the Secretary or placed in the hands of any one who will be present at the annual meeting.
This proxy form will be mailed to each member prior to the election and it is suggested that each blank space on this form including the space for the name of the one whom you desire to cast your vote be filled in. In this way all the members whether present or not are enabled to take part in the annual meeting.
As heretofore announced, there is arranged in connection with the election a convention which will commence Saturday morning, the day of the election, and include the following Sunday and Monday. It is hoped that a good number of the brethren throughout the East will be able to take advantage of this occasion and share in the spiritual blessings of communion and fellowship in the Lord at this time.
SUPPLEMENTING RECENT CHRONOLOGICAL REVIEWS
"Let us watch and be sober." -- 1 Thess. 5:6.
IN THE review of the chronology recently presented in these columns,* it is recalled that the point of importance and interest to all is that of definitely locating the date of the beginning of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and the commencement of the seven symbolic times of universal Gentile dominion; this date we believe is satisfactorily located to be approximately 606 B.C., and that it was about 19 years later that Zedekiah was dethroned and the Kingdom of Judah, completely overthrown; the seventy years of predicted servitude and bondage to the kingdom of Babylon having commenced however in Neibuchadnezzar's first wear.
* See special 32-page issue, May 15, 1926, "Herald,! supplied on application.
A further word of testimony is here added with- regard to just where Bible records carry us on the stream of. time and where secular or Bible history begins to be authentic and can be counted on as being reliable. It cannot be otherwise than a confirmation of our conclusions if we find that there is a definite overlapping of Bible chronological records with those of secular history, ,and that before Bible chronology stops, secular history has already begun to be authentic. This we do find, quite positively established; that both Bible and secular history agree as to the !above conclusion respecting the beginning of the universal dominion of Nebuchadnezzar in his first year and the fall of Zedekiah 19 years later.
From Adam to Daniel
In the, investigation heretofore presented, we have seen how the Bible furnishes us an unbroken record of chronological links in the ages of the patriarchs from the creation of Adam until Jacob's death, comprising 2316 years. From this point onward the ages of a continuing line of descent are not furnished. Henceforth chronology must be computed from a different source. In Exodus 12:40 there is a record to the effect that the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, had sojourned exactly 430 years when they left that country. With this passage alone before us, we might conclude that the children of Israel were actually 430 years down in Egypt. But not so. St. Paul states that the 430 years reach back to the covenant with Abraham. (Gal. 3:17.) The sojourning began with Abraham as soon as he entered the promised land, and for a time the children of Israel sojourned in the loins of their father Abraham. -- Heb. 7:10.
Gentile history affords no assistance whatever in determining the bounds of those 430 years. Indeed there is no need of consulting such history at all concerning this period since the New Testament records furnish the necessary explanation. Without such explanation we would not have a clear record. The records of Gentile history for this time do not even pretend to be complete or reliable, either in the order and nature of events, or with respect to their chronological period. The powerful Gentile nations had not yet risen.
In I Kings 6:1 is a chronological record covering the period from the exodus to the fourth year of Solomon's reign, but other Old Testament records show that the period there mentioned must have been more than 480 years. Again, the New Testament comes to our assistance and determines that this was a period of 580 years -- that the "four" of the text must have been originally "five." -- Acts 13:18-21.
After this period, is determined, the next method of computing chronology is by the number of years of the reigns of succeeding kings. The Bible has preserved an account of the period of Judah's kings down to the last king, Zedekiah. It is significant that no reference is made to any Gentile date until we reach the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, from which time we have citations to certain Gentile dates:
First, second, seventh, eighth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twenty-third years of Nebuchadnezzar -- Jer. 25:1; Dan. 2:1; Jer. 52:28-30; 2 Kings 24:12; 25:8.
First year of Evil-merodach -- 2 Kings 25:27.
First and third years of Belshazzar - Dan. 7:1; 8:1,
First year of Darius the Mede -- Dan. 9:1.
First and third years of Cyrus -- Ezra 1:1; Dan. 10:1.
Second, fourth, and sixth years of Darius -- Hag. 1:1; Zech. 1:1; 7:1; Ezra 6:15.
Third and twelfth years of Ahasuerus -- Esther 1:3; 3:7.
Seventh and twentieth years of Artaxerxes -- Ezra 7:8; Neh. 2:1.
Fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar -- Luke 3:1.
Where Gentile Supremacy Begins
The Bible does not state the length of the reigns of these Gentile kings. If it is to be known at all, the source of information must be found else-where. In the book of Esther reference is made to Gentile records. (10:2; 6:1 Then we are confronted with the fact that the Bible chronology stops, short after Gentile supremacy has begun. We find that the sacred records extend out into the Gentile era by four lines:
(1) To the first year of Evil-merodach -- 2 Kings 25:27.
(2) To the first year of Cyrus -- 2 Chron. 36:22.
(3) To the second year of Darius -- Zech. 1:7, 12.
(4) To the fourth year of Darius -- Zech. 7:1, 5.
Beyond these points we can not continue with the sole use of Bible records. The 70 weeks of Daniel (not a chronological record, but a prophecy) do not start until after the last of these four points is reached. Manifestly, therefore, we are dependent upon Gentile records if any definite line of chronology is to be continued beyond the years of Darius. We may determine that the first year of Darius was so many years in the A. M. period (since the creation of Adam) by using the Bible alone, but if we are to, determine its place in the B. C. period, we are in need of other records than the Bible. On this point Brother Russell has written:
"The period from the time of the restoration of the Jews from Babylon, at the close of the 70 years desolation of the, land, in the first year of Cyrus, down to the date known as A. D. I is not covered by Bible history. But, as before stated, it is well established by secular history as, a period of 536 years. Ptolemy, a learned Greek-Egyptian, a geometer and astronomer, has well established these figures. They are generally accepted by scholars, and known as Ptolemy's Canon." -- "Studies in the Scriptures," Vol. II, p. 51.
Our Dependence Upon Secular Records
The man of God is exhorted to show moderation (reasonableness) in all things. (Phil. 4:5.) So doing, it must be admitted that either the Bible affords a complete record of chronology from Adam to Christ or that it does not. If we admit that it does not, then it must also be admitted that something else than Bible records is required to complete the chain. Since the Bible records extend to the four points mentioned, it becomes necessary to establish from other records at least one of the following dates B.C.:
(1) The first year of Evil-merodach.
(2) The first year of Cyrus.
(3) The firs year of Darius.
(Since the last two of the four points mentioned fall within the same reign, it is necessary to consider only the first year of that reign. If the first year of Darius can be located in the B. C. period, then the other years of his reign axe automatically established.)
In the light of reason we would further say that whatever source of information is utilized, there should be a consistent and harmonious application of the same, and that the dates B. C. should harmonize with the Bible dates A. M. If there be any conflict with the Bible, we must reject all else, because the Bible is our inspired record in which we trust implicitly. We may consider these three dates A. M. as the wards of a key, ready to fit into the Gentile dates B. C., as into a lock.
Assuming, for the sake of illustration, that the period of Judah's kings, as heretofore understood, is one of 513 years, let us say that the Bible A. M. dates and the Gentile B. C. dates for these three points are:
Bible A. M. Gentile B. C.
First of Evil-merodach
The A. M. dates, are calculated from Bible evidence alone. The year A. M. of Zedekiah's overthrow was, according to the table on page 42, "Scripture Studies," Vol. 11, 3522 (1656+427+430+40+6+450+513). Zedekiah reigned 11 years. 3522 minus 11 leaves 3511 as the A. M. date of Jehoiachin's captivity, who was the predecessor of Zedekiah. Jehoia-chin had been in captivity 37 full years when Evil-merodach began to reign. (2 Kings 25:27.) 3511 plus 37 equal 3548 as the A. M. date of, the first year of Evil-merodach.
The first year of Cyrus marked the end of the 70 years ,of servitude. Just as one might have misunderstood the 430 years of Exod. 12:40 to -mean 430 years for all Israel. in Egypt, so the 70 years of Jeremiah can be misunderstood to mean 70 years for the entire nation in Babylon; but as the 430 years began with Abraham, so the 70 years of servitude began with Daniel; as various Bible texts demonstrate. The servitude started in the third year of Jehoiakim. From that year to the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign was 19 years. 3522 minus 19 leaves 3503, the year A. M. of the third of Jehoiakim and the beginning of the 70 years of servitude. Those 70 years added to 3509 A. M. equals 3573 A. M. as the, first year of Cyrus. I
The fourth year of-Darius ended 70 years (Zech. 7:1, 5) from 3522 A. M. which would he 3592 A. M., thus starting his reign in 3588 A. M.
Gentile Dates Established Independently
The Gentile dates for the same three points are established by Ptolemy's Canon, independently of the Bible. Yet they harmonize exactly, because either of the two latter dates measured from the first date, gives the same result in either table. Once in-ore, reason bids us to 'be moderate and to admit that, if we accept the last two dates (Gentile dates) as reliable, we should also accept the first one, because between 561 and 536 are only 25 years. The length of Nebuchadnlezzar's reign as established by evidence outside the Bible is 43 years. The Bible records make that reign about 44 years in length, very slight difference. But how could we, account for a difference of 19 years in the next immediate period of 25 years (according to Ptolemy) or 44 years (if the eleventh year of Zedekiah were 606 B. C. as we once thought)? That would be entirely at violence with any reasonable consideration, and it is also really out of harmony with the Bible evidence. If we are going to accept Ptolemy for 536 B. C., let us admit that he is either right or wrong about 561 B. C., which is only 25 years removed. If he is wrong to the extent of 19 years concerning 561, then we have most serious grounds to doubt his 536 date also. In that event, we should be consistent on both sides. It does not seem to us that we are justified in adopting certain dates found in Ptolemy's Canon just because they happen to suit our particular preconceived opinions, and in rejecting other dates from Ptolemy in close proximity that are just as authentic.
Where Secular Authority Becomes Reliable
It does not seem altogether compatible with reason to regard the 536 B. C. date as marking a sudden beginning of secular reliability; that in the twinkling of an eye, so to speak, darkness turns into day and uncertainty into unquestionable assurance. There is just as much ground for doubting some secular dates after 536 B. C. as any for a century prior thereto. For instance, the secular date for the twentieth year of Artaxerxes is in dispute. Some, few authorities disagree with what is very generally accepted as the date of Artaxerxes twentieth year by ten years. Brother Russell was amongst the few. We do not reach the stage of certainty until the days of Julius Caesar, who established the Julian calendar. Back of that, until the seventh century B. C., we have what may be termed, from this standpoint of dead certainty, a twilight zone, in which the fabled ages gradually merge into definite historical dates. The Gentile records of this merging period must he regarded in the light of reason. On pages 36 to 38, inclusive, of Volume II, "Studies in the Scriptures," Brother Russell has made some pertinent remarks, along this line. The following is a brief quotation:
"As with history, so with dates: the world has, aside from the Bible, no means of tracing its chronology further back than B. C. 776. On this subject we quote Prof. Fisher, of Yale College. He says: 'An exact method of establishing dates was slowly reached. The invention of eras was indispensable to this end. The earliest definite time for the dating of events was established at Babylon the era of Nabonassar, 747 B. C. The Greeks (from about 300 B. C. dated events from the first recorded victory at the Olympic games, 776 B. C. These games occurred every fourth year. Each Olympiad was thus a period of four years. The Romans, although not for some centuries after the founding of Rome, dated from that event, i.e., from 753 B. C."'
Thus it appears that a reasonable degree of secular reliability starts from 776 or 747 or 753, according to the particular national records involved. Now, 536 B. C. falls within this period of reasonable dependence. The Bible mentions a Gentile date for the first time in connection with Nebuchadnezzar's reign, and since he was the head of Gentile dominion, it seems very appropriate to regard the beginning of his reign as being at least approximately correctly dated in the Gentile records. The Bible chronology continues on beyond this point just far enough to demonstrate that Gentile dates are here dependable, because the Bible proves them so. From Nebuchadnezzar to Darius, Gentile dates are established from sources independent of the Bible, and yet the Bible records covering this same period agree with those Gentile dates. There is no conflict between the two, unless it be some slight difference of a year or two. There is no such difference as 18 or 20 years at any point within this period. Josephus seems to be the only questionable authority who has written concerning this, time. Furthermore, we have a safety valve in the fact that Gentile records do not cover just one nation. There are several influential nations for this period -- Babylon, Media, Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, besides others. Their different records check against each other; so, that from an examination of all of them a reasonably correct table of Gentile dates may be complied. It is somewhat on the order of a complex system of bookkeeping whereby the whole must balance.
Our Reasonable Conclusions
The reasonable conclusions we draw from our study of this matter are that the Bible is our inspired record; that it must, be taken as unquestioned authority and all else rejected if there is any conflict; that the Bible does not furnish a line of chronology further than the days of Darius the Persian; that Bible dates land Gentile dates gradually flow together from the days -of Nebuchadnezzar onward, and that Gentile records covering the period from Nebuchadnezzar to Darius are, in the main, proved correct. by indisputable evidence. found in the Bible. Just as the New Testament shows the correct application of the 430 years of Exodus 12:40, so Zech. 1:12 and 7:5, together with the book of Haggai, throw an explanation upon the 70 years of desolation of the land, showing where those years end. The whole matter from every reasonable standpoint, in the light of all the, Scriptures hearing on the matter and of the results we obtain -tipo upon applying the different lines of prophecy to the revised scale of chronology, reveals that the chronological review heretofore published in this journal along these lines has the backing of Scriptural evidence and sound reasoning, showing how Gentile dates supplement (and do not contradict) the Bible dates, and explaining why there is seemingly a "tarrying" time since the year 1914. Furthermore, we are afforded a definite time still future when we may reasonably expect some interesting events among the Jews and in the Gentile nations of earth, all 'Of which will prove that the great Divine Plan of the Ages has been fulfilled exactly on. time, according to the wisdom and power of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.
(Continued from last issue)
TO DENMARK, SWEDEN AND FINLAND
TO AN American who has never before traveled through the European countries, the experience is indeed a novel one, notwithstanding the fact that the great increase of knowledge and the inventions of the past century have drawn the civilized nations of the world together and imparted to all of these countries a modern tone and similarity of appearance. The modes of travel by steam, electricity, and motor cars are much the same as in America. There is similarity too, in the implements of agriculture. In certain sections of the cities where the buildings are of comparative recent erection one observes little difference between them and those in America.
Yet there are other points of interesting difference; for aside from the foreign tongue that one is constantly hearing, there are certain manners, customs, and usages that are more or less peculiar to each country that have come down from remote ancestry. Naturally, these countries are somewhat more thickly populated, and generally the various resources are fairly well developed. One observes that neither farming, railroading, nor scarcely any other enterprise is carried on, on as large a scale as in America, and in some sections some of the cruder forms and methods of operation, tilling the soil, etc., are employed. One often observes women performing manual labor in the fields and gardens in the place of men.
It was in consideration of the foregoing that our journey from Munich in the southern part of Germany to Copenhagen at the north, afforded opportunity for much interesting observation. We made this trip by way of Berlin, remaining there over night and a portion of the next day, though we were not in touch with any brethren in this city. The brief time we had at our disposal was spent in visiting some of the interesting points in the capital of Germany. Amongst these were the government buildings, including the palaces of the former royal house. Our chief interest was in going through the palace of the former German Emperor, the Kaiser. It would seem that no language could convey any adequate conception of the immensity of wealth and extravagant luxury, that it contains. Everything remains intact there, just as when the royal family occupied it. This palace is not now used by any department of the government, but appears to be treated and preserved for the pleasure and benefit of visitors and tourists.
Meetings in Copenhagen and Lund
In covering the distance from Berlin to Copenhagen we again found a decided advantage in going by aeroplane, especially as the cost was little more than railroad fare and many hours were saved. This experience was very similar to the passage from London to Paris and afforded opportunity for seeing a large section of Germany as well as Denmark from the air. This trip required about four hours.
On May 20th in Copenhagen, we met Brother August Lundborg who had come from his home in Orebro, Sweden, to act as our interpreter. Brother Lundborg had much information to give us regarding the general situation in Sweden, having as we have before stated been for many years the manager of the Swedish branch for the distribution of the Truth, and being only about a year ago dispossessed of his privileges of the ministry in the former association, because he could no longer conscientiously participate in the work, methods, and teachings propagated by its leadership. Our brother informed us that there were many throughout Sweden that were becoming awakened to a realization of their bondage and were seeking their way out of the maze of bewilderment and confusion that has come about during these recent years. The one meeting held in Copenhagen was attended by about 140. While this was in the nature of a public meeting, we were informed that, nearly all present were more or less familiar with the Plan of the Ages. The attention given, however, and the interest expressed, gave us the impression that the Lord had blessed the meeting to His praise. As we had but the one meeting in Denmark, our journey was next to Lund, in the southern part of Sweden, May 21st. At this place we found a group of friends endeavoring to gain their bearings and to see more clearly the way of the Lord, the way of truth. During two services, at which there was an attendance of 40 and 100, there was afforded oppor- tunity to review and consider the Lord's will and the truth of His Word in its application to the present situation and condition of the Lord's people, in such a way as to be of much encouragement and comfort to the hearers; we rejoiced in this fact and took courage.
The Convention at Orebro
Orebro was the next appointment. As this place had been the special center of activities in the spread of the Truth for many years, and as it is favorably located for, a convention, three days, May 23-25, had been set apart for, the assembling of the friends here. On arriving at Orebro, we were met at the station by a company of about twenty-five. They extended a very hearty welcome. At once we felt that we were in the company of the Lord's dear family and realized the influence of the sweet spirit of fellowship. The experiences of the three days of this convention were truly uplifting and spiritually refreshing to all. We addressed altogether five meetings during the three days, the largest attendance of which was about 300. This, the largest of the meetings, was somewhat in the nature of a public meeting and the topic, "The Second Coming of Christ," had been announced.
Reviewing the testimony of Scripture relating to our Lord's return and the consummation of all things, it was observed -- from the excellent attention and interest expressed, that this theme is regarded with the utmost, concern by a considerable number of people in this land today; and well may this glorious theme be thus cherished as we realize that all our blessed expectations and hopes for both the Church and the world are inseparably associated together with our Master's return. While in dealing with this subject we could confidently cite the many signs of our time that indicate that we are living in the last days and apparently very close to the new dispensation, we could not declare what has not taken place. We could not announce that the Kingdom of God has been established when there is every proof testifying to the fact that the rule of the great Adversary and the kingdoms of this world still hold sway. God's Kingdom cannot be established till the empire of Satan has been overthrown. Nor could we promise or announce that the present living generations would never see death or enter the tomb; for such information is not yet revealed to any and none can yet know just how near we are to the hour of the complete supremacy of God's Kingdom and the stopping of death in the earth. In the Lord's due time the things now hidden and obscure will be made known. Manifestly there are faithful souls today walking by faith and not by sight who can derive comfort and strength to faith only in what they have shown and proven to them to be the truth and well supported by plain statements of Scripture. During these days of the convention at Orebro other brethren had been assigned positions on the program and addressed the friends much to their profit and further encouragement spiritually.
To Other Classes
Though we could speak directly with but few of the friends, as but few could understand English, their faces were full of the expression of the Lord's spirit and from their lighted countenances it was evident that they were happy in the Lord and earnestly expectant of sharing in the fulfillment of those glorious promises that give assurance that "we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."
The week following the convention at Orebro was spent in visiting six other centers in Sweden. We will not go into details of all, of these visits as the routine of service and experience was much the same. The towns visited were as follows: Tibro, Goteborg, Vastra Amtervik, Arvika, Stockholm, Norrkoping. There were generally two meetings each day and sometimes three. At some of these there were two and three hundred present.
In all of these places there were groups of friends earnest and sincere, who gave evidence of deep consecration to the Lord. Accordingly their hearts and countenances quickly responded as those vital truths were dealt with that pertain to our relationship to the Lord, our spiritual interests, our fellowship in the sufferings of Christ, and the hope of glory to follow. During these visits we also had numerous opportunities to reply to various questions that had given more or less perplexity and distress during these times. We felt deep thankfulness for the wisdom and grace of the Lord by which these seasons of communion were blessed.
Two of the above places may be given special mention: Goteborg, which ranks second to Stockholm with a population of 150,000 is one of Swe- den's most beautiful and attractive cities and one of its most important centers of learning; said to have "numerous important educational establishments." This city is also the principal port of embarkation of Swedish emigrants for America. At the second, of the two meetings in this city there were a considerable number of the public present though we were informed that nearly all had heard more or less of the Truth in the past through Brother Russell's ministry and the lectures of other brethren. However, the lecture on our Lord's return, its object, etc., was listened to with very pleasing attention and interest and it is hoped some realized special encouragement and stimulus to their faith. I
The One-Day Convention at Stockholm
Sunday, May 30th, was spent in Stockholm. Being the capital of Sweden and the seat of the Government, it is of course the first city of the land. Said to be "celebrated for the beauty and remarkable physical charac-teristics of its situation, the coast is here thickly fringed with islands, through which a main channel, the Saltsjo, penetrates from the sea, which is nearly 40 miles from the mainland. The city stands at the junction of the lake and the sea, occupying both shores and the small islands intervening. From the presence of these islands a fanciful appellation for this city is derived--'The Venice of the North.'
In this city we found that nearly all of the Class of what was formerly known as the I. B. S. A. had recently come forth from that association, declaring their allegiance to Christ alone and renouncing the shackles of bondage to erroneous teaching and human leadership. This was regarded as a very encouraging outlook. The Sunday spent in Stockholm was really a one-day convention as there were meetings nearly all day. We addressed three meetings, the largest attendance of which was about 300; this was the morning service when a number of the public were present. The audience was a very interesting one and the excellent attention paid to the discussion of the coming of the Lord and the establishment of His Kingdom, the course of the Church in the narrow way, and the consummation of her blessed hope in the glorious exaltation with her Head, gave evidence that these matters were very close to the hearts of, the hearers. The other two meetings of the day were devoted to the discussion of themes that concern mote particularly the work of the Spirit and the character building of the Church, including the purpose of the present tests and trials through which she is passing.
We rejoiced indeed in the goodness of the Lord in the blessings of this day's fellowship in Stockholm, especially as the lighted faces of the friends gave, evidence of new hope and encouragement in the heavenly way. The expressions of deep, love and appreciation gave refreshment for our onward journey.
The Land of the Midnight Sun
Having fulfilled the allotted time in Sweden, in harmony with our plan of service we went on to Finland, taking the boat onthe evening of June Ist. This voyage is an exceptionally interesting one, principally for the reason that there are thousands of islands nearly all the way, so that there is very little opportunity for any rough seas. These islands are of all sizes and frequently very rocky, though many of them are covered with pines. Beautiful residences are seen on some of them and what would appear to be delightful summer resorts. Being a distance of about 200 miles across the Baltic Sea, it was an all night's voyage to Obo, Finland, where we arrived on the morning of June 2nd. The travels through this country for the few days we were there were very interesting in more than one way. For more than a century prior to the World-war Finland was a possession of the Russian Empire and under the government of the Czar. The various changes and revolutions coming in connection with the war opened up the opportunity for the people of this country to acquire their independence though it was through a great deal of disorder and bloodshed. The independent government now operating in Finland appears to be quite firmly established, though the social and industrial conditions are still very bad, owing to the effects of the war from which it has not recovered.
The general appearance of Finland is very, much the same as Sweden, rolling, with hills and valleys, portions of which are very rocky. Tall pines cover many of the hills. Here also, as well as in Sweden, are many lakes, of all sizes. Our visit to these northern countries was evidently in the most favorable time of the year -- considerably after the effects of the cold winter were past and when the early summer days had brought forth all the beauty of nature in the forests, fields, and gardens. At this time of the year, too, being so far north, there is very little of the darkness through the night season. We found it daylight up to near midnight and then after about two hours of darkness, which was considerable twilight, the daylight of the new day was in sight. We were advised that in but a comparatively short distance north there are certain days in the month of June when the sun is seen all night.
In the Cities of Obo and Tammerfors
We visited brethren and held meetings in three principal centers in this country, namely Obo, Tammerfors, and Helsingfors. There were several other towns where there were brethren who desired our services but our time permitted of only the three appointments. Obo, a city of about 60,000 population, was one time the seat of government and still "remains the ecclesiastical capital of Finland, the seat of the Lutheran archbishop and contains a fine cathedral dating from 1258 and restored after the fire of 1827. The city is second only to Helsingfors for its trade."
Taking up the ministry in Finland it was necessary to have a brother to interpret for us into the Finnish tongue, which is entirely different from that of the Swedish; and as the population is both Swedish and Finnish, it was necessary to have two interpreters to act in connection with each service. Brother W. Berghall of Helsingfors joined us at Obo on our arrival and performed the service for us, translating our discourse into Finnish as he received it from the Swedish through Brother Lundborg. To our dear Brother Berghall we are much indebted for his valuable aid while in Finland. The using of two interpreters added to the task considerably and of course required much more time, two or three hours being taken up in one service.
Two services were held: in Obo with an attendance of 260 and 70. The larger of these meetings was more for the public, though the audience was made up of people who were more or less familiar with the fundamentals of the Truth. Many of the friends of the old association were present, and in the course of these services, in response to request, favorable occasion was found to plainly set forth the general circumstances that have come about since Brother Russell's death; also concerning the changed; methods, teachings, and practices of the brethren in charge of the old institution, resulting in so much disorder, confusion, and severe tests upon the Lord's people.
We found these people quite ready to grasp the truth and to discern the indications of the Lord's providence. Again we were very much encouraged, by many warm expressions of appreciation of the ministry, though we learned of some present who were of quite hostile attitude toward us because our ministry was not in support of or in conformity with what they designated God's organization, or God's channel. We learned. that the Sunday following our visit at this place a new Class was formed with 33 in attendance; who saw quite clearly the important issues of the present time and declared their stand upon Christ and the liberty that all believers are accorded in Him.
Tammerfors, farther north in Finland, with a population of about 50,000, and said to be the chief industrial city of Finland, was the next place visited. In this city we found a Class of brethren who had been standing free in the Truth for some years past and who extended to us a hearty welcome. Fully 300 were present at the one service of the afternoon and here again the attention and interest was most encouraging and we were much impressed with how, in these far off countries, the Lord's providence has been operating to find faithful and earnest souls who have been touched by His Spirit and the power of the Truth, causing them to seek after Him and a share in the glorious heavenly things promised to those that love Him.
The Brethren at Helsingfors
Our third and last visit in Finland was at Helsingfors in the South, the capital of the country. "Helsingfors is handsome and well laid out, with wide streets, parks, gardens, and monuments. The public square contains the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, the Senate House and the University, all striking buildings of considerable architectural distinction. The general standard of education is high, the. publication of reviews, books, etc., being very active."
The two days' visit in this city were exceedingly interesting. This place has been the center of the greatest activity of the Truth in Finland, and during these recent years of general upheaval amongst the brethren throughout the world there have been a considerable number of earnest, active brethren in Helsingfors of discerning mind, who have remonstrated against the encroachments of error as well as against improper methods of teaching and the spirit of bondage. As a result there have been various breaks and separations from time to time with attempts to reunite various contending elements and factions and hold them under the controllership of the I. B. S. A. movement. It was only a comparatively short time before our arrival that matters had come to a climax in Helsingfors and upwards of 200 brethren had separated themselves, taking a decided stand in harmony with their convictions on the subject of liberty and truth. Some of these brethren we have been in touch with for some years past. The hearty welcome received in Helsingfors was most encouraging, about 35 friends having gathered at the station to meet our train. Altogether we addressed four meetings Saturday night and Sunday, the attendance at three of these being about 75 and probably 200 at the other. As this was rather a convention season, additional meetings were addressed by other brethren. This entire season of fellowship proved to be of a character very uplifting to the friends, and while we could converse with but a very few of them, we could plainly read their hearts from their faces. One feature that impressed us very much was the earnest zeal and fervent interest in spiritual things that these friends displayed, in their willingness to sit for three or four hours at a time on uncomfortable seats, listening to the message which many of them could understand only after it had passed through two interpreters. We could only say to these brethren that we were very doubtful if such expression of loving and profound interest could be found anywhere amongst the English speaking brethren in America, and we thought at the time how interesting this scene would be to many of our brethren at home who feel that they have performed their duty exception-ally well when they have listened to a discourse for one hour, with no hindrances in the way of translating from a foreign tongue.
Warm Appreciative Hearts
During the services and in private conversation we had opportunity to again answer many questions. and discuss problems relating to the developments of these recent years; for amongst these people various misrepresentations and misstatements have been made, as well as conflicting reports, that left matters in much obscurity. The visit amongst them, therefore, from a standpoint of clearing up many of these questions and problems, appeared to be very timely; and at the conclusion of the services, Sunday evening, our spirit was very much refreshed as we saw upon the faces of the friends much refreshing of heart and appreciation in the clearer outlook before them and in the stimulation of their hope and faith. Such warm appreciative, hearts always realize a mingled sense of joy and in parting, sorrow that we may not have the privilege of such meeting again in the flesh, but joy in anticipation of gathering in that grand assembly of the Church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.
Another item of importance here is that the brethren anxious to further the interests of the Lord's cause and help as many brethren as possible in that country had already begun the publication of the "Herald of Christ's Kingdom," in the Finnish language, the first issue of this paper coming off the press while we were in their midst.
It is a complete duplication of our journal including both the first and second pages. This activity we felt was to be highly commended and we endeavored of course to encourage them in this direction. The friends here, however, are much handicapped, on account of lack of funds, as nearly all of them are of limited means and are hard working people. They advised us that on this account they could hope to issue their paper only about once every three months.
Monday afternoon we took our departure from Helsingfors; and gathered at the station were a company of 43 friends who had left their work and various posts of duty at this time to say farewell and bid us God speed. This was a very impressive moment for us as so many of these dear friends came with packages of refreshments and flowers, expressive of their deep love and appreciation. And at this same time we were presented with a beautiful gold cross and crown pin that several had purchased that morning. Again we could not but be reminded of the blessedness of this union which we have in Christ our Lord, a bond, a union that brings to- gether in such intimate heart relationship, brethren of all nationalities and tongues, whose natural lives have been lived far apart, and whose general environment and rearing have been under altogether different and varied circumstances. But the one spirit of our Divine Master and the truth which it conveys to the heart is that power that produces a oneness and a communion in Him, that is not to be found in any other direction or in any other circumstance amongst mankind. In leaving these dear friends at Helsingfors we are sure that their thoughts as did ours turned to the exceeding great and precious promises that bid us look forward to the future when the present scenes and experiences of God's children in suffering and trial shall all be overpast and when there shall be one grand reuniting where partings are never known.
Our travels and experiences from Helsingfors back to Germany, England and homeward are given in a later division of this report.
I. F. HOSKINS.