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    December 22, 1898

    “The Universal Message” The Present Truth 14, 51.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Here is the simple yet wondrous story, with the incidents attending one proclamation of it:—PTUK December 22, 1898, page 801.1

    “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 801.2

    “And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 801.3

    “And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 801.4

    “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 801.5

    That is a story, not of a, day, but of eternity, and it is not for one, day in the year, but for eternity. The effort, that is made to exalt the great events of by devotion a special day to the “celebration” of them, very naturally has resulted in causing people to think very little about them at other times, and so of course to lose the real spirit of them on the particular days when they are remembered. But “the old, old story is ever new,” as we shall see if we give constant heed to it.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 801.6

    The message concerns us as much as it did the shepherds. The angel said to them: “I bring you good tidings of great joy,” but he immediately added the words, “which shall be to all people.” Therefore what he said to the Bethlehem shepherds that night is addressed as directly and as personally to everybody who ever lives on the earth.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 801.7

    What is this joyful message?—“Unto you is born this day a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Can it be said to each individual in the world, to-day, and every day while time lasts, “Unto you is born this day a Saviour”? Most certainly. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. He was begotten of Mary by the coming of the Holy Ghost upon her, and the power of the Highest overshadowing her. Very well; the same Spirit of power is given to every soul for the same purpose; and the Apostle Paul, who was not only himself filled with the Spirit, but who was a minister of the Spirit to others, wrote to the backsliding Galatians, saying, “I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you.” to every true believer is Jesus Christ born as truly as of Mary, for He is “the Son of man.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 801.8

    It is not known when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. That is, the time of year is not known. The most certain thing about it is that His birth did not take place on the twenty-fifth of December, nor in the mouth of December, for at that time of year shepherds do not keep their flocks in the fields by night. Another evidence, of which most people are unaware, is that nobody thought of the twenty-fifth of December as the date of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem until several centuries after the event. The adoption of that date is purely arbitrary, for there is nothing whatever in Scripture to indicate at what time of the year it was. The Lord left the date unrecorded so that no one should have any excuse for celebrating acertain day as the birthday of Christ, instead of letting it be a constantly-recurring event.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 802.1

    God inhabits eternity. Eternity is always present with Him. To Him there is no past nor future, as to us. Not only is He at all times and in all places, but everything is in Him. The things that newly occur to us, and which we connect with certain fixed dates, are the things which were in Him from the beginning. Read these words: “Now unto Him that is able to establish you according to my Gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto obedience of faith.” Rom. xvi. 25, 26, R.V. That is, these things which are preached concerning Christ are the things which were from times eternal. The fact that at a certain time they were brought within the range of man's vision, does not, prove that they first then had an existence.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 802.2

    This is what is said directly of the Christ of Bethlehem: “Thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, which art little among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall One come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting,” or “from the days of eternity.” Micah v. 2. So that even in Bethlehem in Judea nearly nineteen hundred years ago was not something which just then came into existence, but was simply the visible manifestation of what had been from eternity. When then should we celebrate the birth of Christ the Lord?—Now, now, eternally NOW, we celebrate it by allowing the reality of it to be visibly manifest in our own lives. That is the only way that it can be done.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 802.3

    “And this shall be a sign unto you: ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” What! that the Saviour of the world? That little helpless babe the One whom God has sent into the world “that the world through Him might be saved?” Yes, so it is. “Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and He shall choose thee.” Isa. xlix. 7. For “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things which are.” 1 Cor. i. 27, 28. “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 802.4

    Nothing on earth has less wisdom than a little babe; and a newborn baby presents the most perfect picture of helplessness that call he found. No other creature is so utterly helpless. Even so it was with the babe in the manger in Bethlehem. Yet it was “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” That is a sign to us. Of what is it a sign?—It is a sign that the strength of God is made perfect in weakness. It is for the purpose of cutting off all ground for the discouraged wail, “I am so weak and helpless.” Are you weak and helpless? Good; then you have the sign of God's salvation. Don't forget the sign.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 802.5

    Once more; let us compare two portions of Scripture, that we may see how the message comes to us exactly as it did to the shepherds. “The angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them.” So to us comes the message, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isa. Ix. 1, 2. Christ is the Light of the world, and He is come into the world, even to us. Therefore our light is come. It is come that we may shine. And how may we shine? By showing forth in our lives the excellencies of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. Thus it is that men as humble as the unnamed shepherds of Bethlehem may flash back to heaven the light which the angels brought, and may reveal even to “the principalities and powers in heavenly places” the hidden mysteries of the birth of Christ.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 802.6

    “Rewards of Ambition” The Present Truth 14, 51.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Competition for the rewards of ambition, thirst for popularity, desire for approval of the world, satisfaction of self-love, will build no foundation for Christian character or eternal life, though they may gain the emoluments of this world.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 802.7

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Power in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 51.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “THE FULNESS OF GOD”

    Gen. i. 1, 2: “ln the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.1

    Gen. i. 31: “And God saw everything that He had roads, and, behold, it was very good.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.2

    Isa. vi. 3: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the fulness of the whole earth is His glory.” R.V., margin.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.3

    Ps. xxiv. 1, 2: “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein, For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.4

    Ps. xxxiii. 4, 5: “The word of the Lord is right; and all His works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.5

    Ps. cxix. 64: “The earth, O Lord, is full of Thy mercy; teach me The statutes.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.6

    Jer. xxiii. 24: “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord?”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.7

    John i. 14: “The Word was wade flesh, and dwell, among us (and we behold His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.8

    Matt. xxviii. 18: “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven slid in earth.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.9

    Eph. iv. 10: “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.10

    John i. 16: “And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.11

    Col. i. 17-19: Christ “is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the body, the church; who is the Beginning the Firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in Him should all the fulness dwell.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.12

    Col. ii. 8-10: “Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of man, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ; for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and in Him ye are made full.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.13

    Matt. v. 6: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.14

    Phil. i. 11: “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.15

    Eph. iv. 7: “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.16

    John iii. 34: “God giveth not the Spirit by measure.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.17

    Eph. iii. 14-19: “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that ye may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.18

    Eph. i. 22, 23: The church “is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.19

    Hab. ii. 14: “The earth shall be tilled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.20

    God's name is I AM. Nothing exists except by Him. Everything bears His impress, because He has put Himself into everything that He has made. Apart from Him there is nothing.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.21

    At the bidding of the Lord, the matter that forms the earth came into existence. But the earth was formless and empty. Then the Spirit of God moved upon it, brooded over it, and it was filled. Its fulness was the goodness and the glory of God.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.22

    That brooding of the Spirit impregnated matter with force. Wherever there is matter there is force; but the force is no part of the matter itself, but is the manifestation of “the fulness of God.” The force of the winds and the waves, and the power which the rock has to resist pressure, is but the manifestation of the life of the “Father of all, who is ever all, and through all, and in all.” Eph. iv. 6.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.23

    The fulness of the earth is the goodness and the glory of God. That is, all the force that is exhibited in nature is but the power of God's goodness. All the fulness of God dwells in Christ, and He ascended upon high, “that He might fill all things.” Eph. iv. 10. As sin brought emptiness, so the cross of Christ brings fulness. Sin tends to bring the earth into it condition of confusion and emptiness (Isa. xxxiv. 11), but by the cross, which lifted Christ up to the throne of glory, the earth will again be filled as it was in the beginning.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.24

    All things consist in Christ. In giving Him to us, God has given us all things. Rom. viii. 32. “Of His fulness have all we received.” All the power that there is in the whole creation is ours. Whether we believe it or not, the fact remains that God has given all things to everybody; the Gospel is the revelation of this truth to us. The message now is, “Fear God, and give glory to Him.” We give Him glory by worshipping Him as the Creator of the heavens and the earth and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And we worship Him as such only when we allow Him to exercise His creative power in us; for if we do not yield ourselves to Him, acknowledging that we are nothing apart from Him, then we deny His supreme power.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.25

    It is not enough that the heavens declare the glory of God, and that tile invisible things of God, even His everlasting power and Divinity, are seen in everything on the earth, and in the very earth itself. Man also, whom God has created for His glory, must show forth the excellencies of God. God crowned man in the beginning with glory, and until God's glory is fully revealed before the world in man, the work of the Gospel will not be finished. When those who are willing to follow Christ have so learned His power in the things that He has made that they know nothing else save Christ and Him crucified, then will the church in very truth be “the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” Then will the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God, for the world can see the fulness of His glory in mortal men, so that they will be without the shadow of an excuse for not believing in Him. Then will Christ's work of filling all things perfected, and there will be no place in the universe for those who will not allow Him to fill them. Then will the kingdom of God come, and His will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Then will this scripture be fulfilled: “And every created thing which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and all things that are in them, heard I saying, Unto Him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, be the blessing, and the honour, and the glory, and the dominion, for ever and ever.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.26

    “Studies in the Gospel of John. Christ the Beginning” The Present Truth 14, 51.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.1

    This Divine Word appeared in the person of Jesus of Nazareth; for “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” and John bore witness of Him, saying, “He that cometh after Me is preferred before me; for He was before me.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.2

    This settles the question of the pre-existence of Christ, for all who have any respect for the Bible as the Word of God. It is true enough that the flesh of Jesus, that is, His fleshly body, was not in the beginning with God, the Creator of all things; for “when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldst not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me.” Heb. x. 5. But “the flesh profiteth nothing; it is the Spirit that quickeneth; and the life that animated the flesh of Jesus, and which is the real person, was the Word which was in the beginning with God, and which was God. So while cavillers may amuse themselves by playing upon words, we rejoice in the full assurance that this Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express imago of His person.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.3

    Jesus Christ Himself is the Beginning. Col. i. 18. He is “the beginning of the creation of God.” Rev. iii. 14. He is the power of God, and “the wisdom of God.” 1 Cor. i. 24. Therefore it is He who speaks in the eighth chapter of proverbs, saying, “I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment; that I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance, and that I may fill their treasuries. The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” Prov. viii. 20-23.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.4

    On this last text it may be remarked that the words “set up” are from one Hebrew word meaning anointed, so that the meaning is the same as in the second psalm, “Yet have I set My name upon My holy hill of Zion.” The word is the same in the Hebrew, and it will he noticed in the margin we have “anointed” as the rendering of the Hebrew. Thus we learn that Christ was the anointed king before the earth existed.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.5

    Moreover, the word “in” has really no place in the twentieth verse of Proverbs viii., as there is nothing in the Hebrew to indicate it. So we read, “The Lord possessed Me, the Beginning of His way, before His works of old.” Still further, it should be stated that the word “possessed” is the very same that occurs in Gen. iv. 1, where we read that on the birth of Cain, Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Therefore putting all these things together, we learn that Jesus was brought forth “from the days of eternity” Micah v. 2, margin), before anything was created, and that He Himself is the beginning of all the ways of God. He is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” Col. i. 15. He is the Beginning of everything.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.6

    THE FIRSTBORN

    “Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Rom. viii. 29. “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. 12. This is why we rejoice in the fact that Jesus of Nazareth, who was “born of a woman, born under the law” (Gal. iv. 4), is the Son of God. It shows us that although we are born to low estate, subject by nature to all the infirmities that are the inheritance of man born of woman, we may become sons of God, own brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sharers of all His fulness.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.7

    Christ is the firstborn among many brethren. Thus He is the heir; but we are joint-heirs with Him. It is not as in earthly estates, where the eldest is the sole heir to the titles and estates, and the younger brothers must look out for themselves. Christ is indeed the heir to the titles and to all the estate of God; but there is no exclusiveness in Him. Whatever He has, He shares in equal measure with all His brethren. “Of His fulness have all we received.” If we receive Him in His fulness, He gives is not only the privilege, but the power, the right, to be the sons of God. All that He is, we may be, but only in Him as the Beginning, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and therefore of our works. By the will of God, through the Blessed Spirit, we have the same rights that Christ Himself has.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.8

    “How can this be?” If you are wise, and would be wiser, you will not ask that question. Be content not to know so much as God, for you never can, no matter how much you try. Who can explain the mystery of life? “As thou knowest not what is the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.” Eccl. xi. 5. Yet nobody refuses to be called the son of his father, not to inherit an estate that may fall to him as eon, because he cannot understand the, mystery of birth. Why should we be any more foolish in dealing with that new birth which makes us veritable sons of God? The “plan of salvation” is entirely beyond the comprehension of the human mind; but the working out, the results, of the plan, we may know by experience, provided we believe.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.9

    Jesus Christ is the firstborn among many brethren, “the firstborn of all creation,” because “in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth;” and it is for this reason that in Him we have redemption even the forgiveness of our sins. Redemption is creation, for “it any man be in Christ, there is a new creation.” We become sons of God, therefore, by the same power by which Christ, the Divine Word, created all things in the beginning. Now creation is not a fancy, but a fact. It is not a mere mental process, a conception, but a tangible reality, a thing done. It is done, however, solely by the Word of God. “For He spake, and it was, He commanded, and it stood fast.” So the fact that we are as really sons of God as Christ is, rests on the same foundation as does the creation. It is all of Christ, “who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 803.10

    THE WILL OF GOD

    “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John. i. 12, 13. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” James i. 18.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.1

    Men commonly speak of the will of God as if it were something to be dreaded, and to be endured when it cannot be avoided. When they enjoy prosperity, or what seems to them to be prosperity, they take it as a matter of course; but when there is adversity they complain for a while, and then piously talk about submitting to the will of God. It is with them as though the will of God were exercised only to thwart us, and to wake our lives a burden. On the contrary, the will of God is exercised to give us life and happiness. “It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.2

    “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” 1 Thess. iv. 3. He says, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter i. 16. Certainly; that is most fitting; for the son is heir of the father. We are children of God, and if children, then heirs. So of course we must be holy, since holiness is His nature. To be sons of God means nothing else than to be partakers of the Divine nature. So as it is His will that we should be His sons, it is His will that we should be holy. His will is made known to us in His Word. When we hear His Word, we have simply to say from the heart, “Thy will be done,” and it will be so, even as it was so when He spoke in creation, saying, Let this and that be. There is eternal power in the thought of God. Everything that we can see in the visible creation is but the product of His thought. So if we accept His thought, His will, we shall be made to the praise of the glory of His grace.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.3

    We had nothing to do with bringing ourselves into this world. We were born of flesh and blood, and of the will of man, but not of our own will. Now when we receive the Lord, not as a figure of speech, but as a real Person, really present with us through the eternal Spirit, by whom He offered Himself to God, His will makes us sons of God, deriving our whole life directly from the Lord as really as when we were born of the flesh we derived our lives from our parents.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.4

    “Ah, yes,” some one says, “but that is spiritual; it is only spiritually that we are the sons of God.” That is the language by which Satan makes people deny the truth even while pronouncing the words of truth. It is true that it is only spiritually that we are the sons of God, but that does not mean that we are not really and wholly the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. “They that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, it so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Rom. viii. 8-10. Spiritual things are real, and may be handled. Christ was wholly spiritual, even when He walked this earth as a man, and in Him all who believe are made spiritual even while yet on this earth.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.5

    In Christ we are “builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Eph. ii. 22. Now of the living creatures forming the throne of God in the heavens, it is said, “They went, every one, straight forward; whither the Spirit was to go, they went.” Eze. i. 12. God's thought is the law of their lives; it moves them. His Spirit of life is in them so that they have no existence, no thought apart from Him; as He thinks, so they are. Our prayer is to be, “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” This is a possibility, else the Saviour would not have told us to pray for it. Let it be according to His word.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.6

    THE LIGHT OF LIFE

    “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John i. 4, 9. Verses 3 and 4 are by some of the best scholars rendered thus: “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made. That which was made in Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” It is simply a difference in placing the marks of punctuation, which as is well known are no part of the original text. It is a fact that everything that is made in Him is life. Whoever is in Him must live, for He is life itself.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.7

    “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” The margin of the Revised Version gives “overcame” in the place of “comprehended.” Perhaps we can get a better grasp of the idea conveyed by this word “comprehend,” by noting Isa. xl. 12, where we are told that God “comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure.” When we put a thing in a measure, it is shut in. Even so light may sometimes he shut in by darkness. Go out some foggy night in London; if you are not careful you may run against a lamp-post. Why? Because the thick fog so shuts in the rays that come from the lamp, that they do not reach more than a few inches. They are shut in as by a thick wall or put within a bushel. They cannot penetrate the gloom. The darkness comprehends or overcomes the light. But not so with the light of life. It shines out in the darkness, and the darkness does not prevail against it. That is a true light; it is of worth. It is not only unquenchable, but it cannot be kept within bounds of darkness.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.8

    A portion of this unquenchable life is in every man that comes into the world. It would all be in every man, if no man would reject it; for “of His fulness have all we received.” But men “hold down the truth in unrighteousness.” Rom. i. 18, R.V. Christ is the truth and the life. They work against the life, because they love death. Prov. viii. 36. What wondrous grace has been manifested by the Lord, in that He has so marvellously provided for the salvation of all men. Upon every soul of mankind has He bestowed this wondrous love, that all might he called the sons of God. Men may reject the love, but that does not at all nullify the fact that it has been bestowed.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.9

    This light of life is in every man that comes into the world. It “lighteth every man coming into the world.” R.V. As he comes into the world, he receives the light. It is ours from our earliest infancy. With our first breath we have the life of Christ. What for?—“The Word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” Deut. xxx. 14. And this Word was in the beginning with God, and the Word was God. So although “the wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies” (Ps. lviii. 3), there is no excuse for their so doing. God's eternal power and Divinity are to be seen in them as well as in the other things that He has made, “that they may be without excuse.” Rom. i. 19, 20. The life is with them from the very beginning in order that they may live even as Christ lived.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 804.10

    Do you say that this but increases the condemnation of all mankind, in that all have sinned, and “there is none that doeth good, no, not one?” Very true, but “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Great as the condemnation may be, greater still is the salvation. The life is in every man, not for condemnation, but for salvation. “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John iii. 17. These things are for our learning, not for our discussion. They are not theories, but facts. We are to understand them by believing them, and thus we get life through His name.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 805.1

    “Our Winter Visitors” The Present Truth 14, 51.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The little birds that built their nests here in the spring, and cheered and charmed us through the summer with their sweet joyous songs, have many of them left us now that the cold winter weather has come. The swallows, the nightingales, and many others have flown away to the warm and sunny south of Europe, to Africa and Asia. The insects upon which they feed have vanished, the fruit trees and bushes are bare, and they could not find enough food here now; and besides this they could not live through the cold and snow of our English winter.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.1

    So God guides these tender little birds over laud and sea, to sunny lands where the summer is just beginning when ours is ending; where they will find an abundance of food and bright sunshine, and live happily until the time comes for them to come back to their old home. So you see that their lives are one long summer. God teaches them just when to leave us; He makes them “know their appointed times;” and it is by His wisdom that they fly, “and stretch their wings toward the south.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.2

    There are a few birds that stay with us all through the year, like the familiar little sparrow and the bold robin-redbreast, which when the other birds have left us are driven by cold and hunger nearer to us than before, coming to our windows to be fed, and even sometimes into our houses to find shelter.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.3

    But there are other little visitors now in our parks and gardens, woods and fields. Let us see where these come from.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.4

    You know that our days are long in the summer and short in the winter, and as we go farther and farther north the summer days grow longer and longer and the winter days shorter and shorter, until right up at the North Pole the summer is one long day when the sun never sets, and the winter is one long night when the sun never rises.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.5

    Think of a night lasting five or six months, nothing but darkness; and how cold it must be when not a ray of sunshine reaches the earth through all that time! Everything freezes; the snow falls like a white blanket to cover the land, and all nature goes to sleep during the long, long night.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.6

    Of course the birds would all die if they should stay up there, and so God teaches them to fly away towards the south, and many of them come to is for the whiter, and take the place of those, which have gone from us to warmer lands. They reach us in the autumn about the time that the summer birds are leaving.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.7

    After staying with us through the cold winter, when there is not much food for them, and the country looks most dreary, they fly away in the spring just when the trees are bursting into leaf and blossom, the flowers springing up, and everything looks so beautiful, inviting them to stay. What call it he that tempts them to leave us at this most pleasant season, when our little summer visitors are joyfully returning to build their nests in their old homes? What leads them to fly away towards the cold and snowy north, away up into the Arctic Circle, to build their nests and bring up their young ones?PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.8

    If we could fly with them and see where they go, and why, I think we should not wonder that they wanted to go.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.9

    A BIRD PARADISE

    When at last the sun rises and the day dawns again after the long Arctic night, the snow melts very quickly, the summer comes suddenly, and immediately the birds appear in swarms. By thousands and millions they come from all parts, just as soon as it is possible for them to live there again. You will wonder what they call possibly feed on, when the ground has been covered with snow for so long, and nothing has been able to grow in the intense cold. But God has thought about them and prepared for them. He has provided a great store of their favourite food all ready for them to eat just as soon as they arrive.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.10

    In the far North there are great quantities of cranberry, crowberry and other fruit-bearing bushes. The continual sunshine of the Arctic summer (for remember that the sun does not set for months) makes these bushes bear a great deal of fruit. But almost as soon as it is ripe, and before the birds have time to gather it, the snow begins to fall, and covers it all up.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.11

    Underneath the snow, which keeps all the air away from it, it is perfectly preserved, and kept quite fresh and sweet, without any sign of decay. So you see that directly the snow melts, there is a rich feast of “preserved fruits” all ready for the millions of birds which come such long distances to have a share in it.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.12

    And, then, too, the sun ever shining brings to life such swarms of insects that the air is filled with them, and the insect-eating birds can get an abundance of food just by opening their mouths. No wonder the birds swarm here to make their homes and bring up their young ones in this land of peace and plenty.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.13

    What a delightful bird paradise it must be where there is constant sunshine, swarms of insects, stores of fruit waiting to be gathered, and no one to disturb or molest them. God, who has provided this delightful summer home for them, teaches them where to find it, just when to set out for it, how to reach it, and when to leave.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 809.14

    As you “behold the birds” as Jesus has told us to do, think of these things, and what beautiful lessons they teach us of our Heavenly Father's love and care. “They have neither storehouse nor barn; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them.” Sometimes He feeds them by putting it into the hearts of kind people to give them food in the cold weather. This is one way in which you way help Him to take care of them.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 810.1

    “‘Bottled Sunshine’” The Present Truth 14, 51.

    E. J. Waggoner

    George Stephenson said that fire from a piece of coal is “bottled sunshine” of long ages past.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 810.2

    The coal that glows in the grate, giving out so much warmth and comfort, was once part of a living tree, drinking in the sunbeams and storing them away just like the trees do now.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 810.3

    These old trees were buried beneath the ground, and gradually turned to coal, but the sunbeams were still there, only waiting for heat to set them free again.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 810.4

    And now when the days are cold and dull, and we have not the bright sunshine to warm and cheer us, we let out some of this “bottled sunshine,” and are made comfortable and happy with its bright beams.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 810.5

    But do not forget what we have learned about the sunshine,-that all the light that shines in this world is the glory of God which the sun reflects, the light of His own glorious face. Then you will learn to see in the fire something of the brightness of the Lord Himself, just “a gleam from the shining of His glory.” You will know that all the blessing and comfort that the fire gives, come straight from Him.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 810.6

    And as the trees catch the sunbeams when the bright sun is shining on them, and keep them to give out again when and where they are needed, so may you when the light of Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, shines upon you, catch His bright beams and shed them forth in dark places to warm and gladden and comfort those who are in gloom and sadness.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 810.7

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 14, 51.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -In Russia servants kiss their mistresses hands both as morning and evening greetings.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.1

    -The hardest known wood is cocus-wood. It turns the edge of any axe, however well-tempered.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.2

    -Sir William Harcourt has resigned the leadership of the Liberal party in the House of Commons.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.3

    -According to a telegram from Manila, the Americans will probably have to fight the natives for the possession of the Philippines.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.4

    -During a strong wind at Southsea, a pleasure boat drifted on to the pier, smashing ninety feet of it, and dividing the pier, which is over a mile long, into two.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.5

    -The treaty of peace between the United States and Spain has been formally sign, Spain giving way on all points but protesting that she has been forced to do so.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.6

    -Never before in the history of the trade has shipbuilding been so brisk on the Thames as it is to-day. More orders for warships by foreign Governments have been offered to Thames firms within the last few weeks than they have been able to undertake.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.7

    -At an auction the sum of ?86,000 was refused for a public-house at Cricklewood.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.8

    -The United States Adjutant-General has asked for 50,000 men to preserve peace and restore order in Cuba, where rioting has been going on.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.9

    -It is said that the tolling of church bells on the occasion of a burial is based on the old Pagan custom of banging gongs when a body was to be interred, in order to scare away the bad spirits.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.10

    -A five-petalled flower, nearly a yard in diameter, is found in the Philippine islands. The buds at a distance look like gigantic cabbage heads. A single flower has been known to weigh more than 221lbs.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.11

    -South American ants have been known to construct a tunnel three miles in length, a labour proportionate to that which would be required for men to tunnel under the Atlantic from London to New York.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.12

    -At Grenada, a crowd of women of the lower class assembled and threw stones at the statue of Columbus, as they considered that the man who had discovered America was the chief cause of all Spain's misfortunes.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.13

    -In the West India Islands and in South America grows a tree whose fruit makes an excellent lather and is used to wash clothes. The bark of a tree which grows in Peru, and of another which grows in the Malay Islands, yields a fine soap.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.14

    -The Disarmament Conference will meet next March at St. Petersburg. The Czar has not abandon his initiative, and a definite program will be submitted to the Governments in the course of a few weeks. All political questions will be excluded.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.15

    -A tree grows in perfect balance on every side. When a large branch shoots out on one side, one of equal size or two smaller ones appear on the other. The roots are balanced in the same way, a large branch on one side being matched by a large root. The centre of gravity is thus always perfectly maintained.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.16

    -Advices from the provinces of Livonia and Courland report that leprosy is spreading to a marked extent. The military authorities in those districts have been compelled to reject for the army many young men found to be infected with the disease. Notwithstanding the precautions taken to prevent the propagation of the scourge, the number of its victims amounts at the present time in Russia to more than 5,000.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.17

    -The surgical world on the other side of the Atlantic has been greatly interested in the result of some extraordinary wounds which were received by the soldiers of the United States during the course of the recent war. Among them was a man who was shot through the head, the bullet entering behind the ear and coming out near the spine, but in a week, although he had bled profusely he was about again. Another man had four perforations of the intestine, but walked four miles to the hospital without any hemorrhage. When it was suggested that he should wait ten or twelve hours before the operation he went away of his own accord and disappeared, being found three days afterwards walking about as if nothing had happened to him. At the battle on July 1 the men fought on empty stomachs, to which fact the surgeons attribute the extraordinary immunity from a fatal consequences of the wounds which were received. Several men shot through the abdomen by Mauser bullets walked four miles to the hospital and arrived in good condition, recovering after suffering very little pain, and without the need of an operation. All the treatment that was given to them was that they were sent to lie down and not allowed to take any food, except perhaps a little beef tea, for twenty-four hours. Nearly every one of them went back to service and there was not a case of lockjaw or of gangrene.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 813.18

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 51.

    E. J. Waggoner

    With the present number we conclude the series of lessons that have been conducted for the past six months with the story of creation as the basis. It is designed to continue them, beginning with the next number, using the book of Isaiah as the basis. Many companies of believers have been much blessed by the studies of the present lessons in their Sabbath schools, and it is hoped that even greater blessings may be experienced from the study of those which are to follow.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.1

    “Everything was done front the beginning, and there is nothing in the universe, physical, intellectual, moral, that is not in the first verse of the first chapter of the first book of the Bible.”—Dr. Parker.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.2

    These are true words. Think then what an unlimited field of study is presented in the whole of the first chapter. What a grand thing it would be to have a school with the story of creation as its entire curriculum. It was from such a school that He who spake as never man spake was graduated.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.3

    A friend writes to call our attention to a statement in a contributed article in the PRESENT TRUTH of September 29, to the effect that Apollos was a Greek, and kindly asks us to make the fact clear, since in Acts xviii. 24 it is stated that he was a Jew. The only explanation we can make is that the statement in the article is a mistake, which was overlooked by the editor. We thank our friend for calling our attention to it, for others may have been confused by it. The Scripture says that Apollos was a Jew, and that is all there is to be said about it.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.4

    One leading religious journal in commenting on the Czar of Russia's plea for disarmament, says, “At times the church wants war.” That is true, for every war that has ever been waged has had the sanction of the “church;” and in the most recent times “the church” and its pastors have clamoured for war, which cool-headed statesmen were trying to avoid. Yet when all is said, it must always be kept prominently before the people that Christians do not want war. Christianity is always and everywhere opposed to war. Whether there be dishonour with peace, or not, peace is always honourable and only honourable.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.5

    God calls men to enter into His rest. His rest is infinite because His work left nothing imperfect. The lapse of time will never reveal any defect in His work. It will endure for ever and will always be at) perfect that there will be no respect in which it can be improved upon. Therefore it is easy to understand how God can rest.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.6

    In entering into the rest of God we enter into the possession of His work. Only as we do so, can we know, His rest. A retired merchant, who has amassed great wealth, can only invite a poor man to enter into his rest by sharing with him the wealth and advantages that have made it possible for himself to rest. If he bestows anything less than he himself possesses he does not impart the same sense of rest and security that he himself enjoys.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.7

    Everything that God has is shared with men. He spared not His own Son, and He will not withhold anything. Therefore all that secures the Creator against evil, fall and death, is given to us in equal measure for ever and ever. Our part is to believe and receive it, and thus enter into His everlasting rest. Only unbelief keeps man from enjoying the fulness of God.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.8

    “The Beauty of Truth” The Present Truth 14, 51.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In a notice of a recent book of poems we find the following lines cited as a specimen of true poetry”—PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.9

    “The poet gathers fruit from every tree,
    Yea, grapes from thorns and figs from thistles
    he.
    Plucked by his hand, the basest wood that
    grows
    Towers to a lily, reddens to a rose.”
    PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.10

    Very smooth and flowing it is, and it may be poetry, but it cannot he called beautiful, for the reason that it is not true. We quote it, not for criticism, but to call attention to a thing too often unrecognised, and that is that truth alone is beauty.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.11

    Go into an art gallery and you will find pictures over which people who have been instructed in the proper terms to use, will go into ecstasies. As specimens of skill in blending colours, and in canvas, they are indeed marvels; but measured by the standard, they are but blotches, because they are caricatures of the truth.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.12

    For example: The frescoes by Michael Angelo, in the Sistine Chapel, in the Vatican at Rome, are set down in the guide books and in the treatises on art as things to be universally admired. Accordingly people crane their necks, and lie on their backs, to get good views of them, and go away to tell what wonderful productions they are. Wonderful they are, indeed; but such caricatures of sacred things cannot but be disgusting to anyone who loves truth, and who reverences the Bible. The undignified representations of God, and the crude, worse than childish conceptions of His work, are calculated to produce pain rather than pleasure. “A fair woman without discretion,” and “a jewel of gold in a swine's snout,” are not objects to be admired; so exquisite paintings of untrue and impossible things, and especially crude attempts to portray sacred mysteries, are the reverse of beautiful.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.13

    That nothing is beautiful that is not true, may be seen from this: God is the Creator of all things, and He creates by the power of His own life. All things have their existence from His own being, and were in the act of creation stamped with His own personality. Now God is beautiful. See Ps. xxvii. 4; Isa. xxxiii. 17. Therefore “He hath made everything beautiful in its time.” Eccl. iii. 11. But God is also truth. Whatsoever is untrue is unlike Him, and since He is the source of beauty, that which is unlike Him cannot be beautiful. Only false training, and lack of true cultivation, can cause anybody to see beauty in that which is false.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.14

    God desires truth in the inward parts, and this we may have by devotion to His law, which is the truth. Ps. cxix. 142. “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is the truth.” That which is true is eternal, and that which has in it the freshness of eternity must be beautiful. Therefore we should pray from the heart, “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it.” Ps. xc. 17. Only the beauty of the Lord is lasting, and that which is not lasting is not real.PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.15

    “He will beautify the meek with salvation.”PTUK December 22, 1898, page 815.16

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