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

    November 7, 1895

    “On Rock or Sand?” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    According to the words of Christ, we build upon the rock by hearing and doing His words.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 705.1

    “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.”PTUK November 7, 1895, page 705.2

    “And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 705.3

    Abraham is a wonderful example of building on Christ by believing His word. God made a promise to Abraham, which, like all the promises of God, was in Christ. Then the record says of Abraham, “And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him to righteousness.” Genesis 15:6. There is something very peculiar about this expression “he believed in the Lord.” The word rendered “believed” is from the Hebrew word “Amen.” This word “Amen” in the Scriptures is not translated but simply transferred.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 705.4

    The root idea of the word is firmness. The idea of solidity and stability attaches to it. It has a variety of definitions, all carrying this thought. One definition is “to build, or depend, on.” So, literally, Abraham built upon God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 705.5

    This gives a better idea of the Bible meaning of belief than is commonly held. People generally think that to believe is nothing more than assent. But believing the Lord is much more than this. It is to count that Word as the surest thing in the universe, since it is that which upholds the universe, and to press the whole soul, and all the hopes, upon it, even though everything appears contrary to it. It is to walk where there seems to be nothing, provided the Word of the Lord is there, knowing that it is a firmer foundation. The poet Whittier has thus expressed it:—PTUK November 7, 1895, page 705.6

    “Nothing before, nothing behind;
    The steps of faith
    Fall on the seeming void, and find
    The rock beneath.”
    PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.1

    But note the fact that when Abraham built on the Lord it was counted to him for righteousness. The Lord never makes any mistakes in His reckoning. When Abraham’s faith was reckoned to him for righteousness, it was because it was indeed righteousness. How so? Why, as Abraham built on God, he built on everlasting righteousness. “He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” He became one with the Lord, and so God’s righteousness was his own.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.2

    “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of fire, purified seven times.” Psalm 12:6. Therefore he who builds upon the Rock Jesus Christ, by accepting His word in living faith, builds upon a tried foundation. So we read: “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded.” 1 Peter 2:1-6.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.3

    The force of this is not so clearly seen until we read the passage of Scripture which is quoted by the apostle, in connection with the one that we quoted from the Saviour’s Sermon on the Mount. Recalling the latter, we read from the prophecy of Isaiah:—PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.4

    “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone of sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. And I will make judgment the line, and righteousness the plummet; and the hail sweep away the refuge of lies, and the water shall overflow the hiding-place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. As often as it passeth through, it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass through, by day and by night: and it shall be nought but terror to understand the message.” Isaiah 28:16-19, R.V.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.5

    Christ is the tried foundation. Righteousness is the plummet by which He is laid. His character is perfectly true and right. Satan has exhausted all his arts in trying to lead Him to sin, and was unsuccessful. He is a sure foundation. We build upon Him by believing His Word, as He Himself said. The floods will surely come. There will be an overflowing scourge that will sweep away the refuge of lies, and all who have built on a false foundation. The house built on the sand will certainly fall. When the storm begins to beat with fury, those who have made lies their refuge will flee for their lives as their foundation begins to totter; but the flood will carry them away. This is the picture presented by the two passages of Scripture.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.6

    But far different will it be with those who have built on the Rock of Ages. That sure foundation will stand every blast. Nothing can shake it. Those who have built on it cannot make haste. They have often proved that it is a sure refuge, and so they can calmly watch the torrent. They do not need to flee for their lives. Having built on the rock, they are as secure as the rock itself. And why? Because they are really a part of the Rock, for the Rock builds up all who build upon it.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.7

    Listen to the words of the apostle: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” When one builds upon the Rock, the Rock itself, being a living Rock, grows up into them, so that the foundation and the building are all one piece. This is shown by many passages of Scripture, some of them which will at once occur to the reader. It is a wise man who now, every day, is building upon the Word. The storm is gathering, and it is for every one who would be safe in that day to make sure of his foundation.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.8

    “A Danger to Mission Work” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    CHAINED TO A CHAPEL

    The cause of missions has been in no way helped in China by the demand which has been made by missionary conferences and the religious press for the punishment of wrong-doers and the interference of governments to make the lives of missionaries safe in the interior of the great empire. The cry for vengeance is not of the Scriptures, and the worst of it is that those in position to trust in police or military protection will, by their appeal for the exercise of such power, drive the natives further from Christ, and render the work of their fellow-workers in the interior still more difficult.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.9

    Just before the recent massacres a professor in Peking University described the punishment meted out to revilers on one occasion in that city. Imagine, if you can, anything more directly contrary to the example of Christ, “who, when He was reviled,” suffered it, than the action of the missionaries who allowed themselves to become parties to such a punishment as that described. The man An is a policeman whose praise, as a convert, Professor Headland is sounding in his letter. Five men having interrupted in a service they were requested to leave the chapel, and obeyed.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 706.10

    The five went outside, and just as they got outside the door where An happened to be standing, one of them began to revile me, my ancestors, sisters, and all my family. An caught him at once.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.1

    “Who are you reviling?” said he.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.2

    “What do you want?” said the fellow; “do you know I’m a soldier?” and he hit An a box on the ear.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.3

    “Do you know I’m a soldier?” said An; and before the fellow and his companions knew it, he jerked a little chain from under his large coat and wound it round the fellow’s neck. His companions, of course, ran, and took him to the police station.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.4

    While he was doing that we had our prayer-meeting, not even knowing what he had done, for we did not go out. When we finished our meeting he came back bringing the fellow’s hat, and asked me to go with him and the preacher to see the official. I went, but put the whole matter into their hands; and the punishment they decided upon was to chain him to the chapel doorpost two days, making him tell every one who asked why he was there. They also sent thirty men to see that order was kept while the chapel was open.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.5

    These things helped to fan the fires of hatred against the Gospel, and the poor missionaries in the provincial towns have to suffer for the indiscretions of their comfortably-placed comrades. The same spirit which is manifesting itself at home in seeking to make men “Christian” by police-court processes is getting into the mission fields, as evidenced by the call for gunboats and bayonets. The Christianity of Christ is not preached by these means, either at home or abroad.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.6

    “Which Master?” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    At a recent meeting of the Established Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, the question of “Sabbath Observance” came up for considerable discussion. In the talk about the increasing irreverence for Sunday, and the amount of Sunday work done by members of the church, the real nature and origin of Sunday laws was incidently shown. We quote one paragraph from the published report, which contains the sum of the matter.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.7

    Mr. Lawrie, Fairbairn Memorial Church, said that last Sunday night he was meeting with young communicants. A wife was joining the church. Her husband was a very decided man, but being in the tramway service he could not go to church. He (Mr. Lawrie) knew that ex-Baillie Dickson stated that it was open to any man to say whether or not he would work on Sunday, and that therefore those who chose could go to church. But that was a statement from one end. There was another statement from the men’s end. He knew facts; he would not give names because personal interests were involved. He knew of elders who had to resign their office because of Sunday labour. He knew of Sabbath-school teachers who had had to give up their classes and their church-going, their children doing likewise, because of employment under the Town Council. He knew of numbers of such cases, which he had got from the people themselves direct. The Church, he thought, had a Christian responsibility in the matter. It was not the case of private employers. It was a case of every voter in Glasgow being responsible. It was not a case merely of those who did not care for the Church, or who did not prize the Church, but it was a case of church members, Christian people, office-bearers having pressure brought to bear on them. Everyone knew the position of a working man with a small family with no union to back him up. He did not suppose that the vote which was given in the Town Council would have been lost had the Church clearly and distinctly said—“We want to save the Sabbath Day and protect the people.” Just fancy this! An elder said—“It is very hard on me to be out on Sunday conducting another elder and his family to church while I can’t go myself. I have to leave my seat in the church and my family in order to do this.” They talked of working people turning their backs on the Church. Did they think, however, that working men did not understand the meaning of the action which produced such a state of matters? It was not in the tramway service alone that such things took place. He would like to know at the present moment how many servants in the employment of Glasgow Town Council were compelled to work for such hours that they could not attend church.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.8

    Is it not a pitiful picture? “Yes,” some one will say, “it is most sad that cruel corporations will force earnest Christian men to work when they want to be at church, on the day which they regard as holy.” Oh no, we did not refer to that; the pitiful picture, to our mind, is the spectacle of the church council gravely and seriously protesting that Christians cannot attend church on “the Sabbath,” because their employers keep them at work! Before making any further comment we wish to presentPTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.9

    A PARALLEL CASE

    in the fourth century. The historian Neander thus gives it:—PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.10

    Owing to the prevailing passion at that time, especially in the large cities, to run after the various public shows, it so happened that when the spectacles fell on the same days which had been consecrated by the church to some religious festival, they proved a great hindrance to the devotion of Christians, though chiefly, it must be allowed, to those whose Christianity was the least an affair of the life and of the heart. Church teachers, such as Chrysostom, were, in truth, often forced to complain that in such competitions the theatre was vastly more frequented than the church.... . Moreover, by the civil relations of those times, many were obliged, on account of their particular place among the citizens, to take part in the arrangements necessary for the support of the public shows, and had to be interrupted in their devotions against their will. Hence, the North-African church resolved, at an ecclesiastical convention, held at Carthage in 401, to petition the emperor that the shows might be transferred from the Sunday and from feast days, to some other days of the week. Owing to the prevailing passion for the shows, but this petition could not be granted, perhaps, without considerable difficulty. First, in the year 425, the exhibition of spectacles on Sunday, and on the principal feast days of the Christians, was forbidden, in order that the devotion of the faithful might be free from all disturbance. In this way the church received help from the State for the furtherance of her ends, which could not be obtained in the preceding period. But had it not been for that confusion of spiritual and secular interests, had it not been for the vast number of mere outward conversions thus brought about, she would have needed no such help.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.11

    That is just it. If it had not been for the great number of “mere outward conversions,” the church would not have needed the help of the civil law to secure the attendance of its members. But that help having been secured, the matter was made worse; for when things are so arranged that people can be religious, and can perform their religious duties, without any inconvenience to themselves, then their Christianity is nothing but a mere outward form.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.12

    Those whose Christianity is in reality “an affair of the life and of the heart,” will do their duty whether circumstances are favourable or not. But when Christianity is not an affair of the heart and life, then the practise of the forms of Christianity is worse than useless; for it either constitutes one a conscious hypocrite, or else deceives him with the idea that Christianity is nothing but outward acts which one is to perform if it costs nothing.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.13

    “SUNDAY SLAVERY’

    In the cases cited in the meeting of the Glasgow Synod we have an illustration of what is commonly termed “Sunday slavery.” The “Pearl of Days,” a publication of the “Workingmen’s Lord’s Day Rest Association,” has a pitiful plea from one of the “slaves to Sunday labour,” which it copies from The Christian. It is from a railway man, and is done in verse as follows:—PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.14

    “I fain would use Thy holy day
    To worship at Thy feet,
    Within Thy courts to watch and pray,
    And with Thy children meet.
    PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.15

    “But I have masters to obey
    Who care not, Lord, for Thee,
    Who run their trains on this Thy day,
    And thus make work for me.”
    PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.16

    It is pitiful, isn’t it? Most pitiful, that Christian teachers should thus encourage people in the idea that they cannot serve the Lord unless the way is made perfectly smooth for them. Pitiful that those who as Christ’s ambassadors are commissioned to proclaim liberty in Christ, should take it for granted that man must always be slaves.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.17

    For is it not evident that those men are really slaves? To what are they slaves?—To Mammon. They demonstrate the truth of the Saviour’s words, “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” Matthew 6:24. The servant of Christ is a free man, no matter what his condition in life. 1 Corinthians 7:22. He who knows the truth and holds to it, is free indeed. But the man referred to in the foregoing are slaves of the world. God calls them to serve Him, and they say, “We should like to,PTUK November 7, 1895, page 707.18

    ‘But we have masters to obey
    Who care not, Lord, for Thee,’
    PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.1

    and they refuse to allow us to serve Thee.” Thus they proclaim their slavery; and professed ministers of the glorious Gospel of Christ agree with them that they cannot serve the Lord as long as any hindrance is laid in their way.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.2

    Suppose that laws were secured guaranteeing every man the privilege of resting in going to church on Sunday without any fear of losing his employment, or of suffering the slightest inconvenience by so doing; would that make them free?—Not by any means. They would be slaves as much as ever. Their “masters” would simply have given them license to go to church; but if those “masters” should withdraw that favour, then they would acknowledge the yoke of bondage as before. The men who serve the Lord because they can do so as well as not, will cease to do so as soon as the least difficulty arises. And that shows that they have not in reality been serving the Lord, but only their own convenience.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.3

    “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16. Now the essential wickedness of all efforts to secure laws so that men can serve the Lord without any effort, lies in the false idea of Christianity which is thus created. But such laws are inseparable from the Sunday, because it is but a human ordinance at best. So that there is a sad reality in the expression “Sunday slavery.” The Sunday institution itself stands for slavery to human customs in opposition to God’s law. It is the mark of the “man of sin,” and sin is the worst kind of slavery.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.4

    SABBATH FREEDOM

    On the other hand, the Sabbath of the Lord is the standard of freedom. The perfect law of God in Christ, of which the Sabbath is a part, is the “perfect law of liberty.” James 1:25.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.5

    Christ is free. He alone can give true freedom. Whoever follows Him in truth, has absolute freedom, even though he be bound with chains. And when we say that he is free, we mean that he is so free that no power on earth can force him to do what he does not wish to do. He may suffer death, but not defeat, for He is a victor even in death.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.6

    The Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day of the week, on which the Lord rested after having created the heavens and earth in six days, is the memorial of God’s creative power. It is the sign of the power by which He makes men free. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. Romans 1:16. The power of God is seen in the things that are made. Verse 20. So the Sabbath is the sign of God’s power to save. Therefore he who knows the Sabbath as God has given it, has no need to ask for the way to be made easy for him to keep it, because in the keeping of it he finds the way. It marks the measure of God’s power, who can make a way through the midst of the sea.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.7

    CHRISTIANITY AND HEATHENISM

    The difference between the two is that the first is trust in a God who cannot be seen, while the second must have a god which can be seen. The Christian who endures “as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27), does not need to see the way before him; but the heathen, who cannot get along without a god his natural eyes can see, must be able to see the end before he will begin, since he has to walk alone. He who must “see his way” before he will begin to walk, is the same as the one who must see his god. If the Israelites had insisted on seeing their way before they proceeded to cross the Red Sea, or the Jordan, they would never have reached the promised land.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.8

    The Saviour, after showing how God feeds the birds, and clothes the grass, and pointing out that He will much more clothe us, said: “Be not anxious, therefore, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:31-33, R.V.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.9

    In these words the Lord shows us that Christianity means trust, while distrust is heathenism. And herein we see that while the Sabbath is the mark of Christianity, the Sunday pertains to heathenism. For no one who knows what the Sabbath really is, ever thinks of such a thing as asking for a human law to enable him to keep it; the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ” is not only his authority but his power. But on the other hand, human laws are inseparable from Sunday, because it is only a man-made institution, having no Divine authority. Wherever you are in the world, there you find Sunday observers demanding a civil Sunday law, so that people can be free to keep the day. That shows that the god of Sunday is not “the Lord God Omnipotent.” It is a god who has no greater power than the State.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.10

    DEATH DOES NOT END ALL

    But someone will say that we do not touch the real point. They do not fear man, but it is a question of life or death. We know that there are many who see their duty to keep the Sabbath of the Lord, but who are deterred by the fact that the keeping of it would almost certainly mean the loss of their situation. One man writes to us: “The thought of hearing my children cry for bread is a very great difficulty in my mind.” We sincerely sympathise with such, and we know that there are many. But when such ones see the Sabbath not merely as a duty, but as a blessed privilege, as the introduction of the Lord Himself, who owns the earth and its fulness, such difficulties will vanish.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.11

    It is indeed a sad thing to hear children crying for bread; but He who “giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry” (Psalm 147:9), will not disregard the cry of children.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.12

    Some one will say, “Since people find it difficult to keep the Sabbath on account of their business, what becomes of your statement that the Sabbath belongs to Christianity, and the Sunday to heathenism?” That is easily answered. With the Sunday there is no promise of God to help the man out of his difficulty, which is real; while the Sabbath, which rests on God’s Word, carries with it all the promises of God’s Word to support the man who embraces it. It is the great test of trust in God’s Word, and thus the great seal of Christianity.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 708.13

    “But would you counsel a man with a large family depending on him, to begin to keep the Sabbath when it will mean the loss of his sole means of earning a living?” We would simply counsel a man to obey the Word of the Lord, and to trust in the promises of the Lord of the Sabbath. God has said that He knows what we need, and that He cares more for us than earthly parents care for their children. The question is, Do we believe Him? A man must believe Him sufficiently to trust his life in His hands, or else his observance of the seventh day would not be true Sabbath-keeping. The man who says, “I will keep the Sabbath if you will provide the employment whereby I can make a living,” does not yet know what the Sabbath is, and therefore could not keep it. A man might as well not profess to keep the Sabbath, as to profess to keep it well trusting in man instead of in God. No one but God can ensure a man a living.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 709.1

    Everything comes from God. Even the wicked derive their support from Him. “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” Acts 17:25. Now since He provides even for those who blaspheme His name, is it not reasonable to suppose that He will care for His own? We may reason thus: “All these years I have been disobeying God, yet He has fed me; surely He will not cast me off now when I turn to Him to obey Him.”PTUK November 7, 1895, page 709.2

    Let it be remembered, however, that the promises of God are not simply for this life. “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8. But what God has promised for the present life, He has not promised that it shall continue for ever. In other words, He has not promised immortality before the coming of Christ. He has had faithful followers in all ages, but except in a few cases they are all dead. Let no one think therefore that it is an absolute necessity that this present life should be preserved at all hazards. Jesus said, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Matthew 16:25, 26.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 709.3

    God alone knows the life and times of men. No man who serves Him can by any possibility die till He wills it, and when God is willing that one of His servants should cease from labour, it is well. So if by any possibility a man should starve to death as a consequence of serving the Lord, that would not be the worst thing that could befall him, although it would be the first time such a thing ever happened. “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”PTUK November 7, 1895, page 709.4

    Although God does not allow His servants to starve to death, He does suffer them to die for His sake. Thousands of men, with families depending on them, have died at the stake rather than disobey God. Their names and memories are honoured; yet many who honour will refuse to serve the Lord if it means inconvenience. It is quite likely that if you should talk with the members of that Glasgow Synod, they would discourse eloquently of how their fathers died for the truth’s sake; yet they themselves are doing their best to lead men to think that they cannot serve the Lord if it will cost them anything.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 709.5

    Now all this talk about people’s not being able to serve God, because they are likely to lose their working if they do, is really an outgrowth of the heathen idea that death ends all. Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, because he felt that he was about to die, and he thought, “What good will this birthright do me?” He had no conception of any inheritance beyond the grave. But the promises of God are for this present life only to the end that men may “lay hold on eternal life.” The man who dies in the service of God, gains his life in losing it. God is the living God, and He gives life. His servants know that the present life is of no profit whatever, except as it is the means of gaining the life to come; and if they lose this in gaining that, they have got full value out of it.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 709.6

    Sunday laws are therefore pagan on this count also, since they lead men to think that it is useless if not impossible to serve the Lord if such service interferes with their earthly prospects. The logic of Sunday laws is that if men lose the good things of this world they lose everything. But men who really know the true God, know better.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 709.7

    So to-day the Word of the Lord says to people as it did of old, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” Happy is the man who can say in the face of the greatest difficulties, and even of death itself, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”PTUK November 7, 1895, page 709.8

    “Why Some Hate the Word” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Why Some Hate the Word.-The world is constantly hearing of criticisms of the Bible from theological professors in Germany. Those who do not know what is required in a teacher of theology in German State institutions may sometimes wonder how it comes that those supposed to teach the Bible spend their time in criticising it. It must be remembered that the State religion in Germany is a branch of politics, and men are appointed to chairs of theology as to any other office under the State. In the Homiletic Review Dr. D. S. Gregory, who evidently knows of what he speaks, declares that often the professor hates the Bible and earnest Christians because they are a perpetual rebuke to the corrupt and beastly life he leads. If he fills a professor’s chair in such a theological institution, where drunken brawls are not unknown, and where licentiousness is rife and often open, to attract attention, he must have something striking to present in his teaching. Hence the theological vagaries, etc.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 709.9

    “Dedication” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In a sermon preached at the dedication of a new church, called the “Church of Our Holy Redeemer,” Cardinal Vaughan said:—PTUK November 7, 1895, page 710.1

    The Book of the Gospels is not a closed book, it is not confined to foreign tongues, and not given only to the clergy; it is written in our own language, it is published in the cheapest form, and all are invited, nay, pressed, to read and study it. The Gospels are the great source from which to learn, and there is no devotion in the Church of any king that is higher, better, or even to be compared with devotion to the Most Holy Redeemer. Nay, more; if any devotion could draw away hearts from our Saviour it thereby stands self-condemned.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 710.2

    We have no right to suppose that the Cardinal was not sincere in his statement, and we are glad to record it. His eulogy of devotion to the Most Holy Redeemer would have been more pointed, however, if the building which he was dedicating had not contained altars to “the Sacred Heart,” “Our Lady,” “St. Joseph,” and “St. Francis.”PTUK November 7, 1895, page 710.3

    “An Oft-Misquoted Scripture” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    How many times we hear it said of something which is thought to be easily understood, “It is so plain that he that runneth may read.” But the text of Scripture does not read this way. Here it is: “Write the vision, and make it plain upon the tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2. The prophecy is a double one, looking forward to the great advent movement of the last days. The writer of Hebrews quotes verses 3, 4, and applies them to the second coming of Christ. See Hebrews 10:37, 38.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 710.4

    The prophet declares that he would stand on the watch, and set him on the tower, that he might have the wherewith to answer when he was “reproved” or “argued with” (margin). The Lord answers: “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”PTUK November 7, 1895, page 710.5

    The idea is that he who reads God’s message therein set forth may carry the tidings to others. This very thing is set forth as a characteristic of the last days by Daniel.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 710.6

    “Nearness to God” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some one has said: “Never separate yourself from God. How sweet it is to live always near those who love us.” But it is sweeter still to live near those whom we love, and the reason why we do not delight more in nearness to God is not because God does not love them, but because of their lack of love for Him. Let the Christian meditate on the wonderful love of Christ, and the sacrifice made by Him to save and bless lost, ruined sinners, until the fire burns in his heart, and he can say in sincerity and truth, “The love of Christ constraineth us.” Then we shall find it sweet to feel that we are near to God. Then we can sing,—PTUK November 7, 1895, page 713.1

    “Nearer, my God, to Thee,
    Nearer to Thee!
    E’en though it be a cross
    That raiseth me.”
    PTUK November 7, 1895, page 713.2

    Then, if perchance some sin committed by us has hidden His face, like the psalmist we shall soon be found crying out, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?”PTUK November 7, 1895, page 713.3

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The Salvation Army self-denial week has yielded over ?30,000.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.1

    -France now claims that in the event of war she can put an army of 4,000,000 soldiers into the field.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.2

    -Over 100 specially constructed steamers are engaged in carrying frozen meat from the colonies to England.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.3

    -Russia counts on German neutrality in the Far East, and the active support of France is assured her.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.4

    -It is estimated that 6,000 slaves are imported yearly into Zanzibar and Pamba from the African mainland.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.5

    -It is said that Gustav Jovanovitch, a cattle king in Russia, has 85,000 shepherd dogs to look after 1,500,000 sheep.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.6

    -It is said that there are now about twenty million square miles of surface on the earth which have never been explored.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.7

    -The violent attacks on England in the official Russian papers has disturbed business on the Continental stock exchanges.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.8

    -Well informed financial journals predict that the rush for South African mining shame will be followed by a financial crash ere long.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.9

    -The Ashanti king has rejected the ultimatum and defies Great Britain. In a few weeks an expedition will start from Cape Coast Castle for his capital.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.10

    -The Siberian railway is now In complete running condition and open to Omsk, 2,200 miles from St. Petersburg, and four days and a half are occupied in making the journey.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.11

    -The principal county in England for fruit cultivation is Devon, where there are 26,955 acres of orchards. Hereford comes next with 26,688 acres; Somerset, 24,520; and Kent, 23,260.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.12

    -The acreage of orchards in England, Wales, and Scotland is now more than 218,000, Last year it was only a little less than 214,000. The market gardens cover now 92,887 acres, as compared with 88,210 last year.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.13

    -The Chinese secret societies are said to have joined the Mohammedan insurgents, who are defeating the Chinese troops in every direction The Mohammedans propose to found an independent kingdom of their own.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.14

    -Between Madagascar and the coast of India there are numerous islands, only a few of which are inhabited, Yet it is stated that in most of the islands a man can support a family in luxury without working more than twenty-five days in a year, nature does so much.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.15

    -A landlord in East Kent has received notice to quit from the whole of his farm tenants, who assent that at present prices they could not farm at a profit if they had the land free. On another Kentish estate fourteen tenants are leaving, and in the Isle of Thanet thousands of acres must go out of cultivation unless people can be induced to occupy the holdings recently vacated.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 718.16

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In this paper we give a brief reference to the latest Sunday case. Next week, God willing, we shall deal with the matter more fully, setting forth exactly what the Sunday clause in the Factory Act means, and what is yet to come.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.1

    “In Court Again” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    On Friday last, November 1, the publishers of PRESENT TRUTH were for the third time called to appear in court, and were fined for not compelling certain of their employés to cease working on Sundays. There was no charge that the women were overworked, or that they had suffered the least injustice; but, as the prosecuting inspector said, Sunday is a protected day. That is the secret of the whole matter. The Sunday clause in the Factory Act is not for the protection of labourers, but for the protection of Sunday.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.2

    The story of the “trial” is soon told. There was no attempt to conceal the fact of Sunday work. Why should there be? No one would think of denying that he had told the truth. So the magistrate imposed the heaviest penalty in his power, namely three pounds in each case. As there were fourteen cases, the entire fine was ?42. The costs were ?2, but the distress warrants, yet to be issued, and the seizing and selling of property will materially augment the cost, so that the fine and costs will ultimately amount to upwards of ?50.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.3

    The magistrate was in a facetious mood, and waxed witty at the expense of the few people who were so old-fashioned as to believe that God’s law is above man’s. But the case is not yet ended. The Supreme Court of the universe has yet to pronounce upon the case, and we know that its decision will be according to truth.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.4

    “‘We Have a Law’” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    When Jesus Christ stood before Pontius Pilate and the mob who were clamouring for His death, and the Roman governor was desirous of saving His life, the Jews cried out, “We have a law, and by our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” John 19:7.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.5

    The cause for which Jesus stood has made such progress that to-day many powerful nations, among which England stands first, count it the highest honour to be known as “Christian nations.” Whether or not they deserve the title is another matter; the fact is that by claiming it they bear witness to the general acceptance of the belief that Jesus Christ was right, and that the people were wrong.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.6

    Yet the people stated only the fact when they said, “We have a law, and by our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” But Jesus was the Son of God. He might have saved His life if He had denied that, but “He cannot deny Himself.” It was the truth, and He came into the world to bear witness to the truth. Therefore it was impossible for Him to avoid being in conflict with their law.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.7

    That being so, it follows that their law was wicked, and against the truth. Every one who acknowledges that Christ was right, thereby admits and claims that the people were wrong. It was wicked for them to have such a law, and, having it, it was wicked for them to execute it.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.8

    The authorities who have to do with the prosecution of the International Tract Society for Sunday labour, have only one plea, namely, “We have a law.” They know that the commandment of God says, “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”; and they know that the Society acts strictly in conformity with that law. But in obeying the law of God, which is the truth, it necessarily is out of harmony with their Sunday law. And just as surely as God’s law is right, the law which forbids anyone to labour on Sunday is wrong.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.9

    The claim of the people is that their laws must be enforced, even against the truth. But if it be so, that a law of the people must be enforced, even though it be a bad law, then the priests were justified in demanding the death of Jesus Christ. Whoever therefore justifies the enforcement of a Sunday law, simply because it is a law, although positively in opposition to God’s law, thereby justifies the condemnation of Jesus Christ. Whatever government, therefore, has and executes Sunday laws, thereby proclaims itself not a Christian nation.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.10

    Let the reader bear in mind that in the foregoing no comparison is made between Christ and the International Tract Society. It is not the Society, but the truth, that is on trial. Christ is the truth, whenever His truth is on trial, and is condemned, He Himself is rejected. Iniquity is nonetheless wicked because it is framed into law.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.11

    “Two Laws—One Duty” The Present Truth 11, 45.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “We have a law,” the people cried to Pilate. By that law the Truth was condemned. “We have a law,” the people say still, “and it is our duty to enforce that law, right or wrong. We must do our duty.”PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.12

    Very well; devotion to duty is a grand thing; and to be obedient to law is undoubtedly one’s duty. But there are laws and laws. The Bible speaks of “the throne of iniquity” “which frameth mischief by a law.” Psalm 94:20. That is one law. Then there is the throne of God, whose “law is the truth.” Psalm 119:142.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.13

    Here are two diverse laws, but only one of them has anything to do with duty. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13. Therefore it is no one’s duty to obey or enforce a law which opposes God’s law of truth. To have anything to do with such a law, whether it be to make it, to keep it, or to execute it, is to commit sin; it is to go contrary to duty. Obedience to such a law is not duty, because the law itself is lawless. Lawlessness is sin; and to sin is contrary to duty. In order to be really law-abiding, one must disregard laws that oppose God’s law.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.14

    The commandment of God says, “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.” By this commandment it is as clearly one’s duty to disregard Sunday as it is to observe the Sabbath.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.15

    Magistrates and officers are very zealous for duty. If they are really so, they should honour loyalty to the highest law. They say that they are bound by the laws, and cannot do anything else than enforce them. They then ought to be able to understand the position of those who know God’s law to be greater than human laws, and are bound by it, so that they cannot do other than obey it.PTUK November 7, 1895, page 720.16

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents