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    May 28, 1896

    “The Divinity of Labour” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It was never intended that man should be without occupation. In Eden Adam was given his task:-PTUK May 28, 1896, page 339.1

    “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to address it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15. He was directed by the Almighty to subdue the earth, and to exercise dominion over all living creatures upon the earth. His gift of language and facility of expression were exercised to give names to all the beasts of the field and every fowl of the air, as the Lord brought them to him “to see what he would call them.” The requirement of mental and physical effort was not lacking for man in the very first days of his existence on earth.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 339.2

    Indeed if man were created in the image of his Maker why should he not work? Work is divine! We are told in the second verse of the second chapter of Genesis, of God Himself. “And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.” And Christ Himself said: “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” If God works, it is God-like to work,-and he who would be godly must work.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 339.3

    “Why Men Love the Lark” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The lark is happy in singing, and winging his way toward heaven, but just as happy, when, weary, he closes his pinions and drops to his lowly nest in the greensward.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 339.4

    There is an ecstasy in all high endeavour and great achievement,-a certain rapture of lofty loneliness in the altitude which removes the heroic actor in exceptional scenes, from the humdrum daily life of the ordinary multitude. Yet, after all, the test comes to him who has borne his part in great enterprises when he returns again to the common level of home life. It is the petty details of every day existence that try men’s souls, and prove their metal.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 339.5

    The exultant cloud-song of the lark does not detract in the least from the sweetness of his roundelay by the side of his mate in the heather. So it happens that the plain little bird, which is equally at home in the sky or on the meadow, appeals to the heart of the world. The skylark’s ambition to pour out his morning song at the very doors of the sun, as they open to its earliest beams, does not lead him to forget that the gates of heaven are just as near his own home nest. And so mankind loves the lark.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 339.6

    But men love the lark not because, in its ambitious flight, it loses is joyous voice and tiny form in the far blue heavens, but because, in the midst of its wildest enthusiasm of song, and from its loftiest heights, it drops with plummet swiftness to the level of home cares and domestic life. And because it brings to its home, and to us, the song of the sky with all its brightness, and purity, and sweetness. If every morning the lark climbs above to renew its song and fill its heart anew at the fount of heavenly melody, it is with the intent to return and bless the work-a-day world all the day long with its mission of heavenly music.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 339.7

    So the value of lofty impulses and heroic deeds is proved by their application to the affairs of daily life, on the common level, and among the multitude. The poet who sings only in the sky has no vocation either for man or angels. The hero whose noble deeds are done only among the clouds, and who never imprisons his lightning and brings it down to serve his fellow man, is only a tinseled hero after all. Our great Example brought Godhood, and the angelic, from heaven to earth, to the service of man. In following Him, though the path be very humble, is the highest and divinest heroism known to man. But he who brings the message of heaven to man must mount daily to heaven’s gate in prayer and song, and return with joy-filled heart to live and work among his fellows as the singing, soaring lark returns to the meadows and to his mate.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.1

    “‘Civic Righteousness’” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The expression “civic righteousness” is one which is not infrequently used of late. What is the meaning of the term? In the second chapter of Proverbs the wise man has said:-PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.2

    “My son, if thou wilt receive My words, and hide My commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding:...Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find knowledge of God. Then shalt thou understand righteousness.”PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.3

    It is, then, through the fear and knowledge of God that an understanding of righteousness is to be gained. Very possibly the thought of Solomon, in writing these words, was directed to the language of the inspired poet, his father, where, in the one hundred and seventy-second verse of the one hundred and nineteenth psalm, he says:-“My tongue shall speak of Thy Word: for all Thy commandments are righteousness.”PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.4

    So it is the commandments of God, which, being themselves an epitome of righteousness, are the test and measure of all righteousness. But the commandments of God apply to the whole circle of human relations; not only to the social and civil side of life, but to the moral and spiritual existence as well. They regulate, not only the exigencies of civic life and a man’s association with his neighbour, but also the inner thought of his mind, inclination of his heart, an attitude of feeling toward his neighbour and toward his God,-things which none can know except the man himself and the omniscient God. To fulfil the requirements of this universal law, and satisfy the omniscient Judge, is to possess righteousness.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.5

    It is within the power of God, as an omniscient Judge, to measure and test every man by this law and enforce the fulfilment of its requirements. The commandments of God are righteousness. They are Divine law. “Civic righteousness,” then, would be civil law. Civil law is human law. There is no such thing as “civic righteousness.” It is a figure of speech in which poor, feeble, fallible human justice has attempted to array itself in the judicial robes of omnipotent and omniscient Divinity.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.6

    The law of righteousness God alone can administer. Civic justice, according to its human law, man may administer. But when the human agent for the administration of civic justice thinks, or attempts, to administer the Divine law of righteousness, he becomes the most pitifully incompetent usurper in all God’s infinite universe.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.7

    “The Church and War” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Christ’s life and teaching are so directly opposed to strife and war that it has exceedingly perplexed the religious world to know how to justify the general teaching of Christendom that a Christian may slaughter his fellow-men and still be a follower of the Lord, who commissioned His disciples to preach the Gospel to every creature-not to kill. A Church paper argues thus:-PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.8

    Christian peoples have followed Christian kings to battle from Constantine’s time to the present, and Christian bishops have solemnly besought the blessing of the God of Battles, while the solemn Te Deum has filled Christian Cathedrals with the exultant strains of victorious rejoicing over the defeated. Are we to say that the whole history of Christendom has been a hideous travesty of the evangelical precept: “I say unto you, resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also”?PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.9

    So, because professedly Christian people have died since Constantine’s day, the conclusion is that it must be right, and that because the “church” since his day has blessed war is entirely in harmony with Christ’s commission to His church to bless the sword and the battleship, and pray for Divine assistance in prosecuting national and commercial quarrels. And the churches that happen to live on the other side of an imaginary boundary line are in turn supposed to pray to the same God for help to slaughter their fellows, whom, in ordinary times, they profess to regard as brethren in the Lord.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.10

    The mere statement of the case shows how abhorrent it is to every principle of the Gospel for Christians to have part in strife and bloodshed. Christians do not kill one another, neither do Christians kill unbelieving heathen, to whom the Lord has commissioned His servants to preach the Gospel of life. The error, into which the journal from which we quote falls, is the common mistake of confounding the worldly system, which arose in the great apostasy, with Christianity. It was not Christianity. It was heathenism, masquerading in the name of Christ. Constantine, who is accepted as the first and pattern “Christian” leading “Christian” followers to battle, was the murderer of his own wife, and other members of his family, besides the many treacherously put to death to secure his own aims and the multitudes slaughtered in his wars to secure the throne for himself alone. And the “Christian” bishops who championed his cause for the patronage he gave the “church” were almost as pagan as Himself.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.11

    The Christianity of Jesus Christ was not this hideous substitution; and to-day it is the same Christianity as in Christ’s day-a life which does not insist even upon its own-which knows no racial or geographical distinctions, and which can take no part in depriving of life the man for whom Christ gave His life. Is it not time to preach peace? And should not Christians decide whether Christ’s life and teachings are the standard for Christians, or whether some other standard of living has been found, adapted to the needs of professedly Christian Powers which are arming for the slaughter, setting the example even to the great “heathen” nations; and teaching those who make no profession about a Prince of Peace how to destroy life in the most expeditious manner?PTUK May 28, 1896, page 340.12

    “The Call of Abraham. Building an Altar” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Everywhere Abraham went, he built an altar to the Lord. As you read this, remember that the promise that all nations should be blessed in Abraham, specified families. The religion of Abraham was a family religion. The “family altar” was never neglected in his household. This is not an empty figure of speech, but comes from the practice of the fathers to whom the promise was made, and of which we are partakers if we are of their faith and practice.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 341.1


    God said of Abraham, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.” Genesis 18:19.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 341.2

    Note the words, “He will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” He would not simply command them to do it, and there let the matter rest; but He would command them, and the result would be that they would keep the way of the Lord. His teaching would be effective.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 341.3

    We may be sure that the commands of Abraham to his children and his household were not harsh and arbitrary. We shall understand them better if we consider the nature of the commandments of God. They “are not grievous.” “His commandment is life everlasting.” He who thinks to follow the example of Abraham in commanding his family, by harsh, arbitrary rules, and by acting the part of a stern judge, or a tyrant, making threats of what he will do if his commands are not obeyed, and enforcing his commands, not in the spirit of love, because they are right, but because he is stronger than his children, and has them in his power, has much need to learn of the God of Abraham. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nature and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 341.4

    At the same time we may be sure that the commands of Abraham were not like Eli’s, weak and querulous reproofs to his wicked and worthless sons: “Why do ye such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear.” 1 Samuel 2:23, 24. On the other hand, Abraham transmitted a blessing to all eternity, because the commands which he gave to his children had restraining power.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 341.5

    Abraham was to be a blessing to all people. Wherever he went he was a blessing. But this blessing began in his family. This was the centre. From the family circle the heavenly influence went out to the neighbours. And now we may well notice more closely the statement that when Abraham built an altar, he “called upon the name of the Lord.” Genesis 12:8; 13:4. In Dr. Young’s translation this is rendered, “He preached in the name of Jehovah.” Without calling attention to the various places where the same expression is found, it is worth while to note that the Hebrew words are identical with those used in Exodus 34:5, where we read that the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood by Moses, “and proclaimed the name of the Lord.” We may therefore understand that when Abraham erected the family altar he not only taught his immediate family but he “proclaimed the name of the Lord” to all around him. Like Noah, Abraham was a preacher of righteousness. As God preached the Gospel to Abraham, so Abraham preached the Gospel to others.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 341.6


    “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” “And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together; for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle; and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me; if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Genesis 13:2, 5-8.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 341.7

    When we understand the nature of the promise of God to Abraham, we can understand the secret of his generosity. Suppose Lot should choose the best part of the country; that could make no difference with Abraham’s inheritance. Having Christ, he had all things. He did not look for his possessions in this present life, but in the life to come. He would accept with thankfulness whatever prosperity the Lord might send him; but if his riches in this life should be small, that would not diminish the inheritance that was promised him.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 341.8

    There is nothing like the presence and blessing of Christ to settle all disputes, or to prevent them. In the course taken by Abraham, we have a true Christian example. As the eldest he might have stood upon his dignity, and have claimed his “rights.” But he could not have done so as a Christian. Love “seeketh not its own.” Abraham manifested the true Spirit of Christ. When professed Christians are eager to grasp the things of this world, and are troubled lest they shall be deprived of some of their rights, they show that they are unmindful of the enduring inheritance which Christ offers.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 341.9


    Abraham’s Christian courtesy, which was the result of his faith in the promise through Christ, was not unrecognised by the Lord. We read:-PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.1

    “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.” Genesis 13:14-17.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.2

    We will not forget that “to Abraham and his seed were the promises made; He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ.” There is no other seed of Abraham except Christ and those who are His. Therefore this innumerable posterity which was promised to Abraham, is identical with that spoken of in the following scripture:-PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.3

    “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9, 10, 13, 14.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.4

    We have already learned that the blessing of Abraham comes on all nations through the cross of Christ, so that in the statement that this innumerable company have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, we see the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, of an innumerable seed. “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.5

    The reader should not fail to notice in the repetition of the promise in the thirteenth chapter of Genesis, that the land figures very prominently. We found it in the preceding chapters, and shall find it as the central feature of the promise wherever it occurs.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.6


    The brief story of Melchizedek forms a link which unites us and our times most closely with Abraham and his times, and shows that the “Christian dispensation,” so called, existed in the days of Abraham as well as now.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.7

    The fourteenth chapter of Genesis tells us all that we know of Melchizedek. The seventh chapter of Hebrews repeats the story, and makes some comments upon it. Besides this we have references to Melchizedek in the sixth chapter, and in Psalms 110:4.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.8

    The story is this: Abraham was returning from an expedition against the enemies that had carried away Lot, when Melchizedek met him, bringing bread and wine. Melchizedek was king of Salem, and priest of the Most High God. In this capacity he blessed Abraham, and to him Abraham gave a tenth part of the spoil which he had recovered. That is the story, but from it there are some very important lessons drawn.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.9

    In the first place we learn that Melchizedek was a greater man than Abraham, because, “without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better,” (Hebrews 7:7), and because Abraham gave him the tenth part of all.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.10

    He was a type of Christ, and was like Him: “Made like unto the Son of God.” He was a type of Christ in that he was both king and priest. His name signifies, “king of righteousness;” and Salem, of which he was king, means “peace;” so that he was not only priest, but king of righteousness and king of peace. So of Christ it is said: “The Lord said unto My Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” “The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.” Psalm 110:1, 4. And the name whereby He shall be called is “The Lord our Righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:6.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.11

    Christ’s kingly priesthood is thus set forth in the Scriptures: “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord; even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Zechariah 6:12, 13. The power by which Christ as priest makes reconciliation for the sins of the people, is the power of the throne of God, upon which He sits.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.12

    But the main thing with reference to Melchizedek, is that Abraham lived under the same “dispensation” that we do. The priesthood was the same then as now. Not only are we the children of Abraham, if we are of faith, but our great High Priest, who is passed into the heavens, is by the oath of God made a High Priest for ever, “after the order of Melchizedek.” Thus in a double sense it is shown that “if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad.” John 8:56.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.13

    Abraham therefore was a Christian as much as any one who has ever lived since the crucifixion of Christ. “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” But the disciples were no different after they were called Christians from what they were before. When they were known only as Jews, they were Christians just as much as they were after they were called such. The name is of but little account. The name “Christians” was given them because they were followers of Christ; but they were followers of Christ before they were called Christians, just as much as they were afterwards, Abraham, hundreds of years before the days of Jesus of Nazareth, was just what the disciples were who in Antioch were called Christians; he was a follower of Christ. Therefore he was in the fullest sense of the word a Christian. All Christians, and none others, are children of Abraham.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.14

    The reader will notice that in the seventh of Hebrews we are referred to the case of Abraham and Melchizedek for proof that the paying of tithes is not a Levitical ordinance. Long before Levi was born, Abraham paid tithes. And he paid them, too, to Melchizedek, whose priesthood is the Christian priesthood. Therefore those who are Christ’s and thus children of Abraham, will also give tithes of all.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.15

    It will be noticed that the tithe was a well known thing in the days of Abraham. He gave tithes to God’s priest as a matter of course. He recognised the fact that the tithe is the Lord’s. That record in Leviticus is not the origin of the tithing system, but is simply a statement of a fact. Even the Levitical order “paid tithes in Abraham.” We are not told when it was first made known to men, but we see that it was well known in the days of Abraham. In the book of Malachi which is specially addressed to those living just before “the great and terrible day of the Lord,” we are told that those who withhold the tithe are robbing God.1It should be understood that no man, nor any human power, neither the Church nor the State, has anything to do with requiring people to pay tithe. “The tithe is the Lord’s” and with Him alone people have to do in the matter of tithes. Tithes do not belong to the State, nor is the State empowered to collect them for the Lord. Whether or not a person will pay the Lord’s tithe to the Lord, is a matter for himself alone to decide, just the same as whether or not he will worship God at all, whether he will keep the Sabbath or not, etc.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 342.16

    The argument is very simple: Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek; the Melchizedek priesthood is a priesthood by which righteousness and peace come; it is the priesthood by which we are saved. Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, because Melchizedek was the representative of the Most High God, and the tithe is the Lord’s. If we are Christ’s then we are children of Abraham; and therefore if we are not children of Abraham, then we are not Christ’s. But if we are Abraham’s children, we shall do the works of Abraham. Whose are we?PTUK May 28, 1896, page 343.1

    One other item should not be overlooked in passing. It is the fact that Melchizedek who was king of righteousness and peace, and priest of the Most High God, brought out to Abraham bread and wine, of which Christ said, “This is my body,” and “this is my blood.” It may be said that the bread and wine were for the refreshment of Abraham and his followers. Very true; but that does not in the least detract from the significance of the fact, for we are continually to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ. Melchizedek came out in his capacity of king and priest, and Abraham recognised him as such. Note the connection in Genesis 14:18, 19: “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him and said, Blessed be Abram, of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth.” It is quite evident that the bread and wine which Melchizedek brought forth acquired special significance from the fact that he was the priest of the Most High God. The Jews in the days of Christ scoffed at the statement that Abraham rejoiced to see His day. They could see no evidence of the fact. May we not see in this transaction one evidence that Abraham saw Christ’s day, which is the day of salvation?PTUK May 28, 1896, page 343.2

    “Crumbs from the Bread of Life” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A missionary of the Pacific Islands has related a touching and suggestive story. As he passed along the road a poor crippled leper, from whom both hands and feet were gone, raised himself on his knees, and, reaching his mutilated arms toward him,-instead of begging, blessed him that he had brought the light of the Word of God to that dark island. The missionary, surprised, and confident that he had never seen the man before, stopped and talked with him. He found the poor man knew the story of Christ well, and understood perfectly the saving power of Divine grace. More astonished still, he said to the poor fellow, “But where have you learned this? I have never seen you at My preaching, and besides it would be too far for you to go who can only creep on your knees.”PTUK May 28, 1896, page 343.3

    “Ah,” said he, “when the people come from your preaching, I sit on the side of the road and say, ‘Please, give me a word that the teacher has said,’-and one tells me one little thing and another tells me another, and then God who told you to come and tell it to us helps me to put the little stories altogether, and so I know.”PTUK May 28, 1896, page 343.4

    Thus this poor, helpless beggar had fed from the crumbs which fell from the Master’s table. Of what value may be the least morsel when it falls in the reach of a hungry soul! Who knows but that the tiniest crumb may feed and nourish a soul for eternity, as did this;-or perhaps it may fall into the Master’s hands and, like the loaves, be broken to many thousands.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 343.5

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -A reform of military criminal procedure is promised in Germany.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.1

    -Hong Kong is suffering from a recurrence of the plague that raged last summer in that place.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.2

    -Buluwayo is reported out of danger, and looking forward to an immediate resumption of business.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.3

    -The cost of the Russian coronation ceremonies is estimated at 22,400,000, this the amount of State expense alone.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.4

    -Herr Liebknecht declares that the 5,000,000 peasant proprietors in Germany “are all going to ruin as fast as they can.”PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.5

    -The Germans have been engaged in fighting African natives in Damaraland, considerable losses being sustained on both sides.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.6

    -It is estimated that the amount spent in England on sports, racing, cricketing, etc., is over 288,000,000 annually, or about 21 per head of the whole population.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.7

    -Great damage to property has been done,-during the first half of the month of May,-by local tornadoes in America, accompanied by the loss of from one hundred and fifty to two hundred lives.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.8

    -Spain is said to be preparing to send 60,000 troops to Cuba in the autumn to subdue the rebellion. Meanwhile the insurgent forces are receiving arms and men from Florida, and are pre-paring for a desperate attack upon the Spanish forces.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.9

    -The Empress of Russia has been appointed Honorary Colonel of the Second Regiment of Prussian Dragoon Guards. In Prance, the practical employment of women in the army has been under discussion. It was even proposed, in good faith, to make certain forks of military service compulsory upon all women without distinction of rank or position.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.10

    -The developments of the London horseless carriage exhibition go to show the probability of the speedy adoption of motor vehicles in the streets, and the consequent removal of horses from the thoroughfares, at least in a large degree. The cabmen have expressed anxiety lest their occupation be taken from them. This fear is groundless. Fares will be reduced. Many more will ride. The result will be more cabs, and occupation for a greater number of cab-drivers.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.11

    -Detailed accounts of the Armenian massacres come in very slowly. Reuter’s from Constantinople, May 18, gives details of the terrible deeds done at Ourfa in the autumn of last year. Out of a population of 20,000 Armenians at least one-half seems to have been put to the sword or burned alive in the cathedral where they had gathered for protection. The report states that the attack was made solely upon Armenians, no distinction being made between Gregorians, Protestants, and Roman Catholics,-professed Christians of other nationalities being unmolested.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 350.12

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Medical Missions are doing great good in China, in the way of breaking down prejudiced and getting the Word before the people. The various missionary societies are increasing this line of work.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.1

    Whilst “godliness is profitable,” the man who tries to serve the Lord as a business investment is bound to be disappointed. His thinking of what he can get for self out of the work of the Lord shows that he has never surrendered himself to God, and his lack of faith closes the avenues to which God so much desires to send him help.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.2

    The annual report of the Peace Society, which held its meeting last week, expressed regret at “the revival of Jingoism.” The Chairman said that in 1869 the armies and navies of Europe cost ?116,000,000, and now they cost ?230,000,000 per year; while the national debts of the European nations have risen from 4,680 to 6,000 millions.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.3

    The Roman Catholic “Guild of Our Lady of Ransom, for the conversion of England” paraded the streets of London in picturesque procession last Sunday week. The Daily Chronicle gives a detailed description of the spectacle, and says:-PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.4

    The procession was a mile and a-half in length. From altar to altar it occupied nearly two hours. Nothing of the kind has been seen in England since the period known to Englishmen as the Reformation. Not many, perhaps, but some who witnessed it, might have remembered the “Surplice riots” of St. George’s in the East, or the disorderly scenes at St. James’s, Hatcham, or the threatenings at St. Alban’s, Holborn. How many of these could have supposed that within twenty years a Roman Catholic procession, accompanied by all the paraphernalia of Roman ritual, might pass through crowded London streets on a Sunday afternoon not merely without provoking disturbance, but amid undoubted manifestations of respect? Few of the Catholic cities of Europe could be expected to offer a more decorous welcome.... Father Whelan in his sermon at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament afterwards described the procession as a glorious witness of the progress which the Church had made towards winning back the place which it had held in England for a thousand years. Ritualism, he added, was only a preparatory school towards the great consummation.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.5

    This procession in London streets is worthy of note as marking an epoch. These gorgeous and picturesque parades are effective object lessons in Roman Catholicism. They are Roman Catholic street preaching.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.6

    Some have hastily assumed from the Pope’s recent letter that he really disapproves of war. The Catholic order of England, however, assures us that he does not “shut his eyes to the fact that there are occasions when war is an inevitable necessity.” It is what the world generally believes. “Don't fight unless necessary in order to get what you want” is a maxim which a man need not be a professor of religion to approve.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.7

    In Alabama a Seventh-day Adventist was arrested under a law enacted to prevent an employer compelling a minor to work on Sunday. The man’s son, of eighteen, who worked on the farm, testified that he worked of his own free will, being himself a member of a Seventh-day Adventist Church; but the father was convicted and removed to prison. Friends of justice in the place paid the fine and secured their neighbour’s release. Such are the Sunday laws in the United States, where church organisations are working as never before to get control of legislative bodies to secure more stringent enforcement of Sunday observance.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.8

    The riots in Cornwall, requiring the presence of gunboats and soldiers to keep the fishermen of Newlyn, who do not want to fish on Sunday, from maiming or killing those fishermen who do want to fish on Sunday, is a new development in the Sunday controversy. The appeal to force in behalf of Sunday observance is no new thing; but magistrates and courts are usually used instead of sticks and stones. Both methods show the wickedness and folly of trying to compel the recognition of Sunday, or of any other religious institution. It shows how religious sentiment is appealed to to cover prejudice or some other unworthy motive. The competition in trade is supposed to be as strong a factor as a religious sentiment in the fishing riots.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.9

    It was Matthew Arnold who said that two things govern the world, Force and Right-Force till Right is ready. In saying that he was only expressing what Zoroaster had said before him. And before that the Word of God had said the same thing. Force and right, Ormuzd and Ahriman, good and evil, God and Satan. Brought down to its original terms it simply means, then, that Satan rules this world, and will until such time as God is ready, to take His kingdom. This corresponds with the teachings of Christ, and for this reason He taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come.”PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.10

    The Pope is figuring largely, at present, as a promoter of “religious liberty”-in Russia. The representative of the Vatican at Moscow is said to have been charged with a mission, and provided with a letter on this subject, from the Pope to the Czar. When Rome and Russia become promoters, defenders, and exponents, of religious liberty, that which will be granted will no doubt be of a distinctly Russo-Roman type. However, the world looks to the new Czar with hope for the amelioration of the condition of Russian political prisoners and exiles.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.11

    “In Chile” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In Chile.-One of our workers in Chile, writing from Valparaiso, reports progress there, success attending the work of preacher and colporteur. Of the general situation he says:-PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.12

    Our city and state are much concerned over the increasing prospects of war with Argentina. The two countries are vying with each other in preparations. Those who know, say that no such depression of business generally, has prevailed here within the last fifteen years, and all seem to feel that a terrible struggle for the mastery is inevitable. And, as if to add immediate consternation to gloomy forebodings, the severest earthquake shocks that have been experienced for twenty-five years were felt here last Friday night at about nine o'clock. Many buildings were thrown down, while the earth groaned. There were thirty-two shocks felt during that night. The people who live in high houses take their beds and sleep in the streets. I am informed that the Grand Avenue, which is more than a mile long, was, and is yet, every night almost one continuous bed. It seems to me they are unnecessarily alarmed; but they say I am a “gringo,” which means that I am unsophisticated.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 352.13

    “The Call of Abraham. The Covenant Sealed” The Present Truth, 12, 22.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Now we come to a record which opens up the promise in a most wonderful manner. More than twenty-five years had passed since God first made the promise to Abraham.1Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Haran (Genesis 12:4), and the promise was first made known to him before he left Mesopotamia. Acts 7:2. Doubtless the time had been prolonged by the false step that Abraham took through listening to the reasoning of his wife. More than thirteen years had elapsed since that time. But Abraham had learned the lesson, and so God could lead him again.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.1

    “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.” Genesis 17:1. The margin has it, “upright, or sincere.” As in I 1 Chronicles 12:33, 38, the meaning is, single-hearted. God told Abraham to be sincere before Him, and not double-hearted. When we recall the story recorded in the preceding chapter, we see the force of this injunction. We see also the force of the statement, “I am the Almighty God.” God would let him know that He was fully able to perform His promise, and that therefore he should trust Him with a perfect or an undivided heart.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.2


    “And Abram fell on his face; and God talked with him, saying, As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.” Genesis 17:3-5.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.3

    The name Abram signifies “Father of height.” Abram’s father was a heathen, and the name may have had some reference to heathen worship in high places. But now his name becomes Abraham, “Father of many peoples.” In the change of name in the cases of Abraham and Jacob, we have a hint of the new name which the Lord gives to all who are His. See Revelation 2:17; 3:12. “And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.”PTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.4

    This giving to Abraham a new name did not indicate any change in the promise, but was simply a token to Abraham that God meant what He said. His name should ever afterward be a reminder to him of the promise. Some have thought that the giving of this new name marked a change in the nature of the promise to him; but a careful consideration of the promise as previously recorded will show that this cannot be. Abraham was just the same after his new name that he was before. It was while his name was still Abram that he believed God, and his faith in the promise was counted for righteousness. It was while His name was Abram that God preached the Gospel to him, saying, “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”PTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.5

    We may not make any distinction in the promises of God to Abraham, saying that some of them were temporal, and only for the fleshly seed, and that others were spiritual and eternal. “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us,...was not yea and nay, but in Him is yea. For how many soever be the promises of God, in Him is the yea; wherefore also through Him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:19, 20, R.V. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” Note that the promises, no matter how many they are, all come through Christ. Note also that the apostle speaks of Abraham and not of Abram. He does not say that some were made to Abram, and some to Abraham. And this point is still more emphatic when we read the words of Stephen, “The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.” Acts 7:2. Although he was then known as Abram, the promise was the same as when he was known as Abraham. Every subsequent reference to him in the Bible, even to the first promises, uses the name Abraham. This is why we have referred to him only as Abraham.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.6

    The Lord continued, after telling Abraham of the change in his name, “And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Genesis 17:7, 8.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.7

    Let us take up the different parts of this covenant in detail. The central part of it is the promised land, the land of Canaan. It is the same as in the fifteenth chapter. The promise is to give it to Abraham and his seed. The covenant is the same that was made there; but here we have it sealed.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.8

    Notice that it isPTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.9


    that the Lord made with him. It is the one everlasting covenant, which is so often spoken of in the Bible. It is “through the blood of the everlasting covenant” that men are made perfect in every good work to do the will of God. Hebrews 13:20. Moreover, the land promised in this everlasting covenant, was to bePTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.10


    for both Abraham and his seed. Mark well that Abraham himself, as well as his seed, was promised the land for an everlasting possession. It is not an inheritance that is simply to be the possession of his family for ever, but both Abraham and his seed together were to have it for an everlasting possession.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.11

    But a land can be held for an everlasting possession only by those who havePTUK May 28, 1896, page 387.12


    Therefore in this covenant we find the promise of everlasting life. It could not be otherwise, because when the covenant was first made, as recorded in the fifteenth chapter, Abraham was told that he should die before the land should be given for a possession; and Stephen said that God did not give him so much as to set his foot on. Therefore it could be his only through the resurrection; and when the resurrection takes place, then there will be no more death. For “we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.1

    So we see that the making of this everlasting covenant with Abraham was simply the preaching of the everlasting Gospel of the kingdom, and the assuring to him of a part in its blessings. The promise to Abraham was a Gospel promise, and nothing else, and the covenant was the everlasting covenant, of which Christ is Mediator. Its scope is identical with that of the new covenant, in which God says, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Hebrews 8:10. But this will appear more plainly as we proceed.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.2


    The Lord said to Abraham after this restatement of the covenant with him and his seed, “And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and thee.” Genesis 17:11. Now if we turn to the Epistle to the Romans we shall learn much more of the meaning of this transaction. We must have the Scripture before us in order that we may consider it understandingly, and so we will quote it at length.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.3

    “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also described the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision, and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also; and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Romans 4:1-13.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.4

    The subject of the entire chapter is Abraham and justification by faith. The apostle takes the case of Abraham as an illustration of the truth presented in the preceding chapter, namely, that a man is made righteous by faith. The blessing that Abraham received is the blessing of sins forgiven, through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. See verses 6-9. Therefore when we read in Genesis 12:2, 3, that in Abraham all the families of the earth should be blessed, we know that the blessing referred to is the forgiveness of sins.This is positively proved by Acts 3:25, 26: “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.5

    This blessing came to Abraham through Jesus Christ and His cross, even as it comes to us. For “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us;...that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13, 14. So we find that the blessings of the covenant with Abraham are simply the blessings of the Gospel, and they are brought to us through the cross of Christ. Nothing was promised in that covenant except that which comes through the Gospel; and everything that the Gospel contains was in it.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.6

    Circumcision was given as the seal of this covenant. But the promise, the covenant, the blessing, and everything, came to Abraham before he was circumcised. Hence he is the father of the uncircumcised as well as of the circumcised. Jews and Gentiles are alike sharers in the covenant and its blessings, provided they have the faith that Abraham had.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.7

    In Genesis 17:11 we are told that circumcision was given as the sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham. But in Romans 4:11 we are told that it was given him as a seal of the righteousness which he had by faith. In other words it was the assurance and seal of the forgiveness of sins through the righteousness of Christ. Therefore we know that the covenant, of which circumcision was the seal, was a covenant of righteousness by faith; that all the blessings promised in it are on the basis of righteousness through Jesus Christ. This again shows us that the covenant made with Abraham was the Gospel and that only.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.8


    But in this covenant the central promise was concerning land. All the land of Canaan was promised to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession. And then the seal of the covenant-circumcision-was given-a seal of the righteousness which he had by faith. This shows that the land of Canaan was to be possessed only by faith. And here we have a practical lesson as to the possession of things by faith. Many people think that a thing that is possessed by faith is only possessed in imagination. But the land of Canaan was a real country, and was to be actually possessed. Possession of it was to be gained however, only through faith. That is, faith was to give them the possession of it. This was indeed the case. By faith the people crossed the river Jordan, and “by faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.” But of this we shall have more hereafter.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.9

    The land of Canaan, which was promised in the covenant, was to be had through the righteousness of faith, which was sealed by circumcision, the seal of the covenant. Read now Romans 4:13 once more, and we shall see how much was involved in this promise. “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” This righteousness of faith we are told in verse eleven was sealed by circumcision; and circumcision was the seal of the covenant which we have recorded in Genesis 17 Therefore we know that the promise of land, which the covenant with Abraham contained, was nothing less than the promise of the whole earth. As we come to the fulfilment of the promise, we shall see more plainly how it can be that the promise of the land of Canaan included the possession of the whole earth; but the fact may be briefly indicated here.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.10

    The covenant in which that land was promised, was, as we have seen, a covenant of righteousness. Its basis was the righteousness of faith. It was an everlasting covenant, promising an everlasting inheritance to both Abraham and his seed, which meant for them everlasting life. But grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life only through Jesus Christ our Lord. Eternal life can be had only in righteousness. Moreover, since the promise was to Abraham, as well as to his seed, and Abraham was assured that he should die long before the inheritance was bestowed, it is evident that it could be gained only through the resurrection, which takes place at the coming of the Lord, when immortality is bestowed. But the coming of Christ is at “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:21. Therefore we are shut up to the fact that the inheritance of righteousness, which was promised to Abraham for an everlasting possession, to be had through the resurrection, at the coming of the Lord, was the “new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” for which we look according to the promise of God.PTUK May 28, 1896, page 388.11

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