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    December 16, 1897

    “The Man with the Muck-Rake” The Present Truth, 13, 50.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The interpreter takes them apart again, and has them first into a room where was a man that could look no way but downwards, with a muck-rake in his hand; there stood also one over his head with a celestial crown in his hand, and proffered him that crown for his muck-rake; but the man did neither look up nor regard, but raked to himself the straws, the small sticks, and the dust of the floor.”—Bunyan.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 785.1

    “As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” Jeremiah 17:11. “The wise shall inherit glory; but shame shall be the promotion of fools.” Proverbs 3:35.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 785.2

    “Love not the world, neither the things of the world. If any man love the world, the love of the life, is not of the Father, but is of the world, and the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he chat doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” John 2:15-17.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 785.3

    “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1. “For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18. “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Matthew 16:36.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 785.4

    “Some Phases of the Sabbath Question” The Present Truth, 13, 50.

    E. J. Waggoner


    From a reader of the PRESENT TRUTH in Hull, we have received the following letter which, according to his request, we publish. We have made no change whatever, except to number the paragraphs for the sake of convenience in reference.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.1

    TO THE EDITOR OF THE PRESENT TRUTH:—Sir:—There is a great deal in your paper I enjoy, but your position re the Sabbath is to me simply absurd.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.2

    1. Is it not according to the New Testament Scriptures a fact that our Lord was in the town all the Jewish Sabbath? He had fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law, and by this He closed the old dispensation; and by rising on the first day of the week introduces a new dispensation, namely a reign of grace, and not law. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one who believes.” Romans 10:4.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.3

    2. Is it not a fact that after the resurrection neither Christ nor His apostles ever went to worship, nor to the synagogue on the Sabbath, unless it be to protest and to tell out the glad tidings of “Jesus and the resurrection?”PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.4

    3. Moreover, have we not the clearest statement that the risen Christ met His disciples three Sunday nights, as they met for worship, and breathed on them the Holy Ghost?PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.5

    4. Did not the ascension of our Lord take place on the first day of the week, and the descent of the Holy Spirit take place also an that day?PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.6

    5. We read that they met on the first day of the week; they were asked to give on the first day of the week, and John was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. We have therefore the clearest statements for apostolic authority for keeping the first day and not the seventh.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.7

    6. The whole genius of our Christianity is bound up with the change, as the old order of things has given way for the reign of the Spirit, and not of the letter; i.e. the law.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.8

    7. I am sure that no one can controvert the facts as given above, and trust that you will give this a place in your paper; and by being taught of God we may have Christian liberty, not license; but to keep the day that cur Lord and Saviour burst the bonds of death and hell, and rose a victor on our behalf. Yours in blessed hope of our Lord's speedy coming.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.9

    G. W. G. WEBSTER.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.10

    These very same arguments against the Sabbath come under our notice very frequently, but we usually pass them by unheeded, since we have no desire or time for controversy, preferring to present truth positively instead of negatively; but when a correspondent puts them to us in all sincerity, thinking doubtless that they present an entirely new phase of the Sabbath question, we are glad to give them attention. As the statements made are the common objections against the Sabbath, we do so the more readily, since the consideration of them may help many, to whom they seem to be real arguments against the Sabbath.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.11

    1. This paragraph contains several common misapprehensions, which need to be considered in detail. We first note the reference toPTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.12

    “The Jewish Sabbath.” -This is a term found not once in the entire Bible. The seventh day of the week, nowadays commonly called Saturday, which the Jews kept, and to some extent still keep, is declared to be “the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:10. In the days when the Eastern controversy was raging, the Emporer Constantine, who was a famous theological tinker, said, “Let us have nothing in common with the contemptible Jewish rabble,“ and so the festival was transferred from the time of the Passover, which might be any day of the week, to Sunday. From that time, and even before, there has everywhere been a bitter prejudice against the Jews, which has extended to everything that they have had to do with except money. So the Sabbath of the Lord came to be called in contempt “the Jewish Sabbath,“ the enemies of the truth well knowing that a contemptuous epithet will have more effect against a man or an institution than will a statement of fact. If Christians would strictly confine themselves to Bible terms for Bible things, and would call the seventh day by its right name, “the Sabbath of the Lord” or “the Lord's day,“ it would not be as easy for them to pass it by. Many who never give a second thought to what they have called “the Jewish Sabbath,“ would feel very serious over trampling upon the Lord's “holy day.” Isaiah 58:13. The fact, however, that the Sabbath was kept by the Jews before any of the so-called “Christian nations” were in existence, is nothing against it. Jesus Himself said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” John 4:22. Jesus was a Jew, brought up after the manner of the Jews. The news of His birth was first made known to Jewish shepherds, and it was Jewish fishermen whom He first sent out to preach. The whole Bible, with the exception of two books of the New Testament (if it be a fact that Luke was a Greek), and possibly one of the Old, was written by Jews. Shall we call it “the Jewish Gospel,“ “Jewish salvation,“ “the Jewish Bible,“ etc., and reject the whole thing?PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.13

    “Jesus Fulfilled the Law.” -The statement is that Jesus “had fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law.” Good. We believe it, because He “did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22. The common conclusion is the therefore we have nothing to do with thy law. Let us see what that means: Jesus did a certain thing; therefore we must not do that thing. Jesus was baptized to “fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15) therefore we must not be baptized, and must be on our guard against doing any righteousness. The argument, in short, is “Avoid following the example of Jesus, a you would the pestilence.” We wish everybody to see just what is involved in the argument that Jesus kept the Sabbath and fulfilled every jot of the law, and that therefore we need not. All that it means is that we must not do as Jesus did. It may seem “absurd” to keep the Sabbath that Jesus kept; but this argument against it is a good deal worse than absurd. He left us an example, that we “should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21. “He that saith He abideth in Him ought Himself also so to walk even as He walked.” John 2:6. Christ fulfilled the law, “the righteousness of the law might be fufilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4. What propriety is there in people calling themselves Christians, and repudiating the ways of Christ? “Why call ye Me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 786.14

    “A New Dispensation.” -The statement is that Christ by rising on the first day of the week “introduces a new dispensation-namely, a reign of grace.” We call attention, in passing, to the fact that our correspondent makes this statement as confidently as though it were a Scripture truth, as he no doubt thinks it is, without stopping to hunt for or quote the authority for it. It ought to be understood that in a matter of this kind every statement that is made should have the fullest warrant of Scripture, and that warrant should be given; for a man's assertions count for nothing. But now as to the matter of “dispensations.” It would be well here, also, if people would confine themselves to Scripture terms. If they did, no such words as “old dispensation,“ or “new dispensation” would ever be seen or heard. The Greek word for “dispensation” occurs but seven times in the Bible, three of these being Luke 16:2, 3, 4 where it is rendered, as it should always be, “stewardship.” The Apostle Paul says, “A dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto me.” 1 Corinthians 9:17. The words “of the Gospel” are added by the translators, so that we have the exact rendering in the Revision, “I have a stewardship entrusted to me.” So has every man who has received the grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 787.1

    But the common idea that there are various “dispensations,“ in the sense that God deals with men differently during one period of time from what He does during another period, is utterly unscriptural, and most dishonouring to God. The terms “patriarchal dispensation,“ “Levitical dispensation,“ “Christian dispensation,“ are absolutely destitute of meaning. “I am the Lord, I change not,“ says God. Malachi 3:6. Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. With God “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17. All the people that have ever lived on the earth shall at the last day stand together before the Judgment seat; what a spectacle it would then be, if God should divide the multitude into sections, according to the age in which they lived, and judge one by one standard and another by another, so that one man would be condemned in a course that another would be justified in pursuing! Think you that every mouth would be stopped in such a case? Would there not be many complaints of unfairness and partiality? But this matter of dispensations will appear in still clearer light as we consider the statement that the “new dispensation” supposed to have begun at the resurrection of Christ, isPTUK December 16, 1897, page 787.2

    “A Reign of Grace-and Not Law.” -If this means anything, it means that before the resurrection of Christ there was no grace for mankind! But God lived before that time, and if there were no grace it was only because He was not gracious. Who dare say it in that way? Who dare bring such a charge against God? When people lightly use terms coined by men, without thinking of their meaning, they often say things that they would not if they gave heed to their words. It is well to have these statements analysed. We repeat: The statement that at the resurrection of Christ “a new dispensation-namely, a reign-of grace,“ began is the same as saying that before that time there was no grace-that God was not gracious. Now let us see the facts in the case.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 787.3

    Hundreds of years before the resurrection, the Psalmist wrote: “The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory.” Psalm 84:11. And again: “For Thou, Lord, art good and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee.” Psalm 86:5. Solomon wrote that God “giveth grace unto the lowly.” Proverbs 3:34. Again: “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion.” Psalm 111:4.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 787.4

    Nehemiah prayed to God saying, “Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.” Nehemiah 9:17. For this he had the warrant of God Himself, who revealed Himself to Moses by name as “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, and forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:6, i.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 787.5

    Take particular notice that this was at the very time of the giving of the law. So the reign of grace was in progress then. Indeed, the case is even stronger, for we read that “the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin had reigned unto death even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20, 21. If there were any such thing as the beginning of the reign of God's grace, one might from the hasty reading of this text conclude that it began at the giving of the law on Sinai. But although grace reigned there, it did not begin even there; the giving of the law simply made the already existing grace to abound. “Is the law then against the promises of God: God forbid.” Galatians 3:21.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 787.6

    Moreover the grace was not limited God said by Isaiah, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:23. God preached the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Galatians 3:8. And this Gospel which was preached to Abraham was identical with the Gospel that Paul preached; for there is but one. Galatians 1:6-8. The “blessing of Abraham” come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:13, 14); and that blessing was the blessing of cleansing from sin. Romans 4:6-9. We see, therefore, that the reign of grace is not only compatible with Sabbath-keeping, but that the proclaiming of the law of the Sabbath even made grace to abound. God was just as good and kind and merciful in the days of Mores as He is to-day.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 787.7

    Now we wish especial attention to b given to this charge which we bring again; the Sunday. Everybody knows that the statement, that we are not under the law but under grace, and that a change from law to grace began at the resurrection of Christ, is the great argument for Sunday observance. Nobody ever seeks to uphold Sunday observance without repeating it. Without this, Sunday would have no excuse for existence, for nobody is so foolish as to believe that Sunday dates from before Christ. But we have already shown that the statement that grace began at the resurrection of Christ, and effected a change in the law, is the same as to say that God was not gracious before that time, and that therefore there was no salvation. But this is contrary to the Bible, and a libel on God's character. So then, the Sunday can exist as a supposedly “Christian institution” only by directly denying the unchangeability of God's righteousness, and the grace of Christ the eternal Son of God; in short by denying the Gospel. We do not by any means say that Sunday observers intend to do this; far from it; but by the use of unscriptural terms which have no meaning, and of scriptural expressions without thinking of their meaning, they unconsciously deny the very first principles of the Gospel. Sunday is anti-Christian, and just to the extent that it is defended is the everlasting Gospel of God's grace denied.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 787.8

    2. It is true that the apostles everywhere proclaimed the glad tidings of “Jesus and the resurrection;” but the time when and the place where they did it have nothing whatever to do with the Sabbath question. Paul preached daily in the streets and market-places of Athens. Acts 17:17. He also preached every day for two years at Corinth. Acts 19:9, 10. Every day the apostles and believers worshipped in the temple and from house to house. Acts 2:46. Of course therefore they met on the Sabbath, and Sunday too. But let this fact be borne in mind. The Sabbath rests on the immutable Word of God. The fourth commandment bids us keep holy the seventh day, not because somebody met for worship on that day, but because on that day God rested from all His work of creation, and blessed and sanctified it. If all the people on earth met together for worship on the seventh day, and if all the people ever since creation had kept the Sabbath, that would not add a feather's weight to the sacredness of the day, nor would it be any reason why we should keep it. The reason would always remain the same, namely, the commandment of the Lord. And if not a man since the days of Christ had kept the Sabbath, its sacredness and obligation would remain undiminished. “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it.” Ecclesiastes 3:14.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.1

    3. Would our correspondent favour us with the Scripture record of the “three Sunday nights” on which the risen Christ met His disciples as they met for worship? We have read the New Testament carefully with reference to this very point, and can say with positiveness that there is no record that Christ ever after His resurrection met with His disciples as they met for worship. We have the account of His meeting with them on one Sunday night, and one only,-the same day that He arose,-while they were eating their supper (Mark 16:14), but it would be difficult to manufacture Sunday observance out of that. But this again has nothing whatever to do with the question. The fact that Jesus did not meet with the disciples for worship on Sunday, is not the reason why men should not keep that day. The reason is that God has given it to men as a labouring day.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.2

    4. Ascension Day .—We shall have to ask our friend to lookup the church calendar, as well as to do a little calculating for himself. Jesus rose from the tomb on the first day of the week; He was with the disciples and “seen of them forty days.” Acts 2:1-3. These are the facts. Now let our friend use his mathematical skill, and see if he can make forty days from any given Sunday end on any succeeding Sunday. It must fall on a Thursday, or at the most, on a Friday. We notice this, not because it would make a particle of difference with the Sabbath if Jesus had ascended on Sunday, but that it may be clearly seen how terribly destitute the Sunday institution is of argument to support it.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.3

    5. This paragraph answers itself. There is indeed the account of one single religious meeting on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7), although, since the apostles preached every day, there were no doubt many more; but we must not forget that on this occasion while Paul was preaching, his travelling companions were labouring to make time on their journey, and that according to the Bible reckoning the meeting in question took place on what is commonly known as Saturday night, and as soon as it gas light on Sunday morning Paul startee off by a short cut to overtake his fellows. Conybeare and Howsen (Life of Paul) regard this as so self-evident that they refer to it as a matter of course, without making any explanation. We have also the direction for each one to lay by something by himself, on the first day; but to call these incidental references to the day “the clearest statements” of authority for keeping the day, does not need to be called absurd. When one is going about so serious a matter as throwing the fourth commandment overboard, there ought to be at least one plain commandment authorising the change.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.4

    Yes, John was in the Spirit on the Lord's day; what we now wait for is some proof for the assumption that that day was Sunday. Calling a sheep a goat does not make it a goat, neither does the fact that men say that the Lord's day was Sunday, make it so. “Well, can we not know what day it is that John calls the Lord's day?” Most certainly we can since John as a follower of Christ held the Word of God; and here are the Scripture facts:—PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.5

    “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” Exodus 20:10.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.6

    God calls the Sabbath “My holy day.” Isaiah 58:13.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.7

    Christ said, “The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” Matthew 12:8.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.8

    Therefore the seventh day is and always has been, and always will be, “the Lord day.”PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.9

    6. This paragraph is answered in the remarks on the first paragraph, and need no further consideration.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.10

    7. We have given “the facts as give above a place in the paper, and every reader can decide for himself as to whether or not they can be controverted. Facts cannot be controverted, but assumptions can, and the observance of Sunday rests wholly on assumption. The Sabbath of the Lord, on the contrary, rests on fact namely: “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that them is, and rested the seventh day wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” The facts remain and so does the Sabbath. We have of course said nothing in this article as the deep and broad significance of the Sabbath as the assurance of perfect redemption through the cross of Christ, for. We have not been giving the arguments for the Sabbath, but only showing the emptiness of some of the arguments for Sunday-keeping.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 788.11

    “Lessons From the Book of Hebrews. The Power of the World to Come” The Present Truth, 13, 50.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In reading the fifth chapter of Hebrews, we always stop with wonder and awe over the picture presented in verses 7-9. The thought of the only-begotten Son of God absolutely in the condition of the weakest man in the flesh, so that, oppressed by temptation, and with no power in Himself to resist, He was constrained to cry out with tears of anguish to Him who alone could save Him from threatening destruction, seems to some irreverent, yet it is just the picture that is presented to us by the apostle, and it is the sinner's comfort; for He was delivered, and it was in our flesh, and from our sins, that He was delivered; therefore in Him we have the victory and are free! But great as is this truth, the apostle writes as though he had not yet begun to say the really deep and difficult things about Christ. The dulness of his hearers, that is, our dulness, hinders him from giving utterance to all the wonderful things that he had seen in Christ.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 789.1

    It is a fact that to the great mass of professed Christians these things are enigmas. These things, which are the very foundation principles of the Gospel, are unknown to thousands of professors in every denomination under heaven. Therefore it is necessary that they be taught the first principles of their profession. But that is a sad condition of things. For note well, the Christian is in this world “in Christ's stead.” Christians indeed are chosen as priests of God, to show forth the excellences of God, even as Christ did. Now it is true that there is always more for the Christian to learn, since no one can be a teacher who does not continually keep learning; but it is also true that the teacher must be well grounded in the first principles, else he cannot teach at all. Most people seem to think that a church is simply a company assembled to receive instruction from some man; whereas it is a people called out to be taught of God and to teach other people. The least in the church ought certainly to be familiar with the alphabet of Christian knowledge. This is so self-evident that the apostle's conclusion in the beginning of the test that follows is most natural:—PTUK December 16, 1897, page 789.2

    “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the power of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them; again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:1-6.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 789.3

    The Whole Contains the Parts .—Some fancy that in the first two verses the Apostle speaks slightingly of repentance faith toward God, baptism, etc., because he exhorts us to leave the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, and go on to perfection. These are indeed the first principles, but the apostle does not by any means say that they should be ignored. Quite the contrary. He exhorts us to go on to perfection, and perfection can be acquired only by adhering to first principles. It is an axiom, that the whole is equal to the sum of all the parts. If any of the part; are lacking, the whole is lacking by just so much. Every part is essential in order to make a perfect whole. The twenty-six letters of the alphabet lie at the beginning of all learning. For a time the child is wholly absorbed with them, but soon he masters them. Then we say to him, “Let us now leave these first principles, and go on to something higher.” Does that mean that he has nothing more to do with the alphabet, and can ignore them?—By no means; he can never get away from them without going wrong. He must use them continually; but we should not like to have him talk of nothing else but the alphabet, however essential it is. Let us take these first principles of the doctrine of Christ, and proceed to build on them.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 789.4

    Only One Foundation .—“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11. That foundation is eternal. It is the Rock of Ages. That once laid, there is no need of laying another; indeed, there can be no other. Therefore if we lay again the foundation of repentance, it can only be because we have repudiated the one, true foundation. We cannot overturn or tear down the foundation which God Himself has laid; but we reject it, so that it will be to us as though it were not laid. The exhortation, therefore, to “go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation,“ is an exhortation to hold fast to the first principles. “As ye have therefore received the Lord Jesus Christ, so walk ye in Him; rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught.” Colossians 2:6, 7. The trouble, with too many is that they forget first principles. If, having learned one truth, they would understand that it is always and everywhere the truth, and would hold to it in every case, they would never go wrong; for the highest perfection consists simply in the use of first principles, The multiplication table contains all the principles that the most accomplished mathematician can ever use; for it is capable of endless combinations. When one has accepted Christ, He has the key of all knowledge, for He is the truth. Everything is in Christ, and that is why one can go on advancing to all eternity in the knowledge of Christ.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 789.5

    The Laying on of Hands .—This is the one expression in the list that gives special difficulty. Not but that the others afford room for much thought and study; but they are to a degree understood and practised, while the laying on of hands is not so well understood. It must, however, be remembered that not all the things mentioned in this list are things to be practised, as the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. But the laying on of hands is something to be done, and the question is often asked, “Why is not the laying on of hands generally practised?” The only reply is, Because of ignorance of the principles of the doctrine of Christ. Suppose some one should say, “Let us all adopt the practice of laying on hands;” then the question would be, “What for?” Certainly it would be but mockery to go through the ceremony of laying hands on people, while not knowing the object of the act. The first thing, therefore, is to learn why hands were laid on men.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 790.1

    Paul wrote to Timothy: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:13. So it appears that some gift was imparted by the laying on of hands. If it were not so in any case, then the act would be a farce. What the gift was, if it was in all cases the same, is an open question.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 790.2

    Some will tell us that the laying on of hands was always for the imparting of the Holy Ghost. It is true that sometimes the Holy Ghost was imparted in this way, but not always. Instances may be seen in Acts 8:15-18; 19:6. But in the case of the disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the Holy Ghost was imparted without any laving on of hands; likewise in the case of Coruelius and his friends. Acts 10:44. “One thing, however, is certain, that while the gift of the Holy Ghost was imparted both with and without the laying on of hands, so that the laying on of hands is not an absolute necessity to the receiving of the Spirit, something in the possession of the one who laid on hands was always imparted to the one on whom the hands were laid.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 790.3

    There is therefore one other factor in the answer to the question, Why is not the laying on of hands universally practised in the church? and that is, because as a general thing no one has anything to impart by that method. To go through the ceremony, simply because we see that the apostles sometimes did it, without the apostolic power, and with no results, would be to reduce sacred things to the level of child's play. Note that nowhere have we any commandment to lay on hands. Therefore we are safe in concluding that the possession of a gift that may be imparted by the laying on of hands, will of itself direct the possessor in the matter of how, when, and why it should be done. Let us therefore pray for “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.”PTUK December 16, 1897, page 790.4

    The Powers of the World to Come .—What is the power of the world to come?—Since the world to come is the earth made new, it is evident that the power thereof must be creative power. In other words, it is the fulness of the mighty power of God. It is the mighty power which God wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead. Ephesians 1:19, 30. That is the power by which men are made new creatures. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16), and in the things that God has made that power-“eternal power”—is seen. Verse 20. The Word of the Gospel is the Word that plants the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth. See Isaiah 50:16. The power of the world to come is therefore all the power of the cross, or all the power of God.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 790.5

    An Impossibility .—The sum of verses 4-6 is that if one rejects and despises all this power, having once known and tasted it, it is impossible to renew him again to repentance. Of course, since there is no greater power than that which he has rejected. There is no other name under heaven, except that of Christ, by which salvation can be had. If, now, one treads under foot the Son of God, and counts the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing (Hebrews 10:29), it is evident that there is no hope for him. It is simply the question that we had in the beginning of our study, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?PTUK December 16, 1897, page 790.6

    The Danger of Falling .—Is it possible that one who has gone so far as to be made partaker of the Holy Ghost, and to taste the good Word of God and the power of the world to come, having been fully enlightened, to fall away? Some say it is not, but if it were not, the apostle would not have shown the hopelessness of such a fall. How does one stand?—“By faith.” Romans 11:20. The question then is, Is it possible for a man to depart from the faith, and thus to fall? We have only to read 1 Timothy 4:1, for an answer. We are familiar enough with the old saying that the fact that they turned away is an evidence that they were never fully in the faith, but that is easily disproved. Take for example the case of Peter. While on his way to meet Jesus on the water, he sank. Why did he sink?—Because his faith wavered. He doubted. Shall we say that the fact that he began to sink is an evidence that he had not walked on the water by faith? That would be to deny the fact. It is possible for a person to lose the faith by which he stands; therefore “be not highminded but fear.”PTUK December 16, 1897, page 790.7

    A Ground of Hope .—Those of whom the apostle speaks in the text before us, are those “who were once enlightened.” When they turned away, therefore, they did it with their eyes open. They deliberately turned away from the light. They have rejected everything that God has for them. Therefore it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance. They are hardened, and have no hatred of sin, and no desire for salvation. Cannot the poor, trembling, fearful soul, who imagines that this text cuts off his hope of salvation, see that it does not mean him at all. He would be saved, but is afraid that he cannot be. But the text speaks of those who do not wish to be saved. They cannot be moved to repentance. Christ is able to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by Him. Hebrews 7:25. The worst sinner in the world, yea, the worst backslider, may be saved, provided he repents. The only hopeless case is the man who feels no sorrow for sin. There is hope, for “the Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all that be bowed down.” Psalm 145:14. So we may say, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall, I shall arise.” Micah 7:8. Yet it is better not to fall, and from this we may be kept, for He “is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” Jude 24.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 790.8

    “A Hindu Convert's Riches” The Present Truth, 13, 50.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When Christ places the claims of truth and His salvation before all else it is because He is before all things, and throne who forsakes all to follow Him finds greater treasures than earth can afford. The experience of a Hindu convert, told by Mr. Hay, a Baptist missionary, shows how truly the Lord fulfils His promise to the one who must needs forsake all to follow Christ. This is the story:—PTUK December 16, 1897, page 793.1

    “A young man called at the mission in Dacca under conviction of the truth. He said that in his home there was a widowed mother; she had an older son, a thriftless, profligate fellow. The young convert coveted the privilege of being the comfort and support of that mother; but he knew that he would forfeit it if he took his stand openly as a Christian. In that same home he also had a widowed sister, who would also need all the help and all the solace that a true brother could give, but he would be deprived of the opportunity of ministering to her if he became openly a Christian.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 793.2

    “But when they had knelt in prayer again, the Master's mind was made so plain to him, and the power of the Holy Spirit came upon him so greatly, that he declared himself desirous of being baptized there and then. In the little chapel, without any ceremony, that young man passed through the waters of baptism. He went straight to his village home, fifty miles away, and from that home he wrote relating what had happened.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 793.3

    “He told how from the moment he entered the home and told his tale his sister had refused to touch food; how, while he was writing, his mother lay prostrate on the floor sobbing as if her heart would break; how his elder brother had stood beside him, and, pointing to his prostrate mother, had said, ‘To save her will you not come back into Hinduism?’ He told how he had been constrained to rush out into the darkness that he might be alone with God, and how there he asked whether he might, for a few years at least, make a secret of the fact that he believed in Christ, and how the answer came to him, ‘No; follow Me.’ He closed his letter by saying that he had grace given to him to stand against the whole world.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 793.4

    “A few days later he came on to Dacca. He told Mr. Hay that as soon as his relatives saw that he was resolved upon standing true to his convictions, their hearts were set as flints against him; how what looked like overwhelming grief in the case of the mother proved itself to be the degrading power of an awful fanaticism; how she rose from the state of prostration and uttered with fearful vehemence that curse which every Hindu convert dreads more than anything else. He told how the brother and sister joined with the mother in thrusting him out from the home, tossing out into the road a few scraps of clothing. Gathering his little all together, he came on fasting and footsore to Dacca. He (Mr. Hay) asked, ‘How do you feel about it all?’ Meekly lifting his eyes, he said, ‘Rich toward God!’”PTUK December 16, 1897, page 793.5

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 50.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The proposed addition to the German navy will involve an outlay of ?20,900,000.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.1

    -Great Britain controls twenty-one out of every 100 square miles of the earth's surface.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.2

    -The United States financial return shows a deficit of over 18,000,000 dollars for the year.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.3

    -“Worth,“ in proper names, such as Kenilworth, etc., signifies that the place stands upon a tongue of land.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.4

    -During the last fifteen years the number of persons undergoing penal servitude in Great Britain and Australia has diminished by nearly a third.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.5

    -Another gale last week sent a high tide up the Thames, re-flooding large districts. Many wrecks and casualties were also reported round the coasts.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.6

    -The cotton employers have decided not to reduce wages now, so that the calamity of a general strike of operatives in Lancashire is averted.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.7

    -Cold weather is putting a stop to the advance of the expeditions on the Indian frontier. Some tribes have submitted, but the leading ones are still defiant.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.8

    -The average mortality of the Lagos colony is 52 per 1,000, as against 19 for England. The mortality of whites in Lagos is still higher. Out of 150 Europeans twenty-nine died during the past year.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.9

    -Hundreds of broken-down horses are imparted into Antwerp from England, a sorry procession passing along the streets to the slaughtering houses, of horses which have had nothing to eat since their sale in England.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.10

    -The latest news from Klondike is from a newspaper correspondent, who is an expert miner himself, to the effect that the reports of riches are greatly exaggerated, and that provisions are running short and much sickness prevails.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.11

    -Of every 1,000 inhabitants of the globe 558 live in Asia, 212 in Europe, 111 in Africa, 82 in America, five in Oceans and the Polar regions, and only two in Australia. Asia contains more than one-half of the total population of the earth, and Europe nearly one-fourth.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.12

    -Germany has marched its marines back into the Chinese territory and taken the city of Kiao Chao, fifteen miles from the bay occupied. All the Powers seem to take it for granted that the partition of China must speedily follow. German ships and marines are being hurried to join the China squadron.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.13

    -A national conference of trades unions is preparing to meet to consider whether all unions shall levy on their men to sustain the engineers, or whether the engineers shall accept the masters’ terms and return to work. The engineers have not funds to go further than a week or two longer. They have spent about ?250,000 in strike pay in the pending dispute.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 798.14

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 50.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is estimated that the money loss to the country of the year's strikes and lock-outs is ?15,000,000.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.1

    “In exchange for free education,“ says a morning paper, “the youth of England should be made to learn (military) drill.”PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.2

    By a typographical error overlooked, the word “town” appears in the letter printed on the second page of this number, instead of “tomb,“ as it should read.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.3

    We expect soon to be able to supply, through our own agents, that excellent journal, the Good Health Magazine, from which we have often taken selections, as in our Home department this week.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.4

    Sunday, the 19th, is “Peace Sunday,“ and all ministers of the Gospel are urged to devote that day to sermons on peace. It is said that many have signified their intention of doing so. That is good, but since the Gospel of Christ is “the Gospel of Peace,“ it is a matter of wonder what they are preaching the rest of the year, if “Peace Sunday” is something out of the ordinary line.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.5

    The Catholic Centre party in Germany are said to have made the repeal of the anti-Jesuit laws a condition of supporting the Naval Bill. “It is strongly believed in papal-inner circles,“ says a correspondent, “that a message will soon be issued (by the Pope) to German Catholics that will declare it their duty to the Church to support the Naval Bill.”PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.6

    Speaking on the Naval Bill, the German Foreign Secretary said that Germany could not stand aside and “look on at other countries dividing the world among them,“ but must claim “a share in countries which have a rich future.” There is an international epidemic of the lust of conquest. Scripture prophecy represents the nations of earth under the symbols of fierce and ravenous beasts, and such is their nature. “The nations are angry,“ and the division of the spoils of weaker peoples is bound to involve the great Powers in terrible conflict. The Lord's coming is drawing very near.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.7

    “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” 1 John 1:10. God cannot lie; therefore it is a fearfully wicked thing to make Him out to be a liar. The only thing for us to do is to confess that we have sinned. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.8

    But suppose a man confesses that he is a sinner, and thus removes the charge of falsehood from God, but refuses to believe that God has pardoned his sins. That is just the same as though he had never confessed his sin; for “he that beileveth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.” 1 John 5:10. Don't stop half way in your acknowledgment that God is true, for that is the same as not beginning. Admit God's truthfulness, by confessing your sins, and then bear testimony to His righteousness and faithfulness, by declaring with full assurance that your sins are forgiven.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.9

    Speaking of the engineering crisis, Mr. Ismay, one of the great shipping proprietors, said the other day:—PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.10

    There was now in progress at home the greatest strike and labour disturbance of all history-the Engineers’ Strike. Both sides in their determination to fight to the last were strongly representative of our race.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.11

    And whichever side wins, it is the same in these industrial wars as in national ware, the defeated are only the more determined to avenge their defeat.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.12

    The Pope, it is stated by a Berlin correspondent, has approved Germany's action in seizing Chinese territory as part punishment for the murder of two missionaries by the ignorant Chinese mob. “He feels,“ we are told, “the highest sympathy with the plans to open up China to civilisation and Christianity.” Of course; it is exactly the papal idea of “Christianity,“ that it should be carried to the heathen at the point of the bayonet. The same kind of talk is heard in England in Church and State, and in all Christendom. “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,“ and under the cloak of pious zeal for Christianity and civilisation “the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” Do you hear the voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people”? Revelation 18:3, 4.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.13

    A Berlin doctor, a “freethinker,“ charged with attacking the Christian and Jewish religions, was sent to prison last week for holding up to contempt the teachings, customs, and institutions of a religious community recognised by the State.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.14

    Such a method of answering unbelief is worthy the worst traditions of official religion, always anti-Christian. Not only will this ruling do injustice to infidels who are made so by the ghastly farce of official religion, but it will serve to harry any who preach the Gospel in its purity who may bring against themselves the fury of officious ecclesiastics. It is doubtless true, as a German judge said a few years ago, that if Martin Luther could now appear in Germany and should preach as he did in Reformation times, he would be imprisoned for it under the laws of professedly Protestant Germany.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.15

    “The True Reformer” The Present Truth, 13, 50.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The True Reformer .—A traveller is one who travels, and not one who stays at home and writes books of travel. A worker is one who works, and not one who enjoys seeing other men work. So a writer is one who himself writes, and a reformer is one who reforms himself, and not, as seems to be the popular idea, one who sets himself the task of reforming everybody else after his ideas. It is true that the work of a real reformer does not end with himself, since everybody, however humble, has an influence, and so his example, coupled with precept, invites others to reform. But no man has any claim to the title of reformer, who simply devises schemes for others to carry out. Come! is the watchword of true reform. “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.”PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.16

    “A Wicked Profession” The Present Truth, 13, 50.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A Wicked Profession .—Lord Charles Beresford, who ought to know, said the other day:—PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.17

    The best fighting men were the “scallywags” of society, amongst whom he placed himself. He did not wish to be misunderstood, and he therefore mentioned that in his youth he was a boy who robbed orchards, who hated the idea of life at the desk, and to whom the prospect of a career in the Army or Navy was always most attractive. It was such men, he believed, who made soldiers and sailors.PTUK December 16, 1897, page 800.18

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