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    December 15, 1892

    “Front Page” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    We notice by the papers that the poets, living and dead, seem to be the principal objects of discourse in many pulpits at the present time, and that the lessons taught are all derived from their writings. But we have not heard of any conversions as a result of this preaching of the poets. Jesus of Nazareth is the only name under heaven whereby men may be saved. Are there none who need salvation in the vicinity of those churches?PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.1

    If it were not made by the Christian, which is not prejudiced against the Y.M.C.A., we should hardly credit the statement that the London Y.M.C.A. admits clerks to membership, but excludes artisans. That paper, however, states that “many Y.M.C.A.’s do throw open their membership to artisans and mechanics, as well as to commercial young men, stipulating only that they shall be suitably dressed.” It is not only anomalous but very pitiful, that any society calling itself a “Christian Association” should have a rule of membership that would exclude Christ Himself if He were on the earth as He lived in Nazareth.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.2

    “Preaching Christ” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Preaching Christ.-“For we preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord.” There is a great deal of difference between preaching Christ and preaching about Christ. There are doubtless thousands of sermons preached about Christ, to one sermon in which Christ Himself is preached. One preaches about Christ when he tells about where Christ was born, the condition of the government and the people, etc., and tells, what Jesus did at different periods of His life. This is far better than that preaching about Christ which is content with mentioning Him, and goes off into speculation concerning the meaning of His teaching. But to preach Christ is to preach so that Christ Himself appears to the people, and is received by them. Paul preached to the Galatians so that they saw Jesus crucified among them. Galatians 3:1. No one can tell another how this is done, and no one can do it until Christ has been revealed in him. When the teacher knows Christ as a personal friend, then he can preach Him. Even so we are commanded to preach the Word, and not to preach about the Word. The Gospel is to be preached, and not preached about. This also can be done only by one in whom the word of Christ dwells richly in all wisdom. When such an one speaks it will be as the oracles of God.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.3

    “God’s Appointments” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    God’s Appointments.-There are several texts in the Bible, which tell what God has appointed for His people, which, if often considered, would give untold comfort, because God’s appointments cannot fail. An indication of them will be sufficient, without any comment. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.4

    “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9, 10.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.5

    “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me.” Luke 22:29.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.6

    “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.” 2 Samuel 7:10.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.7

    “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; we have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” Isaiah 26:1, 2.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.8

    “Creation and Redemption” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. In this brief sentence we have the whole of the truth of the Gospel summed up. He who reads aright, may derive a world of comfort from it.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.9

    In the first place, let us consider who it was that created the heaven and earth. “God created.” But Christ is God, the brightness of the Father’s glory, and express image of His person. Hebrews 1:3. He Himself said, “I and My Father are one.” John 10:30. He it was who, representing the Father, created the heaven and the earth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-3. And again we read of Christ, “by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16, 17.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.10

    The Father Himself addresses the Son as God, and as Creator. The first chapter of Hebrews says that God has not at any time said to any of the angels, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee;” “but unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom.” And He has also said to the Son, “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of Thy hands.” Hebrews 1:5, 8, 10. So we are well assured that when we read in the first chapter of Genesis, that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” it refers to God in Christ.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 385.11

    Creative power is the distinguishing mark of Divinity. The Spirit of the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah describes the vanity of idols, and then continues: “But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King; at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion.” Jeremiah 10:10-12. The earth was made by His power, and established by His wisdom. But Christ is “The power of God, and the wisdom of God.” So here again we find Christ inseparably connected with creation as the Creator. Only as we acknowledge and worship Christ as the Creator, do we acknowledge His Divinity.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 386.1

    Christ is Redeemer by virtue of His power as Creator. We read that “we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” because that “by Him were all things created.” Colossians 1:14, 16. If He were not Creator, He could not be Redeemer. This means simply that redemptive power and creative power are the same. To redeem is to create. This is shown in the statement of the apostle that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, which statement is immediately followed by another to the effect that the power of God is seen by means of the things that have been made. Romans 1:16, 20. When we consider the works of creation, and think of the power manifested in them, we are contemplating the power of redemption.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 386.2

    There has been a great deal of idle speculation as to which is greater; redemption or creation. Many have thought that redemption is a greater work than creation. Such speculation is idle, because only infinite power could perform either work, and infinite power cannot be measured by human minds. But while we cannot measure the power, we can easily settle the question about which is greater, because the Scriptures give us the information. Neither is greater than the other, for both are the same. Redemption is creation. Redemption is the same power that was put forth in the beginning to create the world and all that is in it, now put forth to save man and the earth from the curse of sin.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 386.3

    The Scriptures are very clear on this point. The psalmist prayed, “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me.” Psalm 2:10. The apostle says that “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,” or a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17. And again we read: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 386.4

    Compared with God, “Man is less than nothing, and vanity.” In him “dwelleth no good thing.” But the same power that in the beginning made the earth from nothing, can take everyone who is willing, and make of him that which is “to the praise of the glory of His grace.”PTUK December 15, 1892, page 386.5

    “Christ the Water of Life” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Jesus, wearied with His journey from Jerusalem, was sitting at noon by the well of Jacob, near the city of Sychar in Samaria, while His disciples were in the city in search of food. As He sat there a woman of the city came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give Me to drink.” “Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:9-14.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 386.6

    Truly it is no wonder that the woman said to Jesus, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.” As yet she did not realize the nature of the water which Jesus promised. But afterwards when she found out just what He meant, she was still as willing to receive of it. What that water is, which Jesus gives is made very clear by His words on the last day of the feast of the Jews: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly [out of his very being] shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37, 38.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 386.7

    Here we have the promise of living water, the same as He promised to the woman of Samaria. Here, as there, the water is to be in the very being of the one receiving it. And here we are told that that water of life is the Spirit of God, which is given to every believer in Christ.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.1

    Let us now read another statement. The Spirit of God through the apostle Paul said: “They that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:8-11.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.2

    Here we have a parallel to the statement that the water that Christ gives will be in the believer a well of water springing up into everlasting life. It is life itself, because it is righteousness. The apostle has said that to be spiritually minded is life in peace. Romans 8:6. And we have also read that the Spirit is life because of righteousness. This, then, is that birth of the Spirit, which makes one an entirely new man; it makes the sinner a righteous man, a keeper of the law of God.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.3

    “For we know that the law is spiritual.” Romans 7:14. That is, the law is of the nature of the Spirit of God. This is further shown by the fact that those things that are in harmony with the law of God, are the fruit of the Spirit. See Galatians 5:22, 23. So the reception of the Spirit of God makes the sinner another person, with a different nature. It makes him living a different life. The Spirit is the Spirit of God, and its righteousness is the righteousness of God, and that is expressed in the ten commandments. The Spirit ministers this righteousness to the man, and lives in him. His character is then the character of God, because he is one with God, he has been made a new creature, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. He has “put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:24.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.4

    This is the beginning of eternal life, for the life of the Spirit of God is eternal, and it is that life which the man now lives. This is the life of Jesus manifest in mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:11. It is of this that the beloved disciple speaks in his epistle, when he says that he who confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is born of God. 1 John 4:2. God dwells in that man as truly as His life was manifest in Jesus of Nazareth. Not because there is anything in the man himself comparable to Jesus of Nazareth, but because Jesus, who was the fulness of God dwells in him. “Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:13.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.5

    This life is received by faith, and must be retained by faith. So long as a man keeps the faith, so long as he lives the life, for “the just shall live by faith.” He may go to the grave, but nothing can affect his eternal life. That is “hid with Christ in God.” As it was not possible that the grave should hold Jesus, so it is not possible that the grave should hold him. See Acts 2:24. When he breathes his last He is just as sure of eternal life as he ever was. For Jesus said, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” And again, “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” The power of the life that is given to the man at conversion, raises him from the dead, if he dies in faith.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.6

    But let us read further as to the nature of this life which may be drank in as water.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.7

    “The Life and the Law” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light shall we see light.” Psalm 36:9. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4. These two texts, together with those in the preceding article, show very clearly that Christ is the life of all who receive Him. His life is the life of God. And we have seen that that life is righteousness; and that means that it is of the very nature of the law of God, for it is declared to be the righteousness of God.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.8

    A fountain is a place from which water flows freely and constantly. Therefore life may be received from God just as one would drink from a fountain to refresh himself. That this is the way that righteousness is to be obtained, the Scriptures plainly show. Let us trace the figure.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.9

    “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.10

    Unmistakable reference is here made to the bringing of water from the rock in the wilderness, that the Israelites might drink. Let us turn to that. We find the record in the seventeeth chapter of Exodus. The people were in the desert, and there was no water. The Lord Himself had brought them there, but they did not think of that, but concluded that they were about to perish. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” Verses 5, 6.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.11

    Notice that this rock whence the water came, was in Horeb. Horeb and Sinai are the same, for whereas in Exodus the law is said to have been spoken from Sinai, in Deuteronomy it is said to have been spoken from Horeb; and in Malachi 4:4 we read, “Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” So the water came from the same mountain from which the law was afterward spoken.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.12

    Moreover, the water was flowing at the very time that the law was spoken. For there was no water in that place except what came from the rock, and if it had ceased flowing as soon as the people had once quenched their thirst, they would soon have been as bad off as they were before. Now notice well whence the water came. Moses smote the rock, but he did not give the water to the people. Christ stood on the rock; and in Corinthians we read that the people drank from the Rock which is Christ. The water came in a miraculous manner from Christ Himself. It was the same miracle that was afterwards performed in giving the multitudes bread, as we read in the last paper.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.13

    Of the manna we read that it was given that they might know that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. See Deuteronomy 8:3. So it must have been with the water. It was to teach the people trust in the Lord, not only for temporal blessings, but for spiritual life also. Now when we remember that Jesus says that He gives the water of life to all who believe in Him, and that this water is the Holy Spirit, which ministers the righteousness of the law of God, we must know that by giving the Israelites water in that miraculously manner, He meant to teach them that just as they drink that water to refresh their physical life, so they might by believing Him, drink of His righteousness. That this is so is indicated by the words of Jesus in the sermon on the mount. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 387.14

    Sinai stands as the embodiment of law. But by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified. This was indicated in the giving of the law. It was given amid thunders and lightnings, and an earthquake. It was death to so much as touch the mount. That indicated that no one could approach the holy law that was spoken therefrom, to obtain righteousness. “The law worketh wrath.” Romans 4:15. It has only death to give to the sinner. Yet it was a fact that no one could have life except he had the righteousness of that same law. What hope, then, was there for the people? Why, this was the lesson that they were to learn from the circumstance, and which we are to learn from the record of it: Although righteousness cannot be obtained from the law, any more than the people could touch the mountain from which it was spoken, yet as they could stand afar off and drink of the water which was flowing from the mountain, so they could drink in the righteousness of the law by receiving Christ, the giver of the water. Happy would it have been for them if they had learned the lesson.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.1

    Thus we see that in the very giving of the law, the people were plainly taught that righteousness could not be gained from the law, but only through Christ. The law was ordained in the hands of a Mediator (Galatians 3:19), and Christ is the one Mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:5. He is not Mediator in the sense that He shields us from the wrath of God, for God does not hate us. He loves sinners. But Christ is Mediator in the sense that through Him the righteousness of God is conveyed to us, so that we may be reconciled to Him. The water flowing from the rock as the law was spoken, was an indication that they could through Christ just as freely drink of the righteousness which the law demanded, and thus have eternal life.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.2

    Out of the heart are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23), and the law of God was in the heart of the Lord Jesus. Psalm 40:8. Therefore the life which comes from Him to us is the righteousness of the law. Now see how things in the heavens were pictured out before the faces of the children of Israel, and before our faces, too, if we receive the Bible record as the living word of God.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.3

    The law of God is the foundation of the throne of God. See Psalm 89:14. God dwells between the cherubim. Psalm 80:1. In the sanctuary which Moses built, there was an ark, upon the cover of which were two cherubim, and within which, underneath the cherubim was the law of God, the ten commandments. It was between these two cherubim, over the law, that the glory of God appeared, and from there He spoke to the people. See Exodus 25:10-22. Thus the ark was a symbol of the throne of God, showing that the law is literally the basis of it; for the earthly tabernacle was a pattern of things in the heavens. Hebrews 9:23, 24.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.4

    Now read Revelation 22:1. “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” This river is a real, literal river, yet it is of it that we are to drink even now. For the call is, “Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. And Jesus says, “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of water of life freely.” Revelation 21:6. This river of water of life comes direct from the throne of God, and in that throne is the law. Of it we may drink freely. But as it comes from the throne of God, it is as it were charged with the righteousness of that law, so that as we drink it we drink in the righteousness of God. And as that water is our life, just as earthly water gives fresh life to our fainting bodies, therefore our lives are righteousness.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.5

    It was to impress this lesson upon the minds of the children of Israel in the desert that the things took place in connection with Sinai. And it was to impress the same lesson upon our minds that the record of those occurrences was written. The mountain was the embodiment of law; the law had nothing but terror for them; but the water was flowing from the same mountain; it however came from Christ, from whom the law also came. All this was to teach us that the law which was spoken from Sinai is the standard of righteousness, but that while it is death to us when we come to it ourselves alone, it is life to us when we drink of it as Christ ministers it to us. And thus may be know that His commandment is life eternal, and that whosoever will may drink freely of the fountain of life, and thereby be filled with righteousness.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.6

    “I heard the voice of Jesus say,
    ‘Behold I freely give
    The living water; thirsty one,
    Stoop down, and drink, and live.’
    I came to Jesus, and I drank
    Of that life-giving stream;
    My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
    And now I live in Him.”
    PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.7

    “Reaching the Masses” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Reaching the Masses.” -Of Christ it is written that the common people heard Him gladly. His enemies, the priests, said, “Ye see how that the whole world is gone after Him.” Even when He retired to the desert for a little rest, the people flocked after Him by the thousands. Yet He did not ask for any law to compel the people to rest, so that He might have a chance to preach to them. He did not make use of any of the schemes ever used in these days to “draw” the crowds. The “gracious words that He spake” were all-sufficient to draw the people. Even the officers who were sent to apprehend Him, forgot their errand in the charm of His wonderful words of life. Those same words are handed down to us in the Bible. They are living words, and therefore have all the power and charm that they had when they fell from His lips. And so we cannot help thinking that when those words are spoken to the people, in the Spirit of Christ, by one in whom Christ dwells, so that they will in reality come from Him, they will have as much drawing power as when they were first spoken. “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:32. There are many now as of old, who are saying, or feeling, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” Let Christ be lifted up before the people, and there need be no worry about the hearers.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.8

    “True Sabbath Keeping” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3. Accordingly we read, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.... For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:10, 11.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.9

    “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Exodus 31:12, 13. And again, “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable... then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” Isaiah 58:13, 14.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.10

    The object of quoting these texts is to show that the Sabbath which we are commanded to keep is the Lord’s Sabbath. It is not the Sabbath of any man, nor of any set of men. It is not the Sabbath of any nation or people. It is the Sabbath of the Lord. He alone made it, and He alone has the right to command its observance. He who does not keep the Sabbath is answerable to God alone. People who keep a sabbath of their own making feel very much affronted if everybody else does not pay the same respect to the day that they do. Their solicitude is not so much for the day as that their own feelings shall not be hurt. But they who truly keep the Sabbath of the Lord do not think of such a thing as trying to compel others to do the same. We shall soon see why. They feel solicitous that the people shall not disobey God, but their knowledge of what true Sabbath keeping is teaches them that it is as impossible to force one to keep the Sabbath as it is to force one to love the Lord.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.11

    The word “Sabbath” means “rest.” On the seventh day God rested, therefore it is the Sabbath of the Lord. The Sabbath is God’s rest. To keep the Sabbath of the Lord is to keep the rest of the Lord. It is to rest with the Lord.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.12

    The Sabbath was given to man in Eden. Sin had not entered into the world and the curse was unknown. Man was given work to do, but it was not wearisome labour. Work is not a part of the curse, but weariness from labour is. If man had not fallen, he would have had work to do throughout eternity, but he would never have known anything of weariness. Yet he would have had the Sabbath of the Lord, and would have kept it. But after he had sinned, then the Lord said to him, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.” Genesis 3:17-19.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.13

    From this fact it is clear that is not designed for merely physical rest. It was given to men when it was not designed that he should ever become physically tired. It is true that in his fallen condition he may derive physical rest from ceasing work on the seventh day, but the object of the Sabbath is something far higher than that.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.14

    Again, let us remember that the Sabbath which we are to keep is the Lord’s Sabbath. It is the Lord’s rest. God rested after the six days of creation, and we are to rest with Him. But the creation of the heavens and the earth did not tire the Lord. “Hast thou not know? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?” Isaiah 40:28. Now since we are to keep the rest of the Lord, it is evident that the Sabbath is for something else than mere bodily rest, for that is not what God took.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.15

    Still further, “God is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” John 4:24. I have given the marginal rendering of the Revised Version, which is literally exact. There is no article in the original, and there is no reason why there should be; for God is not one of many spirits, but He is Spirit. There is none besides Him; every other being derives its existence from Him. Let it not be thought, in passing, that because God is Spirit, therefore He is not a real being. Spiritual does not mean immaterial. God is a spiritual being, yet Christ is “the effulgence of His glory, and the very image of His substance.” Hebrews 1:3. Christ’s body was certainly a spiritual body after His resurrection, yet He was a real being, and could be handled. This much so that no one will get the idea that God is not a real person. Spiritual and immaterial are by no means synonymous terms.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 388.16

    Now, then, with the fact clearly before us that God is a spiritual being, let us again consider the nature of His rest, or Sabbath. It must of necessity have been spiritual rest. And that is the nature of the rest that we are to enjoy in the Sabbath day. And what is spiritual rest?-It is that rest which the Spirit of the Lord gives. And what is that?-It is rest from sin. The simple reading of two or three texts make this plain.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 389.1

    “For we ourselves were aforetime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Saviour, and His love toward man appeared, not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Titus 1:3-6, R.V.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 389.2

    “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” 1 Peter 1:22.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 389.3

    “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” Romans 8:6-8.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 389.4

    Christ said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life.” John 6:63. And again, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” John 15:3. It is the word of Christ, which we well know to be the Creator, that cleanseth us from sin. That word is able to build us up and give us an inheritance among all them that are sanctified. See Acts 26:32.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 389.5

    It was by the same word that the heavens and the earth were created. The word that made and upholds all things is the word that by the Gospel is preached unto us. When God ceased speaking, and the heavens and the earth stood in all their perfection, He rested, but His word continued in force. It is because His word never ceases to exist, that everything is upheld. We may say that when God rested, it was upon His own word. So whether we keep His Sabbath, or not, we rest upon His word, which created all things, and which upholds them. We know that that same word is able to uphold us and keep us from falling. We rest in the full assurance that we shall be made and kept righteous by the same power that created the heavens and the earth.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 389.6

    From this it can readily be seen how that one who really keeps the Sabbath of the Lord, will delight himself in the Lord. He will know and be sharing the rest which God, the Creator, calls all to share, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Nothing less than this is Sabbath keeping. It is true that Sabbath keeping involves rest from our own work on the seventh day, but he who does no more than this does not keep the Sabbath of the Lord. As the Sabbath was the seal of a perfect creation, so it is also the seal of a perfect new creation in Christ Jesus. But of this we shall have to speak further in another article.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 389.7

    “Clouds and Showers of Grace” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Just as many people are frightened when they see clouds in the sky, so are many people needlessly troubled concerning clouds that arise before their minds. How often have we heard people say that they have known the blessing of the Lord, and have rejoiced in it, but that clouds have arisen of late, and they have no peace. Well, there are different ways of considering the clouds.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 391.1

    We may say the clouds are very unsubstantial things. The sun can dissipate them; and since the Sun of Righteousness is ever shining, we need not go on under clouds of doubt. There is such a thing as getting above the clouds, and those who have had that experience can testify that it is a most glorious place to be in. Never have I been able to imagine a scene of more wonderful glory than burst upon my view one evening after I had long been toiling up the eastern slope of a mountain. We gained the top just before the sun set, in the valley on the other side was filled with clouds lighted up by the splendour of the setting sun. It was not only a glorious sight for the eyes, but it impressed a lesson that never can be forgotten.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 391.2

    But more still should we remember when the clouds arise. God dwells in the midst of them. “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice: let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about Him; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne.” Psalm 97:1, 2. It was from the midst of the cloud that God’s law was given in love; and we know that “His commandment is life everlasting.” John 12:50. Yea; even though the clouds be thick and dark, we will yet be glad, for God is there still. “He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and clouds of the skies.” Psalm 18:11. The cloud that shuts out God from our sight, is but the assurance to us of His presence.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 391.3

    From the clouds come rain, and this is a symbol of the free and abundant grace of God. When God calls us to buy of Him wine and milk without money and without price,-to come and find abundance of pardon,-He gives us this assurance: “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10, 11.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 391.4

    As the water bound up in the thick clouds is to remind us of the mighty power of God, so is it to remind us of His Gospel of grace, for that is but the power of God unto salvation. The Gospel is the good news of salvation from sin, and everything that speaks the power of God tells us of the power He has to give us righteousness. “Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.” Isaiah 45:8. And carrying out the same figure, the prophet Hosea says: “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reaping in mercy; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord till He come and drink righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 391.5

    Thus from the power that is exhibited in the clouds that give rain upon the earth, may we learn the power of that grace that will visit those who accept it, and will bring “showers of blessings.”PTUK December 15, 1892, page 391.6

    “Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
    The clouds ye so much dread,
    Are big with mercy, and shall break,
    In blessings o’er your head.
    PTUK December 15, 1892, page 391.7

    “Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust Him for His grace;
    Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a smiling face.”
    PTUK December 15, 1892, page 391.8

    “Prisons” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Prisons are places where people are shut up. Many of them are built of brick or stone, with iron doors, bars of iron across the windows, and high, thick walls all around them. The inner prison often used to be a small dark room cut out of the solid rock, where the sunshine never entered, and where a man could be locked in more securely than in any other part of the building. Besides the strong chains in the prison, with which the prisoners were chained to the floor, wall, or guards, there were stocks in which their feet could be fastened. Then they could not take a step, but had to sit or lie for long hours in a most uncomfortable position.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.1

    A MAN IN PRISON

    Go with us to the city of Jerusalem, when Herod was king. It was night. An aged man was lying asleep on the hard floor of the inner prison. He was lying between two soldiers and could not move without their knowing it, for he was fastened to each with a strong chain. There were three bolted doors between him and the outside of the prison, and soldiers guarded the doors.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.2

    What wicked thing had this peaceful sleeper done that he should be thrust into the inner prison, bound with two chains, and so many guarded by so many soldiers? He had done nothing at all! Then he there? King Herod cast him into prison, intending to take him out after the Passover and kill him. Why?-Just to please the Jews, and cause them to think well of him! The Jews hated this man Peter because he was a good man, and because he had boldly preached Jesus. This was his last night in prison. In the morning Herod expected to bring him out an have him killed before all the people. Peter could not get out if he should try. He expected to die. But he was not afraid. Long before he had given himself to Jesus, and even if he should lose this life and be shut up for a time in the grave, he knew that his Friend Jesus had the keys of death and would soon let him out, and give him never ending life and happiness. He therefore peacefully lay and slept.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.3

    But Peter’s Friend was not ready for him to die. He had seen all his sufferings, and had known all that the king intended to do. He had heard the prayers that the Church had been sending up for Peter. Now the time had come for Him to work. What were iron bars and chains, and gates and soldiers to Him? He is stronger than them all. He sent a powerful angel to take Peter from the hands of those who would take his life.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.4

    The strong bolted gates swung open, and the angel entered, and then they closed again without a sound behind him. The light which surrounded the angel filled the prison, but did not awaken Peter. The angel glided noiselessly to his side, touched him, and said, “Arise up quickly.” Peter obeyed, and as he rose the chains fell broken from his wrists. Again the angel spoke: “Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals.” Then again, “Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.” Peter did as he was told. They stepped over the soldiers and passed through the three iron gates which again swung open and closed without a sound. The guards did not move. “No word was spoken; there was no sound of footstep; the angel glided on before, encircled by a light of dazzling brightness, and Peter followed,” believing himself to be in a dream.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.5

    Suddenly the angel left him, the dazzling light faded away, and Peter left alone in the dark and quiet street. He now saw that it was no dream, but that he was free indeed, and was in a part of the city where he often had been before!PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.6

    He remembered falling to sleep that evening bound between the two soldiers. He remembered taking off his sandals and outer garment, but now he saw that they were on. His wrists were still swollen from wearing the hard irons but, thank God, now the cruel chains were gone! He had expected to be led along this same road the next morning to his death. But here he was alive and well, and best of all free to go just where he wished! How his heart thrilled with joy, and with thanksgiving to his Saviour, as he fully realized that he had been freed from prison. He said, “Now I know of a surety that the Lord has sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” And he hastened to tell his friends that they might rejoice with him and praise the One who had heard, and so wondrously answered their prayers.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.7

    A BOY IN PRISON

    Only two years ago, a boy lived Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.A., whose name was Samuel Kimball. He was a bright, smart boy, had many friends, attended Sunday School, was a beautiful singer, and sang in the choir. Yet this poor boy died in prison!PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.8

    His voice lost its sweetness so that he could not sing. He became ill and went to bed, and was so weak and nervous that he was taken to the hospital. It grew very hard for him to breathe, and neither heart nor stomach seemed to be able to do the work for which it was made. He could eat hardly anything, for it burned him like fire. His skin was a deadly yellow colour, and his limbs were swollen till they were twice as they should be. His cheeks were sunken, his lips burning red, his eyes dull an heavy looking, and he looked more like a dead boy than a living boy. Sometimes it was so hard for him to breathe that he would almost strangle to death. Poor boy? Why did he suffer like this? It was because he had been shut up in prison so long.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.9

    In prison? How did that bright, loving boy get into prison? He walked right in himself, and then could not get out. When Samuel saw that he must die, he told his nurse all about it. He told her that he began to smoke cigarettes some time before, and that the more be smoked the more he wanted to smoke. He knew that he should not do it, and he did not want his grandmother with whom he lived, to know it. He therefore would work long after work hours in the chandelier manufactory that he might earn extra money with which to buy the cigarettes. He tried to stop smoking, but he could not. He was bound with the habit as with chains of iron. He was in prison as surely as Peter ever was, and he could not get away. He at last smoked twenty cigarettes in one day! He became bound hand and foot, and could not move out of his bed, and finally was choked to death by the cruel chains of this monster habit! As Samuel lay on his cot dying, these are almost the last words he said: “Let any boy who smokes cigarettes look at me now and know how I have suffered, and he will never put another into his mouth.”PTUK December 15, 1892, page 397.10

    Oh, what a pity that Samuel did not have Peter’s Friend for his Friend. He could have sent an angel to break these cruel chains and set him free.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.1

    My dear boy or girl, are you bound by any of the chains of sin? Have you got into the habit of disobeying, of getting angry, of loving yourself, of drinking strong drink, of lying, or stealing, or any other bad thing? Have you tried to get away from them and found that you could not? If you have, you are in prison and bound with chains as surely as Peter was. The Bible says so. No earthly friend can break the chains and make you free. Jesus alone can do it. That is why He came to this earth; to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison [of sin] to them that are bound. If you are bound in sin and naughty ways, tell Jesus. Take Him for your Friend, just as Peter did, and ask Him to help you. When you feel like doing wrong, ask Him to send His angel to deliver you as He did Peter; then begin to thank and praise Him right away, because He has done it. You may not see the angel, but you may be sure that He has come if you have earnestly asked for him. If you ever feel like trying to get away from sin yourself, without the help of Jesus, remember how Samuel Kimball died in the prison house of sin because he did not take Jesus for his Saviour. Only Jesus can break the chains of sin and set us free. For we read that “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.2

    “Interesting Items” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The Russian Government is providing its soldiers with a new rifle.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.3

    -The city of San Salvador has been almost totally destroyed by an earthquake.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.4

    -The population of England is 49,000,000, of whom 16,000,000 are in six countiesPTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.5

    -The total Catholic population of both North and South America is 56,000.000.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.6

    -The sum of £127,000 a year is spent in England upon perfumed spirits from abroad.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.7

    -The Lenox Library, New York, has just bought an original letter by Columbus for $7,500 or £1,500.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.8

    -At the Hague, a minister recently stated in his sermon that £500 were daily spent strong drink in that city.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.9

    -Great Britain yearly pays considerably over £10,000,000 to France, Holland, and other countries for daily produce.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.10

    -The introduction of the motion in favour of the return of the Jesuits to Germany has been unfavourably received by all political parties.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.11

    -Mr. Jay Gould died at his residence in New York, Friday, December 2. The fortune which he leaves is not less than £15,000,000, and is by some placed at £30,000,000.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.12

    -In reply to a correspondent, Mr. Gladstone says that the subject of the Sunday closing of public-houses is now engaging the attention of Her Majesty’s Government.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.13

    -The Pope is engaged in drawing up an encyclical urging the Eastern Churches to put an end to the present schism, and acknowledge the supremacy of the Romish Church.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.14

    -It is stated in Vatican circles that during the recent stay of the Grand Duke Sergins in Rome, the Pope spoke more than once with his imperial Highness on the subject of convening a European conference for the purpose of effecting a pacific settlement of the Alsace-Lorraine and Bulgarian questions, combined with a proposal for a general disarmament, or, at all events, of a considerable reduction of the present gigantic standing armies.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.15

    -So as to conform to certain regulations of the United States Government, all emigrants embarking at Queenstown will in future, have to declare on call, before a magistrate, that they are proceeding to join in America either a father, mother, sister, or brother.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.16

    -The Turkish Government has definitely declined to yield to the demand put forward by Russia in connection with the pending negotiations for a new commercial treaty for the free and unannounced passage of the Straits by Russian merchant vessels carrying military reliefs and munitions of war.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.17

    -From a memorandum on the subject of the Chicago Exhibition just presented to the Reichstag, it appears that the number of intending exhibitors from Germany, which at first was only 200, has now risen to about 4,000-of whom the wine growers contribute no fewer than 300, and the engine and machine makers 100.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.18

    -The last link in the direct overland communication between England and Gibraltar was completed Nov. 26 by the formal opening of the Algeciras-Rhonda Railway. The journey from London to Gibraltar has been reduced to sixty hours, and it is hoped by re-arrangement and acceleration of trains to reduce it to fifty hours.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.19

    -It is stated on authority that there are in Paris 180 restaurants where horse flesh is the only meat used, and that during the past year no fewer than 21,231 horses, 61 mules, and 275 donkeys were killed and eaten. The worst part of it is that these animals, as might be expected, were in an emaciated condition, which cannot mean good health.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.20

    -A movement is now on foot to secure the immediate construction of the Nicaragua Canal under the control and protection of the United States. A convention to consider the matter has just been held in New Orleans, which was attended by delegates from all the States, as well as by representatives of the New York Board of Trade, and the American Geographical Society.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.21

    -Trades-unionism is getting to be the most tyrannical monopoly in the world. A few days ago a band of union sailors boarded a barque at Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A., which was manned by non-union men, and forced the men on board to sloop lying by. They then landed them on the coast about thirty miles from the town, leaving them penniless, and telling them that they would be killed the next time they shipped on a non-union vessel.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.22

    -The North German Lloyd steamer Spree, which sailed from Bremen on Nov. 23, with a passenger list of 504, and a crew of 247, besides a large amount of mail, had her main shaft broke about 750 miles from Queenstown, and after drifting a day or two, was rescued by the Lake Huron, and towed to Queenstown. The water had rushed into the stern, causing it to settle, and the second cabin passengers were driven from their rooms. Mr. Moody was on board, and conducted a prayer meeting in the saloon, while they were drifting, and a praise service after they reach land.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.23

    -Further measures of persecution directed against the Jews are reported to be impending at Moscow. The authorities of that town are now said to be putting the finishing touches to a measure forbidding all Jews, without exception, to carry on any trade in the city on the Moskva from the beginning of next year, unless they become converts to the Orthodox Church. The mere formal announcement of conversion, however, will not of itself suffice to confer a right to trade, as the converts will first have to go to Tcherkizova, a place near Moscow, for three years, at the expiration of which period they will be permitted to return to Moscow, supposing always they can produce a testimonial from the priest of the place showing that they have strictly fulfilled their religious duties of the Orthodox religion during the whole time.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 398.24

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 8, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” These are among the parting words of Christ to His disciples. What, therefore, can hinder anyone from having peace? Christ has left His peace on earth for us, and has given it to us. So it is ours. If we do not possess, it, it is simply because we refuse the gift.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.1

    Military circles in Russia have been shaken to the very centres because of the fact that four officers of the Pavlovsky Regiment of the Guard have played cards and got drunk with privates of their regiment! They were at once cashiered as a warning to other officers not to play cards and get drunk with privates.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.2

    We are glad to learn that President Harper, in a recent address to the students of Chicago University, “discouraged the formation of secret societies, believing that whatever of good is aimed at in the societies may be gained by other means, free from the objections of secrecy or rigid exclusiveness, and antagonism to the democratic spirit such as belongs to true scholarship, the best manhood, the noblest citizenship.” And he might have added, of Christianity. Aside from the fact that secret societies of any kind are foreign to the spirit of the Gospel, there is considerable anomaly in a “secret” that is shared by thousands of people.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.3

    Dr. E. J. Waggoner is to conduct a series of Bible studies in north London during the remaining days of this month. These Bible classes, which are to be held at the earnest request of a number of Christian workers, will begin on Friday evening, December 16, continuing thereafter each morning at 10 (except on Saturdays, when the meetings will be at 11 A.M.), and each evening at 7, up to and including Sunday, January 1. Excepting the evenings of Friday and Saturday, December 16 and 17, and Monday and Tuesday, December 19 and 20, the meetings will all be held at the Athenaeum, Camden Road, N. A cordial invitation is extended to those who can do so, to attend.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.4

    The absurd report had been circulated among some ignorant Negroes and other people in several parts of the United States, that a comet was about to strike the earth, and a panic was produced in consequence about two weeks ago. Many who had not attended church for years, did so on Sunday evening, while prayer meetings were held in many places. One rich man gave away all his money, and when the comet failed to strike the earth, and destroy it, he went crazy. One thing is worthy of note, and that is that none who are really looking for the speedy return of the Lord, and the end of the world, are ever caught in such a panic. In the first place, they can discern the signs of the times, and are not deceived by false alarms, and in the second place, the coming of the Lord is to them an object of hope and not of fear.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.5

    The “Catholic” portion of the Church of England do not feel like apologizing for their Romish practices. On the contrary, they are proud of them. Here is a partial description of the practices at one country church, given as an act of defiance to the paper that has been compiling a “black list.” “With perhaps one exception it [the church] is the only one where vestments are worn at Holy Mass, and it is certainly the only one where incense is regularly offered, and where the holy water stoups have long been restored at the entrance for use.” “Several of us, myself included, belong to the Society of the Holy Rosary. Need I add that we have lights, crucifix, images, lamps, lady altar, processions, copes, stations of the Cross, and much else that you might verify, if you like, by a personal inspection?”PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.6

    The Catholic Times and Catholic Opinion has just finished a series of articles on the Conversion of England. In the last one the writer makes the following suggestion:-PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.7

    “The conversion of England may resemble a warfare, but it is not one against persons. It is towards them a movement of approach and conciliation. Any point of agreement, therefore, must be perceived and utilized. If there is one thing prized unanimously by the English Protestants it is the Bible. The Anglicans and Dissenters have one version of Holy Scripture in common. Upon this rests a strong tie. We, unfortunately, on this vital point, are divided from them. Without any sacrifice of principle we might be agreed in the use of the same version. Father Faber made the suggestion years ago. The Fathers of the first Synod of Westminster passed a decree for the improvement of our version, which has long ago departed from the quaint and vigorous diction of the old Douay, which is in many respects imperfect, and in some almost unintelligible. An approach to one common version is not barred by any principle, and it is surely worth consideration. It is, without doubt, a jar to many converts to be driven from the musical English version to a new one inferior in style. Conversions might be seriously assisted in one important respect, were it deemed feasible to constitute a oneness in such a matter.PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.8

    A correspondent of the Echo, speaking of the efforts which certain Nonconformist bodies are making to secure the amendment of the marriage laws, so that the attendance of a registrar at a marriage in a Nonconformist place of worship may be dispensed with, says that the grievance is more a question of the status of the minister than of the convenience of the people. Ministers of the National Church can celebrate marriages without the presence of the registrar, and Nonconformist ministers cannot. He adds: “Hankering after State recognition by some Dissenters is a sign of weakness rather than strength.” This is very true; but is it not an indictment against the National Church?PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.9

    A London religious paper prints the following concerning a minister who is also editor of a religious journal in one of the colonies. We omit all names, only noting that the man “is a Wesleyan with a backbone, and a considerable amount of humour.” Here is the specimen of his “humour“:-PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.10

    “He edits the paper with his coat and boots off, and a great big old pipe in his mouth. The story goes that just before his ordination he was sent for by the Board of Examiners. ‘Mr. F.,’ said one of the Board, ‘your papers are excellent, but there is one thing we object to.’ F. asked what it was. ‘You are addicted to the evil habit of smoking.’ F. explained that he saw no evil in it; but, taking a large plug from his pocket, said, ‘In deference to your opinion, gentlemen, I promise you this. As soon as I have smoked the plug I hold in my hand I will cease smoking for ever.’ They were satisfied, and he was ordained the next day. But, as he refills the big pipe, he chuckles and tells you-‘I’ve kept my word, I’ve got that very plug yet.’”PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.11

    A professed minister of Christ smoking a pipe is a sight to make the devil laugh; but what pity that one could thus act a lie at the very time when he was ordained to the ministry. And what a pitiable thing it is that a religious paper can regard the whole thing as a good joke. Is there not still need of reform?PTUK December 15, 1892, page 400.12

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