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    February 16, 1899

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. The Power and Glory of the Kingdom. Isaiah 8:19-12; 9:1-6The Present Truth 15, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Isaiah 8:19-23, 9:1-6, LOWTH'S TRANSLATION.)

    19. And when they shall say unto you:
    Seek unto the necromancers and the wizards;
    To them that speak inwardly, and that
    Should not a people seek unto their God?
    Should not they seek, instead of the living, unto
    the dead?
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.1

    20. Unto the command, and unto the testimony,
    let them seek;
    If they will not speak according to this word,
    In which there is no obscurity,
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.2

    21. Every one of them shall pass through the
    land distressed and famished;
    And when he shall be famished, and angry
    with himself,
    He shall curse his king and his god.
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.3

    22. And he shall cast his eyes upwards, and look
    down to the earth,
    And lo! distress and darkness!
    Gloom, tribulation, and accumulated darkness!
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.4

    23. But there shall not hereafter be darkness in
    the land which was distressed,
    In the former time He debased
    The land of Zebulon, and the land of Naph-
    But in the latter time He hath made it
    Even the way of the sea, beyond Jordan,
    Galilee of the Gentiles.
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.5

    1. The people that walked in darkness
    Have seen a great light;
    They that dwelled in the land of the shadow
    of death,
    Unto them hath the light shined.
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.6

    2. Thou hast multiplied the nation, Thou hast
    increased their joy;
    They rejoice before Thee as with the joy of
    As they rejoice who divide the spoil.
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.7

    3. For the yoke of his burden, the staff laid on
    his shoulder,
    The rod of his oppressor, hast Thou broken.
    as in the day of Midian.
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.8

    4. For the graves of the armed warrior in the
    And the garment rolled in much blood,
    Shall be for a burning, even for a fuel of fire.
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.9

    5. For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is
    And the Government shall be upon His
    And His name shall be called Wonderful,
    The Mighty God, the Father of the everlast-
    ing age, the Prince of peace.
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.10

    6. Of the increase of His Government and peace
    there shall be no end,
    Upon the throne of David, and upon his
    To fix it, and to establish it,
    With judgment and with justice, henceforth
    and for ever;
    The zeal of Jehovah God of Hosts will do this.
    PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.11

    It will be noticed that in Lowth's translation, which is here printed, the chapter division is not the same as in our common version. The eighth chapter is given twenty-three verses, so that what we ordinarily call the seventh verse of the ninth chapter is here the sixth. Some other versions follow this division, which is according to that in the Hebrew Bible. But both amount to the same thing however, since it is clearly to be seen that there is no break in the subject, and in the prophecy as originally written there was no division whatever into chapters and verses. The scripture is just the same whether it be called eighth or ninth chapter, and attention is here called to the fact of the difference in numbering the verses, so that none may be confused.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.12

    “When they shall say unto you, Seek ...unto wizards.” The meaning of the word “wizard” is “one who knows.” The Hebrew word rendered “wizard” is merely a form of the verb “to know.” Of course people would not be exhorted to seek to them who did not profess to know. But if they know, why not seek to them? Because they do not know. Their knowledge is foolishness. They “speak inwardly;” their knowledge is of themselves, and not from God. It is not the wisdom that comes from above. God “frustrateth the tokens of liars, and maketh diviners mad;” He “turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolishness.” Isaiah 44:25.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 97.13

    “The Lord giveth wisdom, out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6. In Christ are “hid all the treasurers of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3. The place to go for wisdom is to the Fountain Head, and not to any man, even though he got his wisdom from God. God gives to all liberally. Much less should we go to those who speak from themselves. For remember that wisdom is a gift from God. Truth is revealed, not searched out by human shrewdness. No man knows the place where light dwelleth, but light springs forth, and we see it. Even so with truth, which is light, we get it merely by looking-looking to God and His Word. The man who thinks that he can “originate thought,” will find out at the last that his supposed thought was emptiness. Only the thoughts of God shall stand.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 98.1

    But if we should not seek wisdom from living men, not even from ourselves, how utterly foolish to go to the dead for wisdom. “The dead know not anything.” Ecclesiastes 9:5. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:3-4. We pity the folly of poor heathen who ask wisdom from a piece of wood or stone; but what shall be said of the foolishness of men calling themselves enlightened Christians, who go to the dead for knowledge? What an insult to God!PTUK February 16, 1899, page 98.2

    “To the law and to the testimony.” Because “the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” Psalm 19:7-8. “Thou through Thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies.” Psalm 119:98. “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28. The Lord gives wisdom, but not apart from Himself in Christ. He cannot separate any of His attributes from Himself. All things are in Christ, and He gives us all things in giving us Christ. Nothing is inherent in man; but whatever good thing there is in any man is the working of God in Him. Christ is “the wisdom of God and the power of God,” and He is that to us who believe. God is not niggardly with His gifts. He “giveth to all liberally.” So it is better for a man to acknowledge the truth, that he knows nothing, because then he has for use all the wisdom of God. “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” 1 Corinthians 3:18.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 98.3

    Even as God cannot separate His attributes from Himself, for in that case He would cease to be God, so He cannot separate them from each other, “for the Lord our God is one Lord.” Therefore wisdom and righteousness go together. Christ is “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30. If we seek the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, all necessary things, including wisdom, will be added. “If any man willeth to do His will, He shall know.” John 7:17. The way of wisdom is therefore the way of the cross, which saves from sin. “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God;” and this power is the direct antithesis of foolishness. All that any man has to do is to live a life of faith in God's Word, thus pleasing God, and this will bring him into such close companionship with the Source of all wisdom that he cannot fail to know things that are hidden from the wise men of the earth. How much better to seek wisdom from a living God than from a mortal man.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 98.4

    Whatever reading of verse 20 we follow, we find the same thing. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” God's word is light, and those who reject that word have no light, and so must walk in darkness. Or we may take it as given in the Revision, “If they speak not according to this word, surely there is no morning for them.” How can there be, if they reject the only source of light-God's Word? Or we may take the rendering of our text, “If they will not speak according to this word, in which there is no obscurity, every one of them shall pass through the land distressed and famished,” and shall find only darkness. All the readings agree in the one thing, that God's Word is light, and that apart from it there is only darkness. And it is true food also; so that those who reject it must go hungry.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 98.5

    By comparing versus 1 and 2 of chapter 9 with Matthew 4:12-16, we see that it is a direct prophecy concerning Christ. There was formerly great darkness in the land, but now “hath He made it glorious.” Though darkness cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, the glory of the Lord shall lighten the gloom; for He is the Light of the world, and the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death upon them hath the light shined.” The light of Christ pierces even the darkness of the grave, for He went there; and even the grave was not able to quench the light of His life. His life-the light-triumphed over the darkness of the tomb.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 98.6

    The Revised Version renders verse 3 (verse 2 according to Lowth) just as we have it in our text: “Thou hast multiplied the nation, Thou hast increased the joy.” The connection shows that this is better than, “Thou hast not increased the joy;” for immediately we read, “They joy before Thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” The question at once arises, “How can there be so marked a difference, even a direct contradiction, in the two translations?” The answer is at hand: In the Hebrew the word “not,” and the phrase “to him” are almost identical, and are pronounced exactly the same. Look now in the margin of verse 3, in King James' version, and you will see the words “to him” given as an alternative. The nation has been multiplied by Christ, and thereby the joy to Him has been increased.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 98.7

    We read of Christ that, having been made an offering for sin, “He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand,” “and He shall divide the spoil with the strong.” Isaiah 53:10-12. Christ is the Seed, but, having died, He bears much fruit, so that the nation is increased. This is His joy, and His people share it with Him. It is the joy of harvest, because in the harvest-the end of the world-all His people will be gathered into the kingdom to shine forth as the sun. Matthew 13:38-43. It will be the rejoicing of them that divide spoil, because He then opens the graves, and takes away from “him that had the power of death, that is the devil” (Hebrews 2:14), millions whom he has shut up in his prison house, the grave, claiming them as his own. The joy that is increased to Jesus in the multiplying of the nation, is shared by all His saints, because He gives them a share in His redeeming work, and thus says to them, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 99.1

    “Thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor.” For Jesus took part in flesh and blood “that He might destroy” not death merely, but “him that had the power of death, that is the devil.” “Having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in Himself.” Colossians 2:15; margin. Satan is the oppressor, who binds heavy burdens on men. He has laden men with iniquity, but the bands have been broken, and liberty is proclaimed to all the captives. To all who are in prison the Lord says, “Go forth,” and they can do it if they wish, for in the face of that command Satan has no power to hinder.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 99.2

    “For all the armour of the armed man in the tumult, and the garments rolled in blood, shall even be for burning, for fuel of fire.” Yes, the Lord “maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire.” Psalm 46:9. War is of the devil, the destroyer. Christ redeems by destroying the destroyer, and so all the instruments of destruction will be destroyed. And the power by which at the last great battle all who destroy and all their weapons of destruction shall be destroyed, is the power by which today the yoke of Satan's oppression is broken for every believer.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 99.3

    “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” Who is He?-“The Son of man.” He is born unto us. The message that came to the shepherds of Bethlehem on the night of Christ's birth, is spoken equally to us, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11. He is our Saviour, our Christ, our Son. He belongs to us, and so all that He has is ours. With Him God freely gives us all things.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 99.4

    The Government is upon His shoulder; the kingdom is His. Therefore we shall reign with Him; for He who is born to us is also “the Everlasting Father.” In Him we have obtained an inheritance. “For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17. Never forget that as Christ is raised to the throne of God, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion,” and we are made to sit together with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20-21; 2:1-6), we have thus with Him power “over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19); so that in Christ we may assert our freedom from every bondage. Since Christ has given us power over “the prince of this world,” “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” how can we have any fear of what wicked men may do to us. God can restrain the wrath of man, and that which He allows to manifest itself, He makes to praise Him.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 99.5

    His name is Counsellor. He is “wonderful in counsel and excellent in working.” Isaiah 28:29. He is a host in Himself, so that the “multitude of counselors,” in which there is safety, is found in Him. We read so often in the Bible of people who went to seek counsel of the Lord, and they were not disappointed. Why not do the same thing now, since God is the same? of them who walk not in the counsel of the ungodly, but delight in the law of the Lord, it is said that all that they do shall prosper. The Lord Himself is pledged to execute any action that He counsels, so that in Him we find not only advice as to what to do, but the thing itself done. He who is the wisdom of God, is of God made unto us wisdom and right doing.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 99.6

    “Of the increase of His Government and peace there shall be no end, ... the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Christ does not ask any help of man to establish His kingdom. “The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David.” Luke 1:32. All that man has to do is to submit to His reign. We have not to enact laws and prepare the kingdom for Him, and then conduct Him to it; the kingdom is His, for God has anointed Him King in Zion, and He will put all His enemies under His feet. It is not by strife, not by force, not by human effort, but by the peaceful power of God in individual hearts, that the kingdom is made ready for the King. Then leave others alone, and “let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 99.7

    “Studies from the Gospel of John. Living by the Father. John 7:28-37The Present Truth 15, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    John 7:28-37

    The life of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, sets forth not merely the pattern life for all men, but also the means by which the same life may he reproduced in whoever desires to live it. The Saviour, it is true, lived and worked and spake as never man had done before, but this was not because of any special advantages enjoyed by Him. His life was lived on earth to show what could be done with the opportunities provided by God for all men. He was poor, having nowhere to lay His head, He was despised and rejected of men, neither did His brethren believe on Him. He was tempted in all points like as we are, and counted unworthy to live by those who thought themselves righteous. Whatever of disability and hindrance is felt by any man, was Christ's portion. “His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 99.8

    There was one thing, however, that enabled Jesus to rise above His surroundings, and live a life that showed to men “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” He represented the Father perfectly, so that He could say, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,” and that which enabled Him to do this was the fact that the Father dwelt in Him. Jesus emptied Himself, and interposed no obstacle to the Father's working in Him, and since God giveth not the Spirit by measure, it followed naturally that in Christ dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 99.9

    God desires to do for us what He did for His only begotten Son. Jesus said to His disciples, “As the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.” John 20:31. By pursuing the same course that Jesus took, the same results will follow in our case. So far as God is concerned, no difference is made between us and Christ. Just as He equipped and sent forth Jesus, He sends us also. Jesus recognised what the Father was to Him in all His life, and so we do not find Him thinking, planning, speaking, acting, or claiming anything for Himself, but leaving all things to His Father. “I am not come of Myself,” He said, “I am come in My Father's name.” Although Christ has sent us forth, just as He Himself was sent, we, instead of committing everything to God, take matters into our own hands. We are afraid that if we did not, sometimes at least, take the initiative, nothing would be done. Others expect us to take action, and although we cannot see what is the best thing to do we feel that something must be done. Saul, after waiting the appointed time for Samuel, thought it was incumbent on him to offer the sacrifice himself, but he had done foolishly. 1 Samuel 13. The Lord wants us to trust Him with all the heart, and not even to lean to our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 100.1

    Christ was dependent on His Father through every step of His life. If God had not given Him the word to speak, it would never have been spoken, for He had none of Himself. If God had not revealed to Him the course to take, nothing would have been done, for He came not to do His own will. Christ “emptied Himself” and if the Father had not filled Him, He would have remained empty. If we confess our own helplessness and emptiness, and wait on the Lord at all times, is there any danger that our life record will be a barren one? It was not so with Christ. If we find ourselves in some situation where it might seem that we should speak, and the Lord gives us no word to speak, we are not to conclude that the Lord has overlooked us and decide to take the matter into our own hands, but know that the Lord has nothing for us to say, and that, at that time, silence is golden. Jesus was brought into circumstances where to human eyes, it would seem that every consideration demanded instant and energetic speech, but the Father gave Him nothing to say, and so He answered never a word. So He says to those whom He sends forth, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” Matthew 10:19, 20.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 100.2

    Jesus had such confidence in His Father that He could wait for Him to give the right word or act, and the Father was never found wanting. He never disappointed His Son, and He never will disappoint those who commit their way to Him, leaving Him to will and to do of His own good pleasure, and who are prepared never to speak another word or perform another act which does not originate with Him. “They shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.” Isaiah 49:23.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 100.3

    Men were surprised at the learning of Jesus. He had not attended the schools of the rabbis, yet He spoke with authority, and all recognised the unanswerable wisdom of His utterances. The explanation was, “My teaching is not Mine, but His that sent Me.” He had not learned of an earthly teacher. The Father Himself was teaching through Christ, and as Elihu asked, “Who is a teacher like unto Him?”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 100.4

    The works of Christ did not proceed from Himself. “The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” Yet none could deny that His life was filled with good works. The Jews said, “When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles than these which this man hath done?” So with the words of Christ. He said, “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself,” yet Gentile soldiers were forced to confess, “Never man spake like this Man.”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 100.5

    Christ's qualification for the work of revealing the Father, consisted in the fact that there was nothing in Him that was not of the Father. Since He lived by the Father, and there was nothing in His life that came from any other source, every thought and word and action was a revelation of God's way. It is to be the same with all Christ's followers. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18. It is not possible for Christians to regard this matter with indifference. No one may excuse himself by saying that the standard is too high for anyone to live up to, and no one may think that he will reserve to himself the privilege of thinking his own thoughts and speaking his own words occasionally Christ draws a sharp line of distinction between those who deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow Him, and those who love the praise of men and esteem anything above their Lord. He says “He that speaketh from himself seeketh his own glory.” John 7:1. Whoever seeks his own glory cannot receive Christ, for He is meek and lowly in heart. It was for this reason that the Jews could not believe on Christ, and the same difficulty in us will prove just as fatal. “How can ye believe, which receive glory one of another?” John 5:44.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 100.6

    In hating Christ, and seeking His life the Jews showed what was their real feeling toward the Father. They professed themselves very jealous for the honour a Jehovah, because they thought He was altogether such an one as themselves, but when they became acquainted with His true character, as revealed in His Son many of them hated Him without a cause they were filled with the murderous spirit of Satan, and at the first opportunity they put the Son of God to death, Satan's spirit has not changed, and it animates alI who do not allow God to think and speak in them. In seeking their own glory, they are repeating that which caused Satan's fall from heaven, and changed him from an anointed cherub to the prince of devils. While the professed, church of Christ seeks its own glory, Satan can do much to further his own plans through its unconscious instrumentality, but when its members become like their Lord, and in God speak and work in them, Satan's wrath will be speedily aroused against them, and he will stir up his followers to destroy the members of Christ's body. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” All in whose hearts Christ dwells by faith may know that He by whom they live is the object of Satan's deadliest hatred, and that they themselves will share his rage, but they may know also that Christ's perfect victory over all the power of the enemy is theirs as well.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 100.7

    “Judge not according to appearance but judge righteous judgment.” One of the most remarkable things about Jesus, was the way in which He distinguished between right and wrong. Puzzling questions were often brought to Him, but were always solved with such wisdom that those who were seeking occasion to accuse Him were dumbfounded. We need the same wisdom, for the traditions of men, false theories, and considerations of expediency have so confused the distinction between right and wrong to men's minds, that many honestly believe wrong to be right and right to be wrong. What will clear the issues for us? The same state of things existed in Christ's day, but the prevailing mental confusion did not dim His judgment, because God Himself was His judgment. He did not judge according to appearance, for while this is all that humanity has to go by, appearance are often misleading. Jesus said, “I can of Myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” John 5:30. Selfish interests always stood the judgment, and bias the decision, but Christ was swayed by none of these. Because He sought only the will of God, and listened only to His voice, the Father was to Him for “a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment.” It was foretold of Christ; “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and He shall be of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither decide after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor; and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.” Isaiah 40:2-4. This same Spirit is given to all freely, and will be, to all who receive it, what it was in Jesus of Nazareth.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 100.8

    It was never intended that the experience of Jesus, in these matters, should be an exceptional one. So far from that, God has covenanted, and the covenant is sealed with the blood of Christ, that He will put His law in our inward parts, and write it in our hearts. It is perfectly natural for Him to do right, and it will be the same for those who let Him write His law in their hearts. They will judge righteous judgment, will speak words in season, and always do the right thing in the right way, because God's way is in their hearts. God Himself is their life. They, like Christ, do not need that any man teach them, for the covenant in, “They shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:34. This condition is not achieved by men's own worthiness. It is a covenant that is established upon promises, made to sinners, and the Holy Ghost applies it to all whose sins are forgiven. Hebrews 10:15-17. When we recognise that we are not our own, to do with what we please, but that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and every member is to be yielded as an instrument of righteousness unto God, He will take complete possession, and we shall be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 101.1

    Whatever appears desirable in the life of Christ, men are called to partake of His invitation given in the temple court is still the same to-day. “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.” He reserves nothing for Himself, but makes all who receive Him that sent Me. Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, ye cannot come.” “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6, 7. It is our thoughts that keep us from God. His thoughts are as much above ours as the heavens are above the earth. God's thoughts received will lift man to heaven, even to the throne of Christ. Revelation 3:21. Those who continue to think their own thoughts will seek Christ in vain, for where He is they cannot come. For those who receive His word, He prays, “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me.” John 17:24. Knowing the Lord now, by actual experience, learning His way by letter Him reveal it in us, prepares the way to a more perfect knowledge, when we shall see Him as He is. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 101.2

    “Being Made Whole” The Present Truth 15, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The miracles of Christ are recorded for us that we may believe in Him, and believing, find life in His name. John 20:31. Therefore when we read of the many interesting circumstances that were connected with His works of healing, we are not to think of them as applying solely to the persons who were healed, but to learn from them what we may expect when we ourselves come to Jesus for help in time of need. The people who received His blessing in Judea and Galilee displayed many characteristics which we recognise an belonging to human nature at the present time, and we may learn from their experience how the Saviour deals with us under similar circumstances.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 101.3

    We read in the fifth chapter of John's Gospel of man who had had an infirmity thirty-eight years. He was greatly desirous of being freed from his disease, and with this object he lay beside the pool of Bethsada. At certain times the water was troubled, and then there was a rush on the part of the sick people who clustered round the pool to get first into the water, that they might be healed. As Jesus walked one Sabbath by this place He saw the man, and knowing that he had now been a long time in that case, He asked him, “Wouldest thou be made whole?”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 101.4

    Notice what a despairing answer the man returns: “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.” He desired to be made whole earnestly enough, but he only saw one possibilitlity of this being accomplished, and that was that some man would take pity on his helplessness and wait for an opportunity to help him into the water. Doubtless most of the sufferers lying round the pool had friends with these, and the man who had the most friends stood the best chance. The greatest thing that this man could think of that Jesus could do for him would be to undertake to wait by his side till the waters were again troubled.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 101.5

    “Jesus saith unto him, Arise, take up they bed and walk. And straightway the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked.” This is what Jesus does for men. He comes to every one and says, “Wilt thou be made whole?” and He desires to do as much for us as He did for the impotent man on that occasion.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 102.1

    We too may have been held by our infirmities thirty-eight years, or even more. Inherited tendencies to evil may have grown into fixed habits that are part of our lives, and that we cannot possibly overcome, but it is as easy for Christ to make us whole, and free from them, as though they were not a day old. When He calls the dead from the grave at the resurrection, it will be as easy for Him to raise Adam and Eve as those that have only lately turned to dust.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 102.2

    Jesus sees us in bondage to the lusts of the flesh, led captive by Satan, and defiled with the leprosy of sin, and he wants to make us every white whole, but, like the man by the pool of Bethesda, we to often put Him off by saying that if we only had the help that others have, we would be all right. If only we were as free from trouble and temptation as others that we know, we would soon be whole. If some man would help us, or other men would cease to hinder us, all would be well.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 102.3

    The Saviour does not want us to lean upon these broken reeds, which always disappoint, and wound those who trust them. He has, all ready for us, all that we can desire and, passing by as worthless all our plans for helping ourselves, He solves the whole problem at once, by giving directly what we need. If we are willing to abandon our confidence in our own methods and devices, acknowledge our weakness, and trust implicitly in His all-powerful, all-sufficient Word, we may pass straightway from the condition of weakness and infirmity, no matter of how long standing, and enter at once into the joyful experience of freedom in the Lord from all the power of the enemy.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 102.4

    All the years that the impotent man had been lying by the pool had brought him not a single step nearer the attainment of his desires. All our own efforts to make ourselves whole, leave us further from the end than before. A word from Jesus accomplished immediately more than the man had dared to hope. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 102.5

    “Little Folks. The Gospel of the Spring. Jesus, the True Seed” The Present Truth 15, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner


    We were talking last week about the seed being multiplied,-how we nay get many, many seeds from one. But there is something that we did not speak of then, that must take place before this can be done.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.1

    Jesus said: “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.2

    Perhaps some of you are studying botany,-plant life. Here, then, is the very first lesson that you need to learn about the plants. The seed must die before it can be multiplied. It can give birth and life to other plants only by giving up itself, by the sacrifice of its own life.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.3

    The new plant that is to spring from the seed is in most seeds only a tiny part of the whole seed. All the rest is for the nourishment of the young plant when it shall awake and spring up. But the seed must die and change before the new plant can spring up and feed upon it.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.4

    So you see that the seed really gives up its own life in order to give life. But is it lost? Oh, no: it is multiplied. Many plants, bearing many seeds exactly like it, come from it. If it should not die, but keep its life all to itself, it would, as Jesus said, “Abide alone,” and at last perish and be lost indeed. But by giving its life, it saves and keeps it.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.5

    And now, what is the Gospel message that our Heavenly Father has written for us in all this? Do you remember that the very first Gospel promise ever heard by men said something about seed?PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.6

    When He first promised to give His only begotten Son to save men from the power of Satan, God called Him, the Seed. And many times, when this promise was repeated, Jesus was called by the same name. He is, “the Seed of the woman;” “the Seed of Abraham;” “the Seed of David.” But except the seed “fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.7

    If you had the seed of a very rare and choice plant, would you think it too great a treasure to be sown in the ground? No, the more you valued it, the more anxious you would be to sow it, so that it might not “abide alone,” but that you might get many more like it.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.8

    And so God did not keep back “His only begotten Son,” but gave Him freely, so that He should not “abide alone,” but that He might “bring many sons unto glory.”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.9

    In the place of the one seed that is put in the ground, we get many seeds exactly like it. In the place of the one Son whom he gave, God the Father will at last, when the harvest shall come and all the seed shall be gathered, get many sons, many children, all in His exact image.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.10

    The seed dies that it may give life. Jesus died that He might give life to you that you might feed upon His life, and grow into His image, and so be one of the many children that through His sacrifice He will bring to glory. He died so that He might not “abide alone,” but that you might abide with Him for ever.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 106.11

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Nearly a million persons make their living in America by the electrical industries.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.1

    -There is an agitation in Russia for the appointment of a recognised diplomatic agent in Afghanistan.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.2

    -The Peace Treaty between Spain and the United States has been ratified in the U.S. Senate by a majority of one.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.3

    -Only two minutes are required for the blood to course through the heart, thence to the lungs, back again to the heart, and then through the entire body and return to the heart.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.4

    -Lake Morat, in Switzerland, has the curious property of turning red every ten years, owing to the presence of certain aquatic, plants which are not known in any other lake in the world.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.5

    -A Boston paper says that topers in many of the towns of the Argentine Republic are shamed into reformation by being compelled to sweep the streets for eight days for each offence. No exceptions are made.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.6

    -A Berlin paper elates that as far as could be ascertained there have been forty-eight convictions for lése majesté in Germany during the month of January alone, the actual number being probably much larger.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.7

    -A pack of steghounds in the Went of England were returning from a chase after a hind, which they caught and killed, when they set upon a herd of tame deer belonging to the Earl of Carnarvon, and before any of the hunting party could stop them, had killed seventeen.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.8

    -Aguinaldo has declared war against the United States, and a battle has been fought with the Filipinos, of whom some hundreds were killed.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.9

    -All the Governments invited to the Peace Conference have agreed to the Russian proposal that the place of meeting should be at the Hague. The Conference itself will decide upon its programme.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.10

    -The Panama Canal Company have offered to sell their canal to the United States. If the offer is not accepted, it is said that the canal will become the exclusive property of Russia, France, Germany, and Austria.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.11

    -It has been decided in Parts that executions shall no longer take place in public. The usual crowd gathered a few days ago to see the last of these gruesome spectacles, and passed the night drinking, singing and playing dice.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.12

    -A bill will be laid before the U.S. Congress immediately. providing for the construction of twelve new warships. All of the vessels are to have the highest speed and greatest radius of action, the heaviest armour, and the most powerful ordnance obtainable for ships of their class.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.13

    -The Cape to Cairo Railway scheme has met with considersble opposition. The Government has consented to guarantee 350 miles only, from Buluwayo to the Zambesi River. When this is completed, the remainder of the sceme to the Tanganyika district, another 600 miles, will receive consideration.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.14

    -A general protest is going up all over the United States against the continuance of the revenue taxes instituted last year to cover the exense of the war. The popular opinion is that the war having ended, taxes should stop. The Government, however, is unlikely to reduce the revenue, as the increase in the army and other new projects now before the Congress call alone for an expenditure of 444,000,000 dollars.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.15

    -In the forthcoming session of Parliament a Bill will be introduced, dealing with joint stock companies, which is intended to correct some of the abuses of the Limited Company system. One provision that any promoter who receives s secret profit or remuneration shall be liable to repay the same to the Company with such interest as the Court may direct. Directors who do not use proper care and prudence to protect the interests of shareholders, shall be liable to compensate them for any damage incurred.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.16

    -At a speech made last week the German Kaiser said that the furtherance of universal peace is a splendid enterprise, but so long as unredeemed sin prevails in humanity there will be war, hatred, envy, and discord. This is so among individuals, and among nations it is a law. The Kaiser does not believe in universal peace. War is an element in the world's order, attributable to the existence of original sin. Political institutions, diplomatic conferences cannot abolish it until sin is abolished. If the Kaiser really recognises this truth, it ought to teach him where he gets his own military enthusiasm from.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.17

    -The Pope recently received in audience a number of English converts to Rome, among them several Anglican clergymen who were preparing to return to England as Roman Catholic missionaries. The report says that the Pope, in addressing them, recalled with what solicitude he had striven to secure the return of England to the ancient faith. He did not conceal from himself the immense difficulties in the way of this noble enterprise, but he trusted in Divine grace, and be rejoiced in the numerous conversions already effected, hoping to see the number soon doubled. He relied greatly upon the apostolic work of those who had already embraced the faith and were students at Rome. They, in the true Catholic spirit, would be able, as priests, to exercise in England a ministry of great efficacy for their fellow countrymen.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 110.18

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We read in the book of Revelation that there is in heaven, as there was in the earthly sanctuary, “the patterns of things in the heavens,” a golden altar of incense. “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.” Revelation 8:3, 4.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.1

    From the experience of Isaiah we learn what effect the incense has upon the prayers of the saints, when it is added to them. He saw the glory of the Lord in His temple, and was overwhelmed at the sight. “Then said I, Woe is me l for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” Then one of the seraphim flew to Isaiah with a burning coal which he had taken from the altar of incense, “and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Isaiah 6:5-7.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.2

    We may know therefore, that when the incense is added to our prayers, it purifies them from all iniquity and selfishness, so that they come up before God as from cleansed and purified lips. The lurking insincerity, of which we ourselves are barely, if at all, conscious, the seeking after our own interests, and all that is unlovely in God's sight, is taken out of the prayers and they come before Him as just the prayers which He delights to honour, and answer to the full.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.3

    The incense on the golden altar was only to be lighted from the fire on the altar of burnt offering, and no strange fire was to be used. The altar of burnt offering represented the sacrifice of Christ, and no prayer or praise is acceptable to God except it be kindled in the heart Jesus. Prayer that is offered in His name comes before the Father fragrant with the Spirit and merit of His only begotten Son. “He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” The Saviour says, “If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:14.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.4

    What an encouragement is here to continual prayer. It may seem to us that we are weak and unworthy to draw near unto God, but the feeble, stammering prayer which our hearts utter does not come before the Father in the way that it seems to us to go. The beings who minister in the heavenly sanctuary offer with the prayer the incense which consumes all the unworthiness out of it, and it comes to God with all the weight that the prayers of Jesus had when He was on the earth. Since we have a faithful High Priest to present our prayers acceptably to God, “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace.”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.5

    But with Isaiah the cleansing of his lips did not alone avail to render his petitions meet for the Father's ear. It also fitted him to bear the message of salvation to others. We may be but little gifted with the ability to speak, but if our lips be cleansed, the fire that does it will also take out of our testimony all the elements of weakness that would otherwise destroy its efficacy. The cleansing which takes everything un-Christlike out of our prayers will accomplish the same work for our words to others. “Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.” 2 Corinthians 2:14, 15.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.6

    “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.” Hebrews 13:16.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.7

    The Methodist Times in writing of the disrespect paid to Sunday, uses language which is truer than it seems to realise:-PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.8

    Rome has done no greater evil to mankind, and especially to the poor, than her wicked success in destroying the sanctity of the one day in the week which the early Christians legitimately devoted to the worship of Jesus Christ and to religious intercourse with one another. Every one knows that the masterpiece of the Papacy is the Continental Sunday.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.9

    It is true that the Sunday, as openly claimed by the Roman Catholic Church, is the masterpiece of the Papacy, whether it be called Continental or English. It is so recognised by Romanist lecturers who find, in its observance by Protestants, opportunity for an unanswerable taunt at the inconsistency of professing to be guided by the Bible only, and yet observing as sacred a day which has no authority except that of the Papacy. There was and is only one day in the week which the early, or later, Christians could legitimately observe as a Sabbath, and that is the seventh day of the week, which is set apart as holy by the law of God.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.10

    It is not correct, however, to say that Rome achieved “success in destroying the sanctity” of the Sabbath of the Lord. No man can unsanctify what God has made holy, any more than men can make sacred what God has never pronounced holy. Therefore the seventh day of the week remains still a holy day, and not even the unanimous vote of every soul in the universe, or the enactment of laws by every legislature in the world, could sanctify the first day of the week, since God has not made it holy.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.11

    It is true that the power which should speak great words against the Most High, and should wear out the saints of the Most High, should also think to change the times and laws of the Most High (Daniel 7:25); but however much the Papacy, to which this prophecy unmistakably points, should think to change God's laws, these are as far above its reach as the throne of God, which is founded upon them. And “the foundation of God standeth sure.”PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.12

    It is not in England alone that Rome is gaining ground. In a recent number of the New York Independent, which is probably the most influential religious magazine in the United States, appear these words:-PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.13

    Archbishop Chapelle is now in Porto Rico, and will afterward visit Cuba on the mission committed to him by the Pope, which is that of oversight, and we may say reconstruction of the Roman Catholic Church In those Islands. It is an extremely important work, and one in which he ought to be followed by the good wishes of all good Americans and good Christians.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.14

    And this, notwithstanding that the same article confesses that Porto Rico has not profited in the past by the ministrations, of the Roman Catholic Church.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.15

    It will require time, a long time, Church in good working order, it has been so long in disrepute. Father Sherman calls Porto Rico a Catholic country without religion.PTUK February 16, 1899, page 112.16

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