Z.W.T., Mar. 1, '97, p. 74, column 1, says, "the healing may be said to have been in a natural way by the removal of the injured cornea." If the cornea itself were removed, the anterior chamber of the eye would be open, and with the consequent exposure of the iris, pupil and lens, the eye would inevitably be destroyed. The removal of the injury to the cornea, in a natural way, would probably be effected by the dried exudation from the inflamed structures (scab or scale) falling off.
Z.W.T., June 1, '98, p. 172, column 2, says,—"As it was the full of the moon, a solar eclipse could have lasted but a few minutes at most." That is an unfortunate expression, for at the full of the moon a solar eclipse is an impossibility. A solar eclipse is only possible at the time of new moon, and owing to the varying rates at which the two bodies travel it is not possible under the most favorable circumstances for a total eclipse to last longer than seven minutes, and an average eclipse is two or three minutes only. The most favorable circumstances are, (1) The sun at greatest distance from the earth, i.e., the earth at aphelion; (2) the moon at least distance from the earth (at perigee); and (3) the observer must be on the central line of totality.
[We are at a loss to understand how this statement crept in and thought to have corrected it in our next issue: we concluded not to do so, thinking that few of our readers would notice the error, and that those who had noticed it would recognize it as a "slip of the pen." We should have said—"As it was at the full of the moon, a solar eclipse even for a few moments was an impossibility."—EDITOR.]
In Z.W.T., Oct. 15, '95, p. 241, column 1, and in tract No. 40, p. 3, line 4, it is stated:—"The heart whose valves in turn propelled them to every part of the body." The function of the valves is not to propel, but to stop, the current of blood. It is the strong muscular heart wall itself which, contracting, forces the blood out of its cavities into the vessels, and the blood pressure thus produced shuts down the valves, closing certain orifices, to prevent the backward flow of the blood. In sending out this excellent tract I am taking the liberty of erasing the two words "whose valves" and substituting "which" in their place.
[Thanks for this correction also: our thought was that the heart is a pump with necessary valves. We will correct our next edition of Tract No. 40 to read—"The heart as a pump in turn propelled them to every part of the body."—EDITOR.]
I am sure your large heart will easily bear with me, as I call your attention to these points, and my only reason for doing so is that some readers, I fear, may reject your more precious Bible expositions because they detect an error in your science.
[Fortunately, dear Brother, the EDITOR has never laid claim to infallibility on scientific or other matters. He is on the contrary pleased to have honest criticism from any quarter—appreciating it specially when it comes from "brethren" and in a brotherly, loving spirit. We strive to exercise great care that our every utterance may be as the Scriptures direct—"as the oracles of God." (1 Pet. 4:11.) The EDITOR can scarcely hope that these three are the only errors and "slips" of his pen, in the publications of the past twenty years, and requests that if you or other readers note other errors worthy of correction you will kindly communicate them.]
"The question is, 'Is this man's testimony of God?' I believe it is. He claims little, but he teaches much. He teaches that the conflicting creeds of Christendom are out of harmony with God; and that even some of the most cherished doctrines regarded as orthodox, are wrong. If what this man writes is true, he is the veritable John the Baptist of this age, or at least the voice of one crying in witness to the second presence (not coming) of the Son of God.
"If his interpretations are true, he is 'that servant' now engaged in 'giving meat in due season to the household of faith.'—Matt. 24:45,46.
"It is of course a very easy thing to see error in the teaching of other churches than that to which we belong. The Episcopalian sees the Nonconformist as astray from the main track of truth, the Baptist recognizes the mistakes of Methodism, the Brethren condemn both these churches, while the Presbyterians regard the last-named as distinctly misled, and so it is more or less all round. The greatest difficulty of all is to detect one's own errors of Christian doctrine and practice. We are (generally speaking) all of us, so sure that we have the Scripture interpretation correct, and are so confident of our own position, that for one to call anything in question is an offence. That branch of the Christian church to which we belong is much more frequently determined by the accident of our natural birth, than by the circumstance of our regeneration.
"Can it be within the bounds of possibility, that the views commonly held as orthodox are mistaken [R2489 : page 158] ones, just as was the case with Israel at Christ's first appearance? Read 'MILLENNIAL DAWN' and see. We think the Jews were terribly mistaken to reject Christ as they did. Are we quite sure we have got hold of the truth just as God means it? Read 'MILLENNIAL DAWN' and see. Either the author of DAWN is wrong or we are. Of course it is easy,—perhaps all too natural,—to rashly conclude the author of DAWN must be wrong. Still it would be safer to examine his testimony and the Scriptures, to see if these things are so.
"How every age that has ever lived before us has failed to see the hand of God at work at the time; and as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be in the days of the coming (presence) of the Son of Man.
"I therefore beg all who are desirous of possessing the pure gold of God's truth, to examine what this servant of God has written. The most important are four volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN, which show the character, circumstances, and time, of the coming Kingdom of God. It may be that some will feel inclined to lightly toss this aside without much thought (as I did myself six years ago). I beg you do not so. If you hunger for God's truth, the living bread, at least read carefully the first volume of 'MILLENNIAL DAWN.'" [Signed.]
"Please forward me the other three volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN. I have been deeply interested in reading the first volume. I am determined by the grace of God to go to the bottom of these questions, cost what they will. If the DAWN teaching is according to God's Word, it will need humility of mind for us to confess how thoroughly we have been mistaken and to retrace our steps."
On the contrary many speak against it, and some with bitterness, but it is (for the most part) those who only hear of it, or only read superficially. But whether few or many receive the truth, our strong confidence is in God's own purpose regarding his Word, which he has clearly stated in Isaiah 55:11.
My wife and eldest daughter rejoice with me in the light of God's truth now shining. We pray for you, and your colaborers, and for all who love the present truth, that God will graciously preserve us all until the manifestation. I am,
P.S.—Poor WONG CHIN FOO (DAWN, VOL. 4, p. 253) died suddenly of heart failure at Wei Hai Wei on Sept. 13th last. A few weeks before he had visited Teng Chaufu where he first heard of and learned Christianity. He then remarked to a Baptist missionary that "he supposed the most wicked thing he ever did, was to write that letter, 'Why Am I a Heathen?' but he never supposed that it would cause so great a sensation." H. A. R.
From earliest childhood the EDITOR has had a deep interest in the heathen, and naturally a deep interest in missionaries. At the early age of seven years he expressed to his mother his intention to become a missionary, and a little later with other Sunday School children contributed his mite to the building of "The [R2490 : page 158] Morning Star" missionary boat—abstaining from certain table luxuries that he might have the value thereof to contribute as his own donation, that had cost him something and was not merely his parent's gift.
This sympathetic love for the heathen has not abated in all these years; but under the leadings of the Divine Word and providences it took a different turn than he had first intended. As the divine plan of salvation unfolded to him, he saw clearly that the Lord's sympathetic love for the heathen so far from being less than his own was greater. He gradually came to see that God's plan of salvation as he has purposed it in himself, from before the creation of the world, has made abundant provision for "every man that cometh into the world"—that all should "come to an accurate knowledge of the truth"—to a knowledge of him who is "the way, the truth and the life" and by whom alone access to the Father and restitution to his favor and blessing are possible. He came to see, also, that God is operating his great plan methodically, and that, as there was a "fullness of time" in which our Savior should be born, so also there is a "due time" in which the knowledge and blessing flowing from his redemptive sacrifice shall be made effective to all who will accept this favor under the terms of the New Covenant sealed with the precious blood.—John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:4-6; Gal. 3:16,29.
In harmony with this he soon learned from the Word that the Church, the "little flock," "the very elect," who are to win the "prize of the high calling," offered during this Gospel age, are to be but a "first fruits unto God and the Lamb." (Rev. 14:4; Jas. 1:18.) And the completion of this specially elect Church with the close of the present age will therefore be but the beginning, and not the ending, of the great plan of salvation which God has purposed.—Isa. 55:9-11.
In a word, he came to see that in God's great plan the present Gospel age is merely for the selection and education of those whom God purposes to use as his ministers, his missionaries to the world in general, in the next age, the Millennium. These are to be the "royal priesthood," to whom (under Christ the King of kings and Priest of priests) shall be committed the full control of earth during the "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."—Luke 12:32; 19:12-15; 22:29; Jas. 2:5; 2 Pet. 1:11; Dan. 2:44; 7:18,22; Matt. 13:43; Rev. 20:4; Acts 3:19-23.
From this standpoint it soon became evident to him that the duty of the hour is not the uplifting of heathendom,—for which work God has specially appointed a coming age and is specially preparing teachers, who will be granted plenary powers for that work. Accordingly, instead of seeking foreign fields of service, he sought a more and more intimate knowledge of the divine plan from the divine Word—to the intent that he might be a coworker with God in his work. And the due time for revealing to the Church the divine plan respecting its participation with Christ in the blessing of all the families of the earth—"the mystery hid from past ages and dispensations,"* having come, he has been privileged by God's grace to serve this "meat in due season" to many of the Lord's people far and near.—Eph. 3:3,4,9; 5:32; Col. 1:26,27; Rev. 10:7; Matt. 24:45
Further light upon the Word showed that this knowledge is now granted because due, because we have reached the period designated by our Lord as the "harvest" or closing period of this age.* We most firmly believe that this is the "harvest message" which as the Lord's sickle is to gather the ripe "wheat" of the living Church and that all associated with the promulgation of this message are reapers in this harvest, colaborers with the great Chief Reaper—our Lord and Head. He believes that this message and these messengers are figuratively referred to in Matt. 13:39,41, as doing a separating work in the Church—gathering the jewels, making ready the bride, the Lamb's wife, for the "marriage,"—gathering the elect from the four winds—from one end of the ecclesiastical heavens to the other.*—Matt. 24:31.
If it be argued that the work is insignificant in comparison to the great institutions of Christendom surnamed in the Scriptures "Babylon," we reply: It is God's usual method to choose the weak things, and the things that are despised; that it may be the more manifest that not the arm and spirit of man have accomplished the results, but the arm and spirit of Jehovah—our Lord Jesus and the "spirit of the truth." It may be argued, also, that less than sixteen years of the "harvest" period remain and that the Scriptural indications are that all of the elect will have been found and "changed" probably four years before the harvest ends—before the climax of the great time of trouble. We answer, Yes; but each year puts the present truth into more concrete form and increases opportunities (financially and otherwise) for reaching all who have "an ear to hear" (Matt. 13:43); and each year under divine Providence brings the ears of the consecrated—the Watchers, the Jewels—into better condition to hear the Lord's message.—Rev. 18:4-8.
Here, for instance, are the missionaries in far off China and Japan having this "harvest" message served to them by a dear brother in their midst. We have no idea that all missionaries have the true missionary spirit; but undoubtedly some of them have: and all such having ears to hear will surely hear, and be gathered by the truth out of sectarian bondage and the slavery of error and fear into the blessed liberty of the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of the truth, the spirit of Love; and into the closer oneness with our great Head which accompanies a knowledge of the truth to the faithful. May the Lord richly bless dear Brother Randle's efforts to serve the truth to others—more than compensating him for his consequent trials and self-sacrifices.
And as it relates to "foreign missions," but of another kind, we here mention that the past year has witnessed considerable progress of the truth in Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark, and an entrance has been effected into France and Norway. We hope for additional coworkers (Colporteurs) in all these foreign fields as well as here in the home field, which thus far seems to yield the largest returns of "wheat"—under divine providence, previously gathered here from every nation under heaven. All of the Lord's people filled with his spirit must be engaged in this work in some manner. (Jer. 20:9,10.) And "he that reapeth [using his abilities and opportunities] receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life eternal." (John 4:36.) Therefore, let each one who has tasted of this grace of God be forward to avail himself to his utmost in using his privilege of being a colaborer with his Lord.