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    January 12, 1899

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. Regeneration or Destruction” The Present Truth 15, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner


    21. “How is the faithful city become a harlot!
    She that was full of judgment, righteousness
    dwelled in her.
    But now murderers!
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.1

    22. Thy silver is become dross; thy wine is mixed
    with water.
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.2

    23. Thy princes are rebellious, associates of rob-
    Every one of them loveth a gift, and seeketh
    To the fatherless they administer not justice;
    And the cause of the widow cometh not be-
    fore them.
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.3

    24. Wherefore saith the Lord Jehovah, God of
    Hosts, the Mighty One of Israel;
    Aha! I will be eased of Mine adversaries;
    I will be avenged of Mine enemies.
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.4

    25. And I will bring again Mine hand over thee,
    And I will purge in the furnace thy dross;
    And I will remove all thine alloy.
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.5

    26. And I will restore thy judges, as at the first;
    And thy counsellors, as at the beginning;
    And after this thy name shall be called
    The city of righteousness, the faithful metro-
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.6

    27. Sion shall be redeemed in judgment
    And her captives in righteousness;
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.7

    28. But destruction shall fall at once on the re-
    volters and sinners;
    And they that forsake Jehovah shall be con-
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.8

    29. For ye shall be ashamed of the flexes, which
    ye have desired,
    And ye shall blush for the gardens which ye
    have chosen
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.9

    30. When ye shall be as an ilex, whose leaves are
    And as a garden, wherein is no water.
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.10

    31. And the strong shall become low, and his work
    a spark of fire;
    And they shall both burn together, and none
    shall quench them.”
    PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.11

    Study the two sections of the first chapter, which we have already studied, in connection with this one, and see how the whole chapter overflows with rich, Gospel truth. There is no half-way dealing; the condition of the people addressed is the worst possible, and the salvation offered is full and complete.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.12

    One caution should be given here, which it will be well to observe in all Bible study. It is this: Don't waste time over what you do not understand. You will never learn anything by arguing and questioning and speculating over obscure or difficult texts. Some may think that this is strange; but it is true. No man can by searching find out God. He must reveal Himself, and He will do it as fast as we are able to see Him. The Bible must make itself clear. So we must always arrive at the meaning of that which is hidden, through that which at once reveals itself to our gaze. Never guess; never speculate. We believe, not argue nor theorise, our way to an understanding of God's Word. Meditate upon, but do not talk about, what you do not understand. So in the study of this chapter, and this book, do not take precious time from the consideration of clearly revealed Gospel truths, for empty wondering and guesses as to the meaning of something that is obscure. It is all good, but you can profit only by what you understand. There are truths enough that lie near the surface of the prophecy of Isaiah to keep us employed for many months. When we have gathered up these, we shall find that many of the things that were before concealed were simply second layer, and are brought to light by taking up the first.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.13

    The Blessing of Conviction .-Verses 4-7 should always be read in connection with verses 16-18. Perhaps no portion of Scripture is quoted oftener than verse 18, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool;” yet emphatic and comprehensive as it is, much of the force of it is lost because the fact is not considered that these words are addressed to the very same people that are described in verses 4-7 as so full of the sores of sin that there is not room for any more. What a blessed thing it is that the Lord so strongly sets forth the heinousness of our sins! If He did not set our case before us in its very worst phase, we might think that the offer of salvation did not reach us; but when He expressly makes it known that His salvation is for people who are as bad as they possibly can be, there is no room for doubt or discouragement.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 18.14

    The Cause of Destruction .-Read verses 6-9, and think how accurately they describe the condition of men and of the earth after probation has closed, and the plagues of God's wrath are poured out. Compare them with Revelation 16:1, 2; Zephaniah 1:2-18; Joel 1:15-20. Mind, the statement is not made that Isaiah 1:6-9 is a description of that time of trouble, but that the condition described is very similar. Now the closing of probation does not make any change in the characters of men. The charaacter of the wicked will not be different after that time from what it has been before. He that is unjust and filthy remains so, that is all. Revelation 22:11. The only difference is that at the close of probation their choice of evil is irrevocably fixed. That is what makes their probation end-they will not longer listen to the Gospel. They could be saved if they were willing to be saved. “If ye be willing,” etc. So we see that men who are as bad as the wickedest men who will be destroyed when the Lord comes, may be saved. The reason, and the only reason, why any will be lost, is not that they are too wicked to be forgiven and saved, but that they do not wish to be saved. It is not the guilt of sin, but the love of sin, that shuts men out of the Kingdom; for if men will cease to love sin, the guilt of it, however deep, will be taken away.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 19.1

    A Question of Eating .-If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be eaten by the sword. The force of this is weakened in our version by the rendering “devour” in the second instance, although the word is the same in both verses. Eat or be eaten. Eat what?-“Eat ye that which is good.” And what is good?-“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” “Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” “For My flesh is true meat, and My blood is true drink.” John 6:35, 55. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” If one eats only the body of Christ, he eats to live; but whoever eats that which is not the body of Christ (and it can be eaten only by faith), that which he eats consumes him, instead of building him up. He is devoured by that which he feeds upon. “He that doubteth is damned if he eat because he eateth not of faith; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23. Here is the alternative: Eat the flesh of Christ, and abide for ever; or eat that which is not bread, and be consumed by it.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 19.2

    Degeneration and Regeneration .-Verses 21-23 present a picture of degeneration. Adultery is the one word that covers the whole. Everything has become adulterated. Faithfulness and purity have been crowded out. The one sin that God's people commit is adultery. The Lord is the husband of His people. Jeremiah 3:14; 31:32; Romans 7:4; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:31, 32. His people are one flesh in Him. Departure from Him to any degree is adultery; so that whatever sin anyone commits, it is adultery-the allowing of another to take the place that should be filled with Christ. This adulteration-the substitution of the false for the true may go on until the faithful city becomes a harlot, and that which once was pure metal, only dross.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 19.3

    But there is a remedy for all this. “God hath not cast off His people which He foreknew.” Nay, “for the Lord will not cast off for ever.” Lamentations 3:31. Never will He turn away. “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful.” 2 Timothy 2:13. So He says: “Return thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed My voice, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 3:12, 13. Only confess the sin, and it is forgiven, purged, for “Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.” “My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory.” Philippians 4:19. The Lord regenerates us by supplying that which we lack. His own righteousness and faithfulness are given to redeem us from sin.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 19.4

    Practical Piety .-Notice that one of the gravest charges against the wicked is that “they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.” Also in the exhortation to put away evil, the only things specified under the head of well-doing are, “relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Christianity is not a mere sentiment or emotion; it consists in deeds. Not that by any among of deeds we can earn the favour of God, but that these good deeds are the manifestation of the life of Christ within. He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38. Kindness is the characteristic of God, for “God is love.” “Every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God.” 1 John 4:7. And remember that it is not sermons about doing good, but the actual doing, that constitutes Christianity.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 19.5

    Complete Restoration .-When God made man in the beginning, he, as well as everything else, was “very good.” Christ is the Beginning, and all who are in Him find restoration. The adulteration will be removed, and the fine gold will be restored. We are “made full” in Him. “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me.” Psalm 119:73. We have greatly degenerated from the original model; but God has promised to bring His hand upon us again, so that we may be new creatures, bearing again the impress of God.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 19.6

    Utter Destruction .-Just as surely as there will be complete restoration, will there be utter destruction. Indeed, the promise of the restoration of the original perfection necessarily includes the destruction of those who cling to the evil. Mercy rejected means wrath. It cannot be otherwise. So none should presume upon the mercy of God, to continue in sin, that grace may abound. The greater the mercy offered, the greater the disaster that follows its rejection. Thus it is that men will suffer the wrath of God, whose “mercy endureth for ever.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 19.7

    The destruction of the wicked is simply the natural fruit of their own ways. There is nothing forced or arbitary about it. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” When the plagues begin to appear at the close of probation, in the form of grievous sores in the bodies of men, it is only the breaking out of the corruption within. When men eat and drink death,-and they do this when they do not feed on Christ, the life,-it is but natural that the poison should permeate them, until they become bodies of death. And the fact that the first plague for sin is disease, emphasises the fact that righteousness is health. The keeping of God's law means physical health as well as moral purity.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 19.8

    See how strongly the destruction of the wicked is put in verses 30, 31. “Ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.” Such a condition is but a preparation for fire. But that is not all. “The strong shall become tow, and his work a spark of fire.” Every one knows how inflammable a substance tow is; let fire come near it, and it is gone in a flash. Now think of tow which generates fire?-What hope of salvation is there for it?-Absolutely none. The wicked prepare their own destruction; their own works consume them. The destruction is certain, and God is clear; for bear in mind that this is only the fate of those that forsake the Lord. They only will be consumed. Whoever hearkens to the Lord “shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:33.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 20.1

    “Studies in the Gospel of John. The New Birth” The Present Truth 15, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” John 3:1, 2.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 20.2

    It is well when those who have the truth of God have such power with them that men cannot fail to see that God is with them. God has promised that it shall be so, and that means that He expects it to be so. He says to His people, concerning the men of earth: “They shall fall down unto thee, and make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely, God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.” Isaiah 45:14. When the Jewish Sanhedrim talked with Peter and John, they gave the credit of their boldness to the Lord. Acts 4:13. So when a great miracle was wrought by the agency of Peter, “all that lived at Lydda and Saron saw him and turned to the Lord.” Acts 9:35, 42. The true servant of Jehovah, no matter how great the work he does, always leads the people to think of his Master. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 20.3

    In the address of Nicodemus, however, we can see an intended compliment to the Man Jesus, such as most people feel it their duty to give to the minister. “I like that sermon; it expressed just what I have always believed.” “There is no doubt but that you are doing a grand work here; your preaching is having a great influence on the people.” Now while it is always right to encourage a man, the best way in the world to encourage a servant of Christ is to give personal heed to what he says, and let the fruits be seen in the life. Too many think that their duty is fully discharged if they assent to what is said, having no thought that it means that they must make any change in their lives. How often this Scripture is fulfilled. “And as for thee, son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.” Ezekiel 33:30-32. They praise the singer and the song, but they do not have any thought that it is more than a thing merely to listen to.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 20.4

    Jesus cut short the compliment of Nicodemus. All that Nicodemus said was true, and we may believe that he was sincere in saying it; but Jesus did not care to talk about Himself or His work. Very abrupt and ungracious His words doubtless seemed to Nicodemus, in response to his polite greeting. The ruler had praised Jesus, and had not the slightest idea but that Jesus would feel gratified on account of his attention, for he had no thought that he was anything but a model; but Jesus instantly responded: “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 20.5

    What! a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews one who from his youth up had been trained in the law, and who always exercised himself to preserve a conscience void of offence toward men and towards God; must such an one be wholly made new before he can be saved? “Verily verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus knew that the Lord meant him, and he knew that the sentence meant a complete transformation of life, and the implied rebuke nettled him, so that he affected not to understand it, and began to quibble. Notice that Jesus did not pay any attention to his question. “How can a man be born when he is old?” except to repeat the statement. He did not attempt any explanation in answer to the question, “How can these things be?” but simply assured the mystery of the natural birth; why then should anyone stumble over the mystery of the new birth.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 20.6

    The statement is sweeping: Nobody can enter the kingdom of heaven except by a new birth. The birth that brings us into the kingdom of men, does not introduce us into the kingdom of God. Nobody is born a Christian. No matter how godly a person's ancestry may have been, nor into how pious a home he may be born, he must be born again, or he cannot be saved. Pious parents are a blessing, and a wonderful help in the way of life; but there is a work that must be accomplished in every individual soul by the Holy Spirit alone. The child who has truly God-fearing parents must grow up to be a Christian, and should become one very young; but nobody is born a Christian. He may have learned Scripture language as a matter of course, from hearing so much, and may never have heard words of scoffing or profanity. He may have been trained from earliest infancy to read the Bible and to engage in family and public religious exercises. All this is good, but nothing that anybody can get from human beings from first to last, no matter how closely related or how good, can take the place of the personal work of the Holy Spirit in the heart. As great a blessing as pious training is, if it is depended on as being sufficient, the individual is in a worse condition than the one who has never known religious associations, and who knows that he is a worthless sinner.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 21.1

    “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again,” or “from above.” “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound there of, but canst not tell whence it cometh nor whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” The wind bloweth where it will, and yet it has no will of itself; it comes from God and returns to God, according to His will; so in every one that is born of the Spirit. He maketh His angels winds. In these words of Christ we have not merely the mystery of the process of new birth set forth, but we have a suggestion of the wondrous power to be manifested in those born of the Spirit. Don't try to explain, and don't reason from your own past experience, nor even from anything that you have seen. Do you not know that by trying to understand how these things can be, before we accept them, we limit the amount of blessing that we are to receive, to our own comprehension; or as God wishes to do for us, “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or a think”? “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10. Yield to God's will, and you will know things that no human language can tell you.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 21.2

    Nothing is plainer in the Scriptures than that all the disabilities which we inherit by birth from our parents are counteracted and overcome by the birth from the Spirit. We inherit sinful dispositions. It is not the specific acts of sin that a man has committed, that will cause his everlasting destruction, so much as it is the evil nature that is in him, even if it has not manifested itself in any way that is noticeable by men. We have the evil in us, and always with us, and again and again we have said, “It's no use; I cannot possibly overcome this sin; it is a part of my very being,” and have felt almost in despair, or else we have apologised for the hateful thing by saying, “Oh, it's only my way; I don't mean anything bad by it; but I simply can't help it; and God will not hold me responsible for what I am not to blame for. I had this way from birth.” Now read: “As by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:18, 19.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 21.3

    We are not responsible for having been born sinners. Since all our ancestors were sinners, it was inevitable that we should be born sinners if born at all; and we had no voice in the matter of our birth; therefore God does not hold us responsible. But that does not mean that He excuses the sin, and holds our being sinners as a light thing. No, He does not hold us responsible for the sin; for “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. And this reconciliation is effected by undoing all the evil that was entailed on us by our first birth. Because God does not hold us responsible for the sin that is born in us, He provides for a new birth, direct from Himself, which will make us strong where we are weak by nature. We are “heirs of God,” of His person and character, of all that He is and has. We cannot understand it, but the knowledge and belief of the fact makes us “strengthened with all might according to His glorious power.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 21.4

    Jesus spoke of Himself as “the Son of man, which is in heaven,” yet He was at that very moment talking to Nicodemus. He was always “in the bosom of the Father,” so that we may know that He is with us now that He has ascended to heaven; and more, that we may see the possibility of dwelling in the secret place of God. He who abides in God can speak of heavenly things as of that which he knows and understands. There is no uncertainty in his testimony.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 21.5

    Everybody who is saved must believe many things that he cannot explain to anybody, not even to himself. Often the Bible teacher is met with the challenge or request to “harmonise” two statements in the Bible. “How can these things be?” is asked again and again. Now if he sets about trying to explain every seeming contradiction, and should refuse to accept the truth or take a step forward until he can reconcile it with everything else, he will land in total darkness. “By faith we understand.” “He that believeth hath the witness in himself.” Faith is not contrary to reason, but the things with which it deals are so infinitely above and beyond the range of human thought that one must have the mind of God in order to comprehend them. So it is useless to spend time arguing with an unbeliever or a questioner. Such time is wasted. Tell him the truth with all authority, and with such positiveness as can come only from close, personal knowledge, and which must carry conviction. If the man once believes, he will know for himself why you could not explain everything to him. If he will not believe, it makes no difference what he thinks of you or your ability.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 21.6

    “The Fate of Turkey” The Present Truth 15, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A writer in the New York Independent sets forth, as given in the following extract, the history of Turkey's dwindling empire during the present century. In view of the political situation in Europe, everyone can see how easily circumstances might arise which would carry the process of spoliation a step further, and leave the Turk without a foothold in Europe.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 24.1

    It is written in the prophecy of Daniel that the king of the north, the title therein given to the power occupying the territory which is at present known as Turkey, “shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” Nor will the arrival of that fatal hour affect only the Turkish empire. “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time, and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 24.2

    Now remembering what takes place when the Turkish empire comes to its end, read this account of what has been accomplished during the past hundred years towards its extinction. Remember too, as you note from this time toward the steps by which the Turkish empire is marching to its certain doom, that to that same step the nations of earth are marching on to the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 24.3

    It is time to make sure that our names are not blotted out of the book of life, but that when the end is reached, as it must soon be, we shall be delivered among those who are written in the book. “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” Revelation 3:5.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 24.4

    “The loss of Crete is one more stage in the disintegration of the Turkish Empire. We are impatient at the long survival of the worst government on earth, but if one could look at events through the telescope of history instead of through the slow turning kaleidoscope of a single life's current events, one should find that the changes of this single century have been very momentous.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 24.5

    “In 1812 Bessarabia was ceded to Russia, as a result of a long war between the two nations, and the river Pruth became the new boundary. The Servians had long been in rebellion, and they refused to accept the amnesty allowed them by the treaty of Bucharest and continued their fight until they gained their autonomy in 1817 with no help from Russia. A rebellion in Epirus, beginning in 1820, which finally involved the great Egyptian Ibrahim Pasha and in aid of Turkey, and Russia in aid of the rebels, was concluded in 1828 by the independence of Greece, transferred to Russia the eastern coast of the Black Sea, with the ports of Anapa and Poti. On the western and northern shore of the Black Sea, Bessarabia and Roumania were deprived of all Turkish garrisons as far as the Danube and put under the protection of Russia, to which the former was later annexed. In 1860 Roumania became independent, and Servia got rid of its Turkish garrisons. In 1878, by the treaty of San Stefano, modified by a European Congress, the province of Dobrudja, south of the Danube, was lost to Turkey and came to Roumania; eastern Roumelia was given autonomy, Bosnia and Herzegovina went to Austria, Montenegro was enlarged, Servia became independent, Janina and Thessaly went to Greece, Cyprus to England, and Russia took the province about Kars and Batoum, southeast of the Black Sea.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 24.6

    “Meanwhile slower changes had greatly reduced, or utterly destroyed, the power of the Sultan in other great provinces. The massacres in Syria occasioned the intervention of the European Powers for the protection of the Christian population. Egypt has become an English possession, and English influence extends over a considerable portion of the coast of Arabia, while Algiers is no more Turk than is Algiers or Morocco.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 24.7

    “We then see, during this century, the Turkish empire reduced on every side. The Turk is nearly driven out of Europe. He has lost Greece and the Balkan provinces, which make up Bosnia, Servia, Montenegro, Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Roumania, leaving him only the strip of Roumelia behind Constantinople. He has been driven quite out of Africa, and he has lost all that region to the northeast out of which Russia has built her coal oil industry. Of the islands of the Mediterranean the chief are lost, Cyprus and Crete, and only the small islands along the coast remain. Palestine and Syria are protected against misgovernment, and Arabia is semi-independent. Practically the mighty Turkish Empire, which once threatened Europe, is now shut up to Asia Minor and the valley of the Euphrates, and here she remains by sufferance of the Powers. Another outbreak of violence, or a new European war, may end what never can be mended. The next Russian advance is likely to be a tremendous one; and yet before the time for it comes Germany may have assumed to teach the Sultan how to rule Asia Minor. It is the incidence of the Chinese problem which gives respite to Turkey.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 24.8

    “Cleanliness” The Present Truth 15, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Cleanliness is of the utmost importance in preserving the health of the children as well as of older people. Some children seem to have a natural aversion to the wash-basin. The cause of this in many cases lies in the hurried, needlessly vigorous and unsympathetic manner in which the operation is performed. The child does not want a lot of soap in his eyes, for it makes them smart. He likes to have his ears tenderly dealt with, not pulled this way and that, and jerked about with a coarse towel. Deal gently with him and he will learn to enjoy his bath.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 25.1

    “Little Folks. ‘The House of the Lord’” The Present Truth 15, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Read what King David, the “sweet singer of Israel”, said in one of his songs of praise to God: “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 26.1

    “The house of the Lord” is the place where God dwells. But He tells us that “He fills heaven and earth,” and ‘the whole earth is full of His glory.” So the whole world is “the house of the Lord,” and we can see His beauty everywhere for “the beauty of all created things is but a gleam from the shining of His glory.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 26.2

    And so since the whole earth is the temple of God, we may enquire of Him wherever we are. He dwells by His Holy Spirit in all the things that He has made, and so as we study His works we may “enquire in His temple.” He says, “Ask of Me, and I will show thee great and mighty things that thou knowest not.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 26.3

    How simple! How wonderful! May we really go to Jesus Himself, and ask Him all we want to know about the works of His hands? Yes; He delights to have us do this; He calls us to come; He says, “Ask of Me, and I will show thee.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 26.4

    What! even little children? Oh, yes; for He says that He has “hid these things from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 26.5

    Why is it that He has hid these things from “the wise and prudent”? It is not because He does not want them to know, for He invites them all to wine to Him and learn. It is only because they will not come to ask of Him, and that is the only way that they can ever really learn anything.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 26.6

    They think they are so wise that they can find out for themselves all that they want to know, and they will not go to His Word and ask Him for His Holy Spirit to teach them. So they are “ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” while little children, and all those who are simple and childlike, will come to Jesus to learn and be taught of Him the truth that none of the wise men of this world can find out.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 26.7

    Do not forget this, dear children, but ask Jesus every day to give you His Holy Spirit to “guide you into all truth.” Study His precious Word, and as you behold His works, “enquire in His temple” just what lesson He has for you in them all.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 26.8

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Alarm has been caused in Paris by an extensive landslip, due to the overflowing of a subterranean river.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.1

    -The site for the new Gordon Memorial College has already been chosen, and operations have been commenced.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.2

    -It is estimated that two-thirds of the male population of the world use tobacco in some shape or form.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.3

    -The weather has continued very stormy during the past week, and many wrecks are reported, with much lose of life.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.4

    -The Khalifs has been heard from at Dulim, where he is raiding the Arabs. An expedition has been despatched against him.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.5

    -The Baptist Union have decided to recommend tee raising of a fund of ?250,000 to extend their work in England, and erect a Baptist Church House.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.6

    -If steel grates, fire-irons, knives, etc., be lightly rubbed over with vaccine, they may be left without fear of rust during the holidays or for any length of time.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.7

    -The revenue returns of the United Kingdom continue to increase. The nine months ending December 31 show an advance of nearly ?1,000,000 on the same term of the previous year.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.8

    -Spiders are to serious plague in Japan. They spin their webs on the telegraph wires, and are so numerous as to cause a serious loss of insulation. Sweeping the wire does little good, as the spiders begin all over again.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.9

    -A high Russian official is reported to have said that “at no distant date China would be an integral part of the Russian Empire.” Whether this be the intention or not present circumstances certainly point in that direction.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.10

    -The situation continues unchanged at Iloilo. The Americans are anxious not to precipitate a war with the insurgents, and General Otis is instructed to proceed with extreme caution. The Filipinos are fortifying the place.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.11

    -Anglo-Russian complications are reported from Hankow, where the Chinese Government have granted to Russia a concession which includes property owned by British subjects. These refuse to give up possession of their land.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.12

    -Glass is now frequently fashioned by machine pressure instead of being moulded by blowing. In the pressed glass the articles are either made by hand or machine pressure, and this innovation has done much towards making glass articles cheaper than formerly.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.13

    -A navel expert states that the French naval budget for 1899 will exceed the last one by over seventeen million francs. During the year there will be ninety-one warships on the stocks, so that France does not intend to be left behind in any increase of naval strength.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.14

    -The greatest corporation on earth is said to be the London and North-Western Railway. This company has a capital of ?119,000,000, and a revenue of over ?1,800 an hour; its 2,800 engines travel over 41,000,000 miles in the year; it employs over 60,000 men, and carries over 156,000 passengers a day.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.15

    -The Pope is of opinion that the best means of guaranteeing European peace would be the establishment of a permanent Committee of Arbitration. It is stated at the Vatican that Russia is favourable to this idea, and that the establishment of such a committee will figure on the programme of the Conference.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.16

    -A semi-official German organ forecasts a decisive struggle between the State and Social Democracy during the present year. It declares that the organisation of the latter is becoming perfect, and that the organisation must be broken. Socialists see in the article a warning that the Government is determined upon their immediate annihilation.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.17

    -A scientific writer says that night is the time which Nature utilises for the growth of plants and animals; children, too, grow more rapidly during the night. In the daytime the system is kept busy disposing of the waste consequent on activity, but while asleep the system is free to extend its operations beyond the mere replacing of worn-out particles.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.18

    -One of the grandest engineering works in the network of railways in Central and Western Siberia is undoubtedly the bridge over the Yenisei. It will cost 2,279,360 roubles, and will be the largest railway bridge in the world. It will be opened for traffic next May, a year before the date originally fixed. The material employed in the construction is stone and iron.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.19

    -All the Chicago tramway companies have combined and are seeking a fifty years monopoly of the streets. The mayor of the city says the prospects of profits are so enormous that the companies can afford to pay ?1,500,000 in bribing aldermen to get the scheme passed. At present it looks as if the aldermen would succumb, and ?50,000 was the current price for a vote, according to recently received Chicago papers.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 30.20

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:10. It is true of all men that they are the handiwork of God. “It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” Psalm 100:3. It is also true of all that they are created in Christ Jesus. “In Him were all things created.” Colossians 1:16. The fact that men have denied that they are in Christ Jesus does not alter the truth. If every one should disbelieve it, God would abide faithful. He cannot deny Himself. Therefore that which was true at our creation remains true to-day, and every man who is alive at all is in Christ Jesus. Paul said to the heathen, “In Him we live and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:28.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.1

    Since we were created in Christ, it follows that we must share His experiences and He ours, for there is but one life between us. Jesus says, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” John 14:19. The evil we have brought upon ourselves by disobedience have inflicted upon Christ: So it is written, “In all their affliction He was afflicted.” Isaiah 63:9.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.2

    But this is not the only aspect of the situation. Because Christ is one with men, a wonderful way of escape is made for the sinner. “Where we sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20. Let every soul who is weary of the burden of sin, and groaning for deliverance from its accursed power, rejoice, for where the sin abounds, even in his heart and life, grace is as much more present, as Christ is stronger than evil. It remains true, that he is “created in Christ Jesus.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.3

    So not only does Christ share our experiences, bearing the sins of the whole world; Himself bearing our sicknesses and carrying our sorrows, but we also share His. He died unto sin once, and we are “crucified with Christ.” Therefore, acknowledging it to be true that we are created in Him, we know also that we are “dead indeed unto sin.”PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.4

    But Christ was raised from the dead, “by the glory of the Father,” and in this resurrection we too have a part. “Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead.” Romans 6:18. When Jesus rose again, it was as “the Man Christ Jesus,” and although He ascended up far above all heavens, God “hath raised us up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.5

    But some one will say, “If this is all true, and all men are created in Christ Jesus, why will not all men be saved?” That is what the Lord wants to know He says, “Judge, I pray you, betwixt Me and My vineyard. What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?” Isaiah 5:3, 4. You, for whose sake God spared not His only begotten Son, but gave Him freely, can you tell why you are not saved? There is no reason why, and the judgment will not reveal any. The unsaved will then be without excuse, because there is none that can be offered.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.6

    The National Council of Free Churches has just issued a Free Church Catechism, which is said to set forth the unanimous belief of the different denominations represented. Two years have been spent in preparing the Catechism, and revising it to meet the views of those concerned in its production, and the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes states in the preface that, “in view of the distressing controversies of our fore-fathers, it is profoundly significant and gladdening to be able to add that every question and every answer in this Catechism has been finally adopted without a dissentient vote.” He says further:-PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.7

    The theologians who have prepared this Catechism represent, directly, or indirectly, the beliefs of not less, and probably many more, than sixty millions of avowed Christians in all parts of the world. Students of history will be aware that no such combined statement of interdenominational belief has ever previously been attempted, much less achieved, since the lamentable day when Martin Luther contended with Huldreich Zwingli.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.8

    It is undoubtedly a fact that at the present time there is a great tendency among the different Nonconformist bodies to unite their forces along certain lines, but whether this is a good thing or not must be determined by the ground of their union. Christ is anxious that His people shall be one, but when all are united to Him, the union amongst each other will take care of itself. It will be established on a firm basis. But the union which comes by ignoring differences among the different denominations is no union at all.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.9

    The word of God is the foundation and the life of His church. When this has its proper place all will bow to its authority, and the unity of the faith will be maintained. When men feel themselves at liberty to criticise and judge this Word, they exalt themselves above it, and have no standard but their own imaginations. This is why there are so many sects. The new Catechism contains an illustration of the way professed servants of God treat His Word. In answer to the question, “What does the Fourth Commandment teach us?” the answer is given,-PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.10

    That we ought to be diligent in our calling during six days of the week, but keep one day hallowed for rest and worship; and because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, Christians observe that day, calling it the Lord's DayPTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.11

    The Fourth Commandment definitely states that the seventh day, on which God rested from His work, is to be kept holy, but the Catechism ignores this and then proceeds to state how Christians have improved on the commandment of Jehovah for a reason of their own. They prefer to honour the first day rather than the seventh, and do not see the impious audacity of calling their own day “the Lord's Day.” Thus they exalt themselves above God and presume to change His day for Him. Men have grown so accustomed to the idea that it is right for them to alter God's ordinance at their own will that they fail to realise the true character of this rebellious act. Let all such read the Catechism's definition of sin:-PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.12

    Sin is any thought or feeling, word, or act, which either is contrary to God's holy law, or falls short of what it requires.PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.13

    In these days when God is calling men to return to the observance of the true Sabbath, what spirit is it that has led to this unprecedented “statement of inter-denominational belief,” which will influence “sixty millions of avowed Christians” to continue in their disregard of the Fourth Commandment, strengthened by the unanimous vote of so many of their leading men?PTUK January 12, 1899, page 32.14

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