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    February 25, 1897

    “The Same Old Voice” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner


    The Pope has just issued an “Apostolic Constitution” defining anew the rule of the Church of Rome which regulates the reading of books. It has the same brand of hatred for the truth that characterised papal utterances of the long ago.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 113.1

    Rome has good reason to fear the Word of God and shows a fine discrimination when she classes it with “bad books,“ which are prohibited to her followers. The plain Word, without human additions and corruptions, is indirectly declared to be “terrible poison.” The seventh rule of this un-Apostolic Constitution reads:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 113.2

    Since experience has proved that, on account of men's boldness, more evil than good arises if the Sacred Books are allowed to all without check in the vulgar tongue: wherefore all versions in the vernacular, even though made by Catholics, are entirely forbidden unless approved by the Holy See or issued under the care of Bishops, with notes taken from the holy Fathers of the Church and from learned Catholic writers.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 113.3

    God Himself speaks; but it is not safe to let the people hear what He says unless some man who knows how to explain what the Speaker means is in attendance! It is well to have the actual position of Rome thus publicly and boldly re-affirmed, as the idea that Romanism is more tolerant of the Bible than formerly has obtained to a considerable extent. It is well enough known that it is not a question of translations. This thing is the Word itself in such shape that the people can get at it without the “check” of human tradition and explanations purposely designed to “make the Word of God of none effect.” With the Book alone “more evil than good arises”—it requires human authority to supplement God's effort to give the news of salvation in order to make that effort of any avail whatever. This is nothing new, but the same old voice “speaking great words against the Most High.” The Word that predicts the rise and lawless career of the Papacy, and that brings men face to face with Jesus as sole Mediator, is not in favour at Rome unless hidden by human gloss.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 113.4

    The new document “especially” condemns the work of Bible Societies, and in the preface to the rules the Pope cites the record of history to show “how vigilantly the Roman Pontiffs have guarded against her radical writings creeping in.” They “pinned down” the “pestilent books” of such men as Wycliffe and Huss, and in his praise of their energetic zeal Leo XIII. does not stop to express regret that often they burnt the authors along with their books. Indeed, he seemed to regret that the failure of the civil power to wholly support the Church by the sword now precludes him from imitating his vigilant predecessor; for he says:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.1

    And what is sadder still is that amid this great evil the public laws are not only conniving, but allowing great licence. Hence, on the one hand, the minds of so many are loosed from religion, and on the other such perfect impunity of reading without restraint whatever issues from the Press.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.2

    Happily the influence of the Bible, which the Reformation set free amongst the people, has deprived Rome of its old power; but as it was the Word that did it, nothing is surer than that neglect of the Word will undo it.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.3

    Rome has as good a right to make a creed and lay down human rules and prohibitions as any body of men. They stand by their creed because they made it, and are pleased with it. The only creed worth standing by, however, is not “made in Rome” or made in England, but in heaven. Any body of men who think to put truth into human words and definitions to press upon men are but leading the way to Rome. It is not men's opinions about the truth, or men's definitions of the truth that concern Christians; it is God's own statement of the truth. His words alone have life in them. He desires everyone who has an ear to hear His voice. That is why Rome has burned so many Bibles. It is why men have shut away the Word by covering it with human traditions. It matters little which of the two ways is followed. It was of a people who read the Scriptures methodically that Christ said, “For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heall them.” It requires more than merely the possession of the Word in a book. It must be in the heart. When the heart waxed gross the ears were dull of hearing. More is revealed to the warm heart than to the keen head in Bible study, and it is the Word in the heart that makes Rome tremble and the devil rage. Rome is increasing in power and arrogance, and the Word is not thought so much of in the Protestant world as when it was unsafe to read it; but thank God for the promise that there is present power in it to keep every soul who lives by it.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.4

    “We Would See Jesus” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of John it is narrated, “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: the same can therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.” There would seem to have been a world of significance in this incident to the mind of Jesus.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.5

    To the human mind it would seem to point to a broadening of His influence and a spread of His teachings, suggestive of the necessity of greater efforts in a wider sphere of activity. But when Andrew and Philip come to Him with the request of these Greeks for an audience with Him, Jesus utters immediately the prescient words, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” And then He illustrated to them, from the familiar processes of nature, how, as the grain of wheat yields up its individual existence that it may produce itself anew in multiplied numbers, each grain of which shall bear its characteristics, so must He submit to death that His ministry might go on.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.6

    Human philosophy would have taught no such necessity. Quite the contrary,—it would have said that this was the critical moment, when first impressions were being made upon men belonging to this intelligent, cultivated nation, whose literature and art until influenced the thought of the world,—that at this time, more than ever before, the personal presence of the Master and Teacher was necessary to direct His work, and see that no error and misconception marked its beginnings among those capable of preaching His message so ably and spreading it so widely among mankind. But how evident it is in this, as in all else, that God's thoughts are not man's thoughts! These men, representing the highest and most cultivated intellectuality of the world, came humbly saying, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” And Jesus saw in this event the sure precursor of His own crucifixion and death. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.”PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.7

    How far from the thought of any mere man with all this have been! His followers, at that time, were utterly unable to comprehend the significance of all this. But it is evident He, looking through the centuries, sought the gathering of the faithful from every nation, town and people. At the coming of these first-fruits from among the Gentiles,—their hearts filled with the earnest desire, “We would see Jesus,”—He saw all the harvest which was to follow, and He pictured to His disciples, there, the seedtime which must precede that harvest. And by His own words, spoken in audible voice that men might hear, God the Father Himself expressed His approval.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.8

    Most momentous indeed, for others as well as themselves, were the events surrounding this simple request of the inquiring Greeks, “Sir, we would see Jesus.”PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.9

    “A Hard Service” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The struggle for worldly power and applause, even when successful, has little in it in the way of even temporal reward. Some time ago Prince Bismarck told an interviewer that he had known scarcely an hour of real happiness in his long and triumphant career in state-craft. And now a Dresden paper says:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.10

    In answer to an inquiry as to his health, the Prince said, “I feel tired, but not ill. My complaint is weariness of life. I have no longer any object in life. I have no official duties now, and nothing that I see as a spectator gives me pleasure. The longer I live the more this will be the case. I feel only lonely; I have lost my wife, and my sons have their own business to attend to. Agriculture and forestry have lost their interest for me with advancing years. I seldom visit the woods and fields; I have no desire to see them now that I do not ride and shoot. Politics, too, are beginning to bore me. As I said before, weariness of life is my complaint, if I had one.”PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.11

    The world is a hard master to serve, unfeeling and heartless when old age or reverses come. In the infinitely higher service of the kingdom of God there is no old age forsaken of the Master to whom the life has been devoted. “Even to your old age I am He,“ says the Lord; “and even to hoar hairs will I carry you.” Few can secure the applause of the world even for a passing triumph; but the simplest life devoted to the service of God brings the consolation of God's cheering presence even when old age or illness lays one aside from the more active service.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 114.12

    “The Promises to Israel. Again in Captivity” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We know that at any time within a period of several hundred years the children of Israel might have enjoyed the fullness of the promise to Abraham,—eternal rest in the earth made new, with Christ and all the glorified saints victorious over the last enemy,—because when Moses was born the time of the promise had drawn near, and Joshua did not die until “a long time after that the Lord had given rest unto Israel.” Joshua 23:1. The time when God through David offered them “another day,”—to-day,—is spoken of as “after so long a time.” God was anxiously waiting for the people to take all that He had given them. How true this is may be seen by His words to them by the prophet Jeremiah.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 115.1


    Even though the people were so firmly fixed in their idolatry, that the sin of Judah was written with a pen of iron and with the point of a diamond, the gracious Lord made the following promise:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 115.2

    “Thus saith the Lord unto Me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem: and say unto them, Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates, thus saith the Lord: Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction. And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto Me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein; then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princess sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:19-26.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 115.3

    It is not for us to speculate as to how this promise would have been fulfilled; it is enough for us to know that God said it, and He is able to make every promise good. To build up the old city, and make it new would certainly have been as easy as to “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body” (Philippians 3:21), or to make an entirely new city to take the place of the old one.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 115.4


    Bear in mind that this promise by Jeremiah was in the very last days of the kingdom of Judah, for Jeremiah did not begin to prophesy till “the days of Josiah the son of Amon” (Jeremiah 1:2), in the thirteenth year of his reign, only twenty-one years before the beginning of the Babylonian captivity. Before Jeremiah began to prophesy, nearly all the prophets had finished their labours, and passed away. The prophecies of Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Micah, and others,—all the principal prophets—were in the hands of the people before Jeremiah was born. This is a fact that should by no means be overlooked, for it is most important. In those prophecies are many promises of the restoration of Jerusalem, all of which might have been fulfilled if the people had given heed. But like all God's promises, they were in Christ; they pertained, like the one before us, to eternity, and not simply to time. But since the people of those days did not accept them they remain equally fresh for us. They could be fulfilled only by the coming of the Lord, for whom we are now looking.Those prophecies contain the Gospel for this time, just as surely as do the books of Matthew and John and the Epistles.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 115.5


    Notice further that the keeping of the Sabbath is made the test, to all to whom that truth is revealed. If they kept the Sabbath, then they and their city would endure for ever. Why was this?—Recall what we have studied about God's rest, and you have the answer. The Sabbath is the seal of creation finished and perfect. As such it reveals God as Creator and Sanctifier (Ezekiel 20:12, 20), as Sanctifier by His creative power. The Sabbath is not a work, by which we may vainly try to win the favour of God, but it is rest,—rest in the everlasting arms. It is the sign and memorial of God's eternal power; and the keeping of it is the seal of that perfection which God alone can work out, and which He freely bestows upon all who trust Him. It means full and perfect trust in the Lord, that He can and will save us by the same power by which He made all things in the beginning. Therefore we see that since the same promise is left us, that was given to ancient Israel, it must necessarily be that the Sabbath also should be made specially prominent in our day, more especially as the day of Christ's coming approaches.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 115.6


    But there was an alternative, in case the people refused to rest in the Lord. The prophet was commissioned to say still further:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.1

    “But if ye will not hearken unto Me, to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering into the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” Jeremiah 17:27.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.2

    And so it was; although God was faithful and longsuffering in sending messages of warning to His people, “they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age; He gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia; to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths; for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years.” 2 Chronicles 36:16-21.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.3


    The last king in Jerusalem was Zedekiah, but he was not an independent king. Several years before he came to the throne, Nebuchadnezzar had besieged Jerusalem, and the Lord had given the city to him. Daniel 1:1, 2. Although Jehoiakim was overcome, he was allowed to reign in Jerusalem as a tributary prince, which he did for eight years. At his death his son Jehoiachin succeeded him, but he reigned only three months before Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem again, and conquered it, and carried the king and his family and all the craftsmen and smiths away to Babylon; “none remained save the poorest sort of the people of the land.” 2 Kings 24:8-16.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.4

    Still there was a king left in Jerusalem, for Nebuchadnezzar made Mattaniah king, changing his name to Zedekiah. Verse 17. The word Zedekiah means “the righteousness of Jehovah,“ and was given to the new-made king because Nebuchadnezzar “made him swear by God” (2 Chronicles 36:13) that he would not rebel against his authority. That Nebuchadnezzar had a right to demand this, is shown by the following:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.5

    “In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, came this word unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus saith the Lord to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck, and send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah: And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters: I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto Me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him. And it shall come to pass that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.” Jeremiah 27:1-11.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.6

    Nebuchadnezzar, therefore, had as much right to rule in Jerusalem as any of the kings of Israel had ever had. His kingdom, moreover, was more extensive than that over which any king of Israel had ruled; and, more than all, after much instruction from the Lord, he used his opportunity to spread throughout all the world the knowledge of the true God. See Daniel iv. Therefore when Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, he was wickedly setting himself against the Lord, who had given Israel into the power of Nebuchadnezzar, as a punishment for their sins. In the following words we have a graphic description of the movement of Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, and how God guided the action of the heathen king even while he was using divination:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.7

    “Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city. Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced. For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver. At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort. And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear: because, I say, that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand.”PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.8


    Then follow the fateful words addressed to Zedekiah:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.9

    “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is: and I will give it Him.” Ezekiel 21:19-27.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.10

    Zedekiah was profane and wicked, because to all his abominable idolatry he added the sin of perjury, breaking a solemn oath. Therefore the kingdom was utterly removed. The diadem passed from the descendants of David, and was placed on the head of a Chaldean, and the kingdom of Babylon is before us. Of its extent we have already read, and we have further the words of the prophet Daniel in explanation of the great image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream given him by the God of heaven:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 116.11

    “Thou, O king, art a king of kings; for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.” Daniel 2:37, 38.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.1

    In this we trace the dominion which in the beginning was given to man (see Genesis 1:26), although the glory and power were greatly diminished. But we see that God still had His eye upon it, and was working towards its restoration, according to the promise to Abraham.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.2


    Very little time is devoted in the Bible to descriptions of human grandeur, and the prophet hastens to the end. Three overturnings or revolutions are foretold in Ezekiel 21:27, following the passing of the dominion of the whole earth into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. As his kingdom was world-wide, the revolutions foretold must also be the overthrow and establishment of universal empire. So the prophet Daniel, continuing his explanation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, said:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.3

    “And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.” Daniel 2:39.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.4

    The kingdom that succeeded the Babylonian is shown in Daniel v. to have been that of Medo-Persia; and in Daniel 8:1-8, 20, 21 we learn that the third kingdom, the successor of Medo-Persia in universal worldly dominion, was that of Grecia. Thus briefly have we outlined before us the history of the world for several hundred years. The first two overturnings of Ezekiel 21:29 are made clear; Babylon was followed by Medo-Persia, and that in turn by the Grecian empire.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.5

    The last of this earth's universal kingdoms, following the third great revolution, is not directly named, but it is clearly enough indicated. The birth of Christ took place in the days of C?sar Augustus, who issued a decree that all the world should be taxed or enrolled. Luke 2:1. Therefore we are warranted in naming Rome as the product of the third great world revolution. In fact, we are shut up to that empire, for there is none other known to history that could take its place. Thus Babylon ruled the world; in its days three revolutions were foretold, bringing three successive empires in its stead; Medo-Persia and Greece are expressly named in the line of succession, and then we have the emperor of Rome named as ruling the world. This is strictly Scriptural evidence; corroborative evidence, or rather, evidence testifying to the exactness of the sacred record, may be found without limit in secular history.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.6

    But the revolution that resulted in giving the rulership of the world to Rome, was the last general revolution that shall take place in this world “until He come whose right it is.” Many men since Rome fell have dreamed of world-wide dominion, but their dreams have come to naught.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.7

    Christ was on earth, it is true, but it was as a stranger, like Abraham, with no place of His own where He could lay His head. He came, however, “to proclaim liberty to the captives,“ and announced that whoever would abide in His word should know the truth, and be made free by it. Day by day and year after year as the centuries have rolled by, the proclamation of freedom has been sounding, and weary captives have been set free from the power of darkness. It is not for us to know the times and the seasons which the Father has put in His own power; but we know that when all the professed church of Christ shall consent to be filled with His Spirit, the whole world will soon hear the Gospel message in the fulness of its power, and the end will come, when the groaning creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glory of the liberty of the children of God.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.8

    “‘All Scripture’” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is coming to be more common to find those who give away nearly all Scripture to other people or to past times, and thus shut away from their ears the living voice which speaks life. They forget that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable,“ and that “whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Most frequently this class draw the line at the Old Testament. They ignore the fact that the Scripture which the Apostles preached in demonstration of the Spirit and of power as they went out to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified was at the first none other than what we call the Old Testament. To-day it is the living Word of God, given by inspiration of the Spirit of Christ, and He who shuts away the voice of Jesus through “Moses and the prophets” refuses to hear the voice of Jesus who is risen from the dead. Of the practical effect of this false distinction which men draw when they judge the Word the editor of the Christian recently said:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.9

    “We also knew a Christian brother who had accepted the idea that much of the New Testament, as well as nearly all the Old, was Jewish. Matthew was essentially Jewish, the other Gospels and the Acts had a Judaic character. Hebrews, James, Peter, and the Revelation, all entirely Jewish. We said to him in those days that all that was left for us who were only Jews inwardly could almost be contained in one of the Bible Society ‘Portions.’ Last week we heard of that dear brother's death. He died in darkness. He had given away his Bible to the Jew-its good tidings of great joy, the word of the kingdom, the exceeding great and precious promises-he had nothing left. For, while an unlettered man may find the essence of all Scripture in a single verse he who knows it all, and by a false exegesis puts the greater part away from him, finds that it is such an organic whole that if he gives away the body the life goes with it.”PTUK February 25, 1897, page 117.10

    “‘While Ye Have the Light’” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When, as told in the twelfth chapter of John, Christ foretold His crucifixion, He, being so lifted up in the sight of all men, would draw them unto Him, “The people answered Him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest though, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?” Then Christ replied,—making no direct answer to their question, but assuming that it was already answered,—“Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” And when He had said this He “departed, and did hide Himself from them.”PTUK February 25, 1897, page 118.1

    The people profess a knowledge of the law, but because their knowledge of it is only in accordance with their own interpretation, it is so superficial as to become ignorance, yes, even more dangerous than complete ignorance. This is so because they know it only by their own fallacious interpretation. Because they were thus standing in their own shadow, and obscuring the light from themselves, and Christ warned them that although they had the Light of the world then personally present with them, it was not for long, and exhorted them while they had the light to walk in it, and believe in it and become the children of light. But for all this, and “though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him,“ and so Jesus went away, and hid Himself from them.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 118.2

    How different are men now from what they were then? They depend now upon their own interpretation of the Word and the law, as they did then. They disregard to-day the daily miracle of their own existence, and the wonders which God does continually before their eyes, as did the people then the many miracles which Jesus did before them. All existing things testify of God, and of His Son by the Word of whose mouth they came into being, they testify of Him without ceasing, and by day and by night the heavens and the earth show forth His handiwork, and yet men still either ignore, or refuse to accept, this plain testimony, than which nothing more overwhelming could possibly be.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 118.3

    The Light of the world as it shines from the multitudinous miracles of created nature, and from His Word, is preached by the voices of His servants throughout, now, nearly the whole earth, is still with the people. But it is certain, by the sure word of prophecy, that the day will soon come in which this light also will be hidden from men, and then indeed complete darkness will come upon them and they will walk in this darkness, which they have chosen and made for themselves, being without God and without hope in the world. Thus, having rejected the light of the Word, it is this which will judge them at the last. And all men and angels, even they themselves, will acknowledge the righteousness of that judgment. Then why not acknowledge it now, and thus escape this penalty, for accepting the freely offered light and grace which is still before the world?PTUK February 25, 1897, page 118.4

    “Greek Saint-worship” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It was at Athens that Paul was so stirred as he saw the idolatry of the Greeks. Those were pagan Greeks, but the modern Greek inherits a large legacy of idolatry from his pagan forebears, professedly Christian though he be, and ready to draw the sword against Moslems in defence of what he calls Christianity. A writer in the Sunday at Home, Reverend Fred Hastings, tells what he recently saw in the island of Corfu, and it is altogether probable that even the apostle in ancient Athens saw no more revolting idolatry than is here described. One can plainly see in that the survival of Catholicism of the ancient heathen worship and invocation of the dead against which God so repeatedly warned His people of Israel. Mr. Hastings says:—PTUK February 25, 1897, page 118.5

    “It is the island where is preserved the body of that redoubtable old Bishop Spiridion. He is now the patron saint of the island, and I chance to be present at the annual festival in his honour. The people crowded in from various villages on that day, dressed in their best. A procession was formed, and in it the authorities, soldiers, and volunteers, civil servants, as well as many priests, took their part. The body of Spiridion was carried through the town, and then deposited in its place in the church. Three times a year this body of the saint, in its case of glass and wrought gold, is carried round Corfu. The sick are at these times brought out, and laid in such a position that the shadow of the body of the saint may at least pass over them. They believe that they will be healed thereby. I saw no such cures, although I saw many seek them.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 118.6

    “When the glass coffin was brought back to the church, it was placed in an upright position in the chancel, on one side of the screen. Thence the dark, shrivelled, hollow, mouldering face of the corpse looked out, with sightless eyes, on the assembled multitudes. The deadly effect was heightened by the very robes of cloth and gold with which the body was arrayed. The hands were just visible. The feet, encased in richly ornamented slippers, were not only seen, but exposed, projecting at the end of the case to receive the kiss of the faithful. I saw numbers of people pass up between the lines of soldiers, and, bending to the ground, salute the feet of the saint.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 118.7

    “But there is a shriek! It comes from some poor child, compelled by its father or its mother to kiss the feet of the corpse. One child cried bitterly at the sight of the corpse. Its mother could not get the child to go near, but a priest took it out of the mother's hands, and compelled it to kneel to give the customary kiss. I saw a man, who appeared to be suffering from rheumatism, come up, in a lame staggering manner, leaning on a friend and a crutch. He went away after kissing the slippers certainly with less embarrassment than before. He was a well-dressed man of the middle-class, so that I was more surprised at his superstition. The priests are great gainers during the saint's festival. But they do not pocket all of the proceeds. A great part of the money goes to the real proprietor of the money. It belongs to a certain nobleman of the island, who is said to be descended from the man who saved the mummy from destruction when Constantinople was sacked.”PTUK February 25, 1897, page 118.8

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    —A farmer in Japan who has ten acres of land is looked upon as a monopolist.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.1

    —Turkey can put nearly 800,000 trained troops into the field. Her navy is reported to be practically useless in war.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.2

    —There are more than the normal number of strikes and rumours of strikes, particularly in the North of England, just now.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.3

    —The German Emperor's four sons hold commissions in the army, the youngest, aged ten, having just put on military uniform.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.4

    —During the last five years the population of Germany has increased 2,851,000, while France, during that time, has added to her number but 133,000.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.5

    —According to the “Year Book of the Church,“ the number of communicants of the Church of England for the year 1895-96 is 1,840,351,—an increase of some 62,000 over the figures of the preceding year.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.6

    —Most of the railroad stations in Russia are, it is said, about two miles from the towns which they respectively serve. This is a precaution against fire, as many of the Russian dwellings are thatched with straw.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.7

    —The army of Greece, on a peace footing, is 66,000 strong. Military service in Greece is universal, though exemption may be purchased. In case all the reserves were called out it is said over 250,000 men could be put in the field.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.8

    —The natives of Bide are said to welcome the British rule, as they have been practically in slavery to their Fatah rulers, who have for many years held the country. There are said to be many schools in Bida, and many natives road and write, and there is an institution for the blind where they are taught to make ropes.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.9

    —In the heart of Paris is a small piece of ground, belonging to the Government, for which the sum of ?280,000 was paid more than twenty years ago. This ground has never been utilised except to raise a small crop of cabbages, averaging twenty-three yearly. The annual interest on the purchase price of the land makes these cabbages cost the French Government about ?600 each. Without question these are the most costly cabbages in the world.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.10

    —It is said that caste proves an enormous hindrance in the distribution of famine relief in India. Those who go on the relief works are mostly low caste. Proud Hindus as well as Mohammedans often refuse assistance when suffering the pangs of hunger. Many such are helped by furnishing some nominal work, such as copying, for which they are paid. Others are visited by night, and under cover of darkness accept help that would be proudly refused by day. Many formerly prosperous families have sold about all they possess and now are destitute. Photographs show children and adults with gaunt bodies, and in the last stages of starvation.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 126.11

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It has been said that a good sermon is half preacher's brain and half listeners ears,—rather is it all the grace of God overflowing from one man's heart and filling the hearts of his listeners.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.1

    Catholic journals announce with satisfaction that the recent German census shows that, whereas in 1890 there were sixty-six Catholics in every hundred inhabitants, now there are sixty-seven in every hundred.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.2

    Germany last week celebrated the 400th anniversary of the birth of Melancthon, the associate of Luther in the great German Reformation. It is one thing to glorify reforms of centuries ago; it is quite another to walk in the light that shines from the Word at the present time.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.3

    It is Christ who is the light of the world, and where two or three are gathered together among them. But if those who are gathered have not received Him in their hearts and do not desire His presence, then they have shut out from themselves the light of the world which is the life of man, and there is darkness among them indeed, and death.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.4

    “Shutting Their Eyes” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Shutting Their Eyes .—One of the results of the strict rules prohibiting Roman Catholics from reading anything not issued by Rome, is to make it very difficult to work amongst Romanists. But the very fact that the doctrines of Rome have to be held upon the people by such restrictions, will open the eyes of many as time goes on. The Word must yet go with power through Catholic lands where the priests will not enter in, nor suffer those who would to enter the Kingdom. The very large percentage of illiterate people in those countries is itself a tremendous bar to working by the printed page. But the turnings and overturnings and the waking up of men as the judgments of God increase in the world will arouse the spirit of inquiry, and in God's own time thousands of honest Romanists must soon hear and receive the Word.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.5

    “Cut Loose” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Cut Loose .—We have seen an inflated balloon struggling at its fastenings, ambitious to explore the blue heights which draw it upwards, and impatient to be gone, yet unable to break away because of the cables of steel which hold it to earth. We have seen a great sea-going ship, pulled by the tide and the current, and pushed by the winds, yet swinging in an idle circle because it is anchored deep in the oozy mud of the harbour. So it is with many men, they have bound themselves to the earth more firmly than the captive balloon or the anchored ship.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.6

    “War Clouds” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    War Clouds .—It has been an anxious week for statesmen, who have been unable to tell what a day might bring forth. To those who look on as Christians, thinking of the work of the Lord and the needs of the people who would be involved did general war break upon Europe, it is a time for prayer and earnest effort. Whether the storm breaks now, or whether it will be held back yet a little longer, the one work is to sound the warning of the everlasting Gospel. The world sees only a question as to the political independence of an island or a province, and the overthrow of a hated empire. The Church of Christ must see in it the question of the lives that will go out in darkness, and of the multitudes to whom war will bring distress and terror. The end of all things is at hand; and instead of preparing to meet God the world is preparing to fill the earth with violence.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.7

    “Preachers and Politicians” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Preachers and Politicians .—A great meeting was held last week in London to encourage Greece and Crete to strike for the independence of the Cretans. The subject lent itself to rhetoric and poetry, and the speeches of politicians and preachers denouncing the Turk and urging on the Greeks stirred the meeting to the wildest enthusiasm. It was natural enough; but what a strange sight to see preachers who have made their reputation in the work of the church standing side by side with politicians denouncing human beings as unworthy to live on the one hand, and encouraging others in the name of God to kill their enemies! What does it mean? It means that Christendom is almost wholly pagan, and that Jesus Christ is not recognised as the leader of Christians, nor the Gospel as the message that Christians have for sinners. Preachers literally shouting for war, and invoking the tradition of Marathon and Thermopyl? to put the spirit of war into the hearts of flag-waving crowds, when the Word says that the one business of Christians is to let the peace of God rule their hearts and to lay down their lives for their enemies! The preachers and the politicians spoke the same language of human nature.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.8

    “Elementary Christianity” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Elementary Christianity .—Those who are wildly shouting for war in order to obtain for any people political liberty are honest enough. Political independence of any country has always been bought by blood and maintained by blood. It is the way of the world. “Every battle of the warrior,“ says Isaiah, “is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood.” But all that is foreign to the Gospel of Christ. It was because Christ did not fall in with the demands of the Jewish nation for a leader who would help them to throw off the galling Roman yoke that they crucified Him. The liberty that He preached,—yes, gave even to slaves of Roman tyranny—was of a different kind altogether from that which the world applauds (when self-interest does not lead it to denounce), and which men fight for with carnal weapons. Now the world needs that same Gospel that Christ preached; but it is as ready as ever were the Jews to violently put away a Gospel which does not minister to selfish ambition. “As He is, so are we in this world. He that saith He abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.” These are the elementary principles of the Christian life; but so foreign are they to the popular religion of the day, that as a new revelation of the Gospel to the worldly church it must be insisted upon again that Christians must follow Christ.PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.9

    “The Microbe of Death” The Present Truth, 13, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Microbe of Death .—A scientist has announced that he is trying to discover the microbe of death. The scientific medical world is turning its attention now to the study of the germs of disease, and this man thinks of attempting to get at the root of the matter. But it would puzzle him to know how to put to death the microbe of death. It is a problem beyond the science of the world, but it is a problem worked out in the science of heaven. Jesus Christ died “that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.”PTUK February 25, 1897, page 128.10

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