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    December 9, 1897

    “A Message of Comfort” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner


    “Comfort ye, comfort saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah 11:1, 2.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 769.1

    Here is a message of comfort; it is a message sent direct from “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort,“ and therefore it contains true comfort; yet so perverse is human nature, that with scarcely an exception everybody finds a cause for discouragement and doubt in the passage rather than comfort.—We are suspicious even of God, so that whenever He holds out to us a good morsel, we examime it cautiously before tasting it, lest peradventure it contain poison. So in the case of the text before us, many people get no comfort out of it, because they are afraid of that word “double.”PTUK December 9, 1897, page 769.2

    The assumption is that God promises His people double punishment, that is, twice as much punishment as they deserve, and of course they cannot see any comfort in that prospect; and no wonder. But here is where our suspicious nature deceives us, for the text does not say what our fears imagine it to say.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 769.3

    It is true that in some places in the Bible double punishment is spoken of, as for example, Jeremiah 16:18: “I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double.” Jeremiah 17:18: “Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded; let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed; bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.” Also concerning Babylon in Revelation 13:3-7: “Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works; in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her.”PTUK December 9, 1897, page 769.4

    The last text is the strongest of all, and at the same time gives us a clear insight into what is meant by double recompense. The wicked eat of the fruit of their own way, and are filled with their own devices. Proverbs 1:31. “He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” Psalm 7:15, 16. That is, the wickedness of the wicked recoils or doubles back upon them. “In the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double.” That is, fill it again to her for her own portion, even as she filled it for others. That to “double unto her double according to her works “does not mean to give her twice as much as she deserves, but exactly what her wicked works merit, is seen from the expression itself, and from the next clause: “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her.” The only thing which God gives to people more than they deserve is mercy.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 769.5

    But note that these references concerning rendering double have no likeness whatever to Isaiah 40:1, 2. For those speak of destruction, while this one speaks of comfort; and there is no comfort either in or after destruction. Those are to the obstinate and determined persecutors of God, while this is to the people of God. Speak comfortably, or, literally, as indicated in the margin, to the heart of Jerusalem, “and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.” Note that the comfort lies in the fact that she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins; and note further that this receiving of double is identical with the pardoning of iniquity.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 769.6

    Note further that the double has been received; it is past, not future. Therefore even though we call it double punishment, it is punishment that has been suffered, and is now over. Well, there is comfort in that, certainly. It is not destruction, then, that is sure. Instead of trembling over the prospect of judgments to come, we may, by the authority of God's Word, rejoice in the assurance that all the penalty for sins has been borne. How?—Read Isaiah 53:4-6:—PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.1

    “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.2

    “He was wounded for our transgressions;” “the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.” By Himself He hath purged our sins. Hebrews 1:3. This is the comfort which God proclaims to all mankind, for “He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2. The comfort of sins atoned for is ours, if we do not reject it. The assurance that all our sins are upon Him is the cause of everlasting joy to its, provided we do not insist on bearing them all ourselves.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.3

    In Christ the victory over sin is already ours. This is also our comfort, for He says: “These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have; overcome the world.” John 16:33. Cry unto the people that their warfare is already accomplished, that it is an assured fact, and that they may now and for over delight themselves in peace; “for He is our peace.” If we but meet the enemy in the faith of Christ, we have only to deal with one that is already defeated, so that we may always be singing the song of victory. “Thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thank God that this message of comfort, this good tidings of great joy, is “for all people.” Take it yourself, and then make known far and wide the message of free, full, and complete salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.4

    “The Hour of His Coming” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Lord gives the evidence in the Word by which we may know when His coming is near at hand, even at the door. We may see these evidences even now, and the message to the world is a message of preparation for the coming of the Lord. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man.” Matthew 14:36. Yet some men are continually guessing and speculating and making calculations about periods and cycles in the effort to fix the date for the Lord's coming.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.5

    Now, this much we know, “The Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” Luke 12:40. When men, therefore, have made their last guess, we may know that at that hour at least the Lord will not come. His coming will take all unawares who are not following His instructions. The knowledge of the exact time of His coming would not prepare a soul for that day. “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching.” Luke 12:35-37.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.6

    “Protection for the Churches” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A recent number of the Christian contained a communication entitled, “The Filching of the Sabbath,“ in which, after mentioning Sunday concerts, and referring to other forms of Sunday pleasure-seeking, the writer suggests the following action:—PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.7

    I would suggest that this is a matter which should be taken up seriously by Free Church Council, and particularly the London and National Federations. I would also point out the necessity this matter suggests of the churches in every town uniting for the purpose (among other things) of securing the election upon public bodies of men who will defend things which Christians count dear.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.8

    The competition against the churches is getting very keen, and it is for those within to show the same degree of activity as those without, and that can be most effectively done by combining in the way I have mentioned.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.9

    Note the close of the first and the beginning of the second paragraph. “The competition against the churches is getting very keen,“ and they are advised to combine for the purpose of securing the election of men who will see that they get legal protection against competition. That is to say, the “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” are encroaching too much on the churches, and the power of the State must be invoked to protect the church against sin.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.10

    But what is the church for in this world?—Simply to leaven the world with truth. “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?” Salt is a preserver, a protective against infection; now when the salt has so far lost its savour that it must cry out for protection against itself being infected, what a sad state of things is revealed. The Saviour says that when salt gets in that condition, “it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” When salt has to be preserved against contamination, it is not worth preserving. Its mission is to preserve, not to be preserved.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.11

    “War in India” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Among the items of news from the war on the mountain tribes in India, is one stating thatPTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.12

    Private—, who distinguished himself at Dargai, and again during the attack on the rearguard in the Waran Valley, where, being separated from his comrades, and attacked by three tribesmen, he shot one, bayoneted the second, and, unable to extricate his weapon, killed the third with a boulder, will no doubt receive the Victoria Cross.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.13

    A man in uniform kills three men, and receives a medal from the Government; a man in plain clothes kills but one man and is hanged by the same Government. No wonder simple people get confused in the matter of morals.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.14

    “Gambling” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Gambling .—The financial report of the Monte Carlo Casino shows that the proprietors spent 100,000 francs this year in returning to their homes persons who had lost all their money at the gaming tables .A like amount was devoted to “the prevention of suicide.” Notwithstanding this charitable attention to the victims of their gambling den thirty-five persons committed suicide there in the year.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.15

    “Thou hast dealt well with Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word.” God always deals well with His servants.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 770.16

    “Lessons From the Book of Hebrews. ‘In the Name of Jesus’” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A few points in the fifth chapter of Hebrews, in addition to what we had last week, can still profitably claim our attention, but as we had the text before us then, with questions upon it, we will not repeat them. That which is of special interest is what is said of Christ in verse 7. This may well be taken in connection with Hebrews 4:16.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 771.1

    We are exhorted to come boldly unto the throne of grace. But how shall we come? “What are our recommendations”? Can we come presenting what we have done as a recommendation to favour? No; for what we have done shows us deserving of death. The criminal dare not come boldly into court, claiming freedom on account of his crimes. We have nothing of our own with which to appear before the King.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 771.2

    Neither can we claim anything by virtue of what we promised to do. We have made promises too often, and broken them, to have any confidence placed in them. Our promises are worthless, because however good the intention may be to perform, we find in us no good thing with which to fulfil the promise. “Man at his best state is altogether vanity;” so that we have nothing in ourselves, whether past, present, or future, to give us boldness in coming to the King on His throne with our requests.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 771.3

    But we have better promises than our death own, even the King's own promises. And we have a warrant from the King's own Son: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall w ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13, 14. Now the only thing we need is deliverance from sin; when we have that, we have everything worth having, both in this world and in the world to come. We know that Jesus was delivered from sin, for “in the days of His flee he when He had offered up prayer and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death,“ He “was heard.” Hebrews 5:7. Although in the flesh, “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), as weak as the weakest man that ever lived, for no man can be weaker than to be able to do nothing of himself (see John 5:30),-yet He was delivered from all the sins of the flesh.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 771.4

    But what has that to do with us. How is it that we can ask anything in His name, and for His sake? This is the question which reaches to the very core of the Gospel. It is the “mystery,“ over which the unbeliever stumbles, calling it folly and injustice, because he does not see the vital connection between Christ the only-begotten Son of all mankind. “The Word was made flesh.” Who flesh?—“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.” Hebrews 2:14-16. He took your flesh, my flesh, the flesh of all mankind, sinful flesh, so that He was in all things made like unto His brethren. They are partakers of flesh and blood: “He also Himself likewise took part of the same.”PTUK December 9, 1897, page 771.5

    Whatever we have, He had, even the self-same things. John pointed to Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away; bears! the sin of the world.” There is not a temptation that has oppressed any human being, and overcome him, that did not press in with all its might upon Jesus, without overcoming Him. But the temptation was none the less real. People seem to think that the fact that Jesus never sinned is proof that He was not tempted in the same way that we are. As much as to say that if He had been tempted as we are, He would have sinned! Or, in other words, the same as saying that there is no possibility of successfully resisting temptation. They who would separate Jesus from the fullest share in our human nature, do not realise that in so doing they are labouring to deprive mankind of all hope.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 771.6

    It was our sins that nailed Jesus to the cross. 1 Peter 2:2-1. And it was our sins, that He bore in the garden of Gethsemane and in the wilderness of temptation. It was our sins (He had none of His own) for deliverance from which He spent whole nights in prayer. But He “was heard in that He feared.” Ah, thank God for that. What? Why, Jesus of Nazareth, in the flesh, in the weakest human flesh, with your and my sins upon Him, was delivered from them, He gained the victory over them. Isn't that joyful news? Believe it, accept it, and pass it to others.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 771.7

    “Let us therefore hold fast our confession?” What confession?—“That Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, in our flesh; that “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” He is still “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” Whatever affects us, also affects Him. “He ever liveth to make intercession” for us. That is, He prays for us now as He did when on earth; and as surely as He was heard them, so surely will He be heard now.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 771.8

    So we come in His name. It is “not I but Christ.” Christ in me is making petition to be delivered from this sir. do not ask for my own sake; I have no personal claim in the Lord; but I ask it for His sake. Can there be any doubt that the prayer will be heard?—Certainly not; for it has already been heard, and answered. This very sin from which we are praying to be delivered, your own personal sin, and mine,-has been agonised over and conquered! The victory, then, is ours, is it not?—Most assuredly. “Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”PTUK December 9, 1897, page 771.9


    Can you not see that even in personal conflict with sin, the fundamental principle of the Gospel-self-forgetfulness-comes in? “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” This was true of Christ on the cross. The same must be true of us; and the same spirit of absorbed interest in others, and self-forgetfuluess, must be in even our most earnest prayer for personal help, if we would pray the prayer that is certain to be answered. When we come to the throne of grace absorbed in the thought that it is Jesus who is pleading to be delivered from the sins that oppress us, that it is He and not we who are appearing before God, and we lose sight and thought of ourselves in our interest in His mortal struggle with sin, then we are saved. Our personality is lost in His; we lose ourselves in Him; and then comes the thrilling thought, He was heard! He gained the victory over this very trial! Human words cannot describe the joy of the thought, because it is “the joy of the Lord.” And the joy of the Lord is our strength. Nehemiah 8:10.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 772.1

    Jesus was “made of the seed of David according to the flesh” but “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Daniel 1:3, 4. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead was the demonstration of the fact that He was the Son of God with power. It was impossible for Him to be held by the grave, because He had done no sin. But being raised from the dead, He was raised to the right hand of God, from which place He sends the Holy Spirit to all, thereby coming to dwell in all who believe. So we read that “being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” This is a parallel to what we read in Christ's prayer. John 17:1, 2: “Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee; as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.”PTUK December 9, 1897, page 772.2

    “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” Do you know Him? If not, make haste to become acquainted with Him as the Son of God and the Son of man.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 772.3


    An important lesson is to be learned from the first portion of the fifth of Hebrews. If every one who professes to be Christian would learn it, there would never be any seeking for place, any striving for the mastery, in the church. No one would ever put himself forward for a position of prominence or supposed honour.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 772.4

    No more honourable position than High Priest was ever known. If ever any position of responsibility and honour was to be coveted, that is the place. And no one more worthy of all honour than Jesus Christ ever lived. He was in every way worthy of the position. Therefore if anybody in the world could ever plead his own claims to any position, Jesus might have sought the office of High Priest for Himself. But what are the facts?PTUK December 9, 1897, page 772.5

    “No man taketh this honour unto 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, to-day have I begotten Thee.”PTUK December 9, 1897, page 772.6


    What is the lesson-Just this: Since Jesus, who was in every way worthy, and perfectly fitted for the position of High Priest, would not and did not put Himself forward for the place, there is no human being who can ever with any grace lay claim to my office or preferment. No; not with any grace, for just to the extent that any man pleads his own cause, and seeks a position, does he show himself ignorant and destitute of the grace of Christ.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 772.7

    Because Jesus humbled Himself, therefore “God also hath highly exalted Him.” Philippians 2:9. His modesty, His humility, the utter absence of self-glorification, were the marks which showed His worthiness. Let every member of the church get this portion of the Word of God indelibly fixed in his mind. We may not advance ourselves, we may not plead our fitness for any place, nay, we may not even in our own minds canvass the ground and think ourselves worthy of the place. Love “seeketh not her own.” We must not only be silent before others, but we must not exalt ourselves to the place, even in our own thoughts. Therein lies all the danger. If we exalt ourselves even in thought, we are putting ourselves ahead of Christ, for He did not exalt Himself. Thus we would be showing our oneness with the “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4) instead of Christ.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 772.8

    “A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven.” John 3:37. And whatever God designs that a man shall have He is fully able to see that the right man has, instead of another. “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”PTUK December 9, 1897, page 772.9

    “The New Missioning” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Two German Roman Catholic missionaries were murdered by a Chinese mob, Germany at once lauded troops, seized Kiso Chao Bay, and now demands of China:—PTUK December 9, 1897, page 773.1

    1. ?50,000 to the relatives.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 773.2

    2. Erection of a Cathedral in China.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 773.3

    3. Refunding of the cost of landing troops.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 773.4

    4. Punishment of murderers and officials.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 773.5

    5. A railway monopoly in Shangtung.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 773.6

    6. Permanent occupation of the bay seized.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 773.7

    It suggests a new version of the beatitudes: Blessed is that country whose missionaries are persecuted in weak, heathen lands. This attitude of Germany has, it said, astonished the Powers, but Germany has only carried a little further the policy of all the Powers. This connection of Governments with missions is the curse of foreign missions.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 773.8

    There are still missionaries in all the great societies who believe the Gospel; and who love the people in heathen darkness, and in persecution bless and curse not, praying for those that persecute them as their Lord tells them to do. They are Christians. But as at home the spirit of the times is leading toward appeal to legal force and political methods, abroad there is a growing readiness to appeal to home. Governments for the punishment of persecutors. This only fortifies the ignorant heathen, who needs help and salvation, in his belief that the missionary is but the foreign representative of a foreign religion.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 773.9

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Italy's finances show an improvement and the Government propose to reduce taxation.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.1

    -Martial law was proclaimed in Prague, in Bohemia, last week, and rioting has broken out in many parts of Austria.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.2

    -Spain complains that sixty-six armed expeditions have left the United States for Cuba to help the insurgents since the war began about two years ago,PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.3

    -A revolt has broken out in Albania, the Turkish province north of Greece. Moslem and “Christian” joined in the revolt, and there has been some bloodshed.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.4

    -The masters proposed arbitration in the matter of reducing wages in the cotton trade and the workers have voted against arbitrating. A strike seems inevitable in Lancashire.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.5

    -The British Government is negotiating a treaty with China for the acquisition of territory on the mainland, opposite Hong Kong, for the purpose of erecting forts and defences covering Hong Kong.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.6

    -There are rumours of a great strike of railway workers about Christmas. The companies say they cannot grant the men's demands, and thousands of men have given their names to a strike programme.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.7

    -Day after day the conference between men and masters in the engineering trade has gone on, little headway apparently being made. Meanwhile women and children suffer, and the cold weather has come.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.8

    -A poor woman was charged in London with pawning shirts which she was making up for a City firm. It was stated that the accused was paid threepence for making a dozen shirts, she finding her own cotton.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.9

    -The gale round the coast last week furnished an enormous list of wrecks and casualties. The high tide in the Thames broke the river walls and submerged much land between London and the sea. Cottages were filled to the first floor with water, and hundreds of families have suffered.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.10

    -The United States Government is proposing to send a relief expedition to Klondyke. The latest reports from the gold country express fears of desperate conditions for thousands who are wintering there without sufficient supplies. Crime was breaking out, and hungry men were using violence to secure food. Probably the lust of gold never lured men into e region more forbidding than this Polar Eldorado.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.11

    -A Russian representative in Korea urges his Government to ensure Russian control of the country. “Korea is a rich country,“ he says, “and productive enough to make it worth Russia's while to make the sacrifices necessary for the firm establishment of her influence.” It is the way of the world. If a country is rich enough to make it pay, and too weak to stand, almost any of the Powers are willing to make the “sacrifice.”PTUK December 9, 1897, page 782.12

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Several Roman Catholic societies in America are, it is announced, to give the Pope a Christmas present of “a cross of gold set with ninety diamonds,“ valued at ?9,000. Our readers may make their own comments.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.1

    Austria is torn by dissension. When the legislative chamber is turned into a scene of lawlessness by the law making body, it is not surprising that the people follow their representatives and begin rioting. “The general outlook,“ says the latest report, “remains distinctly gloomy.” As the world throws off the restraints of the law of God, the spirit of general lawlessness must increase.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.2

    The success of the schools for Chinese conducted by our missionaries in Honolulu has made it necessary to answer the call for a school in another island of the Hawaiian Group. There are thousands of Japanese in these islands for whom work must be undertaken. As the result of the Chinese day-schools, a Chinese Sabbath-school has been organised, officered by Sabbath-keeping Chinese.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.3

    That is a grand declaration which the London Missionary Society makes to its people under the French authorities in Madagascar:—PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.4

    We declare again what we have often made known, that the London Missionary Society has no connection with the English Government. Its only object is the conversion of men and women. We beg you then to make known to everybody that there is not the slightest hope of England's interfering on your behalf, either now or in the future.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.5

    To save men, with no connection with, or reliance on, any government on earth, that is the business of Christian societies loyal to the Kingdom of Heaven.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.6

    “The Sea and the Waves Roaring” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The Sea and the Waves Roaring.” -“The winter hurricanes are in deadly earnest this year,“ said the Chronicle last week. “Every day, almost every hour, ships are going down on our sand-lined or rock-bound coasts, and men with them, and women and children are being cast adrift upon the world.” It was a veritable tidal wave which swept up the Thames and upon the East Coast, and the damage done has been declared to be unparalleled in recent times.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.7

    “To Save Life” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    To Save Life .—The name of the Margate lifeboat, Friend to All Nations, nine of whose crew lost their lives last week, tells the character of the lifeboat service round our coasts, whether paid or voluntary. When signals of distress are heard or seen, in almost any fishing village a crew of brave men are ready to fight their way through the breakers to save life. No one thinks about who it is in need of help; human beings are in danger, and the lifeboats go to save them. Some shipwrecked Russians, who had lost their course, said they knew they were off the British coast when they saw the lifeboats coming to their help. Here is heroism of a different order from that of the battle-field. There men are daring and doing to take the lives of others, of a different nationality usually, but lives which will leave some poor home desolate; and decorations and Victoria Crosses and even national fame are the rewards. Here men fight the elements, putting life in jeopardy, to save the lives of strangers, and lives snatched from death are the rewards of success.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.8

    “A Bishop on the Sabbath” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Bishop of Chester has just issued a pastoral letter on Sunday observance. We commend his explanation of the origin and authority of Sunday observance to those who think Sabbath-keeping an absurd thing. He first quotes Dean Vaughan as follows:—PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.9

    It would contradict history to assert the identity of Sabbath and Sunday. There is no evidence whatever of an express and formal change of the day.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.10

    It would also contradict the Bible, even as the Dean indicates: “There is no evidence whatever of an express and formal change of the day.”After stating, what is a natural sequence of the last admission, that the Sunday was not at first distinguished by abstinence from labour, the Bishop quotes further:—PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.11

    As the church became more and more a settled resident in the world, it needed more and more the counteracting influence of that periodical religious rest which is the principle of the Sabbath. Then the adapting power of the great Head of the church guided her to invest more and more the new Sunday with all that was of essential value in the old Sabbath. Without any formal change of day, or any dogmatical re-institution of the Sabbath of the Deoalogue the church was guided by the Holy Spirit to make her Lord's Day in some sense Sabbatical, and so to increase its consecrating influence upon a society constrained to have the world too much with it.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.12

    How can thoughtful persons who read such statements fail to ask for the proof that the Lord or the Holy Spirit had anything to do with this change, since it is admitted that they themselves have said nothing about it? It is quite too common for men and women who are determined to have their own way, to excuse themselves in it by affirming that they are led by the Spirit. They then make the Holy Spirit to be nothing other than themselves. In the case before us, “the church,“ having thrown off the authority of God, proceeded to put itself in the place of God, by trying to give the same authority to “the new Sunday” that God gave to the old Sabbath.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.13

    “Which Pope” The Present Truth, 13, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Which Pope? -Of what use is it to reject one pope merely to accept another? The man who says that he will be bound by no man's opinions or dictum, is to be praised, provided he is consistent; but too often he is as zealous a papist as any Romanist. For while he fiercely declaims against being bound by the ideas of a mere man, he is in that very position, in that he resolutely follows his own opinions. He is his own pope. We submit that he has not improved matters at all. There is probably no man in the world who would be more of a success as a pope than Leo XIII. If I were to have a pope I should choose him, for I think that he fills the position far more successfully than I could, having had more experience. “What would you have a man do? Shall he have no mind at all? Whom shall he trust? or shall he trust nobody? “Trust the Lord.” Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. “Thus saith the Lord, cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.” And the curse rests upon him just as much if he trusts in himself as if he trusted in some other man. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:5, 7. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.” Proverbs 28:26. Why should a man trust to his own foolish heart, when Christ, the wisdom of God, is given him.PTUK December 9, 1897, page 784.14

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