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    June 22, 1899

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. Gracious Invitations. Hosea 14:1-9The Present Truth 15, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The call: “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.”PTUK June 22, 1899, page 385.1

    See how different the Lord's ways are from man’s! With man, a great offence, a fall, is considered ground for casting one off. How often do we hear of a man “who is called a father,” that has turned a son or daughter away from home because the child has fallen into sin. Because of this human characteristic, to make a fall into sin a reason for berating a man, people who think that God is like a man fear to come to Him when they have sinned. “I am so sinful, I don't believe the Lord can ever receive and forgive me,” says the wandering one. Why, that is the very ground on which God bases His call for you to come. Why does He call us to come?-Because we have sinned, and not merely sinned, but have fallen by our iniquity.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 385.2

    “Oh well, perhaps Israel had not sinned so much as I have; in fact, I do not believe there was ever so great a sinner in the world as I am.” It is well for each one to think himself the chief of sinners; for when anyone, no matter, who has a just sense of what he really is, he can see more sin in himself than he can ever see in any other man. The best man must therefore necessarily with all sincerity regard himself as worse than the worst man of whom he has any knowledge. That, however does not make any difference with God's reckoning. But let us see what we can find as to Israel's actual condition when this gracious invitation was uttered.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 385.3

    By comparing Hosea 1:1 and Isaiah 1:1, we find that the two prophets, Isaiah and Hosea, lived and prophesied at the same time. Isaiah's inspired utterance, at the beginning of his ministry was that the people were “laden with iniquity,” that they were corrupters, and that they were altogether corrupt-as bad as they could be. Of all the kings of Israel, after the division at the death of Solomon, not one was good. Jeroboam “sinned, and made Israel to sin,” and the story of each succeeding king is that he was worse than all that were before him. Read the record in the books of Kings.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 385.4

    Coming to Ahaz, king of Judah, during whose reign the prophets Isaiah and Hosea prophesied, we find that “he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 28. Then he was greatly troubled, “and in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord; this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him; and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.” Moreover he shut up the house of the Lord, and cut in pieces the sacred vessels, and in all the cities of Judah he made high places, to burn incense to other gods. Verses 22-25. Really, things could not have been worse than they were when God said: “O Israel, return thou unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.”PTUK June 22, 1899, page 385.5

    This invitation is the same as, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” There is no limitation, no exclusion. No sinner can be too vile, no backslider can have fallen too low, for the Lord to receive and pardon him. “Thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” That is unqualified. God does not say, “Return, because you haven't fallen very low yet,” but simply, “Return, because you have fallen;” and that takes in the fall to the very lowest depths. “This Man receiveth.” Then give heed to the gracious invitation.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 385.6

    The Lord is very gracious, for He tells us just how to come to Him. He says, “Take with you words, and turn to the Lord.”PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.1

    “But what shall I say? I haven't a word to say for myself.” “Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up.” Psalm 40:12. Yea, words would fail you, if you had to find them yourself; but the Lord tells you just what to say, so that you can come with boldness to the throne of grace, knowing that your heaven-inspired plea cannot fail.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.2

    Here are the words that you are to take with you, when you return to the Lord: “Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously.” That is sufficient; when you have uttered those words from the heart, you may be sure that the prayer is instantly answered. God does not trifle with men, and when He tells us to come to Him with a certain request, and tells us just what to say in order to gain it, we can have no doubt as to the result.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.3

    Of course this means confession of sin. The request, “Take away all iniquity,” indicates this. We acknowledge that we have sinned, and that everything that God calls sin is sin. In short, we accept God's estimate of us. This is necessary, in order that we may be made into what He estimates we ought to be. “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.” Jeremiah 3:12, 13.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.4

    See how large a request He tells us to make. “Take away all iniquity.” It is just as easy for God to do a great thing, a complete work, as a little thing. In fact the work is already done, Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity.” Titus 2:13, 14. When God does a work, He does it thoroughly. Christ is given for our sins. Galatians 1:3, 4. When we accept that gift, we get the whole of His sinless life in exchange for our sinful life. So God receives us graciously, and takes away all our iniquities at once.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.5

    “Just as I am, with one plea,
    But that Thy blood was shed for me;
    And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
    O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.6

    “Just as I am, Thou wilt receive;
    Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
    Because Thy promise I believe;
    O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.7

    “Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses; neither will we say any morn to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods; for in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy.” Hosea 14:3.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.8

    This is simply a recognition of God as the only God, in whom alone there is deliverance. “An horse is a vain thing for safety.” The nations of earth depend very much upon horses for safety. The Governments of earth send agents abroad to buy up horses for the army. Without horses, an army would be very much crippled, if not useless, and without an army a nation would be helpless; but while “some will trust in hoses and some in chariots,” “we will trust in the name of the Lord our God.” The Lord often reproved Israel for their dependence on horses, from which we are to learn that in returning to the Lord we are absolutely to depend on Him. For a church or an individual to make any sort of alliance with the world, or to look to earthly Governments for help and support, is virtually to say that God is not sufficient; it is having other gods beside Him.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.9

    But would it not be a mare matter of form, without any reason, for us who have been brought up amid Christian surroundings to say, “Neither will we sap any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods”? We have never fashioned graven images for ourselves to worship. This is true, yet there is great need of our making just the prayer that the Lord here gives us. How often we have made gods of the work of our hands. Many, many times have we regarded with complacent self-satisfaction what we were pleased to call our good works. Who has not at Rome time in his life imagined that he would get credit for something that he has done? Have we never, after escaping from some danger, congratulated ourselves upon our own dexterity or shrewdness, and forgotten to give thanks to God? What was that but saying to the work of our hands, “Ye are our gods”? The man who has no other gods besides Jehovah, and who never trusts himself, will certainly be saved. It is good to trust in Jehovah, for in Him the fatherless find mercy, whereas mercy is not found in any gods of human devising.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.10

    “Not what these hands have done
    Can save this guilty soul;
    Not what this toiling flesh has borne
    Can make my spirit whole.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.11

    “Thy work alone, O Christ,
    Can ease this weight of sin;
    Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God,
    Can give me peace within.”
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.12

    There is a very significant statement at the close of verse 2: “So will we render the calves of our lips.” The Revised Version, and some others, have it, ‘So will we render as bullocks the offering of our lips.” The French of Segond has it: “We offer Thee, instead of bullocks, the homage of our lips.” The idea clearly is, that praise and thanksgiving, that is spoken out of the abundance of the heart, is more acceptable to God than offering of animals, and, moreover, that it was so in the days of Hosea. Remember that this is the Lord's own statement. It was not sacrifice that He ever desired, but faith and love. The verse is very similar to Hebrews 13:15: “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that bath horns or hoofs.” Psalm 69:30, 31.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.13

    We have read the gracious invitation, now listen to the gracious promises: “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for Mine anger is turned away from them.” Through the prophet Joel the Lord said, “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.” Joel 2:24. Restoration is the Lord's order. “The Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” One saves the lost only by bringing it back again; so the Lord promises to make good all that His people have lost by the fall. He will heal all their backsliding, so that no trace of sin or the curse will remain. The Lord loves His people freely, fallen though they be; and the result of His love for the church is to present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.14

    Another promise: “I will be as the dew unto Israel; He shall grow [or blossom as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.” A whole lesson is in this promise. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.” Matthew 6:28. How do they grow?-By the life of God that is in them. The life within makes the external beauty. Their life is their beauty, their clothing. See how the grass lifts up its head, and laughs for very joy of life, as the dew refreshes it. Now the dew is only one way in which God manifests His grace. What the visible dew is to the grass, that God is to His people. He can make them grow “unto a perfect man to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ,” as easily as He can bring the lily to perfection.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 386.15

    Not only will God bless His backslidden, fallen people, but He will make them a blessing to others. He will make the branches of Israel to spread, and “they that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine.” “The trees of the Lord are full of sap.” Planted by the river of the water of life, they bring forth their fruit in its season, their leaves do not fade, and whatsoever they do prospers. Their fruit is of God.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.1

    Consider these things, and be wise. Remember that great as are the promises of God, so great is the loss of those who reject them. “The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” The very thing that enables some people to walk, causes others to stumble. It all depends on whether they are willing to stand in it, or are determined to ignore it. Whatever happens, the Lord's way is right. There can be no charge sustained against the One who makes such gracious invitations, and such glorious promises, which He is able also to perform. “Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.”PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.2

    “Spirits of Devils” The Present Truth 15, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Dr. Hyslop, of the Columbia University, has announced that he expects in the course of a year to prove scientifically that there is a conscious existence, after death. He has been making experiments through a medium, and claims to have received a large number of bona fide communications from departed spirits.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.3

    This is an illustration of the science, falsely so called, which leads men astray. To study this subject in a scientific manner, without relying on the guidance of the only book which is based on an accurate knowledge of the facts, is impossible. God tells us what is the condition of the dead. He created men that they might live, and therefore the tree of life was placed in the garden of Eden. The death, which comes by transgression, was never planned for by God. It is an absolute undoing of His work, and whoever becomes subject to death, returns to the dust from whence he came, while the breath by which God made him a living soul (Genesis 2:7), returns to its Giver. Ecclesiastes 12:7.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.4

    Thus we read of the state of the dead, that there is no consciousness nor existence about it, any more than there is in the death which befalls the beasts. Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20. “The dead know not anything.” Chapter 9:5, 6. Their thoughts perish. Psalm 146:4. Yet there is an almost universal idea that men live in death, that the essential part of the life continues in unbroken and conscious existence, in spite of the scripture statements that death is a sleep, and, without a resurrection, those that sleep have perished. 1 Corinthians 15:17, 18.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.5

    The receiving of communications from another world, which is neither peopled with angels nor departed dead, is no new thing. In the first recorded instance of such communication, we discover the secret source of the belief in a conscious existence after death, and learn also what manner of spirits these are which will help Dr. Hyslop to demonstrate that men live after death. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” Genesis 3:4.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.6

    Why should Satan seek to convince men that they cannot perish?-Because he hates both God and men. He knows that God is the Fountain of life, and that there is blessedness for men in the recognition of the fact that it is in Him we live, and that apart from Him we can do absolutely nothing. Acts 17:28. He “holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.” Psalm 66:9. If men can be persuaded to forgot their dependence upon God, they will fall an easy prey to Satan's temptations, and co the wily enemy of Souls set out by promising Eve that not only would she not perish, but by treading the path of disobedience to God's command, she would become as a god.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.7

    The same deception has taken a firm hold of men's minds to this present time, so that even Christians believe that death, which is the result of transgression, is the by death they shall become as gods. Thus, being deceived into thinking that death is better than life, men feel that sin cannot be a very terrible thing. So the serpent gains his point. His fallen angels find means of communicating with those who live on the earth, and by their knowledge of secrets, pass themselves off as the spirits of departed friends. The common teaching of the churches has prepared the way for just such a deception. Taking everything for gospel which is told them, by the spirits, men are led by Satan into every error that he presents to them, and in this way be is deceiving myriads, and carrying out his hellish purposes.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.8

    Spiritualism is one of the perils of the last days. By its wonder-working manifestations, and spurious communications, the spirits of devils unite the world against God, and thus prepare men to be destroyed at the appealing of Christ. Revelation 13:13-17; 14:1; 16:13-15. That day is hastening greatly, and Satan is fastening his deceptions upon all who will receive them. When it is scientifically proved that departed friends can communicate with their loved ones on earth, then many will be convinced, and will hail the discovery as a boon. Satan will take care that the communications are such as to please the carnal heart, and lead men on to perdition.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.9

    Let no one think that this matter is comparatively insignificant, and need not be taken seriously. Dr. Hyslop is not a man of no importance in the scientific world. It is said of him,PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.10

    The professor is not one of the common herd of spiritualists, but is regarded by his colleagues as a sound-minded, keen, scientific man. He is being helped in his investigations by other well-known psychologists.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.11

    The only safeguard its to believe the Word of God on every point, irrespective of what anyone else may do, and let it work our sanctification. “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:19, 20.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.12

    The searching of all the books of philosophy and science cannot do for the mind and morals what the Bible can do if it is studied and practised.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 387.13

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. The Reign of Righteousness. Isaiah 32:1-20The Present Truth 15, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness;
    And princes shall rule with equity.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.1

    2. And the Man shall be as a covert from the
    storm, as a refuge from the flood;
    As canals of waters in a dry place;
    As the shadow of a great rock in the land faint-
    ing with heat:
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.2

    3. And Him, the eyes of those that see shall
    And the ears of those that hear shall hearken.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.3

    4. Even the heart of the rash shall consider,
    and acquire knowledge;
    And the stammering tongue shall speak
    readily and plainly.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.4

    5. The fool shall no longer be called honourable;
    And the niggard shall no more be called
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.5

    6. For the fool will still utter folly;
    And his heart will devise iniquity;
    Practicing hypocrisy, and speaking wrong-
    fully against Jehovah;
    To exhaust the soul of the hungry,
    And to deprive the thirsty of drink.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.6

    7. As for the niggard, his instruments are evil;
    He plotteth mischievous devices;
    To entangle the humble with lying words;
    And to defeat the assertions of the poor in
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.7

    8. But the generous will devise generous things;
    And he by his generous purposes shall be estab-
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.8

    9. O ye women, that sit at ease, arise, hear My
    O ye daughters, that dwell in security, give
    ear unto My speech!
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.9

    10. Years upon years shall ye be disquieted, O ye
    careless women:
    For the vintage hath failed, the gathering of
    the fruits shall not come.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.10

    11. Tremble, O ye that are at ease; be ye dis-
    quieted, O ye careless ones!
    Strip ye, make ye bare; and gird ye sack-
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.11

    12. Upon your loins, upon your breasts:
    Mourn ye, for the pleasant field, for the fruit-
    ful vine.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.12

    13. Over the land of My people the thorn and the
    brier shall come up;
    Yea, over all the joyous houses, over the ex-
    ulting city.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.13

    14. For the palace is deserted, the populous city
    is left desolate;
    Ophel and the watch-tower shall for a long
    time be a den,
    A joy of wild asses, a pasture for the
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.14

    15. Till the Spirit from on high be poured out
    upon us;
    And the wilderness become a fruitful field;
    And the fruitful field be esteemed a forest;
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.15

    16. The judgment shall dwell in the wilderness;
    And in the fruitful field shall reside righteousness.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.16

    17. And the work of righteousness shall be
    And the effect of righteousness perpetual quiet
    and security.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.17

    18. And My people shall dwell in a peaceful
    And in habitations secure,
    And in resting places undisturbed.
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.18

    19. But the hail shall fall, and the forest be
    brought down;
    And the city shall be laid level with the
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.19

    20. Blessed are ye who sow your seed in every
    well-watered place;
    Who send forth the foot of the ox and the
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.20

    “Behold, a King shall rein in righteousness.” What need to ask who this King is, who reigns in righteousness? Jesus Christ? He it is of whom the Lord says: “I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jeremiah 23:5-6.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.21

    He is supreme, but He reigns not alone, for it has pleased Him that others shall share His high state. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. With Him “princes shall rule in judgment;” for the Father hath bestowed this love upon us, that we should also be called the sons of God, even as He Himself is. 1 John 3:1, 2. “Now are we the Sons of God,” “and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” Romans 8:17. “He hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father.” Revelation 1:5, 6. Yea, He hath made us alive from our death in trespasses and sins, and hath raised us up, and made us to sit together with Him in the heavenly places, at the right hand of God. Ephesians 1:20, 21; 2:1-6. “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes,” “even with the princes of His people,” “and to make them inherit the throne of glory.” 1 Samuel 2:7, 8; Psalm 113:7, 8.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.22

    “And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” The Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and French versions have it, “Every man shall be as an hiding place,” etc. Lowth, as we see, has it, “The Man.” This would make it refer especially to Christ, to whom it unquestionably has chief application; but all the renderings are correct, since He is pleased to make us whatever He is. Every one whom Christ makes kings and princes and priests will be such only by virtue of His nature; and therefore they will share with Him the joy and honour of His salvation, not merely of being saved, but of saving others.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.23

    What a glorious prospect is this! Poor, fallen men, way-worn, famished, fainting, fallen, and helpless are themselves to be so transformed by the refreshing that they receive from the Fountain of life and the Rock of their salvation, that they will be to others in like condition as an hiding place from the stormy wind, as rivers of water in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Yes, “Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,” but He has left representatives here on earth, to carry out His work, and to be in His stead to men. What is more refreshing than streams of water in a dry, hot day? and this is the place that every child of God is privileged to occupy, for whosoever believeth in the Son, “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38. Think also of the shadow of a great rock in a fainting land. How wonderfully cool it is! It not only excludes the rays of the sun, but imparts a refreshing coolness. Just such help is every Christian intended to be to some fainting souls in this world. For understand that these promises are not confined to the future. Even now Christ reigns in righteousness, and now we are the sons of God, and therefore princes. When should it apply if not at a time when there are souls fainting and weary.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 388.24

    “Princes shall rule in judgment.” Yea, for the heaven-inspired, and therefore to-be-answered, prayer for us is that our love should “abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment,” or discernment. Philippians 1:9. Also the promise is that we shall “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Colossians 1:9. The fact that the saints are to judge the world and angels, is given as a reason why they ought to be able to exercise good judgment now in all the affairs of life. 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3. And well it may be; for this is the time of preparation for the duties of the world to come. This good judgment, the knowledge of what is right and fitting to be done on all occasions, does not come by any magic, but by giving good heed to the words of the Lord; “for the Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-6. “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 389.1

    Sight, hearing, speech, and understanding are the gifts of righteousness. See verses 3, 4. And more, it is the princes who rule in judgment with the King of righteousness, who are to be instrumental in giving sight to the people, and making the hasty to understand knowledge. Only the difference of one letter changes “to him” to “not,” in the Hebrew, and Lowth is undoubtedly correct in saying that this change has been made. True, the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and it will be because they will regard Him who is the light. They will see Him in those whom He has enlightened.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 389.2

    “The vile person shall no more be called liberal.” From 1 Samuel 25:25 we learn that Nabal means foolish; and that is the word that is used here in the Hebrew; so that it is correctly rendered “fool,” as Lowth gives it. And who is the fool? He is the one who does not regard the Lord, who acts as if there were no God. See Psalm 14:1. Since the fear of the Lord is wisdom, it follows what folly is unrighteousness. The fool is the one who bears false witness against God, and thereby tends to weaken the faith of men,-to make the hungry and thirsty after righteousness still more empty.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 389.3

    In this connection it will be well to read what the Lord says by the prophet Ezekiel. Read chapter 13:17-23. Some have with lies made the heart of the righteous sad, and have strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not depart from his wicked way, by promising him life. They say, either by their actions or by their words, that it will be well with the wicked, and that no matter what a man does he will live to all eternity. Thus they put no difference between him that serveth the Lord and him that serveth Him not.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 389.4

    In verses 13, 14 we have a description of the effects of the curse. Jerusalem is specially referred to, but the application is to all the earth. Because of man's sin, the earth was cursed. This was not an arbitrary curse, but God merely stated the inevitable consequence of Adam's sin. When he who was set to be master and lord of the earth fell, it could not be otherwise than that his dominion should go to waste. The field of the drunkard and the sluggard will bring forth thorns and thistles. This curse we see now, but it will increase rapidly as the end approaches, and “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:13. At the last, the earth will be utterly desolate and waste, even as it was in the beginning before the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. See Genesis 1:2 and Isaiah 24:1.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 389.5

    The same Spirit that in the beginning brought order out of chaos, will effect the complete restoration after sin has completed its work of ruin. The Spirit of righteousness will undo the work of sin. When the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, “then will the wilderness become a fruitful field.” “When judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.” Although violence shall fill the earth, even as in the days that were before the flood (see Genesis 6:11; Matthew 24:37), yet “the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” And since righteousness is to dwell in the earth simply because there will be righteous men, made so by the Spirit of God, it follows that this restoration of all things, and the bringing back of the reign of peace is effected through men. God is the great Author of all things, but He works through men who fear Him, and yield themselves to Him as instruments of righteousness. “Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” 1 Corinthians 15:21. In like manner, since by man came the curse, by man comes also the blessing; since by man came the desolation, by man comes also the restoration. In every good work does the Lord associate His people with Himself, and He gives to them the glory. He gives them the glory, and they give it to Him.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 389.6

    “But the hail shall fall.” Terrible commotions will accompany the work of restoration. Not without a struggle will sin be rooted out of the earth. There shall be voices, and thunders, and a great earthquake, “such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great,” and there shall fall upon men great hail out of heaven, “every stone about the weight of a talent.” Revelation 16:17-21. Yet even at this time the people will “dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” During the time of trouble the saints of God on this earth will be as safe as they will afterwards be in heaven, for that is even now their dwelling place. See Psalm 91:1-16; 46:1-5.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 389.7

    Verse 20 is based upon the manner of sowing rice, which grows upon wet soil, and is sowed even while the water covers the ground. Then the oxen and the horses are driven upon it, and by them the seed is trampled into the ground. Thus most literally is bread cast upon the waters, to be received with increase after many days. Blessed are they who have confidence enough in the Lord to sow the seed of righteousness, even the living Word of God, at morning and at evening, although the prospect is most forbidding. Sow beside all waters, and the harvest will reveal, instead of a watery waste, a land smiling with ripened grain, the fruit of righteousness.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 389.8

    “Using Creeds” The Present Truth 15, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, in a recent address said some men professed to be teaching the Bible without the use of creeds, but that seemed to him like attempting to teach arithmetic without the use of the multiplication table.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 391.1

    Of course; that is just the reason why creeds are formulated. Men think that the infinite Word of God, which is nothing less than Himself (John 1:1), can be treated just like a simple problem in numbers. But the Bible gives us the thoughts of God, and these are too deep for human discernment (1 Corinthians 2:11), more than can be numbered (Psalm 40:5), and too high to be attained unto. Psalm 129:6, 17, 18. It is impossible to frame a table for what can neither be understood, nor measured, nor counted; and it is just as impossible to frame a creed which will condense the thoughts of God. The man who thinks that he can accurately and adequately restate the mind of God, in other and simpler words than God uses to express His thoughts, really claims to be infinite himself. If he does not wish to do this, he should let God speak for Himself, and confine his attention to listening to the Word; and pointing others to the pure water of life, flowing from the throne of God.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 391.2

    It is the unlovely in mankind that appeals most to Christ's tender sympathy.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 391.3

    “Little Folks. Lessons from the Trees” The Present Truth 15, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And on either side of the river was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” This beautiful life-giving tree was in the midst of the garden that God first gave to man for his home. You will remember why He took it away from him after he sinned; “lest he should put forth his hand, and take of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever.”PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.1

    Yet there were left in the earth many other trees “pleasant to the sight, and good for food,” and all of these also were to give life to man. The trees and the vines give forth in fruit the life that God is giving to them, that through them He may give His life to us. In all the fruits of the earth God is giving us His own life.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.2

    Think again of what we learned last week,-how the life of God, which He sends upon the earth in the showers with which He waters it, is drawn up through the roots of the tree, and carried to every part of it, running through every branch and twig and leaf.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.3

    This life of which the trees are full, has been lately shown in the sweet blossoms with which many of them have been covered. Perhaps you have seen in the orchards the beautiful clusters of pink and white apple blossoms, the little cherry blossoms, and other flowers that have beautified the trees and filled the air with fragrance. Now these are all falling, for they are not the end but only the beginning of the giving forth of the tree's life for the benefit of God's other creatures.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.4

    “First the trees blossom, and then they unblossom;
    And then there is a left but a little green ball
    That will biggen and brighten and sweeten and
    And bounce in the basket, an apple, next fall.”
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.5

    If you remember our Spring Iessons about the flowers, the bees, and the butterflies, and how these are used by God to cause the “fertilisation” of the plants, or to make them fruitful, you know that the pretty blossoms that so much delight our senses, and the honey that is found in them, are really only an attraction for these insects, so that the pollen, the flower dust which the seeds need to make them fruitful, shall be carried from one blossom to another.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.6

    For some of the plants the wind does this work of carrying the yellow pollen dust to fertilise the ripening seeds, but such plants have small colourless and scentless blossoms, that we should hardly call flowers at all.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.7

    So you can see that in all this and beauty, the real object is fruit. In it all we see the working of the same Word of life that multiplies the birds “that sing among the branches,” and makes them bring forth their young ones every Spring season. For the same Word said also in the beginning: “Let the earth bring forth the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth.”PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.8

    Read Matthew 21:18-20, and see what became of the fig tree upon which Jesus found no fruit, “but leaves only.” See also what He says in John 15. about unfruitful branches: “Every branch that beareth not fruit He taketh away,” “and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” The fruit tree or grape vine that bears no fruit is good for nothing, fit only to be destroyed.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.9

    Did you know, dear little ones, that you are little trees that Jesus has planted in His garden, and that He wants you to bear fruit that shall give life to others? Of all who are His we are told “that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.10

    All “trees of righteousness” are trees of life, because righteousness is life, just as sin is death. In the first realm we read of the one who loves the Lord and walks in His way, that “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” Jesus wants you to be so filled with the Spirit of life that, like the trees, you will give out the sweetness of it in life-giving fruit, “the fruits of righteousness,” “the fruits of the Spirit” of which we read in Galatians 5:22, 23: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.11

    Jesus has promised to give the Holy Spirit, which brings forth all these lovely fruits, “to them that ask Him.” Ask Him for it, dear children, and believe that He gives it to you, for His promise cannot fail.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.12

    Let His Holy Spirit fill you with good fruits, that through your love and gentleness, your joy and peace, your longsuffering and patience, those around you may taste the sweetness of the Lord's life, may see that He is good, and learn to love and trust Him for themselves.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.13

    “The bird that soars on highest wing
    Builds on the ground her lowly nest,
    And she who doth most sweetly sing
    Sings in the night when all things rest
    In lark and nightingale we see
    What honour hath humility.”
    PTUK June 22, 1899, page 394.14

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The militia in the island of Guernsey are in a state of revolution. Their arms and amunition have been taken away from them.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.1

    -Reports are at hand of the recent death of two hundred persons on the road to Klondyke. Scurvy, drowning, freezing and suicide were the causes.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.2

    -The motor-car industry is being developed in France. One car was driven from Paris to Bordeaux, a distance of 375 miles, in a little over eleven hours.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.3

    -The Khalifa is strengthening his position in Kordofan. He is attacking and defeating tribes which refuse to join him, and is now provisioned for several months.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.4

    -On the 9th inst., there was a cloud-burst at Austin, Texas. Seventy-five people are reported drowned, and thousands of acres of crops submerged, which will be a total loss.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.5

    -A Commission of nine members has been appointed by the President of the United States to determine the most feasible and practical route for a canal across the Isthmus of Panama.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.6

    -In Uganda, Africa, there is a population of over 10,000,000. Twenty years ago there was no missionary among this people; now there are 500 churches, 600 teachers, and over 60,000 under instruction.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.7

    -The steamer Paris remains stranded, in spite of every attempt to remove her from the rocks, and she has been abandoned by the owners to the underwriters. The vessel is insured for ?200,000 in forty companies.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.8

    -A tunnel to connect Scotland and Ireland, at a cost of ?10,000,000, has been enthusiastically advocated at a meeting at the House of Commons of a large number of influential persons. The Government will be asked to receive a deputation on the subject.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.9

    -At the unveiling of a monument erected at Canterbury to the memory of Protestant martyrs, Canon Farrar said he hoped the memorial would long remain a testimony to the fact that men had abandoned the attempt to put down honest belief by persecution, and to farce on people things which they believed to be superstitious and anti-Christian. These words were received with applause, but it was made evident immediately that the old spirit of intolerance was still in the people who applauded with their mouths, for when some organisation presented a protest against the anti-Christian and superstitious act of putting a pagan cross on the memorial, the protest was read to an accompaniment of jeering.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.10

    -The Italian Government has just placed a contract for the construction of six new armoured cruisers.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.11

    -A fire at the Elswick Ordnance Works did damage to the extent of ?200,000, and two thousand workmen were thrown out of employment.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.12

    -A disastrous explosion took place on 18 inst. in a mine at Kimberley. Twenty-five people were killed outright and many were badly injured.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.13

    -The Irish-Americans of New York are proposing to raise ?30,000 by popular subscription in order to purchase the Lakes of Killarney and the surrounding property for preservation as a public park.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.14

    -Baron Christiani, for violently assaulting the President of the French Republic, has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. Colonel Picquart has been set at liberty as there was no case against him.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.15

    -The warnings which were lately issued against oysters, as a frequent cause of typhoid fever, caused for a while an enormous diminution in the oyster trade, but as last season was the best for several years, the oyster-eating public seem to have got over its scare.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.16

    -An important decision was given in the Court of Chancery last week, when an injunction was grand to restrain a publisher from using extracts from the Revised Version, on the ground that the revision was copyright, being the property of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.17

    -The business houses of Paris are very anxious that no political or other excitement shall be allowed to interfere with the prospects of the Exhibition next year. At the last exhibition 32,000,000 visitors came to Paris and spent there over ?50,000,000. It is expected that these enormous figures will be doubled next year.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.18

    -Desperate fighting still takes place in the Philippines, where the American troops lost thirty men in an ambush. The men are suffering severily from heat, and the sick list increases every day. The situation is viewed with considerable anxiety at Washington. A Filipino general has been assassinated by Aguinaldo's bodyguard, it is thought because he favoured peace.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.19

    -On the 12th inst., a terrific storm swept the region of the Upper Mississippi. At New Richmond, Wisconsin, the tornado practically annihilated the town of 2,000 inhabitants, one hundred and sixty persons were killed outright, and over a thousand are reported more or less injured. Fire broke out in the ruins and cremated many who were imprisoned in cellars and wrecked buildings.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.20

    -Within the past few months trusts and corporation to the number of 270 have been organised within the United States, with an aggregate capital of nearly ?1,250,000,000. Almost all the necessaries of life are included, and all the luxuries. The object seems to be to drive out the small dealers, limit the supply, and then rake the price of the output. This is one of the significant signs of the times, which thoughtful people are everywhere viewing with alarm.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.21

    -Daniel R. Bower, M.D., LL.D., in a recent lecture on Criminal Anthropology, gave the following facts concerning the increase of crime in America from 1850 to 1890; 1850, 1 to 3,442 1860, 1 in 1,647; 1870, 1 in 1,771; 1880, 1 in 155; 1890, 1 in 757. Perhaps some of this alarming increase may be accounted for on the ground of more thorough work in collecting statistics, but nevertheless, if the rate continues for another forty years, the criminals will be largely in the majority. This is one of the signs of the last days for the Scriptures declare that “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.”PTUK June 22, 1899, page 398.22

    “The Great Peace Conference” The Present Truth 15, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Representatives from all the principal nations of the earth are now in consultation at the Hague, over the question of universal peace, and many people are expecting much from the Conference. If they would but give close heed to the Bible, they might know what to expect, and not be disappointed at the result.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.1

    The result of a “Peace Conference,” if favourable, must be peace. But it must he remembered that the result will not be known when the Conference adjourns. All that we can know then will be what the delegates have talked about, and what conclusions they have arrived at; the lapse of time alone will make it plain whether there has been any practical result or not.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.2

    What then are we entitled to expect from this Conference?-Nothing whatever. Listen to the infallible Word: “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit.” Isaiah 30:1. The men in conference at the Hague are not taking counsel of the Lord, nor are they seeking the covering of the Holy Spirit of God.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.3

    In the case referred to in the text just quoted, the counsel was between two nations; but the principle is the same. The Israelites were seeking to “strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh” just as each nation now is seeking to strengthen itself in the combined strength of all the rest, so that one nation will not wish or dare to attack another.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.4

    Why was the woe pronounced in the case of the Israelites?-Because, as the Lord said, “the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not Spirit.” Isaiah 31:3. Now the same thing is true of every people; they are men, and not God, and both their horses and themselves are flesh, and not Spirit. Therefore the same woe rests upon the people of these days, that rested upon the ancient people of Israel.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.5

    Bear in mind that the woe pronounced is not an arbitrary thing. It is not as though God should pettishly say, like a man, “Well, if you will not accept My terms, I will make you suffer for it.” God is not a man. Just because He is God, He alone has power, to help, and therefore those who seek help from men, and not from God, bring disaster upon themselves. The woe follows as a natural consequence, and God, who sees the end from the beginning, foretells it.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.6

    Look again at the reason given for the woe that shall come upon those who take counsel of men, instead of God, and who seek the protection of man, instead of the covering of God's Spirit. “The Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.” Flesh and blood cannot deliver. “The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23. How utterly foolish to seek help and guidance from those who are not able to support and guide themselves! It is like blind leading the blind, and the maimed trying to help the lame to walk. Only the Spirit of God can direct man in the right way, and only God has power to support and preserve.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.7

    There is a council of peace continually in session, and it is the only council that can accomplish definite results. “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the Man whose name is THE BRANCH; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord; even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory; and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Zechariah 6:12, 13. The true counsel of peace is between God and Christ on the throne of God in heaven. The God of peace has sent Jesus, “the Prince of peace,” who is “our peace,” preaching peace, “peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near.” Isaiah 57:19.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.8

    Christ has left His peace with men, but not as the world gives it. Whoever will let the peace of God rule in his heart (Colossians 3:15), by receiving and trusting absolutely in the Word of God, will be kept by “the peace of God which passeth all understanding.” Philippians 4:6, 7. This is the peace of righteousness, which comes from hearkening to the commandments of God. Isaiah 48:18; Romans 5:1. Only God can impart this peace, and it is the only peace that is peace indeed. It is perfect peace, and it is as lasting as eternity.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.9

    Now it is not this peace that the delegates of the nations have met to confer about at The Hague, and consequently they are imagining a vain thing. If it were the true peace that they were conferring about they would be having a religious meeting pure and simple seeking the blessing of the fulness of the Holy Spirit. “What a strange thing that would be for a congress composed of delegates from all the nations,” all will exclaim. Indeed it would be a strange thing, and an impossible thing; for if they were assembled for that purpose, their action could not be representative. Each one could secure peace for himself only, as an individual. Their action would bind nobody else. It would be a grand thing, however, if they would seek peace in that way, for then something would be accomplished; a few men, at least, would secure peace.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.10

    “There is no peace, saith my Lord, to the wicked.” Isaiah 57:21. It is only by personal faith in Christ that righteousness comes; therefore it is evident that to nations on this earth there can never be peace. Only by submitting to the mild sway of Him that sitteth on the throne in the heavens, and acknowledging and keeping His laws, can there be peace. That would result in there being only one King over all, which will be the case in the world to come, when “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.11

    It is not necessary, therefore, not even profitable, to call a conference of all the nations, in order to have peace. Each person may have a successful peace conference by himself, wherever he is God has spoken peace, and Christ has been sent with the message. We have only to listen and accept. “I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for He will speak Items unto His people, and to His saints; but let them not turn again to folly. Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before Him, and shall set us in the very steps.” Psalm 85:8-13.PTUK June 22, 1899, page 400.12

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