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    December 8, 1898

    “The Man of Sin” The Present Truth 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians we read of the apostasy from the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ, and the manifestation of the “man of sin,” “the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 769.1

    It was not long after the death of the apostle who penned those words, that the prophecy was fulfilled. Among the elders or bishops of the church there arose men whose great ambition was to draw away disciples from Christ to themselves. They did not claim to be doing this, but they had so put themselves in the place of Christ that they imagine that in exalting themselves they were advancing the church.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 769.2

    One of the most striking examples of the arrogance of men who professed to be the representatives of Jesus, is that indicated in the illustration on this page. We see Henry IV. of Germany, in the garb of a penitent, waiting for admission to the presence of Pope Gregory VII., that be order that we may see that theirs was not an exceptional case of presumption and self-assertion. Every sin that a man commits is in himself. The fact that one man is in a position to exhibit his sinful disposition more fully than another, does not make him a greater sinner than that other one. Or, to put it the other way, the fact that the sphere of a man's influence may be his pardon, and have his dominion restored to him. The Emperor had claimed for himself power which God alone can exercise in the church, and had been deposed by the Pope; not because of his sin, but because the Pope would be the only one on earth to set himself forth as God.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 769.3

    God alone has the right to remove kings, set up kings; but this right the popes claimed for themselves. We need not dwell on their sin, but simply note it, in order that we may see that theirs was not an exceptional case of presumption and self-assertion. Every sin that a man commits is in himself. The fact that one man is in a position to exhibit his sinful disposition more fully than another, does not make him a greater sinner than that other one. Or, to put it the other way, the fact that the sphere of a man's influence for evil is circumscribed, does not make him personally any less a sinner than if it were unlimited. The lamp whose rays are shut in by the four walls of a room shines just as brightly as though the light were not enclosed.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 769.4

    Even so we, although acting in a very small place, may be in reality as much the man of sin, opposing God, as any pope that ever sent his anathamas to the ends of the earth. Obedience to the Word of God is the only safeguard against popery. If the teaching and example of Jesus had always been followed, there would never have been a pope; and he who does not thus follow Jesus, lacks only opportunity and ability, to be as great a pope as Innocent III. or Gregory VII.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 769.5

    Jesus said: “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matt. xx. 25-28.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 770.1

    “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matt. vii. 1. So although Jesus spake as never man spake, He said, “If any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John xii. 47, 48. Our part is to teach the Word, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear; and we can teach the Word only as we live it, for it is the Word of life.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 770.2

    “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Rom. xii. 3. “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant.” Phil. ii. 5-7. Love is the bond of perfectness, and love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own.” 1 Cor. xiii. 4, 5. “Let all that ye do be done in love.” 1 Cor. xvi. 14.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 770.3

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Captivity of Judah. Jeremiah lii. 1-11” The Present Truth 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    DECEMBER 18

    Zedekiah was the last king of Judah. He was a son of Josiah and was made king by Nebuchadnezzar in the place of Jehoiakim's son, the latter being taken captive to Babylon after a reign of three mouths and ten days. Zedekiah was made to swear by the Lord that he would be faithful to Nebuchadnezzar, but he violated his oath. He sought help from Egypt to throw off the Babylonian yoke, but although Egypt came to his assistance, its interference did not save him. He, like his fathers, rejected the one hope of deliverance in turning away from the Lord, and none other could help him. “The Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling-place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” 2 Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 770.4

    A MARK ON THE FOREHEAD

    It was not only their fathers who had transgressed the commandments of the Lord and provoked Him to anger.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 770.5

    Right down to the time when the city was taken the wicked practices of the nation, both rulers and governed, were continued. The condition of the city in those days was typical of the state of things that will exist when earth's guilty career finally closes. The prophet Ezekiel was shown the wickedness that was being practised in the city, and even in the temple itself. He saw also that a mark was put upon the foreheads of those who lamented over the abominations that were done in the midst of Jerusalem, and a destroying angel was commanded to exterminate all who had not the mark. Eze. viii., ix. In the last days the winds of strife and destruction are held until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. Rev. vii.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 770.6

    THE SEAL OF GOD

    A seal is not put lightly to anything. When the servants of God are sealed with His seal, it means that He accepts them as His own act and deed. They are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. There is no thread of human invention in the garment of righteousness with which they are clothed. They know that they are sufficient for nothing of themselves, but that Christ is made to them wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. They have submitted themselves to the righteousness of God, and are complete in Him. Jesus beholds in them not a vestige of the filthy rags of human self-righteousness, but the travail of His own soul and is satisfied. In them He sees the work that He designed to do for men, and He is willing that these shall be known everywhere as the proofs of His saving power. He is willing to be judged by these results and He puts His own seal upon them. So in Revelation xiv. we read of the same people that they have the Father's name in their foreheads. They stand before the universe as illustrations of what that Name means in its fulness. They keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Rev. xiv. 1. They have learned that God's Word brings the power without which men have in vain tried to obey it. His commandments are known to them as life everlasting, and Christ dwells in them, so that they have the faith of Jesus. They are His perfect representatives and, being filled with the Holy Spirit, are His witnesses to the ends of the earth. They have the testimony of Jesus. Rev. xii. 17.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 770.7

    HATED BY THE WICKED

    The dragon, which is Satan, is wroth with these witnesses, and stirs up men against them. So, during the siege of Jerusalem, the anger of those whom he rebuked consigned Jeremiah to a prison, where he lay until he was taken from it by the victorious Babylonians. Into, their hearts God put a desire to show the prophet kindness, and he was permitted by them to go wherever he would. Zedekiah had sent often to Jeremiah to know what the Lord had to say, but although even to him counsel was given that would have saved his life, he feared to obey it. His guilty conscience made him a coward, and he dared not take the advice to go forth from the city and submit to Nebuchadnezzar. So he stayed where he was until a breach was made in the defences of Jerusalem, and then he stole forth by night and tried to flee from the country. “And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 770.8

    DESTRUCTION OF THE CITY

    Zedekiah was brought before the King of Babylon at Riblah, who passed judgment upon him for violating his oath. The last scene his eyes were permitted to gaze upon was the slaughter of his own soul, then he was blinded, bound with chains of brass, and carried a miserable captive to Babylon. Shortly after, the temple, the king's palace, and every house of prominence in Jerusalem, were burned with fire, and all the people, except the poorest classes, were removed to Babylon. Many of the principal men also were slain. Thus went out in darkness, for a time, the history of that nation which God had chosen to be a peculiar people to Himself above all nations. God is ready to forgive and plenteous in mercy, but if the mercy be not accepted, He will by no means clear the guilty. “Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness.” Lam. i. 8.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.1

    NO RESPECT OF PERSONS

    The destruction of Jerusalem came because of its wickedness. Those who were grieved over these things were spared from the destruction. One instance is given us showing this. An Ethiopian eunuch, Ebed-Melech by name, when he knew that Jeremiah was put into the dungeon, and was like to die there of starvation, went in to the king and pleaded that he might be taken out. His request was granted, and Jeremiah was put in the court of the prison. After Jerusalem was taken the Lord sent a message to this man by Jeremiah, saying, “Thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid. For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee because thou hast put thy trust in Me, saith the Lord.” Jer. xxxix. 17, 15.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.2

    REJECTING GOD

    Israel rejected the Lord from being King over them when they desired Samuel to make them a king that they might be like the heathen around them. Their desire had been granted. They had had kings and these had made them like the rest of the heathen. From henceforth there was to be no king until He should come whose right it is to reign over His people. The word of the Lord was sent to Zedekiah: “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem and take off the crown ... it shall be no more until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.” Eze. xxi. 36-37. The people of God have no earthly head until Christ shall come in the glory of His kingdom. If any church professing the service of Christ has put itself under the control of a man, it has fallen into the same error that proved so disastrous to Israel of old, and like them will end in becoming like the surrounding heathen, if not worse.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.3

    “The Sanctuary of God” The Present Truth 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from the people of strange language, Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.” Ps. cxiv. 1, 2. “For the Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is a lot of His inheritance.” Deut. xxxii. 9.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.4

    GOD’S PRESENCE SANCTIFIES

    Every place where God's presence is manifested, is sacred. When the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush in the desert, He said to him, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Ex. iii. 5. Likewise when He appeared to Joshua before Jericho, He said, “Loose the shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” Josh. v. 15. When God came down on Mount Sinai, to speak the law, the mountain was made holy by His presence, so that no unconsecrated person could touch it and live. Sinai was at that time the sanctuary of the Lord (Ps. lxviii. 17, R.V.); for the word “sanctuary” signifies “holy place,” and every abiding place of God is necessarily holy.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.5

    GOD’S DWELLING-PLACE

    The sanctuary of God is therefore His dwelling-place, so that the text first quoted tells us that when God called Israel out of Egypt, it was that He might dwell among them, and sanctify them by His presence. In harmony with this is 2 Cor. vi. 16, 17:—PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.6

    “What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; for God hath said, I will dwell in them; and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore, out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.7

    NOT A MAN-MADE HOUSE

    When Stephen, full of the Holy Ghost, preached the Gospel before the Jewish Sanhedrim, it was these words that stirred the grave assembly to fury, and caused them to gnash on him with their teeth:—PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.8

    “Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built Him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of My rest?” Acts vii. 46-49.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.9

    This is what Paul said to the Athenians (Acts xvii. 24); and Solomon himself, at the dedication of the house which he had built for the Lord, said: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house which I have builded?” 1 Kings viii. 27. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit.” Isa. lvii. 15.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.10

    A LIVING HOUSE

    The living God dwells in a living house; and only a spiritual house befits Him who is Spirit. Accordingly we read that, coming unto the Lord, “a living Stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter ii. 4, 5, R.V.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 771.11

    Jesus Christ is the tried and sure Foundation upon which all who would abide for ever must be built. “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Eph. ii. 18-22.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.1

    The household of God is the church of the living God (1 Tim. iii. 15), but only because each individual member is the dwelling-place of God. To each person the word comes: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Cor. vi. 19. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.2

    When Jesus was asked how it was that He would manifest Himself to His disciples and not to the world, He replied: “If a man love Me, he may keep My words; and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John xiv. 23. The Word abiding in the heart sanctifies, so that the heart of each believer is the sanctuary of the living God. This fact is so clear that no more words are needed to make it appear, and we have therefore only to consider its wonderful force, and its practical application to us.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.3

    EVERY MAN A TEMPLE

    Remember first that every person is designed to be the temple of God, yes, is God's temple; but all have gone aside, and have set up idols in the sanctuary, thus defiling it, and denying God's right to His own dwelling-place. What we wish to consider is what takes place when God dwells in His fulness in His own house, and is allowed complete control.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.4

    “In His temple everything saith, Glory.” Ps. xxix. 9. Therefore when Christ dwells in the heart by faith, and the Spirit strengthens the inner man “according to the riches of His glory,” so that the being is “filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. iii. 16-19), he who leads his people like a flock shines forth (Ps. lxxx. 1); and because of the light that shows itself in good works, men glorify God. Matt. v. 14-16. “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” Isa. xii. 6. “Nations that knew not thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.” Isa. lv. 5.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.5

    VIEW OF GOD’S THRONE IN HEAVEN

    The first chapter of Ezekiel gives us the most vivid picture of the nature of the sanctuary of God in heaven. Read the entire chapter, and pay special attention to the following items:—PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.6

    The heavens were opened, and the prophet “saw visions of God.” Verse 1.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.7

    “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.” Verses 4, 5.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.8

    “And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.” “And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty.” “And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.” Verses 22, 24, 25.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.9

    “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” Verse 26.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.10

    “And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.” Verse 14.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.11

    MOVED BY THE THOUGHT OF GOD

    Here we see that God's throne in the heavens is composed of living creatures, and that it is not fixed to one spot, but that it moves. “And they went every one straight forward: whither the Spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.” Verse 12.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.12

    “Whithersoever the Spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the Spirit of life was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the Spirit of life was in the wheels.” Verses 20, 21, margin.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.13

    The throne was too glorious to be seen and described in detail; and we can form no clear conception of its likeness; but one thing we may learn, namely, that it is full of the Spirit of God, and is so closely in touch with Him that His thought for it is instantly executed. God's Spirit is to go to some place, and thither the throne of God instantly moves. Every thought of God is promptly responded to, and carried out, because His spirit fills His throne and temple.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.14

    ON EARTH AS IN HEAVEN

    Even so it will be when God is allowed his rightful place in the bodies of men. His spirit will be their spirit, and his mind and thought will be their mind and thought. In 2 Cor. vi. 16-18, where we are told that we are the temple of God, we learn that when we are sanctified by his presence we are his sons and daughters. We are the temple of God, because the Holy Ghost dwells in us. 1 Cor. iii. 16. We are builded together in Christ for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Eph. ii. 22. But “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Rom. viii. 14. That is, those who yield themselves to God, to be his spiritual house, his temple, are filled with the Spirit, and are guided by the Spirit whithersoever the Spirit wills to go. The mind of the Spirit is their mind.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.15

    GOD THINKING IN MAN

    That God designs to think and act for his people, is shown by his call to the wicked to forsake their way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and to return to the Lord, whose thoughts are as much higher than man's thoughts as heaven is higher than the earth. Isa. lv. 7-9. When a man forsakes his ways and thoughts, and returns to the Lord, his ways and thoughts henceforth must be God’s.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.16

    When God thinks for a man it is not like one man's thinking for and imposing PTUK December 8, 1898, page 772.17

    his will on another. There is perfect freedom. The man chooses God's thoughts, because they are better than his own, and then God thinks in him, the man's brain being the organ of the Holy Spirit. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear” (Rom. viii. 15), but God has given us the Spirit “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim. i. 7. Only by the Spirit of God can anybody rightly know anything. 1 Cor. ii. 12. When men submit to be the temples of God, then is God's will done on earth even as it is done in heaven.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.1

    A PEOPLE CALLED OUT

    It was to this end that God called his people out of Egypt. They were “called out,” and so they constituted the church of the living God, for the Greek word which is rendered “church,” means literally “called out.” God calls people out from the world, that they may be a “spiritual house, a holy priesthood” (1 Peter ii. 5); and His presence in them makes them “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (verse 9); and they “show forth” the praises of Him who have called them out of darkness into His marvellous light, because He who dwells in them shines forth.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.1

    That this was the object of God's calling Israel of Egypt is seen from His words in Ex. xix. 3-6:—PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.2

    “And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine; and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.3

    A TABERNACLE MADE WITH HANDS

    Yet while they were still encamped before Sinai, the Lord told Moses to direct the children of Israel to bring an offering of gold and silver and brass, acacia wood, and various kinds of skins, and fine linen, etc., and said: “and let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Ex. xxv. 8.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.4

    “TABERNACLE OF WITNESS”

    What a strange thing, that the Most High God, who dwelleth not in temples made with hands, should ask weak mortals to build Him a house, that He might well among them! Why was it?—The answer is plain; they were too high-minded, too self-sufficient, to give place to God, that He might dwell in their bodies, controlling every thought an act; for God dwells with the lowly; therefore since God would not cast them off, He manifested His presence among them in a marked manner, hoping at length to draw them wholly to Himself. If they had believed, they would not have needed the sanctuary, any more than Abraham did. The principal thing in it, and to contain which it was specially built, was the law,-the tables of testimony. But this law of the children of Israel ought to have had within them, “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.” In that case they would have had the witness in themselves; their own bodies would have been tabernacles of witness, and they would have been witnesses for God. As it was, however, “the tabernacle of witness” was that built by Moses. Acts vii. 44. The fact that this testimony was in that tabernacle instead of in them, made it a constant witness against them, a testimony to their unfaithfulness.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.5

    “Our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which it tried Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.” Heb. vii. 14. Yet as already noted, “when Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.” The primary design was that all Israel should be His sanctuary, even as now. The confining of the sanctuary service to the tribe of Levi was a standing reminder of the unfaithfulness of the people, which hindered them from receiving the fulness of God; and the raising up of Christ out of the tribe of Judah, was no new thing, but a manifestation of that which had been from the beginning.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.6

    LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

    From the tabernacle built by hands some valuable lessons are to be learned, for God never directs anything to be done in vain. The jealous care which God has for His dwelling-place was one of the chief lessons, but there were many things that could not be taught by that building, for the simple reason that a dead thing can never show the activity of a living thing.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.7

    God's real dwelling-place moves of itself, impelled by His thought, while this house had to be carried by men. A stream of living water comes from God's throne (Rev. xxii. 1), as was shown at Sinai; but nothing of the kind was seen in the tabernacle of Moses. The rightful place of God's law, as the foundation of His throne, was indicated, and this is a thing which should not be overlooked, for it must be in every heart where God dwells. Jesus said, “Thy law is within My heart.” Ps. xl. 8.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.8

    That tabernacle was cleansed with blood (Lev. xvi.), an indication of the fact that it is the blood of Christ that cleanses the living sanctuary-our bodies. But whereas in that sanctuary the cleansing was done only periodically, in the real sanctuary it is a continual process. Just as the water of life constantly flows from God's throne, so the blood of Christ constantly flows through the hearts of believers, cleansing them moment by moment; and as the blood is life, identical with the water of life, (1 John v. 8), it must flow out as well as in; so out of him that believeth, whose heart is God's throne, “shall flow rivers of living water,” and he shall be a source of life to others. This high calling Israel of old missed through unbelief. Let us take heed lest we fall after the same example of unbelief.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.9

    CLEANSING OF THE SANCTUARY

    “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out.” Rev. iii. 12. It is worthy of note that this promise is in immediate connection with the statement by the Lord Jesus, “Behold, I come quickly.” The sanctuary of the Lord is now defiled and broken down (Dan. viii. 13; Acts xv. 16); but before the coming of the Lord is to be built up and cleansed; for Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it, “that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Eph. v. 25-27.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.10

    That God has a sanctuary in the heavens, and that Christ is priest there, cannot be doubted by anyone who reads the Scriptures. See Heb. viii. 1, 2, etc. But this sanctuary is as much greater than the figure that was built by Moses as heaven is greater than earth, or as the work of God is greater than any work of man. Of the work of the sanctuary in heaven it is not necessary to speak particularly here, since what we may know of it is indicated in the service of the priests in the earthly tabernacle, who served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” But that sanctuary is a living place, as we learned in the view of God's throne; and that men saved from sin on this earth are to become a part of it is stated in Rev. iii. 12, just quoted. Therefore it follows that the cleansing of the sanctuary,-a work which is set forth in the Scriptures as immediately preceding the coming of the Lord,-is coincident with complete cleansing of the people of God on this earth, and preparing them for translation when the Lord comes.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 773.11

    THE PERFECT TESTIMONY

    God has never left Himself without witness in what is termed the works of nature; but that witness is insufficient; man, the highest of God's creatures, must witness to Him as well as the lower things that God has made. In every age there have been individuals who, like Stephen, full of the Holy Ghost, have been faithful witnesses; but they were only parts of the whole. It is not merely single individuals, but a body of people “called out,”—the congregation, the church,-that constitutes God's house. Before the end comes, and at the time of the coming of Christ, there must be a people on earth, not necessarily large in proportion to the number of inhabitants of earth, but large enough to be known in all the earth, in whom “all the fulness of God” will be manifest even as it was in Jesus of Nazareth. God will demonstrate to the world that what He did with Jesus of Nazareth He can do with anyone who will yield to Him.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.1

    THE LIFE OF JESUS MANIFEST IN MORTAL FLESH

    Jesus Christ was the perfect temple of God; but if He were to be the only one in whom such fulness is revealed, then the too common idea that Jesus was a unique specimen, not made in all things like unto His brethren, and that is impossible for anybody else to be in all things like Him, would be warranted; and Satan would not fail to charge God with incapacity and failure, saying that He is not able to take a man born in sin, and bring him to perfection. Day after day he is making this charge through men who, either despondently, or in self-justification, say that “Christ was different from us, for He was begotten by the Holy Ghost, and being born sinless had the advantage of us.” The Lord wants all to understand that the new birth puts men in the same position that Christ occupied on this earth, and He will demonstrate this before all the world. The life of Jesus is to be perfectly reproduced in His followers, not for a day merely, but for all time and for eternity. There is danger in delaying to yield to this working of the Lord by His Spirit, for He says:—PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.2

    “Behold, I will send My Messenger, and He shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? ... and He shall sit as a Refiner and Purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Mal. iii. 1-3.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.3

    The glory of the house of God when He shall dwell in it in His fulness cannot be described or imagined. “Eye have not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of men, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.” Therefore, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” “And the very God a peace sanctify you holy; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.4

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Power in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    GOD’S REST

    Gen. i. 31; ii. 1-3: “And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.5

    Ex. xx. 8-11: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt then labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work; then, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.6

    Rev. xiv. 6, 7: “And I saw another angel fly In the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His Judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountain of waters.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.7

    Eze. xx. 19, 20: “I am the Lord your God: walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them: and hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.8

    Eze. xx. 12: “Moreover also I gave them My Sahbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.9

    Isa. xl . 9: “Behold your God!”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.10

    Matt. xi. 28: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.11

    Ex. xxxiii. 14: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.12

    Ps. xxxi. 19: “O how great is Thy goodness which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Then hast wrought for them that trust in Ther before the sons of men.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.13

    Eph. ii. 8-10: “For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.14

    2 Cor. v. 17: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [“there is a new creation,” R.V.]; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.15

    Col. i. 12-16: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated ns into the kingdom of His dear Son: in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; for by Him [in Him] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 774.16

    John xix. 28-30: “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. ... When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished; and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.1

    John vi. 29: “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.2

    Heb. iii. 7-12, 19: “Wherefore, even as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, like as in the day of temptation in the wilderness, wherewith your fathers tempted Me by proving Me, and saw My works forty years. Wherefore I was displeased with this generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; but they did not know My ways; as I aware in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest. Take hoed, brethren, lost haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God.” “We see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.3

    Heb. iv. 1-5, 9, 10: “Let us fear, therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us, even as also they; but the word of hearing did not profit them, because they were not united by faith with them that heard. For we which have believed do outer into that rest; even as He bath said, As I aware in My wrath, They shell not enter Into My rest; although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He hath said somewhere of the seventh day on this wise, and God rested on the seventh day from all His works; and in this place again, They shall not enter into My rest.” “There remaineth therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest hath himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.4

    Rest follows labour; but the labour must be finished, or else there can be no real rest. Moreover, the work must be well done, so that it is perfect and complete, or else the rest will not be perfect. When God had worked six days in creating the heavens and the earth, and all things in them, He rested on the seventh day, because His work was done, and was well done. Everything was perfect.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.5

    The Sabbath is the sign that He is God, for only God could do perfect work; and the fact that God rested, shows that His work was perfect. “His work is honourable and glorious; and His righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered.” Literally, “He hath made a memorial for His wonderful works.” Ps. cxi. 3, 4.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.6

    How is the Sabbath a memorial of God's creative power, and thus a sign that He is God? Thus: Just as one rests only after work is done, and finds the joy and satisfaction of rest in the contemplation of the work well done, the Sabbath is the constant reminder of the fact that God's works are perfect; it continually reminds us that He created all things, and, most of all, that He finished His work. In the best and fullest sense of the word, His work was finished: it was complete and perfect. Creation was a finished piece of work. Otherwise there could have been no perfect rest following. The Sabbath is therefore the sign or mark of perfection.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.7

    When we look abroad upon the earth now, we do not see all things perfect. The curse has marred the works of God's hands. Man, creation's lord, has fallen, and his dominion has suffered with him. The Sabbath, however, remains. There remaineth a rest for the people of God. That is still left. But it is a sign of perfection. It is the proof that God's creation was made perfect. It is the proof that He is a great God and does great things. Therefore since God makes nothing in vain, and whatsoever He does shall be for ever, the Sabbath is the pledge that everything, man included, shall be made new again. It is therefore the evidence of the sanctifying power of God.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.8

    The everlasting Gospel calls upon men to “worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” That is what the Sabbath does. Therefore it follows that the Sabbath is the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. It is the seal of perfection. It marks a new creation complete and perfect.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.9

    This new creation is effected through the cross. “If any man be in Christ, there is a new creation.” The Messiah is the one who restores all things, and it is by the power of His cross that He does it. The power of the cross is the power that created the heavens and earth in the beginning; for the preaching of the cross is the power of God (1 Cor. i. 18), and the power of God is seen in the things that are made. Rom. i. 20. So when Jesus was about to yield up His life upon the cross, He cried, “It is finished.” In Him, therefore, that is, through His cross, the works of God, which were finished from the foundation of the world, are ours when we believe. The rest which Christ gives those who come to Him, is the rest that comes from works finished and perfect. The Sabbath teaches us that Christ's power to save is the same as the power that made all things perfect in the beginning.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.10

    “All things that pertain to life and godliness” are given us by “His Divine power.” The good works in which God wishes us to walk are already prepared for us. God himself has wrought them for us, and laid them up for us. We find them in Christ. In Him the works of God are manifest, and they are ours by faith. By faith we receive Christ, and receiving Him we have the finished works of God. But when we have the finished works of God, it is evident that we have God's rest. The true keeping of God's Sabbath, therefore, instead of being an attempt to get righteousness by works, is the acceptance of righteousness by faith. It means simply trusting in the Lord for everything; letting Him be the One who both wills and works in us.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.11

    This is why those who do not have faith in Christ cannot keep the Sabbath. Only by faith do we enter into God's rest. Without perfect faith there can be no Sabbath keeping, because only by faith do we receive the perfect work of God in Christ.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.12

    How plain the Sabbath of the Lord makes the fact that there can he no such thing as a man making himself righteous by his own works. For instance, a man who does not know this fact, is striving to make himself righteous. Righteousness is right doing, and the righteousness that is required is the righteousness of God. Therefore only God's doing, God's work, can be counted righteous. So the man is trying to do God's work. We say to him, “My dear friend, you are working for nothing. How foolish in you to be trying to do a work that is already finished. The works were finished from the foundation of the world; and the proof of it is found in the fact that God rested the seventh day from all His works. Moreover, the work is that which only God could do, and that is why He has finished it. Leave off your own work, accept God's finished work, and thus be at rest.” In the Sabbath of the Lord we find the fulness of the fact that “to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Rom. iv. 5.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.13

    (Continued on p. 777.) PTUK December 8, 1898, page 775.14

    The word “Sabbath” means “rest.” Indeed it is the Hebrew word for rest. The seventh day is the rest of the Lord. God's presence alone gives rest, and that is why the Lord calls us to come to Him to find rest. Now as the seventh day is God's rest, God's Sabbath, it follows that in it we find the “Real Presence.” Not of course in the formal, outward cessation of labour on that day, but in the perfect trust in the righteousness of God, of which the rest from physical work on the seventh day of the week is a sign. God's perfect works are found only in Christ, for in Him were all things created, and in Him all things exist. Therefore we must have the real presence of the Lord, in order to have the perfect work of God. But when we have the real presence of Christ, bringing the perfect work into our lives, then we have God's perfect rest, which comes from perfect works finished. So the true Sabbath of the Lord is His real presence with us. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, ... then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” Isa. lviii. 13, 14.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 777.1

    “For the Children. Man the Masterpiece” The Present Truth 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    More wonderful than all the glories of the heavens, or any of the perfect and beautiful works of God that can be seen through the telescope and microscope, about which we were talking last week, is man, His last and crowning work.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 778.1

    Think for a little while of some of the wonders of this beautiful world, the things that God made in those first six days of time, and what we have been learning about them lately.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 778.2

    Think of the great sun, which, lighted up by the glory of God, enlightens and gladdens the whole world with its beams; of the air which is carrying the breath of God's own life to all His creatures. How beautiful is the blue sky, with the white, fleecy clouds sailing over it by day, and the silvery moon and bright stare by night.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 778.3

    Think, too, of the fresh, green grass, which makes such a soft, velvety carpet for the earth, and provides food for the creatures that live on it; of the lovely flowers, with their exquisite shapes, brilliant colours and sweet fragrance. Think of the lofty trees, with their thousands of leaves purifying the air, giving pleasant shade, and catching and storing up the sunbeams for the future use of man. Think of the birds, their wonderful plumage, and sweet, glad songs, the grace and freedom with which they rise and soar in “the open firmament of heaven;” of the bees, butterflies, and ants, and the millions of tiny insects which fly among the grass and flowers, and creep upon the ground beneath our feet.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 778.4

    And what marvels are found in the waters, not of “the great deep” only, but of every little rippling stream that “runs among the hills.” Then there are the animals, the majestic lion, lordly elephant, and patient and useful camel, and many more, each teaching us something of their Creator.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 778.5

    And now that you have thought upon all these things, remember that God's noblest, highest work, His crowning work, is man, whom only He made in the Divine image. You will then understand something of our value in the eyes of God, who meant us to be more glorious than the sun, more beautiful than the flowers, more free than the birds, more wise and skilful than any living creature.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 778.6

    God's work was not complete, there was something wanting in it all, He was not satisfied with it, until He had “made man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” Then “He saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good” and “He rested and was refreshed.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 778.7

    So the work in which God takes the greatest satisfaction is man. You will remember that when Jesus spoke of the lilies, and how God clothes them with beauty, He said, “Shall He not much more clothe you?” And when He told us to “Behold the birds” which God has made He said, “Ye are of much more value than they.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 778.8

    God's most wonderful work, His masterpiece of skill, wisdom, and love, is the human body; all its organs are “fearfully and wonderfully made” to do the work He has appointed them. Do you not want to learn more of His masterpiece the wonderful body that He has prepared for you?PTUK December 8, 1898, page 778.9

    If I were to tell you of a very strong man, like Samson, and I wanted to make you understand how strong he was, I could only do it by telling you of the wonderful things he had done. Or if I should tell of one who was very wise, or very kind and loving, I should have to tell you of his wise acts, or kind and loving ways and deeds, to make you understand something about him. We learn what people are by what they do.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 779.1

    And this is how we learn of God,-by the things He has made, by the work that He does. We can know what He is only by seeing what He does. And as His greatest work in this earth is man, we can learn more of Him by studying ourselves, our own wonderful bodies, than by studying any of the things that are round about us, no matter how great and glorious they may be.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 779.2

    So find out all you can about the wonderful temple of your body, and we will try to help you by telling you more about it from time to time.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 779.3

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -In very clear water sunlight penetrates to a depth of over 1,500 feet.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.1

    -Fifty thousand Bank of England notes are on the average made daily.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.2

    -The Roman Catholic Cathedral at Wellington, New Zealand, has been destroyed by firePTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.3

    -A healthy baby increases to treble its weight at birth in the course of its first three months.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.4

    -An original ?100 share in the New River Company fetched recently the enormous sum of ?120,000.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.5

    -The tiger's strength exceeds that of the lion. Five men can easily hold down a lion, but nine are required to hold a tiger.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.6

    -When a chameleon is blindfolded it loses all power of changing its colour, and its entire body remains of a uniform tint.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.7

    -The smallest salary paid to the head of a civilised Government is ?3 a year to the President of the Republic of Andorra, in the Pyrenees.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.8

    -Trouble is once more brewing among the tribesmen on the North-west frontier of India. An insurgent leader, known as the Mad Mullah, has gained some victories, and is threatening the Chitral road.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.9

    -Canada has agreed to abandon the Behring Sea Fisheries, the United States purchasing Canadian vessels and paying a compensation to be agreed upon. Severe gales have been experienced in the Atlantic, fifty-six vessels having been wrecked off Long Island. The harbours are strewn with wreckage.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.10

    -Lord Kitchener is appealing to the British public for ?100,000 to furnish an educational institution at Khartoum for the training of young Soudanese.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.11

    -Prince George of Greece has been formally appointed High Commissioner of Crete for a term of three years, in spite of the persistent opposition of the Sultan.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.12

    -A number of seals have appeared in the Straits of Dover, off the French coast, and steps have been taken to destroy them owing to their depredations on the fishing grounds.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.13

    -At a recent lecture given at the Dental Hospital it was stated that less than 16 per cent. of schoolboys and girls of an average age of twelve do not require some treatment of decayed teeth.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.14

    -Spain is no sooner out of her trouble with America than she is threatened with the horrors of civil war. The Carlists are reported to be preparing for an uprising and endeavouring to disaffect some of the regiments.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.15

    -The reason given why birds do not fall off their perches is because they cannot open the foot when the leg is bent. Thus a hen while walking will close its toes as it raises the foot and open them as it touches the ground.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.16

    -It is perfectly amazing to notice carefully how much an ordinary shrub will grow in a single summer. A silver-fur 2?ft. high was lately carefully measured. It had put forth 585 new shoots, varying from ?in. to 6in. each.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.17

    -The seed vessels of wild peas and beans, when dry, open and curl up with a sudden snap which expels the seeds sometimes to a distance of twelve to twenty feet. Indications of this habit are seen in the cultivated varieties, the seed-pods of which often curl with a snap when opened.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.18

    -The small town of Werda, in the kingdom of Dahomey, is celebrated for its temple serpents-a long building in which the priests keep upwards of 1,000 serpents of all sizes, which they feed with birds and frogs brought to them as offerings by the natives.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.19

    -Spain has agreed to the cession of the Philippine islands to the United States on a payment of twenty million dollars. The Spanish delegate stated that they were constrained to yield by force, and pointed out that the indemnity of twenty million dollars could not be refused because it is embodied in the proposal of the Americans, and could not be detached from it.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.20

    -The Metropolitan and District Railway Companies have decided to undertake an experiment in the electric traction on their line between Earl's Court and High-street, Kensington, at a cost of ?20,000. Preparations will be complete, it is expected, by next summer. If the experiment succeeds it will be followed by the conversion of the whole inner circle into an electric railway.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.21

    -The German Minister of War will shortly introduce a measure for increasing the peace footing of the German army by some 30,000 men. The Minister will argue that as the peace footing of neighbouring countries has been increased, it is necessary that Germany should keep pace with them. The Tageblatt, commenting on this, says that any realisation of Russian disarmament proposals, as far as can be seen, is not even thought of.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 782.22

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 49.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We have had an opportunity of examining the International Teacher's Bible, particulars of which appeared on our advertisement page last week. The type is a good size and plain, the binding seems good, and the helps consist of such matter as is likely to be most useful to a teacher. The illustrations and maps are numerous and interesting. At 4/11, it is certainly a very cheap Bible.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.1

    The Church Gazette gives an account of an interview with a young man who was desirous of entering the ministry of the Church of England, and called at their office to get some advice. He was asked,-PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.2

    “Have you plenty of influential connections?” “None.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.3

    “Have you money to spare?”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.4

    “Very little.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.5

    “You expect to succeed by merit alone?”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.6

    “Just so. Can I reckon on doing so?”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.7

    “I can't give you any assurance, then, because merit goes for very little in our Church.”PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.8

    Why do not men read God's Word to them, and learn that influential connections and money are utterly worthless in His sight beside a humble mid contrite spirit? This is the indispensable qualification for His service. Whoever desires to serve the Lord in spirit and in truth, not for worldly honour and filthy lucre, need find no hindrance in human barriers and limitations.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.9

    On December 1st a crowded meeting was held at the City Temple, which was described by one of the speakers as the most significant gathering of the nineteenth century. Eleven presidents of as many Free Church denominations addressed the immense audience, “and not one struck a discordant note.” The object of the gathering was to set forth the aims of the National Council of Nonconformists.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.10

    Dr. Clifford, who presided, said thatPTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.11

    They represented 1,841,767 members of the Free Churches. They were training 3,170,193 young people in their Sunday-schools. They owned fifty million pounds’ worth of property. They were more than half the “communicants” living in England and Wales. They were the legatees of the Reformation, and were constrained to do battle with the Popery of Roman Catholicism on the one hand, and with the infinitely more subtle and dangerous Popery of the Anglican Church on the other.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.12

    There is a much more subtle and dangerous popery than either of these. When men attack the Papacy in its own spirit and with its own weapons, they are really one with it, even though they call themselves Protestants.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.13

    To regard the Papacy merely as a politico-ecclesiastical organisation is a dangerous error. It is the very masterpiece of Satanic cunning and ingenuity for the destruction of souls. Its essence is self-exaltation. To this Satan owes his own fall from heaven, and that which cast down the son of the morning from his first estate will join with him in sin and perdition every soul that entertains it. The Papacy is but the ripened manifestation of the spirit of self-confidence. When the head of this system “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God,” he is simply illustrating the logical and necessary outcome of self-exaltation.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.14

    God's people are not to seek to cast down the Papacy by claiming for themselves the worldly privileges and honours enjoyed by it. It is set on high as a terrible example to all Christians of what is involved in departing from the simplicity of God's way, and seeking power from earthly rulers. In the natural impulses of the human heart the germ of the Papacy is always present. Every man needs to be delivered from it by Divine power. The conflict is not with flesh and blood, but with the rulers of the darkness of this world.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.15

    Dr. Clifford continued:—PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.16

    They did not, however, join in the cry of “No Popery.” The people should have all the Popery they wanted, but on two conditions. Firstly, that they paid for it themselves and did not directly or indirectly take any of the money, buildings, or patronage of the State. Secondly, that Popery as Popery should be completely excluded from the sphere of civic and political life.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.17

    It would seem from this that the objection is not so much to Popery in itself, as to the appropriation of money by the State on its behalf. The Council intends to take the State under its care in this respect. When it does this, and “Popery” is completely excluded from the “sphere of political life,” it is evident that “Protestantism” will have the “sphere of political life” all to itself. But this will be nothing more nor less than the Papacy, which way made by the union of the church with the civil power. So that in reality the National Nonconformist Council is proposing to establish the Papacy in England; but so “infinitely subtle and dangerous” is the work with which they are meddling that they themselves are ignorant of its true character, and think that they are doing God service.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.18

    The National Council was a divine creation. He had no misgiving as to its mission. They saw clearly what they had to do, and their minds were made up that they would do it.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.19

    Dr. Clifford said that, “in his judgment Parliament was not sufficiently religious in the truest and deepest sense of the word.” “They sought to make the State more religious.” This, of course, will have to be accomplished by putting religious men into the State. When this has been done to the full, the Council expects that evil will be abolished. The Rev. Hugh Price Hughes saidPTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.20

    The Council of the Free Churches had been drilling for five years, and the devil and his servants would go before they were five years older.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.21

    It is possible that they will not be known longer by their present names, but they will not be the less firmly established. Satan is not afraid of any political movement. He can do with all such whatever pleases. The one thing that has defeated him on every point, and spoiled him openly, is the life of Christ. He is said so long as men do not rely entirely under the power of that life dwelling in them. As soon as he can tempt them from the unfailing source of strength by delusive promises of a more successful expedient, he has the game in his own hands.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.22

    In view of all this, it is only natural that the first effort of the Council should be contrary to the Word of God. Rev. E. Price Hughes exhorted them to unite and “force” through Parliament a bill that would give England Sunday-closing. Note that the effort is not to be against intemperance, as such. That may go on every day of the week but Sunday. It is Sunday that is to be protected. And when our readers have looked through the Bible to see what it has to say about the first day of the week, they will know that God has given no commandment concerning it. The seventh day is still the Sabbath of the Lord. As a religious institution we owe the Sunday to the Papacy. Hence it is only fitting that when the National Nonconformist Council proposes to walk in the steps of the Papacy, it should give first place to its chiefest institution.PTUK December 8, 1898, page 784.23

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