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    May 4, 1893

    “Front Page” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord.” Psalm 130:1. And he did not cry in vain. The depths from which he cried were the depths of sin; for he said, “If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquity, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared.” “Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” So out of the depths of iniquity we may cry to the Lord, with the assurance that He will gladly help us. We cannot be too low down for Him to reach us.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 129.1

    The Pagan maxim, which too many quote as though it were Bible, is, “God helps him who helps himself.” But the truth revealed in the Bible is that God helps the man who is not able to help himself. Read the account of a storm on the sea, and of deliverance from it, as recorded in Psalm 107:23-30. Of the men in the storm it is said: “Their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses.” So it was when Jehoshaphat, in behalf of the people, said to the Lord, “For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon Thee,” (2 Chronicles 20:12) and the Lord sent deliverance.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 129.2

    All these things “were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.” Romans 15:4. “For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are; yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15, 16. Infirm means without strength; without strength implies being overcome by sin. So we learn that in the midst of defeat, when borne down under sin, we may come with boldness to Jesus, and find forgiveness and help.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 129.3

    For it is only at the very lowest possible state that we become connected with Christ. He came not to call the righteous, but sinners, unto repentance. Matthew 4:13. As He came to save the lost, we commend ourselves to His mercy by acknowledging that we are lost sinners. But sin is death. Therefore Christ bore our sins, and died for us. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; ... that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13, 14. So it is in our wretched, sin-cursed condition that we receive help from the Lord.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 129.4

    Death is the lowest condition possible, and it is in His death that we become perfectly united to Christ. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27. We put on Christ by baptism. And what is baptism? “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:3, 4.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 129.5

    What does this show? Simply this: that not only may we be saved when in the very lowest state, but we cannot be saved in any other condition. As a matter of fact all men are in that lost condition; for “all have sinned;” “they have all gone out of the way; they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good; no, not one.” Romans 3:12, 23. But in order for any to get the benefit of Christ’s salvation, they must acknowledge themselves to be in that condition. By the law of faith boasting is excluded. And this not only once, but always. The Christian can never boast of his goodness, for boasting shows the absence of faith, and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23. The Christian must always acknowledge himself to be a sinner, and then he may always be a sharer in the sacrifice of Christ. So he always lives only in the present. With Paul he may say: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 4:14.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 129.6

    “The Resurrection of Christ” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Taken as a simple matter of history, there is nothing better attested than the fact of the resurrection of Christ. It was well known to all the people who lived at that time, and was a matter of common report. When the apostles spoke to the Jews, they talked of the resurrection of Jesus as something that did not need to be proved, but as that of which everybody was well informed. When Paul stood before Festus and King Agrippa, and spoke of the resurrection of Christ, Festus tried to make light of the matter, but the apostle replied that he was not mad, but spoke forth the words of truth and soberness, and then added: “For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.” Acts 26:26.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 129.7

    The fact is that the Jews never disbelieved that Jesus had risen from the dead after the crucifixion. This is shown by their action after the resurrection. An angel had come down from heaven, and had rolled the stone away from the sepulchre. Before the dazzling light of his countenance, the guards had fallen to the earth as dead men. Then Jesus came forth, and met His disciples, who went to tell the rest of the brethren. “Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money to the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.” Matthew 28:11-14.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 129.8

    Who that knew anything about Roman discipline would ever believe such a story as that? What Roman soldier would ever dare acknowledge that he had slept on guard, if it were really so? The story was absurd, on the face of it; for although in spite of the sure death that always follows detection, a single soldier sometimes sleeps on guard, it is not possible that an entire guard should fall asleep at the same time. But the story which the Roman guard was bribed to tell was its own best refutation. For the very fact that they were not put to death, although they told that they had slept while on guard, and had allowed their charge to be stolen from them, is evidence that nobody really believed the story. The very means used to discredit the resurrection, established the truth of it.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 130.1

    IMPORTANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

    To bear witness of the resurrection of Christ was the one work of the apostles and their co-workers. This appears more fully than anywhere else in the account of Paul’s case, which Festus gave to Agrippa. After telling about the desire of the Jews to have judgment against Paul, and of his own demand that they appear against him in a regular manner, he said that when the accusers came, “They brought none accusation of such things as I supposed; but had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.” Acts 25:18, 19. That was the sum of the whole matter. The Jews said that Jesus was dead, and Paul affirmed that He was alive. To the mind of the heathen ruler it seemed a most foolish, trifling controversy. What difference did it make to him or to anybody else, whether Jesus were alive or dead?PTUK May 4, 1893, page 130.2

    Ah, the heathen ruler did not know that that simple question was the greatest thing in the world; that on it hung everything, even the destiny of the whole world. For as the apostles and disciples preached, they did not speak of the resurrection of Jesus as a mere fact of history, but they dwelt upon the results of that event. That which angered the rulers of the Jews was that they “preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” Acts 4:2. Without the resurrection of Jesus there could be no life for man. The Apostle Paul puts the matter thus: “Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? Now if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ; whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. All our hope comes from the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So the Apostle Peter blesses God that He has “begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 130.3

    Notice that in the discourse of Paul concerning the resurrection he says not only that if Christ be not risen those who have fallen asleep in Him are perished, but that “ye are yet in your sins.” The resurrection of Jesus assures the resurrection of men from the dead, only because it brings the forgiveness of sins. The hope of the resurrection is simply the hope that comes from righteousness received through faith in Christ, “who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:25. The Apostle Peter connects the “lively hope” to which God has begotten us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, with the fact that we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 130.4

    THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION

    The Apostle Paul’s earnest desire was to “win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith; that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” Philippians 3:8-10. And in His prayer for us he desired “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 1:17-20.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 130.5

    The power of Christ is the power of the resurrection. Paul declares that the Gospel of God is “concerning His Son Jesus Christ, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:3, 4. It was by the Spirit that Christ was quickened, or made alive (1 Peter 3:18); and the Spirit has the power of giving life, because it is the Spirit of holiness. See Romans 8:10. Life and righteousness are identical, as we learn from Romans 8:6: “To be spiritually minded is life and peace;” and also from Galatians 3:21, which tells us that if there had been a law given which could have given life, righteousness would have come by it. The Spirit of God, therefore, gives life to the dead, because it gives righteousness to sinners.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 130.6

    In order to see that this is what is to be learned from the resurrection of Christ, read again the quotation from the first chapter of Ephesians, and then follow on with the second chapter: “And you hath He quickened made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins; ... but God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sin, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved), and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:1-6. Therefore we know the power of the resurrection of Christ only by experiencing the same power in the forgiveness of sins, and in overcoming sin. Thus we share even now in the resurrection of Christ, and that is the assurance of the future resurrection at His coming.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 130.7

    Read also the same thing in the Epistle to the Colossians: “Ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power; in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation [working] of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened [made alive] together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” Colossians 2:10-13. All tell the same thing: the forgiveness of sins comes by the resurrection of Christ, not as a historical event that took place eighteen hundred years ago, but as a present thing, which we are to experience day by day with Him. Thus we may see how the resurrection of Christ is to be the one theme of Christian preaching now as well as in the days of the apostles. We are to be reminded of it, not by the formal observance of a day once a year, which has never been commanded, but by going through the process daily.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 130.8

    WITNESSES OF THE RESURRECTION

    This shows us how we, as well as the apostles, may be witnesses of the resurrection of Christ. For we are to be witnesses as well as they. A witness is one who tells what he knows, if he is a true witness. Otherwise his testimony is good for nothing. He is not to bear witness to what has been told him, but to that of which he himself is personally assured, by his own experience. If only one man knows a certain thing from his own personal knowledge, and he tells a dozen other men, and the whole thirteen then go into court and testify to that fact, there are not thirteen witnesses, but only one. The one man has simply repeated his testimony thirteen times. The case is no stronger for the testimony of the twelve men who repeated what had been told them. They might better have held their peace. So it is with the witnesses of the resurrection of Christ. He who tells it because somebody else has told him, is not a witness, and might better say nothing about it. If pressed closely, all that he can say is that somebody told him so.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.1

    But is it possible for anybody in these days to be able to give testimony concerning the resurrection of Christ, of the same nature as testimony that is required in earthly courts? Most certainly. Can it be thought that God requires less positiveness in His witnesses than earthly judges in those who appear before them? Not by any means. How can they give such testimony? Simply by knowing Christ, and the power of His resurrection. The question is, Does Jesus live, or is He yet dead? All know that He died: may we know that He is alive again? Most assuredly. The experience of the Apostle Paul may be that of every one. The Jews said that Christ was dead, and Paul affirmed that He was alive. They are brought before the court on that point. How does Paul demonstrate that Christ is now alive? Thus: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Galatians 2:20. That is sufficient. That is as good testimony as could be given in any court. A man is said to be dead. I say he is alive. The question is, “How do you know?” and I reply, “He lives at my house, and is my constant companion.” That is the evidence to-day to the world, that Christ is risen from the dead. On this testimony alone can unbelievers be convinced.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.2

    The Christian’s hope, therefore, is seen to be a certainty, and not a doubtful thing. If they know that Christ is risen, they know just as well that they too will be raised from the dead. Thus Christ has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. The Gospel makes known Christ as the risen Saviour, who is alive for evermore. His life is manifested in the mortal flesh of those who believe on Him. They pass from death unto life with Him. Nevertheless they are mortal. To sleep in the grave is their sure lot, unless prevented by the coming of the Lord. But as they live by faith, and not by sight, they hold fast their faith. So, whether waking or sleeping, their life is hid with Christ in God. The Spirit of God which is given them is their life, and their assurance of immortality. The life is theirs now, but the immortality will be bestowed only at the coming of the Lord.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.3

    “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [go before] them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven 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 4:14-17.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.4

    “Essentials and Non-essentials” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is a very common thing for people to regard truth as of two kinds-essential and non-essential, important and unimportant. This is a great mistake. All truth is one, and cannot be divided into classes. Every point of truth is of equal importance with every other point. Truth is of God, for Jesus Christ whom He has sent is the truth. But the riches of Christ are unsearchable. He is infinite, therefore the truth is infinite. But there can be no comparison of infinities. To the human mind, at least, all infinities are equal. So the only thing necessary to be determined is whether or not a thing is true. If it is, then no matter how unimportant it may seem to human understanding, we may be sure that it cannot be ignored without sin.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.5

    In a perfect machine the smallest bolt is as important and necessary as the largest shaft, for the reason that without the bolt the shaft would be useless. So in God’s perfect word the smallest matter is as important as what are called the great things. God has not wasted His time on non-essentials. He does not speak that which is of no importance. “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:6, 7.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.6

    “The Church in the Early Centuries” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some weeks ago the Archdeacon of London wrote an article which appeared in the Christian Commonwealth, entitled, “The Christian Church at the End of the Third Century.” Coming from the source it does, the article is worthy of the attention of those who think that everything that “custom” sanctions in the present practices of the church is necessarily of Divine authority. We quote below a large portion of the article:-PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.7

    “It is very natural, after the long lapse of centuries, that Christian people, in all their manifold divergences of faith and practice, should appeal to the example of the primitive church. Much, indeed, may be learned from its history, to illustrate and explain the development of Christian institutions. But even here we shall nowhere find absolute perfection. As the apostles themselves could be mistaken about so important a point as the meaning of our Lord’s words about St. John, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?’ so we should expect to find errors and inconsistencies even in those early days. It is well for everybody alike to remember the wise rule of the English Church, ‘Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith; or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.’ And again the English Church pronounces clearly the fallibility of all churches, even the earliest: ‘As the church of Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch, have erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manners of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.’ And once more speaking of General Councils, the English Church declares: ‘Forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God, they may err, and sometimes have erred even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained of them as necessary to salvation, have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of the Holy Scripture.’PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.8

    “The present inquiry is intended to show some of the more noticeable points where the church at the end of the third century had diverged from apostolical practice.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.9

    “1. The delay of baptism till after a catechumenate of two or three years.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.10

    “2. The form of exorcism of evil spirits in baptism.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.11

    “3. The administration of milk and honey in baptism, as typifying the blessings of the Heavenly Canaan.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 131.12

    “4. The giving of the Lord’s Supper to infants.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.1

    “5. The distinction between clergy and laity, as constituting the former ‘Churchmen’ in some sense.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.2

    “6. The multiplication of subordinate church officers.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.3

    “7. The beginnings of the Roman primacy. ‘The claims which ripened into the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome over the Western Church had already been put forward, and to a great extent admitted, during the first three centuries. Arising naturally out of the civil supremacy of the capital, the pretensions of Rome were supported by the fiction of Peter’s bishopric there, and also by the equally groundless statement that the church was founded by Paul.” “At the end of the second century we find a precedence assigned by Irenaeus, not to the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Peter, but to the Church of Rome as the chief centre of the Apostolical tradition derived from Peter and Paul.” “Cyprian is the first eminent advocate of the superiority of the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Peter.... He calls the Church of Rome the chair of Peter, and the chief church, whence the unity of the priesthood had its source, the root and mother of the Catholic Church.’ The importance of the capital of the Roman Empire was thus ignorantly transferred to a new and spurious spiritual supremacy.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.4

    “8. The earlier Apologists gloried in the taunt of their heathen adversaries, that they had neither temples nor altars. But in the second century the metaphor of sacrifice began to be used incautiously and indiscriminately about the Lord’s Supper, and the political term ‘altar’ began also to be employed for the Lord’s table.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.5

    “9. The carrying of the elements (the consecrated bread and wine) by the deacons after the service to those who were sick or in prison. The earliest germs of the Romish practice of communion in the bread alone was to have sprung from the custom of communicants carrying home portions of the bread to be partaken of by the family at morning prayer. This habit of ‘domestic communion’ prevailed in North Africa....PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.6

    “15. The custom of keeping Lent, however excellent and desirable in itself, is not of apostolical authority. ‘The great Quadradescimal fast before Easter, in commemoration and imitation of the forty days’ fasting of Jesus in the wilderness, began in the second century. But the exact correspondence of the duration was not at first insisted on. It was sometimes as short as a day, or two days, or forty hours, and sometimes a few weeks, but less than the forty days, a period which was finally fixed by the influence of Rome.’”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.7

    The Archdeacon closes his article with the following remarks, in which he ignores and directly violates the declarations of the Church of England, which he quoted at the first:-PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.8

    “Some of the customs and principles introduced by the Church of the first three centuries, as distinct from what we gather from the actual writings of the New Testament, have commended themselves; others have been dropped by Reformed Christianity.... But no period of the Christian Church is guaranteed to be free from error, except the life and teachings of its Founder; and though the earlier we go back, the purer and simpler we find, to our great delight, its doctrines and customs, still it has over us no absolute authority; and those doctrines and customs must all be submitted to the test of agreement with Holy Scriptures, where as in the case of the points mentioned in this paper, there are divergences and variations-these may be perfectly harmless and even salutary; they may also be the reverse. We must be guided in our attitude towards them partly by our own judgment, in reliance on the Holy Spirit and the use of earnest prayer; partly, where recourse can be had to such assistance, by the advice and direction of the spiritual organisation to which we belong.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.9

    There are many other things besides those mentioned by the Archdeacon, wherein the modern church differs from the Apostolic church. Notable among these are infant “baptism,” the substitution of sprinkling for baptism, and the substitution of the observance of Sunday instead of the seventh-day-the Sabbath of the Lord. On this last point, the Christian at Work, a Presbyterian journal, has said:-PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.10

    “We hear less than we used to about the apostolic origin of the present Sunday observance, and for the reason that while the Sabbath and Sabbath rest are woven into the warp and woof of Scripture, it is now seen, as it is admitted, that we must go to later than apostolic times for the establishment of Sunday observance.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.11

    The Rev. Dr. Scott, in commenting on Acts 20:7, had the following to say on the subject:-PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.12

    “The change from the seventh to the first appears to have been gradually and silently introduced, by example rather than by express precept.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.13

    The celebrated ecclesiastical historian, Mosheim, speaking of the second century, says:-PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.14

    “It is certain that to religious worship, both public and private, many rites were added, without necessity, and to the great offence of sober and good men. The principal cause of this I readily look for in the perverseness of mankind, who are more delighted with the pomp and splendour of external forms and pageantry, than with the true devotion of the heart, and who despise whatever does not gratify their eyes and ears.” “There is good reason to suppose that the Christian Bishops purposely multiplied sacred rites, for the purpose of rendering the Jews and the pagans more friendly to them.” “A large part, therefore, of the Christian observances and institutions even in this century, had the aspect of the pagan mysteries.”-Eccl. Hist., Book 1, century 2, part 2, chap. 4, sections 1, 2, 5.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.15

    The question arises, How are we to distinguish the pagan additions from the Christian original? The answer is, By the Holy Scriptures. It is so easy a matter that any child who can read can readily discern it. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. The Holy Scriptures are perfect, and they contain all that is necessary for perfection in all good works, all that is necessary for salvation. Whatever, therefore, differs from their standard is wrong, and tends to imperfection and destruction.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.16

    The Archdeacon says that “some of the customs and principles introduced by the church of the first three centuries, as distinct from what we gather from the actual writings of the New Testament, have commended themselves.” To what have they commended themselves? Only to those who are “more delighted with the pomp and splendour of external forms and pageantry, than with the true devotion of the heart.” Those things which do not come from the Bible, do not come from God, and hence are only blots on Christianity, instead of a part of it.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.17

    In determining what things are right and what are not, there is no guide but the Bible. Even “earnest prayer” is no guide; prayer is a help only as it is prayer for the aid of the Spirit to lead into the truth which the Bible sets forth. He who resorts to prayer to find out whether or not he shall do a certain thing, when he has a plain command for it in the Bible, or when the Scriptures give no warrant for it, thereby insults God. He is guilty of asking God if He really means what He says.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.18

    Neither is “the spiritual organisation to which we belong” to be in any respect our guide in these matters. In His word the Lord speaks to individuals. Each person is to read for himself. “The head of every man is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:3. It makes no difference whether the Papacy is represented by one man or by an organisation of men,-the Papacy consists in the interposition of some man or men between the individual soul and God. There are many good and learned men in the world, but there is not and never has been one so good and wise that he could in the slightest degree take the place of Jesus Christ.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.19

    God has set teachers in the church; but the work of the teachers is not to originate truth, not to take the place of God’s word, but to lead souls to God and His word, so that they may drink for themselves from the Fountain Head. Whoever deviates in the slightest degree from the word of God, is to that degree a false teacher. He is blind, and can only lead his blind followers into the ditch.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.20

    In passing through the darkness of this world’s night, “hardly bestead and hungry,“ the only safety lies in turning “to the law and to the testimony.” God’s word and it alone is the truth. “The church” is not the guide. Whoever takes it for a guide is following men. The church is not a law-making body; Christ is the head of the body, the church. “The church” is indeed the church of Christ, only when it implicitly follows his word. When the body is connected with the Head, having nourishment ministered to it from the Head, it “increaseth with the increase of God.” Colossians 2:19.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 132.21

    Therefore! “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:8-10.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.1

    “A Case of Conscience” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    It occurred nearly twenty-six hundred years ago, in the province of Babylon. The circumstances were the following: On account of the disobedience of the great mass of the children of Israel, the Lord had suffered the whole nation to be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and many of the people had been taken from Jerusalem to Babylon.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.2

    This Nebuchadnezzar was a heathen king, and so some time after the conquest of Babylon, he “made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits; he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.3

    When all these officers of the kingdom were gathered together before the image, “an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up; and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.4

    The people knew that the king was in earnest, and so whatever their private scruples might have been against worshipping the image, they concealed them, and in appearance, at least, did homage to the golden image. Who that believes that the civil government has a right to make laws concerning matters of religion, dare say that they did wrong? Would they not be met with the statement that it is necessary to the peace and good order of the State that there should be uniformity in matters of religion? And if this is so, who but the chief ruler of the State can prescribe the forms of religion?PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.5

    Doubtless there were some who would suggest that they ought not to bow down to the image, but they could speedily be silenced, by the inquiry, “Who are you, that you should set yourself up to know more than all the wise men of this nation, and the king himself?” Some might even recall a commandment to the effect that none shall bow down to graven or molten images, but they would be met with the statement, “if it were wrong, do you suppose that all the nation would be doing it? Hasn’t it been the custom of almost the whole world for centuries to worship images? Don’t all our religious teachers say that it is right? Don’t you suppose that they know more about these things than we common people do?” Who could meet such an argument as that?PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.6

    And then others would say to the doubtful ones: “You don’t have to worship the image, in your heart; you need not feel any reverence for it, but you can bow down before it in obedience to the king’s command. If you refuse, you will be cast into the fiery furnace, and your family will be deprived of your support. What is the use of virtually committing suicide?” And thus the scruples of all would be silenced.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.7

    But not of all, for there were three men in the vast assembly who did not bow down to the image. At that time certain Chaldeans came before the king, and, after repeating the decree, said, “There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee; they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” What made the offence of these men the more odious, and magnified the contempt in which they held the king’s decree, was the fact that they were foreigners. Such disobedience of a direct law could not be tolerated, and least of all in such men.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.8

    So “Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true [is it of purpose] O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?” And then in the kindness of his heart, he offered them another chance to redeem themselves. He would not at once carry into effect the decree that they should be burned. But if on the second sounding of the music they did not bow down, then there should be no alternative, but they must be cast into the furnace.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.9

    Then what did those men do? Did they begin to apologize for their mistake, and promise obedience in the future? Did they plead that they had been very quiet in their disobedience to the law, so that no one could take offence at their disregard of the image? Not they. Listen to their brave words:-PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.10

    “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.11

    The consequence was that they were thrown into the furnace, which for their especial benefit was heated seven times hotter than usual. But before we notice the result, let us see what power these men were disregarding. If ever there was a king who ruled by Divine right, that king was Nebuchadnezzar. Hear what the Lord Himself said through His prophet:-PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.12

    “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters: I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by My great power, and by My stretched out arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto Me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son.” Jeremiah 27:4-7.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.13

    These three Jews knew this, for they were associated with Daniel on a previous occasion, when he received the interpretation to a dream which the king had, in which he said, “Thou, O king, art a king of kings; for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all.” Daniel 2:37, 38.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.14

    God Himself, therefore, had given Nebuchadnezzar the right to rule. Moreover, He had commanded the Jews themselves to serve Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet Jeremiah, who remained in Jerusalem, in a letter which he wrote to his captive fellow-countrymen, at the command of the Lord, had said to them, “Seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” Jeremiah 29:7.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.15

    Surely then God must have been very angry with these three Jews for thus refusing to obey the king’s dream. Not by any means. Although the fire was so hot that it slew the men who threw the three Jews into the furnace, the Hebrews themselves were not affected by it in the least. The fire simply destroyed the bands which held them, and they walked at liberty in the midst of the furnace, and the Lord Himself came down and walked with them, to show His approval of their act. See the whole story in the third chapter of Daniel.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 133.16

    The point of this simple story is that, while “the powers that be are ordained of God,” “there is no power but of God.” “Power belongeth unto God.” God has never ordained any power to be above Him. This He could not do, for “He cannot deny Himself.” He has never constituted any authority to contravene His authority. We learn that while we are to seek the peace of whatever country we may dwell in, and are to pray for kings and for all that are in authority, the peace of any country is not found in disobedience to God, no matter what may be the laws of that country. While we are to be subject to the powers that be, it is to be for the Lord’s sake.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 134.1

    No man on earth is warranted in resisting authority. On the contrary we are charged not to resist evil, that is, we are not to oppose force with force. But as we have learned from this story, submission and subjection to the powers that be does not consist in obeying laws that are contrary to God’s laws. In the case before us, the king gave all their choice: they might worship his image, or they might go into the burning fiery furnace. The most of the people showed their subjection by worshipping the image; but the three Hebrews showed their subjection by refusing to worship the image, and going into the furnace. They did not resist the power. They did not try to raise an insurrection. They served God by disobeying the king, and showed their regard for the king’s authority by calmly accepting the alternative which he granted them.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 134.2

    The commandments of the Lord are very plain. A child may understand them. “If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” All that is needed is a willing mind. It is self-interest that clouds the mind to the precepts of the Lord. But he who has no intention or desire but to do the will of the Lord, will not be confused as to his duty by conflicting human laws, but will say as did the apostles at a later time. “We ought to obey God rather than man.” Only the man who is conscientiously resolute in serving God, can be rightly subject to the powers of earth.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 134.3

    “The light that shines upon our path, the truth that commends itself to our conscience, will condemn and destroy the soul, or sanctify and reform it.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 134.4

    “Falsifying the Holy Scriptures” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Catholic Times and Catholic Opinion calls attention to the fact recorded in an Anglican journal, that a large number of members of the University of Oxford are presenting a petition to the Bishops of the Church of England, praying them to take some steps to prevent clergymen from “attacking, maligning, and falsifying the Holy Scriptures.” The petitioners state that the Oriel Professor of Interpretation of Holy Scripture has spoken of one of the books of the Bible as “a shriveled-up myth.” The editor of the Catholic journal says:-PTUK May 4, 1893, page 134.5

    “The same canker of unbelief is fast eating its way into the Presbyterian churches of Scotland. How is it, we may well ask, that the only Christian community in which attacks on the authority of Scripture are unheard of is the Church of Rome?”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 134.6

    We can answer that question. The reason is that in its very beginning the Catholic Church practically took the Bible out of the hands of the people, by the dogma that only the clergy can understand it, and that the people must receive it only as interpreted by them. Having taken the entire Bible from the people, there is no need to make attacks upon it. Professed Protestantism has not yet proceeded so far, but it is gaining on the Catholic Church with long and rapid strides.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 134.7

    “A B C” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Do you know your alphabet?PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.1

    “A strange question,” you say, “to ask of one who has read for years and years, and who at this moment is reading a paper.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.2

    It does seem strange at first thought, but it has struck me within the last week, that it is a question which we should carefully consider.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.3

    It is a sad fact that we are fast outgrowing our childhood. Our hearts are becoming stereotyped. We take it too much for granted that we have learned, and well learned, all the lessons of youth, that we have passed all over that ground once, and need never to return. We have put away childish things, and our superior learning and wisdom causes us to look with a sort of pity, akin to contempt, upon youth with its ignorance and follies. We forget that in our zeal to grow beyond the follies of youth, in our eagerness to become full-grown men and women, we may leave behind some of the prime requisites of Christian men and women. What gain is there in becoming men and women, if we leave the Christian out?PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.4

    It seems that Jesus must have seen our danger, for these are the words that He has sent to us: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,” or as found in Luke, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.5

    Here is one thing in childhood, then, that we should not have left behind, and our Master says that we must confess our sin and humble ourselves until we are willing to take it back, or we shall in no wise enter the kingdom of God. We must be willing to learn our alphabet, and believe that “A” is “A,” and “B” is “B,” because our Father says so.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.6

    The father tells his son that all the treasures of earthly wisdom and knowledge are hid in his alphabet. If he will but learn it thoroughly and use it well it will open up to him all the wisdom in the world. He takes his father’s word for it, learns his alphabet, and finds it indeed true.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.7

    Now that is what we are to do. We must in childlike faith believe in and learn the Christian’s alphabet; and having that we shall have all things.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.8

    “But what is the Christian’s alphabet?”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.9

    Jesus Himself tells us in Revelation 22:13: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.10

    Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In Jesus we find our whole alphabet, from the first to the last, for in Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.11

    Is it not most necessary, then, that we know our alphabet? Is it enough that we know about it?PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.12

    If we could get but one glimpse of the riches of wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption that are hid in Christ for us, would we not willingly become as little children, and spend the rest of our days in becoming acquainted with this wonder of wonders,-this God-given Alphabet?PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.13

    Without Him we “can do nothing.” Without Him all our reachings out after wisdom, holiness, life, and heaven, will be as useless as a child’s reaching out after learning without a knowledge of his letters.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.14

    God help us, then, to study Jesus more, to become so thoroughly acquainted with Him that He will form a part of our very being. Then we shall have the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24); righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30); all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3); eternal life (John 17:3; 3:16; an everlasting inheritance (Ephesians 1:11; 1 Peter 1:4); we shall be sons of God (John 1:12), and heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). What more could we wish?PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.15

    But let us remember that Jesus is the only Door and the only Way. He is the Alphabet, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 137.16

    “Saying No” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Have you ever said Yes, when you knew that you ought to have said No? Have you ever felt afraid to obey God for fear of what someone might say or do? Let me tell you a true story.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 140.1

    Years ago in the city of Jerusalem lived three young men. They were very much like any other young men, only they had thoroughly learned one thing,-they had learned to love God with all their hearts. They had become acquainted with Him and His word. They had proved Him and found that He always kept His promises, and that no other friend was so able and willing to help them. They had learned that if He was for them He was more than all that could be against them. It was well that they knew this, for they were soon to pass through some very trying times.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 140.2

    One day a mighty king with his soldiers came and surrounded their city and overcame it, and carried them away from all their friends to Babylon, the great city where the king lived.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 140.3

    How glad they must have been, then, that they knew the best Friend of all! Although they were so far from home, they could not feel alone, for they knew that God was with them in Babylon as much as He was in Jerusalem. They therefore took courage knowing that all would work together for their good if they continued to love and trust God.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 140.4

    They cheerfully studied the new language and all the other things that the king wanted them to learn, and, with God’s help, became very wise, good men, loved and respected by all who knew them. The king was so well pleased with them that he finally set them over the great affairs of his province. But you will see that they did not become proud and forget the Friend who had brought them into all this prosperity. They knew that it was God who had been with them and had given them all that they had.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 140.5

    The king had heard of their God, but was not himself acquainted with Him. He looked upon Him as but one of the many gods, like unto their idols. But God wished to teach the king that He alone was God, and that the idols which they worshipped were of no good at all.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 140.6

    The king made a great image of gold about ninety feet high and nine feet broad, and set it up in a plain near the city of Babylon. Then he sent word to all the great men and rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the great image.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 140.7

    And they came. What a sight it must have been! There were princes, governors, captains, judges, treasurers, counsellors, sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces standing before the bright image of gold which the king had set up. As the three young Hebrew men were rulers, of course they also were there, besides musicians with their cornets, flutes, harps, sackbuts, psalteries, and singers.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.1

    Then a man cried out very loudly so that they all might hear, “To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the cornet and all the other kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that the king hath set up; and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning, fiery furnace.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.2

    Suddenly the music began, and the people, not daring to disobey, all dropped on their knees and began to worship.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.3

    Did I say all the people began to worship? No, no, that is a mistake. Three lone men stood straight up, and did not bow at all! Can you think who they were?PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.4

    The three men from Jerusalem knew that that image was not God. They were acquainted with the true God, and although they felt sorry to hurt the feelings of the king who had been so kind to them, they thought it would be far worse to grieve the heart of the One who had given them their lives and everything else that they had ever had, and who had loved them so much that He had given His only Son to die that they might be saved. If God had suffered all that for them, surely they ought to be willing to suffer a little for Him. They knew well enough that it would grieve Him if they should only bow down to the image, even though they should not worship it in their hearts, for He had plainly commanded them not to make unto them any graven image, and not to bow down to them or serve them. And then it would look as though they were ashamed of their God, and afraid to trust Him. No, no, they very quickly decided that they would rather die than grieve their best Friend. So they did not bow down.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.5

    As soon as the king heard about it he was very angry and sent for them and said, “Is it true, did you purposely disobey me and not bow down? I shall now give you one more chance. I shall have the music sound again, and if you bow down when you hear it, it will be well with you, but if not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands!”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.6

    The three Hebrews did not hesitate a moment, but said, “We do not care for another chance; if our God thinks best He is able to deliver us out of your hand, and He will; but even if He does not think best to do this, be it known unto you, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.7

    Then the king was full of fury and had them bound by his mightiest men and cast into the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated, and they fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.8

    The fire was so hot that it slew the men who cast them in, but to the great astonishment of the king it did not seem to hurt the three Hebrews at all.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.9

    The king rose up in haste and said unto his governors, “Did not we cast three men bound into the fire?”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.10

    They answered, “True, O king.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.11

    He answered and said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the mist of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.12

    Then the king came near the door of the furnace and called the three men, and said, “Ye servants of the most high God, come forth and come hither.”PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.13

    Then they came out of the fire, and the princes, governors, captains, and the king’s counsellors gathered together and saw them. The fire had no power at all upon their bodies, not a hair of their head was singed, their coats were not changed, and there was not even the smell of fire upon them! The Lord Himself in whom they trusted had come and walked in the fire with them and by His power had kept it from hurting them.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.14

    And the king saw that He was God and believed on Him and praised Him, and commanded that if anyone should say a word against Him they should be cut in pieces “because,” he said, “there is no other god that can deliver after this sort.” The image could not keep its worshippers from being burned, but God could.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.15

    How glad the three Hebrews must have been that they had learned to obey God in their youth!PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.16

    Do not be afraid to take Jesus for your best Friend. He can strengthen you to say No when you are tempted. He is able to deliver you from sin and every other evil thing. He may sometimes allow you to suffer, but remember if He does it is for your good, for He loves you and gave His life to save you.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.17

    “Interesting Items” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -It is stated that 70 per cent. of the people of Ceylon live by agriculture.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.18

    -Some 67 ton guns recently turned out at the Royal Gun Factory at Woolwich cost £10,668 each.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.19

    -In the Nova Scotia Legislature a Bill granting female suffrage has been rejected by a majority of three votes.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.20

    -Serious rioting has taken place in Belfast. Roman Catholic workmen have been attacked and stoned by a “Protestant” mob.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.21

    - The Home Rule Bill passed its second reading Friday night, April 21. The Committee stage was formally fixed for May 4.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.22

    -A dispatch of April 20 reports another severe cyclone in the Mississippi Valley. Whole villages have been destroyed, and many people killed.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.23

    -The Norwegian Ministry has resigned, owing to the King’s refusal to regard the settlement of the consular question as a purely Norwegian matter.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.24

    -The tithe of the Church in Wales amounts to £304,429 a year. As many as 410 benefices out of a total of 987 belong to private patrons not affected by the Suspensory Bill.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.25

    -The Emperor of Germany and the Pope have had a long interview, with the result, according to the Pope, that many little misunderstandings have been removed.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.26

    -Custom House returns show that on the 1st of last month there was in the bonded warehouses of the United Kingdom no less a quantity than 8,842,017 gallons of wine in casks.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.27

    -The churches of the Wesleyans, Bible Christians, and Free Methodists of New Zealand are likely to be amalgamated, a joint committee having agreed upon a basis of union.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.28

    -The island of Zante has suffered from several more shocks of earthquake, completing the work of destruction begun by the one in February, and the people are in a state of panic.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.29

    -In Japan most persons can write as well with their left hand as with their right. At the earliest age boys and girls are taught to use both of their hands m writing and in other work.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.30

    -The Protestant Alliance has tamed a protest against the precedence given by the Lord Mayor to the Pope in placing his name before that of the Queen at the recent banquet at the Mansion House.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.31

    -Official returns just published show that last year in Egypt the number of murder cases dealt with by the courts of justice was 289. In many of these crimes the primary motive was robbery.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.32

    -The magistrates at Cardiff are perplexed by a new phase in the drink traffic. In order to frustrate the Sunday Closing Act in South Wales, workmen now club together to buy a cask of beer, which is taken to a field and there consumed at leisure.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.33

    -A fire broke out in the timber yards of the Victoria Dock, at Hull, on the 28d ult., and burned for twenty-four hours, destroying property to the amount of £100,000. There is evidence that the fire was the work of incendiaries, and was connected with the great strike of the dockers, which is still in progress.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.34

    -Sir W. Harcourt has introduced his Budget for the year 1898-94, estimating the expenses of the Government at £91,464,000, and the revenue at £89,890,000, leaving a deficit of £1,574,000, which he proposes to meet by an increase of a penny on the income tax thus producing an estimated surplus of £176,000.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.35

    -It is stated that during the past two years in Bengal the percentage of cases of lunacy due to “ganja,” a most insidious drug, was no less than 58 per cent. of admissions “where the cause of the disease could be traced.” The special cultivation of Indian hemp, and the preparation of “genja,” is carried on under Government license, the amount produced averaging 600,000 lbs. annually.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.36

    -The Cunard Steamship Company have just sent to sea the Campania, the largest ship afloat, and now the White Star Company are building the Gigantic, which will greatly surpass the Campania. The Gigantic is to be 700 feet long, 20 feet longer than the Great Eastern, but it will be 15 feet narrower. The engines of the Great Eastern were 7,650 horse-power, while those of the Gigantic are 45,000. It is expected that the speed of the Gigantic will be 27 knots an hour.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.37

    -As stated in the preceding number of this paper, the “temperance” organisations succeeded in breaking up a meeting of publicans in Trafalgar Square. This was chronicled as a temperance victory. About two weeks later the publicans played the same dishonourable trick upon a temperance meeting at Mile end. This proceeding is reported as an outrage. It would seem that violence in the interest of “reform” is considered as altogether better than ordinary violence.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.38

    -Prof. Elisha Gray, one of the inventors of the telephone, has invented an instrument which may supersede it. It is called the “Telantograph,” and is already in actual use in Chicago. Two instruments are required, one for transmitting and the other for receiving a message. A man can sit at the transmitter, take an ordinary pencil, write a note to a friend, and simultaneously with his writing another pencil at, the other end exactly reproduces the message. Not only are the words transmitted, but an exact facsimile of the handwriting is produced. If the sender does not wish to keep a copy of his message, it is not necessary to make any marks in writing; tracing the letters on the paper with a pointed stick will do equally well. By this means sketches of persons or places, outline maps, etc., can be sent by telegraph. It is not necessary that anybody should be present at the instrument to receive a message. If a man’s business is out of his office, any message will be recorded as well as if be were present, and will be ready for his inspection when he returns. The whole thing is done in silence, and anyone who can write can use the instrument. The advantages of the telantograph over the telephone are obvious.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 141.39

    “Protestantism, True and False” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    A meeting was held in St. James’ Hall on the 24th ult., to protest against the Welsh Suspensory Bill. The reason for the opposition to this Bill on the part of churchmen, is that it is but the first step toward the disestablishment and disendowment of the whole Church of England. Some friends of the Bill were present, however, and vigorously demonstrated their right to be called “Nonconformists” and “Dissenters,” by an utter failure to conform to the rules of decency and good behaviour, and by dissenting in such boisterous tones that the meeting was broken up before it was half finished. It is strange that men cannot see that rudely and senselessly to break up a meeting, to the object of which they are opposed, only strengthens that object, and weakens their own case.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 144.1

    A victory for the truth can never be gained by force. Mob law has no connection with the law of righteousness. When the professed friends of freedom indulge in intolerant acts, they show themselves the enemies of freedom. No man is a friend of freedom who is not willing and anxious to give to every other man all the liberty he wishes for himself. Such a man is not only no friend of freedom, but he does not even know what freedom is, and is, therefore, himself a slave.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 144.2

    That man alone is free whom the truth makes free. See John 8:31-34. And this freedom comes alone through Christ; for He alone is the truth. John 14:6. It is the “free Spirit” (Psalm 51:12) of God, whom the Father sends in the name of Christ, that bestows this freedom; for only where the Spirit of the Lord is, is there liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17. So that the only absolutely free man in the world, is the man who is led by the Spirit of God. But such a man cannot by any possibility do anything which would tend to curtail the freedom of any other person; for since the Spirit of the Lord gives liberty, he who is led by it must allow liberty to others, or else he himself forfeits it.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 144.3

    True Protestantism has nothing to do with violence in any form. It is true that in Reformation times men rushed to the sword in behalf of “Protestantism” and against Catholicism; but therein they ceased to be true Protestants. The Papacy is simply professed Christianity upheld by civil power and worldly methods. When therefore, the professed Protestants had recourse to the sword, and made their “Protestantism” an affair of politics, they thereby showed that they had not yet been emancipated from the Papacy; and as in their supposed protest against the Papacy they adopted Papal methods, their very protest was a real victory for the spirit of the Papacy, although its outward form suffered a defeat. Protestantism, indeed, is simply the protest of truth against error; not the protest of the form of truth, but the protest which a life of truth opposes to error.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 144.4

    This principle must apply in the present controversy. Since the Papacy fully developed is but professed Christianity, deriving power, support, and influence from secular sources, it follows that the Church of England, being a State Church, is essentially Papal in its constitution. And therefore it follows that to attack it with any form of violence, which is always only the manifestation of human power apart from God, is simply to oppose the Papacy in the spirit of the Papacy. And it is obvious that a victory in such a case could be nothing more than a victory for the Papacy. “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:20. All this applies equally well to the violence which some professed Protestants are using towards Catholics. Indeed, it is rather worse, for while Catholicism proclaims itself intolerant, and so in persecuting dissenters is only carrying out its principles, Protestantism proclaims liberty to all.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 144.5

    And now just one point on the merits of the disestablishment question. The churchmen call disestablishment and disendowment robbery. If by those terms is meant depriving the church of endowments which it has received from private estates, and the free gift of the proprietors, and appropriating them to secular uses, then it is indeed a robbery. For although it is contrary to the whole spirit of Christianity for the church to amass property, yet the property once acquired is as sacred as the property of a private individual. The same principle must apply to the church as to an individual professor. A Christian should distribute wealth as it comes into his hands, instead of hoarding it up, yet even though he disobey the precept and example of his Master in this respect, no earthly power has the right to dispossess him of his property.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 144.6

    But if disestablishment and disendowment mean simply the ceasing on the part of the Government to give to the church funds that are raised by general taxation, then it is perfectly just and no robbery. For it is certainly no robbery for either a person or a State to cease at any time to continue even a voluntary gift which is within its right to bestow; how much more proper must it be, then, to cease to bestow a gift which it never had any right to bestow. It is true, as Lord Selbourne said at the recent meeting in St. James’s Hall, that no religious work can be carried on without temporal means; but the necessary temporal means should not come from those who are opposed to the religious work done, or to the mode of doing it. “The labourer is worthy of his hire,” but only from those who have hired him. “God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7); He will accept only the freewill offerings. See Exodus 25:2. Therefore it follows that when the Government takes advantage of its power, to appropriate for church purposes money that has been paid as taxes by men who do not believe in that church, and who protest against being forced to support a form of religion in which they do not believe, God does not accept such appropriations, and His work is not carried on by them. Such appropriation is itself a robbery, and the fact that it is carried on professedly for the service of the Lord, does not make it any less sinful in His eyes. “For I the Lord love judgment; I hate robbery for burnt-offering.” Isaiah 61:8. “To obey is better than sacrifice.” 1 Samuel 15:22.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 144.7

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 9, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    At the Bible House in New York, a few days ago, the Rev. Hiram Bingham, a missionary of Micronesia, saw the completion of the printing of the entire Bible in the language of the Gilbert Islanders. The work of translating was begun in 1859, Mr. Bingham having been compelled first to reduce the language to writing. Twenty years ago he finished the Old Testament, and on the 11th of last month he completed the New Testament. Dr. Gilman of the Bible Society, spoke of Mr. Bingham as the only man who has reduced a language to writing, completed a vocabulary, constructed a grammar, and translated the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and then revised all the proofs.PTUK May 4, 1893, page 144.8

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