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    November 9, 1899

    “Recognising the Lord” The Present Truth 15, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” Luke 2:25-32.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 705.1

    There was another man in the temple that day, who also had the Lord Jesus in his arms, namely, the high priest; but unlike Simeon, he did not recognise in the infant the light of the Gentiles, and the glory of Israel,-the Saviour of mankind. Why could not the high priest, the religious leader of all the people, discern what the unknown Simeon saw so plainly?PTUK November 9, 1899, page 705.2

    The answer is plain: Simeon was “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” If any man willeth to do the will of God, he shall know. God says: “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye Me in vain.” Isaiah 45:19. God had sworn to Abraham, and that oath, added to an immutable promise, made and still makes a strong consolation to all who flee for a refuge to lay hold of the hope set before them. This oath of God centred in Christ, and the birth of Christ was the remembering of His holy covenant, and the oath which He swore to Abraham. Luke 1:67-75. The thing was not done in a corner but was placed on record for all men. God had proclaimed, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” No man ever looks to God for consolation in vain.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 705.3

    The high priest, on the other hand, was waiting for the exaltation of himself and his people. His interest was not, however, for the people, but for himself. His desire to see Israel exalted was solely in order that his authority and dignity might be correspondingly increased. He was looking altogether too high to see the Lord, who is meek and lowly in heart, and who dwells with the humble and contrite. The truth that is revealed unto babes, and even in the form of a babe, was too insignificant for his notice.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 705.4

    Note well the agency of the Spirit of God on this occasion. The Spirit was upon Simeon, not occasionally, but all the time. If Simeon had not been continually walking in the Spirit, he would have missed the opportunity. To how many people the one opportunity of a lifetime comes and is lost, because they have not been ready for it. Just that moment they were taking a rest from well-doing, having become weary. But they that wait on the Lord,-wait for His consolation,-shall renew their strength; they will never be taken unawares either by the enemy of souls or by the revelation of God.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 705.5

    Simeon “came by the Spirit into the temple.” That shows that he walked in the Spirit. He allowed his steps, and all his actions, to be guided by the Spirit of God. The true Christian position is that in which every thought and every movement is but the working of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the whole and only life of the individual. If we were always in that condition we should be directed to many treasures which we now miss.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 706.1

    The Spirit revealed to Simeon that the little baby in the arms of that poor, timid woman was the Lord's Anointed. He could not have known it in any other way, for there was nothing in the child's appearance to distinguish it from scores of other babes that were presented in the temple. He did not have a halo of light about His head, as so many fanciful picture-makers delight in portraying Him. “When we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him,” Isaiah had written hundreds of years before. Only the Spirit can make Him known. Flesh and blood cannot do it. Matthew 16:15-17. “I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” 1 Corinthians 12:3.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 706.2

    What an opportunity the high priest missed that day. He had the Lord's Anointed in his arms, yet he felt no thrill. The babe was nothing to him. It was not merely to comply with the Levitical law, that Christ was presented in the temple, but that the priest might have an opportunity to recognise Him, and to make Him known to the people. That was his business; “for the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth.” Malachi 2:7. But he did not know the day of his visitation, and because he failed on that occasion, which was seemingly so insignificant, he lost everything.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 706.3

    Unto us the same opportunity an obligation comes. “Behold your God!” is cried out to us: and we are to behold Him in order that we may make Him known to others. God makes every one of His people a priest, that they all may “show forth the praises of Him who hath called you of darkness into His marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 706.4

    Where shall we see Him? Ah, where can we fail to see Him? Christ is the power of God and in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and ever since the creation of the world His everlasting power and Divinity have been clearly seen in the things which have been made. Every created thing, from the mightiest planet to the tiniest atom, reveals the Lord Jesus.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 706.5

    It is not enough to recognise the Lord in one place, if we fail to see Him in another. If we cannot recognise a friend when we see him in a new place, and an address that we have not before seen, we are certainly not on very intimate terms with him. We must be so well acquainted with the Lord, that we shall have no trouble in recognising Him every instant, and on the instant, in every place.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 706.6

    If Christ had come to the high priest in pomp and royal majesty, like an earthly king, he would probably have recognised Him. No; he could not have recognised Him except by the Holy Spirit, no matter in what form He came; but he would at any rate have bowed before Him. But he did not know that the weakness of God is stronger than men, and that God chooses the weak things, and even things which are not, to bring to naught the things that are. The infant Jesus, borne in the arms of that poor woman, whose extreme poverty was indicated by the birds that she brought as an offering, instead of a lamb, was “the power of God.” Yea, He was “the salvation of God.” Nothing is weaker than a babe. The young of humankind is more helpless than any of the lower orders of creation. Never in our lives can we be more helpless and dependent than Christ was at that moment; yet He was the power of God; for God's strength is made perfect in weakness. This is to teach us that at our lowest and weakest state we may be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. We are to recognise and confess Christ in our own bodies, even in our weak and sinful flesh. As surely as any man does this, he will be the victor over all the power of the enemy; for the Word is nigh us, in our mouth and in our heart, so that “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 706.7

    A preparation for the coming of the Lord is a preparation of character. “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 706.8

    “Notes on the International Sunday-school Lessons. Public Reading of the Scriptures” The Present Truth 15, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.... And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people); and when he opened it, all the people stood up; and Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy unto our Lord; neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.” Nehemiah 8:1-12.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 706.9

    Willing Hearers. -What a difference between that congregation and the ordinary, congregation in these days! The people came together as one man in the street, or rather, “broad place,”-public square,-and asked to have the Word of God read to them. Who would not like to teach such a people? In these days congregations have to be almost drummed together; but it may be that the fault lies no more in the people than in the one who stands before them. It is a fact, however, that there is less interest in matters of religion than in almost anything else. Where could you find a congregation of men and women in any so-called “Christian land,” who would stand from early morning, as soon as it was light, until midday, to hear the Word of God read and expounded? That is what the people did in the time of Ezra. Nowadays an hour's service is regarded as outrageously long, if it be a religious meeting. If it be a gathering for pleasure, time is not regarded. People can stand a great deal of that which they like. An entertainment of some light nature may last hours, and people will take no note of the lapse of time. It is nothing for a speaker in a political campaign to make an address an hour and a half or two hours long, and people will stand and listen; yet the very same ones, professed Christians, too, would regard a Bible study of an hour as a great imposition.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 707.1

    Attentive Hearers. -The literal rendering of the Hebrew, without the addition of the word “attentive,” is even more emphatic than the way we have it. “The ears of the people were unto the book of the law.” They had no ears for anything else. Nothing could turn away their ears from hearing the law. They were not present as a sort of complement to the speaker, as though they were doing him a personal favor in attending; but they had asked to hear the law, and that was what they intended to hear. They heard something worth listening to, and that, together with their interest in that which is good, explains their long standing to hear.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 707.2

    Reverent Hearers .-When Ezra opened the book of the law, all the people stood up. It was the living Word of God, that they were about to hear, and they regarded themselves in the presence of God. It was God Himself who was about to speak to them, and it was fitting that they should assume a reverent attitude before Him. When Ezra addressed the Lord, leading them in worship, they all bowed down with their faces to the ground. It had been a long time since they had had the privilege of listening to the Word of God, and they were eager for it. The greater facilities the people have for obtaining and learning the Word of God, the less they regard it. In lands where the Bible is not so plentiful, those who know of it prize it more highly.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 707.3

    Responsive Hearers .-All the people said, “Amen, amen,” when Ezra read and prayed. It was not a dumb congregation. Worshippers are usually altogether too dignified. It is considered out of place for anyone in the pews to utter a sound. There is no precedent in the Bible for any such thing as one man monopolising all the time, while the people have no opportunity to speak for themselves. The perfection of Christian worship will never be reached until the people in the pews feel just as much at liberty to speak as the man on the platform. Let no one fear confusion. There is no pleasure in talking to people who do not care to listen, so that if they are dissatisfied, and wish to object, they might as well do so as to sit quietly and have words fall on closed ears. Indeed it would be to the advantage of the people, and of the speaker as well, if his sole object is to teach, if everybody felt free to express his dissent from what is presented, or at least his failure to grasp any part of the subject. That would give the teacher the opportunity to make things clearer, for he would know just where the difficulties were in the minds of his hearers. If public services were conducted on the plan of question and answer, the results would in general be far more satisfactory. The desire to hear, on the part of people who came voluntarily, and the sense of what courtesy demands in any assembly, small or large, would in general prevent any disturbance or unseemly expression of dissent.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 707.4

    But that which we had specially in mind, and that which is suggested by the text, is response by way of assent. The people said, “Amen, amen.” The Word found a place in their hearts, and they gave expression to their agreement. There is nothing more encouraging to a speaker than such expressions. It is not that he cares for it personally, but it lets him know that he is not labouring in vain; that the people are really listening, and not dozing, or thinking of something else, and that they are being benefited.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 707.5

    Spontaneous Response .-Formality is the curse of religion. The church recognised the fact that the people should respond, and has therefore arranged for it, specifying just what the congregation ought to say, and when to say it. When the heart is touched, and the feelings are stirred, there is no need of instructions as to how and when to give expression to the responsive chord; and if the heart is not in it, it is only mockery. There is nowadays a great deal of discussion over ritualism, but there is in reality as much ritualism in Nonconformist congregations as in the High Church, although of a different kind, and not prescribed by law. When the Holy Spirit is given control, formality will disappear like a cloud before the sun, and every Word of the Lord will meet with a hearty response by both voice and action.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 707.6

    The Sense Given .-The instructors read in the book of the law distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused people to understand. Take notice that the people got the sense, because the Word was read distinctly. It was not simply that the Word was read slowly, but it was read in such a way that just what was in it appeared. The readers did not put a construction upon it, but allowed the sense of the passage to stand forth. “The opening of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” “The Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 707.7

    The Law of Moses .-Compare verse 1 with verse 8. There is a too common idea that “the law of Moses” is something entirely distinct from the law of God. There is an unreasoning and unreasonable prejudice against Moses, that does not obtain with reference to any other Bible writer. If something be cited from the first five books of the Bible, the reply will often be, “Oh, that's in the law of Moses,” as though that ended the matter. People will not discount the words of Isaiah or Jeremiah or Paul or Peter, will treat the words of Moses as of no account. There is no reason for this, unless it be that in the writings of Moses fundamental truths are found. No other man has been so highly honoured by the Lord. No other writer has had such direct commendation by the Lord. The law of Moses is the law of God, just as truly as the writings of Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel are the Word of God. Moses did not make any laws, and it is altogether a mistake to call him the lawgiver of Israel. He spoke and wrote as he was moved by the Holy Ghost, just as the other holy man of old did. Whoever despises the writings of Moses, despises the Lord Jesus. John 5:46, 47.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 707.8

    The Joy of the Lord .-The people wept when they heard the words of the law. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. It is natural enough for people to weep when they hear the law which convicts them of sin; but God makes it known to them in order that they may rejoice. The law is not against the promises of God. The first office of the Comforter is to convict of sin. The Word of life is declared unto us in order that our joy may be full. 1 John 1:1-5. The joy of the Lord is righteousness, victory. The joy that was set before Christ, enabled Him to endure the cross. Hebrews 12:2. It was not merely joy that He hoped to get in the future, but present joy, the joy of victory, that sustained Him. That, and that only, which will enable us to hold out against the temptations of the flesh, is the joy of the life of Christ, given to us freely; it causes all the pleasures of sin to sink into insignificance. When we receive the Word into our mouth and into our heart, there will necessarily be joy; not a momentary ebullition of feeling, but a joy that is eternal. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” Jeremiah 15:16.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 708.1

    When the word of the Lord came to the children of Israel to forsake Egypt, they obeyed; but at the waters of Marah, and at many other places, it is easy to see that while they were bodily out of Egypt, their hearts were still there. The Lord has called us as Christians to come out from the world and be separate. Nominally we have obeyed this call; but with many, the hearts are still where they were. Just as surely as the longing of the Israelites for the leeks and onions and flesh-pots of Egypt was the cause of their destruction in the wilderness, so now unless all is surrendered-unless we forsake everything, cut loose from every earthly entanglement, and place ourselves and all that we are, body, soul and spirit, on God's side, we shall miss the promised land.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 708.2

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. Magnifying the Law. Isaiah 42:18-25The Present Truth 15, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Isaiah 42:18-25.)

    “Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. Who is blind, but My Servant? or deaf, as My Messenger that I send? who is blind as He that is at peace with Me, and blind as the Lord's Servant? Thou seest many things, but Thou observest not; His ears are open, but He heareth not. It pleased the Lord, for His righteousness’ sake, to magnify the law, and make it honourable. But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses; they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none sayeth, Restore. Who is there among you who will give ear to this? that will hearken and hear for the time to come? Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the Lord? He against whom we have sinned, and in whose ways they would not walk, neither were they obedient unto His law. Therefore He poured upon him the fury of His anger, and the strength of battle; and it set him on fire round about, yet he knew it not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 708.3

    ALWAYS MORE TO FOLLOW

    In studying portions of Scripture which are “hard to be understood,” we shall save ourselves from falling into error if we adopt the rule, and rigidly adhere to it, never to guess at anything. Another thing we must always bear in mind, and that is, that no one on earth can give any statement as to the teaching of any text, which will be final and authoritative. That is to say, nobody can exhaust any portion of God's Word. When we have stated what we see in any text, that does not hinder somebody else from seeing a great deal more. The trouble with people who read what anyone has written, in whom they may have confidence, is in assuming that he has said all that may be said on that subject. Or, seeing the thing plainly, when it is set before them, they are satisfied, and do not think it worth while to keep on looking, so as to see more. That is wrong. No matter how much we see in any word of the Lord, we may be assured that there is much more that we do not see. A belief in the Divine perfection and fullness of God's Word, would keep any people from ever publishing a “creed,” summarising the teachings of the Bible. Let these things be borne in mind as we study.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.1

    CHRIST'S DIVINE MISSION PROVED

    When Jesus was here on this earth, He proved the Divinity of His mission by causing the blind to see, and the deaf to hear. Matthew 11:5. Many miracles did Jesus in the presence of the people, that they might believe that He is the Christ, and that, believing, they might have life through His name. John 20:30. The prophecy of Isaiah shows that the great controversy as to who is God will be continued until the very last day of time,-until the Judgment settles the question for ever. Then since it was necessary that miracles should be performed eighteen hundred years ago, in order to demonstrate the genuineness of the mission of Christ, God's Representative, it cannot be otherwise than that the same things must be repeated as long as there is any doubt over the matter.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.2

    MIRACLES TO BE WROUGHT

    That miracles of healing will be performed by the servant of the Lord even in the very last days, is evident from the scripture before us. “Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.” Someone will say (for there are always people ready to discount the Word of God, and to make out that God has not promised us very much) that this command to the deaf to hear, and to the blind to see, is to be taken in a spiritual sense; that those who do not understand the truth of God, and who are spiritually blind, are to see the Lord, and to understand the truth. Undoubtedly that is true. But the urging of that in order to break the apparent force of the text, shows that they do not appreciate the greatness of the work of conversion. Which is greater, to say, “Thy sins be forgiven thee” or to say to a palsied man, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk?” Is it easier to make a man behold his God than to cause him to see his fellows? Why should anybody who believes in conversion think it a strange thing that God should heal any defect in the body? Without doubt all these texts mean that people will understand the Gospel, but that does not show that they will not also receive bodily healing, but the contrary. It may well be, however, that the most of these mighty miracles will be wrought in what are called heathen lands, and that these boasted lands of enlightenment, where the Gospel has been preached so much, and so much slighted, have already had the most of the evidence that will be given them. It is the isles that are waiting for the law of God, and God's servant is commissioned to the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.3

    SIGHT FOR THE BLIND

    “Who is blind, but My Servant? or deaf, as My Messenger that I send?” “He saved others, Himself He cannot save.” This was said of Christ. He Himself suffered all the ills from which He delivered men, yet He did nothing for Himself. And this shows that there is no condition that is hopeless. We are deaf and blind; very well, the Lord says that His Servant whom He upholds, His chosen, in whom His soul has delight, whom He has sent to open the blind eyes, is also blind. He has assumed all our blindness. No one is afflicted as He is, because He has the combined afflictions of all men. No soul of man has so great a weight of sin on him as the Lord Jesus Christ had, for He had the sins of the whole world. But He is “the Holy One and the Just,” therefore there is not a soul on earth but may also be just and holy. In Him, all deafness and blindness, all infirmities of whatever kind, both physical and spiritual, are removed. “In Him is no darkness at all.” Therefore though we be blind and deaf and dumb and lame and vile, all this is passed from us to Him. “With His stripes we are healed.” Even so, with the blindness that He has assumed, we see.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.4

    GOD'S INTIMATE FRIENDS

    “Who is blind as He that is perfect?” The Revision has, “as he that is at peace with Me.” The Norwegian has it, “as My confidential friend,” and this is warranted by the Hebrew fully as much as either of the others. This fits with what has preceded, when we remember that the servant of the Lord is Israel, the seed of Abraham, God's friend. What care we what our condition is, so long as we are God's confidential friends? We may be in prison, but that makes no difference as long as the key is in the hands of our intimate friend. Remember this as you read the last verses of this chapter.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.5

    GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

    The Danish translation of verse 21, “the Lord is well pleased for His righteousness” sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honourable,” is, “the Lord has pleasure, for the sake of His righteousness, to make the law great and glorious.” This shows that the law of God is His righteousness. The more the law is honoured, the more the righteousness of God is exalted. The greater the law, the greater the righteousness of God. Let us see if there is any comfort in this.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.6

    The psalmist says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 40:3. The foundation of God's throne is righteousness (Psalm 89:14; 97:2); and God's throne upholds the universe. If the foundations were destroyed, therefore, there would be no existence for anybody. If righteousness should cease, of course the righteous would cease to be, as well, since the righteous are the salt of the earth. But there is no danger, for Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17, 18. The Lord will not destroy or alter the law, because that is His righteousness, and He cannot deny Himself.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.7

    FULFILLING THE LAW

    A complete answer to anyone who is so perverse that in the face of the plain statement of Christ, that He did not come to destroy the law, he will say that Christ fulfils the law by abolishing it, is found in the words of the text: “He will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” What honour can anyone give to Christ, and in what sort of esteem does he hold His work, who says that Christ destroys that which is honourable, and holy, and just and good?PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.8

    “But He fulfilled the law,” says one. That is exactly what He did. What then? “Oh, then we do not need to do it; since He fulfilled it, we can have nothing to do with it.” Indeed, that sounds very strange from the lips of one who professes to love the Lord Jesus. It is very easy to understand how one who says, “We will not have this Man to reign over us,” can say, “We do not wish to have anything to do with anything that He is connected with.” But why should a Christian desire to be separated from that which finds its fulness in Christ?PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.9

    NOT UNDER THE LAW

    “But we are not under the law.” No indeed, thank the Lord for that. And why are we not under it? Because we walk in it. Have you forgotten that the message of comfort prepares the way of the Lord? and that the undefiled in the way are those who walk in the law of the Lord? Psalm 119:1-3. We are delivered from the law, which condemned us to death for our transgression, that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans 7:4-6. And this is done by the body of Christ, in whom the law finds its perfect fulfilment. When we are joined to Christ in perfection, then the same fulness of the law will be found in us. The curse of the law is not to them that do it, but upon them that do not continue in all things that are written in it. Galatians 3:10-13. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law; that is, He has redeemed us from disobedience, unto perfect obedience.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.10

    SIN ABOUNDING, GRACE SUPERABOUNDING

    “He will magnify the law.” “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. Therefore the greater the law is made to appear, the greater will sin appear. It was just for this reason that the law entered, “that the offence might abound.” Romans 5:20. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” So we see that in magnifying the law, God is making His grace to abound, in revealing His righteousness, which He puts in and upon us, for the remission of sins. The magnifying of the law, and making it honourable, is but the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 709.11

    THE LAW OF LIFE AND THE LAW OF DEATH

    The law is righteousness, yet righteousness does not come by it. That is, righteousness does not come by any man's works of the law. It is only “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2), that makes us free from sin and death. The righteousness which is by the faith of Christ (Philippians 3:9), is the only righteousness that will enable anybody to stand in the day of Christ's coming; for the law is in His heart in perfection. The law in the heart of Christ is the law of which a copy was placed on tables of stone by the finger of God. In Christ we have it upon the Living Stone, and not upon the dead stone. So while on the tables of stone given to Moses, it is only death, on the Living Stone, Christ Jesus, it is life. The magnifying of the law shows us how great is the gift of life which God bestows in Christ.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 710.1

    PRECEPTS AND PROMISES

    For it must be known that all the precepts of God are promises. Nobody has ever first given something to the Lord, that it should be recompensed unto him again; “for of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things.” Romans 11:35, 36. God does not give us life as a reward for something that we have done for Him, but He gives us life which contains the performance of the things which He wishes us to do. When God says, “Thou shalt not,” He does not mean that we must keep ourselves from some evil, but that He will provide the means whereby we shall be kept.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 710.2

    By comparing two texts of Scripture we can readily see this. God said to all Israel, “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:2, 3. Again He says: “Hear, O My people, and I will testify unto thee; O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto Me, there shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt.” Psalm 81:8-10. From this we learn that when God spoke the ten commandments He meant that if the people would but hearken to Him, they should be kept from all evil. The greater the requirement of the law, the greater the gift of God. The magnifying of the law is the magnifying of the grace of God.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 710.3

    TERRIBLE MANISFESTATIONS OF MERCY

    The terrors of Sinai reveal the mercies of Calvary. Men are accustomed to think and speak of the terrors of the law as given on Sinai, but they forget that Calvary is equally terrible. Was it death to touch the mount where the law was proclaimed? even so Calvary meant death. There were thunders and darkness and earthquake at Sinai, and at Calvary there were the same. Yea, even from the throne of grace, to which we are invited to come and obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, proceed lightnings and thunderings, and voices which cause the earth to quake. Revelation 4:5; 11:19. The awfulness of Calvary, which wrung from the lips of the Saviour the cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” and which broke His heart, show the greatness of the law which had been broken. On the cross Jesus magnified the law of God. There it was shown that so unchangeable is the law, that it will take the life even of the only begotten Son of God, when He is “numbered among the transgressors.” But the greater and more awful it appears, the more may we rejoice, because we know that God has pledged His own existence to the bestowal of all its righteousness upon us. What a blessed promise it is, that God will magnify the law. Let no one speak lightly of that which Christ by His death made honourable.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 710.4

    TIME FOR GOD TO WORK

    “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void Thy law.” Psalm 119:126. Men have despised and rejected the law of God, and in this they have been aided by His professed followers; for there are many who bear the name Christian, who do not hesitate to speak most disparagingly of the law. So it is thought so small a matter, that men have no hesitation in putting their own laws in its stead. In this, they are despising and rejecting Christ, whose life it is. Now as the great controversy is to decide who is God, it follows that in the last days, when the message goes forth, “Behold your God!” the law in Christ must be proclaimed as never before. God will show that He is our Judge, our Lawgiver, and our King, in that He alone can save. Isaiah 33:22. But bear in mind that when the Lord works to magnify His law, because men have made it void, He is not working merely to vindicate His own rightful place, but He is working for men. The law of God has been made void in men's hearts, in that they have driven it out, and have turned to their own way. It is time for Him to work, but where?-in men's hearts, to lift up the standard of righteousness. Men by making void the law of God have fallen by their iniquity and God works to restore them by restoring the law in their hearts. And “now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 710.5

    “For Little Ones. An Allegory” The Present Truth 15, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Are you wondering what is the meaning of this word? or do you know already that it is something taught under the image of something else? In this it is like a parable, which is “a tale to teach the truth.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.1

    When Jesus Christ taught the people who crowded around to hear His words, how often He used parables to make it easy for them to see and understand the lessons that He wanted them to learn.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.2

    Think of all the stories that Jesus told the people; see how many you can remember, and what were the lessons taught in each one. Some I am sure, you know well,-the Sower, the Ten Virgins, the Good Samaritan, the Good Shepherd. In each of these some precious lesson of truth was hidden; but hidden only that it might be seen.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.3

    You think this strange, do you? We usually hide things that we don't want to be seen. But hear what Jesus said when the disciples asked Him about His parables: “There is nothing hid save that it should be manifested.” That is, there is nothing hidden, except for the purpose of making it plain.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.4

    The word “manifested” comes from manus the hand, and means literally, that can be laid hold of with the hand. We sometimes speak of a thing which is very clear and plain to our understanding, as being “easy to grasp,” or to lay hold of.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.5

    Jesus taught the people the truth by the stories called parables, not to hide it from them, but so that the simplest of them, and even the little children, might be able to see and grasp it, and hold it in their minds.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.6

    But there were some among those who listened to Jesus who were not willing to be taught as little children. Indeed, they even thought that they knew more than Jesus did, because He had never been to any of their schools. And from them the parables of Jesus hid the truth, because they could not “receive the kingdom of God as a little child.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.7

    “Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast reveal them unto babes.” The parables of Jesus, which made the truth simple enough for babes to understand, hid it from those who were “wise in their own counsels,” that “seeing they might see, and not perceive; and hearing they might hear, and not understand.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.8

    You love to hear the parables of Jesus from the New Testament, and to learn the lessons of truth that He has hidden there for you. But did you know that the Old Testament also is full of the parables of Jesus?PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.9

    He who went on earth taught the people by parables, had from the very beginning,-the time of the fall,-been teaching them by object lessons the good news of salvation from sin through His own sacrifice; and also giving before hand to those who had “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” the history of His own life upon the earth, and His death and resurrection, and the great deliverance that by it would be wrought for all who believed in Him. Remember what we learned last week, that all the Scriptures teach of Jesus.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.10

    Of one of the most familiar Bible stories, the history of Abraham,-his home life with Sarah and Hagar, the birth of Ishmael, and after long years of waiting, the birth of Isaac, the child of promise,-of this the Apostle Paul says: “Which things are an allegory.” That is, we are not to read this only as an interesting, true story. It is this, but much more. We are to learn from it some precious lessons of Gospel truth which God has in this way made plain for us to grasp.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.11

    But this is not the only allegory in the Old Testament. This is simply to teach us how we are to look upon all these Scriptures, and the stories that they teach us. The life of Jacob, of Joseph, Moses, David,-of each of these we may say, as Paul said of the life of Abraham, “Which things are an allegory.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.12

    So let us as we study these, look for the precious truth, the lessons of Jesus which were hidden in them for the people of old time to teach them the Gospel, and which still remain there to make it plain for us.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 714.13

    “Bad Habits” The Present Truth 15, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A physician is quoted as saying in defence of tobacco that it does not do any more injury than tea and coffee, and infinitely less than overeating. This is doubtless true, for tea and coffee are both poisons, though not so virulent as tobacco, and they are used to a much greater extent than tobacco is; and while probably less than one-half of the whole population use tobacco, everybody eats, and almost everybody overheats. But that does not make the case any better for tobacco. To say that it is no worse to be a thief than an habitual liar, does not justify theft. One would think, to listen to many people's defence of their evil habits, that they think they are all right if they can point to anybody who is a shade worse than they are. It is human nature to compare ourselves with somebody else instead of with God's law, and it is worthy of remark that everybody chooses somebody who he thinks is worse than himself, with whom to compare himself. Thus, by his comparison, he appears very good. But this is “not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:10. “For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.1

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth 15, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -At Faires, Alabama, U.S.A., two dwelling houses caught fire, and were destroyed, and fourteen of the occupants were burned to death.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.2

    -The apple crop of Nova Scotia is this year 90 per cent. of a full crop, and the second largest on record. Half a million barrels will be exported.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.3

    -On account of the South Wales engineers refusing to accept the terms offered by the employers, 25,000 colliers are now idle in that district.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.4

    - American ladies in England are raising a fund to provide a hospital ship for British troops in South Africa, and already about ?5,000 have been subscribed.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.5

    -As an indication of the rapid increase of lady physicians in the United States, it may be stated that twenty-five years ago there were in all only 500; now there are 4,500.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.6

    -During the past year England and Wales spent on relief of the poor the sum of ?10,828,276. In London the charge of maintaining the poor amounts to 14s. 6d. per head of the population.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.7

    -Artesian wells are a boon to the northern part of New South Wales, where the flow is reported as 164,000,000 gallons from 379 artesian wells.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.8

    -One who has looked into the matter reports that in the pawn shops of Paris there are 37,000 quilts and blankets, 10,000 mattresses, 19,000 sheets and 435,000 articles of wearing apparel. This indicates who the patrons are, and to what straits they are reduced.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.9

    -England has a public debt amounting to ?20 for each man, woman, and child in the nation, and is paying out ?50,000,000 a year on her army and navy.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.10

    -As an indication of what people will pay to see a popular demonstration, it may be stated that a Chicago millionaire paid ?200 rent for a house in the line of the Dewey parade in New York; the lease was for two days.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.11

    -Far behind as China is in certain directions, she has two of the fastest war ships in the world's navies-a torpedo boat that goes over thirty-five knots an hour, and a 4,400 ton cruiser that goes twenty-three knots an hour.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.12

    -The medical officer of the Abercain District Council has just reported a very serious outbreak of diptheria at Crumlin, Monmouth, due to the permission granted some thirty show children to view a corpse of a victim of the disease.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.13

    -The London County Council have decided to clear four slum areas in St. Luke’s, Southwark, Poplar, and Clerkenwell, at a cost of ?500,000, on which buildings of approved sort will be erected, to accommodate at least 6,000 families.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.14

    -There is certainly need for the existence of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, as according to the report, as many as 2,206 cases of cruelty by parents were verified by their officials during the past month.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.15

    -The vicar of Standish, near Wigan, has given a piece of land for a nominal rent of one shilling a year, on which a company are building a weaving shed to hold 400 looms, so as to find employment for female parishioners. This is practical Christianity.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.16

    -An imperial decree of the Sultan of Turkey has been issued, abolishing all measures that prevented the free movements of Armenians; and ordering the restoration of governmental assistance, of the churches, schools, and monasteries destroyed during the late troubles.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.17

    -A London paper estimates that the world consumes no fewer than 12,000,000,000 cigars! Taken in connection with the amount of the filthy weed that is consumed by chewing, the quantity is almost past comprehension, and in view of it, it is no wonder that the race is going down at such a fearfully rapid pace.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.18

    -For two and a half years the dog muzzling order has been strictly enforced in London, on the 28th ult. the order was revoked, as no case of rabies have been reported for several months, and it was really amusing to note the apparent satisfaction of the canines, at being freed from the annoying appendage.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.19

    -A new style of rapid-firing gun has just been completed in the United States that fires six-pound shells at the rate of sixty a minute. The highest speed that has hitherto been attained by the rapid firers was twenty-two shots per minute, but they were at random and not aimed. Truly the indications are that the great battle of Armageddon is not far in the future.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.20

    -Relations between the Italian Government and the Vatican are reported recently to have become still more strained than ever, owing to the action of the Minister of Public Worship, himself a Roman Catholic, who withdrew the State-paid stipend of the Archbishop of Sorrento because the latter reprimanded a parish priest for delivering a patriotic speech in favour of the Savoy dynasty.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.21

    -The War-Office has just accepted from each of two London firms, 13,000 bottles of soda water, for the use of the troops at the front. It would be a wonderful boon to the army if nothing stronger as a beverage were used by the soldiers. In this connection, it may be stated that the Boers have issued a proper order closing all hotel bars and a fine of ?600 and confiscation of all liquor for violation of the order.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 718.22

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Chronicle says that wounds made by the Manser rifle bullet heal very quickly, as was proved in the Cuban war. “The number of men who died ostensibly from wounds were generally victims of the commissariat department.” That is usually the case. Eating, which is designed as a means of sustaining life, causes more deaths than almost any other one thing.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.1

    It seems that there are some compensations for prison life. The Hospital calls attention to the fact that in the countries where meat-eating prevails most, cancer shows the greatest increase, and adds: “Dr. Roger Williams points to the rarity of cancer in prisons and workhouses, where but little animal food is allowed, and hard work is exacted.” Fortunately it is not necessary for anybody to go to prison to secure this advantage.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.2

    Proof that the dog muzzling order which has been in force for three years has not been a curse, and that its abolition cannot be counted a blessing, is afforded by the fact that within a few hours after the muzzles were removed, four persons who had been severely bitten by dogs were received at St. Thomas's Hospital. Muzzles may not be pleasant for dogs, neither are bites pleasant for men; and the human animals would seem to be entitled to first consideration.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.3

    The infallibility of the Pope of Rome is claimed by Monsignor Vaughan partly from the following text: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive.” John 14:16, 17. “When He, the Spirit of truth is come, and He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.4

    But all these things were spoken to all the disciples-to all believers, the church as a whole. There is no room for a pope of any kind, for the Holy Spirit is Christ's representative, and He is sent to the whole church, and to each individual impartially. The humblest believer is therefore far better qualified to declare the truth than the Pope of Rome is, for each believer has all the advantages that the Pope can possibly have, with this additional advantage, that he does not profess to be pope. Self-exaltation shuts away the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Christ is meek and lowly in heart, and the truth of God is revealed unto babes. Matthew 11:25, 29. “If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” John 7:17.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.5

    A Russian man-of-war recently fired upon and sunk a Japanese ship for “illegal sealing,” and the crew consisting of eighteen men were drowned. This appears in the newspapers without comment, as a mere incidental news item. Was it done because the Russians object to cruelty to animals?-Not by any means, but they wish to preserve those seals for themselves. Those seals represent money, and human life counts for nothing when money or its equivalent is in the other side of the scales. “The love of money is the root of all evil,” and has been the cause of nearly all the wars that have ever occurred.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.6

    One of the serious charges against the theatre, and plays in general, is unconsciously made by a prominent member of the profession in a criticism of a new play. He said of it that it was “unnecessarily realistic, and consequently vulgar.” Now nobody in the world would claim that every real thing is vulgar, and that there is no such thing as real respectability or morality. It follows, therefore, that the stage never deals with anything but the vicious side of life, and that the perfection of theatrical art is to present wickedness in a veiled form, suggesting the evil, and leaving the minds of the spectators to form the conclusions. The education of theatre-goers is therefore in the line of constructing, or rather filling out, combinations of evil. Let everyone decide whether that can produce as healthy characters as this rule: “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” Thank the Lord, there is yet virtue to think about.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.7

    One day last week a policeman saw a miserably-dressed man throw a brick through the plate-glass window of a tailor shop in South Kensington. He at once arrested the man, who was perfectly sober, and who said: “I have been walking about for many days, and I cannot get any work. This is a last resource. I want to be locked up, for I shall be better off in prison than wandering about hungry and homeless.” When sentenced by the magistrate to two months’ imprisonment with hard labour, the poor man expressed his thanks.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.8

    At about the same hour another man, a sign-writer smashed a plate-glass window in the city, and then walked up to a policeman, who asked him why he did it. “I am starving, and I wanted a lodging,” was the reply.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.9

    It is pitiful that where there is food enough now for all, and thousands are living in luxury, some should be so pressed by hunger as to long for even the hard fare of prison with its accompanying hardships.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.10

    In writing of the Congregationalist Council in Boston, U.S.A., Washington Gladden, D.D., mentions as “agreements which marked a substantial progress in theology,” the fact that “the method of creation is the method of evolution was strongly asserted by several speakers, and was not, so far as I know, contradicted by any. The rights of the Higher Criticism were also clearly affirmed, and there was no dissent.” From this it appears that “progress” in theology means abandonment of the Bible. It is far better to be a Bible student than a theologian.PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.11

    The German Emperor is determined that Germany shall possess a first class Navy, and the proposal that he has now made is that the existing Naval force shall be doubled by 1916, so far as battleships are concerned. Will the British Government feel bound, as in the case of Russia, to build twice as many ships, in order to preserve the ratio of England equal to the two strongest Powers? Well may it be asked, “Where is the race of armaments going to stop, and what burdens will the new century lay on mankind if this is the way we are going to open it?”PTUK November 9, 1899, page 720.12

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