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    May 26, 1898

    “Daniel's Prayer” The Present Truth 14, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Noted as Daniel is as a prophet, it is as a man of prayer that he is best known in the world. Everybody is familiar with the story of the plot against his life, in the securing of the decree that whoever should “ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days,” save of the king, should be cast into the den of lions, and how “when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” Dan. vi. 10.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 321.1

    There was no compromising, no shuffling, no attempt at concealment. Why should he hide the fact that he prayed to the God of heaven? It was nothing to be ashamed of. Suppose there was a law against it, and this life was threatened, should he, by heeding the decree, or at least pretending to heed it, by seeming not to pray, give those heathen the impression that he was afraid to trust in God? Should he allow them to believe that the king of the Medes and Persians was greater than that King of the universe? What a fearful denial of God that would of been! If he had done so, we may be sure that his life would not have been saved.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 321.2

    How naturally the counsel of expediency comes forward in such times. “There is no need of deliberately putting your head into the lion's mouth. You know the decree; it is unchangeable; if you continue to pray as you have been in the habit of doing, you will be virtually committing suicide. You don't need to violate your conscience at all; the decree doesn't say that you must make petitions to the king instead of God; you will be all safe if you will simply omit praying for a month; that will not be idolatry. Or, if you must pray to God, why then, think your prayer in your own mind as you go about your work, without opening your lips, or after you go to bed. In the dark you can even move your lips and frame words silently, and nobody will be the wiser.” Thus argues Mr. Worldly Wiseman.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 321.3

    If such temptations did not come to Daniel, he was more than human; but they had no affect on him. He knew the Lord. He would not dishonour his King for fear of what one of his fellow-subjects with the title of king might do to him. In the first place he knew that he wouldn't be safe thirty days without prayer. Even if instead of threatening death to all who should make the request of anyone except himself, the king has offered the highest possible rewards and the protection of his kingdom to those who would not ask anything of any other, Daniel would not be safe. “It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in princes.” Ps. cxviii. 8. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for its help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, which made heaven and earth, the sea and all that therein is; which keepeth truth for ever.” Ps. cxlvi. 3, 5, 6.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 321.4

    What is a god good for, that cannot save in times of trouble? Strange that men who profess to be Christians, who pity the poor heathen who worship gods that can do nothing, will, when danger threatens, act as though the God whom they profess to serve were like the gods of the heathen. That is just when God's power is seen at its best. “God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble.” Ps. xlvi. 1. There was never a time in the world when Daniel needed to pray more than when that decree went forth against prayer. And since he was sent to Babylon as a witness for God, he needed above all things to avoid giving the impression that his God was not able to keep him. What is a witness good for, if he doesn't give straight testimony when others are swearing falsely?PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.1

    There was nothing of the bravado about Daniel. He didn't bluster. He didn't tell what he should do in spite of the decree of the king. He didn't prate about his “rights.” He quietly did what was right, without making any unnecessary display. He didn't change his custom. If he had been in the habit of praying with his windows shut, no doubt he would have continued praying with them shut after the decree was signed. He would open them to parade his devotions, nor to show his defiance of the king's decree. But he wouldn't change his habit, and shut them, now that praying was declared unlawful. That would have shown lack of confidence in his God; and it was trust in God, not defiance of the king, that moved Daniel.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.2

    Daniel was intimately acquainted with the Lord. He was accustomed to talk with Him, and when he prayed, he expected to have his prayer is answered. And God did not disappoint him. Read the story in the second chapter of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed a dream, and had forgotten it, and he asked his professional wise men to recall the dream for him, and to tell him what it meant. Of course they could not do it. Then the king ordered them all to be put to death as a set of frauds and impostors. Daniel did not know anything about this affair until the officers came to take him to execution with the rest, when he said: “Why is the decree so hasty about the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.” Dan. ii. 15, 16.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.3

    A bold promise that. If Daniel failed after that, his fate would be worse than that of the others. But he knew that he should not fail, for he was acquainted with his God. There was no presumption in his promise to make known the dream and its interpretation. He knew what he would do. He at once went to his house, and joined with his three companions in prayer to God; and the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. There was a good understanding between God and Daniel, and that was why Daniel would not pay any attention to a decree forbidding him to pray to God. What a grand thing to be so well acquainted with the God that made heaven and earth! You and I may be on terms of as close intimacy with God as Daniel was, and we shall find that He is near for all things that we call upon Him for. “They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even for ever.” Ps. cxxv. 1, 2.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.4

    “The Lord also will be a refuge for the opressed, a refuge in time of trouble. And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; for Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee.” Ps. ix. 9, 10.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.5

    “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof,” is the description of the mass of people in the last days. A form of godliness, without power, is like salt that has lost its savour. It is absolutely worthless. Now there is no power but of God; the Holy Spirit's power is the only thing that makes a profession of religion of any value. Religion according to law is therefore only a lifeless form. Why then should one who knows the Lord bother himself in the least as to what the laws of the land say about religion? How can one who is acquainted with the substance busy himself with what at best is only a shadow? Rather preach the Gospel in the power of the Holy Ghost, and all who accept it will have both the form and the power. As for those who know not the power, they are in a more hopeful condition without the form than with it.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.6

    “Sons of God” The Present Truth 14, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    God is love. It is therefore His nature to love. Being love Himself, when He bestows love He bestows Himself; therefore the love of God is the imparting of what He is. By this test we may know whether that which claims to be love deserves the name. True love gives itself in full, holding nothing back. If it seeks anything for itself, it is not love.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.7

    Since God is love, He must needs impart Himself. The fullest extent to which this could be done was to beget a Son. So Jesus shared the life of the Father, one with Him in all things. God's love held nothing back from Him, “for it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.” Col. i. 9. “In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col. ii. 9.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.8

    God's love was not diminished in Christ and it revealed itself just as before. It still desired to give itself. So it was agreed by the Father and the Son, “Let us make man.” True love cannot be satisfied with partially bestowing itself. It must give freely the best it has. So man was to be made, “in our image, after our likeness.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.9

    “In Him were all things created.” “And in Him all things consist.” Col. i. 16, 18. The fact that man held his life in Christ made Jesus the security not merely for its continuance but also that man should receive in the life the fulness of the love of God, in the same measure that it was bestowed upon Christ. It also secured that the love which was revealed in Christ should be the law of man's life, since the life of Christ is made our life. “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts xvii. 28.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.10

    This is true of the angels also. “In Him were all things created in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible.” In heaven, God's plan did not meet with universal acceptance. Some thought that to hold everything in Christ was to narrow the possibilities of life, and to exalt Christ at the expense of His creatures. Lucifer, son of the morning, desired a more free and independent existence, and proposed to exalt himself, saying, “I will be like the Most High.” The plan of love was that he should be, in a wider, higher sense than he ever dreamed, but refusing to become so in Christ, in love, he became altogether unlike the Most High.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 322.11

    Man was induced to join Satan in his rebellion, and it seemed as though God's plan was overthrown, and His love wasted. But the rebellion only served to demonstrate how entirely God had given Himself to men in Jesus Christ, when He created them. All that He had was then freely bestowed, and now it was made manifest. “Hereby know we love, because He laid down His life for us.” 1 John iii. 16. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Rom. v. 8. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.” Rom. viii. 32.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.1

    “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” John i. 12. Not only was God's purpose established, that men should be His sons in Christ, but it was seen that only as they were in Christ was their position, as sons, secured. Moreover, so far from sharing their possibilities, in Christ men are highly exalted, sharing to the full the glory and kingdom which He has won. “If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.” Rom. viii. 17. Thus we are “able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.” And find that in this love we too are “filled with all the fulness of God.” Eph. ii. 17-19.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.2

    So, in spite of man's rebellion, and none the less on account of it, will God's love fulfil its loving purpose to “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth.” Eph. i. 10. The infinite development of this purpose in the ages to come will “shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.3

    “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” “It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him.” 1 John iii. 1, 2.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.4

    “The Epistle to the Galatians. The Glory of the Cross” The Present Truth 14, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We come now to the closing portion of the Epistle to the Galatians. The importance of the Epistle, not less to us than to those to whom it was first addressed, appears in every chapter. The consuming zeal of the apostle Paul in writing it is seen in the fact that, contrary to his usual custom, he seized the pen and wrote the Epistle with his own hand. Chap. vi. 11. As intimated in chapter four, the apostle suffered from weak eyes, which hindered him much in his work, or would have hindered him but for the power of God resting on him; so that it was necessary for him always to have some one with him, to minister unto him, and to serve as amanuensis. From the second Epistle to the Thessalonians (chap. ii. 2) we learn that some took advantage of this fact to write letters to the churches in Paul's name, which troubled the brethren; but in the close of that Epistle (chap. iii. 16-18) Paul indicated to them how they might know an epistle that came from him. No matter by whom the body of it was written, he wrote the salutation and the signature with his own hand. So great was the urgency in this case, however, that he wrote the entire epistle himself.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.5

    The lesson for this week, which follows, we quote from the Revision:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.6

    “As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they compel you to be circumcised; only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For not even they who receive circumcision do themselves keep the law; but they desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.7

    “From henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear branded on my body the marks of Jesus.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.8

    “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.” Gal. vi. 12-18.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.9

    True and False Circumcision. -From the twelfth verse it is evident that the circumcision which was being taught to the brethren, as recorded in the second chapter, and warned them against so strongly in chapter five, was mere outward circumcision in the flesh. That stood merely for outward righteousness, the works of the flesh. The true circumcision was and is to “worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Phil. iii. 3. True circumcision is the keeping of the law, which can be done only as the Spirit of God writes the law in the heart. See Rom. viii. 25-29; Heb. viii. 10. The man who had the circumcision in the flesh merely, but did not keep the law, was reckoned by the Lord as uncircumcised. Such ones gloried or boasted in the flesh, and denied the cross of Christ, which is the only thing in the world in which one may rightly glory. The true circumcision is crucifixion with Christ; for that is, as seen from verse 14, a complete cutting off from “this present evil world.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.10

    God Revealed in the Cross. -The apostle said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Read now the words of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.11

    “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches.” Jer. ix. 23.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 323.12

    Why should not the wise man glory in his wisdom?—Because, so far as it is his own wisdom, it is foolishness. “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” 1 Cor. iii. 10, 20. No man has any wisdom in which to glory, for his own wisdom is foolishness, and wisdom which God gives is something to cause humility instead of pride.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.1

    What about might? “All flesh is grass.” Isa. xl. 6. “Every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Ps. xxxix. 5. “Men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie; to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.” But “power belongeth unto God.” Ps. lxii. 9, 11.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.2

    As to riches, they are “uncertain.” 1 Tim. vi. 17. Man “heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.” “Riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” Prov. xxiii. 5. Only in Christ are found unsearchable and abiding riches.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.3

    Man therefore has absolutely nothing in which to boast, for what is there left of a man when he has nothing that can be called wealth, no wisdom whatever, and absolutely no strength? Everything that man is or has comes from the Lord. Therefore the Lord says, “Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight.” Jer. ix. 24.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.4

    Now put this text with Gal. vi. 4. The same Spirit inspired them both, so that there is no contradiction. One text says that we are to glory only in the knowledge of the Lord; the other says that there is nothing in which to glory save the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The conclusion therefore is that in the cross we find the knowledge of God. To know God is eternal life, and there is no life for mankind except through the cross of Christ. So again we see most clearly that all that may be known of God is revealed in the cross. Aside from the cross, there is no knowledge of God.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.5

    The Cross Crucifies. -The cross in which we are to glory is the cross of Christ, the cross on which Christ suffered crucifixion. To Him it meant crucifixion, and so it does to us, for by it the world is crucified to us, and we unto the world. It meant humiliation and disgrace, yet nevertheless it is something in which to glory, because the disgrace is only that which the world regards as disgrace. Since the friendship of this world is enmity against God, it follows that the hatred of the world is friendship with God; and the friendship of God is something in which to rejoice.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.6

    The cross of Christ, in which alone there is glory, separates from the world. By it the world is to us as though it did not exist. If the world is crucified to us, and we to the world, then, although in the world, we are no longer of it. The cross means death and disgrace as far as the world is concerned. That which is contrary to the world, and to all the calculations of the world, and which the world despises and turns from, is that in which the child of God is to glory.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.7

    The Cross Elevates. -Jesus said, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” This He said signifying what death He should die, namely, the death of the cross. He humbled Himself to death, even the death of the cross; “wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” Phil. ii. 8, 9. He descended “first into the lower parts of the earth. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.” Eph. iv. 9, 10. It was through death that He ascended to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. It was the cross that lifted Him up from earth to heaven. Therefore it is the cross alone that brings us glory, and so it is the only thing in which to glory.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.8

    The Cross Creates. -“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” That is, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any power. The only thing that is of any value is a new creature, or, as indicated in the margin of the Revision, “a new creation.” “If any man be in Christ, there is a new creation;” and it is only through death that we become joined to Him. Rom. vi. 3. The cross makes a new creation, so that here again we see a reason for glorying in it; for when the new creation came from the hand of God in the beginning, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Job xxxviii. 7.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.9

    The Cross Seen in Creation. -The preaching of the cross is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe. 1 Cor. i. 18. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” Thus we see that it is the Gospel. Rom. i. 16. But the power of God is seen only in the things that are made. Rom. i. 20. It is in the things that are made that we learn that which may be known of God, “His eternal power and divinity.” Now since the cross is the power of God, it follows that the cross is revealed in the things that are made. Although the curse, death, has come upon all the earth, we nevertheless see life all about us. How can that be?—Only because Christ is everywhere present. But wherever Christ is, there is the cross; for Christ is not known to mankind except as the Crucified One.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.10

    The Glory. -We have seen that the cross is the power of God, and that the power of God is seen in the things that He has made, so that the cross is everywhere visible in creation. It is by the cross that everything is sustained. But for the cross, there would be universal death. Not a man could breathe, not a plant could grow, not a ray of light could shine from heaven, if it were not for the cross. Now “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” Ps. xix. 1. They are some of the things that God has made. They show God's power. They declare the glory of God, for His power is His glory. The glory of God is His power, for “the exceeding greatness of His power to usward” is seen in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (Eph. i. 19, 20), and “Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Rom. vi. 4. It was for the suffering of death that Jesus was crowned with glory and honor. Heb. ii. 9. So we see that all the glory that the saints will ever share with Him, is nothing more than the glory of the cross. Surely there is enough glory in the cross to satisfy anybody.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.11

    The Marks of Christ. -“From henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” The marks of the cross were upon Paul.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 324.12

    He had been crucified with Christ, and he carried the nail-prints. They were branded on his body. They marked him as the bond-servant, the slave, of the Lord Jesus. Let no one, then, interfere with him; he was not the servant of men. He owed allegiance to Christ alone, who had bought him. Let no one seek to get him to serve man or the flesh, because Jesus had branded him with His mark, and he could serve no other. Moreover, let men beware how they sought to interfere with his liberty in Christ, or how they treated him, for his Master would surely protect His own.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.1

    Ah, what glory there is in the cross! All the glory of heaven is in that despised thing. Not in the figure of the cross, but in the cross itself. The world does not reckon it glory, but then it did not know the Son of God, and it does not know the Holy Spirit, because it can not see Him. May God open our eyes to see the glory, so that we may reckon things at their true value. May we consent to be crucified with Christ, that the cross may glorify us. In the cross of Christ there is salvation. In it is the power of God to keep us from falling, for it lifts us up from earth to heaven. In the cross there is the new creation, which God Himself pronounces “very good.” In it is all the glory of the Father, and all the glory of the eternal ages. Therefore God forbid that we should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified to us, and we unto the world.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.1

    “In the cross of Christ I glory,
    Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
    All the light of sacred story
    Gathers round its head sublime.”
    PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.2

    Therefore-PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.3

    Since I, who was undone and lost,
    Have pardon through His name and Word;
    Forbid it, then, that I should boast,
    Save in the cross of Christ, my Lord.”
    PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.4

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. Jesus Condemned. Matt. xxvii. 11-26” The Present Truth 14, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    JUNE 5

    In this lesson we have a view of the way in which humanity, when under the control of “the prince of this world,” will treat divinity. “Jesus stood before the governor,” and “was accused of the chief priests and elders.” And Pilate understood the real animus of the whole matter: “For he knew that for envy they had delivered Him up.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.5


    It is the work of Satan to accuse. He is called “the accuser our brethren ... which accused them before our God day and night.” He was, and is, the instigator of all accusation against Jesus; and envy always has been, and still is, the only ground of his accusation. It was envy of the honour given to the Son of God which led Lucifer, “son of the morning,” to rebel against the government of God and to seek to put himself on an equality with God. He said: “I will ascend above the heights of the cloud; I will be like the Most High.” Failing in this attempt to usurp the authority of God in heaven, “he was cast out into the earth,” and here he has inspired and fostered the same spirit of envy against God and His Son.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.6

    This is clearly set forth in the treatment which some of God's chosen representatives in the earth have received. When Joseph told a dream “to his father and to his brethren ... his brethren envied him,” “and the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph in Egypt;” but he who was thus the object of their unjust envy was God's chosen means of delivering them from death by famine.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.7

    Later, when the Lord sent Moses to Egypt “to be ruler and deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush,” his work in behalf of the people was not appreciated, and “they envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the Lord.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.8

    And now when the Son of God Himself appears on earth to accomplish His work in behalf of man, “the God of this world” arouses the same spirit of envy against Him, even in the hearts of those who made the highest professions of loyalty to God, and the climax is reached in His being brought before the governor with the demand that He should be put to death under the charge of being a mover of rebellion against properly constituted government. The very crime of which Lucifer was himself actually guilty, he now inspires men to charge upon the Son of God! What an illustration of the statement of the scripture: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” All this shows the working of selfishness, for “love envieth not.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.9


    But to all this accusation of envy Jesus “answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto Him, Hearest Thou not how many things they witness against Thee? And He answered him never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.” The charge of treason against the Roman government, which was preferred against Jesus, was utterly false, but since He was here to bear the punishment of those who were guilty of treason against the government of God, He made no defence. “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.10

    What a lesson for us! Although the right was altogether on His side and the charge against Him was wholly false, yet He made no effort to justify Himself. “When He was reviled, He reviled not again: when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed His cause to Him that judgeth righteously.” Justifying oneself is simply one form of accusing another, and the Son of God never indulges in accusation. For He, even “when contending with the devil He disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 325.11


    The choice which the people made, as between Jesus and Barabbas, is full of meaning and warning to us. “Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? ... But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.” Although the people were persuaded by their leaders, yet this did not relieve them of their own responsibility in the matter. This is shown by the reference made by Peter to this event in his talk to the people after the resurrection of Christ: “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life.” Acts ii.14, 15.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 326.1

    Thus when humanity was given its choice between the Author and Giver of life on the one hand, and a robber and a murderer, a taker of life, on the other, it deliberately chose the latter. Such is the power of Satan in human hearts. But envy over-reached itself, and the determination to “destroy Jesus” which Satan inspired in the minds of people was but the sealing of his own destruction. For Jesus by His death was to “destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life time subject to bondage.” And so envy brought destruction upon itself.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 326.2


    All this has a meaning for us at this very time. “When Christ was upon this earth the world preferred Barabbas. And to-day the world and the churches are making the same choice. The scenes of the betrayal, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ, have been re-acted, and will again be re-acted, on an immense scale. People will be filled with the attributes of Satan. The delusions of the arch enemy of God and man will have great power. Those who have given their affections to any leader but Christ will find themselves under the control, body, soul, and spirit, of an infatuation that is so entrancing, that under its power souls turn away from hearing the truth to believe a lie. They are ensnared and taken, and by their every action they cry, ‘Release unto us Barabbas, but crucify Christ.’”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 326.3


    When Pilate, who himself stated that he found no fault in Jesus, had allowed himself to be overborne by the wicked demand of the people, he made an effort to shift the terrible responsibility for the death of Jesus upon some one else. “He took water, and washed His hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” Thus did a long record of iniquity come to its climax. In the Lord saw it all in its beginning. When the people rejected the Lord from being king over them, and demanded a man for a king, that they might be like the nations around them, the Lord heard in their cry, “Nay; but we will have a king over us,” those words which found utterance so many years afterwards, “We have no king but C?sar.” And now they have become “the betrayers and murderers” of their rightful King. A little later they began to draw back from the terrible responsibility which they had assumed, and complained of the disciples, Ye “intend to bring this man's blood upon us.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 326.4


    In the destruction of Jerusalem was seen in a partial way, and as a type of the final destruction of the whole world, the results of rejecting Jesus. Because Jerusalem knew not the time of her visitation and refused Him in whom alone was any hope of salvation, a terrible overthrow came upon her, and this was in itself a prophecy for the whole world. “The scenes that transpired at the destruction of Jerusalem will be repeated at the great and terrible day of the Lord, but in a more fearful manner.” “A world is represented in the destruction of Jerusalem.” And the time is at hand, for “the great day of the Lord is near, it is near and it hasteth greatly.” “In this perilous time who will be found traitors? Who will choose the friendship of the enemies of Christ? Who will accept the bribery of the world at the expense of the principles of righteousness and truth?” “When the cases of all come up before the God of heaven for decision, He will ask each one the question, ‘What have you done to My only begotten Son?’ What will those who refuse to accept truth answer? They will be obliged to say, ‘We hated Jesus and cast Him out. We chose Barabbas instead of Christ.’”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 327.1

    O that the goodness of God may lead us all to true repentance, and to the full acceptance of Jesus and His message of warning for the world at this time, that instead of being held answerable for His blood, His blood may be answerable for our sins, and we “may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 327.2

    “Idolatry in London” The Present Truth 14, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is doubtless well known to most of the readers of PRESENT TRUTH that there has of late been some vigorous opposition to the Catholic ceremonies that are becoming more and more prevalent in the Church of England. This opposition, under the leadership of Mr. John Kensit, has not been confined to a verbal protest, but has taken the form of active violence, which has resulted in Mr. Kensit's arrest. He was fined in the Police Court for brawling in church, and having appealed, the Church Association has taken up the case, hoping by means of the courts to have the popish ceremony suppressed. The annual meeting of this Association has recently been held at Exeter, when the following resolution was adopted, which concisely shows the present state of affairs:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 328.1

    That the scandalous prevalence of open idolatry especially within the three metropolitan dioceses, has, of late years, assumed such proportions, and the Bishops having been appealed to in vain to forbid such practices, this meeting warmly commends the action of the council of the Church Association-PTUK May 26, 1898, page 328.2

    (1) In supporting Mr. Kensit's appeal from the magistrate's decision respecting his protest in church against the worship of a crucifix;PTUK May 26, 1898, page 328.3

    (2) In seeking a faculty for the removal of the tabernacle of St. Ethelburga’s, dedicated to the illegal reservation of a consecrated wafer, to which Divine honours are paid, as though it were Jesus Christ Himself.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 328.4

    This meeting further calls upon the loyal members of the Church of England to support the council in their effort to stem the tide of idolatry now protected and sanctioned by the Bishops, and for this purpose to raise the guarantee fund of ?2,000 to enable the council to defeat the efforts of the English Church Union, which has undertaken the defence of their twin idols, the wafer and the crucifix.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 328.5

    That the ceremonies are idolatrous, cannot be questioned. They are nothing but Paganism. But since the same things are practised in the Roman Catholic churches, the question arises, Why do not the Protestants carry their warfare into that body? Why do they confine their protest to the Church of England? The Bible forbids idolatry, no matter by whom it is practised. The answer is, of course, that the opposition to idolatry in the Church of England is based on the ground that it is illegal, in that is contrary to the Prayer Book. Thus we see that the objection is not to idolatry in itself, but to disregard of the Prayer Book. If the Prayer Book sanctioned the adoration of the cross, then the ground of their protest would be removed.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 328.6

    It will be clearly seen that even among the protesters against Catholicism the Prayer Book holds a higher place than the Bible. That very fact shows that there is no essential difference between the two parties, for the substitution of human authority for Divine is the very essence of Catholicism. This shows what violence is used in the opposition to the pagan ceremonial. If the opposition were truly Christian, based on Scriptural grounds, there would be no violence or unseemly behaviour. The only force that Christianity knows is the power of the Holy Spirit, and the only weapon of the Spirit is the Word of God.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.1

    As a matter of fact this fight against pagan ceremonies in the Church is not in reality opposition to idolatry, but only to the outward manifestation of it. Idolatry has its seat in the heart, the very being of man. The fact that a man adores the work of his own hands, paying to it the reverence due to God alone, shows that in his heart he regards self as God. The thing made cannot be as great as the maker, and therefore the worship of any thing made by human hands is only an evidence of the worship of self. The adoration of an image, no matter what its form, is only an outward sign of the idolatry that is within.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.2

    From this it is very evident that the destruction of all idols would by no means be the destruction of idolatry. As well might one think to change the nature of a tree by cutting off its leaves, or to reduce the temperature of a heated room by breaking the thermometer which indicates the degree of heat. No well-instructed person can therefore have any sympathy with these protests that are being made. If the court should declare the ceremonies illegal, the idolatry would still remain, and idolatry in conformity with law is no better than any other idolatry. The very fact that the question is one to be settled by the courts, shows that it is not a matter of Christianity but of the Papacy; for Christianity knows no guide or authority but the Word of God, while human authority in matters of religion is always and everywhere the very essence of idolatry.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.3

    It is a deplorable fact that there is a great amount of paganism not alone in London but in all England, and in every other professed Christian land as well. That is simply to say that men are lovers of themselves more than of God, and regard their own wisdom and authority as superior to His. Paganism is the religion of human nature; and has always existed since the fall; but the characteristic of the last days is that it takes on a form of godliness. This, instead of being an improvement, is an added source of danger.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.4

    The remedy is the Word of God. The Apostle Paul, after foretelling the coming of the state of things, says: “I charge thee, therefore, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and dead at His appearing and kingdom, Preach the Word.” “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations” (which is the root of image making and image worship), “and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.5

    But they will not all hear the Word. No; sad to say, they will not. What then? Shall we not use force? By no means, for that is only an aggravation of the trouble, since force is opposed to the Word. There is no greater force than God's Word, and when men will not listen to that, even God is obliged to say, “Ephraim is joined to his idols; let him alone.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.6

    “A Question of Spiritualism” The Present Truth 14, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A correspondent, who seems to be wavering on the verge of Spiritualism, sends us the following quotation from 2 Cor. xii. 2-4, together with his opinion of it:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.7

    Paul says: “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body I cannot tell; God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man (whether in the body or whether out of the body I cannot tell: God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.8

    The above seems to prove (in my opinion) that Paul was used to holding converse with disembodied spirits, inasomuch that he did not go to the trouble to ascertain in this instance as to whether this man were bodied or disembodied. J. E. B.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.9

    In this case, as in every other, the exact statement of the text is worth any number of opinions about it. By nothing the text carefully, we learn,PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.10

    1. That the man to whom the apostle refers was none other than himself, for in verse 7 he drops the use of the third person, and says: “Lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” Therefore,PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.11

    2. There is no hint in the text of any communication with disembodied spirits. Indeed, the text makes no mention of spirits of any kind. Paul, in the ecstasy of vision could not tell in what condition he was when he was given these revelations.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.12

    3. Here is not the returning of departed spirits to this earth. On the contrary, the man-not a dead man, but the living apostle-was himself caught up into paradise. This is as opposite to Spiritualism as anything could be.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.13

    Thus it appears that the text does not at all warrant our correspondent's opinion. In reading the Bible, it is necessary to keep our opinions out, for our opinions are as much inferior to the Bible as the earth is lower than the heavens. Isa. lv. 9. If we propose to follow our opinions, it is not necessary to mix the Bible up with them, for we can form opinions enough without it. The Bible is not given us to help us in forming opinions, but to teach us truth. It is absolutely to take the place of our opinions. We are to forsake our thoughts, and allow the Lord to give us His thoughts instead; and in order to get His thoughts, we must adhere most closely to His Word.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 329.14

    “‘The Champion of Israel’” The Present Truth 14, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Not long after Samuel's visit to Bethlehem another messenger arrived for David, this time from the King. Saul was in distress and needed help. An evil spirit from the Lord was troubling him.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.1

    At his anointing the Spirit of God had come upon Saul, changing him into another man. Under its influence his way had been divinely directed, and so long as he yielded to it, his steps were ordered by the Lord. But he chose his own way, refusing counsel, and so the Spirit Lord was driven from him. Without it he was like a ship without a rudder, for “it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,” and would certainly make shipwreck of himself and the nation committed to his care.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.2

    To prevent this it was necessary that he should be deprived of his influence to some extent. The Lord did not leave them entirely alone, for that would involved him in immediate ruin, but sent a spirit of evil, or sadness, upon him. Remorse and terror filled his mind, unfitting him for duty, and his state of mind soon became known among his servants.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.3

    They counselled him to send for a skilful player on the harp, who should dispel with cheering music his fits of melancholy. David's name was recommended before him as of one “cunning in playing, and a comely person,” and Saul, hoping for relief, “sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.4

    So David passed from the cottage at Bethlehem to the court of the king at Gibeah. The lessons learned in communion with the God of nature, the views of His power manifested in the works of His hands, and the experience of His love in the daily round of shepherd life, had given David the needed preparation for his new duties. His simple faith and love and trust in God would form just the influence that Saul needed to be brought in contact with. The stricken heart of the afflicted king found comfort in David's ministrations, “and he loved him greatly.” So Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” Unhappily for him, the indecision which appeared in all his life kept him from retaining the blessing now granted.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.5

    Although armour-bearer to Saul, David still went to and fro between Bethlehem and the king's house, keeping the sheep in the intervals of his attendance on Saul. During one of his visits home, Israel was again invaded by the Philistines, and the forces of Israel met them a few miles from the border which separated the two countries. At his father's request, David set out for the camp, some fifteen miles distant, bearing provisions for his three oldest brothers, who were among the soldiers of Saul.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.6

    While David conversed with his brethren on the field of battle, a strange, imposing figure stalked into the open space between the two armies, and defied Israel to produce a man who could stand before him in single combat. His appearance struck terror to the hearts of Israel, and as he thundered out his challenge they fled before him.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.7

    Truly it needed a brave man to face this giant. Standing nearly twelve feet high, with a coat of mail that weighed a hundred weight and a half, and armed with an enormous spear, the iron head of which alone weighed twenty pounds, there seem but little hope of finding a champion bold enough to meet him.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.8

    Yet greater things than this had been done in the history of Israel, many a time. It was only one generation ago that the ark of God, captive and undefended by human strength, had gone through the cities of the Philistines like a destroying army, compelling reverence at every stage, and finally returning in acknowledged triumphed to its own country; its sole defence being that it bore the name of the Lord. The Israelites seemed to have forgotten, so it was no wonder that the Philistines failed to remember, that the name of the Lord was a strong tower, for all who put their trust in Him. That was why one army gloried in the confidence which Goliath inspired in them, while the other, looking at his bulk, groaned in despair.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.9

    One person alone, probably the youngest and weakest in all the camp, remembered that the battle is the Lord’s, and that His arm is not grown feeble. David came before Saul and announced his intention of going out against the Philistine. It was Saul's place to go, as leader of the people, but his trust was in his own strength, and now, in that hour of need, it failed him. He attempted to set before David the perils of his undertaking, but David was not going in his own strength, and felt no doubt as to the issue of the conflict. Refusing Saul's armour, he took his sling and five smooth stones out of the brook and drew near to meet the Philistine.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.10

    Goliath seemed disgusted at the insolence of a mere youth in coming out to fight with himself, and boasted loudly of what he would do to his adversary, but David declared that “all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with the sword and spear.” Said he, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.11

    It was a fearfully unequal contest. On one side was a man, bigger and stronger than all other; on the other the great and powerful Creator of heaven and earth, before whom all the nations are as a drop of a bucket. He might have gone forth against Goliath in terrible majesty, shaking the earth with thunder and smiting His antagonist with the lightning, but, being all-powerful, He was able to accomplish just as much with a smooth stone in the hand of a youth.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.12

    There was no reason why Saul, or anyone else in the army, should not have been used by the Lord to lay low the pride of the Philistines, except that they all had too much of it in their own hearts. They thought so much of themselves that the Lord was overlooked, and seemed too far off for any practical purpose. Yet God had called them that they should bear His name, and be His representatives, and in His name, they might have done what David did.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.13

    This experience is written for our learning that we may know in what our strength consists, and that we should learn not to fear difficulties or temptations on account of their great size and seeming strength. Our victory or defeat will depend entirely on whether we meet the enemy in the name of the Lord. Christ says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name that will I do.” John xiv. 13.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 330.14

    It was now apparent to all Israel that David was most suited to be their leader. In allowing another, young and inexperienced, to take the place of danger as the champion of Israel, Saul had confessed himself unfit for the post. David was no better in himself than anyone else, as He sadly proved in after years, but while he allowed God to work His will through him, great good would come to others thereby. God alone could help the people, and only as David revealed God, would his life and reign be a blessing. He realised this when he wrote the 44th Psalm:PTUK May 26, 1898, page 331.1

    Thou art my King, O God:
    Command deliverance for Jacob.
    Through Thee will we push down our adversaries;
    Through Thy name will we tread them under
    that rise up against us.
    For I will not trust in my bow,
    Neither shall my sword save me.
    But Thou hast saved us from our adversaries,
    And hast put them to shame that hate us.
    In God have we made our boast all the day long,
    And we will give thanks unto Thy name for ever.
    PTUK May 26, 1898, page 331.2

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 21.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Marquis de Rudini, premier of Italy, is reported to have said that things had never looked so black in Italy since 1860 as they do now.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.1

    Peace is not one of the things that men of the world are expecting just now. At the dinner of the West London Volunteer Infantry Brigade, a few evenings ago, the Duke of Cambridge, who presided, said: “Our position, unless both the army and navy are made strong enough to keep us where we are now, will, in my opinion, be a very melancholy one.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.2

    If two men stood with loaded weapons, each alert and on his guard and ready to shoot the instant the other made a threatening motion, no one could describe them as being at peace with each other; yet that is just the sort of peace that prevails among all the great nations of earth to-day. That is all the peace that this world gives. Not so does the Lord give peace. Have you His peace? If not, why not? He has given it to you.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.3

    Not long since a French missionary was killed in China, and the French Government has demanded ?4,000 as compensation. It is reported also that a demand has been made for a railway concession in the neighbourhood of Nanking. Missionaries now have a high market value among the Powers.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.4

    At the annual meeting of the Grand Committee of the Birmingham Liberal Unionist Association, Mr. Chamberlain, who has just been re-elected president, made a speech, in which he said:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.5

    What is our next duty? It is to establish and maintain bonds of permanent amity with our kinsmen across the Atlantic. I don't know what the future has in store for us. I don't know what arrangements may be possible with us; but this I know and feel-that the closer, the more cordial, the fuller, and more definite these arrangements are with the consent of both people, the better it will be for both and for the world-and I even go so far as to say that terrible as war may be, even war itself would be cheaply purchased, if, in a great and noble cause, the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack would wave together over an Anglo-Saxon Alliance.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.6

    This portion of the speech was greeted, according to the report, with the loudest and most prolonged applause.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.7

    This speech has been the subject of widespread comment. The Daily Chronicle states the situation:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.8

    The Foreign and Colonial Secretaries between them have succeeded in producing what the financial telegrams call “a feeling of uneasiness.” There is a sense of gathering clouds; and though no man knows exactly how or where the storm may burst, and no one would venture to say that it will not in all human probability blow over, yet there is a conviction that there is thunder some where about, and that any spark might let loose the baleful forces of the Armageddon, which has been foretold so often.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.9

    The Spanish journal El Liberal said:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.10

    Scarcely has Lord Salzburg explained away his infelicitous references to dying nations than Mr. Chamberlain threatens Spain with an Anglo-American alliance. Spain, however, is not frightened. The day on which the agreement is signed will be the date for the outbreak of the general conflagration. Germany and Russia, with allies, will face Great Britain and the United States, and the outbreak will involve India, Africa, and Manchuria. If the Anglo-American alliance be accomplished, Europe, heretofore indifferent to our case, will take part, not to favour us, but to defend its own preponderance in the world.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.11

    The call now is for more fast cruisers for the Navy, in order that in time of war the enemy's motions may be closely watched, and especially for convoying grain ships. A writer in the London Review says: “In six weeks we should be starving unless our Navy proved equal to the task of safely convoying all the grain on the way to our ports.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.12

    Something must be done, it is urged, to increase the size and strength of the army. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, in his speech at the Army Temperance Association, said that “with our fast increasing imperial responsibilities we stand in need of a larger army.” The question is, How shall it be done? As the Daily Mail says, it is “not altogether obvious how it is to be increased without drastic alterations in our military system;” but “to neglect the army or rest content with paper measures that such a time as this would be suicidal folly.” Only two ways are suggested, namely, greatly increase pay, or conscription. As between these two, it is not difficult to foretell which will be adopted.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.13

    Among all the eulogies of Mr. Gladstone, we have seen none that set forth his character in a more attractive light than the following little incident. It occurs in a long article contributed to the Chronicle by a friend of his. Telling of their walk home after dining out together, he says:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.14

    Opposite Knightsbridge Barracks I was addressed by an unfortunate woman, but passed on unheeding, stepping off the pavement to let her pass. Then she addressed Mr. Gladstone, who did not repel her. In a few moments he joined me, and asked if I always repelled those women when they spoke to me. I said, “Yes.” “Perhaps you are right,” he answered, “but I never like to repel them when they speak to me. I have come across terrible tragedies in that way, and have perhaps been able to do a little good. I believe that as a rule they are more sinned against than sinning.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.15

    The last number of the Review of Reviews contains a paragraph that should give pause to those who talk about war conducted in the interests of humanity. Speaking of “the last great humanitarian war,” the campaign for the liberation of Bulgaria, where the Turks were said to have massacred some fifty thousand inhabitants, the editor says:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.16

    To avenge the Bulgarian atrocities the Russians invaded Turkey, and for every Bulgarian man, woman and child, who had been massacred by the Turks, two Russian soldiers fell in battle or died of disease, and probably at least double that number of non-combatant peasants-Bulgarian, Armenian and Turkish-were done to death between the contending armies. The Bulgarian atrocities were avenged, no doubt, but at a very low computation it cost five lives to avenge one!PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.17

    The remedy is truly worse than the disease. War, as a cure for inhumanity, is very much like suffocating a man to death to cure the asthma. Nevertheless it is the best remedy the world knows. Oh, that men would learn that the Gospel of Christ solves every perplexity and heals every ill!PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.18

    A sad but striking sign of the times is furnished in the following item from a recent number of the Kansas City (U.S.A.) Times:—PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.19

    The patriotism of the members of the First Christian Church at Sedalia, Missouri, was shown last night in the middle of a sermon. The pastor, the Rev. J. S. Myers, was preaching, when he read a telegram announcing that Commodore Dewey's ships had won a great naval battle at Manila and completely annihilated the Spanish war vessels, in an instant the congregation was on its feet waving handkerchiefs and cheering. It was several minutes before the applause ceased, when all joined in singing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.20

    The following is said to be an extract from a letter of Signor Crispi:PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.21

    Very bad times are in store for us. We must keep united and provide against the dangers which threaten us. The classes must organise and prepare themselves for struggle with the masses.PTUK May 26, 1898, page 336.22

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