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    May 4, 1899

    “The Wondrous Name. Christ Betrayed and Arrested. John 18:1-14The Present Truth 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    John 18:1-14

    Two texts of Scripture may be taken as the key to the portion before us in this week's study. They are John 14:30, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me,” and John 13:1, “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end,” or “to the uttermost.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 273.1

    Jesus had finished His last confidential talk with His disciples. It had been confidential indeed, as none other could ever have been, for the presence of the traitor was not there. Jesus had treated Judas just as He had the other disciples, so that not one of them had any idea of his true character; yet it was impossible that there should have been that close fellowship between him and the Master that there was with the others. Judas was continually repelling the Master and His instruction, while the others, faulty as they were, were receptive.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 273.2

    Very tender had the words of Jesus been. He had addressed them as “little children,” and had made the most comforting promises to them. Now He led them to the familiar spot where He had so often resorted with them.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 273.3

    “And Judas also, which betrayed Him, knew the place.” There was no attempt at concealment on the part of Christ. He would not hide. He did not do anything to court betrayal and persecution, but proceeded just as He had many times before. In sight of the cross the actions of Jesus were as calm and dignified as ever. The grandeur and dignity and authority, yea, the Kingliness of the Man stand out this last night more clearly than ever before.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 273.4

    “Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 273.5

    Think of it! A band of soldiers with weapons, going forth to capture a single unarmed man, who had never harmed a living creature, and who would not fight even in self-defence. Guilty consciences they all must have had, which made cowards of them. But strong as their force of men was, it was altogether too small and weak to accomplish their purpose, if it had been a contest of strength. Jesus was led as a lamb to the slaughter. He was the Lamb of God, bearing the sins of the world; but the world knew it not. Men do not arm themselves with weapons to capture a single lamb.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.1

    And now see Jesus stand forth before that armed mob. “Whom seek ye?” A pertinent question, truly. Whom should they be seeking in that place, in such a manner? The question should have put every man of them to shame, but they were not ashamed. Boldly they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Who is He, whom this armed crowd are seeking as though He were a fierce desperado? It is Jesus of Nazareth, the gentle Being who had all His life gone about doing good, healing the sick, relieving the oppressed, and comforting the mourners. His tender touch had nothing but healing in it, for He came to save life, not to take it. And now they come for Him as though it were a bear they were after. In this foolish and unnecessary precaution, and in the calm boldness of Jesus, we see a fulfilment of the scripture: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth; but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.2

    “I AM”

    To the question, “Whom seek ye?” the leaders of the mob answered, “Jesus of Nazareth;” to which Jesus replied, “I am He.” “As soon as He had said unto them, I am He, they went backward, and fell to the ground.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.3

    What marvellous power there was in those few words! Perhaps the mystery will be clearer if we consider closely what it was that Jesus really said. Notice that the word “He” is in Italic, indicating that it is an addition to the text. Christ's own words, as recorded in the Greek, are simply, “I am.” To Moses in the wilderness, the Lord had said of this name, “This is My name for ever, and this is My memorial unto all generations.” Exodus 3:14, 15. By this name Jesus had declared Himself to the unbelieving Jews. John 8:24, 28, 58. The time had now come, of which He had said, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am.” In the very hour of His betrayal, and to His persecutors, He revealed Himself by that glorious name by which He delivered the children of Israel from bondage, and by which He delivers all who trust in it. In His answer to them, in making Himself known as the One whom they were seeking to put to death, Jesus revealed Himself to them as their Saviour. But they were then too blinded to receive the revelation. No evidence could affect them then, but afterwards some of the very ones who had been His betrayers and murderers found peace in believing on the I AM-the Author of life.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.4

    POWER OF THE NAME

    There is wondrous power in this blest name. When Jesus came to His disciples in that stormy night on the sea, when they were tired with rowing against terrible odds, and were despairing of life, He brought courage and salvation to them by the word, “Be of good cheer; I am, be not afraid.” Matthew 14:27. That same name was in this trying hour a protection to His loved disciples. As soon as He had uttered it, the armed crowd went backward, and fell to the ground as if struck down by invisible weapons. Here was evidence of the Divinity of Christ, which should have caused those men to desist from their purpose. The power of Christ was manifested on this occasion no less for the salvation of His enemies than for His disciples.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.5

    Christ's own name was as a shield round about Him. It was an impenetrable wall, effectually protecting Him from all foes. “The prince of this world” could find no access to Him. He had nothing in Him, and therefore there was no pretext upon which He could enter. By the utterance of that name Jesus showed that no man or men could deprive Him of life, but that He Himself gave it up willingly.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.6

    That very name, with the same protecting power, is ours to take with us. That little incident in the garden is recorded in order that we may know that the I AM, who is with us all the days, even to the end of the world, is our shield against all the assaults of the enemy of our souls. He puts His own name upon us. Into that name we are baptized. While we confess that name, knowing that Christ is come in our flesh, and that it is no longer we who live and have to meet the attacks of Satan, but Christ living in us, we can as certainly keep the roaring lion at bay as Jesus did the fierce mob. What a blessed lesson is conveyed to us in this simple narrative!PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.7

    “Take the name of Jesus ever,
    As a shield from every snare
    When temptations round you gather,
    Breathe that holy name in prayer.”
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.8

    SAVING TO THE UTTERMOST

    “Of them which Thou gavest me have I lost none.” By the manifestation of His power through the utterance of the words, “I am,” Jesus secured the safety of His disciples. “He loved them unto the end.” Here we see proof that the name of Jesus is a protection. Not, however, when used merely as a charm. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10. It must be known as a real thing, in which the soul lives, in order for it to be a protection. Some men who did not grow the Lord once attempted to use His name for their own selfish interests, and the result was most disastrous to them. See Acts 19:13-16.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.9

    In all His trial, Jesus never lost sight of His disciples. His care was for them, not for Himself. He knew all things that should come upon Him, yet not for a moment was He terrified. He came to save others by the sacrifice of Himself, and not once did He forget His mission. A soul less firm than the “Rock of Ages” would have been disconcerted and thrown off his balance. But Jesus was as calm as when sitting in the house of Lazarus. In the hour of greatest trial He demonstrated His power to keep all those who flee to Him for refuge.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.10

    A PROTEST AGAINST WAR

    “Then Simon Peter having a sword, drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.11

    Jesus had said to His disciples, and to us as well, “I say unto you, That ye resist not evil,” and here He showed that His words are to be taken in their plainest signification. If there was ever a place in the world when right was oppressed by might, here it was. If ever in this world the sword was drawn in a just cause, this was the time; yet Jesus rebuked it. Nothing else can be learned from this occurrence than that there are no possible circumstances under which it is justifiable to use weapons of warfare. Such sentiments as the following we find given very frequent and prominent place in religious journals:.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 274.12

    In the last resort,-when insult has been wantonly inflicted, when the obligations of honour have been wilfully repudiated, and when every resource of peaceful diplomacy has been exhausted,-no self-respecting nation will be found unprepared to maintain its dignity and enforce its rights by appeal to arms.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.1

    Let that serve for those nations and peoples who have no other method of maintaining their honour and dignity than that which is common to the brutes. Jesus showed that there is a better way to maintain one's dignity. He was insulted and abused, yet never did the native dignity of His character assert itself and shine forth more conspicuously, and so victoriously, too, than when He reproved Peter for using the sword. Unarmed, He stood before that crowd of armed men, and demonstrated Himself to be their Master. Every Christian who is such indeed, has the same armour that He had. Read Ephesians 6:13. For professed Christians, therefore, to take the sword in self-defence, or for any other purpose, is to admit that they know nothing of “the power of Jesus’ name.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.2

    “LOVE YOUR ENEMIES”

    In His instruction to His disciples Jesus had also said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.” Matthew 5:44. Here He gave a practical illustration of that teaching also. Not only did He reprove Peter for his act of violence to the high priest's servant, but He again showed that He came to save, and not to destroy. He was already in the hands of the mob (Mark 14:46, 47), when the wound was inflicted by the zealous Peter, but He gently disengaged one hand, at the same time courteously saying, as if apologising for seeming to resist them even to do them a kindness, “Suffer ye thus far,” and touched the servant's ear, and healed him. Could Divine kindness be more strikingly manifested? Truly, this Man was the Saviour of the world.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.3

    Here we may well rest and contemplate. It is but a brief narrative that we have been studying, but it shines with Divine light. Only one thing more need be said, and that is, “Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 3:3.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.4

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. The Crown of Shame and the Crown of Glory. Isaiah 28:1-14The Present Truth 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (ISAIAH 28:1-13, LOWTH'S TRANSLATION.)

    1. Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
    And to the fading flower of their glorious beauty!
    To those that are at the head of the rich valley, that are stupefied with wine!
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.5

    2. Behold the mighty one, the exceeding strong one!
    Like a storm of hail, like a destructive tempest;
    Like a rapid flood of mighty waters pouring down;
    He shall dash them to the ground with his hand.
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.6

    3. They shall be trodden under foot,
    The proud crowns of the drunkards of Ephraim:
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.7

    4. And the fading flower of their glorious beauty,
    Which is at the head of the rich valley,
    Shall be as the early fruit before the summer;
    Which whoso seeth, he plucketh it immediately;
    And it is no sooner in his hand, than he swalloweth it.
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.8

    5. In that day shall Jehovah God of Hosts become a beauteous crown,
    And a glorious diadem, to the remnant of His people:
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.9

    6. And a spirit of judgment, to them that sit in judgment;
    And strength to them, that repel the war to the gate (of the enemy).
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.10

    7. But even these have erred through wine, and through strong drink they have reeled;
    The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink;
    They are overwhelmed with wine; they have reeled through strong drink:
    They have erred in vision, they have stumbled in judgment.
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.11

    8. For all their tables are full of vomit;
    Of filthiness, so that no place is free.
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.12

    9. “Whom (say they) would He teach knowledge; and to whom would He impart instruction?
    “To such as are weaned from the milk, as are kept back from the breast?
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.13

    10. “For it is command upon command; command upon command;
    “Line upon line; line upon line;
    “A little here, and a little there.”
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.14

    11. Yea verily, with a stammering lip and a strange tongue,
    He shall speak unto this people.
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.15

    12. For when He said unto them:
    This is the true rest; give ye rest unto the weary;
    And this is the refreshment; they would not hear.
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.16

    13. Therefore shall the word of Jehovah be indeed unto them,
    Command upon command, command upon command;
    Line upon line, line upon line;
    A little here, and a little there;
    That they may go on, and fall backward;
    And be broken, and snared, and caught,
    PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.17

    There are several different renderings of the first verses of this chapter. The student will see that the first verse differs somewhat in Lowth's translation from what it is in the common version. The Revised Version, however, seems to be more consistent than any other, in that it keeps one subject throughout. In this it is the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, which is the fading flower of his glorious beauty, and which stands at the head of the fat valley. In the others it would seem that the woe is pronounced against the crown of pride, and against the drunkards of Ephraim, as well.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 275.18

    There is, in fact, however, no difference, for since the crown of pride which stands at the head of the fat valley is undoubtedly the city of Samaria, it follows that the drunkards of Ephraim suffer in the woe pronounced against her.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 276.1

    Let no one think, because this prophecy specifies Ephraim and the city of Samaria, which long since ceased to have any importance as a city, that it is merely local, and all in the past. Look ahead in the chapter, and read in verse 22, and it will be seen that the destruction threatened against Ephraim is “the consumption” “determined upon the whole earth.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 276.2

    Remember that the earth was given to man in the beginning. It was to be the possession of a perfect people. Therefore when God brought His people out of Egypt, and gave them the lands of the heathen, “that they might keep His statutes,” it was in fulfilment of the promise to Abraham, that he and his seed should possess the earth. Romans 4:13. All of God's dealing with his people, no matter how localised, had reference to the one great promise. This was the thing that God always had in view. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise.” At any time up to the captivity of Judah, the people might have had the fulfilment of the promise, in the resurrection; and whenever God tells of judgments that shall come upon them because of their disobedience, it involves the whole earth. When God punishes those who have been His people, because they have become like the heathen, it follows that He will at the same time punish the heathen themselves.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 276.3

    Keeping those principles always in mind, we may read this prophecy as applying to us, that is, to the professed people of God in this day, no matter what their name. The glory of those who lift up themselves in pride shall be as a fading flower. “For all flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field; the grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:6-8.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 276.4

    “And the fading flower of their glorious beauty, which is at the head of the rich valley, shall be as the early fruit before the summer; which whoso seeth, he plucketh it immediately; and it is no sooner in his hand, than he swalloweth it.” So quickly will be the destruction of those who exalt themselves against God, and boast of their own security. “The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 276.5

    What a glorious prospect is held out in verses five and six. When the crown of pride shall be trodden underfoot, and the glorious beauty of the transgressors shall be a fading flower, “in that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people, and for a Spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.” The residue is the remnant, and the remnant shall be saved. God is from everlasting to everlasting; therefore those who have Him for their crown of glory, have a crown “which fadeth not away.” The heavens and the earth shall wax old like a garment, but He remains the same, and His years do not fail.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 276.6

    Since God is to be the crown of glory to His people in the day of destruction to all in which haughty men boast, it is plain that in God alone should men trust and make their boast now. “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things do I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24. “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men.” 1 Corinthians 3:20, 21. “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chose the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are; that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 276.7

    The Lord is to be the crown of glory to His people. He Himself is to be the only ornament that His people will wear. Their adorning must be “the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:4. This crown of glory will not be appreciated by the world. Indeed, the world may scoff at those who wear it, even as they did at Christ Himself. “The world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” 1 John 3:1. When Christ was on earth He had “no form nor comeliness;” and when men saw Him there was no beauty in Him that would cause them to desire Him; therefore they hid their faces from Him, and esteemed Him smitten of God. Isaiah 53:2, 3. Yet He had glory that could be seen by those who had eyes for it, even “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,” but it was the glory of grace and truth. John 1:14. When the Lord comes, those who have this beauty,-the beauty of holiness,-will shine forth as the sun. Matthew 13:43. Those who will now show such appreciation of the beauty of the Lord that they will be content with it, and not put a slight upon it by seeking to supplement it with the adorning of the world, even though they be considered plain, have the assurance that through all eternity they will be as beautiful as the heavens.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 276.8

    The time is coming when “the saints shall judge the world,” and angels as well. 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3. They will surely need the very best judgment then; therefore the Lord of hosts will be “for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment.” It will be no human judgment that will be exercised in that day, but the judgment of the Lord Himself, working in men. But the fact that this perfect judgment is to be exercised by the saints in glory is set forth as the reason why they should not now act foolishly. God will now be judgment to those who trust Him, as well as in the day of final judgment. Just as it will be His Spirit that speaks in His children when they are called upon to answer for the hope that is in them (Matthew 10:20), so will He now be wisdom and judgment for them in all the affairs of life. See Isaiah 54:13; Psalm 1:1-3; Colossians 1:9, 10. But let it be remembered that this spirit of judgment is but the manifestation of the spirit of meekness with which God's people are adorned. “The meek will He guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way.” Psalm 25:9. Is it not better to acknowledge that we have no wisdom at all, and to have the wisdom of God, which is perfect, than to boast of our independence, and be left to act foolishly? In other words, Is it not much better to act wisely, and give God the credit, than to act foolishly, and take all the credit to ourselves.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 276.9

    God says that the priest and the prophet, as well as the people, have erred through wine, and are out of the way through strong drink, and that therefore “they stumble in judgment.” This is too true in the most literal sense, for it is a sad fact that very many professed Christians, including many who call themselves ministers of the Lord, are often filled with wine in which is excess, rather than with the Spirit. But there is a wine, against the use of which no temperance society that has ever yet been formed has ever protested, and that is the wine of Babylon, the wine of worldly pride. See Revelation 14:8; 18:3. It is very easy for Christians to become intoxicated with the prospect of worldly fame and applause, and thus to depart from the simplicity of the faith. Proud Babylon, the Church of Rome, whose religion is outward pomp and worldly prosperity and political power, is but the aggregate of the working of the spirit of worldliness in individuals. Beware of this form of drunkenness, lest you be where “there is no place clean.” Isaiah 28:8. Compare Revelation 18:2.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 277.1

    Those who are drunken with the wine of their own pride, and who, trusting in their own wisdom, scorn to be directed by the plain and simple Word of God,-“the sincere milk of the Word,”-say contemptuously, “Whom will He teach knowledge? and whom will He make to understand the message? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts? For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Vain in their imaginations, and puffed up with the pride of their own opinions, thinking themselves competent to sit in judgment upon the Bible, men resent being taught like little children. Yet in no other way can they enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3. Men of the world, “professing themselves to be wise,” choose to reason things out, to work up complex “systems” of belief; children, however, learn by accepting simple statements of fact. The child grows in knowledge merely by believing, and consequently it grows rapidly. At no other period in a person's life does he learn so much and so rapidly as in the first three or four years, when he takes everything by faith. Afterwards, as he gradually “comes to years of understanding,” that is, as he thinks that he must manufacture wisdom, instead of receiving it as a gift from God, his progress is much slower. But God designs that His children shall always remain little children, so that their progress in wisdom may be as great in later years as in the beginning. So He will continue to teach by giving precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. Constant repetition of simple truths which, although simple, contain infinity, is the way to acquire “the wisdom which is from above.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 277.2

    But how about the statement that this sort of teaching is to be given to the people, “that they might go and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken”? Ah, that is the same thing for which Jesus gave thanks, saying, “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Matthew 11:25. Men go with heads lifted up so high, looking so far off for wisdom, that they stumble over simple truth lying at their feet. Is it not a thing to be thankful for, that the only way the Lord makes the way of life hard for anybody is by making it easy? How can any of the wise men of earth, who stumble and fall over the teaching of the Lord, accuse Him of injustice in His dealing with them, when that which He set forth before them was so simple that a babe could understand it? To say that the way of life was too hard for them, would be to deny all their pretensions to wisdom, and to confess that they did not know as much as the babes. No; there is no excuse. The only reason why any err from the truth is that they will not hear. God not only offers them rest and peace, but says, “This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing;” but they refuse to hear. He would make them fellow-workers with Himself, but they will not. Let us not refuse to learn the lesson. “See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 277.3

    “A Shining Light” The Present Truth 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Thy Word is, a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light.” Proverbs 6:28.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 279.1

    This is true of God's Word as a whole, but it is equally true of every portion of it. One does not need to eat all the corn there is in the world; in order to have life; there is life in every grain. So there is life in every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, for each word is living and active; it is life.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 279.2

    But the life is the light. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4. In every sentence of the Bible there is something to enlighten us. From the seemingly most obscure and meaningless statements, there will flash forth the most glorious light, if we but consider them attentively.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 279.3

    More than this, these very obscure passages, some of them seeming to be utterly irrelevant, will give light that will make a host of other things shine with increased brilliancy. Do you not know that a single ray of light flashed into a dark room will reveal everything that is in it. Let the sun but for a single moment flash out through a rift in a thick cloud, and the whole landscape will be transfigured, and objects that were before unnoticed will stand out in hold relief. So from a single text of Scripture, to which careful, earnest attention is given, will often come light that will flash through the entire Bible, making everything appear new. Everybody who has given any real study to the Bible must have had some experience of this kind.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 279.4

    Therefore let no one lightly esteem any portion of the Bible; and let no one think it a waste of time to spend hours, and days, and months, and even years, in meditating upon and studying a small section of it. If one will do this, not neglecting of course to read the rest of the Bible, he will acquire such a knowledge of the whole as will not possibly be gained in any other way.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 279.5

    “‘One Thing I Do’” The Present Truth 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    While crossing the Atlantic a short time ago, a man who had never been on the ocean before was conversing with another who had made frequent trips to America. The first one said, “I suppose you must have become quite well acquainted with the captain of this ship, having crossed the ocean so many times.” The other one replied, “Though I have crossed the ocean many times in this vessel, I have as yet never so much as even seen him. The fact is, the high responsibility of his position and the vigilant oars necessary to insure the safety of the ship and the hundreds of passengers aboard will not permit of his mind being diverted from the trust committed to his care, and he is rarely seen but by very few of the passengers, and never mingles with them.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 281.1

    Then the thought came, how like his position is that of the ambassador of Christ. It is the studied purpose of the enemy to put every possible hindrance in the way of the advancement of the work of God. He will set in circulation slanderous stories to injure the worker, who would naturally seek to justify himself and defend his reputation. But if he should seek to do this, he would have no time for anything else, and this is what would delight Satan. When the enemies of the prophet Nehemiah would call him away from the work that God had appointed him to do, he sent word to them saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.” That is the determination and spirit that God wants all His workers to have. The captain of that great steamer knew nothing but the sailing of it across the mighty deep and safely landing it at its destination. The Apostle Paul declared that he would know nothing “but Christ and Him crucified.” So in the Gospel work of to-day, the ministers of Jesus Christ, and all His followers as well, are to know what God would have them to do, then follow on to do that thing, turning neither to the right nor the left.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 281.2

    “Little Folks. Between the Waters” The Present Truth 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Have you thought at all during the past month, as you have seen the heavy “April showers” falling so frequently of the place where they all come from,-of “the waters that be above the heavens?”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.1

    Yes, you have looked up at the sky, and watched the clouds, and wondered how long the shower would last, how soon the veil would disappear from the face of the sun, and its bright smile invite you out again to play in its warm beams.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.2

    But have you thought of the great ocean of water that is above the firmament, bound up in the thick clouds? What holds it up there, and how is it that it stays floating in the heavens, instead of all falling to the earth and swallowing up every living thing?PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.3

    Well, we can tell you what it is that holds up this mighty ocean of waters, but we cannot tell you how it is done, for that is something that no one in this world is able to explain.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.4

    In the Book of Job there are two questions asked that none of the wise men of this world have yet been able to answer: “Canst thou understand the spreadings of the clouds?” and “Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds?”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.5

    It is the Word of God that upholds these waters in the clouds, for He “upholdeth all things by the Word of His power.” When God said, “Let there be a firmament [an expanse or space] in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters,” His Word, the breath of His mouth, went forth between the waters and divided them. “By the Word of the Lord the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.” Did you know that you are really dwelling “in the midst of the waters,” in a tent between the waters, which are held back by the Word of God, and if He should withdraw His hand you would be at once overwhelmed and swallowed up, Just as Pharaoh and his host were in the Red Sea?PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.6

    You may have thought, as you have read of the children of Israel journeying through the wilderness, how much you would like to have travelled with them, and seen “the mighty acts of the Lord,”-to have fed on the manna that fell from heaven, to have drunk of the water gushing from the rock, to have marched through the midst of the Red Sea and the River Jordan on dry land.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.7

    But all these things were only to show them and us what wonders God is doing for us all the time. He let them “see His works forty years,” so that they might “learn His ways,” might learn to know Him so well that they would be able to see Him working everywhere and in all things.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.8

    He fed them with bread from heaven so that they might know that all the bread they had came from heaven, and He the One who fed them always. He made the water gush from the rock upon which He stood, to teach them that all the water in the world flows from Him, “the fountains of living waters.” He held back the water; of the Red Sea and the Jordan, and Ied them through the midst on dry land, so that they might see that they were all the time walking on the dry land in the midst of the waters which are held back by His power.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.9

    In the Book of Exodus we are told just what it was that divided the waters of the Red Sea. “The Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong wind;” “by the blast of His nostrils the waters were gathered together.” God breathed between the water, so making a way for the children of Israel to pass, while His breath separated the waters and held them back.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.10

    And this is just what He did in the beginning, and has been doing ever since He first said, “Let there be a firmament.” He breathed between the waters, and divided the maters that were above from the waters that were below the firmament.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.11

    This firmament we call the atmosphere or air, which is the breath of God in which “we live, and move, and have our being. The Lord stretcheth out the heavens, [or the atmosphere] like a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.12

    At one time God let the waters above and the waters below the firmament come together again as they were in the beginning. This was because the wickedness of the people in the earth was so great that God was obliged to destroy the world by a flood of waters.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 282.13

    Then “the fountains of the great deep were broken up and the flood-gates of heavens were opened;” the world was turned again into one great ocean and every living thing destroyed except Noah and those who were with him in the ark which floated safely upon the waters. “The world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 283.1

    Then “God made a wind to pass over the earth,” and “the waters returned from off the earth continually.” The waters were again divided, and “the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same Word are kept in store.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 283.2

    How may we know that there will never be another flood of waters to destroy the earth? What has God given us to remind us of this? Think of this until next week when we will talk of it again.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 283.3

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Sea-bathing causes many diseases of the ear. Cotton should be put in the ear when it is the intention to submerge the hoed.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.1

    -A calculation is made that the beer consumed throughout the world in a single year would form a lake sufficiently vast to drown all the English-speaking people.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.2

    -The heart of a vegetarian is said to best, on an average, fifty-eight to the minute; that of the meat-eater, seventy-two. This represents a difference of 20,000 beats in twenty-four hours.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.3

    -Norwegian legislators propose that girls who do not know how to knit, sew, wash, and cook should be refused permission to marry. Daughters of wealthy man are not to be excepted.-Literary Digest, New York.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.4

    -The third plague epidemic in Bombay, which has caused terrible ravages, is now on the decline. It is officially estimated that the deaths from plague in India since the commencement number over a quarter of a million.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.5

    -Telegrams from Manila state that the flower of Aguinaldo's army was annihilated at Galumph, after two days of continuous fighting. The Filipinos made use of artillery, and showed considerable tactical skill in their defence.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.6

    -The demand for pig iron which has for years past been almost a drug in the market is now rapidly overtaking the supply, and prices are now 15 per cent. higher than the average for last year. Blast furnaces which have been closed down for yeses are being restarted.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.7

    -Reports from Russia show that the condition of things caused by the famine is not improving. It is said that a considerable portion of the relief intended for the starving peasants finds its way into the capacious pockets of the dishonest officials. One paper says, “It is the lack of men to till the fields, as much as any other cause, which has brought about this famine. The men are serving in the army-over a million of them.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.8

    -In the Hungarian Diet the Foreign Minister was asked whether Austro-Hungary had any intention of acquiring a “lease of territory on the Chinese coast.” Reply was given that no such intention existed, because there was a lack of business initiative in Hungary, the navy was not proportionately equipped for such an enterprise, and financial considerations forbade the idea. The thought that China might not perhaps desire to “lease” her territory did not seem to be taken into account at all.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.9

    -Although China is said to be one of the Powers invited to the Peace Conference, she continues to improve her armaments, like the rest of the Powers invited. “The Grand Council recently approved with the utmost enthusiasm a new arm invented by the general of the Kang-au troops. This weapon consists of a stout piece of wood 3ft. long, to which is affixed a sharp plate of iron, shaped like a shovel. The general claimed for his invention that Chinese soldiers armed with this weapon would be able to decapitate their enemies at a single blow.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.10

    -M. Edmund Rod, the distinguished French littérateur, visited the stockyards as Chicago to witness the slaughter of cattle. Seeing the animals being killed at great speed all round, he exclaimed, “Mon Dieu! What barbarism!” and immediately fainted. He did not recover immediately, and was carried out. His friend who accompanied him afterwards pressed M. Rod to witness some more of the slaughtering, as he had not yet seen any hog-killing, but he could only murmur feebly “sufficient. It is too horrible!”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.11

    -Some further experiments in wireless telegraphy demonstrate that vessels in rapid motion can be communicated with, and that the current can be concentrated upon one point to the exclusion of others. In this way it will be possible to secure as much privacy for a message as is afforded by the wires.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.12

    -It seems probable that the Russian calendar will soon be changed to correspond with that adopted by the rest of Europe. A committee has been appointed in St. Petersburg to examine the question and several of the Government departments favour the adoption of the proposed reform at an early date.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.13

    -An African traveller, Dr. Esser, who received a decoration from the Kaiser, has been proved by another African traveller to be an impostor. The latter was approached by one of Esser's friends with a bribe of 3,000 marks to keep silent, with the remark, “You know we African travellers are all swindlers, more or less.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.14

    -In view of the immediate prospects before Europe, the Berlin Post concludes that England's only hope is a resort to universal compulsory military service. It says, “No people can maintain their position in the world unless the entire effective manhood serves with the ‘Colours.’” When that is the case no nation in the world will have any position worth maintaining. Many of the leading nations are already on the verge of bankruptcy through taking men from their work to serve in the army.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.15

    -The Roman Catholic Bishop of Liverpool told the annual Catholic Conference at Blackpool that “as Ritualists were doing the work of Catholics amongst Protestants and Anglicans they should welcome and sympathise with them. Catholics must be patient with Ritualists, and encourage them to take one stop, the last of all steps, to the Catholic Church. Ritualists had not confidence in their Bishops, and were being led to the belief that there must be a Church where there was perfect unity with infallible teaching.” Yet, if the Roman Catholic Church only knew it, they will gain nothing by persuading others to follow them. When the blind lead the blind the goal before both is only the ditch. Matthew 15:14.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.16

    -Mr. Richard Croker, the chief of the New York “Tammany’ ring, sailed for England recently. Crowds saw him off, and it was with difficulty that a passage was made to the steamer through the mass of his admirers. Such a scene had never been witnessed at the dock. The British Ambassador and several other distinguished persons sailed by the steamer, but they were comparatively unnoticed. The parting words of this idol of popular affection were doubtless worthy of him and the crowds who cheered him. They were that “his only object in visiting England was to bring back more English money from English racecourses.” A commissioner is at present investigating Tammany's municipal corruption.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.17

    -Intended for the benefit of the poor and needy the State pawnshops in France are being turned to the advantage of well-to-do citizens. French apartments afford but scanty space for the storage of bicycles, and it costs money to hire accommodation, so that the owners have adopted the ingenious plan of pawning them for the winter months. For the housing, cleaning, and general safekeeping of their machines, all they have to pay is the very moderate interest charged upon the money borrowed, and as these people are by no means necessitous, they ask only for five shillings, thus securing the hospitality of the Government for the merest trifle. The pawnshops are now blocked up with machines to the exclusion of all other pledges.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.18

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following extract from a sermon by Dr. Parkhurst, of New York, having for its text the story of Peter's attempt to defend Christ with the sword, will go well with the lesson from the eighteenth of John, in this number of PRESENT TRUTH. The paragraph acquires additional significance from the fact that Dr. Parkhurst was formerly a zealous advocate of the use of politics and State power for the reformation of men:-PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.19

    If you put cold lead into a man's heart for the sake of trying to civilise him, his children may be pardoned for receiving with only chill cordiality the Gospel you undertake to put in their hearts for the purpose of Christianising them. If Jesus had gone armed, it would have been a confession on His part that the brute force of the visible world is more than a match for the spirit power of the invisible world. You cannot make a man believe in God it you do not convince him that you believe in God yourself. Peter, by brandishing his sword, denied the divinity of Jesus. And any other man cheapens God when he goes about to yoke God's Spirit alongside of carnal contrivances. It is the absence of such carnal contrivance that explains the rapid extension of Christianity during the first three centuries of our own era. God worked mightily because He had no backing. Up to that time, armies and navies were on the side of the pagans. Christianity is never so powerful an when it is unprotected, and evangelisation that depends upon soldiers and gunboats has no future.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.20

    The natural man never likes to acknowledge that he has done wrong. And if he is sorry in word it is after his sin has found him out, and a penalty is about to be inflicted. When Saul want contrary to the Lord's instruction to destroy Amalek, he sought to justify himself All the way along till Samuel said to him, “Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” Then Saul could say, “I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and thy words.”PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.21

    So it was with Pharaoh who prayed, “Entreat the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me.” Commenting on this, Mr. Spurgeon gives utterance to some wholesome truth that it would be well to consider. He says:-PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.22

    A fatal flaw is manifest in that prayer. It contains no confession of sin. He says not, “I have rebelled against the Lord: entreat that I may find forgiveness!” Nothing of the kind; he loves sin as much as ever. A prayer without penitence is a prayer without acceptance. If no tear has fallen upon it, it is withered. Thou must come to God as a sinner through a Saviour, but by no other way. He that comes to God as the Pharisee, with, “God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men are,” never draws near to God at all; but he that cries, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” has come to God by the way which God has Himself appointed. There must be confession of sin before God, or our prayer is faulty.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.23

    It is quite a common statement that the Mohammedans observe Friday as their Sabbath, the Jews Saturday, and the Christians Sunday. It is, however, not true that the Mohammedans observe Friday as a Sabbath-day. It is simply the day on which they go to the mosque for prayer; neither business nor pleasure is laid aside.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.24

    The idea of the Sabbath and of Sabbath observance is obtained only from the Scriptures. Of all nations known in history the Jews alone kept Sabbath, because they alone had the Scriptures. Heathen peoples know nothing of Sabbath-keeping. They had holidays and feast days, which are borrowed and perverted from the time when all men knew the Lord. For a knowledge of Sabbath-keeping we must go to the Bible. That book, and that only, tells us what the Sabbath is, and how it should be kept.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.25

    God does not put anything into the Bible to frighten people into being good; that is not what the Gospel is for. God tells of coming judgments in order that those who know Him may find comfort, for they know that He who permits them is their Keeper, so they need 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.” What a blessed comfort it is to know that we serve a God who can deliver us from all these things.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.26

    Fighting has been suspended in the Philippines, the insurgent army having asked far a cessation of hostilities. General Otis, however, insists upon unconditional surrender, and it is believed that this will not be long withheld.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.27

    We read in Acts 5:13: “And of the rest durst no man join himself to them; but the people magnified them.” This is just the kind of people God would have His church composed of to-day. Not that this or that one shall be disfellowshipped, but that the church shall so speak and so live that no man who is not really “of us” will dare join himself to it. Are you helping to make the church of which you are a member such a body?PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.28

    A terrific cyclone is reported from Missouri, destroying two towns, and causing great loss of life. Nearly one hundred bodies have been found. The cyclone swept a path a quarter of a mile broad. Heavy rain followed accompanied by intense darkness. A number of fires were caused. The roar and suction caused by the storm deafened everybody in its path for a minute, and many who escaped unhurt report that they were rendered unconscious for brief periods. The storm zone was in some places swept as clear as a threshing-floor, while bricks are strewn in a tangle knee-deep, but pulverised as though they had gone through a stone-crusher.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.29

    These frequently recurring and tremendously emphatic lessons are needed. They warn us not to put off to some future time the preparation for the great day of the Lord, but to get ready. At present these demonstrations of human insignificance occur mostly, yet not entirely, in districts where they involve comparatively small loss of life, but if the warning they give is not heeded, they will come closer home, with more and more urgent demands on our attention.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.30

    The time is at hand when “the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.” Isaiah 24:1. It is necessary to turn the world upside down to get it in its right position. Men are calling good evil, and evil good. They are exalting the proud, when it is only the humble who are truly exalted. The Gospel puts things the right way up, and so the apostles were described as “these that have turned the world upside down.” Now men may, by receiving the Gospel, be put right, but it they call not, God will not allow His world to remain for ever inverted, and the time is at hand when He will put it right. Then those who have not themselves been converted will drop out of it. The ninety-first Psalm tells how we may endure that time and pass safely through every lesser preparatory evil.PTUK May 4, 1899, page 288.31

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