1855-1889_George Storss - Writings.pdf

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...However, we were then merely getting the general outlines of God's plan, and unlearning many long-cherished
errors, the time for a clear discernment of the minutiae having not yet fully come. And here we should and do
gratefully mention assistance rendered by Brothers George Stetson and George Storrs, both now deceased, the
latter the editor of The Bible Examiner. The study of the Word of God with these dear brethren led, step by step,
into greener pastures and brighter hopes for the world, though it was not until 1872, when I gained a clear view
of our Lord's work as our ransom price, that I found the strength and foundation of all hope of restitution to lie
in that doctrine. Up to that time, when I read the testimony that all in their graves shall come forth, etc., I yet
doubted the full provision-whether it should be understood to include idiots or infants who had died without
reaching any degree of understanding, beings to whom the present life and its experiences would seem to be of
little or no advantage. But when, in 1873, I came to examine the subject of restitution from the standpoint of the
ransom price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam, and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of
restitution completely, and gave fullest assurance that ALL must come forth from Adamic death and be brought
to a clear knowledge of the truth and to fullest opportunity of everlasting life in Christ.
Thus passed the years 1869-1872, and the years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and
knowledge on the part of the handful of Bible students with whom I met regularly in Allegheny. We progressed
from our first crude and indefinite ideas of restitution to clearer understanding of the details, God's due time for
clearer light not having come until 1874...
Dear Br. Storrs :-- Your remark, "The fact is, the thief did not die the same day that Jesus did: for the Jewish day
ended at evening or sundown. Jesus died about 3 o'clock, P.M., but when the evening was come, the thieves
were still alive," &c.
How do you prove that they were alive when the evening was come and the Sabbath commenced? We read
indeed that "when the even was come, Joseph went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus;" Mt 27:57. But where
is the proof that the thief was then alive? Our blessed Lord indeed died first , but as he died about three o'clock,
P.M., the thief might still die on the same day, before the even was come. That he did so, rather appears to have
been the fact from John's words, Joh 19:31. "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation (Friday) that the
bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was a high day,) besought
Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers and break the
legs of the first and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was
dead already, they break not his legs."
As the object of the Jews was to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross on the Sabbath day, is it not
reasonable to suppose that they were removed before the Sabbath commenced?
If the body of the Savior had been removed by Joseph previous to the soldiers breaking the legs of the thieves,
this indeed would be proof that they died after "the even was come," because Joseph had no permission to
remove it until that time. But this was not the fact. It is evident, from Joh 19:33, that Jesus was still on the cross,
though dead, when they broke the legs of the thieves.
The bodies might all be removed from the crosses before "even was come," and Joseph subsequently obtain
permission to take our Lord away for burial.
If I have overlooked any evidence of the truth of your affirmation, please inform me.
Yours for the truth--In Christian love, HENRY GREW
Dear Br. Grew :--You ask relative to the " thieves " crucified with Christ--"How do you prove that they were alive
when the evening was come and the Sabbath commenced?"
It was objected to our view, that thief did not die the same day Jesus did, last April, (see Ex. April 1, p. 104,) and
we admitted we might be mistaken. We made this admission rather than enter into a controversy about it, which
must necessarily involve the day of the crucifixion, which we think not best to enter on. We will only say, we
have long been of the opinion that the crucifixion took place on Thursday . But was are not disposed to spend
time in the discussion of that point. Jesus' own testimony is that the Son of man would be "three days and three
nights " in the tomb; but that is not so if he was crucified on Friday , in any way that we have been able to see; for
he certainly rose on the " first day of the week." We have not said the thief was alive "when the Sabbath
commenced ; though Br. GREW infers it from supposing the crucifixion took place on "Friday." Let us call
attention to a comparison between the evangelists.
Joh 19:31. "The Jews because it was the preparation * * besought that their legs might be broken," &c. Mr
15:42. "And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation , that is the day before the Sabbath ,
Joseph * * * went to Pilate," &c.
These two texts show that it was the " preparation " day, or day before the Sabbath, that the thieves' legs were
broken; and that it was the preparation day that Joseph came for Jesus; and was when "even had come;" showing
the transactions both done in one and the same day. Now, as Jesus died before the "even was come," and the
thief was alive when the "even was come," as it was the "preparation," that is "the day before the Sabbath," that
their legs were broken, and which is declared to be the time of Joseph's taking Jesus, we can come to no other
conclusion than that the thief was alive when "the even was come;" and hence did not die the same day with
There was the "preparation of the Passover," (Joh 19:14,) which was the day of the crucifixion; but there was
also "the preparation" for the "Sabbath," which was "the day before the Sabbath," Mr 15:42. It was when "even
had come" that this day of preparation for the Sabbath commenced. It was at that time Joseph came for the "body
of Jesus." Joseph "took him"--Jesus--" down " from the cross: see Mr 15:46: hence none of the bodies had been
"removed from the cross before the even was come."
Again, It is not to be supposed that the chief priests and Pharisees would transgress on the Sabbath day so much
as to go to Pilate, and get permission to set a watch and seal the sepulcher and do all that work on the Sabbath.
But they did do all these things on the day that " followed the day of preparation;" see Mt 27:62-66; hence, we
conclude, "the preparation of the Passover" is the day here spoken of, and was the day of the crucifixion; and that
"when the even was come" commenced the preparation day for the Sabbath, and that it was on this day, which
followed the Passover "preparation," the chief priests and Pharisees came to Pilate, &c. According to the
common notion, Jesus was not put in the tomb till the Sabbath had actually begun ; yet Luke says "That day was
the preparation day and the Sabbath drew on." Lu 23:54. Then it is added, "The women * * * beheld the
sepulcher and how the body was laid: and they returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the
Sabbath day according to the commandments." Lu 23:55-56. Did they prepare these spices and ointments on the
Sabbath day, and at the same time rest according to the commandment? We think not. Yet the common theory
makes Jesus to be buried on the Sabbath day, the women briskly at work, and the chief priests and Pharisees at
Pilate's court, setting a watch, and sealing the stone of the sepulcher; and all this on the Sabbath day!
Exposition of Nebuchadnezzar's Dream.
THERE are those who, when they come to hear anything on the appearing of Christ and the end of the world,
expect to hear us predict and prophesy on those matters. With predicting and prophesying, in the sense of
foretelling future events, I have nothing to do. I take the prophecies that God has given us, and tell you how I
understand them, and why I understand them as I do. When this is done, you will judge for yourselves, as each of
you must give account for himself, whether the interpretation given, accords with the general tenor of the
Scriptures. I force not my exposition upon any man. Hear, then judge.
I cannot agree with some who tell us that the prophecies cannot be understood. I consider such language the
language of infidelity. What is it but saying-"Revelation is no revelation?" Revelation is something made known;
and, of course, to be understood. To say that any part of it cannot be understood, is, just so far, to be infidels.
There are some men who denounce infidelity with an unsparing hand, who, at the same time, tell us, we cannot
understand the prophecies! What is this but infidelity?
A man may say, with truth, that he does not understand the prophecies; but, to say, "they cannot be understood,"
is a very different matter; and he that does it, whatever his standing, or reputation, is infidel in his principles. Not
that he rejects the whole of Revelation; but he t of the Bible is a revelation.
I most solemnly believe that God designed every part of the Bible should be understood; but, not without
searching the Scriptures, comparing one part with another, and earnest prayer to him for that same Spirit, to
guide us into truth, which at first inspired holy men to write the sacred pages. Hence, to come to a knowledge of
the truth, we must first seek a childlike spirit, and pray much for divine aid. The blessed Jesus said-"I thank thee,
O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast
revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." First, an humble spirit is
necessary. Then, for our encouragement, the Saviour has said, "If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him."
Let us then humbly yet confidently seek the aid of the Holy Spirit to give us understanding; and in that light
search the Scriptures to know what was the mind of the Spirit that inspired them, and we shall not search in vain.
Let us now examine the second chapter of Daniel. I shall, for the sake of brevity, begin at the 31st verse.
Da 2:31-36. -"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold, a great image. This great image, whose brightness was
excellent, stood before thee, and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold-his breast and
arms of silver-his belly and his thighs of brass-his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest
till that a stone was cut out, without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron, and clay, and
brake them in pieces: then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together,
and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carried them away, that no place was
found for them: and the stone that smote the image, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. This is
the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king."
I wish to call the attention of my readers to an inquiry. Where did the stone strike the image? "upon his feet." Let
that be remembered, for I shall have occasion to speak of that fact again.
Da 2:37,38 -"Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and
strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the
heaven, hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all," [i.e., has given thee universal
dominion on earth.] -"Thou art [i.e., thy kingdom is] this head of gold."
Babylon was the first kingdom of universal empire. It was founded by Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah. See
Ge 10:8-10. It lasted near seventeen hundred years, though under different names; sometimes called Babylon,
sometimes Assyria, and sometimes Chaldea. It extended from Nimrod to Belshazzar, who was its last king.
Da 2:39, first part. "And after thee shall rise another kingdom, inferior to thee." What kingdom succeeded
Babylon? See Chap.v:28, "Thy kingdom [Babylon] is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."
The Medo-Persian kingdom, then, was the second universal kingdom, and was represented by the "breast and
arms of silver."
Da 2:39, last part. "And another third kingdom of brass shall arise, which shall bear rule over all the earth." What
kingdom was this? See Da 8:5-7, 21. Here we learn that Grecia conquered the Medo-Persian kingdom and
became a kingdom of universal empire. This took place under Alexander. Here, then, we have the third kingdom,
which was represented by the brass of the image.
Da 2:40. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all
things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise."
What kingdom is this? It is generally admitted to be the Roman kingdom. It is a universal kingdom, that is to
break in pieces all that went before it. Rome alone answers the description. That did have universal empire. See
Luke ii:1. "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the
world should be taxed." Who was Cesar Augustus? A Roman Emperor. -Here, then, we have the fourth
kingdom, represented by the "legs of iron."
Da 2:41. "And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be
divided." What kingdom shall be divided? "The fourth kingdom." Was it divided? It was. The Western empire of
Rome, between the years A. D. 356 and 483, was divided into ten divisions, or kingdoms, viz.: 1. The Huns in
Hungary, A. D. 356. 2. The Ostrogoths, in Mysia, 377. 3. The Visigoths, in Pannonia, 378. 4. The Franks, in
France, 407. 5. The Vandals, in Africa, 407. 6. The Sueves and Alans, in Gascoigne and Spain, 407. 7. The
Burgundians, in Burgundy, 407. 8. The Heruli and Rugii, in Italy, 476. 9. The Saxons and Angles, in Britain,
476. 10. The Lombards, in Germany, 483.* -Thus the "kingdom was divided" as designated by the ten toes."
"But," after its division, "there shall be in it the strength of iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with
the miry clay."
The Roman, or "iron" power, through the influence and authority of Papacy, or Papal Rome, stretched itself
among the "clay" so as to be "mixed with" it, and thereby kept up "the strength of iron."
Da 2:42,43. "And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay; so the kingdom" [Roman kingdom]
"shall be partly strong and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they"
[Romanism] "shall mingle themselves [i.e., Rome Papal] with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to
another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."
How exactly has all this been fulfilled. Romanism, or the Romish Church, while it has mingled with all nations,
has not mixed with them, but has kept up its authority over its subjects, under whatever government they may
have been located; so that the authority of Rome has been felt by all the nations where her subjects have been
"mingled with the seed of men." The fourth, or Roman kingdom is thus perpetuated, though "divided." That
power will continue, not civilly but by its ecclesiastical authority, till "broken without hands."
Da 2:44. "And in the days of these kings [What kings, or kingdoms? Clearly, the kings of the divided fourth
kingdom: for that is now the subject of discourse] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom [the fifth universal
kingdom] that shall never be destroyed: [and, therefore, must be in the immortal state, or "new earth:"] and the
kingdom [when set up] shall not be left to other people, [i.e., the subjects shall not pass from one set of rulers to
another, as the four previous kingdoms have done,] but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms.
See Re 11:15. "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of
this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever." "And
[18th verse] the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy
name, small and great; and shouldest destroy ['break in pieces'] them that destroy ['break in pieces.' See Da 7:23]
the earth, and it [the fifth kingdom] shall stand forever.
The question now arises, What are we to understand by this last kingdom? And when is it "set up?" Some tell us
it must be the "kingdom of grace," because the stone that smote the image was a "little stone" at first. But where,
I ask, do they learn that the stone was a little one? Not in the Bible surely. It is not there. They must find it, then
among the inventions of men. "But," say they, "it grows, mark that." Well, my dear sir, will you be good enough
to show me where the stone is said to grow? You do not find it in the Bible; it must be in your imagination, if
anywhere. The "stone smote the image, and" it "became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the
wind carried" it "away, that no place was found for" either of the fourth kingdoms: then, and not till then, "the
stone became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."
Still, the objector insists upon it, that "it must be the kingdom of grace, set up by our Lord Jesus Christ 1800
years ago, in the days of the Cesars." You speak of the "kingdom of grace;" but, I ask, then, if God had no
"kingdom of grace" in the world till "the days of the Cesars?" If he had not, then Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Job, and all the prophets must have gone to perdition, for surely no
man can be saved without grace; and that grace must reign to bring salvation. Thus if Jesus Christ set up "the
kingdom of grace" only 1800 years ago, all that lived the 4000 years previous have "perished."
But let us look at this subject a little further. Where did the stone strike the image when it smote it? Not on the
"head" -Babylon; nor on the "breast and arms" -Media and Persia; nor on the "belly and thighs" -Grecia; nor yet
on the "legs" -Rome Pagan, as it should have done, if the kingdom was "set up in the days of the Cesars." -
Where, then, did it smite the image? Verse 34 tells us, it "smote the image upon the FEET." Now it could not
smite the feet before they were in being; and they were not in being till several hundred years after Christ's
crucifixion, i.e., till the fourth, or Roman kingdom was divided; which we have seen, did not take place till
between the years A. D. 356 and 483. Since that time, the "Man of Sin" has reigned on earth, instead of the Lord
of Glory, and has trodden "under foot the holy City." But the kingdom of God is to be set up. That it was not set
up at certain periods spoken of in the New Testament, will appear from the examination of a few passages. It
was not set up when our Lord taught his followers to pray, "Thy kingdom come:" it must have been future then.
Again. The mother of Zebedee's children understood it to be future when she desired our Lord to grant that her
two sons might sit, "the one on the right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom." It was still future when
our Lord ate the last passover. See Luke xxii:18: "I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the
kingdom of God shall come." So, it had not then come. Let us see if it had come when Christ hung on the cross.
See Luke xxiii:42. "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Thus, to his death, it seems, his
kingdom had not been set up. -But did he not set it up before his ascension to heaven? See Ac 1:6. "Lord, wilt
thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Not done yet. Now See 1Cor.xv:50. "Now this I say,
brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." This settles the question that the kingdom of
God is not set up till the saints put on immortality, or not till they enter the immortal state, which Paul tells us,
[verse 52,] is "at the last trump," and the apostle tells us, [2Timothy iv:1,] that "the Lord Jesus Christ shall judge
the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom." And again he tells us, [Ac 14:22,] that "we must through
much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God;" and this address was made to those who were already
Christians, and shows that the kingdom of God was still future, in the apostle's estimation.
It is said, "Our Lord taught the Jews that the kingdom of God was within them." This is inferred from Lu
17:20,21. "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered
them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation." [marginal reading 'outward show.']" Neither
shall they say lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Did our Saviour mean to say
that the kingdom of God was within the Pharisees? He says of them, [Mt 23:13,]" Ye shut up the kingdom of
heaven against men: for ye neither go in, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." Surely our Lord could
not mean, in Luke xvii, to say, the kingdom of God was, at that time, within the Pharisees. "True," says the
objector, "but the margin has it, among you." But, I ask, did our Lord intend to teach that it was then among
them? If so, why did he speak a parable in Mt 19:11th verse and onward, to disabuse the minds of the people,
"because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear?" He clearly teaches in that parable,
that they were not to expect the kingdom of God till he should "return" from heaven, at which time he would
reward his faithful servants, but would say, at the same time, "Those mine enemies, which would not that I
should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me." See, in connection with this, Re 11:15,18. What
then does our Lord mean in Lu 17th? I understand him to say, that when the kingdom of God does come, it will
not be with outward show, or signs; but, the first the wicked will know, it is upon them; and thus the twenty-
fourth verse seems to explain it. "For as the lightning &c., so also shall the Son of man be in his day." That
kingdom will come sudden and unexpected to all the wicked.
The parables of the "mustard seed" and "leaven," are brought forward as an argument in defense of the doctrine
that the kingdom of heaven was set up in the days our Saviour was on earth. I admit that those parables refer to a
work of grace wrought in this world; but they cannot be so interpreted as to contradict the overwhelming
testimony of our Lord, the prophet Daniel, Paul, and St. John, as already presented. -The language of these
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