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    August 26, 1897

    “Mechanical Confession” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    One who has a true view of his sin knows that no penance can wipe out the heart-stain. But the Catholic doctrine is based on a low idea of sin, sets up an artificial standard in place of the law of God, and in the confessional further supplies an invention which fosters a purely mechanical idea of getting rid of sin. The sincere Catholic may, in spite of the system, look beyond to God and open the heart to Him; but the fact remains that the natural tendency of the system is to set men to juggling with sin, balancing off the desire to sin against the repugnance to doing penance.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 530.1

    A young man, until lately a Roman Catholic, tells of devices resorted to very commonly amongst clever youth in the confessional. The priest would say these devices were an abuse of the system, but back of all that is the fundamental teaching of the Catholic Church which gives the utterly false view of sin and the way of salvation.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 530.2

    For example, the priest asks if meat has been eaten on a Friday.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 530.3

    “Yes, I did eat some,“ confesses the penitent.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 530.4

    “Did you do it intentionally?” says the priest, suggesting the way out of it.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 530.5

    “No, I didn't think,“ and the artificially created offence of eating meat on Friday is covered by a falsehood.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 530.6

    But now how about getting rid of this actual sin? It is simple enough. At the end of the confession the number of untruths the penitent fears he may have uttered is named, and he adds one for the lie just told, and the poor fellow is deceived with the thought that by his periodic visit to the confessional he is in some way bettering his case.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 530.7

    “Lessons From the Book of Hebrews. Jesus and His Brethren” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Let us take a little review of what we have already passed over. In the first chapter we learn that God still speaks to us by His Son, who is Heir of all things, by whom all things were created, and who, because He is the shining of the Father's glory and the very image of His substance, and bears all things upon His own life, has made reconciliation for sins, and is seated at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, having “a name that is above every name.” He is better than the angels, because He is the uncreated, begotten Son, the Creator. To Him, and not to the angels, has it been said, “Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies — Thy footstool.” Nevertheless the angels are not insignificant beings, since they have the speed and strength of the winds, and the brightness and swiftness of the lightning. These glorious beings are content to be servants to mortals who are heirs of salvation, since it is the will of the Master.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 531.1

    But though the angels are so excellent in strength, to them has not been committed the work of preaching the word of salvation. That at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and by Him, is committed to them that hear. The reason why the Gospel is not committed to angels, is that “unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak,“ is the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, and is identical with the world that was in the beginning, when man was made king over it and all that it contained. “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever” (Ecclesiastes 3:14), and therefore the earth once given to man must for ever remain his. Therefore it is that to man is given the work of preaching the Gospel, by the power of which “the first dominion” is to be restored. The heavens are the heavens of the Lord; but the earth hath He given to the children of men.” Psalm 115:16, R.V.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 531.2

    “But now we see not yet all things hut under him. But we see, Jesus, who was trade a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. It was not this “present evil world,“ blighted by the curse, that God gave to man.” No; from this we are to he delivered by Christ, who gave Himself for that purpose. Galatians 1:4. This world passes away, but “the world to come” is man's everlasting possession, and the right to it has been earned by Christ's life and death and resurrection. Since the world was in the beginning given to man, to Christ has been given authority to execute judgment, “because He is the Son of man.” John 5:27. Who has the right to judge, if not the King? And this right Christ has obtained for all men, since He “by the grace of God tasted death “for every man.” All who accept Christ are raised to a seat with Him, and made kings and priests. “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.” 1 Samuel 2:8.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 531.3

    “For Every Man.” -This right Christ has purchased for every man. In order to prove that the poor are not excluded, but that the most miserable and despised have dominion over the world to come given them, if they will but accept it, Christ the representative Man, who is at the right hand of the Majesty on high as our Forerunner, was the poorest man that ever lived on earth. His birth was most humble, and His death most disgraceful, and all His life long His only possessions were the clothes that He wore. He had not where to lay His head, and unless shelter was given Him by some kind friend, the bare mountain was His bed. In taking this low position, Christ indicated that what He has won is for every man. “Every man”—every soul-has in Christ the right to call God “my Father.”PTUK August 26, 1897, page 531.4

    “For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory,-to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name unto My brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I sing Thy praise.” Hebrews 2:10-12.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 531.5

    Bringing Sons to Glory .—In the beginning Adam “was the son of God.” Luke 3:38. As such he was “crowned with glory and honour.” But “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. That is the reason why we see not now “all things put under man.” For the kingdom of glory is such because it is a kingdom of righteousness. But God in Christ is “bringing many sons unto glory,“ that is, to the dominion over the world to come. The fact that He is bringing them to glory, shows that they lack it. But glory and righteousness are inseparable, are really one and the same thing, as we saw from Romans 3:23, where the loss of righteousness is the loss of glory. God is bringing many sons to righteousness.” Just think! He is bringing sons to glory, to righteousness! Then He acknowledges the poor, sinful, disgraced outcasts as His sons, whom He so lovingly longs to set over all His goods. Yes; never for one moment did the anxious father of the prodigal son cease to think of him as his son.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 531.6

    “Perfect Through Sufferings.” -What means this expression? What did Christ lack that He should need to be made perfect?—Nothing; for His character was perfection from the beginning. He not only is, but was, “holy, harmless, undefiled.” “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.” The simple citation of a few texts will be sufficient to show us what being made perfect is. When some one told Jesus that Herod sought to slay Him, He replied, “Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day, and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Luke 13:32. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him.” Hebrews 5:5, 9. Compare Acts 2:32, 33. The Apostle Paul said that his one desire was to be made conformable unto Christ's death; “if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.” Philippians 3:10-12. And of the faithful patriarchs and prophets, who died in faith, without having received the promised inheritance, but who wait the resurrection, when it shall be brought to them (1 Peter 1:3-5), he says that God has provided a better thing for us, “that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39, 40. They died in faith, with characters as perfect as they ever can be, for they were complete in Christ; but in a Gospel that includes “the redemption of the body,“ it is evident that perfection is to be found only in the resurrection, and in the change from corruptible to incorruptible. It was fitting that God should make the Man Christ Jesus, who is the Author of salvation, perfect through sufferings, because man was already in a suffering condition, and could be brought to glory in no other way than through the sufferings into which he was cast.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 532.1

    “All of One.” -“For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.” Wonderful words, in which we are assured of Christ's oneness with the human family. In this we have the assurance of His sympathy. He is one with us, bound to us by ties that never can be broken. He is the Son of man, and as such He knows every weakness, every tendency to sin, every temptation, every pain, every sorrow, that oppress human beings. What a world of comfort in that statement that we are “all of one;” that we have exactly the same right to call God our Father that Christ has.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 532.2

    “His Brethren.” -Because all are of one, Jesus is not ashamed to call them brethren. Who is it that He is not ashamed to call brethren?—Is it the rich, the learned, the righteous?—Ah, there would be no force in the expression if it were only that. What merit would there be in not being ashamed of people in whom there was nothing to be ashamed of? Who are they whom Jesus is not ashamed to call His brethren?—They are those to whom He declares the name of the Lord; for the proof that He is not ashamed to call them brethren, is the fact that He says, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren.” Now the only ones who need to have the name of God declared to them, are those who do not know it, that is the heathen, which includes every person in every land, who does not know the Lord as his Saviour. It means all mankind before the word of salvation comes to them. Jesus, in heaven, looked down on fallen, sinful men, wandering out of the way like lost sheep, “having no hope, and without God in the world,“ and said to the Father, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren.” As Adam was the son of God, so all his descendants are sons, though fallen. They have lost their birthright, and their right to the name, so that in Christ they must be born anew in order to be sons indeed; but He is nevertheless not ashamed to call them brethren. Here is hope for all mankind. And there is a lesson for us. If Christ is not ashamed to call the poor, the sinful, and the outcast, His brethren, why should we be? Who are we, that we should hold ourselves aloof from them? Nay, since He is not ashamed to call us brethren, how dare we be ashamed to acknowledge our kinship with all fallen humanity, and to recognise their claims on us? Perhaps when we learn the full meaning of those words, “He is not ashamed to call them brethren,“ we shall experience the full power of the Gospel in our efforts to save men. Nay, there is no “perhaps;” there is certainty. For notice the connection, He is not ashamed to call them brethren; He shows His oneness with them in their utter helplessness, by saying, “I will put My trust in Him;” and then follow the words: “Behold, I and the children whom Thou hast given me.” The success of Christ's own work must attend the labours of those who with Christ recognise degraded sinners as their brethren, and who labour for them with the same love that fills His heart.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 532.3

    “The Bishops and War” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The committee of Bishops, appointed by the Pan-Anglican Conference to consider the subjects of war and arbitration, report that they hesitate to pronounce war “immoral,“ but they cannot but feel that there are deep moral principles involved in the subject.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 532.4

    And to fortify themselves in this not very daring suggestion, they name a number of philosophers who have recognised this. The Bishops surely need make no apologies for their mild opinion that killing human beings in war involves moral principles. To every such human being they, by their profession of Christianity, make themselves debtors to give the Gospel of Life. It surely matters whether they do so, or whether they stand by and see the life's flame put out in blood.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 532.5

    This hesitancy to speak out on the Satanic spirit of war comes from a confusion of mind as to what the Gospel is. It is God's power to save men from sin, without respect of persons or of nations. Christians follow Christ who came not “to destroy men's lives, but to save them,“ and they see in every creature a soul to be saved. But Christendom is not Christian. It makes itself a part of the wicked world, and stands by with no distinct warning message while every nation is beating its ploughshares into swords.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 532.6

    But the Committee of Bishops comes to the very good conclusion that to make the sense of righteousness, quietness, and brotherliness really operative in the lives of men is to do more towards peace than compiling volumes of theorising about the laws of nations.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 532.7

    In other words, Christians can promote peace only by preaching the Gospel, which puts righteousness, quietness, and brotherliness into the lives of men who receive it. There is no brotherly way of killing a man, no Christian way of making war. Jesus says now, “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.” If any say that national governments cannot be managed on that principle, they are quite right. It is only another way of saying that Christ's kingdom is not of this world.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 532.8

    “The Australian Agitation” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the series “How the Creed was Made,“ we have seen how the strife for civil power corrupted the churches of the early centuries and led up to the Papacy. Such an agitation as is now going on in Australia differs from this early-century struggle only in degree. The churches are straining every nerve to get the legislative bodies in the Australian colonies to put a clause in the proposed Federal Constitution recognising religion, and they threaten to “make trouble” if they do not get their way. The controversy gives occasion for our people in Australia to circulate literature on the subject of Gospel liberty. From one of the leaflets prepared for the issue, we take the following extracts, showing the grounds on which Seventh-day Adventists in Australia base their refusal to join the other churches in their demand for religion by law:—PTUK August 26, 1897, page 535.1

    SOME FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES

    Civility-or the duty to recognise and respect the natural rights of men as men-belongs to C?sar. Religion-or the duties which men owe to God as Creator and Redeemer-belongs to God, and is to be rendered to Him and to Him only. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Religion is not to be rendered to civil governments. This being so, with the subject of religion civil governments can of right have nothing to do.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 535.2

    Religion should be the basis of every human life. God should be recognised as supreme by every individual, as having first and highest claims to our service, for He made us and formed us men. But the effort on the part of the churches to put religion in the fundamental law of the State, though many may not at first see it, is, really, a movement to unite Church and State, and give the churches a basis for enforcing religious dogmas upon the people by law. But this means trouble and religious oppression.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 535.3

    GOSPEL FREEDOM

    “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” “Render unto C?sar the things which are C?sar’s, and unto God the-things that are God’s.” “If any man hear My word, and believe not, I judge him not.” “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God.” “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth.” “So then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” “We ought to obey God rather than men.”PTUK August 26, 1897, page 535.4

    No man, no set of men, therefore, has a right to assume the prerogatives of Deity, and by law attempt to define what men ought or ought not to believe.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 535.5

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Armenian agitators exposedd two bombs in Constantinople last week.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.1

    -An exploring expedition left Belgium fur the South Polar regions last week.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.2

    -The Rhodesian railway is expected to be completed to Buluwayo in November.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.3

    -Reports of rich finds in the Klondyke region continue to fan the flames of excitement.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.4

    -The Pope has recently suffered from fainting fits, which cause anxeity to his physicians on account of his age.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.5

    -The Woolwich Arsenal has cartridge machines capable of turning out 2,000,000 cartridges per week, and they are kept busy much of the time.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.6

    -A large body of Armenians from Persian and Russian territory crossed the Turkish frontier recently and massacred a village, men, women and children.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.7

    -The life of a sailor is becoming every year safer with the improvements in the construction of vessels. Twelve years ago one sailor in every 106 who went to sea lost his life; now only one in 256 is lost.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.8

    -A professional gambler has been allowed to pay ?1,000 for the privilege of plying his vocation on a steamer sailing from San Francisco to the Klondyke region, for one trip, there and back. He expects to win a share of the ?400,000 in the possession of miners booked for the return voyage.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.9

    -A carrier pigeon shot near North Cape had been despatched from Andrée's balloon, and was the bearer of the message; “82 degrees passed. Good journey northwards.— Andrée.” Several explorers have passed the 82nd parallel, which is 500 from the Pole, and only 100 miles north of the spot from which Andrée started.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.10

    -The Indian frontier is all aflame, and children and ladies have left outposts for safer quartets. Tribes heretofore trusted as friendly have risen, and no one knows how far disaffection may spread into India. The tribes along the North-western border are active, warlike people, who do not take kindly to the advancing line of Indian outposts.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.11

    -A trade paper says: “A Russian chemist has discovered a most powerful anesthetic. It is several thousand times more powerful then chloroform, volatilises, most readily, and acts when freely mixed with air at great distances. Experiments are being made at St. Petersburg to see if it cannot be enclosed in bombs, which would have the extraordinary effect of anesthetising instead of wounding the enemy.”PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.12

    -Last year there was a rush to New Guinea owing to the reports of rich gold deposits. A Sydney paper now says: “The New Guinea gold rush is considerably cooled down in Northern Queensland. The spectacle of so many haggard, shaking, penniless wrecks coming down the coast brings many a man's ardour down to dreezing-point. And the recollection of those who don't return at all is more edifying still.”PTUK August 26, 1897, page 542.13

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “You don't get any joy out of your religion, eh? Well, perhaps no one else is getting any joy out of it either.”PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.1

    Of the religious nature of the rising on the Indian frontier, Lord Roberts says: “There is hardly a man west of the Indus who is not a Mohammedan, and they are all of them easily led by any fanatical priest. It is difficult to see any reason for the rising other than that of religion.”PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.2

    It is reported that Russian missionary priests, working among the Nestorians of Persia and Turkey, have persuaded them to place themselves under Russian protection, and in consequence they have gone over in a body to the Russian Church. They are said to number 300,000 in Persia, and 100,000 in Turkey.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.3

    Not a single Evangelical, it is said, holds office in St. Paul's Cathedral. It was hoped by this party that a vacant canonry might be filled by appointment from their number, but a High Churchman has just got it. Lord Salisbury and Mr. Gladstone have usually appointed Sacerdotalists to all positions of prominence, and Lord Rosebery appointed Broad Church clergymen. Protestant Churchmen complain, but what do they expect when appointments in their church are made by politicians, whom the accidents of political strife may place in power?PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.4

    “One man's religion, I think,“ says one, “is as good as another; all who believe in a God are trying to get to the same place.” It is true, there is equality, and no need for drawing any invidious distinctions. But instead of saying one man's religion is as good as another, it is truer to say that one man's religion is as bad as another. All are equally bad, for “all have sinned.” There we get the equality. And now God only is right. There is no comparison to he made. The religion of God stands alone. The only thing for men to do is to take His religion, and His life, and follow Him. And His religion is not designed merely to get men into some place. It saves them from sin, from disobedience, from the evil that is in them and of them. Let no one deceive himself by trusting in any religion but the Lord’s.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.5

    The mob that shouts for war neither cares for consequences nor thinks of the misery war entails, whoever wins. A writer in Blackwood’s, who has been in Athens during the recent crisis in Greece, says that the populace were at first frantic with the war fever, but now that the dreadful calamity has fallen upon their country they seem “callous to death and suffering.” The promenades are “daily a scene of laughter, life, and fashion, not an atom of apparent pity for the deaths and sufferings of their troops, or for the starvation of tens of thousands of refugees.”PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.6

    “Troubled Turkey” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Troubled Turkey .—It will not be the fault of Armenian revolutionists if they do not again bring violence and massacre upon their people. Last week there was more bomb-throwing in Constantinople. A few weeks ago, when rumour came of disturbances on the Persian frontier of Turkey, a London newspaper, which has been most violent in championing the Armenian revolutionary party, asked, “Is it another massacre?” It turned out to be another, but this time it was the massacre of the men, women, and children, of a Kurdish village by Armenians. It is about time that those in the churches who have urged on the Armenians to a crusade of Christian against Moslem recognised the fact that Christians are men of peace, who do not go to unbelievers with fire and sword. God has wonderfully protected truly Christian and peaceable Armenians in the recent terrible times in Turkey. We know whereof we speak, as our own Society's work in Turkey has been mainly amongst Armenians.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.7

    “Bible Reading” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Bible Reading .—Multitudes of religious people confess that they somehow cannot get interested in Bible Study. They may read it now and then or even regularly as a duty, but to sit down with it and spend time in studying it seems difficult. Yet people who are not interested in Bible study expect to go to heaven. They practically say to the Lord: “Lord, I know this is Thy Word. You are speaking to me, but somehow I am not interested in what you say. Wait till I get to heaven.” But one who cannot get interested in what God says now would not be interested if he could get into heaven. If the Word is uninteresting to you, confess your neglect of it to God, and as you apply yourself to it with the heart open to the Spirit's influence it will become interesting and more than interesting.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.8

    “The Promised Inheritance” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Promised Inheritance .—Let no one be deceived by talk about the return of the Jews to Palestine as a fulfilment of the promises. “To Abraham and his seed were the promises made.” When fulfilled Abraham must enter into the inheritance. And the promise does not concern the little strip of land between the seas, but the whole earth. It was that Abraham should be “heir of the world.” Nor have the fleshly descendants of Abraham any claim because of that. “The children of the flesh, these are not the children of God.” “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” The hope of the fathers is in the coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the dead. Then the meek, the children of Abraham by Jesus Christ will “inherit the earth.”PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.9

    “Incidents” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Incidents .—Revisiting a provincial district in Argentina, one of our evangelists found the number of believers had increased. “Among the converts,“ he says, “was a man who had tried to intimidate me a year or two ago with a revolver. The Lord touched his heart, and turned him away from his evil feeling, and now he is rejoicing in the Lord. Another man said he was not converted by preaching; but while he was ploughing in the field, he was melted to tears, and his heart was touched and drawn out to the Lord in earnest prayer and repentance.”PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.10

    “Buddhist Sarcasm” The Present Truth, 13, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Buddhist Sarcasm .—Since its war with China, Japan has been able to treat with the leading nations on terms of equality, and the Japanese are proud of the fact that they now rank among the Great Powers. The Japanese press, however, says: “We were just as well qualified the year before the war as the year after; but we needed to assure the Christian West of our ability to organise brute force and walk knee deep in human blood, before we could be accorded the rank of a civilised nation.” It is not strange that the heathen East gets a wrong impression of Christianity and blasphemes the name of Christ because of the false profession of that name by the West.PTUK August 26, 1897, page 544.11

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