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

    November 28, 1895

    “Front Page” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    One likes to flatter himself that it was because some one else treated him badly that he felt irritated and impatient.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.1

    It is well to remember that it is not the wrong that another does that leads to evil feelings on our part, but the wrong that is in our own heart stirs up the resentment at an affront.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.2

    Not the devil and the other man but the spirit of the evil one in us is the cause of the irritation. A dead person can feel nothing, and if self is dead it will not feel slighted and hurt, even when an affront is intended. Irritability and anger come from within and not from without.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.3

    Whenever, then, we find ourselves harbouring the aggrieved feeling let us remember that it is merely the warning signal telling us that the old self is asserting its sway, and that it is for us to repent of the evil thing in our heart rather than allow ourselves to be diverted by the enemy into warring against the person who has given the offence. It is very natural to lay the blame of our failures on others, or on circumstances, but the evil heart is the heart of the difficulty. And, thank the Lord, we may have His peace to guard both heart and thoughts in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.4

    “Hope of the Promise. The Old Testament and the Future Life” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    A sample of the common idea as to the teaching of the Old Testament with regard to the resurrection and the life to come is found in the following statements from an editorial in a leading religious paper:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.5

    The Old Testament, we say, is almost silent on the subject of the future life. We have to gather its hope of the world to come from hints and developments of its language.... The Old Testament nowhere indulges in the triumph of the hope of the world to come which illuminates the whole New Testament with the thought that to go and be with Christ is far better.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.6

    It is not a small matter to have such an opinion of the Old Testament, for according to the Saviour’s words he who does not find the resurrection and the life in the Old Testament will not understand or appreciate it in the New. Jesus says of the Scriptures, meaning the Old Testament, for that is all that was in existence when He spoke, “They are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39. But He is “the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25. Therefore since the Old Testament testifies of Christ, it must testify of the resurrection and the life.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.7

    Further, Jesus says, “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for He wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?” John 5:46, 47. That is to say, that if we do not find Christ in the writings of Moses we shall not find Him at all; if we do not perceive Him, the resurrection and the life, in the Old Testament, we shall not be able to grasp the real significance of the words which Christ spoke in person.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.8

    Let us now study a few passages, to see how accurately the Gospel of life is set forth in the Scriptures from the very beginning.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.9

    Take first the statement that “the Old Testament nowhere indulges in the triumph of the hope of the world to come which illuminates the whole of the New Testament with the thought that to go and be with Christ is far better,” and compare it with three passages of Scripture. The first is Job 19:25, 27:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.10

    “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; ... whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.11

    The other two are from Psalm 16:9-11 and 17:15:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 753.12

    “My heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.1

    “As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.2

    Where in the New Testament can you find any more triumphant expressions of hope in the resurrection and the future life?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.3

    See in what clear and confident words the resurrection is set forth in the book of Job. The question is asked, “If a man die, shall he live again?” and immediately the answer comes, “All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee; Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands.” Job 14:14, 15. This is as clear as the words of Jesus, “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the grave shall hear His voice, and shall come forth.” John 5:28, 29. The “change” of which the patriarch Job spoke is described in 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.4

    PREACHING OF THE APOSTLES

    The apostles and early disciples “went everywhere preaching the Word,” the Old Testament being all they had, and “they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” Acts 4:2.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.5

    When Paul went to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews, he “went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead.” Acts 17:2, 3.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.6

    People forget that the Christians of the first century were not converted by the writings of the apostles, but by their preaching. The epistles were written to those who were already Christians, and who had become Christians by means of the teaching of the Old Testament.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.7

    And when the apostles did write, they drew very largely from the Old Testament Scriptures. Take for instance that wonderful chapter on the resurrection, and the triumphant close of the argument is a quotation from the prophets. “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:54, 55. These expressions are taken from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14. In the former passage we find those beautiful words used by John in Revelation 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.8

    So we should find throughout the Bible that the Old Testament not only proclaims the resurrection and the future life as clearly as does the New, but that some of the brightest passages of the New are drawn from the Old. The prophets ministered the very same things that the apostle afterwards did, and by the same Spirit. See 1 Peter 1:11, 12.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.9

    THE PROMISES TO THE FATHERS

    While there are many other direct statements in the Old Testament relative to the resurrection and the future life, some of the strongest evidence is found in the promises to the fathers, which formed the basis of the hope of God’s people of old.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.10

    The Apostle Peter tells us that in the last days there should come scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3, 4. This suggests a connection between “the fathers” and the promise of the coming of the Lord.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.11

    The apostle then proceeds to show that those who disbelieve in the coming of the Lord, and who say that there has been no change since the creation, are wilfully ignorant of the facts. He reminds us that the earth of creation was once destroyed by the flood, and that the same word which created it, and which caused its destruction by the flood, still keeps it “reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.12

    Then He reminds us that “the Lord is not slack concerning His promise.” Not promises, but promise, having special reference to “the promise of His coming,” mentioned in verse 4. The fact that God delays the fulfilment of His promise for what seems a long time to men, is no evidence that He is slack in performing it, for time is nothing to Him. But the day of the Lord will come, “wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:12, 13.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.13

    Here we find a positive statement that our hope of the future life is based on the promise of God to the fathers. Let us turn, then, and note that promise very briefly. Take the brief summary given by Stephen in Acts 7:2-5:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.14

    “The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran; and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And He gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on; yet He promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.15

    Here we have a promise unfulfilled. Can it be that God was slack in this instance? Impossible; for the promise was confirmed by the oath of God, who swore by Himself, “that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6:13-19. So we see that instead of God’s promise to Abraham having failed, it is all our hope and consolation.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.16

    Note the facts: God promised to give Abraham an inheritance in the land of Canaan, yet Abraham died without receiving it. Now since it is impossible for God to lie, the only possible explanation is that God meant that Abraham should receive it at the resurrection. And this is just what Abraham expected, for not only he, but his children also, “died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.17

    The fact that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob died “in faith,” without having received the promised inheritance, but “were persuaded” that they should, shows that they had not expected it in this present life. If they had, they would have died disappointed, instead of in faith. If we turn to Genesis 15:15, 16, we shall find that God plainly told Abraham that he should die before the inheritance was bestowed, thus leaving him no other ground of hope but the resurrection. This hope was his consolation through life and in death.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 754.18

    THE HOPE OF THE PROMISE

    This hope of the resurrection was the only hope of the patriarchs and prophets of old. We say “the only hope,” not because it was a meagre one, but meaning that it filled their whole lives. Read the Apostle Paul’s witness to this effect when he stood before Agrippa in chains because of his loyalty to Christ and the Gospel:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.1

    “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” Acts 26:6-8.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.2

    Thus we see that the hope of the resurrection of the dead was the hope of the promise of God to the fathers, and that this was the hope that engrossed the thoughts of the true Israelites day and night. We know that Paul was persecuted only for preaching the resurrection of the dead through Christ, yet he himself declared, “For the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.” Acts 28:20.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.3

    A TEST AND A PROMISE

    When God told Abraham that his posterity should be as the stars of heaven in number, although Abraham was then old and had no child, “he believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:5, 6.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.4

    Righteousness comes only through faith in Christ; therefore Abraham’s faith was in Christ, since it was counted to him for righteousness. Therefore also the promise of a vast posterity was a promise in Christ. “For how many soever be the promises of God, in Him is the yea; wherefore also through Him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20, R.V.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.5

    This is further shown by the fact that faith brings the blessing. It brought the blessing of forgiveness to Abraham (Romans 4:6-9), and “they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Galatians 3:9. Further, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:13, 14. The blessing of Abraham comes upon us through the cross of Christ. This shows in whom Abraham and all the other faithful ones trusted.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.6

    But Abraham had wavered once, and so the Lord tested him, saying, “Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” Genesis 22:2.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.7

    We need not stop now to dwell upon the temptations that must have assailed Abraham when this command came to him. It was a test not only to his parental love, but it was a test of his faith in the promise of God, for everything depended on Isaac. To cut him off was to all human calculation to cut off all hope of the promise.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.8

    But Abraham knew how the promise was to be fulfilled, and that the birth of Isaac had been a manifestation of God’s power to bring life from the dead. So we read that Abraham started the next morning with Isaac and two of his servants. “Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you.” Genesis 22:4, 5.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.9

    Note that statement carefully. Abraham said that both he and Isaac would go and worship, and would come again. Both were going, and both were coming back. How could that be, when he was going to offer Isaac as a burnt offering? Read Hebrews 11:17-19:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.10

    “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called; accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.11

    It was Abraham’s clear grasp of the resurrection that made him stand this test. Note the statement made that he “offered up his only begotten son.” That which enabled him to do this, was his knowledge of the fact that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If all professed Christians in these days had as clear a knowledge of Jesus and the resurrection as Abraham had, the world would soon see that Christianity is something more than a name.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 755.12

    But we must not forget.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.1

    THE PROMISE

    in connection with this test.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.2

    “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” Genesis 22:15-17.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.3

    That last promise is a most sweeping one. Who are the seed, to whom it was made?—The answer is in Galatians 3:16, 29: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” “And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.4

    The seed, therefore, means Christ and all His people. What are their enemies? The greatest of all enemies, and the leader of all, in fact, the source of all enemies, is the devil. 1 Peter 5:8. His power is death. Hebrews 2:14. Now in the chapter which is entirely devoted to the coming of Christ, when “they that are Christ’s at His coming” shall be raised from the dead, we read that “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:26. Christ has conquered, and has the keys of death and the grave (Revelation 1:18), where many of His people are now entombed. But the promise to Abraham includes all the seed,—all who are Christ’s,—and so it includes nothing less than the final resurrection of all the saints at Christ’s coming, when death shall be swallowed up in victory. It was the hope of this promise that sustained God’s people of old in all their tribulations.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.5

    “TILL HE COME’

    After describing the Lord’s Supper the Apostle Paul declares, “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.” 1 Corinthians 11:26.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.6

    How many are there who realise all that the Lord’s Supper means? It means more than a mere belief in the fact that Christ died. It means an appropriation of His death, so that we know that we are crucified with Him, and thus “freed from sin.” Romans 6:7.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.7

    But it means more than simple belief in Christ’s death. It means His resurrection also; for He is not dead, but alive. To preach Christ crucified, it is necessary to preach Christ risen. So when we show His death, by the same act we show His resurrection.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.8

    But just as surely as Christ died and rose again, so surely will He come again. His own word says, “I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2, 3.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.9

    Christ’s coming is just as necessary to the completion of the plan of salvation as was His death and resurrection. He is to come to take us to Himself, in order that we may be with Him. This shows that without His coming we cannot be with Him, for He does not come unnecessarily. He will come “with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.10

    The Christian’s hope, therefore, centres in the coming of Christ and the resurrection. It is “that blessed hope.” So our faith in His death necessarily includes His coming.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.11

    But the bread and the wine of the Lord’s Supper stand for the very same thing that the flesh and the blood did, of the lamb slain in ancient sacrifice. Christ is the Lamb as well as the true Vine; so the blood of the lamb and the blood of the vine both represent His own precious blood. The ancients, therefore, by their offerings of lambs, showed the very same thing that we do in the Lord’s Supper. Their offerings meant nothing except when they were offered in faith in His death. But His death means His resurrection, and His resurrection means His coming again. So when we read that all the ancient sacrifices pointed to Christ, we must know that they pointed to Christ crucified, raised, ascended, and returned.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.12

    “Do you suppose that all who offered sacrifices saw all this?” some one will ask. By no means. They were undoubtedly about the same as people in these days; and who will dare say that all who partake of the Lord’s Supper realise all that it means? But we know that many of them saw Christ, and rejoiced in Him, even as Abraham did; and there is no reason to doubt that the proportion of intelligent worshippers was as great then as now.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.13

    It is as clear therefore as the Word of God, that from the days of Abel to the time of Paul, the one hope before the true children of God was the coming of Christ and the resurrection. All the prophets wrote of “the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.14

    THE GRAND SUMMING UP

    “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets; who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again; and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” Hebrews 11:32-35.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.15

    What more could any Christian minister desire of his flock than that which Paul says to us, concerning those ancient worthies:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.16

    “And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end; that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.17

    “The Lord’s Tenth” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    At a recent Memorial Hall meeting and council regarding foreign and home mission work Dr. Joseph Parker said some good things about the financial problem which confronts every society and curtails their work. His remarks have been somewhat widely copied in the press, and it is to be hoped many will be led to put the plan into practice. This is his suggestion regarding the financial problem:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.18

    Now, I tell you how to do it. Devote one-tenth of your income to the Cross every year, and the treasury of every society will overflow. There is the answer. Why all these conferences, discussions, committees, and sub-committees? Unless we are right in our consecration to the Cross we never can be right in our day-to-day life, but we shall be fretted, and filled with anxiety, and irritated in all kinds of ways, and thinking we are always giving.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 756.19

    We are doing nothing of the kind. We are always receiving. We have nothing that we have not received. And until the church gets to that idea and practice of consecration she will have great difficulty over many matters; but the moment she can say under the dropping of that red heart-blood, “I will give one-tenth of all my income to the service of my Master,” then she is the owner of millions, then she is master of the situation.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.1

    The consideration must take place in each mind, the dedication must take place in each life, and the dedication must not take place after the appeal has been lodged, it must take place at the beginning of the year, and in a face-to-face interview with the Man of Sorrows. Having laid that by, woe be to him who touches it, except for the consecrated purpose! If all the Christians of the world would do this, instead of whining over our financial difficulties and making Christ a mendicant in His own church, we should have gold upon gold, millions thick, and waiting for the appeals to which we may respond in the name and the power of the Cross of Christ.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.2

    The problem is before you, and the answer is at hand, why hesitate to apply the answer to the problem? We can wriggle out of it if we like, we can state cases in casuistry, we can wonder what is to be done under such circumstances or other circumstances. I would say to my own heart, try the plan and let the difficulties come in the course of the trial of it; do not anticipate the difficulties, work the plan, and God will bring it to a glorious consummation.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.3

    Every man who knows anything of business success knows the value of system, and those who make it their first business to serve the Lord will appreciate the value of systematic giving. But the fact that the plan is founded on business common sense is not the main thing in its favour. It is the Divine plan.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.4

    The tithing system did not originate with the Levitical ordinances. When God “preached before the Gospel unto Abraham” He must have taught him the Divine plan by which men were to recognise the fact that all comes from the Lord; for Abraham the Father of the Faithful gave the tithe to Melchisedec, and Jacob, as of the seed of Abraham, devoted the tenth unto the Lord. Even the Levites paid tithes to the Melchisedec priesthood. “Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. For He was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.” Hebrews 7:9, 10.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.5

    Not only does the Lord give us all we have, and name us as stewards now, but we live under a priesthood of the order of Melchisedec-even that of Jesus Christ, our great High Priest. Then if by the faith of the same Gospel preached to Abraham we are the children of Abraham, why should we not do the works of Abraham? “The tithe is the Lord’s,” and when a man recognises the Lord’s proprietorship of all that he has he will find he cannot stop with one tenth. Not only tithes but offerings are due the Lord, and the acknowledgement of the Lord’s dues is not a duty merely but a blessed privilege. All the promises of God are for the children of Abraham in Christ, and the promises to those who render to the Lord His own are not the least glorious of all the bright promises.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.6

    “Why They Applauded” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Protestant Alliance has been holding a series of lectures in West Kensington as a reply to the lectures which the Catholics have been holding in all parts of London during the past year. Dr. Wright, of Liverpool, has spoken well, and the lectures seem to have been enthusiastically received.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.7

    But in a recent lecture some Roman Catholic asked about the Sabbath question, suggesting that Sunday observance has no standing if the Bible alone is the rule. Just here the lecturer betrayed his whole position. The test is just there, and because the great body of those who aim to stand for Protestantism fail to maintain consistency the Roman Catholics are rapidly gaining strength. In reply to the question Dr. Wright said:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.8

    The Old Testament enjoins the keeping of the seventh day of the week; that is Saturday. The Lord Jesus Christ when He died on the cross kept the last Sabbath of the Old Testament. He rose again from the dead; therefore, the day He rose again was kept by the Christian church. And why? Because the priesthood was changed-(applause)-the covenant was changed, and a priesthood being changed and the covenant being changed, and other things being changed, it was necessary also that this day should be changed, which celebrated the covenant, the day which celebrated the bringing of the children of Israel out of Egypt, which is given in Deuteronomy as the reason for keeping the Sabbath. In the Book of Exodus the reason given is because God rested on the seventh day; but St. John’s reason is because when Christ went down into death He came up again on the first day of the week. Therefore, the apostles and Christians everywhere met on the first day of the week, and it was natural that they should do so. (Applause.)PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.9

    Why the applause? Not a word of Scripture having any logical relation to the question was referred to. The intimation that John refers to any change of the Sabbath is absolutely without foundation, as every one knows who has looked for the evidence. The change of God’s law is only referred to in Scripture when the prophet Daniel predicted the rise of that power (the Papacy) which should “think to change times and the law.” The reference to Deuteronomy is absolutely beside the mark, as the Lord there cited the fact that He was their God and deliverer as a reason why they should serve Him, do justice and judgment, pity the poor and the strangers and keep His Sabbath.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.10

    Now why did the people applaud. Simply because the speaker said something which they did not understand. Challenged to show that the Bible was the rule of faith and practice on the Sabbath question he gave his case entirely away, and the people applauded. It was thoughtlessness, but thoughtlessness is sinful when it concerns the truth of God. The minds of the people must be aroused to think, and they must know the ground on which they stand if they are to stand in the times that are before us.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.11

    Another pitiful thing at the same great meeting, as reported in the English Churchman, was Mr. C. H. Collett’s reply to another Romanist who challenged the consistency of Protestants who keep Sunday.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.12

    Question: Who made the alteration, and for what purpose? I cannot find in the New Testament any authority for the first day of the week.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.13

    Mr. Collett: There is a note in the New Testament of the Roman Catholic showing that the change of the Sabbath from Saturday is proved by the Scriptures.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.14

    The proof in a question which anyone can see is crucial to the whole position is merely a foot-note in a Roman Catholic Testament!PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.15

    In every country Rome is making use of this inconsistency to reassert her position as above the Word, just as she did at the Council of Trent, when the Reformation principle-The Bible alone-was condemned on the same ground.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.16

    “Ecclesiastical Assumption” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    By the same evil disposition which leads the unregenerate heart to exalt self above God, a collection of unregenerate hearts, taking the name of a church, unite in exalting their collective selves above God and the Word. The Church Extension Association, an Anglican body, issues a catechism in which we find the following:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.17

    Q. How are we to know the meaning of the Bible?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.18

    A. We learn it from the Church.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.19

    Q. Why are we bound to believe what the Church believes?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 757.20

    A. Because she is the Pillar of the Truth.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.1

    Q. Who guides the Church into all truth?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.2

    A. God the Holy Ghost.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.3

    Q. Are we to obey the Church?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.4

    A. Yes; for Christ has said to the pastors of the Church, “He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.5

    But Jesus sent His disciples to speak His words, not to substitute their own interpretation for them, as though the Holy Spirit could not speak in language to be understood.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.6

    The Bible rule is, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” God means what He says, and He gives the understanding.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.7

    The purely papal assumption is that as the Gospel was committed to the church, therefore the body assuming to be by direct ecclesiastical succession the church, cannot fail to have the Gospel. But when Christ sent men out in the beginning to preach the Gospel, it was to be preached only “by the Word.” 1 Peter 1:25. And He not only sent the messengers, but He sent the message, and the original Word is preserved to us. The message can be delivered only by the Word. And by the Word anyone can determine whether the messenger is delivering the message as it was first delivered.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.8

    This is why the messengers who have departed from the Word seek to shut it away from the people. It is the test which exposes every false profession. “He that heareth you,” Christ said, “heareth Me,” because He commanded them to teach only His Word. And when any body attempts to put itself between the sinner and the Word we may know that it is fighting against the Lord and His Gospel to men.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.9

    “The Christian Hope” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is not a vague longing, nor an earnest wish that all may end well at last, but it is a certainty. “I know whom I have believed,” said Paul, “and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12. It is based on “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” and it is as sure as that. The New York Christian Advocate, after speaking of the fact that multitudes nominally belong to Christian congregations, who have no definite Christian experience, and no sure hope, but only “diffused expectations,” discourses to the point as follows:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.10

    Whoever possesses the Christian hope knows that it does not in any respect resemble these vague, diffused, contagious expectations. It is “a lively hope,” an “anchor of the soul.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.11

    Looking beneath the surface, it appears that many Christians by profession bear neither loss of health, friends, property, old age, and its infirmities, nor any disappointment or sorrow any better, or at any time exhibit more consolation or joy, than the world at large, other conditions being similar. Many of them have the same doubts, yearnings, and questionings, that others have, sorrow as those that have no hope, or succumb as reluctantly to the inevitable. Where such as these speak of their hope, there is often a lifeless dulness which no one ever exhibits when really interested, or a lightness the sure sign of superficiality, or a dependence upon the state of the meeting for anything like a triumphant testimony to Christ formed within them “the hope of glory.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.12

    The command to the Christian is, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” But if an intelligent person, who knows that he has no such hope, should act upon the assumption that the Christians in his neighbourhood are thus ready, is there reason to believe that he would find many to meet his expectations? Should he continue, doubtless he would discover in every community some Priscilla or Aquila who would “witness a good confession” and bring him to Jesus; but would he not be liable to many failures?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.13

    But this is what in a typical town, containing one Presbyterian, one Protestant Episcopal, two Methodists, two Congregational, and three Baptist churches, befell a gentleman of wide acquaintance, who humbled a newly settled pastor who sought to interest him in a personal religion. Said he: “I find very little real religious warmth or interest. I find students in the sciences and men in every trade, business, or profession, who are enthusiastic; they are always ready to take me aside for conversation, always have something novel or curious in the peculiar line of their studies to present. Mechanics, merchants, and politicians are full of zeal, ready and anxious to converse. Indeed, it is difficult to avoid them. If I am in haste and wish to terminate the conversation, they are likely to be pertinacious and take up my time.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.14

    “But I find none who are enthusiastic in what you call personal religion, men who wish to converse on that subject. When I tried to talk with leading men who will speak with ardour on other topics, they seem to weary speedily of this. What,” said he, “is your experience in that respect in connection with the many professors and ministers of religion whom you know? Do they overflow with enthusiasm about their experience, however they may talk about church edifices, organs, debts, collections, colleges, or eloquent sermons?”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.15

    The conclusion seems almost irresistible to a person, with the New Testament open before him, not possessing the hope, that those who will converse upon every subject except the Christian hope do not possess that hope, or that the account of its characteristics in the Book which men call holy, is romantic.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.16

    It would be well for the reader to take counsel with himself whether day by day the Gospel hope springs in his breast, whether he could meet his business partner, his best friend, his wife, or his child, and with confidence testify of the glorious hope, with a burning love for Christ and for the one who asks for a reason. If the years are passing without concern for his destitution of the hope, is not the time to fully come for searching his own heart to ascertain whether the spirit of the age may not have despoiled him of the “earnest of the inheritance”?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 758.17

    “Children’s Stories” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    At this season of the year the book reviewers are praising the new holiday books for children. Why it should be necessary to make children’s books up of all sorts of impossible fancies and nightmares it is impossible to say. But it is very generally taken for granted that the book must deal with hobgoblins and fairies, with the most outrageous illustrations to accompany them.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 763.1

    It is too bad that it should be thought necessary to fill the little mind with nonsense when it would be as easy to turn the thoughts to that which would be useful and uplifting. Life is too short to forget the rubbish which is drifting about to fill the tiny mind unless wise parents see that it is filled with that which is good. A writer gives the following suggestive hints to mothers on story-telling for the children:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 763.2

    Nothing is more fascinating to a child than the plain, unvarnished narratives of the Bible, provided these are the first presented to him. I cannot vouch for children, who, from the earliest dawn of intelligence, are compelled to swallow large draughts of “Mother Goose.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 763.3

    But if the story of Samuel, for instance, is read to a child-and do not judge me visionary if I say this may be done before three years, just as it stands recorded in 1 Samuel 2.,—watch his eyes, as he is evidently picturing to himself the child Samuel, his “little coat,”—the reading should begin with verses 18, 10 of the previous chapter,—the good priest with his dim eyes, the little Samuel laying himself down to sleep, but rising with alacrity, running, when he hears himself called-you may be sure he sees all these far more plainly than we whose minds are lumbered with so many other things.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 763.4

    A little quiet talk afterwards about the story, adding no embellishments, but often referring to the open book and repeating from it the identical words here and there, will fasten the nail in a sure place. The very quaintness of the Scripture phraseology catches and holds the attention of a child.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 763.5

    I have known a child of but three years to become so familiar with the last chapter of the Gospel by John, through the frequent hearing of it, as to notice the omission of a single word inadvertently left out; and he was by no means a precocious child. He would call for it over and over again through the day, and never tire of it.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 763.6

    A little preparation is needed on the part of the mother in selecting passages, and connecting them if not continuous. For instance, take the last chapter of Luke, commencing with the thirteenth verse, and read without any omissions till you come to the last two verses; omit them, but substitute in their place Acts 1:9, last clause, reading on through verse twelve.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 763.7

    No attempt at simplification will make the story more captivating. If you have never tried it, you will be astonished at the interest manifested after a few readings. Persevere, and you will soon find that the Bible is the Book of books to your child, and its words, “sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb.”PTUK November 28, 1895, page 763.8

    And what better can you desire for him? Searching “the Scriptures” for this purpose, you will find more sweet morsels for your little ones than you at first imagine. In your daily reading note such passages that you may never be at a lose. Note the story of Peter, in Acts 12:1-19; Moses, in Exodus 2:2-10; David, in 1 Samuel 17; the “holy child Jesus,” Luke 2:40-52, etc.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 763.9

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -A statistician estimates that the total money in circulation in the world amounts to ?1,780,582,000.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.1

    -British rule extends over an area of 8,567,658 square miles, or more than one-sixth of the world’s lend surface.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.2

    -King Prempeh, of Ashantee, against whom a British expedition is being sent, has exactly 9,892 wives allowed him, by law.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.3

    -Perfumed butter is becoming fashionable in New York. Wrapped in choose cloth, the butter is allowed to stead in a bed of roses or violets.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.4

    -The Czarina has given birth to a daughter, another addition to the Queen’s long list of great-grandchildren. The infant has received the name of Olga.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.5

    -In Norway a law has recently been passed, it is said, which makes girls ineligible for matrimony until they are proficient in knitting, baking, and spinning.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.6

    -Asbestos towels are among the curiosities of the day. When dirty, it is only necessary to threw them into a red-hot fire, and after a few minutes dray them out fresh and clean.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.7

    -Sandwich is one of the very few places where the curfew is rung night and morning. There is a proposal to discontinue the morning bell, which is rung at five o’clock, it being regarded as a nuisance.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.8

    -Rustem Pasha, the Ottoman Ambassador to Great Britain, died in London last week. He was one of the best known of all the diplomats of Turkey, and had the confidence of the powers as no other servant of the Ottoman power has possessed it.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.9

    -There is extraordinary activity in the navy yards on the Neva. Thousands of men are working night and day upon the new battleships. The Czar is said to have given orders to proceed with the work of construction at the utmost speed, owing to possible complications is the last.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.10

    -Although New York is America’s largest city, it is by no means American in population, four-fifths of its inhabitants being foreign born, or the children of foreign-born parents. It stands third in the list of German cities in the world, Berlin and Vienna alone having a larger German population.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.11

    -Serious disturbances are reported in the Yo-ruba country, West Africa, where there his been bloodshed. The British resident in the north of the country is warring against native factions. Altogether the native African may as well make up his mind that the Powers of Europe are the rulers of Africa as well.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.12

    -The hope that the difficulties with King Prempeh might be arranged without the use of getting guns and other murderous weapons is encouraged by Mr. Chamberlain’s answer to Lord Suffield and Mr. Sutherst when they interviewed him on behalf of the Ashanti Envoys. The latter, who are not officially recognised at the Colonial Office, have given assurances that the English demands will be complied with.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 766.13

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    At this season many remember friends by gifts of books. Those desiring a truly helpful work for such a purpose will find “Steps to Christ” (Illustrated, 1s 6d.,) a book of rare value, whether the presentation is to believer or an unbeliever.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.1

    By a merciful Providence it appears very certain that the war with Ashanti will be averted. The people of Ashanti did not want to be slaughtered, and at last their envoys who have been trying to get a hearing in England for weeks have been heard, and this Government will, it is probable, escape adding another chapter to the dark tragedy of European conquest in Africa.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.2

    The little place of worship belonging to the Wesleyans in Vienna was closed by the authorities sometime ago, since in that city the Wesleyans are not recognised as a religious body, and it is contrary to law for them to hold religious services. The place is now open, however, as a member of the body sends the following statement to the New York Christian Advocate:PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.3

    We are still under a cloud; the meetings, which we took up again without being authorised to do so, are as illegal as they were of old, and the slightest frown of some fanatical Roman Catholic priest or Lutheran clergyman would suffice to draw the anger of the authorities down upon us again. No kind of law protects us, but we stand in the strength of the Lord of hosts; we know, that His everlasting arms are underneath us, and this thought enabled us to take up the meeting again, so as to proclaim that free and full salvation which is preached nowhere else in our town.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.4

    That has the right ring; the privilege of worshipping God, and the commission to preach the Gospel, come from God, and not from earthly governments. But why do not some of those who say we ought to obey the laws of the land even when they oppose the fourth commandment, protest against this “defiance of the law” by the Wesleyans in Vienna?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.5

    The Times correspondent in Madagascar says that the Christianity of the Hovas was little more than skin deep, and multitudes already talk of taking up their old heathenism again. That may all be, and yet, doubtless, in Madagascar, as everywhere else where the Gospel is preached, there are honest hearts that know the Lord. Those who now go back to pronounced heathenism or go over to the Roman Catholics, who will have the ruling power behind them, are the ones who have professed Christianity because it was professedly the religion of the Court. Now that it is not so popular many will see that it does not pay to profess it, and the natural religion of the human heart will prevail. Madagascar is not very unlike every other country; the natives merely have a little different way of manifesting the religion of self.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.6

    In Russia the authorities disavowed any thought of religious persecution. They merely enforce certain usages of the State Church which they consider necessary to the good of society. The result is that they fear the man who serves the Lord more than the vicious criminal. It is the logical end of all efforts to legislate religion into men. A Russian correspondent of a newspaper says:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.7

    If a man wants a license in this country for a drink shop, or a cafe-charter, or a dancing salon, or a brothel, he can obtain it without difficulty. If he wants permission to preach the Gospel to his fellows he is hauled off to gaol, and after weeks or months there in the society of robbers and blackguards he is ignominiously transported with a prison gang to a strange country where he may rot or starve for all the authorities care.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.8

    Deluded, but often sincere, people who seek to advance the cause of religion by the avenue of politics little understand that they will license vice and outlaw virtue in the end. But it has always been so and always will be.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.9

    “They Use It” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    They Use It.-The position of advantage which the practice of Sunday observance gives the Catholics is everywhere being made use of. In a new publication called “Questions and Answers,” published for the benefit of Protestants, the writer fancies himself conversing with one who professes to follow the Bible only, and puts this hard question to him:—PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.10

    You say your reason for being a Protestant is belief in the Bible only and nothing else, and yet you are obliged to go against the Bible in several instances, notably in keeping Sunday instead of Saturday-where is your authority for that?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.11

    “The Factory Sunday Law in Action” The Present Truth 11, 48.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Once more the publishing office of the PRESENT TRUTH is in the hands of the bailiff, and by the time this paper is in the hands of the readers, property to satisfy a fine and costs amounting to upwards of ?50, will have been seized and removed from the building.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.12

    Since previous seizures have resulted in the removal of nearly everything upon which hands could easily be laid, it is quite probable that the machinery will next fall a prey.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.13

    Thus this anomaly presents itself: A law which is professedly for the protection of women and young persons, will not be satisfied until those same persons are thrown out of employment, and deprived, so far as it had power to do so, of the means of earning a livelihood. That is literally protection with a vengeance.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.14

    Although the inevitable result will be the temporary closing up of the manufacturing department of the International Tract Society, and the consequent loss of work by the employés, the work of the Society will not be diminished in the least; and none of the readers of PRESENT TRUTH will miss a single copy. We go to press earlier than usual this week, in anticipation of a probable seizure of the press or engine. This number will therefore be out of the way before the seizure is made, and the next number, if necessary, and succeeding ones will be done outside.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.15

    We have no words of reproach for those who are engaged in this work of spoliation. They are to be pitied rather than blamed. We are sure that personally they dislike the business, but are moved by a mistaken sense of duty. They are in the toils of the Papal system, which has infected all nations, and which puts earthly governments in the place of God, and so they imagine that they are “compelled” to enforce laws regardless of how much they conflict with the law of God.PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.16

    The end is not yet. God is not dead, nor asleep, nor indifferent. “He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness.” Then that Divine law, which is now so lightly set aside by legislators and judges, will be the accuser, and “the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” “The mighty man shall cry there bitterly.” Who will be wise in time to have God’s truth a protection instead of a destruction?PTUK November 28, 1895, page 768.17

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents