VOL. XV. November,
1932 No. 18
VOL. XV. November, 1932 No. 18
Howard Scott, Technologist, Says Data Already Compiled Shows Machine Age Menace. Holds New System Vital.
DEVOUT students of sacred prophecy have no difficulty in recognizing the significance of the present sad circumstances in which millions of our race are experiencing untold suffering and distress as a result of the gravest and most sanguinary financial, and industrial crisis the world has ever known. Briefly, the Bible viewpoint is that this is the due time for the setting up of the Kingdom of God and hence the due time also for the great change from the old order to the new, from the reign of the empire of Satan to that of the Kingdom of God's dear Son, in harmony with Jesus' prayer, "Thy Kingdom come."
In sacred prophecy this time is described as a dark day of severest trouble, suffering and distress upon mankind. "And what wonder that a revolution of such proportion and necessitating such great changes should cause trouble. All revolutions have caused trouble in every age; and this so much-greater than any previous revolution is to be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation-no, nor ever shall be." This time is also called the "day of vengeance" of our God and a "day of wrath," not with the idea of anger and malice as we see these manifest among mankind, but with the thought that God has established certain laws, in harmony with which He operates, and those who from any cause come into conflict with these, reap the penalty or wrath of their own course.
While this is in brief the standpoint of the Divine Word regarding the present world crisis, the logical and philosophical causes in detail may be traced from a scientific standpoint by even the natural man; and thus some of the bright minds of the world today are presenting to their fellows what they find to be the logical result and outcome of the social system under which mankind is operating, an industrial system that permits the fruitage of human toil, the result of labor, to be centered in the hands of a few; and as the principle of selfishness is in control the results are a most inequitable and unjust distribution of the goods, the wealth of human endeavors.
Causes of the Present World Depression
Again prophetically, this situation has been referred to by the Apostle James when he says, "Go to now ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and, the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth."
Manifest is it before all people that we are in a time pre, eminent above all others, for heaping together treasures, for accumulating wealth. Entering into this situation and constituting an important factor is modern knowledge and its wide dissemination in these last days, resulting in marvelous scientific discoveries, inventions and labor-saving machinery. Labor-saving devices of every description whose efficiency is daily increasing, are replacing human labor in every department of industry, resulting in turn in depriving millions of their employment, of means by which to earn a livelihood. It is then modern knowledge operating in connection with selfishness in the present social system that has brought about the present unparalleled world crisis, which in turn is preparing the way for the new order of things under the administration of the Kingdom of God.
It is interesting in this connection to observe how thoughtful minds of the world are tracing the legitimate causes of the present world depression, and pointing out how this is the logical result of the social system under which the governments of the world are operating. As an example of how the analysis of some is in remarkable harmony with the Bible, the following, we believe, will be perused with deep interest by our readers:
"An extensive 'energy survey,' tracing the industrial and agricultural development of the United States during the last 100 years in terms of production, employment and energy expended, is under way at Columbia University. It is being made under the joint auspices of the University's Department of Industrial Engineering and the Architects' Emergency Committee of New York, it was announced yesterday by Professor Walter Rautenstrauch, head of the department.
"Three thousand charts will present the history from 1830 to 1930 of each of the 3,000 leading industrial and agricultural products, ranging from wheat and cotton to steel and power, Professor Rautenstrauch explained. Howard Scott, consultant technologist, is directing the project.
"About 150 charts have already been completed, steel and cement being among the commodities covered. It is expected that the survey will be completed next summer, when the charts will be published.
"The basic facts revealed by the charts for each of the 3,000 commodities will be the amount of energy expended annually in production, the number of men employed and their working hours, and the volume produced each year, it was pointed out. The rate of growth of production, the decline in the amount of man-power needed to produce a unit of each commodity from year to year, the total installed horsepower needed to produce a unit of each commodity each year, and the total installed horsepower for each unit produced are to be depicted by the charts. The highs and lows of inflations and depressions, translated into production, energy and employment, will stand out in oscillating curves of each chart.
To Explain Industrial Trends
"'The survey explains very clearly what is happening in this country today,' Mr. Scott declared. 'Prior to 1900 the charts show very little fluctuation in the production of the major commodities. Since then the oscillations grow tremendous, increasing in frequency and in. amplitude. The man-power needed in the production of each commodity slips down, even as the total installed horsepower increases.
"'The facts revealed by the charts completed through 1920 clearly indicate the coming of the present depression, although the figures point to 1930 instead of 1929 as the year of the crash.
"'The maximum of employment in industry was reached in 1918 and has declined ever) since that date. Total production, on the other hand, reached its maximum in 1929. This ratio of increased production and the declining employment is to be found in every major industry, as the charts indicate. Employment may be considered, therefore, an inverse factor in the rate of production.
"'The charts give a picture of our civilization in the only accurate terms in which it can be depicted. It cannot be done, as economists do it, by computing monetary wealth. Economics is merely the pathology of privately owned wealth. Although monetary wealth is the only wealth in our price system of production, to attempt to evaluate modern civilization in dollars is to attempt to build a house with a rubber yardstick.
"'The United States, these charts show, expends in energy 150,000 calories per capita every day. The figure for the ancient Greeks and the modern Chinese is 1,600 to 2,000 per capita per day. Our greatest difficulty is the fact that the tremendous energy expended in this country is not distributed. Under the present industrial system unemployment will continue to increase until a maximum point is reached, which will bring about the collapse of the system.'
"Man-Power Decrease Explained"
"Mr. Scott pointed out that in 1905, according to the charts, the production of a barrel of cement required 1.75 man-hours per barrel, a man-hour being the number of hours per unit per man, while in 1930 it required only about .45 man-hour per barrel. It took 1,291 man-hours to build a car in 1904, 303 man-hours to build one in 191.9 when the peak of employment was reached, and only 92 man-hours in 1929, he added.
"The steel produced in 1900 amounted to 11,000,000 metric tons, and required 600,000,000 man-hours. In 1929, with a production of 58,000,000 metric tons, only 770,000,000 man hours were needed. Thirteen man-hours per ton were required in 1929, as compared with 70 in 1900.
"'The social system of the future must be adjusted to the energy-producing values which can be regulated by scientific methods,' he concluded.. 'A. price system and scientific production cannot exist side by side.'
"Mr. Scott is associated with the Columbia University Industrial Engineering Department in carrying out the survey and is being assisted by thirty-six unemployed architectural draftsmen and engineers in the pay of the Architects' Emergency Committee, who are gathering statistics and drawing the charts.
"Wheat, cotton, rye, corn, rayon, coal, power, zinc, lead, tin, and aluminum are other products to be charted in the survey."
Gold and Silver Rusted
Our correspondent who sent us the foregoing article comments as follows:
"Seemingly a remarkable fulfillment of some features of James' prophecy regarding the last days is now in progress.. On every hand responsible men are remarking the vast aggregations of capital, now said to constitute the greatest reservoir of idle capital resources and credit ever known in the history of the world-'treasure heaped together,' and at the same time idle men and women by the millions-idle because the ones who own the factories, mines, etc., see no way in which to operate them at a profit.
"This remarkable situation calls to mind James' second proposition: 'Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust. of them shall be a witness against you.' Things in use do not generally rust, but idle things do. Millions of people are unemployed today because capital is heaped together and itself idle. And this idleness of capital is a testimony against its owners and systems and so recognized today.
"No less remarkable is the third proposition: 'The hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields [laborers of all kinds are represented, we suggest agricultural and industrial], which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth.' Many now recognize that not enough 'wages' or the joint product of labor and capital has been distributed to labor in the past; that the oversupply of many commodities 'for which no buyers can now be found is due to the fact that too much has been withheld from the (many) laborers, and retained by the relatively few owners of the sources of raw materials and the machinery for processing and converting them into articles for the use of man. Here again the prophecy seems to meet fulfillment in a remarkable degree -- the 'withheld' hire of the laborers is recognized as the cause of the present distressing situation in the world. And it presents a stalemate which is not only causing unprecedented hardship and suffering to the unemployed and their dependents, but also rapidly wasting ('cankering,' 'rusting' ) the accumulations of the wealthy owners of real estate, factories, mortgages, bonds, etc.
"The poor world, owners of the 'heaped together treasure' and the 'laborers' alike, know no way to solve the problem. Selfishness and failure to practise the Golden Rule are bringing their own terrible consequences. But thank God, these cries of the laborers 'are entered into the ears of the Lord'; and 'He shall make an utter end; affliction shall not rise up a second time: He 'will shake all nations and [then} the desire of all nations shall come.'
"'Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receives the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.' - James 5:7,8."
"Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps."-1 Pet. 2:21.
THE Apostle is addressing a class of Christians who were scattered throughout Asia, composed mainly of individuals of the servant or slave class, which class has furnished the phrase or illustration descriptive of those who have truly consecrated their lives to their Master, Jesus Christ-bondservants, handmaidens, etc., "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. . . begotten unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Three principal points are found in this statement of facts: first that He suffered; second, that He was an example; and third, that vie should follow that example. Christ is therefore to be our example and we are to follow Him both as a pattern in manner of living or character formation and as a sufferer; thus weaving Him into our lives, our very beings, and inspiring us to a high and lofty position in our spiritual life, the higher spiritual ground from which we may view the affairs of life as one detached therefrom--"in the world but not of it." In this position we are enabled to place a true valuation upon the spiritual things and upon the things temporal, realizing that the spiritual are the real forces behind all things-the invisible powers, as those which move the universe, that keep the planets in their courses, and supply the means wherewith a man may think; the power which breathed into his nostrils, created him a living creature, and made him the image of God, created for the pleasure of God and through the love of God destined to come again into harmony with Him -- restored to his reason, and capable of loving God as He was intended to be loved.
'Twas Wondrous Love
It was the love of God which planned this great and marvelous work, the creation of man. He pronounced him very good and He will again so pronounce him when he has become regenerated by the application of the purchase price of man, through the suffering of Him who left us an example.
The love of God for men caused the poet to ask and to furnish the answer to the following questions:
Atonement Seen in His Suffering and Death
There is a growing movement among men to set aside the ransom work of our Master. They would have us believe that Calvary is an historic mistake, suggesting that the idea of vicarious sacrifice is immoral, an adaptation of a pagan practice and thought, that in the Master we have a beautiful picture of upright living, and if we will we can become perfect as He was perfect, and that thus He fulfils His mission of an example.
But the Apostle says that He suffered for us and left us an example. Of what value would be the example without the suffering? Here the Apostle is referring not only to the suffering incident to His living as an example, but to His suffering as a propitiatory -- His death upon the cross. Also of what value is His death if we disregard Him as an example? The two are inseparably bound together as part of the same proposition; yet we find many holding to one and setting aside the other. Faith in the cross is necessary, but equally necessary is it to take Him for an example and to follow in His steps. "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
The writer of the Book of Hebrews points us to many of the Ancient Worthies as justified by their work of obedience based upon their faith in God's Word, but finally points us to the Author and Finisher of our faith -a new order of things in which both faith and works must be combined. Much emphasis is placed by some upon the doing of good as a necessary work, and this of course is true, but only as it is the inevitable outcropping of a character inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The will of God concerning us is our sanctification, and this means "sanctify yourselves and I will sanctify you." This signifies further, character formation, and still further the showing to the world that we have walked with Him, and they seeing the fruits of a sanctified life, may sometime "glorify the Father" because of their contact with us. Much confusion has resulted in the Christian world because: of undue emphasis upon a certain phase of God's truth by the failure to rightly divide the Word.
We sometimes wonder if we are sufficiently thankful for the great measure of understanding which has been given those who maintain a humble and receptive attitude to the Word, who strive to show themselves approved of God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. It is the partial understanding of a truth as often as the acceptance of an error which leads to confusion, or it is the first which leads to the latter, in many cases.
Christ also Suffered for You
There is no emotion to which the human mind is so subject as suffering, and this suffering may be from physical causes, reflected and registered by the brain and known as physical pain, or it may be purely mental pain. The degree of suffering experienced depends upon the sensitiveness of the sufferer.
Since the desecration of Paradise all men have suffered. From the moment God no longer "walked with them in the cool of the evening," man has had no peace. Selfishness has done her work well in the six thousand years of sin and death since one asked, "Am I my brother's keeper?" The brotherhood of man is a hollow, meaningless phrase. From the moment a new-born babe comes into the world until his last conscious breath, he suffers first from physical pain and then from mental pain, from sorrow, from disappointment, from loss of one kind or another. There are none who are conscious or in their right mind who do not experience one kind or another of suffering. The drama of life is more interwoven with tragedy than with comedy. No life is left long to forget suffering. In the orchestral music of life the minor strains are ever felt, sadness is dominant in each individual in the world as a whole.
Our Savior was not exempted from these human experiences. Especially from the moment of His consecration to His last "It is finished," did He suffer; and how He must have suffered! There seems to have been no moment during all the hours of His passion when He did not suffer, when He could not say, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death." Peter speaks much of His suffering, Paul of His cross, and John of His love -- all features of His one purpose. It was Peter who revolted at the idea that Christ should die, the just for the unjust. It was he who flew to the defense of the Master as the rabble gathered about Him in the Garden. The Holy Spirit had not yet come to change him from the impulsive, impetuous Simon to the mellowed but courageous Peter who was in time, to walk in the Master's steps even unto martyrdom. He did not grasp the significance of the cross then. There was much the Master could not tell them, for they were unable to bear it.
Should Lead Us to Self-Examination
The man who exclaimed "This shall not be unto Thee, Lord" was the same who under the influence of the Spirit carried the message to the first Gentile and witnessed the outpouring of that Holy Spirit which had wrought so great a change in himself. This was the man who ate nothing unclean, but when the light dawned upon him, spared no pains to preach the Gospel to every man. What a change the cross of Christ wrought in him when his eyes were opened! How different his attitude when he says, "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious." -You who believe in His Atonement work, you who have consecrated, you who have presented yourselves a living sacrifice, you who have been transformed by the renewing of your minds, you who are no longer conformed to this world, but have laid aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking, if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. These can say with the Apostle John, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." - 1 John 3:3.
The suffering of Christ for us should lead us to self examination. Let us look for every trace of malice or guile or hypocrisies and envyings. Let us see if there be any evil speaking in us, or the desire for the same. Let us do this with candor, seeking the truth with honesty of purpose. Let us see if Christ dwell within us and whether we love the brethren, for "we know that we have passed from death unto life if we love the brethren." This is our great test today-love. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is love." (John 4:7, 8.) And love is the bond of perfectness. If we are fitting ourselves for membership in the Body of Christ and realize all that it means, we can leave no thing undone which will advance us in the way to our chosen goal.
We read that through suffering the Master was made perfect; not perfect in conduct but perfect in the completeness of His experience in the human phase of His existence. Nothing has been left undone to meet every exigency of the future. There can be no question that He is or was everything in the way of a corresponding price for fallen man. And if it were needful that the Master should suffer how much more needful that the Body suffer; for the servant is not greater than his Lord.
Laid Down His Life as the Good Shepherd
Again, the experiences of this life are needful that the joint-heirs with Jesus Christ may be helpful to the world in their uplift work in the next Age. The sufferings of the Master can be explained only on the grounds that they were for others. While He suffered more than other men, He surely did not so because He justly deserved it. Nor did He suffer by any unjust decree of God. He suffered as the good 'Shepherd gives His life for the sheep. As Paul says, "Christ died for us," and Peter says, "Christ suffered for us." And as this great truth became clear to these Apostles-that Christ was in His death and suffering the great antitypical Pascal Lamb, that it is the blood of Christ that cleanses from all sin, they became lost to all other material considerations, opened their hearts to the ministry of the Holy Spirit and became two of the greatest exponents of the truth the world has ever beheld. And it was by suffering that they perfected a character pleasing to God. The Body members must all be made perfect by these same means -- must fill up the sufferings of Christ which are behind.
We must remember always that we cannot merit the Lord's favor by these sufferings, but that this favor is His gift through grace, and that we cannot boast that we have earned it. We are bought with a price, there, fore "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." For this reason our Master became reconciled to His suffering and His, "If it be possible let this cup pass from Me" became His "Nevertheless Thy will be done." His was a perfect consecration and sanctification and so He can supply what you and I may need in making our covenant by sacrifice with God that we may be gathered unto Him. But our portion must be our all, our two hands full must be sprinkled upon the coals of the altar, that it may ascend into the Most Holy a sweet smelling savor in the nostrils of Jehovah.
His Atonement sacrifice has bridged the chasm between the Father and the Bride and has made it possible that we may come boldly unto the Throne of Grace that we may find grace to help in time of need. It is the sure grounds upon which is based our peace, our confidence, our joy. His joy, His peace which He has given us in so large a measure, is such as the world knows not how to give. God has made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin: that we might be made the: righteousness of God in Him.
Our Experience must be Deeper than Imitators
By His suffering He has left us an example that we should follow in His steps. This word example has several shades of meaning, one of which is that something is set up, to be followed in outline or imitated. If so taken in our understanding of the text it will doubtless accomplish much by way of improving our naturally fallen natures. If we go about doing good because He so did, if we are kindly and helpful because He was so, if we strive to do in all the experiences of life as He would possibly do, that would be commendable, but we would be merely imitators if we went no further. We would be only patterning our lives after an outward fashion.
Our experiences must be deeper, much deeper than this. In due time the Bride will do not only the marvelous things which the Apostle saw Him do, but much greater also. This injunction' to look upon Him as a pattern or example then reaches beyond the purely physical and mental phase of our attempted patterning. It goes into the spiritual depth of our being, into the holy of holies of our existence. Here we may imitate Him, and to the extent that we do, those outward graces will come spontaneously and without effort, as coming from new creatures, not merely the old made over, but transformed by the renewing of our minds.
The Master's chief source of strength by which He was able to perform perfectly His mission was His nearness to the Father, enabling Him to say, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. The Father and I are one." This then is the one principal point or feature in which we should follow Him as an example. Filled with the Holy Spirit of God, emptied of self, the fruits will manifest themselves in our lives in an ever-increasing measure, verifying the promise of God, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee."
Now having taken the first step of consecration, making a covenant with Him by sacrifice after the example set by the Master, we are ready to follow in His steps. It is easy to speak of Him as our example, but do we realize what it means; if done with honesty of purpose?
Take up Thy Cross and Follow Me
In those who understand it best we find the greatest transformation of life and character. A revolutionizing of the reactions toward the things of life comes with the realization of the new relationship. Our vision has been obstructed in the fields of mere physical and intellectual life, beautiful in themselves perhaps as the green and fertile' valleys, but as we reach the mountain peaks and see others rolling on and on before us as though unfolding still more the beauties of the new life, we pause as the conviction comes to us that God has heard our cry, that He has hearkened unto us and given ear unto our voice, and that our prayers are set before him as incense and the lifting up of our hands as the evening sacrifice. And we ask with the Psalmist: "Set a , watch, O Lord, before my mouth: keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity." - Psa. 141:1.4.
Take up thy cross and follow Me, from the lips of the Master makes known the truth that following in His steps leads to a life of sacrifice and suffering. He who would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, from the lips of the Apostle, indicates the same truth. Now why should the godly life, of necessity, lead to persecution and suffering? Because one who so walks is like one proceeding upstream against a strong downward current; or like walking in the face of a powerful wind. The aims and objects of the world, even the clean and upright among them, are very contrary to the aims and objects of the consecrated Christian. The world knoweth Him not, hence knows not in a true sense His footstep followers. One is climbing higher and higher toward perfection of life, and because of the hope that is within him, purifieth himself even as He is pure. This hope emphasizes the sonship of the Church and the fact that "we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is." And the purification leads to the development: of love here and now for all mankind, that we should do good unto them, especially unto the household of faith.
The Master lived after this principle, though He could not live among them without a spiritual withdrawal from them. To walk in His steps brings the same disfavor upon His followers as it did upon Him. Both lay their flesh upon the altar, thus indicating that they have withdrawn from the things of the world, for one cannot serve two masters. We must overcome the world, and "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith." The world has no sympathy with a faith which sets aside the things of the world as without value when compared with the things of the Spirit, which to them are foolishness. As the love of the world is enmity toward God, so the love of God brings the enmity of the world toward the Church.
Keynote of Christ's Messages-the Overcoming Life
The Master spoke much of patient endurance toward those who persecute the Church unjustly. "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be exceeding glad." "In your patience possess ye your souls," is His advice to those who suffer by following His steps. They are building character. They are gaining strength. They are on the way to be among the overcomers. What glorious promises are made to the seven churches of Asia, in those letters addressed to them. The Apostle knew what it was to overcome the world. It carries the thought of a power which gives a victory over a mighty force-the forces of the world. John knew the power of abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. Faith in the power of God produces in the humble of heart a poise which indicates a. victory over the forces of evil, a confidence in the promises which, like love, casteth out fear.
Much perhaps of the suffering which comes to the Christian is needless because he has not learned to cast all his cares or anxieties upon the Lord in a whole-hearted way. He suffers from doubts which darken his spiritual horizon, from fears as to his ability to stand the storms of temptation and trial and even as to the fact that he may be walking in the straight and narrow way. He is disturbed as to the proper solution of the problems confronting him in his daily life. The seeming trifles multiply at times so greatly that they threaten to overwhelm him. The Master, always so calm and self-possessed in His soul, seems even to have experienced this feature of human suffering on one occasion, when as He hung upon the cross, paying the debt of sin of the world, as the clouds gathered and the thunders rolled, and darkness again covered the face of the earth, He cried aloud, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Thus He descends in the lowest depths of despair, that He might be able to redeem him who likewise so descended.
Many of our sorrows, heartaches, and sufferings may be of our own causing; but whether it be so or not we can find comfort and peace as the Master found it in His frequent communings with the Father, "dwelling in the secret place of the Most High."
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; and gathered them out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south." - Psa. 107:1-3.
Were Our Vision Purged
To quote from one who seems to have a vision: "Had one lived in Jesus' day and realized His excellence,' the cross would have been an almost insuperable offense to faith. Why should He have had a crown of thorns? Had the veil been lifted from the future, and had one seen the salvation flowing from the five wounds of the Redeemer, then he had been comforted and content. No one then imagined that through the mystery of the Lord's passion so great a blessing was to come on all ages, for none' had entered into the' secret of His suffering. [Today we are perplexed by the passion, which is not now concentrated like a bitter essence in the cup of One, but is distributed in the earthly vessels of ordinary people, and we stand aghast at the lot of the victims.] Were our vision purged and power given us to detect spiritual effects, then we would understand, and cease to complain. We would see the hard crust of human nature broken up, and the fountains of fine emotions unsealed: the subtle sins which sap the vigor of character eliminated, and the unconscious virtues brought to bloom. Before the widespread, silent, searching appeal of the suffering, each in his, appointed place, the heart of the race grows tender and opens its doors to goodness."
"It was the Sea of Sorrow: and I stood
"I listened there,
"But now apart from . . Law a righteousness of [or from] God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and theProphets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all [and upon all] them that believe; for there is no distinction."-Rom. 3:21, 22, R. V.
THESE two verses, as we noted in our last two Meditations, form the theme, not only of the passage (Romans 3:21-26), but of the whole of the second section of our Epistle. (Romans 3:21-5:11.) But before proceeding with the development of this theme, the Apostle first sums up the argument of the previous section (Romans 1:18-3:20), by restating the ground on which every human being needs this evangelical righteousness. It is because "all have sinned and come short o f the glory of God." Romans 3:23.
To What Sins does the Apostle here Refer?
Some have supposed that the reference here is to the first sin of Adam; others think that there is a principal, though not an exclusive reference to that original sin. But whatever the Apostle may have to tell us later as to the manner in which sin entered into the world, he has not yet mentioned Adam or any "weakness of the flesh" we, as his children, may have fallen heir to. His reference in the verse before us is obviously to the fact which he has substantiated in the preceding section (Romans 1:18-3:20)-the fact that all are guilty of actual personal transgressions. This he proved, not by pointing to Adam's transgression, but by an appeal to the facts of history. He did not deny, on the contrary he will later (in chapter 5), affirm the fact of Adam's transgression and our inheritance of infirmity from our first parent, but it is important to observe that his argument as to the necessity for a faith righteousness is not based on this fact. Up to this verse (Romans 3:23) in our Epistle, it must be admitted the Apostle has not argued that since all are children of Adam and, have inherited certain sinful tendencies from him, that therefore they need this evangelical righteousness, this justification by faith. His argument for the necessity of a faith-righteousness contains no reference to Adam and our inherited blemishes, but rests solely an that personal estate o f sins all have willfully committed. In the Apostle's view it is from these that all need to be justified, and it is with these, and with these alone, that the whole o f the argument of the first section (Romans 1:18-3:20) is concerned. We would urge our readers not to overlook this point but to make special note of it as it will be of material assistance later when we come to chapter 4, and inquire into Abraham's justification and seek to ascertain why it was that notwithstanding he was justified by faith he remained and still remains under the condemnation passed on Adam and his race, and what he will need in addition to having his faith counted unto him for righteousness before he will pass from under that condemnation. It will be helpful also when we come to chapter 8, and consider what, in addition to having their faith counted unto them for righteousness was necessary to the Church before the Apostle could triumphantly exclaim "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." - Romans 8:1, R. V.
Let Us Judge Ourselves
But to return to the verse before us: How does the Apostle prove that all have sinned? We answer: He proves the existence of the personal estate of willful sins not speculatively but historically; not by logic but by experience; not by development of a theory but by an appeal to fact. "Because philosophy and science have been bringing into prominence the influence of heredity and physical environment on character, we use this consideration, and often with little enough knowledge of real science, to obliterate the sense of sin. We are apt to regard sin as it appears in the world at large as a result of ignorance, or social conditions-as in one way or another a form of misfortune. And so viewing it in the world, we view it in ourselves. We make excuses for ourselves. We have largely lost the sense that sin is willfulness; that it is an inexcusable offense against God; that it does, and necessarily does, bring us under God's indignation. . . It is this sense of sin that St. Paul must help' to restore in us. We must believe that God is holy, and we must learn to tremble under His necessary holiness, before we can in any right sense realize that He is loving. We must learn once again to be really penitent; to confess our sins in general and in particular with utter humiliation; to expect the Divine judgment upon them. . . And learning this for ourselves with regard to our own personal sins, we must learn also to feel, like Daniel, what our Church and nation deserve in God's sight. We must confess our own sins and the sins of Church and nation [Dan. 9:4.20]-aye, of the human race. Only through such a restoration of evangelical severity can there be a restoration of evangelical joy. The deepened sense of personal sin is the (,needful step to spiritual progress. Certainly no more in our case than in that of the Jews will orthodoxy, or ritual accuracy, or frequent services, or superior education, or philanthropic zeal, be accepted as a substitute for moral severity, for the spirit of penitence and the readiness for penance. Let us judge ourselves, brethren, that we be not judged by the Lord.
What shall be Our Standard of Judgment
"And it is all-important what our standard of judgment is. The Jews failed because they judged themselves by a mainly external and therefore easy standard. So do most . . . [of us]. We are satisfied if we do nothing discreditable. But the religious sense of sin, as it is experienced by the Psalmists, or St. Paul, or Luther, or John Keble, arises from the intense perception of a personal relation to the All-Holy. The 'falling short' or rather 'experienced need,'* of which St. Paul goes on to speak, is the experienced need of something very lofty, to which it is possible for men to be quite insensible -- 'the glory of God.' God's Divine brightness, the eternal light, streams forth into nature. 'The whole earth is full of His glory.' Man also in his natural and moral being is meant to have fellowship with God. He is meant for the Divine glory also. It is in proportion as he realizes what he was meant for, and becomes conscious in himself of a capacity for God, that his present actual pollution and sinfulness becomes a reality to his consciousness. It is in the light of God and in aspiration after the glory of God, that the sense of sin really awakens. 'Thou requirest truth in the inward parts,' says the Psalmist. 'Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned.' 'If thou, Lord, shouldst be extreme to mark what is done amiss, Lord, who may abide it?'
*"The word for 'fall short' in verse 23 is a 'middle' verb, and apparently implies not only failure in point of fact, but conscious failure. Thus in Luke 15:14, the prodigal son begins to feel his destitution (middle). But in Matt. 19:20, the rich young man asks, 'What, as a matter of fact, is wanting to me?' (active)."
Man's Extremity God's Opportunity
"Being justified [declared righteous-Rotherham] freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Christ. "-Ver. 24.
"Now we have been brought to recognize the true state of the case as between ourselves and God-the fact about ourselves as we are in God's sight. We were meant for fellowship in the Divine glory. . . But, meant for fellowship in the Divine glory, we have fallen short of it and have come to appreciate our failure. We have sinned, and that universally and willfully. We are such that God cannot accept us as we are; the 'day of His appearing' could be for us but a 'day of wrath.' And in this dire situation we are helpless. We can supply no remedy. 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil.' (Jer. 13:23.) But to acknowledge this-to abandon the claim so dear to the human heart, that we can be independent and manage our own life successfully: to repudiate all our false pride, and to come before God all of us on the same level confessing our failure and our sin-this is to let man's necessity be God's opportunity, and to open the flood-gates of the Divine righteousness."
Believers though Unrighteous are declared Righteous
With such sentiments as the foregoing in mind it will not be difficult for us to see that faith-righteousness is not anything that we could procure for ourselves, but is a gift bestowed upon believers personally by God Himself. It is a Divine act, not a human attainment. Moreover, consecrated believers know by personal experience as well as from Scriptural teaching that when God justified them by faith He did not make them righteous but declared them righteous or reckoned them so. This was our conclusion, it will be recalled, when we considered the matter in Meditations No. 15. "When a man is justified by faith, righteousness is not communicated to him but is imputed to him; he is not made righteous but reckoned righteous. In imputing our faith to us for righteousness, God does not thereby declare that we who are not righteous have become righteous, but He thereby undertakes to regard and deal with us as though we had, extending to us all the privileges that would be ours if we had become righteous." In verse 24 the Apostle sets before us (1) the method, (2) the origin, and (3) the ground of this faith righteousness.
The Method of Justification by Faith -- Freely
To be justified freely is to be justified without any meritorious cause in us of the blessing bestowed. The same word is used in John 15:25 where instead of being translated "freely" it is translated "without a cause." "They hated, Me," our Lord there says of His enemies, "without a cause," by which He evidently means, without a cause in Himself that should have had any tendency to excite their malicious hatred. So here, to be justified freely is to be justified without a cause in us that could procure such a blessing.
The Origin of Justification by Faith -- His Grace
Scholars have pointed out that the word "His" should be emphasized. It is from God that the gift comes down. It is not merely by favor but by His favor that believers are justified-declared righteous. "It is God that justifieth." (Rom. 8:23.) As another remarks: "The entire expression as the Apostle gives it, points us at once to the efficient cause (God) and also to the impulsive cause (His grace) of the justification of believers."
The Ground of Justification by Faith -- Through
The ransom sacrifice of Christ constitutes the meritorious ground not only of the faith-righteousness of believers of this Age but also of their deliverance as well as that of the rest of the human family from Adamic condemnation and death to eternal life in Christ. But the Apostle is not yet ready to discuss that "way of life." At the proper time and place (see chap. 5, ver. 12-21), he will do so adequately, exhaustively, in the superb and masterful style with which we are so familiar. But in the present passage he is not discussing that way of life, but is discussing the privilege of justification by faith offered to believers of this Gospel Age. True, justification by faith is intended by God to serve as an introduction to that life to those who in this Age consecrate themselves to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. But we believe it will conduce to clarity of thought if we do not attempt to anticipate here a subject which under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the Apostle has thought well to postpone to a later chapter. Instead let us concentrate our attention on the theme he is here seeking to unfold.
Ransom not Mentioned
As we come to examine closely into the text we find that the "ransom sacrifice of Christ" is not mentioned. "What then," it may be asked, "are we to understand by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus'?" We answer: The word apolutrosis here translated redemption appears only ten times in the New Testament and not once does it refer to the ransom but in each case signifies deliverance. True, in every case the deliverance mentioned may be proved to be intimately connected with the work of the Redeemer, with the ransom sacrifice at Calvary, but it is always deliverance, the outcome of the redemptive work, the result of the ransom, never the ransom itself that is intended. For that central feature of God's Plan a different word is used. It appears only three times. Twice it is used to record our Lord's own words: "The Son of Man came . . . to give His life a ransom [lutron-anti-a price to correspond] for many." (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45.) The third time it is used by our Apostle, only compounded differently: "The Man Christ Jesus gave Himself a ransom [anti-lutron-a corresponding price] for all, to be testified in due time." - 1 Tim. 2:6.
To What Deliverance does the Apostle Refer?
But what is the "deliverance that is in Christ Jesus"? We answer: The context must in each case decide. In three places the reference is undoubtedly to the final deliverance of the Church: Luke 21:28; Rom. 8:23; Eph. 4:30. In three other places the reference is to their present justification by faith: Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Rom. 3:24. In one place the reference is to the final deliverance not only of the Church but also of the whole of mankind, including the earth, man's home. (Eph. 1:14.) In another place the reference is to the deliverance granted believing Jews from transgressions which took place under their Old Law Covenant. (Heb. 9:15.) In yet another it is to a deliverance the Ancient Worthies refused, preferring death (Heb. 11:35), while in another instance the word would seem to apply both to the final deliverance of the Church and also to their present justification by faith. (1 Car. 1:30.) Let us briefly examine these ten texts in which apolutrosis occurs.
(1) Luke 21:28: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look tip, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (deliverance) draweth nigh." When the deliverance here spoken of "draweth nigh" then "the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand." (Ver. 31.) "There is no reference here to the ransom or to the conditions precedent to the Church's deliverance, but merely to the deliverance itself," namely the final deliverance of the Church.
(2) Rom. 8:23: "Even we ourselves (the faithful Church) groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption (deliverance) of our Body [the Church, the Body of Christ, which is to be glorified with the Head, in due time]." "Nothing in this statement has the slightest reference to the redemption accomplished at Calvary, the purchase-price; it refers purely and solely to the deliverance of the Church, which is to be a part o f the result of the redemption finished at Calvary-the ransom." Again the reference is seen to be to the final deliverance o f the Church.
(3) 1 Cor. 1:30: "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption [deliverance]." "Nothing here has any reference to the redemption-price paid at Calvary. The Apostle is speaking, not of what our Lord did for us, but o f what He is yet to do for us. . . .
He will, in due time, deliver from the bondage of corruption, death, the Church which He purchased with His own blood. The deliverance, and not the purchase is here referred to," and again it is seen to refer to the final deliverance o f the Church, although it may here "very properly be applied also to the intermediate and incidental deliverances o f the faithful all along the narrow way, culminating in salvation 'to the uttermost' in the glory, honor and immortality of the First Resurrection."
(4) Eph. 1:7: "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved, in whom we have redemption [deliverance] through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Here the word deliverance is explained for us. It is the forgiveness of sins, not, we would observe in passing, the sin or sins of Adam but our own. "Thy sins be forgiven thee." (Matt. 9:2.) Deliverance here, then, refers not to the sacrifice at Calvary but to the reckoning as righteous those who were in fact sinners, or in other words it refers to the justification by faith of the ungodly. Thus seen, the word does not refer to the final but to a present deliverance.
(5) Eph. 1:14: "Ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption [deliverance] of the purchased possession." "The possession which Christ purchased by the sacrifice for sins as man's substitute includes mankind in general or so many as will accept the favor on the Gospel conditions, as well as the Church, the Bride. The time for the deliverance is in the Millennial Kingdom and the Church is to be delivered first-'early in the morning.' But the earth was part of man's original estate and was purchased by the same sacrifice once for all: hence it too is to be delivered from its share of the curse and shall become as the garden of the Lord-Paradise. The purchase is accomplished but the deliverance waits for God's 'due time.' " The word, then, has reference to the final deliverance o f both the Church and the rest o f the world o f mankind, including the earth, man's home.
(6) Eph. 4:30: "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption [deliverance]." "There is no reference here to the redemption sacrifice finished at Calvary. Yet not until that sacrifice was finished, and its merits presented in the holy of holies, and accepted by the Father, did the Holy Spirit come upon any to seal them as sons of God. But now these who have been sealed are to maintain this seal of sonship, this begetting of the Divine nature, not to lose it. The sealing of the Spirit is the first-fruit of the Spirit, and is all that is communicated during this present life: for the full measure of the blessing of the Divine nature we must wait until the time appointed of the Father, the 'day of deliverance,' the Millennial Day, in which day the Scriptures declare, concerning the Church, the Bride of Christ, 'God shall help her early in the morning."' (Psa. 46:5.) Whoever loses the Holy Spirit and its seal will have neither part nor lot in the First Resurrection, in the morning of the 'day of [complete] deliverance' from the power of sin and death." In this passage the context again discloses a reference to the final deliverance o f the Church.
(7) Col. 1:14: "In whom we have redemption [deliverance] through His blood even the forgiveness of sins." This as will be readily seen, is a parallel passage to Eph. 1:7. "We believers already have deliverance, that is, the forgiveness of our sins, and hence harmony with the Father. The word 'redemption' here has no reference to the sacrifice for sins, but merely to its effect upon us, setting us free from our sins. The Apostle, however, does not ignore the sacrifice, but declares that our deliverance from the bondage and control of sin is through the efficacy of our Lord's blood--His death, His sacrifice for sins, the ransom paid." The word then relates, as in Eph. 1:7, not to the final but to a present deliverance.
(8) Heb. 9:15: "For this cause He is the Mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption [deliverance] of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." "Once more a faulty rendering partially obscures the meaning; but when the thought is seen to be deliverance all is clear." The evident reference is to the deliverance already experienced by the believing few from transgressions which had taken place under the Old Law Covenant.
(9) Heb. 11:35: "Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance." "This is the one instance in which the translators have properly rendered this word: they probably tried to render it 'redemption' and found that it would make rather strange reading to say, 'not accepting redemption,' and then translated it properly,-deliverance.' " Obviously it has reference to a deliverance that could have been accepted by the worthy ones of a previous Age, but to which death was preferred.
(10) Rom. 3:24: "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption [deliverance] that is in Christ Jesus. Coming now to this, our text, it should not be difficult, in the light of the foregoing discussion to see that the deliverance here spoken of is akin to that mentioned in Eph. 1:7 and Col. 1:14. It is a present deliverance, even the forgiveness of sins. No reference is here made to the great sacrifice for sins, but merely to the present effect upon believers, setting them here and now free from their sins; reckoning as righteous those who in fact are sinners. As Brother Russell in commenting directly on this text has observed: "The Apostle does not in these words refer to the ransom but merely to the deliverance which the Lord's people have, now reckonedly, and by and by prospectively in the resurrection. He is treating the matter from God's standpoint: believers are freely, unconditionally, justified; aside from any works of merit on their part. This is accomplished through the deliverance which God has provided in Christ Jesus -our Lord." - Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. V, Page 434.
The thought of the Apostle then seems clear. He is discussing, not Adamic condemnation and death and the way of deliverance therefrom to eternal life through the ransom sacrifice of Christ, but while not ignoring that sacrifice, is, for wise reasons, limiting his discussion to personal willful sins and how by faith believers may be here and now forgiven them, delivered from them, justified from them-how by faith they may be declared righteous by God. And so far as this faith-righteousness is concerned its method is without cause in us, its origin is in God, and its all sufficient ground is the deliverance that is in Christ Jesus.
(Reprinted by request from "The Watch Tower,"
September 1, 1914)
THE Apostles injunction is very positive; we are to speak evil of none. The question then arises, What does St. Paul mean here? Does he mean that we should speak nothing of any man with an evil intention toward him? Or does he mean, Speak no evil whatever the intention? We answer, we surely know that to speak evil with a wrong motive, a wrong intention, would be a heinous crime, especially in a child of God. But we think the Apostle meant, No matter what your motive speak evil about nobody. If that be the Apostles thoughtand we believe it hardly controvertibleit places a very stringent requirement upon all of the Lords people. If the motive for speaking evil were bad, all the worse but good or bad "Speak evil of no man."
Now another question comes up, What is evil-speaking? We answer, This subject has various sides. To speak evil is to speak that which is injurious; therefore one should say nothing that would injure any man. It is very easy to perceive the justice and the reasonableness of this requirement if we apply the Golden Rule. Would we wish any one to do us evil? Would we wish any to speak slightingly of us to comment on our faults or on what the speaker considered faults, and thus lower us in the eyes of others? If the Lords people would learn to apply the Golden Rule to every affair of life, it would surely be very helpful.
Some of the most conscientious Christians have difficulty along this line. In considering this matter of evil-speaking some think, Is my motive right? They forget that their motive in speaking derogatively of others has nothing to do with the Apostles injunction. No matter what the motive, we are not to speak evil. The question is not, Did I have a good intention or a bad one? but, Am I speaking evil? Am I saying anything contrary to the Golden Rulesomething that I would not wish to have said of me? We would that we could instill this thought into the hearts and minds of every reader of this journal.
IS REPORTING VIOLATION OF RULES EVIL-SPEAKING?
Now comes another question, How should we apply the injunction of our text in the case of the home, for instance, or the office? Suppose that we are connected with an office or a home where certain rules are laid down for the government of that office or home. Would it in such a case be evil-speaking on our part to report any violation of those rules? We do not consider this evil-speaking. If we were ourselves violating those rules, the person who would report us would be doing rightnot doing us evil or wrong or injury. By not reporting the misdemeanor or violation of rules, the person would be encouraging in us a continuation of the wrong course.
Gods people are supposed always to have no other than good motives for any course pursued. To have any but a good motive in dealing with others would be to have a murderous motive. We are not, therefore, to take the motive into consideration. But a person who accepts a position in an office, a home or an institution accepts also the conditions and sundry rules connected with such a position. Doubtless nearly all rules and regulations in an office or home are made, not with the view of injuring any one, but for the general welfare of the business or the family or whatever it may be. Hence the observance of all these obligations should be considered a serious responsibility.
One should not report an infraction of rules in an evil
It is not necessary for the one who informs to judge the heart of the one reported. It is not a question of a bad heart. If one has a foolish brain, or is forgetful or inattentive and violates important rules, it is not judging the heart to report such a caseand especially where there is a rule that such cases be reported. It is merely a matter of dutya thing that is required and is both necessary and proper. We see this principle laid down in Gods workmanship in our bodies. If something occurs in the bodyfor instance, if a finger is being pinched the nerves immediately telegraph to the brain. If a foot is hurt, the fact is telegraphed to the brain at once. Suppose there were no means of communicating the injury of a member of the body to the brain. Suppose there were no nerves of sensation to convey the message. One might not know whether or not he had lost a finger or a toe. He would not know when he had lost a foot, until he stumbled and fell.
SUBJECT NOT TO BE DISCUSSED WITH THE OFFENDER
We should not be always looking to see if our own personal matters are being impinged. We know that we as well as others, have imperfections. If others inadvertently tread upon our toes, we know that we are likely to sometimes tread on others toes. But personal matters are different from those that belong to the family or to the office. It is not busybodying to report violations of the rules of the house or of the office. It is to the interest of every member of a family or an institution that the interests of the whole body be looked after, in a proper and reasonable way.
It would not be proper for any one in an office to attempt to set straight every one else in the office. It is not for any one to go around and correct others; this is not his business. But if another is breaking rules, it is his business to report the factsthe facts without any coloring whatever. If we would do otherwise, if each one who notes an infraction would go to the one who violated the rules, and thus attempt to settle all the affairs of the office or the family, there would be continual confusion. The one who broke the rule would be disposed to defend himself and to say, "My course was all right, and it is none of your affair whether that gate was left open or shut," etc. But if that gate is left open, it is your duty to report the matter to the proper authority, and thus you are relieved of the responsibility of the affair. This is not a personal matter, such as to be dealt with according to Matthew 18:15-18. It would not be our duty to tell Tom Dick, Harry, Mary or Jane about the matter. There is just one person to whom we should tell it; and the report should be made with all kindly feeling.
One would soon get himself into trouble if he were to try to run an entire house or office by going to various ones to endeavor to set them right. But if there were a new-comer, and he were unintentionally violating a rule, it might be well to say; It is a rule of the house to do thus and so. But it would not be proper to mention this fact to him more than once. A second violation should be reported though in a loving spirit.
Applying the question to our proper course in the Church, in matters relating to ourselves personally, we see where our individual responsibility lies. "If thy brother trespass against thee go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone." Our Lord does not refer to what he does against some one else, but against "thee." "Well," some one may object, "I think he was doing something against so-and-so." We have heard some one say: "I think Brother So-and-so does not treat his wife right." We reply, "That is his business and his wifes business it is not your business. Your business is to look after your own wife or husband, your own parents, your own children, and let other people alone. We advise that you practise on yourself. Do your duty in respect to your own affairs, and refrain from comments on those of others."
But suppose we saw something radically wrong, suppose we were going along the street and saw a man cruelly beating a horse, should we say nothing? In such a case if we saw a policeman, we might say, "Will you take notice of how that man is abusing that horse?" Or it might be reported to the humane society, if there were one in the locality. If a parent were brutally beating a child, or something of that kind, it would be proper to report the matter to the authorities. But it is not the business of every one to go about attempting to straighten out matters in general. The world is full of evil, and will be until the Kingdom shall take control.
We think that as far as the Church is concerned the number of difficulties we see in the world would better be let alone as a rule; for if we should start out to right everything that is wrong, we would not have any time left for serving the King of kings and Lord of lords. Our time is limited enough, at best. People already misjudge us; therefore we do well not to add unnecessarily to the opposition. If the time ever came when we were through with all our duties to the Church and to our families then we might see to some of these outside matters. But we have very little time, and it leaves us very small opportunity to attend to any other matters except our necessary duties and our service for the Lord and the brethren. And for this we should be very thankful; for then if there is opposition against us, it will be only because we have been faithful to our Heavenly King.
Our King has not given us authority as yet to set the matters of the world straight. But we are instructed that we should, as we have opportunity, make known the principles of righteousness, without getting into any dispute. When our King comes in and begins His Reign, and we are exalted with Him, we will show the world what a government should be! But, indeed, it seems surprising how good the laws are even now. We are simply amazed as we think of the good laws of the State of New York for instance. It is wonderful how the State tries to take care of the interests of the majority, and how much is done for the people; we are glad that the poor world has been able to do so well. We admire what they have done under such adverse conditions. What a grand time it will be, and what a grand world it will be, when everything is under the Law of Righteousness!
ANOTHER PHASE OF THE QUESTION
But coming back to this matter of evil-speaking in the Church; suppose that a brother has been nominated for the position of Elder or Deacon, and suppose that in our judgment he is unfit for such an office, for certain reasons known to us, but not known to the rest of the Ecclesia. What should be our course in the matter? We are admonished to speak evil of no man. Should we then get up and say, "Brethren, I consider Brother A. wholly unfit to be an Elder; I know that he did thus-and-so; that he cheated a woman out of a sum of money"or whatever the charge might be. Shall we say this? No, indeed! Is it our duty to speak evil in the interests of the Church to do evil that good may come? Certainly not! But the old creature always wants a chance to speak evil; give him half a chance and he will soon tell all that he knows!
Then what shall we do? Well, if we were ourself a member of that congregation, we think we would go over and speak to the brother thus nominated, and say, "Brother A., there are certain matters which I have learned about you which I do not wish to mention to anybody. I would not wish to speak evil of you at all, dear brother. But I believe that this feature of your life is wrong, and that it would not be right for this Congregation to elect you. I do not wish to tell them about this matter. I wish to ask you if you will refuse to serve. If you promise that you will decline to be elected, that is all that is necessary. Or if you think that my point is not well taken, just state the matter publicly to them. If you do not do this, and do not refuse to be elected, then I must state the matter publiclyI will have to tell what I know; for you know it is as I state it. I have come to you in kindness and have no desire to injure you."
If the brother answers, "Well, Brother __________, I will decline the nomination; and as regards the matter you mention, I am trying to get the better of it"then we would tell him we are very glad. We believe that we would in this way do that brother good. We would also be preserving the Class from what would be hurtful or contentious, and would be keeping the peace. If, on the other hand, the brother should be disputatious, we would say to him, "You may be sure that I will explain this matter to the Church, if you do not decline the nomination for thereby you are saying that you approve your course in life and are standing by it."
But if the matter were something that occurred in the brothers life long ago, he might be entirely changed by nowin the matter of a year, or two years, or five years, or whatever. We would be glad if he were changed from the old course. Then we might go to the brother and say, "Brother, I notice that you stood for election. Is your life entirely changed?" If he replied, "Yes Brother; it is changed entirely," then we would be glad. But if he got angry and told us it was none of our business we would say, "Now, Brother, I must make a report of this to the Church. You are indicating by your manner that you are advocating the same course that you took before. If I had done such a wrong, and continued to do wrong, I would wish to have my course checked. So I shall report this matter, that the Class may consider again whether they will have you for an Elder (or a Deacon)." But suppose that the Brother should not be nominated for office in the Church? Then we would consider that his past was none of our affair.
A CONCLUDING WORD OF EXHORTATION
Anything injurious to the real interests of another should never be spoken. We cannot be too careful of our words concerning others. There seems to be a tendency with some of the Lords children to indulge in confidences with others of the brethren and to relate incidents that reflect upon another brother or sister, that show up certain manifestations of weakness in that one. The disposition that thus exposes the imperfections of the brethren is surely not the love that covers. (1 Peter 4:8.) We know some who have been long in the narrow way, who do not seem even yet to have overcome this disposition. Do they forget that they themselves have weaknesses perhaps as pronounced as the brother or sister whom they criticize? The very fact that they ignore the Masters injunction along the line of our text proves their own lack of development. Yet these would probably resent the implication that they are guilty of evil-speaking.
The sooner every follower of Christ comes to see that all this is slander that it is besmirching the good name of a brother or sister, that it is a direct violation of the repeated injunction of the Word of God, and that defamation is theft of anothers reputation, the sooner they will see this subject as it really is, in all its hideousnessas it must appear in the sight of the Lord. Once seeing the matter from the Divine standpoint, the only true standpoint the child of God must surely awaken to the greatest possible energy in overcoming such works of the flesh and of the Devil. Let each one who reads these words search his or her own heart and think over his or her own conduct and then ask the question, "Is it I?"
Let every one who hopes to be accounted worthy of a place in the Kingdom, so soon to come, purge out the old leaven of malice, envy, backbiting and strife if any yet remain, that he or she may become indeed a copy of Gods dear Son. The flesh is very seductive, and is inclined to make all manner of excuses for itself. Let each one make this a matter of personal heart-searching. There is, we believe, only a very little while remaining in which to perfect our characters. Let us pray more earnestly than ever, "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth! Keep Thou the door of my lips!"
The brethren who have been privileged to attend the gatherings at Atlantic City, from year to year, have come to look upon them as seasons of very special fellowship and spiritual joys. The Atlantic City Class has for several years past arranged for a conference for their encouragement and that of others in adjacent States who might be hindered from attending gatherings at greater distances. The warmth of welcome and spirit displayed by the local Class no doubt constitutes one of the chief reasons for the contagious atmosphere of fellowship that pervades these yearly gatherings; and it is our pleasure to report that this last season of blessing October 8, 9 was no exception. The presence of the Lord and His Spirit were unmistakably manifest and evidently guided in the matter of subjects chosen for the occasion, which were appropriate to the present needs of the Church. About the usual attendance at these yearly gatherings, was present at this time, some sixty of the brethren participated in fellowship on Sunday. Considering the high standards of Christian character and service that were held before the friends in the various discourses and the need for a closer acquaintance and walk with the Lord, it seemed timely indeed that the Apostolic admonition, "Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves," be carefully remembered. We believe it was with a sense of added spiritual joy and gratitude that the friends bid each other farewell and separated to take up once more their individual duties and responsibilities as the Lord in His wisdom has dispensed to each and all.
WASHINGTON, D. C.
The one day Sunday Convention recently announced for Washington for October 16 being now in the past, we have much pleasure in reporting that according to the prevailing opinion in evidence at the close of the day, the brethren realized all and more than they had anticipated in the way of stirring up their pure minds and in the enjoyment of spiritual fellowship. Though there has been a regular gathering of brethren in Washington during the past fourteen years, standing fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made free, this was the first occasion of a general gathering or convention of brethren from surrounding districts; and at this time there were friends from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New York.
The exercises of the day began with songs of praise and thanksgiving, and earnest prayers were offered for the Divine blessing upon the assembling of the brethren, in which God's people everywhere were remembered, with the request that His blessing might attend the worship and fellowship of saints in all parts of the world. Then followed a testimony meeting during which the friends spoke earnestly and freely together of their peace and joy in the Lord, of what great things He had done for them, and of His manifest providential leading and overruling in their daily experiences. They spoke, too, fervently of their longings and hopes to continue faithfully walking in the footsteps of Christ and in the end of the Christian racecourse to realize the Master's loving commendation and approval.
From the various warm expressions of the appreciation of the discourses it was evident that the friends are being exercised more and more in the direction of attaining the fulness of the stature of manhood in Christ and the development of the Christ-character, even as the Apostle assures the Church of His day of his prayer for them, "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."-Eph. 3:16-19.
Warm farewell greetings and "God be with you till we meet again," characterized the partings of the brethren, and we are sure that the sentiment and desire of all was that the dear brethren of the Washington Class would arrange for another such conference on holy things in the not far distant future.
The task on which our Institute set out about two months ago, that of publishing a new edition of "The Divine Plan of the Ages," has now been about accomplished; there has been a few weeks' delay, which we regret, but it has seemed unavoidable, as our printers have not been able to make quite as rapid progress as was expected, owing to other printing orders which they have had.
We expect to be able to fill orders for this Volume early in November. As was explained in the September issue of this journal, the new book is to be a pocket size edition, containing however the same size print as in our previous large cloth bound Volume. It is practically of the same size as that issued by Brother Russell and known as the karatol edition, on thin paper and semi-flexible binding. This new book will be very convenient for carrying in the pocket and we believe will be of very good appearance and attractive, and we trust will please all.
Remembering that we have in this Volume, "The Divine Plan of the Ages," the great and essential truths of the Bible set forth in clear light and beautiful form, let us realize afresh our privileges of sharing in this ministry of the Divine message.
As already indicated in our previous announcement, the price of the book will be thirty cents per copy, postpaid; or in lots of ten copies or more, carriage charges collect, twenty cents per copy.
Dear Brethren in Christ:
In renewing subscriptions for the "Herald" we do so with continued appreciation of your labors of love in the ministry-for all here look upon it as a real ministry in spiritual things, dealing exclusively with the Christian fundamentals -faith, hope, and love, "Christ in you" as the one and only hope of any future glory or of present peace.
We recall it was the "Herald" the Lord used in our case-in direct answer to prayer-to lead us into the full light of the "more sure word of prophecy" at a critical time in our Christian experience. The special Chronology number indeed proved to be the Divinely provided path through the Red Sea of accumulating difficulties, leading us into a large land-even the most comprehensive understanding of the whole science of Prophetic Chronology, which is proving more than ever today to be the only light that can illumine the world situation, and in which the Christian can maintain his "watch." For instance, the present world crisis has no significance apart from the fact that the time is at hand. All the trouble in the world signifies nothing in the mature of signs of the times if we are not fully assured in advance that the time for the signs has arrived. It is this knowledge, specially granted to "the wise," which enables us to more and more appreciate the solemn character of these days, and their important bearing on our hopes and Christian walk-seeing indeed that all these things are being dissolved "what manner of persons ought we to be." There is only one thing now to look for and hasten unto, even the everlasting Kingdom, and to be found of Him waiting and ready.
We note with some regret the new arrangement to publish the "Herald" monthly, but it is a further reminder of the universal effects of the world economic crisis. The whole of Christendom-like Jerusalem of old-seems to be in the death-grip of a great siege by surrounding forces determined on its capture and overthrow. As the siege progresses, the economic life of the "City" becomes more and more affected, until "the temple sacrifices have to cease for lack of offerings." Such is the condition of the world today, and more particularly in Europe-"the body of the Beast." Its parallel is surely in the last siege of Jerusalem by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar at the beginning of the "seven times," foreshadowing a similar siege at their close by these new and strange economic forces, peculiar to this day of the Lord-"when knowledge shall be increased and many run to and fro"! The issue is the same-the judgments of the Lord on apostasy and every evil work, but to be followed this time by the blessed rule of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Church here (on whose behalf I write) send you their warm Christian love and also their greetings to all of like precious faith everywhere, and I remain,
Your brother in Christ, O. E. K.-Ire.
My dear Brethren:
I was happy a few days ago, and still am, to have the privilege of meeting a very earnest young Christian and his wife, who are traveling representatives for the undenominational Bible School . . . We had a fine discussion and they saw the unreasonableness of the Trinity doctrine and were both interested in looking into our Bibles and Concordance with regard to Hell, the Holy Spirit, Restitution, etc. Of course we could only touch upon these things, but sincerity can soon grasp the Living Words and drink the Living Waters. You may hear from them as they intend sending for the "Herald." Will you please send leaflets to them. I gave them May 15th "Herald," with the article on "Living Waters." May I ask for another number please. . . . Such articles as "Living Waters" are life and health to me. I truly thank our Heavenly Father for revealing so much to us. I know He is able to keep me to the end. Worldly things are receding, heavenly things are approaching.
Thanking you in anticipation, and hoping to have further articles such as "Living Waters" -- logical, analytical -- they appeal to my innermost heart. You have my prayers and Christian love.
In all sincerity,
We feel that we can use some tracts or leaflets to advantage, and I am instructed to write you for information as to what you might be able to supply us with in this line. . . .
We are glad to say that as regards our own Ecclesia, Vancouver, there exists a condition which is very gratifying: we attribute this to a considerable extent to the nature of our studies, the fervor of the prayer, praise and testimony meetings, and I might add, the practice and precept evidenced by our Elders. . . .
Favorable comments are often heard regarding your work and efforts, and I can assure you that we trust that your labors, individually and collectively, may be blessed. We send to you the Christian love of our brethren here, and pray that your labors may have the Lord's direction and approval.
Your brethren in Christ,
Associated Bible Students, Vancouver, B. C.'
Dear Brethren in Christ
It is with a sad heart I wish to let you know Brother Christian passed to his reward September 30th, at 8:30 p.m. He remained composed and strong in the Lord and the Truth to the end. He seemed to be in unusual health at the Toledo Convention, although he had been failing, but immediately on his return became worse. It leaves our little Class without a leader and we hardly know what to do, yet the Lord saw fit to call him under those circumstances, and .recognizing it as His will we will not murmur nor repine. Sometimes these things seem hard to understand from our viewpoint. How grand it is to have that faith in our Heavenly Father that helps and sustains one to the end.
With Christian love,
On the morning of September 27th, Brother Arthur B. Streeter, son of the late Brother R. E. Streeter, suffered a stroke which resulted in his death the evening of the following day. From his youth he was closely associated with his father in his religious work. Loyalty to the principles of truth and righteousness, coupled with deep devotion to the spiritual interests of the Lord's people, characterized them both. All who knew Brother Arthur had observed in him a rapid ripening of the Christian graces, particularly since the passing of his beloved father in 1925. May the remembrance of his example of "love for the brethren" which made him gentle and tolerant and enabled him to cheerfully lay down his life for them, long remain an inspiration to us to patiently bring forth in our lives those same fruits of the Spirit.