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    March 19, 1896

    “Believing and Knowing” The Present Truth, 12, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When Jesus was betrayed into the hands of men, knowing that His hour was come, it is written of His disciples that they forsook Him and fled.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 177.1

    And the crucifixion and death of Christ came as such an overwhelming surprise to His most intimate followers that their hopes were buried with Him, and the world was dark and deep.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 177.2

    There is a very common misapprehension of the evidence which the disciples had to help them through this hour of darkness. One writer says: “Jesus made many allusions to His death, but so vaguely that they were not understood, and His disciples were wholly unprepared for the event.”PTUK March 19, 1896, page 177.3

    This misapprehension robs one of the important and helpful lesson that is taught in the story of this disappointment. The fact is, that the disciples need not have been plunged into a hopeless sorrow even for those few hours, had they but believed the words of the Lord, as plainly appears from a few texts.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 177.4

    Christ made many allusions to His approaching death, and on three occasions, recorded by Mark in consecutive order, He distinctly told His disciples exactly what was to occur. First, when they were in C?sarea Philippi:-PTUK March 19, 1896, page 177.5

    “And He began to teach them, 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.” Chapter 8:31.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 177.6

    Next, as they had come into Galilee, He said to the disciples, “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.” Chapter 9:31.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 177.7

    And again, as they were going up to Jerusalem to the cross, “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.” Chapter 10:32-34.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 177.8

    Now, reading the statements, it must be acknowledged that language could not more plainly state the facts. Three times over the Lord told them, and yet it is written, “But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask Him.” Why did they not understand? Not because it was not said plainly, assuredly, but because they did not believe what was said.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.1

    And just here comes the lesson for us. They did not listen, nor believe the plain declarations of the Lord. Their minds were so full of their own ideas of how it was all coming out that when the Lord spoke His thoughts they even rebuked Him for saying such a thing as that He should suffer and die. They did not see how these things could be, and they could not see how simply because they did not believe His words. And so they were wholly unprepared to go through the trial without wavering.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.2

    Just so to-day many read over the plainest declarations of the Word with minds so full of their own thoughts and conceptions that they do not understand what the Lord says. They seek the written words or hear the sound of them, but they only suggest the thoughts that have possession of the mind. God’s thoughts are not as our thoughts, and the way to learn His thoughts is to listen to what He says and believe it exactly as He says it. The disciples did not understand Christ’s words, but if they had believed the words they would have understood. When we believe the words of the Lord we begin to understand them, but no one can understand so long as he puts the words away without listing to them and believing that God means what He says.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.3

    We need to learn this lesson now, and for our instruction it is recorded. The disciples needed the lesson to keep them in the hour of the power of darkness. Luke 22:53. Before us is another hour of the power of darkness that will try men’s souls. Of that coming hour the promise is given, “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Revelation 3:10. To keep it is to receive it, to believe it. Let us, then, be warned by the lesson of the disciples’ failure, that we may not fail to understand the words which the Holy Spirit speaks by Scripture to prepare men to stand in the hour final trial.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.4

    “Paganism in Civilisation” The Present Truth, 12, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is a horrible thing to think of thousands of men slaughtered in a single battle,-shot down and tumbled into holes, as though they were dogs, or left to rot on the ground. But there is another side to the matter than that which usually engages the attention of the few who do have a thought of pity for the victims of war. Of all the papers that we have seen, only one paper, and that a secular journal,-the Echo,-has spoken out without partiality in consideration of the natives who are slaughtered in these African wars. It speaks thus strongly and pointedly:-PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.5

    For the moment the incontinent ambition of European nations has met with a paralysing repulse in Africa. And what do our readers consider is a consolation to the Italians in the present crisis of their history? They console themselves with the thought that, though they have received a crushing defeat themselves, they managed to kill many thousands of native Africans. And even papers in this country harp on the same string. It is said that the Pope, when he heard of several thousands of his countrymen killed, was much affected; and well he should be. But neither he nor we believe any other nominally Christian bishop in Christendom would have been particularly moved if ten times the number of native Africans had been slaughtered. We have not seen a word of regret, or heard of a single sigh of sorrow at the killing of thousands of native Africans. And these men were fighting for their country and their homes, and were animated by purer motives than the invading soldiers.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.6

    The Pope and other Christian bishops, in speaking of the glories and the conquests of Christianity, say that men all over the world are members of the same family and children of the same God. But when the Christian members of the family from Europe go to smite and to slaughter their weaker brethren in Africa, we hear of no Papal or patristic condemnation. The fact is that European nations, in their greedy scramble in Africa for Africa, their scientific methods of killing the populations of Africa, and their hypocritical cant about spreading the blessings of civilisation are as pagan as the Romans before Christ came on the earth; and Italy, the home of the Papacy, and the inheritor of nearly two thousand years of Christian teaching and experience, appears to be the most pagan of all.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.7

    It should be remembered, however, in reading this, that nothing is Christianity except that which is like Christ, no matter what the profession may be. The Papacy is not, and never was, Christianity, or any part of it; and the Pope is not a Christian bishop. Genuine coin of the realm is not blamed for the counterfeits that exist; and so Christianity must not be charged with the false profession thereof.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.8

    “A Fair Sample” The Present Truth, 12, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A Fair Sample.-The Roman Catholic Church uses force to suppress the preaching of the Gospel wherever it has control of the civil power. Just now the Portuguese authorities are threatening the Swiss missionaries in Delagoa Bay with expulsion, as they are charged by the Catholic clergy with making proselytes from the Roman Church. The Swiss missionaries rather weakly, it seems, protest that they have never tried to convert Roman Catholics, and appeal to the Swiss Government for protection in their work. That is not a defence that commends itself to the principles of Gospel mission work, but the circumstance shows how little sincerity there is in the modern profession of the Catholic Church to be the friend of religious liberty. What it does in Delagoa Bay, South America, and in other Catholic countries it would do in every land it had the power. But power belongs unto God, and as He has a people amongst Roman Catholics we know that in His own way the call will go to them, “Come out of her, My people.”PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.9

    “French Reformed Church” The Present Truth, 12, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The French Reformed churches are considering a revised liturgy which includes a prayer for the success of the nation’s arms. M. Monod, one of the family which has had so wide an influence in Evangelical work in France, has put before the churches the suggestion that in view of the evils of militarism and war and the contrast between these and the works of peace and love, “our prayer should be confined to commending to Divine mercy such as are at war, whoever they may be.”PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.10

    “Catholic Success” The Present Truth, 12, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Catholic Times thinks that the success of the Catholic Church in the United States is “sufficient to enable the American Church to keep Catholicity alive were the enemies of our religion to crush it out of existence in all the other countries of the globe.”PTUK March 19, 1896, page 178.11

    “Church Reunion” The Present Truth, 12, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Church Times, which is one of the leading organs of the Church of England, closes a review of the recently issued biography of Cardinal Manning in these words:-PTUK March 19, 1896, page 181.1

    As to its bearing on reunion, we are the last to press home this book unfairly on our Roman brethren. We, with them, respect Cardinal Manning’s memory and work, and believe these volumes, however unintentionally, to give a distorted presentment of his character. But if it would induce them to cease throwing stones, and to respect, with at least ordinary courtesy, our religious position, we should be grateful indeed. Reunion has not a fair chance, while the approaches are all on one side, and the coolness on the other; which, whatever we may say of foreign Roman Catholic opinion, seems to be the case in England.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 181.2

    That is strong testimony as to the attitude of the Church of England in relation to the Roman Catholic Church. But the Church Times has only to be patient, and it will see its desires accomplished. The Church of Rome is as anxious for reunion as the Church of England is, but it knows that there is no need of urging that which is inevitably coming. Rome’s coolness is only for the purpose of stimulating the Church of England’s ardour, so that the reunion may be a perfect one, namely, with the Pope supreme, as of old.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 181.3

    “Preaching and Living Lawlessness” The Present Truth, 12, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The article, “Not Under the Law,” which appeared in PRESENT TRUTH some time ago, has fallen into the hands of a man who takes exception to it as follows:-PTUK March 19, 1896, page 182.1

    But, says the editor of PRESENT TRUTH, “we do not teach nor believe that Christians are under the law.” If then we are not under the law, on what ground does he urge us to keep the Sabbath? The law says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Is there any other instruction or precepts or command to keep the Sabbath found in God’s Word, except in the law? None whatever. If then we are not under the law, the command does not apply to us.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 182.2

    The idea that this man has is one that is held by very many people, namely, that to keep the law is to be under it, and that since Christians are not under the law, therefore they must not by any means keep the Sabbath. But mark, now, what is involved in this idea.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 182.3

    The law of God is not a collection of disconnected precepts, but is a unit. This is clearly shown by the words of the Apostle James: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For He that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” James 2:10, 11. Whatever therefore is or may be said about one part of the law, applies equally to the whole of it.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 182.4

    Now that same law which says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” says also, “Do not commit adultery.” One commandment has just as much force as the other, and no more. The man, therefore, who says that the fourth commandment does not apply to him, because he thinks he is not under the law, virtually says the same of the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and all the others. There are many well-meaning and sincere people who have been led by this sophistry of men, and the “cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive,” to think that the apostle’s statement, “Ye are not under the law, but under grace,” is a warrant, if not a command, for them not to keep the Sabbath, but who do not realise that the whole law is involved. For the benefit of such we write. We would open their eyes to the fact that rejection of the Sabbath inevitably involves rejection of the whole law.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 182.5

    If adultery were as popular as Sabbath-breaking, then we should find men, claiming to be Christians, who would say, “Christians are not under the law; why, then, do you urge us to keep the seventh commandment?” And they would have as much reason and religion on their side as those who talk in the same way about the fourth commandment. Let it not be forgotten that the rejection of the Sabbath involves the rejection of all morality. The Sabbath is that which makes known the true God who sanctifies. Ezekiel 20:12. When men reject that, they by that very act reject sanctification itself.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 182.6

    We have said that the deliberate rejection of the Sabbath means a rejection of all morality. This is evident from the fact that it means a rejection of the law of God, which is “holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12. But it is more apparent from the plain fact that it means a rejection of Christ. The man from whose letter we have quoted says, referring to the editor of PRESENT TRUTH:-PTUK March 19, 1896, page 182.7

    He says further, “The fact that Jesus kept the Sabbath is the strongest reason why Christians should keep it also.” Does he not know, and let it be reverently spoken, that the Lord Jesus was not a Christian, but a Jew, which we are not.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 182.8

    The Apostle John says, “He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6. But He kept the Sabbath, as indeed He kept all the commandments (John 15:10; Psalm 40:8); and in order to evade that, some men are willing to repudiate His whole life; for He was a Jew all His earthly life.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 183.1

    Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. He did not come to the earth to act a part, but to show us just what He is. Therefore whoever casts away His life on earth, or any part of it, no matter for what reason, rejects Jesus as He is to-day in heaven, and thus casts away salvation. Even “salvation is of the Jews.” John 4:22.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 183.2

    Since Jesus kept the Sabbath on earth, and is always the same, it follows that the Sabbath is as much a part of His life now as it ever was. It was but a short time ago that a man, a professed minister of the Gospel, to whom the writer presented this thought, boldly declared that Jesus is not the same now that He was; that He has changed. To such straits are men driven in order to evade the Sabbath! They must either reject Christ utterly, or else accept a Christ that is unknown to the Bible, that is, a false Christ.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 183.3

    Some one will say, “You believe, then, in sanctification and salvation by works.” Oh, no; not at all. Do you not see any difference between working and resting? The Sabbath is not work, it is rest. Sabbath means rest. Salvation is by faith; and we are assured that “we which have believed do enter into rest;” and this is spoken with direct reference to the seventh day, the Sabbath of the Lord. Hebrews 4:3, 4. The Sabbath is a sign of sanctification and redemption by faith. True Sabbath-keeping is perfect rest in God through Christ the Creator and Redeemer. “He that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” Hebrews 4:10. Surely anybody, especially if he be a labouring man, ought to be able to see a wide difference between works and rest. Sabbath rest is not salvation by works.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 183.4

    And for this reason no one can say of the Sabbath of the Lord, “You shall not put it upon me.” No; hard work and heavy burdens may be bound upon men; but not the Sabbath, which is rest. Sabbath-keeping is not a grievous task put upon men whether they will or not, but a glorious privilege to which none can be admitted except those who humbly believe God. That means that they believe all His word. Instead of thrusting the Sabbath upon an unwilling people, God says of those who do not believe Him, “they shall not enter into My rest.” He does not arbitrarily exclude any; all are welcome to come and share His rest, and all are invited; but faith alone can give the rest; and those who do not believe exclude themselves. To keep the Sabbath indeed is not to confer a favour on the Lord, but to rest in His love, to dwell in His presence, and to drink of the rivers of His pleasure. It is to be “under grace” in the fullest sense, namely, to “receive not the grace of God in vain.”PTUK March 19, 1896, page 183.5

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 12, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The mines of South Africa now produce one-fifth of the world’s supply of gold.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.1

    -A meteor which fell in Australia recently had a large mass of pure copper embedded in one side.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.2

    -A colliery strike now in progress in Austria is said to be the largest strike ever witnessed in that country.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.3

    -The Russian press is jubilant over the defeat of the Italians, and has opened subscriptions to aid the wounded Abyssinians.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.4

    -Mr. Ballington Booth has tally embarked on the organisation of a new Salvation Army in America, and is said to be enrolling recruits rapidly, most of them coming from the old army.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.5

    -The proposal of the United States to intervene in behalf of the Cuban insurgents has roused strong feeling in Spain, where the authorities have had difficulty in suppressing attacks on American consulates.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.6

    -The past year has witnessed a great famine in Africa, north of the Zambesi. Locusts have appeared in clouds and eaten everything off the face of the country. Sufferings of the most harrowing nature are reported.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.7

    -Sixteen thousand pounds is the figure that it is approximated the Pope’s pearl would bring. One of Leo’s predecessors became possessed of it in a manner which has not been told, and it has descended in a regular course.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.8

    -In view of the effort of an explorer to reach the North Pole by balloon next summer, the Hudson’s Bay Company has sent word to its stations to inform Indians and Esquimaux to be on the lookout to render assistance in case the balloonists should come down in North American territory.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.9

    -The pilgrimage to Mecca began this year, as usual, towards the end of January, and early in February several shiploads of pilgrims had started for Jeddah. It is understood that all the Egyptian pilgrims will be kept for several days in quarantine at El Tor before being allowed to go on to Mecca.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.10

    -Lord Kelvin has been making experiments to discover what the effect of a cannonade of quick-firing guns would be on board the vessel firing and the ship subject to the fire. He believes shat after fifteen minutes’ firing the survivors of the crews of both vessels would be reduced to a state of mental, if not physical incapacity, owing to the concussion of the projectiles on the sides of the vessel and the noise of the guns.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.11

    -Writing on the food question in England in war time Mr. R. B. Marston says: “Our annual bill for foreign corn amounts roughly to about ?30,000,000, and produces roughly about three thousand million loaves of foreign bread at 2nd. each, which we eat and pay for yearly in addition to little more than a quarter as much more grown at home.” He seriously presses a scheme for storing a year’s provision of corn under Government control.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 190.12

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 12, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There are now seventeen colporteurs in Finland engaged in the work of spreading the knowledge of the truth of the Sabbath of the Lord, and of His soon coming.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.1

    We learn that the workmen have begun work on the sanatorium building in Guadalajara, Mexico, which will provide the necessary accommodation for the medical mission which our friends there have been carrying on for two years with most encouraging results.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.2

    The following item shows how vast a portion of the means of this professedly Christian nation is expended in preparation for killing people:-PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.3

    This year’s Budget is the largest ever produced. It reaches the enormous total of a hundred millions; and of every hundred pounds in this total, forty pounds are put down for powder and shot, ironclads, and men to fight them.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.4

    Last week the House of Commons voted, “That, in the opinion of this House, it is desirable that the National Museums and Art Galleries in London should be open for a limited number of hours on Sundays, after 2 P.M., upon condition that no officer shall be required to attend on more than six days per week, and that any who may have conscientious objections shall be exempt from Sunday duty.”PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.5

    The vote was preceded by a long discussion, and by the introduction and rejection of an amendment to the effect that those institutions “should be open from 10 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. on at least three week-day evenings in each week,” instead of on Sundays.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.6

    Of course there was some opposition, on the ground that to open the museums would secularise the Sunday, and that the State should set the example of Sunday observance. It is worthy of note, however, that all who spoke in favour of the motion, declared themselves in favour of the preservation of the Sunday as a religious institution, and maintained that the proposed Sunday opening would in no way interfere with the religious observance of the day. Some of the statements made by those who favour the motion are significant.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.7

    The mover of the motion said that the principal obstacle was “a mistaken feeling that the opening of museums on Sundays might in some way infringe the sanctity of the Sabbath. In his opinion it would tend very much to sanctify it, and in proof of this he pointed to the testimony of many leaders of the church, and to the experience of large towns, such as Birmingham, where museums were already open on Sundays.” He also called special attention to the fact that this resolution could not possibly interfere with religious services, since it was proposed that the museums should be open only from two to six.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.8

    Mr. Goschen said that there was “a strong desire, shared by every class, that the sanctity of the British Sunday should be maintained in all its essential conditions,” and that “if they were to say that a certain motion, if carried, would tend to make Sunday a day of labour, or that it would involve the sacrifice of rest on that day, there was scarcely a member of that House who would not vote against such a motion.” On the ground, however, that the workingmen appealed for the opportunity to visit the one day in the week, and that “the influence of the labour leaders would be so great as to prevent the breaking down of the Sabbath,” he favoured the motion.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.9

    Only one speaker, Sir G. Trevelyan, took a simple, unbiased view of the motion. While some claim that the working people favoured the opening, and others claimed that they were opposed to it, he was inclined to leave all such appeals to popular feeling entirely out of the question. He said that “they did not want to force any man to think or do wrong, but rather to enable every man to do what he thought right. It was no measure of local option that was proposed, but of personal option. It would enable any man to act as his conscience dictated-either to go or to stay away from the museums.”PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.10

    If that reasoning could only be applied to the whole Sunday question, it would be a blessing. Officials in general have become so infatuated with the notion that “the business of the State is to make it as easy as possible to do right, and as difficult as possible to do wrong,” and that their ideas of right and wrong must be accepted as the standard, that the idea that people have any individual, personal responsibility to God have been almost forgotten. Although in this matter of visiting museums on Sundays the people may now have an opportunity to exercise their own judgment and conscience, there is no hope that the State will cease to act in the place of God to the people in the matter of Sunday observance in general.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.11

    Addressing those members of the House of Commons who objected to the opening of museums on Sundays on the ground that it would “tend to break down the sanctity of the Sabbath,” the Daily News reminded them that “the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, and not the first.”PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.12

    We have received from workers in Calcutta the announcement (in Bengali script which we cannot read) of a school for girls which they were preparing to open the second of this month in that city.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.13

    The Catholic Times attributes the recent defeat of the Italians in Abyssinia to the fact that the guns with which the Shoans mowed down the Italian troops, were the same weapons that were taken from the Papal troops in 1870. The Italian Government had presented them to the Abyssinians, and now, according to the Times, it is suffering retribution for the sacrilege of despoiling the Pope’s servants of their carnal weapons.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.14

    There are many ways in which Sabbath-keeping may bring one before the courts in Switzerland. Some are arrested for Sunday work, others for not serving in the fire department on the Sabbath, and still others have been prosecuted in some cantons for not sending their children to school on the Sabbath. It is highly suggestive that the two countries which have distinguished themselves in the prosecution of Sabbath-keepers are republics which are sometimes supposed to be models of popular government, Switzerland and the United States.PTUK March 19, 1896, page 192.15

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