DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:At a recent meeting of the Church here the 28th chapter of Isaiah was brought up, and it seemed plain to us that this is an exact description of the condition of the nominal church of the present time, from the prophets and [R2661 : page 208] seers, who err in vision, down to the tables which are full of vomit, the bed which has become too short and the covering which is too narrow.See MILLENNIAL DAWN Index references.
Now in regard to that part of the chapter which refers to those who drive back the battle to the gate, the thought was expressed that possibly this might refer to the present "Volunteer" work, and that the volunteers are pressing back the battle to the gate, and that the word "gate" might possibly be a symbol of dominion, representing Satan's stronghold, and that this stronghold is the doctrine of eternal torture, against which doctrine the present ammunition of the volunteers seems to be specially directed. Then again it was thought that this gate (or doctrine) might represent the restraint which the enemy has exercised over the race of mankind during all these centuries, lest the glorious light of the gospel should shine into their hearts.
Do you think the interpretation correct? And if so, do you not think that if the attention of the brethren were called to this chapter at the present time it would serve to strengthen those who are already in the volunteer service and encourage others to enlist, inasmuch as the same chapter promises strength to those who drive the battle back? With best wishes,
[In reply: We certainly do understand this chapter to portray events of our day; and while all true soldiers of the cross are now battling for the Truth against error we concede that none are doing more valiant service than are the "Volunteers." Nor do we know of any other service or method so likely to yield the desired results.
As to turning the battle at the gate: it might be viewed aggressively, as you suggest, or defensively. [R2662 : page 208] Really we are on the defensivethe stronghold Zion is attacked by enemies from without and within. The Bible is attacked by so-called Higher Critics, and the cross, the doctrine of the ransom, is attacked by Evolutionists and hosts of others, and the long entrenched errors of doctrine are now stumbling many who want to be on the Lord's side of this battlethe side of Truth. The enemy of Truth, Satan, and his deluded followers must be shown up and driven completely outside Zion's walls that now at last "wheat" may be distinguished from "tares." We know of no better aid in this conflict than the "Volunteer TOWER." It is an inspiring scene to see the Allegheny Church Volunteers going forth every Sunday morning, and it must be still more so to witness the larger company of the Boston Churchabout 80 per cent. of the entire Church, we understand, are "Volunteers." The influence of such preachers and their message is bound to tell on the right class.EDITOR.]