HARVEST GATHERING AND SIFTINGS

ZION'S WATCH TOWER VOL. XI. ALLEGHENY, PA., MAY, 1890. NO. 6.

R1214

 

...However, we were then merely getting the general outlines of God's plan, and unlearning many long-cherished errors, the time for a clear discernment of the minutiae having not yet fully come.  And here we should and do gratefully mention assistance rendered by Brothers George Stetson and George Storrs, both now deceased, the latter the editor of The Bible Examiner.  The study of the Word of God with these dear brethren led, step by step, into greener pastures and brighter hopes for the world, though it was not until 1872, when I gained a clear view of our Lord's work as our ransom price, that I found the strength and foundation of all hope of restitution to lie in that doctrine. Up to that time, when I read the testimony that all in their graves shall come forth, etc., I yet doubted the full provision-whether it should be understood to include idiots or infants who had died without reaching any degree of understanding, beings to whom the present life and its experiences would seem to be of little or no advantage.  But when, in 1873, I came to examine the subject of restitution from the standpoint of the ransom price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam, and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of restitution completely, and gave fullest assurance that ALL must come forth from Adamic death and be brought to a clear knowledge of the truth and to fullest opportunity of everlasting life in Christ.

 

Thus passed the years 1869-1872, and the years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and knowledge on the part of the handful of Bible students with whom I met regularly in Allegheny. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of restitution to clearer understanding of the details, God's due time for clearer light not having come until 1874...

 

C.T.R.

 

 

 

DID JESUS AND THE THIEF DIE THE SAME DAY?

BIBLE EXAMINER--NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1, 1855

 

Dear Br. Storrs:-- Your remark, "The fact is, the thief did not die the same day that Jesus did: for the Jewish day ended at evening or sundown. Jesus died about 3 o'clock, P.M., but when the evening was come, the thieves were still alive," &c.

 

How do you prove that they were alive when the evening was come and the Sabbath commenced? We read indeed that "when the even was come, Joseph went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus;" Mt 27:57. But where is the proof that the thief was then alive? Our blessed Lord indeed died first, but as he died about three o'clock, P.M., the thief might still die on the same day, before the even was come. That he did so, rather appears to have been the fact from John's words, Joh 19:31. "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation (Friday) that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was a high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers and break the legs of the first and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they break not his legs."

 

As the object of the Jews was to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross on the Sabbath day, is it not reasonable to suppose that they were removed before the Sabbath commenced?

 

If the body of the Savior had been removed by Joseph previous to the soldiers breaking the legs of the thieves, this indeed would be proof that they died after "the even was come," because Joseph had no permission to remove it until that time. But this was not the fact. It is evident, from Joh 19:33, that Jesus was still on the cross, though dead, when they broke the legs of the thieves.

 

The bodies might all be removed from the crosses before "even was come," and Joseph subsequently obtain permission to take our Lord away for burial.

 

If I have overlooked any evidence of the truth of your affirmation, please inform me.

 

Yours for the truth--In Christian love, HENRY GREW

 

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RESPONSE BY THE EDITOR

 

Dear Br. Grew:--You ask relative to the "thieves" crucified with Christ--"How do you prove that they were alive when the evening was come and the Sabbath commenced?"

 

It was objected to our view, that thief did not die the same day Jesus did, last April, (see Ex. April 1, p. 104,) and we admitted we might be mistaken. We made this admission rather than enter into a controversy about it, which must necessarily involve the day of the crucifixion, which we think not best to enter on. We will only say, we have long been of the opinion that the crucifixion took place on Thursday. But was are not disposed to spend time in the discussion of that point. Jesus' own testimony is that the Son of man would be "three days and three nights" in the tomb; but that is not so if he was crucified on Friday, in any way that we have been able to see; for he certainly rose on the "first day of the week." We have not said the thief was alive "when the Sabbath commenced; though Br. GREW infers it from supposing the crucifixion took place on "Friday." Let us call attention to a comparison between the evangelists.

 

Joh 19:31. "The Jews because it was the preparation * * besought that their legs might be broken," &c. Mr 15:42. "And now when the even was come,  because it was the preparation, that is the day before the Sabbath, Joseph * * * went to Pilate," &c.

 

These two texts show that it was the "preparation" day, or day before the Sabbath, that the thieves' legs were broken; and that it was the preparation day that Joseph came for Jesus; and was when "even had come;" showing the transactions both done in one and the same day. Now, as Jesus died before the "even was come," and the thief was alive when the "even was come," as it was the "preparation," that is "the day before the Sabbath," that their legs were broken, and which is declared to be the time of Joseph's taking Jesus, we can come to no other conclusion than that the thief was alive when "the even was come;" and hence did not die the same day with Jesus.

 

There was the "preparation of the Passover," (Joh 19:14,) which was the day of the crucifixion; but there was also "the preparation" for the "Sabbath," which was "the day before the Sabbath," Mr 15:42. It was when "even had come" that this day of preparation for the Sabbath commenced. It was at that time Joseph came for the "body of Jesus." Joseph "took him"--Jesus--"down" from the cross: see Mr 15:46: hence none of the bodies had been "removed from the cross before the even was come."

 

Again, It is not to be supposed that the chief priests and Pharisees would transgress on the Sabbath day so much as to go to Pilate, and get permission to set a watch and seal the sepulcher and do all that work on the Sabbath. But they did do all these things on the day that "followed the day of preparation;" see Mt 27:62-66; hence, we conclude, "the preparation of the Passover" is the day here spoken of, and was the day of the crucifixion; and that "when the even was come" commenced the preparation day for the Sabbath, and that it was on this day, which followed the Passover "preparation," the chief priests and Pharisees came to Pilate, &c. According to the common notion, Jesus was not put in the tomb till the Sabbath had actually begun; yet Luke says "That day was the preparation day and the Sabbath drew on." Lu 23:54. Then it is added, "The women * * * beheld the sepulcher and how the body was laid: and they returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandments." Lu 23:55-56. Did they prepare these spices and ointments on the Sabbath day, and at the same time rest according to the commandment? We think not. Yet the common theory makes Jesus to be buried on the Sabbath day, the women briskly at work, and the chief priests and Pharisees at Pilate's court, setting a watch, and sealing the stone of the sepulcher; and all this on the Sabbath day!

 

Exposition of Nebuchadnezzar's Dream.

DANIEL II. -BY GEO. STORRS.

 

THERE are those who, when they come to hear anything on the appearing of Christ and the end of the world, expect to hear us predict and prophesy on those matters. With predicting and prophesying, in the sense of foretelling future events, I have nothing to do. I take the prophecies that God has given us, and tell you how I understand them, and why I understand them as I do. When this is done, you will judge for yourselves, as each of you must give account for himself, whether the interpretation given, accords with the general tenor of the Scriptures. I force not my exposition upon any man. Hear, then judge.

 

I cannot agree with some who tell us that the prophecies cannot be understood. I consider such language the language of infidelity. What is it but saying-"Revelation is no revelation?" Revelation is something made known; and, of course, to be understood. To say that any part of it cannot be understood, is, just so far, to be infidels. There are some men who denounce infidelity with an unsparing hand, who, at the same time, tell us, we cannot understand the prophecies! What is this but infidelity?

 

A man may say, with truth, that he does not understand the prophecies; but, to say, "they cannot be understood," is a very different matter; and he that does it, whatever his standing, or reputation, is infidel in his principles. Not that he rejects the whole of Revelation; but he t of the Bible is a revelation.

 

I most solemnly believe that God designed every part of the Bible should be understood; but, not without searching the Scriptures, comparing one part with another, and earnest prayer to him for that same Spirit, to guide us into truth, which at first inspired holy men to write the sacred pages. Hence, to come to a knowledge of the truth, we must first seek a childlike spirit, and pray much for divine aid. The blessed Jesus said-"I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." First, an humble spirit is necessary. Then, for our encouragement, the Saviour has said, "If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him."

 

Let us then humbly yet confidently seek the aid of the Holy Spirit to give us understanding; and in that light search the Scriptures to know what was the mind of the Spirit that inspired them, and we shall not search in vain.

 

Let us now examine the second chapter of Daniel. I shall, for the sake of brevity, begin at the 31st verse.

 

Da 2:31-36. -"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold, a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee, and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold-his breast and arms of silver-his belly and his thighs of brass-his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out, without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron, and clay, and brake them in pieces: then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king."

 

I wish to call the attention of my readers to an inquiry. Where did the stone strike the image? "upon his feet." Let that be remembered, for I shall have occasion to speak of that fact again.

 

Da 2:37,38 -"Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the heaven, hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all," [i.e., has given thee universal dominion on earth.] -"Thou art [i.e., thy kingdom is] this head of gold."

 

Babylon was the first kingdom of universal empire. It was founded by Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah. See Ge 10:8-10. It lasted near seventeen hundred years, though under different names; sometimes called Babylon, sometimes Assyria, and sometimes Chaldea. It extended from Nimrod to Belshazzar, who was its last king.

 

Da 2:39, first part. "And after thee shall rise another kingdom, inferior to thee." What kingdom succeeded Babylon? See Chap.v:28, "Thy kingdom [Babylon] is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."

 

The Medo-Persian kingdom, then, was the second universal kingdom, and was represented by the "breast and arms of silver."

 

Da 2:39, last part. "And another third kingdom of brass shall arise, which shall bear rule over all the earth." What kingdom was this? See Da 8:5-7, 21. Here we learn that Grecia conquered the Medo-Persian kingdom and became a kingdom of universal empire. This took place under Alexander. Here, then, we have the third kingdom, which was represented by the brass of the image.

 

Da 2:40. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise."

 

What kingdom is this? It is generally admitted to be the Roman kingdom. It is a universal kingdom, that is to break in pieces all that went before it. Rome alone answers the description. That did have universal empire. See Luke ii:1. "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed." Who was Cesar Augustus? A Roman Emperor. -Here, then, we have the fourth kingdom, represented by the "legs of iron."

 

Da 2:41. "And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided." What kingdom shall be divided? "The fourth kingdom." Was it divided? It was. The Western empire of Rome, between the years A. D. 356 and 483, was divided into ten divisions, or kingdoms, viz.: 1. The Huns in Hungary, A. D. 356. 2. The Ostrogoths, in Mysia, 377. 3. The Visigoths, in Pannonia, 378. 4. The Franks, in France, 407. 5. The Vandals, in Africa, 407. 6. The Sueves and Alans, in Gascoigne and Spain, 407. 7. The Burgundians, in Burgundy, 407. 8. The Heruli and Rugii, in Italy, 476. 9. The Saxons and Angles, in Britain, 476. 10. The Lombards, in Germany, 483.* -Thus the "kingdom was divided" as designated by the ten toes." "But," after its division, "there shall be in it the strength of iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay."

 

The Roman, or "iron" power, through the influence and authority of Papacy, or Papal Rome, stretched itself among the "clay" so as to be "mixed with" it, and thereby kept up "the strength of iron."

 

Da 2:42,43. "And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay; so the kingdom" [Roman kingdom] "shall be partly strong and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they" [Romanism] "shall mingle themselves [i.e., Rome Papal] with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."

 

How exactly has all this been fulfilled. Romanism, or the Romish Church, while it has mingled with all nations, has not mixed with them, but has kept up its authority over its subjects, under whatever government they may have been located; so that the authority of Rome has been felt by all the nations where her subjects have been "mingled with the seed of men." The fourth, or Roman kingdom is thus perpetuated, though "divided." That power will continue, not civilly but by its ecclesiastical authority, till "broken without hands."

 

Da 2:44. "And in the days of these kings [What kings, or kingdoms? Clearly, the kings of the divided fourth kingdom: for that is now the subject of discourse] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom [the fifth universal kingdom] that shall never be destroyed: [and, therefore, must be in the immortal state, or "new earth:"] and the kingdom [when set up] shall not be left to other people, [i.e., the subjects shall not pass from one set of rulers to another, as the four previous kingdoms have done,] but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms. See Re 11:15. "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever." "And [18th verse] the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy ['break in pieces'] them that destroy ['break in pieces.' See Da 7:23] the earth, and it [the fifth kingdom] shall stand forever.

 

The question now arises, What are we to understand by this last kingdom? And when is it "set up?" Some tell us it must be the "kingdom of grace," because the stone that smote the image was a "little stone" at first. But where, I ask, do they learn that the stone was a little one? Not in the Bible surely. It is not there. They must find it, then among the inventions of men. "But," say they, "it grows, mark that." Well, my dear sir, will you be good enough to show me where the stone is said to grow? You do not find it in the Bible; it must be in your imagination, if anywhere. The "stone smote the image, and" it "became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carried" it "away, that no place was found for" either of the fourth kingdoms: then, and not till then, "the stone became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."

 

Still, the objector insists upon it, that "it must be the kingdom of grace, set up by our Lord Jesus Christ 1800 years ago, in the days of the Cesars." You speak of the "kingdom of grace;" but, I ask, then, if God had no "kingdom of grace" in the world till "the days of the Cesars?" If he had not, then Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Job, and all the prophets must have gone to perdition, for surely no man can be saved without grace; and that grace must reign to bring salvation. Thus if Jesus Christ set up "the kingdom of grace" only 1800 years ago, all that lived the 4000 years previous have "perished."

 

But let us look at this subject a little further. Where did the stone strike the image when it smote it? Not on the "head" -Babylon; nor on the "breast and arms" -Media and Persia; nor on the "belly and thighs" -Grecia; nor yet on the "legs" -Rome Pagan, as it should have done, if the kingdom was "set up in the days of the Cesars." -Where, then, did it smite the image? Verse 34 tells us, it "smote the image upon the FEET." Now it could not smite the feet before they were in being; and they were not in being till several hundred years after Christ's crucifixion, i.e., till the fourth, or Roman kingdom was divided; which we have seen, did not take place till between the years A. D. 356 and 483. Since that time, the "Man of Sin" has reigned on earth, instead of the Lord of Glory, and has trodden "under foot the holy City." But the kingdom of God is to be set up. That it was not set up at certain periods spoken of in the New Testament, will appear from the examination of a few passages. It was not set up when our Lord taught his followers to pray, "Thy kingdom come:" it must have been future then. Again. The mother of Zebedee's children understood it to be future when she desired our Lord to grant that her two sons might sit, "the one on the right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom." It was still future when our Lord ate the last passover. See Luke xxii:18: "I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come." So, it had not then come. Let us see if it had come when Christ hung on the cross. See Luke xxiii:42. "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Thus, to his death, it seems, his kingdom had not been set up. -But did he not set it up before his ascension to heaven? See Ac 1:6. "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Not done yet. Now See 1Cor.xv:50. "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." This settles the question that the kingdom of God is not set up till the saints put on immortality, or not till they enter the immortal state, which Paul tells us, [verse 52,] is "at the last trump," and the apostle tells us, [2Timothy iv:1,] that "the Lord Jesus Christ shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom." And again he tells us, [Ac 14:22,] that "we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God;" and this address was made to those who were already Christians, and shows that the kingdom of God was still future, in the apostle's estimation.

 

It is said, "Our Lord taught the Jews that the kingdom of God was within them." This is inferred from Lu 17:20,21. "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation." [marginal reading 'outward show.']" Neither shall they say lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Did our Saviour mean to say that the kingdom of God was within the Pharisees? He says of them, [Mt 23:13,]" Ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." Surely our Lord could not mean, in Luke xvii, to say, the kingdom of God was, at that time, within the Pharisees. "True," says the objector, "but the margin has it, among you." But, I ask, did our Lord intend to teach that it was then among them? If so, why did he speak a parable in Mt 19:11th verse and onward, to disabuse the minds of the people, "because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear?" He clearly teaches in that parable, that they were not to expect the kingdom of God till he should "return" from heaven, at which time he would reward his faithful servants, but would say, at the same time, "Those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me." See, in connection with this, Re 11:15,18. What then does our Lord mean in Lu 17th? I understand him to say, that when the kingdom of God does come, it will not be with outward show, or signs; but, the first the wicked will know, it is upon them; and thus the twenty-fourth verse seems to explain it. "For as the lightning &c., so also shall the Son of man be in his day." That kingdom will come sudden and unexpected to all the wicked.

 

The parables of the "mustard seed" and "leaven," are brought forward as an argument in defense of the doctrine that the kingdom of heaven was set up in the days our Saviour was on earth. I admit that those parables refer to a work of grace wrought in this world; but they cannot be so interpreted as to contradict the overwhelming testimony of our Lord, the prophet Daniel, Paul, and St. John, as already presented. -The language of these parables must, to harmonize with the other scriptures, be understood as spoken in a borrowed sense; that is, as the grace of God in men, works that preparation which is necessary to constitute us, finally, subjects of the kingdom of heaven, so it is called the "kingdom of heaven," in relation to the result. In the same way I understand the text, Ro 14:17.

 

"But," says the objector, "Christ and the apostles preached the kingdom of heaven at hand; surely, therefore, it must have been set up about that time." I reply, -A thing at hand is the next to come. Let me ask, what kingdom was at hand when Babylon was in power? Answer. The Medo-Persian. Why? Because it was next to come. What kingdom was at hand when the Medo-Persian was in power? Answer. The Grecian. Why? Because it was next to succeed it. What kingdom was at hand when Grecia was in power? Rome. Why? Because next to come, as a kingdom of universal empire. -What kingdom is at hand when Rome is in power? God's everlasting kingdom. Why? Because that is the next kingdom of universal empire. Thus we see how it could be said, in truth, the kingdom of heaven is at hand in the very commencement of the Roman kingdom.

 

Jas 2:5, tells us that the kingdom is a matter of promise to them that love God; of course, if "promised," it was future. Our Saviour saith, [Luke xii:32,]" Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom;" not yet given. It is something, still to come. To represent it as already set up, is to take away one of the strongest motives the Bible furnishes to endure trials, and to suffer patiently while in an enemy's country. What a soul-cheering thought, the kingdom of God is to come. Christ's subjects will be gathered out of all their tribulations-his territory, the earth, will be cleansed and the wicked rooted out of it; and Christ himself personally reign over his people for ever; not in a dying state, but in a state of immortality, peace, and glory in the new earth. Such a thought gives new life to the soul, now struggling in this "tabernacle," groaning, "being burdened." The kingdom will come: yea, it is now at the door. "Ye feeble saints, fresh courage take." "Behold, your God will come with vengeance, [to your enemies,] even God with a recompense; he will come and save you." Isa 35:4.

 

But when will the kingdom of God be set up? See Mt 25:31-34. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Then, and not till then, will the kingdom of God be set up on earth; "for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," as we have already seen.

 

Some men will not enter the kingdom of God. See 1Co 6:9,16. "Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." See also Rev.xxi:27. "And there shall in no wise enter into it [the new Jerusalem] anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie."

 

Who will be subjects of this kingdom? See Re 20:6. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such, the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with him." &c. Here it is seen that holiness is the indispensable qualification for an inheritance in the kingdom of God. See 2Pe 3:14: "Wherefore, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless." "We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

 

Are we thus purifying ourselves? Are we striving to be Christ-like? Have we the same love to God? The same love to men? The same hatred to sin? The same deadness to the applause of men? In short, do we set Christ before our eyes, as our pattern and example? And are we from beholding, changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of God? "He that saith, he abideth in him, ought himself also to walk even as he walked." See 1Joh 2:6; Mt 25:34-36. Here we learn who will enter into the kingdom of God.

 

Now comes the inquiry, "Watchman, what of the night?" In what period of prophecy are we now? What are our "soundings," in relation to the setting up of this kingdom? Are we in the kingdom of Babylon, under the "head of gold?" No. That has passed long ago. Are we in the Medo-Persian empire? No. Long since that kingdom was numbered with things passed. Are we in Grecia? Certainly not. -That, too, was numbered and finished more than two thousand years since. Are we in Rome in its undivided state, or in the "legs of iron?" No. Long since that empire fell. Where are we, then? Down among the feet and toes. How long since those divisions came up, which constitute the feet and toes? Nearly fourteen hundred years? Almost fourteen hundred years we have traveled down in the divided state of the Roman empire. Where does the stone strike the image? Is it on the head? No. Is it on the breast and arms? No. Is it on the belly and thighs? No. Is it on the legs? No. Where then? On the feet. Where are we now? In the feet. What takes place when the stone smites the image? It is all broken to pieces, and becomes like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carries it away that no place shall be found for it. Then will this world be cleansed and the everlasting kingdom of God set up which shall never be destroyed. How far off, reader, do you think that event can be? What is to come next as the subject of prophecy? The stone. Are you ready? The Lord help thee to be awake. -Suffer not thyself to be lulled to sleep by the cry of, "my Lord delayeth his coming."

 

 

EXPOSITION OF Da 7th CHAPTER;

OR VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS

BY GEO. STORRS.

[Concluded.]

 

We are now prepared for the inquiry-who, or what is the little horn here spoken of? We will inquire,

 

1st. What is the character of this horn? 1. It makes war with the saints. 2. It speaks great words against the Most High.

 

Let us see if we can find a description of the same character elsewhere in the Bible. See Re 13:6,7; "And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them;" Daniel says, "he prevailed against them." Now see 2Th 2:3,4: "That man of sin be revealed, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, &c. Can there be any doubt of the identity of the character? Daniel's "little horn," Paul's "man of sin," and John's "blasphemous beast," are clearly identified.

 

2d. Let us inquire, has a power of this description arisen? It must be admitted that there has; and that power is Papacy. The titles the Popes have assumed, of "Most Holy Lord" and their pretensions to pardon sin, even before its commission, if we had nothing else, sufficiently establishes the blasphemous character of that power. Pope Innocent III, writes-"He [Christ] hath set one man over the world, him whom he hath appointed his vicar on earth; and as to Christ is bent every knee in heaven, in earth, and under the earth; so shall obedience and service be paid to his vicar by all, that there may be one fold and one shepherd. -Again, Pope Gregory VII, says, "The Roman Pontiff alone is by right universal. In him alone is the right of making laws. Let all kings kiss the feet of the Pope. His name alone shall be heard in the churches. It is the only name in the world. It is his right to depose kings. His word is not to be repealed by any one. It is to be repealed by himself alone. He is to be judged by none. The church of Rome has never erred; and the Scriptures testify it never shall err." Surely here is a power diverse from all others, and proud and blasphemous enough to answer the character of the little horn.

 

3d. Let us now inquire, When this little horn arose? Or, which is the same thing, When did Papacy arise? There has been a difference of opinion on that question. But it appears to me the question is not one so difficult to settle now as in former years. First, then-it did not arise before the ten horns. Hence it did not arise before A. D. 483, when the tenth horn came up. It did not arise until three of the first horns fell, or were plucked up. It did not come up after that, because it came up among the ten horns, and three of those horns fell before it. It must then have come up or been established at the identical point where the third horn fell. If that point can be settled, it seems to me there can be no reasonable doubt as to the time Papacy arose. In the year of our Lord 493, the Heruli in Rome and Italy were conquered by the Ostrogoths. In 534, the Vandals, who were under Arian influence, were conquered by the Greeks, for the purpose of establishing the supremacy of the Catholics. The Ostrogoths, who held possession of Rome, were under an Arian monarch, who was an enemy to the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome; hence, before the decree of Justinian, (a Greek emperor at Constantinople,) could be carried into effect, by which he had constituted the Bishop of Rome head of all the churches the Ostrogoths must be plucked up. This conquest was effected by Justinian's army in the month of March, 538; at which time, the Ostrogoths, who had retired without the city, and besieged it in their turn, raised the siege and retired, leaving the Greeks in possession of the city; thus the third horn was plucked before Papacy, and for the express purpose too of establishing that power. [See Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.]

 

How exactly do the facts answer to the prophecy. I will here introduce the letter of Justinian to the Bishop of Rome, of A. D. 533:

 

"Justinian, pious, fortunate, renowned, triumphant, emperor, consul, &c., to John the most holy Archbishop of our city of Rome, and patriarch:

 

"Rendering honor to the apostolic sec, and to your holiness, (as always was and is our desire,) and, as it becomes us, honoring your blessedness as a father, we have laid without delay before the notice of your holiness all things pertaining to the state of the church. Since it has always been our earnest study to preserve the unity of your holy sec, and the state of the holy churches of God, which has hitherto obtained, and will remain, without any interfering opposition; therefore we hasten to subject, and to unite to your holiness, all the priests of the whole East. As to the matters which are presently agitated, although clear and undoubted, and, according to the doctrine of your apostolic sec, held assuredly resolved and decided by all priests, we have yet deemed it necessary to lay them before your holiness. Nor do we suffer anything which belongs to the state of the church, however manifest and undoubted, that is agitated, to pass without the knowledge of your holiness, who are the head of all the holy churches. For in all things (as had been said or resolved) we are prompt to increase the honor and authority of your sec."

 

"The authenticity of the title," says Mr. Croley, "receives unanswerable proof from the edicts of the 'Novellae' of the Justinian code. The preamble of the 9th, states, 'that as the elder Rome was the founder of the laws; so was it not to be questioned, that in her was the supremacy of the pontificate.' The 131st, on the Ecclesiastical Titles and privileges, chapter ii., states: 'We therefore decree that the most holy Pope of the elder Rome is the first of all the priesthood, and that the most blessed archbishop of Constantinople, the new Rome, shall hold the second rank, after the holy apostolic chair of the elder Rome.'"- Croley, pp. 114,115.

 

Some suppose that Phocas, A. D. 606, by applying the title "universal Bishop" to the Pope, first gave him his supremacy; but this cannot be, for it does not agree with the prophecy that three of the first horns were to be plucked up before it, as it came up, and this happened more than half a century before. -Again, Mr. Croley, a writer of the Church of England, says-"The highest authorities among the civilians and annalists of Rome spurn the idea that Phocas was the founder of the supremacy of Rome; they ascend to Justinian, as the only legitimate source, and rightly date the title from the memorable year 533."

 

Imperial Rome fell about A. D. 475, and was in the hands of the barbarians. Thus it continued till the conquest of Rome by Belisarius, Justinian's general, 536 to 538, when the Ostrogoths left it in possession of the Greek emperor, March, 538. Thus the way was open for the dragon to give the beast his power, and his seat, and great authority. Re 13:2. -This fact, from Revelation, also, settles the point that the Pope did not receive his power from Clovis, king of France. It was the dragon that gave him his seat, Rome, his power, as head of the churches. The Roman emperors had stood at the head of the churches with power to make important decisions for the church-it is now transferred to the Pope: and he has given him, also, great authority, under the Justinian code of laws, to judge and punish heretics.

 

4th. The next point we want to settle is, the length of time this power was to continue. Daniel says, "a time, times, and the dividing of time." The Revelator says, [Chap.xiii:5, "Power was given unto him to continue 42 months." He was to make war upon the saints-the church; and in Re 12:6, we are told, the woman, the church, fled into the wilderness 1260 days; and at the 14th verse, that it was for "a time, and times, and half a time." Here then we have the period of the continuance of this power given us in three forms of expression, which settles the point that the time, times, and dividing of time is 42 months, or 1260 prophetic days or years.

 

5th. Did the continuance of papal dominion, as a horn of the beast, cease at the end of that period? -1260 years from 538 would extend to 1798. Did anything transpire that year to justify the belief that the dominion of Papacy was taken away that year? It is a historical fact, that, on Feb. 10th, 1798, Berthier, a French general, entered the city of Rome and took it. On the 15th of the same month the Pope was taken prisoner and shut up in the Vatican. The Papal governments, which had continued from the time of Justinian, was abolished, and a republican form of government given to Rome. The Pope was carried captive to France, where he died in 1799. Thus, he that led others into captivity, went into captivity; and he who killed with the sword, those he was pleased to call heretics, was himself killed [subdued] with the sword; i.e., his dominion was taken away by war. See Re 13:10. Verse 26: "but the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, [he is cut off from being a horn on the beast, or deprived of his civil power, so that he can no longer wield the sword against dissenters] to consume and destroy it unto the end." See 2Thess.ii:8: Whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming to judge the world in the burning day, when the beast and false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire, burning with brimstone; then the little horn will be destroyed.

 

Some tell us the civil power of Papacy is not taken away. That the Pope was restored, or a new one chosen, is admitted, and that he may have some civil power in Italy is not denied. But that he has power to depose kings and put to death the saints now, is denied. When he was a horn on the beast, he deposed kings at pleasure, for centuries, and silenced heretics by the flame, the rack, prison, and the sword. Can he do it now? No. Nor has he been able to do it since 1798-since that time the church is out of the wilderness; and Papacy is compelled to tolerate Protestantism. Hear the Pope himself on that subject. Here is his letter, dated Sept., 1840, at Rome. Read it, and see if you think Papacy is now a horn on the beast, or is possessed of power to war against the saints unto death, as formerly.

 

"ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF OUR MOST HOLY LORD GREGORY XVI, by Divine Providence Pope, to all Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops.

 

GREGORY XVI. POPE.

 

"Venerable Brethren, -Health and the apostolic Benediction.

 

"You will know, Venerable Brothers, how great are the calamities with which the Catholic Church is beset on all sides in this most sorrowful age, and how pitifully she is afflicted. You know by what a deluge of errors of every kind, and with what unbridled audacity of the erroneous, our Holy Religion is attacked, and how cunningly and by what frauds, heretics and infidels are endeavoring to pervert the hearts and minds of the faithful. In a word, you know there is almost no kind of effort or machination which is not employed, to overthrow, from its deepest foundations, if it were possible, the immovable edifice of the Holy City.

 

"Indeed, are we not, (Oh, how shameful!) compelled to see the most crafty enemies of the truth, ranging far and wide with impunity; not only attacking religion with ridicule, the church with contumely, and Catholics with insults and slander, but even entering into cities and towns, establishing schools of error and impiety, publishing in print the poison of their doctrines, skillfully concealed under the deceitful veil of the natural sciences and new discoveries, and even penetrating into the cottages of the poor, traveling through rural districts, and insinuating themselves into familiar acquaintance with the lowest of the people and with the farmers! Thus they leave no means unattempted, whether by corrupt Bibles in the language of the people, or pestiferous news papers and other little publications, or caviling conversation, or pretended charity, or, finally, by the gift of money, to allure ignorant people, and especially youth, into their nets, and induce them to desert the Catholic faith.

 

"We refer to facts, Venerable Brethren, which not only are known to you, but of which you are witnesses; even you, who, though you mourn, and, as your pastoral duty requires, are by no means silent, are yet compelled to tolerate in your diocese these aforesaid propagators of heresy and infidelity; these shameless preachers, who, while they walk in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves, cease not to lay in wait for the flock and tear it in pieces. Why should we say more? There is now scarcely a barbarous region in the universal world, to which the well known Central Boards of the heretics and unbelievers have not, regardless of expense, sent out their explorers and emissaries, who either insidiously, or openly and in concert, making war upon the Catholic religion, its pastors and its ministers, tear the faithful out of the bosom of the church, and intercept her approach to the infidels.

 

"Hence it is easy to conceive the state of anguish into which our soul is plunged day and night, as we, being charged with the superintendence of the whole fold of Jesus Christ, and the care of all the churches, must give account for his sheep to the Divine Prince of Pastors. And we have thought fit, Venerable Brethren, to recall to your minds by our present letter the causes of those troubles which are common to us and you, that you may more attentively consider how important it is to the church, that all holy priests should endeavor, with redoubled zeal, and with united labors, and with every kind of efforts, to repel the attacks of the raging foes of religion, to turn back their weapons, and to forewarn and fortify the subtle blandishments which they often use. This, as you know, we have been careful to do at every opportunity; nor shall we cease to do it; as we also are not ignorant that you have always done it hitherto, and confidently trust that you will do hereafter with still more earnest zeal.

 

"Given at Rome, at St. Mary the Greater, on the 18th of the Kalends of September, of the year 1840, the tenth of our pontificate.

 

GREGORY XVI. POPE."

 

You see what is to come next after the fall of the little horn.

 

Now let us see whereabouts we are in the prophetic chain. Have we passed the Lion-Babylon? Yes. Have we gone by the Bear with three ribs in his mouth? Yes. Has the sign of the Leopard with four wings of a fowl and four heads been passed? -It has. The dreadful and terrible beast, with ten horns, -has he been seen? Yes. Have we got past the little horn having eyes like the eyes of a man? -That is among the things numbered with the past. -How far beyond it are we? Forty five years, nearly. What comes next? The judgment, followed by the everlasting kingdom of God. How far off is that? -That question I shall answer, hereafter, definitely. But one thing is certain; it cannot be at a great distance. It is the next prophetic event. Awake, ye slumbering virgins? "Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him." No time to sleep now. The seventh angel is preparing to sound. "Awake, ye dead!" will soon thunder through the skies. -Happy day to those that are waiting. Awful day to those who are saying-"My Lord delayeth his coming." Awake-Awake!!

 

The 70 weeks a part of the 2300 days.

 

[THE evidence presented on this subject by Bro. Andrews is conclusive. We give the following extract from the exposition of Dan.viii, by Geo. Storrs, published in 1843. It shows the position then taken by the whole Advent body.]

 

"WE will now give you the 13th and 14th verses of the eighth chapter of Daniel, leaving out what our translators have supplied:- 'Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long the vision, the daily and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand three hundred days: then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'

 

The inquiry. 'How long the vision,' clearly related to the 'Ram' and 'Goat,' as well as 'little horn' -and, the 2300 days are given in answer to the question, -'How long the vision?'

 

It was the meaning of the vision Daniel sought-verse 15: 'It came to pass, when I had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning,' &c.

 

It was to make Daniel understand the vision, Gabriel was sent-verse 16: 'I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.'

 

It was to make Daniel understand the vision, Gabriel came-verse 17: 'So he came near where I stood, and said unto me, Understand, O son of man.'

 

The first thing Gabriel would have Daniel understand, was, that the vision was down to the end, -verse 17: 'At the time of the end shall be the vision.' He would have Daniel understand that the end intended was the last end of indignation, -verse 19: 'Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation;' and he would have Daniel know that, 'at the time appointed, the end shall be.'

 

The 2300 days is the only time appointed. That time cannot be applied to a particular agent or event, without violence to the whole subject.

 

Now let us inquire what Daniel did understand, and what not. The angel explained every thing to him respecting the ram, he-goat, and little horn. But Daniel tells us in the last verse, 'I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.' What did not Daniel understand? There were, evidently, three things he did not understand: 1st What 'sanctuary' was intended in verse 13; 2d. He did not understand how to reckon the days; and 3d. Where to commence his reckoning. As Gabriel is not to be charged with disobedience to the command to make Daniel understand the vision, and as he has not fulfilled that command in this chapter, we must look elsewhere to see if he ever did what he was directed to do, and what he promised Daniel he would do.

 

Let us now look into the 9th chapter. Daniel there informs us that he found out 'by books, the number of years whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.' We might here inquire, Why did not Daniel 'find that out before?' It was written in the book, but he did not discover it till now. Our opponents seem to think it is a conclusive argument that we are wrong, because the time of the end of the world has not been found out before now. But is it any more marvelous than that Daniel did not learn that the captivity of the Jews in Babylon was to be seventy years, till those years were accomplished?

 

When Daniel discovered this fact, fifteen years had passed since the vision of the eighth chapter, and he had all that time been in uncertainty about the points that were not explained to him in that vision. He now seems to catch at the thought, that it must be the sanctuary at Jerusalem, to which the vision related, and he at once commences praying accordingly. He, at the 17th verse, prays especially about the sanctuary. 'Now, therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.' Daniel's mind is evidently on the vision, and he seems to suppose he has got the clue to the sanctuary that is to be cleansed; but Gabriel comes flying swiftly, to stop Daniel in the midst of his prayer. See verse 21: 'Yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.'

 

Gabriel, why this haste? Why, I see Daniel is wrong-he don't understand the matter-he thinks the vision related to the sanctuary at Jerusalem, and I must stop him, for he is going astray.

 

'Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision,' says Daniel. What vision? Where had Daniel seen Gabriel in vision? Evidently nowhere but in the vision of the 2300 days. Well, says Gabriel, 'I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding-therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.'

 

How is it possible that anything can be plainer than that both Daniel and Gabriel have the vision in mind, that 'none understood,' at the close of the eighth chapter? Now, says Gabriel, 'understand the matter, as by your prayer I see you did not, and consider the vision-direct your attention to what I have now to say of it. 'Seventy weeks are determined [cut off, so the word signifies] upon thy people.' Cut off from what? Surely not from the indefinite space; but from some time previously given. What time had Daniel given him before? None, except the 2300 days. The natural inference, then, is that the 70 weeks were cut off from those days: there is nothing else to cut them off from. For what are they cut off? Several objects are specified; but one especially, viz., to seal up [or as the word signifies, see Da 6:17, make sure] the vision."'

 

 

THE RETURN OF THE JEWS

THE ADVENT REVIEW, AND SABBATH HERALD

 

"HERE IS THE PATIENCE OF THE SAINTS; HERE ARE THEY THAT KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD AND THE FAITH OF JESUS."

 

R&H VOL. III. -ROCHESTER, N. Y., THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 1853. -NO. 21.

 

THE RETURN OF THE JEWS.

 

BY GEORGE STORRS.

 

IT is said, "The world cannot come to an end yet, for the Jews are to be brought in first:" it is added, "God must have some great design in having kept the Jews a distinct people for the last 1800 years;" and, it is asked, "What can that design be but their conversion to Christianity?"

 

In reply, I remark, God has not kept the Jews a distinct people. Here is the root of the error of our opponents, in regard to the Jews. I will not deny but that they are a distinct people; but, the question is, who has kept them so? Our opponents say God has; but I deny it. God has no more kept the Jews a distinct people than he has kept drunkards a distinct people; or than he has kept Mormons, or Mohammedans, or Papists, or liars, or any other class of wicked or deluded men, a distinct people. The fact is, God broke down the partition wall between Jews and Gentiles by the death of his Son; and never intended that any distinction should exist after "the seed should come to whom the promise was made." That seed is Christ. See Gal. Chap.iii. Christ, says Paul to the Ephesians, [Eph 2:14,]" is our peace, who hath made both one, [Jews and Gentiles] and hath broken down the middle wall of partition."

 

To talk about God's keeping the Jews a distinct people in the face of such positive declarations of the Bible to the contrary, it seems to me, shows a strong disposition to maintain a theory at all hazards. The truth is, God has abolished all distinction, under the gospel dispensation, between Jews, as the natural descendants of Abraham, and Gentiles. That very circumstance was what enraged the proud Jews, and they united in rebellion against God's purpose, and blasphemously said they would not be put on a level with the Gentiles; and they have labored for 1800 years to keep up a wall of distinction, which, in the purpose of God, was to exist no more after his Son broke it down by his death upon the cross.

 

The Jews, then, have kept themselves a distinct people, and have done it in opposition to the will of God unto this day, as really and as criminally as drunkards have kept themselves a distinct people; and it may just as well be claimed that God has kept the drunkards a distinct people, with the design to convert them, as to set up such a claim for the Jews. I repeat it, the Jews are a distinct people by their own fault, and as criminally as drunkards, or any other class of sinners.

 

I shall now call attention to a few texts of Scripture which show that the natural descendants of Abraham, under the gospel, have no peculiar privileges or promises. See Matt.iii:9: "And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." Thus John the Baptist lays the axe unto the root of the trees of Jewish prejudice and pride, and gives them to understand that a dispensation is now opening, in which the being a literal descendant of Abraham would avail nothing. -This was a dreadful blow to Judaism, and it made the "dry tree" shake to its very roots. Now let us see if our Saviour did not cut it entirely down. See John viii:39: "They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, if ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham." Here is a plain, positive denial that the Jews, as such, were the children of Abraham; and a clear statement of what constitutes a real child of Abraham, viz., doing the works of Abraham. Our Lord tells the Jews, in verse 44, "Ye are of your father the devil." This gives us a clue to the inquiry, who has kept them a distinct people? It is their father, the devil. Let none attribute such a devilish work to God any more. They are a distinct people because they choose to obey the devil rather than God; and to suppose that their conversion is to be the result of their serving devils, is to suppose that God gives to men a reward for rebellion. Besides, whenever a Jew is converted, his distinctive character as a Jew ceases at once. This shows that their being a distinct people, is a work of the devil and not of God, as God abolishes that distinction when they obey him. Now let us look at Rev.ii:9: "I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan." Again, Chap.iii:9: "Them of the synagogue of Satan which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie." -Can any doubt who are meant by real Jews in these verses? Are they not real Christians? While the natural descendants of Abraham, as such, or Christians, who are so only in pretence, are of the synagogue of Satan. In connection with these texts, see Rom.ii:28,29: "For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."

 

Here inspiration settles the question, that those whom we call Jews are not Jews; and God no more regards them as Jews, than he regards drunkards as sober men; or, than he regards wicked apostates as real Christians. We are here also given to understand distinctly, who are Jews under the gospel dispensation-they are real Christians.

 

That the literal descendants of Abraham, as such, are utterly rejected, except on the same conditions of other sinners, see Isa 65:11-15: "But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink-offering unto that number. Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter; because when I called ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen, for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name."

 

What language could more forcibly express an utter rejection from the very name of being God's people than that here employed? Read over these verses again, and see how carefully and clearly God distinguishes between the Jews, as such, and his people. -That this rejection of them from being his people was to last till the end of this world, see the following verses, where we are carried down to the new heavens and the new earth; and then God tells his people, whom he shall call "by another name," "Be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." What Jerusalem? See Rev.xxi:1,2: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

 

Here is a perfect parallel, and when compared together, gives us a clear idea of the language of God by Isaiah, in the verses under consideration. The Lord adds, in verse 19, "And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." -This exactly corresponds with Re 21:4: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

 

Now see Ro 9:6-8: "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel; neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." Compare this with Gal 4:28: "Now we, brethren, [We. Who? Believers-whether from among the Jews or Gentiles] as Isaac was, are the children of promise." Here the Apostle settles the question who are children of promise; and settles it to be those who have faith in Christ, without regard to their previous nationality. These are the persons to whom the promises are made, and not the natural descendants of Abraham.

 

What has become of old Jerusalem and her children? The Apostle tells you in the 25th verse of this chapter-"For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children." Is this old bond-woman and her children to inherit the promises of God with real Christians? See verses 30 and 31, of this chapter-"Nevertheless, what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bond-woman and her son; for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free."

 

But where is the Jerusalem to which the promises are made? See verse 25: "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."

 

Thus we learn, that old Jerusalem, or the Jews, as such, are rejected from the promises of God; and that all the promises pass over to the servants of God, who are called by "another name," viz., to true Christians, who are the only true Jews and children of Jerusalem; so that there are no promises of restoration, or conversion, to the literal descendants of Abraham, more than to any other class of sinners.

 

"But," says the objector, "the Jews must be brought in with the fullness of the Gentiles;" and he adds-"that's Bible language." Thus spake a Doctor of Divinity of this city. Well, Doctor, where in the Bible do you find such language? Please tell us. Ans. Nowhere! It's not there! It's only in the Doctor's Creed! That's all! But is there nothing that sounds like it in the Bible? Perhaps there is; but when D. D.'s tell us that such words are Bible language, they should be careful that they quote correctly. The portion of Scripture, doubtless, referred to, is Rom.xi:25: "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits,) that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in."

 

Now if this verse proves the return or conversion of the Jews, it proves also that it will not take place "until the fullness of the Gentiles come in." Of course, there is to be no more of the Gentiles converted after the bringing in of the Jews commences; and as I understand the aforesaid Doctor thinks the return of the Jews is to commence this year, his doctrine is as fatal to the Gentiles as ours. Let all then who are not Jews, be aroused to seek salvation immediately. This year, remember, "our enemies themselves being judges," probation is to cease to the Gentiles.

 

As the strength of the whole argument, so far as the New Testament is concerned, lies in the eleventh chapter of Romans, I will give that chapter a full examination.

 

First. Who was the Apostle addressing in that chapter? The 13th verse will tell you: "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office." What was his controversy with the Gentile converts? It is evidently about the nature of that rejection, of which the Jews were the subjects. It seems, the Gentiles had imbibed the notion that God had utterly rejected the Jews, so that they were placed beyond the reach of salvation. Paul undertakes to refute that idea. How does he do it? Let us begin the chapter. "I say then, hath God cast away his people? [That is-has he so rejected them that there is no salvation for them?] -God forbid." But how do you prove that, Paul? I will tell you, says the Apostle. First-"For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin," and I have obtained salvation. This is my first proof that God has not cast away the Jews so but that they may have salvation. But, Paul, you are a favored character-have you any other proof that God has not put the Jews beyond the reach of his mercy? Yes, says the Apostle, "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the Scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." The Apostle adds-"Even so then, at this present time, also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace;" this is my second argument that salvation to the Jews is possible, wicked as they are; I am saved, and a remnant besides are saved. Paul then proceeds to say-"And if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded, (according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, ears that they should not hear;) unto this day."

 

Who were the election? Ans. Paul, and that part of the Jews who embraced the gospel; because they "were obedient to the faith," [see Ac 6:7,] the Lord elected, or chose them to the enjoyment of his favor, as his spiritual Israel. Those who did not obey [Chap.x:16,21,]" were blinded." The Apostle then goes on to say, [verses 9,10,] that David prophesied of this thing: "And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them; let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow their back always."

 

Why were their eyes darkened? Because they rejected the true light, the Lord Jesus Christ. But the Apostle adds, [verse 11,]" I say, then, Have they stumbled that they should fall," beyond the possibility of salvation? "God forbid;" or by no means, as the phrase signifies; "but through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy:" that is, the Jews were provoked to jealousy by the salvation of the gospel being preached to the Gentiles. See Acts xiii:45,46: "But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."

 

The middle wall was now broken down-the Jews fell from the peculiarity they had enjoyed, and through, or by the means of that fall, salvation came to the Gentiles on the same terms that it flowed to a Jew; viz., by faith in Jesus Christ. "Now," says the Apostle, [verse 12,]" if the fall of them be the riches of the world, [or be the means of enriching the world, by salvation flowing to all men with equal freedom,] and the diminishing of them [or, as the margin reads, loss of them, or their loss,] the riches of the Gentiles, [or, has been the means of riches to the Gentiles,] how much more their fullness?" As though the Apostle had said, "Salvation has richly flowed to you Gentiles through the loss to the Jews of their peculiarity, but if they could be induced, generally, to embrace the gospel, there would be a still greater blessing flow to the world." And surely the unbelief of the Jews has prevented thousands and millions, probably, from embracing Christianity; and what a work of enriching the world they might have accomplished had they espoused the cause of Christ, instead of employing all their influence against it!

 

The Apostle now proceeds to say, [verses 13 and 14,]" I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office; if by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them."

 

Surely this language does not look much as if the Apostle thought that the Jews were all to be converted. He even expresses a doubt as to the salvation of any of them; but says, he labors, if by any means he might save some of them. He must have been peculiarly unfortunate in his expressions, if he intended to teach that the Jews were certainly to be converted. But, says the Apostle, [verse 15,]" If the casting away of them [viz., the unbelieving Jews] be the reconciling of the world, [i.e., the cause of the gospel of reconciliation being preached to the world; or, perhaps, more strictly, the means of destroying the cause of enmity between Jews and Gentiles, bringing all on to the same ground in relation to God and one another, thus destroying the enmity which had existed, by his cross, see Eph.ii:15-18, -if this casting away of them resulted so gloriously for the world,] what shall the receiving of them be [if by any means I might save some of them] but life from the dead?" That is, if the Jews could by any means be brought to give up their unbelief, and embrace Christianity, it would give new life and power to the gospel itself. But Paul is very far from teaching that they should actually do so. All the Apostle's language shows a doubt about the Jews, many of them, ever embracing the religion of Jesus. But he says, [verse 16,]" If the first fruit be holy, the lump also" [may be holy.] Is not that the sense? The verb is, is not in the original. What is the Apostle's argument? Is it not this? Though I have my doubts whether many of the Jews will be saved, yet their salvation is possible; for if the first fruit [viz., the Apostle himself, and the remnant of whom he had spoken in verse 5,] be holy, [or have been made holy] the lump [or body of the Jews may be made holy] also; and if the root [Christ, see Isa.xi:10,] be holy, so are the branches." That is-if those who are now unbelieving, would believe on Christ, the root, they would become holy, as well as we who are the first fruits, and so they might be saved. The whole argument goes to prove the possibility of the salvation of the Jews; but, at the same time, shows that the Apostle had doubts whether many of them would be saved, though he hoped to save some of them.

 

He now proceeds to caution the Gentile converts against being puffed up because they had been brought into exalted privileges; and he does this with tremendous effect, in verses 17-22. He says, "And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say, then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God; on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."

 

The Apostle then goes on to say, [verse 23,]" They also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again." If they abide not still in unbelief. Here the Apostle carefully sets his sentinel. It is a small word, it is true, but it is of tremendous import, showing that the Apostle never designed to be understood as teaching the certainty of the Jews' conversion; if he had intended to teach it, he would not have set the unbending word if to stand sentinel to keep all carnal Jews and Gentiles out of the church of God.

 

The Apostle now proceeds to argue this case still further, and says, [verse 24,]" For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree; how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?" -if they abide not still in unbelief. He then goes on to say, [verse 25,]" For I would not have you to be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, [or to a part of Israel, viz., those who believed not, and this blindness will continue] until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in;" that is till the end of the world; for, till then, we have no reason to suppose the fullness of the Gentiles will be come in. The Apostle saw that a part of the Jews would continue to reject Christ till the end of the world; but that was no evidence of the impossibility of their salvation, if they would give up their unbelief. Paul then adds, [verse 26,]" And so all Israel shall be saved, [if they abide not still in unbelief, for, the Apostle speaks constantly in reference to the trusty sentinel he has set to guard against intruders,] as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."

 

Where is this written? See Isa 59:20,21: "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. -As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; my spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever."

 

Here the Prophet helps us to understand the Apostle; and he teaches us that the promise is that the Redeemer shall come unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob; and that the covenant relates to an eternal inheritance, and not to a mere conversion of any class of wicked men.

 

The Apostle next proceeds to say, verse 28, that, "As concerning the gospel, they [the unbelieving Jews] are enemies for your sakes, [or on your account, i.e., they were enemies because the partition wall was broken down, and the Gentiles were admitted to the same favor of God as themselves, and on the same terms-see Acts xiii:42-46,] but, as touching the election, [that is, the believing Jews-see verse 7,] they are beloved for the fathers' sakes." -God has a special love to a believing Jew for the fathers' sake on the principle that he "keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him, to a thousand generations." See De 7:9. Thus, the Gentile converts were made to understand, that though God had rejected the unbelieving Jews from his favor, yet, when they believed, as they all might if they would, they were regarded with special favor for the fathers' sake; for, God had not forgotten the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and his "gifts and calling" to the fathers, he had never repented of, or changed his purpose of making them the chosen vessels through whom he would bless the world.

 

Now let us examine the original promises made to the fathers. See Gen.xiii:14,15. "And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever."

 

Now see 17th chapter, 7th and 8th verses. "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

 

Now compare these promises with Ac 7:4,5. -"Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran; and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed them into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child."

 

Now, if the promise to Abraham related to literal Canaan, then the promise of God utterly failed. -But it did not relate to that; and Abraham never so understood it. In proof of this, see Heb.xi:8-10. -"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

 

The Apostle goes on to say, verses 13 to 16. -"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned: but now they 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."

 

The Apostle continues to discourse, and enumerates David, Samuel and all the prophets, who dwelt in the literal Canaan, and yet he tells us, verses 39,40; "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."

 

If the promise related to the possession of literal Canaan, they did receive it; but Paul declares they did not receive the promise; which shows that the promise related to a different inheritance; even an heavenly, or the New Earth; for the meek shall inherit the earth.

 

Let us now examine the original promises as made to Isaac and Jacob. See Gen.xxvi:3,4. "Sojourn in this land; and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries: and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father: and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries: and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." -See, also, Gen.xxviii:13,14. "And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. -And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

 

Now let us inquire, who "thy seed" is, to whom those promises are made. See Ga 3:16: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."

 

"Thy seed," then, "is Christ." Did Christ ever possess a foot of old Canaan? No. He had "not where to lay his head;" so he testifies himself. The promise, then, was not fulfilled to Abraham, Isaac, nor our blessed Lord; and hence remains to be fulfilled.

 

Let us now see if we can determine to what the promise related, and who are the heirs of it. See Rom.iv:13-16. "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect. Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed: not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all."

 

Now we have found what the inheritance is-who the heirs are-and who the children are to whom the promises are made, not the literal descendants of Abraham, but all who are of faith. The world belongs to Christ and his people: they have been persecuted and destroyed out of the earth; but our Lord is coming to glorify his saints, and to destroy his and their enemies, and take possession of the inheritance, after purifying it by fire, and renewing it in glory.

 

But let us examine the subject still further as to who are the heirs, and to whom the promises belong. See Gal.iii:6-9. "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness; know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."

 

Now see the 15th to 19th verse, same chapter.

 

"Brethren, I Speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."

 

See also 26th to 29th verse, same chapter, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

 

If this does not settle the question, as to whom the promises belong, it seems to me impossible to settle any question.

 

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, neither received nor looked for a temporal inheritance. They understood the promises in a higher sense. They will be brought in, and all the true seed with them; but, it is into an eternal inheritance, in the new heavens and new earth.

 

When God brought Israel into literal Canaan, he directed all the wicked inhabitants to be destroyed out of it; so when he is about to bring his true Israel into the promised inheritance, and give them the world for their everlasting possession, he will destroy all the wicked out of the earth. See Prov.ii:22. -"But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it."

 

See, also, Mal 4:1-3. "For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings: and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts."

 

Look at Re 11:15-18 -"And the seventh angel sounded: and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces and worshiped God, saying, We give thee thanks. O Lord God Almighty, which art and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

 

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."

 

In view of the fact that the heirs of the promises are Abraham's children by faith, and not by natural descent, read the following Scriptures. Isa.xxxiii:15-17, 20-22. "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high; his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off. Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down: not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; he will save us." Isa 35:3-6,9,10: "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon: it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there; and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isa 55:12,13: "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." Isa 55:18-22: "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls salvation, and thy gates praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation; I the Lord will hasten it in his time."

 

See also Eze 34:23-28: "And I will set up one Shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them: I the Lord have spoken it. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land-and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about my hill, a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his seasons-there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid."

 

Thus we have "given unto us exceeding great and precious promises." But take those promises and give them to carnal Jews, and you "take the children's bread and cast it unto dogs." Such is the work, I think, those are doing who apply such promises to any but Abraham's children by faith: to them "the promises are made," and to them alone. The true Israel shall all be gathered when Christ appears in the clouds of heaven-then "he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet; and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heaven to the other." Wherever they have been scattered, they shall now all be gathered; yea, into "their own land," and shall be "heirs of the world;" then will the saints have taken the kingdom, and they shall "possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."

 

That glorious day is now "nigh, even at the doors." Let the children of God lift up their heads, for their redemption is at hand; now ready to be revealed. -Let us wait, watch, and keep ready for that day.

 

In conclusion, I wish my readers to look at the following texts: 2Co 1:19,20: "For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me, and Sylvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." Compare this with 1John v:12. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life."

 

Can it be plainer, that all the promises of God are in Christ? and therefore they are not to any soul out of him; whether carnal Jews or any other class of wicked men. May the Lord give us understanding in all things, and guide us unto his eternal kingdom.

 

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Harmony of Zechariah 14

BY GEORGE STORRS.

 

WE will now attempt a harmony of Zechariah xiv. Let us remember that the prophets see different events at the same glance, in the prophetic glass, and often record the events without noting the chronological order. Apply this idea to the chapter under consideration, and read it as follows:

 

Zec 14:1,2: "Behold the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. -For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city."

 

Zec 14:12-15: "And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem, and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel in great abundance. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague."

 

Zec 14:17-19: "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem, to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles."

 

Zec 14:3-11: "Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal; yea, ye shall flee like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night; but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem: half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's wine-presses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited."

 

Zec 14:16: "And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."

 

Zec 14:20,21: "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts; and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein; and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts." -Mid. Cry-1844.

 

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"THE KINGDOM OF GOD."

 

THE ADVENT REVIEW, AND SABBATH HERALD.

 

"HERE IS THE PATIENCE OF THE SAINTS; HERE ARE THEY THAT KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD AND THE FAITH OF JESUS."

 

R&H VOL. V. -ROCHESTER, N. Y., THIRD-DAY, MAY 9, 1854. -NO. 16.

 

"THE KINGDOM OF GOD."

 

BY GEO. STORRS.

 

1. THE TRUE IMPORT OF THE TERM KINGDOM.

 

IN this world the term has been uniformly used to signify a king, invested with authority-dominion, or territory, over which he rules-subjects, who yield obedience to him alone-laws, the only code of the kingdom.

 

The Bible gives us no other definition of kingdom. This, then, is the true idea of "the Kingdom of God." The notion of a "spiritual kingdom," or a "spiritual coming of Christ," &c., is unintelligible, and has no real meaning, or as many significations as there are spiritualizers to make them. That fact shows such notions to be fables. See 2Pe 1:16. "We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty." In that manifestation, I apprehend, that Peter had a clear view of his Lord as he will appear when he assumes his Kingly office. At that time, which was "in the holy mount" of transfiguration, he saw the Kingdom of God in miniature.

 

The Scriptures speak of a real, literal Kingdom of God. See Ps 2. "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." Again, Isa 9:7. "Upon the throne of David." And, Lu 1:32,33. "He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

 

Now, if the "holy hill" and "throne of David" are simply spiritual places, then the subjects must be merely spiritual; and to correspond, the King must have no tangibility, but be merely a spiritual influence-an undefinable something, devoid of reality. Compare such notions with the following scriptures: Da 7:13,14. "I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Re 5:9,10. "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth."

 

Thus, it appears, there will be a reality in the kingdom of God. It is not a fancy or imaginary kingdom.

 

2. WHERE IS THIS KINGDOM TO BE SET UP?

 

The last text quoted shows that; but we will look at this point still further. See Ps 2:8. "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." Da 2:35. "And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." Da 7:27. "And the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." And, Da 7:18. "But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever." Mt 5:5. "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth." Ps 37:11,29. "But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace..... The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever." Re 11:15. "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever."

 

The earth, then, is the place where this kingdom is to be set up: and when set up, it is never to be succeeded by another, and is never to pass away.

 

3. HAS THIS KINGDOM BEEN SET UP?

 

Some tell us it has. If so, when? Not in the days of Abel; for then the Devil's subject prevailed to murder Abel. It is equally clear it was not set up before the flood; for the Devil had the whole territory, and the men who occupied it, with the exception of one family, in subjection to himself. If it has been set up at any period gone by, how does it happen that the wicked powers of earth have always ruled over and oppressed the real children of God? Why are Christ's subjects under such rulers? Why does not their king protect them? Why leave them in the hands of their enemies to be tortured, often, unto death? If Christ now acts as supreme ruler on earth, why are his laws put at defiance? Surely, no man in his senses, can maintain that these things will exist when Christ's kingdom is set up on the earth. See Lu 29:27. "But those mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." That is what will take place with our Lord's enemies when he has "returned, having received the kingdom."

 

This kingdom had not come at certain periods spoken of in the New Testament. See the following texts: Mt 6:10. "Thy kingdom come." Surely it had not come at that time. Many who use that prayer still, seem to be almost angry if we tell them that kingdom will come. Lu 22:18. "For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come." These words were spoken by our Lord just before his death, and show, up to that time, the kingdom had not come. Again, Lu 23:42. "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." If the thief prayed understandingly, our Lord died without having possession of his kingdom. That he did pray aright appears from the fact that our Lord assured him his prayer should be answered. Let us now see if that kingdom was set up before our Lord's ascension. Ac 1:6. "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Not yet set up, then. But some will say; That question does not touch the point in debate. Very well, let it pass. Look at 1Co 15:50. "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood (or mortal man) cannot inherit the kingdom of God." Here it appears plain, to my mind, that Paul settles the question, that no man can be in the kingdom of God until he is changed to immortality. And this for a very obvious reason-it is an eternal kingdom; and there can, therefore, be no death in it. But let us hear the same Apostle further. 2Ti 4:1. "I charge thee therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom," &c. Here it is clearly stated that it had not come in Paul's day, and that he did not expect it till Christ came to judgement. Our Lord and his apostles preached the kingdom of God "at hand," but not come. See Ac 14:22. "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." They were not in it, or the apostle would have used language to correspond with such a state. See also Ro 8:17,19,22,23. "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God..... For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."

 

He did not expect, then, to be in the inheritance, or, which is the same thing, the kingdom, till "the redemption of our bodies:" agreeing with what he said to the Corinthians, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." James also teaches the same doctrine: Jas 2:5. "Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?" It was still a matter of "promise;" of course not in possession even of those that "love him."

 

The fourth kingdom, [Da 7,] in its various divisions, has not yet passed away-the kingdom of God is to succeed that, and is not given to Christ till the "Ancient of days" comes, the judgement sits, and "the fourth beast" is slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame;" which leads us to inquire-

 

4. WHEN WILL THIS KINGDOM COME, OR BE SET UP?

 

Let us look first at Re 11:15. "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever." Not, then, till the seventh angel sounds. What trumpet is that? "The last:" and Paul tells us at that time, "we shall not all" be asleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." See 1Co 15:52. Let us now look at Mt 25:31,34. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." "Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

 

The kingdom of God will not be set up-will not be established till the second personal appearing of our Lord; for he is to "return." See Lu 14:15. "And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading." Here we see he returns to call his servants to an account, and to reward them; of course, it is at the judgment, as I have previously shown, that the kingdom is to be set up, or, established. Till that time, our Lord does not collect his subjects. See Mt 24:30,31. "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Compare this with 1Th 4:14,16,17. "For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him." "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

 

Till that time his territory is not cleansed.* Then it will be done. See 2Pe 3:7,10,13. "But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also; and the works that are therein, shall be burned up." "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Compare this with Mt 13:40-43. "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear let him hear."

 

Thus the territory is cleansed-the wicked are cut off-the earth is brought back in the "restitution." Now then we are presented with THE TERRITORY-"The new earth."

 

THE SUBJECTS. -The Saints Immortal.

 

THE KING. -The Lord Jesus Christ.

 

THE LAWS. -To which alone his subjects submit.

 

Then the kingdom is set up-organized-established-and will be eternal.

 

5. WHO WILL ENTER THIS KINGDOM? OR INHERIT IT?

 

It is certain some will not inherit it. See the following texts: 1Co 6:9,10. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." Re 21:27. "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of Life."

 

To enter into it, or to inherit it, we must be holy. 2Pe 3:14. "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent, that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless." Joh 3:3,5. "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." 1Jo 2:2,3. "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."

 

Christian, see to it, that you are found with your lamp trimmed and burning. "Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." Re 16:16. Yes, see that you have on the true "ascension robe;" that "holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."

 

Backslider, awake quickly, or you are lost. Be deluded no longer with the stupefying cry of "Peace and Safety."

 

O Sinner! arouse, arouse thyself before the blast of the seventh angel's trump+ shall announce thy doom, and you perish; perish past hope-past recovery. Is there nothing in the glories of "eternal life," to wake up thy soul to fly to Christ for that invaluable blessing, while still it may be obtained? Haste thee-hast, I beseech you-O, lay hold on eternal life. I most solemnly believe, this is your last call. O, let it not pass you unheeded. If you will not heed my voice, hear, I beseech you, the voice of the God of compassion, while he calls you, saying-"As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways; for why will ye die." O, hear this voice of mercy, lest you have to mourn at last, "and say, how have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof." Remember, the time will shortly come, spoken of in Am 8:11,12. "Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." What an awful day will that be to thee, poor sinner, when you will seek with indescribable desire and anguish, to find some word of mercy from the Lord, and thou shalt not find it!! -Mid. Cry, 1844.

 

RETURN OF THE JEWS.

 

MY object will be to show that the dispersion of the Jews by the Romans, is to be continued till they are consumed and destroyed; and that as Jews they are never to return. The texts which are supposed to prove their return are the 12th, 15th, 23-25th verses of the 11th of Romans (Ro 11:12, 15, 23-25); viz., "Now if the fall of them be the riches of this world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness?" "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?" "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits,) that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins."

 

We argue first, that the Israel of whom all will be saved, is the true Israel of God; otherwise every individual Jew will be saved; which none will claim. That the Israel spoken of is not the Jewish nation, is clear from the fact that some of that nation will be cast out; and in that case all Israel could not be saved. The Apostle also assures us that, "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." "For there is no difference between the Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him." "For they are not all Israel that are of Israel, neither because they are of the seed of Abraham, are they all children." "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise, and counted for the seed." "For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgression, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

 

The above most conclusively proves, that as a nation, the Jews will hereafter receive no peculiar favors.

 

Again, "the fall" and the "diminishing of them," and "the casting away of them," could not be their dispersion as a nation, for it was spoken of as something already taken place before the nation was dispersed; so that their "fullness" and the receiving of them, could not be their restoration as a nation to Judea.

 

Again, their "fullness," (pleroma,) is not to be "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in;" for till then, blindness in part had happened to Israel. And as all the Gentiles are not to be converted, the fullness of the Gentiles must be the full number of them who are to be saved, and which will not be till the end of the world; at which time also the fullness of the Jews, or the full number of them who are to be saved, will have come in; so that all Israel, in the most literal sense, according to Paul's definition, will be saved, and Paul might well ask, "What shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?" and in the very manner as described in Eze 37:12-14, "Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live and I shall place you in your own land, then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it and performed it, saith the Lord." Neither is there any proof that the Jews are to be converted as a nation. It is no where expressly asserted, but only conditionally, for "IF they abide not still in unbelief, they shall be grafted in;" and it also follows that if they do abide in unbelief, they will not be grafted in-the if being as much a condition as when Christ said, "if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" Those of the Jews who believe, will not become a new olive tree; but will be grafted into the old olive tree so that they will cease to be Jews. There is therefore nothing in the restoration of the true Israel, which can in any way delay the coming of our Lord.

 

In addition to the above argument, the question is most conclusively settled by De 28, that after the dispersion of the Jews by the Romans they were never again as a nation, to receive another

 

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* Not till the end of the 1000 years. Re 20. -ED. REVIEW.

 

+ The seventh angel is symbolic, like the other six; it is not the last trump of 1Co 15:52. -ED. REVIEW.

 

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civil or religious privileges. The covenant which God made with that nation was a conditional covenant. If they should serve their God with all their heart, to do all his commandments, and should diligently hearken unto him, they were to be blessed above every nation, and were to be forever the chosen people of God; but if they would not hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God, to observe and to do all his commandments, and his statues, they were to be cursed above every nation, until they should be finally destroyed. In the other predictions of their various dispersions, they were promised that if they would return unto the Lord their God, that the Lord would have compassion upon them, and would turn their captivity, and gather them from all nations whither he should scatter them. And we accordingly find that he was faithful who promised; for as often as they repented in their various captivities, he restored them to their own land. But in the chapter referred to, Moses evidently looked forward to the time when their waywardness and their folly would be fully proved, when all the mercies and judgments of God should be found to be of no avail in restraining them from utterly rejecting the Lord their God, and walking after the evil imaginations of their own perverse hearts; and when it would seem that there was nothing more which God could do for his vineyard, which he had not done for it, so that he should cast them off forever and leave them to their own hardness of heart and blindness of minds, until they should perish.

 

That the dispersion here predicted was their dispersion by the Romans, is evident from the nation that was to be brought against them, and from the complete fulfillment of that prediction, in the destruction of Jerusalem by that nation. "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue men shall not understand, a nation fierce of countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young." This could be no other than the Roman nation. "And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustest throughout all thy land." "And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee; so that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil towards his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children, which he shall leave, so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat; because he hath nothing left him in the siege and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee, in all thy gates. The tender and delicate woman among you which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground, for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter," "and toward her children which she shall bear; for she shall eat them for want of all things, secretly, in the siege and in the straitness wherewith thy enemies shall distress thee in thy gates."

 

Josephus shows a literal fulfillment of all this, in the affecting description which he gives of the misery and distress to which the Jews were reduced in the destruction of their city.

 

From this dispersion there is no promise of a return, as though all their restorations having been of no avail, they were now to be entirely forsaken. Moses also expressly says that the "Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thy hand to do, until thou be destroyed; and until thou perish quickly." "And they shall pursue thee until thou perish." "It shall come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed." "And thou shalt be oppressed and spoiled evermore; and no man shall save thee." "And thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway."

 

"Thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb and a by-word among all nations, whither the Lord shall lead thee." "And shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth." "The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high, and thou shalt come down very low." "Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed." "And they shall be upon thee for a sign, and a wonder, and upon thy seed forever." "And he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck until he shall have destroyed thee." "And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth, even unto the other." "And among all these nations thou shalt find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest, but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind, and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night; and shalt have none assurance of thy life." "And ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bond-men, and bond-women, and no man shall buy you." The duration of these evils is given in plain and positive language, and in the whole of this, [Moses' fifth discourse,] there is no intimation of any further mercies till they are finally destroyed. It therefore follows that in Moses' other discourses, and in the various predictions where a restoration to their own land was promised, that there could be no allusion to their dispersion by the Romans; but only predictions of other dispersions and restorations, all of which must have been fulfilled previous to the dispersion here spoken of.

 

That Jerusalem is never to be rebuilt, is plain from Da 9:26,27, where the angel informs Daniel that after our Saviour's crucifixion, "the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and sanctuary;" "and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation; and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate," -on "the desolation," as it reads in the margin; which must be to the end of time. Our Saviour, also, declares, [Lu 21:24,] that the Jews "shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." The times of the Gentiles will not be fulfilled till the end of time; so that the express declaration of our Saviour, with all the other evidence which has been presented upon this question, it would seem, must forever settle the question, that the Jews, as Jews, have nothing farther to hope for in this world: and that those only of them can be saved, who renounce their Judaism, and by faith as individuals, like the Gentiles, are grafted into the original olive tree, from whence through unbelief they have been broken off. -Signs Times-1842.

 

THE ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOUR THOUSAND.

 

"And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads." Re 14:1.

 

"AND after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth, and the sea, saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed; and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel." Re 7:1-4.

 

To what state of the church do these scriptures apply? Evidently to the present. But as some doubt this position, we wish briefly to give some reasons for believing that the 144,000 are those who are alive, and are changed to immortality at the second advent.

 

1. The 144,000 are introduced in prophecy among the preparatory scenes of the second advent. Reader, please take your Bible, and mark carefully the connection between the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Revelation. The thirteenth chapter, and the first five verses of the fourteenth, are a connected chain showing the sad history of the church during the 1260 years of Papal rule, which reached to within fifty years of this present time; also, her last struggle with the image beast, and the saints' final and glorious deliverance. They stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb. The division of chapters should be between the fifth and sixth verses of the fourteenth chapter. This any one may see: for the sixth verse introduces another chain of events, which is not at all connected with the preceding chain. How very natural to suppose that John, after viewing the saints persecuted by the beast, and his image, would follow them but a step farther to Mount Zion with the Lamb.

 

"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Re 15:2.

 

Re 7:1-3, has been, and is still, held by Adventists, with very few exceptions, to apply to the preparatory scenes of the second advent. In fact it seems impossible to apply it any where else.

 

Mark this: John was shown, not things that were in the past, no, but "things which must shortly come to pass." It is true that some allusions were made to the past, but it was only to explain the "things which must shortly come to pass," as in the case of the "woman," the "dragon," and the "man child" of chap. xii. This fact seems quite destructive of the view, that the 144,000 were raised at the time of the first advent. If the prophecy relative to the 144,000 was fulfilled at the time of the first advent, then the faithful Witness, instead of doing what he said he would do, viz., "shew unto his servant, things which must shortly come to pass," showed John things that were all past, at least sixty years before he had his revelation on the isle of Patmos. The twelve tribes, of which the 144,000 are sealed, are the same that the apostle James addressed, A. D. 60.

 

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting." James i:1. This epistle is evidently addressed to the present state of the church; to that state when the people of God are waiting for the Lord, and in their disappointed, waiting, trying state, need much patience. "Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord." Chap. v:7. "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." Verse 8. From these scattered "tribes" who are exhorted to wait patiently for the Lord, the 144,000 are to be sealed.

 

II. The history and description of the 144,000 apply to those who are to be changed at the coming of the Lord, and to no other class. 1. "Having his Father's name written in their foreheads." Said the true Witness to the Philadelphia church, "Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out, and I will write upon him the name of my God." Where? "In their foreheads," just where John saw the "Father's name." Now just as sure as the Philadelphia church is the true church of the last days, just so sure the 144,000 are sealed, just before the coming of the Lord.

 

2. They sing "as it were a new song," that none in all wide heaven, but the 144,000 "could learn." "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb." Re 15:3.

 

The song of Moses was the history and deliverance of Israel. The new song of the 144,000 will also be of their experience and their deliverance. The reason why none but the 144,000 can learn or sing this song, will be because the history and deliverance of no other class will be like those who pass through the time of trouble, and are changed to immortality "in the twinkling of an eye," at the coming of the Lord.

 

3. "These are they which were not defiled with women." A woman is used as a symbol of the church. See Re 7:1-6; 17:1-6. The woman arrayed in purple and scarlet-color, on whose "forehead was a name written mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots," is the Catholic church. Her harlot daughters must therefore be the Protestant sects. They are the women with whom the 144,000 are "not defiled." Why not defiled with them? Because they obey the voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, [be defiled,] and that ye receive not of her plagues." Re 18:4.

 

4. "These were redeemed from among men." Not out of their graves; no, no, -"from among men." They must, therefore, be the living saints who are changed to immortality at the coming of the Lord. The sleeping saints are not "among men." Those who came out of their graves at the time of the first Advent were not among men. No, they were in the silent grave. Some say that the 144,000 were the infants slain by Herod. Those infants had been slain more than thirty years, and of course had returned to dust again. What folly to say that they were redeemed "from among men!" There is no consistency in such a view. The simple truth on this point is this: The 144,000 are on the earth, "among men," [the wicked,] at the coming of Christ, and at the "voice of the Archangel" they are changed in a moment, and are "caught up" from among men to "meet the Lord."

 

5. "Being the first fruits unto God and the Lamb." The first fruits in this text, do not refer to the type-the "sheaf of the first fruits of the harvest," which the priest waved before the Lord "on the morrow after the Sabbath." Le 18:10-12. That was fulfilled in Christ. "Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." 1Co 15:23. Paul does not say, Christ and 144,000 the first fruits, no, no; the 144,000 are a part of the great harvest, in the end of the world, of which the risen Saviour was a sample, or first fruits. If Paul had said, Christ and 144,000 the first fruits, and there was no other testimony in the way, then we might with safety believe that they were raised at the first advent; but as it reads "Christ the first fruits," we think it safest and best to believe it as it reads.

 

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. Jas 1:18. It will yet be more clearly seen that the living saints will be delivered by the voice of God, and have power over the nations before the second advent. Their captivity will be turned, and the yoke broken from off their neck, and "destroyed, because of the anointing." See Isa.x:27. The latter rain-the outpouring of the Spirit-prior to the advent, will ripen the 144,000 for the harvest, while the other saints will be still sleeping in the grave. In this sense they will be "the first fruits unto God and the Lamb." Then they will be "without fault before the throne." They will confess all their faults while Jesus is in the Sanctuary, ready to blot them out, and they will be borne away by the scape-goat, just before our High Priest comes out to bless his waiting people.

 

[The above article we wrote four years since. -ED. REVIEW.]

 

-------------------------------------

 

OUR PRESENT FAITH

BIBLE EXAMINER VOL. XV -- JANUARY 15, 1857

 

1. We believe in "One God the Father, of whom are all things:" 1 Cor. 8:6.

 

2. We believe in "One Lord Jesus Christ -- the Son of the living God -- by whom are all things." 1 Cor. 8:6; Matt. 16:16.

 

3. We believe "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground." Gen. 2:7

 

4. We believe this man -- thus formed -- "became a living creature" by "the breath of life, breathed into his nostrils" by his CREATOR. Gen. 2:7.

 

5. We believe that man, thus formed, and made a living creature, is one being, and not two entities: and that all addresses made to him, as promises, threatenings, or encouragement, are made to him in his undivided personality as a living creature.

 

6. We believe Man was placed under law for the purpose of developing a moral character: which development was to decide whether his living existence should be perpetuated, or he should return to the dust from whence he came. If that development proved to be in harmony with his CREATOR, he was to have access to "the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:" but if it was hostile to the authority of his MAKER, he was "surely" to "die;" or, "return unto the ground, out of "which he was "taken." Gen. 2:15-17; 3:19-24.

 

7. We believe Man developed a moral character which unfitted him for the holy society of his MAKER, and thereby made his death certain: for God "cannot lie." In that death Adam returned unto the ground out of which he was taken, and is no more. The loss which Adam sustained, and which he brought on his posterity, was not the loss of a "temporary life:" for the very idea of such a life is, that it is to have an end. But such a lifeAdam had, and all his posterity have had or will have. This then was not the loss Adam met with, or entailed upon his posterity. His actual loss was eternal life: he was cut off from the tree of life "lest he should take and eat thereof and live forever:" Gen. 3:22. That same life he lost for his posterity, and entailed upon them death. "Sin entered into the world, and death by sin." Rom. 5:12. This eternal life Adam lost absolutely, for himself; but God provided that while death passed over on to all Adam's posterity, by Adam's sin, it should not be irrevocable to any of them, except by their own personal rejection of His offered mercy, in which he provided for their eternal life in Jesus Christ, His Son: who is now in place of the tree of life to Adam's race. Any life, therefore, derived from Jesus Christ, is an eternal one. Temporal life is derived from Adam, and all men have it in this present state. There is not another "temporal life" beyond this; but all life after death, or by a revival from the dead is the life of Christ, or life that God hath given to us in His Son, and is eternal, and only that. Hence --

 

8. We believe, in the first place, Adam's posterity were subjected to death, "not willingly," -- that is, not from their own personal act, or sin -- "but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope:" i.e., "in hope" of a resurrection, by the second Adam; provided they improve their personal trial -- under any dispensation GOD should see fit to place them -- so as to develop harmony with their LAWGIVER and JUDGE. Such a development secures to them a re-living from the dead, and a full restoration to earth renewed and paradise recovered, including access to "the tree of life," so that they cannot die any more: death shall have "no more dominion over" them. See Rom. 8:20; Heb. 5:9; 2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 4:7; 1 Cor. 9:24-27; Phil. 3:10-11; 1 Pet. 1:3-4; Dan. 7:14, 22, 27; Rev. 2:7; 22:2-3, 14; 21:1-4; John 6:40, 51, 54; Luke 20:35-36; 1 Cor. 15; Rom 6:9, 23, and parallel texts.

 

9. We believe That in the natural constitution of man, there is no life principle that could cause any survivance in death, or revival from death: but that of himself all is mortal, corruptible and dying: hence --

 

10. We believe The Son of God -- "the first born of every creature" -- took on him "the likeness of sinful flesh," -- was united to the posterity of Adam, and became "the seed of the woman" -- through the love og God; "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

 

11. We believe That all who are united to Christ by a living faith, become "partakers of the divine nature," (2 Pet. 1:4), and receive of the Holy Spirit of God; (Gal. 3:2, 14; 4:6; Eph. 1:13; 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:22; 6:16; 1 Cor. 6:19, and parallel texts).

 

12. We believe That all those thus united to Christ, he will raise up to life, "at the last day;" and that they cannot die any more: death shall have no more dominion over them. See John 6:40, 51, 54; Luke 20:35-36; Rom. 6:8-10; 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:20-22, 43-57, and parallel texts. It is at this revival the saints "put on immortality and incorruptibility." See the texts just referred to, in connection with their parallels.

 

13. We believe That aside from Christ, or apart from him, death holds its "dominion," so that their death is eternal; and, hence, properly denominated the "second death," as it is the "eternal punishment" -- "the eternal destruction" which is "the wages of sin:" see Psalms 49:12, 14, 19-20; Job 24:19-20; 14:7-12; Isa. 26:14, 19; Isa. 43:14-17; Jer. 51:39; John 3:36; 6:49-50, 53-54; Rom. 8:11, 13; 1 Cor. 15:17-18; Gal. 6:8; 2 Pet. 2:12.

 

14. We believe that Christ will personally return from heaven, at the close of this dispensation, (Acts 1:9-11; 3:21; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; 2:19; 4:16; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Pet. 1:7, 13; 1 John 3:2). That, then, he will restore to life the saints that sleep in the dust of the earth, and change those who are alive; and that both will be made immortal and incorruptible, and be forever with the Lord: (see the foregoing texts and their connectionJ that then, he will condemn all the wicked dead to he eternal dominion of death; and all the living wicked, who have rejected the gospel, or corrupted the earth, he will condemn to everlasting destruction, and they will be cut off from the earth and rooted out of it, by fearful and overwhelming judgments, fitly symbolized by Gehenna's fire, which consumes and destroys them utterly and forever, so thaty they shall live no more. See Matt. 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:8-9; Rev. 11:18; 2 Thess. 2:1, 8; Prov. 2:22; Psa. 37:10-11, 20, 38; Mal. 4:1; Matt. 3:12, and parallel texts.

 

The foregoing is a part of what we "now believe." Hereafter we add other items to this catalogue. We hold ourself at liberty, and bound, to change or alter our belief, on any point, when satisfied we are in error: hence, we make not our belief a test of fellowship for any other Christian; we ask that they are sincere in their views of religious truth. Our Christian charity, however, extends to no man faith in his Christianity, who sets aside the words of God for the words of men: or who persists in giving more weight to "the doctrines and commandments of men" than to the doctrines of the Most High.

 

 

 

CHRONOLOGY AND PROPHETIC EVENTS

BIBLE EXAMINER VOL. XV JUNE 1863

 

BY THE EDITOR (GEORGE STORRS)

 

In our last, we asked, "How are we to extricate ourselves from the difficulties in which we are involved by conflicting opinions and dates?" WE answered as follows:

 

We are of opinion there is a way of escape out of all this confusion, which the learned and unlearned have thrown around us. We conceive it has arisen from three causes:

 

First--Making Darious, the Median, and Darius, son of Ahasuerus, to be the same person.

 

Second--From confounding Cyrus the Great (or Khosrau) with the Scripture Cyrus, (or Coresh).

 

Third--From making the 70 weeks and the 7 weeks and 62 weeks to have a common beginning, as though the 7 and 62 were only a subdivision of the 70. All three positions, we think are erroneous.

 

WE then noticed another point from which confusion arose, viz.: The "not observing that there are two periods in Babylon and Media, one of the 70 years captivity; the other the 70 years desolations of Jerusalem." On these points we refer the readers of the Examiner to what we there said. With regard to making Darius the Median, and Darius, son of Ahasuerus, to be the same person, we judge the absurdity and impossibility of that being the case has been sufficiently made manifest.

 

The point to which attention is first called, now, is, that Cyrus the Great (or Khosrau) and the Cyrus of the Scriptures (or Coresh) are not the same individula, but two distinct and very different persons.

 

In the first place, Cyrus the Great did take Babylon at some period of its history, by turning the waters of the river Euphrates; all are agreed in this fact. In the next place, we have no account that Babylon was ever taken but once in that manner. Now, there is not the least particle of evidence in the Scriptures that any Cyrus had anything to do in taking Babylon in the time of Darius, the Median, or the reign of Belshazzar. The Scripture account, to say the least, renders it extremely improbably and absurd to suppose that any Cyrus, and especially one who should be a near relative to Darius, the Median, and his first General, as well as the man who actually took Babylon for that Darius, should not be mentioned in the government of Babylon, which immediately followed under Darius, (see Da 6:1,) but that Daniel, a Jew and a foreigner, should by this same Darius, be made Prime Minister, instead of this imaginary Cyrus the Great. Besides, it would follow, that if Cyrus had any office in the government, it was a place inferior to Daniel for Darius was personally administering the government, as Daniel 6 clearly shows. If Cyrus, then, was an inferior to Daniel in the government, he was thrown into the lion's den with all the other presidents and governors who ruled over the land, or he was spared; if either of these events happened to him, it would be strange indeed if the Scriptures should pass over in silence the transaction at the time of its occurrence. We might multiply the improbabilities of supposing that Cyrus the Great, or any other Cyrus, had anything to do in the conquest of Babylon, in the time of Belshazzar, but these are, to our mind, unanswerable; and it is evident those profane historians, most relied upon in settling the chronology of Cyrus the Great, have made up their account more from conjecture than from facts.

 

That Cyrus the Great did take Babylon by turning the water of the river from its channel is a truth; but when did he do it? Not in the days of "Darius the Median." The city, it will not be pretended, was ever taken in this manner but once. It must not be forgotten that kings and princes had, in those days, many names, often; and it would not be possible, always, to determine, by the mere name, what person performed certain actions. That person may be called by one name at one time and another name at another. So Cyrus the Great might have had other names besides that of Cyrus; not unfrequently they changed their own names, or the name of their wise men or princes, to correspond with the names or character of some of their gods; see the case of Daniel and his companions, whos names were changed, or new ones added by their king. Daniel's name was "Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god," says Nebuchadnezzar, Da 4:8. Nebuchadnezzar is a name evidently attached to that king, not as his real name, but as a name he has assumed from some of his gods.

 

We see, then, if a transaction, and that not occurring but once, is attributed to two or more different names, those names must belong to the same individual, and identifies him as the actor in the case. Now, if the turning of the water of the river and taking Babylon by that means, is, by some historians, who are respectable authority, attributed to Nebuchadnezzar, for example, then, if they are not mistaken in that fact, the conclusion would be, Cyrus the Great and Nebuchadnezzar must be one, and identical; because, these things were never done but once, and yet Cyrus the Great and Nebuchadnezzar acted in this identical affair. Let us now examine this matter a little, for we have room only for a few words here.

 

Berossus says, Nebuchadnezzar "so far completed Babylon, that none who might besiege it afterwards should have it in their power to divert the river so as to facilitate an entrance into it." Thus it appears Babylon was taken in the manner attributed to Cyrus, before Nebuchadnezzar reigned, or Berossus was guilty of a great error. If he was correct in his statements, the city had been thus taken prior to Nebuchadnezzar; and if so, the fact is, that Cyrus the Great took Babylon prior to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and not in the days of Belshazzar. Nebuchadnezzar, then, reigned after Cyrus the Great, or their persons are identical; it is most likely to be the latter; and then Cyrus the Great, who is the same as Nebuchadnezzar, carried away captive the Jews, and was not their liberator, according to the common notion and chronology, which has made a world of confusion in the interpretation of prophecy.

 

Diodorus Siculus (Berossus in Cory. P. 39,) informs us that he who built the hanging gardens at Babylon, was Cyrus. L. Vives, in his notes on Augustine's City of God, says: "Bede saith that Cambyses, son of the elder Cyrus, was called by the News Nebuchodonosor."

 

Sir Wm. Jones says: "The Great Cyrus, whom I call, without fear of contradiction, Cai-Khosrau; for that I shall only doubt Khosrau of Ferdouri was the Cyrus of the first Greek historians, and the hero of the oldest political and moreal romance, when I doubt that Louis Quatorze and Louis Fourteenth were one and the same French King." He then goes on to give his reasons which are conclusive. Again he says in his work, vol. 3 p. 106: "Whatever our chronologers say, it is not easy to conceive that the Jews were delivered by this Cyrus. The name Coresh, used by Isaiah, has no affinity with the Persian word Khosrau, and we cannot suppose any corruption of the sacred text; whereas all the Persian writers agree that a prince named Coresh, who was sent by Hahaman, son of Asfundier, to the govern Babylon in the room of Baltazar, actually protected the captive Jews, and permitted them to rebuild their temple." Sir Wm. Jones adds: "Our historians, deceived perhaps by the name Cyrus, which the Greeks gave both to Khosrau and to Coresh, have fixed the return of the Jews much earlier than the truth."

 

The proclamation of Coresh, or Cyrus, in Ezr 1:1-2, may be considered an objection to the idea that Coresh could be any other than a supreme and independent king. But several things may be noted on that point. First. The language of Coresh, in regard to the extent of his dominions, is his own, and not inspiration. Second. It was not an uncommon thing for an eastern prince, who was appointed by another, to be more powerful than his sovereign. Thir. The phrase "all the kingdoms of the world," in eastern language, may signify no more than "all the land, " or territory concerned in the Jews' return, that being the subject matter of discourse; and that "land" was the land where they were in captivity and the land of Canaan; which "the God of heaven" had placed in the hands of Coresh. Allowance is also to be made for the style of teh ancients. See an example in 1Ki 18:10, "As the Lord thy God liveth, there is no nation nor kingdom, whither my Lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there, he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not."

 

We are not to infer from this language of Obadiah that Ahab had actually and literally sent into all nations and kingdoms; but the expression denotes that the inquiry had been of a most extensive character. Bishop Patrick says, "It would e a foolish conceit, from this expression, to attribute anything like universal dominion to Ahab, hence all commentators limit the expression either to the neighboring nations in league with him, or to the ten tribes, or to the nations where he could in reason think that Elijah had hid himself." "Nothing," says Poole, "is more frequent than to understand general expressions with such limitations."

 

Cyrus the Great could never use the same language that Coresh did without some limitation; for he certainly never did, literally, possess "all the kingdoms of the world."

 

The conclusion we arrive at is this: Cyrus the Great and the Cyrus of the Scriptures, are two distinct persons--one living at the commencement of the captivity, the other at its termination. By not understanding this fact, chronologists and commentators have fallen into great confusion, and opened the door to bring discredit on revelation itself, by adopting some of the most absurd propositions, in regard to periods and time, that can well be imagined.

 

We wish to group together a few points that show to our mind, irresistibly, that the common chronology of the times of Daniel and Ezra must be erroneous.

 

The Decree of Cyrus, by that chronology, is placed B.C. 536.

 

The second year of Darius, under whose decree the temple was finished, is placed B.C. 520.

 

See Hag 1:1-15, and compare it with Ezr 5; 6:8-12, 15. The temple, then, was finished in the sixth year of Darius, or B.C. 516.

 

The common chronology makes the first decree of Artaxerxes, under whihc Ezra went up to Jerusalem B.C. 457.

 

That is 59 years after the temple was finished!

 

Strange, truly, that the commandment to restore (thy people) and to build Jerusalem, should be so long after the temple was finished!

 

The common chronology places Da 9, B.C. 538.

 

The 70 years "desolations of Jerusalem" were then ending; compare Da 9:2 with Zec 1:7, 12, 16. That is, according tot he common chronology, eighty-one years before the commandment of Artazerxes: and Daniel must have been dead at least seventy-five years before Ezra went up. Thus, that commandment would have been no guide to Daniel; and Gabriel trifled with him in telling him to "know and understand" a point not yet passed, and to which he gave him no clue by which he could be guided.

 

 

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The EDITOR holds himself responsible for none of the sentiments of Correspondents. The Editor's articles do not all appear under what is called the "Editorial Head." Any articles without a signature, or which are not credited to another source, the Editor is responsible for, without saying whether he wrote them or not, he leaves the reader to judge of their authorship. Let these things be kept in mind in reading the Herald of Life, and the praise or blame will rest where it ought.

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 2, 1870

 

The EDITOR has been quite unwell for two weeks past, and today (Tuesday), as the HERALD goes to press he is unable to be at the office. He hopes to be better in a few days.

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 9, 1870

 

OUR EDITOR'S HEALTH

 

A SHORT paragraph in last week's paper called attention to the illness of our venerable Editor. He had contracted a heavy cold, but, thinking he could resist it and throw it off without suspension of work, he continued his daily editorial labors until a week since, when, growing rapidly worse, he was compelled to yield and take to his bed. A severe inflammation, resulting from the cold, in conjunction with the fear of somewhat typhoid tendency reduced him with great rapidity, and fears began to be entertained. Through several days and nights he was anxiously watched over and tenderly cared for by his family, assisted by sympathizing friends, and we now rejoice to be able to inform his many friends scattered abroad that he is somewhat better, though he is not yet entirely out of danger. We know not whether in his improvement, medicine, kind care, or prayer has been the most potent agent; but this we know, the first has been dealt with skilful hands, the second bestowed with diligence, and the last earnestly and faithfully made.

 

For nearly half a century a prominent soldier of the cross, much of which time has been spent in unyielding contention for the faith once delivered to the saints, nothing but an assurance that his work is all done, and that it is the will of the Master that his servant should lie down in peace to sleep, could assuage the grief into which the loss, at this hour of the struggle, of such a hero in the strife would plunge us all. Let us all, then, make his speedy and complete recovery a subject of earnest petition.

 

L.C.T.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 16, 1870

 

THE EDITOR'S HEALTH

 

WHEN we penned the remarks of last week, BR. STORRS had apparently improved. Perhaps our great desire in the matter had something to do with the opinion respecting a decided improvement, but it was thought that symptoms did encourage the hope of a reasonably speedy restoration to his usual health. Hardly had the paper gone to press when we learned he was worse. From that time to the present, Tuesday, A.M., he has much of the time stood upon the very verge of death, while his anxious, devoted family, and sympathizing friends have eagerly watched every change, fearful lest the enemy should be permitted to triumph.

 

The difficulty, aside form excessive weakness, being confined principally to the throat and chest, he has not suffered intense pain, though he has, at times, experienced great difficulty in breathing. With mind perfectly clear, he has been blessed most preciously with an unwavering confidence, an implicit trust in God, whom he has so long served, and known as a Being all love and goodness. He has had no will of his own, having the perfect assurance that God will do just right with him, and that which is best for his friends and for the truth. Every moment has he been able to say, "Thy will be done." Mighty as is the power of religion always, it seems greatest and most beautiful when death stares in the face. Precious and comforting in that hour is the consciousness that work, given of the Lord to do, has been done while the day lasteth.

 

The condition of the Editor has been so critical for some days past, few even of his most intimate friends have been permitted to see him. We trust that, through the blessing of God, all his friends will soon again see him in the field of labor. May the good Lord grant it.

 

P.S. -- As we go to press, his symptoms are regarded more favorable.

 

L.C.T.

 

 

 

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 23, 1870

 

THE EDITOR'S HEALTH

 

WE had hoped to be able at this time to announce to the many friends of the Editor the cheering news of a decided improvement in his health. As it is, we scarcely know whether to say he is better. In some respects he seems better, his physician having succeeded in partially removing a cough with which he has from the beginning of his illness been afflicted, and which has at times been extremely painful and, of course, debilitating. Without appetite, and having a distaste for almost everything in nourishment, vitality was rapidly reduced. Hope, however, is now entertained that he may soon be able to take sufficient nourishment to check and finally arrest downward tendency.

 

Although his condition is still critical, little if any, less so than it was last week, we yet think there is reason to expect he may succeed, partially at least, in regaining his wanted strength.

 

So clear in mind, so strong in faith, so tender and thoughtful of others, the fir of love burning with increasing brightness, he is a bright example of that blessed spiritual condition which they only can experience who have lived very near to God.


L.C.T.

 

 

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 30, 1870

 

THE EDITOR'S HEALTH

 

NOTHING materially different from last week can be said on this subject, the Editor remaining much the same, with the exception that with no more indication to take nourishment, it is feared he must be declining in strength. this has, in fact, been the case and is so at the present time. Some little indications there have been of returning appetite, but too evanescent to afford any substantial encouragement. Doing what can be done in the case, to support and strengthen frail nature, we must all prayerfully leave the matter in the hands of that Being who, as our beloved and afflicted brother a few days since remarked to us, "is too good to do evil, too wise to err."

 

L.C.T.

 

 

 HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 7, 1870

 

THE EDITOR'S HEALTH

 

THE following from one who has been very much with the family of our afflicted brother, assisting them in their efforts to relieve and restore the sufferer, will give our readers a more correct idea of the real condition of the Editor throughout his illness than has been afforded them:

 

HAVING been much with Br. Storrs since the beginning of his present illness and especially during the past eight days, every night of which I have been with him, assisting his dear family to minister to his comfort, I feel like informing the many interested ones more minutely as to his condition.

 

Between four and five weeks ago he was taken with a hard, rending cough, and we tried different methods to make him perspire, his skin being dry and burning, but all to no purpose. Then his family employed a physician who was very attentive, and did all in his power, but Br. S. kept going down. About two weeks ago the doctor felt uneasy about him and desire his family to call in more skill, for their own and his satisfaction. One week ago today a second doctor came, examined him, and said his lungs were much diseased, and that he could not get well. Not satisfied yet, we brought a third one. Dr. E.P. Miler of 41 West 26th St., N.Y. He also examined him, but pronounced much more favorably.

 

The family desired Dr. M. to take the case in hand. He told them his skin was congested, dry, and entirely inactive, and he needed to have it brought into a proper condition so as to bring the blood to the surface, open the pores, and relieve him in that way. Dr. M. was very unwilling to take the case as he lived so far off, and it would consume so much of his time every day, about four hours, and would of course be expensive to the family. Still he took it. The first two or three days there was a decided improvement, and all were hopeful, but about the middle of the week, he had a slight chill two or three times, and at other times was very hot. He was also very restless, and extremely tired. Two mornings he said he did not think he could live through another such night. Yesterday afternoon he felt his work on earth was done, and gave Br. L.C. Thorne some messages and directions about his affairs. The Dr. came in the evening and worked over him from one to two hours as usual, and said he was nearing a change. He slept very sweetly last night and felt comfortable in the morning. Today he has been comfortable and quiet all day, and has been moist with free perspiration, the first time since he was taken sick. His pulse has uniformly been very full and quick, varying from one hundred to one hundred and twenty. He has had no appetite whatever, from the first, still some of his symptoms are decidedly favorable this evening, but we do not want to hope too much.

 

I ought to have said that his disease has been bronchial affection and he has had a hard cough all through, although it is not nearly so bad as it has been. Throughout his sufferings, he has felt perfect submission to the will of God, and one time said, "I am afraid the brethren and sisters will pray for me unconditionally." Perfect harmony with the will of God is his only desire. This morning he sent his love to some and said "tell them to stablish their hearts, for the coming of the Lord draws nigh. We believe it is drawing nigh."

 

Thus we leave him again this evening in the hands of our kind Father, knowing all will be well, still, like our blessed master, we say Father if it be possible let this cup of death pass from Br. Storrs; nevertheless not our will but thine be done.

 

HELEN ROBERTSON.

BROOKLYN, Nov. 4, 1870.

 

TUESDAY, A.M. -- There has been little change since the above was written. He did not rest so well Sunday night, in consequence of which his symptoms were yesterday not so encouraging. Last night he rested quite as well as any night since the commencement of his illness, and this forenoon, as we go to press, he is quite comfortable.

 

L.C.T.

 

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 14, 1870

 

THE EDITOR'S HEALTH

 

IT will be remembered that we were permitted last week to report an improvement. This has been to some extent so. He has had some drawbacks, but on the whole, is believed to be better than last week.

 

He is still unable to take more than a trifling amount of nourishment; and this fact is of itself, of course, a great obstacle in the way of anything like a rapid recovery even should everything else work favorably. He generally rests much better at night than he was able to do previous to the last ten days. Notwithstanding what has been said of the Editor, we hear from numbers of his friends and sympathizers who have evidently failed to appreciate the extreme critical condition in which he has long lain. Though better than he was, he is still so weak that the attending physician has, within the past ten days, prohibited his seeing anyone but the family, and requests that even they have nothing more to say to him than is necessary to properly add to his comfort.

 

If, by the blessing of the Lord, recover is finally attained, it must of necessity be but slowly reached. Under the most favorable circumstances that can reasonably be hoped for, he will hardly be able to perform much, if any labor this winter. But let us all hope for the best.

 

L.C.T.

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, JANUARY 11, 1871

 

REMOVAL

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE Office will be removed this week down one flight of stairs, to room 4, on the main hall, No. 208 Broadway. Entrance from Broadway same as before.

 

FROM THE EDITOR

 

DEAR BRETHREN AND FRIENDS: My health, by the blessing of our God, continues to improve, yet I have been unable to write more with mine hand, this week, than the brief note attached to an article found on the last page of this paper.

 

I am enabled to walk about my room, and occasionally have been down stairs; but the latter shows me how weak I still am. The chief reason why my strength comes slowly, seems to be because my appetite does not yet return, and I am obliged to live on the simplest food. I trust this difficulty will soon be overcome. The Lord doeth all things well, and in due time will bring me forth to His work again, if He has more for me to do.


Your brother in Christ, waiting for redemption at His appearing and kingdom.

 

GEO. STORRS.

SUNDAY, Jan. 8, 1871.

 

 

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, JANUARY 18, 1871

 

MEDIATORIAL KINGDOM

 

THIS is a phrase often used by Christians of all denominations, not excepting Advent believers, but where any of them find authority for its use we cannot tell, except in Romish inventions and Protestant traditions: sure we are, it belongs not to this or any previous age of the world, nor is any such language employed in the Bible respecting God's dealings with the race of Adam hitherto. No greater misnomer could be applied to the dispensation of grace, as hitherto administered, than to call it a "Mediatorial Kingdom." Truly speaking, there is no such thing as a kingdom without the following things being included, viz., a king, a body of subordinate rulers, people for subjects, laws and territory.

 

What does the dispensation of grace, in this or any past age, know of any such kingdom in regard to mediation between God and men? Nothing at all, but strictly warns us against such a heresy, saying, "There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." -- 1 Tim. 2:5. He that can manufacture a mediatorial kingdom out of one mediator must be a genius at invention. The Papal beast, or "Mother of harlots," is the author of the idea and of the thing itself: that power has manufactured mediators innumerable, both of the dead and the living, till it has become a "mediatorial kingdom" with a vengeance; and Protestants copy her phraseology as if it were the truth of God, while it is contradicting the testimony of Paul that there is one mediator; and we have not note intimating more than one, and hence there is no mediatorial kingdom except that of papal invention. The sooner that ends the better; and with it falls all the theories built upon the assumption that Christ's mediation ends at His second advent. This point, however, we shall treat of in another article on His priesthood.

 

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, JANUARY 25, 1871

 

THE EDITOR

 

As to ourself, whatever we may write, our correspondents must not suppose it relates to what they may have written for the HERALD during our sickness; for we were neither able to read, nor to hear read, any of the communications from Nov. 2, when we took our bed, till the January issue, and only partially since; and it is not probably, now, that we ever shall read them, as our time is so completely occupied with what is before us; laboring, as much as our strength will permit, to relieve Br. Thorne from the burden which he has so nobly and patiently borne during our long sickness. 'Tis almost as wonderful that he has been enabled to bear that burden amid his own business affairs and bodily infirmities, as that we have been raised up from the gates of death to resume in any measure the work before us. At present we can do but little. Our strength is not sufficiently restored to venture much brain labor; and the doctor cautions us to beware of an over tax in that direction just now. We may seem to have disregarded his caution this week, but most of our thoughts were born on our sick bed, besides many others yet to appear, if life and health are granted us. The blasphemy of the doctrine of inherent immortality is one of the subjects which occupied our mind in the days and nights when were thought to be in the very jaws of death. Its wicked and abominable character never impressed our mind so deeply as then; and we shall never forget the abhorrence with which our mind was filled at the clear view we had of the nature and origin of that doctrine; some of our thoughts will be made known ere long. We feel that we have a new commission against that hateful of all heresies, which has so dishonored God and His government, and blinded men's minds to the grand display God has made of his love to the world. Let that blasphemy perish; and perish it will, if not before, at the return of our absent Lord from heaven.

 

Our recovery from sickness the past three weeks, when we first attempted to walk, has been rapid and without a drawback: it has astonished all our fiends. Last week we visited our office in New York twice, walking the greater part of the distance; and Saturday our brother Thos. R. Crocker took us out in his carriage and gave us a ride of about twelve miles, for which we felt all the better. Our strength and flesh are returning. Soon we hope to be at our post again in the office; for all which, we would give praise to God and the Lamb, our LIFE-GIVER.

 

THE HYGIENIC INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK

OR, THE EDITOR's SICKNESS AND RECOVERY

 

THE general features of our sickness have been reported in the HERALD OF LIFE. It is sufficient for us not to say, that a hard, dry cough was its commencement. This was some time in October. For two weeks we continued our work in the office of the HERALD, taking such medicine as was prescribed. . . . (This portion of the article is missing in copies on hand.) though he had never seen us, but had read some of our writings on immortality twenty years ago.


The condition in which he found us is described by himself in the following note which he has since sent us by our special request:

 

"MR. STORRS: Your disease was Acute Bronchitis. This is an inflammation of the lining membrane of the Bronchial tubes. In your case, both the large and small tubes were involved, and the accompanying fever assumed a Typhoid form. When I first say you, your pulse was about 130 to the minute, and would intermit once in seven or eight beats. Your respiration was 46 to the minute*: there was great difficulty in breathing, frequent cough, and a profuse expectoration of a thick light colored stringy matter, about half of which would sink in water. The tongue was livid and red; no appetite, bowels constipated, countenance pale and haggard, no strength, spirits depressed, great restlessness, yet indisposed to move, with but little sleep night or day.

 

*Our natural pulse is 75 or 80 per minute, and our respiration about 20, to which they are not reduced. -- EDITOR.

 

The result of Dr. Miller's first visit was an interview with our attendant physician, who cheerfully gave our case into his hands. From that time Dr. miller visited us daily, though living some five miles from us and crowded with business at his Institute. From the first treatment he gave us, we felt a sort of removal from "the valley of the shadow of death" where we had so long lain. He usually spent one hour with us, and applied his remedies with an energy that astonished us. We often said to him, "Doctor, you cannot be laboring thus barely for money." HE was truly in earnest, and knew well our case was most critical. For four weeks he continued his daily visits and earnest efforts which proved successful, and after visiting us occasionally for two weeks more left us, saying, "You must come and see me now."

 

We have made the forgoing statement unknown to Dr. Miller and out of gratitude to him as God's instrument in our recover from the gates of the grave. The hand of God is visible to us in all this. If Sister Robertson had not providentially been spending the winter at his Institute we should not have known anything of him or his practice. If he had not been providentially brought to my house, weeks since my friends, we have no doubt, would have laid me in the silent grave.

 

First of all, then, we thank and praise God and the Lamb for our prolonged life. Next, as God's instrument, we thank Dr. Miller for his faithful and kind services, which have resulted in our restoration, thus far; and as a token of our gratitude we give the following notice of his Institute, from "The Methodist," a gratuitous and unsolicited insertion in the HERALD OF LIFE, a paper that publishes no paid advertisements, for it is not an advertising sheet. We wish Dr. Miller success, and he cannot well fail of it. If you are sick, try him; we doubt not, if your case is a curable one, he will give you back health. Let him examine you. If he cannot help you, he will tell you so; he will not deceive you about it.

 

 

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 22, 1871

 

THE PROMISE AND OATH TO ABRAHAM

 

"If the blessings are consequent, of course, it would be a probationary age, and with my present light I do not believe that probation will continue after the resurrection -- after Christ has ceased his mediatorial work. This conclusion I think is sustained by the parable of the wheat and tares, and many other portions of Scripture."

 

THUS writes a dear brother, in a private note to us, after our first reply to Br. Green. We are glad to see any objections which are made to elicit light. It may be proper to state that, in a previous note the brother had asked us the following question; "Are all the families of the earth to be blessed in Abraham unconditionally?" To this we replied -- "Blessings are antecedent and consequent. Antecedent blessings are unconditional; consequent ones depend on the improvement made of the antecedent ones." Illustration: A benevolent man gives a poor man a thousand dollars to use as he pleases. This is an antecedent blessing, and is bestowed unconditionally: at the same time, the donor tells the poor man if he employs the money in a certain way, he will make the increase $10,000. This would be a consequent blessing; but if the poor man disregards the advice of the donor, he fails to secure the $10,000: he had the antecedent blessing unconditionally; but by his own negligence he fails to secure the consequent one.

 

God gave his Son, and gave him up unto death for us all: to be a "propitiation . . . for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2); this blessing was antecedent, not dependent upon any thing: but to come into possession of eternal life (the consequent blessing) there must be improvement of this gift of God, by complying with the conditions specified in the Good news, or the Gospel. The Savior's appearance among the Jews and His teaching among them was all an antecedent blessing -- a pure gratuity, unsought by them. The misuse they made of his appearance and teaching caused them to fail of the consequent blessing -- eternal life -- which God offered them.

 

Blessings, then, are two-fold, viz., Blessings bestowed before anything is done to merit them, and without which the recipient could do nothing, because he had no means to do with: and the blessings bestowed in consequence of the improvement of the previous gratuity. The Jews were blessed with the Gospel, but they, as a people, did not improve it, and failed of the glories consequent on improvement. Christendom has been blessed with the Gospel; but multitudes have not improved it, and will lose the blessing of eternal life.

 

"If all the families of the earth are to be blessed," says our inquiring brother, then the future age "would be a probationary age, and, . . . . I do not believe that probation will continue after the resurrection," etc. "Probation," has continued eighteen hundred years "after the resurrection" of the "Head of the Church." What shall hinder it from continuing "after the resurrection "of the "Body?" But, says our brother, that is "after Christ has ceased His mediatorial work." Christ may have ceased his mediatorial work for those who have enjoyed the antecedent blessing of the Gospel and have not improved it: but He has commanded the Gospel to be preached "to every creature," and God has promised, and made oath to it, that "all the families of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham and his seed;" and that seed will not cease His, or their, "intercessions for all men," (1 Tim. 2:1) till "every creature" has heard the glad tidings of God's love to "the world." But more on the subject when we come to write on the Priesthood of Christ, which we promised to do for a few weeks since.

 

As to the parable of the tares and wheat, we were long since satisfied it relates only to professors of religion. The tares, Dr. A. Clarke says, means "bastard wheat;" so closely resembling pure wheat, in its early growth, that the servants were not to be trusted to root it up. It was to be left till its fruit was fully developed, or till the harvest. "The harvest is the end of the world" -- aionos, the age: then will hypocrites and false professors of the religion of Jesus be destroyed. This certainly has nothing to do with those who never had the antecedent blessing of the gospel; it relates to such as have had that blessing and have abused it by their sins, corruptions, or hypocrisy, and dishonored the name of God and His Christ.

 

 

HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, MARCH 1, 1871

 

AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT

 

THE EDITOR of this paper was surprised, astonished, and overwhelmed by an unsought and unexpected presentation of Dr. Miller's bill, for services rendered during his late sickness, receipted in full, paid by a few brethren and sisters, from the promptings of their generous hearts. Words are too feeble to express either our surprise or gratitude. May the Lord reward each and all of you for thus spontaneously relieving us from an expense which we intended to meet ourself without soliciting aid from any one, though it might have taken us a year or two. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."

 

THE PROMISE AND OATH OF GOD

 

SOME of our good friends seem quite alarmed at some of our words on this subject. A Br. Writes us a "private" note as follows:

 

"DEAR BR. STORRS: Permit me to say that I do fear that our enemies will take advantage

of the expression of assurance, in the last number of the paper [Feb. 15] as to the 'promise of God and his oath.' Is not the doctrine of 'No Life out of Christ' fully sustained by the word, as 'Thus saith the Lord?' If so, that amounts to 'the promise of God' to raise the righteous only! The truth is too precious to expose it unnecessarily to the attacks of our enemies, and I am confident that the opposing papers and individuals who believe in and publish the mortal resurrection will rejoice, and at once announce that under given conditions, we believe that all men may be raised from the dead. God has told us that the wicked will not live again. No 'Promise' or 'oath' can conflict with that. The 'non-resurrection doctrine' might 'go to the winds' -- the truth never.

 

We are sorry to cause any of our friends alarm; but if they will have a little patience their fears may be dissipated and blown away by "the winds" of truth. We do not develop all our thoughts at once on the subject which has so much alarmed our good brother. We have waited to have our full view drawn out by brother Green, if he chooses to go on in the discussion. If he prefers not to do so, we shall develop our views, in due time, directly. We have published nothing so far but what we have thoroughly considered and duly weighed. We know where the subject strikes, and we are prepared to see strong opposition, and, at first, much misapprehension of our position. But if our friends can hold their breath long enough to think before they take alarm, we apprehend they will find no cause of fear for "the truth," though their old traditions may be somewhat disturbed.

 

No fear of what "our enemies" may say, or do, will in the least deter us from proclaiming what is embraced in God's "promise and oath to Abraham." Any doctrine or system of belief that makes that promise and oath void, or cuts it down in its full import, can never pass with us as from God. When our views are fully brought out "our enemies" will find, if our friends do not, that their scheme of a "mortal resurrection" will find no support from it, and that "No Life out of Christ" and the "non-resurrection of the wicked dead" stand as firm and unmovable as ever. So, please do not be too much frightened till you know more perfectly where we come out. We have seen "the end from the beginning." We think we understand where our views lead and what pet theories they "upset;" and we presume some others see it, and therefore dread their promulgation; nevertheless they will be promulgated, if the Lord prolongs our life and helps our infirmities; and we have no doubt thousands will yet rejoice that we have been enabled to stand in this "battle," as we have been in many previous ones. We wait patiently for proof, if it is to be had, that the promise and oath of God to Abraham has ever been fulfilled, or that it is made void by any other doctrine of the Bible. Let all remember, God's promise and oath are "two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie;" and let us take heed that we do not treat that promise and oath to Abraham as if it were unmeaning.

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, MARCH 15, 1871

 

GOD'S PROMISE AND OATH TO ABRAHAM - No. 1

 

This subject we consider one of the greatest importance we have ever presented to the consideration of our readers; because, if this promise and oath are equivocal, or uncertain of fulfillment, what foundations have we on which to stand in relation to any other promise supposed to be made by God? All other promises are made doubtful, if this is proved of uncertain meaning. No promise of God was ever made with greater clearness or more solemnly proclaimed. To treat it, therefore, with neglect or as if it might be explained to suit human theories, is to undermine all faith in the words of God.

 

HAS THIS PROMISE AND OATH EVER BEEN FULFILLED?

 

Let us present the subject as it appears in the Bible. God had called Abram out of his country to go into another; "unto a land that I will show thee." He then told him, "I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."  Ge 12:1-3.

 

After this, when Abram was ninety-nine years old, God appeared to him, and said, "As for me, behold my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations: neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name, shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee... I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant," etc. After this, when God was about to overthrow Sodom and Gomorrah, He said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? --  Ge 18:17,18.

 

At length Isaac is born, the heir of the same promises, and when he was grown to some years, the LORD called Abraham to go to a certain place and offer up his son Isaac "for a burnt offering." Abraham made every preparation to carry into execution this command of God. He had gone to the place pointed out, erected his altar, bound his son and laid him on it. He then stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son. At this point, "The Angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven," forbidding him to proceed any farther. Then followed a second call out of heaven saying, "By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." -Gen. xxii.

 

This promise was renewed to Isaac,  Ge 26:4, as follows, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed," etc. The same was more fully confirmed to Jacob,  Ge 28:14, "In thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Thus it is seen, by the language used by the LORD, that all nations embraced all the families of those nations. Peter, in referring to this matter,  Ac 3:25, says, "Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, and in thy seed shall all the kindred's of the earth be blessed." Here all families of the earth are embraced. Paul, also, saith, "The scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." -  Ga 3:8. Here is no limitation-"all nations," and of course "all the families of the earth" are to be "blessed" with the gospel proclamation in order that they may be "justified by faith," that is by believing the message of God's love to the world, or to all the families of the earth. In order to believe it, they must have it proclaimed to them. How can a man believe in that of which he has never heard? Have all the families of the earth heard of the love of God, to "the world," in any age or dispensation past or present? Certainly no man living can prove that they have, and the evidence is clearly against any such assumption. If any age could boast of such a result it is the present century in which we live; but what are the facts?

 

In a work of a late date by Mr. Shimeall, of this city, who has written and preached much on prophecy, he gives the following statistics:

 

"The aggregate population of the earth is twelve hundred and twenty-five millions. They may be divided into the following religious systems, namely:

 

1. Of Brahminical Pagans, in Asia-650,000,000.

 

2. Mohammedans, in Asia and Africa, .- 150,000,000.

 

3. Pagans in a purely savage state, .- 100,000,000.

 

4. Jews, the kingdom of Judah, dispersed, .- 14,000,000.

 

In Christendom there are:

 

1. Of the Western, or Roman Church, -170,000,000.

 

2. Of the Eastern, or Greek Church, -60,000,000.

 

3. of Protestants, throughout the world, -  80,000,000.

 

Total population, 1,224, 000,000"

 

He then adds: "It results from the statistics, first, That less than one fifth of the earth's population are included within the pale of Christendom. Second, That of these latter, only about one-third bear the Protestant name. Third, computing, as we must, the real numerical strength of Protestant Christianity by the communion statistics of all the various branches of the Protestant Church, scattered over the world, they do not yield a total of over 15,000,000, of the 1,224,000,000]. What a picture."

 

All this, notwithstanding the promise and oath of God that in Abraham all the families of the earth shall be blessed. From facts like these, one of two things seem inevitable. First, there is an age or ages yet to come, in which the promise and oath of God will be fulfilled; or, Second that promise and oath of God does not mean what it says, and it is impossible to tell what it does mean; and so, the "two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie" cannot be relied on to teach what truth is. No wonder if men are made infidels under the teaching which involves the possibility of the promise and oath of God meaning something entirely different from what is expressed, or is never to be fulfilled at all.

 

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, MARCH 22, 1871

 

GOD'S PROMISE AND OATH TO ABRAHAM -- No. 2

 

If we put in connection with that promise and oath certain other statements of the Bible, we see not how any impartial student of scripture can come to any other conclusion in regard to the meaning of this engagement of God to Abraham than its obvious sense. It either belongs to the past or future ages of this world's history. That it has been fulfilled in any past age, or ages, it is impossible for any one to prove.

 

Let us now look at corresponding testimony, and see if the Bible does not re-affirm the same idea of a period in which all the families of the earth are to be blessed in Abraham and his seed.

 

Jesus was introduced into the world with this proclamation by "the angel of the Lord:".. "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people: for unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."  Lu 2:10,11. This is the same, in substance, as "the angel of the LORD" uttered to Abraham, when He "called to him out of heaven."  Ge 22., after the trial in offering up his son Isaac. "All people" are announced, by the angel at Jesus' birth, as those who "shall be" the recipients of the "good tidings of great joy," thus proclaimed.

 

Again. When the child Jesus was brought into the temple at Jerusalem to be "presented to the Lord," old Simeon, full of the Holy Spirit, took the child in his arms and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people: a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." -  Lu 2:28-32. "All people" have not yet seen this light in any age past: then it will have a fulfillment somewhere in the future.

 

John says of "the Word made flesh," "That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." -  Joh 1:9. Is this not equal to saying, "All the families of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham's seed?" Take this in connection with Jesus' words,  Joh 3:16, "God so loved the world,  that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life." If God required belief in his Son, in order to the reception of eternal life, then He is pledged to have all the world, that is, "all the families of the earth,  blessed with the knowledge of his love and gift. How else could they believe in his Son? To us, this text, in connection with the promise and oath of God to Abraham, is demonstration that in some age "all the families of the earth" are to be blessed with the knowledge of God's love to them, and so have a chance to believe the good news.

 

Again. After his resurrection from the dead, Jesus commanded his disciples, saying, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." -  Mr 16:15. Was not that command based on the promise and oath to Abraham? and was it not an announcement and pledge that said promise and oath should be accomplished under His superintendence? and will not He, who was the "propitiation for the sins of the whole world," fail in the work he came into the world to accomplish, if "every creature" does not, in this age or "the ages to come," hear the "glad tidings" under circumstances which shall enable them to embrace or reject the offered mercy? The command was given to the apostles, and through them to the Church universal. But it has never yet been carried out. Will this age close without its being done? Certainly it will, if it is to close near the time in which we live. Does not this fact involve another age or ages in which the promise and oath of God, and the command of Jesus shall all find a full and perfect fulfillment? We have no doubt such will be the fact. Does it not follow, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all who belong to the seed promised, viz., all of the true Church of Christ, must first have their resurrection from the dead, or, if alive when Christ returns from heaven, be changed to immortality?

 

Abraham did not receive the land God swore to give him, during his natural life: therefore, you all say, he must be raised from the dead to have the promise and oath fulfilled. The gospel has never yet been preached to "every creature." Yet the command has never been revoked and must some time be carried out: else how are men to be judged? Justified or condemned? "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved;" or, have life; "but he that believeth not, shall be damned;" or, be condemned. Here the principle of judgment is laid down. Faith brings the life which is eternal. Unbelief is that which brings the condemnation to death eternal.

 

Here, then, we see that the proclamation of God's love and good will to men must be proclaimed to "every creature' before their final state is determined, or made permanent;  i.e.,  the Gospel message is to be proclaimed to men first; and their reception or rejection of it determines their final state. The Gospel message is that by which they are to be judged. In no age or dispensation has that message ever yet been proclaimed to "every creature:" therefore, an age or ages will be employed to carry out God's promise and oath that all the families of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham and his seed.

 

Again: "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all,  to be testified in due time." -  1Ti 2:5,6. Here the fact is set forth that Christ gave himself a ransom for all "men;" and that fact is to be testified in due time to all for whom he gave himself a ransom. In other words: "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" in the seed of Abraham according to the promise and oath of God.

 

Yet again: "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels... that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." -  Heb 2:9. "All the families of the earth" are embraced in this language. But, the beloved John says, "Jesus Christ... is the propitiation... for the sins of the whole world. -  1Jo 2:1,2. This expression covers the whole ground--all men, all families, all nations. Still more, John adds, "We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior" (LIFE-GIVER) " of the world." "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent His Son, to be the propitiation for our sins." -  1Jo 4:9,10,17.

 

Do not these testimonies cover the whole ground of the promise and oath of God to Abraham, that in him and his seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed? We think they do, and see no way to escape that conclusion; hence, believe a time is to come, in a probationary state, when the promise and oath will be carried out in all their fullness according to God's design and intention. Whether it embraces all that every have lived, or some one age in the dispensation, it may not be so easy to prove; but it cannot fail of being in an age when men are in a state of probation. If, then, no such universal blessing of the families of the earth has taken place in any of the past ages, there must and will be an age or ages in the future, when the promise and oath of God will be seen not to be and unmeaning pledge, but will have fulfillment which shall justify it in all its fullness and beyond all finite conception

 

We do not hesitate to admit, that we are inclined to believe the promise includes all those who have died without any knowledge of God's love to the world; that by some means, God will, hereafter, cause all men to see the love He has had to them in giving his Son to give them eternal life. What God has promised He is able also to perform; no matter how impossible or improbable the thing may appear to finite wisdom. After God had promised Abraham that in Isaac his seed should be called, He commanded him to offer up this child of promise for a burnt offering. Did Abraham stop to find fault, and say, God cannot fulfill his promise, if Isaac is to die? No: he "accounted that God was able to raise him up, that such would be the case, if Isaac died; for he "accounted that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead;" and his faith embraced the fact that such would be the case, if Isaac died; for, "he staggered not at the promise," through all appearances were against it in that hour of the trial of his faith. Is God less able to raise all the dead to whom the blessing of Abraham and his seed has never yet appeared, than He was to raise Isaac, to fulfill His promise of a multitudinous seed? We hardly come up to the Abrahamic faith in these days, though we perhaps think ourselves strong in faith; yet too many, if they cannot see just how a thing is to be done reject it, as if it were impossible for God to do it because they cannot see the process.

 

We, however, are not disposed, on this subject, to press the idea that the promise and oath embraces all the past, but if not, it must relate to some dispensation in the future; and hence there must be a probationary age or ages yet to come, beyond this.

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, MARCH 29, 1871

 

THE CHRISTIAN PASSOVER: OR, LORD'S SUPPER

 

THE annual celebration of this memorial feast will be held, in this city, at the Cooper Institute, Room 18, Wednesday evening, April 5; the same place where it was last year and the year previous; entrance on Eighth Street, from either the 3d or 4th Avenues.

 

Services will commence at half past seven o'clock. All who love the Lord Jesus Christ, "our Passover," are invited to be with us on the occasion. Please come early, so there shall be no delay in commencing the service.

 

We hope to be able to be present on the occasion, the Lord willing.

 

AN INQUIRY

 

MYSELF and others wish instruction as to what may be gained, or what is the real benefit we may receive by partaking of the Lord's Supper, the breaking of the bread and partaking of the wine. Do we receive the remission of sins for the past year? or, do we only do it in remembrance of Christ's death till he comes again? Please give us a Scripture answer as to the benefit that we may receive by attention to the Lord's Supper.


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - H. FINN.

 

 

 

Reply by the Editor

 

When our Lord was closing the Passover Supper, "he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave it unto" his disciples, "saying, This is my body" [represents my body] "which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament" [covenant] "in my blood, which is shed for you." -- Luke 22:19-20.

 

Paul saith, by doing this, "Ye do show the Lord's death till he come." -- 1 Cor. 11:26.

 

In the first place, the Lord's Supper is a commemorative institution: it is to remind us of Christ and of his sacrifice. "This do in remembrance of me," said Jesus. Of this cup, Matthew records that, "He [Jesus] 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 testament, [covenant], which is shed for many for the remission of sins." -- Matt. 26:27-28.

 

In all covenants, in ancient times, the covenant was not ratified till the victim, whose blood was to seal it, had been slain. The new covenant, which God made with men after the sin of our first parents, embraced the shedding of blood, without which there was no remission of sins. Christ was the true Lamb--in the purpose of the world." -- Rev. 13:8. Hence, various typical sacrifices were used from Abel to Moses, and from Moses to Christ; all of which were to express the faith of the offer till the true "Lamb of God" should come and offer himself "once for all." With his sacrifice, or the shedding of his blood, the new covenant was sealed or confirmed. God accepted that sacrifice, on His part; and when men accept it, by faith, they set their seal to the new covenant, which embraces the remission of sins, and brings us into harmony with God.

 

Partaking of the Lord's Supper, in faith, we call to mind the Victim who redeemed us to God by his blood, and sealed the new covenant therewith; in which God is pledged to remit the sins of the other party to the covenant, when they accept the "days-man," or the party who came between God and men, and shed his blood to ratify the agreement between the two parties who had been at variance.

 

We do not obtain remission of sins by eating the Lord's Supper; for it is simply a memorial of the act of Jesus in shedding his blood that we might have the remission of sins on our exercising faith in the new covenant promises.

 

There is no more offering for sin; but by commemorating the event of the "one offering," we express our faith in its sufficiency and our gratitude to the Him "who bare our sins, in his own body on the tree." -- 1 Pet. 2:24. In other words, we do it "in remembrance" of Jesus.

 

The "benefit" we may receive from doing "this," depends on the strength of our faith in Christ and his mediatorial work in our behalf.

 

GOD'S PROMISE AND OATH TO ABRAHAM -- No. 3

 

In our previous numbers we have set forth this promise and oath as found in the Old Testament, and shown that the language of the New Testament, both in its letter and spirit, abundantly sustains the certainty of the fulfillment of the same: "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

 

It is important that we understand what is included in blessing. Blessings are divided into two classes, which we call antecedent and consequent. The first is given to enable the recipient to secure the other. Man needs and desires an endless life; but of himself he has it not, nor the means to obtain it. God, in his love of man, provides the means entirely independent of man, and blesses men with those means without any effort on their part: they are presented as a free gift: without this gift, man never could attain to eternal life. This blessing is antecedent to any thing performed by man. God proposes to confer on him a life without end, if he will approve this blessing. This eternal life is a consequent blessing, and dependent on the improvement he must first be put in possession of the antecedent blessing; without which he cannot do anything, because he is destitute of any means with which to do.

 

To illustrate our meaning. God has not only given man natural life, but he has given him the earth or soil, the sun to warm it, rain to moisten it, and to man wisdom to know how to cultivate the soil, seed suitable to raise fruit for food, etc. All these are antecedent blessings, a free gift of the CREATOR. Without these blessings man, though he has life, could not produce food to sustain life. Notwithstanding these unsought and free gifts of blessings, we all see that man must improve them, or he will not receive food or protract life. The produce of improvements is the consequent blessing; and the man who would argue that because God had given him the antecedent blessings, therefore he need make no effort to secure consequent ones, for God is too good to withhold them, seeing He has done so much entirely gratuitously, -we say, such a man would be condemned by all thinking persons: blessings consequent are always dependent on improvement; or, are conditional.

 

It is the antecedent blessings; or those which are essential to put man in a condition to obtain eternal life by improvement, that man needs in his helpless state. These God has provided, richly and freely, in the Son of his love: but the provision itself would prove no blessing if never known, and no opportunity ever given to improve it. God, therefore has pledged himself, by promise and oath, that "all the families of the earth shall be blessed." In Abraham and his seed: that is, they shall have those antecedent blessings which are necessary to enable them to secure eternal life; making that further blessing dependent upon improvement-or, conditional.

 

"Faith" is the first and principal condition. "The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." -  Ga 3:8. Is he a preacher of the gospel who does not give the same testimony, or who denies that all nations, not excepting the heathen, are to have the gospel proclaimed to them, and an opportunity to secure eternal life? "All nations" includes all the families of the earth; and "all families" includes every individual of those families; hence, Jesus said, "Preach the gospel to every creature." That commission, or command, as we have said, embraces all that the promise and oath of God to Abraham embraces, and is a pledge of the fulfillment of it; and God gave Jesus "power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as" God had "given him." -  Joh 17:2. "All flesh" -"all the families of the earth" then, are to have an opportunity, or the means granted them to secure that provision in Jesus, His only begotten Son, "he that believeth and is baptized shall have life;" that is "eternal life." "He that believeth not shall be condemned;" i.e.,  to death; or, "not to see life."

 

Our Lord thus fixes the final doom of the sinner on unbelief; which would be no sin, if the individual had never heard the proclamation of a provision made for him: hence, in order to a final condemnation to death, men must have been blessed with a knowledge of God's merciful provision for them; a rejection of that provision fixes their destiny in the dominion of death.

 

But the idea of a provision made, yet never proclaimed to men, and death eternal inflicted for a sin of which they never could have been guilty, is too much like the administration of an ancient tyrant, who causes his laws to be placed so high as to make it impossible for the people to read them, and yet punish them for not conforming to them. Such an administration is not to be attributed to the God who gave his Son up unto death for us "all, to be testified in due time." -  1Ti 2:6. God's time is not so limited as our finite minds may suppose: and His time will surely come, if not in this age, it will surely come in "the ages to come," - ( Eph 2:7), when "all the families of the earth will be blessed in Abraham and his seed;" which "seed is Christ;" and "if ye be Christ's, then are ye," also Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." -  Ga 3:29. Hence, Abraham, personally, and all his seed, by faith, will be concerned in carrying out God's promise and oath of blessing all the families of the earth: therefore, if this present age is soon to end, another age, or ages, is inevitable to complete the work of the promise and oath.

 

It seems to us that Christians, generally, do not yet understand for what the present age was given. It was not given to "convert the world;" for God well knew it would be a wicked and corrupt age; "evil man and seducers waxing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived;" ( 2Ti 3:13); and that "the time would come when" men would "not endure sound doctrine; but, after their own lusts," would "heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and... turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned unto fables." -  2Ti 4:3,4. Such is the history of the present age; and God foresaw that it would be so. Hence, He provided for "ages to come." ( Eph 3:7), "that He might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."

 

The nation of Israel having failed to become "a kingdom of priests," ( Ex 19:6), by rejecting their King, God determined to "visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name;" ( Ac 15:14); a people to do the work that ancient Israel was called and set apart to do, but utterly failed by their unbelief and final rejection of God's chosen King and Leader in the work of blessing "all the families of the earth." From the time, the grand privilege of doing this work was taken from the nation of Israel, "according to the flesh," and thereafter a people taken "out of the Gentiles" were to constitute the "kingdom of priests," at the head of whom, Jesus was to be placed, as their King and High Priest, to carry out "God's promise and oath to Abraham," that, "In thee and in they seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

 

The present age or dispensation has been, and still is, the age in which God is gathering that seed of Abraham, of whom Christ was and is the "first-fruits," and preparing them for their work of blessing "all nations and "kindred's of the earth." This dispensation, or age, in which we now live, was not designed to witness the fulfillment of the promise and oath of God, but to prepare a people, freed from carnal and selfish designs, earnestly desiring not only to see God's promise and oath to Abraham carried out, but a like one to Moses, by the same God, viz., "As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD." -  Nu 14:21.

 

This age, then, so far from being the final one, is only a preparatory one, to prepare men and women for the great work of blessing "all the families of the earth" in "the ages to come," of which Paul speaks. Let our hearts be enlarged, then, on the subject of God's love to "the world."

 

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, APRIL 5, 1871

 

GOD'S PROMISE AND OATH TO ABRAHAM -- No. 4.

 

The promise and oath, that in Abraham and his seed "all the families of the earth all kindred's, all nations shall be blessed." I understand to relate to all the race of Adam, without exception; to be fulfilled in this life or a future one: all men, of every age or nation, are embraced in it and cannot fail of having an opportunity,  here or hereafter, of receiving the benefit of that promised blessing.

 

At this point we are met by the objection that, Such a view conflicts with the doctrine, taught in the Bible, that there is to be no resurrection of the wicked dead. Here, then, it is proper to inquire who this class embraces:

 

WHO ARE THE WICKED DEAD?

 

In answering this question, we trust we shall leave all conjectures and be instructed by the Bible alone. That book is a safe guide in all matters of faith. John Wesley, the founder of what is known as "Methodism," gave a definition of sin which is both scriptural and rational. He said, "sin properly so called is the voluntary transgression of the known law of God. Sin improperly so called is the involuntary transgression of the law of God whether known or unknown."

 

This definition of sin is clearly set forth in the Bible. Said Jesus, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin... If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father." -  Joh 15:22,24 . Here is a clear recognition of the distinction between voluntary sins and involuntary ones. It is light sinned against that constitutes sin, properly so called: light which gives us the knowledge of God, his love and kind designs. An act may be sin in itself, and yet not be sin properly so called. The apostle John says, "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." -  1Jo 5:16.

 

Here is a clear distinction made as to sins: some are of a worse character than others. Paul saith, "Sin is not imputed when there is no law." -  Ro 5:12. Again he says, "Where no law is, there is no transgression." -  Ro 4:15. Also, Paul, in speaking of the ignorance of the heathen, says, "The times of the ignorance of the heathen, says, "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men, every where to repent," etc. -  Ac 17:30. All this testimony shows there is a distinction in what is called sin. In the Bible, which warrants the idea that sin, under some circumstances is such properly so called; and under other circumstances it is improperly called sin, though such in itself. Without enlarging on this point we proceed to show that the gospel knows but one sin which is punished with the loss of endless life.

 

That one sin is a "willful" and deliberate rejection of Christ after He has been made known to him by a clear presentation of the truth concerning His work of redemption from sin and death, and as the author of an endless life. Such shall not "see" the life of the ages, but "the wrath of God abideth on him." Such is the law (so to speak) of the Gospel: a dispensation under which "every creature" has been or must be placed before an endless life is given or a final death can be inflicted. Whoever has had made known to them "the only true God and Jesus Christ," or has "received the knowledge of the truth" concerning God's love to them in sending His Son to "give himself a ransom for them," and thus become "a propitiation for their sins," and then "sins willfully" by rejecting that love and Jesus as the "one Mediator" -such persons commit a sin for which there is "no more sacrifice," nothing remains to them but the fearful death which "devours" them. - ( Joh 17:3  _ 1Ti 3:5,6  _ 1Jo 2:2 Heb 10:26,27). But what has this to do with such as have never heard the facts above stated? They have "no sin" in a Gospel sense. "Every creature" must first hear the "Glad Tidings," and have an opportunity to embrace Christ as their Deliverer before their final state is fixed: their faith or unbelief must be a manifested fact.

 

Says the objector, "Then there must be a resurrection of some into a moral state; and we cannot believe that." There are many things we may not "believe," nevertheless they may be true. The Scriptures are our rule: they do affirm that "all the families of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham and his seed." If a moral revival into life is necessary to fulfill that promise and oath of God, then there will be such a revival; and who shall say that the ALMIGHTY cannot or will not cause it to take place? Mark well, our view excludes from such revival all those who have been blessed with the truth, and willfully reject Jesus Christ: such are wicked in the gospel sense; and dying in their unbelief are condemned "not to see life," but to have "the wrath of God" abide "on them." -  Joh 3:36. Thus our view does not effect the doctrine of the non-resurrection of the wicked dead, but it defines who are properly, or in a gospel sense,  the wicked dead.

 

As a resurrection into a mortal state, Scripture acts show such has been the case, both under the Old and New Testaments; and that Abraham expected it in Isaac's case, if he had slain him; because, otherwise God's promise would fail, "that in Isaac shall they seed be called." "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able to perform: and therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness." -  Ro 4:20-22 .

 

God's promise and oath--"two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie" -must be honored, however improbable or impossible it may seem to us finite creatures, that the thing shall surely come to pass. By unbelief, to say the least, we dishonor God, and bring discredit on His word; and in so plain and clear a case, stated in such a solemn manner, as the promise and oath of God to Abraham,  we feel bound to accept it as meaning what it says, whatever difficulties might appear to limit its meaning.

 

No criticism can change this promise and oath. We therefore accept it in all its fullness, and believe to accept it thus, is to accept "the gospel preached to Abraham;" the unwavering belief of which, constituted that patriarch the father of all believers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, APRIL 26, 1871

 

OUR POSITION

 

1. God has promised, and confirmed it with an oath, that, In Abraham and his seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

 

2. This promise and oath is to be understood in the literal sense of the words in which it is made.

 

3. This promise and oath is not yet fulfilled in its fullness.

 

 4. Therefore, there is to be an age, or "ages to come," in which fulfillment will be perfectly accomplished.

 

One article more will be all that we care to say on the subject at present; or, till those who take the negative of it shall answer the following questions, viz.,

 

1. Did God mean what the words express in the promise and oath?

 

2. Has that promise and oath had a fulfillment in the past?

 

These are the two questions at issue. We have answered the first in the affirmative; and the second in the negative.

 

When we are through with our articles, we shall issue them in pamphlet so soon as we can raise the money to do it. We shall not employ any of the "Tract Fund" money for this purpose, nor put the pamphlet among the "Campaign Documents." It will be our private concern. If any one wishes to help us in this matter, we shall be glad to receive their aid, and will return them their money in the pamphlets at the cost of the first edition. We shall need about $50.

 

We regard the subject as one of the first importance. If the kingdom of God is soon to be developed, we desire to know all that can be known about it, while preparing for it; and just how reliable God's promises are. We wish to know if we are to receive them literally, or are to construe them figuratively or hyperbolically. This knowledge must deeply affect our faith; and, therefore, is highly important at this near approach of the kingdom of God. So we regard it.

 

P.S. -- Since the above was in type we have received the following from the Board of Managers of the Life and Advent Union, which will explain who our article for this week on "The Promise and Oath of God to Abraham" does not appear, though it was in type:

 

"Resolved by the Board of Managers of the Life and Advent Union, that Br. Storrs, Editor of the HERALD OF LIFE, be requested to cease all further publication, pro or con, on the subject contained in the series of articles entitled 'Promises and Oath of God to Abraham.'"

"NEW YORK, April 22, 1871. THOS. M. REDHEAD, Secretary, pro tem."

To this resolution we responded as follows:

 

"I accept the above with the understanding, it is intended to exclude all matter, from whatever quarter it comes, relating to the future age, or ages to come."

 

The Board of Managers accepted our construction of their resolution.

 

Our remaining articles will be immediately published in the tract spoken of above. Let those who choose to help us in that work respond at once.

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, JULY 19, 1871

 

A VINDICTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD OVER THE CHILDREN OF MEN:


OR,

 

"THE PROMISE AND OATH OF GOD TO ABRAHAM:"

BY GEORGE STORRS

 

The first edition of 1,000 being exhausted, a second 1,000 has been printed, and an important Supplement of 24 pages added; making now a pamphlet of 72 pages. Price -- sent free of postage -- single copy, 15 cents; 4 copies, 50; 9 copies, for $1.

 

Those who have had the first edition can have the "Supplement," separately, for 5cts; or 5 copies of it for 20cts.

 

Address,

GEO. STORRS,

Box 4,658, NEW YORK

 

 

 

OUR PAST POSITION

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE was commenced October, 1863. We gave several articles on the "ages to come," shortly after, in its columns. March 23, 1864, the following editorial appeared, to show what our position then was, and not one thought it their work to interfere with ours. We spoke as follows:


THE HERALD OF LIFE AND ITS EDITOR

 

THE EDITOR has heard of a few cases in which objections have been made to this paper because he seems to favor a future age where there will be probation to somebody. It is very hard for an Editor to annihilate himself, to please any one. As for himself, the Editor of this paper has no idea of trying the experiment. He has ever claimed, for himself, the right to speak what he thinks. While he published the Bible Examiner, through its fifteen volumes, he is not aware that an article was ever excluded merely because the writer differed from him. As then, so now, he speaks, and lets others do the same; and such as are unwilling to let him do so, have yet to learn, that he "seeks not his own, but the things that are Jesus Christ's." -- His truth -- "all that the prophets have spoken "concerning Him, his kingdom and reign. The Editor has endeavored not needlessly to wound the feelings of any one, or to treat harshly those from whom he differs. He does not claim, however, that he has never erred in this matter -- for he never professed infallibility.

 

It is well known, he has for twenty years held to an "endless succession of ages" in the future. What will be the precise nature or character of those ages, he does not pretend positively to determine; but he has an opinion of what will be, in some respects, the character of the age next to succeed this; yet he has never felt like withholding the fellowship from those who hold the view of "no probation for anyone in the age to come," though himself not a believer in that view. They are at liberty to express their views, if they desire, in the columns of this paper; and they ought to have charity enough not to find fault if the Editor takes the same liberty. If we love truth more than a creed, let us show it by our works.

 

The Editor intends to treat all sects and parties kindly; but he will never consent to be trammeled in the expression of his convictions. He has bought his liberty at the sacrifice of name, standing, friends, property and everything except a good conscience and a fixed purpose to follow the truth where it leads.

 

And now a few words on the age to come. While he believes in the next age differing entirely from this, and of its being one in which Christ will personally reign on the throne of his father David, with all his saints made immortal and as associate rulers with the King of kings, he does not assent to many of the wild and haughty notions promulgated by some, who talk of little else than the age to come and the exalted positions they, themselves, fancy they shall hold on account of their supposed superiority to every one else who happens not to follow exactly in their steps, or do not allow them to dictate what others shall believe, and how they shall practice. With such an "age to come" people, the Editor of the HERALD OF LIFE has no sympathy; and, in fact, no fellowship, simply because they will not allow him to have any. By them he has been denounced; and if aught could disgust him with the whole theory of the age to come, their conduct would effectually do it. But the Editor's view "stands not in the wisdom of men," and is not shaken by the folly of men: "To the law and to the testimony" is his appeal.


To him, it is incomprehensible how any believer in the literal destruction of the wicked can doubt there being promises yet to be fulfilled to a remnant of literal Israel, in their national capacity.

 

[We here omit our remarks on St. James' words, Acts 15:13-18, and the parallel prophecy of Amos 9:8-15, and conclude as follows:]

 

How an unprejudiced mind can question the literal fulfillment of the latter part of this prophecy, when he knows the former part has had a literal accomplishment is unaccountable: and any transferring of these promises to the Gentile believers, seems to destroy the harmony of the prophecy. Those Christians are expressly names, and distinguished, by JEHOVAH himself, from "the house of Israel," as being the "heathen upon whom my name is called." But the Editor of the HERALD OF LIFE finds no fault with those who differ from him in this matter, provided they hold their view in charity; though with the spirit which would compel all others to see the future age, or ages, as they do, he has no fellowship. May God enable us all to remember, we are prone to be "slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken."

 

As to spiritualizing everything spoken of literal Israel, because we cannot see how such and such prophecies can have a literal fulfillment, the Editor leaves that work to those who have "little," not to say, "no faith." Let all follow the best light they have on prophecy, and leave God to judge the heart as to whether the views they entertain are held honestly or otherwise.

 

 

-------

 


Such was our position in the first year of the HERALD OF LIFE; and such is our position still. NO official interference was then made; and a principle established on which the paper was to be conducted. Such will be the principle on which it will be conducted hereafter, unless it proves recreant to its calling. If it depart from it, farewell to its usefulness, if not to its existence.

 

We make this statement now, that the Life and Advent Union may be prepared to act at its coming anniversary as it sees best to the paper and its Editor. With a sectarian paper we cannot be connected, nor with any sectarian organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, AUGUST 9, 1871

 

OUR ASSISTANT EDITOR

 

We regret to learn, by a private not from this dear brother, that his health has not improved since he went into the country three weeks ago. He still remains there, but cannot tell whether he will return to this city before the camp meeting. We trust he may be present at that meeting.

 

THE WORLD'S CRISIS

 

We sent a copy of our recent Pamphlet, a second edition, to Eld. Miles Grant, not as editor of the above named paper, but as a personal affair, as we sent it to several others. We did not request him to notice it; but he saw fit to do so in the following manner:

 

A NEW THEORY

 

"We have just received a pamphlet of seventy two pages, entitled 'A Vindication of the Government of God over the Children of men; or the Promise and Oath of God to Abraham." By George Storrs. In this pamphlet Br. Storrs endeavors to prove that all who have not heard the gospel will be raised from the dead, and have an opportunity to hear about Christ, when they will either receive or reject him. We would say that the arguments presented by Br. S. in favor of his position, do not convince our mind that his new system of salvation for the heathen is correct, and in harmony with the Scriptures. We can see that his new position overthrows his former one, in relation to the resurrection of the wicked dead. He and his associates have urged the point that no one could be raised from the dead except those who had the Spirit of Christ in them; that is, none but Christians. Of course, he will not claim that the heathen were Christians, in possession of the Spirit of Christ; hence, when he assumes that they will be raised to hear the preaching of the gospel, in the coming age, he strikes a death blow to the doctrine of the non-resurrection of all who are not Christians. Both positions cannot be true, because they contradict each other. If one unconverted man will be raised, why not all?"

 

"We think it best to believe Paul, when he said: 'There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust' (Acts 24:15); and Jesus when he said: 'Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.' -- John 5:28-29."

 

Those who have  read our pamphlet can judge how accurate the forgoing representation is, and we have no disposition to complain of its inaccuracies, for we know something of the blinding influence of prejudice, and if Life believers misrepresent our views and condemn them unheard, without examination, and refuse to let them appear in the HERALD OF LIFE, we certainly cannot blame Br. Grant, or any of his way of thinking, for putting a wrong construction on our words, and thereby making a wrong impression as to our past and present views. We wish to cultivate a charitable spirit toward our theological opposers of every class; but we shall not do it, knowingly, at the expense of what we regard as truth.

 

That our arguments, in our pamphlet, "do not convince" Br. Grant's mind that our "new system of salvation for the heathen is correct, and in harmony with the Scriptures," is not to be wondered at; nor do his arguments against inherent immortality and endless torment "convince" his neighbors of the "Advent Herald" that "his new system," on those topics, are "correct," though he has for years endeavored to make them and others think they were. We have but just commenced with what Br. G. calls "A New Theory;" and it is not likely he would be convinced without more time to weigh the subject. One thing however is in favor of the idea that Br. Grant may yet be a convert; that is, he believes in the resurrection of all those who have never heard the Gospel, as well as those who have. We have not, then, the difficulty in his conversion that we have in the case of those who deny any resurrection of the heathen, or such as have never heard of God's love to the world. Between Br. G. and ourself it is only a question of how the resurrected heath are to be disposed of after their resurrection. It is not a question about a "new system of salvation to the heath;" but, shall the old system, promised and sworn to by JEHOVAH, be carried out? And the fact that Christ "gave himself a ransom for all" men, "be testified" to all "in due time?" Shall this Gospel be preached "to every creature" in order that "he that believeth" it "shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be condemned?" Will Br. Grant say, that justice can condemn a man for not believing that of which he never heard? The very thought of such an act is next door to eternal torments: both are as far removed from the equitable government of God as truth is from error; or to use an old saying, "as heaven is from hell." To our mind, it is a blasphemy against God and the government of the creatures He has made.

 

That we have modified our views on the subject of resurrection -- or, rather the manner of stating the doctrine of the non-resurrection of the wicked dead, we have admitted; but that our present view, or "new position overthrows" our "former one, in relation to the resurrection of the wicked dead," we do not admit; and Br. G overlooks, or entirely misapprehends our "argument" on that point in our pamphlet. It is simply a question of, who are the wicked dead? The Gospel knows of only one class who, in a Scripture sense, are properly called the wicked dead, viz., those who have died in unbelief, or who have died in the willful rejection of Christ as their Redeemer or Deliverer. No man can be guilty of this sin who have never heard of Christ, or to whom God's love in Christ has never been made known. It is "he that believeth not" that "shall be damned" -- who "shall not see life."

 

Clearly, then, no man is a sinner, past remedy, except such as "will not come unto" Christ "that they may have life." None can be put in this class who have never heard the Gospel message; and "God will have all men come to the knowledge of the truth" in His own "due time." So saith "the Scriptures," even if Br. G's "mind" is not yet "convinced" of it.

 

But Br. Grant says, that, we and our "associates have urged the point that no one could be raised from the dead except . . . Christians;" and says, "of course, he will not claim that the heath were Christians," etc. That we have been un unguarded in some expressions on the subject, formerly, may be admitted; but Br. G. must not forget that Paul says, "We know in part;" and Peter was quite certain, for some years after the day of Pentecost, that there was no salvation for the Gentiles, and would not go to Cornelius without disputing the matter with "the voice," even "from heaven," which bade him do that which he protested he never had done. IF, then, we have, heretofore, not sufficiently surveyed the whole ground of God's designs towards the children of men, we have not been more faulty than Peter was; but seeing God has opened our eyes "to see the way of the Lord more perfectly" we do not intend to close them against the light, lest we be left in darkness; for, saith Jesus, "If I had not come and spoken unto them they had not had sin." It is sinning against light that brings condemnation. That we intend to avoid, if possible.

 

We certainly never did "claim that the heathen were Christians;" but we do claim they are not unbelievers, or wicked in the gospel sense; and therefore are not "the wicked dead" -- when dead -- of whom we have said, and still say, they will never live again; hence, Br. G. will see, we have struck no "death blow to the doctrine of the non-resurrection of all who are "wicked, in the gospel sense.

 

Br. G. asks, "If one unconverted man will be raised, why not all?" Because, some unconverted men have had the gospel, been enlightened by it, and have willfully rejected it: while others never have had the gospel, and consequently, have never rejected it, nor "done despite unto the Spirit of grace." Br. G. might as well ask, If one sinner is saved, why not all?

 

As to our brother's quotation of Acts 24:15, and John 5:28-29, even with his view of them, they go to confirm our "new position," so far as it differs, in any respect, from our previous one. It remains for him to prove that the all, who are raised, will die again; or that mercy will never be shown any of them. Let him put himself to that work, if he thinks it an easy one. Does he believe all the millions on millions of the ignorant and untaught heathen, and people of all the dark ages of the world's history, who have lived and died in utter ignorance of God, and without any means of knowing Him or His love to the world in the gift of His Son, are to be raised from the dead, without any knowledge even of their Judge, till they see him sitting on his throne of judgment, and then to be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone? If our brother believes that to be the character of his God, we do not see why he need shrink from the endless torture doctrine: it is only a difference in time, not in character: both are an outrage on all the reason and sense of justice God has implanted in man's nature, and makes Him to contradict Himself, who has sworn that He hath "no pleasure in the death of the wicked;" while, in fact, He has placed millions on millions of the human family in circumstances, where He knew it was impossible for them to be blessed with the means of salvation in this life, and thus, virtually, determined they should die not once, only, but twice; and that under the most hopeless and horrible circumstances!

 

We cannot believe the kind and loving heart of our brother will long be bound in such thoughts of the MAKER of us all, whose loving heart led Him to give up His only begotten and dearly beloved Son to agony and death "a ransom for all; to be testified in due time" to all for whom He died. No, no, a brighter view of God's dealing with the children of men is dawning on this benighted world; and Br. Grant, we trust, will "come to the front" in this glorious work.

 

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, AUGUST 30, 1871

 

THE EDITORSHIP

(L.C. Thorne)

 

OUR readers were last week briefly informed that at the late meeting of the Union we were called to the Editorship of this paper. Elected assistant editor one year ago by special request of Br. Storrs, we have labored, how earnestly they who have carefully read it during the past twelve months best know, to increase its many attractions as a bearer of glad tidings, a messenger of truth; to extend the circle of its influence; to place it more nearly upon an independent footing, financially, and in all respects to more firmly establish it in its good work. Laboring thus we had labored in hope, as oftimes expressed, that when the Union held its annual meeting we might be permitted to retire, and seek the rest we have so often and so much needed. Much, however, to our regret, and not a little to our disappointment, circumstances so transpired as to render it plain that our line of duty runs at present in another direction. As, in entering upon the pursuit of that line of duty, we find ourself the subject of responsibilities which can only be faithfully discharged through Divine assistance, we shall endeavor to humbly trust in Him who giveth the strength and wisdom necessary to the faithful performance of what he requires.

 

Commencing its career eight years since, and having for its aim the performance of a certain specified work, it has ever sought to be a free paper, in the ordinary and proper acceptation of the term free, and as it has not been and is not now sought to make it otherwise, such it will continue to be. And while its columns will be open to a discussion of all proper subjects, we feel constrained to suggest to all friends of it and the Union, that inasmuch as we are all agreed concerning those great and distinctive truths which not only the Christian church in general but the world as well so much need, and for the promulgation of which the Union was formed, the influence of the paper will be more extended and powerful, and the interests of truth best subserved by making those and kindred truths the burden of the message which it shall bear as it goes forth from week to week.

 

Reared under circumstances the most dissimilar; trained up under the direct influence of almost if not all forms of Christian faith, and hence quite of necessity subjects of prejudice in varied extent and character; and, because believing ourselves responsible alone to God, all exercising the divinely appointed right to freedom of thought, it can not reasonably be expected that we should see eye to eye on all points. So, each acknowledging the right of each to think and judge for himself and herself, and all entertaining and showing proper respect for the conclusions of others. Let us, in all our conferences, whether collectively or as individuals, whether by word of mouth or by letter, deal kindly and tenderly, and all hold our various opinions in unfeigned love to all, combining our strength and influence to proclaim to the world the long neglected and down trodden apostolic faith. Thus if we, in writing for the paper, aim to make a sociality of those Bible truths, respecting which we are of one mind, and the holding and proclaiming of which largely distinguish us from the religious and theological world in general, we shall effect far more in the upbuilding of "the faith once delivered to the saints" and in bringing sinners to Christ than we can otherwise reasonably hope to do.

 

But it may be objected that if we discuss nothing not generally believed among us we shall learn nothing more than we now know. We would not be understood as suggesting no discussion whatever upon subjects concerning which different opinions are entertained among us, far from it; but we are decidedly of the opinion that in proportion as we engage in pointed discussions among ourselves, just in that proportion do we neutralize our effort to effectually place the distinctive and important truths which we hold before the world. Hence it is we advise that those great truths be made the burden of the messages that go out week to week, and that in our discussions upon other subjects we always write, speak and in all respects deal tenderly, kindly and lovingly. This done, all will be well; and we shall do much good in many ways, and all to the glory of God and the honor of Christ.

 

They who were not in attendance at the late meeting will be gratified to learn that the many there were cheered by the presence of an unusually large number of preaching brethren. Mingling with the veterans in this branch of the service were quite a number of young men who give evidence of earnestness, steadfastness and ability. May the Lord of the vineyard abundantly bless all these, young and old, and may all lovers of truth hold up the hands of such laborers, strengthening and encouraging them by word and by deed.

 

And now let us all take hold with unyielding determination to increase the circulation of our paper. It can just as well as not have twice its present number of subscribers at the expiration of twelve months if all friends of the Union will determinedly set about securing that increase, and commence now. Of course, the degree of ability which the HERALD shall display will rest very much with contributors, but whatever may be its characteristics, we design that Christian kindness and love shall be prominent among them.

 

May the God of peace and love enable us to consecrate ourselves more perfectly to the work of disseminating His truth and leading sinners in penitence to the cross. May He help us to hold in constant, vivid remembrance that the most effectual way of doing this is to commend both truth and Christianity by lives of consistent godliness. And this He will do if we are but faithful in the measure of grace; and thus shall we dwell safely with the Lord, being always subjects of the "good will" and unspeakably choice blessings of "him that dwelt in the bush," and who is ever leading and guiding His people to the working out of His own glory.

 

 

THE HERALD OF LIFE

AND OF THE COMING KINGDOM

NEW YORK, AUGUST 30, 1871

 

THE ASSISTANT AND CORRESPONDING EDITORS

(L.C. Thorne)

 

OUR readers will perceive that the Board of Managers have appointed Br. WM. H. SPENCER Assistant Editor, and Br. W.N. PILE Corresponding Editor. The selection will, we doubt not, prove a wise one, and at once commend itself to all. By it were are largely relieved of a heavy burden, and the paper has secured the close cooperation of men of earnestness, ability and devotion. We trust our friends will pray to Him who giveth liberally and upbraideth not, that we may all, in the several positions to which we have been called, be so richly blessed with heavenly strength and wisdom that we shall discharge our duties with eminent fidelity and faithfulness, to the glory of God and the satisfaction of all readers of the paper. We trust, too, we shall, in our work, have the earnest cooperation of all our friends. Then will the HERALD OF LIFE go forth each week on its mission of love, to an increased and ever increasing number of readers, and many who now sit in darkness will be brought into the marvelous light of truth.


A great work is before us: therefore may everyone, aged, middle aged and youth, hold in constant remembrance that as not man can be a successful preacher of righteousness if he be not an example of godliness, so no one can be a profitable nor successful teacher of truth unless he is a living witness of its power. Many eyes are upon us, and all inconsistencies, or short comings, of whatever nature that may be noticed in us will be charged to so much of the truth we advocate as is unpopular and not understood. Hence we should prayerfully strive to give "no offence in anything" that the truth "be not blamed:" but in all things approve ourselves by "pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by love unfeigned," by putting on the whole "armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left."

 

GEO. STORRS' NEW VIEWS

World's Crisis - Jan 24, 1872

N. FIELD

 

In his new pamphlet, on page 15 he says: "The present age or dispensation has been, and still is, the age in which God is gathering the seed of Abraham, of whom Christ is the 'first fruits,' and preparing them for their work of blessing all nations and kindreds of the earth. This dispensation, or age, in which we live is not designed to witness the fulfillment of the promise and oath f God, but to prepare a people freed from carnal and selfish designs, earnestly desiring not only to see God's promise and oath to Abraham carried out, but a like one to Moses, 'that the earth shall be filled with the glory of God.' This age, then, so far from being the final one, is only a preparatory one, to prepare men and women for the great work of blessing 'all the fami8lies of the earth' in the ages to come."

 

If this doctrine be true, then, this dispensation is only designed to make preachers for the ages yet to come, in which they are to continue to labor and pray for he conversion of sinners. The resurrection from the dead will bring to the saints who sleep in Jesus, and who have suffered great tribulation in this dispensation, no deliverance form care and responsibility. They will still have to plead with sinners, have their message treated with contempt by some, and they themselves despised and rejected. This is rather a discouraging view of the resurrection state! But this is what awaits them, if Bro. Storrs is to be believed.

 

He is very positive that the promise and oath of God to Abraham cannot be fulfilled in this age or dispensation. Let us hear what Paul says about it -- "And we declare unto you glad tidings, now that the promise which was made unto the fathers [Abraham, Isaac and Jacob], God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." Acts 13:32-33. It is very evident that Bro. Storrs and the apostle Paul are at issue here. All prudent and conservative Christians will take sides with Paul.

 

 

A RETROSPECT

BIBLE EXAMINER -- FEBRUARY 1872

Reprinted JULY, 1878

 

SEVERAL articles have appeared in the World's Crisis against what the writer calls "DUNNITES," because they so far agree with MR. DUNN, of England, as to maintain that such of the human family as have by unavoidable means been deprived of the knowledge of "the only true God and Jesus Christ" in this life will have that knowledge granted to them in a future life, and means necessary to secure an endless life before their final destiny is determined. The misrepresentations of the writer in the Crisis are of a character which should make him and the publisher blush. But I leave them with their own master. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor," is the divine command.

 

The first year of the revived EXAMINER, and of my presentation of a "VINDICATION" of the "DIVINE Government," as I now understand it, a friend in the West sent me an article which was published in Vol. XVI., with my response. As the writer put forth his strength -- and he is a strong man -- to overthrow what he called "Bro. Storrs' new view," it is thought best to give the whole a new insertion, as showing the methods employed by opposers and how they have been met.

 

No reply has ever been presented to my response. Opposers in general seem content to revile, instead of candidly replying to the views really held by "the ages to come" believers.

 

The name of the writer now republished I shall omit, using instead the letter "A." The article is headed:

 

THE WORK OF CHRIST

BY A.

 

"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all thing that offend, and them that do iniquity." -- Matt. 13:41.

 

In this passage we have a description of an important work to be done. This work is ascribed to the SON OF MAN.

 

It is not the work of the Father while the Son of man remains in heaven; but it is the work of Christ after he has returned from heaven, having received for himself the kingdom. He now takes possession of his kingdom and sits upon the throne of his glory. He gathers all nations before him and executes upon them a righteous judgment. He shall be king over all the earth, and he must reign until all things shall be subdued unto him. He will have dominion over all people, nations and languages that they may serve him. It is the Son of man that will restore all things. He will send forth his angels, or messengers, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend.

 

THE WORK TO BE DONE

 

There are things in the kingdom that offend and those who do iniquity. In the parable it is called the field where the seed is sown. In the explanation of the parable it is called the world; and when the work of the Son of man is described it is called his kingdom. The field, the world and kingdom are the same thing. After Christ shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. At that time he designates the kingdom as the one prepared when the world was made.

 

The kingdom, then, out of which the Son of man will gather all things that offend is the kingdom prepared when the world was made, where all people, nations and languages under the whole heaven have ever dwelt, and which is to become Christ's at his second coming.

 

THE OBJECT OF THIS WORK

 

The object this work is to so affect the condition of the kingdom that all the nations whom God has made may come and worship before him, and glorify his name, that at the name of Jesus Christ every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord to the glory of God the Father; that the earth may be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea; that all nations may serve him as long as the sun and moon endure.

 

The object of this work is that all the nations of the earth may be blessed instead of being cursed as now; that there may be no more sickness, or pain, or death, or curse, under the whole heaven; that the will of God may be done in earth, or in this kingdom, as it is done in heaven.

 

Are the things I have written true? Is it true that Christ will do this work after he comes? Is it true that the work to be done by Christ is to gather out of his kingdom all things that offend? Is it true, that the kingdom out of which the things that offend are to be gathered, is the kingdom which was prepared when the world was made, and which was given to Nebuchadnezzar, and which, after becoming subject to the Medes and Persians, to the Grecians and to the Romans, is to be given to Christ, even the kingdom where the wheat and tares grew together until the harvest? If these things are so, then we have a very serious objection to Bro. Storrs' "new view."

 

The objection is this: that while Christ's work is to gather out of his kingdom things that offend and them that do iniquity, the "new view" requires him to bring into the kingdom a hundred times as many offences as there are in it now.

 

Every one who has died under sin was an offence in the kingdom and worthy of death. Who are they that are worthy of death, and not worthy to live? -- 1 John 5:19. The whole world lieth in wickedness -- Rom. 1:18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. After describing almost every kind of wickedness, the apostle said the judgment of God is that they which do such things are worthy of death. He also said, They are without excuse; and again, For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, both Jews and Gentiles; they are all under sin. Now to bring into the kingdom all who have died in sin, all who have been an offence in the kingdom, is a very different work from that of gathering out of the kingdom the things that offend.

 

Could such a work be regarded as good news of the kingdom? Can we conceive of a greater injury than such a work would be to the kingdom? To raise up from the dead all the ignorant and degraded, and the vile and the selfish who have ever lived, with all their prejudices and their corrupted bias of mind, and give them another chance to develop themselves; I say, if this should be done, what possible good could come out of it? Judging from the past and what is revealed of the future, but few of them could be saved; the great mass of them must return to dust a second time.

 

In the parable of the Sower only one class out of four who heard the word furnished any who brought forth fruit unto perfection.

 

In the kingdom under the reign of Christ, and after 1,000 years of experience under its benign influence upon the world, there will be a great rebellion; the number of those who engage in it will be as numerous as the sands of the sea. But the Lord will gather them out of his kingdom. Fire will come down from heaven and devour them. What better results could be expected from the proposed resurrection of the heathen?

 

The work of this new system is exactly opposed to the work of Christ. The work of Christ is to gather out of his kingdom all things that offend. But the work of this "New View" is to gather into the kingdom all the offences that have existed in it since the world was made. The work of Christ acknowledges the righteousness of the judgments of God in the past. The "New View" proposes an appeal from them for a second trial. The work of Christ is in harmony with all that the prophets have said. The "new view" is without a record in the Bible.

 

Mich., February, 1872

 

RESPONSE BY THE EDITOR

 

As our friend has called me by name and spoken his mind freely on what he calls my "new views," he doubtless expects a response, which I most cheerfully give him. I would have preferred that he should have taken up my main questions, viz.: 1) "Did God mean what the words express in the promise and oath to Abraham? 2) Has that promise and oath had a fulfillment in the past?" These are the real questions at issue, and, as a rule, I shall decline controversy on other points till these are frankly met. Friend A. has chosen another route, doubtless intending to arrive at the answer of my standing questions.

 

In the first place, then, does the parable he has chosen for his text represent anything more than the nominal Church as it does now exist or has existed? It is the conclusion of the explanation of the parable of "the wheat and tares." The tares were sown, "among the wheat," and "both grew together," showing that it is a class of sinners under the Gospel and possibly may refer especially to a class of professors of religion; as some commentators have said the original expression, translated tares, denote "bastard wheat" -- a spurious grain looking like wheat and known only by its "fruit" when it is grown. Plenty of such "bastard wheat" has been sown in these last days, and they are ready to be bound, being already fast in sectarian "bundles."

 

"In the end of this age," or dispensation, our Lord will fully separate the tares from the wheat; he will "gather out of his kingdom all things that offend [all scandals -- so the margin has it], and them which do iniquity; all these hypocritical professors, represented by the tares, or bastard wheat], "and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. THEN shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."

 

If such is the true representation of the sentiments of the text, then it has no reference to any man who has not in some way been identified with the nominal church, and passed as one of its number, while practicing "iniquity" and spreading "scandals" to the injury of true piety; and hence does not relate to the kingdom proper at all.

 

The idea that the kingdom proper embraces the whole world, at its first commencement, appears to be an error. The general language of Scripture and its prophetic utterances seem to forbid such a conclusion. The kingdom and dominion are spoken of as distinct. When one like the Son of man came before the Ancient of Days, "there was given him dominion and glory, and a kingdom," etc. -- Dan. 7:14. "His dominion" was universal; but was his kingdom equally so? The kingdom of "the Most High" is universal (Dan. 7:27); but it does not follow that the kingdom of the Son of man is so, though it may ultimately become so.

 

The kingdom of Israel never was universal; and David never had such a kingdom. The LORD sware unto David to set one on his throne who should maintain it forever, and repeated this promise by the mouth of the angel to Mary before the birth of Jesus, saying, "The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there should be no end." -- Luke 1:32-33. And again, when the Lord God removed the diadem and took off the crown from the last king of Israel, he said, "It shall be no more till he come whose right it is, and I will give it to him." -- Ezek. 21:26-27. Thus the kingdom proper is the same, and no more, at first, than his father David is to extend over the whole world, or habitable globe.

 

In further confirmation of this view, the language of Jesus to the unbelievers in his day may be contemplated. "I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." -- Matt. 8:11. If territorially the kingdom spoken of embraces the whole habitable globe, where do these from "the east and west" come from? To my mind, these facts show that friend A has made "a very serious" mistake in locating the kingdom of the Son of man; and this mistake shows his whole argument, so far as it affects my "view," is of no value, and it might be passed without further remarks; yet I desire to treat respectfully what he has respectfully presented.

 

It will be seen that friend A's first objection to my views has no bearing on the question at issue; for the fact that evil things and persons are in his dominion does not involve their entrance into his kingdom; that is distinct. For, the kingdom proper commences as a "Stone," and only by a process of development, or conquest, does it become "a great mountain and fill the whole earth." -- Dan. 2:34-35. Christ's kingdom, territorially, is limited at first; but his rule will extend over all the earth. His kingdom, all that pertains to its character and government, will be clear of all evil; and "the righteous" [who are "joint heirs with Christ"] "will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." -- Matt. 13:43.

 

Friend A says: "Every one who has died under sin was an offence in the kingdom, and was worthy of death." To prove this assertion he quotes texts which related wholly to those who were living, not those who have "died"; and if his texts prove anything to his purpose, they prove the impossibility of salvation for any soul of man; for he proves "all have sinned," and therefore all are "worthy of death." His argument, therefore, goes to make salvation impossible for any man. But because a man is "worthy of death," that does not prove his death is inevitable or irremediable; else all must inevitably die the death that is the wages of sin. The peculiarity of the grace of God is, that it has provided a way whereby those whoa re worthy of death may yet be delivered from the death which is the wages of sin; for where sin has abounded grace has much more abounded (Rom. 5:20); hence it does not follow that because a man goes out of this life under the law of sin that he is hopelessly lost, or that he has passed beyond the abounding grace of God; there is not a text in the Bible that affirms such a doctrine; certainly none of those quoted by my friend prove it.

 

The insinuation that my views "bring into the kingdom all who have died in sin" is an unfounded one. They may be brought under the dominion of the Son of man; whose mission is to "destroy death," as well as "him who had the power of death," and all his "works." -- Heb. 2:14; 1 Cor. 15:26; 1 John 3:8. Their being made alive from the dead for a real and true probation under God's remedial scheme for human redemption and being brought "into the kingdom," is by no means one and the same thing. These are not "an offence in the kingdom," for they never were in the kingdom proper.

 

"Can we conceive of a greater injury than such a work would be to the kingdom?" asks my friend. What is the work that alarms him? He says, "To raise up from the dead all the ignorant, and degraded, and vile, and the selfish, who have ever lived, with all their prejudices and their corrupted bias of mind, and give them another chance to develop themselves." Does my friend really think such a work would be unlike God, whose "tender mercies are over all his works," and who is "long suffering, not willing that any should perish," and who has "sworn by himself that he has no pleasure in the death of the sinner?" Such "ignorant and degraded" creatures are among those for whom Christ died; for "He gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." Will that "due time" never come? Surely it never has come to millions who have died under the law of sin which passed upon all men through Adam? Did God so love the world as to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish; and yet leaven millions on millions without the means of every having any knowledge of that Son that they might believe on him? Does the thought that God will, somehow, at a future period, cause to be "testified" to them, the boundless character of his love, and give these poor "ignorant and degraded" creatures a chance to be benefited by the "Good news," alarm the kind heart of my friend? Would he feel, like the elder son in the parable, "angry," and so "would not go in" to the kingdom, because the compassionate heart of the Father receives joyfully these "prodigals," who had "wasted all their substance in riotous living"; or rather had never learned before that there was mercy for them in the Father's heart? Friend A is no such man as that; his generous soul would fly with wondrous swiftness to publish the wonders of God's love to these "ignorant, degraded, vile, selfish, prejudiced" beings, who then for the first time are brought into a state where they can hear the truth concerning the love of God their Maker, unpolluted by the traditions of men, and the corrupt representations of God's government over the creatures he has made. Then the "Watchman shall see eye to eye," and no more corrupters of the truth will be tolerated.

 

But my friend asks, "If this should be done, what possible good could come out of it? Judging from the past, and what is revealed of the future, but few of them could be saved," etc. In this matter we are not to judge by the past; "and what is revealed of the future" is all in favor of a wonderful display of the power and grace of God when Christ and his saints shall take the kingdom, and God shall "pour out his Spirit upon all flesh," and "the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters do the sea," and his oath is fulfilled, "As truly as I live the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord." Yes, "all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest." Before this glorious display of divine love and power the "ignorant" will find knowledge; the "degraded" will be exalted; the "vile" will turn from their vileness; the "selfish" will become liberal; "prejudice" will die in the sun light of truth; the "corrupted bias of mind" will pass away, and no one will then say, tauntingly, "This man receiveth sinners and eatheth with them." No: but there will be joy in heaven and earth to find the lost are found, and Christ's mission to the world "to seek and to save that which is lost" has had a glorious consummation.

 

In our friend's concluding remarks he has several assumptions which arise from his previous "views" of the kingdom. He assumes that "In the kingdom, under the reign of Christ, and after 1000 years. . . . there will be a great rebellion." Surely that does not look as if he had "gathered out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity," as my friend says Christ will do; and his text says, he will do it "in the end of THIS (aionos) age;" not after the end of the NEXT age.

 

But, again: The rebellion is not "in the kingdom," but outside of it, and against the dominion or rule of the kingdom; the kingdom is untouched and unmoved by it.

 

Our friend stumbles at our "new views," as he calls them. He says, "The work of this new system is exactly opposed to the work of Christ. The work of Christ is to gather out of his kingdom all things that offend; but the work of this 'new view' is to gather into the kingdom all of offences that have existed in it since the world was made."

 

This is an entire mistake. Our friend's own view takes Christ a thousand years and an indefinite period "after" to "gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them that do iniquity;" while mine makes that work done immediately "in the end of this age," as Christ saith; showing my friend's view of the kingdom proper is a misapprehension of the subject. My view does not "gather into the kingdom" any others than such as "possess the kingdom," viz., Christ and his Body, the true Church, the "kings and priests." These are gathered into the kingdom of Christ's second advent; or the kingdom of Christ is then established forever, and the dominion of this kingdom extends over the whole earth; all its inhabitants, living or dead; for "Christ is Lord both of the dead and living" (Rom. 14:9); and he is the "Judge of the living and the dead" (2 Tim. 4:1); and the "father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:32); so that no man will receive his final judgment till Christ passeth his decision in his case; and as Christ has "tasted death for every man, and gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time," it may be safely affirmed no man can be holden by death unless the fact that Christ gave himself a ransom for him has been "testified" to him, and that man willfully sins against that testimony by rejecting Christ as his Deliverer or LIFE GIVER.

 

Our friend might have spared himself and me some of his closing insinuations. Take the following:

 

"The work of Christ acknowledges the righteousness of the judgments of God in the past; the 'new view' proposes an appeal from them for a second trial."

 

This statement is wholly groundless. The whole work of Christ in redemption is an acknowledgement of the righteousness of the judgments of God in the past. But where in the Bible is it stated there is no redemption from past judgments, from Adam to the end of the present age? The scheme of redemption is a remedial one. God has judged "all men worthy of death," our friend truly says. Is there, hence, no remedy? Did no God himself provide a remedy? and is not that remedy Christ, the LIFE GIVER? and has not God given "him power over all flesh," the dead as well as the living? and that, too, for the very purpose of giving them "eternal life," if they will believe on him? and can they believe on him of whom they have never heard? and will Go d so defeat his own plans as to exclude unnumbered millions from ever hearing of his love to them in giving his only begotten Son to "give life to the world"? -- John 6:33. Is death, to which all men were subjected by God, "not willingly, but by reason of him who had subjected them in hope" (Rom. 8:20): I ask, is death so powerful that Christ cannot over come it? and is death to be the victor, and Christ the defeated? Is there any such "record in the Bible?"

 

There is no "second trial" in my views of the dispensations; that is only an imagination of my friend. What is trial for/ Is it not for eternal life, which Christ has power to give/ Can a man be put on trial for a thing of which he has never heard? Is God a "hard master; reaping where he has not sown, and gathering where he has not strewed"? -- Matt. 25:24. No man can be on trial till the matter and manner of his trial is made known to him. Millions of the human race have not and never have had any knowledge in these matters. Are they to be condemned to death eternal, not for the want of a "second trail," but without any trial? Believe it who will; I reject such an imputation on the divine government, and regard it as a high impeachment of both divine justice and grace.

 

 

THE BIBLE EXAMINER:

ITS PAST, ITS PRESENT, AND ITS FUTURE

One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." --1Ti 2:5-6.

 

BIBLE EXAMINER, VOL. XVIII. NEW YORK, OCTOBER, 1873. No. 1.

 

THE BIBLE EXAMINER: ITS PAST, PRESENT, AND ITS FUTURE.

 

The above named periodical was commenced by GEORGE STORRS in 1841. First, as an occasional issue; in 1847 as a regular monthly. In 1863 it was suspended while its Editor was called to edit a weekly paper. In 1871 he revived the EXAMINER, believing that his individual responsibility was interfered with by a further connection with the weekly.

 

For two years past it has been issued as a folio, neat in appearance, and embracing a large amount of matter of no ordinary importance in relation to the character of God, and his government over the children of men. As to the ability with which it has been conducted the readers will judge for themselves.

 

The BIBLE EXAMINER, so far as its Editor knows, was the first periodical ever established whose main object was to show that man is not inherently immortal and that immortality is a superadded gift, bestowed through Jesus Christ--the Second Adam--upon no man until he is first brought into harmony with God, nor until that harmony is so perfected by trial as to render it certain that no possible failure will ever again occur. This truth is now widely advocated by various periodicals in America and Europe.

 

The Editor of this periodical, two years ago, felt constrained to advance in the theological field to the position which he now occupies, viz., that, The opportunity to come into harmony with God, and secure immortality, will be given to every individual of the race of man; if not in the present life, in a future one, in some of "the ages to come" (Eph 2:7); and that such opportunity embraces the "knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ" (Joh 17:3); and for that purpose, God has given his Son "power over all flesh" (Joh 17:2), and has determined that "in due time" the great facts shall be made known to every child of Adam, that there is "One God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all" (1Ti 2:5-6). Those who, by unavoidable circumstances, have been deprived of the knowledge of these facts, in this life, will have them made known to them in a future life, and a full and free opportunity will be granted them to improve it, and so secure harmony with God and receive immortality, and die no more.

 

Such being the Editor's present faith, his is not disposed to spend the remainder of his days in contending for the idea that the incorrigibly wicked will be blotted out of being, --a truth, as it is, --but to vindicate the character and government of God over the creatures he has made, by showing that none will meet with such a fate as annihilation till they have first had the knowledge of "the only true God, and Jesus Christ," and an opportunity to become reconciled to them, accepting Jesus as the "One Mediator" and their Redeemer from sin and death. Thus they may secure an endless life; or, willfully rejecting Christ, in these characteristics, they die for their own sin.

 

That these advanced truths might have a medium for their circulation, the Editor revived the BIBLE EXAMINER two years ago, and published it in a folio. It was formerly, for twelve or fourteen years, a Monthly or Semi-monthly Magazine. He has now determined to restore it to the MAGAZINE form, greatly enlarged, and issue it once a month. Several of its patrons have suggested this course, and others have regretted that this form was not adopted two years ago. The terms will remain the same to subscribers; and it is not doubted but that nearly all its friends will rejoice in its former familiar form, much enlarged, --double the amount of matter of former years, and more finely executed.

 

Now let there be a response from each one who receives this copy, and send your own subscription, if you have not already done so, and as many new subscribers as possible to begin the volume. Later subscribers may fail of getting the first numbers. "THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE," by HENRY DUNN, of England, is a volume of about 200 pages, and is sold at $1.50. It is intended to give that work entire in the EXAMINER this volume. You will find the first installment in this number. It is a most valuable work. Extracts from other English works will also be transferred to this periodical; and no pains will be spared to make the EXAMINER what it professes to be, viz., One of the most important monthlies published; especially, on theological subjects. For terms see last page.

 

WHAT VIEW DO YOU HOLD?

 

It is right that those who are asked to subscribe for a paper or magazine should know its Editor's position. Though this cannot be stated in full or in one article, yet a synopsis can be given that shall prevent any one from being misled as to his real sentiments and object. The EDITOR of this Magazine has nothing to conceal, and therefore offers the following statement as an outline of his views, and hopes it may induce some to become subscribers with a determination to examine the subjects that will be presented in this Magazine.

 

On the subject of Immortality no material change has taken place in the Editor's mind for the past thirty years. It was after a special investigation of that subject for several years, by the Bible alone, that he came to the settled conclusion that it could only be obtained by a union with Christ as a gift of God in Him, and bestowed permanently by a resurrection from the dead at the last day of this dispensation. Such was the conclusion arrived at in 1840, and his faith in that view has never wavered from that day to this; no, not for a moment. As to the final end of the wicked, his mind has remained unmoved during the same period; it is death; a literal end of their existence.

 

As to who the wicked are, and at what period their final end will come, his mind had undergone several changes. At first, in 1840 and several years after, he held the view that all men would be raised from the dead: the wicked to suffer torment, more or less severe, for a longer or shorter period, and then be destroyed utterly and forever. He held to this view for about fifteen years, when the inconsistency of such administration led him to conclude they would utterly perish in death, never to be revived from the dead. Both of these positions were the result of the theory that for none of the human family there was a possibility of salvation beyond this present life: the truth or falsehood of that doctrine had never been the subject of investigation; but it was a tradition received by Protestants generally, or taken for granted, like the heresy of an "immortal soul," both of which are without foundation in the word of God. They are baseless assumptions.

 

At length, "the day star" arose in his "heart." He saw in the promise and oath of God to Abraham, that in him and his "seed all the families of the earth, all nations, all kindreds shall be blessed," that the Gospel must be preached to "every creature;" and as multitudes have gone down to the grave without that blessing, they must hereafter be made acquainted with God's love to them and the means He has provided by which they would not only be blessed, but that blessing might result in eternal blessedness; hence it is true that "the hour is coming in the which all that are in  the graves shall hear His voice" (the voice of the Son of man), "and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of [kriseos] judgment." The first named class are made up of those who have heard and believed the truth concerning Jesus as the LIFE-GIVER and KING of God's appointment. They have believed and accepted Him, and thus are those who have "done good," and have the resurrection of life; so-called because "they cannot die anymore" (Lu 20:36); they are permanently "the children of God," and "heirs of the kingdom which God has promised to them that live Him" (Jas 2:5).

 

The other class is made up of those who have died in ignorance of God's method to do good; and hence have had no opportunity to do otherwise than "evil," or act out their evil or animal nature. Such come forth to judgment; the term being employed to denote trial by a probation proper, which they never had in this life, having, by circumstances over which they had no control, never had the knowledge of "the only true God and Jesus the Christ," which the Son of God was authorized to give, and for which purpose the Father gave Him "power of all flesh"--all the human family; and Messiah's work will never be completed in bruising the serpent's head and redeeming the race, till every one for whom "He gave himself a ransom" shall have had an opportunity to know and accept the love of God in Christ; which not having been accomplished in this life, will be in the dispensation of "judgment" after their resurrection, at the "voice of the Son of God," and is the grand consummating work of Him who has the "power over all flesh to give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given him." To fail of exercising that power, so far as to put every son and daughter of Adam in possession of the means of securing that eternal life, would be to fail of fulfilling the trust the Father had placed in His hands, and a confession of defeat by "him who had the power of death, that is the devil," or d'evil. Such a result no believer in God's promise and oath will entertain as even a possibility.

 

The conclusion I have arrived at is, that the love of God to "the world," and the love of Christ in "giving himself a ransom for all," is "to be testified in due time" to all men; that is, to every man, woman and child of Adam's race, at some period of their history; if not in the present life or dispensation, it will be in some future one; and that the death which entered into the world by the sin of Adam cannot prevent God's determination to have these facts made known to "every creature" before their final destiny is decided. This view involves the future living, in some form or by some means, of all who have not had, in this life, the means of knowing the love of God and Christ as above stated; because God has but one method of determining the final state of men, viz., faith in Christ, the only LIFE-GIVER or remedial agent that He has provided or furnished for a dying race.

 

As the BIBLE EXAMINER is now going into the hands of hundreds who have not before read it, and hence are mostly ignorant of its Editor's true position, the foregoing statement is made. The points in his present view of truth are simply as follows:

 

1. Man is not inherently immortal; and immortality is a gift of God, through Jesus Christ, bestowed only on those who "seek for it by a patient continuance in well doing" (Ro 2:7).

 

2. All men are mortal, and subject to death by the appointment of God; or are "made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope" (Ro 8:20).

 

3. Christ became the "Mediator between God and men," and "gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1Ti 2:5-6); and "He hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light" (2Ti 1:10). And hence,

 

4. There will ultimately, or in "the ages to come" (Eph 2:7), to be a revival from the dead of the entire race of Adam (Joh 5:28-29), excepting such as have knowingly and willfully rejected Christ when made known to them as the "One Mediator" and "Redeemer" by the appointment of God's live. Such are the only "wicked" in the Gospel sense (Joh 15:22-24; Mr 16:15-16; Heb 6:4-8; 10:26-29).

 

5. All the unregenerate, not included in this class of the wicked, who have died in ignorance of the love of God to them, will be placed in a probationary state after the "Anointed" of God shall have actually "abolished death" to which the race had been subjected, "not willingly, but by reason of Him who subjected the same in hope."

 

6. The present dispensation is a disciplinary one to all men; in which they are to learn the evil of being a mere animal in their aspirations, and thereby prepare them for the presentation of a higher and more noble object of existence, after they have been fully taught the importance of it by the experience of evil. But,

 

7. In the present and the past dispensations, some men have been and will be prepared, by means specially employed in the wisdom and by the grace of God, to be "joint-heirs with Christ"--after having "suffered with him" (Ro 8:17), "in the regeneration" of the race "in the ages to come" (Mt 19:28; Eph 2:7). In the present dispensation, "God" has "visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name" (Ac 15:15). When this number is completed then "the regeneration" begins (Ac 15:16-17; 3:20-21).

 

8. Till the regeneration begins, all the dead are in an unconscious state. There is no "work, knowledge nor device" in the death state (Ec 9:4, 10). There is no hope for the regenerate nor the unregenerate except by a revival from the dead, or the actual abolition of death by Him who has "the keys of death and hades."

 

 

 

THE BIBLE EXAMINER

BIBLE EXAMINER, Vol. XX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER, 1876., No. 12 (page 355)

 

This number completes the twentieth volume of the EXAMINER: also, its fifth year since its revival, or since the EDITOR took his present advanced position on the Government of God and His designs concerning the human race. He heartily thanks his gracious Lord and Master for the divine aid and comfort he has received in this new field of theology; and he thanks those friends who have so nobly stood by him, and aided him in his work, while he has been battling against the false conceptions of good and bad men in regard to the DIVINE administration over the children of men. By strict economy, and the careful use of funds that friends have furnished, the Editor has been kept clear of debt to this time; and to-day owes no man anything "save love and goodwill." He has the happiness to know that many have been emancipated from both their old and more recent traditions, and have been led to see the character and government of God in a light that has relieved their minds from a life-long burden concerning that portion of our race who have been supposed to have left this life in an utterly hopeless condition. They have learned that God has His "due time" to make known His great love to "the world," or to all men, --the entire race, --and that "due time" is not confined to this life, but reaches forward into "the ages to come;" or "the endless succession of ages;" so that "all shall know the Lord from the least unto the greatest," for "God will have all men to come unto the knowledge of the truth;" which truth embraces the fact that "Christ gave Himself a ransom for all men," and "is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world;" and that "He will see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied." But, believe it who will, He never will and never can be satisfied to have one of the race perish hopelessly, without having made known to them "the only true God and Jesus Christ," whom God "sent into the world to give life to the world," that none should perish except by their own "willfull" rejection of the "LIFE-GIVER" after they have received the knowledge of the truth."

 

The EDITOR intends to commence volume 21 immediately, and trusts it will be no less interesting than previous ones have been. He would be glad to retain all the previous subscribers, but has no expectation of that, as some are still behind in payment for the past volume; which, while they offer no excuse for non-payment, indicates that they have no interest in the object of the Magazine; and the Editor does not wish to impose on them by sending it, and paying the postage himself. His practice uniformly has been, in years past, to discontinue all such when the volume closes.

 

A large number have received the EXAMINER the past volume on the "Club" principle. All such will now be discontinued unless they renew by complying with the offers as set forth in this and the last month's issue, or pay as single subscribers.

 

Individuals who have taken from two copies up to thirty, should notify me immediately what their wishes are as to the number to be sent them of Vol. 21; and old subscribers who have paid in full for the past should notice, without delay, as to their wish with respect to having their subscription continued. They may not be able to pay now, but they can say what their intention is, at a cost of only one cent for a "Postal Card." These matters may seem small to an individual; but they are of great importance to the Publisher: he need not tell how.

 

EDITOR (George Storrs)

 

 

 

OPPORTUNITY FOR AN ENDLESS LIFE

BIBLE EXAMINER, Vol. XX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER, 1876., No. 12

 

ELD. JOHN FOORE, Kansas, writes: I cannot possibly see how any man can evade the truth we hold with regard to the fact that every one of Adam's children shall have one opportunity for an endless life. It appears to me, that none but a sectarian bigot can desire to disprove this glorious truth. Brethren, the views, held by Bro. Storrs and others, on this subject, are just as far ahead of the "Non-resurrection" view as the doctrine of "Life only through Christ" is ahead of the "Immortal soul" theory. Go on, Bro. Storrs, and proclaim it. I do think our dead brethren will soon get their eyes open, and will lend a helping hand, and subscribe for a periodical that will show forth the love of God to a dying race. I will do all in my power to advance the cause. I send herewith the pay for two new subscribers.

 

NOTE BY THE EDITOR: -- I thank Bro. FOORE for these words of encouragement, and for the remittance. The credit is given to the new subscribers on the EXAMINER forwarded from January, 1876.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE EDITOR OF THIS MAGAZINE

BIBLE EXAMINER, Vol. XXI, NEW YORK, OCTOBER, 1876., No. 1

 

As the twenty first volume of the BIBLE EXAMINER is now being entered on, and as many may be readers how have had no knowledge of the past way in which the EDITOR has been led, it is thought best to give a brief statement of his past and present positions in theology. To most of the readers of the EXAMINER there will be nothing new in the statement, though it is presumed they will not be displeased to see the facts restated at the commencement of this new volume, and at the time when the EDITOR is within two months of "four score" years.

 

GEORGE STORRS was born in Lebanon, N.H., December 13, 1796.

 

The way in which the LORD had led his servant hitherto, has been to him mysterious; but it has been one, also, of a very great mercy. His earliest desire from a child, was to be a Christian; and sixty one years have now passed since he first experienced joy and peace in believing in Jesus. He then "saw men as trees walking," and knew but little of man's nature or of God's designs in relation to him. He "thought as a child;" he "spake as a child;" and he wonders now, surrounded as he was by the popular theology of those days, at the marvelous loving kindness of God, who caused the light to shine on his heart to deliver him from the iron views of that period when the blessed God was represented as "foreordaining whatsoever cometh to pass," and as having determined "the eternal torment of immortal souls before he ever gave them being." Gradually, the first part of these ideas was dispelled from His servant's mind; and as he constantly prayed that God his Savior would unfold the glories of His truth to his mind, he found more and more that the perfections of God, as revealed in His word, must shine on that word to enable us to obtain a true knowledge of man and the destiny his Creator designed for him.

 

Relieved perfectly from the fatalism of those times, and beholding the truth that "GOD IS LOVE," he commenced preaching, about fifty two years since at the age of twenty seven. For fifteen years, nearly, he held and promulgated the views of immortal souls and endless torments, the then prevalent doctrine; still feeling that theology of that stamp was difficult to harmonize with the great central truth -- "GOD IS LOVE." It never occurred to him, however, that there could be any doubt of the correctness of it. He was sincere in his belief, but had learned it more from "standard authors" than from the Bible itself. He was led, by the providence of God, into such intercourse with all classes of professed Christians as tended to remove sectarian exclusiveness from his mind.

 

In this state of mind, thirty eight years ago last May, for the first time in his life, he was led to entertain the idea that, possibly, "man's soul" was not inherently immortal, and that the annihilation of the wicked might be true. That subject became one of close and constant study, by the Bible alone, for something over three years, and resulted in the full and firm persuasion that inherent immortality and endless misery were both utterly irreconcilable with the Bible teaching -- unharmonious with the great central fact -- "GOD IS LOVE," and hence to be rejected; and thirty six years ago, or in 1840, GEORGE STORRS repudiated and renounced such doctrines, as one of human invention and unworthy of belief. So much was then settled in his mind; and on those points he has never had a moment's doubt from that day to the present hour. Thus terminated about one half of his Christian life. Two years later, or in the spring of 1842, he preached and published "SIX SERMONS" on the immortality question, which was his first public effort in that direction, though he had, one year previously, published "THREE LETTERS" on the subject, written to a prominent Methodist minister, while progressing in his investigations. The "SIX SERMONS" have since been revised, and would be now much further revised if he felt called to issue another edition with his present views.

 

He now just began to understand that the Bible was "The Book" from which he was to learn the perfections of God, man's nature and destiny, and the way to life eternal; also, that the literal and plain record was to govern, or rule, and the figurative and symbolical were to be made to harmonize with such testimony. Thus studying the Bible, he soon learned "the dead know not anything," and that a future life was dependent upon a resurrection from the dead; still supposing, however, that the wicked dead would live again, but die a second time.

 

From this view he was led to advance to the position that a future life was a matter of promise, a free gift, and bestowed only on such as were connected with the LIFE GIVER, by being made "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4) by faith, or a belief in Jesus, the spiritual Adam.

 

This position he felt compelled to take from two considerations: first, his foundation principle seemed inevitably to lead to that conclusion, as man had no life principle in himself by which to be revived when once dead; second, as "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23), it appeared wholly inconsistent, in the government of God, to suppose that He would, by an act of power, bring men into life from the dead, not as an act of mercy, but simply to deprive them of life a second time; which seemed to partake of the spirit of revenge rather than as an act of justice; certainly no mercy or love could be conceived of in such an administration. To this conclusion he was led by the idea, so nearly universal, that in no case would there be any hope of a change in any man's moral condition in a future life; and that, if one not in a spiritual union with Christ, was made alive from the dead he must unavoidably die again.

 

On this ground MR. STORRS stood, for about fifteen years, or till the winter of 1870-1871. During that winter he was confined to his bed several months, and his life despaired of. For three months he could neither read nor hear reading, and part of the time was unable to see company. His thoughts were not almost wholly turned inward and upward. The ways and word of God occupied his mind, freed from all foreign influences; and he dwelt much on the promises of God, especially those to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The result of his meditations had led him to a firm persuasion that those promises were to have a fulfillment in a fullness and a literalness that had never before entered his thoughts, and a flood of light broke upon his mind, on the great scheme of human redemption, which filled him with "joy unspeakable and full of glory." (1 Peter 1:8.) Christ now appeared as the GREAT RESTORER; and His saints, made immortal by a resurrection from the dead, "as workers together with Him" in the great and glorious "Restitution of all things" lost by the first Adam; of which restitution "all the holy prophets" had "spoken since the world began," commencing with the Edenic promise of bruising the serpent's head by the "seed of the woman." In Eden was the RESTORER first spoken of and the foundation laid for the hope of the race: evil shall end. The work of the RESTORER will never cease till the race (the mass of it) will be delivered from sin and all its consequences; a work worthy of its Author; and which, though it may occupy "ages to come," will as certainly be accomplished as that God "cannot" make oath to a "lie."

 

The great error of all religious sects and parties lies in the assumption that every son and daughter of Adam's race will have had a final probation in the present and past ages, and that there is probation for none of them in "the ages to come;" whereas, a personal trial is secured to every one of them; and that trial does not commence till God's remedy for sin and death is proclaimed to them, and they are placed in circumstances to avail themselves of it; then, if they willfully reject it, they die for their own sin and live no more. That there is no probation to any of the race in another age or life, is an unfounded assumption, having not a single testimony in the word of God for its support. It is one of those "traditions of men" which "make void the word of God," and the authors, however unintentionally, are corruptors of the testimony of God, which he has confirmed by an oath.

 

The marked epochs of Mr. Storrs' life have been as follows: (1) His conversion, at the age of eighteen. (2) His deliverance from the Christian fatalism of that period, and the commencement of his public ministry, at the age of twenty seven. (3) His emerging from the popular doctrine of inherent immortality and endless torments of the wicked, at the age of forty-four. (4) At the age of about sixty he was led to embrace the idea, that apart from a spiritual union with Christ none would be revived from the dead; overlooking the fact that such could only be the case of those who had willfully rejected Christ after having received the knowledge of him. Another fact was also overlooked, viz., There is a human as well as a divine union with Christ. As the Son of man, He is "the head of every man" (1 Cor. 11:3), and that union is never dissolved except by a willful rejection of Christ as the LIFE GIVER. (5) His advance into the full and unwavering belief of a perfect and literal fulfillment of the Edenic and Abrahamic promises of the end of evil, and a perfect probationary state to every man, woman, and child of the race, in some of the ages past or to come, in this life or a future one. This last advance occurred at the age of seventy four.

 

These epochs live in his mind with unfeigned gratitude to God and his Christ for the light, liberty, and glory so richly bestowed on one who has nothing to boat, only, "that, by the grace of God, I am what I am;" and all these manifestations have come to the recipient through the boundless love and mercy of a covenant God: to His name, and the name of our LIFE GIVER, be all the glory of all that is good and true in him who has been the happy partaker of this grace.

 

In advocating the view last named, GEORGE STORRS designs to spend the remainder of his days of pilgrimage. How soon those days may now end, he knoweth not; and whether it will be by "falling asleep in Jesus," or by a translation, at our Lord's return "from heaven," he cannot tell; but he certainly feels, more than ever, an earnest desire that the remainder of his present life may be so spent that he shall have the assurance, in himself, that he "seeketh not his own, but the things that are Jesus Christ's." Time is too short to seek any object less than the glory of our LIFE GIVER, whose coming from heaven to glorify his redeemed people cannot be far off. OF that fact, no doubt has rested on his mind for the last twenty eight years; yet no fixing of definite time, hour, day, or year, for that event, has had his approval since 1844: nor can it have, unless events hereafter shall indicate clearly, more than anything yet advanced has done, the truth of such time fixing. He is willing, however, that others should express their convictions on that subject, provided they do so in a charitable manner, not making it a test question. He will try to do and teach whatever he is satisfied the Lord calls him to, till his work is done. To this end he commits himself into the hands of God our Savior, feeling fully assured that He is too wise and kind not to do all things in the best possible manner for all who put their trust in him.

 

 

 

THE MYSTERY OF THE AGES

BIBLE EXAMINER, Vol. XXI, NEW YORK, OCTOBER, 1876., No. 1

 

"According to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept a secret since the world (aionois, the ages) began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." -- Rom. 16:25-26.

 

A mystery is something hinted at, or but imperfectly known, not clear; obscurely presented, yet may possibly be found out by careful study; or it may not be understood except by a further revelation from its author.

 

The mystery of which our text speaks is thus set forth in Eph. 1:9-10: "Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which he hath purposed in Himself: "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth; even in him."

 

Thus, it is now revealed that God's purpose was, from the beginning of the ages, to make his Son the uniting power both in heaven and earth, to make one family of angels and men in some future age or "dispensation;" and that His purpose embraced "all in heaven and earth." But this purpose of "His good pleasure" was for several ages so imperfectly revealed as to be called a "mystery." True, it was implied in the declaration in Eden that the seed of the woman should crush the serpent's head; and more fully expressed in the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that in them and their "seed all the families of the earth should be blessed;" yet, it would seem that the families of Israel became so removed in mind from the spirit of these "exceeding great and precious promises" that they appropriated them wholly to themselves, and supposed the Gentiles were no better than "dogs," and would have no part in the salvation of God.

 

Hence, the great offence to the Jews was that Jesus was proclaimed as "the Savior of the world;" the Gentiles as well as their own nation, who had in their sins and pride monopolized all the promises of God, to the exclusion of all other people. It was still a mystery to them that those whom they stigmatized as "Gentile dogs" should ever have part in God's love and plan of redemption. But the truth was made known to the Apostles, and primitive believers, that God's love was a love extended to "all men, everywhere," and of every class; and they acted on this belief wherever they went; and regarded the entire human family as "of one blood," and as the subjects of the redemption by that one "blood of Jesus, the Christ," the Son of God, "who gave Himself a ransom for all" men; to "be testified in due time;" that is, in God's time.

 

But at length came the "Apostasy;" and the professed Church became, like the Jews of old, persecutors of all men who did not conform to their customs and creeds; so again, all those outside of their organizations were counted as reprobates; another name for "dogs;" and the mystery of the Jewish times returned and overspread what was called "the church;" and she has wandered on in darkness as to God's love to "the world;" and by fire, temporal and eternal, and wrath, manifested towards those dissenting from her faith, have endeavored to make converts to their apostate theories and practices. Thus have they departed from and lost sight of the revelation of God's purposes to gather together all things in Christ in "the dispensation of the fullness of times;" a period yet future, and not to be realized till after Christ's return from heaven, and after various dispensations, or "ages to come."

 

They have "shut up the kingdom of heaven against" the vast multitudes of "men;" and they "neither enter into" the spirit of that kingdom "themselves, and they that are" so doing, they "hinder" by their ignorance of or hostility to the truth that the mystery has had a revelation, in the person of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, that "God will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth" that Jesus Christ shall "be made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." And until this is done to each and ever son and daughter of the human family their final state cannot become unutterably fixed "according to the purpose of God's good pleasure, which he purposed in Himself," "before the ages began."

 

The ages past and present, are only the "Introduction" to "the ages to come," -- the time in which god has been preparing the materials for the grand work "To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world" (aionon, the ages) "hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:" or, if any one likes the expression better, "for Jesus Christ." And then we see a reason why "God purposed to gather all things together in one in Christ, both which are in heaven and in earth." (Eph. 1:9-10; 3:9.) When Christ takes the kingdom and the marriage of the Lamb has taken place, God will "pour out His Spirit upon all flesh:" then the "SPIRIT and the BRIDE will same COME;" and the angel (the Bride of Christ, after the marriage) will be seen to "fly in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach . . . to every nation and kindred, and tongue, and people;" (Rev. 14:6); a work that has never yet been done and never will be till the Bride is glorified with Christ, her Lord and Head.

 

 

A QUESTION

BIBLE EXAMINER, Vol. XXI, NEW YORK, OCTOBER, 1876., No. 1

 

"Is the resurrection one of penalty and punishment for sins committed in this present life?"  P.

 

So far as I see, at present, there is no such resurrection as one of penalty, strictly speaking; that is, there is no revival from the dead for the sake of punishment, or as a punishment. All who ever rise from the dead arise in God's remedial plan of mercy. Punishment may follow it, as a necessity, to awaken in them a sense of the evil of being out of harmony with God; but it is dictated by love, and designed for their good to prepare their minds, by repentance, to accept God's provided Redeemer, who "tasted death for every man and gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (Heb. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:5-6). To those embraced in the resurrection to which I here refer, that "due time" never did come in this "present life;" but God's plan and designs of mercy are not to be defeated by death; as it passed upon the race from Adam the first. He provided the Second Adam; and, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4): and, also, "The bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world" (John 6:33). As broad as was the death that followed the one that sinned, so broad is the life to be restored; "for, as by one man's disobedience the man were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall the many" (the same all men) be made righteous" (Rom. 5:19). By the sin of Adam, all men were treated as sinners; though not actual sinners, but death reigned over all: so by the obedience o f the Second Adam, all men are to be treated as righteous, though not actually righteous, but the death by the first Adam is "abolished" by the Second Adam; for "According to God's won purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who had abolished (annulled, abrogated) death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel" (2 Tim. 1:9-10).

 

To me it is evident, death by Adam does not and can not hold one of the human race. If they come not up from that death, it is because they have had God's remedy for sin made known to them and have willfully refused to use that healing power: they were not held because they were mortal, but because they refused the Son of God in whom life and immortality was treasured up for them.

 

I repeat it, therefore, there is no revival from the dead but one of grace or favor. To those not kings and priests, it is that God shall cause His love to them to be made known, and the "ransom" Christ made should be "testified" to them; and with them, it is God's "due time" that this testimony should be made, and decides their final destiny; and is, hence, called "the judgment; the day of judgment." "He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). All men -- "the world" and all dominions shall serve and obey Him" (Dan 7:27).

 

What "blindness in part hath happened" to most professed Christians to suppose that the point where the materials are prepared for the work of subjecting "all things" to Christ, and that God "might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth, even in Him" (Eph. 1:10); that just at this point the work should cease! Everything is prepared to fulfill in all its glory, the promise and oath to Abraham, the whole work is to cease! Truly, such a conclusion looks as if the CREATOR was like the man who was "intending to build a tower," but not having "counted the cost," was "not able to finish it" (Luke 14:29). Rest assured, the GOVERNOR of this world will meet with so such disaster. He knew the end from the beginning. He will perfect His work, and do all His pleasure.

 

 

 

THE MIGHTY DIFFERENCE

BIBLE EXAMINER, Vol. XXI, NEW YORK, OCTOBER, 1876., No. 1

 

The difference between a gospel which only relates to one's personal salvation, whether it is a salvation from endless torments, or from the second death, or a salvation from the grave, (meaning a resurrection), and the salvation which relates to the work of blessing our race, under the government of Christ, the Second Adam, in "the ages to come," is a difference which no tongue nor pen can describe. The first is made up of selfishness and fancy, mingled, it may be, with a degree of love to God; the other is Christ like, which, while it looks to "the joy set before" us, is actuated by love to the race for whom Christ died, and willingly endures present crosses and trials that thereby they may be fitted to reign with Christ in blessing "all the families of the earth" when the kingdom is established on the earth and under the whole heaven. This latter view expands the heart, exalts God, fills its possessor with love to God and to those whom God so loved (viz., "the world") as to give his Son, that by faith in him they might have eternal life. It rises far above the narrow selfishness which cares but little for the rest of the race, for whom Christ died, if they can only be made happy themselves. Like the Jews, of old, such cannot bear the idea that the ignorant people and nations, who never have had their advantages, should have the means of knowing and being benefited by the Gospel they have possessed, because, possibly, those people who have died without the knowledge God has, of his grace, favored themselves with. It is time this narrow spirit was banished from Christendom; a spirit which dishonors God, reproaches His government, and ties up the hand of the immutable JEHOVAH, who has sworn, by himself, that he has no pleasure in the death of a sinner, and who had given his Son "a random for all, to be testified in due time." To multitudes, it will be declared in "the ages to come," and will be done by those who have so improved the present and past ages as to be prepared to be "kings and priests" in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOVE AND JUSTICE IN HARMONY

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER, 1876

 

THE LORD says, "There is no God else beside me: a just God and a Savior." (Isaiah xlv:21.) Here justice and love are combined: in fact, they are always inseparable in "the only true God." Love leads: justice follows: both are pledges that no inseparable burdens are laid on man. Love supplies all necessary means for man's highest welfare. Justice sees that man is perfectly informed as to the best manner of using those means and protects him in their use, and prevents any requirement of responsibility where the action of man is the result of unavoidable ignorance. Love requires obedience to the CREATOR. Justice provides that man shall know precisely what is required of him and his liabilities. Love appoints death for disobedience, because to live in disobedience is to live out of harmony with God; and, of course, in a state of unhappiness. Justice sees that death (extinction of life) only is inflicted on the transgressor. Justice never did and never can allow a punishment to be inflicted not clearly expressed in the law.

 

Love provided two heads of the human race: one of the animal, and the other of the spiritual development; thus carefully providing against a final failure. The first head failed of perfect obedience. Love and justice united in carrying into execution the death sentence, and "death passed upon all man, in whom (Adam) all had sinned." (Rom. 5:12) But the race, as such, had not personally sinned. They were "made subject to vanity (death), not willingly, [i.e., for personal sin] but by reason of him [God] who subjected the same in hope." (Rom. 8:20.) From this death Justice and Love united in the deliverance; and in due time, the Second Head of the race ("the head of every man is Christ," 1 Cor. 11:3) "appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Heb. 9:26); and, "therefore, as by the offence of one" (the first head -- Adam) "judgment came upon all men unto condemnation (to death); even so, by the righteousness of one (the second head -- Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Rom. 5:18.) Here, again, Love and Justice unite; just as extensive as was the condemnation is the justification. Love consigned the race to death, not for any fault of the posterity of the first head; and justice united in it because it was to be removed by the Second Head, in due time, and prove a benefit to the race in the end; placing them all, in some of "the ages to come" (Eph. 2:7), in a position to secure an endless life with an experience well calculated to enable men to see, as they never could otherwise have seen, the value and glory of life, and the exceeding riches of God's grace in Christ, the Second Head of the race. And no one of the race, "who lays hold on the hope set before" them -- Christ Jesus -- will ever complain but that Love and Justice are both glorious attributes of our CREATOR; and will see the perfect  harmony that exists between them and eternally extol both, finding that the Lord is "a just God, and a Savior." Justice will be seen, not as that horrible and merciless attribute which theologians have represented it to be, but a shining perfection, which really had as much to do with our final salvation as Love itself; for, "if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9.)

 

THOUGHTS ON CHRISTIAN WORK

AND ON OUR CHRISTIAN CONDITION: IN THREE LETTERS

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER, 1876

 

Such is the title of a pamphlet sent me, a short time since, by HENRY DUNN, England. He will please accept my thanks for this contribution. I shall give the readers of this Magazine the benefit of the same as early as possible.

 

I hope to have more contributions from the same source. Mr. DUNN, it seems by his not to me, finds his physical strength impaired. He writes, "My health is very uncertain, and my energy not equal to that of some of you Americans."

 

He is, I believe about two years younger than myself, and six the junior of Bro. Blain. He is, however, much older than either of us in the great work in which we are all engaged. It is a remarkable fact, in this country, that a large number of aged people are the joyful receivers of the views we hold on "the ages to come:" they feel to praise the Lord for the wonderful deliverance they have been granted from the burden of old traditions about the Government of God. Bless His name.

 

THE END OF PROBATION

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, DECEMBER, 1876

 

NEARLY all sects and parties in religion, claiming to be evangelical, maintain that probation, or the time of trial which is to fix a man's final destiny, ends with all at death, irrespective of their means or opportunities of knowing the truth whereby they might be saved. If such is the truth it should have a "Thus saith the LORD" to sustain it, and there should be no ground to doubt it; for, if every individual of the human family is exposed to such a fate, whether his end is eternal misery, or to be revived from the dead to die again without further trial, or to remain eternally dead for the sins of this life without regard to his unavoidable ignorance and lack of means for improvement, a fearful responsibility rests on somebody.

 

No man can be justly condemned without a chance to avoid the fate supposed to await the finally lost. How can he avoid it if in entire and unavoidable ignorance of the way or means to escape it? Somebody is responsible for that ignorance. It cannot be the man himself in the case supposed. then it must rest on those who had the knowledge and refused or neglected to communicate it; and none will dare to throw the responsibility on God for the ignorance spoke of. Where then does it rest? There can be but one answer, viz., it rests on professed Christians; and if the mass of the race are to perish eternally (whatever perish means) then professed Christians will be answerable for that awful result; and those who have lived in pride, building extravagant places for their public assemblies; and spent their substance on ministers for their own improvement; for useless or extravagant dress, furniture, etc., while the masses were perishing through ignorance, to them unavoidable; -- such professors of religion must bear the responsibility of the loss of the mass of their race. A fearful responsibility truly; and if justice overtakes them, they will be convicted and condemned as wholesale murderers; and "no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15); and the question might well be asked, which the disciples put to Jesus, "Who then be saved?" Who among professing Christians is likely to be saved, if their own theory be true that there is no probation or chance for salvation to any soul of man except in the life that now is? The assumption that none of the human family will have any opportunity for salvation except in the present life, is one that ought to make the ears of the religious world tingle; as they themselves are as much or more in danger of final condemnation than the ignorant heathen whom they so unfeelingly shut out from all means of salvation by their theological systems. They, in fact, charge the blame of the perishing of the mass of men on the CREATOR by their theory of this life being the only probationary state for any man, and their CREATOR not taking care to see that all have the means to secure a final salvation.

 

These theologians and their supporters are bound to produce a "Thus saith the Lord," for their assumed position that there is no probation to any soul of man after the present life is ended. Can they do it? Let them try; and if they fail, let them confess they have been guilty of a dishonor to the government of the CREATOR, and do Him homage by a hearty confession of the wrong.

 

All that I have said, has been said with the hope of arousing attention to the fact that theological assumptions have too long passed for truth, to the dishonor of the government of God, and having no foundation in his word, but were born of the Apostasy, to the amazing injury of Christianity, and is likely, if not met and rejected, to end in making atheists, instead of "converting" men to the love and worship of the true and living God and his Son, "who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time;" which time will as surely come, here or hereafter, as that "God is LOVE," and cannot lie.

 

 

 

PROBATION IN THE COMING AGES

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, JANUARY, 1877

 

IN relation to our Lord's words, Luke 20, "They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world," -- aionos, that age, [i.e., of Messiah's reign, or the age next to follow this,] "and the resurrection from the dead," etc., I say, The next age of Messiah's personal reign of one thousand years, will open with a resurrection of all the sleeping saints who have suffered with or for Christ in this or the previous ages: such "shall reign with him." See Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 3:21. These having suffered with Christ, and overcome the seductions to abandon His cause, will "together be made perfect" in body and mind. Compare Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 15:23, 51-53; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; Heb. 11:8-10, 13-16, 39-40; 12:22-24, reading the 22nd verse, Ye are to come; or, ye are coming; for that is clearly the sense of the original word here; and it removes all obscurity from the text and makes it harmonize with the inspired testimony in the previous texts to which I have called attention.

 

That there will be more than two classes of men on the earth at the opening of the next age, or at the second advent of Christ, to me is clear. Those who have suffered tribulation for Christ, and those who have contributed to produce that tribulation, form two classes. These two classes have lived together: both have heard the preaching concerning Christ: -- one class has accepted Him as their Redeemer and Lord; the other class did not so accept Him, and have been more or less troublers of those who did. This class, again, may be divided into two parties; one of which has persecuted believers from hatred, and the other by, or through ignorance, more or less excusable. Yet, all of them "knew not God," nor have they "obeyed the Gospel." Such have caused trouble to the sincere followers of Christ, and will, during the time of Christ's personal administration, "be punished with (aionon) age lasting destruction," etc. Not necessarily an endless destruction; but for an age, or ages, -- a time not definitely known.

 

Passing these, there is yet another class of men at the second advent of Christ, who "have not heard God's fame, neither have seen his glory," etc. See Isaiah lxvi:18-19. This class constitute by far the largest part of the inhabitants of the earth. If any object to this, that the gospel has been preached in all nations, I demand the proof. Even if it had, it has been done so in so corrupted a form as to make it "another gospel" than "the gospel of Jesus Christ;" and it is those who have not obeyed "the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ;" not even the gospel of Plato, of Moloch, of Papacy, even under the improved name of Protestantism.

 

Who they are, and how many of the human family will be the subjects of trial under Messiah's personal reign, in some of "the ages to come, I do not pretend to determine; but one thing, to me, is clear, that all who have not had the gospel in its purity will be of the number; and it is equally clear that there will be "left of the nations," in the next age, (Zech. 14:16), and that such will be in a state of trial, or probation. That violence is done to a large portion of the Old and New Testaments, by an opposite view, is to my mind apparent; and yet far be it from me to accuse any of intending to pervert the words of God; still I know from past experience that strong attachment to the theory of an entire new creation at the second advent of Christ, imperceptibly biases the mind and prevents it feeling the force of the texts that would otherwise be conclusive and irresistible.

 

SYNOPSIS OF OUR FAITH

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, JANUARY, 1877

 

GOD will give to each and ever one of Adam's race an opportunity to embrace Christ by faith in this life or in a future one; and consequently there will be probation in a future life to all the race who have by unavoidable circumstances been deprived of the knowledge of "the only true God and Jesus Christ" in this life; because, "Christ gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time;" and as that "due time" never came to innumerable millions in this life, God's promise and oath to "Abraham and his Seed" secures the fulfillment of the promised blessing to all such in another life, the same as the promise to Abraham that he should have the land which God showed him for an "everlasting inheritance" secured Abraham's resurrection, although not a word was said to him directly of his resurrection from the dead; but the promise could not be fulfilled to Abraham without such resurrection. So, neither the promise and oath of God to bless all the families of the earth in Abraham and his Seed can ever be fulfilled, and the "due time" never can come to a vast majority of the race, if there is no opportunity in a future state for them to know "the only true God and Jesus Christ" as having "given himself a ransom for all," and the privilege granted to them of receiving Jesus as their DELIVERER from sin and death.

 

TIMES OF RESTITUTION

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, JANUARY, 1877

 

"Times," Acts 3:21, is chronon, marking a succession of events, and not kairos, a point in time, a fixed, definite period, as in Acts 3:19. See (Acts 12:30). Chronon includes, necessarily, protracted time, and often a long time: (See Matt. 15:19; Luke 8:27; 20:9; John 5:6). Sometimes chronos has the qualifying term micron, little, connected with it: (see John 7:33; 12:35). This expression shows that there is a long chronos; and when expressed, as in Acts 3:21, signifies a protracted period, without defining its length, but, implying a long time; besides, the term achri, translated "until" in the text, gives the plural form to chronos, making it chronon, and hence utterly forbidding a short period. "The tiems of restitution," therefore, is a protracted period. It commences with the heavens unveiling Christ on his return from heaven to earth, and terminates with making all things new (Rev. 21:5-6); and "it is done." "The ages to come" will continue to succeed each other, as the ages past have done, until, "in the fullness of times" He shall "gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and in earth, in Him" (Eph. 1:10).

 

 

 

DOES "ALL" MEAN A "FEW?"

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY, 1877

 

I have said all means the mass, or a majority, and never the minority. To say otherwise is to destroy all sense and meaning to words and to make faith an impossibility. Let us look at a few examples. "The LORD made heaven, earth and sea, and all that in them is." (Exodus 20:11). "Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all the things that are therein, and thou preserveth them all." (Neh. 9:6). "All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." (Eccl. 3:20).

 

What sense would there be in any of these texts if you substitute the word few for all? Does not any one see the meaning would not only be obscured but destroyed? But again, "this poor widow did cast in all that she had, even all her living." (Mark 12:43-44.) Does that mean her "two mites" were only a small part of all that she had, -- a few mites out of the many she kept back? Was Jesus so ignorant as to say "all," when it was no such thing?

 

"The LORD is good to all:" (does that mean a few?) "and his tender mercies are over all his works." (Psalm cxlv:9.) That means, does it, His tender mercies are over a few of his works? "Thou has given Him power over all flesh." (John 17:2.) Does that mean over a few? "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken." (Luke 24:26.) Are not these words applicable to such as construe the word "all" to mean only a few? "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures" (Old Testament, of course, for the New was not written) "the things concerning himself." He did not tell them, all meant a few. Such teaching was reserved for the apostasy; and it is much to be regretted that professed Protestants still wear a part of the Harlot's attire.

 

"He gave himself a ransom for all." (1 Tim. 2:6.) "O, no," cries out a transformer, "He only gave himself a ransom for a few," possibly only "for those under the law of Moses." Where will such assumptions lead us? What shall we believe? Who can tell what is said, when all means only a few? Who can say that they are of the few? And if not of the few, who will dare to believe that God loved them when it is said He "loved the world," as that expression only means He loved a few? And when we are told that "Christ is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world," (1 John 2:2), it don't mean that he "tasted death for ever man," (Heb. 2:9), but only for a few! Such is the perversion of the "Scriptures of truth" practiced by such as manifest a determination to sustain a theory at all hazards.


But there is little hope of such men being benefited by anything that can be said; others, however, may be saved from error by the exposure of such assumptions. Once more, it may be said, to say that the words "all" and "every" are used in the Bible to mean any less than a majority, or that they are used to designate a few as opposed to the mass, is a most manifest perversion of the truth, and makes revelation no revelation and a mass of deception, destroying faith.

 

 

THE RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY, 1877

 

THE above text is sometimes quoted in a manner hardly justifiable. It should not be separated from its connection; or, regardless of the teaching of the context. The language is as follows: "The times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:21.) The first thing to consider is, What is a "restitution?" The proper idea of it is "The act of restoring anything to its rightful owner, or making good, or of giving an equivalent for any loss, damage or injury; indemnification." -- Webster.

 

The race lost by the act of Adam, a perfectly unembarrassed trial for an enduring life; and this was for no sin or offense of the race. If, then, all the race are restored to an unembarrassed state of trial for an endless life, with the advantage of the experience of the sufferings sin brings in its train, is there not a perfect restitution?

 

Has the mouth of the Lord, or of his prophets "spoken" of any other restitution to the race, as a whole? That God has promised things over and beyond a "restitution," to obedient believers is true. But those things do not pertain to the restitution, but arise from the circumstances and the improvement of them made by free agents after as well as before the restitution.

 

It may, perhaps be safely doubted whether any of the race have the trial which absolutely fixes their final state till after the restitution, except such as have entered the "strait gate and walked in the narrow way." These "cannot die any more:" others may die again if they fail in their proper, after the restitution.

 

I only suggest these thoughts that all may be guarded in their conclusions as to the final salvation into an endless life of every individual of the human race. I hold, that if any finally and hopelessly perish, it will be because they "sin willfully after they have received the knowledge of the truth." That such a sin is possible, I see no reason to doubt.

 

 

THE SIN OF IGNORANCE

BIBLE EXAMINER -- MARCH, 1877

 

SOME men enlightened by the Gospel seem to think little of those who, by some means, have been deprived of their opportunities: and they say, "If such do as well as they know how, God will save them, though they never have had the Gospel."

 

I object to this mode of reasoning for several reasons. In the first place, it belittles the Gospel by virtually saying, "It is not necessary to salvation." That is, of salvation in the sense of final deliverance from sin and death. If so, why did Jesus impose upon the disciples the work of proclaiming it "to every creature," knowing how great things" they "must suffer" (Acts 9:16) for "His name's sake." These modern Christians seem quite willing to avoid the suffering, and smooth their pathway with the idea that God will secure the salvation of the ignorant and the heath without the knowledge of Christ; so they, themselves, can go on unconcerned as to God's method of saving those ignorant and benighter ones, and take their ease, concerned only to be saved themselves.

 

Jesus saith, in his prayer, (John 17), This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." But these modern saviors of the ignorant heathen, by their doing "as well as they know how," manage to give "life eternal" to them without their ever knowing "the only true God," or "Jesus Christ." Which shall we believe, these modern speculators, or Jesus Christ?

 

Jesus has made knowledge essential to eternal life; and knowledge too, such as these speculators pronounce unnecessary; that is, they can be saved without it, according to their "traditions."

 

Such views not only belittle the Gospel, but they dishonor God, by throwing discredit on His professions of love to "the world" in giving His Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, while at the same time (according to these speculators) He knew the vast majority of "the world" would never hear of the only true God nor of Jesus Christ, and therefore could not believe. Such views are a dishonor to the character of God and a reproach to His government: and professed Christians thus strengthen the hands of infidels and drive reflecting minds into the rejection of a Bible which, they are taught, teaches such absurdities.


The only scriptural relief from false views of God's designs, and the government of the creatures He has made, is the clearly stated determination of God, which He has confirmed by an oath that "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" in Abraham and his Seed; and that the Gospel shall be preached "to every creature;" and that God has willed that "all men" shall "come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:4), and that the fact that Christ gave himself a ransom for all men, shall be "testified in due time" (1 Tim. 2:6); so that not one of the race of Adam shall finally "perish" till he has heard the testimony of God's love, and of the ransom by Christ, and has "done despite the Spirit of grace." (Heb. 10:29.) No obstacle in the universe can prevent Omnipotence from accomplishing this glorious work. Till it is done, no man's probation will end.

 

One thing more is worthy of notice. The law, which was a "shadow of good things to come," (Col. 2:17) required, for the sins of ignorance, not an offering to be made till the person came "to the knowledge" of his sins. The law says, "If any one of the common people sin through ignorance; while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD which ought not to be done, and be guilty; or if he sin which he hath sinned come to his knowledge; then he shall bring his offering," etc., "and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven." (Lev. 4:27-31.)

 

The law is the shadows: the body is Christ. (Col. 2:17) Men are not finally condemned till the knowledge of sin and Christ are both manifested to them. God's ways are both just and equal in his administration. He is no respecter of persons. (Rom. 2:11) "Hear now O house of Israel: Is not my way equal?" (Ezek. 18:25) God will prove it so, to all Adam's race.

 

 

OBADIAH'S PROPHECY

BIBLE EXAMINER -- MARCH, 1877

 

I have been asked what disposition I make of Obadiah 16, with my present view of God's promise and oath to Abraham? Though the inquiry is out of place till my opposers have met the questions, (1) "Did God mean what the words express to Abraham?" and (2) "Have the promise and oath had their fulfillment?" yet I am not unwilling to look Obadiah's prophecy full in the face.

 

The quoting a single text in proof of a doctrine without regard to the context, is of little use in any controversy. Obadiah's prophecy relates specially to Edom, but the nations which desolated Jerusalem, or Judah, are spoken of in connection with Edom or Esau, who was Jacob's brother. In Judah's calamity by the heath (Gouyim, literally the nations), Edom "rejoiced" (Obadiah 11-12) and also, "entered into the gate" of Judah, and "laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity" (Obadiah 13). The prophet then tells Edom:

 

"The day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen" (These nations which had desolated Judah, or Jerusalem): "as thou (Edom or Esau hast) done, it shall be done unto thee; thy reward shall return upon thine own head: for as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen" (these nations who desolated Judah, and in whose work Edom or Esau "rejoiced") "drink continually," (of judgments), "yea, they shall drink and swallow down, (or, sup up: margin,) and they 9these nations, including Edom) "shall be as though they had not been:" that is, their nationality shall be destroyed, that they shall never have a national existence. This prophecy has long since been literally fulfilled: those nations are no more.

 

It is a national matter that is spoken of, and has nothing to do with the final destiny of individuals. Please read the remainder of the prophecy, Obadiah 17-21, and no one need to be mistaken in concluding Obadiah 16 has no reference to the final destiny of individuals: it relates to nations as nations.

 

.

WHO ARE THE KINGS OF THE EAST? -- AN APOLOGY

BIBLE EXAMINER -- MARCH, 1877

 

"WHO are the kings of the East?" In reply to this question last month I said: "All of us will have to wait till they are manifested," etc. I might have expressed an opinion; but that would probably have been of little value to any one. On reflection I have thought I would venture to express it. It seems to turn on the force of the term "East." The Greek term, there used, is anatolon. The first definition of the term is, "Day spring, dawn"; next is, "sun rising." These indicate the coming of day. The text, then, may be read, "The kings of the morning," or "coming day." Then the inquiry might arise, What day? The answer might be, The day of the Lord. "The Sun of righteousness shall arise." -- Malachi 4:2. That opens the day of the Lord. The kings of that day are the Lord Jesus Christ and his saints. But the way is to be "prepared" by the "drying up" of the power that has so long trodden under foot Jerusalem and David's throne, which was on Mount Zion, where God says he will set up his king. -- Psalm 2:6. From there "the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." -- Micah 4:2. That land, then, is to be cleared of whatever power may have it in possession at the time of the day of the Lord dawns and "the kings of the sun rising," or morning of that day, are about to reign with "the Lord of hosts in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." -- Isa. 24:23.

 

If the drying up of the waters of the Euphrates signifies the destruction of the power which has so long trodden down Jerusalem, then the Ottoman or Turkish rule there is to come to an end for the purpose of having the way of the kings of the day of the Lord to enter upon the rule of the kingdoms of this world, and to send the law of universal government from Jerusalem to all nations and people, so that they "shall serve and obey" the kings of the "sun rising": the kings of God's appointment, with Jesus Christ at their head as "Lord of all."

 

If these thoughts are of any service to those looking for "the kingdoms of this world" to "become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ," they are at your service; but I shall not dispute the point with any one.

 

 

DID CHRIST DIE FOR ALL?

BIBLE EXAMINER -- APRIL, 1877

 

"If Christ did not die for all men, how can it be said that God willeth all men to be saved? Can he will any to be saved for whom there is no atonement?"

 

"If Christ did not die for all men, in what sense is He said to be the Savior of all men, though specially of those who believe?"

 

"If Christ did not die for all men, how can all be commanded to believe? What are they to believe? Is not this inviting to a supper insufficient to feed all the guests if they came? If it is said, God knows they won't come? I reply, this is charging God with conduct man would be ashamed of. If He died, and they may, yet won't believe, this is moral guilt, not natural inability. It is the guilt of the drunkard who cannot give up drinking; not the guilt of the man without legs who cannot walk, which is no guilt at all."

 

REMARKS BY THE EDITOR. -- The foregoing is an extract from the writings of NORMAN MACLEOD, an eminent Scotch Minister, of Barony Parish, Glasgow. It show, in a few words, the absurdity of supposing that Christ's death was only designed to benefit a few of the human race; and it also shows the blasphemy of the assumption that the mass of the human family are to finally perish without the knowledge that God has made a great feast for all men, and yet suffers innumerable multitudes to perish in total ignorance that any provision was made for them It is time that such misrepresentations of the Divine character and government were driven from the world as a blasphemy no longer to be tolerated. I am both glad and encouraged in my work to know that some eminent men, like MACLEOD are found, who come to the defense of truth which has been trodden underfoot by professed Christians for so many centuries past. the day dawns in which the "knowledge and glory of the Lord shall fill the whole earth," and the fact that "Jesus Christ gave himself a ransom for all men" shall be "testified, in due time, to every son and daughter of Adam that ever has or will come into the world.

 

THREE WORLDS

BIBLE EXAMINER

New York, July, 1877

 

A book of 200 pages, treating on the character and proximity of the "Second Advent of Christ," and the "Kingdom of God," etc., which should be in the hands of every Bible student. Ex. cloth, gilt, $1.00: cloth, 50c.: paper, 25c. By mail. C.T.RUSSELL, Rochester, N.Y.

 

I received a copy of the above work some times since, and have read it with care; portions of it several times. It contains much of interest which may be read with profit. The Chronology is the best I have ever seen; but it is impossible for me to assent to all the conclusions the writer has arrived at, as to the events; yet I feel no disposition to oppose his views by way of controversy. A few months will determine the accuracy of the ground he has taken as to the withdrawal of the saints from the earth. I am of the opinion that they will be withdrawn secretly; i.e. unknown by the world till they are gone; and the precise time of the event will be unknown to themselves till they are taken, else why are they taken while "in the field" at work, or "grinding at the mill," and some in the "beds;" and "one is taken and another left?" If they knew the exact time, it seems unlikely that they would be found thus employed at that time; especially if it was definitely known. Hence it is, our Lord warns us to "Watch and pray. . . for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh," etc. Mr 13:33-37.

 

The book can be read with profit, provided the reader can avoid a positive and uncharitable spirit. I cannot commend all of its positions relative to the future, but many of the ideas I think are good.

 

EDITOR

 

 

THREE WORLDS

BIBLE EXAMINER

New York, October, 1877

 

My "criticism" on the above named work, in the July EXAMINER, has called forth a reply by my esteemed Bro. CHARLES T. RUSSELL, in the "Herald of the Morning." I understand that DR. BARBOUR, its Editor, does fix definitely the time of the translation of the elect Church. He tells us, we are "in the time of the harvest now" and that "some time in this period the elect are to be translated," yet he does not pretend to know the exact day. But does he not say, it will be at or before the harvest ends? and does he not say, it ends "the 9th day of April" next? He may admit it is possible the elect may be translated any time before that day: but suppose they are not: what then? will they not know "the day," exactly, in which they are to be changed, at that day? and would any of them, with that knowledge, "be in the field," or "in the mill," at work, as our Lord tells us they will be when they are taken?

 

I object to the time setting in any limited period, because I believe it is a disregard of our Lord's teaching on the subject, and the disappointments of the past, I think, should teach us it is an error to attempt to do more than to show the return of the Lord from heaven "is near, even at the door," and learn to "watch and pray" that we may be ready at all times to meet Him.

 

But no argument that I have ever seen, since 1844, has had any effect on my mind to cause me to believe the precise time of the Second Adventist revealed in the Bible, or will be known, unless God gives a new and direct revelation on the subject; which He may or may not, for all that is known.

 

I have no disposition for controversy on the subject. I do not have any doubt of the honesty and sincerity of Bro. BARBOUR and his fellow-laborers; but I cannot even seem to consent to their conclusion that the translation must and will occur within the next six months, or by or before the 9th of April next. I do not affirm it will not, only that the presumption is against the idea, from the declarations of our Lord, such as: "Watch, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" . . ." Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour (or, time) as ye think not the Son of man cometh." Mt 24:42, 44. At the close of the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus says, "Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."

 

Again Jesus charges his followers, "Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is." Mr 13:33.

 

It is easy to multiply similar expressions; but these may be sufficient to prevent the patient Christian from being positive on the definite time though he may think and believe " it is nigh, even at the door." A Christian's duty is to be always ready to meet his Lord, and to "love His appearing." but he is nowhere in the Bible exhorted to look further than for the "signs that it is nigh."

 

If professed followers of Christ cannot be stimulated to live holy unto the Lord only by the knowledge of the time of his return, then what becomes of those who have died without that knowledge? Yet, our friends, who advocate this definite time, give them a pre-eminence in immortality by teaching us that such are not being raised from the dead and are with Christ.

 

Again I say, I give these teachers credit for their sincerity and honesty; but I cannot accept their teaching on time.

 

 

 

THE SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS DISCOVERIES IN THE GREAT PYRAMID

BIBLE EXAMINER

New York, November, 1877

 

"THE SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS DISCOVERIES IN THE GREAT PYRAMID, RECENTLY MADE BY PROFESSOR PIAZZI SMYTH AND OTHER NOTED SCHOLARS." "Compiled by WILLIAM H. WILSON." Printed and sold at 182 South Clark St., Chicago, Ill. Price 25 cents.

 

Friend WILSON will except my thanks for a copy of the above work, just received. Any one who feels an interest on the subject of the "GREAT PYRAMID" will do well to send to Chicago, as above, and procure a copy. It is a pamphlet of 64 pages, with some drawings to aid in understanding the building, especially its internal parts.

 

It will be remembered by some of the readers of the BIBLE EXAMINER, that an article on this subject was published in this Magazine, Vol xix, pages 233-238, in the month of May, 1875. It was published under the head of "A CHRONOLOGICAL CURIOSITY."

 

I have ever since felt the subject was worthy of more attention than any of the theories of time for the second advent that have been or are now agitated. Long since I was satisfied that no definite time for that event is revealed in the Bible: that if it is to be known, it would be by some other means than the speculations of men who seem determined to find it in that Book. That the "Great Pyramid" is a wonderful monument is undeniable; and may be the revealer of something closely bordering on the time of our Lord's gathering His "Bride," and the end of this age. The time there indicated is 1881-2.

 

That the "Great Pyramid" was built under the direction of something more than human wisdom, I see no reason to doubt. If under Divine superintendence, it must have been erected for a divine purpose; whether to show--near the end of this dispensation, the end itself or for some other purpose remains to be seen, or proved. If designed to show the end itself, it is certain, those who "love this present evil world," will be taken as in "a Snare," in spite of all evidence and all warnings. Let us, therefore, cultivate a "love for the appearing" of our Lord and Savior and His reign on the earth. So shall it be well with us whatever befalls the lovers of this present order of things, which must soon end.

 

Though the present order is to pass away, with "great tribulation" to the unprepared and unwatching ones, yet we (who believe the divine testimony) "look for" that state in which "A KING shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell savely; and this is his name whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness;" or, Josedeck, --"LORD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS." Sep. Jer 33:5-6.

 

 

THE GREAT PYRAMID

BIBLE EXAMINER -- DECEMBER, 1877

 

In the notice I gave of a work on the above subject in the EXAMINER for November, the Room where it is to be had was overlooked. Those who wish to send for the work should address, "WILLIAM H. WILSON, 182 South Clark St., Room 21; Chicago, Ill." Be particular to direct as here stated.

 

Friend WILSON writes: "I thank you for the excellent notice you gave of my work on the Pyramid." He adds: "I am a practical printer, and I must say, the appearance of the EXAMINER does credit to the cause. With regard to its teachings on the subject of God's great love to man I fully endorse, and have done so for years. It fills me with joy to learn that the birth of Christ, as the angel said it should be, is 'good Tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.' It seems to me that if all those who have fallen into the death state without a knowledge of God's plan of redemption are perished then the birth of Christ must be bad tidings, and a great evil to most of the human race. But thanks be to God, the plan of God cannot fail. He is not a frail mortal that he should promise and not fulfill. If God wills that all men shall 'come to the knowledge of the truth,' He is able to execute his will. He 'sent his Son to be the Savior of the world' but if the theories of many excellent brethren are true the reverse will be the fact. He was sent to be the light of the world, but terrible darkness now reigns."


NOTE BY THE EDITOR. -- By all means try and read friend Wilson's Pamphlet on the "GREAT PYRAMID." Price 25 cents. Direct to him as stated above.

 

 

THE "HERALD OF THE MORNING."

BIBLE EXAMINER

New York, December, 1877

 

The above named paper, published by Dr. Barbour, contains much interesting matter. I have only dissented to his position on the definite time of the second Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have said, its "chronology is the best I have ever seen;" but I must add, clear as Dr. Barbour has seemed to make it, I do not accept it as infallible, and therefore cannot be admitted as positively correct. I have seen, in the past forty years, so much of this positive spirit, on points advocated with much plausibility, that I cannot accept the position of Dr. Barbour as to the definite time for which he contends.

 

He has, as he thinks, often explained such texts as the following so as to justify him in his position on definite time, viz., "of that day and hour knoweth no man," --"Take ye heed, watch and pray; for ye know not when the time is." "Watch for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come:"--"for in such an hour as think not the Son of man cometh." These and other like texts by our Lord, our friend Barbour endeavors to show do not mean exactly what they express.

 

In his paper of Nov. 1st, he makes a new effort in the same work, He maintains that we are now in the time of the harvest, and he says:

 

"When the time of the harvest begins, somebody will know and understand the situation, and that it has now begun, is what we claim to be able to substantiate by clear scriptural arguments."

 

This harvest began, if I understand him, in the fall of A.D. 1874, and is to end April A.D. 1878, being three and half years in duration. He says of the texts I have quoted above, and the like, "Those texts do not teach anything opposed to our knowing the exact day, and hour of either of these events." That is the "exact day and hour" of the harvest's commencing and of Christ's second advent. Here is a positiveness that I object to: it amounts to a claim of infallibility that I conceive to be a hazardous position for any finite mortal to take and may prove disastrous to himself and to those who accept the position. I do not question the sincerity of honesty of my friend B.; but I do claim he has no right to insist on any man's receiving what he says as infallibly true. If he had presented his position as a probable truth, and invited investigation of the subject, there would be no cause of complaint; but he tells us that "many who say Lord, Lord, love to thus misconstrue these texts," viz., those I have introduced from the mouth of Jesus. He says,

 

"I have answered this whole class of objections until I am almost ashamed of the repetition, but must do so once more, for the especial benefit of the readers of the Bible Examiner."

 

Now, let us see what a "special benefit the readers of the BIBLE EXAMINER" get. He illustrates for their benefit as follows:

 

"The government of the United States, as war with a neighboring power, was preparing to destroy a fort of the enemy. In and around this fort was the home of many families, and, desiring to spare their lives, issued a proclamation: This fort is to be destroyed, and all within the exposed limits must prepare to vacate their homes. When the work of excavation is well advanced, notice will be given by a white flag. As the time approaches, a red flag will be raised. When all is ready, a black flag will appear; then let every family be prepared to flee for their lives, for on that day the explosion will take place. Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour. Watch, for in such an hour as ye think not, the explosion will take place; and as a last warning, the herald is again sent with the following: "If, therefore, thou shalt not watch, it shall come upon you as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour the explosion will occur." Re 3:3.

 

I thank my friend Barbour for his illustration, and I presume "the readers of the EXAMINER" will receive a "special benefit" from it; for it shows conclusively that the day of the explosion cannot be known till the day itself arrives; but there are "signs" preceding the day which show the day is approaching: and as one sign after another appears it is manifest the event is nearing; but not one soul knows beforehand "the exact day." So our friend's illustration proves that it is the signs which are to guide us to a true conclusion.

 

Therefore, I say to all, watch for the "signs of the times;" by these you are to be guided; and not assume you are to know "the exact day or time" till the day arrives; and because you will be ignorant of the exact day, till it opens, "watch and pray" that you may "be ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" Mt 24:44. If you think you have the knowledge of "the exact day or hour" you will be sure to meet a disappointment, as all have done hitherto who have fixed on the exact time. Friend Barbour knows that has been his experience in times past more than once. There is not an unkind feeling in my heart toward this brother or his co-workers; but faithfulness to those whom God has providentially led me to minister to compels me to speak as I understand His word: but I exercise no authority over them. I know by what I have seen and felt the fatal consequences of disappointment in so vital a matter as the exact time of our Lord's return.

 

That we are drawing near that day, I have not had a doubt, that I am aware of, for thirty years or more; and the signs our Lord gave of its nearness are thickening continually; especially those our Redeemer spake of in Lu 21:25-26. "Up on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity . . . men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken;" i.e., human governments; these are to be overthrown to prepare the way for the universal reign of Christ and his elect body. This view of the signs of the passing events gives us a solid foundation on which to stand to know that "Your redemption draweth nigh." Lu 21:28.

 

I have said thus much from a sense of obligation to God, and to the readers of "the BIBLE EXAMINER." it is not the knowledge of the "exact day or hour" of the second Advent, that will fit any man or woman to meet the Lord; and that person who would not be prepared without such knowledge, I fear, will not be prepared at all, and will be likely to meet a sad disappointment if the "exact time fails" as most likely it will, as all set times have hitherto done to the injury of many persons and families. The effort to fix on the "exact time," I consider as tempting God; though done by misapprehension.

 

 

 

HAS THE LORD JESUS COME?

BIBLE EXAMINER -- FEBRUARY, 1878

 

There is one text . . . on which I have thought much recently, and to which I hope all will take heed: it is this -- "If they shall say unto you . . . Behold He is in the secret chamber; believe it not." To suppose Christ has already come, or, as some express it -- "is here, but we cannot see Him," is taxing credulity; and I say, I "BELIEVE IT NOT:" nor will I believe that He has come, in any other sense than that He has always been here since His ascension to heaven, till I see Him.

 

 

THE OBJECT AND MANNER OF OUR LORD'S RETURN

By C.T. RUSSELL, Pittsburgh, PA. Price ten cents.
BIBLE EXAMINER -- MARCH, 1878

 

Such is the title of a pamphlet of sixty four pages. The author is one of my very dear friends, and is a sincere lover of truth. I have not the slightest doubt of his stern integrity, and nothing but a full conviction that it is the truth he is promulgating which will lead him on in the work which he is engaged. His sacrifice of time and money shows his faith. Much that he has written is interesting. His belief that Christ "has come" -- "is present" -- in the Scripture sense of His "second time," I cannot for a moment admit; but as the time for its demonstration is in the next few weeks, I shall not enter into controversy on the subject.

 

BRO. CHAPLIN, Editor of THE RESTITUTION, in noticing the above named pamphlet, has expressed views of the "Second Advent" of our Lord which I heartily agree. He says:

 

"We think that the coming Messiah is the same Jesus that died, was buried, rose from the dead, and subsequently ascended from Mount Olivet into heaven; and we also think that He will change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. We look, for more tangibility in the resurrection than our brother seems to expect. We also think that Christ in the first stage of the advent will only descend to the aerial regions where He will be met by his raptured saints, with whom he will afterward descend to earth."

 

Such I regard as a true statement of the facts to be realized in that glorious return of our Lord "from heaven."

 

 

 

 

THE ANNIHILATION OF THE WICKED

BIBLE EXAMINER -- AUGUST, 1878

 

"It is satisfactory to the wicked, One young man, dissipated and profligate, said, 'That doctrine just suits me.' And so it is. If the impenitent could really believe it, their impenitence would become a fixed fact. Could they but persuade themselves that they could continue in a life of dissipation and pleasure here, and then be blotted out of existence, they would scoff at the Bible and religion and give themselves up to lives of unbridled wickedness. Those who promulgate this doctrine lay a flattering unction to the souls of the wicked, and encourage them to continue in lives of impenitence and rebellion against God." -- B.

 

THIS objection is made up of two parts: 1st, The effect of the doctrine on the wicked; and, 2d, The censure of those who preach it. Let us look at each part by itself. "B" says, "It is satisfactory to the wicked." What proof has he given of this assumption? "One young man said, 'That doctrine just suits me.'" But "B" forgets that it is just by the mouth of "two or three witnesses" every word is to be proved; yet he is satisfied with one. And that one may never have learned anything of the doctrine spoken of, except what he had heard by the misrepresentations of its enemies. Quite probably "B" had "garbled" the doctrine in giving the "one young man" an idea of it, which drew out the expression spoken of. But suppose this young man had a correct idea of the doctrine and expressed himself as "B" says -- what then? Does that prove the doctrine false, and not calculated to lead men to repentance? By no means. I have known intelligent persons who had rejected Christianity altogether from the representations of God, his character and designs by such men as "B", who have been brought to acknowledge its truths, and been led to renounce sin and consecrate themselves to the service of God, and are not ministers of the gospel by means of the very doctrine which "B" says "if" they "could believe, their impenitence would become a fixed fact." Thus "B" is convicted of a false assumption.

 

Some of the dissipated may continue impenitent under the preaching of this doctrine; and what doctrine will not be abused or perverted by such characters? Does the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul and endless torments lead all such to repentance? And do not "B" and his school teach that the punishment of the wicked is postponed to a future life and in another world? Has such a doctrine no tendency to encourage men in sin? If "B" says No, a greater than he has said, "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." -- Eccl. 8:11. Does that prove the doctrine of judgment and punishment future is calculated to lead men "to continue in a life of dissipation and pleasure here"? The fact is, men of corrupt minds may abuse any truth; and some hold the truth in unrighteousness. "B" then should show, not by assumptions and mere declamation, that the doctrine, "All the wicked will God destroy" (Psalms cxlv:20), is a doctrine "satisfactory to the wicked," and calculated to lead them to continue in sin and "scoff at the Bible and religion." I rather think the doctrine of inherent immortality and endless sin and suffering is that which hardens men in sin and leads them to "scoff at the Bible and religion." Many cases might be adduced where such is the result of his theory to "one" of his showing led to such a course by the doctrine of "the annihilation of the finally wicked." The question, however, is not settled in this way. It is a question of, What does the Bible teach? Whether sinners are pleased or displeased with the doctrine presented settles nothing of its truth or falsehood; but what saith the Lord? That point determined, if sinners abuse his mercy and take liberty to continue in sin on that account, the teachers of that truth are not responsible for their stupidity and love of sensual gratification rather than eternal life and immortality. The truth will be a "savor of life unto life" to some, while it is a "savor of life unto death" to others. The fault in the latter case is not chargeable to the truth, but to men's perverting the truth and refusing obedience to its claims.

 

Multitudes who profess to believe the theory "B" advocates "give themselves up to lives of unbridled wickedness." His views, therefore, are not a sovereign remedy for sin and wickedness. So far from it, the probability is that the very "young man" of whom he speaks had become confirmed in his "dissipated and profligate" course under the preaching of "endless misery." It is not to be wondered at, then, that a "young man" lost in evil habits, and feeling that his case was hopeless, should say, "That doctrine just suits me." Unhappy youth! He had doubtless been driven to despair of the mercy of God by the savage representations of his Maker's character that "B" and his school had given him; and one ray of light thrown upon his mind, that God did not design eternally to torment him, did, doubtless, remove a burden from his heart, and in that sense did "just suit" him; and if anything on earth could melt his heart, such a discovery of the character of God contrasted with the hardening effects of the endless misery theory must have moved him to an effort to overcome his evil propensities and "lay hold on eternal life." Possibly it has that effect, for "B" seems not to have stopped to inquire in what sense the "young man" used the phrase, "just suits me," whether to encourage himself in sin, or as inspiring him with hope in God's mercy, which he never could have had under the horrible doctrine of endless sin and suffering. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we may fairly conclude he had a hope, inspired in his heart by this milder view of the character of his Creator, that even he, wicked as he felt himself to be, might find mercy; while the savage theory of "B" had driven him to despair that had made him reckless of his character and doom.

 

The doctrine that "B" traduces has no tendency to lead men to give "themselves up to lives of unbridled wickedness"; it is a libel on truth to affirm it. It is only by a misrepresentation of the doctrine, such as "B" and others of his faith are guilty of that the doctrine will lead to such a result, except in cases where no doctrine would affect the heart to lead the sinner to repentance. "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance," saith an apostle. -- Rom. 2:4. If that will not do it, men will go on, under any theory, to "reassure up wrath against the day of wrath."

 

I repel, then, the charge that "those who promulgate this doctrine lay a flattering unction to the souls of the wicked," etc. It is not so. "The Lord preserveth all them that love him, but all the wicked will he destroy," is the testimony of inspiration; and "the wicked shall perish: the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." -- See Psalm cxlv:20; xxxvii:20. Such Bible testimony is not to be set aside by the mere declamation of such men as "B." The encouragement to continue in sin belongs to his theory, by representing God as a most merciless tyrant, who, having brought men into being without their knowledge or consent, is determined for the sins of this short life to perpetuate that being or existence, without interruption and without end, in the most unutterable and unmitigated anguish, and without hope! Such a representation of God is more fitting the savagism of heathenism and compassionate God of the Bible, who saith, "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and life: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" -- Ezek. 33:11. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." -- John 3:16.

 

Thus the appeal to men is based on their love of life and God's love to them, and not on the savagism of endless torture and woe; which latter idea is well calculated to beget hatred to God and dislike for his service now; hence is almost universally, where it is proclaimed and believed, followed with a present neglect or contempt for his service, and procrastination in relation to the things of religion till just as they are "going to die"; and then a profession of submission often takes place merely to escape the savagism of the God they are taught claims their homage, without which they are to be the eternal objects of his "fiery indignation" and "incensed fury."

 

 

 

THE UNPREACHED GOSPEL

BIBLE EXAMINER -- AUGUST, 1878

 

UNDER the above title Henry Dunn published a pamphlet of 47 pages nearly 15 years since. That issue was only a sort of synopsis of a larger work. I saw it only once -- ten years ago -- and then rejected it, as many have since, without really understanding his position. It passed entirely out of mind, and I thoughtno more of it till after I had issued my "VINDICATION," seven years ago. Then I found myself, to my surprise, occupying nearly the same ground as Mr. Dunn.

 

As some persons have spoken out recently, as well as in time past, against his views, I feel constrained to say I think that they misunderstand Mr. Dunn; for I am not willing to conclude they would misrepresent him willfully. They seem to think he teaches that the Gospel was never preached at all. Whereas he maintained that a part of it only is now preached, and that another part is "unpreached": that part he calls attention to as neglected, or not preached. The subject of his remarks is specially founded on the language of the Apostle. 1 Tim. 4:10: "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."

 

Here are two classes of the saved: 1. "All men"; 2. "Those that believe." The latter have a special salvation -- i.e., they are to be the "Royal Priesthood." -- 1 Peter. 2:9. Chosen to teach and bless "all men."

 

The preaching of the Gospel for many centuries past has only been a divided Gospel -- i.e., it has been only for believers in the present life; while "all" other "men" are left to utter and hopeless ruin. They reject the idea that "the living God is the Savior of all men" in any other sense than that of a "Preserver"; even in this sense their theory is at war.

 

Mr. Dunn maintained that the "specially" saved are designed of God to teach, bless and be the medium through which "all men" should ultimately be brought to the knowledge of the "only true God and Jesus Christ." -- John 17. But who among professed Christians have for generations past preached this Gospel? It has been an "unpreached Gospel." It is time it was revived and proclaimed to "all men"; and praise the Lord, it will be, in spite of all opposition from whatever quarter it may come.

 

I propose to republish Mr. Dunn's pamphlet in the next volume of the BIBLE EXAMINER, the Lord willing. I will print a thousand copies extra of the EXAMINER containing it for distribution, if funds are furnished me; $25, or something more, will be needed for that purpose. I am persuaded much good would be done by such an issue; nothing could be better at this time.

 

 

THE BIBLE EXAMINER AND ITS EDITOR

BIBLE EXAMINER -- SEPTEMBER, 1878

 

THIS periodical was commenced in 1842. George Storrs had been a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church from 1825 to 1840, and filled some of the first appointments in the Conference of which he was a member, but withdrew from said Church in 1840, because his liberty to teach and labor according to his convictions of truth could not be allowed in his relation to that Church.

 

From 1840 to the present time he has never been connected with any human organized body called a "Church," because he would not be trammeled in his search for truth. For five years he published occasionally the BIBLE EXAMINER till 1847; then it became a regular monthly, with an interval of two and a half years, till the fall of 1863, when its influence had been so extensive that its friends called for a weekly paper, and invited George Storrs to become its Editor. To comply with this request he suspended the EXAMINER, and for eight years acted as the Editor of the weekly. At the end of that time, or in 1871, he had advanced doctrinally to his present position in regard to the purposes of God respecting the human race. Those called "The Board of Managers" of the weekly paper refused to allow him to publish his advanced views in their periodical, as a consequence, Mr. Storrs withdrew altogether from their service and connection and revived the BIBLE EXAMINER in September, 1871.

 

In the No. for October, or NO. 2 of Vol. XVI., the following short article appeared:

 

"WHAT THEY SAY. -- It is said, 'The Board of Managers should have control of the Editor; for, what if the Editor should become a Universalist?' To this we simply reply, What if the Board of Managers should all, or a majority, 'become Universalists,' or something worse? which is quite as likely as the other; at any rate, it is not impossible. But the plea is a sectarian one. It amounts to just this: 'Our Editor must publish what we now believe and be sure to give us no advanced ideas;' thus contravening the words of Jesus: 'Every scribe instructed into the kingdom of heaven is like a householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasures things new and old.' -- Matt. 13:52.

 

"'He cannot sustain the BIBLE EXAMINER: he has no funds.' So say some of our late associates. Well, we know that as truly as they do; but we have ventured on the Lord in times past, when we 'had no funds,' and have found that the 'gold and silver are the Lord's.'

 

"We confess ourself a poor man, so far as personal funds are concerned; but we adopt the language of Paul: 'As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.' We have a 'Father' who has the 'funds' and knows how to use them. We shall ask him to give us just as much as he sees best for us and his cause, and he will do it."

 

Thus the Editor testified his belief that, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man: it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." -- Psalm cxviii:8-9. Nor has he been disappointed. Though he revived this magazine without any financial means of his own, our covenant God has opened the way for its continuance for the past seven years, nor suffered the word to cease for lack of financial aid. For this the Editor gives thanks to our Heavenly Father, and to such as have had it put into their hearts to help on the work, which he has never doubted he was called of God to do. Blessed be his name forever! Though the cloud sometimes looked dark, the light had broken through. "Praise ye the Lord." The names of the helpers might be given; but it is certain they have not helped "to be seen of men." Our Father in heaven will reward them "in due time."

 

With this number the EXAMINER closes Vol. XXII., or the seventh since its revival in 1871. All its friends will be rejoiced to know it is free from debt, except the debt of gratitude due to our covenant God and to such as have helped to bring about this result.

 

Vol. XXIII will be commenced next month, and the Editor trusts will be sustained as the previous ones have been. Please respond to this announcement without delay.

 

 

PROPHECY

BIBLE EXAMINER

New York, October, 1878

 

OUR Lord commanded to "Search the Scriptures," which at that time embraced only the Old Testament, thus stamping them with divine authority; and to them both he and his disciples made all their appeals. And Paul said to Timothy: "From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." -- 2 Tim. 3:15.

 

Peter saith: "We have a more sure word of prophecy; where unto ye do well to take heed," etc. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." -- 2 Peter 1:21.

 

Such testimonies that the prophecies of the Old Testament are not to be frittered away, or spoken of as if of little or no consequence, nor called "conditional."

 

Thus much in regard to my view of the authority and importance of the Old Testament prophecies. But I now design to speak specially of a New Testament prophecy. It is that found in Luke 21:23-36.

 

In this portion of Scripture our Lord speaks of the things future relating to the Jews, their city, the Gentiles, signs to be witnessed, his own second coming, the redemption of his people, and concludes with solemn admonitions and cautions. To these things we "do well to take heed." A large portion of what our Lord here utters in prophecy has since become history. The fulfillment of so large a part makes it certain that whatever may remain unfulfilled will assuredly come to pass. This prophecy, in the part accomplished, is demonstration of the truth and divinity of our Lord's claim to be the Messiah, and establishes the truth of revelation beyond any attempt to overthrow it; and infidelity is as powerless for evil, to a sincere inquirer after truth, as the foaming waves dashing against the rocks of Gibraltar. Said the Savior, "There shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people" -- the Jews. Did it not happen exactly as prophesied? Will any one pretend to deny but that unparalleled distress fell upon that people? Let them read the history of the Jews, particularly from the time Jerusalem was "compassed about with armies," in A.D. 67, to the siege and fall of the fortress of Masada, A.D. 74.

 

Luke 21:24: "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

 

"They," the Jews, "shall fall by the edge of the sword"; that is, in war, many of them; not all. Hundreds of thousands of them did thus fall. The remainder of them were "led away captive into all nations;" thus the prophecy has had an exact fulfillment; and the Jews are a standing and perpetual monument that Jesus, whom their nation abhorred and rejected, is in truth the Messiah of whom Moses and the prophets spake. They bear an unwilling testimony to this great gospel declaration that Jesus of Nazareth was approved of God and is the anointed Savior. But the prophecy goes on to say: "Jerusalem shall be trodden down [i.e., be made subject to, or be under the government] of the Gentiles [i.e., other nations, as distinguished from the Jews], until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." So it has come to pass. From the days of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans no Jew has held power or authority there, and must of the time has not been permitted even to approach the city; or, if there at all, only in the most abject condition. "The times of the Gentiles," of course, is an appointed time, indicated in some other prophecy, most likely in the book of Daniel; but of that I shall not now inquire; it is sufficient for us to know that the time of Gentile rule over Jerusalem has its bounds beyond which it cannot pass. Our Lord next proceeds to give signs which were to indicate to the watchful and sincerely inquiring mind that this treading under foot was about to terminate. These are as follows:

Luke 21:25-26 -- "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the wave roaring. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of the heaven shall be shaken."

 

The signs in the sun, called in other places the sun being darkened, are supposed by some to have had a fulfillment in the dark day of 1780. I cannot, with present light, assent to that view. The darkening of the sun on that day was not on the prophetic land at all. It was confined mostly, if not wholly, to the United States, and was witnessed only by a small part even of these. The phenomena, or signs, according to the analogy of prophecy, must appear in the prophetic earth or land. This, at least, embraced only the old Roman empire, which was in its imperial glory when the prophecy was uttered. If, then, these signs in the sun and moon are to be witnessed in those literal orbs, I am compelled to the belief that they are future. I suggest, however, a different interpretation, which, if not correct, is at least very remarkable.

 

We learn from Genesis 1:14-18 that the lights in the firmament of heaven were not only to divide the say from the night, but "for signs"; and that the sun was "to rule the day," and the moon and stars "to rule the night." Hence, in very early times the people of God used them as signs of authority and dominion. Thus we find Jacob interpreting Joseph's dream of the sun, moon and eleven stars making obeisance to him as an indication that the father, mother and their other sons were to do him homage, or become subject to Joseph. Whence this conclusion but from the well known fact that these heavenly bodies were signs of power and authority? The sun was the sign or symbol of the highest authority which, in the case before us, pointed out Jacob, the head and supreme ruler of his house or tribe. The moon denoted the next in authority, viz., the mother of the family; then came the stars -- the sons or rulers of an inferior class. This use of the sun, moon and stars is seen throughout the Jewish prophets, and we may, therefore, conclude such was the design of our Lord in the text before us. -- Luke 21.

 

I now proceed to an inquiry as to what ruling powers are denoted by these luminaries in this prophecy. I conclude we are to look for them in the Roman empire; and that which most naturally presents itself as symbolized by the sun is the imperial power of Rome, which was holding its sway at the time the prophecy before us was uttered. That the prophecy before us was uttered. That the sun is used as a symbol of that power by the "faithful and true witness" (Rev. 8:12) is admitted, so far as I know by all commentators. This point established, then, in symbolical language, the darkening of the sun, or signs in the sun, will signify signs of its decay and extinction. Centuries ago there were signs of the decay of imperial Rome, but its extinction did not occur till the present century. That power was removed by Constantine to Constantinople. There it continued till 1453, when, in the Eastern empire, it gave place to the moon power, of which I shall soon speak. Before the imperial power was displaced in the East it had been restored in the West by Charlemagne, A.D. 800. In the Western Roman empire it continued down to the days of Napoleon Bonaparte. The earliest date that can be given for its extinction is 1806, when Bonaparte overthrew the Emperor of Germany, or Austria, in whom resided this power at the time. It may, however, be doubted whether that time is the proper point at which to date its extinction, as Napoleon claimed and exercised this power as "the successor of the Caesars." If, then, it was continued in him, as seems most likely, it was not finally extinguished till the battle of Waterloo, 1815, which sealed the fate of Bonaparte and put an end forever to the imperial Roman power. The attempt of Napoleon III to revive it was a miserable failure.

 

If this view of the subject be the true one, we have the first and most prominent sign of the times of the Gentiles being near an end directly before us and in our generation. Let it not be forgotten that the signs given us in this prophecy were to be marks of the end of Jerusalem's bondage to other nations, and the signal of the near approach and reign of David's Son on David's throne.

 

I now proceed to inquire after the power symbolized by "the moon." Let it be remembered it must be found in the old Roman earth or land; and it must be the second in magnitude to the Imperial. Thus situated, I am at no loss to designate the power, viz., the Mohammedan. It is remarkable that "Crescent" -- the increasing moon -- is the standard of that power; and further, that this power was held possession of Jerusalem ever since A.D. 636, with the exception of about one century that it was in the hands of the Crusaders. This power waxed stronger and stronger for a long period; but within the last century it has given "signs" of waning -- and, what is remarkable, in about six years after the extinction of the Roman imperial power, in 1815, the Mohammedan, or Ottoman power began to wane and fall with a rapidity that made even her enemies afraid. From the commencement of the Greek revolution, 1821, a series of calamities fell upon this moon power that marked her certain and speedy downfall. She has lately given "signs" of being "turned to blood," or of having her light as a ruling power extinguished. Here, then, is another sign of the end of "the times of the Gentiles," and of the establishment of the kingdom of God.

 

Having thus prepared the way, I can have no hesitation in saying that the various monarchies of Europe are the powers symbolized by "the stars." Just prior to the times of the Gentiles ending, and the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth under the reign of David's Son on the throne of his father, there would be "signs in the stars" -- or indications of these lesser monarchies being extinguished. Here I need hardly enter into any details. The convulsions in Europe, commencing in 1848, though they have seemed at times to be at an end, proclaim, with a trumpet tongue, that this part of the prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes, which leaves us in no doubt as to the point in earth's history which we not occupy; and the recent events in "the East" go to confirm this view of the subject: though the powers who have been agitated on the difficulties that have arisen may fancy they have settled affairs that relate to the "moon" power and the stability of the strength of the "stars," or the governments of the other powers, so that they can say, "Peace and safety" (1 Thess. 5:3), it may indicate that "sudden destruction shall come upon them, and they shall not escape."

 

A QUESTION ANSWERED

BIBLE EXAMINER

New York, November, 1878

 

A FRIEND asked me, "Will you please answer this question: When death and hell are destroyed will there remain any in a state of death?"

 

There are two literal deaths brought to view in the Bible. The first is the death that came upon all men by Adam. The second is that which comes on no man, except by a willful rejection of the LIFE GIVER.

 

The first death will be destroyed, and there will not be any left in that state. I need now give but one text in proof of this, viz., Rom. 5:18, "As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation [to death], even so, by the righteousness of one [CHRIST] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."

 

Just as extensive as death reigned by Adam's transgression, just so extensive will that death be destroyed, and no man will remain in that death state; and, of course, 'adees (the hell of the text), will be no more forever.

 

The "second death" is another matter -- that is, for a personal and willful rejection of the only "sacrifice for sin." "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth" [concerning the one sacrifice for sins] "there remaineth no more" [no other] sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." -- Heb. 10:26-27. Having been delivered from the death that came by Adam, and having been placed in a position to make this revived life an endless one by accepting willfully rejecting Him, they bring on themselves the "second death," from which the Word of God says nothing of deliverance; so far as any light is given us it is eternal.

 

 

 

SALVATION: GOD'S PURPOSE IN RELATION TO IT

BIBLE EXAMINER

New York, November, 1878

 

"Who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth." -- 1 Tim. 2:4.

 

THE term "saved," in general, signified to deliver. What the nature of the deliverance is must be determined by the circumstances. It may be from dangers of any kind; it may be from enemies, temporal or spiritual; from sin; from temptations; from death, temporal, spiritual, or eternal; it may be from ignorance, or a helpless state that prevents our attainment of good that our CREATOR has prepared for his creatures. In this case it is the removal of these disabilities, etc. These uses of the terms save, saved, and salvation, it is presumed will not be questioned by any one.

 

Two facts are stated in the text above: 1. God "will have all men to be saved." 2. God "will have all men come to the knowledge of the truth." On these two facts rest the sum of the gospel. Without controverting the truth that the terms save, saved, etc., are used often in a restricted sense, or are applied to a deliverance which is conditional, I proceed to notice the first fact stated in the text.

 

(1) "God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved." Here is a salvation which is clearly unconditional and depends alone on the will of God. It is equally clear that an ultimate or final salvation is conditional, based on the "belief of the truth" as well as through "sanctification of the Spirit." -2 Thess. 2:13. Texts need not be multiplied on this point. The salvation in the text under consideration admits of no conditions, as we shall see; it depends entirely on the "will" of "God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved"; not desires them to be saved: but has willed or determined they shall be saved.

 

The question then is, What is the nature of this salvation which is unconditional and certain? Paul answers: "As by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation" [to death]; "even so, by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto the justification of life: for as by one man's disobedience the man [all men] were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall the many be made righteous." - Rom. 5:18-19. That is, As all men die by one man's sin - Adam's - so by one man's righteousness - Christ's - shall all men be made alive from the dead. This revival from the dead is to all men unconditional; but a revival to immortality and eternal life is conditional. The universal revival restores all men from the death that came upon them as the result of Adam's sin. In this respect, Christ has "abolished death" - annulled it; made it void, or powerless to hold one of Adam's race. This is the salvation "God will have all men receive, irrespective of any will of their own. This will further appear as the examination of the second fact in the text proceeds.

 

(2) "God our Savior, who will have all men . . . come to the knowledge of the truth." This second fact shows why God will have all men revived from the dead. How else can innumerable millions ever come to the knowledge of the truth? They have died without such knowledge; but Paul, who received his commission and his message directly from the Savior's personal manifestation, declares, "God our Savior will have all men come to the knowledge of the truth"; and in order to this, he "will have all men to be saved." Observe, the salvation is placed before coming to the knowledge of the truth, and in order that they shall have the knowledge; for, no man's final state is fixed till he first had it. When I say "the salvation is placed before coming to the knowledge of the truth," I do not mean that in the order of the work all men must actually be saved or made alive from the dead before they receive that knowledge; but, that God's will to revive all men is based on the fact that in no other way can the mass of the race ever come to the knowledge of the truth, the reception or rejection of which is to determine their final state: and God's impartial "love of the world" is a pledge that "every man" shall come to the knowledge of that love in the gift of his only begotten son to bestow life eternal on all who will receive him when known to them.

 

It is a fact, the gospel is to be preached "to every creature"; the gospel of God's love to the world, and of Christ as the LIFE GIVER for all men; and until it is proclaimed to "every man," or, to each individual that individual has not his proper probation, and his final state cannot be given according to the gospel preached to Abraham and confirmed in Christ. Then, saith Paul, "If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more or no other sacrifice for sin." - Heb. 10:26. Thus the apostle keeps the two facts of the text in view, and shows that death must be abolished and all men saved from it or God's will would be defeated, and all men could not have the knowledge of the truth. But God's will shall be accomplished, and death cannot prevent it: he has taken care to see that the "last enemy shall be destroyed" (1 Cor. 15:26), so that no man who has died in ignorance of God's love and his provisions for their ultimate redemption from sin and all its final consequences, shall fail of eternal life except by a willful rejection of the truth when, of after, he has come to the knowledge of the truth when, or after, he has come to the knowledge of it.

 

Such is "God our Savior's will;" and who or what can defeat his counsel, so as to make his word void? Had he not said, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure"? - Isa.xlvi:10.

 

That I have taken the correct view of the text the context shows. The apostle says: "I exhort, that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, . . . for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved," etc.; "for there is one God, and on e Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." - 1 Tim. 2:1-6. hence, the absolute necessity that all men be saved from death: else God's will that they shall "come to the knowledge of the truth," is defeated, and his "due time" will never be reached. The death by Adam is annulled, so that no man can be held by it. If held in death at all, it is because he has sinned "willfully after that" he has received the knowledge of the truth." Such exceptions no more affect the general truth of the salvation of all men from death, than the general truth that "death passed upon all men" is affected by the translation of Enoch and Elijah or that of saints alive at Christ's return from heaven. The word all embraces the mass of the race; the exceptions are the few. Some may never be released from death, because, personally they have involved themselves in it dominion, by a willful rejection of the DELIVERER after he was made known to them."

 

WRATH AND MERCY

or Punishment and Forgiveness

BIBLE EXAMINER

New York, November, 1878

 

Most religionists suppose, if the Bible speaks of wrath, inflicting punishment of the wicked, mercy to such is out of the question. This is a great mistake. The Scriptures abundantly disprove such a conclusion; and the advocates of such an administration in the Divine government entirely misconceive God's method in dealing with the children of men. They overlook the fact that "GOD IS LOVE," and that even wrath is in love, and designed to bring men to a sense of the evil of sin, or the consequences of disobedience to the Divine commands written or engraved in our nature by the creative hand; which laws can readily be learned by all men.

 

No one doubts that the violation of physical laws will be followed by punishment or wrath on the transgressor; yet the fact in a multitude of cases is learned by the experience of the wrath. See that child put his hand in that beautiful flame. Wrath is experienced immediately; but he learns a lesson that will be useful to him all his life. So of a multitude of other transgressions of physical laws; laws established by the CREATOR. But who shall accuse him of ill will or of inflicting unnecessary pain, punishment or wrath of those who violate these laws? All his laws are established in love to the creature man with the design of educating him, by the experience of evil, for a higher state of enjoyment, such as he never could have realized but for his knowledge of evil; the contrast between good and evil; the contrast between good and evil makes the good a thousand times more precious than it ever could, otherwise, have been.

 

All laws established by our CREATOR are from the outgoings of love; and are designed for the greatest and highest good of the created. No other laws could originate from the great and inexhaustible fountain of goodness, implied in the declaration, "GOD IS LOVE." Hence, all pains or penalties connected with the violation of those laws are the result of love; though expressed under the idea of "wrath," the only idea, perhaps, by which this action of love could be expressed to a finite mind; an idea, however, to a perfectly purified mind that does not convey what it feels and knows to be the fact; for such a mind can have no conception of the existence of wrath, properly speaking, in the nature of him whose whole work of creation was one of love, and designed to impart to the creatures of his power a measure of his own inexhaustible happiness.

 

We are now prepared to look at Scripture testimony concerning the theme chosen as the subject of this article; and, if not greatly mistaken, it may be found that wrath or punishment is not opposed to mercy or forgiveness.

 

The first text to which attention is called reads thus: "In my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee." - Isa. Lx:10. Again: "For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him; I hid Me, and was wroth, and he went on forwardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and his mourners. - Isa. Lvii:17-18.

 

In both of these cases the people of Israel had been guilty of great and provoking sins, (see chapters 57 to 60 inclusive), and the prophet had said of God, "He put on garments of vengeance fro clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak; according to their deeds he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands, he will repay recompense. So shall they fear the name of the LORD form the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun." - Isa. Lix:17, 19. Here, not only is the punishment of wrath spoken of, but the design of it is brought to view; it is to bring men to a sense of the evil of sin and to repentance for it, so that they may be forgiven; for, it is added, "The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD (Isa. LIX:20); or, as Paul states the case, "There shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins." - Rom. 11:26-27.

 

It is thus seen that God's wrath inflicted on transgressors is an act of love, to bring them and others, who may be witnesses of it to the knowledge that "the way of the transgressor is hard" (Prov. 13:15), and that the way of obedience or wisdom's "ways" are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." - Prov. 3:17.

 

The psalmist says, "Thou was a God that forgavest them though Thou tookest vengeance of their inventions." - Psalm xcix:8. It is clear that men may be punished for their sins, or the "wrath" of God may be inflicted on them, and yet they be afterward restored to the favor of God. In further proof of this see Isa. Xl. "Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double (kiphlayim, i.e., manifold) for all her sins." Yes, though men may experience wrath or punishment for their sins, here or hereafter, yet mercy may be extended to them if they do not willfully reject it, and will accept the proffered mercy through the "One Mediator." The prophet prayed, "Oh, LORD the  . . . in wrath remember mercy." - Hab. 3:2. Saith the LORD, "I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth." - Isaiah lvii:16.

 

Therefore, though those who "are contentious and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness" shall have "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish" for their "evil doings," it does not prove they are beyond the reach of mercy. One sin, and one only, puts a man in a state which "never hath forgivness," and makes the sinner "in danger of eternal damnation." - Mark 3:29. And no man has authority from the Bible to limit the time when God will cease to have mercy or forgive sins. That the time is confined to this life is a human tradition and a fable.

 

 

 

LITERAL FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY

BIBLE EXAMINER

FEBRUARY, 1879

 

EZEKIEL 38 EXAMINED

 

THERE is but one interpretation that can seriously claim attention; that is that the literal posterity of Jacob, in the flesh, are to be gathered into the land between the river of Egypt and the great river Euphrates. Let us now try the prophecy Ezekiel 38:15-28, and see if all the parts can be made to harmonize in such an interpretation.

 

First - Was the land of Canaan "their own land"? See Gen. 15:18: "In that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." Also, Psalm CV:6-12: "O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: when they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it." Texts might be easily multiplied to prove this point, but these, I judge, are quite sufficient.

 

Second -- Was the posterity of Jacob divided into "two nations"? 1 Kings 11:31: "And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee." And 1 Kings 12:20-24: "And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all  the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. But the word of God came unto Shemaiah, the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and the remnant of the people, saying: Thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel; return every man to his house; for the thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the Lord, and returned to depart, according to the word of the Lord." That point is settled.

 

Third -- Did they go forth "among the heathen"? See 2 Kings xvii:6, 20-24: "In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes." "And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did: they departed not from them; until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof." As to the nation of Judah, or the Jews, they were scattered into all nations after the destruction of Jerusalem. Here, then, is a fulfillment.

 

Fourth -- Can the literal posterity of Jacob in the flesh be gathered into the land of Canaan? Look at Isaiah lxvi:20 -- "And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord." Also, Jer. 32:37-44: "Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: and I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them and of their children after them: and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. For thus saith the Lord: Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the Lord." And Jer. 33:7-9, "I will cause the captivity of Judah [one nation] and the captivity of Israel [the other nation] to return, and I will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honor before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good, that I do unto them; and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it." So when this event shall occur there shall still be "nations" upon "earth," who "shall hear all the good that" God will do to Judah and Israel, when He has gathered them. They are to be built "as at the first." They were "one nation at the first."

 

The Lord next administers a reproof which we all should do well to hear -- Ezek. 38:23-24 -- "Moreover, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the Lord hath chosen, He hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them."

 

Fifth -- Can they be brought into "the land wherein their fathers have dwelt"? Not if this gathering is the "elect remnant," brought up in the "resurrection" upon the new earth, after the final conflagration; for, I repeat it, their fathers never dwelt there. But if we understand literal Judah and Israel, I have shown it can be done.

 

Sixth -- Can they be united again in one nation under one king? See Hosea 1:11; 3:4-5 -- "Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land; for great shall be the day of Jezreel." "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days." Also Isa. 11:12-13 -- "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The enby also of Ephraim shall depart and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah and Judah shall not vex Ephraim." Here is a perfect union.

 

[To be concluded next month.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LITERAL FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY

BIBLE EXAMINER

MARCH, 1879

 

EZEKIEL 38 EXAMINED

(Concluded from last month.)

 

Seventh -- Will the one king be David? "This is the only point of difficulty, if it be one, in this interpretation. It is less difficult, however, to admit that David will have a literal resurrection, and reign over this "one nation," than to harmonize the prophecy with any of the previous interpretations. I remark, however, as the posterity of Jacob is one, so the lineal heirs of David's throne are one; and it is in accordance with Scripture usage to denominate David's successor David. See 1 Kings 12:16 -- "Se when all Israel saw the king [Rehoboam, son of Solomon] hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel; now see to thine own house, David." This address was made to the king of Judah, the lineal heir to David's throne. It is authority, if we had no other, for the use of the name to the reigning king on David's throne. Jesus Christ is to have that throne at the time that Judah and Israel are gathered. See Jer. 23:5-8 -- "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous BRANCH, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his day Juday shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say the LORD liveth which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries whither I have driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land." Jesus Christ was "born King of the Jews." -- Matt. 2:2. He is a king in the direct and legal line of David; and he is alive to reign; and for any other to reign on the throne of David, Christ being alive, it would be usurpation.

 

Eighth -- Can the literal posterity of Jacob be multiplied in the land spoken of? See Jer. 23:3 -- "And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be FRUITFUL and INCREASE." Also Jer. 30:18-20 -- "Thus saith the LORD: Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry; and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them." Zech. 8:3-5 -- "Thus saith the LORD, I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age, and the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof." Lastly, see again Ezek. 36:8-11: "But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: and I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: and I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD."

 

Ninth -- Will there be children among them? This question is answered by the previous, but I wish to compare Ezekiel 36:25 -- "They shall dwell therein, they and their children, and their children's children," etc., with Isaiah 11:1-9, where under the reign of the "BRANCH out of Jesse's roots," it is said, Isaiah 11:8, "The sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den." These texts, in connection with those under the previous head, are conclusive that there will be increase by the propagation of children: of course, the "gathered" are men in the flesh, and not the subjects of the resurrection, for they  "neither marry nor are given in marriage." Thu far, then, we find a harmony on this principle of interpretation.

 

Tenth -- Will they no more be removed? That is -- will they be exempt from another captivity? Here I remark, the term "forever," etc., in Scripture usage denotes the longest period of which the subject is capable to which it is applied. The examples of this are clear and numerous in the Bible. The inquiry now before us is not affected, therefore, at all by their removal to immortality. I will now call attention to a portion of Scripture which is of little value on any other theory tan the one I now advocate, viz., Ezek. 11 To Ezekiel xlviii. Under Messiah's reign, and by the restored "one nation" the city and temple described in these neglected chapters, are to be built. In Ezekiel Xliii, Ezekiel says: "Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east, and behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters; and the earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar: and I fell upon my face. And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house: and the man stood by me. And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of the kings in their high places." See also Jer. 31:38-40, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse-gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up nor thrown down any more forever." Ezek. Xlviii:30-35, "And these are the goings out of the city on the nort side, four thousand and five hundred measures. And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi. And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan. And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures; and three gates: one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulon. At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates: one gate of Gad, one gate or Asher, one gate or Naphtali. It was round about eighteen thousand measures; and the name of the city from that day shall be, "The Lord is there"; or, "Jehovah Shamma," as the margin reads. A very different city from the one seen (Rev. 21), both in its dimensions and name.

 

I now appeal to all sober and candid minds, if the view here taken, of Ezek. Xxxvii. 15-28, does not present a harmony that no other view ever has presented? If so, is it not evident the interpretation must be the true one?

 

It may be proper that I should add a few words on the expression, verse 16, "Judah, anc the children of Israel, his companions." This expression does not denote the ten tribes, as such, nor the nation of Israel. It will, be seen by an examination of 2 Chron. Xi., 14-16, and xv., 9, that when the division took place into two nations, some individuals of the ten tribes went with Judah. Though they associated with Judah they were not Judah, but, "the children of Israel his companions": these, of course, shared in the fortunes of Judah, and are here reckoned with them. A remark also may be necessary on the expression, "Ephraim, and all the house of Israel his companions." Ephraim was the principal tribe of the ten; and sometimes the whole were spoken of under this general name; here, as the expression in reference to Judah had been made emphatic, including the individuals that had consorted with it from Israel, it was necessary also, to prevent any mistake, to note not only the general name of Ephraim, but all the house of Israel associated with the tribe of Ephraim. In verse 19 God says, "I will take the stick of Joseph – which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows," which were the other nine tribes, "and will put them with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they [not Christians, nor the resurrection elect] shall be one in my hand:" that is, "one nation," as after explained.

 

CONCLUSION -- This prophecy, in all its parts, has never yet had a fulfillment. The ten tribes never had been gathered -- Judah and Israel never have been made one nation -- they never have been united under one king -- they never have dwelt in the land without experiencing a removal out of it -- therefore, we are to look for the fulfillment of these things as still future, and as certain in their accomplishment. Whether a portion of it will be accomplished before the advent, or all of it after, may be the subject of a future inquiry.

 

 

THE EDITOR

BIBLE EXAMINER -- OCTOBER, 1879

 

AFTER a suspension of the EXAMINER for five months, I again appear before my readers, though in great weakness of body, but strong in faith that God doeth all things well; and if the "Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering," shall we refuse to be? "If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." To suffer with him is to possess the same spirit of submission to our heavenly Father's will in whatever lot he shall appoint us. I think, blessed be his name, this has been my experience in what I have passed through in my trying sickness, in which I have endured more suffering than in all my previous life of nearly eighty three years. The Lord be praised for the experience it has brought of the knowledge and love of God to my heart.

 

I can say little now, as this is the first time I have attempted to write a paragraph in five months, and I am too weak to say much more. My beloved daughter, and only child, has attended to all my correspondence for me till now; written several hundred letters and postal cards in answer to inquiries, besides constantly watching my bedside day and night five months with anxious care.

 

Before leaving the subject, the question comes up, Shall the BIBLE EXAMINER be revived?

 

This depends, mainly, on the answer of three others.

 

1. Will the editor's strength be restored so as to warrant his resuming the work?

 

2. Will his present subscribers be willing to cancel his indebtedness tot hem for the remainder of the present volume? When he was taken sick he had only sufficient funds to publish one number more; those have not been increased much since, and I have now expended nearly all I have received for the EXAMINER in the present issue.

 

3. Mainly: Will they take the risk of furnishing the funds for the next volume?

 

The money is not expected, whether subscriptions or donations, until sufficient is subscribed to go on with the next volume, but it is desirable to know at once what our friends will do. Should you send funds, please inform me what disposition you will have made of them in case the EXAMINER cannot be issued regularly hereafter.

 

A volume cannot be published short of sixteen hundred dollars. Eight hundred subscribers at $2.00 each, would supply the needed funds; but many will take it in clubs. What may be lacking must be made up by donations, or the magazine cannot go on. Will the friends venture on the effort?

 

I now propose to start a new volume, to commence January, 1880; the first number bearing that date, but to be issued in December next, provided the amount can be secured necessary to proceed safely, either by subscribers or donations or pledges, to be paid in due time. The result must be arrived at, by an early day in December, whatever it may be.

 

The generous friends who have aide me personally, during my long and painful sickness, have my most hearty thanks; it has been a great relief to my mind during that time. May the Lord abundantly reward you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION

ZIONS WATCHTOWER AND HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE

VOL. V.     PITTSBURGH, PA., APRIL AND MAY, 1884.     NO. 9.

R623-624

 

It is well known that for years past I have opposed the popular, or Calvinistic view, of election.  That view is essentially this: 'God did, from all eternity, unconditionally, elect a certain number of persons to be saved, and these cannot be lost; and, at the same time, did pass by all the rest of the human family and left them to eternal damnation'; i.e., He reprobated them to eternal torments, or death, leaving them in a helpless and hopeless condition.

 

Such an idea of election I have opposed for fifty years past, and shall probably oppose it to the end of life, as unharmonious with the character of God and his professions of 'love to the world,' and the fact that Christ 'tasted death for every man,' and 'gave himself a ransom for all,' and that 'God will have all men to be saved [to live] and come to the knowledge of the truth' (1Ti 2:4-6); (Heb 2:9).

 

With this statement before my readers, I trust they will not mistake nor misconstrue what I am about to say on election.  That there is a Scripture doctrine of election it is useless to deny; and that it is a 'Sovereign' one must also be admitted.  God, of his own sovereign pleasure, elected the first Adam before he was created to be the head and representative of the human race in its animal nature.  The same Sovereign will elected, 'before the foundation of the world' (Eph 1:4), the second Adam--the Christ--to be the head and representative of a spiritual race, to be developed in due time.

 

SCRIPTURAL ELECTION HARMLESS.

 

These elections are necessarily followed by a harmless reprobation, i.e., no other man can take either the first or second Adam's place in the plan of God relating to our race.  Neither of these elections are designed to exclude any of the race from the favor or love of God, but both are ordained for the benefit of the non-elected, to bring life and well-being to the entire race.  The first Adam was elected to the office or work of multiplying and replenishing the earth, by filling it with inhabitants and subduing it (Ge 1:28).  The second Adam was elected to the office or work of bringing out a spiritual element in men and subjecting them to the will of God, so that they should find their happiness and joy in 'communion and fellowship with the Father and Jesus Christ,' the second or spiritual Adam (1Jo 1:1-3).* *Some of our readers will recognize the writer of the above as a former soldier of the cross who laid aside the earthly armor some years since. The above, from the pen of our esteemed fellow-laborer, was written probably ten years ago, and before we had come to see that the election of the church, now in progress, is to a change of nature, from human to spiritual: hence, in the fourth paragraph, the writer speaks of Christ selecting a spiritual element in man, instead of saying, as we now would, that the Second Adam becomes the head of a new or spiritual race, and the restorer of the human race.

 

In the sixth paragraph also, under the light of further unfoldings of the same truth, we, instead of saying each was endowed with many or few talents 'by the will of the Creator--each elected before birth to the capacity found in him by nature,' we would say: Originally, the race in its perfect representative, Adam, was fully and perfectly endowed with a full range of talent; but, by reason of sin, and the degradation and imperfection consequent to the fall, the original range and scope of talents has been more or less interfered with and destroyed.

 

It affords us great satisfaction to recall how clearly our Brother Storrs, in the above and other writings, presented the conditions which we were elected to fulfill if we would be joint-heirs of Christ's glory--that we must suffer with Him if we would be also glorified together.--EDITOR. These two heads (the first and second Adam) were each elected, in distinction from all others, for these special offices or works; but it was for the benefit of others in both cases, though all others were reprobated in the sense these were elected.

 

THE CREATOR'S RIGHT TO ELECT.

 

The sovereign right of the Creator to elect whom he will to certain offices, or to perform a particular work, is undeniable. To deny this would be to deny that he is God, the MAKER of all things; and to such the language of Paul is applicable--'Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?  Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?' (Ro 9:20). Without variety in the human family, what would society be, even in this life?  If all were rulers, who would be the subjects?  If all were subjects, who would be the rulers?  It is evident to all that some men by nature are endowed with five talents, some with two, and some with only one; and each was thus endowed, not by his own choice or will, but by the will of the Creator.  Each was elected, before he was born, to this capacity found in him by nature; improvement may increase this capacity in them all; but I speak now only of the election which gives them their place, at first, in the race--all ordered in infinite wisdom for the highest good, improvement and happiness of the whole race.

 

Men claim the right to elect their own rulers; and the act of doing it is called 'Election'--that is, certain persons are elected to fill particular offices, not for their own benefit or aggrandizement, but for the good of the whole community. From the offices thus filled all others, for the time being, are reprobated or rejected; but the reprobation is a harmless one; the election was designed to benefit all the reprobated; to watch over their interests and see that all were protected in their lawful pursuits, and to punish the disturbers of the peace.  The elect rulers are armed with authority to enforce law and order, and under such a well-ordered administration the greatest amount of good will be possessed by all well disposed, both of rulers and the ruled.  In this view election is stripped of its hateful aspects.

 

A CALM LOOK AT THE SUBJECT.

 

Let us now see if we can look calmly on the Scripture doctrine of election.  In the first place, suppose it is an election of individuals, though that view may be modified as the investigation proceeds. For what are they elected, or to what? Is it to be saved, while all others are to be damned?  Preposterous assumption! as unfounded in the Word of God as it is blasphemous.  They are 'chosen in Christ' and for Christ, to aid him in his work of blessing the race of Adam, for whom Christ 'tasted death;' that is, 'every man'--'every creature'--the 'all' for whom Christ 'gave himself a ransom,' which will 'be testified in due time' (Mr 16:15); (1Ti 2:6); (Heb 2:9). The elect are to become the 'Bride of the LAMB'--his 'joint-heirs' --to reign with him (Re 19:7,8); (Ro 8:17); (2Ti 2:12); and will sit with Christ on his throne in the regeneration (Re 3:21).  Shall He not have the right to select his own Bride?  May not He and His Father elect whom they will for the Bride of Christ?  How can that be doubted?  Her office is not to exalt herself, nor for herself.  It is to exalt the Bridegroom and be workers together with him in blessing the race and carrying out God's great purpose of blessing 'the world'--the whole human family.

 

Viewed in this light, what Christian's heart can object to the doctrine of election? No one is harmed by it; no one is excluded from salvation or eternal life by it; but their ultimate possession of those blessings is more likely to be secured by it.  There is greater hope for those who are not of this elect Bride than there would have been but for her being thus elected and prepared to bless the others of the human race.  This election need not and should not cause any jealousy in the minds of the non-elect; for, first, it is for the benefit of the non-elect that this election has been made; and, second, these elected ones have, in this life, to 'drink of Christ's cup, and be baptized with his baptism' of sufferings, sorrows and reproach, be despised, reviled, have their names cast out as evil, their motives misconstrued, endure persecution in some form; many of them even unto death, having 'had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, harassed, maltreated, (of whom the world was not worthy): they wandered in deserts and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth' (Heb 11:36-38). Such, in some sort or some measure, is the lot of the Elect Church of Christ, who, having been made partakers of His sufferings, will be sharers in his glory, having been fitted therefore by being perfected by sufferings like their Elect Head, Christ Jesus.  They do not and cannot live as other men do in this present life.  They are called out from the world, and live not for this world, but live above it, looking for a 'kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world' (Mt 25:34). Christ is not only their Redeemer, but their great Exemplar: to be Christ-like is the grand ruling motive; and this makes them separate from all other men in this life.  They have taken Christ's yoke upon them, and are now learning of him who was 'meek and lowly in heart.'

 

These remarks lead to another branch of the subject.  That the elect I have spoken of are a definite number, which can neither be increased nor diminished, is highly probable.  But I shall not argue that point at this time, another question being of more importance--that is--

 

Or, Is it an Unconditional Election of certain individuals to fill the position of Bride to the Lamb? That the offer of this honor is confined to a portion only of the human family is a self-evident truth; for only a few of the race have ever heard the proclamation of the grace of God in Christ.  It seems to follow that only those to whom the good news has been preached are candidates for this high and holy calling.  That this election is not absolute, i.e.,  irrevocable, seems clear both from the Old and New Testaments.  Peter calls upon believers to make their 'calling and election sure' (2Pe 1:10).  Paul tells us, 'I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway' (1Co 9:27): and again he says, 'I have suffered the loss of all things...that I may win Christ...that I may know him and the power of his resurrection ...if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection (exanastasin) out from the dead,' or out from among the dead' (Php 3:11); which language shows that Paul did not consider his election to that honor was absolute; hence, his laborings and sufferings to 'make sure' that result.

 

Thus it appears that election, though it may be of individuals, is not absolute; it may be forfeited by 'transgression.' Paul is clear on this point when he says, 'It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame' (Heb 6:4-6).  Again Paul says, 'If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries' (Heb 10:26,27). Such testimonies go to show that individuals may be elected to run in the race for the offices of 'kings and priests' unto God and the Lamb, and yet may 'come short of' a confirmation or inauguration into those offices by failing to obtain that maturity and perfectness which God calls them to, and by non-improvement of the grace bestowed on them; hence, the apostle exhorts on this wise, 'We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain' (2Co 6:6).

 

The Scriptures are full of cautions against carelessness in the use of God's grace, and against quenching the Spirit, and admonitions not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, all of which go to show that there is a danger, at least a possibility, of failing to 'make our calling and election sure.'  Too many persons, while writing or speaking of election, fail to make the distinction between being elected to run a race, and being elected to receive the prize.  All who believe in Jesus have been elected (from the foundation of the world, if you please,) to run in the race for the kingly and priestly offices of the Kingdom of God; but none have been absolutely elected to the possession of those offices; this last election is suspended on conditions to be performed; hence, says the apostle, 'So run that ye may obtain' (1Co 9:24): obtain what?  'An incorruptible crown.'  This belongs 'to him that overcometh' (Re 3:21).

 

GOD'S DESIGN BY AN ELECTION.

 

This view of election, while it acknowledges the sovereignty of God and his right to bestow his gifts according to his will, shows that all is done with the design to benefit the race of men, as a whole; so that while some are exalted to rule and teach, the others are blessed under and by their rule and instruction, thus uniting the whole family of man in a perfect harmony, diffusing perfect happiness and joy: 'every man,' ultimately, sitting 'under his own vine and fig-tree,' having none to molest or make them afraid, 'for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it' (Mic 4:4).

 

Such an election as here set forth, is a most powerful stimulus to holy living, deadness to the world, self-denial, patience in tribulation, watchfulness, constant reliance on God for help and support in all the conflicts to which we are exposed in this life: in short, it leads to that spirit of consecration to God and the Lamb which few professed Christians seem to have any idea of in these days, for most of them appear to be tolerably satisfied to be saved from hell or death; and a deep communion with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ, seems of no great importance to them if they can only be saved.  Saved they may be; but never gain a part in the company composing the Bride of Christ: they have not made that 'calling and election sure,' and hence, fail of being kings and priests unto God and the Lamb; though saved with an inferior salvation through the abounding love of God, they may be subjects but not rulers in the Kingdom of God; they are not heirs of the Kingdom, but they may share in the blessings which flow from the reign of Christ and his Bride in the Kingdom, when that reign is established over all the earth.  How great their gain or loss will be, by their neglect to make 'sure' their election, is a matter at present impossible to tell.  Let each believer in Jesus see and feel that he or she is called, yea, elected to something more than to be saved; they are chosen to put on Christ; i.e.,  to become Christ-like, so as to be of his Bride, and occupy the place of kings and priests to God and the Lamb.  Not to live for this end andoffice;  to be satisfied with the idea of merely being saved somehow, is to undervalue their high calling and lightly esteem the exalted honor of being joint-heirs to Christ's throne, and possessing the intimate relation of Bride of the Lamb.  It is too much like despising the birth-right, like Esau; or selling it for a mess of pottage.  What are all the charms of this present age--its honors, its luxuries, its wealth and grandeur--compared with the eternal honor and pleasure of being of the number that 'follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth' (Re 14:4), and associated with him in all the wondrous works and glories of the 'ages to come?'

 

Let all believers in Jesus 'strive to enter in at the strait gate,' and walk in 'the narrow way,' if they would make 'sure' their 'calling and election,' and not rest in the bare idea of being saved. The prize is before us: let us 'so run that we may obtain' it.--Geo. Storrs.

 

 

THE WILL OF GOD

ZIONS WATCHTOWER AND HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE

VOL. V.     PITTSBURGH, PA., APRIL AND MAY, 1884.     NO. 9.

R630

 

  ‘Who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.’—{#1Ti 2:4}.

 

The term ‘saved,’ in general signifies to deliver.  What the nature of the deliverance is must be determined by the circumstances. It may be from dangers of any kind; it may be from enemies temporal or spiritual; from sin; from temptations; from death, temporal, spiritual, or eternal; it may be from ignorance, or a helpless state that prevents our attainment of good that our Creator has prepared for His creatures. In this case it is the removal of these disabilities, etc.  These uses of the terms save, saved, and salvation, it is presumed will not be questioned by any one.

 

Two facts are stated in the text above: 1. God ‘will have all men to be saved,’ 2. God will have all men come to the knowledge of the truth.’ On these two facts rest the sum of the gospel.  Without controverting the truth that the terms save, saved, etc., are used often in a restricted sense, or are applied to a deliverance which is conditional, I proceed to notice the first fact stated in the text:

 

1. ‘God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved.’  Here is a salvation which is clearly unconditional,  and depends alone on the will of God.  It is equally clear that an ultimate or final salvation is conditional, based on the ‘belief of the truth’ as well as through ‘sanctification of the Spirit,’ (2 Thes. 2:13). Texts need not be multiplied on this point.  The salvation in the text under consideration admits of no conditions, as we shall see; it depends entirely on the ’will’ of ‘God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved;’ not desires them to be saved: but has willed or determined they shall be saved.

 

The question then is, What is the nature of this salvation which is unconditional and certain?  Paul answers: ‘As by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation’ [to death]; ‘even so, by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon allmen unto the justification of life: for as by one man’s disobedience the many [all men] were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall the many be made righteous’ ({#Ro 5:18,19}). That is, as all men die by one man’s sin—Adam’s—so by one man’s righteousness—Christ’s—shall all men be made alive from the dead. This revival from the dead is to all men unconditional: but a revival to immortality and eternal life is conditional.  The universal revival restores all men from the death that came upon them as the result of Adam’s sin.  In this respect, Christ has ‘abolished death’—annulled it; made it void, or powerless to hold one of Adam’s race.  This is the salvation ‘God will have all men’ receive, irrespective of any will of their own.  This will further appear as the examination of the second fact in the text proceeds.

 

2. ‘God our Saviour, who will have all men...come to the knowledge of the truth.’  This second fact shows why God will have all men revived from the dead.  How else can innumerable millions ever come to the knowledge of the truth?  They have died without such knowledge; but Paul, who received his commission and his message directly from the Saviour’s personal manifestation, declares, ‘God our Saviour, will have all men come to the knowledge of the truth;’ and in order to this, He ‘will have all men to be saved.’ Observe, the salvation is placed before coming to the knowledge of the truth, and in order that they shall have that knowledge; for, no man’s final state is fixed till he has first had it. When I say ‘the salvation is placed before coming to the knowledge of the truth,’ I do not mean that in the order of the work all men must actually be saved or made alive from the deadbefore they receive that knowledge; but, that God’s will to revive all men is based on the fact that in no other way can the mass of the race ever come to the knowledge of the truth, the reception or rejection of which is to determine their final state: and God’s impartial ‘love of the world’ is a pledge that ‘every man’ shall come to the knowledge of that love in the gift of ‘His only begotten Son’ to bestow life eternal on all who will receive him when made known to them.

 

It is a fact the gospel is to be preached ‘to every creature’; the gospel of God’s love to the world, and of Christ as the LIFE-GIVER for all men: and until it is proclaimed to ‘every man,’ or, to each individual, that individual has not the proper probation and his final state cannot be fixed according to the gospel preached to Abraham and confirmed in Christ.  Then, saith Paul, ‘If we sin willfully after that we havereceived the knowledge of the truth,  there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin’ ({#Heb 10:26}).  Thus the Apostle keeps the two facts of the text in view, and shows that death must be abolished and all men saved from it or God’s will would be defeated, and all men could not have the knowledge of the truth. But God’s will shall be accomplished, and death cannot prevent it; he has taken care to see that that ‘last enemy shall be destroyed’({# 1Co 15:26}), so that no man who has died in ignorance of God’s love and his provisions for their ultimate redemption from sin and all its final consequences, shall fail of eternal life except by a wilful rejection of the truth, when, or after, he has come to the knowledge of it.

 

Such is ‘God our Saviour’s will’;  and who or what can defeat his counsel so as to make his word void?  Has he not said, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do my pleasure’ ({#Isa 46:10})?

 

That I have taken the correct view of the text the context shows. The Apostle says: ‘I exhort that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men ...for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved,’ etc.; ‘for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom forall,  to be testified in due time.’ ({#1Ti 2:1-6}). Hence the absolute necessity that all men be saved from death, else God’s will, that they shall ‘come to the knowledge of the truth,’ is defeated, and his ‘due time’ will never be reached.  The death by Adam is annulled, so that no man can be held by it.  If held in death at all, it is because he has sinned ‘willfully after that’ he has received the knowledge of the truth.  Such exceptions no more affect the general truth of the salvation of all men from death, than the general truth that ‘death passed upon all men’ is affected by the translation of Enoch and Elijah, or that of saints alive at Christ’s return from heaven.  The wordall embraces the mass of the race; the exceptions are the few.  Some may never be released from death, because, personally they have involved themselves in its dominion by a wilful rejection of the DELIVERER after he was made known to them.—Geo. Storrs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE EDITOR'S ILLNESS

BIBLE EXAMINER -- OCTOBER, 1879

 

MANY of the readers of the BIBLE EXAMINER will wish to know something of the nature of the Editor's severe illness, suffering, for months, the most excruciating pain, day and night. He has borne it all with unexampled patience, believing that the dear Lord, who saw it all, was thereby preparing him for a glorious work in the "ages to come." When, at death's door, and apparently beyond the reach of all human help, Providence -- we have no doubt in answer to the prayers of many loving friends -- directed us to Dr. Caroline Yeomans, of New York (now married to Dr. Lester Keep, of Brooklyn), who has treated him with marked success from the first. The following is a statement of the Editor's condition when she took charge of the case, as given by herself and husband.

 

HATTIE W. STORRS

 

A SKETCH OF ITEMS NOTICE IN THE CONDITION OF THE REV. AND VENERABLE GEORGE STORRS, AUGUST 11th, 1879.

 

At first sight a noted item was atrophy, an emanciation, and a cadaverous look commingled, that indicated a long decline. On motion, at once was manifested adynamia, a debility showing a state of very low vital powers.

 

On an effort to speak, asthenia designated a debility of the whole animal economy -- a large diminution of all the vital forces. On a more minute examination, a remarkable deficiency in all the organs and functions of assimilation was noticed; nutrition everywhere being almost entirely suspended, life's forces could not be supplied with their natural tone and power.

 

Further on in the examination, there was discovered an unnatural condition of the functions of the stomach, the liver, the kidneys, and the bladder, and the skin, all unhealthy and wrong. Intimately associated with these sick organs, was a long standing irritation and chronic congestion and inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the inner surface of the whole alimentary canal, involving seriously all the mesenteric glands, obstructing thus most sadly all the channels through which nutriment, strength and life from food are conveyed to all portions of the system to give cheer and life and health.

 

Not only those organs above described, that build up and sustain the system, were thus in fault by the diseased performance of their assimilating functions, but their functions of elimination also, their acts in casting off from the system impurities and excretions showed fully. Again the arteries, veins and nerves ramifying and penetrating all organs and tissues, were sadly defective in the performance of their important functions. They were congested and very much wanting in common vitality and healing and vivifying influences.

 

The wasting away of life and all of its natural manifestations was very painful to behold, as all his friends have witnessed and testified . . . . A name for such a complicated condition of the organs and functions of the human system cannot be given that embraces the whole case better than the different medical terms I have used and explained in this sketch.

 

The attending physician of Mr. Storrs, Mrs. Dr. Yeomans Keep, very carefully considers all these unhealthy organs and their functions, and skillfully adapts remedies for them all, as a reasonable success by a steady and gradual advance to a former more natural condition makes manifest, under their steady use by her advice and prescription.

 

These views of our friend, Mr. Storrs, were obtained in consultation with his physician, Dr. Yeomans Keep, on her second visit to her patient, by LESTER KEEP, M.D.


Cor. Gates and Vanderbuilt Aves., Brooklyn.

 

 

THE EDITOR'S PRESENT CONDITION

 

He is still very feeble and devoid of strength, which is not strange, considering the utter prostration of his nervous system. His disease has not affected him mentally. His head has been entirely free from pain, and consequently his mind has been clear. In conversation with him a few days ago, a friend remarked, "Bro. Storrs, your mind is as clear as ever, which is a great consolation to know." We trust, with the Divine blessing, he will be restored to comparative health and usefulness

 

HATTIE W. STORRS

 

 

BROTHER GEORGE STORRS

BROOKLYN, DECEMBER 14th 1879

 

R71

 

Our brother, so long the editor of 'The Bible Examiner' is known to most of our readers; also that he has been obliged by severe illness to discontinue his paper.  While he no doubt feels, as we do, that he should like to continue the proclamation of the love of God for all His creatures, yet he has much reason to thank God for being privileged to spend so long a life and one so consecrated to the Master.

 

Feeling that many of you, as well as I, would be glad to hear from our brother occasionally we offered him the use of a part of our space.  The following from his daughter, will be of interest to you.

 

BROOKLYN, Dec. 14th 1879.

 

Bro. Russell: Your letter of the 9th, was duly received and read to father as he lay on his sick bed, exhausted and worn.  He appreciates your Christian sympathy and kind suggestions, but as for his writing or inditing anything, he has not strength either of body or mind.  He does not suffer so constantly, as he has done but he is much emaciated and helpless as a child and is so heavy, that we find it necessary to have a man to lift him.

 

We should like a statement of his condition in ZION'S WATCH TOWER--Your offer is the first we have received, from any paper, and we thank you for it.  He is very patient and uncomplaining, though, at times his sufferings are so great, that he longs for rest. Yesterday was his 83rd birthday, as I suppose you know.  He sends much Christian love.  Yours respectfully,

 

H. W. STORRS.

 

We (without solicitation) suggest to any of our readers to whom the Lord has given bountifully as His stewards: that this is one opportunity (among many) of 'ministering to the necessities of the saints.'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE WORLD'S CRISIS

Wednesday, January 14, 1880.

 

ELDER GEORGE STORRS

 

A late Crisis brought the sad intelligence of the death of a brother--an old veteran and an able expounder of 'the faith once delivered to the saints'--Eld. George Storrs, Editor of the Bible Examiner, of New York.

 

The decease of such a man should have more than a passing notice. I have not the means before me except to give the outgushing of my heart at the loss of a dearly beloved brother, to whom in former years my heart was knit by a sacred tie, brought about by the Spirit and power of God in defense of Bible truth, be it ever so unpopular.

 

Elder Storrs was no small pattern, but under God was a man of might and influence. When the Anti-slavery reform was first agitated, and it was seen that evangelistic Christendom North and South stood in defense of, or apologized for this God-dishonoring, damnable sin of slavery, turning men, women and children into goods and chattels, bought and sold like other merchandise, he was ready to leave all his denominational ties and associations and blow the abolition tocain of alarm, at the loss of reputation. He was ready to take the cross, and the charge of heresy and infidelity could not deter him from taking a bold stand for God, humanity and the right. He was no half-way man; his convictions being secured, his whole soul was in the work, and his voice was heard thundering along the line of defense with scathing denunciations against the horrors of slaver and the wickedness of Northern apologists, from a Bible standpoint.

 

Being a Bible man, when the time had fully come, and the Spirit of God in His great purpose began to pen up in the fulfillment of prophecy, showing that the day of Christ was at hand; that we had passed the apostle's barrier--the 'falling away' first, and the development of 'the Man of Sin above all that is called God'; and that we had reached the generation which should hear 'this gospel of the kingdom' by giving the signs of His soon coming to consummate the hope and give the kingdom to the saints of the Most High; --hearing and believing the 'good news,' he took a giant grasp of this soul-cheering message. With boldness and unwearied exertion he gave himself to the work without moral reservation, and his defense of the soon-coming Jesus, with its results at times, were simply terrific and persuasive. His faith was so unwavering that he could take up the bridge as he passed over.

 

His Christianity was progressive. He soon saw, from the origin of man and his destiny, that man was mortal, dying in his nature, and that immortality was only gained at the coming of Christ; and this led to the preaching and publishing of his Six Sermons in relation to the destruction of the unbelieving. These, with other developments of the same truth, let the light in upon us that has been progressing rapidly, till the theology of orthodox Christendom stands aghast today, wondering where to hold and what to hold to. Thus my love and memory take hold of and appreciate the labors of this brother in the Lord.

 

Again, I see an Anti-Bible Convention called together in Hartford, with a challenge for all or any of the ministers of the State to come and defend God's Bible against infidelity. None venture but Elders Storrs and Turner. They step in, and in the strength of the God of the Bible, against infidelity and its ablest supporters, their time was manfully improved by the thundering utterances of Bible truth, logic and philosophy, with their sharp, withering argument, showing the falsity of their natural religion; which gave a triumph for truth that was visibly felt by the Convention and vicinity of Hartford, and for which they received a resolution of applause from the Christian ministry of Hartford.

 

When such men pass away, more than a passing notice should be tabled; so I add my heartfelt condolence for and with the friends of the deceased. A good man has fallen. 'Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord!'

 

L. Boutell.

 

 

 

BIBLE EXAMINER, Vol. XXIII NEW YORK, MARCH, 1880. No. 10

 

THE BIBLE EXAMINER MEMORIAL NUMBER

 

"One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." -1 Tim. 2:4-6.

 

THE BIBLE EXAMINER

 

In consultation with a few friends, it was proposed as a conclusion to the last volume of the BIBLE EXAMINER, to issue the present as a memorial number to its late Editor, my honored father. Believing a compliance with such a request will be most gratefully accepted by his many friends and subscribers, and at the same time offering a very desirable medium through which my aged mother and myself can more fully express our gratitude and thanks to the many kind friends who have, during the sad period that has passed, aided us financially and also consoled us by kind words of sympathy: to one and all we tender our grateful acknowledgements, and believe that a brief account of my father's life, illness and death, followed by some of the notices of the press and letters received since his decease, will be fully appreciated and accepted by them as a solemn and interesting duty resting upon us.

 

And, in closing this last number of the BIBLE EXAMINER, a magazine, which in its chronology has covered a period of one generation, we can truthfully affirm that whatever of fault it may have contained in its history, its one object, end and aim in its publication has been to diffuse among mankind the knowledge and love of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to a suffering and dying world.

 

Hattie W. Storrs

_____

 

MEMOIR

 

GEORGE STORRS, the subject of the following memoir, was born in Lebanon, N.H., December 13th, 1796. He was the youngest of eight children. His father, Col. Constant Storrs, was originally from Mansfield, Conn.; and was an industrious mechanic, serving, for a time, in the American Revolution as a wheelwright. After the war of the Revolution he was married to Lucinda Howe, who was half-sister to the late Richard Salter Storrs, for many years minister of Longmeadow, Mass. After their marriage they removed to New Hampshire-the country being then a wilderness-and located in Lebanon, on Connecticut River; and by industry and economy became, what in those days, was called a wealthy farmer. To them were born seven sons and one daughter. The mother of these children was ever watchful over their religious instruction, while the father was most studious to promote their temporal welfare. The mother invariably gathered her children around her, particularly on the Sabbath, to give them instruction in things pertaining to God, and our Savior Jesus Christ. She was not disposed to leave their religious education to the minister, or any other less interested in their welfare than a mother.

 

The Congregational and Calvinistic ministry was about the only preaching in Lebanon for many years. Very few of any other denomination ever preached there. The strong tendency to fatalism, in the Calvinistic preaching of that period, was a subject which the mother of these children did not fail to endeavor to counteract in the minds of her offspring, and to impress upon them unceasingly, that, if they would seek the Lord, he would be found of them. Such pious labor was not lost. Though this family of children grew up to maturity, four of them died before their father; and six had gone down to the grave before their mother: two only survived her.

 

George's mind was often deeply exercised on the things of religion from a child. Many anxious desires filled his heart that he might be a Christian. Early had his mother taught him to acknowledge "Our Father, who art in Heaven," and point him to "Our Savior Jesus Christ." Experimental religion, however, was a mystery to his mind, though one that he often anxiously desired to solve. Secret prayer was often resorted to, but he heard sometimes from the pulpit that the man who cursed and swore was as likely-yea, more likely, to be converted than he who went to his closet to pray for the salvation of God. Such teaching made George feel sadly, as he thought his case was more hopeless than boys whom he knew to be very profane, while he feared an oath. This influence, however, was counteracted by the vigilant instruction of his mother. Happy for him that he had such a mother. But for her instruction he has often thought and felt that he would never have been brought to a saving knowledge of God and his Christ. The sweet and heavenly strains of prayer, poured forth by that mother when she took George to her closet, and sought the mercy of God in Christ for him, made him forget or disregard the false teaching of the mere theologian. Such scenes told on his heart, not to be obliterated.

 

The preaching of the torments of hell never won his heart, though it often filled him with a dread of God, which was calculated more to drive him from God than to draw him to such a being. From fifteen to seventeen years of age was the most thoughtless period of his life. None of the terrors of preaching had any tendency to win him to the service of God; but at the close of the time last mentioned, in meditation, alone, far removed from all excitement, he became so affected with a sense of the goodness of God to him, that he resolved henceforth to seek the Lord till he should find him. If he could pray for nothing else, he determined to pray daily that God would show him his need of a Savior, which theoretically he understood, but experimentally he had not realized. His resolution being made, he pursued noiselessly and alone his purpose, light gradually breaking upon his mind till he was led to bow to Jesus and come to God by him and found mercy. Months had passed away and no mortal but himself knew the exercises of his mind: he did not even communicate to his mother the revolution going on in himself. He took occasion, however, to listen to any persons who seemed disposed to converse on spiritual subjects, and often felt his heart encouraged by such conversation, though he took no part in it, but was an interested listener, unknown to them. This state of things continued for a year or more. During this period his only sister died. After her death his anxiety increased to be in a state of reconciliation with God, yet all his exercises were kept within his own bosom, except on one occasion to ask his mother-who was at the time confined by a fever-some indirect questions relating to God and Christ: after which he retired alone, and was overwhelmed with a sense of the love of God. Still he traveled on alone, sometimes believing and sometimes doubting. After months had passed away in this manner, he expressed to his mother, one day, that he much liked to hear a man talk who always talked sweetly about Jesus. His mother said to him-"George, do you think you are a Christian?" This was said with an anxious look which made him feel that a mother's heart was deeply interested. It was a question so unexpected that he almost faltered in answering it; but at length said his mind was much interested on the subject. His mother replied, "I have long thought it was." This was as unexpected as her question, as he had no suspicion that any one thought him specially serious.

 

From that time himself and mother had frequent conversations, and she often prayed with him and for him, being a mother indeed, in more senses than one. He has never ceased to bless God for that matter.

 

At the age of nineteen he united with the Congregational Church, and about twenty others near his age united at the same time, who were the fruits of a revival at this period. Three years afterward he was happily married to one of like faith in Christ. Two years passed and that wife was confined on a bed of sickness and suffering, which can never be known except to those who were witnesses of the scene. Four and a half long years of sickness, suffering and trial were then endured which terminated in her death. She died most triumphantly, though a most painful death. Her husband stood by her bedside and closed her eyes, when the dying struggle was over.

 

Prior to her death, Mr. Storrs had had his mind exercised with the conviction that God had called him to preach the Gospel of Christ. He had exercised his gifts in the prayer and conference meetings of the church for years; and the thought had often occurred, that possibly he might have to proclaim Christ more publicly, and as a minister.

 

During the time of his wife's sickness, he was induced to hear a Methodist minister preach for the first time since he was interested in the things of religion. That minister he invited to his house, and also another of the same denomination. Their visits became a source of comfort to himself and wife. Even after an intimacy existed between him and the Methodists; and about the time of his wife's death he united with that Church, and soon after commenced his labors as a minister of the Gospel. He joined the Methodist Travelling Connection in 1825, being then twenty nine years old. The same year his second marriage occurred with a daughter of Col. Thomas Watterman, of Lebanon, N.H. His father-in-law was the first child ever born in Lebanon, and to the close of a long life one of the most prominent men in that town, being highly esteemed by all. Mr. Storrs traveled and preached among the Methodists till 1836, when he took the relation of a Local Preacher, but traveled more extensively than ever. For three years he spent most of his time lecturing and preaching on the subject of slavery, in a time which tried men's souls; as nearly the whole Methodist E. Church was hostile to an agitation of that subject. That opposition convinced Mr. Storrs that individuall responsibility was the true ground to occupy, and he could not submit to leave his responsibility in the hands of bishops, nor any body of men, however good they might be. Without going into details of matters which led to such a result, he withdrew from said church entirely, in 1840, after a connection with it of sixteen years.

 

At this point it may be necessary to say that Mr. Storrs never had a charge preferred against him for immoral or disorderly conduct at any period of his connection with the Congregational or Methodist Churches. And in severing his connection with them he was not actuated by hostility to them, but by a deep conviction that his responsibility was to God alone.

 

In 1837-three years prior to his withdrawal from the M.E. Church-his mind was first called to a consideration of the subject of the final destiny of wicked men as being, possibly, an entire extinction of being and not endless preservation in sin and suffering. This was by a small anonymous pamphlet put forth, as he learned, by Henry Grew, of Philadelphia. He read it to pass away a leisure hour while passing from Boston to New York. It was strange to him that so plausible and Scriptural an argument could be made in defense of a doctrine which he had always regarded as unworthy of a serious consideration; for he had never doubted that man possessed an immortal soul. A new train of thought had now been waked up in his mind; but he proceeded with great caution in examining the subject, and in conversing with any one upon it. He searched the Scriptures carefully, and sought every opportunity to get information from ministers in particular. As the inquiry continued, the strongest arguments urged against this, to him, new view, served to carry his mind into the conviction of its truthfulness and Scriptural basis. After several years' investigation, conversation and correspondence with some of the most eminent ministers, and looking to God for direction, he became settled that man has no immortality by his creation or birth; and that "all the wicked will God destroy" -utterly exterminate.

 

He had counted the cost before he came to this conclusion. He had stood high in the denomination with which he was connected, and was greatly beloved by the ministers in the conference with which he had passed so many years. That conference had given him, always, the most gratifying evidence of its confidence and esteem. Though he had, previous to the time now spoken of, taken a "local relation," he still enjoyed a high place in the affections of those ministers, and was ever happy to enjoy association with the.

 

To take a position, then, which should sever himself from them, and separate himself from the relation which had so long existed, with the certainty that he must forever after be excluded from their pulpits, if not from their Christian regard, was a trial to his mind which could not have been endured except under a deep sense of the truth of that position which he now felt called to advocate and defend. Relying upon God, he chose to follow his convictions of truth to any and all other considerations; and he took his stand in defense of the doctrine, that there is no immortality out of Christ, and therefore wicked men will be consumed-destroyed-or cease from life-be no more-"be as though they had not been."

 

He wrote three letters to a prominent and able minister of the Methodist E. Church, with whom he had been intimate. In reply, he acknowledged that he could not answer Mr. Storrs' arguments; and he never undertook it. On the contrary, after a few months, they had an interview, and examined the subject together, which resulted in his advising Mr. Storrs to publish the letters he had written him, but with a request to withhold his name. Accordingly, in the spring of 1841, four years after his attention was first called to the subject, two thousand copies of the "Three Letters" were issued from the press and sent abroad. This was not done without counting the cost.

 

At this period he was residing in Montpelier, Vt., and expected likely he would never be called to preach anywhere again only as he did so on his own appointments, and near his then residence. Contrary to this expectation, he shortly after had an invitation to visit Albany, N.Y., which he did; and after preaching in that city three Sabbaths concluded to remove his family to that place in August, 1841. There he ministered to a small congregation, who came together on the principle of "receiving one another as Christ had received them." The Bible was the only creed-Christian character the only test. For eight months he preached there without dwelling distinctly on his new views of Christian doctrine, though he had frankly told them what his views were, and circulated among them the "Three Letters" he had previously published.

 

He now felt called upon to come out more fully and distinctly on the subject, and he determined to do so. This gave rise to what has ever since been called the "Six Sermons," the special history of which we will here state.

 

Early in the spring of 1842, he determined to give one sermon that should embody all that might be desirable to present in relation to it. The appointment was made one week beforehand, and public notice given in the city papers. Monday previous to the time appointed he went to his study, and there spent the entire week in investigation, meditation, and prayer. Thus was the "First Discourse" prepared. Never had he a deeper and sweeter sense of the Divine presence and blessing, and of being engaged in a work well pleasing in His sight; and he could as well doubt any other part of his Christian experience as to doubt that.

 

He found before the first week in his study was ended, that two discourses at least would be necessary to present the subject in a proper light. The time came for the first discourse to be delivered; it was Sabbath evening, and the house, for the first time since his ministry there, was full.

 

He informed the congregation that as his subject was a peculiar one, and he was liable to be misrepresented in what was said, he had determined to do what he had never done before-i.e., read nearly all he had to say. At the close he gave out to preach another sermon on the same subject the next Lord's-day evening. His second week was spent in his study in the same manner that the first had been; and thus was the "Second Discourse" prepared; but found there must be a third; and so did the matter proceed till he had prepared and preached the "Sixth Discourse;" and the history of the first week in his study is the history of the six weeks, each of which was spent in the same manner as the first. All this was without any reference to ever publishing. After the Discourses were ended, several who had listened to them desired their publication. Accordingly he spent several weeks more in revising, reviewing and preparing them for the press, and they came forth in May or June.

 

Such is the origin of his "Six Sermons," as they are now called. And he never doubted, from that day forward, but what it was of God.

 

A few weeks after the "Six Sermons" were first published, at Albany, Mr. Storrs was visited by a man who was preaching the views of Wm. Miller on the second advent. He gave him the use of the "House of Prayer" in which to present those views. As the attention was deep, and the subject one of so much importance, if true, it was consented that he might repeat this course of lectures in their place of worship, and Mr. Storrs became partially convinced of the correctness of the views advocated; so much so that he solicited the services of Charles Fitch, formerly a Congregational minister, who had embraced the views of Mr. Miller, to visit Albany and preach to the people on the subject. Accordingly a Tent meeting was appointed for that place, and thousands came out to hear that holy man of God, Mr. Fitch, who labored unceasingly and with great power in preaching the coming of the Lord. During his ministry there Mr. S. became settled that the doctrine he preached was true. Under this impression, he left his stated ministry in Albany to travel and preach; and for the next three months, in the fall of 1842, preached to thousands on thousands in relation to the coming of the Lord. Thus, without seeking it, the providence of God had given him an influence over a multitude of minds, both ministers and laymen. He did not, however, introduce his peculiar views directly into his ministrations in public. He had no desire to do so. But as it was known that he held these views he was constantly met with inquirers, both ministers and private Christians, to whom he frankly stated his belief that "all the wicked will God destroy." The Six Sermons were sought for and read, and the truth on that subject spread while he kept silent publicly.

 

At length the "organ" of Mr. Miller's views, The Signs of the Times, Boston, Mass., came out strong against a minister who felt it his duty to preach what the end of the wicked would be, as well as to preach the coming of the Lord. That paper several times published remarks censuring that minister; and Mr. S. felt that as he held the same sentiments he was bound not to keep silence and let him suffer alone. Accordingly, in December, 1842, under a deep conviction that God called him thereto, he revised the Six Sermons, and published an edition of five thousand in newspaper form, in the city of New York, where he was then preaching, and scattered them over the United States, at his own expense. A few weeks after that, he gave them another revision and published ten thousand more and scattered them in the same manner. Thus was the seed sown, and it sprung up in all directions.

 

In the spring of 1843, he was invited to Philadelphia to preach on the advent, and thousands came out to hear. It was well known what his sentiments on the end of the wicked were, and there was an evident desire to hear something on that subject. Instead, however, of preaching on the subject, he had the Six Sermons stereotyped in the quarto form, and printed two thousand copies; these were distributed among the congregation to which he was then preaching; and there is little doubt but that most who then read, were either convinced of the truth, or had their prejudices so far removed as to feel no opposition.

 

In the fall of 1843, he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and spent several months. There also and in Indiana, some five or six thousands of the Sermons were scattered; and we know that the seed took root in that region.

 

It is proper and right that we should here state that Mr. Miller uniformly opposed Mr. Storrs' views on the immortality question.

 

The views maintained in the Six Sermons, in the winter of 1843 and 1844, had taken strong hold of many minds; and in Jan. 1844, Charles Fitch, of whom we have previously spoken, wrote Mr. Storrs a letter commencing as follows: -

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio, Jan. 25, 1844.

 

"Dear Br. Storrs:- As you have long been fighting the Lord's battles alone, on the subject of the state of the dead, and of the final doom of the wicked, I write this to say, that I am at last, after much thought and prayer, and a full conviction of duty to God, prepared to take my stand by your side."

 

He then went on to state his "thorough conversion" to the views in question. This letter was indeed a cordial to Mr. Storrs. Mr. Fitch was a pleasant and powerful preacher, and carried with him a mighty influence. This letter from him was a dreadful blow to the opposers of the doctrine of the Six Sermons among the advent believers.

 

In May of the same year he wrote Mr. S. again, and commenced by saying-"I have received a long letter from Br. Litch, touching the state of the dead, the end of the wicked, etc. It would be exceeding pleasant to me to be able to please him, and the dear brethren who agree with him, for I love them all, and could rejoice to concede anything but truth, to be able to harmonize with them in my views. But there is a Friend who has bought me with his blood, and I take more pleasure in pleasing Him, than in pleasing all the world besides. I never preached my present views touching the state of the dead, and the destruction of the wicked, until fully convinced that I could no longer withhold them without displeasing my blessed Lord and Master."

 

He wrote another letter in July, 1844, giving a particular account of his "first impressions" -"the process of conviction," and his "conversion" to these views. In this faith Mr. Fitch lived and labored a few months; but his abundant labors brought on sickness, and in October, 1844, he fell asleep in Jesus, in the glorious hope of soon awaking at the voice of the Son of God.

 

About the same time as Charles Fitch, many other ministers in various parts of the country came into the same views, and their number has steadily continued to increase to the present time.

 

In 1843 the Six Sermons were republished in England and circulated in various parts of that country, and must have attracted some attention, as they are referred to by several writers on both sides of the question there. About this time Dr. Lees, of Leeds, broke ground in England against the endless-torture doctrine, and man's natural immortality. Near the same point of time, Mr. Dobney, a Baptist minister, published his excellent work on "Future Punishment," in England, which has been republished here, and has been the means of bringing many to the truth. Mr. White, a Congregationalist minister, also published his "Life in Christ," taking the same side with Mr. Dobney; and several other ministers in England are on the same ground.

 

For the sentiments contained in the Six Sermons Mr. Storrs alone was responsible, as he steadily refused to let any man, or any body of men, hold any responsibility for him or his views. It never was his object to establish a sect; as he steadily refused to be recognized as in, what is called, a church relation with any body of men. He did not, however, make his views of his independent responsibility a standard for the action of others; he desired all to act in harmony with their convictions of what truth and duty required of them, as responsible to God.

 

It may be proper in this place to say that he labored statedly in the City of Philadelphia from November, 1844, to April, 1852, employing nearly all his time among that people, but never seeking for, or consenting to, an organization such as all sects labor to establish. He believed that love was the bond of union, and that, when that would not bind a people together, they had better separate. For the last two or three years of his residence in Philadelphia he was called more to visit different parts of the country, and finally concluded to remove to New York as a more central position of visiting abroad.

 

The BIBLE EXAMINER was started by him in 1843, as an occasional issue, at his own expense. It was continued in that way till 1847, when it was issued regularly each month, then in quarto form. With 1848 it was changed to a super-royal sheet of sixteen pages, and continued monthly till 1854, when it was issued semi-monthly. Its object was expressed by its motto-"No Immortality or Endless Life except through Jesus Christ Alone." In 1852 and 1853, in addition to issuing the EXAMINER, Mr. Storrs traveled thousands of miles, east and west, preaching to many people on the Life Theme. In the fall of 1863, its influence had been so extensive that its friends called for a weekly paper, and invited George Storrs to become its editor. To comply with this request he suspended the EXAMINER, and for eight years acted as editor of the weekly. At the end of that time, or in 1871, he had advanced doctrinally to his last position in regard to the purposes of God respecting the human race. He then revived the BIBLE EXAMINER, which has since been issued monthly. He had held the generally-received notion that the final destiny of all men would be fixed, unchangeably, at death, without regard to the unavoidable ignorance in which they had been placed in this life. That view he abandoned, fully satisfied that it was not, an could not be, sustained by the Bible. It is a human tradition, unsupported by a single text of the word of God, and a dishonor done to his perfections, and attributes to him a government outraging the moral sense he has implanted in the human breast, carrying the conviction to the reflecting mind that truth, mercy, love and justice, are all outraged by such an administration.

 

TRUTH is outraged, because the "Word of God" affirms that he "so loved the world that he gave his Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life;" and yet to an innumerable portion of the world he never gave an opportunity to know that Son, thus making it impossible for them to believe in him.

 

MERCY is outraged, because the Creator endowed every child of Adam with an intense love of life and longing for its continuance, and subjected them to a life of sorrow and pain, ending in a hopeless death, without allowing them to know that any provision had been made to remedy the evils they endure, nor that any means were in existence whereby these evils could be made to promote their ultimate good by putting them in circumstances of enjoyment to which they never could have attained by any other course of discipline.

 

LOVE is outraged, because the Creator foresaw, before he gave them life, that the vast majority of the race would live and die in unavoidable ignorance of any way of escape from those evils in which they would be involved, and yet determined not to make a remedy known to them in this life nor a future one. For the same reasons JUSTICE is outraged, so that, on the supposition that the Creator determined no ignorance, however unavoidable, should be an excuse for not believing on his Son, and that no opportunity to believe should be given beyond the present life, his administration would be chargeable with a monstrous lack of truth, mercy, love and justice: a charge which amounts to nothing less than blasphemy against our CREATOR.

 

Those who dare, may continue such a tremendous charge against the God who made us: the editor of the BIBLE EXAMINER could not consent to be of that number. "Let God be true," though it might prove "every man a liar." He "is LOVE:" that love embraces the entire race of men; and it led him to send his only-begotten Son into the world to give life to the world" (Joh 6:32); and that Son "gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time." (1Ti 2:6) To the vast majority of the race that "due time" never came in this life; and, as God "cannot lie," that time will certainly be found somewhere "in the ages to come." (Eph 2:7)

 

Since 1863, he has issued many pamphlets; "The Essential Baptism," "Devil, Satan, Demon," etc. Among his later writings are many BIBLE EXAMINER tracts, as well as "The Promise and Oath of God to Abraham" and "The Divine Dispensations:" the latter are now out of print as pamphlets, but republished in Vol. 23 of the BIBLE EXAMINER.

 

H.W.S. _____

 

 

HIS ILLNESS AND DEATH

 

As early as March, 1879, he began to be troubled with the pain which the physicians suppose to have been the result of abscess in the kidneys. It gradually increased, till in the middle of May he was prostrated by it, and though everything that could be done by six or eight physicians was done, yet he could find no relief, till in the latter part of August the abscess broke and discharged. He then seemed easier, and through September we hoped he would be restored to comparative health, as he could go about the house; and on the 11th of that month I find the following memorandum in his diary: "Went down to breakfast for the first time in four months." The hope was illusory, for the pain returned with increased violence, and during eight long, weary months he suffered beyond the power of words to describe. From the first he had no appetite, could not take food of any kind.

 

The last three weeks of his life he was helpless, and Bro. Wm. Munger, of Springfield, Mass., kindly offered to assist us, and he nursed and cared for father as tenderly as a mother, watching him night and day, anticipating every want, thus alleviating much suffering; for which we cannot be sufficiently grateful. May the Lord reward him!

 

The physician said there was no old age about him, notwithstanding his advanced age; he had an iron constitution, and had not disease attacked him, would have lived years longer. He possessed remarkable tenacity of life, and fought with death for days; for a week previous his feet and lower limbs were numb, cold, and paralyzed. Friday night, Dec. 26th, he lost the power of speech; all day Saturday he was conscious, although unable to say anything, notwithstanding several efforts to do so. On Sunday morning, Dec. 28th, just as the sunlight entered the room, he fell asleep in Jesus, to rest till the resurrection morning.

 

His age was eighty-three years and fifteen days. His sufferings were intense until Friday night, but he bore them with great patience and submission, never murmuring nor complaining. When I said once, "Father, it is too bad that you must suffer so," he replied, with great sweetness, "No, my daughter, it is not too bad, but it is very bad; still I can bear it, the Lord helping me. The Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, and shall I refuse to drink of the same cup?" Neither would he ask unconditionally that the cup might pass from him, for the Lord knew best, and would not afflict him except for his ultimate good. Toward the last he was aware that he could not recover and longed for rest, saying "he was so tired," and the dear Lord answered his prayer.

 

He made all arrangements for his interment, desiring that everything should be so simple and inexpensive as possible; wishing no sermon to be delivered, nor any laudation of himself, as he felt that he had been but an instrument in the hands of the Lord for doing good to others. So, on the morning of December 30th, a few friends gathered at the house, short prayers were offered by Bros. Chas. Sutton and J.B. Cook, a few remarks by Bro. Butler Packard, of Brooklyn, and Bro. Grim, of Philadelphia, and he was laid away to rest for a little while in the beautiful cemetery of Woodlawn, in the lot of his cherished friend, Mr. H.F. Johnson, of New York, how had been unwearied in his attentions all through this long illness.

 

We miss a loving, devoted father and companion; our hearts ache with a sense of loneliness and desolation, that only those who have experienced the same can realize; yet we sorrow not as those who have no hope, for we know that his whole life was one of devotion to God and consecration to the cause of truth. For this he had given up friends, means, and now his life, and we feel that there is a crown and a glorious work awaiting him in the "ages to come;" which theme was a delightful one to his heart.

 

We know that all God's dealings with us are in love, and that he has some wise purpose in all that he permits; and though it seems mysterious to us why father should be called to endure such suffering just at the close of his long life, the reason may be to prepare him more fully to sympathize with the suffering ones to whom he shall hereafter be called to minister. Our prayer is, that we, with him, may be found worthy to stand before the Son of man. "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly."

 

H.W.S.

 

NOTICES OF THE PRESS

From the "Herald of Life," Springfield, Mass., Jan 7th, 1880.

 

DEATH OF BRO. GEORGE STORRS

 

Doubtless many of our readers have ere this been informed through the secular papers of the death of Bro. George Storrs. He died at his residence in Brooklyn, N.Y., Sunday morning, December 28, at the age of 83 years. His disease was an abscess of the kidney, and his sufferings were great during his last days. He leaves a wife and one daughter.

 

George Storrs was born in Lebanon, N.H., December 13, 1796. His early religious training was in the Congregational Church, but when 27 years old he joined the New Hampshire Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and preached in different places in that State for fifteen years. His views in regard to the nature and destiny of man then changed, and he became an earnest advocate of the doctrine of immortality through Christ alone, and the utter destruction of the wicked. This necessitated his withdrawal from the Methodist Church. He never afterward united with any denomination, but remained an Independent, preaching and publishing what he regarded as truth.

 

In 1842, he preached and published his famous "Six Sermons" against inherent immortality and eternal torment, in Albany, nearly, if not quite, 200,000 copies of which have been circulated. He was an earnest advocate of the Lord's coming in 1843-44, but ever afterward opposed the setting of any definite time for that event.

 

His first connection with any periodical was in 1841, when he began the issue of the BIBLE EXAMINER in Albany. It appeared occasionally for several years. In 1847 it began to be published monthly in Philadelphia, to which city its editor had removed. It was then issued regularly in quarto form until 1852, when Bro. Storrs removed to New York. From this time until the close of 1857 it was published part of the time as a monthly, and part of the time as a semi-monthly. During 1858 and most of 1859 it was suspended; but in the latter part of the latter year it was revived as a monthly, and continued, with an interruption of six months, until September, 1863.

 

By this time Bro. Storrs and many of the contributors and patrons of the EXAMINER had embraced the doctrine of no future life out of Christ, and a weekly publication was thought to be necessary, especially to meet the opposition which the new view had aroused. Therefore, at a meeting held under the "Old Chestnut Tree," near the Wilbraham camp ground, August 29, 1863, the Life and Advent Union was formed for this purpose. The new paper was named The Herald of Life and of the Coming Kingdom, and George Storrs was elected its editor.

 

The EXAMINER was now suspended, and the first number of the HERALD appeared October 21, 1863. Bro. Storrs continued to edit this paper until August, 1871. HE had for many years held the view that probation to the living nations at Christ's second coming would be extended beyond that event; and early in 1871 he published a series of editorials which led to the conclusion that those among the dead who had not heard the gospel and rejected it would arise and share in that probation. This view being thought by the managers of the HERALD to be inconsistent with its purpose, Bro. Storrs declined a re-election, and our lamented Bro. L.C. Thorne took his place.

 

Bro. Storrs now began the issue of the BIBLE EXAMINER as a monthly, and continued it quite regularly, we believe, until his last illness.

 

Bro. Storrs was possessed of superior intellectual power. His large perceptive and retentive faculties, together with his ready command of language, made him a successful advocate and a formidable opponent. No one who knows his history will accuse him of being a self-seeker or a time-server. He followed his convictions regardless of the love of friends or the hate of foes. He took an active part in the early anti-slavery movement, lecturing frequently in behalf of the slave. This was one cause of his leaving the Methodist Church, which, to say the least, was rather lukewarm on that subject at that time.

 

His ability in discussion was fully proven and recognized in the Hartford Convention in 1853. The infidels had attacked the Bible and its God, and clergymen challenged to meet the charges had stood aloof, when he and Joseph Turner entered the convention, and ably defended them. He compelled the infidels to define the law by which the Bible was to be tried as that of "natural religion," and then discomfited them upon their own ground. The sense of the community at Hartford was expressed in the following resolution, passed, among others, at a large meeting held after the convention adjourned: "Resolved, That the sincere and hearty thanks of Christendom are due to the Rev. Messrs. Storrs, of New York, and Turner, of this city, for their able, manly, fearless, laborious and triumphant defense of the Holy Scriptures, during the recent convention.

 

Of Bro. Storrs' ability as a writer we need say but little, for he was editor of this paper eight years, and most of our readers, therefore, can judge for themselves. His pen was a power recognized by friends and foes. He was not an eloquent writer, but used good, plain English, that conveyed his meaning by the shortest route to the understanding. There was a point in every sentence, and frequently a very sharp one. It was not, however, the sharpness of bigotry, but that of earnestness and faith. But he could not only write sharply, but sweetly. The love of God was one of his favorite themes, and when upon it he wrote with a tenderness and pathos that showed that it dwelt richly in his heart. Besides his editorial writings, he was the author of several tracts and pamphlets, chief among which, and that which has had the widest influence, is his "Six Sermons."

 

Bro. Storrs was a man of spotless integrity and uprightness. All who knew him bear testimony to this fact. No matter how many opposed his religious opinions, none had ought to say against his life. He had early consecrated himself to Christ, and he remained faithful to the end. His long life-work is over, and he rests in peace, awaiting the coming of the Life-giver.

 

We bespeak for his bereaved wife and daughter the sympathies of all our readers, while we assure them of ours.

 

 

 

NOTICES OF THE PRESS II

From the Restitution, Plymouth, Ind.

 

To the Editor Restitution:--How curiously wrought are the affairs of his life! Sometimes it has the appearance of unevenness, irregularity and question; we wonder why the loved and lovely are so soon removed from our midst, why hearts that seem cemented as with adamant are broken; why the aged and inform linger beyond the allotted period of three score and ten; and why the sweet babe, so full of earthly promise, should be torn from the maternal embrace, and laid away in the cold and cheerless grave! These are questions that rise before us, and in our ignorance of the why and wherefore of much that is, we are often disposed to murmur and complain. We who have known the depths of sorrow, consequent on bereavement, are well prepared to weep with those who weep; and I need not call your attention to the circumstances recorded in a former issue of The Restitution, and again in issue of the 7th inst., where side by side are noticed the deaths of two, the one (sister Eshelman), related to me by marriage, and the other (George Storrs), to me well known, and very highly esteemed for his life and life's work. My personal acquaintance with George Storrs has a history of over twenty five years, during which time I have been more or less intimate with him; for a long time he had office room with my brother in Fulton Street, New York, during which time he was engaged in the discussion with Prof. Mattison on the "Life" question, and his masterly handling of that question then or since has rarely been excelled, if equaled. About twenty years ago he joined me to my first wife in the bonds of marriage; he was then about sixty-three years old, and was as hale and hearty a man as we would meet in many a long walk; I well remember his advice on that occasion to both of us--"Keep on courting"--and I have often thought since, if this was the rule of married life, there would be a greatly lessened list of divorces from the causes which are patent to outside observers. It is well also to have the "bears" in the house, and out of it too: "Bear and Forbear!" I miss his familiar address to me whenever we met--"Well, Master George!" and his ever gentlemanly bearing, and thankfulness for any little attention shown him. His zeal for the truth as it presented itself to him was always coupled with a bearing of propriety toward those with whom he differed, but with a quickened conscience he never could do other than express his convictions. His more recent views concerning the future of the race led him to set aside somewhat his teachings in the Six Sermons, which I believe were the means of leading many hundreds, if not thousands of minds, into deeper research for the truth of the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God.

 

Oh for the rarity of Christian charity, that is ready, or should be, to give honor to whom honor is due! George Storrs "rests from his labors, and his works do follow him," and it seemed wholly fitting the funeral of such an one, that none should pronounce his eulogy; as the life of the deceased can tell more than all others could say of him!

 

Like all who have dared to come to the front and advocate unpopular teachings, he had his enemies, who felt it their privilege to stab him, but who were never able to truthfully say one word against his moral character. He also had a host of friends as well as admirers, and many today, who while not endorsing all he taught, are full of kindly feelings toward the memory of one so just, so true.

 

In a recent conversation with him, while he patiently suffered, he said to me, "Oh if I recover from this sickness, how I will sound out the love of God in Christ Jesus!" and I believe this he would have done. In what I have said, I have had no desire to write a biographical sketch of George Storrs, only simply to note some things of pleasant and personal reminiscence.

 

GEO. W. YOUNG. Brooklyn, N.Y.

 

 

NOTICES OF THE PRESS III

World's Crisis, Boston, Mass., Jan 12th, 1880.

 

ELDER GEORGE STORRS

 

A late Crisis brought the sad intelligence of the death of a brother--an old veteran and an able expounder of 'the faith once delivered to the saints'--Eld. George Storrs, Editor of the Bible Examiner, of New York.

 

The decease of such a man should have more than a passing notice. I have not the means before me except to give the outgushing of my heart at the loss of a dearly beloved brother, to whom in former years my heart was knit by a sacred tie, brought about by the Spirit and power of God in defense of Bible truth, be it ever so unpopular.

 

Elder Storrs was no small pattern, but under God was a man of might and influence. When the Anti-slavery reform was first agitated, and it was seen that evangelistic Christendom North and South stood in defense of, or apologized for this God-dishonoring, damnable sin of slavery, turning men, women and children into goods and chattels, bought and sold like other merchandise, he was ready to leave all his denominational ties and associations and blow the abolition tocain of alarm, at the loss of reputation. He was ready to take the cross, and the charge of heresy and infidelity could not deter him from taking a bold stand for God, humanity and the right. He was no half-way man; his convictions being secured, his whole soul was in the work, and his voice was heard thundering along the line of defense with scathing denunciations against the horrors of slaver and the wickedness of Northern apologists, from a Bible standpoint.

 

Being a Bible man, when the time had fully come, and the Spirit of God in His great purpose began to pen up in the fulfillment of prophecy, showing that the day of Christ was at hand; that we had passed the apostle's barrier--the 'falling away' first, and the development of 'the Man of Sin above all that is called God'; and that we had reached the generation which should hear 'this gospel of the kingdom' by giving the signs of His soon coming to consummate the hope and give the kingdom to the saints of the Most Hish; --hearing and believing the 'good news,' he took a giant grasp of this soul-cheering message. With boldness and unwearied exertion he gave himself to the work without moral reservation, and his defense of the soon-coming Jesus, with its results at times, were simply terrific and persuasive. His faith was so unwavering that he could take up the bridge as he passed over.

 

His Christianity was progressive. He soon saw, from the origin of man and his destiny, that man was mortal, dying in his nature, and that immortality was only gained at the coming of Christ; and this led to the preaching and publishing of his Six Sermons in relation to the destruction of the unbelieving. These, with other developments of the same truth, let the light in upon us that has been progressing rapidly, till the theology of orthodox Christendom stands aghast today, wondering where to hold and what to hold to. Thus my love and memory take hold of and appreciate the labors of this brother in the Lord.

 

Again, I see an Anti-Bible Convention called together in Hartford, with a challenge for all or any of the ministers of the State to come and defend God's Bible against infidelity. None venture but Elders Storrs and Turner. They step in, and in the strength of the God of the Bible, against infidelity and its ablest supporters, their time was manfully improved by the thundering utterances of Bible truth, logic and philosophy, with their sharp, withering argument, showing the falsity of their natural religion; which gave a triumph for truth that was visibly felt by the Convention and vicinity of Hartford, and for which they received a resolution of applause from the Christian ministry of Hartford.

 

When such men pass away, more than a passing notice should be tabled; so I add my heartfelt condolence for and with the friends of the deceased. A good man has fallen. 'Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord!'

 

L. Boutell.

 

 

 

NOTICES OF THE PRESS IV

From the Granite State "Free Press," Lebanon, N.H.

 

A GOOD MAN GONE

 

Rev. George Storrs died at his residence, 72 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, N.Y., Sunday morning last. He was born in Lebanon, Dec. 13, 1796, and was consequently 83 years of age. He was the last of a family of eight. His history is pretty well known to most of our readers. He began public life as a Methodist minister, but being very decided and outspoken in his anti-slavery views, when to be an abolitionist was to be almost an outcast, even in New Hampshire, and being rebuked for his persistent agitation of this subject in the pulpit and elsewhere by the Methodist General Conference at Cincinnati, he severed his connection with that denomination, and never afterward would allow himself to be hampered by ecclesiastical ties, choosing to be free and to read and think for himself, with none save his Master to call him to account. He became a very close Bible student, and as a result entertained peculiar views, chief among which was the idea that only the good are immortal; that sin in its very nature ends in death, and death is not life. He was highly esteemed by all who knew him, for the purity of his life. One admirer and intimate friend has said to us several times that he was the purest-minded man she ever knew. He began the publication of the BIBLE EXAMINER in 1852, and we think was editorially connected with it till the time of his death, excepting a few years during which he edited the Herald of Life. He was a great sufferer in his last months, form the effects of an abscess of the kidney. W.H. Spencer, an intimate friend and co-laborer, writes u under date of Dec. 29:

 

"His suffering terminated about 10 A.M. yesterday, falling asleep in Jesus, as a child longing for rest, to await the Life-giver's return from heaven. The Lord truly 'giveth his beloved rest.' We shall bury him tomorrow with the simple service which he directed. We mourn the fall of a faithful standard-bearer, but 'not as those without hope.' He lived in holy peace, sustained by a blessed hope, assured that death's triumph will be short."

 

We had learned to have for Mr. Storrs a high personal regard. The story of his persecution for righteousness' sake made a deep impression upon our mind in boyhood, and we naturally sought a personal acquaintance after we became a resident of his native town. Sympathy to some extent with his theological views also led us into correspondence with him. Yet we never saw him but twice--once during his last visit to town and once at his home in Brooklyn. His wife, who survives him, an invalid, is a daughter of the late Thomas Waterman, the first male child born in Lebanon. He leaves also one daughter, Harriet, who in his later years has assisted him in his editorial labors. We presume some one who knew him better than we, will in due time, do something like justice to his memory in our columns.

 

 

NOTICES OF THE PRESS V

New York Tribune, Dec. 29th, 1879.

 

THE DEATH OF GEORGE STORRS

 

George Storrs, editor and publisher of the BIBLE EXAMINER, died at his home, No. 72 Hicks st., Brooklyn, yesterday  morning, at 8 o'clock, at the advance age of eighty-three. Mr. Storrs was born at Lebanon, N.H., December 13, 1796. His early religious training was in the Congregational Church, but at the age of twenty-seven he joined the New Hampshire Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for fifteen years he filled appointments in that State. His views in regard to salvation and endless punishment at this period changed, and he withdrew from the Methodist Church and ever after remained an independent preacher, devoting his labors largely to the enforcement of his views in his paper.

 

At the time of the early anti-slaver agitation, Mr. Storrs took an active part and lectured frequently. His prominence in this matter was one cause of his leaving the Methodist Church. After leaving New Hampshire he preached in an Independent Church in Albany for two years, and in Philadelphia for nine years. In 1852 he removed to Brooklyn and devoted his whole time to the BIBLE EXAMINER, "A monthly newspaper for the unfolding of Bible truth." In May, 1879, he was taken sick and his newspaper stopped, but in October another issue appeared--the last. He was the author of several books, among them "Six Sermons," and of numerous tracts. Mr. Storrs was a great sufferer in his later days and died from the effects of an abscess of the kidney. He leaves a wife and one daughter, the latter his assistant in his newspaper work. The funeral will be attended at the house tomorrow, and the interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTICES OF THE PRESS VI

Brooklyn Eagle, Dec. 29th, 1879.

 

GEORGE STORRS

 

After an illness of nearly a year, George Storrs, editor and publisher of the BIBLE EXAMINER, died yesterday morning, in the 83rd year of his age, at his residence, 72 Hicks Street. The cause of his death was the abscess of the kidneys, which baffled the best medical treatment and caused him the most intense suffering. The deceased was born in Lebanon, N.H., and in early life entered upon the profession of a Methodist minister. Subsequently he renounced the views of his denomination in regard to endless punishment. He abandoned the ministry then and entered the lecture field, confining himself mainly to the slavery question, and warmly espousing the views of the Abolitionists. In 1845, he established a monthly magazine, to which he continued to devote his attention up to the time of his death. He was a man of studious habits, and was a vigorous and forcible writer.

 

The funeral of the deceased will take place...

 

(The remainder of this article is missing in copies on hand)