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    June 11, 1896

    “God’s Works” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.1

    Therefore it is that “being justified”—made righteous—“by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.2

    Faith, not works, is that through which men are saved. “For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.3

    “Where is boasting, then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay; but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:27, 28.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.4

    The Gospel excludes boasting, and boasting is a natural consequence of all attempts at justification by works; and yet the Gospel does not exclude works. On the contrary, works-good works-are the one grand object of the Gospel. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before prepared that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10, with margin.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.5

    There is not the slightest contradiction here. The difference is between our works and God’s works. Our works are always faulty; God’s works are always perfect; therefore it is God’s works that we need in order to be perfect. But we are not able to do God’s works, for He is infinite, and we are nothing. For a man to think himself able to do God’s works is the highest presumption. We laugh when a five-year-old boy imagines that he can do his father’s work; how much more foolish for puny man to imagine that he can do the works of the Almighty.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.6

    Goodness is not an abstract thing; it is action, and action is found only in living beings. And since God alone is good, only His works are of any account. Only the man who has God’s works is righteous. But since no man can do God’s works, it necessarily follows that God must give them to us, if we are saved. This is just what He does for all who believe.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.7

    When the Jews in their self-sufficiency asked, “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” Jesus replied, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:28, 29. Faith works. Galatians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:3. It brings God’s works into the believing one, since it brings Christ into the heart (Ephesians 3:17), and in Him is all the fulness of God. Colossians 2:9. Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8), and therefore God not only was but is in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. So if Christ dwells in the heart by faith, the works of God will be manifest in the life; “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.8

    How this is done, is not within the range of our comprehension. We do not need to know how it is done, since we do not have to do it. The fact is enough for us. We can no more understand how God does His works, than we can do those works. So the Christian life is always a mystery, even to the Christian himself. It is a life hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3. It is hidden even from the Christian’s own sight. Christ in men, the hope of glory, is the mystery of the Gospel. Colossians 1:27.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.9

    In Christ we are created unto good works which God has already prepared for us. We have only to accept them by faith. The acceptance of those good works is the acceptance of Christ. How long “before” did God prepare those good works for us?-“The works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works. And in this place again, If they shall”-i.e. they, the unbelieving, shall not-“enter into my rest.” Hebrews 4:3-5. But “we which have believed do enter into rest.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.10

    The Sabbath, therefore,-the seventh day of the week,-is God’s rest. God gave the Sabbath as a sign by which men might know that He is God, and that He sanctifies. Ezekiel 20:12, 20. Sabbath-keeping has nothing whatever to do with justification by works, but is, on the contrary, the sign and seal of justification by faith; it is a sign that man gives up his own sinful works and accepts God’s perfect works. Since the Sabbath is not work, but a rest, it is the mark of rest in God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 369.11

    No other day than the seventh day of the week can stand as the mark of perfect rest in God, because on that day alone did God rest from all His works. It is the rest of the seventh day, into which He says the unbelieving cannot enter. It alone of all the days of the week is the rest day, and it is inseparably connected with God’s perfect work.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.1

    On the other six days, including the first day of the week, God worked. On those days we also may and ought to work. Yet on every one of them we also may and ought to rest in God. This will be the case if our works are “wrought in God.” John 3:21. So man should rest in God every day in the week; but the seventh day alone can be the sign of that rest.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.2

    Two things may be noted as self-evident conclusions of the truths already set forth. One is that the setting apart of another day than the seventh, as a sign of acceptance of Christ and of rest in God through Him, is in reality a sign of rejection of Him. Since it is the substitution of man’s way for God’s way, it is in reality the sign of man’s assumption of superiority above God, and of the idea that man can save himself by his own works. Not every one who observes another day has that assumption, by any means. There are many who love the Lord in sincerity and do accept Him in humility, who observe another day than that which God has given as the sign of rest in Him. They simply have not learned the full and proper expression of faith. But their sincerity, and the fact that God accepts their unfeigned faith, does not alter the fact that the day which they observe is the sign of exaltation above God. When such hear God’s gracious warning they will forsake the side of apostasy as they would a plague-stricken house.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.3

    The other point is that people cannot be forced to keep the Sabbath, inasmuch as it is the sign of faith, and no man can be forced to believe. Faith comes spontaneously as a result of hearing God’s Word. No man can even force himself to believe, much less can he compel somebody else. By force a man’s fears may be so wrought upon that he may say he believes, and he may act as though he believed. That is to say, a man who fears man rather than God may be forced to lie. But “no lie is of the truth.” Therefore since the Sabbath is the sign of perfect faith, it is the sign of perfect liberty-“the glorious liberty of the children of God”-the liberty which the Spirit gives; for the Sabbath, as a part of God’s law, is spiritual. And so, finally, let no one deceive himself with the thought that an outward observance of even God’s appointed rest-day-the seventh day-without faith and trust in God’s Word alone, is the keeping of God’s Sabbath. “For whatsoever is not a faith is sin.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.4

    “Does the World Grow Better?” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Is the world growing better, and will it continue to improve? There are men who profess what they think to be a happy Christian optimism, who think and teach that this is so. They make a mistake in the fact, and they are in error, too, in thinking their view the highest optimism. To prove them wrong in the fact, it is only necessary to go to the Scriptures and the sure Word of prophecy. Here we are assured that the wheat and tears shall grow together until the end, and that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.5

    This, in itself, is enough to show that men will not become better as the world grows older. Wickedness will not only exist, and continue to exist, but it will increase, and continue to increase until the end. Where there are wicked men and seducers there will necessarily be violence and conflict,-those, then, who look for universal peace are indulging a futile hope. To know that this is so they need only to read the prophecies of the wars that are to come in the last days.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.6

    But Scripture is corroborated by history and by facts. The evidence to be drawn from the present facts in the light of the past history of man shows conclusively, that, in the natural order of things, nothing else can be true as regards the condition of man, than just that which the Bible predicts. Men indulge more and more in the pleasures of the senses. Right reason is lost through intemperance and excess of sensual indulgences. The gratification of personal desire is made the aim and end of existence. Increased facilities for worldly enjoyment multiply the numbers of the devotees and slaves of pleasure. Mental balance is lost, selfishness rules, inordinate desires fill the mind and occupy the ambition, insanity develops.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.7

    But it is not in the last development of actual insanity where the greatest and most widespread harm is done,-it is in the intermediate stages of selfish lives, hardened hearts, and the drying of the very sources of the milk of human kindness, so that a man’s foes are found to be those of his own household. Thus the corrupt nature of man conspires with the originator of all evil to dethrone human reason, and bring about the eternal destruction of as many of the human race as will yield themselves servants to sin and Satan.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.8

    In the nature of things the continuance of this is unavoidable so long as Satan lives and the nature of man remains corrupt. Man has made every possible preparation for continuing his part of the Satanic work. Will Satan himself be behind man in the furthering of his own purposes? Certainly not. The only escape, then, from the continued development of evil is the divine intervention. God will intervene. He has said so. He will remove all evil and the author of all evil out of existence. Righteousness will reign. It is the highest optimism to believe this as God has said it, and to do His will awaiting that glorious consummation.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.9

    “Priests In Politics” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Priests In Politics .-The Roman Catholic Church has a hold upon the politics of her subjects such as must be a cause of envy to those Protestants who are beginning to rival Rome itself in forcing religion into the political arena. In Canada the Catholics are determined to secure State-supported Catholic schools for Manitoba, and the bishops have issued an order to their flocks to vote only for candidates who are pledged to their cause. They say that a Catholic “is not permitted” “to have two lines of conduct in a religious point of view-one for private and one for public life.” The introduction of these questions into the State is sure to lead to bloodshed one of these days. Protestants do not want the Catholic “religious State,” and Catholics do not want the Protestant variety. It is a fight for the supremacy.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.10

    “Achievement” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Without devotion to something nobler and more abiding than the present no great achievement is possible, no lofty thought attainable. One must think and work in the present but for the future. That is the whole purpose of our possession of the present.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 370.11

    “The Call of Abraham. The Flesh Against the Spirit” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children; and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing; I pray thee go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened unto the voice of Sarai.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.1

    This was the great mistake of Abraham’s life; but he learned a lesson from his mistake, and it was recorded for the purpose of teaching that lesson to all. We will presume that the reader is acquainted with the sequel-how the Lord told Abraham that Ishmael, the son of Hagar was not the heir that He had promised, but that Sarah his wife should bear him a son, and how Hagar and Ishmael were sent away, after Isaac was born. So we may proceed at once to some of the important lessons that are suggested by this transaction.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.2

    In the first place, we should learn the folly of man’s trying to fulfil the promises of God. God had promised to Abraham an innumerable seed. When the promise was made, it was beyond all human possibility that Abraham should have a son by his wife, but he accepted the word of the Lord, and his faith was counted to him for righteousness. This in itself was evidence that the seed was not to be an ordinary seed, but that it was to be a seed of faith.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.3

    But his wife had not the faith that he had. Yet she thought that she had faith, and even Abraham doubtless thought that in carrying out her advice he was working in harmony with the word of the Lord. The mistake was in harkening to the voice of his wife, instead of to the Lord. They reasoned that God had promised them a large family, but that since it was impossible for her to have children, it was very evident that He intended that they should devise some other means of bringing it about. Thus it is that human reason deals with the promises of God.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.4

    Yet how short-sighted the whole thing was. God had made the promise; therefore He alone could fulfil it. If a man makes a promise, the thing promised may be performed by another, but in that case the one who made the promise fails to carry out his word. So even though that which the Lord had promised could have been gained by the device which was adopted, the result would have been to shut the Lord out from fulfilling His word. They were therefore working against God. But His promises cannot be performed by man. In Christ alone can they be performed. It is easy enough for us all to see this in the case before us; yet how often, in our own experience, instead of waiting for the Lord to do what He has promised, we become tired of waiting, and try to do it for Him, and thus make failures.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.5

    SPIRITUAL AND LITERAL

    Years afterwards the promise was fulfilled in God’s own way, but it was not until both Abraham and his wife fully believed the Lord. “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11. Isaac was the fruit of faith. “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.6

    Many people overlook this fact. They forget that Abraham had two sons, one by a bondwoman, and the other by a freewoman; one born after the flesh, and the other born after the Spirit. Hence the confusion with respect to the “literal” and the “spiritual” seed of Abraham. People talk as though the word “spiritual” were opposed to “literal.” But this is not the case. “Spiritual” is opposed only to “fleshly,” or carnal.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.7

    Isaac was born after the Spirit, yet he was as real and literal a child as Ishmael was. So the true seed of Abraham are only those who are spiritual, but that does not make them any the less real. God is Spirit, yet He is a real God. Christ had a spiritual body after His resurrection, yet He was a real, literal being, and could be handled the same as other bodies. So the bodies of the saints after the resurrection will be spiritual, yet they will be real. Spiritual things are not imaginary things. Indeed, that which is spiritual is more real than that which is fleshly, because only that which is spiritual will endure for ever.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.8

    From this case, therefore, we learn most conclusively that the seed which God promised to Abraham, which should be as the sand of the sea and the stars of heaven for number, and which should inherit the land, is a spiritual seed. That is, it is a seed which comes through the agency of the Spirit of God. The birth of Isaac, like that of the Lord Jesus, was miraculous. It was supernatural. Both were brought about through the agency of the Spirit. In both we have an illustration of the power by which we are to become sons of God, and thus heirs of the promise.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.9

    The seed of Abraham after the flesh are Ishmaelites. He was a wild man, or, as the Revised Version has it, “A wild ass among men.” Genesis 16:12. Moreover, he was the son of a bondwoman, and therefore not a freeborn son. Now the Lord had already signified, when speaking of Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, that the seed of Abraham were to be free. Therefore if Abraham had only remembered the words of the Lord, instead of harkening to the voice of his wife, he would have been saved much trouble.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.10

    It is worth while to dwell at length upon this phase of the subject, for it will save much confusion as to the true seed of Abraham, and the true Israel. Let the points be stated once more.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.11

    Ishmael was born after the flesh, and could not be the seed. Therefore those who are only of the flesh cannot be the children of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 371.12

    Isaac was born after the Spirit, and was the true seed. “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Therefore all the children of Abraham are they alone who are born of the Spirit. “We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” Galatians 4:28.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.1

    Isaac was freeborn; and none but those who are free are the children of Abraham, “So, then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” Galatians 4:31. What this freedom is, the Lord showed in His talk to the Jews, recorded in the eighth of John. “If ye abide in My word, then are ye truly My disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered unto Him, We are Abraham’s seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man; how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin. And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever; but the Son abideth for ever. If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Verses 31-36, R.V. And later He declared to them that if they were really the children of Abraham, they would do the works of Abraham. Verse 39.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.2

    Here again we see that which we learned from the promise in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, that the promise seed was to be a righteous seed, since it was promised only through Christ, and was sure to Abraham only through his faith.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.3

    The sum of the whole matter is that in the promise to Abraham there is the Gospel, and only the Gospel; and any attempt to make the promises apply to any other than those who are Christ’s through the Spirit, is an attempt to nullify the promises of the Gospel of God. “If ye are Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29. “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:9. So if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit by which Isaac was born, he is not a child of Abraham, and has no claim to any part of the promise.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.4

    “The Work of the Destroyer” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights.” Luke 21:11.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.5

    He who calls attention to existing facts does not deserve to be called an alarmist, although it may be a very serious condition which he points out. The physician who candidly gives his patient a truthful statement of his case is not an alarmist. It may be that the symptoms are alarming, yet for all that very likely it is the wisest possible thing to state them frankly to the patient, that, if possible, he may be warned in time. The Great Physician was not an alarmist, and took no pessimistic view of the final outcome of all things, yet the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew contains the skeleton of what must have been a most dramatic narration indeed of events which were, and are, to befall the world.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.6

    In the beginning God saw that all created nature which He had made was very good. This unqualified approval must have been fully deserved. To have been worthy of this expression of Divine satisfaction it must have been free from all natural convulsions and displays of destructive forces. In the day when the Creator looked upon the work of His hands and found it all very good, all the natural forces were in their proper equilibrium, and there was no possibility, under the then existing conditions, of their breaking forth in violent and disastrous exhibitions of their irresistible power. But sin made its appearance and the evenly-balanced adjustment of natural forces became more and more disturbed until at last “the earth was filled with violence,”-the earth was corrupt and man was corrupt. At last the disorder, moral and physical, culminated in that great storm of all the ages in which the vast flood of waters swept the whole earth and destroyed all life except that of the one just man and those with him.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.7

    This was a logical result. As in greater and greater degree the laws which the Creator had established were ignored, defied, and violated,-so it might be expected that His beneficent controlling influence over the forces of nature would be proportionately withdrawn. Such was the result, and the climax swept the whole world clean with the besom of destruction.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.8

    For many years Noah was occupied in building the ark, and in explaining its purpose to men and warning them to repent from their wickedness and escape the destruction which was to come. No doubt Noah was called a foolish and fanatical alarmist;-but was he? Was he not, rather, the calmest-minded and clearest-headed man of his time? The event, though seemingly long delayed, proved him to have been wise and the others foolish. It is not unwise to depend upon the sure Word of prophecy. It is not folly to repeat its warnings.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.9

    Again, for thousands of years man has corrupted himself and the earth. Through systematic disobedience to the law of God, and obedience to Satan, he has caused the Creator and Preserver to withdraw more and more His beneficent influence and control; and has placed himself and all things in increasing degree under the control of the destroyer-the “prince of the power of the air.” And now the most casual observer-if he only will-may realise the truth of this which a writer upon this subject some years ago put with so much directness and force1From “The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan,” by Mrs. E. G. White, International Tract Society, Ltd. The work is sold by subscription, and may be obtained from any of our own agents. :-PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.10

    Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. But the Christian world have shown contempt for the law of Jehovah, and the Lord will do just what He has declared that He would-He will withdraw His blessings from the earth and remove His protecting care from those who are rebelling against His law and teaching and forcing others to do the same. Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some, in order to further his own designs; and he will bring trouble upon others and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.11

    While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. “The earth mourneth and fadeth away,” “the haughty people...do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:4, 5.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.12

    The end and outcome of this which must shortly come to pass is revealed in “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servants John: who bear record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:1, 2, 3.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.13

    “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away;...Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 21:1, 3-6.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 372.14

    “The ‘Regenerated’ State” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The bishops in the fourth century conceived the idea of regenerating the State by gaining control in political affairs. They thought great things would come of it; but it led to the darkness and immorality of the Dark Ages. When the Church forsook the power of God and the Word for political power there was left nothing to hold back the elements of evil. Now again a large portion of the religious world is infatuated with the same idea-they will bring the nations to righteousness by securing control of politics in the interests of a religiously ordered State.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 374.1

    The Methodist Times reports the annual meeting of the great Methodist body in America, and enthusiastically welcomes that portion of the Address which revives this fourth-century programme. It says:-PTUK June 11, 1896, page 374.2

    “The purpose of Christ in this world,” adds the Address, “is not merely the regeneration of the individual. He also desires the regeneration of the State. The State is as truly Divine as the Church. Nay, the State is the designed outcome of the perfected Church. A man may be as much a missionary of God in the politics of America as in the forests of Africa.” This is first rate, and shows that the detestable doctrine, which has scarcely any religious supporter left in England except Dr. Parker, that the State is purely secular, is now being rejected by the adherents of all great Churches even in America.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 374.3

    When men wanted to make Christ king by force, He eluded them; for His kingdom is not of the world. When men now try to enthrone Him king of an earthly kingdom it is only their own perverse wills that they enthrone; and that has meant tyranny, and woe, and wickedness throughout all history. It is of the Papacy, through and through; but men get so intoxicated with the wine of the papal Babylon, and so fascinated by the idea of getting power to “run things” according to their own way, that they forget Divine principles, and the power of the Gospel, and the nature of true morality, and the loud cry of history and of prophecy. Under the plea of saving the State, Christ’s death was decided upon (John 11:49, 50), and He has been crucified afresh and put to shame whenever His professed followers have sought earthly power with which to honour Him.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 374.4

    NONCONFORMITY’S ERROR

    Dr. Parker has lately been pointing out to Nonconformists the fatal error they have made in insisting that religion, as they define it, should be taught by the State. How they have thus helped Rome and Ritualism into power is a matter of recent history. If Dr. Parker’s is the only voice in popular Nonconformity that is raised against the “regenerated” State theory in England, it is so much the worse for both religion and the State in England. When the fourth-century bishops, losing confidence in the power of the Gospel to save sinners, turned to what they thought would be a short way of saving the State, they ruined both Church and State. And they began-just as Methodism and other religious bodies in America have done-by getting the State committed to Sunday laws, and pushing it on deeper and deeper into religious controversy and strife. When modern States are made “Christian” after this plan, the hardest place in this world for citizens of the kingdom of heaven will be in “Christendom,” even as it was in the Dark Ages. And the whole current is setting in that direction.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 374.5

    History furnishes many examples of the religious-State theory in practice. Even now we have only to look to Russia, or Austria, or some of the South American States to see the Roman Catholic ideal of a religious State. “But these,” our Protestant champions would say, “are but examples of States with the wrong religion. Let us make the State religious after the proper religion, and all will be well.” That is just where they have always erred. The sin is in turning aside from the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom of heaven to trying to manage the kingdoms of this world, and to make people religious by law. Whether priest or presbyter has mattered not a whit; when churches want civil power, they want it to use, and they have always used it as the world uses power.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 374.6

    When the Puritans fled to America to escape Episcopacy in power, they founded a State “regenerated” after their ideal; but they soon made it worse for the Quaker and the Baptist than it had been for themselves under Episcopacy, and their severity in the New England shocked their former persecutors in Old England. Religion in power in the State never can be the religion of Jesus Christ; for His kingdom is not of this world, nor do His servants fight. But the moment the State is made religious that moment religious power seizes the sword, and sooner or later the logic of events will bring the use of it. Even now, in America, the professedly Protestant churches-misguided, and ignorant of what they are doing, we must allow-have made such malignant use of Sunday laws against Sabbath-keepers that even Roman Catholic journals have protested.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 374.7

    AN IMAGE TO THE PAPACY

    The moment a people determine to make a State policy religious, that moment, in a mixed population, begins the struggle to see whose religion shall be supreme. This very struggle that is now attending the world-wide revival of the religio-political question, is adding bitterness to public life day by day. Compromises only hold the elements in check temporarily, and when next the strife breaks out it is harsher than ever. Cannot every one see that the result will be strife and bitterness to the end? In Catholic countries the question is settled; in professedly Protestant countries the strife is but beginning, so far as the modern development of the idea is concerned. The religious State that will suit one section will not please another. And even though compromising Protestantism were able to settle some basis for the religious State, what would it be but a very likeness of the Papacy? It will be human law in place of God’s law, and man enthroned in the place of God. It will be but the image to the papal beast of prophecy (Rev. xiii.), itself the triumph of papal principles over the grand old Protestant doctrine of the non-interference of the magistrate and the State in the realm of religion. And that doctrine is the doctrine of Jesus Christ, who when He was offered all the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them by the god of this world, refused the gift, leaving an example of loyalty to the kingdom of heaven which His followers must imitate.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 375.1

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The Pope has written a letter to the King of Abyssinia asking for the release of the Italian soldiers held prisoners by him.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.1

    -The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States is taking steps to establish a similar organisation to the Church Army in this country.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.2

    -The temples of India are to be lighted with electricity, the example having been set by the great shrine of Siva, at Kochioaddie, near Mutwal, in Ceylon.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.3

    -The German universities are producing graduates in lam in such numbers that it bas been found necessary to discourage professional study in this direction.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.4

    -Russia has a standing army of 1,698,000 men always under arms, with field reserves of 1,124,000 first reserves amounting to 1,191,800 men, 4,000,000 in the second reserve, and a total of 7,914,000.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.5

    -It is understood that the Government of Now Zealand will introduce a measure for the exclusion of consumptive persons on the same lines as that dealing with small-pox, making masters of ships liable.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.6

    -Following immediately upon the terrible disaster at Moscow came the round of balls and banquets, the festivities beginning on the very field of slaughter before all the bodies were removed.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.7

    -The Swod, or Russian code, describes the Czar as an autocrat whose power is without limit: while in the Russian catechism, drawn up for schools, it is said that every one of his subjects owes him “adoration.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.8

    -Only one railway passenger among 28,000,000 is annually killed in England; in France it is one in 19,000,000; in Germany, one in 10,000,000; Italy, one in 6,000,000; America, one in 2,000,000 to 8,000,000; and Russia, one in 1,000,000.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.9

    -A recent scientific traveller in Palestine says that the Sea of Galilee is fast booming like the Dead Sea, with dense water and salt formations on its banks, He believes that the bottom of the sea is sinking, and that greater changes in it are impending.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.10

    -There are large districts in China where labour is so cheap that it can hardly be reckoned on a money standard. Thousands of Chinese labourers live on little more than a handful of rice or so s day, and yet even then there are thousands of unemployed practically starving.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.11

    -The Czar has no Civil List, but draws at discretion upon the Imperial Treasury, every rouble in which is supposed to be absolutely at his own disposal, so that his resources are practically inexhaustible. He is also the owner of immense estates in various parts of Russia.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.12

    -The Bill for the consolidation of the city of New York with its suburbs to constitute what has been called “The Greater New York,” has now become a law, and will go into effect on Jan. 1, 1898. The area of the city will then be three hundred square miles, or about twice that of London. I may lay claim to the title of the Venice of the West, for within its limits it win number forty-five islands.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 382.13

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A Roman Catholic paper says that the nuns of a certain order have been praying “to Cardinal Manning himself,” and they obtained their request!PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.1

    The leaders of the Catholic party in Germany are preparing a Bill to repeal the anti-Jesuit laws, and they are hopeful of success. The Socialists promise to vote for the Bill.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.2

    A sentence in a late report of the British consul at Foochow is an unlooked-for corroboration of the fruitfulness of the blood of the martyrs. He says: “The result of the massacre, strange to say, has been to bring a large number of converts into the churches and to stimulate missionary effort in the province.” Thus, in far away China, the wrath of the heathen is being made to praise God.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.3

    Mr. Gladstone’s declaration in favour of reunion with Rome, if the Vatican will please recognise what is called the validity of Anglican “orders,” probably surprised few. “The first Bishop of Christendom” is the title which she gives the Pope, and if that be the mind of that larger portion of the Church of England which Mr. Gladstone represents, it is surely inconsistent on their part not to submit themselves to him.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.4

    The chief end of man’s life and labour is not bread, and house, and property. If these things come to a man, plenteously, in the line of his duty-well and good-if not, there are higher and nobler emoluments which await him who faithfully serves till the Lord of the vineyard returns.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.5

    It seems that the seal of the corporation of Southampton, now in use, still bears the ancient Latin inscription to the Virgin with which it was impressed before the time of the reformation, “Virgo Mater Dei, misere nobis.” This survival of Roman Catholicism, having been retained so long, will no doubt now remain until it will be no longer an incongruity.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.6

    “The Eastward Position” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Eastward Position .-When the Lord showed the prophet Ezekiel the abominations committed by the priests in the temple, he said, “Thou shalt see greater abominations,” and showed him the priests “with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east.” Ezekiel 8:16. They had adopted this from the sun-worshipping nations about them. To guard against seeming to participate in this custom of turning toward the east, the tabernacle in the wilderness, and afterward the temple in Jerusalem, were set facing the east so that the priests administering before the Lord should face the west, with backs to the east. And when the children of the captivity were scattered among the sun-worshipping nations of the East they were to turn toward Jerusalem-to the west-in their worship. But the priests in Ezekiel’s day had adopted the eastward position, just as in this century after the apostles the corrupted church leaders again adopted it, from the same heathen source.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.7

    “The eastward position is now adopted,” says a newspaper, “in nearly 6,000 churches, an increase of nearly 1,000 since 1894, and 3,500 use altar lights, more than three times as many as ten years ago, and an increase of nearly 1,000 in two years. In 1,632 churches the chasuble is used, against 509 in 1886, and 307 churches in the Church of England use incense.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.8

    “All the Angels” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    All the Angels .-The most important work in the eyes of all heaven is the work of saving men; for do we not read: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Not an angel in heaven, then, but is engaged in rescuing the lost in this sinful world. What a scene of activity must be the courts of heaven! the more so as the end draws nearer, and the forces of good and evil prepare for the final conflict. What a marvel that so many of the perishing are themselves careless and indifferent to salvation, when all heaven is astir in their behalf! There is not one unemployed angel; they are all swift to “do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.9

    “A Protest on Principle” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A Protest on Principle .-At a large meeting, held at the City Temple last week, for the purpose of voicing organised opposition to the Education Bill, Dr. Joseph Parker expressed some sound principles in most unmistakable terms. He said:-PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.10

    The Bill must be so got rid of that it will never come back again,-and so must be fought with the central, vital, unchangeable principle that it is no business of the State to provide religious teaching for old or young. If they did not believe that fundamental doctrine they were by so much not Nonconformists. I can understand a man being a total abstainer; but I defy him to be both. If I read my New Testament aright, I cannot believe that Jesus Christ would ever say, “Support My religion by taxation, and make My kingdom a branch of the civil service,” and turn over His Cross to be a suppliant in the court of C?sar.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.11

    In the expression of these and similar sentiments the Doctor did not shrink, as far as he went, from the logical principles to be deduced from these expressions. He seemed to carry with him the entire audience; yet when others followed who were ready to palter and compromise in fact, though dealing in brave words, and whose opposition was mainly selfish bluster, the applause was equally as great. It would seem that Dr. Parker has a great educational task on his hands to bring his confreres to a comprehension of the principles which he enunciates.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.12

    “The Popular Taste” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Popular Taste .-“However we may regard it, there is no denying the fact,” says the Chronicle, “that the most popular achievement of any man in this country is to secure for himself the three-year-old horse that can run a mile and a half in the shortest time.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.13

    “The Sunday Law in Action” The Present Truth, 12, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Sunday Law in Action .-One of our brethren in Canada is now serving a forty-day’s sentence for not keeping Sunday. A Sunday-school committee visited the place where he was quietly working and secured his conviction under the “Lord’s Day Act.” In a private letter to a friend, written from Chatham gaol, Ontario, he gives the following report of his first experience with the gaoler:-PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.14

    “You teach the people that Saturday is Sunday.” “No, sir,” I said, “we do not teach that Saturday is Sunday, for it is not.” This rather surprised him, for he was sure that we did, and he said, “Don't you?” “No,” I replied, “we teach just what the Bible teaches,-that the seventh day of the week, and not the first, is the Sabbath.” “To - with the Bible,” he said; “you've got to be subject to the law of the land.” “I am subject to the law of the land in civil matters, but it is impossible to make men religious by the law of the land,” I said. The search over, he commanded me to follow him. Coming to a heavy iron door, which he unlocked and swung open, he said, “Get in there, now, and we'll see if you won't keep Sunday.”PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.15

    The birds are a great comfort to me. I throw out bread to them through the bars.... I am not lonely; for the most precious experiences of my life have been while locked in my cell. Instead of being shut in by bare walls, it seems like being shut in with Jesus. His presence cheers the gloomy hours. After communing with Him, the hard bed seems soft, and my sleep is sweet; and when I awake, it is with fresh praise upon my lips for all His blessings, and I feel a greater determination to serve Him, even unto death.PTUK June 11, 1896, page 384.16

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