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    August 17, 1893

    “Front Page” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    When the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias in the temple, and told him that his wife Elisabeth should have a son, who should be great in the sight of the Lord, being filled with the Holy Ghost, and who should turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, Zacharias said: “Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” Luke 1:11-18. For this question he was made dumb, and was unable to speak until after the birth of the son.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 305.1

    Six months later the same angel came to Mary, in Nazareth, and told her that she should bring forth a son, who should be named Jesus, who should be great, and should be called the Son of the Highest, and that He should reign for ever over a kingdom that should have no end. Immediately Mary asked, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” No reproof was given for this question, but it was answered at once.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 305.2

    Why were these two questions so differently received? Evidently because they were prompted by entirely different motives. This plainly appears when we closely consider them. Zacharias said, “Whereby shall I know this?” showing that he doubted the message. He wanted proof of the words of the angel of the Lord. He was punished for unbelief. Mary’s question, on the other hand, showed that she fully believed the message, but that she wanted further information. She said, “How shall this be?” She believed, but wanted to know what part, if any, she had to act in the matter, and her desire for more light was granted.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 305.3

    In these two cases we have illustrated two classes of questions that are asked. There are many questions that show unbelief as fully as could be done by any positive statement. Such questions are wicked and ought never to be asked, as God does not answer them. There are other questions that show the desire of a believing soul to receive more light and knowledge. Such questions always receive an answer from the Lord. The promise is that “if any lack wisdom, and ask for it in faith, it shall be given them.” James 1:5, 6.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 305.4

    “Christian Experience” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The apostle Peter testified of Christ, that “He went about doing good.” Acts 10:38. No man ever led a busier life than did our Saviour. The narrative of His ministry on earth contains no record of weeks or months passed in seclusion or inactivity. It is a narrative of continual travel and labour among the inhabitants of the cities and towns of Palestine,-the fields that were white for the heavenly harvest. It is a narrative of constant work for the physical and mental uplifting of those around Him. He healed the sick, He raised the dead, He cleansed the leapers, restored the crippled, gave sight to the blind, cast out devils, fed the multitudes, and to all He preached the Gospel. He was found amidst the throng and press of the multitudes, out in the common daily walks of life, ministering and bringing relief wherever there was suffering and need.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 305.5

    This is the example that is set before the Christian, the follower of Christ. This is to be the basis of his Christian experience. His life must be a life of work, and such work as centres not upon himself, but upon his fellows. Here is one contrast between heathen religions and the religion of Christ. The former makes self the object of all religious activity in devotions, while in the latter the object is not self, but our fellow-men. “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:4. Christ left His seat upon the throne of His glory, to come to this dark world where He would have neither wealth nor position, and He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister to others. This was the mind of Christ, and this is to be the mind of His followers. Philippians 2:5-8.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 305.6

    But there are very many whose religious experience bears a resemblance to that of the heathen devotee. Their Christian life is lacking in real work done for the uplifting of others. They may be very devout, be seldom absent from religious service, pray long and earnestly, and read and meditate much upon religious themes; but all this does not make a true Christian life. They themselves realise, perhaps, in their inmost souls, that there is a lack somewhere,-some essential feature of Christian living that their lives do not show, yet they cannot see that all this should not make them good Christians. Ah, it cannot be said of them that they go about doing good. Their experience rests upon no solid foundation. They do not do as did the Saviour.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 305.7

    Christ prayed much, but His time was not all spent in prayer. Nor was it all passed in religious reading and meditation, nor in other acts of public or private devotion. His life was spent in contact with others, in ministering to their needs, relieving their distress, and pointing them to the way of life. And this example is to be copied by His followers. Christian labour is essential to Christian life. He who does nothing but pray will soon cease to pray with devotion; and he who does nothing but read the Scriptures will soon cease to read them with interest, or to get from them their precious lessons of truth. He who merely goes through the forms of Christian service must soon cease to feel the sacred impressions of Christian worship, or to see beyond the mere round of formalities which he observes. The Master does not reveal Himself to the idlers in His vineyard, but to the workers. His lessons of truth become vital principles in the soul only by coming in contact with the spirit of earnest labour for His sake.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 305.8

    The great commission from Christ’s lips says, “Go!” “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature;” and His promise is, “Lo, I am with you all way, even to the end of the world.” Mark 16:16, 17. But He left no promise to be lookers on. True Christian experience must have a basis of earnest Christian labour. The successful aspirate for a heavenly crown will be the one who has unselfishly labored to relieve the wants and uplift the souls of his fellows; for to him will be spoken the words, in the day of his Lord’s appearing, “Come, ye blessed of My Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.1

    “An Unanswerable Argument” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    This Anti-Infidel publishes the following little story, which ought to be read and remembered by all who profess to be Christians:-PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.2

    In one of the towns in Massachusetts there was a man who took in an infidel paper, and set himself up as an avowed infidel. He argued with, and, as he thought, refuted all the Christians in the place. But there was one old professor in the village who would not debate with him. He spoke of the unspeakable love of Christ; of the preciousness of a good hope; of the comfort it afforded him. His conduct worried his sceptical neighbour. For all the rest he cared not a whit; but that old man-he talked about him most of the time-somehow harrowed up his mind so that he could not rest. And so great was the trouble this old man caused him that it led him to reflect, repent, and believe on Christ. When he came into Conference to relate his experience, anterior to uniting with the church, he pointed to the hoary-headed member, and exclaimed, “the life of that man slew me.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.3

    No infidel was ever converted by arguing. Though you answer the objections of a sceptic a thousand times, he will be ready with them the thousand and first time as fresh as ever. But the argument which will have the effect, and which is the only one for the Christian to use, is the manifestation of the life of Christ. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. Then when they are attracted by the life, so that they wish to learn instead of to fight, you can “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.4

    “Authority for the Sabbath” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    We are in receipt of a letter which says: “So long as a seventh day of rest is observed, it matters not a bit which of the seven days it is; but it is wise to conform to general custom, for the sake of convenience and order; every day is a seventh day.” This statement of the case is worthy of consideration, for it presents a very common idea of the Sabbath question. The only thing that should concern us is to know the exact truth, and not to mistake conjecture for positive evidence.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.5

    We are told that “a seventh day of rest” ought to be observed, but that it makes no difference what day it is. Query: How does anybody know that a regular rest day ought to be observed? The idea is quite prevalent among certain nations, but what gave rise to it? Let us see if we can find out.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.6

    Someone will say that reason teaches it. But no one has exceeded the ancient Greeks and Romans in acuteness of intellect or power of reasoning, yet they never had the idea of a weekly rest day. They had innumerable holidays,-festival days,-when those who were able to do so gave themselves up to the amusement and revelry, but there was no thought of cessation of labour. Those who went to the greatest lengths in the observance of the holidays, were the ones who did little or no work, while for the labouring class there was no respite.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.7

    It is a fact such a thing as a Sabbath day is not and never has been known among what are termed heathen nations. This disposes also of the supposition that physical reasons are sufficient to account for the weekly rest day. The Chinese are diligent toilers, yet they have never learned the necessity of a weekly rest day. It is the same with other heathen peoples. So then it is a fact that by far the greater number of people on earth not only do not observe a weekly rest day, but do not recognise the existence of such a thing.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.8

    Whence, then, comes the idea of the necessity for a weekly rest day? The only answer that can be given is that it comes from the Bible. Where the Bible has no place, the weekly rest day is unknown. The fourth commandment enjoins it, and gives its origin as well. Here it is:-PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.9

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; 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 20:8-11.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.10

    Here is the original authority for the observance of a rest day. Whatever ideas man may have about such a day, the idea that there should be a weekly rest-day at all, sprang from this source, and from this alone. Now the question must arise, Since it is to the Bible that we owe our knowledge of the fact that a weekly rest day ought to be observed, why should we not also depend solely on the Bible for our knowledge of all the particulars concerning it? Why should men learn from the Bible that a rest day ought to be observed, and then consult custom, or their own taste or convenience, as to how and when it shall be observed? Such a course is manifestly inconsistent in the highest degree.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.11


    Note well that in the commandment there is nothing said about “a seventh day of rest.” The language is very definite “The seventh day is the Sabbath.” “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in that is, and rested the seventh day.” The idea of an indefinite Sabbath, regulated by custom, is utterly foreign to the Scriptures.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.12

    Just before the commandments were proclaimed from Sinai, the children of Israel were given manna for their food. See Exodus 16. Six days in the week it fell, but on the Sabbath none was to be found. On each of the first five days only enough for the day’s supply was to be gathered, and if more was gathered, and it was kept till the next day, “it bred worms and stank”; but on the sixth day twice the usual amount was to be gathered, and a supply laid up for the Sabbath day, in which case it did not spoil, but kept sweet. By this series of miracles, which was kept up for forty years, the Lord showed His regard for the Sabbath day; and at the same time He effectually guarded against the idea that the day of the Sabbath is to be settled by the caprice or custom of men.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 306.13

    The reader can see at a glance how impossible it was for any of the Israelites to get the idea that the Sabbath is an indefinite day. They might rebel against it, and disregard it, but they knew very well that the Sabbath was fixed by the Lord Himself, and not left to men; custom has nothing to do with it.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.1

    After the Babylonian captivity the Jews became very strict in the outward observance of the Sabbath, even going far beyond the commandment. They often presumed to rebuke Jesus for what they termed His violation of the day. On one occasion he healed a man on the Sabbath day, and the Jews murmured. That day was the seventh day of the week. If the Sabbath is any day that men may choose, what an opportunity that was to enlighten the Jews. Did He tell them that it made no difference what day was observed, if only a seventh part of time were kept? Not at all. He simply said, “It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days” (Matthew 12:12), thus recognising the definite Sabbath day, but showing that He had not violated it.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.2

    Christ was crucified on the day before the Sabbath; “that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.” Luke 23:54. “And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Verses 55, 56. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared.” Luke 24:1. This first day of the week was the day immediately following the Sabbath day, on which they rested “according to the commandment,” for the record in Mark says that “when the Sabbath was past, ... very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre” (Mark 16:1, 2); and the record by Matthew is still more definite, saying that it was “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” Matthew 27:1.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.3

    What we learn from these texts? This: That the Sabbath day, according to the commandment, “is the day before” the first day of the week. The day before “the first day of the week” must be “the seventh day of the week,” since there are but seven days in a week. Therefore we have the fact, stated by Inspiration, that the Sabbath day “according to the commandment” is the seventh day of the week. Moreover, to make the matter more sure, we are told that even “very early in the morning the first day of the week” the Sabbath is already “past.” No matter how early one rises in the morning the first day of the week, he will be too late to find the Sabbath day; it passes before the first day begins.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.4

    If one regards the Bible as of no authority, that is another matter. We have no commission to prove the truth of the Bible, for it is its own evidence; but to those who regard the Bible as the word of God, the evidence above given, although brief, must be conclusive. The Spirit of God expressly declares that the Sabbath “according to the command” is the day before the first day of the week, namely, the seventh day of the week; and the words of Christ are, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.5


    The Bible declares that “the customs of the people are vain.” Jeremiah 10:3. The command is, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.” Exodus 23:2. Again we read: “Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies; because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.” Hosea 10:13.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.6

    The correctness of a course is not determined by the number who follow it. In the days of Noah the multitude were opposed to the truth. Noah was in what would be termed “a hopeless minority”; and if the truth of his preaching could have been settled by a popular vote, the flood would never have come. Nevertheless it did come, because the word of the Lord had said so.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.7

    When Christ was on earth, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” John 1:11. He was rejected by the church. The question was, “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him?” John 7:48. They had not, with the exception of one or two who believed secretly, and the fact that they had not was considered sufficient evidence that He was an imposter; yet He was the Son of God, although “despised and rejected of men.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.8

    There is custom, however, that we are permitted to follow, and that is the custom of Christ; for “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6. He left us an example, that we should follow in His steps. 1 Peter 2:21. Of Him we read that after His baptism and temptation, “being full of the Holy Ghost,” “He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” Luke 4:16. Said He, “I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” John 15:10. Reader, whose custom will you follow? the vain custom of the world? or the righteous custom of the Lord Jesus Christ?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.9

    “God’s Nearness to Men” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The Apostle Paul affirms that God is “not far from every one of us.” Acts 17:27. He is not so far away that He may not be found by anyone who will earnestly seek Him. The apostle says that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him.” He represents them as groping about in obscurity, with but a ray or two of light to guide them in the search; and yet, even under these circumstances they are able to find God, because He is not far away from everyone of us. He guides our steps to Him in the darkness and in the light.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.10

    But God does not will that man should live in darkness concerning Him. He would have them live in the light, where they can behold His divine presence, and rejoice in a clear view of His attributes of mercy and love. He ordained it so in the beginning, but men turned away from Him, because they “did not like to retain God in their knowledge,” and they “became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21, 28. They “have sought out many inventions” (Ecclesiastes 7:29) and their inventions, have turned their minds away from the things of God, and shut out His glory from their view.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.11

    And nowhere has human invention done more to darken the spiritual eyesight than in the very means which men employ to-day for the worship and service of God. Through the creeds and dogmas, the forms and ceremonies, the orders and offices which pertain to present modes of divine worship, men see God but dimly, if indeed they are able to see Him at all. They interpose before them an opaque theological body, by which the pure light of heaven is constantly kept in eclipse. The true character of God, and the nature of the plan which He has devised for man’s salvation, have been lost to view, and all sorts of vague and erroneous ideas have sprung up, to waste and pervert the spiritual energies.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 307.12

    To interpose something between man and God, between the worshipper and the divine object of his worship, has been the constant aim of Satan in his opposition to the plan of salvation. He wants men to look to some earthly object instead of to Christ their Redeemer, or to look at Him through some medium of human invention, which will darken and distort their view. He is pleased to have men believe that they cannot come to Christ directly, but must approach Him through some means devised by that Church. He does not care particularly what object that is brought between man and God, whether a priest, or a bishop, or a pope, or the Virgin Mary, or the “saints,” or anything that is less than God, for all these serve his purpose of causing man to lose sight of the Being whom alone he professes to worship. And when men have lost sight of God and of His character, Satan’s aim is to insert himself into the place of God, and present his own character and requirements in the place of God’s, so that in thinking to worship and serve God men will in reality be worshipping and serving him. This is what will inevitably result when men allow their sight to be turned away from God and fixed upon something else.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 308.1

    The Christian world needs to learn to-day that God is not a great way off from man, shut out by a great church with its forms and ceremonies, and a long array of “saints” and bishops and ecclesiastical paraphernalia, but that He is near to His creatures, even within the sound of the voice and the sight of the eye. All that is necessary to bring Him in view is simple faith, and not the faith of some great divine or some ecclesiastical body, but that of the individual. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6. These are the conditions of seeking and finding God. They are such as any individual who wills to can readily perform.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 308.2

    Christ is the true Shepherd. He speaks to His sheep, and they hear and know His voice. John 10:4, 5. We are to look to Christ, and from Him receive our light. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6. “Let us,” says Paul, “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1, 2.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 308.3

    Nature and revelation alike point us to God direct. God’s word is a revelation of Himself, in which, by the eye of faith, we behold His goodness and His majesty. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and their life.” John 6:63. Christ is the Head and the Bishop of His church. “For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:25. He is the Bishop to whom all must look who would find a way of salvation.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 308.4

    “How to Have Faith” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.1

    Now note what the shepherds said and did: “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.” Verse 15.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.2

    Most people would say, “Come, let us go and see if this thing is so,” but it was not so with the shepherds. They simply wanted to see the great thing, which they knew was true, because the Lord had made it known to them.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.3

    That was simple faith, and it is all there is to faith. Faith is the simplest and most natural thing in the world.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.4

    “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. There can be no faith where there is no word of God; but where there is the word of God, all one has to do is to believe it, not hesitatingly, not questioningly, but with the positiveness of actual knowledge.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.5

    Who would think of trying to teach a little child how to believe its parents? Surely it is important that the child should believe its parents, is it not? Certainly; but there is no necessity for teaching, for the child believes without being taught. It is the most natural thing in the world to do. Now all there is to having faith is to believe just as a little child does.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.6

    It does not require an effort to have faith. On the contrary an effort is required not to have faith. For he who does not have faith necessarily believes that which is not true; and it stands to reason that it is much easier to believe truth than to believe falsehood. God’s word is truth, and it is the foundation of faith. Therefore faith gives the only true wisdom, since nothing is wisdom except the knowledge of truth.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.7

    “Spiritual Blindness” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Spiritual blindness, like physical blindness, is a sad misfortune. Indeed, it is much the greater calamity of the two, being almost as difficult to remove, and much more disastrous in its ultimate effects. And it is no less real because of its insidious nature, which prevents its victim from recognising its presence; it is only rendered thereby the more dangerous. To persuade an individual to submit to treatment for an affliction which he does not believe to be upon him, is a very difficult task. Just this difficulty must be met in trying to cure the one who is spiritually blind. He neither understands his need, nor understands the necessary remedy agreeable to his natural taste.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.8

    The word of God has much to say of this prevailing spiritual affliction. It speaks of those who have eyes, and see not, and ears, yet hear not, and hearts, but do not understand. Such were those to whom the prophet Isaiah was sent (Isaiah 6:10), and such were very many of those who listened to the words of Christ during His ministry upon the earth. Nor was it alone the scribes and Pharisees, or those accounted to have been the greatest sinners, who gave proof of their spiritual blindness. In all ages of the world this affliction has been exceedingly common, and some of the best men as well as the worst have been conspicuous as its victims. Our own age is no exception to others in this respect, nor are we ourselves beyond the reach of this dangerous evil. Indeed it is only by the grace of God received into the heart that any can escape this condition, for men are not born naturally into a state of spiritual enlightenment. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.9

    There is something in the heart of the natural man which, whenever he is called upon to see spiritual things, entirely obstructs his view, so that he cannot discern anything; and no matter how plainly a thing may stand revealed before him, he cannot see it. No matter how hard he tries to see it, he will not be able to do so. It is a simple impossibility. And this something in the natural heart is very liable to exist where its presence is least suspected, or to creep back into the heart after it has once been driven out. It is this something which makes the heart, as the prophet Jeremiah says, “deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 12:9), more deceitful even than Satan himself. “Keep the heart with all diligence,” is the wise man’s admonition, “for out of it are the issues of life.” Only by the greatest diligence can it be kept in a state which will leave the spiritual vision clear and unperverted.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.10

    Even the disciples of Christ; those who stood nearest to Him and were most constantly with Him, often signally failed to discern the spiritual truths which He spake. Often they were as much in the dark as to the meaning of His parables as were the Pharisees themselves. And there is one instance of their failure in this respect which makes one of the strangest and most striking narratives to be found in the Bible. The account is very instructive, both in regard to the effect of spiritual blindness, and the cause which produces it. We will notice briefly that furnished by Mark, beginning with verse 31, of the eighth chapter:-PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.11

    “And He began to teach the disciples that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” “And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.12

    Although Jesus spake this saying openly, the disciples understood it no more than though it had been uttered in an unknown tongue. What was the reason of their failure to comprehend language so plain and simple? Did God, by some miracle, withhold it from them? Not at all. God does not withhold from anyone knowledge that would be for his good. Verse 34 reveals the cause. “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” It was SELF. Self was in the hearts of the disciples, and robbed the words of Christ of all their meaning.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.13

    “And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and He would not that any man should know it. For He taught His disciples, and said unto them, the Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; and after that He is killed, He shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask Him.” Chap. 9:30-32.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 309.14

    Here Jesus made a second attempt to prepare His disciples for the momentous scenes that were to attend His trial and crucifixion, then so near at hand; but again they failed to understand what He said. The succeeding verses give the reason: “And He came to Capernaum; and being in the house He asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace; for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” Verses 33, 34. Here was self again, seeking for exaltation, and the result was that the simplest and plainest statements were turned into a mystery. Self threw the whole field of spiritual vision into a total eclipse. The plainest objects before them, so near that they were standing within their very shadows, were by self made wholly invisible.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.1

    Yet again Jesus sought to tell His disciples of the solemn events connected with the solemn tragedy so soon to be enacted at Jerusalem. A third time He endeavoured to prepare them for the approaching scenes of Gethsemane and Calvary, using even more explicit language than on the two occasions preceding. “And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them; and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto Him, saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him; and the third day He shall rise again.” Chap. 10:32-34.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.2

    But His words were as much of a mystery to them as ever. Three times within the space of a few days, the Saviour had told them, in the plainest possible language, what was about to befall Him; and yet they understood nothing about it, and when the events that He had told them of took place, they were taken wholly by surprise. What can account for such blindness? Again the record tells us. “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto Him, saying, Master, we would that Thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And He said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto Him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left hand, in Thy glory.” “And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.” These two disciples were scheming to get the chief places in the kingdom of heaven, and the remaining ten were angry with them because they had gotten their plea in first! This was what occupied their minds while the Saviour was trying to tell them of the great events that should mark the conclusion of His earthly ministry. Self was there, and filled the whole horizon of the future, so that nothing else was visible to their sight.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.3

    What a loss the disciples sustained on account of their blindness! The privilege of watching with their Lord in Gethsemane, of strengthening Him by their sympathy through the dark hours of His agony, of being actors for God in the world’s greatest tragedy,-what, to the Christian, would not this be worth! But they missed it all, and acted the part of sleeping sentinels and deserters. It was not necessary that it should have been so. It was not some inscrutable act of Providence that kept back the disciples from comprehending the plain statements of their Master. It was self. Seeking for their own exaltation and filled with their own desires, they lost the rich blessings which God desired to bestow upon them.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.4

    And this is what always comes from the presence of self. It works just the same to-day that it did in the days of the apostles. It will keep us from getting what is for our good just as surely as it did them. It will make us just as blind as it did them. It will prevent us from comprehending the plainest statements of God’s word, or of knowing what He speaks to us by the agency of His Spirit. Self perverts the judgment of the most powerful intellect, and turns the spiritual light of the mind into darkness. Self must be purged from the heart, or the individual will walk in spiritual darkness, and know not whither he goeth.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.5

    “Walking in the Dark” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    We do not blame straws for being straws, although we make use of them to show which way the wind blows. Even so in quoting the following conversation, we make no criticism on Dr. Lyman Abbott, but simply use him to call attention to the peculiar “wind of doctrine” that seems to be blowing pretty strongly now. Dr. Abbott is pastor of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N. Y., and editor of the Outlook, formerly the Christian Union. He is a very pronounced evolutionist, and recently gave a lecture to the intent that evolution is God’s only method of operation. After the lecture the following conversation occurred:-PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.6

    “Dr. Abbott, do you think that Jesus was miraculously conceived?”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.7

    “I am not certain about it, but I think that He was.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.8

    “If He was, what becomes of evolution, regarded as an exhaustive explanation of God’s method?”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.9

    “I have not considered this point seriously, and I do not think that the miraculous conception of Jesus is a vital question.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.10

    An English clergyman just returned from America, says that Dr. Abbott “is systematising and consolidating in American theology much that Beecher alone made possible.” But when such theology becomes general, where will the Gospel be? When, in their zeal for “scientific theology,” men deny the very heart and life of the Gospel, what error is there into which they may not run? The miraculous life of Christ is the only light of the world; if that is rejected, it is inevitable that men must be deceived by the ruler of the darkness of this world.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.11

    “Trusting, Not Tempting” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    There is much that passes for trust in God, that is nothing else but tempting God. Christ endured a great temptation on this point, in order that we might know how to distinguish between trusting God and tempting Him. In the account of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness, we read:-PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.12

    “Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee; and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Matthew 4:5-7.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.13

    There is such a thing as changing the truth of God into a lie, and that is always done when the devil quotes Scripture. The words which the devil quoted from the ninety-first psalm are addressed to those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty, taking His truth for their shield and buckler, and not to any who should presumptuously disregarded God’s word, and do what He has not commanded. Christ was kept because He trusted in the Father; but there can be no trust where there is no commandment and no promise. As there was no commandment for Christ to throw Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, and no necessity for it, He could not have claimed any promise if He had done so.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 310.14

    The Lord tells us that where sin abounds grace does much more abound; and then the question arises, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Romans 6:1. In other words, “Shall we do evil, that good may come?” Not by any means. The grace abounds only in order that we may be saved from the sin in which we find ourselves; to go on deliberately committing the sin after the grace of God has shown it to us, would be to tempt God, instead of to trust Him. It would be trying to get Him to deny Himself by giving His grace to condone sin, and to multiply it, instead of to pardon and cleanse from it.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.1

    We once knew of a mother who, in her mistaken idea of love for her boy, allowed him to have his own way in everything, never correcting him for any fault. The result was that as he grew older he manifested no regard for her or her wishes, but made himself intolerable, not only to strangers, but even to his own mother, who had fancied that she loved him. Too late she began to be interested in his salvation, and called in a minister to try to make up for her neglect; but as might be expected, the youth would not listen to a word of counsel or reproof. And then the mother with that spirit of weakness which many mistake for pious resignation, said, “Well, I can do nothing but trust in the promises of God.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.2

    But there was no promise in which she could trust. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” she had ignored. The only word that fit the case, was one in which there was no comfort, namely, “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” So her supposed trust was nothing but presumption.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.3

    Many people to whom a plain duty is made known by the commandments of God refuse to obey, and yet they imagine that they are trusting the Lord, whereas they are only tempting Him. When they ask Him to protect and save them, while refusing to listen to His word, they are asking Him to break His word. But it is written, “Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.4

    When people go to places where they ought not, merely to gratify morbid curiosity, and not to seek and save the lost, they are yielding to the temptation of Satan, which Christ resisted. When they are in the path of duty they may safely trust the Lord, no matter where they are, or what the circumstances; but to go needlessly on the devil’s ground is to tempt God, and to court destruction.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.5

    The story is told of William III., that in one of his battles he was in a very exposed position, and an officer who had brought a message to him, tarried with him after his business was done. The king told the officer that he was in danger, whereupon the man rejoined, “but Your Majesty is in danger also.” “I am safe,” replied the king, “because duty calls me here; duty does not demand your presence, and you are not safe.” In a few moments the man was killed by a cannon ball, while the king was uninjured. Whether the story is true or not, it illustrates the fact that the only place of safety for any man is the place of duty. While he is in the way of duty, he may “trust and not be afraid.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.6

    It is often the case that supposed work for the Lord is done for other motives. Mosheim says, “What is man! The very best often serve God and themselves when they fancy they are serving God alone.” Much that is supposed to be defence of the faith, is undertaken at the instigation of the enemy of truth, rather than at the command of the Lord. The professed followers of Christ often allow themselves to be drawn into discussions and contests by unchristian taunts. When professed Christians engage in controversy because they fear that some will accuse them of cowardice if they do not, they are not following the example of Christ. He would not do anything for the mere purpose of proving that He was the Son of God.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.7

    We hear much about the necessity of speaking for God, but very little about the importance of keeping silent for Him. Jesus often held His peace when the scribes and Pharisees tried to provoke Him to speak in order that they might catch up something from His mouth. So we may often show our trust in God, and our confidence in His truth, by keeping silent. Here is an example:-PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.8

    “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue; I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace even from good.” Psalm 39:1, 2.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.9

    There is such a thing as casting the pearls of truth before swine, which is forbidden. Who can know when to speak and when to keep silence? Who can know what is exactly the right thing to do on every occasion! Christ alone never made a mistake, and only those in whom He dwells can be kept from stumbling. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool;” but the Lord has promised that those who receive His words and cling to them alone, shall “understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.” Proverbs 2:9. Then, “trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 311.10

    “‘Ye Must Be Born Again’” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    For some times you have been learning of your brothers and sisters in India. Your heart has ached as you have heard of their sad hopeless condition, and you have doubtless formed plans in your own mind of how you were going to save up pennies to send them Bibles and preachers that would tell them of the living God and His great love. Perhaps you have already begun this good work.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.1

    But there is another work which we long to see you begin, which is just as important as helping your brothers and sisters in India. We long to see you seeking help for yourself. Would it not be a sad thing if after you have sent money to save the Indians, you yourself should be lost? You need to be saved from sin as much as they. Jesus says, “Ye must be born again,” and “Except a man be born again [margin, from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Then it is not enough to have a Bible of your own, and to know about the only true God. Jesus says if you are ever saved, you must be “born again.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.2

    “Well,” you say, “I do not see how I can become a little baby again.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.3

    No, you do not need to, that is not what the Lord means. He does not say that your body must become small again and that you must again come into the world as a little baby. From the above text in John 3:3 we see that He does not say that a man must have another earthly birth, but what He does say, is that he must have a heavenly birth as well as an earthly birth. He must be born “from above.” It is not enough for you to have an earthly father, you must also have a heavenly Father who is real to you and who lives with you every day as truly as your earthly father does. You must become changed inside and begin all over again. You must put away your naughty thoughts and feelings and partake of the sinless and Divine nature of your heavenly Father, as truly as at your first birth you partook of the weak sinful nature of your earthly father.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.4

    It is not enough to call God your heavenly Father, you might do that all your life and yet never be born of God at all. You must allow Him to come right into your heart by His Holy Spirit. He can then take away every sin and make your heart all over new so that you will want to do good instead of evil. Then you will feel just like a new creature, indeed you will be a new creature, as truly as though you had become little and been born again, for do you not see? you will feel so differently and act so differently that you will not be like the same person at all. Where you used to disobey your parents you will now obey them, where you used to get angry you will be patient, where you used to say crosswords you will say kind words. You will even look different in some ways, for instead of looking solemn and cross and worried, you will look happy and kind and peaceful, for the loveliness and gentleness of Jesus will be shining through your eyes. You will now be the child of God as well as the child of men, for the Lord says that those who receive Jesus are born again (1 John 5:1) and thus become the “sons of God.” (John 1:12, 13.)PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.5

    Now if we only can learn how to receive Jesus into our hearts, we shall know how to be born from above, shall we not?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.6

    We read in Ephesians 3:17 and 1 Peter 1:23 that we can receive Christ into our hearts and be born again by believing and taking into our hearts the word of God. We can see how this is by reading the sixth chapter of John and John 1:1, for there it says that the Spirit and life of Jesus are in the word.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.7

    Then if you will read God’s words in your Bible and believe that they are God’s words to you, that they are living words filled with the Spirit and life and power of Jesus, and will love them and let them stay in your mind and heart, they will, like a wonderful seed, spring up in your heart and make it all over new and fill it with all the fruits of the gentle Spirit of Jesus,-even with the righteousness of God. In other words, the word of God, if received and loved, will cause you to be born again.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.8

    You will not be able to see the life of the word come into your heart anymore than you can see the wind coming into the house, but you will soon be able to see the wonderful change which it has wrought. You will not be able to see how it takes away the bad thoughts and fills you with heavenly thoughts and actions, but God says that it will, and that is enough. All you must do about it is to read and believe and think on His words, and He has promised to cause them to work in you that which is good.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.9

    Now do not think that this being born from above is done once and then that is the end of it. Oh, no. It is enough to be born as a baby once, but we must be born from above every day. So you see you shall need to read and believe and think on God’s words very often, for it is God’s word that is the living seed that causes you to be born from above.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.10

    “Growing” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    If you would become a good strong man or woman of God, it is just as necessary for you to grow as it is for you to be born again.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.1

    If a little baby never grows after it is born, it never can become a strong man or woman. It will always remain a poor, weak, helpless little babe, or else lose the life it already has.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.2

    Now what causes the babe to grow?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.3

    “With plenty of good milk,” you say.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.4

    That’s true. Nothing can make it grow like pure milk. If the milk is mixed with other things that are not good, the baby will soon become ill, and will die.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.5

    Well, suppose your baby brother has all the good milk he can eat for once, and then you should not give him any more, what would happen?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.6

    “He would cry,” you say.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.7

    Yes, undoubtedly. But should he not be satisfied if he has had all that he needs?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.8

    “He has had all that he needs for one time, but that will not last him always.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.9

    Why not?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.10

    “Because in a little while it is used up by the body, to make it grow, and then it is just as hungry as ever.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.11

    Yes and, when the body has used up all its growing material and needs more, it calls for it by making him feel hungry. And even after he has stopped growing and has become a big man, he will still need food, and will get hungry, for the body needs it to keep up repairs.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.12

    So you see a person must have food, and must have it every day if he would grow and keep well. And he must not only have food, but he must have good food.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.13

    Now the Lord says in 1 Peter 2:2 that after you are born from above, after you have received Jesus in your hearts, you will need heavenly milk to make you grow in the heavenly life, just as much as the little babe needs earthly milk to make it grow strong in the earthly life.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.14

    What is the heavenly milk?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.15

    The Lord says, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere [pure, unadulterated] milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” We see, therefore, that the heavenly milk is the pure, unmixed word of God.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 315.16

    “How can that make me grow more and more like Jesus, and strong to do right?”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 316.1

    By eating it (John 6.), by studying it, and thinking upon it, and just drinking it in with your mind, and desiring it more than your necessary food.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 316.2

    You wonder how it can become a part of you, and make you grow better, just by letting your mind think upon it and love it. It does seem wonderful.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 316.3

    But the little baby does not understand how the milk can make its body grow. It just eats and eats and grows, as a little plant,-it knows not how, and we know not how.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 316.4

    Thus the Lord wants you to take His living words into your heart every day, as trustfully and as faithfully as the little baby takes its milk, and His promise is, ye shall grow thereby. Men’s words will not do, God’s words alone can make you grow.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 316.5

    But above all things, remember that one meal, or even one meal a week, is not enough. You must take time to feed on the milk of God’s word every day. Just as surely as you forget for one day to feed on God’s word, you will be too weak that day to overcome the temptations of Satan.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 316.6

    By feeding upon the word you feed upon Jesus, and He is the only One has power to overcome Satan. So if you forget to feed upon the word you forget to have Jesus in your heart, and thus having nothing but your own weakness with which to resist Satan, you surely will be overcome.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 316.7

    Then let us not be content with being born again. There will be no dwarfs in the kingdom of God. We must also feed on heavenly milk that we may grow.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 316.8

    “Our Home, Our Books, and Our Friends” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    For the last few weeks we have been looking around us and trying to get better acquainted with our home, our books, and our friends.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.1

    We have found that we have a very pleasant and beautiful home, which is as strange as it is beautiful. It is a great round ball of sand and rocks and water! This ball is called “the earth,” and it is so large round, that we can see but a small part of it at one time, and can hold but a few grains of it in our hands.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.2

    When we look up, we see something that looks like a beautiful, blue starry curtain stretched over us. This is called “the heavens.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.3

    The heavens and the earth were not always here. A long, long time ago, on the beginning of the first day, they were made out of nothing! And the earth was hung upon nothing! (Job 26:7).PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.4

    We know that man did not create them, for he cannot make the smallest thing out of nothing.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.5

    At first the earth was not round like a ball, as it now is, for it was “without form.” There was no dry land with grass and trees and flowers; there were no animals or fish or birds or people; there was not a living thing upon it; and it was covered with water. Shut your eyes and cover them tightly with your hands, and see what you can see. Well, that is all that you could have seen if you had been here when the earth was first created; it was as dark as the darkest night. But it was not less so, for it was made to be lived upon by good people.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.6

    Now, about our books. As we look them over we see one that has the words “Holy Bible” on the back. We have learned that this book is still more wonderful than our home. It is worth more to us than the whole earth, because if we search and use the precious things that are hidden in it, we shall get perfect happiness in the eternal life. It really is a letter sent to us by our best Friend, because He loved us and wanted us to know how to come to Him. It shows us how to go as plainly as a lamp shows us where to step. There is something good in it for every man, woman, and child that lives upon the earth. It is so much better, and is worth so much more than the other books that it should be handled very carefully. It never should be played with, nor touched with dirty hands. In the first chapter we learn when, how, and by whom, our home was made.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.7

    We have found that we have a great many good friends, and also that our parents are the best earthly friends that we have. But our precious Bible tells us about a Friend who lives up above the stars in heaven, who loves us more and has done more for us than even our father and mother. He is the God of heaven, and our kind heavenly Father. He knows more, and can do more than all the men in the world, for it was He who made this great earth and the starry heavens out of nothing. He just commanded them to be created, and they were! He spake, and the earth was; and it was not there at all before. He made us also, and the birds, and flowers, and every living thing. He gives us all that we have, and cares for us day and night. We should be very particular to do as He says in His letter, and always be very careful how we speak His name, for we do not wish to grieve the dear Friend who has done so much for us.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.8

    1. With what three things have we been trying to get better acquainted during the last few weeks?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.9

    2. What kind of home have we, pleasant, or unpleasant?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.10

    3. Name some of the things that make it so pleasant.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.11

    4. What is this great ball called?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.12

    5. How large is it?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.13

    6. On a bright day, what do we see when we look up?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.14

    7. What is it called?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.15

    8. Were the heavens and earth always here?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.16

    9. When were they made?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.17

    10. Of what were they made?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.18

    11. Upon what was the earth hung?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.19

    12. Did men make them? How do you know that they did not?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.20

    13. How was the earth at first?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.21

    14. Suppose God had left the earth so, how long do you think you could live here?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.22

    15. What is the name of our best book?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.23

    16. Why is it called “the Holy Bible?”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.24

    17. Who sent it to you? Why?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.25

    18. Is it true?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.26

    19. How much is it worth?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.27

    20. How is it like a lamp?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.28

    21. What kind of stories are in it?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.29

    22. What story do we find in the first chapter?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.30

    23. Who wrote the story of creation? Moses.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.31

    24. Did Moses see God do it?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.32

    25. Then how did he know anything about it?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.33

    26. Who is our best Friend?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.34

    27. What makes you think so?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.35

    28. Tell some of the wonderful things that He has done.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.36

    29. Are you not thankful that you have such a wise, but great, loving Friend?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.37

    30. How should you always speak His name and treat His name? Why?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 317.38

    “Interesting Items” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    -Heavy bank and mercantile failures continue to be reported from America.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.1

    -The financial crisis in Australia is regarded as being nearly at an end.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.2

    -Much embarassment is being felt in Italian financial circles from a scarcity of silver small coin.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.3

    -The International Workingmen’s Congress at Zurich declared almost unanimously in favour of an eight-hour day.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.4

    -Wheat has been steadily declining in value since the end of May last, when the average price was 27s. 6d. per quarter, the highest this year.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.5

    -The Christian public of Toronto, Canada, are protesting strongly against an effort to have Sunday street cars. A popular vote on the subject is to be taken.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.6

    -Unemployed and destitute miners of Kansas and Colorado, U.S.A., are leaving in large numbers for other sections of the country where they hope to obtain employment.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.7

    -A telegram from Hillsborough, in Illinois, U.S.A., gives details of an experiment that is to be made of burying a man alive and keeping him interred for forty-eight days.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.8

    -Taxation returns show that the rate per head of the expenditure on the relief of the poor last year was 6s. 1d. The total amount of relief to the poor in 1892 was £8,847,678.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.9

    -In accordance with an Act passed by the Canadian Legislature, all persons under 17 years are forbidden to be in the streets of certain towns and villages after nine o’clock at night.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.10

    -The Italian man-of-war Etna recently visited Montreal, Canada, but was refused a salute from the mayor, an ardent Roman Catholic, because of the attitude of the Italian Government towards the pope.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.11

    -The revolution in Argentine is considered to be practically ended. The governor of the province of Buenos Ayres has fled, and Senor Delvalle, Minister of War, has assumed control of affairs at La Plata.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.12

    -Cholera is still on the increase in nearly all the infected provinces of Russia, but is reported to be lessening in Bessarabia and at Naples. Strict quarantine measures have been adopted by England and the United States.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.13

    -The aboriginal Ainus of North Japan are said not to look upon drunkenness as wicked, or a thing to be detested. Fully 95 per cent. get drunk whenever they can obtain enough sake, and to be drunk is their ideal of supreme happiness.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.14

    -The suburbs of Melbourne have been suffering from an epidemic of measles. On one day recently there were in Fitzroy 1,500 cases, in Collingwood 2,000, and in Richmond cases were so numerous that all the State schools except one were ordered to be closed for a fortnight.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.15

    -Not much progress seems to have been made toward settling the controversy of the coal miners with their employers. In some cases the latter have offered to take back their men on the old terms, but no general offer has been received, and the miners express their intention to hold out to the last.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.16

    -A miniature fortress has been erected in the park of the new palace at Potsdam. It is a present to the Emperor from Herr Krupp. The model shows an entirely now departure in the construction of fortifications, and experts have declared that fortresses built on that plan will be absolutely impregnable.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.17

    -Whilst a party of twenty-eight excursionists from the Rhondda Valley wore boating in Swansea Bay, off Port Talbot, on Bank Holiday, the vessel was struck by heavy sea. Amid the confusion that followed the boat was upset, and twenty-two of the occupants, men, women, and children were drowned.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.18

    -Fighting is reported in Samoa between the foces of the rival kings Malietoa and Mataafa. Malietoa, impatient at what he considered the indifference of the Powers, took matters into his own hands, and attacked Mataafa. The latters losses numbered thirty killed and twenty wounded. England, Germany, and the United States have interfered to prevent further fighting.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.19

    -A correspondent of the Daily Chronicle writes from India that through an oversight in the construction of the Indian penal code the Temple people have been able to revive the horrible practice of hook-swinging, and to set the law at defiance, while they fill their own pockets. He urges prompt action on the part of the English Government to avert a revival of the religious atrocities of former times.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.20

    -In his message to Congress President Cleveland deals exclusively with the silver question, to the unsatisfactory condition of which he attributes the present unfavourable financial and commercial condition of the United States. He declares that the people of the United States have a right to demand that legislation which is condemned by the past three years’ experience, shall be removed from the statute books as soon as possible.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.21

    -The present financial position of the British and Foreign Bible Society is causing some anxiety to the secretaries and committee. The excess of expenditure over income during the last four years has amounted to a total of no less than £67,263, and during the last year alone it was £23,397. This has arisen from the great extension of the society’s operations in order to meet the growing demand for the Scriptures from all parts of world.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.22

    -Serious rioting has occurred in Spain in the vicinity of Madrid. The inhabitants of Vitoria expected that their town would be made the headquarters of an army corps, and on the adverse decision of the Government, the inhabitants, to testify their disapproval, organised a demonstration while the Minister of War was passing through, attacking the military escort by which he was accompanied. Quiet has now been restored, but the district is being closely watched for signs of a revolutionary movement.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.23

    —Readers of the PRESENT TRUTH have, oft been told that the Church of Rome hopes to regain in England the supremacy which she lost by the Reformation. To this end she is working most diligently, and, sad to say, with fair prospects of success. How much that result when it is reached, will contribute to the good of the country, the reader can judge from the following testimony of one who has been several years a resident of a country over which the Catholic Church has long had full control. Mrs. E. G. Clemens, of Paraguay said at a meeting of the International Missionary Union, Clifton Springs, New York, June 14: “I arrived in Assumption in 1889. There had never been a Protestant sermon there till six years before. Romanism has had control of Paraguay as fully as it had of any country. Nine-tenths of the Paraguayans do not know that there is any other religion than the Roman Catholic. Ninety-eight per cent. of the inhabitants are illiterates, and only two per cent. are of legitimate birth.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 318.24

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    In a letter noticed on another page, in regard to the Sabbath, occurs the statement that “every day is a seventh day.” This is said for the purpose of showing that men can rest on any day they choose, and still be keeping the Sabbath. But the commandment does not say anything about “a seventh day;” it deals only with “the seventh day;” and it is a fact that every day is not the seventh day. The week has just seven days, and the seventh day is the last of the seven; the Sabbath cannot be found anywhere except on the seventh day of the week, and the seventh day occurs nowhere else but at the close of the first six days.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.1

    The Bible knows nothing about observing a “seventh part of time” as the Sabbath. That is an invention of men, to avoid keeping the Sabbath of the Lord. People may say it makes no difference, but it does. Suppose we try it on something else. Here are seven points in a row; the first six are silver, but the last one, the seventh, is gold. Here is also a man who believes that the commandment requiring rest on “the seventh day” may be kept by resting on the seventh part of time. I tell him that he may have the seventh coin. Of course, true to his theory, he will choose the first, which is only a sixpence. No? Why not? Isn’t the first the seventh, as well as any other? That will answer for theory, but not for practice. He will take the seventh coin, the sovereign, without any hesitation, and nobody can convince him that any other coin, being one-seventh of the number, is the seventh coin. And he would be right. But why will he argue about God’s seventh day in a way that he would call absurd if applied to his seventh coin?PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.2

    The cases are quite parallel, for there is as much distinction between the seventh day of the week and “the six working days,” as there is between the sovereign and the six silver coins. Men may say, “We cannot see any difference in days.” But God says that there is a difference, and when God says a thing, it is man’s business to see it. He has put His blessing upon the seventh day, and upon no other; therefore although we may have a blessing from God on any and every day of the week, we can have the Sabbath blessing only on the seventh day. Here is what the Lord says to those who can see no difference where He has made a difference:-PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.3

    “Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned Mine holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” Ezekiel 22:26.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.4

    The Interior, commenting on the outbreak of religious persecution in Asia Minor, says,-PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.5

    “It was fondly supposed that the days of persecution for conscience sake belonged to ages long past. But apart from the power of the word of God religious tolerance does not exist in the world to-day. We pass every day a lad who is pursued with vindictiveness in his own home because he has to renounce the teachings of the Catholic Church. His Bible has been burned, and the Greek Testament that he borrowed was committed to the flames. The public libraries have been forbidden to furnish him reading, and one by one his youthful pleasures are stripped from him. It is as true to-day as it was eighteen centuries ago, that unless the grace of God has softened the heart of the parent, the disciple of Christ must find “a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.6

    Nor is the case here mentioned an exceptional one. Persecution for righteousness sake is not by any means an obsolete thing to-day. There never was an age of the world in which the righteous could live without persecution. But this is not at all strange, for Inspiration plainly tells us that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. This statement is as true to-day as it ever was. No one should expect or desire to gain heaven in any other way. As the hymn says,-PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.7

    Must I be carried to the skies
    On flowery beds of ease,
    Whilst others fought to win the prize,
    And sailed through bloody seas?
    PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.8

    Without persecution, no one can be fit for the society of Jesus and the martyrs who have followed in His blood-stained steps.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.9

    The Kat River district, in South Africa, has been experiencing a plague of locusts. The insects, it is stated, stripped the country of everything that was green, except the tobacco. Nor do we wonder. It seems strange that a locust should have more sense about what is fit for the mouth than many men, but it appears to be even so.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.10

    “Abolishing War” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Abolishing War.-The Zurich Labour Congress has had under consideration recently the question of the attitude to be taken by the working classes in the event of war. It was proposed to make a European war impossible, by means of a general strike when hostility should have been declared; but this proposal was rejected, and another substituted which aims at the same thing, through the withholding of supplies.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.11

    We are sure, however, that, desirable as is the end sought, it will not be attained by either of the means proposed. War has its origin in the depravity of human nature, and unfortunately this depravity is not confined to the aristocracy, but extends to all classes, rich and poor alike. The working-men are quite as ready to fight among themselves, should provocation arise, as are the ambitious representatives of royalty. The only sure way to abolish war is to eradicate that innate selfishness of human nature which continually leads men to seek to advance their own interests at the expense of their fellow; and the only antidote for this is the religion of Jesus Christ.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.12

    “Mohammedan Zeal” The Present Truth 9, 20.


    E. J. Waggoner

    We are reminded that we are by no means to think of Mohammedanism as a system of religion that is dying out, by the fact that even now there are 400 Mohammedan missionaries sent out from Cairo every year. These missionaries are to be found everywhere in the East, and even in the heart of Africa. There are 11 million Mohammedans in China, and 100 mosques in Pekin alone. Mohammedanism is not less aggressive now than it was in the days of Mohammed. It is a religion of force, and can be successfully met only by the Gospel of peace. While it is not dying out, it is a dead religion, in that it has no spirit of life in it. The greater its activity, the greater the death that it causes. Therefore it must be met with the Gospel of life. Mohammedan missionaries need only zeal, and a knowledge of the theory of Mohammedanism. Christian missionaries must have the zeal and knowledge that comes from the life of Christ in the soul.PTUK August 17, 1893, page 320.13

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