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    May 12, 1898

    “Calling and Election” The Present Truth 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Much trouble many people make for themselves, and others also, by limiting the love and mercy of God. “I should like to be saved, but it is impossible unless I am one of the elect, and I have never been called.” Sad to say, not a little religious (not Christian) teaching in time past, and even to the present time, has tended to produce and impress these false ideas of God. That professed atheists should blaspheme God's name and character, is to be expected; but that professed followers of God should ever for a moment sanction, not to say promulgate, so horrible a libel upon Him, as that He has chosen a certain few to be saved, and that He has deliberately doomed all the rest to eternal destruction, regardless of their desire or willingness to be saved, is beyond comprehension. Let us note the few simple Bible facts.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.1

    WHO ARE CALLED?

    First, as to who are called. Read the words of the Apostle Peter to those who assembled on the day of Pentecost: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts ii. 38, 39. Who are they whom “the Lord our God shall call?”—Note carefully: it is those to whom the apostle was speaking, and to their children, and to “all that are far off.” That includes everybody.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.2

    The same thing was spoken through the prophet Isaiah. By that prophet the Lord said: “I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near.” Isa. lvii. 19. The Lord proclaims peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near; there is no chance for anybody to find an exception.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.3

    With this agree the words of Christ, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. xi. 28. This includes every needy soul. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Isa. lv. 1. “And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. xxii. 17. Not only is every one who hears invited to come, but he is also authorised to invite everybody else whom he sees. There is no partiality with God.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.4

    In view of these plain calls, who dare limit the grace of God? “The grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” Titus ii. 10, R.V. “As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Rom. v. 18. All men have gone astray, like lost sheep, and all are called back. God “willeth that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Tim. ii. 4, R.V. The Lord is “long-suffering to uswards, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter iii. 9.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.5

    SELF-ELECTED

    “Yes; but does it not say somewhere that ‘many are called, but few chosen’? and isn't that evidence that all cannot be saved?” Yes, and no. That statement is indeed made, but it by no means teaches that there are any who cannot be saved if they wish salvation. The question is really equivalent to this: “Does not this last text overthrow all the others?” The Word of God is not divided against itself. Read the passages in which the statement is found (Matt. xx. 1-16 and xxii. 1-14), and it will be apparent that those who are not chosen are those who themselves do not choose to accept the terms of salvation. That is the whole of the matter. Election means choice. The free choice is given to all. “Choose life, that thou and thy seed may live.” Deut. xxx. 19. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” Josh. xxiv. 15.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.6

    Whoever chooses salvation, or, in other words, elects to be saved, is one of the elect. The non-elect are of course lost, but it is of their own choice. Of those who are lost, the Spirit of God says: “For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord; they would none of My counsel; they despised all My reproof; therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” Prov. i. 29-31.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.7

    When the Jews at Antioch “spake against those things that were spoken by Paul and Barnabas, contradicting and blaspheming,” the apostles said, “It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you; but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” Acts xiii. 45, 46. They judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life, by refusing to receive it. It was indeed given to them, and they put it away from them. Note that it was all in their own hands. They were made judges in the case, and so it is with all men. Each man determines his own worthiness or unworthiness; whoever will receive eternal life, is accounted worthy of it. Each man judges of his own fitness, and elects himself. Surely God could not possibly deal more fairly with mankind.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.8

    That the matter of election is one that rests with the individual, is seen from the exhortation of the Apostle Peter: “Wherefore, the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure.” 2 Peter i. 10. All men are called of God's own free grace; but the call avails nothing if men do not choose to accept it. Having chosen the gift of God, it rests with the individual to make his election sure, “by patient continuance in well-doing” through keeping the faith.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.9

    MAN’S DESTINY IN HIS OWN HANDS

    There is a grave responsibility in the fact, yet it is a most glorious truth, that God has placed every man's destiny in his own hands. Every soul can have just what he himself chooses. Surely God is good to all, and His goodness is manifest even in the destruction of the wicked, since even in their destruction God is but allowing them to have that for which they manifested a most determined choice even after the fulness of the blessing of life had been set before them. They simply get the wages for which they have laboured; for “the wages of sin is death.” Rom. vi. 23. Men who persistently choose their own way, in opposition to that of God, “treasure up” unto themselves “wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” Rom. ii. 4, 5. It would be unjust not to give them the wages which they have so carefully laid up.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 290.10

    But isn't it a fact that Jesus said, “No man come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him”? Yes, Jesus did say that; and He also said of Himself, with reference to His crucifixion, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John xii. 32. Now when we remember that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,” that it was “by the grace of God” that Jesus tasted death “for every man” (Heb. ii. 9), we can see that it is God Himself who in Christ is drawing all men to Himself. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” “The Lord hath appeared of old unto Me, saying, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have by drawn thee.” Jer. xxxi. 3.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 291.1

    Next week we will have a study of the power by which God is continually working to draw all men to Himself.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 291.2

    “The Epistle to the Galatians. The Law of Christ” The Present Truth 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A FEW PRELIMINARY EXPLANATIONS

    Hasty readers of the Epistle to the Galatians might think that there is a division in it, and that the latter part treats of practical, spiritual life, while the first part is devoted to theoretical doctrines. Such a conclusion would be a great error. No part of the Bible is theory; it is all fact. There is no part of the Bible that is not spiritual and practical. Moreover, it is all doctrine. Doctrine means teaching. Christ's talk to the multitudes on the mount is called doctrine, because “He opened His mouth and taught them.” Some people express a sort of contempt for doctrine; they speak slightingly of it, as though it belonged to the realm of abstruse theology, and not the practical, everyday life. Such ones unconsciously do dishonour to the preaching of Christ, which was nothing else but doctrine. That is to say, He always taught the people.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 291.3

    SERMONISING NOT DOCTRINE

    That which leads people into this error is a wrong use of words. That which they call “doctrine,” and which they speak of as impractical, is not doctrine, but sermonising. That is impractical, and has no place in the Gospel. No preacher of the Gospel ever “delivers a sermon.” If he does, it is because he chooses for a time to do something else besides preach the Gospel. Christ never delivered a sermon. Instead of that, He gave the people doctrine; that is to say, He taught them. He was “a Teacher sent from God.” So the Gospel is all doctrine; it is instruction in the life of Christ.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 291.4

    AN ABUSE

    People quite generally misuse the Epistle to the Galatians. They treat it as though it were a purely argumentative book. They use it merely to draw arguments from, with which to establish some theory, or to demolish somebody else's theory. Worse still, they even go to it to find authority for attacks upon the law of God, which is the law of Christ, since Christ is God, and the Father and the Son are one in all things. It is rare to find anyone, even a real preacher of the Gospel, going to this Epistle for material for Gospel teaching. If they do, they use only the last portion of the fifth chapter, and a portion of the sixth. The rest ignore, with a virtuous feeling that they cannot waste time in disputes about the law. As though the Apostle Paul ever wasted time in such a thing! As though it were a waste of time to preach that which the greatest of apostles took such pains to write under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost! As though the apostle himself ever spent time after his conversion doing anything else but preach and write the Gospel!PTUK May 12, 1898, page 291.5

    THE GOSPEL IN GALATIANS

    Recall the beginning of the Epistle. Remember that it was written to reclaim those who were departing from the Gospel of Christ, and from God, into a pretended Gospel, which led to perdition. It was written, that “the truth of the Gospel” might remain with us. Surely, then, it is a great impeachment of the Spirit that guided Paul, to imply that he devoted the greater portion of the Epistle to something that is not practical Gospel. It is all Gospel, and nothing but Gospel.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 291.6

    THE LAW IN THE GOSPEL

    And yet, the Epistle does deal largely with the law. In fact, it deals with nothing else; for the real law of God, the law of liberty, is the life of Christ, “who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” Acts x. 38. The law is righteousness, and righteousness is life. Disobedience to the law is death. “All have sinned,” and therefore under the curse of the law; but “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” He received, so to speak, all the broken, ragged edges of the law in Himself, in order that through the creative power of His life, the law might come to us in its perfection, for the purpose for which it was designed, for it “was ordained to life.” Rom. vii. 10. Out of Christ, the law is a terror, a yoke of bondage, the ministration of death, because out of Him it is not kept; in Christ it is “not grievous,” but is peace and life, because in Him we are made to walk in the good works which God Himself has wrought for us.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 291.7

    THE LAW OF PEACE AND LOVE

    “Great peace have they which love Thy law; and nothing shall offend them.” Ps. cxix. 165. “O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” Isa. xlviii. 18. “The law is spiritual,” and “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Rom. vii. 14; viii. 6. Those who through the Gospel keep the law are kept in perfect peace, because it is in the Gospel of peace that the righteousness of God-the law-is revealed. Rom. i. 16, 17. Such ones are not “desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another.” “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” “He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” It is only where men, by departing from the Gospel of Christ, transgress the law, that they bite and devour one another, and are consumed of one another. The fruit of the Spirit, against which there is no law, because it is the perfection of the law, is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” The Epistle to the Galatians was written for the purpose of restoring the Spirit in its readers. How natural, then, and how perfectly in harmony with the whole epistle, were the opening words of the sixth chapter, which constitute our present lesson:—PTUK May 12, 1898, page 291.8

    “Brethren, even if a man be overtaken it in any trespass, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of meekness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Gal. vi. 1-3, R.V.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 292.1

    THE GOSPEL MEANS RESTORATION

    The work of the Gospel is to restore. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say to you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Matt. xviii. 11-14.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 292.2

    SAVE THE ONE

    Note the fact that the Lord represents His work by the case of the shepherd who seeks after the one sheep that has gone astray. The work of the Gospel is an individual work. Even though under the preaching of the Gospel thousands accept it in one day, as a result of one discourse, it is because of its effect on each individual heart. When the preacher, in speaking to thousands, addresses each one individually, then he is doing the work of Christ. So if a man be overtaken in a fault, restore such an one, in the spirit of meekness. No man's time is so precious that it is wasted when devoted to the salvation of one single person. Some of the most important and glorious truths that we have on record as uttered by Christ, were addressed to only one listener. He who looks after and cares for the single lambs of the flock, is a good shepherd.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 292.3

    SALVATION IS FROM SIN

    A fault, a trespass, is a sin. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” If any man be overpowered by temptation, and fall into sin, restore him, that is, bring him back into harmony with the law, and thus fulfil the law of Christ. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Tim. i. 15. This He does by taking on Himself the sin, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” He bears the curse, that the blessing may come to us. He was made to be sin, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. v. 21. His name is Jesus, Saviour, because the work of His life is to save men from their sins. Those who are workers with Him, must be devoted to the same thing. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” Rom. iii. 31. The work of the Gospel minister is not to teach people that the law is abolished, but to bring them into harmony with it.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 292.4

    THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION

    The law of God is love. “His commandments are not grievous.” Therefore there can be nothing of harshness in the work of reclaiming and erring one. “If thy brother sin, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone; if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Matt. xviii. 15, R.V., margin. The object of showing a brother his faults is to gain him, to restore him, not to condemn him. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, but only as the Comforter. Whoever attempts this delicate work is to go in the spirit of meekness, which is the Spirit of Christ, who is meek and lowly in heart. He is to go simply as Christ's representative, as the agent whom the Spirit of Christ uses. The words that he speaks are to be Christ's words, and not his own. It is to be Christ that goes, and nobody else. Then, whatever be the result, the work will have been done right. But let us beware of putting ourselves in Christ's place. We are not to do something, and then comfort ourselves or defend ourselves with the statement that we have done as He would have done. The work is God's work, and He must be allowed to do it in us.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 292.5

    NOT IMPUTING UNTO MEN THEIR TRESPASSES

    Let us not forget the law of Christ. “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” That is, we are to restore the erring by bearing their burdens, even as Christ bears the sins of the world. Let us look at this closely. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and have placed in us the word of reconciliation. We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were intreating by us.” 2 Cor. v. 19, 20. God does not impute to men their trespasses; He takes them on Himself. Christ was in all things made like His brethren, “that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Heb. ii. 17. He puts Himself absolutely in the sinner's place, to the extent of taking all the sinner's guilt on Himself. This is the way He reconciles. He calls us to look at Him, in the like situation with us, weak and tempted as we are. Thus He establishes a bond of sympathy, and having gained our confidence by not putting Himself above us, and looking on us with contempt, He shows us the way of salvation.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 292.6

    SALVATION IN CONFESSION OF SIN

    The greatest part therefore of the work of saving souls is to show ourselves one with them. That is to say, it is in the confession of our own faults, that we save others. The man who feels himself without sin, is not the man to restore the sinful. He who goes to one who is overtaken in any trespass, and says, “How in the world could you ever do such a thing? I never did a thing like that in my life, and I can't see how anybody with any sense of self-respect could do so,” might far better stay at home. God chose one Pharisee, and only one, to be an apostle, but he was not sent forth until he could acknowledge himself to be the chief of sinners. It is humiliating to confess sin. That is true, but the way of salvation is the way of the cross. It was only by the cross that Christ could be the Saviour of sinners. Therefore if we would share His joy, we must with Him endure the cross, despising the shame. Remember this fact: It is only by confessing our own sins, that we can save others from their sins; but whosoever confesses his own sins finds cleansing; thus we see that while salvation is an individual matter, it has to do with more than one individual; our salvation is bound up with that of others. If we confess our sins we shall be saved, and shall be the means of saving some one else.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 292.7

    SELF-ABASEMENT

    “If a man thinketh himself to be something, when his nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Mark those words, “when he is nothing.” It does not say that we should not think ourselves to be something until we are something. No; it is a statement of the fact that we are nothing. Not merely a single individual, but all nations, are nothing before the Lord. If we ever at any time think ourselves to be something, we deceive ourselves. And we often do deceive ourselves, and thus mar the work of the Lord. Remember the law of Christ. Although He was everything, He emptied Himself. He obliterated Himself, that the work of God might be done. “The servant is not greater than his lord.” God alone is great; “every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” God alone is true, but every man a liar. When we acknowledge this, and live in consciousness of it, then we are where the Spirit of God can fill us, and then God can work through us. The “man of sin” is he that exalteth himself. 2 Thess. ii. 3, 4. The child of God is the one who humbles himself. Instead of fighting against God's law, by maintaining that we are right, let us acknowledge that “law is holy, the commandment holy and just, and good” (Rom. vii. 12), that so we may find mercy, and salvation from our sins, and be made a blessing to others.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 293.1

    “Is It Peace?” The Present Truth 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    That secular papers should have occasion to reprove religious papers for their intense zeal for war, is not at all to the credit of the religion which they profess, but it is good to see that there are those who see the incongruity of pleas for war by ministers of the Gospel of peace. The Manchester Evening News of April 28 contained the following:—PTUK May 12, 1898, page 293.2

    When men of peace become possessed of the war fever they are as other men, if not worse. The Baptist ministers, now in conference, are an example. The stand they took yesterday with reference to the war between the United States and Spain must satisfy the most bellicose individual that ever existed. Not only do they approve of the action of President McKinley in declaring war, but their hearts seem filled with regret that we have no amongst us a second Oliver Cromwell, who would have shed the blood of the Sultan of Turkey and a few thousands of his subjects at the time of the bother in Eastern Europe a short time ago. most men are glad that England maintained peace, but our Baptist friends seem to regret that cannon did not thunder in the Bosphorus, that the temples of the Prophet were not blown to atoms, and that there are so many unoccupied plots in the Turkish graveyards. Surely these are remarkable utterances form the servants on earth of the Prince of Peace.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 293.3

    “Uncertain Riches” The Present Truth 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the April number of Chambers's Magazine appears an interesting contribution on the subject of “mine-salting.” It describes some of the methods by which unproductive mining property can be made to appear capable of rich yield, when it is desired to effect a sale. According to the writer, mine-salting is much more common than is generally supposed. It is practiced in every mining district in the world with more or less success, and it is hardly too much to say that fully ten per cent. of the foreign and colonial mines sold to London companies are purchased on samples obtained from salted workings.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.1

    Several instances are given, among them being one which occurred in New South Wales a few years ago. Over three hundred ounces of gold were used to salt the mine, with the result that the property was purchased by a Sydney syndicate for ?30,000. So well was the salting done that expert after expert was deceived, and it was not until the market price of the syndicate shares totalled over ?400,000 that the property was proved to have been prepared.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.2

    These facts are interesting in view of the enormous sums of money which change hands over mining shares. There probably never was a time in human history when so many enterprises were inviting people to invest their means, with the certainty of becoming speedily rich; and now, as never before, “they that desire to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare.” 1 Tim. vi. 9, R.V.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.3

    Men of great ability have set themselves to the task of easing others of their wealth, and stop at no means whereby they can accomplish this end. The man whose trust is in uncertain riches may well be uneasy when he considers the powerful combinations which are seeking to augment their own wealth at his expense. The words of the Saviour come with special force to this generation: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth.” Matt. vi. 19. “Sell that ye have and give alms; make for yourselves purses which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief draweth near, neither moth destroyeth.” Luke xii. 33, R.V.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.4

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Day of Judgment. Matt. xxv. 31-46” The Present Truth 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    MAY 22

    This lesson brings before us the work of the judgment, the basis upon which its decisions rest, and the result of those decisions. It is the closing part of that talk with His disciples, a portion of which was studied last week.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.5

    THE STANDARD OF JUDGMENT

    There are only two classes to be dealt with in the judgment, and the work of the judgment consists simply in separating these two classes. No arbitrary decisions are rendered. “They were judged every man according to their works.” The standard in the judgment will be God's own character, His righteousness, as described in His law and revealed in the life of Christ. When Jesus came to this earth as “the Son of Man,” as our representative, He took it upon Himself to meet this standard in our behalf. His work is thus prophesied of: “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O my God; yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Ps. xl. 7, 8. And His whole life experience is summed up in these words: “I have kept My Father's commandments.” John xv. 10.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.6

    But this He did in our behalf, not as an excuse for our continuing in sin, but that He might “save His people from their sins.” “For what the law could not do, in that was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walked not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Rom. viii. 3, 4. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. v. 21.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.7

    A righteous character is required of everyone who shall be admitted to the heavenly kingdom (“Thy people also shall be all righteous”), but this righteousness is provided for us in the gift of Jesus to be “the Lord our righteousness.” “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places [or things] in Christ.” Eph. i. 3. While He was here upon the earth the Father's voice was heard saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” and “He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” By the course of our daily lives we are deciding whether we shall “be found in Him” in the judgment day.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.8

    THE SEPARATION

    The separation which the Son of man will make in the judgment is simply the fixing for all eternity of the choice which each one has made for himself during his period of probation. The Lord urges us: “Come out from among them and be ye separate,” but this is a separation of character and not a mere bodily separation. We are in the world, yet we are not to be of the world, just as Jesus associated with sinners in order to save them and yet He was “separate from sinners.” All the efforts of men to separate themselves, by shutting themselves up in cells or caves, have resulted in failure, since “the world” from which they are to be separated is in their own hearts, and so goes with them even into the most secret places. The work can only be accomplished by the power of that Word of God which is “quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.9

    THE RESULTS OF SEPARATION

    But there are certain and definite results of separation from the world and abiding in Christ. “Hereby know we that we are in Him: he that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.” 1 John ii. 5, 6. Now when Jesus was upon the earth, He “went about doing good.” “I am among you as He that serveth.” “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” And He has given to us the true test of character: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.” Matt. vi. 20, 21. So in the judgment day the decisions turn upon the way in which we have treated the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and those in prison; not because we can earn salvation by doing deeds of mercy to those who are in distress, but because a life of devotion to the need of others is a sure evidence of the indwelling of Him who came “to seek to save that which was lost.” When His love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which He has given us, then that love will flow out in service to others, as is shown in His own life; and thus are we “filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, and to the glory and praise of God.” “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John iv. 17.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.10

    THE GOSPEL IN DEEDS

    The lack of a disposition to relieve the distress of others is evidence that we are not abiding in Him whose heart responded to every cry of need. It is not always the amount given or the greatness of the service rendered. “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that He hath not.” 2 Cor. viii. 12. The services spoken of in the lesson, as having been rendered by some and withheld by the others, are not those which require the possession of great wealth. It is to share our food with the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to share our home with the stranger, or clothing with the naked, and to visit those who are sick or who are in prison. This is simply to preach the Gospel by deeds as well as by words, and to reveal the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, “though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that he through His poverty might be rich.” And that which renders the service acceptable to God is that it is done for His sake “who gave Himself for us.” “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, He shall not lose his reward.” Mark ix. 41.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 294.11

    CHRIST IDENTIFIED WITH HUMANITY

    In this lesson Jesus fully identifies Himself with suffering humanity. He says: “I was an hungered,” “I was thirsty,” “I was a stranger,” “I was sick,” “I was in prison.” “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” So completely is it that “the Word became flesh.” Furthermore it is “the Son of Man,” before whom “shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another.” And the Father “hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” Thus the case of every member of the human family is committed to Him who was in all things “made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” How wonderfully are the love and mercy of God revealed in His dealings with His erring children!PTUK May 12, 1898, page 295.1

    “COME!” “DEPART!”

    To those whose lives have revealed that they have received Christ as their Saviour from sin, the word is, “Come”: to those who have refused the gift of His love, the word is, “Depart.” The one class have chosen the fellowship of Jesus by His indwelling Spirit, and to them it is granted to enjoy that fellowship to all eternity in the earth made new and fully relieved from the curse and all its effects. “They shall see His face, and His name shall be in their foreheads.” “Behold the tabernacle God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Rev. xxii. 4; xxi. 3. The other class have said by their actions, “We will not have this Man to reign over us.” Instead of separation from the world they have chosen separation from God, and now this choice is for ever confirmed and they “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” 2 Thess. i. 9. In the judgment that fellowship with God, which is life, is granted throughout eternity to those who have opened their hearts to the indwelling of God's presence in Jesus Christ, but eternal separation from God is the lot of those who have refused His presence here. But separation from God is death, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” And so the punishment of the wicked and the reward of the righteous will be of equal duration. Sustained by His own life, the righteous will live as long as God lives, but being eternally separated from that life by their own choice, the wicked shall “be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” “For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be.”PTUK May 12, 1898, page 295.2

    NO ACT OF TRIFLING IMPORTANCE

    How evident it thus is that the ordinary experiences of our lives are weighted with eternal consequences. It is not in some great crisis merely that we decide our eternal destiny, but every decision which we make is giving its mould to the character and is determined beforehand what the final decision will be. “Blessed is the man that heareth Me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of My doors. For whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against [or misseth] me wrongeth his own soul. All they that hate Me love death.” Prov. viii. 34-36. A little study will show that the lesson of this week is simply the direct application to the life of the principles found in the first Psalm. “Blessed is the man!”PTUK May 12, 1898, page 295.3

    “Called to the Throne” The Present Truth 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Great change had taken place in Saul since he was anointed king of Israel. At first he was little in his own eyes, but by the time he had reigned two years his heart was so lifted up that he presumed to offer sacrifices, a work which God had appointed to the priests. He was wise in his own estimation, but the Lord told him that he had done foolishly and that the kingdom should be taken from him.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.1

    It was many years after this that Samuel was instructed to go down to Bethlehem and anoint a king among the sons of Jesse. He was afraid that the news of his errand would get to the ears of Saul who would seek to slay him. This shows how far Saul had gone in his evil ways. Like the heathen kings of other countries, he was seeking first to glorify himself and secure his own dignity. His power was given him that he might protect the weak and ensure justice to all, but it was perverted to his own selfish purposes.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.2

    If the king did evil, his subjects would feel free to do the same, and would excuse themselves by pointing to his example, and thus encouragement be given to wrong-doing. It is easy to see how Saul's wicked course would set the fashion among the leaders of the nation, and these in turn would influence others, until all Israel would be leavened. When all the people joined in making it easy for every one else to do wrong, every one was making it hard for themselves to do right.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.3

    It may have been because the degeneracy had spread as far as Bethlehem that, when the elders of that place saw the faithful old prophet, Samuel, coming into their city, they trembled, and said, “Comest thou peaceably!”PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.4

    Then Samuel proclaimed a sacrifice to the Lord and called Jesse and his sons to take part. All of them came except David, who was left in the field. Perhaps he was considered by the family too young for such things, and besides, there must be something important to bring Samuel to Bethlehem and, as a matter of course, it would relate to one of them.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.5

    When Samuel saw the oldest son, Eliab, he felt at once that this was the man to anoint,-just the right age and with an aspect and bearing worthy of a monarch,-and only awaited the Lord's command. But to his surprise the Lord said, “Look not on his countenance or the height of his stature, because I have refused him.”PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.6

    It was not mere inches that was needed in a king. Saul had enough of these and to spare, for he was head and shoulders above everybody else. But the fault was that his heart did not match the splendid proportions of his body, and so, while man, looking on the outward appearance, was thinking what a magnificent leader the king of Israel was, the Lord was continually troubled because He had to look down on the shrivelled, darkened, miserable thing that did duty for a heart in Saul. There was no pleasure at all in contemplating it, and to make matters worse, the other hearts in Israel were getting like it, so the Lord was looking for a different kind to take its place, one like His own, and that was why Eliab would not do.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.7

    God does not care so much about our bodies being big if only our hearts are enlarged, and although we cannot by taking thought add one cubit to our stature, or the slightest increase to our own hearts, God can and will do it for those who let Him. “God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore.” 1 Kings iv. 29.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.8

    I will run the way of Thy commandments,
    When Thou shalt enlarge my heart. Ps. cxix. 32.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.9

    Abinadab passed next before Samuel, but he was not satisfactory, nor was any one of the seven sons who came to the sacrifice. After they had all passed by, little thinking that God was judging them, Samuel had to tell Jesse, “The Lord hath not chosen these.”PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.10

    Samuel was perplexed. The Lord had certainly sent him to anoint one of the sons of Jesse, and yet all had been refused. He wanted to know if there was not another son still. Yes, there was the youngest, minding the sheep. “Send and fetch him,” said Samuel, “for we will not sit down till he come hither.”PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.11

    So they fetched him, wondering what the prophet could want with him, and as he came in at the door, “ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance and goodly to look to,” the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” Then Samuel anointed him before his brethren, and he who, a few minutes before, was but a humble, unthought-of shepherd lad was now the divinely-chosen king of Israel.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.12

    It was a wonderful step and we might think him fortunate above all men, but this was nothing to a far more glorious transition which God wrought for him, and which every one of us may share as well. David tells something of it in the fortieth Psalm.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.13

    I waited patiently for the Lord;
    And He inclined unto me and heard my cry,
    He brought me up also out of an horrible pit,
    out of the miry clay;
    And He set my feet upon a rock, and established
    my goings.
    And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even
    praise unto our God.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.14

    Hannah, Samuel's mother, in words which would be well known to David, had rejoiced in a similar experience.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.15

    The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich;
    He bringeth low, He also lifteth up.
    He raiseth up the poor out of the dust.
    He lifteth up the needy form the dunghill,
    To make them sit with princes,
    And inherit the throne of glory. 1 Sam. ii. 7, 8.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.16

    So, too, can we be glad, “giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us form the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” Col. i. 12, 13.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.17

    Since it was because of David's heart that he had been chosen king, let us look therein and see what we find.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.18

    The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    My heart hath trusted in Him, and I am
    helped;
    Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth;
    And with my song will I praise Him. Ps. xxviii. 7.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 298.19

    Again, in the fortieth Psalm we read,-
    I delight to do Thy will, O my God,
    Yea, Thy law is within my heart.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.1

    These words were also spoken of Christ, but since David was a man after God's own heart, we would expect to find the same thing in both. This was not because David was better than anyone else, but because he gave his heart to the Lord. He prayed,PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.2

    Let the words of my mouth and the meditation
    of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight,
    O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. Ps. xix. 14.
    Create in me a clean heart, O God;
    And renew a right spirit within me. Ps. li. 10.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.3

    The difference between David and Saul was that David let the Word and Spirit of God come freely into his heart and fill and control it, while Saul kept it to himself and would not let the light into it.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.4

    He saith in is heart, God hath forgotten:
    He hideth His face; He will never see it. Ps. x. 11.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.5

    “Thus saith the Lord: Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” Jer. xvii. 5.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.6

    We might wonder why David was not immediately proclaimed king and Saul driven from the throne, instead of having to wait so many years. The question trouble David sometimes, but he tells in the seventy-third Psalm how his mind was set at rest. At firstPTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.7

    My steps had well nigh slipped,
    For I was envious at the arrogant,
    When I saw the prosperity of the wicked....my heart,
    And washed my hands in innocency.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.8

    But as David saw what would be the end of the wicked, and what their envied riches did for them, he realised that the only thing worth having was the saving blessing of God, and, having this, he was willing to do without all else that God in love kept from him.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.9

    Whom have I in heaven but Thee?
    And there is none upon earth that I desire
    beside Thee....nto God;
    I have made the Lord God my refuge,
    That I may tell of all Thy works.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.10

    The delay in bringing David to the kingdom was good in many ways. Saul had opportunities for repentance, and Israel had time to learn that it was an evil thing and bitter, that they had chosen to be ruled by man rather than God. David also gained the needed experience and was taught, by his own sufferings, how important it was that “he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. Nor did the advantage end there. The experiences then gained have passed down to succeeding ages a rich legacy of understanding of the character of God.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.11

    I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever:
    With my mouth will I make known Thy
    faithfulness to all generations. Ps. lxxxix. 1.
    PTUK May 12, 1898, page 299.12

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” 2 Cor. xiii. 8.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.1

    God's Word is the truth (John xvii. 17), and that is settled in heaven for ever (Ps. cxix. 89), as immovable as His throne. Therefore all the assaults of his enemies are vain.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.2

    Paul verily thought at one time that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Truth, and he did them (Acts xxvi. 9, 10), yet he injured only himself, while the truth grew and prevailed.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.3

    In this fact that we can do nothing against the truth, but for it, because God works all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. i. 11), there is both admonition and encouragement for us. We are warned by it not to oppose the truth, since all our attacks will only recoil on our own heads. More than this, we are taught to yield to God's will, that it may be done in us even as it is done in heaven, that is, heartily, freely, gladly.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.4

    The will of God must be done, whether we yield to it or not. Nothing can stand against His power. If we oppose it, its success means our destruction; while if we yield to it, then its unchangeableness means our everlasting salvation. How much better that the will of God be done with our consent, than against it.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.5

    Encouragement is found in this, that when we by yielding range ourselves on the side of truth, nothing can be against us, but everything must serve us. Joseph's brethren sold him into Egypt because of envy, and yet it was God who sent him there. Jacob said, “All these things are against me,” yet those very things were working out the salvation of his life. What a glorious thing it is to be subject to the mighty God, who makes all opposition serve only as help, so that “all things work together for good to them that love God.”PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.6

    The rebellion in Sierra Leone over the imposition of the hut tax is assuming serious proportions. Several missionaries are said to be among the killed, and the despatch of Imperial troops has been decided upon. The collection of that little bit of revenue will prove to be a very expensive business.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.7

    Although the object of the war between the United States and Spain is said to be the liberation of Cuba, the first real fighting has taken place in the Philippine Islands, where Admiral Dewey has, according to report, destroyed eleven vessels of the Spanish fleet. Meanwhile, the suffering in Cuba is increasing, even the wealthy in Havana being in straits for food.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.8

    The price of wheat continues to rise. At the beginning of the Cuban war, it could be bought for about 37s. per quarter, now 54s. is demanded, and some dealers will not sell for less than 60s. Bread has gone up to 7d. per 4-lb. loaf. The same pressure is also being felt on the Continent, and the French Government has taken off the duty on wheat for the present, amounting to about 12s. per quarter.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.9

    The balance of the outstanding portion of the war indemnity due from China to Japan, was paid at the Bank of England on the 7th. The sum, which amounted to nearly ?13,000,000 sterling, was made by a single cheque, said to be the largest ever drawn on the Bank of England. China is now entitled to demand the withdrawal of the Japanese forces from Wei-hai-wei, which means, of course, the occupation of that place by the British.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.10

    The Australian Federal Convention at first refused to insert in the constitution a clause prohibiting the commonwealth from passing religious laws, the reason being given that such a clause would prohibits Sunday legislation. Now, however, it has repented, and has inserted the prohibitory clause. It is a matter of small moment, however, for no human legislative body or laws can give or withhold religious freedom. The United States Constitution has such a clause as that just adopted in Australia; indeed the Australian clause is almost an exact copy of the American; yet it has not been a bar to religious legislation in America. There are always to be found ministers who, while the protests that Sunday observance is the foundation of religion, nevertheless assure the law-makers that Sunday legislation is not religious legislation.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.11

    Speaking on the Vaccination Bill now before the House of Commons, Mr. T. Bayley said that a year ago he was strongly in favour of vaccination, but inquiry into the question, and reading the Government reports, made his mind very doubtful, and he was beginning to believe that they were absolutely at the wrong end of the question altogether, and that sanitation, isolation, and cleanliness of the people would do more to destroy small-pox than giving cow-pox or anything else.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.12

    This is undoubtedly the correct view. Altogether apart from the merits of vaccination as a preventive of disease, it is evident that this alone does not save a person from small-pox. Habits of life which invites such a visitation cannot be atoned for by an occasional inoculation, any more than a man can violate the laws of health and yet hope to retain it by means of a periodic pill.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.13

    The Boys’ Brigade now numbers nearly 800 companies, with over 2,800 officers and 35,000 boys, in the United Kingdom. At the annual meeting last week, in Queen's Hall, Lord Reay, who presided, said that “the defence of the British Empire depended largely on the voluntary force, and there could be no better nucleus for future volunteers than was provided by this movement.” Yet the movement, it will be remembered, is wholly religious.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.14

    An article on the soldiers of Spain, in the Daily Mail of April 20, says: “Very little meat enters into the Spanish soldiers dietary. Perhaps this is the reason his wounds heal so rapidly and easily.” Undoubtedly; the man who does not eat flesh has, other things being equal, every advantage over the man who depends on the butcher for his living; and yet, such is the force of custom, that the very man who wrote the foregoing concerning the benefits of a non-flesh diet, would doubtless say that he couldn't live and be healthy without meat.PTUK May 12, 1898, page 304.15

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