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    December 2, 1897

    “A Sign of the End” The Present Truth, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In giving some of the signs by which men might know of the nearness of His second coming and be led to prepare for it, Jesus said: “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences.” Of all these catastrophes the earthquake strikes greatest terror to the heart that does not know of a more enduring foundation than the earth. The quaking, reeling earth, as the end draws near, will more and more plainly warn men to put their trust in things that cannot be shaken.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 753.1

    Men may lightly say that there have always been earthquakes; but the fact remains that the Lord tells us to look upon their increase as a sign of the times. This increase must go on until that last great earthquake when the cities of the nations fall, and the scoffs of scoffers turn to wailings. Then they will cry, “The great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:17. The Gospel supplies the answer now: “The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” He is a happy man who learns now by experience that the Word of God, His promises and His commands, are able actually to support him and hold him up.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 753.2

    One of the most destructive of modern earthquakes was that shown in the cut, at Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, in 1755, in which 60,000 people perished. Lisbon still bears the marks of the visitation. Another equally destructive of human life visited Italy a few years later. And in the present century there has been a great increase in the number of these shocks. They are more carefully reported now than formerly, but a scientific investigator only recently commented on the increase during so short a period as the last ten years. In last month's Quiver magazine, Rev. W. Preston, D.D., called attention to this increase and its significance in an article from which we quote the following:—PTUK December 2, 1897, page 753.3

    “Previous to Christ's first advent only fifty-eight earthquakes can be counted during a period of 1,700 years. Coming to later times we find the historian recording thirty-five disastrous ones occurring between 1800 and 1565.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 754.1

    “According to the researches of Mallet there have been 2,136 earthquakes in Western Europe alone since the beginning of the Christian era. In this country there were 356 shocks experienced between 1700 and 1844. The year 1568 was a remarkable one for earthquakes. It opened with an awful one at Formosa, which destroyed 30,000 human beings. Upwards of 200 great earthquakes are recorded as having taken place between October, 1,867, and January, 1869. Since that period tokens of the end have not been wanting.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 754.2

    “During the present year the voice of Nature has not been dumb.... Not a month has gone by but an earthquake shock has been experienced in some quarter. Reports have come to us from the United States and from Canada respecting them. In Iceland they have been the greatest ever known. In May Peru was visited; and in the Leeward Islands there was great damage done and many lives were lost. Shortly after I left Cairo there was a severe shock, whereby the largest buildings were shaken. During the same month Rome was visited; shocks were also felt in the West Indies, and later on in the northern part of the American continent, while in the southern portion of Australia ninety shocks were experienced during three days. England also had a visitation. And then we have the recent calamitous earthquake at Calcutta, which wrought such disaster over a vast area ...PTUK December 2, 1897, page 754.3

    “Was there ever a time in the memory of man when were concentrated so many ‘earthquakes in divers places’ in a limited portion of one year, as have been since the opening of this year of grace 1897 til now. All over the globe, as if by combined conspiracy, there has been havoc, disaster and death. Such signs and omens will make thoughtful men learn wisdom.... Bold scoffers ask, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ The dread earthquake replies, and through it the Almighty warns, ‘Lo, I come quickly.’ God speaks: let man attend. These great and universal earthquakes, certainly unprecedented in their number, are but the footfall, the forerunners of the coming of the Lord.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 754.4

    “That Demon Militarism” The Present Truth, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The spirit of that demon militarism is working all about the Empice. Now it is the editor of the Canadian Magazine urging that in Canada “every able-bodied male between twenty-one and twenty-six years of age should he compelled to drill in a militia corps for at least twelve days in every year.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 754.5

    “Lessons From the Book of Hebrews. Christ the Sympathetic Priest” The Present Truth, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Our last lesson, the closing portion of the fourth chapter of Hebrews introduced us to Christ as our High Priest who, although in the heavens on the right hand of the Majesty, is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, so that we may come boldly unto the throne of grace, assured that we shall obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. In the following verses the apostle gives us further assurance of Christ's oneness with us, from which we are to derive comfort and encouragement.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 754.6

    “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts wd sacrifices for sins; who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he also himself is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour to himself, but he, that is called of God, as was Aaron, So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an High Priest, but He that said unto Him, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. As He saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek. Who in the days of His flesh when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; though He were a Son, ye learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him; called of God an High Priest after the order of Melchisedek. Of whom we have man, things to say, and hard to he uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat [R.V., solid food.] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat [solid food] belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:1-14.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 754.7

    This is a most important portion of Scripture, for it deals with the very heart and soul of the Gospel. It reveals the secret of Christian living and victory. It brings Christ to us in the closest fellowship, as the sympathising friend and companion who, while knowing from experience all the weaknesses of the flesh, and therefore kindly sympathising with those who are in sin, hath all power to deliver. Because it deals with the vital, practical part of Christianity, the enemy of souls has sought to envelop it in a fog, and the consequence is that the real truth concerning Christ is by many professed Christians counted as heresy. The whole trouble, however, lies in not taking the Scripture literally at its own word. Let us therefore question it closely, that we may be the better able to study it with true reverence.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 754.8


    For what is every high priest taken from among men ordained or appointed?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.1

    “That he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.2

    What kind of person must an high priest necessarily be?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.3

    One “who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.4

    How can he have compassion on such?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.5

    “For that he also himself is compassed with infirmity.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.6

    Since the priest must necessarily be one who is compassed with infirmity, what must he therefore do?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.7

    “He ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.8

    Can a man raise himself to this office?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.9

    “No man taketh this honour to himself.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.10

    Who only can do the work of priest?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.11

    “He that is called of God, as was Aaron.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.12

    How did Christ show His fitness for the position?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.13

    “Christ glorified not Himself High Priest.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.14

    Who set Him apart to that office?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.15

    “He that said unto Him, Thou art My Son, to-day have I begotten Thee.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.16

    What positive declaration did God also make to Christ?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.17

    “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.18

    What did Christ do in the days of His flesh?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.19

    “Offered up prayers and supplications.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.20

    What showed that these prayers and supplications were not mere prayers of ceremony?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.21

    He offered up prayers and supplications “with strong crying and tears.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.22

    To whom did He offer these earnest petitions?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.23

    “Unto Him that was able to save Him from death.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.24

    What was it then from which He prayed with such agony of soul to be saved?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.25

    “From death.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.26

    Was His prayer answered? He “was heard in that He feared.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.27

    What was Christ all the time?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.28

    “A Son.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.29

    What did He nevertheless learn?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.30

    “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.31

    How did He learn obedience?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.32

    “By the things which He suffered.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.33

    When did He learn obedience by the things which He suffered?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.34

    “In the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.35

    What did He therefore become?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.36

    “The Author of eternal salvation.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.37

    To whom?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.38

    “Unto all them that obey Him.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.39

    When did He become the Author of eternal salvation to all that obey Him?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.40

    “Being made perfect.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.41

    What was He called-of God to be?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.42

    “Called of God an High Priest.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.43

    After what order?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.44

    “After the order of Melchisedek.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.45

    Is this great truth all that there is to be said of Christ?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.46

    “We have many things to say, and hard to be uttered.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.47

    Why is it so difficult to set forth the whole truth?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.48

    “Seeing ye are dull of hearing.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.49

    How dull?PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.50

    “When for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.51

    The Work of an High Priest .—The office of high priest is no different in kind, but only in degree, from that of ordinary priests. All the people of God are priests (1 Peter 2:9) deriving their priesthood, as their life, from Christ the Head. Verses 4, 5. Therefore in the work and character of our great High Priest we learn what should be the work and character of all His followers. Every high priest “is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.” “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5. So in Malachi 2:6, we read of Jesus Christ: “The law of truth was in His mouth, and iniquity was not found in His lips; He walked with Me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.” Therefore is given the general rule: “For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts.” Verse 7. The work of high priest, as of all priests, is to make reconciliation for sins, by presenting righteousness. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, and now Christ has committed to us in His stead the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.52

    The Qualifications of High Priest .—He must be taken from among men, since his work is for them. He must be one “who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.” God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, “not imputing their trespasses unto them.” He was not condemning, but pitying. Harshness repels, love draws. That is how God draws men to Himself. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3. But the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man” (Titus 3:1) appeared in Christ; for “God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:5. Therefore Christ said: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:32. It is the goodness of God, that leads men to repentance. Romans 2:1. The word goodness as applied to God, means all that anybody means by goodness, and much more. It means more than what is ordinarily thought of as strict conformity to the law of right; it means kindness, benevolence, pity, sympathy, forbearance. These are the qualities by which God draws men to Himself. No others can attract. All these are manifested in Christ. “God was is Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. “Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.” “This Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” Luke 15:2. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 13:34. Peter denied his Lord with cursing in the hour of His sorest need; “and the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.” Luke 22:61. That look melted Peter, and made a new man of him. Oh, what gentleness and tenderness toward frail sinners was manifested in Christ!PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.53

    “Learn of Me.” -“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Matthew 11:29. “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2. Christ the High Priest is the example to the under priests. “Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32. Nothing but love can by any possibility win an erring one, and yet professed followers of Christ, who are active and full of zeal in what is called Gospel work, often manifest impatience and even bitterness toward those who through weakness or ignorance wander out of the way. And what would seem most strange, if we did not know the wickedness of the human heart, this harshness, and lack of sympathy is often manifested to the most marked degree toward those who have the most claim on our love. Why is this?—Simply because the errors and frailties of those nearest to us are more likely to affect us personally than are the sins of others, and we find that our Christianity does not go to the extent of forgiving sins committed against us. We can quite readily deal gently with the sinner, so long as we regard the sin as only against God; but when it comes to us personally, that is quite another matter. We love ourselves more than we love God, and so of course much more than we love another person, even our nearest friends. No one can be sure that he loves his friends, until they fall into sin, and into such sin as touches him personally. When that occurs it is too often made evident that the supposed love for others was only self-love. Their ease is disturbed, feelings are ruffled, their pride is touched, their self-love is wounded, and instead of pitying the erring ones, they pity themselves, and so drive the sinner farther away. When love is most needed, then is the least shown. But that is not Christ. Oh, that men and women who bear the name of Christ would learn that He has compassion on the ignorant and on them that are out of the way!PTUK December 2, 1897, page 755.54

    “To Make Reconciliation.” -The subject is too vitally important to be left here. The lesson ought to be impressed on every heart. The work of priest is to effect reconciliation. Of Christ it is said that “in all things it behoved Him; to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Note, reconciling, not creating or increasing enmity. Not even imputing their trespasses unto them, much less upbraiding them or turning the cold shoulder to them for their trespasses. A person may be cowed, but never reconciled, by harsh words or blows, or by surliness. No man ever yet made a friend by acting unfriendly. Christ's work as High Priest is to make reconciliation, to win; if we are not doing the same, we are not associated with Him in His priestly work; and if we are not priests of God, then we are not among His chosen people. It is very evident that we all have need to learn much in “the first principles of the oracles of God.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 756.1

    The Secret of Sympathy .—The true priest can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way. “for that he also himself is compassed with infirmity.” No one can sympathise with a sufferer except one who feels the same pain, or at least has a vivid recollection of it. That is what the word itself means. “Sympathy” is made up of two Greek words, which mean, “to suffer with.” The word “compassion” has the same meaning, being formed from two Latin words. The only reason why the priest ordained of God has compassion on the ignorant and the erring, is because he himself has the same infirmities. People often mistake pity for sympathy or compassion. Pity may be expressed in words, but sympathy shares the burden. If one is staggering under a heavy load, the sympathiser gets beneath the load and helps bear it. This is true even of heart burdens. If one has lost a friend, a grasp of the hand, or a few words, or anything else done as only one who has lost a friend knows how to do, eases the pain. The true priest of God has kindly compassion for the sinner, because he knows his own frailty. “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 756.2

    Taken from Among Men .—This is why the priest who is to make reconciliation for the sins of the people must be taken from among men; for only men have sinned. The angels in heaven have not sinned, therefore the work of preaching the Gospel could not be committed to them. They could not put themselves in our place. But the pitiful part is, that even fallen men lift themselves up so high in their own estimation that they forget that they are sinners like others, and so act as though they were not men but gods. Men who are hard in their treatment of the erring, who thrust them back instead of drawing them with sympathy, show that they do not recognise that they are equally weak and erring, and that if they have not actually committed the same sin, it is only because of different circumstances. “All have sinned,“ “there is no difference,“ “Man at his best state is altogether vanity.” He who remembers this, will never cause another to stumble. How much we need continually to be put in mind that we are but men.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 756.3

    The Man Christ Jesus .—All these qualifications of a high priest are found in Christ, and in Him alone in their fulness. He was taken from among men. Read Deuteronomy 18:18: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among the brethren, like unto thee, and will put My words in His mouth.” Raised up from among His brethren, yet in all things “like unto His brethren.” So also Ps. lxxxix: “Then Thou spakest in vision to Thy Holy One, and saidst, I have laid help upon One that is mighty; I have exalted One chosen out of the people.” “The Word was made flesh” and thus bore all the sins and infirmities of the flesh. “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:17. “Tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” “He Himself also is compassed with infirmity,“ because He is still in the flesh (“in thy mouth and in thy heart.” Romans 10:8), and feels everything that mankind feels; and this is true not merely of mankind in general, but of each individual. He is still “the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), and is therefore the Mediator. Judgment is committed to Him, “because He is the Son of man.” John 5:27.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 756.4

    Upon the expression, “By reason hereof,“ that is, of being compassed with infirmity, “He ought, as for the people, so also for Himself, to offer for sins,“ much might be said, but it is perhaps better to leave it to the reader's meditation. There are truths of God which it is not lawful for men to utter. It is impossible for human mind to grasp the depth of the truth of Christ's Divinity and humanity. One thing must not be forgotten, and that is that there is as much the mystery of God in the humanity of Christ as in His Divinity. He was faultless; no taint of sin ever defiled Him, yet He was in the flesh, “sinful flesh.” So He insisted on being baptized, for said He, “thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” Matthew 3:15. So He made an offering for His own sins, and in that an offering for the sins of all the people, for it was the sins of the people that He made His own, God was in Christ, not imputing the trespasses of the people unto them, but assuming all the responsibility of them Himself, as though He Himself had committed them. The Just suffered for the unjust; for in His suffering the justice of God is revealed. Romans 3:26. This was because He was man in every sense of the word, having in Himself, although sinless, all the frailties of mankind. So closely has He identified Himself with us.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 756.5

    The tendency is to minimise the humanity of Christ, as though thereby His Divinity could be exalted. It is the devil who has been instrumental in leading the minds away from Jesus as man, because the more Christ is regarded as remote from us, and out of touch with humanity, the less He is treated as a Saviour. In losing sight of the humanity of Jesus-His oneness with mankind,-men have not, as they thought, exalted His Divinity, but just the contrary; for the Word that was, in the beginning with God, and which was God, is revealed to us only as “made flesh.” To ignore the humanity of Christ is therefore to deny His Divinity.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 757.1

    Praying to Be Saved .—This same Jesus who was the only begotten Son of God, and also Priest after the order of Melchisedek, “in the days of His flesh” “offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death.” Think of it! The Son of God praying in agony to be saved from death. Dare anyone even remotely suggest that this was only a sort of acting, and that there was no real danger? No; there was no guile in His mouth. He is the Truth itself. He did nothing simply for effect or show. The fact that He prayed, shows that there was need of prayer; and the fact that He prayed with strong crying and tears, shows that the need was urgent. Jesus had voluntarily, for our sakes, put Himself in a place of danger,-where there was danger of death,-and from this He prayed with anguish to be delivered.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 757.2

    The Sting of Death .—“The sting of death is sin.” “Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.” Death cannot harm one in whom is no sin. Where there is no sin, there is no danger of death. Therefore that which Jesus really prayed to be saved from was sin, for only in being saved from sin could He be saved from death. He was in the flesh as helpless as we, for He said, “I can of Mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30) yet all our sins were upon Him. His only help lay in God. Read again the twenty-second Psalm, and see, how He trusted in God for deliverance. Also Isaiah 50:7, 8. “For the Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set My face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth Me.” Or Psalm 16:8, 9: “I have set the Lord always before Me; because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore My heart is glad and My glory rejoiceth; My flesh also shall rest in hope.” His hope in death was that He had been saved from sin. Mark this: it is not that He had ever committed sin, and that He was saved from its consequences, but that He had all the sins of humanity in His flesh, and was saved from their dominion. Not once did they master Him. Not for an instant did He yield to their power.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 757.3

    Saved from Death .—He “was heard in that He feared,“ or “for His godly fear.” In what was He heard?—In His prayer to be saved from death. “But He died, nevertheless,“ you say. Yes, but He was not overcome by death; He went into the grave a conqueror. He laid down His own life, that He might, take it again, in spite of death. Not all the power of Satan could take His life from Him. Even on the cross He gave up His own life, and the Roman soldier's spear thrust in His side simply furnished proof that He was already dead. When the appointed time came, He came forth from the grave in spite of all the power Satan could muster. “It was not possible that He should be holden” of death (Acts 2:24), because He had not once been betrayed into sin. He trusted wholly in God, who was able to save Him from death, and therefore from sin, which causeth death, and was heard for His godly fear. His victory was every moment of His life complete. But it was a real victory, for He fought a real fight. Jesus did not come to earth to amuse the universe with the sight of a sham fight with sin. This idea, altogether too general, that Jesus was not in the same situation as we are, and that He had not to resist sin as we do, not having temptations in the same way that we do, is the reason for so many sham victories, among professed Christians.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 757.4

    “By His Stripes We Are Healed.” -“We being made, perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” Now we come to the joy of the truth that Jesus was in all respects in our condition, with all our weaknesses, wholly dependent on God for deliverance. We must not think that He was simply in a condition similar to ours, but that He is in our identical condition, for it was our sins that were in Him. He was here in our behalf. His whole life-work was for us, not for Himself. The victory He gained was our victory. So when we come into temptation, and sin presses us closely, “this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith.” Remember that the sin is already overcome. Jesus in the flesh overcame it for us, and He still lives in our flesh to maintain the victory which He has gained, provided we will confess Him. Isn't there the joy of victory in this truth? My sins are already overcome, and I have but to enjoy the fruits of victory, which is peace. Who would be overcome by an enemy which he knew was already overcome and disarmed? This confidence in what Christ has done for us is our strength. He has the joy of victory, and the joy of the Lord is our strength. Therefore let us say, and continue to say from the heart: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in Me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 757.5

    “Prayers for the Dead” The Present Truth, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    On Sunday evening, November 11, the sermon in St. Joseph's Retreat, the Roman Catholic church at Highgate Hill, was on “The Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.” In keeping with the tendency of human nature to seek to justify itself in any course by saying to the accuser, “You do the same thing,“ the priest who delivered the sermon read the following extract from the Globe of November 6:—PTUK December 2, 1897, page 759.1

    From a paper issued by the Protestant “Guild of All Souls,“ we learn that on Monday evening last (the eve of AIl Souls) “vespers for the dead” were said or sung in 153 churches, and that on Tuesday morning masses for the dead were offered in 230 churches.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 759.2

    No comments are needed; the fact speaks for itself.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 759.3

    “Friday Observance” The Present Truth, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    One of the correspondents of the Church Times is concerned over the disregard of Friday. After the statement “that a true and loyal churchman” is “under obligation to observe all Fridays (except Christmas Day) as days of fasting and abstinence, both as regards food and amusements, such as dinner parties, garden parties, theatres, dancing, shooting, etc.,“ he adds, “As a priest, I have always taught my people to observe Friday,“ and then complains, that it is not uncommon in the country to see priests “in complete lay attire,“ taking part “in a shooting party on Friday,’” and says that “such practices lower the standard of Christian life among the people.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 759.4

    This statement we can readily believe; but the fact that the things are done on Friday has nothing to do with the lowering of the standard of Christian life. Let the clergy complained of leave off their attendance at “theatres, dancing, shooting, etc.” on every day of the week, and their Friday work or recreation will have no influence whatever in lowering the standard of Christian life. Christianity consists in living a Christlike life all the time, and not in slavish observance once or twice a week of things not commandment, or even hinted at in the law of God. As men multiply observances not required, it will always be noticed that they neglect those which God does require, and which He has made a means of grace.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 759.5

    “The Mob Spirit” The Present Truth, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Mob Spirit .—We know nothing of the methods of controversy employed by certain anti-Romanist lecturers in Manchester and the North, but they certainly cannot have said anything a tenth part as hard of the Church of Rome as that which is said by the Catholic Times when it expresses the opinion that when lecturers enrage Catholics to such a degree by calumnies and falsehoods of the vilest kind that they cannot restrain their indignation, and the police authorities find it necessary to prohibit a meeting in order to prevent the shedding of blood, we think the shame falls upon those who aid and abet the slanderers.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 761.1

    Christians are never enraged by slander. If the Catholic Times is wrong in suggesting the danger of bloodshed it prints the worst of slanders on the Church of Rome; if it is right, when then truly the papal principles are again shown to find their expression in mob violence; as when the monkish mobs filled Rome and Constantinople and Alexandria with bloodshed in the days when the creed was in process of making. Since those days there have often been Romish mobs and Protestant mobs; but wherever the mob spirit is there will be found the papal principles, in whatever name the appeal to force may be made.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 761.2

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Germany has under way a naval boom. China is reinforcing the garrisons of her maritime towns.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.1

    -The United States proposes to increase its standing- army.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.2

    -10,000 people are said to be out of work on the Rand, the Transvaal gold district.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.3

    -Close upon 31,000 persons are now employed in cycle factories in the United Kingdom.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.4

    -Influenza is so prevalent in South Lincolnshire that the school attendance is seriously affected.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.5

    -A terrific dust storm in Victoria wrecked many buildings in several towns of that colony the other day.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.6

    -A prairie fire has swept over a tract of territory in Texas nearly two-thirds the size of Wales, destroying many ranches.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.7

    -Before London's great fire was done smoking last week, Melbourne was suffering a million-pound loss by fire in a crowded business portion of that city.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.8

    -A Bill prohibiting public football matches has been passed by the Georgia Legislature. Other American States are moving in the same direction, the game being declared more dangerous, demoralising and brutal than prize-fighting.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.9

    -The Manchester Ship Canal Company is providing for the large increase of grain imports by building in Manchester a huge elevator and warehouse, to store 40,000 tons, Manchester is the distributing centre for a population of eight millions.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.10

    -A little time ago telegrams reported a cyclone in Chittagong, Upper Burmah, and little was thought of it. Later advices state however that a tidal wave swept over large areas, about 1,000 lives being lost, and nearly a million people being rendered homeless.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.11

    -A officer of the Bombay Police says: “There is no use disguising the fact that not only is the plague very bad, but it is increasing and spreading. Here in the Satara district it is worse than anywhere, and the mortality is appalling, and no measures or precautions seem to be of any avail.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.12

    -The scenes in the Austrian Parliament culminated last week in a general fight among the deputies, fists, feet, and sticks being used. With such a temper among the law-makers of the empire, it will not be strange if there is a general revival of violence among the people. Race jealousy is the cause of the hateful temper. Austria is made up of many nationalities, each jealous of the other.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.13

    -It is suggested that if Germany holds to the slice of Chinese territory which she has occupied on the excuse of protecting missionaries, Russia, France, and Great Britain will have to seize each an equal amount of territory, so that Germany may not have more than her share. And what of China? Well, China is helpless and so there is no special danger from that quarter. And China is heathen, too, and the other powers are “Christian.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 766.14

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is said that every official of the little State of Monte Carlo, that chief gambling resort of Europe, has to provide himself with a certificate showing that he goes to Confessional.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.1

    The martydom of Stephen seemed but to whet the appetite of the Jewish rulers for blood, and a great persecution began against the Christians in Jerusalem, “and they were all scattered abroad throughout the region of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.” Acts 8:1, 4.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.2

    Reference is made to this in Acts 11:19, 20, where we read that “they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Autioch, preaching the Word to none but Jews only. And some of them ... spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.”PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.3

    If in reading these verses we allow our attention to be absorbed by the fact that the disciples at first preached to the Jews only, we shall miss the great lesson that the narrative contains for us. The main thing is, that they preached the Word, that is, they preached the Lord Jesus. With their hearts full of that Word, it was sure to be only a question of time when their lips would proclaim it to all, without regard to race or nationality.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.4

    Note that they preached the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “All things were made by Him.” “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” They preached the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as is plainly stated in Acts 11:20. They did not merely preach about Christ, but they preached Christ Himself, the Word made flesh, Christ was in their hearts, and came forth in their words, so that all who heard the Word spoken received Christ. It was for the hearers then to decide whether they would keep Him or reject Him.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.5

    Pay special attention to the fact that all the church went everywhere preaching, “except the apostles.” Jesus had said, “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8), but it was not the apostles who first witnessed in Judea and Samaria and, the adjoining countries. It was those whom a proud hierarchy has contemptuously designated the “lay members.” That is, they were-simply people, without any titles added to their names.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.6

    Thus in the very beginning God made it unmistakably evident that the Gospel was committed to all, not to a few select ones in the church. The church itself exists for the sole purpose of showing forth the excellencies of Christ. Is the church doing that work now? Imagine that all the professed Christians in any town in England were suddenly obliged to leave their homes, and flee for their lives, wandering through the country; how many of them would go about preaching the Word? How many of them would be in a condition to do so? This is a is a question for each individual to consider for himself.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.7

    “But” we cannot all be expected to preach; we have not had the training;” some may say. That depends on what one means by preaching. If it be to stand up in a public place before an assembly, and to deliver a nicely-arranged sermon having more or less connection with the Bible, it is true that all cannot preach, and cannot and ought not to be expected to. All that may be done, and yet there be no real preaching of the Word. Who supposes for a moment that the disciples went everywhere delivering sermons? They were common people, of the same sort that compose the bulk of the Christian churches in these days. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called.” 1 Corinthians 1:26. Whatever they did can be done, and ought to be done by all Christians in every age.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.8

    The Greek word in Acts 8:4, which is rendered “preaching” is the word which we have Anglicised as “evangelising.” An evangel is good tidings, an evangelist is one who announces good news, and to evangelise is to proclaim or announce good tidings. The disciples therefore went everywhere proclaiming to those whom they met the good news which they had received, namely, salvation from sin, by Jesus Christ. Not all had the same power, or the same gift of language, but every one could tell what he knew. All could tell the power and speak to the praise of Him who had called them out of darkness into His marvellous light. That is all that is required. He who has a personal, acquaintance with the Lord, can tell somebody else about Him.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.9

    There is another word, however, used in Acts 11:19, to describe the same work that we are talking about. In our version we have the word “preaching,“ and that is perfectly correct, for the same Greek word is often used of the announcing of the Gospel by the prophets and apostles and Christ; but in the Revised Version we have the more common rendering, “speaking.” Now the primary meaning of the Greek word here used is “to talk, chatter, babble.” The noun derived from it means, “talking, babbling, gossip.” It is the regular word used to signify common conversation. The very same Greek word comes to its almost unchanged through the Latin and the German, as “lullaby” and in Lollard, a name given to those “Biblemen” who in the days of W ycliffe went through the country singing and talking. The disciples, therefore, went everywhere chatting the Word.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.10

    We have now the whole story; wherever; the disciples went, the burden of their conversation was Jesus. People are usually inclined to talk most of that which they know best, and they knew Jesus better than anything else. As they made the acquaintance of people, and entered into conversation with them, their “gossip,“ so to speak, was Jesus. It was not idle, meaningless talk, but easy, natural conversation such as with people who did not know the Lord would be common gossip. This is not so very hard work, is it? It is simply to tell the news, not the ordinary news, the gossip of the newspapers and the street, but the good news of salvation, which is for all people. Tell only what you know, but be sure that what you know is the truth. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” 1 Peter 4:10. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16), and that will be your qualification for the work.PTUK December 2, 1897, page 768.11

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