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    March 9, 1899

    “An Assured Welcome” The Present Truth 15, 10.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the parable of the prodigal son, the Saviour sets forth some of the principles which guide His dealings with repentant sinners. There is no depth of wretchedness or degradation so vile that it is beyond the reach of His divine compassion. It is true that all, like the son in the parable, have no rightful claim upon the Lord. They have already received all that He had to give, and have wasted their substance in riotous living. But God's gifts are immeasurable. Men may think within themselves that they have surely exhausted the love and forbearance of God, but it is not so, for “His mercy endureth for ever.” They believe He loved them once, but that was in a time when they were comparatively innocent. If they would approach Him now, they feel that only anger and condemnation would meet their advances.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 145.1

    Many who, like the poor swineherd of the parable, have come to themselves, feel that they dare not approach the Lord as they are. They doubt the sufficiency of His love to pardon the sins which have become horrible in their own eyes, and Satan seeks to instill into their minds a fear to approach unto God until their own vivid impressions of guilt are somewhat dispelled. But if they listen to his cunning suggestions and wait, in the vain hope of presenting themselves in less unworthy form, that which deadens the consciousness of sin will also take away the desire to return to the Lord.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 145.2

    God knows us for what we are. He is not disappointed with us when we discover our own unalterable weakness. “I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously,” He says, and the love which could foreknow our treachery, and yet love us, provided for our being girded with faithfulness. Isaiah 11:5. We may come boldly, just as we are, to the throne of grace and find mercy for our need, because He who is our High Priest above, and who was tempted in all points like as we are, is not ashamed to call us brethren. He does not deal with us according to our merits, or the multitude of our transgressions, but “according to His mercy He saved us.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 145.3

    When the prodigal son ventured to think of returning home, he dared not hope that he would be accepted as a son. If he might only be a servant, his lot would be incomparably superior to his present situation. It did not dawn on his mind that he was still regarded as a son. God does for us more than we can ask or think. His mercy is great unto the heavens and His faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Though we believe not, yet He abideth faithful. “I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.” Isaiah 41. So every one who is anxious to return to the Lord may come with confidence. God has given to all such the words to say, and this fact is assurance that the word will not be spoken in vain. “Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously.” The promise to those who make use of these words in faith, is, “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for Mine anger is turned away from then.” Hosea 14:3, 4.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 146.1

    And what is the position of those who thus return to the Lord, on His own invitation? It is given in the words of the father to the older son: “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” The Lord has promised that He will never leave us, or forsake us, and He makes us, as His children, His heirs, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. And the wonder of it is that this position of inconceivable blessedness and unending delight is not merely for those who have never wandered from the Father's side, but is offered freely to all who are now in the depths to which their sins have brought them, who are feeding on husks and in need of all things. All these may arise from their degradation, and go unto their Father with the full assurance that, while they are yet a great way off, the Father Himself will meet them with loving welcome and full forgiveness.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 146.2

    “Studies from the Gospel of John. The Good Shepherd. John 10:1-16The Present Truth 15, 10.

    E. J. Waggoner

    John 10:1-16

    In excommunicating the man whose sight Christ had restored, the Pharisees showed that the motive which ruled their actions was a jealous regard for their own dignity and honour, rather than a tender concern for the true welfare of the people who looked for spiritual guidance. Mankind are often referred to in the Scriptures as sheep, and in habits and disposition they show the fitness of the comparison. The Lord recognises it Himself, and He desires to be to us what a faithful shepherd is to his flock, “He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:7. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.” Psalm 23:1, 2. “And ye My flock, the flock of My pasture are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel 34:31.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 146.3

    The Shepherd Himself was now come to seek and to save that which was lost. Those to whom the care of the flock had been committed, had too often proved themselves thieves and robbers, and the sheep had been scattered. “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.” “Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd; and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.” Ezekiel 34. Because of this the Lord says, “Behold I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 146.4

    In the performance of this work the Good Shepherd was brought into conflict with the false shepherds. Those who retain their control of the flock, not that they might do them good, but for the sake of the influence which their position procured for them. They were hirelings, only caring for the emoluments of their office, and ignoring its duties and responsibilities. Christ came to reveal to all the character of the true shepherd. Although every one, like sheep, had turned each to his own way, still all were sheep, and the Shepherd came not to condemn but save. Yet none could be saved unless they should turn from the evil of their way and live.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 146.5

    Jesus proclaims Himself to be the one door by which the sheep may find entrance to the fold. He is the way, the truth and the life. So He is the living way, and He is the living door. No one can enter into the fold who does not live the life of Christ. Whoever can say, like Paul, “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in Me,” is in the way, and can go through the door. “He shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 146.6

    But this is not the end. While we are always the flock of Christ, when we have His life in us, we are also to be shepherds to others, that they too may be led to enter through the door. “He that entereth by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” This responsibility rests upon every soul. We cannot say like Cain, unless we share his spirit and his destiny, “Am I my brother's keeper?” and Christ has answered for every one the question those that are willing to justify themselves, “Who is my neighbour?” We must either gather with Christ or scatter abroad. We are either true shepherds, or false ones.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 146.7

    There is only one way of becoming a true shepherd, and that is by receiving the life of Christ. This does not merely consist in agreeing verbally to what the Lord says. The life of Christ is as real as our physical life, for it is only by His life that we live at all. Our lives are just what we are in word, deed and thought. The life of Christ is just what He is, in every detail of His life. Whoever receives Christ's life will live as He does, in thought, word and deed. Whoever comes short of that life commits sin, which is coming short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. Whoever comes short of the glory of God, no matter how high his profession may be, is living a sinful life. But Jesus came to save His people from their sins therefore, He came that we, might, in our lives, be filled with all the fulness of God, and not come short of His glory. Our own thoughts and words and deeds are not to appear. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” “Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6. “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 147.1

    Jesus makes the issue a very plain one. The shepherd who lives to himself, or by himself at all, is not one who may develop into a true shepherd. He never will. The command to men is not to train and discipline their thoughts, but to forsake them. Isaiah 55:7. Let the wicked forsake his way. Christ is the living way, and no man comes into the fold except by that way. Christ did not come to combine Himself with men, but to save them from themselves. Light has no fellowship with darkness. Everywhere shepherds are feeding the flock with their own words. They themselves are not properly identified with Christ, but self is allowed to appear. Christ says of all such that they are thieves and robbers. Only the one who is emptied of self and lets the mind of Christ guide him entirely can feed the flock with unselfish, Christ-like care.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 147.2

    Notice some of the characteristics of the true shepherd, and remember that these, and every other feature of Christ's life, must be reproduced in the under-shepherds, because the only way for them is the way of Christ's life.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 147.3

    The sheep hear His voice. The true shepherd will not speak of himself, but as the oracles of God. Jesus’ life was just the Word made flesh, and His followers are to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. In this way, the word will be the spring of all their actions, not of a few, but of all. The words of God are not merely articulate sounds, but being alive, they are things. Our food, which grows by the creative power of the word, is the word made food, and in our lives, the word is to appear as a living thing, taking its shape from us, but having all the life and power in itself. We are to be the word made flesh, and through us the word will speak to the scattered and wandering sheep in words and deeds of tender love and helpfulness. The sheep will recognise the voice of the Shepherd, and will follow the loving call. Let the word of God dwell in us richly in all wisdom so that there is nothing in our lives which is not the working of the word, and Christ, being lifted up, will draw all unto Him.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 147.4

    “He calleth His own sheep by name.” Successful work does not consist in dealing with the multitudes, but with individuals. The work is not given to a favoured few. It is “to every man his work.” Self-love and self-seeking prompt a desire for the most public place where all may see and admire. The true shepherd leaves the ninety and nine and goes after that which a lost until he find it. So will it be with all who have the true shepherd heart that all receive who enter the sheep-fold by the way of Christ's life. He “leadeth them out and when He putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him.” The true shepherd does not delegate to others the difficult and unpleasant parts of the work. He goes before them. Christ is to them not merely a set of regulations, but a life. So far as men may be to others what Christ is to them, His followers are to be to those to whom they minister, not merely words of instruction but a living example. The true shepherd lives before his flock the truths which he proclaims. He is foremost in every good word and work. He does not preach and expect others to practise, but he preaches mainly by his practice.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 147.5

    The likeness between the Chief Shepherd and the under-shepherds is not to stop at any point. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep, and those who share His life will also give theirs. The Lord promises all who thus partake of His sufferings that they shall share His joy. Through them He will perfectly manifest Himself to the flock. “I am the good Shepherd, and I know Mine own, and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father.” The closeness of the relation between Christ and the Father sets forth the intimate relation which Christ will establish between Himself and His flock. As they two are one, so all His people are to be one with Himself and each other. When this is true they will be successful as soul-winners. The Lord will be able to reveal Himself through them as the true Shepherd, and to bring in by their means the sheep which are outside the fold, so that there shall be one fold and one shepherd.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 147.6

    “The Worth of a Man” The Present Truth 15, 10.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Lord, speaking of the day when He “will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity,” when He “will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible,” says, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 147.7

    The Apostle Peter, speaks to those “who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time,” and who are in heaviness through manifold temptation, and yet are rejoicing in hope, that the trial of their faith “being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire,” will be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:5-7. And in the same connection, he adds, “Ye know that ye were not redeemed by corruptible things as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Verse 18.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 147.8

    A man shows his estimate of the value of a thing by the price which he pays for it. So God shows how He values His people, by the fact that He has purchased the church with His own blood. Acts 20:28. In this case, however, the price does not indicate the value of the things purchased, but what can be made of it. God says, “Ye have sold yourselves for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money.” Isaiah 52:3. In selling ourselves for naught, we have made ourselves worth nothing; but in purchasing us with His own blood, God has provided the way for us to be made worth as much as He is, if we will but accept the terms.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 147.9

    We often hear an estimate of what a man is worth. One will be said to be “worth ten thousand pounds;” another will be set down as “worth a hundred thousand pounds;” while another will be envied because he is “worth a million.” But “the day that shall come” will declare not only every man's work, of what sort it is, but will also demonstrate the value of every man. Then it will be found that the man whose worth can be estimated in pounds, shillings, and pence, is absolutely worthless, no matter how many figures it takes to estimate his wealth. The man who is “worth his millions” will then be on a level, as to value, with his neighbour who is “not worth a penny.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.1

    “In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” Isaiah 2:21, 22. That will show that even the men who have spent their lives to amass money will regard it as worthless; but whoever makes an idol is like unto it. Psalm 115:3.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.2

    The reason why money will be of no value then is that it will not; it cannot continue. But even now it is uncertain, and cannot by any possibility deliver a man's soul. The man, therefore, who has not accepted “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” namely, His own precious blood, which is incorruptible, will have no life. He will become “as though he had not been.” It will be a sad time for a man who is worth no more than can be measured by gold and silver.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.3

    What a marvellous thing, that a man may be made worth as much as God Himself, because purchased with His life. “God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” His design for us is that we shall continue as long as He does, because filled and clothed with His own incorruptible life, and not that we should perish as a worthless thing. Whoever keeps the faith that is tried in the fire, also keeps the life that is unconquerable, and whose value cannot be estimated in earthly coin. Happy is the man whose value is in himself, that is, in the life that is in him, and not in something which can be stripped from him, leaving his soul naked and ashamed.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.4

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. The New Song. Isaiah 12:1-6The Present Truth 15, 10.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. “And in the day thou shalt say;
    I will give thanks unto Thee, O Jehovah; for
    though Thou hast been angry with me,
    Thine anger is turned away, and Thou hast comforted me.
    PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.5

    2. Behold, God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid:
    For my strength, and my song, is Jehovah;
    And He is become my salvation.
    PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.6

    3. And when ye shall draw waters with joy
    from the fountains of salvation, in that
    day ye shall say:
    PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.7

    4. Give ye thanks to Jehovah; call upon His
    Make known among the peoples His mighty
    Record ye, how highly His name is exalted.
    PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.8

    5. Sing ye Jehovah, for He hath wrought a
    stupendous work;
    This is made manifest in all the earth.
    PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.9

    6. Cry aloud, and shout for joy, O inhabiters of
    For great in the midst of thee is the Holy
    One of Israel.”
    PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.10

    This is a most wonderful chapter, and everybody ought to study it so thoroughly that the words will be forever impressed on the mind. Such passages as this, full of comfort and encouragement, should be perfectly familiar to every person. They should not be studied mechanically as a school-boy studies his spelling lesson, so that they can be repeated parrot-like, but intelligently and thoughtfully. It will not take long to fix the chapter so thoroughly in the mind that the words will come naturally in their proper order. When this has been done, we can study the Bible at any odd moment, and can feed on the living Word, which is always fresh.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.11

    It will be noticed that this chapter is a continuation of chapter eleven. “In that day.” In what day?-Why, in the day when the root of Jesse stands for an ensign to the peoples; when the Lord sets His hand the second time together the remnant of His people-the outcasts of Israel. In short, now, for “Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.” It is not in the future, immortal state that this song is to be taken up and learned. Now is the time for men to say, “Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation;” “I will trust, and not be afraid.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.12

    Take notice that this song is identical with that sung by Moses after the crossing of the Red Sea. Compare Exodus 15:2. When the redeemed stand on Mount Zion, they will sing “the song of Moses the servant of God, the song of the Lamb” (Revelation 15:2, 3), and it will be this very song; but they will have learned it before they get there. Moses was yet in the wilderness when he sang his song of triumph. There was no water in the desert where the children of Israel were when they joined in the chorus. But it was right for them to sing it. The trouble was that they stopped singing, and that stopped their progress; for “the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be on their head.” Isaiah 51:11. The new song of the redeemed is that which they have learned on earth, inspired by the love of God, which, though everlasting, is always new. The “new commandment” is the old commandment that was from the beginning. When God brings a man up out of the horrible pit, and the miry clay, He puts a new song in his mouth. Psalm 40:1-3. So.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 148.13

    “When in scenes of glory,
    I sing the new, new song,
    'Twill be the old, old story
    That I have loved so long.”
    PTUK March 9, 1899, page 149.1

    “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid.” Why not? How could one fear, knowing God Himself to be his salvation? It is not merely that God saves, but He Himself is salvation. Having Him, we have salvation, and are not merely looking forward to it, and hoping for it. He is our salvation,-from what?-From everything that we need to be saved from. “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4. That is the best of all. God not only saves us from death, but from the fear of death. Hebrews 2:14, 15. Many things that we fear, exist only in our imagination; but the trouble is just as great to us as though the danger were real; our fears are as oppressive. Now God saves us from all these fears. God says: “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” “Whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Proverbs 3:25, 26; 1:33.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 149.2

    “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18. Remember that God is near at hand “in all things that we call upon Him for.” Deuteronomy 4:7. “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:25, 28. And He is Almighty; there is none able to withstand Him. 2 Chronicles 20:6. “Our God is in the heavens; He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.” Psalm 115:3. And His thoughts towards us are thoughts of peace, and not of evil, so give us an expected end. Jeremiah 29:14. Is it not clear, therefore, that every fear, no matter what kind of a fear it is, nor what it is that we are afraid of, is evidence of distrust? We either distrust His care or His power. If we are afraid, that shows that we do not believe that God is at hand, or else we do not believe that He cares for us, or else we do not believe that He is able to save us. Give this sober thought; think how often you have been afraid, and how often you are seized and controlled by fear; and then decide whether you do really love and trust the Lord.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 149.3

    “God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and beugh the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” Psalm 46:1, 2. Some one will say, “No; I don't expect to be afraid in the last great day; I shall then be confident in the Lord.” Why will you be more confident in the Lord.” Why will you be more confident in the Lord then than now? Will He at that time be more trustworthy than now? Do you not know that if you do not get acquainted with the Lord, and learn to trust Him now, you will not trust Him then? Jesus is coming to take vengeance on them that know not God. 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8. Now all those who know the name of the Lord put their trust in Him. Psalm 9:10. Therefore those who are saved when the Lord comes will be found trusting.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 149.4

    “But there are so many little things that startle me, and make me nervous; I am not afraid of great things; I know the Lord will protect me then; but I can't expect Him to keep me from nervousness at sudden noises, or from being timid and afraid to speak a word in meeting, or from being anxious at sea, or for those who are on it.” Why not? Do you not see that this is a virtual shutting out of God from all the ordinary affairs of life? He is a God nigh at hand as well as afar off. Jeremiah 23:23. He who does that which is greatest, is abundantly able to do that which is least. Fear in little things is evidence of distrust in God, just as much as fear in great things. It shows that we do not believe that God is very near, or that He is great enough to look after details. The true child of God, who is living a life of constant trust in Him, need not, cannot, be afraid of anything in the world. He who is not afraid of God, cannot be afraid of anything; for nothing is so great as He.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 149.5

    “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1. He is “the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea.” Psalm 65:5. “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust; His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” Psalm 91:1-5.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 149.6

    This perfect confidence is the result of acquaintance with the Lord. Because one has learned to trust the Lord in all things, proving that nothing is too small for His attention, he can trust Him in the great trial. “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15. When the perfect love casts out all fear, then perfect rest must remain. This is the rest that remains to the people of God. It is the perfect keeping of the Sabbath. It is this blessed rest that the Sabbath of the Lord makes known. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God;” but the keeping of the Sabbath is not by any means met by resting from manual labour on the last day of the week. The ceasing from our work on that day is but the sign of our perfect rest in God-of the committing of our souls to God in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator. 1 Peter 4:19. But perfect rest must be constant; to trust one day and be anxious and fearful the next, is not to rest in God. So in the message of the Sabbath of the Lord, which is the message that prepares for His coming, we find that revelation of God as Creator and Lord, that will keep us from ever being afraid again. What a glorious message!PTUK March 9, 1899, page 149.7

    “My strength and my song is Jehovah; and He is become my salvation.” Just see what one gets in return for acknowledging that he has no strength: he gets the Lord for his strength. All the strength of the Lord is his. Thus he is “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power.” Colossians 1:11. This is far better than the utmost that anyone could hope for, even at the highest estimate of his own strength.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 149.8

    “With joy shall ye draw waters from the wells of salvation.” When?-Now; whenever you are thirsty for salvation. Jesus cried: “If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink.” John 7:37. “Let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. God is “the fountain of living waters.” Jeremiah 2:13. In Him we live; therefore we are continually drawing water from the wells of salvation, whether we know it or not. Recognise the fact, and the drinking of the water of life will be a joy.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 150.1

    “Make known among the peoples His mighty deeds.” This is the proper occupation of all men. Nobody has any right to talk to another soul about his own weakness. Our sole business is to speak of the glory of God's kingdom, and to talk of His power; “to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom.” Psalm 145:12. Say unto the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” We don't, as a general thing, need to tell people very much about our own weakness and insignificance; they usually have a fair knowledge of that without our taking special pains to point it out. It does them no good, and it increases our own discouragement, when we talk of our own weakness. But when we speak of the power of Jehovah, we have an endless theme, and one which strengthens and encourages both speaker and bearer.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 150.2

    “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High; God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved.” Psalm 46:4, 5. The presence of God in Zion renders it immovable; so the presence of God in the midst of His people assures their safety. God's presence recognised in a man makes him “steadfast, unmovalbe, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58. Why shout? because you are so great?-No; because God is so great, and He dwells in us. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4. “What shall we say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 150.3

    “Little Folks. The Gospel of the Spring. The Hope of Glory” The Present Truth 15, 10.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Here is something else that flits among the flowers, and feeds on their honey, as well as the bees that we talked about last week. The butterflies-how pretty they look as they soar in the air like tiny birds, or rest for a moment to sip the honey from the flowers, looking almost like their own bright petals. In fact, when their wings are closed, the butterflies can sometimes scarcely be distinguished from the leaves of the plants on which they settle.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.1

    But while you watch them and admire their beauty, do you ever think of their wonderful life story? They were not always as you see them now, but in their short lives they have passed through marvellous changes, before they became the perfect and beautiful butterflies that you see.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.2

    If you should keep some of the tiny eggs that the butterfly lays, and watch them, would you see little baby butterflies with tiny wings come from them, expecting to be fed with honey? No; little insects not at all like their mother,-little grubs or caterpillars,-would crawl out, eat up the shell of the egg, and begin at once to feed greedily upon the leaf where the eggs had been laid. For although the butterfly herself feeds only on honey, and knows nothing about caterpillars and their food, she always lays her eggs in just the place where the little caterpillars will find the very food that they want.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.3

    This is very wonderful, for different kinds of caterpillars feed on different plants, some on cabbage leaves, some on the leaves of the nettle, and some on other plants. But the mother never makes a mistake; she always leaves the eggs where the young ones will find the right kind of food ready for them. See how carefully and lovingly she provides for the young ones whom she will never see; for almost as soon as the eggs are laid, the butterfly dies.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.4

    How can she have such wisdom and intelligence, you will perhaps wander. But this wisdom belongs not to the butterfly, it belongs to the life that she has, which is not her own, but God's life in her, as it is in all His works, guiding each one in the right way. It is the life which holds the earth in its place and guides it in its path round the sun, that guides it in its path round the sun, that guides each tiny insect in just the works that God has appointed for it.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.5

    We have been learning about the plants that they are not perfect at once, but come forth, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” And it is just the same with these little insects; there is first the grub or caterpillar, then the chrysalis, and at last the perfect creature,-the butterfly.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.6

    The caterpillar is a very hungry little thing, and spends nearly all its life feeding, for it needs a great deal of food to enable it to do the work for which it is getting ready. It grows very fast, and when its coat gets too small, it casts it off and appears in a new and larger one that has been growing underneath.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.7

    After living in this way for some weeks or months, the caterpillar builds or spins a little house for itself like a tiny coffin, and wrapping its body in a beautiful silken shroud that it spins for this purpose, it passes into the state of rest called the chrysalis state, in which it eats nothing at all, and shows no sign of life. Some even bury themselves under the ground, but others fasten their little houses to the leaves or twigs of plants.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.8

    Those that pass into the chrysalis state in the autumn, stay in this condition all the winter. But when the warm sunshine comes back again, the time of their rest and burial is over, the little prison houses burst open, and out come,-not the old creeping caterpillars, but beautiful soaring butterflies, with large painted wings covered with delicate feathery scales, able to soar like the birds, and as beautiful as the flowers.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.9

    What a change! What a wonderful transformation! Think, then, of the glorious possibilities wrapped up in each little creeping caterpillar that you see. When its short life of toil is over, it passes from sight, and there seems to be an end of it. But is it so? Oh, no; when its appointed times comes, it awakes clothed with a more beautiful garment, with new powers, to a new and fuller life.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.10

    Is not this a wonderful chapter of the Gospel of the Spring?-the Gospel of Hope, “the hope of glory,” we may call it: for this is the message of the Spring season, and through all the ages it has been teaching the same beautiful lesson.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.11

    The patriarch Job, who lived 4,000 years ago, asked, “If a man die shall he live again?” and then he answered his own question by saying, “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” He had seen the seeds that were buried in the ground spring up at the appointed time in freshness and beauty; he had seen the caterpillar passing away into the chrysalis, waiting all the days of its appointed time till its wonderful change should come. The spring flowers, and the butterflies that flit among them, are teaching us the same beautiful lesson that Job had learned, a lesson of life and hope.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.12

    But there is one thing that I want you to notice particularly: This change, the bursting forth of the perfect insect, which seems so sudden, is really only the end of a work that has been going on for a long time, in fact ever since the little caterpillar was born the butterfly has been gradually forming within it. But now it comes forth so that the hidden and wonderful work that has been going on can be clearly seen.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 154.13

    All this is to teach us something of the wonderful “mystery of the Gospel.” The Apostle Paul when he speaks of this mystery, tells us what it is; he says that it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.1

    “The hope of glory” for the caterpillar is the beautiful butterfly forming within it, which by and by will transform within it, which by and by will transform and change its whole body. “The hope of glory” for us is “Christ formed within us,”-the power of His life working in us now to take away our old sinful nature, and change us into His image.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.2

    And by and by it will be clearly seen who are those in whom this change has been going on, for when Jesus comes there will be “a manifestation (a revealing, or showing forth) of the sons of God.” Then their whole bodies will be changed, and “fashioned like unto His glorious body.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.3

    As you see the caterpillar crawling on the ground and on the plants, think, dear children, of the wonders going on in its tiny frame, and ask Jesus who is doing this work, to work in you also by His power, and change you into His image, so that you may be among those who “shall be like Him,” when “they shall see Him as He is?”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.4

    “Better than a Fairy Tale” The Present Truth 15, 10.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A gentleman living in St. Fernando, Chili, about twenty years ago, was charged with witchcraft, and arrested by the authorities, because he had some caterpillars that turned into butterflies!PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.5

    You will, no doubt, be astonished to hear of such ignorance, for almost every child now knows that caterpillars turn into butterflies.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.6

    And yet to one who does not know and consider the wonderful works of God, this transformation seems so strange, and so like a romance or fairy story, that it is no wonder that they were at a lose to account for it.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.7

    Goethe said: “I would call these transmutations wonderful, if the wonderful in nature were not that which occurs every moment.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.8

    The works of God that are going all around us are much more wonderful than any of the fairy stories that people make up out of their own minds, and much more beautiful too, because they are all true.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.9

    Is it not then, dear children, much better for us to “consider the wondrous works of God,” and so get our minds filled with truth and beauty, than to waste our time filling our minds with the lies that people spin out of their own imagination?PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.10

    “I love to tell the story,
    More wonderful it seems
    Than all the golden fancies
    Of all our golden dreams.”
    PTUK March 9, 1899, page 155.11

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 10.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The deaths due to influenza mounted in the last week from 74 to 113.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.1

    -The Johannesburg policeman who shot a British subject last December, has been acquitted.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.2

    -An illicit still has been raided by the police in the east-end of London, who found six casks, each holding thirty-six gallons, full of the raw spirit.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.3

    -It is announced that the Italian Government has obtained the sanction of the Tsung-li-Yamen to a ninety years’ lease of Sanmun Bay, a large bay on the east coast, containing several islands, under the same conditions that similar concessions have been granted to other European Powers.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.4

    -A Berlin watchmaker has invented an instrument which will measure time to the 1,000th part of a second.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.5

    -The loss occasioned to underwriters by the late disastrous storms in the Atlantic are estimated, for ships and cargo alone, to amount to ?365,000.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.6

    -The lose to foreign merchants by the destruction of Iloilo is estimated to amount to nearly a million sterling. It is intended to claim compensation from the United States government.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.7

    -There has been more fighting between the Americans and the Filipinos, but the latter seem to be getting discouraged. Large numbers are expressing their desire for American government.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.8

    -France has passed safely through the crisis of a Presidential election. One or two political agitators, who attempted to stir up a military insurrection, were arrested and will be prosecuted for treason.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.9

    -A photographic film nine and a half miles in length is somewhat of a novelty, even in this age of big things. Three of them are now being made for use in a cinematograph. The cost is about ?200 a mile.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.10

    -Another little encounter has taken place between French and English interests. The Sultan of Muscat, who is subsidised by England, granted a coaling station to France, but under pressure of a threat of bombardment from the British Admiral, the concession was publicly revoked.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.11

    -Both in Samoa and the Philippines German relations with the United States are believed to have reached a delicate stage. This fact is contested in the minds of the American public with Admiral Dewey's cabled request that the battle ship Oregon be sent to Manila “for political reasons.”PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.12

    -At Madrid a thousand soldiers lately returned from Cuba and the Philippines held an open air meeting, asking for payment of the arrears due to them. They dispersed peacefully on an official promise that they should receive relief. A commission is to be appointed to investigate the conduct of the commanders engaged in the late war.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.13

    -The German navy is now experimenting with a submarine boat of its own. The boat obeyed the steering apparatus well, maintained a fair speed, and was able to remain under water for some hours. If these experiments result in the strengthening of modern navies by submarine vessels, a new and terrible element will be added to naval warfare.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.14

    -The Norwegian and Swedish newspapers agree that the Czar's crushing of the Finnish constitution will make it impossible for small nations to take part in the Peace Conference, for it shows that the Czar cannot be trusted. Reports from St. Petersburg state that the Czar is in a state of physical prostration, and that he signs documents without any real understanding of their import.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.15

    -A large number of bank robberies have recently been committed. The newspapers on one day Iast week had four fresh ones to report, involving thousands of pounds. There is only one place to lay up treasure in with the absolute security that thieves will not break in and steal. All treasure invested in worldly institutions will be lost, if not by the default of the institution, by the death of the investor.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.16

    -Some excitement has been caused by the report that the Khalifs had re-organised his scattered forces, and was marching on Khartoum with 20,000 men, defeating friendly tribes en route. The rumour is not considered sufficiently serious to call for any extensive movement of troops, although suspicions are entertained in some quarters that the Khalifa is receiving support from the Emperor Menelik of Abyssinia.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 158.17

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 10.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Gospel does not depend in any way for its success upon what man can contribute to it, either in his own case or any other. It is simply and solely the power of God (Romans 1:18), and “there is no power but of God.” Romans 13:1. The Gospel is good news, not because it reveals to man any strength or worthiness in himself, but because it declares that God has chosen the weak things of the world in which to display His saving power.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 160.1

    God's purpose is that “no flesh shall glory in His presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:29. By faith, boasting is entirely excluded. Romans 3:27. The true circumcision are they “which worship God in the Spirit [not in the flesh, which is enmity against God] and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Philippians 3:3. All who are saved in the kingdom of God will realise that they have not travelled one stop of the way in their own strength or wisdom. “Thou shalt know that I am the Lord, that thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel 16:62, 63.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 160.2

    If Christians would only recognise this now in its fulness, the lamentation that is so often heard over the weakness of the church would soon be turned into joy. Why is not the Gospel as great a power now to save sinners, and convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment as it was on the clay of Pentecost? The Gospel is still the power of God, and His arm is not shortened, nor His ear heavy; He changes not: why then may we not expect that the same fulness of the Divine, Almighty power be manifested?PTUK March 9, 1899, page 160.3

    The hindrance is in the professed children of God. They do not remember that all power and wisdom is of God. God has worked through every man more or less in the past, and has displayed His wisdom in them to some extent. But those through whom He has thus manifested Himself assume that all the power and wisdom revealed is their own, and the more of these things God has shown in them, the more they pride themselves. Even those who are praying for the outpouring of the Spirit make this mistake. They realise that some things are too great for them, and so they seek special help for these, promising the Lord, as they plead, that “Thine shall be all the glory,” but when the prayer is granted and the special help bestowed, the man too often gets to think, and allows others to think, that the success than attained was due to some special qualities of his own.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 160.4

    Suppose such a man should receive the full outpouring of the Spirit of God, so that he could work great signs and wonders. Who would get all the glory? He might honestly intend at the outset that God should be glorified, but his old habit of accounting for success by attributing it to his own cultivated abilities, would lead him to think that he himself must be a wonderful man to be privileged so much more than others. Praise and congratulation would sound so sweetly in his ears that these would be sought, and his power would be used to serve those who pleased him most in these respects. Such a man would feel less dependent than ever on the Lord, and the gift of the power in his case would prove his eternal ruin.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 160.5

    But this can never happen in the case of the power of God. Only those can receive the outpouring of the Spirit who acknowledge themselves to be nothing. The man who thinks there is any power in himself at all will not come to God for that power. He glories in himself, perhaps not much, but he feels that he is a little independent of God, because there are some things he has acquired strength and wisdom to do for himself. So, of course, He does not come to God for the power, or acknowledge that he gets it direct from the Lord. Those who are not faithful in little things would not be faithful in great. If a man fails to acknowledge God as the giver of a small amount of power and wisdom manifested in his life, it is certain evidence that he would show the same unthankful spirit whatever God did for him.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 160.6

    “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what; hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” 1 Corinthians 4:7. These words are comprehensive, and they show that all the things in which men boast themselves, are simply gifts, which render the receivers debtors to their fellows. No man has anything at all of himself. It is because of the disregard of this truth that men do not receive the Spirit in the measure for which they ask. They divide the Christian experience up into classes, and label one “the higher life.” Any ordinary Christian can live the lower one, but special grace is needed for the higher, and so those who are ambitious to excel, pray for the outpouring of the Spirit. This is not considered necessary for the lower class of Christian. He is urged to seek the higher, but is considered perfectly safe if he remains content with the lower. The fulness of the Spirit is regarded as a kind of a luxury, not altogether essential to the Christian life, but a very desirable thing, and a most distinguishing addition.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 160.7

    But the Scriptures know nothing of these false distinctions between different kinds of Christian life. They warn us, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:9. The Spirit is an absolute necessity to every Christian. Without it he is no Christian at all. When men realise that they need the outpouring of the Spirit for their very existence, and ask for it, not as something, which they can do without if necessary, but as the only means whereby they can be saved from the hateful power of sin, not as something which they can do without if necessary, but as the only means whereby they can be saved from the hateful power of sin, God will not be found indifferent to the sense of need. The one argument that never fails with Him is the need of the suppliant, and He will speedily satisfy the desire of those who seek Him with the whole heart.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 160.8

    When the working of the Spirit, which is wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear of God, is acknowledged in the things, even the smallest, for which men have taken credit to themselves, it will open the way for the Spirit to do much more in men, without lifting up their souls unto perdition. When we cease trying to draw a line between what we can do for ourselves and what we must ask God to do for us, realising that without Him we can do absolutely nothing, and giving Him the glory for the smallest, most common-place and unconsidered parts of our lives, we shall not run the risk of taking the glory of greater achievements to ourselves. Then God can display all His greatness without danger to us, and the days of apostolic power and blessing will be revived, the Gospel can go as an adequate and faithful witness to all nations, and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:14), for then it will be possible for the Lord to cut short His work in righteousness and make a short work in the earth. Romans 9:28.PTUK March 9, 1899, page 160.9

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