[page 130]

ZION'S WATCH TOWER

AND

HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE.

—————

PUBLISHED TWICE A MONTH.

—————

TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY,
"BIBLE HOUSE"
ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.

C. T. RUSSELL, EDITOR.

—————

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE $1.00 A YEAR, IN ADVANCE,
(INCLUDES ALSO A SUBSCRIPTION TO TWO COPIES
OF OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS QUARTERLY)

By Express Order, Postal Money Order, Bank Draft, or Registered Letter. Foreign only by Foreign Money Order.

FREE TO THE LORD'S POOR.

N.B.—Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.

—————

SPECIAL ITEMS FOR REGULAR READERS.

—————

THOSE MEMENTOES OF THE HOLY LAND.

—————

In our issue of April 1st we mentioned that Brother and Sister Russell had purchased, while in Jerusalem, a lot of olive-wood articles (Napkin-rings, Egg-cups, Pen-holders and Paperweights) designed to be mementoes for TOWER readers. They could not, of course, purchase sufficient to send one to each reader, and so concluded to let the Tract Fund have the charge and benefit, and donated them to you through it. A moderate price was put upon each article, and, after paying the freight and customs duty and postage, any profit remaining will go to augment the general fund for the spread of the Truth. Thus the articles will not only be mementoes of the Holy Land and of Brother and Sister Russell's visit to it last year, but also, indirectly, gifts from them.

Not content with this, they purchased also a quantity of Flower Cards (cards upon which some of the wild flowers and grasses of Palestine are pasted in pretty designs), and these they insist shall not be sold, but given gratis, post-paid, to TOWER subscribers, as special mementoes of their love, which may go to those unable to afford even the small price to secure the olive-wood articles; although one card goes with each order of olive-wood articles also.

Several have sent money for extra Flower Cards, saying that they would like them for their friends; but none will be offered for sale until all the Tower readers who will accept them as love-tokens have had full opportunity to secure them. After that, if any remain, they will be supplied at ten cents each or three for 25 cents; and the proceeds, after paying postage, etc., will go to the Tract Fund.

Please take notice that the Pen-holders are all gone; of the other olive-wood articles and cards we still have a supply; especially of the Napkin-rings, of which a larger quantity came than of others, they being considered very desirable. Watch Tower Tract Society.

—————

THE SYRIAC NEW TESTAMENT.

—————

Murdoch's Translation of the Syriac-Peshito manuscript is sometimes inquired for.

We can supply it in substantial half-leather binding, post paid for $2.

—————

BE CAREFUL ABOUT SENDING MONEY.

—————

A number of letters containing money have recently been lost in the mails. Do not send us money. The postoffice clerks are not all honest, although many of them are so. Thieves can feel the money in the envelope and are tempted thereby to steal. Send Bank Drafts, Money Orders or Express Orders, if you would make sure of our receiving what you send.


====================

r1398 VOL. XIII. MAY 1, 1892. NO. 9.
r1400 "WHO IS WORTHY?"
r1400 TRAVELS IN THE HOLY LAND.
r1399 PREPARING FOR THE "IMAGE OF THE BEAST."


====================

[page 142]

STUDIES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.

—INTERNATIONAL S.S. LESSONS.—

SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR
READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES, WHERE THESE
LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO
LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL.
PUBLISHED IN ADVANCE, AT THE REQUEST OF FOREIGN READERS.

—————

[R1401 : page 142]

OUR HOUSE OF MANY MANSIONS.

—————

LESSON VI., MAY 8, PSALM 84:1-12.

Golden Text—"Blessed are they that dwell in thy house."—Verse 4.

Verses 1 and 2. "How lovely are thy dwelling-places, O Jehovah of hosts. My soul desireth, yea, it longeth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." Thus every soul that hungers and thirsts after righteousness longs to be separated from the evil of this present time and to enter that felicitous state where under God's promised kingdom all things in heaven and in earth will praise him and have his communion, as Adam enjoyed it before his disobedience and fall from favor. Not only so, but, under the provisions of the New Covenant (sealed and made operative by the death of our Lord and Redeemer, by "the blood of the New Covenant"), his people, accepted as sons (John 1:12), become his tabernacles, his dwelling-places. As it is written, "I will dwell in them and walk in them," and "Ye are the temple of the living God." (2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Cor. 3:16.) And all such temples indwelt by the spirit of the truth become beautiful, lovely, amiable, in the eyes of all who have the same spirit; and thus God's children may now have fellowship with him through each other.

Such are not only temples or tabernacles, individually, but the Church of Christ as a whole is made up of living stones in the one great Temple of the future—Christ Jesus himself being [R1402 : page 142] the chief corner-stone—the top-stone. These "living stones" are now being developed, fitted, polished, proved and selected for positions in the future glorious Temple of God. These glorious courts or dwelling-places of God will be transcendently grand; and for a place among those "overcomers," in the immediate presence of God and with our Redeemer—where he is and like him—these are indeed the things for which our hearts and our flesh cry out.

Very different are these views of the dwelling-places of God from those generally entertained by Christian people, who, as they read these verses, will think of the ornate temples of wood and brick and stone in which they worship as the houses of God. But the Apostle declares not only that the truly consecrated saints are the living stones of God's great future temple, and each a miniature temple, but also that "The Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands."—Acts 7:48.

Verse 3. Our common version here gives the inference that sparrows and swallows built their nests in the altars of the Tabernacle and the Temple. But those familiar with the care bestowed by the priests upon the keeping of the Golden Altar will readily see that no such desecration of the sacred precincts of "The Holy" would be tolerated; while the Brazen Altar in the Court—surrounded continually by Levites—upon which sacrifices were kept burning continually, it can be seen would be one of the last places for a bird to choose for a nest in which to rear her young. Lesser's translation is better: "Even as the sparrow hath found a house and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, [so have I found] thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, my God." We must remember that this is a prophecy, representing the experiences of the head and body of the Lord's anointed, and not representing the experiences of the prophet. The rest and peace which the saints find in the two altars is here brought to our attention. The altar in the Court speaks of the great sacrifice for sins on our behalf by our great High Priest, and the Golden Altar in the Holy speaks not only of our Lord's overcoming and acceptableness to God, but also of our acceptableness as joint-sacrificers with him—acceptable through the merit of his sin-offering on our behalf.

Verse 4 declares the joy of all who now or ever shall enjoy a place in the Father's house.

Verse 5 portrays the journey of the consecrated toward that heavenly home.

Verse 6 represents this present time of conflict and disappointment and sorrow—"the valley of the shadow of death," in which, nevertheless, the holy ones may sing for joy and rejoice evermore. "Passing through the valley of weeping, they will change it to a spring: also the early rain covereth it with blessings." The most dreary place and condition is made cheerful and endurable by the presence of those in whom God dwells by his spirit of truth and love. Not only is it blessed to such themselves, but also to all who come in contact with them comes a blessing. The early rain represents the Pentecostal blessing which followed the presentation of the great Sin-offering on our behalf [R1402 : page 143] —upon the Church. The latter rain will be the outpouring of the Millennial blessing after the great time of trouble is ended, at the second advent.

Verse 7. Here the progressiveness of the journey is shown, and the fact that it is an individual work and not a congregational or sectarian one.

Verses 10 to 12. "For better is a day in thy courts than a thousand [elsewhere]: I would rather choose to wait at the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." Here the saint is represented as waiting during the present life for admission to "the Father's house," and having here no rest no home. Yet even here, to such, "The Lord God is a sun and shield." As our sun he enlightens us and fills us with a sense of his greatness and perfection, and yet through Christ he is also our shield. After realizing the divine perfection from the divine law we might indeed feel that in our own imperfection it would be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But whilst showing us the perfectness of his law he reveals to us the shield which he has provided because of our present weakness—the merit of Christ our Redeemer freely imputed to all who will accept it as their covering or shield. To such as long for his courts and who wait at his threshold and who trust in him as both their sun and shield, even now "the Lord will give favor and honor [as his children—even though mixed with tribulation, working patience, etc.], and no good thing [nothing really advantageous to such and useful to fit them for the Father's house] will he withhold from them that walk in uprightness in this way." Yea, verily—"O Lord of hosts, blessed the man [both now and forever] who trusteth in thee."

[R1402 : page 143]

PRAISE YE THE LORD.

—————

LESSON VII., MAY 15, PSALM 103.

Golden Text—"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."—Verse 2.

Verses 1 to 5. In the beginning of a Christian's experience fear more than love, alas, too often, has the chief control of his heart and lips. And this because of a false theology, taught him from earliest infancy, even in nursery rhymes impressing upon the simple mind theories which, while denominating God the very essence of Love, paint his character and plans as the most atrocious conceivable, and wrest the Scripture "parables and dark sayings" to their support. In this early stage of general Christian experience, therefore, fear, and not a heart full of love leads to worship. This fact is noted by the prophet.—Isa. 29:13.

The bondage of fear in many instances fails to hold the penitent or to draw him near to the Lord, and consequently we frequently hear expressions similar to those of the old familiar hymn—"Where is the blessedness I knew

When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul-reviving view
Of Jesus and his Word?"

Some, however, in spite of all their false ideas, learn in their hearts what they are much slower to learn with their heads, that "God is Love." They drink in the spirit of the Scriptural teaching even when, misled by misinterpretations and twistings, they think that the letter of God's Word is in opposition. Their hearts are better than their theology or their heads.

Such, and still more especially those whose heads as well as their hearts are illuminated by the grace of our God, reach as a development this higher state of Christian experience indicated by the prophet in the verses under consideration. They reach the place where acquaintance with and appreciation of the Lord cast out all fear, and where their whole being loves and praises and desires to serve the grand one who is so worthy.

Such do not generalize too much God's favors: they particularize. And naturally and properly (verses 3 and 4) the first item for praise is the redeeming love through the sacrifice of his son as the propitiation (i.e., satisfaction) for our sins, which has forgiven our iniquities, healed our diseases, and redeemed our lives from destruction. "Hallelujah! What a Savior!" Not that this is all done for us yet. No; only by faith can we reckon it as done. But God has begun the good work, the sacrifice for our sins was paid on Calvary, and shortly we shall be presented before the Father blameless and unreprovable, without any of our present mental, moral and physical diseases and weaknesses, and in the full possession of the new life and the new resurrection bodies.

Verses 6 to 10. Having expressed the sentiments and attitude of the saints, the prophet next turns to the people in general—the half-hearted Christians as well as the worldly—and declares (verse 6) that God is on the side of justice and makes the cause of the weak and oppressed ones his cause. He declares (verse 7) that this was fully illustrated in the laws which he promulgated through Moses and in his dealings with Israel, including their deliverance from the task-masters of Egypt. And all these show (verse 8) God's general goodness and sympathy and compassion.

Verse 9. Yet none must presume upon God's love and mercy, and trample upon his laws; for although slow to anger and plenteous in [R1402 : page 144] mercy, "He will not always chide [contend with the wayward] neither will he keep [i.e., retain or hold back] his anger forever."

Verse 10. What chastisements he has so far given are not to be esteemed as the full penalty for our sins. He has been holding back the full penalty in mercy according to his provision in Christ. So far "He hath not dealt with us according to [the just desert of] our sins, nor rewarded us according as our iniquities deserved" under his own law. But we must not suppose, therefore, that he will never execute that law which declares that death is the full penalty for full wilful sin. The Lord through the Apostle Peter declares this same truth, that thus far he has held back the full penalty, because willing that all should come to a full appreciation of the truth, and by acceptance of it be saved from the full penalty of wilful sin.—2 Pet. 3:7-10; Acts 3:23; Heb. 10:26-30.

[R1403 : page 144]

Verses 11 to 18. But the Lord, in thus threatening the wilfully wicked, does not wish to awaken dread in the hearts of those who do love him and seek to know and to do his will. Hence when these find that their lives are imperfect, much as they desired and endeavored to have them otherwise, they are not to be in fear of the "wrath" and "vengeance" which are to be let loose upon wilful sinners in due time. Ah, no! God considereth our frame; he knows our weakness, and as the Apostle declares, we shall be saved from wrath through Him (Christ, our Redeemer). Toward all such as love and reverence him, and who are in covenant relations with him, and hence under the blood of the new covenant, God's compassion is far beyond that of an earthly parent. As high as the heaven is above the earth, so great is his love for such, and as far as the east is from the west, he has removed their transgression—laying our sins upon his own spotless Lamb, our Redeemer, and imputing his purity to all who will accept it, as in due time this gift of love is testified to all. And not only does God's blessing rest upon these his "saints," but in some degree it follows even to their children.

Verses 19 to 21. Here prophetically the reference is to that great kingdom for which we pray, "Thy kingdom come." In it the angels (messengers) and ministers (servants) of God will fully carry out his great plan, his goodness to all, showing mercy unto thousands of those who love and obey him, and executing also the judgments written (destruction—not everlasting torments, the judgments which some have imagined, but which would be in violation of the things written) upon those who treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath and perdition of ungodly men.

Verse 22. Then, with a clean universe, after the close of the Millennial age, all God's works in all places of his dominion will praise and honor him. And all who are in full accord with the great divine plan can even now in advance hail that grand, gracious time with joy and exclaim, "Bless the Lord, O my soul!"

[R1403 : page 144]

QUARTERLY TEMPERANCE LESSON.

—————

LESSON VIII., MAY 22, DANIEL 1:8-21.

Golden Text—"Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank."

The scrap of history furnished us in this lesson teaches a most excellent lesson in favor of total abstinence from intoxicants. The immense injury that has come to the weak, fallen human family through the evil of drunkenness cannot be stated; and indeed it is so apparent to conscientious people that a statement would be needless. All who love their fellow-creatures as themselves will gladly deny themselves liberties which to others less strong would surely be injurious.


====================

r1403 CONSECRATION TO A WORK.


====================

[page 146]

ZION'S WATCH TOWER

AND

HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE.

—————

PUBLISHED TWICE A MONTH.

—————

TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY,
"BIBLE HOUSE"
ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.

C. T. RUSSELL, EDITOR.

—————

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE $1.00 A YEAR, IN ADVANCE,
(INCLUDES ALSO A SUBSCRIPTION TO TWO COPIES
OF OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS QUARTERLY)

By Express Order, Postal Money Order, Bank Draft, or Registered Letter. Foreign only by Foreign Money Order.

FREE TO THE LORD'S POOR.

N.B.—Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.

—————

[R1404 : page 146]

PROVIDING FOR COLPORTEURS' EXPENSES.

—————

"GO YE ALSO INTO THE VINEYARD."

—————

During the Colporteurs' Meetings which followed the regular meetings of the recent Convention, some of the older and more experienced Colporteurs made the suggestion that hereafter all colporteurs be authorized to sell the MILLENNIAL DAWN series of books at Thirty-five cents per volume, or three volumes for One Dollar—explaining to any who might notice and inquire, that the books could be had at Twenty-five cents each if they chose to send to the Allegheny office; but that the Colporteurs are allowed to charge the ten cents to cover their additional expense connected with delivering the books. With the consent of the office several had tried the higher price plan and the results had been highly satisfactory: they had sold about as many as at Twenty-five cents.

The object of the suggestion on the part of those proposing the higher price was not money-getting, but a desire to forward the work. While they are able to meet their traveling and living expenses and a little more at twenty-five [R1405 : page 146] cents, they well know that many others cannot do so on account of being less successful salesmen, or of having encumbrances in the way of family duties and expenses. Indeed, the plan proposed is that all who can do so shall return to the Lord's treasury all that can be spared from their actual expenses, that it may assist in the general work of spreading the Truth, to which all of our lives are consecrated.

We requested all the Colporteurs present at the meeting to make a trial of the Thirty-five cent rate for one week, and then to report their success or failure. And the reports turned in confirm the view of the suggesters, that the additional ten cents will be no hindrance; but that people concede that a book of 350 pages on good paper is cheap at 35 cents—or over 1100 pages for $1.00. As a consequence we have decided on this change.

There are at present about forty Colporteurs, and we trust that the new price will soon double the number; for quite a number who started and were unable to fully meet expenses, and who got deeply in debt to the Tract Society at the twenty-five cent rate, will now be able to meet their expenses and perhaps a little more. Thus the cause of the Lord will, we trust, be prospered by the new arrangement. It is not the thought to attract worldly people into the work of selling Dawn. We desire only such as engage in the work as ministers of the gospel, and from the conviction that what they are presenting is the Truth, and in no other manner can they so fully and faithfully serve the Lord and his people. We do not know of one now in the colporteur work merely as a business: all are doing what they can as unto the Lord. We know of several who could earn nearly or quite a thousand dollars a year in other occupations, who gladly give their all for the Truth for the mere necessities of food and clothing; and one at present getting two thousand dollars a year is about to leave it and engage his time and talents in the Lord's service. He has already tried it and finds that he can make expenses, and seeks nothing more.

COLPORTEURS' RATES ON MILLENNIAL DAWN
IN PAPER COVERS.
Single copies delivered by colporteurs, 35 cents.
Three " " " " $1.00.
Single copies by mail from the office, 25 cents.
Five (or multiples of five, 10, 20, 40,
etc.) copies of any one volume by mail,
post-paid to one address, each, . . . 15 "
Five copies or more of any volume by
express or freight at colporteur's charges, 12-1/2 "

As a result of this arrangement we hope soon to hear of many ready and glad to give all their time to the work. The Master, the Chief Reaper, saith, "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto everlasting life."

—————

The DAWNS in the German language are now under the full control of Brother Zech, and all orders for them should be addressed to—Otto von Zech, Euclid Ave., Allegheny, Pa.


====================

r1403 VOL. XIII. MAY 15, 1892. NO. 10.
r1406 JOURNALISTIC RESPONSIBILITY.
r1405 THE EPISTLE OF JAMES.
r1407 JEWISH ITEMS OF INTEREST.
r1409 TO WHOM SHOULD WE PRAY?


====================

[page 158]

STUDIES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.

—INTERNATIONAL S.S. LESSONS.—

SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR
READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES, WHERE THESE
LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO
LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL.
PUBLISHED IN ADVANCE, AT THE REQUEST OF FOREIGN READERS.

—————

[R1408 : page 158]

NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM.

—————

LESSON IX., MAY 29, DANIEL 2:36-49.

Golden Text—"All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."—Heb. 4:13.

Nebuchadnezzar's deeply significant and prophetic dream and the divinely inspired interpretation of it by the prophet Daniel, as recorded in this lesson, are worthy of the careful study of every earnest Christian who would follow the Apostle's injunction to take heed to the sure word of prophecy which shineth as a light in a dark place until the day dawn. (2 Pet. 1:19.) The reader is referred to MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., page 248 for an elucidation of this prophecy.

May all the truly consecrated indeed see and appreciate their privilege of being part of that kingdom symbolized by the stone which in due time is to destroy and displace all the other kingdoms and fill the whole earth with its glory and its blessings of righteousness and peace.

In the midst of the unsettled and unsatisfactory conditions of the past and the present, while the groaning creation waits for the establishment of God's kingdom in the earth, how comforting to the hearts of them that believe are the words of the golden text—"All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Heb. 4:13.) In far-seeing wisdom God has permitted all the present disorders, yet, in the end, even the wrath of man shall praise him and the remainder he restrains. (Psa. 76:10.) See Vol. I., Chap. vii., "The Permission of Evil and its Relation to God's Plan."

[R1408 : page 158]

THE FIERY FURNACE.

—————

LESSON X., JUNE 5, DANIEL 3:13-25.

Golden Text—"When thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."—Isa. 43:2.

The familiar story of this lesson is one full of instruction to the thoughtful, as viewed both in its historic and in its prophetic light. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had set up an image, and had commanded all his subjects, including Israel, the Lord's people, to bow down to it in idolatrous worship. And any refusal thus to acknowledge his supreme authority, even in matters of conscience, was made a treasonable offence, punishable with death, in the midst of a fiery furnace.

Three Hebrews of the captivity, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refused to obey the king in this instance, where such obedience would necessitate disloyalty to God. In their faithfulness to God, these three men preferred a dreadful death—should God permit them thus to die—rather than the alternative of disloyalty to the King of kings, whose command to Israel was, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Yet they confidently expressed their faith in God's ability, and their belief, in view of his promises, in his willingness to deliver them. (Verse 17.) Nevertheless, no matter what course he should see fit to take, they were fully determined to be true to God.

Thus they proved themselves "Israelites indeed," and in consequence of their faithfulness the promise of the Lord, made to Israel as a people, and sure to them so long as they kept their covenant with God, was verified, even though it required a miracle to accomplish it. The promise reads—"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: [This was wonderfully verified to the whole nation when in faith they obeyed the Lord's command and passed through the Red Sea and then over Jordan.] When thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." Doubtless this promise of deliverance from the power of the fire would have been verified to all the Israelites in Babylon, as well as to the three mentioned, had all, like them, proved their loyalty and faithfulness to God. God is faithful to all his promises, and blessed are all they that put their trust in him; for only the faithful can claim a share in his promises.

It would be a mistake, however, for all people to claim and appropriate literally these promises which the Lord made literally to fleshly Israel only, as his peculiar and covenant people. God's remarkable dealings with Israel—his care, his guidance, his discipline and chastisements when they were disobedient and unfaithful, and his wonderful deliverances of them when loyal and obedient, as well as his instruction and training of them—were typical of his course with the whole world during the Millennial age; but in the present time no such [R1408 : page 159] promises belong to the world. Nor do they belong to Christians except as in a symbolic sense applied to them as new creatures in Christ, during this Gospel age.

On the strength of these promises of temporal deliverance, no Christian, and certainly none of the world, can claim general exemption or deliverance from present calamities, though God does sometimes deliver them. God, who promised to defend Israel both nationally and individually whilst obedient, has never promised to defend so-called Christian nations against their national enemies, nor Christian communities nor individuals against persecution for conscience' sake by fire or sword, nor from calamities of various sorts, but on the contrary forewarns us, "They shall despitefully use you and persecute you." "Yea, and whoever will live Godly in this present time (the Gospel age) shall suffer persecution." Yet as an offset God has given us spiritual advantages and "exceeding great and precious promises," much more valuable than length of days under present conditions and deliverance from present persecutions. And we have his blessed assurance that all the temporal evils which are permitted to befall us shall work together for our good, so long as we remain loyal and faithful to God—"work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

To be loyal and true to God in these days requires as much courage and true heroism as was necessary in the days of gross idolatry. True, in civilized nations there is now no compulsion to worship images; but, nevertheless, there are idols of another sort just as potent in their influence upon the public mind, and Christians (Spiritual Israel) as well as all others are called upon to do homage to these idols—the work of men's hands. We refer to the various creeds of Christendom, the traditions which men have set up to intercept the worship of the true and living God in whose Word alone is life and peace.

Few are the faithful "Israelites indeed" who boldly stem the tide of opposition and declare themselves fully on the Lord's side by fearlessly discarding the traditions of men and daring to believe and teach the Word of God [R1409 : page 159] to the contrary. The many prefer the favor of men to the favor of God, and are quite willing to prove their disloyalty to God in order to obtain it. Rejecting the testimony of his Word, they blindly assent to the idols of human tradition and bow down to and serve them. But the devotion and zeal of the loyal and true are not unnoticed, and will not fail of their reward in due time, even though some such may yet be called upon to walk through the fiery furnace of affliction to prove their devotion to God in not bowing down with the majority.

"When through fiery trials their pathway shall lie,
His grace all-sufficient shall be their supply.
The flames shall not hurt them—God only designs
Their dross to consume and their gold to refine."

Not only have there been in the past such trials of faith and loyalty, but there are also at the present time; and in some respects a still more fiery trial yet awaits God's consecrated ones, as we understand the Scriptures, and as the signs of the times read in the light of the Bible clearly attest.

Of this indication, mention has already been made. The time is fast approaching when the religious liberty now enjoyed will be greatly restricted and when, as a consequence, the present work of disseminating the truth will be interfered with by the strong hand of combined civil and ecclesiastical power. And therefore, in view of such interference, we are forewarned by the Lord that "the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4); and by the Prophet Isaiah (21:12) that "the morning cometh, and also the night." And those who properly heed the warning will let it have its designed effect of increasing their diligence in the use of present opportunities.

That the persecuting power which is thus to interfere with and cut short the opportunities of the consecrated, to spread the truth, is to arise from the allied powers of Christendom, or more particularly from allied Protestantism under the direction and control of the spirit of the Papacy, is clearly indicated in the symbolic prophecy of Revelation 13th chapter, under the figures of the "Beast" and his "Image." Those of our readers whose file of TOWERS extends back to January, 1882 (we have no more), will find the teaching of Rev. 13th therein set forth. There we showed that the "Beast" which was to command and receive the homage of the world for 1260 years is the great Papal System; and the "Image of the Beast," subsequently set up, after the "Beast" had been largely shorn of its power, is the great Evangelical Alliance of so-called Protestant denominations.

The image or likeness of this organization to the "Beast" consists in its doctrines and in its general policy. And although the likeness is not yet complete, the Revelator, in verse 15, indicates that the persecuting power will ere long complete this, and that the order will go forth practically that all who will not worship (reverence) either the Papal "Beast" or the Protestant "Image" shall be killed, although the killing is not necessarily to be understood as physical: it may be in some instances, though more probably it will be killing in a social [R1409 : page 160] sense—cutting off their influence, their name, etc., and allowing them no standing or liberty as Christians.

The thoughtful observer of current events in ecclesiastical circles may readily note the trend of events in this direction. The ghost of the future power of this great Image is already filling the minds of scheming ecclesiastics of all the denominations of so-called Christendom, as their numerous utterances from pulpit and press clearly show. But let the loyal and faithful few be fully determined within themselves to be firm and uncompromising in their zeal for God and the truth, assured that, even though they may be called upon to go through a furnace of affliction, God will be with them in the midst of the fiery trial, and, as spiritual new creatures in Christ, they shall not be hurt—but blest by the Master's presence and communion.

[R1409 : page 160]

THE DEN OF LIONS.

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LESSON XI., JUNE 12, DANIEL 6:19-28.

Golden Text—"No manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God."—Dan. 6:23.

The teaching of this lesson is the same as that of the preceding lesson. Because of his faith and loyalty to God Daniel was delivered, according to the Lord's covenant of blessing and protection to Israel as long as they were loyal and obedient. See Deut. 28:1-14 and Isa. 43:1,2.

And yet, notwithstanding all the promises of protection and defence to Israel, both as a nation and as individuals, so long as they continued loyal and obedient, the Apostle Paul reminds us of the fact that God permitted some of them to prove their loyalty and faithfulness by willingly enduring great persecutions, even unto death. He says they had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings and of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth; and they were tortured, not accepting deliverance [on ignoble terms which would necessitate disloyalty to God].—Heb. 11.

But why did they endure all these things, even in the face of an apparent failure of God's promises for their protection? Was it because of any direct promise of God that such faithfulness, even unto death, should receive a special reward in the resurrection? No; we know of no such promise in the Law or the Prophets, although the Apostle (Heb. 11:35) says they did it in hope of a "better resurrection."

What ground was there for such hope? We answer that it was a fair inference based upon their knowledge of the character of God and his promises to Israel. With the nobility and grandeur of a fixed purpose they said, "We will be loyal and true to God at any peril and at any cost; and if, as we know, God appreciates faithfulness at small cost, much more will he appreciate it when manifested under the severest tests. And such faithfulness will not fail of special recognition in the resurrection, if not before." Such was their love for God that they longed for the fullest possible manifestation of his love and favor in return when the full trial of their faith and patience should prove their worthiness.

In the clearer light of the Gospel dispensation, and especially of this day of the Lord, we see the blessed reward that awaits those ancient worthies who shall be made princes in all the earth during the Millennial reign of Christ (Psa. 45:16—See also MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., Chap. xiv.); whose probation being ended, they may from the dawn of their new existence—in the resurrection—be perfect men and exalted to power and great honor and glory. Such was God's purpose towards them in permitting them thus to suffer that he might exalt them in due time. Indeed, they shall shine as the stars forever. (Dan. 12:3.) These righteous ones shall be held in everlasting remembrance among the restored human race as noble examples worthy of all honor and imitation.—Psa. 112:6.

Evidently Daniel, as well as the three Hebrews of our last lesson, believed that God was able and also willing to deliver them according to his covenant of favor to Israel, if he saw fit; but, nevertheless, they believed that if he should not grant them a present deliverance, he would, in his own good time and way, grant them a still more glorious deliverance and reward of faithfulness. See Dan. 6:10 and 3:16-18.

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QUARTERLY REVIEW.

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LESSON XII., JUNE 19.—Comment unnecessary.


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