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    June 18, 1896

    “The Court of Heaven” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Court of Heaven .-“And I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 385.1

    “The Judgment” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Felix, himself Paul’s judge, trembled as the apostle preached to him of “righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come.” Just for a moment the doctrine of the judgment was pressed so closely home to his calloused senses that he trembled as he thought of appearing himself before the Judge of all.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 385.2

    One may take a live coal from the fire and by handling it lightly, toss it from hand to hand without scorching the fingers. But let it be firmly grasped and it burns its way into the flesh. Multitudes hold the doctrine of the judgment so lightly that it has little effect upon the daily life. In a general way they believe in a day of reckoning, but it is not held firmly enough to burn its way into the heart and life.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 385.3

    Men readily comprehend the truth that the world will be judged. They may even feel the satisfaction which the Psalmist expressed when he saw that evil would not always triumph, and that workers of iniquity would not be able to corrupt judgment in the day of God. But our thoughts must bring the matter nearer to ourselves than that.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 385.4

    “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Not the world in general, merely, and not solely the wicked who have lived in wantoness, but “every one of us.” Not as churches, or as families, but singly and alone each one meets the account. The accounts are kept in heaven’s books. What men will say often makes a great difference in this world. People fear to follow the Lord because of the reproach of Christ. But of what value is the record that the world may write when the books of heaven are recording the story of each life?PTUK June 18, 1896, page 385.5

    Three things make up our lives-deeds, words, thoughtsPTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.1

    1. Our Deeds.-God “will render to every man according to his deeds.” Romans 2:6. None need deceive themselves by a fair profession. “He that doeth righteousness is righteous.” The apostle writes of those who “profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him.” Titus 1:16. Not the profession, but the deed determines the destiny of man.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.2

    2. Our Words.-“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Therefore it is fair that the life should be judged by the words. Foolish frivolity in the heart will manifest itself in lightness of speech. Vanity within flows forth in “great swelling words of vanity.” Hatred of God’s law and lawlessness within the heart will lead to words against the Divine standard of righteousness. When one realises that even the chance and idle words-much more the words uttered with determination and forethought-are recorded, he may well pray the Psalmist’s prayer: “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.3

    3. Our Thoughts.-The deeds and the words are seen and heard of men, and may be controlled so that the true condition of the heart is not always manifest. But the judgment will not be according to the world’s standards. “He said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:12, 13.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.4

    The law of God is spiritual, and by it every secret sin will be revealed. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.5

    The whole aim of the Gospel is to teach men how the righteousness of that holy and perfect law may be fulfilled in men,-by Jesus Christ the righteous One. The judgment will reveal all the works of self, and blessed is that man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered in that day. Since it is the law of God that is to be the standard of judgment, it is not strange that Satan should seek to lead men to despise the law, and to continue in sin. Lawlessness is a special mark of the last days in prophecy. In the same last days, when the “hour of His judgment is come” (Revelation 14:6, 7), none need be surprised that the message of the Gospel is in a special sense a call to loyalty and obedience. Men face to face with the judgment cannot afford to treat with contempt the law which places all under sin. Now, when not only in the professedly godless world men are rushing on in sin, but when even in the pulpits and the religious world the law of God is being treated as an outward thing, the time has come that the Gospel calls in a “loud voice,” “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.6

    “God, Or Cesar” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The history of religion, and of the world, proves that it is impossible for a spiritual cause to triumph through civil and political means. In every case, without exception, when this has been tried, the greater the political and material triumph for success achieved, the deeper has been the spiritual degradation which resulted.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.7

    That this has been so requires no demonstration. Every schoolboy knows the facts which show it to be true beyond the possibility of denial. It is true that not every schoolboy makes a practical application of the facts which he so industriously memorises, and realises the lesson which they should teach. But legislators and statesmen have reached the period of life, and the place, where they must not only remember and apply the facts, but create more history on the lines of the philosophy of past history.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.8

    The things necessary for their guidance are not only narrated in the histories, but the knowledge of them is also stored up in the mind of every educated person throughout the world. All rulers, and men possessing governmental power and influence, everywhere, are conversant with the general incidents of history. These men accept the teachings of history and other things, and profit by them. Why do they not accept this also and profit by it as well?PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.9

    It would be an insult to the intelligence of the rulers and civil authorities of the earth to suppose that they are unable to comprehend the fact, over and over shown to be true in history, that a spiritual cause is destroyed by governmental championship. But if history were silent upon this, or if it be a closed book, ordinary intelligence, assisted by the very least Biblical truth, would lead any man to the understanding of the fact that civil interference is fatal to religious belief and faith,-that it removes man from his dependence upon the Eternal Rock, and places him upon the shifting sands of human authority.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.10

    What, then, is the unavoidable conclusion? It is that earthly rulers are not striving to uphold a heavenly kingdom, but to defend and build up an earthly. They do not pray, “Thy kingdom come,”-but, “My kingdom come.” And that they may see their desire fulfilled, they are ready, not only to lay all other kingdoms of this world under tribute, but also the spiritual kingdom as well.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.11

    Therefore religious domination is used as an instrument for the attainment and maintenance of civil power; and so it is true that the political cause triumphs at the expense of the spiritual. That which was sought is achieved, but it is temporal success, and all things temporal are but temporary after all. The time hastens when his kingdom will come. What, then, will be the fate of those who have sought to triumph politically by the blasphemous use of spiritual agencies?PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.12

    “Belshazzar’s Feast” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Belshazzar’s Feast .-Daniel describes the fall of Babylon on the night of Belshazzar’s impious feast, when the hand came forth and wrote the Divine judgment upon the great city. The critics long made this description one point of objection to the Book of Daniel, as women are not usually present at Oriental feasts. After twenty-five centuries, however, a tablet was dug up, containing Cyrus’ own description of his attack. As one writer says:-PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.13

    In it he declares that Babylon was captured “without fighting” on the fourteenth day of the month Tammuz. Now the month Tammuz was named in honour of the god Tammus, the Babylonian Adonis, who married their Venus or Ishtar; and the fourteenth of Tammuz was a regular time to celebrate their union, with lascivious orgies. On this day of all others, the women took part in the horrible rites; and it was in this feast of kings, princes, wives, and concubines, that Babylon was taken and Belshazzar slain.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 386.14

    “The Spirit’s Witness” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” How does the Spirit witness? This is answered in Hebrews 10:14-17. The apostle says that by one offering He has perfected them that are sanctified, and then says that the Holy Ghost is a witness to this fact, when He says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” That is to say, The Spirit’s witness is the Word. We know that we are children of God, because the Spirit assures us of the fact in the Bible. The witness of the Spirit is not a certain ecstatic feeling, but a tangible statement. We are not children of God because we feel that we are, neither do we know that we are sons because of any feeling, but because the Lord tells us so. He who believes has the word abiding in him, and that is how “he that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” 1 John 5:10.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.1

    “Be of One Mind” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The apostle, in his second Epistle to the Corinthians, as his last earnest injunction to them, says: “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” These are the final words of encouragement, warning, exhortation, with which he closes this epistle.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.2

    He urges the church, while joyously striving for perfection, to be of the same mind one toward another, that they may live in peace, and thus the God of love and peace may be with them. If they are not of the same mind they cannot live in peace. There will be contention.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.3

    Where there is contention there can be no joyousness or comfort, and certainly the striving of those who are divided in thought, and purpose, and mind, is far from a struggle after perfection. And, moreover, it is certain that the God of love, and peace, and perfection, will never be with those who do not strive to be perfect. The heart of the apostle was deeply stirred for the brethren of the church at Corinth when he so urgently desired them to “be of one mind.”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.4

    Again in another place, in the Epistle to the Romans, the apostle dwells upon the same subject, with similar earnestness, but more fully. “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you; bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:9-21.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.5

    And still in another epistle the same apostle breaks into a personal entreaty. He mentions two of the church at Philippi by name, and begs that their differences be smoothed away, and that they become of the same mind. “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.” Philippians 4:2. This earnestness of the apostle and exhorting to be single-minded in the things of God, and to have no differences and contention, arose from the vivid realisation of the fact that all those in whom Christ dwells must be as one man in mind and heart, and that man Christ Jesus.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.6

    He who is at variance with the brethren may test himself by that sign, and by that may know that he has not wholly given his heart and his life to God, and that Christ has not entered into his heart and made His abode there.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.7

    “Boys’ Brigades” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Boys’ Brigades .-Those who protest that the organising of the youth for military drill will not encourage the war spirit fail to take account of human nature. That many who favour these organisations have a distinct idea of turning them to military account is evident. At the anniversary demonstration of the Church Lads’ Brigade in Birmingham some time ago the presiding officer, appropriately enough an officer in the Army, repudiated in the strongest manner possible that they had any idea of trying to recruit the ranks of the regular service from the Church Lads Brigade. (Applause.) He sincerely trusted, however, that the lads, when they became too old to remain in the Brigade, would see that it was desirable to join the Volunteer force. (Hear, hear.)PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.8

    In the same number of the Brigade which prints this direct encouragement to military service, a correspondent writes favouring a proposal that the country should give prizes to the lads of these brigades. He says:-PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.9

    The effect would be considerable. Without conscription our young men would be trained in drill, and be seen fit to join the Volunteers, or line regiments if required... It would be an English modification of the Swiss team of making drill a part of elementary education, as indeed it ought to be.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.10

    When religion-professedly the religion of Jesus Christ-encourages the war spirit, and putting the youth in training for war, none need wonder that the spirit of war is abroad in the earth.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 389.11

    “A Lesson in Bird-Shooting” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    One spring we boys were having a splendid time with our rubber shooters; every boy in the neighbourhood had one or more.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.1

    One day I was wandering about the lower end of our garden with my shooter. There were plenty of birds all round, but I did not want to shoot at them, if I could find anything else to shoot at. I got over the fence into another lot, but still there were birds everywhere.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.2

    I shot a few times, just to frighten them a little. Then I heard one singing beautifully right over my head. I couldn't see it very plainly, and I don't believe I meant to hit it at all, and I was frightened when it came falling down at my feet, with a sad kind of little scream. I picked it up and tried to make it fly, or walk, but it would not; its pretty eyes were half shut, and it kept panting with its bill. It was a bluebird.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.3

    I knew I never could keep it from mother; for when I have been doing anything dreadful, I always feel as if I was lost till I have told her. As I carried the poor bird through the garden, a drop of blood fell from its mouth, right on a great white lily that seemed looking up to ask me what I had been doing. Mother was standing near the back door; as I laid the bird on her hand, it stopped panting, and was still.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.4

    Mother said, “What is the matter?” But there was such a lump in my throat, I couldn't speak a word. Then she saw the shooter in my hand, and she said:-PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.5

    “Did you kill that little bird?”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.6

    I tell you it scared me, the way she spoke. I never heard her speak in such an awful voice before.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.7

    Then she said: “You have stolen away its little life-it was all the life it had. The Lord loves His helpless little creatures; He gave them to us to make us happy, and He will never bless those who are cruel to them.”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.8

    Then she put the little bird up to her cheek, and I saw her tears come. She took the shooter, and laid it on the kitchen fire, and then she said:-PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.9

    “You may go to your room.”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.10

    I would rather have been whipped than to have to go there and just have to keep thinking. I thought of all the beautiful days of sunshine I had taken away from that poor little bird, and how it would never fly through the air, nor sing in the trees, nor see the flowers and the grass any more. And I wondered if it had a nest and little birds, and what would become of them.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 397.11

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Matches have not yet displaced the tinder-box in certain rural districts of Spain and Italy.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.1

    -The new British Army magazine rifle will throw a bullet to the distance of over 4,000 yards.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.2

    -France boast; of a navy of 408 ships of 621,000 horse-power, and eighty others in process of construction.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.3

    -The total membership of the Boy’s Brigade for the United Kingdom is 95,000 lads, with 2,800 officers.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.4

    -Glasgow receives its water supply by means of an aqueduct from Loch Katrina, thirty-four miles distant.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.5

    -It is estimated that there are in Wales about 910,000 Welsh speakers, and about 240,000 outside the Principality.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.6

    -Emigration statistics show that during May nearly 19,000 British subjects emigrated to America and the Colonies.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.7

    -Every ton of Atlantic water when evaporated yields 81lb. of salt; a ton of Pacific water, 79lb.; Arctic and Antarctic waters yield 85lb. to the ton, and Dead Sea water 187lb.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.8

    -Anarchists are again active in Spain, two bombs having been thrown last week. One at Barcelona killed and injured a number of people, mostly women and children.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.9

    -The pay of the Russian soldier is about a farthing a day, with keep. His food is a bit of meat and vegetable soup with brown bread, and he rats two meals a day, and is able to work hard.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.10

    -About a thousand miners are killed every year by accidents in the mines of the Kingdom. Explosions account for a large proportion of deaths. It is estimated that 100 men are injured for every one killed.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.11

    -The shipbuilding yards of the Clyde number about thirty, and for miles down the great water-way the ear filled with the ringing noise of the hammers at work on every kind of matt, from pleasure yacht to battleship.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.12

    -The shreds of silk and cotton, and the dustings from the cloth which is cut up into uniforms, are saved in the Royal Army Clothing Department factories in Pimlico, and these waste odds and ends sell for about ?55,000 every year.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.13

    -Cape Colony has a surplus this year of ?1,250,000, due largely to the railway receipts having exceeded the estimates by nearly a million sterling. Cape stock stands higher in the market than any except that of Great Britain.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.14

    -Last week it was reported that ten suicides had occurred amongst soldiers in the army within seven days. The large proportion of suicides amongst soldiers on the Continent goes to allow that the effect of military service is demoralising.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.15

    -Algeria is suffering from a plague of locusts, the most serious ever remembered. Nothing can impede their progress, and they pass along in a compact mass several inches deep. The decaying bodies of the dead insects have become it serious danger to the community.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 398.16

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The mission ship Pitcairn, engaged in the work of our Society in the South Pacific, left San Francisco last month on its fifth cruise, carrying workers for various island groups.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.1

    To make the worse appear the better reason is writing the ineffaceable evidences of one’s intellectual folly on the walls of eternity. To stand for the wrong and the intruders against the right and the truth, however much the wrong and the untruth seem to be for the time in the ascendancy, is but repeating the strange infatuation of Eve, who was willing to barter the untellable and infinite joys of an eternal existence for the momentary sweetness in the mouth of one apple.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.2

    The leader of our mission in Matabeleland reports that the workers left everything at the station in charge of friendly natives on going into Buluwayo. He says:-PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.3

    The natives on the farm were very friendly, and I feel confident will have nothing to do with the rebellion, unless forced to do so by the Matabeles. The natives did not like to see us go, and said to us, “Who will protect us now, when you are away?” They had learned to come to us with their grievances, and we have assisted them to get their rights; hence they look upon us as their protectors.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.4

    It is said that three Buddhist priests from Japan are visiting Russia to study “the details of the system under which the Church militant in Russia is affiliated to the army of the Czar.” It is remarkable that the nations should be learning the arts of war from professedly Christian nations, and that heathen religions should be coming to professedly Christian systems to learn how best to unite ecclesiasticism and the forces of war.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.5

    The Pope is about to issue an encyclical. The document, it is said, will be long and is written with the purpose to bring about Church unity, that is, the union of the different Churches with Rome. That which is sought is of course nothing but the supremacy of the See of Rome. This forthcoming encyclical will be, no doubt, a masterpiece of rhetorical skill, which will reassert all his claims in such smoothly flowing phrases that few will take offence, and none feel alarmed. Yet it is evident that the Roman Catholic Church is making great encroachments upon that part of the religious world which calls itself Protestant.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.6

    The Sunday-law crusade in which the churches of America are engaged has gone so far that candidates for the presidency of the United States are pressed to declare their position on Sunday legislation. It is, of course, a partial return to the old religious test for aspirants to political office, and will bring with it the same disastrous results.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.7

    The American Sentinel reports that the Presbyterian General Assembly, which recently met in New York, rejected a resolution introduced by one member disavowing sympathy with the persecution of Seventh-day Adventists under the Sunday laws, rejecting it on the ground that “the Assembly had no control over criminal law.” But the Assembly passed a resolution commending those religious organisations which are working night and day to secure and enforce the same laws.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.8

    Let it never be snowy nor wintery within. Carry ever in your heart and mind and memory the summer sunbeams, and not singly but bound in sheaves, that, filled with their garnered warmth and light, their brightness may gleam from every act, and be comfort and joy and warmth and life to all that see you. Carry in your thoughts the carols of all the birds, and the grand orchestral voice of all nature, harmonised and softened into one sweet choral which shall be the song of your life to all that have known you.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.9

    “A Boon for Chinese” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A Boon for Chinese .-The Chinese written language has so many characters that it is a very difficult one. And to represent it in the ordinary characters in a raised type for the many blind of the Middle Kingdom was a hopeless task. But a missionary, Mr. W. A. Murray, of Peking, has invented a system by which he expresses the 408 sounds of Mandarin Chinese by figures. He was able by this numeral type to teach the blind to read very readily, and it is now said that the system has a much wider field of usefulness than was anticipated; for it has been demonstrated in recent years that the illiterate Chinese who have never learned the written language, of whom there are millions, can be taught the new system in a few months, and can thus read and write. This enables the missionaries to teach illiterate converts to read the Scriptures for themselves, and the inventor of the system seems to have conferred a great boon upon the mission work in China.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.10

    “The Power of the Pope” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Power of the Pope .-Mr. Justin McCarthy has written a book on the Pope as a Statesman. In it he styles the Pope a universal ruler, and says that we talk about great empires, but that the empire of the Pope is far vaster than any, as well as far stronger, needing no armies and navies to defend it; for it is an invisible empire enthroned in human hearts.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.11

    Except as a matter of news in the daily papers, says he, as an illustration, the people of the United States do not care, and have no need to care, three straws about what England and France and Germany and Russia are doing. But the Papacy is an influence everywhere, and it has to look after everything. Its dominion is seated in the consciences of men-of its followers, to be sure, but then its followers are everywhere.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.12

    Mr. McCarthy is right in saying that the Papacy is an influence everywhere, and that its followers are nearly everywhere is also true,-and it is none the less true that it is both willing and anxious to undertake to look after the whole earth. To acquire this universal paternal control the Papacy systematically puts forth every effort and exercises every subtlety of diplomacy and statecraft. Men of affairs and writers are beginning, especially of late, to comprehend the truth of these facts, and state them publicly.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.13

    “Friends of Peace” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Friends of Peace .-The Society of Friends stands for the principles of peace. The following extract from one of their documents well states the incongruity of professing the name of Christ, whilst having anything to do with war:-PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.14

    Can it be still necessary, after more than 1,800 years have elapsed since the advent of the Prince of Peace, to explain the ground of our testimony against war? Rather let us leave it to other Christian Churches to tell us how they can reconcile “garments rolled in blood,” the carnage of the battle-field, the outrage and barbarity resulting from it, and the untold misery of innocent victims, with the pure and peaceable character of Him whose whole conduct, as well as His teaching, breathed forgiveness of injuries, love to His enemies, and tender compassion to all; who told the impetuous Peter to put up his sword into its sheath, and who expressly said, “My kingdom is not of this world; if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight,...but now is My kingdom not from hence;” and again, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 400.15

    “The Fountain Head” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The fountainhead of all knowledge of the truth is the Word. Therefore it is worse than useless for men to spend their time discussing decrees of councils and the voluminous vagaries of the Fathers of the Catholic Church to find truth. All that they or any ecclesiastical historians can know of the teaching of Christ and the apostles is in the Word, and anybody who will read the Scriptures and believe them can find the truth. Dr. Killen, of the Irish Presbyterian Church, in his “Ancient Church,” wrote the following wise words:-PTUK June 18, 1896, page 403.1

    “There are many who imagine that had they lived in the days of Tertullian or of Origen, they would have enjoyed spiritual advantages far higher than any to which they now have access. But a more minute acquaintance with the ecclesiastical history of the third century might convince them that they have no reason to complain of their present privileges. The amount of material light which surrounds us does not depend on our proximity to the sun. When our planet is most remote from its great luminary, we may bask in the splendour of his effulgence; and, when it approaches nearer, we may be involved in thick darkness. So it is with the church. The amount of our religious knowledge does not depend on our proximity to the days of primitive Christianity. The Bible is the sun of the spiritual firmament; and this Divine illuminator, like the glorious orb of day, pours forth its light with equal brilliancy from generation to generation. The church may retire into ‘chambers of imagery’ erected by her own folly; and there, with the light shut out from her, may sink into a slumber disturbed only, now and then, by some dream of superstition; or, with the light still shining on her, her eye may be dim or disordered, and she may stumble at noon-day. But the light is as pure as in the days of the apostles; and, if we have eyes to profit by it, we may ‘understand more than the ancients.’ The art of printing has supplied us with facilities for the study of the Scriptures which were denied to the fathers of the second century; and teach the ecclesiastical documents, relative to that age, which have been transmitted to us from antiquity, contain, perhaps, the greater part of the traditional information which was preserved in the church. If we are only ‘taught of God,’ we are in as good a position for acquiring a correct acquaintance with the way of salvation as was Polycarp or Justin Martyr. What an encouragement for every one to pray-‘Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law. I am a stranger in the earth; hide not Thy commandments from me.’”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 403.2

    “The Government of Israel” The Present Truth, 12, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The government of ancient Israel, when it came up out of Egypt, was a theocracy, that is, a government directly ordered by God. There was no legislative department. There were even no legislators. Moses himself, their chief and leader, was not a legislator. Moses never made a law. The so-called “Laws of Moses” were received by him directly from God. Moses had no voice in making them. He had no option as to the enforcement of them. Moses was not a “law-giver,” he was a receiver of the law, and that only. God alone was the Law-giver.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 404.1

    The seventy elders were not a legislature. They never made any laws. Moses and the seventy elders were commanded to administer and enforce only the laws which God had given them for Israel. As regards this the directions were explicit to add nothing to them and to take nothing from them.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 404.2

    The history of the appointment of Moses is given with unmistakable clearness in the third chapter of Exodus. “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; this is My name for ever, and this is My memorial unto all generations.” Exodus 3:6, 10, 13-15.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 404.3

    This leaves no room to mistake by whose appointment Moses came to occupy the position which he did in reference to the Jewish people.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 404.4

    But later there were associated with Moses the seventy “elders.” Who were they? They were actually the elders,-the aged men,-those who by patriarchal right were of authority and their families. From among these the Seventy were chosen. Remember it was not the selection which made them “elders.” They were selected from those who were already the elders,-made so by the course of years, not by election.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 404.5

    But by the authority of whose word, and how, were they chosen? To learn this definitely read Numbers 11:16, 17, 25. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 404.6

    Now in all this neither Moses, nor the Seventy, nor the people, had any sovereignty whatever. None of them had any part in enacting the laws. They were not consulted in the least as to what should be enacted or how they should be enforced. The sole part which they played was to promise to obey. This was just as true of Moses and the Seventy as of the people at large. The legislative power centred in God alone. In the latter period of the history of Israel, when they were given kings, it was not the people who chose their king. God Himself elected, crowned, and deposed the man who ruled over Israel.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 404.7

    Under the theocracy, however, the management of civil and religious affairs was kept entirely separate. God chose the priest himself, and cut them off entirely from any authority or influence or participation in the affairs of civil government. So, now, if those who would imitate a theocracy in these days would strive to be at all true to their copy, they should separate entirely the religious from the secular, in their governmental methods.PTUK June 18, 1896, page 404.8

    But the first essential would be for all who rule in the name of God to be appointed directly by Him, and not by their own ambition, or by birth, or by the voice of the people. Then it is also just as essential that they should not be lordly men of haughtiness and might, but meek, and humble, and obedient servants of their Lord and His people. Such was the government of Israel as anciently established. Where is the possibility for such another on the earth? There is no such possibility, and there will not be until Revelation is fulfilled and “all things are made new.” That Christ himself will reign and our daily prayer be answered, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”PTUK June 18, 1896, page 404.9

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