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    April 7, 1897

    “‘I Am’” The Present Truth, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Jesus was walking on the stormy sea, coming to the aid of His disciples, whom He had seen “toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them;” “but they, when they saw Him walking on the sea, supposed that it was an apparition, and cried out; for they saw Him, and were troubled. But He straightway spake with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Mark 6:48-50, R.V.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 209.1

    These were comforting words to the disciples, and they have comforted many disciples since that night on the sea; but the disciples at that time did not derive all the comfort from them they ought, “for their heart was hardened;” and very few of the disciples since that day have seen in the words as they read them all that the Saviour really said.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 209.2

    The words rendered, “It is I,“ meant far more than a simple assurance that it was their Teacher, a real person, who was coming to them, and not an apparition. They included that, which was certainly re-assuring; but if the hearts of the twelve had not been hardened, they would have found not merely relief from their childish fears, but eternal comfort; for the words that Jesus uttered, literally translated, were, “Be of good cheer; I am.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 209.3

    Here we see that Jesus identified Himself with the “I AM” who sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt. Exodus 3:14. I AM THAT I AM. That expresses infinity of existence,-the One “who is, and was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Of God alone can it be said that “He is.” That means that He is the Source of all existence, for everything that exists, exists solely in Him. “I Am” is the power that creates and upholds. In Jesus is the name of God, “for in Him were all things created.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 209.4

    The words that Jesus spoke that night on the sea, were used by Him several times, but only once do they appear in our translation, namely, in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I am.” But twice more in the same chapter He declares Himself to be the “I am,“ and points us to the cross as proof of the fact. Thus: “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am.” Verse 28. From John 12:32, 33, we know that the lifting up of Christ is His crucifixion. There is no salvation except by the cross of Christ; and the cross, as we have seen, is the proof, He is the “I Am,“ the Creator; therefore He said, “If ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:24.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 209.5

    “I AM” signifies eternal power,-self-existent, independent power. It is the name of Him who is “from everlasting to everlasting,“ and who is the dwelling-place of all mankind,-the One in whom “we live, and move, and have our being.” “In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95:4, 5. So when Jesus said to His disciples, “Be of good cheer; I am” He really assured them that in Him was the power that made the sea, and that could therefore rule its raging, and that could save them, not only from momentary danger, but from eternal death.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 209.6

    In that name, “I am,“ there is everlasting strength. And it is all our hope. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that seek after Him.” Hebrews 11:6, R.V. To us, as well as to the disciples on the sea, He says, “Be of good cheer; I am.” He is always present, with all power in heaven and on earth. Simply believe that He is, and continue believing, and you have eternal salvation. “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death.” How boundless are those words, “I am.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 210.1

    “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” “To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts,“ as did the twelve, and thus lose the infinite comfort and strength that lies in the assurance, “I am.” When in deep trouble or temptation, fix your mind upon the fact that He is. Listen to His voice saying, “I am,“ and let your soul be swallowed up in contemplation of it, and you will be lost to everything else. Trouble will be light as air, and temptation will lose its power. The tempter will flee from you. What cannot one endure, who knows not only that Christ is near, but that His presence creates, upholds, and saves! Let Him be to you the “I am,“ and you will find that in Him you have everything that is. For “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Let this be your confidence, and soon you will see Him as “He is.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 210.2

    “British Bible Society” The Present Truth, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When the British and Foreign Bible Society began operations, in the early part of this century, a Bible could be purchased for less than five shillings, nor a copy of the New Testament for less than eighteen pence. Now the New Testament can be purchased for a penny, and a few pennies will enable one to buy the entire Bible.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 210.3

    “The Epistle to the Galatians. Bondservants and Freemen” The Present Truth, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The fifth chapter of Galatians contains a great deal of personal matter which is interesting as showing the apostle Paul's zeal and tenderness, but which for the purpose of our study may be summarized in a few words. The thirteenth verse lets us know that he was in great bodily affliction when he first preached the Gospel to the Galatians, and the fifteenth verse seems to indicate that his eyes were specially affected. His deep affliction may have had much to do with the vigor with which he preached the Gospel to them, causing them to see Christ crucified; for he tells us: “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10. We see that the brethren had conceived a deep love for him, because of the blessedness which they experienced through his preaching, and to this he appeals. He assures them that in their departure from the faith they have not injured him at all; he is not troubled over their disaffection towards him, but over their falling away from Christ.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 210.4

    With this introduction we may proceed with the study, beginning with verse 7, the one with which we closed our last week's lesson, and skipping from verse 11 to verse 21.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 210.5


    “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.... Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory; for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 4:7-31; 5:1.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 210.6

    Heathen Bondage. -“At that time, not knowing God, ye were in bondage to them which by nature are no gods.” Verse 8, R.V. The Galatians had been heathen, worshiping idols, in bondage to horrible and degrading superstitions. Bear in mind that this bondage is the same as that which is spoken of in the preceding chapter,they were “shut up” under the law. It was the very same bondage in which all unconverted persons are, for in the second and third chapters of Romans we are told that “there is no difference; for all have sinned.” The Jews themselves, who did not know the Lord by personal experience, were in the same bondage,-the bondage of sin. “Every one that committeth sin is the bond-servant of sin.” John 8:34. And “he that committeth sin is of the devil.” 1 John 3:8. “The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God.” 1 Corinthians 10:20. But ourselves once walked “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2), and we “were aforetime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.” Titus 3:3. So we also were “in bondage to them which by nature are no gods.” The meaner the master, the worse the bondage. What language can depict the horror of being in bondage to corruption itself?PTUK April 7, 1897, page 210.7

    In Love with Bondage. -“Now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known of God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again?” Is it not strange that men should be in love with chains? Christ has proclaimed “liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1), saying to the prisoners, “Go forth,“ and to them that are in darkness, “Show yourselves” (Isaiah 49:9); yet men who have heard these words, and have come forth, and have seen the light of “the Sun of Righteousness,“ and have tasted the sweets of liberty, actually turn round and go back into their prison, submit to be bound with their old chains, even fondling them, and labor away at the hard treadmill of sin. Who has not had something of that experience? It is no fancy picture. It is a fact that men can come to love the most revolting things, even death itself; for Wisdom says, “All they that hate Me love death.” Proverbs 8:36. In reading the Epistle to the Galatians, we are reading a perfectly human experience. Would that to every reader it might be his own experience to the end of the book. Let us not stop here.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 211.1

    Observing Heathen Customs. -“Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.” This was an evidence of their bondage. “Ah,“ says some one, “they had gone back to the old Jewish Sabbath; that was the bondage against which Paul would warn us.” How strange it is that men have such an insane hatred of the Sabbath, which the Lord Himself gave to the Jews, in common with all other people on the earth, that they will seize upon every word that they think they can turn against it, although in order to do so they must shut their eyes to all the words that are around it. Anybody who reads the Epistle to the Galatians, and thinks as he reads, must know that the Galatians were not Jews. They had been converted from heathenism. Therefore, previous to their conversion they had never had anything to do with any religious custom that was practiced by the Jews. They had nothing whatever in common with the Jews. Consequently, when they turned again to the “weak and beggarly elements” to which they were willing again to be in bondage, it is evident that they were not going back to any Jewish practice. They were going back to their old heathen customs. “But were not the men who were perverting them Jews?” Yes, they were. But remember this one thing, when you seek to turn a man away from Christ to some substitute for Christ, you can not tell where he will end. You cannot make him stop just where you want him to. If a converted drunkard loses faith in Christ, he will take up his drinking habits as surely as he lives, even though the Lord may have taken the appetite away from him. So when these “false brethren”—Jewish opposers of “the truth of the Gospel” as it is in Christ-succeeded in seducing the Galatians from Christ, they could not get them to stop with Jewish ceremonies. No; they inevitably drifted back to their old heathen superstitions.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 211.2

    Forbidden Practices. -Read the tenth verse again, and then read Deuteronomy 18:10: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.” Now read what the Lord says to the heathen who would shield themselves from just judgment that is about to come upon them: “Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the star-gazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.” Isaiah 47:13. Here we see that the very things to which the Galatians were returning, were forbidden by the Lord when He brought Israel out of Egypt. Now we might as well say that when God forbade these things He was warning the Israelites against keeping the Sabbath, as to say that Paul was upbraiding the Galatians for keeping it, or that he had any reference to it whatever. God forbade these things at the very time when He gave the commandment concerning Sabbath-keeping. So far back into their old ways had the Galatians gone that Paul was afraid lest all his labour on them had been in vain.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 211.3

    Desiring to be Under the Law. -“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” After what we have already had, there will be no one to come with the objection that to be under the law can not be a very deplorable condition, else the Galatians would not have desired to be under it. Ah, “there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:25. How many there are who love ways that everybody except themselves can see are leading them direct to death; yes, there are many who, with their eyes wide open to the consequences of their course, will persist in it, deliberately choosing “the pleasures of sin for a season,“ rather than length of days. To be “under the law” of God is to be condemned by it as a sinner chained and doomed to death, yet many millions besides the Galatians have loved the condition, and still love it. Ah, if they would only hear what it says! “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 211.4

    “What Saith the Law?” -It saith, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” To what place shall the wicked bond-servant be cast out?—“Into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Therefore, “Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” Malachi 4:1, 4. All who are under the law, whether they be called Jews or Gentiles, Christians or Mohammedans, are in bondage to Satan,-in the bondage of transgression and sin,-and are to be cast out. “Every one that committeth sin is the bond-servant of sin. And the bond-servant abideth not in the house forever; the son abideth forever.” Thank God, then, for “the adoption of sons.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 212.1

    “Two Sons.” -Those false teachers would persuade the brethren that in turning from whole-hearted faith in Christ and trusting to works which they themselves could do, they would become children of Abraham, and so heirs of the promises. They forgot that Abraham had two sons. I myself have talked with a Jew according to the flesh, who did not know that Abraham had more than one son; and there are many Christians who seem to think that to be descended from Abraham, after the flesh, is all-sufficient to insure one a share in the promised inheritance. “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Romans 9:8. Now of the two sons of Abraham, one was born after the flesh, and the other was by promise, born of the Spirit. “By faith even Sarah herself received power to conceive seed when she was past age, since she counted Him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11, R.V. Hagar was an Egyptian slave. The children of a slave woman are always slaves, even though their father be a freeman; and so Hagar could bring forth children only to bondage. But long before Ishmael was born, the Lord had plainly signified to Abraham, who wished that his servant Eliezer might be his heir, that it was not a bond-servant, even though born in his house, that He had promised him, but a free-born son,-a son born of a freewoman.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 212.2

    “These Are the Two Covenants.” -What are the two covenants?—The two women, Hagar and Sarah; for we read that Hagar is Mount Sinai, “which gendereth to bondage.” That is, just as Hagar could not bring forth any other kind of children than slaves, so the law, even the law that God spoke from Sinai, can not beget free men. It can do nothing but hold them in bondage. “For by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The same is true of the covenant from Sinai, for it consisted merely of the promise of the people to keep that law, and had therefore no more power to make them free than the law itself had. Nay, rather, it “gendered to bondage,“ since their making it was simply a promise to make themselves righteous by their own works, and man in himself is “without strength.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 212.3

    “Then did not God Himself lead them into bondage?” Not by any means; since He did not induce them to make that covenant at Sinai. Four hundred and thirty years before that time He had made a covenant with Abraham, which was sufficient for all purposes. That covenant was confirmed in Christ, and, therefore, was a covenant from above. See John 8:23. It promised righteousness as a free gift of God through faith, and it included all nations. All the miracles that God had wrought in delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage were but demonstrations of His power to deliver them and us from the bondage of sin. Yes, the deliverance from Egypt was itself a demonstration not only of God's power, but also of His desire to lead them from the bondage of sin, that bondage in which the covenant from Sinai holds men, because Hagar, who is the covenant from Sinai, was an Egyptian. So when the people came to Sinai, God simply referred them to what He had already done, and then said, “Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.” Exodus 19:5. To what covenant did He refer?—Evidently to the one already in existence, His covenant with Abraham. If they would simply keep God's covenant, that is, God's promise, they would be a peculiar treasure unto God, for God, as the possessor of all the earth, was able to do with them all that He had promised. The fact that they in their self-sufficiency rashly took the whole responsibility upon themselves, does not prove that God led them into making that covenant, but the contrary. He was leading them out of bondage, not into it, and the apostle plainly tells us that covenant from Sinai was nothing but bondage.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 212.4

    Note the statement which the apostle makes when speaking of the two women, Hagar and Sarah: “These are the two covenants.” So then the two covenants existed in every essential particular in the days of Abraham. Even so they do to-day; for the Scripture says now as well as then, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son.” We see then that the two covenants are not matters of time, but of condition. Let no one flatter himself that he can not be under the old covenant, because the time for that is passed. The time for that is passed only in the sense that “the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.” 1 Peter 4:3.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 212.5

    Difference Between the Two. -The difference is just the difference between a freewoman and a slave. Hagar's children, no matter how many she might have had, would have been slaves, while those of Sarah would necessarily be free. So the covenant from Sinai holds all who adhere to it in bondage “under the law;” while the covenant from above gives freedom, not freedom from obedience to the law, but freedom from disobedience to it. The freedom is not found away from the law, but in the law. Christ redeems from the curse, which is the transgression of the law. He redeems us from the curse, that the blessing may come on us; and the blessing is obedience to the law. “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” Psalm 119:1. This blessedness is freedom. “I will walk at liberty; for I seek Thy precepts.” Psalm 119:45.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 212.6

    The difference between the two covenants may be put briefly thus: In the covenant from Sinai we ourselves have to do with the law alone, while in the covenant from above, we have the law in Christ. In the first instance it is death to us, since the law is sharper than any two-edged sword, and we are not able to handle it without fatal results; but in the second instance we have the law “in the hand of a Mediator.” In the one case it is what we can do; in the other case it is what the Spirit of God can do. Bear in mind that there is not the slightest question in the whole Epistle to the Galatians as to whether or not the law should be kept. The only question is, How shall it be done? Is it to be our own doing, so that the reward shall not be of grace but of debt? or is it to be God working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure?PTUK April 7, 1897, page 212.7

    The Freedom of the Spirit. -Sarah answers to the covenant which is from above, because she is free. But the freedom which that covenant gives is the freedom of the Spirit, for Isaac was born of the Spirit. See Galatians 4:29. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17. “If ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18. But this does not mean that the Spirit gives one license to break the law; for “the law is spiritual.” Romans 7:14. There is no liberty in sin, and “sin is the transgression of the law.” So the liberty of the covenant from above is that perfect liberty that belongs alone to those who are law-abiding. We become law-abiding only by having the law written in our hearts by the Spirit.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.1

    “Stand Fast, There.” -Stand where?—“In the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” And what freedom is that?—It is the freedom of Christ Himself, whose delight was in the law of the Lord, because it was in His heart. Psalm 40:8. “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2. We stand only by faith.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.2

    Let it not be imagined that there is any trace of bondage in this freedom. It is liberty of soul, liberty of thought, as well as liberty of action. It is not that we are simply given the ability to keep the law, but we are given the mind that finds delight in doing it. It is not that we comply with the law because we see no other way of escape from punishment; that would be galling bondage. It is from such bondage that God's covenant releases us. No; the promise of God, when accepted, puts the mind of the Spirit into us, so that we find the highest pleasure in obedience to all the precepts of God's Word. The soul is as free as a bird soaring above the mountain-tops. It is the glorious liberty of the children of God, who have the full range of “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of God's universe. It is the liberty of those who do not have to be watched, but who can be trusted anywhere, since their every step is but the movement of God's own holy law. Why be content with bondage, when such limitless freedom is yours? The prison doors are open; walk out into God's freedom.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.3

    “Out of my shameful failure and loss,
    Jesus, I come. Jesus, I come.
    Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
    Out of earth's sorrows, into Thy balm,
    Out of life's storm, and into Thy calm,
    Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
    PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.4

    “Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
    Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!
    Into Thy blessed will to abide,
    Jesus, I come to Thee!
    Out of myself to dwell in thy love,
    Out of despair into raptures above,
    Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
    Jesus, I come to Thee!”
    PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.5

    “Cigarette Smoking Among Women” The Present Truth, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Tobacco Trade Review says:—PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.6

    There is no doubt that the number of women who indulge in the cigarette is largely on the increase, and it is no longer true to say that the only ladies who smoke are Bohemians. There could be no better proof of the vogue which the cigarette is enjoying among womenkind than the fact that various branches of trade have started to cater for women smokers. All the smoking implements are constructed in the costliest and prettiest fashion. The cigarettes are made up in satin cases, with puffed sides, which might be used as jewel caskets when empty. Cigarettes, if often used, leave a tell-tale stain on the thumb, so to protect my lady's pink fingers cigarette-tongs of the prettiest description are manufactured.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.7

    Heretofore men who did not defile themselves with the filthy weed could sometimes be shielded from its obnoxious fumes by the fact that ladies were present; but when it becomes a regular thing for ladies to smoke, the chance for fresh air in a crowded compartment will be very slim.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.8

    Since the foregoing was put into type, there has been a flood of matter in one of the morning dailies on the subject of women smokers. On the 9th ult., the following letter from Miss Edith M. Vance, Secretary of the National Secular Society, and a prominent woman suffrage worker, appeared in the Daily Mail:PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.9

    Since the London daily Press are again bringing up the vexed question of women smokers, may I point out a sad fact often overlooked, and its remedy? It is that men make us hypocrites. Quite 30 per cent. of women workers smoke, but they dare not do so openly. It would be “fast,“ or “bad form.” Therefore-I regret to give away my sex's secret-we indignantly deny that we are smokers, and light our cigarettes in the back-garden or in our bed-rooms!PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.10

    What is wanted is facility to indulge in a harmless and soothing habit when we most need it-at our work, on top of the bus, in the railway carriage. If women would come forward and form a League of Women Smokers, we might approach the railway companies on the question of providing smoking carriages for women, and restaurant keepers on permitting women to smoke after dinner-a right arbitrarily and illegally denied them.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.11

    Other women have not been ashamed to acknowledge in print, over their own signatures, that they smoke, one saying that she would put the percentage of women smokers at quite fifty. One woman says:—PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.12

    I, for one, look forward to the not far distant day when smoking shall be as general among women as among men. Already it has ceased to be considered “shocking” among the best people, and many of my friends who are married women indulge in it with the free sanction of their husbands.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.13

    One gentleman, an Oxonian, says: “My wife smokes her after-dinner cigarette in my study to my great delight.” Another woman, who gives her address, and signs her name with the title “B.A.” expresses her pleasure that so many are in favour of smoking publicly, and adds:—PTUK April 7, 1897, page 213.14

    Permit me to warn my sisters that cigarette-smoking tends in the long run to bring about a degree of myopia or short-sight, which may make the wearing of spectacles a sine qua non. To those who cannot afford a decent cigar, smoke a good briar with pure tobacco. The twist is the cause of much dyspepsia among women smokers.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 214.1

    Fortunately for the generations yet unborn, the women who smoke are mostly of a class not disposed to follow the apostolic advice to “marry, bear children, guide the house.” But if the habit of smoking among women becomes as common as it now is among men, anyone with ordinary vision can discern the signs of the times. The world would necessarily come to an end with the present generation, because the next generation, if born, would not have strength to reproduce itself. In this development we have one more indication of the fact that God does nothing arbitrarily. He will not harvest the earth until it is ripe. He knows when the end will come, but whatever be the time that He has fixed, it will not be until the race has reached that stage where by wars and vices it would speedily exterminate itself if left alone.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 214.2

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Transfiguration. Matthew 17:1-9” The Present Truth, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    APRIL 17


    We find the key to the proper understanding of this lesson in the last verse of the preceding chapter. “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.” This experience gave to the disciples, “Peter, James, and John his brother,“ and a right understanding of the record of it will give to us, a view of the Son of man coming in His kingdom.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 214.3

    From Luke's record it appears that Jesus went up into the mountain to pray. “And as He was praying, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment became white and dazzling.” Luke 4:28, 29, R.V. Then Moses and Elijah “appeared in glory” and talked with Him. In this brief record we are to see “the kingdom of God come with power.” Mark 9:1. We may then properly inquire, What are the essential things for a kingdom? Evidently they are territory, king, and subjects. And how are they brought before us in the narrative? Let us consider.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 214.4


    Jesus brought the disciples “up into an high mountain.” But what did that signify? Let the scripture answer. In the song of Moses, which will be sung by those who “stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God” (Revelation 15:2, 3), when “the kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ” Revelation 11:15, R.V., we read of God's purpose concerning His people: “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, Lord, which Thy hands have established.” Exodus 15:17.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 214.5

    That this means the establishment of the kingdom of God is shown by the following verse, which says: “The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.” Again we read: “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:1, 2.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 214.6

    With this should also be read the words of the prophet Zechariah: “Behold the day of the Lord cometh ... And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west ... And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee.... And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem.... And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction [curse R.V.]; but Jerusalem shall abide.” Zechariah 14:1-11. This is “New Jerusalem,“ the capital of God's kingdom, which John saw “coming down from God out of heaven,“ and which will come down upon the mount of Olives, and so it will cover the very place where the cross was set up and the mount from which our Saviour ascended.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 214.7

    Thus the very fact that they were upon the “high mountain,“ viewed in the light of these scriptures, teaches that through the cross of Jesus the world would be won for the territory of the “King of glory,“ of which New Jerusalem upon the mount of Olives would be the capital.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 214.8


    It was “the Son of man” who was to be seen “coming in His kingdom,“ and although He was, and always will be, “the Son of man,“ yet to express the truth that “He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26) He “was transfigured [or transformed] before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.” Here is the king, of whom the Lord has spoken:PTUK April 7, 1897, page 214.9

    “Is it not I who My king have established
    On Zion, holy Mountain of Mine?” Psalm 2:6.
    PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.1

    And the time was near at hand when in His triumphal entry, as “He was come at night, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God ... saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Luke 19:37, 38.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.2


    When the Son of man shall come in His kingdom there will be but one class of subjects as to character, for “Thy people also shall be all righteous” (Isaiah 60:21); but there will be two classes as to experience, for “the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. That is to say, some will pass through the grave while others will be translated without seeing death.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.3

    This is taught in the brief statement that “there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him.” Of Moses we read: “And so Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word Lord. And He [the Lord] buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.” Deuteronomy 34:5, 6. Now it was not an intangible, shadowy spirit (if there be such a thing) which appeared on the mount of transfiguration, but it was “Moses,“ and Moses in his own body too, raised from the dead by Him whose servant he was. Of the experience in bringing him forth from the domain of the enemy we have a glimpse in Jude 9: “Yet Michael the Archangel [whose voice raises all the dead; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; John 5:28], when contending with the devil, He disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” Can anyone doubt as to the result of the dispute “about the body of Moses?” Did Christ ever fail in any struggle with the devil? And so Moses was there as the representative of that “great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,“ who “shall be raised incorruptible” and “shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.4

    But some will not come under the power of the grave, for “we shall not all sleep.” Those of the last generation who “fear God and give glory to Him” and so gain “the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name,“ will “be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.” The Elijah, who passed directly from earth to heaven without seeing death, was there on the mount as the representative of all these. The record of his experience is found in 2 Kings 2:1-11: “And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah in the heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.... And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.5

    And so we have the picture complete. It is a view of “the Son of man coming in His kingdom.” The territory will be the “new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.” The King will be the Son of man who will be acknowledge as “King of kings and Lord of lords.” The subjects will be those who have been redeemed from the earth, some of whom will be brought forth from their graves, as Moses was; others of whom will go directly from earth to heaven without seeing corruption, as Elijah did; but all of whom will appear “in glory,“ as did both Moses and Elijah. Luke 9:31. Colossians 3:4.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.6


    Having noted the main teaching of the lesson, we may call attention to some of the details. Much is suggested in the fact that it was “as He was praying was praying” that He was transfigured or transformed. The Holy Spirit instructs us: “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” But it is by beholding that we “are changed into the same image from glory to glory,“ and this is that heart communion with God which is the very essence of true prayer. So it was as our representative and as an example to us that He was transformed while praying.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.7

    That “His face did shine as the sun” was the result of the removal for the moment of the veil by which His glory was hidden in His humanity. When He shines forth undimmed as “the Sun of righteousness,“ “the sun shall no more be thy light.... but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” Isaiah 60:19.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.8


    This is the second occasion upon which the Father testified with an audible voice to the work of the Son among men. “Hear ye Him” is the command now given. He did not come to destroy God's law, or to make any change in “the eternal purpose,“ or to introduce any new element into the plan for the salvation of man, but He who was the Word “in the beginning” and who had always been the expression of the thought of God in all God's relation to everything outside of Himself, had now come in the flesh to live the Word among men and for men. It is the Son, of whom it is written, “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8), who prayed in the face of the cross, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt,“ whose example we are to follow. And it is only in this way that we shall obey the injunction, “Hear ye Him.” “Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine and doeth them” is the “wise man” who builds “upon the rock.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.9

    “Something About Laughing” The Present Truth, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    All laughter is not condemned, for there is a kind that is the direct result of the salvation of God. “When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, ... then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing; then said they among the heathen. The Lord hath done great things for them.” Psalm 126:1, 2. God said to Abraham, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called,“ and Isaac means laughter, or laughing; so that they who are born of the Spirit may laugh. Yea, they must rejoice.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.10

    Unfortunately, such laughter is very rare. There is another kind of laughter, which is likened to “the crackling of thorns under a pot.” This is so common, so almost universal, that we were almost tempted to head this article, “Don't Laugh.” That, however, would be too sweeping, for “there is a time to laugh,“ and to laugh heartily, but that time is not all the time or on every occasion.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.11

    We have often been pained at religious meetings to see the readiness with which the congregation would burst out into a hoarse laugh. It is true that some speakers deliberately seek to make their hearers laugh; in order to keep up their interest in what would otherwise be a dull discourse; but too often the fault is wholly on the part of the congregation, who seem to be looking for a chance to laugh.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 215.12

    There lies before me a report of a recent gathering on an important occasion, when several ministers addressed the assembly. One of them, in speaking about “Consecrated Intellect,“ said that there was nothing he dreaded so much as the witty and ingenious preacher who bristled with nice little stories, made his audience laugh once or twice in every sermon, and sent them away with the delightful feeling that they had been to an entertainment instead of listening to the solemn voice of God.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 216.1

    That was well said, yet within two minutes he was interrupted by a “loud laughter.” On the single page of the report, we find in addition to “applause,“ and “loud applause,“ no less than sixteen instances of “laughter” and “loud laughter.” Of course one who was not present cannot tell how the remarks sounded, but very few of the statements that are punctuated with “(laughter)” seemed very funny in print.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 216.2

    We call attention to this, not specially for the sake of the comparatively few public speakers, but for the benefit of the thousands who listen-and laugh. Any earnest speaker would rather be encouraged by bright, eager, earnest attention, and a half unconscious smile that indicates the reception of a new idea, than by laughter. Or, if the preacher desires to create laughter, he may be corrected by the people. “The witty and ingenious preacher” who bristles with nice little stories to make the congregation laugh, would soon find his occupation gone if his out-of-place witticisms were received in silence.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 216.3

    Too much laughter indicates absence of thought, and the increasing readiness to laugh on the slightest provocation, or on no provocation at all, shows that people are using their thinking power less and less, and are anxious to be simply tickled. This they cannot afford; so we write in hope that some may be led to think more, and to laugh only when, with all the faculties that God has given them in full activity, they cannot help laughing.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 216.4

    “Romanism as It Is” The Present Truth, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following from an American Missionary in Mexico, Rev. Francis F. Borton, to the Christian Endeavour World, shows that where Roman Catholicism is free to develop unhindered, it differs not a bit from the Romanism of Tetzel, which aroused the righteous indignation of Luther:—PTUK April 7, 1897, page 216.5

    Yesterday in a Roman Catholic Church in Mexico, I read the following notice:—“Raffle for souls. At the last raffle for souls the following numbers obtained a prize, and the lucky holders may be assured that their loved ones are for ever released from the flames of Purgatory: Ticket 841. The soul of the lawyer, James Vasquey, is released from Purgatory, and ushered in the heavenly joys. Ticket 41. The soul of Madame Calderon is made happy for ever. Tickets 762. The soul of the aged widow, Francesca de Parras, is for ever released from the flames of Purgatory.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 216.6

    “Another raffle for souls will be held at the same blessed Church of the Redeemer on January 1, at which four bleeding and tortured souls will be released from Purgatory, according to the four highest tickets in this most holy lottery. Tickets, one dollar. To be had of the father-in-charge. Will you, for the poor sum of one dollar, leave your dear ones to burn in Purgatory for ages?”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 216.7

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    An earthquake in California on the 30th ult. damaged the Navy Yard to the amount of ?100,000.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.1

    There were 978 deaths from plague in Bombay last week. The death rate in the city was nearly 121 per 1,000.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.2

    Both of the men who recently made an attempt on the life of King George of Greece, have been condemned to death.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.3

    It is said that the members of the Red Cross Society are in possession of figures showing that 125,000 Cubans have died of starvation.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.4

    The Russians are proceeding to fortify Port Arthur, heavy fortress guns having already arrived. At last reports, thirty thousand troops were under arms at Vladivostock, waiting to embark.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.5

    The national revenue of the past year amounts to ?116,016,314, an increase of ?3,817,767 over the preceding year, and more than was ever before collected in one year.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.6

    The Court of Cassation has allowed M. Zola's appeal, and has quashed the convictions. But the military god has demonstrated its complete supremacy in France, and that is all that was desired by the trial of Zola.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.7

    The Catholic Times says:—PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.8

    The Pope must be sovereign and supreme. He can be the subject of no man. Independence is the breath of his nostrils.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.9

    This shows that popery is but the manifestation of human nature. Independence, both of God and man, is that of which every unconverted man boasts, or at least strives to attain. But all such striving for independence and supremacy will prove fruitless in the end, for the Master has said: “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.10

    The minor clergy of the Church of England are now quite freely criticising the bishops for their short-comings and their lordly dispositions, and one man writes:—PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.11

    We have a population of 3,000 and a stately church dating from the thirteenth century; but no bishop has preached here since the days of the Reformation. Our bishop is so busy in the House of Lords that he hasn't time to preach in the House of God.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.12

    How often we read with reference to something pertaining to the Bible and religion, “Dr. — thinks that this is,” etc., and what the Doctor thinks is then by many considered as final, until he “thinks” again, or until somebody else “thinks” something else.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.13

    “Then you would have us ignore the opinions and ideas of other men, and each one simply follow his own thoughts.” Not by any means; our own thoughts are no better than other peoples, and often not so good. I would have you follow, not what you or somebody thinks, but what you know. When you absolutely know a certain thing, you accept it not on anybody's authority, but for its own sake. Then you are sure of where you stand.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.14

    “Ah, but what conceit for man to assume that he knows the truth in a case where more learned men confess their ignorance.” Yes, indeed it is, if you assume and that you know the truth. Don't assume anything, and when you are not sure that you know, don't be ashamed to say that you don't know. But what is there strange in a person's knowing what the Lord tells him, and in being sure that he knows it? In such a case it is sin not to know. Jesus says: “If ye continue in My Word, ... ye shall know the truth.” The Word of God is sure, and whoever believes it may be sure.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.15

    Ladies are sometimes assured by milliners that “ospreys,“ and “aigrettes,“ and feathers of various kinds are manufactured, and are not the plumage of birds. Such assertions ease the consciences of really tenderhearted women, who would be troubled at the thought that their decoration was the result of “slaughter of the innocents.” But Sir William Flower, Director of the Natural History Department of the British Museum, has stated in a letter to the Times that the assertion that the feathers are manufactured, and not real, is “a monstrous fiction.”PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.16

    It would seem that war is inevitable at the present time in more than one part of the world, yet all this excitement may be but the better to prepare the nations for the great conflict that is sooner or later coming. Satan, the destroyer, whose sole delight is in death, and who is the greatest military leader, is urging the nations on to destruction; but he cannot take a step beyond what is permitted from above. But for the restraining power of God, the clash of universal war would ere this have been heard. But earth's iniquity is not yet full, and there are many souls yet to be turned to the Lord; and not till these things have been accomplished will the destruction that is “determined upon the whole earth” be allowed to take place.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.17

    “Artificial Natural History” The Present Truth, 13, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Artificial Natural History .—An exchange says:—PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.18

    The science of zoology, both for the extent in difficulty of terminology, makes the greatest demand on the memory. As illustration, there are over 5,000 known species of lizards, each with its distinguishing name. Here are four as samples: Crytoblepharus psecilopleurus, Tracheloptychus petersip, Cordylosaurus Trivittatus.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.19

    This is called “Natural Science,“ when as a matter of fact it is not natural of all, but wholly artificial; neither is it science, for the knowledge of it is not the knowledge of truth. Let no one get disheartened at these long names. The animals are not born with them, neither do they carry them about. A person may know all that any man can know of an animal, without ever having heard of these yard-long names; and one may have them all at his tongue's end without knowing the real truth about a single animal. It is true that it is possible for a person have his mind crammed with artificial classification of jaw-breaking names, and at the same time to know the things themselves; but the chances are all against it. Remember that there is a vast difference between knowing the truth concerning a thing, that is, knowing the thing itself, and knowing the name that somebody has devised for that thing.PTUK April 7, 1897, page 224.20

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