Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    June 13, 1895

    “Front Page” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “With God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.1

    “Ah Lord God! behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee.” Jeremiah 32:17.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.2

    Knowing this fact, we may with confidence obey the exhortation: “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.3

    And yet we often hear men say, “I know I ought to serve the Lord, but it is impossible. I should like to keep the Sabbath, but it is impossible in my circumstances.”PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.4

    Such words come from lack of confidence in God’s power to work in us to will and to do His good pleasure, whenever we yield to His will. Or it may be from a secret fear that if we do yield to Him He will bring it to pass.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.5

    When the father of the afflicted child cried out in agony to the Lord, “If Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us,” Jesus exclaimed, “If thou canst!” to show him that a doubt as to the Lord’s power to do whatever He pleased was not to be entertained for a moment, and then added, “All things are possible to him that believeth.” Mark 4:22, 23, Revised Version.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.6

    Some people take refuge under the rendering of the old version, “If thou canst believe,” and say that it is impossible for them to believe. But that is not true. God has dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:3) by revealing His own faithfulness. No man has ever yet known God to lie, and therefore it is easy to believe Him. His faithfulness is written in the heavens. Psalm 36:5.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.7

    It was impossible for the children of Israel to cross the Red Sea; but by faith in God they passed through it as on dry land. It was impossible for them to take Jericho; but by faith the walls of Jericho fell. So let those who have difficult duties to perform remember those “who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong” (Hebrews 11:33, 34), and remember that the same God who worked in them is as powerful to-day as He ever was.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.8

    “Filling All Things” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In his prayer at the dedication of the temple, Solomon said, “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house which I have built!” 2 Chronicles 6:18.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.9

    In this question there is no implied doubt of the fact that God dwells on the earth with men. On the contrary, the words that follow the question show most clearly that God does dwell on earth. For if the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain God, it is manifest that He must also dwell on the earth. The point made by Solomon is that no one spot on earth can be God’s dwelling-place, since even the heavens are not sufficient to contain Him. Nothing less than the whole universe is sufficient. Therefore the Lord does indeed dwell with men on the earth, as He has from the beginning. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit.” Isaiah 57:15.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.10

    No place can be found or mentioned where God is not. “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.11

    The only place where God does not dwell is in the hearts of proud, rebellious, stubborn men. And even there He stands at the door and knocks for admittance. Revelation 3:20. Pride and rebellion usurped God’s rightful place in the hearts of men, so that now He stands as a suppliant, pleading for admission to His rightful kingdom. His pleading is not evidence of weakness, but of forbearance and love; for “the longsuffering of our God is salvation.” 2 Peter 3:15. And it is the pursuance of the object for which Christ “ascended up far above all heavens,” namely, “that He might fill all things.” Ephesians 4:10.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.12

    God’s purposes will all be fulfilled at last. God will ultimately fill all things, even every heart. What then are those who stubbornly resist Him, and proudly determine that He shall not dwell with them? What will be their portion?—Simply non-existence. For when the time comes that God fills all things, it is evident that those who absolutely refuse to allow Him to fill them must be blotted from the universe.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 369.13

    But none will suffer this sad fate except those who refuse God’s presence. And since He is seeking to fill all things, all that is necessary is to be open to receive Him. He will come wherever there is an opening for Him, and will fill the trusting soul with “all joy and peace,” since in His presence is fulness of joy.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.1

    “This Unstable Earth” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    One can hardly glance over the newspaper record of current events without being reminded that we live in a time of “earthquakes in divers places.” The foundations of old earth are becoming decidedly shaky, and could they be examined by a corp of expert architects or engineers, the structure which rests upon them would doubtless be pronounced unsafe, though they would be powerless to furnish a remedy.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.2

    And indeed, a competent Architect has spoken upon the subject, and given the inhabitants of the earth solemn warning of the instability of the structure on which they live. And this Architect is He who first made the earth, and therefore is competent to speak the truth. See Psalm 46:2; Isaiah 24:19, 20; Joel 3:16; Haggai 2:6; Luke 21:38, etc.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.3

    But the same authority has said, “My word shall not pass away;” “the word of our God shall stand fast for ever.” Isaiah 40:8. This is our hope, and the only hope of all the world. This is our way of escape; for this word has been given us as a foundation for eternity. Then are you standing on the word? or merely on the earth?PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.4

    “Caste and Christianity” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Christianity annihilates caste. Jesus Christ came from the throne of God to the station of the lowliest man of earth, and in this He broke down every barrier between them. He was “meek and lowly in heart,” and so poor that He had not where to lay His head. He took upon Him the form of a servant, and was among men as one that serveth, and not as a lord or a “gentleman.” Yet in all this He retained His Divinity; for God was in Him, doing the works that He did. John 14:10. And therefore there is not a barrier that God has erected or that He upholds between the lowliest station upon earth and His own throne. Men have made barriers between themselves and those they deem their inferiors; and certain distinctions and classes are recognised by “society;” but we are plainly told that there is no respecter of persons with God. Jesus Christ bore down every “middle wall of partition,” and left for every man a straight, clear path to the place He Himself occupies upon the throne of the Infinite. Revelation 3:21.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.5

    Not even cherubim and seraphim bar our way; they are no higher caste. The angel that brought the revelation of Christ to John, said, when John fell at his feet to worship him, “See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow-servant; and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book; worship God.” Revelation 22:8, 9. Any man therefore who puts a barrier between himself and his fellow-men must at the same time barricade himself away from God; for it must be outside of that path which God has opened from earth to Himself; and He will never get into that path until he takes his barrier down.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.6

    “‘How Can I Tell?’” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    A short time ago we received a letter from an inquiring friend, from which we take the following words, which contain the gist of the whole:—PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.7

    I desire to do the will of the Lord. How can I tell which day I should keep? If I can be convinced that I am in the wrong, at any cost I’ll adopt the other day.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.8

    We are sure that there are hundreds of other people who are in the same condition, who will see this paper, and therefore we write for the benefit of them all. There are very many who desire to do the will of the Lord in the matter of Sabbath observance as well as in other things, but who are yet in doubt as to what that will is. We ask such to take up with us a brief study of the subject.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.9

    THE SOURCE OF AUTHORITY

    When we know where we may find an answer to a question, it is half answered. For our part we accept the Bible as the final authority in all matters pertaining to our duty to God and to men. If our inquiring friends accept the same standard, we shall have little trouble in arriving at a solution of the difficulty. The Psalmist says, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. Therefore we must expect it to shed light upon this question.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.10

    Again we read, “Through Thy precepts I get understanding.” Verse 104. Therefore if we study the precepts of the Word of God we shall understand this matter as well as others. But in studying those precepts, we must be sure to listen to the voice of the Lord alone, and must avoid listening to the construction of men, and our own included.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.11

    Again we read the words of the same psalm, “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Verse 11. Then if we have that word not simply in our minds, but in our very lives, we shall be kept from all sin. On the contrary, if that word does not control our lives, we shall be sure to sin.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.12

    The Apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is 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.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. Therefore if we follow the Scriptures, we shall do everything that is necessary to be accounted perfect before God. No human addition is needed. But no word of God must be neglected, for man cannot live except “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.13

    With these assurances as to the authority of the Word of God, let us begin our brief search.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.14

    IN THE BEGINNING

    is the place where we ought to begin. We read that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. The remainder of the chapter gives the work of each day of creation, and at the close we are told that “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening in the morning were the sixth day.” Verse 31. Then the record continues:—PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.15

    “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.16

    Here we have the record of the institution of the Sabbath. The first Sabbath was the seventh day of the first week of time. “The seventh day,” not merely a seventh part of time, was blessed and sanctified, because it was the day of the Lord’s rest. To sanctify a thing is to set apart that thing as sacred to a certain purpose. See the record concerning Mount Sinai and the cities of refuge, in Exodus 19:12, 23; Joshua 20:7-9, and margin of verse 7. Therefore the sanctification of the seventh day of the week by the Lord in the beginning, was the appointment of it as the sacred rest day for all mankind. That it was for all mankind is shown by the fact that it was given to Adam, the head of the human race; and to this agree the words of the Lord Jesus. “The Sabbath was made for man.” Mark 2:27.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 370.17

    The record of creation gives the origin of the week. There are seven days in the week, and the Sabbath, the last of the seven, rules it. The measurement of time by weeks is as old as creation, and has continued ever since, and will continue to all eternity, for the Sabbath is to endure that long. See Isaiah 66:22. We know also that “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever.” Ecclesiastes 3:14.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.1

    IN THE WILDERNESS

    When the Lord brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt it was “that they might observe His statutes, and keep His laws.” Psalm 105:45. Accordingly when they murmured on account of hunger in the wilderness, a few weeks after leaving Egypt, the Lord said unto Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or no.” Exodus 16:4.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.2

    Read the entire chapter, and you will find that the people were to go out and gather manna each morning for that day. They were to leave none of it until the next morning, for if they did it would breed worms, and be offensive. On the sixth day of the week, however, they were to gather twice as much as on other days, and the extra portion was to be kept over for the next day’s use, since on the seventh day of the week none fell. And although it was ordinarily impossible to keep the manna overnight, without its utterly spoiling, no such trouble was experienced on the seventh day, for on that day they found that what remained over from the preceding day was sweet and good for food.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.3

    “And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” Exodus 16:27-29.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.4

    From this it appears that the Sabbath is the test of whether or not men will keep the law of God. Whoever will keep the Sabbath in spirit and in truth will keep whole law of God. Whoever refuses to keep the Sabbath of the Lord, thereby shows that his apparent obedience to any other requirement of the Lord is not out of reverence to God, but because of some selfish motive.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.5

    AT SINAI

    Not many days after the first appearance of the manna, the children of Israel came to Sinai. There, after suitable preparation had been made, the Lord came down in awful majesty, and spoke His law “out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice” (Deuteronomy 5:22) which shook the earth. Hebrews 12:26. On that occasion the Lord spoke the ten commandments, and nothing more, and He wrote them with His own finger on two tables of stone. See Deuteronomy 5:22; 10:4. The fourth commandment reads thus:—PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.6

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.7

    Here we find that the facts of creation are the foundation of the Sabbath. Therefore we know that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is identical with the Sabbath that was sanctified at the close of the first week of time.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.8

    A DEFINITE DAY

    Moreover we know that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is a fixed, definite day of the week. How do we know this? We know it first from the fact that the giving of the commandment followed very closely after the giving of the manna, by which the Sabbath were shown to be unalterably fixed to a certain day of the week,—the seventh day. By a series of miracles repeated every week for forty years, the Lord showed that His Sabbath was a definite day of the week, and that it was to be honoured above all the other days of the week. During that forty years it was impossible for anyone to be in the slightest doubt as to what day of the week was the Sabbath. It was the day of the week that was thus fixed, and guarded on all sides, that God from Sinai declared to be His Sabbath.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.9

    Further, we know from the record of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, that the commandment requires the observance of a certain day of the week,-the seventh,—and not an indefinite seventh part of time. In the Gospel of Luke we are told that the day of the crucifixion “was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared.” Luke 23:54-56; 24:1.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.10

    From the record in Mark 16:1 we learn that the women came “when the Sabbath was past.” But they came on “the first day of the week.” Then it is evident that the Sabbath was the day before. But since there are but seven days in the week, it follows that the day before the first day of the week must necessarily be the seventh day of the week. Therefore the day on which they rested was the seventh day of the week. But they rested “the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Therefore it is as certain as Inspired Scripture can make it that the seventh day according to the commandment is the seventh day of the week.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.11

    THE SABBATH UNCHANGED

    The Scriptures that we have already studied sufficiently point out the true Sabbath of the Lord. There are therefore only two questions that can by any possibility cause any doubt in the minds of any, and they are, first, Has the Sabbath been changed? and second, Can we be certain which day is the seventh day of the week, and thus the Sabbath of the commandment? These questions are not at all difficult, and may be answered in few words.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.12

    As to the first, we have the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as He sat upon the mountain teaching the people the great principles of His kingdom. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 371.13

    This of itself should be sufficient to settle the question as to the possibility of any change in the Sabbath. But Christ continued, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Verse 20. The scribes and Pharisees were very scrupulous in their observance of the ten commandments, but they cared nothing for having them in their hearts. Outwardly, however, they kept the ten commandments, just as they were written, very strictly. Jesus did not reprove them for their observance of the letter of the law, but for not keeping it in spirit and in truth. He did not warn His disciples against observing the law, but warned them that they must observe it a great deal better than the scribes and Pharisees did. Our righteousness must “exceed” theirs. That is, it must go beyond theirs. It must include not only the observance of the letter of the law, but also the keeping of the spirit and life of the law, as it is in Christ.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 372.1

    When the Lord has once spoken, a thousand repetitions would not make what He says any the more sure. Therefore we can accept it as a settled fact that the law is enforced to-day just the same as when it was spoken from Sinai and written by the finger of God. Not a letter has been changed.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 372.2

    THE DAY NOT LOST

    The question if we can be sure that the day commonly known as Saturday is indeed the real seventh day of the week, counting from the creation of the world, seems to trouble some. But it need not, since nothing is more impossible than that the reckoning of the days of the week should have been lost. Single individuals have been known to make a mistake in their reckoning, but they have since been set right by their neighbours. But that an entire neighbourhood should on the very same day make a mistake as to the day of the week, and that all should make the same mistake, is a thing beyond the fancy of the wildest imagination. But if the present seventh day of the week is not the same as the seventh day of creation, then that mistake must at some time have been made not only by one neighbourhood but by the whole world. If there were a disagreement in different parts of the world as to the days of the week, then there would be a certainty that the reckoning had been lost by some people, and there would be room for question as to which party was correct. But since there is no disagreement, the only ground on which it can be supposed that the reckoning of the day has been lost, is that on some Wednesday morning, for instance, all the inhabitants of the world awoke with the notion that it was Thursday. Of course the supposition is most absurd, but it is no more absurd than is the supposition that the true reckoning of the days of the week has been lost.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 372.3

    As we have seen, the seventh day at Sinai is identical with that of creation. God’s own Word establishes that. Hundreds of years afterwards the children of Israel were given into the hands of the Babylonians because they had persistently violated the Sabbath, thus showing that it had not been lost; for God would not punish them for a mistake made through ignorance. When the Lord lived on the earth He recognised as the Sabbath the day which the Jews were keeping, so that we know that the count had been kept straight up to eighteen hundred years ago. Ever since the time of Christ the Jews and many Christians have kept the Sabbath day according to the commandment, while from within two or three hundred years of that time the majority of professed Christians have observed the first day of the week. The Jews were soon dispersed, and have ever since been found in every part of the world, and observers of the first day are also as widely scattered; yet everywhere we find the Jews agreed as to which day is the Sabbath, and nowhere have observers of the first day of the week been found trying to enforce the observance of the seventh day under the supposition that it was Sunday. We may rest assured that the day has not been lost.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 372.4

    THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST

    “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6. No one has yet been found with the hardihood to assert, in the face of the Gospel record, that Jesus ever observed any other day than the seventh,—the same day that the Jews observed. It is true that the Pharisees did accuse the Lord of breaking the Sabbath day, because He did not heed their false notion; but He demonstrated His innocence, and in so doing incidentally showed that the seventh day is the true and only Lord’s day.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 372.5

    Thus, it was when Jesus and His disciples were going through the fields on the Sabbath day that the Pharisees accused the disciples of breaking the Sabbath, because they plucked and ate the corn as they walked. That day was the seventh day of the week, for it was the day which the Jews regarded as the Sabbath. The seventh day of the week, and no other, was the day under consideration. And it was of that very day that Jesus said, “The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:28. It is most certain, therefore, that Jesus called the seventh day of the week the Sabbath, and Himself its Lord. Thus demonstrating that the seventh day is the Lord’s day.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 372.6

    It was the custom of Jesus to observe the Sabbath day, and to meet on that day for worship with those who observed it. Luke 4:16. Here is an example for us to follow. Does someone suggest that Jesus did this because He was a Jew, and was living among the Jews? Very well; all that He did on this earth He did as a Jew. It is by His life that we are saved; and all that we know of His life is the life which He lived as a Jew. But let no one dare imagine that because Jesus was brought up among the Jews He lived as He would not have lived under other circumstances. He was not a time-server. There is none of His life that we are to reject. It is as a whole a perfect example.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 372.7

    THE TESTIMONY OF THE SPIRIT

    The use of the word “Sabbath” in the New Testament is incidently one of the strongest evidences that there has been no change in the Sabbath, and that Christians shall observe no other day as the Sabbath than the seventh day of the week. The Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles were written many years after the events that they record took place. Yet not only is there no hint given that the Sabbath was to be different from what it had been from the beginning, but the seventh day is spoken of as “the Sabbath.” There is no possibility for doubt that the day called “Sabbath” throughout the New Testament is the seventh day of the week. But it is never referred to as “the former Sabbath,” or “the Jewish Sabbath,” or anything of the kind. It is called the Sabbath, just as though the writers had never heard of any change, as indeed they have not.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 372.8

    But the Holy Spirit is the Author and Inspirer of the New Testament. The language of the Gospels is the language of the Spirit of God. One great work of the Spirit of truth is to lead into all truth. Therefore we are bound to accept as truth whatever the Spirit says. Since the Spirit of God calls the seventh day the Sabbath, that is evidence that we are to do the same. In the Book of Revelation we are frequently exhorted, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Shall we not demonstrate that we have ears?PTUK June 13, 1895, page 373.1

    A NEW CREATION

    Some people object to the fact that so much is made of the particular day of the Sabbath. They say that the Sabbath is spiritual. So it is, and it should never be considered as anything else. But all must see that we must have a Sabbath day before we can consider its spirituality. “Spiritual” does not mean unreal or non-existent. What use to talk about the spirituality of a thing that has to us no definite existence? If our friends did not raise the question as to the existence of the Sabbath, there would be no need to talk about it; but let no one think that in dwelling upon the definiteness of the Sabbath day we are unmindful of its spirituality. We may abstain from labour on the very day of the Sabbath, and yet not keep the Sabbath holy unto the Lord. But that does not warrant us in ignoring the day of the Sabbath. We may abstain from taking human life, and still not keep the sixth commandment; but that does not warrant us in killing men.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 373.2

    In the beginning God sanctified the Sabbath as a memorial of His creative power. He set it apart for the use of men, in order to remind them of His power to sanctify them. See Ezekiel 20:12. The Sabbath, which calls attention to creation, and thus shows God’s eternal power (Romans 1:20), makes known the sanctifying power of God, since sanctification is the exercise of creative power. “Create in me a clean heart.” Psalm 51:10. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. Or, as the Revision has it, “there is a new creation.” Christ is Creator, and He created all things. Colossians 1:16. The Sabbath comes to us from Eden, when the earth was new, to remind us of the power of God in Christ to make us new creatures, as perfect as man and all things were in the beginning. And this will be its office throughout eternity; for the Lord says of the time when He shall have made all things new, and shall have made men also new, that they may fittingly inherit His new creation: “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:22, 23.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 373.3

    Some of the questions that have been raised concerning special texts, with reference to the Sabbath, will be considered later.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 373.4

    “Eternal Youth” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Everything that is of eternal value keeps living and fresh. It cannot grow old; it is never lost in that which is buried by the hand of time. Decay and ruin are signs of the presence of sin. Where sin is, there sooner or later must come a burial.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 373.5

    Earth has many burial grounds of the works and devices of man-works that could not endure for the wickedness of their makers-where lie interred many a form of sin and error; but the uncovered monuments of antiquity disclose no buried truth and purity and beauty that can add to the adornment of character or make life more worth living. These exist because God exists, just as light must exist where there is a sun; and the character that is all truth and purity and beauty can therefore know no death. It can never grow old; it can never lose its freshness and beauty.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 373.6

    Therefore the way to keep young and to retain the freshness and beauty of youth, is to be separate from all sin. Sinful flesh must of necessity incline toward decay and the grave; but God will in His appointed time clothe the sinless character with sinless flesh, and then all eternity can never take away from us our youth.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 373.7

    “Affliction in Resisting Temptation” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    We are exhorted to resist the devil “steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” James 5:9. What a great mistake, then, to imagine that afflictions must be an evidence of God’s displeasure. This leads also to the error of thinking that one who serves the Lord ought to have a smooth and easy life. Afflictions come from resisting the temptations of the devil, and resisting them “steadfast in the faith.” And this is as true to-day as when the words were written by the apostles. Science and civilisation have not smoothed the pathway of the Christian. That still leads to Gethsemane and Calvary. But beyond these is the resurrection and eternal life.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 377.1

    “The ‘Barbarous’ West” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the eyes of many the pugilist may rank above the quiet, industrious workman, and the power that can fight best may stand highest in popular estimation. It is the proper thing now to despise the Chinese, who have shown themselves a nation that cannot fight. But the Echo, in the following paragraph, suggests another point of view, possibly that of the industrious inland population, as they look at the nations that are devoting their men and money to the highest development of the fighting art:—PTUK June 13, 1895, page 377.2

    “The Chinese define a barbarian as one who puts brute force above moral force. Is it wonderful that our civilisation does not dazzle them, and that they continue to regard us as barbarians? Did the sacking of the Summer Palace inspire in them high notions of our morality? Our prowess, our victories, they regard with disdain, and our engines of war do not provoke their admiration. They have used European weapons, it is true, but only for the sake of defending themselves, and remaining still Chinese. The defeat they have suffered will make them more Chinese than ever. Those who predict a great awakening, by which they mean a mimicry of European habits and the adoption and purchase of European manufactures, will probably find themselves disappointed, M. de Saussure is right in saying that we produce the same effect on the Chinese that the hordes of Attila did on a Greek philosopher.”PTUK June 13, 1895, page 377.3

    “News of the Week” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Earthquake shocks continue to be reported from Austria and Greece.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.1

    -Great damage has been caused to the crops in Spain by recent torrents of rain.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.2

    -New reinforcements are to be sent to Cuba from Spain, and it is evident that the insurrection is still formidable.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.3

    -Recently at Ottawa, Canada, a large timber raft was swept over some rapids in a river, and thirty-three men on it were drowned.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.4

    -Newfoundland has secured a loan of ?500,000, which will enable her to carry on business, and, it is hoped, to tide over her present troubles.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.5

    -Bedouins have destroyed the cholera hospital at Jeddah, erected for pilgrims returning from Mecca.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.6

    -The revolution in Ecuador still continues, and seems likely to be successful, the Government forces having been defeated in several important battles.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.7

    -The oil district in northern Pennsylvania has been swept by a disastrous forest fire, which destroyed several million dollars’ worth of property, including several towns.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.8

    -A great tidal wave has visited the northern coast of South America, causing an interruption of cable communication between Callao and Africa, and doing considerable damage at Mollendo and other ports.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.9

    -The money to pay the Chinese war indemnity is to be furnished by Russia at 5 per cent. interest, who in turn will raise it by a loan from France at 4 per cent. interest, and pocket the balance of interest, which will be over ?150,000 a year.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.10

    -The State Bank of Russia will next month dispose by public auction of no fewer than 3,980 estates, upon the mortgages of which the bank has been compelled to foreclose, the owners, nearly all of the noble class, being hopelessly insolvent.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.11

    -The church doors throughout the capital of Madagascar were recently covered with placards inciting the people to kill the Queen and her husband, and welcome the French. The mortality among the French troops in Madagascar is increasing daily,PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.12

    -A crisis has been reached in the Armenian inquiry, owing to the apparent determination of Turkey not to accede to the demands of the European Powers concerning reforms in Armenian government. The Powers, however, are firm, and it is thought Turkey will soon crime to terms.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.13

    -From “trekkers” who are on their way to the Lake N’gami region of Africa, news has been received that beyond the Kalahari Desert there is a permanent and plentiful supply of water, and that the country is a magnificent and a healthy one, excelling both the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.14

    -The “republic” in Formosa has collapsed under the attack of the Japanese forces sent to take possession of the island, with heavy loss to the natives who resisted them. The Chinese on the island have engaged in looting and rioting, in the course of which a powder magazine blew up, killing ninety person.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.15

    -The condition of public affairs in Macedonia, under Turkish rule, is stated from a trustworthy source to be little better than complete anarchy. The lives and property of Christens in Macedonia are entirely unprotected. Abduction and murder are everyday occurrences, and there is not a province which is not infested with brigands, or a village which has not furnished its victims.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.16

    -An extraordinary cloud-burst, attended by serious damage and probably considerable loss of life, occurred June n the Wurtemberg Black Forest district. At Balingen a dwelling-house, with its occupants, was swept away by the waters of the swollen river Eyach, and nine persons are missing. At Frommern four houses were destroyed, and nine persons have disappeared; while 15 persons are missing at Lauien.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 382.17

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Pope has addressed a letter to the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, warmly approving of the efforts made in that city for the promotion of Sunday rest.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.1

    The annual pilgrimages to Mecca the Mohammedan “holy city,” have already begun, and the regular annual outbreaks of cholera is already reported, rather earlier than usual.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.2

    A Constantinople correspondent says of affairs there:—PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.3

    A terrible fear reigns here among the people, especially the Turks. No one is certain about the morrow. Trade has been greatly injured. We do not know how long this will continue; but we pray God that He may use this condition for the advancement of His cause.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.4

    A new Society, called the Guild of St. James, has been started by the Episcopalians of America, with a view of promoting “the organisation of an organic religious union of all religious denominations, to present a front against heathenism, and to form a universal church with the Roman Catholic.”PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.5

    It is announced that an American congress of religion and education is to be held in Toronto, Canada, from July 18th to the 25th. It is to be composed of representative clergy and laymen from every country, province, and State of North and South America, including Catholics, Protestants, and Hebrews. The mere fact of such a congress, regardless of what is said and done, will be a great victory for Catholicism.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.6

    The authorities of Basel, Switzerland are still agitated over the question of Sunday labour. The director of the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in that city was, as has been noted in these columns, fined, and his goods sold to satisfy it; then he was sentenced to three weeks’ imprisonment, and a fine of 200 francs. He underwent the imprisonment, but the fine is yet unpaid. The office remained open six days in the week, Sunday included, and so, seemingly in desperation, the court has laid a fine of 500 francs upon the Central European Conference, which, by the way, does not control the publishing house. What steps will be taken to collect the fine remains to be seen; but the incident shows how strong the determination is to exalt the Sunday of Pope and Pagan above the Sabbath of the Lord.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.7

    It is in free Switzerland that the civil authorities throw the most obstacles in the way of Sabbath-keeping. Not content with prohibiting labour on Sunday, the laws seek to prohibit rest on the Sabbath. The following item comes in a letter:—PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.8

    Several of our brethren at Bienne have been imprisoned for short terms, the longest being nine days, for not sending their children to school on the Sabbath. One of them was treated like a criminal, being kept on bread and water.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.9

    There are some who think that Sunday must needs be “protected” by law, else it cannot be kept; but these brethren are able to keep the Sabbath, even with the laws all against it.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.10

    “When Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness,” says Isaiah; but the prophet adds, “Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness.” Isaiah 26:9, 10. The following from a letter describing the scenes attending the recent earthquake in Florence illustrates the scripture quoted:—PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.11

    It was interesting to observe the different ways in which people were affected by the catastrophe. When the first great danger was over men began to show their ordinary characteristics. Parents with their little children around them looked grave, as well they might, but others blasphemed; some joked and laughed; others sang songs; and one group of fellows brought out a table into the piazza, stuck a candle on to it, and sat down to play at cards. I saw no one praying, and apparently very few were suitably impressed, or had an adequate idea of the danger they have escaped, if even they had yet escaped.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.12

    The Bible tells us that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless, the ungodly, and for sinners. So it is with God’s law; but when men set themselves in opposition to God and His law, putting themselves in His place, they necessarily pervert every principle of right, and the result is that the law in their hands is against only the righteous, while sinners are unmolested. Thus, in sentencing a Seventh-day Adventist in Georgia for quietly doing his ordinary labour on Sunday, the judge said that it would not do to allow a good citizen like the prisoner, and one whom everybody respected, to work on Sunday. The sentence was a year in the chain-gang. So it appears that even now, in some parts of the world at least, it is dangerous to have a good character. Such perversions of justice are what cause evil men and seducers to wax worse and worse.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.13

    A letter from Brother Holser, of Switzerland, who has the oversight of the work in Central Europe and the East, contains the following:—PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.14

    “I have good news from the East. In Ur there are a dozen that have begun to keep the Sabbath as well as they know; they lay aside their work on this day, and study the Scriptures. There is also an increase at Aleppo.”PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.15

    May these and many more from the land of Abraham’s early years find a place at last with him and the heavenly Canaan for which he was content to be a stranger and a pilgrim on this earth.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.16

    In his sermon at the celebration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the death of Sir Philip Neri, in the Brompton Oratory, Cardinal Vaughan noted the following contrast between the condition of Catholicism in England fifty years ago and now:—PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.17

    The contrast between the condition of religion in England fifty years ago and what it is to-day is strange indeed. It is not difficult to illustrate this. I remember a friend of my own fifty years ago offering to a Catholic church in London a beautiful image of Our Lady. The priests excused themselves from accepting it on the plea that such a statute would be misunderstood by the Protestant public who came to their services. To-day there is no longer any danger of giving scandal to our neighbours by our veneration for the Mother of God, for we have only to look at the gateway of St. Mary Abbotts in Kensington, at the north door of Westminster Abbey, or at the great reredos in St. Paul’s to behold the Mother and Child reared aloft both outside and inside Protestant churches.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.18

    This is a striking proof of the growth of Catholicism; but it should be noted that churches which have adopted those Romish idols have thereby lost all claim to be called “Protestant.”PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.19

    “Good Company” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Good Company.-The Psalmist said to the Lord, “I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts.” Psalm 119:63. A man is known by the company he chooses. One of the chief qualifications of a bishop is that he shall be “a lover of good men.” “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 384.20

    “Front Page” The Present Truth 11, 24.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    God wants all His children to be like Him. With men, on the other hand, there is a natural desire for distinction,—a desire to have what other persons have not, for the sake of appearing in favourable contrast with them.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 385.1

    When this distinction is in danger of being lost by the fortune of others in rising to an equal eminence, there comes into the heart the terrible spirit of jealousy. All this is the spirit of the devil, and in marked contrast with the nature of God.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 385.2

    When the devil rebelled against the government of God, he did not aim merely to be equal with others in heaven, but said, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” Isaiah 14:13. He himself was a star, for he was Lucifer, the light-bearer. But he aspired to a distinction above the rest. He endeavoured to reform the government of heaven, and thus assumed superiority to God Himself.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 385.3

    When the devil overcame man in Eden, he infused into his nature the same spirit, and opened the flood-gates of the discord and strife from which have filled the world since Adam sinned. Every feeling of jealousy that ever entered the human heart was from the devil,—an offshoot of the spirit which led him to aspire to pre-eminence in heaven.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 385.4

    The Lord is not only willing that all persons should be like Him and have what He has, but He has undertaken, at an infinite sacrifice, to do the work necessary to lift them to this exalted plane. He gives them His own Spirit,—not sparingly or shorn of its qualities, but with the fulness of His own power and wisdom. He makes Himself their dwelling-place, and them His dwelling-place. He takes them into the closest possible relation with Himself and gives them free access to His own infinite treasures. The more like Him we become, the better is He pleased with us.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 385.5

    The only way for us to become like God, is to let Him make us like Himself. The only way to get the things which will make us like God is to let Him give them to us; for from Him alone can they be obtained. This means that we are to take, with thankfulness, what He gives; for all that He gives is then to promote our growth “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13. The devil told Eve that she would become like God by eating of the forbidden fruit,—taking that which God had not given her; but she found this to be a terrible mistake.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 385.6

    She attempted to become like God by acting in opposition to Him; and from that day forward, men have been seeking honour and wealth and power by opposing some one else. The one who obtains these things from the world, gets them at the expense of other people. But the devil’s plan cannot succeed. The world cannot give anything that is of real value to the soul, created with reference to eternity.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 385.7

    God wants all men to know, and in the Gospel is proclaiming it to all, that He is ready and anxious to make them like Himself, and to invest them freely with all that is of infinite value; that no fighting is necessary to obtain this, except “the good fight of faith;” that it is not to be sought at the expense of others, but by seeking their welfare; that it is all His gift, bestowed freely and already given, and therefore to be possessed even now by all who will lay hold upon it by simple faith in Him.PTUK June 13, 1895, page 385.8

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents