LIGHT as it falls upon this earth is reflected in a thousand ways: there are flowers of every hue, the grey stone, the purple mountains and the green grass. The colour variations are due to a portion of the spectrum of light being absorbed, while other portions are reflected. An object appears blue because it drinks in the red and yellow wave-lengths and sends away the blue, hence we see the unwanted portion of the spectrum.

With regard to white objectsas snow or wood, the colours are not separated, neither are they absorbed, but are reflected in unison, hence we observe the whiteness of sunlight. Black articles on the other hand have entirely opposite effects. They absorb or kill every beauteous ray: light is obliterated, and this results in darkness. Bearing in mind this simple teaching of science, we readily perceive how very appropriate and forceful become the resultant symbolisms, and thus white is an illuminating emblem of purity, righteousness, unselfishness and love.

Blacktokens the very reverse of these noble characteristics as indicated by the words of Jesus and the Apostles. Our Lord declared that if the "light" within the mind and heart of a Christian be or became "darkness," how great is that darkness! (Matt.6:22.23) The apostles tell of some who have "received the grace of God in vain," and who have not responded whole-heartedly to the love-lights of truth. They have become wanton, selfish, proud, boastful and arrogant, and whatever their professions may be, their judgment is death—the second death—"blackness and darkness for ever" (2 Peter 2:13-17; Jude 11-13).

The statement "I (will) clothe the heavens with blackness" (Isaiah 50:3), is in agreement with the words of the Master, that "the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (Matt.24:29 R.V.). This depicts the rejection of the Gospel and Mosaic truth (sun and moon) by so many a leader who are looked upon as the "stars" of Christendom. These men turn to "evolution" and human understanding, wisdom and might, as the safeguards of society and to bring about peace and earthly prosperity. How the Lord regards them is graphically pictured in Jeremiah 17: 5.6.(R.V.) "Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm."

Each member of that little band of enlightened Christians have totally different aspirations. Scattered throughout the age our Lord said concerning these, "Fear not, little flock ; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32). They have placed God at the pinnacle of all their affairs and they know that Christ's kingdom alone will mean the panacea of human ills. Hence their prayer continually ascends to the Most High God, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, as in heaven so on earth."

Misunderstood, unknown and unwanted by mortal men, God has had His own hidden city. This has been vastly different to the church organisations of Christendom. "The world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not" (1 John 3:1). They are unknown to each other except as they open their hearts. Then they find that others have also been illumined by the spirit of the Most High. It will not be, however, till the "first resurrection" that it will be clearly known as to who have constituted the Lord's true people down through the age. (Rev.20: 6 .2 Tim.2: 19).

Let us consider the pathway of one of these honoured members of Zion. In so doing we will use that emblem white as mentioned so freely in the Scriptures. Here is one who has grown lofty in his imaginations. He has become proud and conceited on account of his superior gifts. With an air of self-importance and self-satisfaction, he pursues his journey through life. Suddenly reverses come and he is humbled to the dust. Friends leave him and his heart grows cold, his courage fails and he weeps with anguish of spirit. Gradually he turns to the only source of comfort and it is only when he cries out "God be merciful to me a sinner" that the true light comes flickering into his soul. He then understands that he is not one whit better than his fellow men, and that his former self-righteousness was but "filthy rags" (Isa.64:6) before the great God eternal. He cries aloud "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (Psa.51:7). Then, like heavenly music are the words "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shalt be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isa.1:18). He is then directed to that only channel of comfort and hears the message—"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt he saved" (Acts 16:31). At last peace enters slowly and surely into his being. He desires to know more of God's way. His interest becomes intensified in the word of truth. Knowledge is added to knowledge and he begins to understand the why and the wherefore that "God is love," and "God is light." At last he commits his all unto the Lord—

"Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my will and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee."

After this he experiences a marvellous change "all things become new." He cries aloud "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,…for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with a robe of righteousness." (Isa.61.10) "Blessed (happy) are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered" (Rom.4:7). The gift of the holy spirit has now become a constant possession and he rejoices in the hope of the glory of God (Rom.5:1-5).

Life's pilgrim way begun, there arises new trials, unforeseen difficulties, and his faith is tried. Sometimes he errs in word and deed, but on all occasions he asks forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7-9). Thereby he keeps his garments always white and retains possession of the Holy Spirit (Eccl.9:8). Continually he longs for a garment that can never be spotted, for he learns from experience that this is impossible whilst in the flesh. (Rom.7:18).

Then he remembers the words addressed to the congregation at Sardis. "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life" (Rev.3:4.5). Then one glad day, his covenant by sacrifice is completed. The cold sullen river of death has been crossed and he finds himself a member of the Bride Company, which has taken nigh two thousand years to complete. O wondrous favour!—"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (Rev.19:7.8). The word "white" in this text is from the Greek lampros meaning bright. The thought conveyed is fine linen illuminated by the glory of God, thus resulting in dazzling purity.

There have been some who have received the Holy Spirit throughout the age, but who have allowed their garments to be draggled by stains and spots. They have not kept their consciences transparent before the Lord, even though at heart they would rather do God's will. They lacked in faith and courage, consequently the Lord has not been altogether pleased with them, but in mercy He saves them, even though they have lost the prize of the high calling (Phil.3:13-15). This class is shown in Revelation 7. After describing the 144,000 of the elect, a great company is mentioned as having passed through great tribulation— "What (who) are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?" "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." The Apostle speaks of this class who were subject to bondage through fear of death (Heb.2:14,15). The death here indicated is sacrificial, as is shown by the words of Psalm 50:5. "Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." The emblem of white is so important in the sight of the Lord that it entered freely in the tabernacle rites, usually in the form of fine linen. When the temple erected by Solomon was dedicated, the Levites and singers, with their sons and brethren, were all of them arrayed in "white linen" (2 Chron.5:12).

This emblem will be significant to the whole world of mankind. "And I saw a great white throne, and… the dead, small and great, stand before God" (Rev.20:11,12). Thus the principles of truth and justice will pervade every law and teaching during the glad millennial day, when humanity will "learn righteousness" (Isa.26:9).

This was foreshadowed by the glory attending the reign of King Solomon. The Queen of Sheba hearing of his wisdom and majesty, visited him and exclaimed in her amazement "the half was not told me!" (1 Kings 10.7). This pictures the delight and glad surprise that will fill many a soul as they are brought back from their sleep of death. They will see the glory of the Lord and exclaim with pent-up enthusiasm—"Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation" (Isa.25:9). Then "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new…Write: for these words are true and faithful" (Rev.21:1-7).

What more can be said of this wonderful emblem which so often occurs in the Scripture of Truth? In moving panorama we observe white horses, white-robed angelic beings, white clouds, white curtains, white stones, and hair as white as wool. A word, however, relative to that white metal silver. This very significantly symbolises truth, not only by reason of its colour, but also relative to its method of purification. "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" (Psalm 12:6).

O marvellous power of divine precept, as it permeates both mind and heart! The result is life eternal and love enthroned. Joy and peace gradually take full possession for it is charged with blessedness—"Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are…sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand…Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days" (Dan.12:9-12).