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January 1919 IBSA Convention Report

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SUPPLEMENT

3:00 P. M., Discourse by Brother Wm. F. Hudgings

Sunday Afternoon, Feb. 3, 1919, Academy Hall, New York City

Subject: "WHY I ACCEPT THE SEVENTH VOLUME"

OUR lesson this afternoon will be based upon the words of the Revelator in the 16th chapter, verses 17 to 21, in part. We read, "And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of Heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done . . . And great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath . . . And there fell upon men a great hail out of Heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."

Now we are going to talk this afternoon about those verses; our topic will be "WHY I ACCEPT THE SEVENTH VOLUME." It would be very difficult for me, dear friends, to stand here and enumerate all of the reasons that come to my mind for accepting this book as not only the seventh of the series of Scripture Studies, but as the particular message which the Lord had designed to be poured out for the Church and others at this particular juncture in the earth's history. However, a few weeks ago when I had more time upon my hands than anything else (laughter), I enjoyed, more than at any other time in my Christian experience, a careful study of the Lord's plans and purposes and particularly a study of Volume Seven. I made a list of a few of the more prominent reasons that came to my mind which were absolutely convincing to me that this book was from the Lord; and I will endeavor to give you the benefit of them at this time.

Of course these facts naturally classify themselves under two heads, viz., EXTERNAL and INTERNAL reasons. By external reasons we mean those reasons which have nothing to do with the contents of the book itself; but rather those things which relate to its compilation, publication, etc. The internal reasons would of course confine themselves to the contents of the book —  the things that are therein taught; the explanations of Scriptures which prove themselves correct, and thereby indicate that the book is filled, from beginning to end, with "meat in due season for the Household of Faith." We will be brief in respect to the external reasons, because we desire to devote most of our time to the consideration of the teachings of the book. But, briefly speaking, we will enumerate seven external reasons that would be the first perhaps to come to the minds of any of the Lord's people in their acceptance of the book.

The first external reason would be the fact that the Lord's people have been led to believe from the depth of their hearts, that the Church would receive a seventh volume in the series of Scripture Studies, which book would explain Revelation and Ezekiel. We all know that it was our dear Brother Russell's thought from the very beginning of his work that the Church would receive a seventh volume, and in the early editions of the first volume of Scripture Studies, "The Divine Plan of the Ages," he set forth the fact, more than thirty years ago, that there would be seven volumes in the series. It was not merely a thought that he once had, and later discarded, but it was the thought that he carried with him throughout the forty years of his ministry. On every possible occasion he encouraged the Church to believe there would be a Seventh Volume which would explain Ezekiel and Revelation; and when we come down to the very last day of his human existence, standing there upon the very threshold of the Kingdom, and in the jaws of death, this saint of God, this wise and faithful servant, to whom the Lord had committed all His store of harvest truths, passed from this life into the life beyond with the thought in his mind and the words upon his lips, that the Church should expect and would receive the Seventh Volume!

The second external reason as to why I believe the book authentic is that it does treat those very portions of the Bible which our dear Pastor said that it would treat, viz., Ezekiel and Revelation; and it explains them thoroughly, not omitting a single verse, and explains them in harmony with all the other features of God's great plan.

The third external reason relates to the title of the book itself. I recall when Brother Woodworth and myself journeyed to Hammond, Ind., in June, 1917, to read the proof, then in the printers' hands, that the title of the book had not been finally decided upon. There had been many titles suggested, but I recall the very last words of our dear Brother Rutherford as I left his study on that day were these, "Tell Brother Woodworth that of all the titles which have been suggested, I have concluded that the most suitable one is 'The Fall of Babylon'." I arrived in Scranton and gave Brother Woodworth the message, and he responded: "Well, I have been praying over the matter and thinking very seriously and have considered every title that I have heard suggested, and the most appropriate one to my mind is 'The Winepress of God's Wrath'."

We started to Hammond! Nobody knew what the book would ultimately be called! We arrived there and through a very peculiar circumstance, respecting which we will not go into details, they finally decided on a third title which neither of the brethren who had direct charge of the naming of the book favored. Thus they finally decided, by compromise, upon this other title, suggested by the words of our text, which say "the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of Heaven, from the throne, saying, 'It is FINISHED'." So they agreed, at the last moment, to call it "The Finished Mystery," and furthermore, as a compromise they concluded to use the two other titles suggested as subtitles; and you will see on the title page of the book in large type: "THE FINISHED MYSTERY," and down underneath it says in smaller type "The Fall of Babylon," or the "Winepress of God's Wrath" So, you see, we finally got them all in there. (Laughter.)

But here is the point I am making: the "Finished Mystery" is not the title they specially preferred; they had not intended to use that as the title; and yet, the Lord seemed to force the issue and they had to call it that! Now a little later it was learned that Brother Russell, many years ago, in talking with one of the friends, disclosed the fact that he had in mind that when the seventh volume would be published its title would be "The Finished Mystery." I take that, dear friends, as a strong external reason why this book is the book the Lord intended to give to the Church.

The fourth external reason is that it is published by the same auspices under which the preceding six volumes of the series were published; and that to you and me constitutes a very excellent reason, does it not? We all know how the Lord has used the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, and is still using that Society for the dispensing of His meat in due season — and no other.

The fifth external reason why I accept the Seventh Volume is this: That in the Lord's providence, the circu-

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lation of this book — up to the time that it was banned —  had attained the same water-mark as the preceding volumes of the series. Volume Four came out over fifteen years ago. A few years after that Volume Five was published; and sometime after that, Volume Six. They were not published in the same year, but at vastly different times, and with the colporteurs working with those books from the time of their publication we would naturally expect Volume Four would have a greater circulation than any other. Volumes Five, Six and Seven would therefore be the least. But when we got down to the end of the Harvest, in the final tabulation of the output of these books we found to our astonishment that the circulation of Volume Four, Volume Five and Volume Six stood almost exactly at the same water-mark, i. c., 500,000 copies each. They all had the same output, with the exception of just a few thousand copies, although they were published years apart. Now Volume Seven was published in July, 1917, and within the eight or nine months which it was circulated, to our amazement we find that under 'the Lord's providence it attained exactly the same circulation as the preceding books of the series, viz., 500,000 copies. There were 850,000 copies of it ordered altogether, but the last edition was not completed, and there were also many copies held in storage, not going into circulation. But I am talking about the actual number of books out in circulation, and it is exactly the same as the preceding volumes of the series. They all came, under the Lord's providence, to exactly the same water-mark, and I ask you, "How, except under the Lord's special providence, was it possible for Volume Seven to attain a circulation in eight months equal to Volumes Four, Five and Six, which took them over fifteen years to attain? I consider this a very good external reason why the book has had the blessing of the Lord, and that it is the seventh in the series of Scripture Studies, as the Lord intended.

The sixth external reason is that it has caused such a furor in Christendom — exactly what the Scriptures pointed out it would cause. That, we will deal with in more detail a little later on.

The seventh external reason is best of all, viz.. the book has brought such a blessing to the hearts of the Lord's people! Speaking personally, dear friends, I remember that when I began to read that book in the summer of 1917, I received the same joy that I had experienced when I began to read the Divine Plan of the Ages — eleven years ago. The same joy and gratitude filled my heart as I experienced when I was just coming into the truth. It was the same feeling. There was no mistake about that, dear friends, I know that this has also been true with thousands and thousands of the Lord's people throughout the earth. I assume that the vast majority of you here this afternoon know exactly what I am talking about, for your experience has been similar. The fact that the Lord's people showed such zeal and earnestness, and manifested it in the most practical way possible, during the latter part of 1917 and the early part of 1918, indicates that the book was a blessing to them, just as the Lord has been pouring out upon us throughout the Harvest period.

Now we come to the seven internal reasons as to "why I accept the Seventh Volume." It is hard to confine ourselves to seven of these internal reasons, for if I gave you all the reasons that came to mind, I would have to stand here and read to you the whole book; and that of course is quite too great a task for one hour's performance. We will therefore mention seven of the most prominent reasons which come to our minds, based upon the contents and teachings of the book, that lead us to conclude that it is truly the Seventh Volume of Scripture Studies which the Lord intended that His people should receive in the end of this age.

The first internal reason is this: That the message which the book contains is the same message which the Lord in His Word declared He would send at this time. It is the message proclaimed in the words of our text, when it says: "The seventh angel would pour out his vial, and great Babylon would come into remembrance before God. to give unto her the fierceness of His wrath." Did it do that? I think it did very thoroughly. And then it says, "there fell upon men a great hail" — hard, cutting, distressing truths. And that has been a fact!

I also refer you to the words of the Psalmist in the Second Psalm (1-4), a message peculiarly applicable to this time, especially since the end of the Gentile Times in the autumn of 1914. It says, "the nations rage, and the people imagine vain schemes." We have seen the raging for the past four years; and then it says that "the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers" — the great ones of earth, and the great ones of ecclesiasticism — would "take counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed." We know what that refers to: taking counsel together against the Lord's people who are yet on this side of the vail — the anointed of the Lord, the anointed body of Christ, the feet members in particular. And since the end of the Gentile Times, after the beginning of the raging of the nations, which commenced in 1914, we see this fulfilled — the "taking of counsel together by the rulerships of earth and the rulerships of ecclesiasticism, against the Lord and against His anointed"; and then the Lord says that He would do something. What is it He was going to do? He says: "I shall hold them in derision." How could He do that? We know of no way in which He could hold them in derision unless it be through the proclamation of a message that would be filled with "derision" against those who had "taken counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed," This Scripture conclusively shows that in the end of the age — since the autumn of 1914 —  the Lord would cause to be sent out into the earth, a message which would be filled with "derision" against the ecclesiastical system, and it shows here that the message would necessarily be written in the very style in which Volume Seven is written. Have you heard any of the friends say that it has been a trial to them to accept the Seventh Volume because it contains such irony and sarcastic phrases, that if it was written like Volume One they would like it? I have heard statements like that. Now, I ask you, dear friends, why should we thus complain against the doings of God? Such persons are not complaining against the brethren who compiled it. They are not complaining against the Society. They are actually complaining against God every time they make a statement of that kind, because the Lord has said that that is the message he would send forth since the autumn of 1914, when the nations would begin to rage. He has done that, and I for one believe that He is going to continue it before long. We have made only one squeeze of the winepress as yet. The Lord, we believe, intends after this season of rest to let the winepress give another squeeze, and another, until all the juice in that great vine of the earth has been squeezed out. He is not through yet. (Applause.)

The second internal reason why I accept Volume Seven as from the Lord is that it does explain the Scriptures which we did not previously understand, and it explains them in a way we can prove they are correct. Take for instance the identification of the Seven Messengers to the Church. I ask you, how many in this audience knew who the Seven Messengers were prior to the publication of the Seventh Volume? Now I am going to show you that Volume Seven has identified every one of those Seven Messengers, and identified them correctly. Take, for instance, the First Messenger, the messenger to the Church of Ephesus, which is said to be St. Paul. How do we know that St. Paul was the messenger to the Church of Ephesus? You turn to the second chapter of Revelation and you read the message there which would be given "by the messenger to the Church of Ephesus." You turn then to your concordance and you see where in the Bible you can locate such a message as is there described. You will find in every instance, that the message that is there described is found in the Epistles of St. Paul. He is the one that gave, through his fourteen epistles to the Church, the very message, almost word for word, which the Revelator there said would be given "by the Angel of the Church of Ephesus." Here is positive evidence that St. Paul was the messenger to the Church of Ephesus.

The Second Messenger is said to be St. John. How do we know? Some say, "Why should we not think he was the First Messenger, since he was an apostle several years before Paul was made an apostle? Why not reverse

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it and say St. Paul was the Second Messenger to the Church?" I will tell you the reason. If you will turn to the 19th verse of the 1st Chapter of Revelation, you will there find where St. John received his commission to write to the Church, and it there shows in no unmistakable terms that he was the messenger to write during the second epoch, and not the first epoch. Here is the language: "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be." What does it mean? It means: "John, you are now receiving your commission to write to the Church, and your commission pertains to the second epoch. Write of the things which you have seen (which are past). And then write of the things which now are. You are living in the second epoch of the Church, and therefore write of these things. Then, also write of the things which shall be in the succeeding epochs — the things which shall be hereafter." John was giving a history of the Church in Revelation; and this text shows his particular message pertains to the things that then were: not the things that had been because that epoch was passed. He wrote, therefore, in the second epoch of the Church.

Volume Seven says Arius was the Third Messenger. How do we know? If you will turn to Rev. 2:14, you will read the message given by the Third Messenger, and there in that message is the first rebuke to Christendom for the formation of creeds. You will find there in the comments in Volume Seven that the message that would be given by this Third Angel to the Church was a message of "rebuke" because they had started to form creeds, and it was the first rebuke that had been administered. The two preceding messengers had said nothing about creed idols, but the Third Messenger specially rebuked them because of their creed idols. Now we know when the creed idols began. We know when the first one was formed — in the year 325 A. D., at the Council of Nicea. Turn to history, and you will find who it was that the Lord first used to rebuke Christendom because of the formation of that first creed, and you will find that it is none other than faithful Arius who stood forth in the Nicene Council and rebuked the 383 bishops assembled at the direction of Constantine. He rebuked them in plain terms because of their formation of that Trinitarian Creed which was not according to the Bible, and the result was that he was cast out, and had to flee to the Balkan Mountains, — where he died. But Arianism continued to spread throughout the earth, and became the very backbone of the Reformation which followed several centuries later. Here is the identification of the Third Messenger, because he was the first one who rebuked the formation of creeds, and the Revelator says that the Third Angel to the Church would be the first one to administer just such a rebuke.

The Fourth Messenger of the Church is said to be Waldo. How do we know? You will find him identified in the 21st verse of the 2nd Chapter of Revelation. There the Scriptures say that this Fourth Angel to the Church would tell Christendom — Papacy — "I will give you a space to repent." And Volume Seven explains that that word "space" is translated from the Greek word "Chronos," which means ONE YEAR. And Bible Students know, according to symbolic reckoning, that it means 360 years. Therefore, according to this statement, the Fourth Messenger to the Church would say "I will give you 360 years to repent. If you do not reform within that time, I will send the reformation movement in full force." The Lord performed that very thing, and we know when he fulfilled that statement. The great Reformation began in the year 1521 when Martin Luther was excommunicated by the pope on the 25th day of June; and 360 years before, that brings us to 1160. It was in the year 1160 that Peter Waldo began the Waldensian movement, and he proclaimed the truth then due. That was the first or early reformation, and it began exactly 360 years before Martin Luther's time. Here is positive identification of Peter Waldo as the Fourth Messenger of the Church. Furthermore, the same text that identifies Peter Waldo would identify Martin Luther, because they were exactly 360 years apart. Peter Waldo stood forth at the beginning of the "space" of repentance, while Martin Luther began his work at the end of the "space" of repentance; and both were in fulfillment of Rev. 2 :21. Between these two there was to be another messenger.

The Fifth Messenger was the angel of the Church of "Sardis." Sardis means "that which remains." In other words, when the Messenger of the Church of Sardis would begin his work there would still be some time "which remains" of this 300 years of repentance. We look at history to find out who was prominent in Reformation work during that time, and find that it was John Wycliff, because it was he who came upon the scene in 1378 —  exactly 218 years after the beginning of this "space" of repentance. There was still 142 years running before the "space" of repentance would expire. And Sardis means "that which remains" — locating that epoch of the Church in between Waldo and Luther, during the "space of repentance," and before it has expired. This is John Wycliff, for the reason that he was the only one during that period prominent in the dissemination of the truth then due, and it is to him that the Lord gave the privilege of translating the Bible into the English language.

Martin Luther was the Sixth Messenger who stood forth at the end of "the space of repentance," as we have already seen.

Pastor Russell was the Seventh Messenger. I am sure that this feature does not require discussion in an audience of this kind. We all know so many evidences indicating that our dear Brother Russell was the Seventh Messenger, that there could be absolutely no doubt in our minds in accepting that statement in the Seventh Volume as correct. I also say there is just as much reason for accepting the other six messengers as there is to accept the seventh.

Now the fact that the Seventh Volume is the first and only work ever published that identifies all seven messengers, and identifies them in such a reasonable way that we can prove the interpretation is correct, that in itself is positive proof that Volume Seven contains meat in due season for the household of faith, and is the message which the Lord wanted you and me to receive at this time.

The third internal reason why I accept the Seventh Volume as authentic and from the Lord, is its interpretation of the Seven Seals, which can also be proven as absolutely correct. We used to read, dear friends, about the "First seal, and the white horse"; the "second seal and the red horse"; the "third seal and the black horse"; the "fourth seal and the pale horse," etc. But what did we know about them? We didn't know anything about them. But now how plain! And all the time we knew, or should have known, from the writings of Brother Russell that a "horse" in prophecy is a symbol of doctrine. But we did not think of applying it. However, Volume Seven applied it, and applied it properly, so that we can see it.

Now, if a horse refers to a doctrine, then a white horse would refer to a pure doctrine. How did the Church begin? It began with the "Faith that was once delivered unto the saints" — the pure doctrines from the Lord and the Apostles. Thus the Revelator, picturing in symbol the history of the Church, shows the first period of the Church was likened to a white horse — possessed of true and pure doctrines. But later the Church began to corrupt the doctrines by the formation of creeds, and therefore when we get down to the opening of the Second Seal it says that the rider had transferred his seat from the white horse and was now riding a red horse, which would mean impure doctrines. They had begun to corrupt those originally pure doctrines. Thus they went on for a time, and the Third Seal was opened, and there that rider had now again transferred his seat — this time from the red horse unto a coal black horse. Now if a white horse represents true doctrines, then a black horse would represent doctrines that were absolutely devoid of truth. This Third seal pictures the history of Papacy during those dark ages when they were forming creeds. They did not have one vestige of truth and I ask you when you go home, if you will look in Volume Seven and read over one of those creeds therein printed, you will find absolutely no truth. — none whatever. Not one sentence from beginning to end in those creeds contains any truth.

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There we have the picture of Papacy riding upon the back of a black horse.

And then the Fourth Seal was opened, and it said there went forth a ghastly pale horse and the rider thereon was "death. And death and hell followed him." What does it mean? It means that after the formation of creeds that was pictured by the black horse, there would go forth that ghastly death-dealing doctrine from the Catholic Church which was this, i.e., during the period of the Crusades the doctrine would be that no one who rebelled against the teachings of the Papal Church should live. "By this sign, conquer" was their battle cry in those terrible days of persecution. How better could the Revelator have pictured the teachings of that particular period of the Crusades than by Papacy riding upon a ghastly, deathly pale horse?

Now that brings us down to the Reformation period just following the Crusades, and it says that then the Fifth Seal was opened, "And I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and they said 'how long, Oh Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?'" And then it says in the 6th chapter of Revelation, and the 11th verse: "And white robes were given unto every one of them," and "it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." What does that mean? Let us see how accurately the Seventh Volume has not only explained these seals, but shown us conclusively the time in which each one of them was opened.

Volume Seven says that the Fifth Seal followed the Crusades, and that it applied to the Reformation period, beginning with Martin Luther's message in the year 1518. How do we know? The Revelator says those there in that period who were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus — those faithful ones who had sacrificed themselves that they might attain the Kingdom — it was promised that they should wear white robes, but that they must "rest for a little season." How long? That word season is translated from the same Greek word "Chronos." which means "a year," or, as Bible Students know, it refers to a period of 360 literal years. It means this: "You have been faithful, and therefore you shall wear white robes, but before you wear your white robes you must rest for 360 years." Rest where? Rest in death, 360 years, and then you shall wear white robes. Martin Luther began his work in the year 1518 A. D. Now then, 380 years from that very date brings us to the spring of 1878, which Volume Two says was the date of the beginning of the "resurrection of the sleeping saints."

Could anything be clearer than that? Do you accept that message as from the Lord? Did you know it before Volume Seven was published? Or did you only come to understand it since? Then does Volume Seven contain "meat in due season for the household of faith"? It certainly does.

The next, or Sixth Seal, was opened and it says there was a "great earthquake." That refers to revolution, and that would identify it with the time of the great earthquake between Martin Luther's day and the proclamation of present truth — which was the Seventh Seal. Thus, the Sixth Seal comes in between Martin Luther and Pastor Russell. And there would be an earthquake between that time says the Revelator, showing that it would refer to that period of general enlightenment about the time of the great American Revolution, 1776, or the great French Revolution which followed a few years later. But of course the French Revolution really had its beginning with the American Revolution — as cause and effect.

Then the Seventh Seal opened, and Brother Russell shows that refers to the proclamation of "Present Truth." We need not go into detail on that. But can we not see, dear friends, that if Volume Seven thus properly interprets these Seven Seals, then it is from the Lord — "meat in due season" to His household.

The fourth internal reason why I accept Volume Seven is that it accurately interprets the Seven Trumpets. What did we know about these before Volume Seven came out? Nothing! Now we can understand them, and see that the interpretations given here are correct. They can be proven. Brother Russell says that the Lord, when He would descend from Heaven with a shout and with the Trump of God in His hand (referring to the seventh trump), that it alludes to the proclamation of the True Message in the Harvest of this Age. That being true, according to the same logic, the preceding six trumpets would also refer to proclamations of truth, or efforts toward perpetuative truths in the Church. These trumpets would not lit with those creeds of the Dark Ages because they were devoid of truth. But they do fit exactly with the proclamation of truth by the mouth of the various reformers. Therefore, Volume Seven says the Final Trumpet refers to the proclamation of Truth by Martin Luther when he nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door at Wittenberg and we can see that is reasonable Martin Luther did proclaim Truth. He didn't have as much as we have today, but he had a little, and he pro-claimed "meat in due season." He gave the message then due, and it was a truthful message. There we have the First Reformation Trump.

The Anglican movement in England was the Second Reformation Trumpet, even as the Third Trumpet refers to the Calvinistic movement in France. You will notice how these are identified in the Scriptures we read that the First was sounded and a third part of the earth was burned up; the Second was sounded and another third part was consumed; then the Third Trumpet was sounded and the other third part was burned up. Now we merely have to refer to history and we will find that back in those days the three dominating nations of the earth. The whole earth was practically dominated by these three potential powers. Therefore, when these three Reformation movements started in those three countries, and when the first one was sounded all of Germany was turned from Papist to Protestant, and therefore as Papists they ceased to be. The third of the earth was consumed so far as being papal was concerned. A few years later the Anglican movement started and Britain was converted from Papacy to Protestantism, and there another third part was consumed. Then, down in France two or three years later, John Calvin started the next movement. There the Third Trumpet sounded, and that last third part of the earth was consumed. Thus those three are identified.

Then the next reformation message went forth in the hands of the Baptists, about the year 1532, by Mennon and the Mennonites and other "ites" have sprung from that movement, but essentially the Baptist movement which began about the year 1532 constituted the Fourth Trumpet of Truth in the hands of that reformer.

And then by that time the reformation movement had practically died. The whole spirit of the Reformation was dead. And they began to affiliate with the various powers just as Papacy had been doing before. And it was two centuries before we see any other particular effort put forth along the line of the Reformation. But in the seventeen hundreds we find that the Methodist movement began, and it became a very great movement; but it was peculiar from others in this respect, that Methodism did not bring forward any new truth. It merely took the truths taught by the previous reformers and mixed them up so that it confused the minds of the Lord's people searching for the truth, rather than clarifying matters. Methodism said: "Why yes, Free Grace is taught in the Bible, and of course there are certain texts there that seem to set forth the idea of John Calvin along the line of election, but we won't pay much attention to them." Thus they smeared it over with confusion. And then what about baptism? "Yes, that is taught in the Scriptures, but it doesn't make very much difference how you perform the ceremony. You may use your own judgment. Sprinkle, Pour, Dip, — anything!" So they smeared over the truth on that also, and Methodism did not bring forth one iota of truth on anything. This is accurately described in the 9th chapter of Revelation. . It says the Fifth Trumpet would be sounded and there would arise a blinding haze, a smoke as the smoke of a great furnace: that it would confuse the minds of the Lord's people, and

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instead of advancing the truths of the Reformation movement, it would rather retard them. And, therefore, it is described as the first woe.

Things went on, although the spirit of the Reformation had died down, and it was impossible to resurrect it, until in the year 1846 there was one more effort made to keep the Reformation alive. The preachers said: "We will get together and form a union or trust. We will call it the Evangelical Alliance" and try to bolster up this losing cause of the Reformation, and keep other sects from splitting off, and not let anybody teach or preach the truth unless they have an ordination card, and come into harmony with us; if we will combine we will keep the Reformation going." And this was the Sixth Trump of the Reformation, but it was also a woe, because of the fact that it did more harm than good to the Reformation movement. Then, in the year 1874, the Lord sent the third and last woe, which was effective, which sealed the doom of Protestanism and Papacy by proclaiming the true message of the Lord and rebuking the ecclesiastical systems for their unfaithfulness. I say, therefore, dear friends, that the fact that these Seven Trumpets are accurately explained in Volume Seven, and no place else, this is conclusive evidence that Volume Seven contains meat in due season for the household of faith, and is from the Lord.

The fifth internal reason why I accept the Volume as authentic is that it properly explains the Seven Plagues. We have overran our alloted time already and we will not have time to explain them in detail; but we will briefly say that if anyone will read the explanation of these Seven Plagues in Volume Seven and cannot see that they are properly explained, even as the Seals and the Trumpets, I cannot understand the reasoning of their minds. You take for instance the reference in the 14th chapter of Revelation, verses 6 and 7. That chapter relates to the Harvest periods. No one can doubt that, if they will read the chapter over. It says the Lord will come with a sharp sickle in His hand and do the Harvest work, as the Chief Reaper. We know that that chapter relates to the Harvest which is the end of the age. Then it tells of the message that would be proclaimed during the Harvest, and there describes it in the 16th chapter, in different language, as Seven Plagues upon Ecclesiasticism; and here we see that the Volumes of Scripture Studies are accurately described. You take, for instance, the one that refers to Volume One. It says that during this Harvest period, "I saw an angel fly through the midst of Heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation and kindred and people of earth, and saying the hour of his judgment has come!" I ask you, dear friends, where have we seen during the entire Harvest period anything that would fulfill that picture, except the publication and dissemination of the "Divine Plan of the Ages," which has carried that very gospel there mentioned — "the everlasting gospel," the true explanation of God's plan — to every nation and kindred and peoples, translated in twenty-two languages and circulated to an extent even surpassing the circulation of any book known, except the Bible itself? It also carried the message, "The Hour of His judgment is come" in the next to the last chapter, entitled "The Day of Jehovah," and showing that we have come down to the Millennial Dawn — which the book itself was called. I do not know how anyone could doubt that that verse relates to the publication of Volume One when we see that the whole chapter refers to the Harvest work; and isn't it reasonable that the Lord would describe the instruments He would in accomplishing that work? It seems to me the most reasonable thing imaginable.

The next messenger was to proclaim "Babylon is fallen!" And would show the time for Babylon to fall. The book is called "The Time is at Hand," and the last chapter describes the "Man of Sin" — Papacy, also called by the Revelator "the great harlot," and the Protestant Churches as her daughters. Volume Two shows chronologically that the time has come for Babylon to fall.

The Third Volume was to proclaim a message which is indeed first given in Volume Three, namely, that the time is come for the resurrection of the sleeping saints in 1878, and that "Blessed are they that die in the Lord from henceforth." That is the message that the third messenger carried, and that is given in Volume Three of Scripture Studies. Then in both chapters 14 and 16, when it gets to that Third Plague it says there would be a "messenger come out from the altar and say, Even so!" We turn to the Third Volume, and over to the chapter which deals with that "Altar" of the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, it says "corroborative testimony." In other words this treatise on this altar of the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt is not designed to teach any new truth, but merely to say "Even so!" to corroborate what you have already learned, and both chapters in Revelation, when dealing with the Third Plague or messenger, identifies it positively by that statement that Volume Three would carry a corroborative message, saying, "Even so!"

So it is in respect to all the others, until we get down to the seventh, and as we read in the words of our text, "The seventh angel" would bring great Babylon into remembrance before God, and upon the men, the clergymen of Babylon, "a great hail" — hard, distressing truths would fall. Volume Seven has done that. If we have any doubt about it, suppose we ask some of the clergymen! (Laughter.)

We will hardly have time to refer to the last two external reasons as to why I accept Volume Seven, but they allude to the book of Ezekiel, — the sixth reason referring particularly to that wonderful explanation of the symbols in the first chapter of Ezekiel, which none of the Lord's people, to my knowledge, had any comprehension of until Volume Seven was published; and now it is all cleared up and we can see it is in harmony with all the symbols of the Bible.

My seventh reason relates to the Temple of Ezekiel, and it seems to me, dear friends, that if there was nothing else in Volume Seven that we could accept that when we get to that Temple of Ezekiel chapter we would go on our knees and say, "This is from the Lord" (audience —  "Amen"), because it sets forth the plan in all of its clearness, and all of its details are in exact accordance with the teachings of the Tabernacle Shadows, and shows a great deal more light from the Scriptures than Tabernacle Shadows could show. Not one of us, I dare say, had any comprehension of the teachings of the last nine chapters of Ezekiel until Volume Seven was published. I am amazed when I read that chapter now to think how it was possible for the brother who compiled the book to come to a clear comprehension of those deep statements of the last chapters of Ezekiel, — and yet he has cleared the whole matter up. How could he have done it except through the blessing of the Lord?

We will close with one thought. We desire to answer briefly a criticism that is more commonly brought against the Seventh Volume than any other which I have heard, and that is, "Why call it the posthumous work of Pastor Russell?" I have heard some of the friends say, "I get a great blessing out of the book, but still I can't understand why they use that term, because it seems to be used wrongfully." I answer, "No, dear friends, it is used properly." And it is according to the literary usage; and yet we have a deeper meaning, which we will endeavor to explain. Some have said, "Well, the mere fact that there is so much in the book which is not written by Brother Russell would militate against using the term "posthumous." We answer, "No." When we recognize the fact that the book was designed by our dear Pastor, that he really began to write or publish Volume Seven of the series, and when he said the seventh book would explain Revelation, and explain Ezekiel, and when he said the Seventh Volume, which he already announced would be published by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society; and the book was merely completed after his death according to the same lines which he designed, and it was published properly as his work. I will give you a precedent. You take the last book of fiction of Charles Dickens. There is a great deal in the book which Charles Dickens never wrote, and probably things he never thought of, because he died before he finished the work. The work was finished by a friend of Dickens and was published after Charles Dickens'

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death. The story was completed by this other man, and published as the posthumous work of Charles Dickens, and I never have heard any criticism on that point by any one. It is generally accepted as the posthumous work of Charles Dickens. But you can hear a great deal of criticism about using the same term in connection with Volume Seven. Some say, "Well, that may be true, but the matter from Brother Russell's pen had been published prior to his death in The Watch Tower, etc., and this would militate against the usage of the term "posthumous." We answer, "No." Take for instance the posthumous work of Martin Luther. The things he said and did were collected by his friends and published subsequent to his death. Practically every one of them appeared in magazines before his death. The matter was compiled and brought together in book form which had never been done prior to his death, and it was properly published as his "posthumous work"; and not only the publishers call it "posthumous," but also literary men like Thomas Carlyle in his own writings have referred to the book as Martin Luther's "posthumous work," showing that it is a correct usage of the term in the literary world, — and yet we will find plenty to criticize Volume Seven on that very score.

But there is a deeper reason to our minds why Volume Seven should be considered as the posthumous work of Brother Russell. The very opening chapter and verse of Revelation says "that these things were shown unto John by His angel," — by the Lord's angel. Brother Russell in commenting upon this matter says that John is a picture of the Church in the Harvest period, and the things which John there saw — literally, in vision — the John class down here would be made to understand in all their reality. In other words, the symbols would be explained to the John class; and when John said these things were shown unto him by the Lord's angel, he was speaking for you and me — the John class. By the angel of the Lord, to the John stage of the Church, these things would be made clear. In the 19th and 22nd chapters you will find John speaking of these things again. And he says, "And when I saw, and understood, then I fell before the feet of Him that had shown these things to me, and He said, see that thou do it not, for I am thy fellowservant — of thy brethren, one of the prophets worshipped God." Has it been true, dear friends? You and I of the John class, when we have come to understand the great beauties of the Lord's plan, haven't we almost felt like worshipping Brother Russell; but has it not been always his spirit to point us to the Lord: "See thou do it not." Don't worship Brother Russell: worship God. I am merely thy fellow-servant, one of the prophets of the Lord." Prophet means one who proclaims the truth. And that is what he was, and he was an honored prophet of the Lord, an honored servant — a fellow-servant indeed — of which you and I are scarcely worthy. Now it says that these things would be shown unto John, and the John class would see these things and understand them. There is the key to the whole situation. John saw them back there, but literally he did not understand them. But to you and me these things became meat in due season. Now we have come to understand the things which John literally saw back there in vision. They were shown to John by the angel, and they would be shown by the Lord's angel to the John class. There is no question that Pastor Russell was the angel to the John epoch of the Church — to the last members of the body of Christ, the Laodicean Church. Now if these things were to be shown to the John class by the angel, and the John class would feel almost like worshipping the Lord's servant for having fed them thus with the meat in due season, can we not see the picture complete? And when did this angel to the Laodicean period show these things to us? Before he died? Some of the things, yes. But we did not come to an understanding of all the symbols of Revelation from first to last until after his death; and how? Through the medium of the Seventh Volume of Scripture Studies. I say, therefore, that not only from the literary usage of the term, but according to the Book of Revelation, the Lord's people are justified in considering it as the posthumous work of Brother Russell, — the servant to whom the Lord had committed all His store of present truth. (Rev. 1:1; 19:10.)

He rested from his labors on the 31st day of October, 1916, but "his works did follow on," and he himself in commenting upon that text says that the words indicate that since 1878 those who would die would merely rest from the laborious features of the Harvest work, but the work which they were doing on this side the vail they would continue to do on the other side. On the strength of this text he said repeatedly in THE WATCH TOWER, and elsewhere, that the saints on the other side of the vail are "co-operating with us on this side." Do you think that has been, true? If that is true with the saints from 1878 down to the present, it is surely true with the greatest servant of the Lord in this Harvest time, our dear Pastor. I say, "He rested from the laborious feature, but continued the Harvest work right on, and continued to cooperate with the Harvest workers from the other side, and I believe in some way the Lord has honored him to bring to your attention and mine an explanation of those symbols which John literally saw in vision. Therefore, the words of the Revelator, as explained by our dear Pastor, have come true: they have been fulfilled.

In conclusion, dear friends, when you hear anyone speaking of Volume Seven, I hope you will encourage them to realize that it is just as much a message from the Lord as are the preceding six volumes- Personally, I do not like to hear any of the truth friends, when they are addressed about the Seventh Volume, say, "Oh yes, I accept it. It is a good book, but of course there are lots of mistakes in it." I don't like to hear that. I would just as soon hear such a remark made when we would ask a brother in the truth, "What do you think of Volume One?" Now suppose he would answer you, "Oh, it is a good book. I accept it, but of course there are lots of mistakes in it," You would say that brother is not very clear in the truth. I would say the same thing if he made such a remark about Volume Seven. When we hear anyone begin to set forth the mistakes in any of the books and overlook the good things there, they are discounting the messages the Lord has given them at this time; and I say such an individual does not have a proper appreciation of what the Lord has given him. There is no more reason why we should reject the Seventh Volume because of some statements there about the ending of the war in October, 1917, which did not come true, than there is that we should throw Volume Two away because we weren't all glorified in October, 1914.

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