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    March 17, 1898

    “The Gospel in Grafting” The Present Truth 14, 11.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the book of nature, as well as in the printed Word, God has revealed Himself to us. Everything, animate and inanimate, speaks of the power and wisdom of Him who “commanded and they were created.” “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee; or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?” Job. xii. 7-9.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 161.1


    God's plan for the salvation of lost man is also clearly set forth in “the visible Gospel,” His working in “the things that are made.” One phase of this teaching will be the subject of our study in this article. The facts concerning the creation of man, his fall, God's purpose to restore him, and the result of this work, are briefly stated in the following scriptures: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.... So God created man in His image.” Gen. i. 26, 27. “All have sinned and come short of the glory [character or image] of God.” Rom. iii. 23. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.” Rom. viii. 28, 29. This is accomplished by “the light of the glorious Gospel [the Gospel of the glory] of Christ who is the image of God.” 2 Cor. iv. 4. “And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Cor. xv. 49. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him.” 1 John iii. 2.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 161.2

    We may summarise these facts in this way: Man at the first was made perfect but lost that perfection through sin. The Gospel is God's plan and power for restoring man to his original perfection through the gift of Jesus Christ and the acceptance of His righteousness. The result will be that man will be once more like Him.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 161.3


    Now the same facts are brought to our attention in “the visible Gospel” of nature, and in His Word the Lord has made this instruction clear to us. That the original perfection of man and his subsequent fall are taught in nature, is pointed out in this scripture: “Yet I had planted thee [Israel, verse 14] a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me!” Jer. ii. 21. The general method of restoration, as taught by the Saviour, is to “make the tree good, and his fruit good.” The details of the method will be considered later. And the result is “that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Isa. lxi. 3. This shows that the degeneracy of all plants and trees, and their tendency to degenerate, is the visible teaching of the fall of man. And the fact that degenerate plants and trees can be made to yield good fruit teaches the Gospel of restoration for man. And the method by which a degenerate plant or tree can be made to yield good fruit, which studied in the light of the Scripture, reveals the method by which sinful man can be “filled with the fruits of righteousness.” Let us therefore consider it carefully.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 161.4


    The nature of the fruit depends upon and reveals the nature of the tree. “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matt. vii. 17-20. This is the teaching of nature, and the experience of every man has made him familiar with these facts. But since a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit, it is evident that, if good fruit is to be obtained from a tree which has become corrupt, the nature or character of the tree must be changed. And every gardener knows that this can be done, and that it is done by the process of grafting. One method of grafting is to saw off the end of a limb of the tree to be grafted, and then insert it in the end one or more grafts or scions from a tree bearing a superior variety of fruit, and the nature of the graft or scion determines the nature of the fruit borne on the new branch. It is a well-known fact that our best varieties of fruits have all been obtained in this way.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 161.5


    But how are these facts interpreted by the Scriptures so that we may see in them what they are designed to teach, viz., the method by which men may be restored to the image of God? Let us read and see. “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.” James i. 21. How is the degenerate human tree to be restored so that it may bear good fruit? Just as the tree in your garden. It must be grafted. And what is the graft or scion to be used? It is the Word, “which is able to save your souls.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 162.1

    But what or who is the Word? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John i. 1. “And I saw heaven open, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.... and His name is called the Word of God.” Rev. xix. 11-13.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 162.2

    It is thus evident that the “engrafted Word” which we are to receive, and “which is able to save your souls,” is Christ the living Word. “He came to His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John i. 11, 12. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts iv. 12.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 162.3


    But it is now necessary to call attention to another fact which is well known to everyone who has had any experience in grafting trees. Any gardener will tell you that in order for the process of grafting to be successful, the graft or scion must be nearly related botanically to the tree which is to be grafted. “Thus roses will bud on briers, but not on myrtles. Apricots will on plums; pears will on quinces; because all these are closely related. But apples will not graft on plums, being not of the same order.” This is the chapter in the Gospel of nature in which we read of the necessity for, and the fact of, the incarnation of the Son of God.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 162.4

    Here we see the following scriptures: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham He taketh hold [margin]. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him [or He was obliged] to be made like unto His brethren.” Heb. ii. 14-17. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfiled in us, who walked not after the flesh after the Spirit.” Rom. viii. 3, 4. “Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me.” Heb. x. 5.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 162.5

    God's plan for man contemplated, not the overlooking of sin in man but the removal of sin from man, and his complete restoration to the image of God, a change of character or nature, that we might “be partakers of the Divine nature.” But since man who was at the first and by creation “a noble vine, wholly a right seed” (or seed of truth), had through sin “turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine,” and had lost the Divine nature so that “there is none righteous, no not one,” it was necessary, in order to make it possible for him to receive “the engrafted Word” for his restoration, that the Word should be made flesh, and not merely that it should be made flesh, but that it bear the same kind of flesh. And so God sent His own Son “in the likeness of sinful flesh” that thus the scion or graft might be prepared, so nearly related to us that it might be possible for us to receive the “engrafted Word” and bring forth fruit after the Divine nature.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 162.6

    Since it was man who was to be saved, and sinful man too, the Son of God became the Son of man, not laying aside His divinity but clothing it with our humanity, that He might be able to reach man where he was. This was the only way in which the Divine nature could come in actual contact with sinful man as a means of salvation, since the unveiled glory of God could result only in destruction to sinners. “For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb. xii. 29.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 162.7


    All this was clearly set forth in the prophecy concerning the person and work of Christ. Thus we read: “And there shall come forth a shoot of the stock of Jesse, and a branch [or scion] out of His roots shall bear fruit.” Isa. xi. 1, R.V. Here is presented “the Gospel of God ... concerning His Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,” but is clothed in such language that it is most clearly intended as a partial interpretation of that remarkable phenomenon in nature which we are now studying. But another scripture will give further light upon the subject. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch [margin, Short or Bud], and He shall reign as King and deal wisely; ... and this is the name whereby He shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness.” Jer. xxiii. 5, 6, R.V. The family of David is a “sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters” (Isa. i. 4), but to the same nation the promise was made, “Thy people also shall be all righteous” (Isa. lx. 21), and inasmuch as this is to be brought about by receiving “the engrafted Word,” the Branch (Shoot or Scion) which is to be used in the process of grafting must be “a righteous Branch,” since the character of the scion determines the character of the fruit to be borne on the new branch. The Branch was prophesied of, which would be nearly related to the “degenerate plant” so that it could be used in the grafting process, but at the same time infinitely superior in the character of its fruit, so that through it could be accomplished the restoration of the “degenerate plant.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 162.8


    The meaning of this fact of nature, that the scion and the tree must be nearly related botanically, is further brought out in the scripture: “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold, the Man whose name is the Branch [margin, Bud]; 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.” Zech. vi. 12, 13, R.V. The tree to be restored was man, and so the Branch (or Scion) must be a man, but in order to “make the tree good” that it might bear good fruit again, it was necessary that the Branch, or man, should be of an infinitely superior type, even “a righteous Branch,” so that the scripture should be fulfilled which says: “By His knowledge shall My servant justify many.” Isa. liii. 11.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 162.9


    These same truths are taught, by contrast, in another way. Thus we read of Lucifer, who was created the light-bearer but who through his rebellion became Satan, the adversary: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch .... the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.” Isa. xiv. 12-20. Read also Eze. xxxiv. 26-30, noticing especially verse 29: “And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 163.1

    What a contrast is here drawn between Christ, the “righteous Branch,” and Satan, the “abominable branch.” The one is He who “giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.” Isa. xl. 29. The other is he “which did weaken the nations.” One is “a plant of renown.” The other “shall never be renowed.” The one came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” The other “walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 163.2


    Thus in the light which the Scripture throws upon it, we may learn the teaching which the Lord designs to impart to us through that really remarkable process, the process of grafting. In it the Gospel of the restoration of man to the image of God and the method by which it is accomplished are most certainly taught. So if any man will regard this process in the natural world in the light which is shed upon it from the Word of God, he can see the way in which the degenerate human plant is to be treated and what the results will be. Thus if one will believe the Gospel in grafting, he will be thereby prepared to “receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 163.3

    In the light of what we have learned we may profitably close this study with the following scripture: “Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have spoken and have done it.” Eze. xvii. 22-24.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 163.4

    “‘He Himself Knew What He Would Do’” The Present Truth 14, 11.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Jesus had gone out into a desert place, and, as usual, a great multitude followed Him. Thousands of hungry people were present, with nothing to eat, and Jesus said Philip, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip at once began to calculate, and concluded that it could not be done, since two hundred pennyworth (200 days’ wages) of bread would not be sufficient for each one to have a taste. Peter volunteered the information that there was a lad present, who had five barley loaves and two small fishes, but such a small amount was not worth mentioning among so many. No; it was clearly an impossibility; the people must get along the best they could, for there was no food there for them.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 163.5

    But Jesus was not disturbed by these conclusions. He had simply asked the question, “Whence shall we buy bread?” in order to prove the disciples; “for He Himself knew what He would do it.” He knew how many hungry people there were present, and how much, or rather how little food there was at hand, yet He was not at all troubled. He knew what He would do, and He proceeded to do it. Not one of the great multitude went away hungry. Every one was filled, and there was an abundance of food left. How did it come to pass?—The Bread of Life was with them. He who calls to all the world, “Come ye, and buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price,” had no need to go away to buy food for those who had followed Him.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 163.6

    Fifteen hundred years before that time, the ancestors of the same people were in the desert, and they had nothing to eat. “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full: for ye have brought us forth into the wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Ex. xvi. 3, 4. But they did not starve, for bread in abundance was sent them from heaven. They were fed from the same source as their descendants by the sea of Galilee.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 163.7

    Yet the lesson was not learned. From the wilderness of Sin they journeyed “according to the commandment of the Lord, and pitched in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink.” “And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst.” Ex. xvii. 1, 3. But they did not die. Water was provided for them in abundance, for “the fountain of living waters” was with them, and “they drank of that Spiritual Rock.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 164.1

    As we read these narratives, we read them in the light of the result, and so have not the sympathy with the murmurers that our own experience would warrant us in having. We do not realise what apparently good reason they had for complaint. One of the first qualifications of a good general is that he shall be able to provide for those in his charge; and a prime necessity for a camp is plenty of good water. If we were in the same position that the Israelites were, we should most likely say, “Anybody who doesn't know better than to choose a camping place in a dry desert, ought to give up his place to somebody else; a child would know enough to pitch by the side of water.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 164.2

    But how did they happen to be there? Was it accidental or lack of judgment that brought them into that difficulty, for which they had to be extricated? Not by any means. They pitched there “according to the commandment of the Lord,” and what was more, it was God Himself who led them there, for, as Moses said to the people, “Ye did not believe the Lord your God, who went in the way before you, to search out a place to pitch your tents in.” Deut. i. 32, 33. And did God lead them into a place where there was no water? No; for He Himself was with them, and He is “the fountain of living waters.” Jer. ii. 13. All the time “He Himself knew what He would do.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 164.3

    “He knoweth the way that I take,” for He Himself is the Way. Job xxiii. 10; John xiv. 6. Yea, “known unto God are all His works from the foundation of the world.” Acts xv. 18. We get into difficult places, and know not what to do, and we fancy that because we are at our wits end, the case is hopeless. But God is not taken by surprise. Instead of having abandoned us to our fate, it is He who has led us in the difficulty, in order to show us His salvation. And He led us there because it was the very best way. He always knows what to do next, because He saw the situation long beforehand.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 164.4

    Then since we are in the hands of Him who knows us, our needs, and the way, and who always know what He will do, and whose will is always for deliverance, let us rest in the knowledge that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” No way can be so dark and difficult but that He knows it and the way of escape. “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 164.5

    “The Epistle to the Galatians. The Promise and the Law” The Present Truth 14, 11.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Since we considered only certain features in the text studied last week, we shall include it in the portion for this week, so that the intimate connection may be preserved. We have therefore the following asPTUK March 17, 1898, page 164.6


    “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man's covenant, yet when it hath been confirmed, no one maketh it void, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy Seed, which is Christ. Now this I say: A covenant confirmed beforehand by God, the law, which came four hundred and thirty years after, doth not disannul, so as to make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise; but God hath granted it to Abraham by promise. What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise hath been made; and it was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one; but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid; for if there had been a law given which could make alive, verily righteousness would have been of the law. Howbeit the Scripture hath shut up all things under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Gal. iii. 15-22.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 164.7

    The things in this text that were considered last week were the following: The Promise was Made to Abraham; the Promise Concerns an Inheritance; That Inheritance is the Whole World-the Earth Made New; An Inheritance without a Curse is the Promise of the Spirit; the Lord redeems men from the curse in order that they may dwell forever in an earth redeemed from the curse; The Covenant and the Promise are the same thing; That Covenant has been Confirmed; It was Confirmed in Christ, to Abraham, by the Oath of God, and that oath is our hope and comfort till the present day. With this outline of what has already been passed over, we can proceed with our study.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 164.8

    An Unchangeable Covenant. -God is not a man, but it is sometimes allowable to use human things in illustrating the divine. God is not a man, that He should lie or change. Man is changeable, yet even a man's covenant, if it once be confirmed, can not be disannulled or added to. No change whatever can be made in it. How much more, then, must this be the case with God's covenant? “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him.” Eccl. iii. 14. “When God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself.... For men verily swear by the greater; and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Heb. vi. 13-20. The covenant, we have already seen, is the promise to Abraham, and that was confirmed by God's oath, and made as unchangeable as His character.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 164.9

    Abraham and Christ .—“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ.” It cannot be too strongly impressed upon the minds of men that Christ is the Seed of Abraham, and that the covenant was confirmed in Him. There would be no difficulty whatever about the question of Israel, if this one fact were remembered. Christ is the Seed of Abraham, and there is no other; for “He saith not, And to Seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ.” Abraham and Christ are inseparably linked together. “To Abraham and his seed were the promises made,” how many soever they were. Nothing was made to Abraham that could be obtained in any other way than through Christ; and Christ never comes into the possession of anything that does not belong to Abraham. This is plainly stated in the text.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 165.1

    We will not stop to parley over the matter of “literal seed” and the “spiritual seed.” Christ is spiritual, that we know, for no one can call Him Lord, except by the Spirit; but He is also very literal: “Handle Me, and see, that it is I, Myself.” We are glad to know that the literal can also be spiritual; were it not so, then we would be yet in our sins. But to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. The Seed must be as literal as Abraham, even though He be spiritual; and Christ “took on Him the seed of Abraham.” It is enough for us at present to hold to the fact that Abraham and Christ are equally concerned in this promised inheritance, which is spiritual because the Spirit is the first fruits of it. If we are of faith, then we are the children of Abraham and sharers in the blessing.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 165.2

    The Law Can Not Make Void Covenant .—Do not forget as we proceed that the covenant and the promise are the same thing, and that it conveys land, even the whole earth made new, to Abraham and his seed; and remember also that, since only righteousness is to dwell in the new heavens and the new earth promised to Abraham and his seed, the promise includes the making righteous of all who believe. This is done in Christ, in whom the promise is confirmed. The argument of verses 17 and 18 is therefore this: Since perfect righteousness was assured by the covenant made with Abraham, which was also confirmed in Christ, it is impossible that the law, which was spoken four hundred and thirty years later, could introduce any new feature. The inheritance was given to Abraham by promise, but if after four hundred and thirty years it should transpire that now the inheritance must be gained in some other way, then the promise would be of no effect, and the covenant would be made void. But that would involve the overthrow of God's government, and the ending of His existence; for He pledged His own existence to give Abraham and his seed the inheritance and the righteousness necessary for it. “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Rom. iv. 13.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 165.3

    What Is the Use of the Law? -This is the question that the apostle Paul asks in verse 19, both for the purpose of anticipating the objections of the Antinomians, and also that he may the more emphatically show the place of the law in the Gospel. The question is a very natural one. Since the inheritance is wholly by promise, and a covenant confirmed can not be changed, nothing can be taken from it, and nothing added to it, why did the law come in four hundred and thirty years afterward? “Wherefore then serveth the law?” More literally, Why then the law? What business has it here? What part does it act?PTUK March 17, 1898, page 165.4

    The Question Answered .—“It was added because because of transgressions.” Let it be understood that “the entering of the law” at Sinai was not the beginning of its existence. The law of God existed in the days of Abraham, and was kept by him. Gen. xxvi. 5. God proved the children of Israel, as to whether they would keep His law or not, more than a month before the law was spoken upon Sinai. Ex. xvi. 1-4, 27, 28.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 165.5

    “It Was Added.” -The word here rendered “added” is the same as that rendered “spoken” in Heb. xii. 19: “They that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more.” It is the same word that occurs in the Septuagint rendering of Deut. v. 22, where we read that God spoke the ten commandments with a great voice; “and He added no more.” So we may read the answer to the question, “Wherefore then the law?” thus: “It was spoken because of transgressions.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 165.6

    Because of Transgressions .—“Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound.” Rom. v. 20. In other words, “that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” Rom. vii. 13. It was given under circumstances of the most awful majesty, as a warning to the children of Israel that by their unbelief they were in danger of losing the promised inheritance. They did not, like Abraham, believe the Lord; and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” But the inheritance was promised “through the righteousness of faith,” and, therefore, the unbelieving Jews could not receive it. The law was therefore spoken to them, to convince them that they had not the righteousness that was necessary for the possession of the inheritance. For although righteousness does not come by the law, it must be witnessed by the law. Rom. iii. 21. In short the law was given to show them that they had not faith, and so were not true children of Abraham, and were therefore in a fair way to lose the inheritance. God would have put His law into their hearts, even as He put it into Abraham's heart, if they had believed; but when they disbelieved, yet still professed to be heirs of the promise, it was necessary to show them in the most marked manner that their unbelief was sin. The law was spoken because of transgression, or, what is the same thing, because of the unbelief of the people.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 165.7

    In the Hand of a Mediator .—For the present we may pass by the question of time involved in the phrase, “till the Seed should come, to whom the promise was made,” since our present study is the relation of the law to the promise. The law was given to the people from Sinai “in the hand of a Mediator.” Who was this Mediator?—There can be only one answer: “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. ii. 5. “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” God is one, the people are the other, and Christ Jesus is the Mediator. Just as surely as God is one party to the transaction, Christ must be the Mediator, for there is no other mediator between God and men. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts iv. 12.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 165.8

    Christ's Work as Mediator .—Man has wandered from God, and rebelled against Him. “All we like sheep have gone astray.” Our iniquities have separated between us and Him. Is. lix. 1, 2. “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Rom. viii. 7. Christ came that He might destroy the enmity, and reconcile us to God; for He is our peace. Eph. ii. 14-16. Through Him we have access to God. Rom. v. 1, 2; Eph. ii. 18. In Him the carnal mind, the rebellious mind, is taken away, and the mind of the Spirit given in its stead, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Rom. viii. 3, 4. Christ's work is to save that which was lost, to restore that which was broken, to reunite that which was separated. His name is “God with us;” and so with Him dwelling in us we are made “partakers of the Divine nature.” 2 Peter i. 4.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 166.1

    The Law Not against the Promise .—“Is the law then against the promises of God?” Not by any means. Far from it? If it were, it would not be in the hands of a Mediator, Christ; for all the promises of God are in Him. 2 Cor. i. 20. So we find the law and the promise combined in Christ. We may know that the law was not and is not against the promises of God, from the fact that God gave both the promise and the law. We know also that the giving of the law introduced no new element into the covenant, since, having been confirmed, nothing could be added to or taken from it. But the law is not useless, else God would not have given it. It is not a matter of indifference whether we keep it or not, for God commands it. But all the same, it is not against the promise, and brings no new element in. Why?—Simply because the law is in the promise. The promise of the Spirit includes this: “I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” Heb. viii. 10. And this is what God indicated had been done for Abraham when “He gave him the covenant of circumcision.” Read Rom. iv. 11; ii. 25-29; Phil. iii. 3.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 166.2

    The Law Magnifies the Promise .—The law, as already seen, is not against the promise, because it is in the promise. The promise that Abraham and his seed should inherit the world, was “through the righteousness of faith.” But the law is righteousness, as God says: “Harken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law.” Is. li. 7. So then, the righteousness which the law demands is the only righteousness that can inherit the promised land, but it is obtained, not by the works of the law, but by faith. The righteousness of the law is not attained by human efforts to do the law, but by faith. See Rom. ix. 30-32. Therefore the greater the righteousness which the law demands, the greater is seen to be the promise of God; for He has promised to give it to all who believe. Yea, He has sworn it. When therefore the law was spoken from Sinai, “out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice,” accompanied by the sounding of the trump of God, and with the whole earth quaking at the presence of the Lord and all His holy angels, thus indicating the inconceivable greatness and majesty of the law of God, it was, to every one who remembered the oath of God, but a revelation of the wondrous greatness of God's promise; for all the righteousness which the law demands, He has sworn to give to every one who trusts Him.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 166.3

    Conviction of Sin and of Righteousness .—Jesus said of the Comforter, “When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” John xvi. 8. Of Himself He said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark ii. 17. “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick.” A man must feel his need before he will accept help; he must know his disease before he can apply the remedy. Even so the promise of righteousness will be utterly unheeded by one who does not realise that he is a sinner. The first part of the comforting work of the Holy Spirit, therefore, is to convince men of sin. So “the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom. iii. 20. He who knows that he is a sinner is in the way to acknowledge it; and “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John i. 9. Thus the law is in the hands of the Spirit an active agent in inducing men to accept the fulness of the promise. No one hates the man who has saved his life by pointing out to him an unknown peril; on the contrary, such an one is regarded as a friend, and is always remembered with gratitude. Even so will the law be regarded by the one who has been prompted by its warning voice to flee from the wrath to come. He will ever say, with the psalmist, “I hate vain thoughts, but Thy law do I love.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 166.4

    “A Straw” The Present Truth 14, 11.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Straws show which way the wind blows,” and the following from the Christian serves to show that a serious storm is threatening:—PTUK March 17, 1898, page 166.5

    One of the difficulties of reform in the treatment of employés in places of business, is the fact that tradesmen anxious to introduce reforms complain that on principle competitors make it impossible. To obviate this hindrance, the Christian Social Union executive recently published little pamphlet advocating the principle of “preferential dealing,” which means “the practice of purchasing goods only from tradesmen who observe the standard regulations for each trade,” but as these vary, they are taken to mean “the best that can be secured at a given time in a particular locality.” We must be slow to admit the principle of boycotting: but certainly some pressure should be brought to bear on such trademen as stand out against humane regulations in the treatment of those who work for them. Some men are so selfish that not until their interests are affected will they fall into line with right.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 166.6

    To say, “If you don't do it as I say, I'll kill you,” would be considered violent language most unbecoming to a Christian; but to say, “If you don't do as we think best, we will make it impossible for you to earn a living,” has now come to be reckoned quite the thing for Christians. It is in the line of the fulfilment of the prophecy in Rev. xiii. 17, of the time soon to come when no one may buy or sell “save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”PTUK March 17, 1898, page 166.7

    Not thus does God deal with the rebellious, and neither do His children. “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matt. v. 44, 45. To deal gently with the erring, is the work of a child of God. Christ has “compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.” Heb. v. 2.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 167.1

    If God dealt with us as many of His professed people have thought that they ought to deal with those who did not come up to their standard, we should all have been dead long ago. How can one claim to know the Lord, when He upholds a course which emanates from the devil, and which is directly opposed to the character of God? “If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” When professed Christians use the devil's methods, and think they are serving God, what can be expected of those who do not profess to care for God? Will not the earth be filled with violence? and will there not be a time of trouble such as never was? “In the last days perilous time shall come; for men shall be lovers of their own selves.” See 2 Tim. iii. 1-5.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 167.2

    “The Counsel of Destruction” The Present Truth 14, 11.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the discussion of the House of Commons over the Army Estimates, the other day, Sir J. Ferguson complained of the contrast between the military spirit displayed by the upper, middle, and lower classes.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 167.3

    In the middle classes there was hardly any desire to join the Army at all, while from the working classes they did not get the real bone and sinew. Ordinary recruits were obtained with great difficulty, and only by reducing the standard. For the most part they were from the idle, unemployed classes. There was evidently something, if not very wrong, very unsatisfactory in a system which failed to attract the best portion of the working classes. It ought to be their endeavour to attract a better class of recruits to the Army.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 167.4

    It is a pity that there was nobody to inform the honourable members who were so earnestly discussing the absolute necessity of bringing more recruits to the ranks, that England's present strength is due to the very fact which they deplore, namely, that the Army does not get “the real bone and sinew” of the working classes. Instead of spending their time in being turned into fighting machines, and unfit for any useful occupation, “the bone and sinew” of the working classes are tilling the soil, or delving in the mines, or labouring in factories. These are the occupations that contribute to the material strength of the nation. When England or any other country, gets the bone and sinew of its labouring classes into the Army, then the day of its downfall is very near.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 167.5

    The reason why candidates for official rank in the Army are more numerous in proportion than those for the ordinary rank and file, is not far to seek. It is indeed two-fold. It is partly, as was stated, because the bulk of the English people do not take kindly to soldiering; they prefer staying at home and minding their own business, to marching about and gouging holes in people with whom they have no personal quarrel. And further, there is the fact pointed out by Mr. Labouchere, who said it was clear that if more men were wanted for the Army, the War Office does go into the market and compete with the trades, giving trade union wages. But nobody expects that this will ever be done; and since sensible men will not voluntarily throw their lives away without more inducement than a petty wage which no one would think of offering to an ordinary tradesman, and the Army must have more men to handle the increasing number of weapons, and to keep pace with the rest of the world, it is very evident that conscription is not far distant. Then will this country, like others, be ready for destruction: “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.” Isa. ix. 5, R.V. What folly for nations to put all their strength of men and money into powder magazines and fighting machines, so that a spark will blow it all up. Yet the men who counsel thus are called wise men. Would that they would heed the words of Him who is “wonderful in counsel,”—the Prince of peace,-and be truly wise. See Ps. ii. 10-12.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 167.6

    “Sound Advice” The Present Truth 14, 11.

    E. J. Waggoner

    At one time President Lincoln, as head of the U.S. Army, was called upon to deliver a reprimand to an officer who had been tried by court-martial for quarrelling. Probably no more gentle reprimand was ever given by any officer to an inferior; but the good sense which it contained is even more noteworthy. Here it is:—PTUK March 17, 1898, page 167.7

    The advice of a father to son, “Beware of entrance to a quarrel, but, been in, there is it that the opposed may be aware of thee!” is good, but not the best. Quarrel not at all. No man resolve to make the most of in self can spare time for personal contention. Still less can he afford to take all the consequences, including the officiating of his temper and a loss of self-control. Yield larger things to which you can show no more than equal rights; and yield lesser ones though clearly your own. Better give your path to a dog then be bitten by him in contesting for the right. Even killing the dog would not cure the bite.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 167.8

    Mr. Lincoln was hardly have read and profit by the Proverbs of Solomon. Quarrelling is one of the most senseless things in the world. To avenge an insult, or to “defend one's rights,” which is considered by the world as the mark of a gentleman, is simply the mark of an untamed beast.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 167.9

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 11.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Owing to the fact that the next International Sunday-School Lesson is a review of the lessons of the past quarter, no notes appear this week. They will appear next week as usual, with the first lesson for the second quarter.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.1

    The Rev. George Müller, founder of the Ashley Down Orphan Homes, near Bristol, died on the 10th inst., in his ninety-third year. It is well know that Mr. Müller never made direct appeals for assistance in carrying on his philanthropic work, although about ?26,000 was required annually. Nearly one hundred and twenty-two thousand children have been cared for in the Homes since they were opened sixty-seven years ago. Mr. Müller was a diligent reader of the Bible, and had himself distributed about 300,000 copies.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.2

    “The World's Unrest” The Present Truth 14, 11.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Wars and rumours of war, and preparations for war, constitute the news of the day. For the past fortnight the very air has seemed to be laden with the sound of war preparations. To begin at home, we have firstPTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.3


    for the coming year. This matter can be put no better than in Mr. Goschen's own words in the House of Commons. He said:—PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.4

    I rise to ask this House to grant a colossal sum for the Navy Estimates. That sum is ?28,780,000: but that does not represent the total projected expenditure on naval services. To that must be added ?1,775,000, which will be spent under the Naval Works Act. Thus the total sum that have to administer will amount to ?25,550,000. The House will, I hope, appreciate the sense of responsibility under which I propose those estimates. (Hear, hear.) I have no doubt of the readiness of this House to grant these sums. In fact, if I have any doubt, it is whether in some quarters they will think that I have not asked enough.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.5

    This, it must be remembered, is not an emergency appropriation, but the regular yearly expenditure on the navy. Of course it is an increase over last year's amount, but there is a complaint that we are now ?3,000,000 behind in the matter of ships. The following vessels will be under construction, or completed, during the coming financial year: 12 battleships, 16 first-class cruisers, 6 second-class cruisers, 10 third-class cruisers, 6 sloops, 4 twin-screw gunboats, 41 torpedo-boat destroyers, Royal yacht.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.6


    It is in China that the interest of the Powers of Europe now centres. Russia has demanded that “China shall surrender her sovereign rights over Port Arthur and Talein-wan for the same term of years and on the same conditions as granted to Germany in the case of Kiao Chao.” The time stated is ninety-nine years, which of course means for ever. There have been strong protests, of course, but no one doubts that China will accede to Russia's demands. She cannot do otherwise. This, with the railway privileges that Russia demands, gives that country absolute control over the whole of northern China. All the English journals regard the situation as very grave, the general opinion being that affairs are at a crisis “more pronounced and more dangerous than any that has darkened the horizon of international politics for years.” The feeling may be gathering from the following extract from the Daily Mail:-PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.7

    The causes that have led to this conjunction of events are not temporary or local. The present crisis may pass-its causes will remain.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.8

    These are the growing jealousies of some Continental Governments, and their determination to squeeze Great Britain out of her seat at the head of the world's feast. Is this a time, then, to slacken in the business of fleet making? Is it not a time, indeed, when our efforts should be doubled and trebled, until even the rashest and most foolhardy rival gives up the hope of successful attack in despair, or attacks only to be crushed.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.9


    An Imperial Ukase has been issued ordering the disbursement of 90,000,000 roubles (over ?9,000,000) as extraordinary expenditure for the construction of warships. At the same time Russia is largely increasing her army in the Caucasus. More than 15,000 men have been sent to reinforce the regular troops on the Turkish frontier. Several heavy guns, and twelve heavy fortress guns have been sent to the same district, and more are to follow. Besides, many thousand men, and several batteries of artillery, have been sent to the far East.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.10

    Japan is of course greatly interested in every movement towards partitioning China, and is pushing her war preparations. The Pekin correspondent of the Tageblatt states that Japan refuses to evacuate Weikaiwei in May, as previously agreed, owing to the fear that if it does so the war indemnity may remain indefinitely unpaid.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.11

    The Daily Graphic says: “It may not be without significance to point out that Germany proposes to have in hand during the coming year five battleships and a considerable number of cruisers; that France, while not neglecting battleships, has laid down, or is about to lay down, nine armoured cruisers of large and powerful character; and that Russia is giving signs of even greater activity.” The moral which it draws is that the British Admiralty must see that no strikes were allowed to delay ship construction and thus endanger our naval supremacy.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.12


    Following is the statement of the situation in this quarter:—PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.13

    The Porte has decided to buy 5,000 Russian horses for military purposes. Preparations for an eventual mobilisation are still being made. At the present moment there are as many as sixty-four and a half regiments of the Hamidish cavalry. The reinforcements and the garrisons in Macedonia, which have been taken from the armies of occupation in Thessaly and Epirus, amount to eleven battalions and two batteries. There are now about 100,000 Ottoman troops in Thessaly.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.14


    Although no official statement has been made concerning the Maine disaster, the opinion prevails that it was due to external causes, in which case peremptory demands for reparations will be made upon Spain. In view of this, Congress has without a dissenting voice passed a bill appropriation $500,000,000 (?10,000,000) to be placed that the President's disposal, for battleships, naval supplies, and men. The most active preparations for war are being made.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.15

    These are not “alarmist” statements, but simple items of news; but whoever can read them without echoing the words of the prophet is in a condition of pitiable indifference:—PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.16

    “I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried.” Jer. iv. 19, 20.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.17

    Some profess to see in these war preparations the assurance of peace. “But there is no peace” until the coming of Him who maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth, by destroying all the armies of earth, and all who take the sword.PTUK March 17, 1898, page 176.18

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