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    January 17, 1895

    “Christianity for the Individual” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Since the religion of Jesus Christ has to do with the heart, the inner life and thought, of men, and not merely with outward acts, it is evident that it must deal with individuals, and not with masses. The following texts of Scripture plainly show this.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.1

    “Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat.” Isaiah 55:1.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.2

    “We see Jesus... crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.3

    “For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work.” Mark 13:34.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.4

    Consequently the Lord says: “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.5

    In order that we may properly carry on the work assigned, “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Ephesians 4:7. The Spirit distributes gifts for the work, “dividing to every man severally as He will.” 1 Corinthians 12:11.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.6

    For the manner in which men perform the work left them by the Lord, every man is responsible to God alone. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own Master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up; for God is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.7

    The same principle applies also in matters of faith. “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God.” Romans 14:5, 22. Jesus said, “If any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not.” John 12:47. “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.8

    Since no man can answer for another in the Judgment day, but each one must give account of himself, it is evident that no one can believe for another, or prescribe another’s belief. Each man stands accountable to God for himself, independently of priest or minister.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.9

    It is further evident, also, that no man can be justified before God for believing something just because some other person does, even though that thing be true. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” Romans 10:10. Faith is the appropriation of the living presence and power of Christ, in His word. Accepting a theory merely, and that, too, on the authority of some other person, is no more like real faith, than taking food at another person’s hands and putting it in a safe place in the cupboard is like eating.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.10

    Some one will ask, “How about hearing the church, if each one is to decide his own faith and practice for himself? Is each individual to set himself and his ideas in opposition to the church?” By no means. And this brings up a principle that is too often lost sight of. A few words may suffice to set it forth.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.11

    First, let it be understood that “the church” is not a law-making body. “There is one lawgiver,” and that is God. The church is composed of members who, although they have different offices and different work, are in their relation to God absolutely equal. The greatest minister, even though he was called Pope, has no more authority to lay down rules for faith and practice, than the poorest and most ignorant child, and a thousand men assembled in council, have no more authority in matters of faith than each man has individually. Truth rests on God’s word, and not in numbers or influence.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.12

    That which is committed to the church is the word of God. This, and this alone, is to be spoken. This we are to hear. The fact that a number of men are agreed on a certain point, is no evidence that the thing is true. In a matter of faith, one hundred men are as likely to be wrong as one man is; and they are all sure to be wrong if they say anything aside from the word of God. Therefore if “the church” does not speak the word of God, it is no more to be listened to than is any individual.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.13

    The “right of private interpretation” is not involved in this question. It is not a matter of interpretation, but of loyalty to the plain word of God. For one man to accept an interpretation of Scripture simply because another man says that it is correct, is to accept that other man as pope; but for each man to set his own judgment and authority against everybody else, and to interpret Scripture according to his own judgment, is to make himself a pope, and that is no better. What then shall we do?—Accept the Holy Spirit, the divinely-appointed guide. The gift of the Holy Spirit is to every man, to guide him individually into all the truth, which is the pure word of God.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 33.14

    The Spirit will not lead a man to set himself in opposition to his brethren. He will take the word of God just as it reads, and humbly rest upon it. If all in the church do the same, there will be perfect unanimity because the word says the same thing to every man. But if his brethren do not the same, he will not fight them, nor create a rebellion. The child of God will never resist authority. He will hold to the truth, and if the “authority,” whether it be the Church or the State, condemns him, he will submit to the condemnation and punishment, yet not compromising the truth. In this way he will be a true follower of the Master, “who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously;” yet who never swerved in His steadfast witness to the truth.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.1

    “The Papacy Against Peter” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    That the Papacy, which professes to be built upon “blessed Peter,” is really against Peter, is abundantly clear from making a comparison of Peter’s testimony with that of the Papacy, as made recently to PRESENT TRUTH on the point of the Church’s foundation. No less contradictory to Peter’s words is the Papacy’s testimony concerning the Shepherd of the “flock of God.” The Papacy affirms that “the supreme charge of the sheep and lambs-that is, the whole flock of Christ, is entrusted to his-Peter’s care (John 21:15-17). ‘Thus,’ writes Mr. Allies, ‘Peter had simply what the other apostles had collectively. He had promised and engaged to him, first and alone, the supreme government, a portion of which was afterwards promised to them with him.... He had the supervision of all entrusted to him alone, for even they were committed to his charge in the words, “Feed My sheep.” And so he alone was the doorkeeper, he alone was the shepherd of the fold.’” The quotation is from the Catholic Times of Dec. 7, 1894.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.2

    In the fifth chapter of Peter’s first epistle we find his testimony on the subject, which is the testimony of God, who put the words in Peter’s mouth. He says: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” Verses 1-4.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.3

    Those whom Peter addressed were “elders;” he was “also an elder.” He stood on a level with them. They were charged to “feed the flock of God,” “taking the oversight thereof.” This was all that Peter was commissioned to do; they as well as he were shepherds of the flock. And the “chief shepherd” is plainly declared to be Jesus Christ, He who “shall appear,” and at whose appearing crowns of glory will be given to the faithful. The testimony of Paul is if possible still more explicit. See Hebrews 13:20; 2 Timothy 4:8.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.4

    In contradicting Peter, the Papacy contradicts Christ; for Peter spoke only as the mouthpiece of the Spirit of Christ that was in him. All the holy men of old “spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 1 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 1:21. And as if it were not enough to deny Christ by making Peter the foundation of the church and the one Shepherd of the flock, this catholic quotation affirms that “he alone was the doorkeeper.” The wickedness of such a claim appears when we consider the words of Christ Himself,—“I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:7, 9. He is the door; and this door must be tended by Peter lest good and bad go in and out at their pleasure! The whole doctrine of popery makes Christ as impotent and inanimate as a door of wood. But He is a living door,—one that needs no keeper; and all who enter in and find pasture must enter alone by Him. Verse 9.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.5

    But Christ is more than the door. We enter in by Him, but we do not get beyond Him. Wherever we go in that pasture, we abide still in Him. It is evident therefore that the sheep of His fold find their food in Him. And this is plain from His own words. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” “He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.” John 6:53, 56. But the literal flesh and blood “profiteth nothing.” The Spirit and life are in the words which He speaks. Verse 63. The sheep, therefore, if they are to be nourished, must be fed on the words of Christ; and this fact destroys completely all idea of any inherent authority in Peter or any other, either in his day or in ours, with regard to the church of God. The sheep tasted Christ, not Peter; they heard Christ’s voice, not Peter’s. If any man speaks with his own voice, the sheep take alarm at once, and “flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers.” John 10:3-5.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.6

    And thus at every point the papal doctrine of authority in the Bishop of Rome to act and speak as the doorkeeper and shepherd of the flock of God, by virtue of succession to the “chair” of Peter, breaks down under the testimony of Peter himself, speaking the words given him by Jesus Christ; and Christ Himself is seen to be the one “great Shepherd of the sheep,” in whom is all authority and power, and who alone can supply the needs of His flock.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.7

    “Need of Patience” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Patience is a much rarer virtue among men than is generally supposed. Very few, comparatively, know what real patience is; and no one can know it save by the revelation of God. It is a Christian grace, and belongs not to human nature. The Apostle Peter expressed the common idea of patience when he asked the Saviour if he should forgive his brother who trespassed against him until he had repeated the offence seven times. The Lord replied, “I say not unto you, till seven times, but until seventy times seven.”PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.8

    The same apostle afterward wrote, “and beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience.” Patience is not the starting point of the Christian experience. It cannot be summoned in at a moment by an effort of the will whenever the situation may demand it. It must be developed. “Tribulation worketh patience.” Romans 5:3. We need patience much more than we need pleasure and ease. Better is it that we should experience tribulation than that we should lack this grace. Without it we should fail in the time of waiting for the salvation that is brought by the appearing of Jesus Christ.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.9

    People who have not patience easily deceive themselves into thinking that they are, or can be, very patient. But there is only one kind of patience, and that is “the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Those who have this patience are those who keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus Christ. In the epistle to the Hebrews we read, “Ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, Ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36. Having done the will of God, we may yet need patience to wait the fulfilment of His word. If we have not done His will we are not in a position to receive the reward of patience, and if we have, it is not conclusive evidence that this heavenly grace is sufficiently developed within us.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 34.10

    “The patience of the saints,” like all Christian graces, is an attribute of God. It is the patience with which He bears with sinners, and offers them mercy and pardon. It is the patience which Christ manifested when He was mocked and crucified by His enemies. It is patience which “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” It does not become exhausted when a few draughts have been made upon it. The person who “loses all patience” is the person who has no patience of the true sort. And without patience of the true sort, we cannot enter the kingdom of God.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 35.1

    Therefore when tribulations come, we should welcome them, knowing that “tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope.” When patience has had “her perfect work,” we are made “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” It is thus that Christ was made “perfect through sufferings.” The suffering must not only be experienced, but it must be endured. Only “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”PTUK January 17, 1895, page 35.2

    “Double-Minded” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Double-Minded.-The double-minded person is the person who has not the mind of Christ. That mind, and that alone, remains the same “yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8. This is evidence that in all his ways he has not the mind of Christ, for that mind is stable. It is the natural or carnal mind that is unstable. The apostle writes, “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” James 4:8. It is an impure heart that causes double-mindedness. The heart must be purified, and this can only be done by faith. The person who has faith, is stable. Faith links the soul with God, and as nothing can shake the Lord, so nothing can shake the man of faith. He and he only can be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 35.3

    “Studies in Romans. ‘Accepted in the Beloved.’ Romans 9:19-33” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In our last study, embracing the first part of the ninth chapter of Romans, we learned something further in regard to God’s purpose and election. We learned that the Jews by nature were never any more the people of God than any other people, and that apart from Christ they were as much accursed as were the veriest heathen that ever lived.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 35.4

    We learned also that although God did make choice of certain ones, specially named, who afterwards attained great eminence as children of God, the choice was not arbitrary. Jacob was chosen before he was born, but no more than all other men are. God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ, “according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-7.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 35.5

    “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God, that showeth mercy.” As proof of this, the apostle cited the case of Pharaoh, who was chosen in Christ just as much as Jacob was, and just as much as we are. He was chosen to the praise of the glory of the grace of God, that he might show forth the excellencies of the Lord; but he obstinately refused to submit. But God will be praised even by the wrath of men, if they are not willing to praise Him voluntarily, and so God’s name and power were made known through Pharaoh’s stubbornness. It would have been better if the proud king had yielded himself to the design of God, instead of having that design worked out in spite of him. But the lesson that we are to learn is that every man in every nation under heaven has been chosen in Christ, and that none have been chosen in any other way, and that this choice is that they should be adopted as sons. In this choice the Jews have no advantage over others, but are on an equality with them, as is further shown by the remainder of the chapter.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 35.6

    “Thou wilt then say unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As He saith also in Osee, I will call them My people, which were not My people, and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are My people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved; for He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness; because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrah. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling-stone; as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling-stone and rock of offence; and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 9:19-33.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 35.7

    We will omit the usual questions on the text, leaving the reader to press that matter as closely as possible, and will proceed at once to note a few of the lessons set forth in the text.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 35.8

    Replying Against God.-This is a very common thing, and its commonness has caused most people to lose sight of its wickedness. The man who begins indignantly to ask, “Why does God do so and so?” or to say, “I can’t see the justice in such a course,” as though he were especially and personally affronted, makes it impossible for himself to understand even that which a mortal may comprehend of God. It is very foolish and wicked to blame Him because we are not equal to Him in wisdom. The only way to come to the knowledge of the little that may be understood of God is to settle it once for all that He is just and merciful, and that everything He does is for the good of His creatures. Reverence, and not clamorous questioning, becomes a creature in the presence of the infinite God. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 35.9

    The Potter and His Vessels.-The one who thinks himself competent to criticise the Lord thinks that he has a sure case against him in verses 21-24 of this chapter. “Surely,” says he, “this text teaches us that God has made some men to be saved, and others to be destroyed.” Most certainly we find nothing of the kind! There is a vast difference between what the text actually says, and what men imagine that it says. The potter has power over the clay, and so the Creator has power over his creatures, of natural and unquestionable right. Consider the figure: the potter has power over the clay to make one vessel to honour and another to dishonour. Very true; but who in the world ever heard of a potter who busied himself making vessels for the sole purpose of destroying them? He makes vessels of different kinds for various purposes, but they are all intended for use, and not for destruction. So God never made anyone for the purpose of destroying him.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 36.1

    God’s Longsuffering.-The fact that God does not plan the destruction of any one is shown in that He hesitates long before allowing any to suffer the destruction which their own evil deeds have justly earned. He “endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” They fitted themselves for destruction after their hardness, by treasuring up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath. Romans 2:5. Note that God endured with much long-suffering these “vessels of wrath.” Now we are to “account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation.” 2 Peter 3:15. He “is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Verse 9. The fact, therefore, that God endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath, even after they were fitted to destruction, shows that He longed for their salvation, and would give them every possible chance for it.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 36.2

    “Whom He Hath Called.”—God’s longsuffering is also for the purpose of making known the riches of His glory “on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.” And who are these? “Even us, whom He hath called.” And who are they who are called? Are they of some particular nation? “Not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” The entire chapter is a vindication of God’s choice of men even before their birth, as illustrated in the case of Jacob; and this verse shows that the choosing of Jacob did not mean that God had special privileges for the Jewish nation, but that He bestows His favours impartially on Jews and Gentiles alike, if they will accept them.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 36.3

    God’s People.-This is still further shown by verses 25, 26: “As He saith also in Osee (Hosea 1:9, 10), I will call them My people, which were not My people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” God visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. The apostle Peter described this visit in these words: “God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” And further, “We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” Acts 15:7-11. And so “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.” Romans 10:12.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 36.4

    The Remnant.—“Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” Therefore “at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Romans 11:5. No matter how many there may be who can trace their genealogy to Jacob according to the flesh, it is only they who are willing subjects of the grace of God who will be saved. There is positively no chance for boasting save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 36.5

    The Gentiles Ahead.-The Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. The Jews professed to keep the law, but did not; the Gentiles were not associated with the law, yet they met its requirements. Now, if the reader will recall Romans 2:25-29, he will see that real circumcision consists (and always did consist) in keeping the law. Therefore since the Gentiles by their faith kept the law, and the Jews through their lack of faith did not keep it, it appears that they had changed places; the Gentiles were really “Jews,” and the Jews by nature were the same as the heathen.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 36.6

    Missing the Mark.-The Jews followed after the law of righteousness, but did not attain to it. Why not? “Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.” How forcibly this sets forth that of which the entire epistle is a demonstration, namely, that faith does not clear one from its transgression, but that by faith alone can the law be kept! The Jews are not blamed for following after the law of righteousness, but for not following after it in the right way. It is not by works, but by faith, that the works which the law requires can be attained. That is to say, that bad works can not produce good works; good can not come of evil. There is no discount upon good works. They are the most necessary things in the world. They are the result of the keeping of the law by faith. But there can not by any possibility be good works without faith; for “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 36.7

    The Stumbling-Stone.-Do not fail to connect the last part of this chapter with the first part. Remember that the beginning presents Israel according to the flesh as accursed from Christ. To them pertained, among other things, the giving of the law, but they came miserably short of it. Why?—“For they stumbled at that stumbling-stone.” What stumbling-stone?—Why, Christ. They were in the very same condition that so many people are to-day, they would not believe that the promises of God to Israel were wholly and solely in Christ. They thought, as many professed Christians now do, that God honoured them for their own sake, without any regard to Christ. Christ is the stumbling-stone over which all stumble who regard the promises to Israel as made to a certain earthly nation, to the exclusion of all others.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 36.8

    A Sure Foundation.-Strange to say, that very stumbling-stone is a stepping-stone, and a sure foundation. That over which some fall, is the means of lifting up and building up others. “The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” Hosea 14:9. Christ is a rock of offence to those who disbelieve, but a sure foundation to those who have faith. He is “the Holy One of Israel,” “the King of Israel,” “the Shepherd of Israel,” and at the same time the fold, and the door into the fold. Without Him there could be no such thing as a nation of Israel. Those who think to claim an inheritance in Israel because of their birth and without respect to Christ, will be ashamed at the last because whosoever comes not in at the door, the same will be proved to be “a thief and a robber.” But “whosoever believeth on Him shall not be put to shame,” because his faith will show him to be Abraham’s seed, and thus an heir of God according to the promise.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.1

    “‘By the Way’” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?” So said the two disciples after they had travelled to Emmaus in company with the unknown Saviour. That interview “by the way” had been to them a blessed and joyful experience. But is not the same Saviour able and willing to commune with us by the way? Was not that incident recorded for our instruction and our comfort? Yes; if we but will, we may converse with Him “by the way.”PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.2

    No pressure of daily duties can be so great as to shut us away from Him, or banish from our minds His words. The journey to Emmaus will be made all the more quickly and easily for His companionship. The two disciples were not worried and perplexed after they met Jesus, and He began to open to them the Scriptures. They were not fatigued when they reached Emmaus, for they “rose up the same hour and returned to Jerusalem,” a journey of threescore furlongs. Little do we know what we rob ourselves of when we exclude ourselves from the company of Jesus “by the way.”PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.3

    When a man measures the Bible by himself, the book is sure to be wrong; but when he measures himself by the Bible, he is sure to be wrong.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.4

    “The Fall of Babylon. Babylon’s Overthrow” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Last week we sketched the scenes that were being enacted in the palace of Belshazzar and in all Babylon on the night of revelry which marked the end of the Babylonian Empire.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.5

    As all this was being so wildly carried on in the city, outside of it the Medes and Persians were waiting for the waters to run low enough to allow them to wade in the bed of the river, even as Jeremiah had said long before, “Set up the watchmen, prepare the liers in wait.” Chap. 51:12, margin. And thus says the history:—PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.6

    “Meanwhile, outside the city, in silence and darkness, the Persians watched at the two points where the Euphrates entered and left the walls. Anxiously they noted the gradual sinking of the water in the river bed; still more anxiously they watched to see if those within the walls would observe the suspicious circumstances and sound an alarm through the town. Should such an alarm be given, all their labours would be lost. If, when they entered the river bed, they found the river walls manned and the river gates fast-locked, they would be indeed ‘caught in a trap.’ Enfiladed on both sides by the enemy whom they could neither see nor reach, they would be overwhelmed by his missiles before they could succeed in making their escape. But, as they watched, no sounds of alarm reached them-only a confused noise of revel and riot, which showed that the unhappy townsmen were quite unconscious of the approaching danger.-Rawlinson.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.7

    That the Babylonians should be taken, entirely unconscious of their danger, was just what Isaiah had said in his day: “Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth; and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off; and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shall not know.” Isaiah 47:11. And Jeremiah had said, “I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware; thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the Lord.” Chap. 50:24. And that the river gates would not be fast-locked Isaiah had promised one hundred and seventy-four years before: “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut.” Chap. 45:1.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.8

    Jeremiah had also said, “The Lord of hosts hath sworn by himself, saying, Surely I will fill thee with men, as with caterpillars: and they shall lift up a shout against thee.” Chap. 51:14. And the history says:—PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.9

    “At last shadowy forms began to emerge from the obscurity of the deep river bed, and on the landing-place opposite the river gates scattered chapters of men grew into solid columns as the undefended gateways were seized-a war-shout was raised-the alarm was taken and spread-and the swift runners started off to ‘show the king of Babylon that his city was taken at one end.’ In the darkness and confusion of the night a terrible massacre ensued. The drunken revellers could make no resistance. The king, paralysed with fear at the awful handwriting upon the wall, which too late had warned him of his peril, could do nothing to check the progress of the assailants, which carried all before them everywhere. Bursting into the palace, a band of Persians made their way to the presence of the monarch, and slew him at the scene of his impious revelry. Other bands carried fire and sword through the town.”—Rawlinson.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 37.10

    Jeremiah had said that fire and sword should be carried through the town: “A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote; a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed. A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women.” “Thus saith the Lord of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.” Jeremiah 50:35-37; 51:58.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.1

    Thus fell Babylon, and all the graven images of her gods were broken unto the ground.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.2

    But this was not all. The prophets spoke of the utter ruin of Babylon as well as of her fall. Isaiah wrote thus: “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces; and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.” Isaiah 13:19-22.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.3

    The city continued to be a place of considerable importance throughout the Persian dominion, although it was injured a good deal by some sieges brought on by the revolt of its inhabitants, and it also suffered damage from the effect of the waters of the river that were turned aside by Cyrus, and never fully turned back. Alexander the Great made Babylon an important point in his expedition. There he held the “states-general of the world,” and decided to re-establish it in its old importance, and make it the grand capital of his empire. He set ten thousand men at work to repair the Euphrates, and planned other restorations, but his death put a stop to it all. Soon afterward Seleucus built Seleucia, forty-five miles up the river, which in a comparatively short time became a city of six hundred thousand inhabitants, governed by a senate of three hundred nobles. On the building of Seleucia, Babylon was wholly deserted, and the great temples, the pleasant palaces, and the grand houses were all left desolate, only to be filled with doleful creatures, and to echo with the dismal cries of owls.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.4

    The prophet said not only that wild beasts of the deserts should lie there, but that wild beasts of the islands should cry in the desolate houses; yet Babylon was an inland city, more than a hundred miles from the nearest point of the Persian Gulf, and many hundreds from the nearest islands. But the Macedonian kings of the East made Babylon a hunting-park, and kept the wild animals in the desolate houses, letting them out for a chase as occasion required. And for this purpose wild beasts from the far-off islands were brought away inland there and put into desolate houses and pleasant palaces that had witnessed the pomp and the glory of the greatest kings of the earth. The prophecy was literally fulfilled.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.5

    Again, Isaiah said: “I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts.” Chap. 14:23. Mr. Layard, who visited it about 1845, says:—PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.6

    “Besides the great mound, other shapeless heaps of rubbish cover for many an acre the face of the land. The lofty banks of ancient canals fret the country like natural ridges of hills. Some have been long choked with sand; others still carry the waters of the river to distant villages and palm groves. On all sides, fragments of glass, marble, pottery, and inscribed brick, are mingled with that peculiar nitrous and blanched soil, which, bred from the remains of ancient habitations, checks or destroys vegetation, and renders the site of Babylon a naked and a hideous waste. Owls (which are of a large gray kind, and often found in flocks of nearly a hundred) start from the scanty thickets, and the foul jackal skulks through the furrows.”—Nineveh, p. 484.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.7

    The prophecy says, “Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.” The natives regard the whole place as actually haunted, and will not pitch their tents there, nor will the shepherds make their fold their. And so is accomplished in perfect faithfulness the word of the Lord concerning Babylon, and “it shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.” And Babylon has “become heaps, a dwelling-place for dragons, an astonishment, and a hissing, without an inhabitant.” Jeremiah 51:37.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.8

    And “this is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Isaiah 14:26, 27.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.9

    “A Financial Forecast” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    There never was a time when there was greater struggle for wealth than the present; as the Apostle James predicted by inspiration, men are engaged in heaping “treasure together for the last days.” And, as outlined in the same chapter, it is accomplished by the impoverishment of the people; so that we have enormous wealth and grinding poverty existing side by side.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.10

    But the anxieties and the uncertainties of riches, as well as the perplexities of the conditions of modern life as regards temporal affairs, were never more strikingly manifest than now. The Investor’s Review, a well-known journal, this month makes a forecast of the year’s prospects, replying to the query, “Is trade going to revive?” and the Chronicle says of it, “We envy the man, whether millionaire or miner, labourer or stockbroker, or even our old friend the ‘small investor,’ who can read his negative answer without a shudder.” Following is the Chronicle’s summary of the situation:—PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.11

    Mr. Wilson first paints his picture of the present state of nations and their industries. Wheat is lower than ever before, and so is cotton. Wool has not risen in price as it was expected to do when placed upon the American free lists. Prices at home, with hardly an exception, are lower than they were a year ago, and it is only lavish Government orders for new war-ships that keep up the iron industry. Central and South America, with the single exception of Chile, are no outlets for our spare capital, because-not to put too fine a point upon it-they are inhabited chiefly by swindlers. “The United States are filled up with railways far beyond the capacity of the trade of the country to make profitable; Canada is sodden with debts, and with the enterprises which, if not already bankrupt, appear on their way to become so.” Italy, Spain, and even France and Germany, are in a bad way financially. “The wealthier countries do not want our assistance; the poorer and sicklier cannot be made to look tempting enough to draw money from us.” The position of the Australian colonies “excites the deepest indignation, or the most profound pity. Slowly, but relentlessly, they are being forced downward into the position of helpless defaulters.” In India “the British State is like a weary Atlas crushed to the earth with debt as with a world all too heavy for his shoulders.”PTUK January 17, 1895, page 38.12

    “News of the Week” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -M. Brisson has been elected President of the French Chamber of Deputies by 282 votes out of 310.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.1

    -The December weather in northern Florida was colder than it has been since 1635. Orange and other crops have been damaged to or enormous extent.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.2

    -The Portuguese have ceased to obstruct the progress of the African transcontinental telegraph, and the line is expected to reach the Zambesi this month.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.3

    -Hostilities still continue between the natives and Portuguese in the Portuguese possessions of Africa. The Portuguese troops are being desimated by African fever.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.4

    -The independence of Korea was solemnly proclaimed at Seoul, Jan. 7. A Chinese ambassador is now at the Japanese capital for the purpose of treating for peace.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.5

    -The Victorian Government has resigned, owing to the defeat caused by the action of the Labour Members, who bitterly oppose the reduction of their salaries to ?200 per annum.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.6

    -An Austrian Arctic expedition, with the main abject of exploring the Arctic region from an artistic point of view, and to obtain pictures of Arctic scenery, will be undertaken in 1896.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.7

    -The Liverpool town crier has retired, after sixty years’ service, and the office is practically extinct, the newspapers having superseded the bellman. In his time the Liverpool crier had restored 130,000 stray children, all the lost little ones being taken to his house.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.8

    -The Delavan House at Albany, New York State, one of the most celebrated hotels in America, and the residence of many members of the New York State Legislature during its Sessions, was destroyed by fire Dec. 30. Five male and four female servants perished in the fire.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.9

    -A telegram received at New York from Rio de Janeiro states that on Sunday night, Jan. 6, the ferry boat Tieciera, while crossing over to Nictheroy took fire from an explosion. The vessel was completely destroyed, and 150 passengers perished, among the victims being several Government officials.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.10

    -Mr. Harry de Windt, a well-known Siberian explorer, will, according to Reuter’s New York correspondent, shortly visit the United States on a three months’ lecturing tour, during which he will speak at New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, his object being to refute the statement of Mr. George Kerman in regard to the conditions of prison life in Russia.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.11

    -The electric telegraph has made marvellous strides in the little more than half a century of its existence. From the latest statistics it appears that it is the most universally adopted in the United Kingdom. During the year 1892 no fewer than 69,908,600 massages were dispatched in the United Kingdom, compared with 62,887,298 in the United States.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.12

    -It is now proposed in the United States to fatten hogs on wheat, as a means of profitably disposing of that now very cheap cereal. By this means, it is said that a bushel of wheat, worth as such only 37? cents, becomes, as pork, worth 55 or 60 cents. This is a sad comment on modern civilisation. The railways, it is said, will be heavy losers should this be done.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.13

    -A terrible disaster is reported from the village of Oriu, France, in the mountainous district of Aix les Thermes. A huge avalanche fell from one of the surrounding mountains, completely destroying four houses and twelve borne. Fifteen dead bodies have been recovered from the debris, and eight persons have sustained injuries, while a large number of cattle remain buried in the ruins.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.14

    -The distress in Newfoundland caused by the financial panic has led to riots by parties of starving men, who forced open some shops to obtain food. The disturbances have been quelled by the police. The ranks of the unemployed are, however, daily swelling, and much uneasiness is felt. Lady O’Brien, the wife of the Governor, is organising soup kitchens for the temporary relief of the destitute, and has made a public appeal for subscriptions.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 46.15

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    A few days ago the Pope granted a private audience of thirty-five minutes to Prince Lobanoff, the Russian envoy bearing the official notification of the Czar’s accession. This shows that the Pope is regarded as an important factor in European politics.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.1

    The Roman Catholic bishops have formulated a Bill which is designed to provide for the support from the rates of denominational schools, when such schools are called for in any district by the parents of thirty children. The religious education controversy has only begun.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.2

    The Central News says that the editor of the Toronto World has been summoned for publishing an edition on Sunday, describing a great fire which broke out at Toronto. The revival of religious legislation, particularly in the matter of Sunday laws, is world-wide.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.3

    Speaking of the Laud commemoration, before it took place, the English Churchman said:—PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.4

    We confess at once that we have no sympathy whatever with this movement. The circular issued by the Committee appeals for the support of Churchmen, on the special ground that a “great debt of gratitude and reverence is due to the man, to whom, more than any other individual, the Church of England owes her present shape.” Well, all that we can say is that the “present shape” of the Church of England is, in many respects, so bad, that we cannot feel any gratitude to the man to whose labours we owe its unhappy condition.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.5

    It certainly is in a position to know whereof its speaks.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.6

    The religion of the great Powers is very aptly stated by the organ of the German Ministry of War. It says that the longer peace is maintained “the more Germany’s military leaders must endeavour to increase and encourage the fighting spirit alike among officers and rank and file.” It speaks also of the new regulations which have been written “in a sound bellicose spirit.” Some attribute the authorship of the article to the Emperor. It certainly has his approval; and in the same spirit he has declared his purpose to maintain by the power of the sword the religion of the State, and hence in Germany, as in Russia, the Christian who follows the religion of Jesus Christ and refuses to be filled with the “fighting spirit,” will doubtless feel the wrath of that spirit of Satan.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.7

    The Church Times says: “It is time that the Church of England was set free from the necessity of accepting a bench of bishops, of which the composition depends on the idiosyncrasies, good or bad, of successive premiers.” Well, if the Church of England will step down from its place as the “State Church,” it will be freed from that necessity; but it is no more than is to be expected, that the State should appoint the officers of State institutions.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.8

    In its review of a life of Laud the British Weekly speaks as follows of the idea so prevalent in his days, that the faith requires the support of human power:—PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.9

    Fancy a man supporting with his own hands the yielding foundations of his faith. Few errors have done more harm than the doctrine that “things which can be shaken” and need human support are fundamental truths.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.10

    Therefore it is that we see an ominous sign of the times in the revival of this error, as shown in the demand for Sunday laws and other such legislation.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.11

    The breach between the Eastern Church and Rome continues to decrease. Some schismatical priests manifest a desire to return to Catholicism, and “the Pope hopes that the elevation of two of the Eastern Patriarchs to the Cardinalate will increase the number of conversions.” It is very likely. By a discreet use of the ecclesiastical prizes and preferments in medi?val times the Church of Rome was often able to “convert” men in multitudes.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.12

    The Christian very truly points out the reason why some men are willing to allow others to decide their duty and relation to God:—PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.13

    “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and the people love to have it so.” A man may know the truth of the Gospel, but if he does not wish to live it he will willingly be deceived into supposing that he can cast his responsibilities upon a “priest,” until the word he knows in his head has ceased to touch his scared conscience and his hard heart.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.14

    And it makes no difference whether the man upon whom the responsibility is laid is called a Catholic priest or an Evangelical-it is as easy to make a pope of one as of the other. But “every one of us shall give account of himself before God.” What God says to every man is for every man to decide for himself alone, and in the day when the secrets of men are judged according to His word, what some other man has said or done can in no way affect our guilt if we have not yielded to what the Lord has said to us.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.15

    In this new year’s message to the Salvation Army General Booth said:—PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.16

    Ultimately we are bound to win the confidence of every Government in the world, and of those occupying every grade of authority. Those responsible for the order and well-being of society must speedily come to see that we are their natural allies, and will welcome us to their side. Already much has been done in this direction, but we are only at the beginning of things.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.17

    It is a very fascinating prospect, and as dangerous as fascinating. “The friendship of the world is enmity with God.” James 4:4. “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers unto the false prophets.” Luke 6:26.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.18

    “Going to Law” The Present Truth 11, 3.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Saviour, in the “sermon on the mount,” instructed His followers, to avoid going to law, even though they had to give double the amount asked in order to settle a matter out of court. He said, “If any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” Matthew 5:40, R.V. The practical wisdom of this is often illustrated. The Daily Chronicle has been giving some attention too excessive law costs, and in a recent number two cases were related by the victims. One case was that of a man who sued for payment for a literary work which he had done. His case was so clear that the counsel for the defence made no attempt to deny it. He was awarded ?50 for his work. Of this sum he received nothing, his costs swallowing it all up; and further, his solicitor told him that they could legally charge him ?40 more!PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.19

    The other case was still worse. The man sued to recover ?20 which he had loaned. There was really no defence, and the man tells the result as follows:—PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.20

    My Solicitor (who had previously been unable to get payment of two debts, one of ?9 6s. and another of ?20 from the same man) sent me his bill of costs, amounting to ?92 5s., with an intimation that unless I paid promptly the amount would be substantially increased and a writ issued against me.PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.21

    This man would have been much the gainer even if he had given his debtor another ?20, and avoided the law. “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”PTUK January 17, 1895, page 48.22

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