The Present Truth, vol. 10- Contents
- January 4, 1894
- January 10, 1894
- January 11, 1894
- January 18, 1894
- January 25, 1894
- February 1, 1894
- February 8, 1894
- February 15, 1894
- February 22, 1894
- March 1, 1894
- March 8, 1894
- March 15, 1894
- March 22, 1894
- March 29, 1894
- April 5, 1894
- April 12, 1894
- April 19, 1894
- April 26, 1894
- May 3, 1894
- May 10, 1894
- May 17, 1894
- May 24, 1894
- May 31, 1894
- June 7, 1894
- June 14, 1894
- June 21, 1894
- June 28, 1894
- July 5, 1894
- July 12, 1894
- July 19, 1894
- July 26, 1894
- August 2, 1894
- August 9, 1894
- August 16, 1894
- August 23, 1894
- August 30, 1894
- September 6, 1894
- September 13, 1894
- September 20, 1894
- September 27, 1894
- October 4, 1894
- October 11, 1894
- October 18, 1894
- October 25, 1894
- November 1, 1894
- November 8, 1894
- November 15, 1894
- November 22, 1894
- November 29, 1894
- December 6, 1894
- December 13, 1894
- December 20, 1894
- December 27, 1894
- Weighted Relevancy
- Content Sequence
- Earliest First
- Latest First
March 22, 1894
“Front Page” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Whatever a man eats that is not real food, is not only useless to him, but is a positive injury, since it taxes the digestive organs, without adding any strength. Therefore anything that one eats, that is not or cannot be assimilated, and does not go to build up the system, is only a damage.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.1
Even so it is with our reading. If we read that which is not useful,—that which does not tend to build us up, and make us stronger mentally and spiritually,—it is only an injury to us. It is even worse than eating that which is not good food. It is both a waste of time, and a wasting away of the faculties.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.2
It is much the same if we read even good matter, and do not think as we read. To be sure, we are not having our minds poisoned, as when worthless trash is read; but the mental powers are not strengthened by such reading, but vitiated instead. Such a manner of reading weakens the memory, and is little better than dreaming. In short, if we do not get positive nourishment by what we read, our reading is, to say the least, of no benefit to us.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.3
Apply this now to our reading of the Bible. If we read it simply as a story book, we get no real benefit, except that we are kept from reading something that is not good. If when we read the promises, or the record of victories which pertain to those promises, we see nothing more than the bare fact that certain men had certain experiences, then our reading is like swallowing clumps of food that is in itself good, but which is not digested nor assimilated.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.4
The Bible is the language of the Spirit God spoken through men. Consequently it is not the language simply of the men who penned it. The Spirit of God, who knows the human heart and its needs, as well as the Divine gifts, has put language into the mouths of certain men, which may be used by all. So when we read the words of David, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, ... who forgiveth all thine iniquities” () we are to appropriate that language as our own. If we do so, we shall understand the Scriptures, and shall be benefited by them. But if we are content to read it simply as David’s experience, it is the same to us as though it had not been written.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.5
Let us learn to read the Scriptures in this way, and the Bible will soon be a new book to us. The reading of it will be a delight. When we read reproofs and warnings, we shall know that they mean us personally; and when we read the promises which always accompany reproofs, we shall rejoice in them as much as though we were addressed by name. When we read the statement of experience, we shall adopt it as our own, and realise all the benefit of it.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.6
Until we learn to read the Bible in this way, we cannot be said to really believe in it. We may indeed believe that God spoke to and blessed David and Paul; but if we do not make that language and blessing our own, we do not really believe the word, for it is addressed to us. If you wish to know if you really believe the whole Bible, you may test yourself by this text:—PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.7
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.8
If you read this merely as Paul’s experience, then you have not yet learned to believe the Bible. But if in reading it you can speak that word “I” as meaning yourself, and can repeat the text intelligently as the language of your own heart, as the Spirit of God meant that you should, then you really believe not that verse alone, but the whole Bible, and the joy of God’s salvation is yours.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.9
“Willing and Able” The Present Truth 10, 12.
The teachings of the epistles of the New Testament are all illustrated by the life of Christ. For instance, we read in that Christ “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” The will of the Father was manifest in the Son, and that will is that we might be delivered from this present evil world.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.10
This is practically illustrated by the miracle of cleansing the leper, which is recorded in . The leper said to Christ, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me a clean.” Jesus “put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.11
Here we see the effect of the will of God in Christ Jesus, upon one who submitted to it. “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” . How easily that will is accomplished, is seen in the case with which the leprosy was cleansed. From that we are to learn how to be cleansed, the leprosy of sin. Knowing that it is the will of God that we should be cleansed from sin, and that He has given Christ power over all flesh ( ), we may approach Him with confidence. The apostle says:—PTUK March 22, 1894, page 177.12
“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.1
So we may come to the Lord, not as the leper did, saying, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean,” but saying, “Lord, I am unclean; Thou canst cleanse me, and it is Thy will to do so; therefore I know that Thou dost hear and answer, and I have cleansing from Thee.” For the promise is, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.2
“Working with Him” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Behold in the miraculous draught of fishes, recorded in the fifth of Luke, the difference between working without the Lord, and working with Him. Jesus said, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” Peter answered, “Master we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing; nevertheless at Thy word I will let down the net.” The result was that “they enclosed a great multitude of fishes.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.3
This miracle, which immediately preceded the calling of forth of the apostles, was designed as a lesson for them, and for us as well. We may learn that work under the direction of Lord, and with His presence, will bring great results, even after much more arduous toil in the same place, without Him, has accomplished nothing.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.4
We hear a great deal in these days about working for the Lord, but very little about working with Him. Now this latter is what the Bible speaks of, while it says nothing about the former. There is a vast difference. Many people, in their zeal to work for the Lord, set tasks for themselves, which He has not required. This is not always the case; but if one is content to work only with the Lord, such a mistake can never be made.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.5
He who works for the Lord, often labours with all his might, but with only his own mind, and then asks the Lord to bless his efforts. He who labours with the Lord, asks the Lord to work in him, “both to will and to do of His own good pleasure.” He who speaks only the words of the Lord, needs not to ask the Lord to “give power to the word,” because he knows that “no word from God shall be void of power.” His word will accomplish that which He pleases, and prosper in the thing whereto He sends it.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.6
“How to Obey” The Present Truth 10, 12.
In the record of the call of the apostles, we have a lesson on how the Lord wishes men to obey His call, “Follow Me.” Simon and Andrew were fishers. Jesus said, “Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” Not a moment did they hesitate, but “straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.8
Peter and John were also fishers. They were in their boat, mending their nets, which had been broken by the great number of fish that they had just taken. See ; and . Jesus called them, “and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after Him.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.9
“And after these things He went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom; and He said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed Him.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.10
There are two great difficulties that confront people when they are asked to follow Christ. That is, most people are confronted by one or the other of them. One of them is the poverty of the one called, and the other is the wealth. One man hesitates because he has hard work to make a living, and he doesn’t know how his family will be provided for if he obeys the Lord. Another man has so extensive a business on his hands that it is impossible to leave it, at least until he has had time to arrange his affairs.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.11
Both these classes of people are represented in the above calls, but they took no account of the difficulties. We know that Peter had a family, and being a humble fisherman he could not have been wealthy. Yet he did not stop to consider how he should support his family if he obeyed the voice of Jesus, but left his nets, and went with Him.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.12
So it was with Paul. He says, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.14
That is the way the Lord wishes men to obey His voice. He reveals Himself in the Sabbath of the fourth commandment-the seventh day, see -and says to them, “Follow Me.” Many hesitate. With some, it is their poverty that stands in the way. They don’t see how they can live if they keep the Sabbath, forgetting that people who did not keep the Sabbath also die; and forgetting that it is the Creator of the heaven and earth, who calls them; forgetting that He who calls them to obey Him, says, “the silver is Mine and the gold is Mine” ( ), and also, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” . Of His power to provide for His followers, we have a striking proof in the wonderful draught of fishes that the disciples took at His word.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.15
The more wealthy are still more inclined to hesitate to obey the call which Jesus sends them in the Sabbath, because the Sabbath is the best day for business. They do not reflect that it is He who gives them power to get wealth (), and that He is just as able to give wealth to those who obey Him, as He is to give it to those who disobey Him; and that, after all, “a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.16
Men cannot be too slow to follow strange and doubtful voices; they cannot be too cautious about moving when God has not spoken; but they cannot be too quick to obey the voice of the Lord. David said, “I made haste, and delayed not, to keep Thy commandments.” . And then he declared that he would run in the way of the commandments of God. God’s will is to be done on earth as it is in heaven; and in heaven the angels “do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.17
“Christ and His Prophets” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Christ and His Prophets.-It was Christ who inspired the writings of all the prophets. Peter testifies that “the Spirit of Christ... was in them” (), and Christ Himself said of the Old Testament scriptures, “they are they which testify of Me.” . If we slight them, we are slighting the testimony of Christ; and if we read them without seeing in them Christ and His eternal life, we are no more profited thereby than were the Jews who would not come to Christ that they might have life.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 178.18
“Saved by His Life” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Every lost soul will one day acknowledge that God has done everything for him, and that God gave him life and he would not hold it. God has given eternal life to every soul on this earth. “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.1
“The law entered that the offence might abound.” How many have offended against God?—“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “But where sin abounded grace did much more abound.” Sin abounds in the heart of man. The natural heart is the most prolific soil in the world. Men have tried to cut off the weeds of sin, and dig them out, but they have sprung up and overshadowed everything. That is abounding sin. But the statement is that where sin abounded grace did much more abound. Therefore every soul is surrounded with an atmosphere of grace. God has done everything for man. “What could have been done more to My vineyard, than I have not done in it?” says the Lord. Every power to act that the man has, every capability of sinning, has been because of the grace of God perverted. Our very existence is because of the grace of God. Our life is the breathing in of the grace of God; but if we do not consciously accept God, if we do not yield to Him, of what use is the life? “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Then those who breathe in the grace of God do it in vain if they do not acknowledge it.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.2
How much of the grace of God we have squandered! How much we have perverted and abused! We have used it as a common thing. This thing comes to us with a force that would be crushing were it not for the knowledge that grace brings salvation. There is no room for condemnation; for the moment we recognise the grace we have squandered, the breath we have used in idle talk and to deny Christ, the powers we have used to work our own evil way of selfishness, the very recognition of that fact brings knowledge of the grace that forgives sin.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.3
Oh, the wonderful patience of God! Day after day and year after year He showers His grace. He causes His sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and sends His rain on the just and the unjust. He sends the fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. He is witnessing of Himself all the time, and has patiently kept it up year after year, while we were groveling like the beast, and not recognising it. But if we begin to recognise it, what can we not expect of the Lord? “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” . We are saved by the same thing that reconciles us. In His death He gave His life to us, and when we recognise that, and as we are recognising it, we are saved by His life.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.4
“Purging the Church” The Present Truth 10, 12.
This is the way a Church of England clergy man has proposed in a letter to the English Churchman, to purge that body of the Ritualism which is fast making it an exact copy of the Roman Catholic body:—PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.5
There is a “constitutional means” and the only “practical means.” Secession won’t “purge the Church;” moving the table to the centre of the church won’t “purge the Church.” It would be moved back again by the next incumbent, perhaps. But making it, by Act of Parliament, illegal, under suspension or deprivation, for any clergyman to turn his back to the people, to use lighted candles except in case of atmospheric darkness, or at any time during service to make the sign of the cross, or to use a mixed chalice, or any other than pure wheaten bread at the Lord’s Supper, or any hymn during the administration of the Lord’s Supper, or to wear any vestment other than the surplice, except in the case of the bishops, the usual episcopal robes being allowed, and the academical hood and black gown in the pulpit; and then, as I have said before, no Reformation would be required in our purely Protestant Church, no progress in Ritualism or Romanism would or could be made, as far as outward symbols are concerned; and Ritualists and Romanistic teachers would then find that there is no scope for their purposes in the Established Church of England.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.6
The statement that under such an Act of Parliament no progress in Romanism could be made, “as far as outward symbols are concerned,” is quite safe. But what difference does it make whether any progress toward Romanism is made in “outward symbols” or not, if inwardly the clergy and members are full of Romish sentiment? If the sentiment is within, it is no worse for it to find expression; and if it is not within, there is no danger. And there is no one so enamoured of civil legislation for the church, that he will claim that an Act of Parliament can change men’s hearts.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.7
The Jewish Church was never more corrupt than when it was most correct in all the externals. Hear the words of Christ: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.8
Read also the list of sins recited by the Apostle Paul, as being committed in the last days by those possessing “a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” . The form may be secured by strict legislation, but the more Acts of Parliament are depended upon for purging the Church, the more will the power of godliness be denied.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.9
Suppose that an Act of Parliament were obtained, what surety could be given that it would not be repealed by some succeeding Parliament? It is majorities that make laws; and even though a majority might at present be opposed to the outward forms of Romanism, the inward tendency would not be legislated out of a single soul, and in time a majority would be found, who would reverse everything.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.10
How then shall the church be purged, not only of Ritualism, but of every other evil? Here is the answer: “Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” . Said Christ, “Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” . “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.11
Here is cleansing that is cleansing indeed. Every attempt to cleanse the church by any other means will prove as ineffectual as to attempt to stop the flood of a river with a barbed wire fence. Indeed, civil legislation for the church only increases the evil; for the only real Gospel power is the power of God; and just to the extent that the church depends on civil power, will it neglect the power of God; and where the power of God is lacking, there the power of the devil will be supreme. And thus civil legislation in behalf of religion, instead of purging the Church, will at last bring it into the condition described by the angel:PTUK March 22, 1894, page 179.12
“Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” . There is only one way by which this deplorable condition can be brought about, and that is by the church’s depending on worldly power, in defiance of the word of God.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.1
“Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.2
“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth forever.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.3
Parliament cannot change the heart, but God can create a new heart; parliaments, with all their powerlessness, are subject to change, but God in His might is “from everlasting to everlasting.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.4
“A Pitiful Story” The Present Truth 10, 12.
A Pitiful Story.—In an editorial entitled, “Going into the Highways and Byways,” illustrative of the work of the Salvation Army, the New York Independent relates the following incident:—PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.5
In a revival in a church, recently, a woman whose life was bad, and who had been touched by a sermon at the funeral of her child, was converted. Her penitence was real, her determination to lead a new life fixed. She at once broke off her sinful relations, but would not join the church. “I cannot,” she said; “I should not feel at home. The women know what my life has been; they would try to be kind, but I must go elsewhere.” And the women of the church did not urge her. She joined the Salvation Army. “It will make no difference there,” she said, “I can work with them.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.6
The most pitiful part of this story is that the Independent does not recognise in it anything out of the way. It rejoices that there is such a body as the Salvation Army, where such people can be made welcome, but does not seem to realise what a terrible shame it is to the church, that such things should be. The fact that it is taken as a matter of course that people of notoriously bad lives, who repent, cannot feel at home in the churches, reveals the painful fact that the churches have largely forgotten the words of their reputed Head, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” and have become too much like respectable social clubs. The greatest honour ever bestowed on Christ was the sneering statement of the scribes and Pharisees, “This man receiveth sinners.” Not only so, but He seeks them out. Let those who call themselves by His name remember that the disciple is not above his Lord.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.7
“A Difficult Class” The Present Truth 10, 12.
A Difficult Class.-An item of school news in the journal of a missionary of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa shows one of the difficulties of the teacher with a class of Central African juveniles when he has to teach them in a language of which he is not yet a master:—PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.8
I try a little religious instruction, reading first Bible stories out of Yao lesson-book. I read a sentence, and then all the boys repeat it after me. This is not quite a success, for if I try to question them on the subject matter, they only repeat my question, and whatever I say. Thus yesterday, having read to them about the creation and Adam and Eve, I asked them in the best Yao available, “Who made the world?” The boys all echoed, “Who made the world?”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.9
“Look Up” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Look Up.-It has been said, If you would be discouraged, look within; if you would be distracted, look within; if you would be distracted, look around; but if you would be revived and strengthened, look up. Jesus Christ Himself has bidden us look up. There is something better to look at than the things that are seen in the world. We are in the time spoken of by our Saviour to His disciples when they had inquired what should be the sign of His coming,—the time of which He said, “Look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” . Are you waiting for the day of redemption, “looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”? If you are not, your life is without the brightest knowledge and the grandest privilege which our time affords.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.19
“‘This Is Our God’” The Present Truth 10, 12.
“This Is Our God.”-In the day of our Lord’s appearing it will be said, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” . These words, however, will be spoken only by those who know the Lord. There will be an emphasis on “this” and “our;” “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” For just before this the people who know not God-whether in the world or in the church-will have professed allegiance to another, even to him who “is transformed into an angel of light” ( ), and whose steadfast aim is to put himself before men in the place of God. It is not enough to know that Christ is coming; we must also be acquainted with Him, so that we may be able to recognise Him when He comes.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.20
“Being Thankful” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Being Thankful.-We often hear the expression that we are not as thankful to the Lord as we ought to be. We do not have to make an effort to be thankful. The effort to be thankful is unthankfulness. If, after we have done a favour for an individual, the person has to make a great effort to be thankful to us for it, we would rather he would not make the effort. Thankfulness is the natural outgrowth of a recognition of favours granted. If the person is not thankful, he does not recognise the favour. He takes it as his right. But whoever recognises that he has received a favour, will be thankful. So we have nothing to do with making ourselves thankful. All we have to do is to recognise God. If we believe the promises of God, we cannot help being thankful. If we recognise that His life is given, our thankfulness will grow and increase. Thankfulness is a sign, then, of growth in grace.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.21
“Faith and Breath” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Faith and Breath.—“The just shall live by faith.” . That means that their whole life will be faith, as the Apostle Paul said, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” . Faith, therefore, is not a thing of a moment; the man who believes a thing to-day, and is in doubt about it to-morrow, has not faith. Faith is continuous; it is an everlasting foundation. All men live by breathing. They cannot live by breathing one day, and ceasing to breathe the next day. As soon as they cease to breathe, they cease to live. So it is with faith; when faith ceases, the righteous life ceases. He who exercises faith as often and as long as he breathes, will be righteous as long as he lives.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 180.22
“How He Knew” The Present Truth 10, 12.
How He Knew.-How did Moses learn about the creation? There was no man living when the heavens and earth were created, so that he could not have learned the story from man. Those who assume that he compiled the narrative from various existing documents, do not help the matter at all. For no man who lived before Moses had any better chance to learn about creation than he had. Even Adam had no more personal knowledge of the facts of creation than Moses had; for creation was complete when Adam first saw the light. He saw nothing of the process himself. Then how did Moses know what to write? Did he imagine it?—Not at all; he wrote just what he knew, because the Lord told him. He who created the heavens and earth, “made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel” (), for the Lord spoke to him mouth to mouth. . This is the way the entire Bible was written, “for no prophecy ever came by the will of man; but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 181.1
“Not an Allegory” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Not an Allegory.-Some people think to strike a happy mean between the idea that the first chapters of Genesis are actual history, and the theory that they are pure fiction, by claiming that they are allegorical. Of all such it may be said, “They know not what they do.” They do not realise that any view other than that those chapters describe actual occurrences, is a denial of the whole Bible, and of the very Gospel. The third chapter of Genesis tells how sin came into the world, and contains the first promise of the Saviour, who should die for the sin. To deny the literalness of that account, is to deny the story of the cross. Upon the first and second chapters of Genesis, the fourth commandment is based. If they were not literal history, the Sabbath would be gone. This indeed is why those chapters are discredited. But they who discredit the story of creation, and the Sabbath, do not realise that in so doing they are denying sanctification. God says, “I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” . Without the knowledge of creation and the Sabbath, there can be no knowledge of perfect sanctification. “Thy word is truth from the beginning.” . It is all “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 181.2
“Creation and the Cross” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Creation and the Cross.-The eternal power of God is clearly seen in the things that He has made. . Creation is the measure of God’s power. Not that anyone save God can measure it, because it is infinite; but the power manifested in creation is the same power that saves men from sin. . So that the Gospel is simply creative power applied to sinful men. See ; . But the preaching of the cross is also the power of God. . Christ crucified is the power and the wisdom of God, and so it is the Gospel. On the cross Christ shed His blood to reconcile us to God, in the forgiveness of our sins. ; . The blood is the life ( ); so that it is the taking of the life of Christ that reconciles us to God. But we have redemption through His blood, because in Him were all things created. . He is the source of the creation. . All created things sprang from His life. So that the power of the cross, by which we are saved, is the power by which the worlds were made. Thus it is that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, or a new creation. Only as we consider the power of God as manifested in creation, can we learn the wonderful power of the cross. David said, “For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy works; I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.” And Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And both of them gloried and triumphed in the same thing.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 181.3
“For a Time of Need” The Present Truth 10, 12.
For a Time of Need.-If we do not grasp that which we profess to believe, and lay hold upon it for deliverance from sin in time of temptation, it shows that we do not understand that thing about which we talk. Every word of God may be laid hold of it in time of temptation, and it is deliverance. We are to lay hold of the life that is in the word; for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes us free. We are to find life and godliness in every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 181.4
“Christian Service” The Present Truth 10, 12.
If there was less talk about service, there would be more service. We talk about service, and seem to regard the Lord as a Master merely. He is indeed a Master, and a very good one; but He is more than that; He is a Father, and He loves His children, and has given His life for them. The service which He wishes us to do for Him, is to yield ourselves to Him, that He may serve the world through us.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 181.5
We do not discount the idea of labouring. The one who knows the Lord, and loves Him, will do all the Lord wants him to do, and the Lord wants people to be very busy and active. But there are those active who do not know the Lord. Mere activity is not a sign of knowing the Lord. The Lord’s own life of activity and blessedness will be operating and controlling in that one who really knows Him and receives that life by faith.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 181.6
Before working there is something necessary, and that is, to get alive. And when one gets alive, and lives by faith there will be work done. The people in darkness want light, but it is the life of Christ that is the light of men. Many seem to regard light as a mere working of the intellect. It is supposed that we get light by a well drawn argument showing the relation of two or more texts. But that kind of light does not lighten the darkness. “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 181.7
“Cannot Forget” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Cannot Forget.-The woman referred to in another item, who lived a loose life, but had repented, could not join the church, because, as she said: “I should not feel at home. The women know what my life has been; they would try to be kind, but they could not forget.” She was not complaining, but was stating a simple fact; and the women themselves showed it to be a fact, by their willingness to have her go elsewhere. Thank God that not all churches are like that one. And although a part of any church, or the whole of it, may have that feeling, it is still a fact that no Christian-no true follower of Christ-ever turns the cold shoulder to one who is or has been a sinner. Whenever professed Christians cannot forget the sins that another has committed, it is because they have forgotten that they themselves are or were sinners. Every one who knows the Lord, knows himself to be a sinner, even the chief of sinners;-a sinner saved by the grace of God;-and such an one can never despise any on account of their sins. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Therefore boasting-the Pharisaic boasting of self-righteousness-is excluded. All are one in Christ Jesus.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 181.8
“Light and Works” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Light and Works.-The Saviour said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” . Most people unconsciously reverse the order, assuming that it reads, “Do so many good works before men, that they may see your light and glorify”—whom?—Man. But the light is to shine so that men may see the good works. What is the light?—Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” ( ); because His life is the light. . Now when the light of Christ’s life shines in a man, it will make it manifest that his deeds “are wrought in God.” . So both the light and the works are from God, and that is the reason why He will be glorified when they are seen.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.1
“Offended Feelings” The Present Truth 10, 12.
A Spanish correspondent reports that the Protestant churches in some of the provinces have been closed, and a church in Madrid has been required to close its front entrance, and use the side door, as the open doors on the street constituted an offence against the religious sentiments of the people.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.2
Offended feelings have played a great part in the history of religious persecutions. It is human nature to take offence because someone has the temerity to differ from its opinions; and because the great majority of men in all ages have clung to the natural disposition, religious history-Catholic and Protestant alike-has to record manifestations of intolerance in every chapter.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.3
In an old volume, published about a century ago, Rev. Jno. Macgowan, of London, gave some of the shifting scenes in modern church history. In answer to the question, “Has any sect besides the papists been found to persecute those who differ from them?” he says:—PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.4
Yes, every sect who has, at any time, been happy enough to grasp the reins of government for the time being. The worthy papists bore the bell of orthodoxy for the space of twelve hundred and sixty years, during which time much blood was shed by open massacres, secret assassinations, pretended judiciaries, acts of bloody faith; and at last to finish the bloody reign of antichrist, England, France, the Netherlands, and the valleys of Piedmont swam with the gore of such who would believe the Bible sooner than the voice of the priests. Queen Mary’s reign furnished the Orthodox in her day, with a fine opportunity of discovering their zeal for the church, by murdering those who believed and obeyed the Bible; but her reign being short, and Elizabeth ascending the throne upon her demise, the other scale rose uppermost, and the Protestants, in their turn, became orthodox, i.e., got the government into their hands.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.5
Oh, the violence of repeated orthodoxy! Those same gentlemen were no sooner emerged from prison than they also let the world know that they were not to be differed from with impunity; that their formula of their faith and worship must be regarded with as implicit obedience as that in the former reign imposed by the papists. Now the Presbyterians, Independents, and other Congregationalists felt the weight of their rage, or, if you please, zeal for orthodoxy and the good of the Church. Now the prison-keepers and their friend, Master Ketch, had pretty near as good a run of trade as in the reign of Mary. And now the wilds of America began to be well peopled with English Protestants who oppressed the dissenters; and the good Episcopalians at home, kept the fleece to themselves and had all the good of the Church before them.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.6
But those said Presbyterians and Independents had no sooner crossed the ocean for conscience’ sake, and found themselves secure from Episcopalian rage, than they themselves commenced orthodox, and set up their own formula as the standard of religion, to which they required as implicit submission from others as the good bishops of England had ere done for themselves; and now the poor antipedo-Baptists and Quakers were taught, that a mittimus is a mittimus whether it is signed by a papist, an Episcopalian or a Presbyterian, and that sentence of death is to be dreaded as much from the mouth of the latter as of the former. Those same dissenters who had so lately found Old England too hot for themselves, by the glowings of priestly zeal for orthodoxy, soon made New England too hot for the poor Quakers and antipedo-Baptists; who, to escape the rage for presbytery, fled, the one to Pennsylvania and the other to Rhode Island, that they might not be compelled to worship God according to other people’s consciences and contrary to their own.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.7
This is human nature, and a sorry picture it makes. Yet nowadays we hear about offences against religious sentiment even in professedly Protestant circles. The tendency toward regulating people’s conduct by law in religious observances is increasingly manifest. It is now urged that men must be made to respect Sunday, just as it was formerly thought that respect for the communion or baptism must be enforced.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.8
Religious sentiment may be offended and provoked to retaliation, but Christian sentiment never. Can we imagine such a thing of the Saviour, as that He should become offended and make somebody feel the penalty of differing from Him? He was meek, gentle, long-suffering, He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; nor did He hide His face from shame and spitting. This is the spirit which is given to those who will let the human nature die, and become partakers of the Divine nature. This is Christianity. Is it not time for Christians to follow Christ?PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.9
“‘All Things Continue’” The Present Truth 10, 12.
“All Things Continue.”—In the last days, we are told, there shall come scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” . It is natural for man to think that the things which seem to be firmly established now, will continue without serious change for ages to come. Those of whom the text speaks affirm that all things have continued the same from creation. But this is not true; for the world that was originally created perished in the flood, as the word of God declares. It is only the narrow range of a man’s experience-comprised in his threescore and ten-that leads him to imagine that there is anything on this earth, and of it, that is permanent. “The heavens and earth which are now,” we are plainly told, are “reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.10
“Similarity in Externals” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Similarity in Externals.-The authorities of the British Museum have arranged an exhibit of objects identified with the ceremonial side of various religions. The collection of ecclesiastical trappings affords opportunity for instructive comparisons. The Thibet section, for example, is stated by the Echo to be “extremely interesting from its resemblance in externals to those of Christianity.” There are the cowl-like hats of the Thibetan monks, a head-dress similar to the miter, various vestments, censors, holy water ewers, prayer cylinders, and rosaries. Now, these things antedate the days of apostles. The false religions of Asia did not get their externals from the Christian Church. The reason of the similarity is perfectly well-known to historians. But the early church fell from its apostolic simplicity and purity, and thus from its apostolic power, it sought to gain favour with heathenism round about it by adopting and adapting the forms and mysteries of the pagan worship. Thus the church itself became permeated with Paganism. One would find nothing for exhibition in the externals of the apostolic church. Christ alone was exhibited, not by forms and ritual, but He was set forth by the preaching of the word in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 182.12
“Faith and Religion” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Faith and Religion.-Is there a difference between religion and faith? We often hear the expression, “the faiths of the world.” How many faiths are there?—The Scripture says there is but “one Lord, one faith.” The papal definition of faith is “a system of doctrine or belief.” The man who believes this system, whether he understands it or not, has faith. That is not Scripture faith. Faith is trust, it is building upon a sure foundation. It is that upon which the individual depends, and of course it is used only with reference to Christ; for he who depends upon anything else than Christ has no foundation. He who does not build upon the rock builds on the sand. But faith is a substance; it is the substance of Christ; for He is “the Author and finisher of faith.” And therefore there is no faith except the faith that centres in Christ.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 183.1
“The Lord’s Forgetfulness” The Present Truth 10, 12.
The Lord’s Forgetfulness.-There is not a sin that any soul has committed, that is not known to God. Yet the Psalmist uttered the following inspired prayer: “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Thy mercy remember Thou me, for Thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.” . It is the Spirit that teaches us how to pray, because He knows the human heart, and also the mind of God, and He maketh intercession for us according to the will of God. . Therefore we may know that it is the will of God to forget our sins, and we may ask it in full assurance. God says of those who hearken to His voice, and yield to His Spirit: “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” . What a blessed assurance! The great God, who knows all our sins as even we ourselves cannot know them, receives us gladly, and treats us as though we had never sinned, because He forgets our sins, and sees in us only His own righteousness. Thus we can associate with Him without any fear or restraint. He does not despise us, nor abash us with reproachful pity. He does not shrink from us, as so fearful that we may defile Him, but receives us into His bosom. Happy are they who know the Lord indeed; and happy are the repentant sinners who see only Christ in His professed followers.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 183.2
“Back Page” The Present Truth 10, 12.
The Echo says: “No student of English history-even the most superficial-needs to be told that the perpetual religious question, in some shape or other, as always lying at the back of the temporary political question, whatever it may be.” “In any case, it is ecclesiastical zeal upon which each political party counts for feeding the fire with oil.” How much of such religion is the religion of Him who said, “My kingdom is not of this world”?PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.1
A clergyman of the Church of England writes thus from a country parish to the Church Times: “People and towns can have no idea of the difficulty we have in little villages like this of making the villagers understand that Good Friday is not a holiday, but a holy-day. Protestant teachings on the subject of fast and festival has taken deep root.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.2
We can appreciate the difficulty one must meet in trying to teach the people that Good Friday is a holy day, with not the slightest proof in the world whereby to establish such a claim. Many besides Churchmen have experienced the same difficulty in trying to convince people, contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture, that Sunday is a holy day. We can offer no sympathy, however. People who try to teach the sanctity of that which God has not made holy, must endure the hardship of their own presumption.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.3
The first subject on the programme of the Free Church Congress, at Leeds, was “Worship,” on which subject a paper was read by Dr. Hunter, of Glasgow. It was held that “the real and final part of worship lay in those acts of prayer and praise which we commonly described as liturgy.” The author affirmed that “we are now picking up with gratitude and reverence things which our fathers had flung aside.” And those who are doing that are steadily and surely going back to that which the fathers left, namely, Romanism. There is no religious body that can outdo the Roman Catholic body in magnificence of rituals; and therefore it is obvious that when professed Protestants come to think that they can attract the masses only by a liturgy, it is evident that in time they will be forced into that body which has that matter so perfected that they cannot compete with it.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.4
“Federation” was the watchword of the recent Free Church Congress. The report says: “The federation of all the evangelical churches in England was, it may almost be said, one of the originating forces of the Free Church Congress. Certainly it was an ideal present to the minds of all the readers and speakers at Manchester last November twelvemonth, and to-day that idea had forcible, adequate, explicit enunciation. Not that the difficulties, practical and doctrinal, were overlooked. Far from it. But, if for nothing else, this Free Church Congress will be remembered as inaugurating a movement the ultimate issue of which can only be the federation of all the principal Nonconformist bodies in England-and, perhaps, of all Evangelical Churches throughout the world-in one harmonious organisation, with one aim, one purpose, one hope of its calling, one resolute determination to conquer England and the world for religious freedom.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.5
In the course of the debate on this subject, Dr. Mackennal “moved a resolution to the effect that the Baptist and Congregational Unions of England and Wales the English Presbyterian Synod, the Wesleyan, New Connection, Primitive Methodists, the Bible Christian Conferences, the Annual Assembly of the United Methodist Free Churches, the Independent Methodist Assembly, and the Free Church of England, and other bodies be asked to appoint representatives to a conference to be held on the subject, with a view to substitute cooperative for competitive action among the Churches. The time has undoubtedly come, said Dr. Mackennal, when we should unite in one great Evangelistic service of England.”PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.6
“Let brotherly love continue,” is the Apostolic exhortation;-union among Christians is the thing by which the world is to know that Christ is being sent into the world; but it will not be brought by legislation, either in civil or ecclesiastical courts. When that gigantic Federation shall have been effected, instead of England or the world having been “conquered for religious freedom,” it will have been conquered for a religious despotism more complete than has ever yet been known.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.7
“For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” .PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.8
The Congregationalist says that “the Salvation Army evidently has outlived persecution and reproach,” and that “it has virtually taken its place among the distinctive and honoured religious forces of the day.” So much the worse for it, then. If that be so, it is evident that it has practically outlived its usefulness. The Master said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.” “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” . Will the Salvation Army now in its turn become a persecutor?PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.10
“Complimentary Indulgences” The Present Truth 10, 12.
Complimentary Indulgences.-How light a matter it is with the occupant of the Pontifical Chair to grant plenary absolutions, is shown by a story told by a Paris correspondent. When Queen Catherine, of the Bonaparte family, with her child, the Princess Mathilde, visited Rome, she asked Pius VIII. for an audience.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.11
He named a day, and from extreme politeness to one from whose head a crown had fallen, ordered a brief to be made out to enable her without sin to eat meat for the rest of her life in Lent. As she was leaving, the Pope gave her his paternal benediction, and handed her the brief, informing her of the favour it accorded. She was a frank person, and said at once that it could be no good to her, as she was brought up a Protestant, and meant to remain so. “But,” said the Pope, “after the trouble of writing it, why let it be lost? Is the little Princess also a Protestant?” “Not quite,” said the Queen. “She was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, and will remain there should she make a Catholic match.” The Pope asked what her Christian names were, and ordered his secretary to interline them above those of the Queen, which were to be erased. The brief was then handed to Princess Mathilde, who still possesses this souvenir of her first visit to the Vatican.PTUK March 22, 1894, page 192.12