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of Christ's Kingdom

Table of Contents

Things Coming to Pass

The Memorial Supper

Gone From Us

The Christian of Today as He Ought to Be

The Divine Weaver's Many Hued Pattern

Things Coming to Pass

"For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." "And none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." "When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the King­dom of God is nigh at hand." - Luke 21:35; Dan. 12:10; Luke 21:31.

FROM TIME to time, under this article heading, we have considered some aspect of current world events in its relation to that most important of all events, the establishment of God's Kingdom. The Biblical evidences for its proximity have been examined from many viewpoints, namely, the World-war, the discontent of nations, the marvelous increase of knowledge, the awakening of Jewish na­tional aspirations, etc. But there is still another "sign," and one often overlooked, which we now desire to con­sider in detail, and that is the "sign of unawareness. To emphasize this we have grouped the Scripture texts above, which, while removed from their context, are nevertheless in complete harmony in testifying to this paradox of paradoxes. For that the world's ignorance of the "day of their visitation" is paradoxical, none can successfully gainsay, inasmuch as "these things are not being done in a corner." How is it possible that in the midst of history's greatest crisis, men are so astonishingly unaware of the true implication of world events -- that the Kingdom of God is near, "even at the doors"? Have not millions of Bibles been spread over the face of the earth, each with its divine testi­mony concerning the signs of the times? What is the cause of this strange blindness in the midst of intel­lectual attainments that are the marvel of our day? Only the Bible assays to answer. But though its testimony is clear and explicit, there are few that can "hear"; for a spiritual blindness has descended upon the present generation-a blindness altogether unper­ceived.


It is becoming more evident to thinking men every­where that the roots of the present world distress have their beginnings in deeper soil than is generally recog­nized. In the recent words of Alfred Noyes, the British poet: "The war, with all its horror, the programs of the totalitarian despotisms, with all their wicked­ness, are hardly more than symptomatic eruptions, evidence of something profoundly wrong with modern civilization that, unless the war brings the world to its senses, and quickly, the human race may as well abandon itself to the final catastrophe."

These are startling words, and gloomy. Similar ex­pressions are nevertheless being heard with increasing frequency. As men look deeper into the political catastrophes of the modern world, and ponder the disasters of a mechanized industrialism in which starvation and over-production exist side by side, the conclusion is being inescapably forced that the real cause of the contemporary tragedy is neither political nor economic. Slowly but surely there is beginning to dawn the realization that we are witnessing the break­down of a civilization-of a culture based on a ma­terialistic liberalism that had its inception in the dis­solution of the medieval culture and the feudal civ­ilization which ushered in two great movements, the Renaissance and the Reformation. Both these move­ments, allied in some respects, and diametrically opposed in others, contributed jointly to the freedom and individualism of modern civilization. Both rep­resented great advances; the one in social, political, and economic reforms which culminated eventually in the industrial revolution of the past century, and the other in a freedom from the fetters of religious authority and the corruption of religious superstition. Both begat great hopes and promises. Both brought great confidence that the "emancipated" mind would disclose the secrets of nature; penetrate into all the ultimate mysteries of life; exploit the buried treasures of the natural world and make them available for man; explore the complexities of human society and eliminate the social maladjustments that ignorance had perpetuated, and finally free man himself of the sorrows and pains, the frustrations and lusts by which he made himself and his fellows miserable. And in a measure this has come to pass.

But unfortunately in the process of realizing these great dreams, political and economic action was thoroughly secularized and authentic Christian social ideals were neglected. Human dignity, human per­sonality, and human solidarity were forgotten. With the vast material progress there have arisen new prob­lems, and the fabulous productivity of the modern machine has created crises and unemployment rather than security and abundance. The dreams of eco­nomic harmony and of individual happiness have been cruelly disappointed. Far from attaining that individual liberty, the "right" of democratic man, to day, in large sections of the world, man has sunk to the position of a creature of the State, that new jug­gernaut. Great totalitarian systems have sprung up and humanity finds itself in the midst of an un­paralleled world-wide conflict between the forces of freedom and slavery. The injustice, the unhappiness, the brutality so rife, oppress and darken men's minds and they see no way out. With Matthew Arnold, they feel there is no hope in the world and that all they can do is to be true to one another:

"For the world which seems
To lie before us, like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor Bight,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here, as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night."

Poor groaning creation! With what foresight did our Master describe the mental state of men in our day: "Upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roar of the sea and rolling waves, men ready to die through fear and expectation of what is coming on the habitable earth." - Luke 21:26, Darby.


But what has caused society to move toward catas­trophe rather than triumph? Why have not the enor­mous achievements of man during the past century resulted in a stable and beneficent order for his welfare? Why the present disillusionment and shattering of hopes?

"Individual profit, which in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries provided the motive force for the economic system, has failed us, and we have not vet discovered any moral substitute for it other than war. Nothing but war seems sufficiently worth while. The economic crisis is in essence a moral crisis. It cannot be explained-and much less solved-in con­stitutional or even in economic terms. The funda­mental issue is moral."

Thus writes pessimistic Professor Carr, in "Condi­tions of Peace." And here we have a partial answer to our question. Who but cannot recognize a great decadence in moral and ethical values throughout the earth? What has become of the absolute distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, of the sancti­ty of agreements, of the sacredness of one's word?

What promise can be trusted, what firm agreement can ever be made again, in a world where millions up­on millions have been educated to believe that, if it seems in their interest to violate it, no pact or pledge, however solemnly drawn up, need be regarded by "realistic" minds, or "cold statesmanship," as more than a "scrap of paper"? And what of the impera­tives of conscience, that God within the breast? "Con­science," said Hitler, "is a Jewish invention."

Alas, in his emphasis on material prosperity, man has gradually lost- the fundamental things without which there can be no peace and justice; those values which make for morality and true freedom, and which constitute the individual superior to his own crea­tions. This central value of Christianity, the value of the individual, has been corrupted in modern poli­tical thought to demand a subordination of the indi­vidual to the State (or indeed to any organization or society of which he is a member), the implications of which tragic fallacy are but now being realized by thinking men. Thoreau uttered a profound truth when he said: "There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are de­rived." This has well been called the lost key to the whole problem of modern government. We are all witnesses to the enslavement of hundreds of millions of the human race under the unspeakable tyranny of the totalitarian powers. Never in human history has the individual counted for so little and never has hu­man life been so cheap. The attempt to comprehend the sum total of human suffering today leaves the mind numb with horror. Thank God for the assurances that under the beneficent rule of His Kingdom man shall regain his original state, a creature in the likeness of his God. For God shall

"Give back the upward looking and the light,
Rebuild in it the music and the dream;
Make right the immemorial infamies,
Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes."

Hear the word of the Lord:

"Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity: and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." - Isa. 13:13, 11, 12.


But what has happened to the spiritual guides? Is there no balm in Gilead? Is not the world filled with thousands of church edifices, with tens of thousands devoted to the exposition of Him whom these build­ings monumentalize? Are there not millions of ad­herents and millions of Bibles? What is lacking?

Hear the words of the brilliant Hindu leader, Jawaharlal Nehru: "The old days were days of faith, blind unquestioning faith. The wonderful temples and mosques and cathedrals of past centuries could never have been built but for the overpowering faith of the architects and builders and people generally. The very stones that they reverently put one on top of the other, or carved into beautiful designs, tell us of this faith. The old temple spire, the mosque with its slender minarets, the Gothic cathedral-all of them pointing upward with an amazing intensity of devotion, as if offering a prayer in stone or marble to the sky above thrill us even now, though we may be lacking in that faith of old of which they are the embodiments. But the days of that faith are gone, and gone with them is that magic touch in stone. Thousands of temples and mosques and cathedrals continue to be built, but they lack the spirit that made them live during the Middle Ages. There is little difference between them and the commercial offices which are so representative of our age. Our age is a different one; it is an age of disillusion, of doubt and uncertainty and questioning. We can no longer accept many of the ancient beliefs and customs; we have no more faith in them, in Asia or in Europe or America. So we search for new ways, new aspects of the truth more in harmony with our environment. And we question each other and debate and quarrel and evolve any number of 'isms' and philosophies. As in the days of Socrates,' we live in an age of questioning, but that questioning is not confined to a city like Athens; it is world-wide."

In this candidly honest statement, we have the full answer to the question, Why has the world no concep­tion of the meaning of present experiences? For the world has lost its sense of spiritual values, yea, has lost its faith. A spirit of irreligiousness has spread abroad. Men have become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. We live in a generation which can refer contemptuously to the Bible as a "collection of Hebrew myths," and stigmatize religion as an "opiate for the inferiority-minded" - a time when a prominent American man of letters writes a friend that "Rabelais was nearer God than Christ," and a famous English writer says that no man who regards Christ as an ideal is worth working with. This is the day of the cynic; of the pseudo-intellectual, of the spirit of shallow cynicism and of mockery which has destroyed in a large measure the old simplicity and integrity based upon the great Christian prin­ciples of the Word of God. Yea, a generation which can even question the existence of its God. One is reminded of Milton's lines so applicable to our day:

"Truth shall retire
Bestuck with slanderous darts, and works of Faith
Rarely be found. So shall the World go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign,
Under her own weight groaning, till the day
Appear of respiration to the just
And vengeance to the wicked."

For it is true the world has reached a condition of disbelief that augurs ill for the immediate future, and though we still hear of "Christian principles," it is too often in circumstances which, as ex-President Hoover said recently, make the very phrase sound like a "Gargantuan joke.

But why the silence from the spiritual guides of "Christendom"? Is there no message from the Word of the Lord for the questions of suffering humanity? In vain do men seek a positive answer, a definite "thus saith the Lord." Though thousands of sermons are preached weekly, nowhere is the voice of assurance and enlightenment heard; instead, the same echo of doubt and perplexity, of struggle to find one's bear­ings, of negative moralistic teaching, of a "stone for bread"; the same emphasis on man seeking strength from within himself. Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr has well said recently:

"Some of the most stubborn and sentimental illu­sions about the possibilities of a simple and easy peace between the competing elements in human society have been fostered by modern churches. In America they contributed more possibly than any other influ­ence to political and moral illusions, for they aggra­vated false estimates of man and history by compound­ing them with classical and pious conceptions. The errors and illusions of our culture, which have made an estimate of the crisis of our civilization difficult it not impossible, are, almost without exception, various versions of a single error. They are all expressions of too great an optimism about the goodness of human nature; they all therefore underestimate the difficul­ties of relating life to life, will to will, interest to in­terest, in a harmonious social life. They regard the achievement of justice and social peace in human society as a comparatively easy task. It is, as a matter of fact, a very difficult task, which can be accomplish­ed with tolerable success only if its difficulties are fully recognized."

This fact concerning the weakness of human nature is a fundamental teaching of the Bible, and is the basis for the Divine Plan of regeneration through the Kingdom of Christ. Other salvation there is none. The hope of man resides in the establishment by di­vine power of a universal reign upon earth for a thousand years, a "time of restitution spoken by the mouth of all God's prophets." This is the message of God to men. Why is it not thundered from every pulpit?

The answer to this question goes back to two great scientific theories. The first was the theory of a cer­tain canon of the Church, Copernicus, which seethed to destroy the old, comfortable assumption that the earth was the center of things, and to dwarf man by the mere size of the material universe. The other was the Darwinian theory, which subjected his inner world to an even more disintegrating scrutiny, and filled mankind with doubts as to the values of human personality and the nature of its origin. The advanc­ing flow of scientific thought, true or otherwise, plus the wave of Higher Criticism which originated in Germany and flowed out to all the ecclesiastical schools, resulted in the gradual breakdown of faith in the Scriptures, yea, in many cases of faith in the ex­istence of a supreme Being. Endeavoring to harmon­ize the Bible teachings with the many new thoughts being promulgated, gradually resulted in spiritual sterility. The great foundation truths were slowly but definitely obscured, with the tragic result that not only the people, but the leaders are practically blind to the Bible message concerning the meaning of present momentous events. It is rare indeed to find a living faith today. In fact, to profess implicit faith in the Bible as God's revealed word, is to set oneself apart as being, to say the least, somewhat be­hind the times. True, there is a general profession of faith in the great moralistic teachings of the Scrip­tures, but the substance has been lost. Men do not seek the answers to their questions from the Bible. Men do not bring God into their counsels. Profes­sions of faith are merely outward-there is no spiritual vitality within. The close of six thousand years of ex­perience with evil finds man far departed from his God, with perhaps even worse to follow in the near future.

"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this peo­ple draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a mar­velous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." - Isa. 29:13, 14.

Yes, paradoxical as it may seem, the church nominal is blind to the glorious message of the Bible, and in the midst of stupendous scenes, all accurately foretold by the Master Himself, gropes blindly on, all unwitting that the hopes of true Christians are so soon to materialize. Though professing faith in the First Advent of Christ, in vain are the evidences of His Sec­ond Advent presented, though there be ten times as many Scriptures concerning the latter as there are for the former. And all the glorious words of the 96th, 97th, 98th and 99th Psalms awake no responsive chords. There stands One at the door whom they know not. Perhaps nothing can equal Christ's own judgment as recorded in Revelation 3:14-18: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;

These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art luke­warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."

And this judgment and exhortation have been doubly witnessed, inasmuch as it is manifest that in these latter days God raised up one who for forty years faithfully set forth these things in order, and testified to the church nominal the meaning of our days. Was not the witness complete? And was it not rejected? Therefore the church nominal has ceased to be Christ's mouthpiece and can bring forth no posi­tive message from the Lord. The voice of the Bride­groom and Bride is heard no more in her. And now there remains but blindness and barrenness. "Her prophets also find no vision from the Lord." "Where there is no vision, the people perish." - Lam. 2:9; Prov. 29:18.

Yes, as a snare are these things coming on all man­kind. Only the wise of God understand and only they are able to rejoice in the evidence of the prox­imity of God's Kingdom. The world will continue on into ever-increasing darkness and trouble, with unheeding ears to the few who yet continue to point to the sure Word of Prophecy, until that glad day when upon the wreck of man's institutions, the hu­man race, illuminated by the Spirit of God shall re­build a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

"And while the earth with strife is riven,
And envious factions Truth do hide,
Lo! He, the Lord of earth and heaven,
Stands at the door and claims His Bride.

"He's come! Let all the earth adore Him;
The path His human nature trod
Spreads to a royal realm before Him,
The Life of life, the Word of God!"

- W. J. S.

The Memorial Supper

"This, do in remembrance of Me." - Luke 22:19.

IN CONSIDERING the significance of the Memorial Supper, two passages of Scripture should be read:

Matthew 26; 17-20; 26-30, and 1 Corinthians 10:16­-18, Diaglott rendering. The first of these passages brings to our attention the primary significance of this service; the second refers to this, but suggests certain additional thoughts.

The principal thought we wish to present is that this is a memorial of Jesus' suffering and death, and of what He accomplished thereby for us.

From His consecration at Jordan to the cross at Calvary, He was laying down His life, daily sacrificing Himself in order that He might 'be perfected through suffering and become our Redeemer. And then, after three and a half years of daily sacrificing of Himself to do the Father's will, He was called upon to make the supreme sacrifice. And He who might have asked the Father and received more than twelve legions of angels to deliver Him, submitted to be mocked and buffeted, spat upon and cruelly scourged; and ° He en­dured it all for our sakes. Upon His brow they pressed down the cruel crown of thorns; and as He was led away to die the most ignominious death known to that age, He was made to carry through the streets of the city that instrument of shame and disgrace, the cross, used only for malefactors of the vilest kind.

There upon the cross He was "wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him," and with the stripes which He received in our stead we are healed, for "the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." Only the evening before He had said to His disciples (John 16:32), "Behold the hour cometh, yea is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." But in the agony of those hours upon the cross He lost the view of even His Father's face; He was conscious of having lost the sunshine of His smile, the sense of oneness with God, which before He had always en­joyed; and from the depths of this new, and appar­ently unforeseen misery of alienation from God He cried out, "My God! My God! Why hast Thou for­saken Me?" In that moment our sins rested upon Him; He became our sin-bearer, our sin offering. Truly speaks the Apostle Peter (1 Pet. 2:24, 25): "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."

As it is expressed in our hymn:

"Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!"

For, says the Apostle Paul (Eph. 2:12,13): "At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, a. id strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

How beautifully has the poet spoken of the depths of our Lord's suffering in the poem, "The Ninety and Nine":

"But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry --­
Sick and helpless, and ready to die."

In 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8 we read: "For even Christ our Passover is slain for us: therefore let us keep the feast." It is appropriate, therefore,' that on this occa­sion we consider the full meaning of the Passover. The record of this is found in the twelfth chapter of Exodus. Jesus, in the night in which He was betrayed, ate the Passover, and immediately thereafter institut­ed this Memorial Supper of which we shall partake, as a memorial of His death. This Memorial supersed­ed, or took the place of, the Passover.

The Passover was a memorial pointing backward to the deliverance of the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage, and also a type pointing forward to our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ. The Memorial Supper instituted by Jesus points backward ' to the sacrifice and death of Jesus, and forward to the second coming of Jesus in power and glory to bring joy and blessing to all.

The Passover Supper was doubly significant to the Jew. In its first significance it was a memorial of the deliverance from death which all the first-born of Israel experienced that night when the death-angel passed through the land of Egypt and slew the first­born of man and beast, except where they were found abiding under the blood of the Passover lamb. In type it pointed to the deliverance from the death con­dition of trespass and sin and alienation from God which we as members of the Church of Christ have experienced, who are abiding by faith under the blood of Jesus, our Passover Lamb. - In Heb. 12:23 the Apostle refers to us as the "Church of the first­born, which are written in heaven"; and Jesus, as re­corded in John 5:24, said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation: but is passed from death unto life." And says the Apostle John (1 John 3:14): "We know that we have passed from death unto life, be­cause we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." Thus does the Passover picture the deliverance of the first-born from the death sentence that passed upon all in Father Adam.

In its second significance, the Passover was a me­morial of the deliverance of all God's people Israel from Egypt, the land of bondage, oppression, and af­fliction. In type it pointed to the deliverance of the whole creation (the world of mankind, or as many of them as will accept the deliverance) from the bond­age and oppression of sin experienced under Satan's kingdom, to be effected in the glorious times of resti­tution when Jesus shall establish God's Kingdom up­on earth. For, says the Apostle (Rom. 8:21, see Diaglott footnote): "The creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."


Now this was the law of the Passover (Exod. 12) They were to take a lamb from their flocks, a male of the first year without blemish. The lamb was a- type of Jesus our Passover, to whom the Apostle Peter (1 Pet. 1: 19) refers as "a lamb without blemish and with­out spot." For Jesus only, of all mankind, was holy, undefiled, and separate from sinners. - Heb. 7:26.

At the inauguration of the Passover the lamb was to be chosen on the 10th of the month Nisan, and slain on the 14th. Deuteronomy 16:6 says: "Thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, 'at the going down of the sun." The word translated "even" means "dusk." At dusk, then, as we understand the matter, in the twilight between sunset and--dark, at the time of the daily evening sacrifice, on the 14th, which be­gan at sunset, the Passover lamb was slain, and it was eaten "in that night" (Exod. 12:8) -- the night of the 14th. Jesus, likewise, probably on the 10th of the month, came to His people in that triumphal entry which is celebrated today as Palm Sunday. And being subject to the Law, He ate the Passover on the night of the 14th, and was Himself slain during the follow­ing day of the 14th, thus fulfilling the type on its ap­pointed date.*


* The 14th of Nisan this year, as previously announced, falls on Sunday, April 18th, beginning at sundown, at which time it is appropriate to keep our Memorial.

They were to take of the blood of the Passover lamb, and with a branch of hyssop, to sprinkle the posts and lintel of the door, that the death-angel, see­ing the blood, might pass over that home. Hyssop evidently was a plant having some cleansing qualities; thus the Psalmist says (Psa. 51:7): "Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." The sprinkling signified the sprinkling of our hearts with the blood of Christ by faith. Thus the Apostle Peter says (1 Pet. 1:2) that the Church is chosen through a sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; and in Heb. 10:22 we read: "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." This sprink­ling with the blood of the lamb is a figure representing the justification of the household of faith, the for­giveness of sins through faith in Jesus' shed blood. His blood was shed for the remission of sins. And so we sing:

"There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains."

They were instructed to eat the lamb in its entirety, nothing was to be thrown out or wasted, and not a bone of it was to be broken. That which could not be consumed was, therefore, to be utterly destroyed by fire. To feed upon the lamb was to derive the bene­fits that it could bestow. It therefore signifies our exercising faith in Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf, by which faith we derive the benefits of that sacrifice, namely the forgiveness of our sins, and the imputa­tion to us of His merit making us acceptable to God. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. (Acts 16:31.) That none was to be wasted or thrown out signified the preciousness of the sacri­fice by which atonement was made for us, the costli­ness of His sacrifice. Preserving the bones unbroken was literally fulfilled at the crucifixion of Jesus (John 19:36): "For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled: A bone of Him shall not be broken."

The lamb was to be partaken of by the entire house­hold, but no stranger was allowed to eat thereof. If a stranger desired to partake, he was required first to be circumcised. This signifies that not alone the first­born, but the entire "household of faith," share now by faith in the benefits of His sacrifice; but the "stran­ger" who has not faith in Christ may not now share.

They were to eat with the lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs; and they were to eat with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, and a staff in their hand, all ready to take-up their journey from the land of Egypt. Leaven is a symbol of sin; and the putting away of the leaven was a symbol of the putting away of sin by the follower of Christ. "There­fore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Cor. 5:8.) The bitter herbs represented the trials and af­flictions of this life, which serve to whet the appetite of the household of faith for the Lamb and the un­leavened bread. Being prepared to start on a pil­grimage was symbolic of the fact that the Christian is to regard himself as a pilgrim here. Not pilgrims in the earth, that they must needs roam about it in or­der to serve Christ, but pilgrims and strangers in the world, the cosmos, or present evil order of things. They indeed "desire a better country, that is a heaven­ly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city." - Heb. 11:16.


Jesus, being a Jew, subject to the law, kept this Passover; but He did not suggest that His followers keep the Passover, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Rom. 10:4,) It was never intended for any but Israelites to keep. But He did, while keeping this last Passover with His disciples, institute what we call the Memorial or Lord's Supper, to be kept by all His followers as a memorial of His death until He shall come in glory and establish God's Kingdom upon earth.

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink hence­forth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you, in My Father's Kingdom."­ - Matt. 26:26-29.

The breaking of the bread, which represented His body, was a symbol of the sacrificing of His body, and the pouring of the wine was a symbol of the pour­ing out of His life blood, both of which He accom­plished upon the cross on that very day. Listen to Him as He says:

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread which came down from heaven." - John 6:51-58.

By the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood is meant the same thing as the eating of the Passover Lamb, namely, the exercising of faith in the efficacy of Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf, by reason of which faith we derive the benefits of that sacrifice.


Turning now to the secondary thoughts, suggested by I Cor. 10: 16-18 (Diaglott rendering):

"The cup of blessing for which we bless God-is it not a participation of the blood of the Anointed One? The Loaf which we break-is it not a participation of the body of the Anointed One? Because there is one Loaf, we, the many, are one Body; for we all par­take of the one Loaf.. Look at Israel according to the flesh; are not those who eat the sacrifices partakers of the altar?"

This, to our minds, suggests the privilege His conse­crated followers have of walking the narrow way with Jesus, of suffering with Him, in order that they may be also glorified with Him. (Rom. 8:17.) For, says the Apostle, "If 'we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him." (2 Tim. 2:12.) It is our participation in the anointed company, as being members of the Body of Christ, which is here suggested.

Jesus said of Himself (John 10:15, 18): "I lay down My life for the sheep. . No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself." And again, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God." (Psa. 40:8.) The same spirit of loving devotion, and of delight with the Heavenly Father's will, actuates His consecrated fol­lowers. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it," said Jesus; "and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it." (Matt. 16:25.) His followers are therefore exhorted to present their bodies a living sac­rifice, holy, acceptable unto God, as their reasonable service; and to be not conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds, that they may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:1, 2.) "Hereby perceive we the love [of Jesus], because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." - 1 John 3:16.

Those who thus present themselves in consecration to God, surrendering their wills and accepting the will of the Heavenly Father, will have experiences like unto Jesus'. In Hebrews 2:10 we read: "It became Him, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Speaking in Colossians 1:24 of his own participation with Christ, Paul says: "Who now rejoice in my suf­ferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body's sake, which is the Church." Many other Scriptures show this participation of the Church in suffering with Jesus.

In order to understand this subject we must make the fundamental distinction between the two phases of Jesus' great Redemptive Sacrifice-the ransom and the atonement: The ransom is based upon justice. To satisfy justice required the sacrifice of a perfect man. Jesus was the only one who could provide such a sac­rifice, for He alone of all men was perfect. None could share in it; nor could justice accept more than the sacrifice of one righteous man, since in one man, Adam, all the race had sinned and incurred the death penalty. All others were condemned in him. The ransom guarantees to every human soul in whose nos­trils has. been the breath of life, a release from the death penalty, and hence the right to an awakening from the dead.

The atonement, on the other hand, the other part of the one great Redemptive Sacrifice of Jesus, is based upon Love, and is accompanied by remission, or for­giveness, of our sins, which implies mercy, not justice. Now whatever part the Church, Christ's Body, is per­mitted to have in the sufferings of the Christ is of love, of mercy; and so they can have nothing whatever to do with providing the ransom; but their participation with Christ is in connection with the atonement, the bringing to the world of the benefits of the ransom, by assisting them back into harmony, into oneness, with God. This is the glorious privilege to which the Church is called. They are to be priests, that is mediators, in the Kingdom of God; and like the High Priest, Christ Jesus, must be able to be touched with the feeling of the infirmities of those for whom they shall mediate.

The sufferings of the Body of Christ, the Church, arc to cease ere long. "Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." - 1 Pet. 4:13.

This exceeding joy is suggested by Jesus in con­nection with the cup: "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom." (Matt. 26:29.) New wine is a symbol of marriage, of joy and blessings. You will recall how Jesus turned the water into wine at the marriage in Cana of Galilee. In Isaiah 25:6, we read: "And in this mountain [God's Kingdom] shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined." On the lees, or dregs, means the full-bodied liquor; well refined: drawn off from the dregs-the best portion. This is a symbol of the exceeding great joy and blessing in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus' reference to drinking new wine in His Father's Kingdom signifies the time when the Bride has made herself ready and the Bride and Bridegroom are made one: the marriage of the Lamb; the time when the Church is united with the Lord Jesus. Jesus referred to the new wine in the Kingdom of God as a symbol of the exceeding joy of the saints in glory, when the high praises of God are in their mouths. (Psa. 149:6.) The exceeding joy of that occasion it is beyond our capabilities now fully to comprehend.

Christ our Passover is slain for us. Therefore let us keep the feast. The Apostle in 1 Corinthians 11:26 says: "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come." Un­til, therefore, He claims His Bride, until the deliver­ance of the Church, it is appropriate that we keep this simple feast.


In 1 Cor. 11:27-29 we read:

"Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drink­eth unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to him­self, not discerning the Lord's body."

The Apostle nowhere says that we can be worthy objects of our Lord's sacrifice; but he does say that we can partake of this Memorial in a worthy manner by a proper examination of ourselves beforehand.

Just what does this examination comprehend? It surely includes the following: First: That we have knowledge to discern the Lord's body that was offered for us on the cross; to realize that it was only through the laying down of His perfect life, the just for the unjust, that man could be redeemed from the guilt and power of sin, and that it is only as we eat His flesh, appropriate to ourselves the merit of His sac­rifice, that we can have any life in us. Second: We must find in our hearts the personal evidence of true repentance for our sins, true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who alone can save, and a true de­sire to be saved by Him. Third: This examination should extend to our conduct, our words, and our thoughts. We should inquire whether in our conduct toward others and in our thoughts we are desiring and truly endeavoring to live the Christ-like life; whether we are by His grace endeavoring to gain the victory over our besetting sins and weaknesses, and striving to become more and more conformed to the will of God. If we are doing these things, then re­gardless of how weak and unworthy we may realize ourselves to be, we can partake of this Memorial in a worthy, an acceptable, manner.

"Let us remember, in quiet communion,
All that He hath in His love for us done:
How in the wealth of His infinite mercy
We were redeemed by the gift of His Son."

"And when they had sung an hymn, they went out." -Matt. 26:30.

When sorrow and death came to others, Jesus wept. But when these came to Himself, Jesus sang! As their hearts and voices were lifted heavenward in that chant of the Passover feast, He must have heard, echoing down the halls of time, other voices mingling with their own, the voices of Moses and Miriam and the children of the Exodus passing through the sea and under the cloud, and singing­

"We'll sound the loud timbrels
O'er Egypt's dark sea
Jehovah hath triumphed,
His people are free!

And going forth to His death, Jesus could sing that hymn with joy, for looking down into the future he saw the travail of His soul, and was satisfied, knowing that thereby the whole human race would be freed from a bondage greater than that of Egypt-the bond­age of sin and death.

As we go forth, we know not what experiences lie before us. But we do know that we shall go forth from this Supper to the death of our self-will; and like our Master, we can go forth with a deep and abid­ing joy in our hearts that we are counted worthy to suffer with Him; and with a determination not only to drink the cup our Heavenly Father may pour, but to do so with a song o f praise upon our lips, rejoicing that His blessed will shall be done in our lives.

- Contributed.

Gone From Us

Harvey A. Friese, a beloved brother and a faithful minister.

BROTHER FRIESE passed away this morning quietly" -- so ran the message which the Western Union operator relayed over the telephone few hours ago. It was a message which might have come at almost any time in recent months, so was hardly a surprise, yet when it came it startled us into a sense of loss keener than we had thought to experi­ence.

We lifted our hearts in prayer, silently for a few minutes, and then unitedly, especially that the be­reaved members of our Brother's immediate family might be given the special strength needed in this crushing trial; and that grace sufficient would be sup­plied to the "home class" with whom he was wont to gather in Springfield, Mass. Then our" thoughts turned to the larger circle of friends throughout the country who have enjoyed the privilege of his min­istry and fellowship, and our prayers extended to these also, that they, too, would greet the news, when it reaches them, with a solemnly renewed vow to con­tinue in the consecrated path and thus meet him "up yonder" when the Master calls.

Death came to our Brother early Monday morning, February 15th. He had been in failing health for many months as a result of slight strokes, the final one apparently coming during his sleep from which he never regained consciousness. Brother Friese was born September 15, 1863. As a boy he learned the printer's trade and was connected for fifty-two years with one of the leading newspapers in Springfield. In early life he was associated with his father in the Advent movement, and at the early age of fifteen he gave his heart to the Lord, at which time they were brought in touch with Brother Russell, who had not yet written the "Divine Plan," nor had he commenced the pub­lication of the journal which for forty years was to bring meat in due season to the household of faith. But his ministry of preaching by word of mouth had begun, and Brother Friese, in later years, loved to linger at times on those early days when Brother Rus­sell would come to Springfield and, in a small room in his father's home, before a handful of eager listen­ers, would tell the "Old Old Story" in a way that seemed so new. That simple Gospel Message gripped and thrilled his eager, boyish heart, which he yielded in glad surrender to His Savior and Lord.

Any one at all acquainted with his subsequent life will testify to the genuineness of his consecration and devotion. On one occasion, making a passing allu­sion to St. Paul's expression that he would rather speak five words which would profit his hearers than ten thousand in a tongue which would not be under­stood (1 Cor. 14:19), he dwelt for a season on that celebrated five-word passage from the great Apostle: "Ye are not your own." (I Cor. 6:20.) This text might well have been the motto of his life, so con­sistently did he seek to live in accordance with its sentiment.

We have esteemed it a great privilege to have Brother Friese laboring with us in the ministry -- in the Pilgrim service, as one of the Editorial Committee of the "Herald," and as a member of the Board of Directors. His earnest desire and carefulness to have his decisions always in harmony with the will of the Lord, and his prayerful spirit and holy influence were a benediction to us at all times. Many were blessed by his ministry in the Pilgrim service, which he loved and continued in as long as his health permitted. We can but thank the Lord for such a faithful co-laborer.

Brother Friese was married on June 4, 1885, and his beloved companion embraced the truth with hint. She preceded him in death in 1929. He leaves three sons and three daughters, all of whom were present at the funeral. He was greatly beloved by his family, and indeed by all who knew him. The funeral, held at 2 o'clock Thursday, February 18th, was attended by a number of friends and relatives, some coining from distant points.

Cast down we most certainly are, at our Brother's passing, but not destroyed by our sorrow. (2 Cor. 4:9.) Nor do we sorrow for him, but for ourselves. Yet we sorrow not, as those must sorrow who have no hope. (1 Thess. 4:13.) As we seek the Lord's comforting resurrection assurances to revive our hopes and in­spire us with a new sense of courage, we do not find Him failing us. His words "I am the resurrection and the life" come promptly to our aid, as also His powerful utterance: "Behold, I am the Living One, and I became dead, and behold, I am alive forever­more, and have the keys of death and of the grave." (John 11:25; Rev. 1:1.8.) Because Christ Jesus lives, we have good grounds for believing that we, too, shall live. (John 14:19.) Meantime, as one by one our beloved brethren in the Lord are called Home, of all the lessons which we should seek to have more clearly impressed on our own hearts is the necessity that is laid upon the rest of the Church in the flesh, and up­on each individual member in particular, of making up, so far as is possible, the loss sustained. This has been a truth applicable at all times throughout the Gospel Age, but it is especially true now, when only occasionally do we see souls added to the Church.

When a dear brother or sister passes on, if those left behind make no further progress in the development of the Christian graces; if they merely stand still (if that were possible), then there must of necessity be a loss result to the Church, a shrinkage in spiritual values. A certain quantity, shall we say, of the spirit of kindness, gentleness, meekness, patience, long-suffering, love; a certain measure of influence in the direction of Christ, a certain sanctifying influence has been withdrawn. In order that the spirit of Christ in all its aspects may continue to be manifest in the same degree as before, it must be apparent that each one left behind must become that much more gentle, meek, patient, long-suffering, loving; that his or her counsels on each and every matter that enters into the Church's experience shall be that much closer to the mind of Christ.

In order that we may each make a proper contribu­tion to supply the Church with the necessary increase in spirit values, those of us who are wise will betake ourselves to Jesus, that in our weakness His strength may be made perfect.

"We would see Jesus, that great Rock-foundation
Whereon our feet were set by sovereign grace;
Not life nor death, with all their agitation
Can thence remove us, if we see His face.

"We would see Jesus, for the shadows lengthen
Across the little landscape of our life;
We would see Jesus, our weak faith to strengthen,
For the last weariness, the final strife."

As a final testimony from our beloved Brother we quote below a poem found among his treasured possessions:

"The Lamb's Wife"

"The Bride of a spotless Lamb to be,
Thy Bride with garments clean,
From every spot and wrinkle free­ --
Teach me what this doth mean.

"The cleansing blood of Calvary
Can wash me white as snow;
But how can all the wrinkles be
Removed, Lord, I would know?

"I've seen the linen, Lord, made white,
All free from spot or stain­
And yet, not faultless in Thy sight,
For wrinkles still remain.

"And 'neath the heated iron,
Lord, I've seen the linen made
So smooth that ne'er was royal board
With choicer linen laid.

"Is this the way that I must be
Made meet to be His Bride?
Cleansed by His blood-from wrinkles freed
By furnace heat applied?

"Then let pain's furnace fires glow,
Let sorrow light her flame,
If 'neath the heat and ache below
I still may bear Thy Name.

"No pain too great if only this
The glorious outcome be:
We the Lamb's Wife in spotless white
Throughout eternity!"

"What then? Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard!
Wait till thou too hast fought the noble strife
And won, through Jesus Christ, the crown of life!
shalt thou know the glory of the word,
as the stars for ever-ever shine,
Beneath the King's own smile-perpetual Zenith thine."

The Christian of Today as He Ought to Be

AN INDISPENSABLE element in the life of the Christian is that vital relationship to the mind of God which shall establish and preserve the strongest possible connections with the great Source of spiritual power.

Such connections will necessitate insulation from every contaminating influence of the world, and from all inordinate desire for things non-conducive to the highest progress and development. As the most potent testimony is that of example, the man of God will say with the Apostle, "This one thing I do-I press toward the mark. Hence his affections will be set on things above; he will have but one mind, the mind of Christ; he will say, in apostolic phraseology, "Be ye followers of me even as I also am of Christ." Pri­marily, fundamentally, indefatigably, he must be Christ's man, a fearless ambassador of the King of kings.

The Christian of the times must have a vision. In Ezekiel 13:3, we find a reference to shepherds who "have seen nothing." The Prophet Isaiah received a vision of the future. Beholding the glory of God in that power which He is yet to reveal, he could say, "Here am I: send me," because in pictorial representa­tion he had seen the fulfillment of the great Eternal Purpose, the consummation of the program of the cen­turies, the inauguration of a dynasty that should send to the eternal skies the glories of its new-born right­eousness and truth and love; a regime 'long delayed indeed, yet borne hitherward on the wings of those gold-hued Biblical promises which cannot fail, but are yea and amen.

Christian of today, have you caught Isaiah's vision, Abraham's vision, Ezekiel's vision, St. Paul's vision -- ­all picturing an era when God shall make all things new by marvelous secrets of life opened up and by Biblical instruction enlightening the mind, accom­plishing its desideratum of an everlasting fraternity of men, a world-wide community of love? If so, you have something to build upon that shall stand, and may push forward your work in the calm assurance that the ineffable goal of your life lies just ahead, whereat you shall find the reward of courage and zeal and faithfulness in the service of Truth, which rep­resents God Himself.

The Christian should be in fullest sympathy with the mighty, throbbing, burning, yearning heart of humanity. He should have a broad outlook and see humanity as it is. That will most faithfully show him its needs. What has he for a portion of the billion and a half human souls on this planet? They are needful souls. The "bread of life" alone will fill them; the "water of life" alone can satisfy their un­quenched thirst. As Jesus felt the burden of the world's woes, so should His servants, and each, while praying the prayer of prayers, "Thy Kingdom Come," should be an exemplar of the righteousness of that Kingdom in his daily life.

The Christian should be genial, approachable, adaptable, and know how to slip off his coat and put his shoulder to the wheel when it gets into the rut. Are his spiritual affairs not progressing? Perhaps the reason is that his gardener is underpaid, or that he has reduced his factory employees to a wage allowing of bare existence. Such doings would be "sin in the camp," the very thing that caused the Israelites to be defeated at Ai. "Beginning at Jerusalem," says the Word. If the Christian wants to be a power for good, let him begin at home and manifest love in the little things. Let him study the law of human equality, and the conditions of human inequality and derive wisdom therefrom. Such truths may seem homely and stale, but they are vital and basic, and constitute the sine qua non of the entire matter be­fore us.

Let the Christian cause his own personal love to be communicated to and felt by those around him. Let them see this intensity of love vibrating in his words and deeds, pulsating in his conversation, and large good is bound to result, for the greatest of all laws is then operating, and that law spells light, harmony, and life.

It has been said that the mightiest forces are the silent ones. While the looms of men tell forth with noisy hum the story of their industry, those of nature and the universe are often soundless. No one ever yet heard the footfall of the sun as he steps over the circle of the East and weaves from threads of light the gold-embroidered vestments of days. No one ever heard the voice that whispered down in the ear of earth that the time was come to awake from winter's sleep and once more don the verdant attire of strength and joyousness. And what finely attuned ear ever heard the loom's working in the grand trees of orchard as they labor in season to produce their princely fruitage of the apple, the peach, the plum, and the pear? Who has heard the flapping of Night's wings as they slowly bore him o'er a slumbering land? Who, the saraband of spring, or the music of the spheres, or the steeds of the moon as they draw a thou­sand million tons of water from ocean's bosom and pile it up upon the land? The answer to these ques­tions is, None. Such mighty works of God are done in silence. Thus also in silence operates the eternal spirit of divine Truth as it cleanses mind and heart and life, and finding daily expression through the avenue of the Christian bears superlative testimony of Him whose blessed and glorious name is Love.

Should the Christian be an economist? He should. In the divine economy nothing is lost. Every tear, every pang that rends the heart is designed for a pur­pose. Some day the broken threads of life will be gathered up and spun to a conclusion, and woven into a tissue of matchless beauty, and then all results of the present shall appear. The Christian should know that, figuratively speaking, God gathers the tears of the saints and fashions them into garlands of pearls to be worn throughout eternity; then shall he have comfort for sorrowing hearts about him, even "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."

The Christian should be an Empire man in the highest sense, recognizing God as the only true Em­pire Builder, who raiseth up and setteth down, and can alone say to a kingdom, "Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting." He should see in present institutions a temporary arrangement, to, afford the world an experience calculated to be for lasting good, and to give place to a universal dynasty where Love shall be the king law. Not in present empires and their affairs, neither in science or philosophy should the Christian's hope be centered, but in the Love of God, and in the Gospel of His eternal Son.

The Christian should see that mighty, irresistible,., transforming forces are at work today, and that the, world really stands at the birth of a New Era. This is, no fancy theory, but a fact; and these forces cannot be ignored or trifled with lest they crush the offender. Political Economy, the Capitalistic platform, the re­sounding cry of Laborism, practical training of the young, Government elections, International peace,. etc., are questions at issue at the present time; and the Christian, when approached on these subjects, should. deal with them from the viewpoint of his Text Book,. the Word of God, for therein lies the final authority for knowledge and judgment in all matters pertaining to human affairs.

The Christian needs a good backbone. He should be like "Mount Zion that standeth fast forever." His, attitude toward life and his dealings therewith should call attention to the glory. of the commonplace, and teach men to gather good from the elements right at hand, and to use circumstances as stepping-stones to grander heights. His face should reflect the radiance of Truth itself; his eyes should be deep with the depth of eternal things; his tongue should be moved by the Holy Spirit. He should have complete consecration to start with, the grace of God to go along with, the Kingdom of Heaven to end with. For such as is here described, there is work to be done. The Master has, come and calleth for him. - W. S.

The Divine Weaver's Many Hued Pattern

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, . . . Ye shall be sorrowful,
but your sorrow shall be turned into
joy."  - John 16:20,

THAT GOD intends His children to be always rejoicing is evident from the many references thereto in His Word. He stands ready to im­part a joy that can be permanent whatever may befall His own. Jesus had such rejoicing in mind in His farewell words to His disciples, when, though Himself so near the darkness of the cross and the agony of Gethesmane, He said, "These things have I spoken unto you that ye might have My joy, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:11.) Here, at such a time in His own experience, was sorrow and joy made com­patible; therefore it is possible to us under circum­stances of similar kind. To the Apostle this perma­nent joy was so much a part of Christian privilege that he emphasized its importance by saying, "Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice." "Rejoic­ing in hope, patient in tribulation." "Rejoice ever­more." - Phil. 4:4; Rom. 12:12; 1 Thess. 5:16.

But it is equally plain that sorrow has its place also, for such is the import of our text, "Ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." Jesus wept in sorrow, and truly He was acquainted with grief. Paul was a man of many tears and deep sorrows. In the Lord's beatitudes, mourning is given a place among the experiences fruitful in blessedness. It is of faithful servants the word is written, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psa. 126:6.) Thus we see that both joy and sorrow are intermingled in the pattern God works out in our lives. Both are needed if His design is to be wrought out in us as of fine needle­work and beauty of adornment, making us meet for the Bridegroom's choice. In this inworking, temptations will bring heaviness of spirit at times, perhaps more than a little grievous for the present, but, there­by the peaceable fruits of righteousness may be brought to fruition. Though strange at times a trial may seem, yet cheering is the Savior's promise, cover­ing all such experiences: "Your sorrow shall be turned into joy." When we can rest in the assurance that God holds the key to all the intricate things by which our lives are to be conformed to His. design, then we have learned how true it is that­

"My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and Me,
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily. Ofttimes
He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

"Not until the loon is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skilful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned."

The lights and shadow's come in varying measure to all God's children. Though we may sing of life flowing on in an endless harmony of song, yet most of us are ready to confess to groanings within at times because the burdens press down heavily. And as it touches the faithful Christian life, how rich in possi­bilities is the ministry of sorrow. Who of us would want to be stranger to the fact that "E'en sorrow touched by heaven grows bright, with more than rapture's ray"? Unfortunate indeed it would be if we had no share with our Lord in His acquaintance with grief, and what a great deficiency in character would be ours if we knew no experiences when the heart is "broken and contrite" over failures to walk even as He walked amid life's varied environments. The penitential tear is precious to God. "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." - Isa. 57:15.

In the sorrows that come to all, worldling and Chris­tian alike-the physical ills, the fluctuations of finan­cial gain or loss, the bereavement that takes a loved one from the circle of home-in all these universal vicissitudes it becomes the child of God to exhibit that faith in God's love and wisdom wherein is peace and rest. In these a willing acquiescence is beauti­ful, for here surely heaven can touch sorrow and make it radiant with hope. But there are sorrows of a pe­culiar shade known best by the contrite heart and felt most keenly by the tender conscience. Among these there is that godly sorrow which worketh repentance, a bitter-sweet it is, but its possession gives evidence of a priceless quality of character.


There is an upper and an underside to the pattern God is weaving out for each one of us. To Him the upper design appears in all its charm and beauty, while we see the "dark threads" of the underside. If we can but let patience have her perfect work until the last needed thread has been wrought into the pattern, ah, then, we shall see how mysteriously all the dark and somber shades of life have been inter­woven by "the Weaver's skilful hand" until all that had seemed drab or dark or foreign to the pattern, has been transformed into strands of gold and silver. Then indeed shall our sorrow be turned into joy. However, much we fail in doing so now, there will be no failure "over there" in counting as "all joy" the divers trials experienced here.

But there is much of joy apportioned to us even now. To us, "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (1 Tim. 4:8.) It is of the present Jesus said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye might have fly joy, and that your joy may be full." There is a "joy unspeakable" which the Apostle Peter says may be ours as we wait for Him, "whom having not seen we love; in whom, though now we see Him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." (1 Peter 1:8.) Of such joy we should have a perpetual consciousness. In it there is the fullness of which Jesus spoke. There should be a continuous joy in the heart of any one to whom Christ is really precious as Savior, Brother, Friend. Then to know of the wideness in God's grace-wide and deep as the boundless ocean-and to understand His provision for all the world of men, past, present and future, should make joy a permanent thing in life. To be called as we are called to a future glory, if we faithfully endure present tribulations, should make the joys to come a source of unfading joy now. Truly the Christian should "Rejoice evermore."

Such joys as these arc threads in the weaving of our character. But there is another joy that plays a part, and an important part of the mystic Weaver's work as we may know it now. It is a rejoicing in the Lord Himself. "We cannot have too many rejoicing Chris­tians," it is said, "if they rejoice in the Lord." It is of such joy the Psalmist wrote, "Let me come to the altar of God, to God, my joy and delight, singing Thy praise on the lyre, 0 God, my God." (Psa. 43:4, Moffatt.) Is it not this which makes us "love to steal a while away, from every cumbering care," where we can come nearer to God in holy meditation than we can express?-where the word may come to us, though it be spoken mainly to the restless elements among men, "Be still and know that I am God." There is a communion of the inner heart with the Invisible Weaver of life's great possibilities, a secret rendezvous where "our conception of God becomes silent as it becomes supreme." Oh how much of this joy's out­working may be known and seen by us even now, though as yet we see but the underside of the divine pattern as it gradually reaches perfection.


"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, lie shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hash promised to them that love Him." (James 1:12.) There are blessings which can be had only when purchased by sorrow; there are joys which can be reached only through temptations­ -- such temptations as the Apostle refers to as making the man blessed. These experiences are the soil from which the richest bloom and fruitage come, and true it is, "the deepest shades of sorrow become memory's most hallowed resting places, where the Day Star shines the brightest."

The trial of our faith needs adversity, and there is much of truth in the expression, "Only by its woes our life to fullness grows." Certain it is we could never know the deeper meanings of faith and trust unless we suffered being tempted as was our Lord. When trials are received without bitterness of spirit, and as God intends, they bring us into a closer communion with Himself. Though strangely dark and somber the experience, and strangely rough and lonely the way may seem, still it is the way by which we are led into greater blessedness. Oh to learn that in the pat­tern He has planned for us, the dark threads are as needful to bring it to a fullness of beauty, as are the threads of gold and silver.

Let us not forget, then, that the strands of godly sorrow have much to do with beautifying the character. Paul recognized its effect on the brethren at Corinth when his letter of stern rebuke corrected their wrong in giving countenance to a sin within their assembly: "Ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this mat­ter." (2 Cor. 7:11.) Here was sorrow made a, per­manent influence in the lives of these brethren. It was a true form of repentance on their part, and this is always lasting in the benefits it can bring into any life.

Some failure of a former day, a humiliating defeat, or perhaps some never-to-be-forgotten deflection from the spirit of Christ, the recollection of which still burns deeply on a sensitive conscience, these too have been a dark thread taken up by the patient Weaver. Forgiveness has indeed been freely given and cleansing made complete, but memory will carry it on into days to come. Yet, has that dark thread not done much for us just because under God's hand "all things" are gathered up and made to work out our good. Has the regret, the humiliation, the defeat not done much to weave into the fabric of our character those essen­tial and beautiful qualities of mercy, patience, and loving-kindness, without which the adorning divine could never be wrought. To whom much has been forgiven, by the law of gratitude the same loveth much, and so the dark threads of failure serve us well now, helping us to forgive others, even as for Christ's sake God has forgiven us. Well may we re­joice that in the skilful Weaver's hand the failures for which there has been a full repentance, are taken up and by grace interwoven into the pattern He be­gan, which good work He is able to finish; even in such as ourselves.


There are necessarily finishing touches to the em­broidery of that raiment of fine needlework in which the Bride is to appear before her King. These are finishing touches of character of the finest quality.

Likeness to Christ must be perfected, and a consuming love for Himself must mark the spirit. Time has been given through graciously lengthened years to be­ come "stablished, strengthened, settled" in, all essen­tial doctrine and needed graces of character, but as the hour for presentation draws nearer, how much this consuming love for the Bridegroom should be manifested. And yet in this very devotion there are trials of faith and patience which, like threads, stretch across each waiting day. Because this is par­ticularly so now, we much need the inspired prayer, "The Lord direct your heart into the love of God, and the patient waiting for Christ." (2 Thess. 3:5.) Hope deferred has made many a heart sick, and long waiting does test both our faith and love. Shadows of doubt can come in and greatly dim the ardency of hope, and make the cry, "How long, 0 Lord, how long?" nothing more than an impatient lament. When we should have hearts made patient in waiting be­cause we know His time is best, we grow restless in spirit over the delay. Yet there must be eagerness and longing, ever saying, "How can I keep the longing back? Any other attitude would be inconsistent in a time like our own. How could we with a knowl­edge of such a hope of glory and of home, do other­wise than wish the hour might speedily come when both would be fully entered into? Yet we may wonder at times if we are pleasing our Lord by our longing for His appearing, or displeasing Him by our impa­tience. But here again are threads taken up by the divine Weaver and woven into a pattern which His grace alone will make perfect. He knows how to separate the elements of seeming impatience from the greater volume of love He knows we carry deep in our hearts. We see the underside, but He continues to weave the flawless beauty of the upper side, which we shall yet rejoice to see as leaving His hand "with­ out spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing."

And so the colors, hues, and shades take shape un­der His hand, and ere long the weaving will be com­plete. Perhaps few of us feel otherwise than disposed to look at the underside still present with us, and see the tangled threads, the inharmony of our faith and practice. So much of failure and unprofitableness we say, can it be that the pattern God planned for me can ever be finished in a beauty pleasing to His eye? Hope clings to that possibility, and faith affirms it will be so. It is the Lord's work and marvelous in our eyes.

Some glad time we shall see the upper side, and behold what God hath wrought. No dark threads. will appear on that side. They will have served their purpose and disappeared under the mystic Weaver's power to make all things work together for our good. Whatever our own poor faulty words and ways have seemed to be in the sight of others, and whatever our own memory may hold up before us of shortcomings, still God loves and understands. He knows the ideal we loved and cherished as the ultimate objective in life. He knows we have often misrepresented our better self, and He knows the godly sorrow this has brought to us numberless times. His ideal planted in our hearts being our ideal also, He will continue to create us in His own image and likeness, until on that perfected image in us He can smile in loving approv­al. Then indeed shall all of sorrow be turned into, joy. The pattern will be perfected in all its hues by the grace of God, who works and moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. In this faith we bow our heads as the sweet inspired benediction speaks its hope and peace to our hearts. "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." - Jude 24, 25.                  - J. J. B..

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