Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    March 25, 1897

    “A Pernicious Fallacy” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    VOX POPULI, VOX DEI.—“The voice of the people is the voice of God,”—is a very popular saying. This might be expected from the very nature of the case; for anything which tends to give the people a good opinion of themselves is sure to be popular.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 177.1

    At the same time, no saying was ever invented that was farther from the truth. It is one of the most dangerous of Satan's lies. Its effect is to lead people to ignore the plain commandments of God, which are revealed in His Word, and to put themselves in the place of God.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 177.2

    It is taken for granted that what “the people” say and do must be right, even though there may be a command of God to the contrary. And thus this mischievous saying leads “the people” to exalt themselves above God, by making them think that by their united action they can change the decrees of God.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 177.3

    Men ought to be able to learn something from history; if they do not, history is written in vain. The lessons which we learn from the history of the past are equivalent to lessons concerning the future, for, “The thing that hath been,“ said Solomon, “it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done.” This is true because human nature is the same among all people, and in all ages. Let us recall a few of the things that have been.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 177.4

    Within a thousand years after the creation, God saw that “the people” had corrupted their way on the earth, and so nearly universal was the downward tendency, that only one man was found who followed the expressed commandment of the Lord. Yet, although the people were so nearly unanimous in their choice of evil, it did not cease to be evil, neither did they change the mind of God. Every man who followed the way that was “right in his own eyes” was destroyed by the flood.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 177.5

    It was “the people” who, shortly after the flood, thought to make a name for themselves by building a city and a tower whose top should reach to heaven; but God frustrated their plan to exalt themselves above Him, and their city was destroyed and they were scattered.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 177.6

    Coming down to later times, we find that when God would have a people for Himself, who should honour Him and keep the knowledge of His will alive in the earth, He found only one man, Abraham, whom He could select as the father of His people. And when that people had become great and were being conducted to the land which God had given to them, they were told, “The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people.” Deuteronomy 7:7. The majority of “the people” ignored God, and did as they pleased. Surely, if it were true that “the voice of the people is the voice of God,“ God would not have rejected the bulk of mankind for a comparatively insignificant race.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 177.7

    Leaving out the great world who had rejected God, and had in consequence been rejected by Him, we find that “the people” whom God chose as His own peculiar people were, as a people, more often in opposition to God than in harmony with Him. It was “the people” who said to Aaron, “Make us gods, which shall go before us;” and when the golden calf was made, “the people” worshipped it. It was “the people” who said, “Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt;” and it was “the people” who time and again murmured against the Lord's chosen prophet, and were often on the point of stoning him to death.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 177.8

    In the days when Christ was on earth, it was His own people to whom He came, who rejected Him. When He was accused before the Roman governor, it was “the people” of Israel-God's own chosen people-who cried, “Crucify Him!”PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.1

    Still later, when the disciples of Christ were many thousands in number in Jerusalem, they were still a poor, despised sect, and so few in number in comparison with “the people” who constituted the Church, that they were compelled to flee for their lives. Then Herod the king stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the church. And he killed James with the sword; and when he saw that “the people” were pleased, he proceeded to take Peter also. This same Herod it was who a short time afterwards made an oration to a vast concourse who had assembled to do him honour, “And ‘the people’ gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.” In this case “the voice of the people” was immediately shown to be not the voice of God for God rebuked their impiety, and caused the vile creature, whom they called a god, to die a loathsome death.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.2

    Still later we find that “the people” whom God had taken out from among the Gentiles, became so great that they were deemed worthy of State recognition. In the great empire of Rome, which filled the world, the “Christians” were so numerous that the crafty and worldly-wise Constantine saw that it would be greatly to his advantage to favour them rather than his pagan subjects. So “the church” was “recognised” by the civil power. Thus the sect, which in the days of Paul was “everywhere spoken against,“ now sat in the high places of the earth, and all nations were flowing unto it. See Isaiah 2:2, 3.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.3

    Surely now the voice of the people must have been the voice of God, because Rome, which was then only a synonym for “the world,“ was a “Christian nation.” This had not been brought about by a mere legal enactment without the concurrence of “the people,“ but Christianity was exalted to the throne of the world because the majority so willed it.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.4

    Constantine was too wise a ruler to make laws that would not receive the commendation of the majority of his subjects. The voice of the people was to him the voice of God, and when Christianity became the religion of the empire, it was simply the recognition of the prevailing sentiment.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.5

    But was the voice of the people in that case really the voice of God? Far from it. This expression of the will of “the people”—the church—was only the last step but one in that great apostasy of which Paul had written (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8), and which culminated in the establishment of the Papacy, that “man of sin,“ “the son of perdition,“ who opposed and exalted himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he as God sat in the temple of God, showing himself to be God. This was the practical working of the adage, “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” The falsity of that claim is shown by the fact that “the people” who have impiously exalted themselves above God by claiming that their voice is His, are to be consumed with the spirit of the Lord's mouth, and destroyed with the brightness of His coming.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.6

    God's word to every man is, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.” The multitude walk in the broad way, but to follow Jesus Christ one must turn the feet into the narrow way that leads to life. We need not ask, How many walk in this way? but, Is this the way in which He walked? It is natural for the natural heart to trust in numbers, and men fancy that before they can do right they must get others to agree to do right also. The spirit of confederation is abroad in the world. The Powers bind themselves together in alliances, labour unions are opposed by capitalistic associations, and in the religious world organisations are multiplying to effect this or that purpose by the use of legislative power. Amidst all this the Lord desires men to understand that every man must decide for himself in things pertaining to faith and morals, and that man who knows the way is responsible to God alone to walk in His ways and not in the way of the multitude. “For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.” Isaiah 8:11-13.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.7

    “His Greatest Discovery” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Sir James Simpson, the great Scottish physician, whose life has only recently been published, was the discoverer of the an?sthetic properties of chloroform, and an original investigator who developed many new ideas and methods. One can now hardly realise what the operating room was in the old days, before the discovery of the uses of chloroform and ether in surgery. One day a worldly friend asked Dr. Simpson what he considered his greatest discovery. The answer at once, and with earnestness that showed that he was not speaking merely a pretty sentiment, was, “That I have a personal Saviour.” He was scientific enough to know that all the wide realm of human knowledge could not be compared in importance to the simple but wider and Divine knowledge of a way of salvation from sin.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.8

    “A Masquerading Paganism” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The book reviewer of the Echo, in noticing a small work in which the personal characteristics of different classes in certain portions of the East, to which the attention of the world, is now drawn, are quite minutely described, says:—PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.9

    Western Europeans are too ready to jump to the conclusion that an Eastern community, just because it is labeled Christian, must be better than its neighbours. The Abyssinians are Christians, but they are as cruel, and as treacherous, and as disagreeable in their habits, and as arrant slave-owners as any African heathens. The political talk about Christianity is mostly cant.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.10

    All this is unfortunately too true. When the titles “Christian” and “Turk” become the rallying cries for mass meetings and political factions there is no true religious significance in it, other than the conflict of two paganisms. Intelligent men should understand this, which most sadly they do not. Which is more reprehensible, to falsify all the principles of true Christianity and while acting directly contrary to all its teachings, profess its name, or, to be consistent, and deny it in both act and profession? Political and State Christianity, both East and West, is nothing more nor less than a highly civilised paganism hypocritically, or ignorantly, masquerading for its own profit under an assumed guise and a false name.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 178.11

    “The Review and the Forecast” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Les Signes des Temps, our Society's organ in Switzerland, quotes from another French Swiss paper, with comments as follows:—PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.1

    “In its review of the political events of the past year the Journal Religieux, of French Switzerland, expresses itself in these terms:—PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.2

    We are compelled to say that there is scarcely a country on the globe which is to-day in a normal condition and which one can speak of as being fortunately situated. Some have been recently, or are now, visited by natural calamities: pestilence, famine, earthquake; others are the theatre of civil discord, serious labour difficulties, political complications; yet others are embarrassed by financial difficulties or colonial wars.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.3

    “However dark this picture may be one must necessarily acknowledge that it is faithful. But although it may say nothing to the man of the world, or the indifferent Christian, it has a language most eloquent for that one who has learned in the school of the prophetic word what those evidences are which are the precursors of the return of our Lord. Each of those signs mentioned say to him: Watch, pray; and fix your regards on high, for your Saviour is near, He is at the door.”PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.4

    It is interesting to note from year to year, how, in their annual reviews of the previous twelve months, the public prints almost universally bear witness, unconsciously, to the fulfilment of prophecy in the events of these days, crowded with calamity, tumult and anxiety and showing at the same time that they are not only impressed with the gravity of that which has happened, but that they are looking forward with anxiety to those things which they cannot avoid feeling are about to come upon the world.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.5

    Now is the accepted time in which to learn in the school of prophecy, for no man knows how soon the books will be closed. Now is the time to listen, learn, watch, pray, work, and wait.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.6

    “‘I Have Redeemed Thee’” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Redeemed! A slave set free. It requires no great stretch of imagination to see how a slave, scourged, and bound, would feel with his fetters removed, and his freedom given to him. He would not receive the news of freedom stoically, and with a long face-not if he believed the message. His heart would be so full that he would leap for joy. The Lord wants us to rejoice, not because we think we ought to rejoice, but because we have so vivid a sense of His redemption that we know it to be a fact. We have been captives of a cruel master, and now we are redeemed. We know it because the Lord says so. He has bought us, and given us His own life.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.7

    “The School Question in Canada” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following in reference to the contest over the school question in Canada is from an editorial paragraph in the Daily Chronicle:PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.8

    Mr. Laurier is waging a stern fight in Canada for unsectarian education and liberty of conscience in religious matters. The whole power of the local Hierarchy is against him, and the Conservative party watch the struggle with an eagerness to assist in crushing political independence of ecclesiastical control which does little credit to their principles. How stern the fight is may be judged, from the latest news from Quebec. The Roman Catholic bishop of the diocese in which the by-election of Bonaventure is pending has, we are told, “offered the Liberal candidate to sign a declaration that he will not support the Laurier-Greenway schools settlement.” He has, of course, refused. Only the other day an influential French-Canadian journal had to suspend publication because, having supported the compromise, it was denounced to the faithful from the Roman Catholic pulpits of the province. So active, indeed, has clerical influence become that the Government is now thinking of taking the serious step of refusing to issue a writ for the election in Champlain county on the ground that there is no hope of a fair and untrammelled election.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.9

    The incident of the forced suspension of the journal will carry the matter into the courts for adjudication. The proprietor of the boycotted paper has brought action for damages against the responsible authority in the church, who directed the attack to be made upon him.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.10

    It must be said that the long standing religious feuds between Catholic and Protestant factions in Canada show few signs of nearing any satisfactory, serviceable settlement.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.11

    It has always been the settled policy of the Roman Catholic Church to let pass no opportunity of inculcating its principles into the minds of the young. It will never change this policy. Consequently there will never come a time when the schools of any country will be safe from the encroachments of Catholic doctrine, influence, and control.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 181.12

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    —Another steamer was wrecked off Ushant last week, with the supposed loss of 100 lives. The boat was a Dutch liner.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 190.1

    —Dr. Jameson, it is said, is to return to Africa in charge of an expedition to put up a telegraph line across the continent, by way of Lake Tanganyika, putting Cape Town into direct communication with Cairo.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 190.2

    —The disease called “Beri Berl,“ which has heretofore been considered a product of tropical filth, seems to have domesticated itself in Dublin. In the Richmond-Lunatic Asylum, of that city, there have been 113 cases of this disease the past year.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 190.3

    -It is reported that the “Black Death” has made its appearance in Bombay. This is the plague which decimated the world in the 14th century, and in which one-third to one-half of the population of England perished. It is an aggravated and virulent form of the bubonic plague which has been prevailing in India, with certain characteristic variations.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 190.4

    —The wars which Spain is carrying on in Cuba and the Philippine Islands are draining the country of men and money, and the result is wide-spread destitution and misery at home. Factories are being closed, and the people without money and without work are in a fit condition to be excited, act the government by revolutionary agent are working among them.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 190.5

    —A lecturer before the London Chamber of Commerce last week advocated the storing of large quantities of grain by the Government for use in case of war. He said the country grows less than one-quarter of the supply necessary. As to meat, he said that in London alone there were sixteen foreign meat stores, capable of holding 1,089,000 carcases, while in other ports there were ten stores whose combined room could store 629,000 carcases, giving a total storage capacity of 1,718,000 carcases, or nearly four months’ supply at the present rate of consumption.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 190.6

    —A chemist has recently examined the covers of a Bible used in a court of law, which had been kissed by many on taking the oath. While he found no germs of typhoid or tuberculosis, he found several varieties, some of which, he said, under favourable conditions, might produce harmful results. The kissing of the Bible is a disgusting practice from the sanitary point of view, and aenselest and profane from the religious point of view when forced upon people who have no faith to look.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 190.7

    -The average price of a seat to view the service outside St. Paul's Cathedral on Jubilee Day, says a newspaper, will be ?5. There is a great demand for windows by speculators, who wish to sub-let them at a large profit. A millionaire offered ?1,000 for a window at Ludgate-circus, which was refused. On Ludgate ?3 has been offered for each seat at windows. Not only are tradesmen insuring the Queen's life to save them from loss in the event of her death before Commemoration Day, but intending sightseers who have bought seats are insuring against disappointment in the event of the route to St. Paul's being changed.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 190.8

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Official figures show that the number of people who left Bombay because of the plague, up to the end of February, was over 400,000. Such an exodus to escape a pestilence has not been seen in modern times.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.1

    A Roman correspondent of a newspaper writes that the reply of the Anglican Archbishops to the Pope's Bull is taken in Rome as a sign of the times indicating that “that day of rabid antagonism and of reckless misrepresentation with regard to Rome is obviously passing away.”PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.2

    With what wondering pity must the angels look upon the armaments of the nations and the defences of their fortified cities, who know so well that, “Except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.3

    The recent elections in Austria show that the Antisemite party increases in strength. It is founded on hatred of the Jew, who represents the money power. “At this moment,“ says the British Review, “the trade of Vienna is practically a monopoly in the hand of the Jews; the native traders are retiring, beaten and ruined from the contest.” Thus religious prejudice combines with commercial rivalry to stir up the passions of the people in Austria, and also in Germany, where the same movement is a new disturbing factor in politics.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.4

    In war there is no side for Christians to choose. They can only preach peace to both sides. So that in viewing the quarrels that arise between nations it is impossible for Christians to take sides. Strife is wicked, and the part of Christians is to declare the wickedness of it by showing what Christianity is. The earth was filled with violence in the days of Noah, but as a “preacher of righteousness” it was not his duty to take sides in the strife of wicked men, but to warn all that the world was soon to be destroyed because of its wickedness. The work of Christians today is the same.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.5

    Upon what evil times has that word Christian fallen. As the world uses it, it means absolutely nothing in common with Christ. Thus in assuring a correspondent that neither of the factions in Crete desired autonomy or self-government, the Archbishop of Retimo said:—PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.6

    “I assure you that autonomy will bring about the entire extermination of the Turkish Cretans by the Christians.” The same I was told, says the correspondent, by six Cretan chiefs whom I interviewed.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.7

    And this passes, for genuine Christianity, and the whole of professed Christendom, save those who separate from the world-spirit, is represented by the Cretan ecclesiastic and chiefs. Is it any wonder that “Christian” Powers watch one another in distrust?PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.8

    One of the magazines prints from a statesman's diary some notes on the Czar Nicholas, who visited the Queen in 1844. To an attendant who had served him he said:—PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.9

    “I suppose you think I am a happy man because I am what people call a great man, but I will show you wherein my happiness consists.” So saying, the Emperor opened a travelling desk, and showed so the page miniature portraits of the Empress and the Princesses. “There,“ said he, “there are the sources of all my happiness-my wife and children.”PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.10

    Speaking of the recent successful campaigns in West Africa, the Review of Reviews, which very generally confounds civilisation with Christianity, says, “The Maxim gun, that sceptre of modern civilisation, displayed its usual potency.” The words suggest the Scripture, “A sceptre of righteousness of His kingdom.”PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.11

    When you see simplicity taking possession of a worldly man, and expressing itself in his heart and mind and life, you may know that the power of the Gospel is working within him. Christ's words, “Except ye become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,“ are not intended to state a theory, but to describe the life which is necessary to an inheritance of eternity. This human existence is the childhood of the heirs of the kingdom. So it is that the childlikeness of God's children within finds natural expression in simplicity without.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.12

    Instead of a slackening in the race of armaments there is a constant increase in the pace. As other Powers add to their naval forces Britain increases so as to hold first place against any probable hostile combination. “Ten years ago,“ says a newspaper, “there were 63,000 men and boys in the Navy. Thirty thousand have been added since then, and this strength is to be raised to 150,000 with the least possible delay.”PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.13

    “Taking the Kingdom” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Taking the Kingdom .—The South American republics are famous for revolutions, but Brazil is dealing with one now which seems a novelty. The insurgents whom the newspapers report as fanatics, conceived the idea that they are the saints, and as “the saints shall take the kingdom” they proceeded by fire and sword to appropriate what they could. The leader is doubtless some insane fanatic, but it is entirely probable that his following is made up of those who are just covetous enough to wish to be of that kind of saints. But calculated as this movement is to appeal to no very high or intelligent grade of civilisation, it is not in Brazilian wilds alone that religious people have been possessed by the notion that it is the business of the saints to run this world and compel men to do right—that is, what those assuming the role of saints consider right. But the kingdom that the saints will take, is “not of this world,“ hence Christ's servants do not fight. The prayer, “Thy kingdom come,“ is not answered by political methods.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.14

    “‘The Empires of the Bible’” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The Empires of the Bible.” -This book, which our publishers are now able to supply, is a very useful one to the student of Bible history. It follows the story of Scripture from the dispersion of the sons of Noah to the days of Babylon, filling in the Bible narrative from the records of profane history. This is exactly what many have desired, something showing, in chronological order and without confusing detail, just the points of contact between the inspired and the human record. The early chapters on the peopling of the earth, showing the migrations of the tribes and the origins of existing nations, are especially interesting. The author (whose name, A. T. Jones, is familiar to our regular readers) merely pieces together, from the best authorities, the records of the past; but in doing this, and weaving it into the Bible record, he has produced a most helpful book. 410 pages. Price 6s.PTUK March 25, 1897, page 192.15

    Larger font
    Smaller font