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    March 30, 1899

    “A Sure Defence” The Present Truth 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The Lord is my Rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Psalm 18:2.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 193.1

    How may one experience the ample security which these words set forth? All can see that the man who is able to truthfully describe his position in such language could not ask to be in a safer place. How then can we get into it?PTUK March 30, 1899, page 193.2

    Notice that it is the Lord Himself who is a rock and a fortress. Whoever then possesses the Lord, has, in Him, the shelter from all evil. This is true of every good thing offered to men by the Gospel. Not one blessing can be had apart from the Lord, and the Lord cannot be received without receiving every spiritual blessing. God “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 193.3

    We should not conclude from this that it is every difficult thing to get a blessing from the Lord, since it is just as hard to got a single blessing as it is to get the fulness of God. Let us view the matter on the right side, and rejoice that it is just as simple and easy to be, filled with the Holy Spirit and be kept from falling as it is to get the single blessing which we have often proved it so easy to seek and find. When we might just as well have all that God has to give, it is dishonouring to Him to be content with so little.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 193.4

    “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.” Colossians 1:19. And He in whom the fulness dwells is a free gift to sinners. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16), and “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32. There is a deep and wonderful significance in the words we read so often, and so unthinkingly, “I am the Lord, thy God.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 193.5

    But is the Lord ours in a practical way, so that we may really benefit by the fullness that dwells in Him? Is He not inaccessible for all practical purposes, by reason of His being in heaven while we are on the earth? No. “Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is to bring Christ down from above) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)” Why are we forbidden to say this in our heart? Because right there is Christ Himself, the living Word of God. “The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart.” So let your mouth and heart agree to it, so that you may not deny Christ, but confess Him. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:6-9.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 194.1

    “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34. “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, ... for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Matthew 15:18, 19. Now if Christ live in the heart, and a man be willing to be a witness to that fact, it is evident that the fountain will send forth pure waters. The issues of the life will be the issues of Christ's life. “We shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:10. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 194.2

    In the same way, God, as our Rock, is brought into the life. We do not need, when we realists the necessity of protection, to go somewhere to find the fortress. We are already safe inside a, for God Himself is the fortress, and “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:28. The only thing that can endanger us is to forget that we are in the fortress, and so be deceived into trying to find the protection in some other place. “Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.” The man who knows that God is his fortress will abide in Him, and so have his mind at rest, in spite of all the foes that vainly rage outside.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 194.3

    “In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be put to confusion. Be Thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: Thou hast given commandment to save me; for Thou art my rock and my fortress. I am as a wonder unto many; but Thou art my strong refuge. Psalm 72:1, 3, 7. This is not true of a favoured few only, God has given commandment to save all men, but many will not yield obedience. He is a rock to all, but some only stumble over it, through unbelief, and to them it becomes a rock of offence. It is available for all as a refuge. “Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations.” Psalm 90:1. “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.” Psalm 91:1, 2.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 194.4

    We are not to limit these statements by saying that they are spiritual, for this fact dons not limit them at all. It gives them the widest possible scope. Men have thought that they could have spiritual blessings without these affecting their temporal condition and circumstances for good, but this was because they did not understand the real nature of the spiritual blessings. “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, such liberty as Christ had by the Spirit, and, by the Spirit, He had such superabundance of liberty that He was not merely free Himself, but He went about delivering the captives, opening the prisons, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. So we, when we experience the spiritual security that comes by dwelling in the fortress, are delivered at the same time from physical evil. “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” This is because God is the dwelling Himself. “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation.” Psalm 91.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 194.5

    But if the Lord has been our dwelling-place in all generations, how is it that evils befall us? Because we choose them, and God will always respect our choice. It is true we do not want death, but we want the sin which, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. When we are willing that the Lord shall make an end of sin, root as well as branch, He will do it speedily. His command is, “Abide in Me,” and this abiding in Him, which secures us from spiritual enemies, will give us the same safety that Christ Himself, our dwelling-place, enjoys against every form of evil. “He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 194.6

    “Belgium and Hankow” The Present Truth 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Belgium has now joined the other countries of Europe in demanding a portion of China. She asks for a settlement at Hankow. Italy's action in seizing Sanmun Bay is claimed by one of its semi-official journals to be “like that of England, for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the Chinese Empire.” This must be a part of the same profound policy which builds in the interests of peace.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 194.7

    “Close your eyes to truth, and you tumble into the ditch of error.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 194.8

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. Selfish Ambition and Its Fall. Isaiah 14:12-27The Present Truth 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner


    12. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,
    son of the morning!
    Art cut down to the earth, thou that dist
    subdue the nations!
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.1

    13. Yet thou didst say in thy heart; I will ascend
    the heavens;
    Above the stars of God, I will exalt my throne;
    And I will sit upon the mount of the Divine
    Presence on the sides of the North;
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.2

    14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will be like the Most High.
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.3

    15. But thou shalt be brought down to the grave,
    to the sides of the pit.
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.4

    16. Those that see thee shall look attentively at
    thee; they shall well consider thee:
    Is this the man that made the earth to
    tremble; that shook the kingdoms?
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.5

    17. That made the world like a desert; that de-
    stroyed the cities?
    That never dismissed his captives to their own
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.6

    18. All the kings of the nations, all of them,
    Lie down in glory, each in his own sepulchre;
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.7

    19. But thou art cast out of the grave, as the tree
    Clothed with the slain, with the pierced by
    the sword,
    With them that go down to the stones of the
    pit; as a trodden carcass.
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.8

    20. Thou shalt not be joined unto them in burial;
    Because thou hast destroyed thy country.
    Thou hast slain thy people:
    The seed of evil-doers shall never be ....
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.9

    21. Prepare ye slaughter for his children, for the
    iniquity of their fathers;
    Lest they rise, and possess the earth; and fill
    the face of the earth with cities.
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.10

    22. For arise against them, saith Jehovah God of
    And I will cut off from Babylon the name,
    and the remnant;
    And the son, and the son's son, saith Jehovah.
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.11

    23. And I will make it an inheritance for the por-
    cupine, and pools of water:
    And I will plunge it in the miry gulf of de-
    struction, saith Jehovah God of Hosts.
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.12

    24. Jehovah God of Hosts hath sworn, saying,
    Surely as I have devised, so shall it be;
    And as I have purposed, that thing shall
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.13

    25. To crush the Assyrian in My land, and to
    trample him on My mountains.
    Then shall his yoke depart form off them;
    And his burden shall be removed from off their
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.14

    26. This is the decree which is determined on the
    whole earth;
    And this is the hand which is stretched out
    over all the nations;
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.15

    27. For Jehovah God of Hosts hath decreed; and
    who shall disannul it?
    And it is His hand that is stretched out; and
    who shall turn it back?
    PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.16

    Those who are making a special study of the book of Isaiah should pay special attention to the text for there is where they will get their knowledge. Light comes from the Word. Read the portion of Scripture that composes the lesson many times carefully, giving thought to each statement, comparing everything with what precedes and what follows. The notes that are given in the paper, in connection with the lesson text, are simply designed to fasten your attention more closely upon it.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.17

    In studying this lesson, begin with the thirteenth chapter, and read through the fourteenth. It would be well also to read the second chapter again. Recall what has been said concerning the time of the promise, and the purpose of the book of Isaiah, and remember also the meaning of Babylon. Even without these things before us, but more especially with them, we cannot fail to see that the judgment upon Babylon means the destruction of “all the proud” and “all that do wickedly” (Malachi 4:1) at the last day. This lesson is therefore specially important now.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.18

    Lucifer means “light-bearer.” The margin gives “day star,” and other renderings are the same. He is also called the “son of the morning.” A glorious being he certainly was, but now fallen from heaven through overweening ambition. There can be no question but that he is the mightiest of “the angels that sinned” and so “kept not their first estate,” who are now “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the Judgment of the great day.” 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6. It is Satan, no longer the bearer of light, but the prince of darkness, the chief of “the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Ephesians 6:11, 12. But though fallen from his state of light and glory, he still remembers enough of it to be able to transform himself into an angel of life. 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15. Therefore we need to be on our guard lest we be deceived. Even when we are walking most in the light, he will try to steal in as a part of that light, and thus lead us astray while we think we are still in the right way. But we have one safeguard, namely, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” the word of truth. Ephesians 6:17; John 17:17. He who “abode not in the truth,” and who is “a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44), cannot endure the word of truth. Keep fast both of that, and the devil will flee. See James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8, 9.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.19

    “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18. “For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.” Isaiah 2:12. This is because righteousness must prevail, and only God can rule in righteousness, and He is of a lowly spirit. “Behold his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4. When righteousness, which is meekness, prevails, then pride and ambition must be destroyed.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 195.20

    God says, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Lucifer said, “I will be like the Most High.” Wherein then was Lucifer wrong?-Simply in this, that he took the wrong way to be like God. He thought that by exalting himself he could be like God, whereas self-exaltation makes one most unlike Him. Whoever lifts himself up will not find God, for God calls on all to humble themselves to walk with Him. Micah 6:8, margin. “He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.” Luke 1:52. “He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” God “raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.” 1 Samuel 2:8.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 196.1

    In contrast with Lucifer who tried to exalt himself to occupy God's place, we have the case of Christ, “who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:6-11.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 196.2

    Self-righteousness is therefore un-righteousness. He who thinks to make himself righteous,-he who thinks that he has goodness in himself,-is guilty of the same sin that Lucifer was, and is moved by the same spirit. It is the spirit of the man of sin “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God,” or, setting himself forth as God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. Whoever justifies himself, and refuses to receive the reproofs of instruction, which are the way of life (Proverbs 6:23), is a part of the man of sin. The one who is always anxious to make himself out to be right, who becomes irritated when corrected, and who is always ready with a plausible excuse for everything that he does, shows himself to be one with Lucifer, and in danger of sharing his destruction. Let us learn this lesson indeed. Let us learn of Christ, who is meek and lowly in heart, “who did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth;” yet “when He was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” 1 Peter 2:22, 23.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 196.3

    “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north.” Literally, “in the uttermost north.” Everybody knows that the farther north he goes, the higher the north star appears. From this each can learn that if he stood at the north pole, north would be directly overhead. North, therefore, is up. God is “the Most High,” and therefore He dwells “in the uttermost north.” His dwelling-place is “the high and holy place.” Isaiah 57:15. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north [literally, “the uttermost north”], the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” Psalm 48:1-3.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 196.4

    “Promotion cometh neither form the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the Judge; He putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Psalm 75:6, 7. Promotion comes not from the east, the west, nor the south; therefore it must come from the north; and since God alone is Judge, to lift up and to put down, it follows that He dwells in the north. There alone is where promotion comes from. Therefore when Lucifer thought to occupy the north, he meditated an impossibility, for he could not get there without being drawn up by the Lord of hosts.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 196.5

    There is a mystery about the north. This is true even of this earth. The Hebrew word rendered “north” signifies secret, hidden. What is this attraction-this drawing power? It is God. Every manifestation of force is but the working of God. Christ said of His crucifixion, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:32. By the cross of shame and humiliation He was lifted up to the right hand of God,-up to “the uttermost north.” The power therefore by which God draws all things, by which the worlds are kept in their places, is the power of the cross. All creation, the whole universe, preaches the cross. Every manifestation of attractive energy tells us of the power of the cross to save us from sin. The way to the Highest is the way of the cross. If we humble ourselves to the death of the cross, we may even now dwell in the “secret place of the Most High,” and “abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” For “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 196.6

    “How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Righteousness is strength; sin is weakness. Satan, the adversary, once Lucifer, the light-bearer, brought sin into the world, and all sinned. By sin man lost his dominion. It was not arbitrarily taken from him, but he could not hold it any longer. He lost his power to rule. He could not rule himself, and so could rule nothing. Then “when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6. Satan weakens us, but it is our glorious privilege to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10. Christ, the meek and lowly One, is given to us, and He is “the power of God.” He has conquered, and in Him we have “power and authority over all devils.” Luke 9:1. One of the most blessed of all the words of comfort is the assurance that by faith we may be “made strong” “out of weakness.” Hebrews 11:34.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 196.7

    “Thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch.” Christ is the true Vine. He says of the Father, “every branch in Me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away.” “If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:1-6. Christ is the tree of life, because He is “the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24), and wisdom is “a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her.” Proverbs 3:18. He is the life. John 14:6. There is no life except in Him. He is also the Way-the way to God. John 14:5, 6; Hebrews 10:19, 20. Only by Him can anyone appraoch God. John 14:6; Ephesians 2:13, 18. Lucifer would not accept this way; he “abode not in the Truth,” and so he was “cut down to the ground,” cast out like an abominable branch. This is a warning to us, to abide in the Vine. It is so easy to do this, for we have but to let ourselves rest. Only in trying to lift ourselves up, do we wear ourselves out.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 196.8

    Remember the origin of Babylon (Genesis 11) and the character of its rulers. It was the spirit of Lucifer,-envy of any who occupied a superior position, and a determination to be above them. But “where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16. That is why Satan is full of all evil, and why the whole world, inspired with the same spirit is corrupt. But this is why the destruction of Babylon involves the whole earth. “For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord. I will also make it a possession for the bittern and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts. The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand; that I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains tread him under foot; then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 197.1

    How shall we escape in this time of destruction? “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.” Psalm 46:1, 2. God, who dwells in ‘the high and holy place,” dwells also with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit. Isaiah 57:15. The high and holy place is therefore the place of humility. So then “he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High [the place of lowliness and meekness] shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” “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 for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 197.2

    “Studies from the Gospel of John. The Anointing at Bethany. John 12:1-11The Present Truth 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Jesus therefore six days before the passover came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus raised from the dead. So they made Him a supper there; and Martha served; but Lazarus was one of them that sat at meat with Him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very precious, and anointed the feet or Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, which should betray Him, saith, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Now this he did not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein. Jesus therefore said, Suffer her to keep it against the day of My burying. For the poor ye have always with you; but Me ye have not always.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 197.3

    “The common people therefore of the Jews learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests took counsel that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Him.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 197.4

    Six days before the Passover means six days before the cross of Calvary. None of those who sat at table with Jesus knew this; but Jesus knew it very well. Indeed, Jesus was always walking beneath the cross, for He knew from the beginning of His ministry what its end would be; and He knew just when the betrayal and crucifixion would take place, for He Himself had told His disciples about it as they were on their way to Jerusalem. There was nothing in His looks or actions to mar the peace or joyousness of the feast.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 197.5

    What a lesson this contains for us. Jesus lived every day just as perfectly as He possibly could live on His last day; and therefore there was no need for Him to make some great change at the last. Most people would consider it an exhibition of recklessness or bravado, or else gross insensibility on the part of a man who should attend a feast six days from the time when he knew he was to suffer death; but we know He refuse to act in the last week of His earthly life just the same as He had always acted? Why spend time in mourning “preparations for Death?” That always implies that one is conscious of a misspent life. No preparation is needed for death; all one has to do is to be prepared to live, and to really live, and then if death does come, he will be ready for it, no matter how or when it comes.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 197.6

    If we put ourselves in the place of those disciples, we shall not wonder at their indignation over the seeming waste of the costly ointment. A reference to the record in the twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew shows that the other disciples were indignant, as well as Judas. How often have we expressed what we thought was “righteous indignation” over some supposed extravagance, or when something was done for which we could see no reason. We are very apt to make hasty judgments. May we not from this learn a lesson. We can see that it was wrong in this case; but it is not in itself so apparent as in many instances that come under our immediate notice. If the disciples had known all the circumstances, as we know them now, and as they did afterwards, none of them, save Judas, would have murmured.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 197.7

    The eleven disciples were sincere in their care for the poor, while Judas was a hypocritical thief: yet their zeal was altogether out of place. Indeed, they made themselves sharers in the sin of Judas, because they were led by him. It is evident that he was the ladder in the condemnation of Mary's act, since in this place he alone is mentioned as having complained. If they had known what spirit actuated him, they would not have thought of joining him in his outcry. Here again we may learn to be on our guard against sympathising too readily with a man's grievance, and too readily joining in with somebody else's denunciation of what plainly seems to he a mistaken course. If we are not careful, we may he strengthening some traitor in his wicked designs, instead of helping the cause of suffering humanity.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 197.8

    When the disciples saw the whole box of ointment used upon Jesus, they said, “To what purpose is this waste?” Matthew 26:8. Think of spending the value of a whole year's labour in one gift, and that something that could be used only once! Three hundred pence meant three hundred days’ labour. See Matthew 20:1, 2. But it was given freely, and Jesus did not reprove the giver, but on the contrary commended her. Nothing is wasted that is given to the Lord from a sincere heart. In the ancient days God's people used to burn up entire beasts upon the altar, and offer much costly incense; and God accepted it, yea, found delight in it. But God's pleasure in such service was dependent on the condition of the worshipper's heart. When the heart nation, and a multitude of whole burnt offerings was to no purpose. Isaiah 1:10-13. But when the heart was purified by faith, and the sacrifice was one of joy for righteousness bestowed, then God was pleased, for “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.” Psalm 51:17-19.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 198.1

    There is only one sacrifice that has ever been made, or that can ever be made, and that is the sacrifice of Christ. No man ever yet “made a sacrifice” for God. Many have “offered sacrifices,” and sacrifices that have been acceptable, too, but they were sacrifices that God Himself provided. In the one sacrifice God has given us everything, and of His fulness, which we have all received, we are expected to make returns which serve, not to enrich Him, but to show our appreciation of and trust in His gift. The secret of every acceptable sacrifice is trust in God. ‘By faith Abel offered unto God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain.” Hebrews 11:4. That which the one sacrificing really says,-that which his offering means,-is that since he gets everything from God, he can give everything back to the Lord, and still be sustained. With Christ we receive all things from God. God has abundance of everything, and He gives lavishly. He not only sends rain on the unjust as well as on the just, but He causes it to rain on the wilderness, wherein there is no man. Job 38:26. Is it wasted? Oh, no; it will not return unto Him void. None of God's gifts are wasted, and nothing is wasted that is given to Him. Only by giving ourselves and all that we have to the Lord, can we be preserved. He that will save his life shall lose it, and he that will lose his life for Christ's sake shall same it unto life eternal.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 198.2

    What an example we have in this lesson of the blindness and wickedness of unbelief. Lazarus had been raised from the dead, and consequently much interest centred in him. The miracle had caused many to believe on Jesus. People flocked to see the man who had been dead four days, and buried, and who was now alive, and many of them went away believing. Now what did the unbelieving chief priests do? They were determined not to believe and not to allow anybody else to believe if they could help it; so they resolved to put Lazarus to death, so that this witness to the power of Christ might be removed. Yet they thought that they were working for the good of the people. Strange that was filled with evil, incense was an abomination they could not see that when they found necessary to commit murder in order to sustain their position, that position must be wrong; for truth can never be sustained by violence and crime. “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” That shows the wickedness to which unbelief drives men. As to the blindness of it, think of their planning to kill a man that had been raised from the dead by and for the glory of God, in order to silence his living testimony as to the power of Christ to give life! How could they expect to kill him? They would be fighting directly against God. Even if the priests had been permitted to kill Lazarus, the result would necessarily have been his resurrection again under more striking circumstances than before. God makes even the wrath of man to praise Him, so that nobody can do anything against the truth, but for the truth. Who would not wish to be in harmony with a power that is so sure to succeed that even opposition helps it along?PTUK March 30, 1899, page 198.3

    “Little Folks. The Gospel of the Spring. The Work of the Holy Spirit” The Present Truth 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Remember what we talked about last week,-the birds’ eggs, and how they are charged by the power of God's Word into beautiful little Iiving creatures. But there are some eggs that are never so changed.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.1

    If you should take away the eggs from the nest of any bird, or if the birds should desert the nest, they would become spoiled, and although there are such wonderful possibilities within them, they would come to nothing.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.2

    For although the eggs themselves are formed by the power of the Word of God, He has not made them so that they can of themselves produce the living bird. They must be kept in the nest where the mother bird broods over them with sheltering wing, and life-giving heat from her own body.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.3

    And in that, as in all things, God has a beautiful lesson for us. If you learn it carefully now, the birds themselves will continually remind you of it, so that you will not forget.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.4

    In the beginning,-(have you noticed how all our talks take us back to the beginning? This is because we are learning “the Gospel of the Spring.” Look in your dictionary for the meaning of this word, and we will talk of it again next week).PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.5

    In the beginning, “the earth was without form and void.” Then God spoke to the earth and to the waters. You may read what He said in the first chapter of Genesis. He told the earth to bring forth grass and trees and living creatures; He told the waters to be gathered together into one place, and to bring forth all kinds animals, and birds to fly above the earth.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.6

    How could the earth and the waters bring forth all these wonders? They could not, of themselves, any more than an egg can of itself produce a living bird. But,-“the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” and upon the earth, and so every word that God spoke was at once fulfilled.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.7

    The formless earth took just the shape that was in the mind of God, and brought forth grass, trees, and living creatures and creeping things. The waters brought forth great whales and all kinds of fish, and birds of beautiful plumage, able to fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.8

    All this was not the work of the earth or the waters, but of the creating Spirit of God which moved upon them when God spoke. In the beautiful expression, “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” “the Hebrew word ‘moved’ refers to the movement of the wings of bird as it hovers over the nest.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.9

    The mother bird broods in silence over her seemingly lifeless egg until the Word of God which is working there is fulfilled, and a perfect living bird is brought forth-a beautiful peacock, or a dazzling bird of paradise or humming bird, a pure white swan, or a sweet-singing nightingale.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.10

    God uses this to teach us of the work of His Holy Spirit,-how it moved and brooded in the beginning over the earth that was “without form and void,” until it was brought to perfection and filled with life and beauty, and “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.11

    This is a lesson that will help you everyday. Do not forget that God made us from “the dust of the ground,” and that you have no more power in yourself to become like God and do His will than the dust over which you walk.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.12

    But when God speaks to the dust and His Spirit moves upon it, it becomes and does exact what He says. So when He speaks to you and you listen to His Word, His Holy Spirit will move upon your heart, and brood there until His perfect image shall shine forth, and He will see you “very good,” as He saw all His works in the beginning.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 202.13

    “Neighbours” The Present Truth 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Someone once asked Jesus the question, “Lord, who is my neighbour?” In His answer, Jesus told the story of the poor man who fell among thieves, and of the good Samaritan who showed mercy on him, while the priest and the Levite “passed by on the other side.” Read the story in the tenth chapter of Luke. This was to teach that the real “neighbour” is one who shows kindness and love to any who are in trouble.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 203.1

    Here is a story of some little birds who were just such “neighbours” to one of their number who was in distress:-PTUK March 30, 1899, page 203.2

    A gentleman in England, who lived in the country, had his attention called to a thicket of bushes near his house one day. He saw a number of birds there, whose loud cries and strange movements he could not understand.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 203.3

    He felt very curious to find out the meaning of it, so he crept close up to them and examined the bushes. There he found a female bird whose wing was caught in such a manner that she could not get away. Near by was her nest, containing several young birds. As she was kept a prisoner there, she was unable to get any food either for herself or her young ones.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 203.4

    He stood still, at a little distance, and out him watched what was going on. He saw a number of old birds come flying into the bush, bringing worms and insects in their mouths, which they gave first to the mother, and then to her young ones. She cheered them in their good work with a song of gratitude.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 203.5

    After watching this interesting sight till his curiosity was satisfied, the gentleman released the poor bird from her confinement. In a moment she flew to her nest with a merry song to her deliverer. And her kind neighbours, who had come to help her, flew away to their own homes, as soon as they saw she did not need their help any more, singing as they went a song of joy.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 203.6

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -A spider can live ten months without food.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.1

    -New South Wales contains more flowering plants than all Europe.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.2

    -A fire in a fashionable New York hotel caused the loss of over fifty lives.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.3

    -The Congo river has at one place eighty-two waterfalls within a distance of 154 miles.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.4

    -Silk is considered unclean by the Mohammedans, because it is the product of a worm.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.5

    -A disastrous cyclone swept over several American States. Many lives were lost, and the destruction of property was immense.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.6

    -A Finnish deputation of 400 persons who arrived at St. Petersburg, in order to present to the Czar a petition against the measure lately introduced in Finland by the Russian Government, were ordered to return immediately to their country.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.7

    -A force of American bridge builders employed by the Pencoyd Ironworks will leave Philadelphia in a few days for the Soudan, to erect the railway bridge across the Atbara river. The order was given to the Pencoyd firm by the British War Office because the English builders wanted seven months to build the bridge, while the American firm has promised to do the work in seven weeks.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.8

    -An agreement has been come to between France and England with regard to the division of the Soudan provinces. The arrangement is thought, in both countries, to be in England, favour.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.9

    -A serious conflict between the police and the people occurred at Havana. From thirty to fifty persons were wounded, some of them seriously. It is believed that the rioters were mainly officers of the Cuban army. The police have been ordered to seize all weapons carried by Cubans.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.10

    -Reports from Rome state that although the health of the Pope does not inspire immediate alarm, it is generally felt that the end is approaching. One who has been with the Pope every day says that his Holiness is not exactly ill, but that his life is being slowly extinguished, like a lamp that is deprived of oil.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.11

    -A miner at Klondike is reported to have discovered the body of a mammoth forty feet from the surface. The flesh had been frozen, and was said to be in a perfect state of preservation. The body went over forty-one feet in length. The left tusk was perfect, and measured fourteen feet in length and forty-eight inches in circumference.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.12

    -According to telegraphic intelligence received from Manila, Aguinaldo is more than ever resolved to continue the war for independence, and is rigorously suppressing any manifestation of a contrary feeling among the Filipinos. One general who counselled peace with America was decapitated.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.13

    -A trooper who was employed by the South African Chartered Company, brought an action against Messrs. Rhodes and Jameson for injuries sustained in the “Jamieson Raid.” The defendants sought to have the action set aside, but the Judge held that the trooper's claim was good, and it will go to trial. If it meets with success, a number of similar actions will be brought.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.14

    -A richly-engraved sword with jewelled hilt and gold-mounted scabbard has been presented to one of the heroes of the American-Spanish war, Commodore J. W. Philip, by the Sunday-school children of Texas, “in recognition of his bravery and acknowledgment of Almighty God.” The Commodore was noted for his devout utterances during and after the great sea-battle at Santiago.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.15

    -Central Russia is suffering intensely from the effects of a severe famine. Ten provinces to the region of the Volga are reported to be suffering from a worse failure of crops than any of the oldest inhabitants can remember. Not only has the grain sown perished in the greater part of that district, but also the vegetables and grass. The official allowances are limited to young people under eighteen, and to adults above fifty-five years of age. Scurvy and typhus are very prevalent, and the children, deprived of milk, are dying from exhaustion. The so-called bread obtainable has no nutritive qualities, and produces “all the symptoms of poisoning.” The peasantry, having parted with all they possessed to buy food, are suffering from cold as well as from hunger.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.16

    -A deputation to Mr. Long, M.P., asked that manufacturers of condensed milk be required to print on their labels the actual strength of the article, as compared with cow's milk. The chairman of the Public Health Committee of Camberwell Vestry, declared that infants brought up on skimmed milk invariably suffered from rickets. Dr. Stalker, of Willesden, said that in that district forty out of every 100 children died before they were a year old. He attributed this to the use of varieties of condensed milk, which were practically chalk and water. No trade in such a substance ought to be allowed. Dr. Cassell, public analyst, of Kensington, said the proper course was to insist upon an entirely new name being used for “condensed milk,” because it was not milk at all.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 206.17

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.1

    Peace is the opposite of war. When two parties are at war, and one of them surrenders to the other, war must cease, and peace must follow.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.2

    God has no quarrel with anybody. He is the God of peace. He is not at war with men, but all men have rebelled and fought against Him. Whenever a man submits to God,-unconditionally surrenders,-he is at peace with God. God has offered peace to all that are near and to all that are far off, so that if anyone is not on good terms with God, it is his own fault.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.3

    But this is only a little of what is contained in our text. It does not say that, being justified by faith we are at peace with God, but that we have peace with God. Now “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7. Therefore the man must be changed in order to be at peace with God; his carnal mind must be replaced by the mind of the Spirit of God. Then the man must necessarily have peace with God, for “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.4

    Mark the words, “peace with God.” From being in opposition to God, the man has been turned round, converted, placed by the side of God in harmony with Him, yea, in Him. Therefore it is God's own peace that the man shares. “The peace of God” rules in his heart. This is evident from the fact that the man was changed from a state of enmity to one of peace only by Christ's taking complete possession of him. He is “turned into another man,” even a man of God. Now “all things are of God,” so that the peace in the soul is God's peace.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.5

    Christ has been raised from the dead and set at the right hand of God in the heavenly places. The same God who has done this, being rich in mercy, because of His great love wherewith He loved us even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ, and hath raised us up with Him, and made us Hit with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6. Thus we are made to inherit the throne of glory (1 Samuel 2:8), and gave “power with God,” clothed with His power and filled with His peace. What a glorious position! This is the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.6

    The announcement of a forthcoming Sunday edition of the Daily Telegraph is being strongly commented upon in the religious press, which fears that the movement will spread. Already the Daily Mail has declared its intention of doing likewise, and announces that other large dailies are meditating a similar step. The Methodist Times says:-PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.7

    They are not in want of money. They might have left the poor Protestants and quiet people of England one day in which they might think of something else than Racing, Football, and “Ample Particulars of Law and Police Cases.” Are the seriousness of life, the responsibilities of citizenship, the sacred relations of the faintly and the Church, the lofty ideals, the preparations for another world, everything, to be sacrificed in order that those who already enjoy wealth beyond the dreams of avarice may yet make more millions?PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.8

    Other papers write in a similar strain, as though Christians would be obliged to read the Sunday papers, if they are printed. But there are a good many thousand people who keep the Sabbath on the day God commands, the seventh of the week, Saturday, yet they have no difficulty about the papers that are published on that day. They simply do not read them until the Sabbath is over. How much is Sunday-keeping worth that cannot resist the temptation to read a newspaper on that day? Those who keep it unto the Lord will not be affected by any number of temptations, and those who do not will not keep it anyhow.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.9

    Someone may ask, “Why do you, who are observers of the seventh-day Sabbath, concern yourselves about Sunday keeping?” Because those who keep Sunday as the Sabbath of the Lord, not knowing that it is a heathen institution in honour of the sun, adopted by the Papacy, and without a jot or tittle of authority from the Scriptures, are the very people who, when their attention is called to the true Sabbath, embrace it and walk in the tight. They are Sabbath-keepers in heart, and not knowing that they are weekly dishonouring God's own Sabbath, they are accepted of Him, as walking in the light they have. But no man keeps Sunday in such a way that it is acceptable to God unless he promptly leaves it for the Sabbath when this is made known to him. For this reason we like to see those who keep Sunday do it in all honesty of purpose, even making sacrifices that they may keep it aright. There is no fear that these will reject the true Sabbath when they learn of it, but it is so easy to keep Sunday now; the multitude do it, custom is on its side, and popular religion and respectability make it fashionable; so that men do not really know whether they are keeping it because it is easy to do so, or because they regard it as the will of God. The true Sabbath is without these attending circumstances, and when the knowledge of it comes to men, they have opportunity to find out whether they serve the Lord front a pure heart, or whether they love the world more than they love their Saviour. “Whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.”PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.10

    It seems to be at last definitely decided that the Pope will not be invited to attend the Peace Conference, whereupon the grapes are at once declared to be sour. Says the Catholic Times:-PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.11

    The farcical character of the forthcoming Peace Conference is emphasised by the fact that, as Mgr. Tarnasel, Papal Internuncio at The Hague, has informed the Vatican, in the list of delegates to the Peace Conference sent by Russia to the Dutch Government, which is charged with issuing the invitations, the Papal representative is not included. It is the play of “Hamlet” with Hamlet left out, and of course the author meant it to be only a play.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.12

    If, as this suggests, the Pope's influence for peace is more powerful than all the rest of Europe put together, he can make it manifest without a Conference, and the fact that, with all this influence, he has not kept the peace, leaves the Papacy selfcondemned, either of vain boosting or indifference to bloodshed.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.13

    No man can do anything against the truth of God. His efforts to overthrow it will only cause it to be more widely known. God makes the wrath of man to praise Him. “We can do nothing against the truth but for the truth?” Whoever directs his efforts against those who serve the Lord, simply gives them occasion to learn how powerless is man compared with God. “If God be for as who can be against us?” Satan, by the contrast of his own evil nature, has only succeeded in setting forth the goodness of God.PTUK March 30, 1899, page 208.14

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