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    1899

    January 5, 1899

    “Imitators of God” The Present Truth 15, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 1.1

    If God Himself had not commanded us to do this we might think that the requirement was a manifest impossibility, but since it is God Himself who bids us to be like Him, to say that it is impossible is to charge God with light and foolish talking. Impossible instructions only bring ridicule upon the person who issues them.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 1.2

    God's ambition for men is only limited by the length and breadth of His own life, and as this is infinite, so is His mercy towards the children of men. “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.” Psalm 103:11.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 1.3

    God is love, and love cannot be content with bestowing less than its all upon the loved one. God loved His Son, and to Christ was given all the fulness of the Godhead, the very brightness of the Father's glory. But the same love was extended to us, and so the Saviour says, “The glory which Thou hast given Me, I have given unto them, ... that the world may know that Thou ... lovedst them, even as Thou lovest Me.” John 17:22, 23.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 1.4

    It is as beloved children that we are to be imitators of God. A father counts nothing too good for his children. They inherit his life and physical characteristics, and in addition, all the means and advantages that he is able to bestow. If we are children of God, we are heirs, “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” The servants of a king may by faithful service rise to high rank, but they never earn the throne. That is reserved for one who never did anything to attain to it, for the child who was born to the privilege. So also no one becomes the child of God by virtue of his own efforts or sacrifices. He is born to the position, and then that right to the kingdom and free share in all his father's glory, which he never could hope to win as a servant, are his birthright.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 1.5

    To how many is this wonderful privilege given? The word “therefore” connects with the preceding sentence, so that we read, “Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you. Be ye therefore imitators of God.” The children do not become so by reason of their spotless character. They have stood in sore need of a free forgiveness. They are not beloved children because they are so lovable. It is in Christ that God forgives them. “God commendeth His own love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 1.6

    Since, then, not a single soul becomes a beloved child by his own deserving, it is evident that the way is as open for anyone to have his sins forgiven and become a child and an imitator of God, as it can possibly be for any other one. If a single soul obtains the salvation, it will condemn every other one who does not, for the way is equally open to all, and the fact that one can be saved shows that all may if they will. Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.1

    Remember that the imitating of God is to be done “as dear children.” We are to walk in love as Christ also hath loved us. The son does not work for what he receives from his father. The greater the wealth and power of the father, the better it is to be born his son. So, as God's holiness and ways are seen to be infinite, the children will not gaze with despair at the awful distance that separates God from them, but instead will rejoice in the riches of the glory of the inheritance. The ever-deepening thankfulness at the remembrance of His holiness. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.2

    “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” Colossians 2:6. He is received as a free, undeserved gift, and all that pertains to life and godliness comes in the same way. Many think that it is a very simple matter to get their sins forgiven, but a very complicated and difficult matter to live a Christian's life, such as God commands. This is because they think they must rely upon themselves in part to complete the good work which Christ has begun in them. It is as easy for God to keep us from falling and present us faultless at last, as it is for Him to lift us out of the miry clay in the first place. He does both by imparting Himself, “and if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.3

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. The Great Case at Law” The Present Truth 15, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (ISAIAH 1:10-20, LOWTH'S TRANSLATION.)

    10. “Hear the word of Jehovah, O ye princes of
    Sodom!
    Give ear to the law of our God, yet people of
    Gomorrah!
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.4

    11. What have I to do with the multitude of your
    sacrifices? saith Jehovah;
    I am cloyed with the burnt-offerings of rams,
    and the fat of fed beasts;
    And in the blood of bullocks, and of lambs,
    and of goats, I have no delight.
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.5

    12. When you come to appear before Me,
    Who hath required this at your hands?
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.6

    13. Tread My courts no more; bring no more
    vain oblation;
    Incense! It is an abomination unto Me.
    The new moon, and the Sabbath, and the as-
    sembly proclaimed.
    I cannot endure; the fast, and the fast, and the day of
    restraint.
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.7

    14. Your months and your solemnities, My soul
    hateth;
    They are a burthen upon Me; I am weary of
    hearing them.
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.8

    15. When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide
    Mine eyes from you;
    Even when ye multiply prayer; I will not
    hear;
    For your hands are full of blood.
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.9

    16. Wash ye, make ye clean; remove ye far away
    The evil of your doings from before Mine
    eyes;
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.10

    17. Cease to do evil; learn to do well;
    Seek judgment; amend that which is cor-
    rupted;
    Do justice to the fatherless; defend the cause
    of the widow.
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.11

    18. Come on now, and let us plead together, saith
    Jehovah;
    Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be
    as white as snow;
    Though they be red like crimson, they shall
    be like wool.
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.12

    19. If ye shall be willing and obedient,
    Ye shall feed on the good of the land;
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.13

    20. But if ye refuse, and be rebellious,
    Ye shall be food for the sword of the enemy;
    For the mouth of Jehovah hath pronounced
    it.”
    PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.14

    Whoever would get the full benefit of these verses must not fail to read them in connection with the verses that precede, which were quoted in the last week's lesson. In studying these it will be necessary to make frequent reference to them.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.15

    The Remnant .-“Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” They were utterly destroyed. But “though the number of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” Romans 9:27. Because it is written, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse,” or, as the words really signify, “lest I come and smite the earth with utter destruction.” Malachi 4:5, 6. Thus we see that this prophecy of Isaiah, which we are studying, has special reference to the last days. The remnant is the last, and the words describe the condition just before the coming of the Lord, when iniquity will abound, and the love of many will wax cold (Matthew 24:12), when faith will be so scarce in the earth that one must enquire for it (Luke 18:8), and when even the professed church will be very like the heathen. Compare 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and Romans 1:28-32. So full of wickedness does the church become, that the Lord addresses it as Sodom and Gomorrah. Isaiah 1:10. Let the reader pay special heed to this fact, for it is not cited for the purpose of accusation, but of emphasising the mercy of God, of which we come to speak.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.16

    Vain Worship .-Compare Isaiah 1:11-15 with Amos 5:21-24. Although we are exhorted not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, religion does not by any means consist in going to meeting. There are times when all religious services are an abomination to the Lord. Singing is called noise, and prayer is disgusting to Him. Yet let no one think that this means that there is ever a time when the Lord refuses to listen to a sinner's plea for pardon, on the ground that he is too sinful to be forgiven. Far from it; this portion of Scripture which we are studying teaches us exactly the opposite. But the Lord cannot be deceived with honied phrases that mean nothing. Flattery does not tickle His ear. The double-minded man-who does not know his own mind, but the one who wants the evil even while asking the good-receives nothing from the Lord. Hypocrisy is detestable. The self-righteous Pharisees, whose lives were outwardly models of propriety, but who were hypocrites, were objects of the Lord's most scathing rebukes, while He most tenderly drew to Himself the publicans and harlots, whose lives were one mass of guilt, and who sincerely longed for something better.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 2.17

    Useless Prayers .-“When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine yes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear.” What a terrible statement that is! Yet it need not discourage a single soul. Not one who asks pardon of the Lord will ever be turned away. The Lord calls all to come, and He says, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” But the Lord does not like to look upon blood, that is, upon bloody deeds; and when men stretch out their bloody hands to Him, offering Him wickedness as if it were righteousness, He cannot but turn away His eyes. That is not real praying, but simply the making of prayers. To “say a prayer” is vastly different from praying. One man may say a prayer that somebody else has prepared for him, and put into his mouth, or which he himself has devised and learned so that he can repeat it from memory, but that is not praying. Nobody in the world is so ignorant that he does not know how to pray acceptably to the Lord. The man who depends upon somebody else to make a prayer for him, would not be praying if he should repeat it a thousand times a day. Prayer is simply the asking for what one wants. Prayer to God must of course be the asking for goodness, since He has nothing else to give. Now if a person wants a thing, he knows that he wants it, and then it is as simple a thing to ask for it, as it is for a child to ask for a piece of bread when it is hungry. No one who is hungry needs to have somebody tell him how to ask for something to eat; even so whoever hungers and thirsts after righteousness knows how to ask for it successfully better than anybody can tell him. No true parent ever refuses to give his child food when it is hungry; but there is not another in the world who would not very often let a child's request for food go unheeded if it were in the habit of coming to her many times a day, regardless of whether it were hungry or not, and formally reciting to her a request for something to eat. She would regard the condition of its stomach, rather than its words.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 3.1

    Verse 12 is thus rendered in the Danish and Swedish: “When ye come to be seen before My face, who has required this of you, that ye should trample upon My courts?” The last part of the thirteenth verse is by these and other versions rendered, “I cannot endure unrighteousness and a festival.” Thus does the Lord make emphatic His desire for sincerity. The man who would cover his sins with a cloak of piety, multiplying religious forms in order to divert attention from his wicked deeds is loathsome to the Lord, while the vilest sinner who desires freedom from his wicked ways, is the object of the Lord's tenderest love.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 3.2

    Sacrifices of Righteousness .-“Bring no more vain oblations.” Vanity is emptiness. A vain oblation is an offering which contains nothing. Here we learn that the Lord has no delight in empty forms and ceremonies. In the true worship of God there is no place for the doing of a thing merely to represent something else. God desires the thing itself. When David had committed a grievous sin, he knew that an offering would not please the Lord. “Thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it; Thou delightest not in burnt offering.” “To obey is better than sacrifice.” When a man has sinned, God does not wish him to come before Him with something as a substitute for righteousness, but with righteousness itself. “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.” Psalm 4:5. Put your trust in the Lord, who provides the righteousness which we need, so that none need come before Him empty. “Then shalt Thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness.”PTUK January 5, 1899, page 3.3

    “WASH AND BE CLEAN”

    To whom is this said?-To those who are as bad as they can be. To a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters. It is spoken to those who are so full of the loathsome leprosy of sin, that from the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing in them but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores. Even such may be “as white as snow.”PTUK January 5, 1899, page 3.4

    Of the reality of this cleansing we have ample evidence in the Scriptures. Naaman the Syrian was a leper. He went to the prophet Elisha, who, as the servant of the Lord, spoke the word of the Lord to him, saying, “Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.” 2 Kings 5:10. He said, in short, just what we have in the text we are studying, “Wash, and be clean.” 2 Kings 5:13. Naaman, after a little sulking, did as he was commanded, “and his flesh came again as the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” Verse 14. Was it the water of the Jordan that effected the cure? Was it true that the water of the Jordan was so much better than the waters of the rivers of Damascus?-Certainly not; that which cleansed him was the word of the Lord, which he listened to. The prophet did not tell him to cleanse himself, nor did he expect him to, but he gave him the word of the Lord, and that made the leper clean. In that case we see the cleansing power of the word of the Lord.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 3.5

    But the case is not yet complete. There came a man “full of leprosy” and said to Jesus, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.” Jesus instantly said, “I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Matthew 8:2, 3. The same thing was done for this man that was done for Naaman, only in this case no visible means was used. If we had only the story of Naaman, then we might think that the water was what did the cleansing; and if we had only the case of the man who came to Jesus, then we should lose the impressive lesson taught in the first instance. But the two taken together teach us that the Lord cleanses us by “a water bath in the word,” for so Ephesians 5:26 is properly translated in many versions. “Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” John 15:3.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 3.6

    We are full of the uncleanness of sin, and the Lord says to us, just as He did to the man full of the uncleanness of leprosy, “Be clean.” Did the Lord expect that the leper was to go away and cure himself?-Certainly not; He knew that it was impossible. What had the man to do?-Only to accept the word of the Lord. In his case the faith was already present, while the proud officer Naaman was required to give evidence that he did accept the word in humility; but both were cleansed in exactly the same way-by the word of the Lord. The word of the Lord is healing medicine. The words of the Lord “are life unto those that find them, and medicine to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:22, margin.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 3.7

    “His commandment is life everlasting.” John 12:50. God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass;” “and it was so.” He said “Be light;” and instantly light was. Jesus said to the leper, “Be clean;” and immediately he was clean. So He says to us, “Wash you; make you clean;” and if we are not too proud to accept the word, we are instantly clean. It matters not how sinful we are; the greater our need, the greater our recommendation to the mercy of the Lord. He pardons our iniquity just because it is great. Psalm 25:11.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 4.1

    A CASE IN COURT

    “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 1:18. Pay particular attention to this verse as it is given in the translation at the head of this study: “Come on now, and let us plead together, saith Jehovah.” This is the language of the courts, and is in harmony with the German, Swedish, and Danish translations, which have it, “Come now, and let us go into court together, saith the Lord.” This is a strictly literal rendering of the Hebrew. The expression is the same as in Job 23:7, where we have unmistakably a court scene. Read verses 3-7. In no place in the Bible is the Hebrew word that occurs here used in the sense that is ordinarily conveyed by the word “reason,” and in no other place than this is it so rendered in our version. It occurs in Genesis 31:37, “Set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both,” where the idea of a decision of a case at law is clearly indicated.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 4.2

    The idea that a trial in court is in progress is indicated in the very first verse of the prophecy: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth.” The call is for “Silence in the court;” for a great case is on, which involves the whole universe. This thought, introduced in the very beginning of the prophecy of Isaiah is very prominent throughout, and we shall have frequent occasion to refer to it, so that it is worthy while to give it a little special study now. When we have once grasped the thought, we shall see that it appears throughout the whole Bible.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 4.3

    Two texts set the whole matter briefly before us. In Psalm 51:4 we read “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight; that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.” Turn now to Romans 3:4, where we have this verse quoted thus: “Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.” In the first instance we have God as the Judge, and in the second we have Him as the one judged, yet winning His case. The same Spirit that inspired the words in the first place, also inspired the quotation, so that both expressions must mean the same thing. Therefore we learn that when God judges the world, He is at the same time judged. That is to say, The Judgment is simply the summing up of a case that has been pending since sin entered the universe of God. God has been declared to be unjust, not only by Satan, but by every one who has committed sin. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Therefore every one who justifieth himself, thereby declares that God is wrong; and whoever refuses to acknowledge himself to be a sinner, thereby justifies himself. But every man is unlike God. Therefore if men were right, that would prove God to be in the wrong. Everybody who refuses to confess his sins, by that very refusal charges God with being unjust. And the same thing is done by those who acknowledge themselves to be sinners, but who doubt God's willingness to forgive.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 4.4

    It is evident that if God could be convicted of one act of injustice, He could not judge the world. In order that rebellion shall be put down for ever, never more to have any possibility of arising, every creature in the universe must see and acknowledge the righteousness of God. Few of the inhabitants of this world do that now; but the Judgment is to make it plain. The great Judgment is not for the purpose of enabling God to judge of the character of men, but to cause all men to see the true character of God. Men are now taking sides for and against Him. The time will come when every secret thing will be brought to light. Then all will see that God has always been true and good. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess. But it will be too late for those who have waited until then; they have taken sides against the Lord, and when He wins His case, they necessarily lose. On the other hand, those who now put themselves on the side of the Lord, declaring that His way is right, which means that theirs is wrong, and who maintain their loyalty to Him against opposition, and even when they cannot explain some of His acts, will of course share in His triumph. The details of this great case, the matter of witnesses, etc., will come in later on in our study; what we wish to keep before our minds is that the great question at issue is the character of God. He has infinitely more at stake than any man can possibly have.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 4.5

    This is our strong consolation. God's righteousness is revealed in the forgiveness of sin. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. Whoever declares that God will not forgive sins, no matter whose, charges Him with being unjust. He forgives by His righteousness, His justice, and when we confess our sins, we become partakers of His righteousness. This assures our standing in the Judgment. Now God challenges us to try the case in court, and calls upon heaven and earth to act as jury, to see if there is a single case of acknowledged sin that He does not forgive. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as wool; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as white as snow.” This is His case. He stakes His life upon that. That is the thing upon which He bases His claim to righteousness, and His right to judge the world. If God is willing to risk His case upon that claim, cannot we? Our life stands with His if we do. We will trust Him, believing that His character will stand every test. Indeed, that is the only sensible thing to do; for if it were possible that we could prove Him unjust, we should gain nothing, since that would mean the end of His Government, so with that would go our lives and the life of all creatures. So we see that it is the height of folly to try to pick flaws in God's character. It is like a man trying to saw off the limb upon which he is sitting over an abyss. But no fault can be found in God. “There is no unrighteousness in Him.” “Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”PTUK January 5, 1899, page 4.6

    This call to come and be forgiven is to those who are as bad as they can possibly be. Every sin has produced its sore, and the result is that there is not a sound spot in the whole body. There is not a spot on which a stroke of correction could be laid, if sin were to be increased. To such ones He calls, in order that all may have hope, and may come with confidence. With what boldness we may come! How it enlarges our view of the Gospel, and lifts the whole subject to a plane infinitely beyond the mere selfish inquiry. Is it possible for me to be saved? It is God's case, not ours. He must forgive, or lose His life; for He gave His life for the express purpose of cleansing sins, and if He should not do it the life would be thrown away. Let us then come boldly to the throne of grace, fully assured that we shall obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 4.7

    “Studies in the Gospel of John. Revealing the Glory” The Present Truth 15, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There were three different occasions when Jesus on earth is said to have manifested His glory. The first was at a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee; the second was when He took Peter, James and John into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them; and the third was at the grave of Lazarus. These are to show us that it is not merely when we go apart from the world, that the glory of God may appear to us, and be manifested in us, but when we are engaged in the most common affairs of life. Since the earth is full of His glory, it is most fitting that it should at all times be revealed. Even so it is to all and in all who believe.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 5.1

    Jesus was about thirty years of age when He began His public ministry. Before that time we have only one glimpse of Him, for a single day when He was twelve years old, and as a son of the synagogue was allowed to engage in the temple worship. Then follow eighteen years of work at the carpenter's bench, entirely lost to public view. A mighty work was committed to Him, and from earliest childhood He knew that He must be about His Father's business, yet He seems to have made no haste to appear in public. Shall we say that he was not doing His Father's business all the time? Not by any means. What a lesson to us, who are so prone to think that we are not doing any active service for the Master unless we are engaged in some public service. And then note how often in the very short time He had for public labour, we find Him attending some feast or other. He never seems to have been in a hurry. Why not? The reason is that He dwelt in eternity, and laboured in its strength. He who has all eternity, need never be hurried; even so with Him who labours with the power of an endless life. But whether attending a wedding feast or preaching to the multitudes, Jesus was about His Father's business. The glory of God was always revealed, whether He ate or drank or preached.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 5.2

    The wine gave out, but what mattered that when the true wine was present? The element of time does not count in any of the Lord's works. One day is with the Lord as a thousand years. Then how easy for Him to accelerate the process of the production of wine by the grape vine, and do the work of a year in a minute. The thing which Jesus did-turning water into wine-is what He does every year. The rain falls form heaven, the earth receives it, and the rootlets of the vine drink it up. Then by the warmth and sunlight it is drawn up and deposited in the clusters and transformed into delicious wine. Do not forget that “the new wine is found in the cluster.” Isaiah 65:8. It is wine while it is yet sealed up in the skin of the grape. Just as the fruit, if it is bruised and broken and exposed to the air, soon decays, and becomes unfit for food, so does the wine, when taken from its original flash, in which it is hermetically sealed, and exposed to the air so that it ferments, become unfit for human consumption.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 5.3

    Suppose any man should be asked to take a glass of water, and turn it into wine; the request would be in vain. Well, do not ask him to do it instantly; give him a year in which to perform the task. That is no better; at the close of the year he would be no nearer the completion of his task than at the beginning. Let him have ten years, a hundred years; the result is the same-nothing. Moreover, he cannot tell how it is done. Thus we see that the miracle does not consist in the fact that the water was turned into wine instantly, but in the fact that it was done at all. The miracle that is performed every year by what is called “natural growth” is as great as the miracle at Cana of Galilee. That was done in a way to call attention to the fact that it is Jesus who produces the fruits of the earth. In taking the pure “blood of the grape,” as well as of any other fruit, we are taking the life of Christ. The blood is the life, and when Jesus took the cup at the last supper, He said, “This is My blood.”PTUK January 5, 1899, page 5.4

    It is not an infrequent thing to hear or read of some reformed drunkard who has had the old taste revived by the wine used at the communion service, and has relapsed into the old habits; and others dare not partake for fear of the consequences. Shall we say that it was the blood of Christ that caused him to fall? Impossible! His blood does not lead into sin, but cleanses from all sin. No; that was not “the Lord's Supper.” Nobody ever gets drunk or tempted to drunkenness at the Lord's table. The fermented wine that is by some thought to be absolutely essential to the observance of the Lord's Supper, has nothing whatever in common with “the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot” by which we are redeemed. The cup that could by any possibility make the tenderest child or the most delicate woman intoxicated, or that can arouse slumbering passions in any man, is not the communion of the blood of Christ, but “the cup of devils.” It is not the cup of blessing, but the cup of cursing. It is a terrible thing thus to misrepresent Christ. He provides only that which gives life and peace.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 6.1

    “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested for His glory; and His disciples believed on Him.” There was no transfiguration scene here. The person of Jesus did not shine; there was nothing about Him that anybody could see any more than with the other guests at the feast. Yes He manifested forth His glory. So we see that power-the power of God, which works miracles-is glory. Power and glory are synonymous in God's vocabulary. In Ephesians 1:17-20 we read of the working of God's mighty power, by which He raised Jesus from the dead. In Romans 6:4 we are told that “Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Thus we see that God's power in His glory. We are to be “strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory.” Colossians 1:11. “According to the riches of His glory” we are to be “strengthened with might by His Spirit.” Ephesians 3:16.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 6.2

    “There is no power but of God.” There is but one force in the universe, and that is the life of the Lord; but there are an infinite variety of manifestations of it. We ourselves are daily witnesses of the fact that glory-visible glory, light-is power. The huge steamship with its hundreds of passengers, and thousands of tons of freight, is driven across the ocean by engines that are fed with coal that in a few days gives off the accumulated sunlight of centuries. The forest trees had for centuries absorbed the sunlight, and now they give it forth in one great blaze which is seen to be power. God's people are “trees of righteousness,” growing by the light of “the Sun of Righteousness.” “It doth not yet appear what we shall be” any more than the trunk of the oak shows the careless passer-by the glory that is stored up within; but when the Lord comes the glory will be revealed, for “then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matthew 8:43. But in the meantime their glory is manifested forth in good works which God does by them. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”PTUK January 5, 1899, page 6.3

    The mother of Jesus said to the servants: “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.” We do not know their names, yet they had an active part in the performance of the miracle. They brought the water and filled the vessels, and they drew out the wine. If we are His servants, ready to do His bidding, He will use us in the performance of many mighty works. When the thousands of hungry people were in the desert, Jesus said to His disciples, “Give ye them to eat,” and so they did. All the vast multitudes received food at the hands of the twelve; but they received it from the Lord of life and glory. To us comes the command, “Hear Him!” Whatsoever He saith unto you do it, without asking any questions. If the servants of that house in Cana had refused to fill the water pots with water, because they could not see how any good could come from it, the miracle would have been disgraced. Let us beware of losing our opportunity through doubt and hesitation, and the glory of His wondrous deeds will at the last be shared with us.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 6.4

    “For the Children. ‘Snow Like Wool’” The Present Truth 15, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    As we were talking last week about the purity and beauty of the snow, let us now think for a little while of its usefulness.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.1

    The Word of God tells us that “He giveth snow like wool.” Think of the ways in which the snow is “like wool.” In its appearance; you will say, so soft and white, and fleecy; it looks like wool. Yes, but did you know that the snow is “like wool” also in its warmth?PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.2

    In the cold winter weather we clothe our bodies with woollen garments, and put thick woollen blankets on our beds to keep us warm. The wool has no warmth in itself, as you can tell by putting your hand on it.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.3

    But if you keep your hand there for a little while the wool begins to feel warm. The warmth does not come from the wool, but from your hand, and the wool keeps us warm because it comes in the warmth that comes from our bodies and keeps it from escaping into the air.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.4

    And so it is with the snowy garment that the Lord spreads over the earth. It holds in the warmth that is coming from the earth and keeps it warms just as our woollen garments keep us warm, and as the woolly fleece of the sheep, which grows so thick in the winter, keeps it warm.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.5

    Think, dear children; how wonderful and beautiful are the ways of our God, and how all things in His great universe are “working together for good.” The cold which makes the earth need this warm covering is the very thing that God uses to provide it; for this same cold freezes the water into little snow-flakes, which do not sink into the earth, but lie upon the ground to keep it warm.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.6

    In warm countries, or in mild winters, when the earth does not need this protection, there is very little if any snow. But the colder the weather, the more snow falls, and the thicker and warmer is the covering.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.7

    Where the snow is blown away from any spot in the very cold weather, the ground gets frozen quite deep down, and the seeds and roots of plants that are buried in it are destroyed, while the ground that has been covered with snow is quite uninjured.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.8

    And then when the warmer weather makes the snow covering no longer necessary for the ground, it becomes useful to it in another way. As it melts it runs into the soil to moisten and soften it, and make it ready for the seeds and plants. “The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud.”PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.9

    But it is not only in the winter that the earth is watered with “the snow from heaven.” As we go higher and higher above the earth the air gets colder and colder, until on the tops of high mountains, above what is called “the snowline,” it is so cold that the snow never melts, but falls continually all the year round.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.10

    The fresh snow falling on the mountain, presses down that which is underneath it, and it runs down the sides of the mountain in frozen streams called “glaciers” or ice-rivers. When it gets down into the warmer air, the glacier melts and forms a river.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.11

    This river, which you will see gets its supply of water from the snow falling on the top of the mountain, runs through the land to “water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud.” And so in sending “the snow from heaven,” the Lord is providing a constant supply of water for the land, even in the hottest summer. All these “great things which we cannot comprehend,” God is doing for us when “He saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth.” Job 37:5, 6.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 10.12

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The expedition which has been searching Northern Siberia for traces of Andrea's balloon has returned home without finding anything.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.1

    -A heavy gale was experienced last Tuesday which did enormous damage in all parts of London. Some deaths were caused by falling buildings.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.2

    -A newspaper correspondent reports that King Leopold clears a million sterling per annum by the rubber and ivory business in the Congo State.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.3

    -It has been decided to extend to Hawaii the American customs and excise laws. British and other foreign imports will, therefore, pay the Dingley rates.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.4

    -It is reported that cases of bubonic plague have occurred at Delagoa Bay, and the Transvaal Government is taking every precaution to prevent the importation of the disease into the Republic.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.5

    -More than half the Lord Chancellors of England during the post fifty years were the sons of poor men. One of them was the son of a country barber, and the father of another was a Newcastle coal-heaver.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.6

    -Iloilo was evacuated by the Spaniards on the 24th, and the insurgents took possession on the 26th, Aguinaldo's flag being hoisted. It is feared that this will lead to serious complications between the American forces and the insurgents.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.7

    -Early in 1899, both the French and German forces will be armed throughout with quick-firing artillery, which in the case of France, will mean an expenditure of about ?10,000,000. This change will triple the destructive power of an army.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.8

    -It has been finally arranged that the secret dosier in the Dreyfus case shall be presented to the Court of Cassation, and an official has been told off to take it from the War Office as often as it may be required, and to give necessary explanations.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.9

    -Mrs. Stephen Matthews, who has travelled considerably in Palestine, gave an address at Horsham on “The Wines of the Bible.” All strict Jews, she said, would know that fermented wine was never used at marriages; and she considered it nothing short of blasphemy to assert that Saviour would have created that which is the cause of much evil and suffering. It was quite evident from the study of the Bible that the wine used at the Last Supper was not alcoholic. During Passover week all strict Jews would have everything fermented removed from their houses.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.10

    -A newspaper report from Rome states that the progress of events in the Soudan has been followed with great attention by the Pope, who counts upon the material and moral support of the Egyptian Government to aid in giving a fresh impulse to the spread of Catholicism in the interior of Africa.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.11

    -A noteworthy innovation is reported from Peking, the Dowager Empress of China baring given a reception to the wives of the foreign ambassadors The effect of this on the public mind is expected to be very greet, the Chinese regarding such a departure from ancient usage as more significant than any political change.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.12

    -Reports from Germany speak of a widespread and increasing dissatisfaction among the people, due to the laws which are intended to prevent strikes and suppress seditious speeches. The new military measure to increase the peace footing of the army by 30,000 men is also very unpopular, as are also the expulsion of Danes and Bohemians, and the numerous actions against the press for speaking slightingly of the Kaiser.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.13

    -The movement for the wholesale conversion to Protestantism among the German population of Northern Bohemia, is announced to be constantly increasing. It is intended that the sots of conversion shall take place with much ostentation on January 18, which is the day of the foundation at Versailles of the German Empire. The leader of the German Nationalists in Austria reckons that 200,000 conversions will take place among his following this year.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.14

    -In Sobleswig-Holstein the German authorities are bringing considerable pressure to bear upon the inhabitants to withdraw their children from Danish schools, The children of those who do not conform to the edict will be taken from them and planed under the control of Prussian official guardians. Germany is also expelling Russian and Austrian subjects from her territory, and it is thought that these two Governments may retaliate by the expulsion of Germans.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.15

    -At the port of London during the month of November there were seized and destroyed as unfit for human consumption, 104 carcases of mutton, 459 sides of bacon, 121 crates of rabbits and hares, 900 cases of tinned melt and fruit, 1,205 crates of bananas, 716 barrels of grapes, 9 cases of pine-apples, 11 cases of frozen lobsters, and 267 cases of condensed milk. The item of condensed milk is significant for it has recently been stated that this can be utilised for various forms of confectionery, whatever its condition may be, and will at all times command a ready sale among a certain class of manufacturers.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.16

    -The Daily Chronicle writes as follows on Christmas Eve: “We celebrate the carnival of peace and domesticity. If the word carnival really is derived from the devouring of flesh, it suits our Christmas festival very well. We still commemorate the Manger of Bethlehem by consuming vest amounts of animal food. From Islington and Smithfield the hecatombs go up to the sacrifice. All the shops, especially the butchers’ and poulterers’, are crammed to overflowing with things to eat, till one wonders at last how the human frame can stand this sudden and extraordinary expansion, its busy season of overwork and overtime. During the next two days it cannot be an exaggeration to say that the majority of the English people will devour ten times as much as in any other two days of the year.” Going on to speak of the provision for the aged poor, it expresses the conviction that enough money would be wasted in eating and drinking to ensure that “every workhouse might be swept from the face of the land, and some decent and honourable provision made for the workers who had grown old in the service of our country, and of necessity fallen out of the ranks. We believe we could well pay the price out of less than this one week's needless excess in the struggle for happiness.”PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.17

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Too often, when God's promises to men are seen in a new and beautiful light; the only response given by professing Christians is a sighing acknowledgment that “we do not half live up to our privileges.” And at this confession many are, content to stop, as though in making it, they had done all that was, required of them.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.18

    To some it seems impossible that they can ever live up to their privileges, for the reason that these are so great. They take too much “living up to.” This is because the privileges are not seen, in their true light. Their value consists in the fact that they can be enjoyed to the full. Privileges which are not available are not privileges at all.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.19

    The greatness of the privileges which God bestows upon us consists in the fact that they enable us to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called. He does not ask us to “live up” to anything; because in ourselves we cannot. The idea that we can do so reveals ignorance of God's way, which is as much higher than ours as the heavens are higher than the earth. It would be as easy for the natural man to live up to his privileges as it would be for him, by taking thought, to increase his stature until his head reached to the stars.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.20

    There is one thing needful for the man who would live out his privileges, that is, live a perfect Christian life. That one thing is a Christian life. It takes a life to live, and it pleads the life of Christ lives His privileges. He does not have to live up to them, because they are His life. The man in whom Christ dwells will also live out his privileges, for he receives them in Christ. In taking Him, we take all things that pertain to life and godliness. “Of His fulness have all we received.”PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.21

    Christ is the life of men. “In Him we live.” The mystery of the Gospel is “Christ in you.” The privilege thus bestowed upon men is an inconceivable one, but the problem of how to “live it out” is solved by the fact that it is given to us as a life. Whoever does not receive it as a life does not receive it as a life does not have it at all. Those who do so receive it find that it works in them mightily and, instead of sighing over the difficulty of living up to their privileges, they rejoice evermore over the great things that God has done for them in the unspeakable gift of His Son.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.22

    If a poor man should ask us for bread and we should offer him a plentiful supply of food, we would expect him to eat and be filled. If he simply looked over the food, and when pressed to fall to should reply sadly that it was very kind of us to take so much trouble, but he was afraid he did not half live up to his privileges, most of us would conclude that it might do him good to go without for a while. How must the Lord feel when, after He has at an infinite cost to Himself, provided a perfect salvation for all, some treat His gifts with so little appreciation? He offers eternal life, with all that it means, in His only begotten Son, but men judge themselves unworthy of it, as did the Jews to whom Paul preached. Every one to whom the Lord reveals light must accept or refuse it. It does not palliate the refusal to excuse it by confessing that we do not live up to our privileges. When the judgment sits and some are found unworthy of a place in the Saviour's Kingdom, it will simply be a confirmation of the judgment that they passed upon themselves when the Lord offered Himself to them in all His fulness, and they for any cause judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.23

    Dr. Forbes Winslow, the well-known specialist in mental diseases, has just published a book in which he demonstrates that insanity is steadily increasing in England. At the present time there are no fewer than 102,000 persons living in England and Wales who have been adjudged of unsound mind, and this figure is higher by 2,607 than was that of the previous year. Whereas in 1859 there were only 1867 lunatics to every ten thousand of the population, to-day the corresponding figure is 3248.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.24

    Dr. Winslow says:-

    I have clearly shown that much of this increase is due to that terrible vice, indulgence in alcohol, and the facts, as placed before my readers, and the cases illustrative of this point, I consider to be conclusive.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.25

    Cigarette smoking among the young is also a prominent factor in the increase of mental disorders.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.26

    I think that this (cigarette smoking) is one of the curses of our age and is responsible for the mental degeneration of our youths. Experiments were made some time ago, and it was discovered that leeches were killed instantly by the blood of smokers. So suddenly did this take place that they dropped off dead when first applied.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.27

    The author states his conviction that “there is a gradual degeneration going on in the human race.”PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.28

    Men may flatter themselves that the world is growing better, but to do this, they must close their eyes to the fact that the world is departing more and more from the simplicity of life designed for mankind by the Creator. In proportion as this is true, men are separating themselves from the one source of life, and degeneration, physical and mental, is the natural consequence.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.29

    The Rome Correspondent of the Catholic Times points with pride to the way in which the Papacy is extending its influence everywhere. He writes:-PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.30

    Its influence throughout the world is continually growing. From various countries come reports of improved relations with the Vatican. For many years the Holy Father has been engaged in efforts to improve the position of the Catholics in Russia and Poland, and now it would appear that these efforts are being attended with considerable success. As the outcome, a representative of the Holy See will be appointed at St. Petersburg. Of course the Czar will endeavour to get something in return for this concession, and it is said that he has made a strong appeal to the Holy Father to support his peace crusade. News has been received here by telegraph that President McKinley proposes to despatch Archbishop Ireland to represent the United States at the Peace Conference, for he knows that there is no Prelate in the Church who can more effectively give expression to the sentiments of Catholics. Another proof of the growing influence of the Vatican is to be found in the poiurparlers which have commenced between the Porte and the Sovereign Pontiff with a view to the appointment of a duly accredited Ottoman Envoy at the Vatican, and yet another indication of the same kind is afforded in the fact that his Holiness has accepted the office of arbitrator in the frontier dispute between Hayti and San Domingo at the pressing instances of both countries.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.31

    There is every encouragement to call upon God in prayer, to pray without ceasing, and to ask largely. When we are not very certain that God hears us, and do not know whether our prayer is going to be answered or not, it does not take much to discourage us, but when we know that we are not asking in vain we will take full advantage of the permission to make our wants known and have them supplied. When Jesus says, “If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it;” it is for us to say, “Verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer.” Psalm 66:19.PTUK January 5, 1899, page 16.32

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