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    January 13, 1898

    “Why Be a Captive?” The Present Truth 14, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Why be a captive when Jesus has come to “bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house”?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.1

    On Jesus was laid “the iniquity of us all,” and He overcame it all. Therefore He has broken the power of every evil habit that enslaves man. Let any man confess his own helplessness and put his will on the side of the Lord, and he can thank the Lord for liberty in Him, and the evil habit cannot rule him without his consent.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.2

    When one accepts the Lord's salvation and deliverance from evil and is free, it is not that he is now strong in himself. He is free only as he confesses utter helplessness, and trusts in God. It is the one “without strength, and with the powers of evil all about, he who is willing to have the Lord save him may cry out from the depths: “O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; and the son of Thine handmaid: Thou hast loosed my bonds.” Ps. cxvi. 16.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.3

    “The Latest” The Present Truth 14, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Latest .—“Military experts are,” says a newspaper, “at present interested in a new self-moving car, which is to be a veritable carriage of death. It is to be driven by a 16-horse-power at the rate of over forty miles an hour over a country reasonably level. The climax and purpose of this remarkable machine is to carry two rapid-firing cannon. One man only is needed to run this terrible wheeled weapon of war, and this same man also attends to the firing and loading.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.4

    “The Epistle to the Galatians. A Gospel Greeting” The Present Truth 14, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The best “Introduction to the Bible” is the Bible itself; so the only introduction necessary to this present study is to begin at once on the epistle. One thing only would the writer say, and that is, Do not let these articles be considered as a substitute for the study of the Scripture itself. They are designed only as suggestive, to lead the student into some of the glories revealed in the sacred text. The Epistle to the Galatians is short, and as but few verses will be covered in any one lesson, it is hoped that many will study the Scripture text so carefully that they will have the entire epistle well in their minds when the studies are ended. Then they will find themselves well equipped for a thorough study of the book, which they will then feel that they have just begun. We will now proceed to readPTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.5


    “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead); And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Gal. i. 1-5.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.6


    Who wrote this epistle?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.7

    “Paul.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.8

    To whom was it addressed?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.9

    “Unto the churches of Galatia.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.10

    Who was Paul?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.11

    “An apostle.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.12

    From whom did he not receive his commission?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.13

    “Not of men.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.14

    Did any man have anything to do with making him an apostle?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.15

    “Neither by man.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.16

    By whom then was he made an apostle?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.17

    “By Jesus Christ.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.18

    And who else?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.19

    “God the Father.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.20

    What showed the authority of his apostleship?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.21

    He was sent by Jesus Christ, who was raised, and by “God the Father, who raised Him from the dead.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.22

    Who are concerned in the greeting and in the sentiments of the epistle?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.23

    “All the brethren which are with me.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.24

    What blessing is pronounced?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.25

    “Grace be to you and peace.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.26

    From whom does this inestimable gift come?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.27

    “From the God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.28

    What has our Lord Jesus Christ done to insure us this grace and peace?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.29

    He “gave Himself.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.30

    For what did Christ give Himself?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.31

    “For our sins.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.32

    Why did He give Himself for our sins?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 17.33

    “That He might deliver us from this present evil world.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.1

    According to whose plan is this wonderful redemption?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.2

    “According to the will of our God and Father.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.3

    What belongs to Him, therefore?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.4

    “The glory.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.5

    For how long?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.6

    “For ever and ever.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.7

    Christ's Divinity .—The very first verse shows the divinity of Christ. Paul declares himself to be an apostle, “not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ.” That is just as strong Bible proof of the divinity of Christ as is the statement, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John i. 1. It is true that this truth is stated incidentally, in Gal. i. 1, since the subject is Paul's apostleship; but that simply shows how the fact of Christ's divinity is the basis of all the Scriptures. They are not written to prove the divinity of Christ; no, they are written for the benefit of men. Because Christ is Divine, a thing which carries its own proof to every one who make His acquaintance, the Scriptures point men to Him. He is “the Christ the Son of the living God.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.8

    A Good Commission .—An apostle is one who is sent. Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ, and of God, the Father, who raised Him from the dead. He had good backing. A messenger's confidence is in proportion to the authority of the one who sends him, and to his confidence in that authority and power. Paul knew that he was sent by the Lord, and he knew that the power of God is the power that raises from the dead. Now “he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God.” John iii. 34. Thus it was that Paul spoke with authority, and the words which he spoke were the commandments of God. 1 Cor. xiv. 37. So in reading this epistle, or any other in the Bible, we have not to make allowance for the writer's personal peculiarities and prejudices. It is true that each writer retains his own individuality, since God chooses different men to do different work solely on account of their different personality; but it is God's Word in all, and nothing need be taken off from the authority of the message, and set down to the score of natural bias or prejudice.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.9

    One Mind .—In the writing of this epistle, we have an example of what the apostle in another epistle exhorts us all to be: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye all he perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Cor. i. 10. Paul wrote the Epistle to the Galatians, but all the brethren who were with him were concerned in it, because they were led by the same Spirit. While there can be no doubt as to the fact that all were united in agreeing with what Paul wrote, it may well be that the mention of the brethren refers specially to the greeting. They all sent greeting. Of course the substance of the epistle came direct from Paul's own heart and mind, prompted by the Holy Ghost.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.10

    Grace and Peace Be to You .—This is the word of the Lord, let it he remembered, and therefore means more, than man's word. The Lord does not deal in empty compliments. His word is substantial; it carries with it the thing which it names. God's word creates, and here we have the very form of the creative word.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.11

    God said, “Let there be light; and there was light,” and so on through the whole creation, “He spake, and it was.” So here, “Let there be grace and peace to you,” and so it is. “The grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” Titus ii. 11. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” John xiv. 27. “Peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord.” Is. lvii. 19. God has sent grace and peace, bringing righteousness and salvation to all men-even to you, whoever you are, and to me. When you read this third verse of the first chapter of Galatians, do not read it as a sort of complimentary phrase,-as a mere passing salutation to open the real matter at hand,-but as the creative word that brings to you personally all the blessings of the peace of God, that passeth all understanding.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.12

    The Gift of Christ .—This grace and peace come from Christ, “who gave Himself for our sins.” “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Eph. iv. 7. But this grace is “the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim. ii.1. Therefore we know that Christ Himself is given to every one of us. The fact that men live is an evidence that Christ has been given to them, for Christ is “the life,” and the life is the light of men, and this life-light “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John i. 4, 9; xiv. 6. In Christ all things consist (Col. i. 17), and thus it is that since God “spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,” He cannot do otherwise than, with Him, freely “give us all things.” Rom. viii. 32. “His Divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” 2 Pet. i. 3. The whole universe is given to us in Christ, and the fullness of the power that is in it is ours for the overcoming of sin. God counts each soul of as much value as all creation. Christ has, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man (Heb. ii. 9), so that every man in the world has received the “unspeakable gift” (2 Cor. ix. 15). “The grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many,” even to all; for “as by the offense 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. 15, 18.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.13

    God in Christ .—“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” 2 Cor. v. 19. “When God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself.” Heb. vi. 13. This oath of God was in Christ. Gal. iii. 16, 17.So in the gift of Christ, God Himself is given, and “of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things.” Rom. xi. 36. Christ is “the shining of the Father's glory, and the very impress of His substance, and upholds all things by the Word of His power.” Heb. i. 3. Therefore since the whole universe depends on Christ, it is evident that in giving Himself for our sins, the entire universe has been pledged to man's salvation. Sometimes people think that they are too poor, and insignificant, and worthless to be saved; well, they may be poor and worthless, but the fact is nevertheless that when it comes to the matter of salvation, God counts a single soul equal in value to the universe. It would perish sooner than a single soul who trusts God's Word.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.14

    An Individual Gift .—“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John iii. 16. The love embraces the whole world, but it singles out each individual. Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for “every man.” Heb. ii. 9. The whole of the gift of Christ is to each one personally. “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Eph. iv. 7. Christ is not divided, any more than Paul was crucified for sinners. 1 Cor. i. 13. Some people seem to have the idea that as Christ was given for all the world, He has to be divided up among all the persons in the world, each one getting only a portion. Not so; every individual gets the whole of Christ. To illustrate: Christ is the light of the world, the Sun of righteousness. But light is not divided among a crowd of people. If a room full of people be brilliantly lighted, each individual gets the benefit of all the light, just as much as though he were alone in the room. So the life of Christ lights every man that comes into the world, and in every believing heart Christ dwells in all His fulness.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 18.15

    Our Sins Purchased .—Christ “gave Himself for our sins.” That is to say, He bought them, and paid the price for them. This is a simple statement of fact; the language used is that commonly employed in referring to purchases. “How much did you give for it?” or, “How much do you want for it?” are frequent questions.” “I gave a guinea for it,” may be the reply, And when we hear a man say that he gave so much for a certain thing, what do we at once know?—we know that that thing belongs to him, because he has bought it. So when the Holy Spirit tells us that Christ gave Himself for our sins, what should we be equally sure of?—That He has bought our sins, and that they belong to Him, and not to us. They are ours no longer, and we have no right to them. Every time we sin we are robbing the Lord.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 19.1

    Deliverance .—Christ has not only paid the price for our sins, but He has accepted the goods. He has taken the sins all on Himself. He “bare our sins in His own body on the tree.” 1 Peter ii. 24. He bears the sins of the world. John i. 29, margin. “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John ii. 2. He “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us,” and since He did not die in vain, He has delivered us. He has wrought deliverance for every soul; whether all will accept it and rejoice in it, is in their own hands. He comes proclaiming “liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Isa. lxi. 1. His commission was, to “say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.” Isa. xlix. 9. Herein is the comfort of the Gospel of salvation: The Lord has taken all our sin upon Himself, having purchased it, so that we do not need to bear it. It was for our sins,-yours and mine,-that He gave Himself. “Our sins” means not imply those things that we have done, but the evil things that we are accustomed to do. He has bought our wicked dispositions, so that we do not need to be burdened with them. The absence of sin is righteousness; therefore in purchasing and taking our sins, the Lord has given to us all the righteousness of God. It is much easier to bear than sin; why not accept and stand to the transaction?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 19.2

    “This Present Evil World.” -He gave Himself for our sins, “that He might deliver us from this present evil world.” The text indicates that our sins constitute “this present evil world.” Of course, for there is no evil in this world except our sins. This present evil world is composed of “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” 1 John ii. 15, 16. Christ said to the Father: “I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil.” John xvii. 15. Men and women have gone into cloisters and convents, and have lived in deserts and in caves as hermits, in order to he separate from the world, that is, from “this present evil world;” but every one has found that the world went along. It was present, always present; they could not get rid of it, because it was within them. It is not our associates that cause us to sin, but the evil that is within us. No man can escape from this present evil world, until he escapes from himself, and Christ gave Himself for our sins, to deliver us from ourselves. This He has done, and every soul can say, if he will, “O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid; Thou hast loosed my bonds.” Ps. cxvi. 16. Having been delivered from himself, and realising it, he can henceforth say, “Not I, but Christ.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 19.3

    He Has Bought Us Too .—This follows from the fact that He has purchased our sins, to deliver us from ourselves. Our sins are part of ourselves; nay, they are the whole of us, for our natural lives are nothing but sin. Therefore Christ could not buy our sins without buying us also. Of this fact we have many plain statements. He “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity.” Titus ii. 14. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price.” 1 Cor. vi. 19. “Ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver and gold, from your vain manner of life received by tradition from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ.” 1 Peter i. 15, 19, R.V.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 19.4

    The Question of Acceptance .—This is for ever settled by what we have already learned. Christ has bought us, together with our sins, and has paid the price. Therefore there is no room for the question, “Will He accept us?” He has already accepted you. Why does a man buy an article at the shop?—Because he wants it. If he has paid the price for it, having examined it so as to know what he was buying, does the merchant worry lest he will not accept it?—Not at all; the merchant knows that it is his business to get the goods to the purchaser as soon as possible. And here there is no room for anyone to object. “But I am so sinful and unworthy.” That makes no difference; a man will accept what he deliberately purchases, especially if he has paid a great price for it; and Christ “gave Himself for our sins.” There is nothing in the whole universe that God desires so much as us and all the sins we have. We have only to “praise the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved.” Eph. i. 7.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 19.5

    “Thy Will Be Done.” -What has this petition to do with the text before us?—very much. We have read of what a wonderful deliverance Jesus has purchased for us, and now we read that all this is “according to the will of our God and Father.” “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” 1 Thess. iv. 3. He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” Eph. i. 11. God wills our salvation; if our will coincides with His, or, better still, if we accept His will as ours, nothing in the universe can hinder our salvation. Therefore we have only to pray from the heart, “Thy will be done.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 19.6

    To God Be the Glory .—Not simply, “To Him be glory,” as in the common version, but “To whom be the glory,” as in the Revision. “Thine is the kingdom; and the power, and the glory.” All glory is God’s, whether men acknowledge it or not. To give Him the glory is not to impart anything to Him, but to recognise a fact. We give Him the glory by acknowledging that His is the power. “It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” Ps. c. 3. “Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.” Ps. xcvi. 7. Power and glory are the same, as we learn from Eph. i. 19, 20, which tells us that Christ was raised from the dead by the exceeding greatness of God's power, and from Rom. vi. 4, where we learn that “Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Also when Jesus by His wondrous power had turned water to wine, we are told that in the performance of the miracle, He “manifested forth His glory.” John ii. 11. So when we say that to God is the glory, we are saying that the power is all from Him. We do not save ourselves, for we are “without strength.” But God is the Almighty, and He can and does save. If we confess that all glory belongs to God, we shall not be indulging in vainglorious imaginations or boastings, and then will God be glorified in us.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 19.7

    Thus we see a little of the comprehensiveness of Paul's salutation by the Spirit. Instead of being the mere compliments of the day, it embraces the whole Gospel of God's glorious grace. It presents to us man's need, God's willingness to save, and Jesus Christ as the power of God, by which deliverance is wrought. With such an introduction, what else can we expect to find in the epistle itself, than that it contains the Gospel in the clearest and most striking form that it is possible to state it? Even so shall we find it as we proceed in our study.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 20.1

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Beatitudes.—Matt. v. 1-12” The Present Truth 14, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Each one of the beatitudes is amply sufficient for an entire lesson, so that it can scarcely be expected that any teacher will cover the whole of them in one lesson. We shall therefore select only a few for consideration at present.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 22.1

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 22.2

    The Greek word here rendered “poor” means literally “beggar;” it indicates abject poverty. There is also the idea of cowering or cringing,-the opposite of self-assertion,-such as would be expected in a beggar.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 22.3

    The ones here referred to are those who do not insist on their own rights, because they do not feel that they have any. Nevertheless they have everything. He who demands, and gets, his rights, gets very little, for it is but little that we deserve. Far better is it to let our “rights” alone, so that we may have the infinitely larger gifts that mercy bestows.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 22.4

    God has a special care for the poor. It is common for people to think that God is indifferent to the needs of the poor, and the poor themselves often think that He does not care for them; but the fact is that there is more said in the Bible about the poor than about any other class. To them are the richest promises. Thus, for example:—PTUK January 13, 1898, page 22.5

    “Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?” James ii. 5.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 22.6

    “I know that God will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.” Ps. cxl. 13.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.1

    “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.” 1 Sam. ii. 8.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.2

    God has pronounced a blessing upon the poor, but not upon the rich, thus showing that the best use a man call make of riches is to get rid of them in the Lord's cause. To the church in Smyrna the Lord said: “I know thy works and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich).” Rev. ii. 9. What greater riches could one have than the kingdom of heaven?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.3

    “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” Matt. v. 4.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.4

    Note that this blessing, like all the others, is not limited, not qualified. The real mourners shall be comforted. What mourners?—All mourners, for there is no discrimination. All mourning shall have an end. To every mourner it seems as though his grief would always continue. The future looks dark and forbidding; that is why he mourns. It is not the present sorrow or loss that causes us to mourn, but the loss which we expect to sustain in the future. This is shown by the fact that if the loss or grief, no matter how great, were only for a moment, no one would mourn. It is the dreary future, the utter absence of anticipation, that makes men mourn. Now we have the assurance that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Ps. xxx. 5. That is a blessing. We are assured that the cause of all sorrow will soon cease, and of course the sorrow itself; then we can at once be “joyful in hope.” The time is soon corning when “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” Rev. xxi. 4.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.5

    The message of God to His people is one of comfort. “Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfort to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.” Isa. xl. 1, 2. Blessed comfort! and it is ours now. Of course there is no comfort for those who will not believe the message of comfort. But believe the promise of the Lord, and, walking in the fear of the Lord you will enjoy “the comfort of the Holy Ghost.” Acts ix. 31.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.6

    “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.7

    Another unconditional assurance. That is, there are no qualifications or limitations. All the meek, not merely a few of them, shall inherit the earth, and never have inherited this earth; but they shall.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.8

    Take two prominent examples: Moses and Christ. Both were patterns of meekness. See Num. xii. 3; Matt. xi. 29. How much of the earth did Moses possess? Not a particle. Because of his meekness he gave up the prospect of the throne of Egypt, and was a wanderer all the rest of his life. Nothing did he possess at his death. Christ had not a place to lay His head. Luke ix. 58. So it is always with the meek. The possessions of this present world are for those who push their claims, and assert their rights, yea, and deprive others of their rights. The meek and unobtrusive are pushed to the wall and trampled underfoot in the scramble for the possession of this earth? When, then, will it be that the meek shall inherit the earth?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.9

    Let it be settled that they shall inherit the earth. They do not now; they never have; but they shall. Shall we say that the world is growing better, or that by and by it will begin to grow better, until a perfect generation comes, and that from that time on the promise will be fulfilled? Even if there were any ground for such a hope, the Saviour's promise would not thereby be fulfilled, for all the meek of past ages would be left out; and it is not merely some of the meek, but “the meek,”—all of them,-who are to inherit the earth.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.10

    Then there is but one answer, and that is that it will be after the resurrection. When the righteous shall have been raised from the dead, and all the wicked destroyed from the earth, then shall the meek inherit the earth, “and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” See Ps. xxxvii. 9-11.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.11

    It is the earth, that the meek are to inherit. The earth was given to man in the beginning (Gen. 1. 26-28), and “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever.” Eccl. iii. 1-14. He made the to be inhabited (Isa. xlv. 18), but only by the good. This purpose will be accomplished; therefore “we, according to His promise, look for new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter iii. 13.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.12

    “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.13

    God gave the children of Israel bread, in order that they might know that man lives by the Word of God. Deut. viii. 1-3. Food and drink are therefore designed to bring us salvation. Not simply do they illustrate salvation, but if we accept them as gifts of God, that is, as means by which God conveys His own life to us, we shall get righteousness by eating and drinking for it is by that means that we get life, and the Christian has but one life, namely, a righteous life,PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.14

    Christ is the bread of life, and with Him is the fountain of life. The Israelites ate and drank of Him in the wilderness (1 Cor. x. 1-4), although many of them did not realise it, and so did not get the life of righteousness.They did not eat by faith, and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Rom. xiv. 23. Read the whole of the sixth chapter of John, and also Ex. xvii. 1-6 in connection with 1 Cor. x. 4. This is a great subject, and can be only hinted at in the space at our disposal this time.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.15

    “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.16

    The larger portion of the Christian world are doing their best to destroy this beatitude. They are trying to get things so adjusted that there cannot be any persecution. The task that so-called “Christian statesmanship” has set itself is to take it as easy as possible to do right, and as difficult as possible to do wrong. This can only he done by accommodating religion to the standard of the world, in which case evil is put for good, and good for evil; and in that there is no blessing, but a curse. Isa. v. 20. “All they that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” because “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.” 2 Tim. iii. 13. “In the last days perilous times shall come; for they shall be lovers of their own selves, ... incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.” Verses 1-5.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.17

    Even Christian ministers seem to take it for granted that a man cannot be expected to follow his convictions, and rest on Sunday, if by so doing he will be likely to lose his situation. So they plead piteously for Sunday laws that shall compel all employers to give their men Sundays, so that they can follow their religious convictions without suffering any inconvenience or loss. Why can they not see that in so doing they are advertising their religion as not that of Christ?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 23.18

    But when we come to the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day of the week, the day before the first day of the week, “the Sabhath according to the commandment” (Luke xxiv. 56), then at once we hear men say, “Oh, I couldn't think of keeping it, for I should lose my situation; I could not make a living; it is so very unpopular and inconvenient.” Well, our lesson says that men who suffer for righteousness sale, that is, for the sake, of the, commandments of God, are blessed. God is abundantly able to keep His servants alive; surely He is as able to preserve the lives of men who keep His commandments as He is to keep those in life who disobey Him. But even if men should die for the sake of the truth of God, there is a blessing on them. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” If they are persecuted to death, then they have a double blessing. It is better to be dead with God's blessing, than alive under His curse.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 24.1

    In China and India men cannot be Christians without suffering persecutions such as are unknown elsewhere. They must suffer the loss of all things. The very men who wish to make Christianity so easy in this country that it will cost no effort to profess to be a Christian, will encourage missionaries to work in those heathen lands, and urge men to accept Christ in the face of the most hitter persecution. That is to say, they wish the type of Christianity in Great Britain to be lower than in China or India. But any Christianity that is less than the best, is not the religion of Jesus Christ. No man is warranted in seeking persecution, for that would he self-assertion; but when persecution comes for simple obedience to God's commandments, then “rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven.” The God of all comfort, comforts all who are in any tribulation, in order that they may comfort others. “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounded, by Christ.” 2 Cor. i. 3-5. Therefore, says the Apostle Paul, “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Cor. xii.10.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 24.2

    “What the Sun Does” The Present Truth 14, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Of the work of the sun Sir John Lubbock says in his “Beauties of Nature”:—PTUK January 13, 1898, page 28.1

    “It draw up water from the ocean, and pours it down in rain to fill the rivers and refresh the plants; it raises the winds, which purify the air and waft our ships over the seas; it draws our carriages and drives our steam-engines, for coal is but the heat of former ages stored up for our use; animals live and move by the sun's warmth; it inspires the song of birds, paints the flowers, and ripens the fruit. Through it the trees grow. For the beauties of nature, for our food and drink, for our clothing, for our light and life, for the very possibility of our existence, we are indebted to the sun.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 28.2

    But when the scientists takes us no further, and even declares the sun to be “the source and ruler of our lives,” he is blind to the truth that the heavens but declare the glory and power of God's life. “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John i. 4. It is just as easy now for men to worship and serve the creature more than the Creator as it was in the days when men first turned from the life of God displayed in all creation to their own imaginings and worshipped the sun and all the host of heaven. Let the warm life-giving sunshine speak only of the warmth of God's love for His creatures, and of His mercy in giving to all life, and of His power to give righteousness as readily as life if men will but believe.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 28.3

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Anglican Church Times supports as “entirely reasonable” the demand for a State-endowed Roman Catholic University in Ireland.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.1

    The Notes on the International Sunday School Lessons, which began in this paper, have been taken up in response to requests, and will be continued from week to week.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.2

    The Christian must run the race “looking unto Jesus.” And “let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” How many lose time and even lose the path by looking aside.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.3

    The story told in another column of the closing of the three drink shops by Gospel meetings indicates the most effective line of temperance work. Where the Word has free course and is glorified in the people, they have no use for liquor shops, and the agents of the accursed traffic must go.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.4

    At a Christian Endeavour Convention, held in Western Australia some time ago, “a resolution was passed by which the members present pledge themselves to refrain from doing business with men who do not observe Sunday.” These things are straws showing which way the wind blows.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.5

    It is with ill-concealed feelings of satisfaction that one of the weekly religious journals repeats of following from a writer in Cornhill, with regard to the feeling in some quarters on the subject of Sunday cycling:—PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.6

    The hedge-clipping season is in full swing. Two years ago I should have paid no heed to it; but now I have a bicycle.... I found old John preparing to give up work early, and making no attempt to rake the clippings together. “Why, John,” I said, “don't you call it a bit unsportsmanlike to spoil other folks pleasure?” “Well, sir,” said John, “I be just leaving these for they Sabbath-breakers.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.7

    John evidently forgot that many folks ride the bicycle on Monday who do not ride on Sunday, and that the tyre which will puncture the Sunday cyclist tyre will serve the Sunday-keeper's tyre the same way; or else he was too willing to make the innocent suffer if he could only punish those who in his eyes were guilty. From first to last one will find in all attempts to enforce Sunday observance, and in all penalties for disregard of Sunday, the very same spirit that prompted the destruction of the Albigenses, when the bishop in charge said to the soldiers, “Kill all; the Lord will know His own.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.8

    The Catholic Times thinks that China will readily be “Christianised” if the Powers divide up the country, as the Chinese “usually bend with considerable docility to the wishes of the Government.” This is true to the Catholic idea of religion-as a form to be imposed from without. Wherever this kind of work has been done it has left the natives further removed from genuine Christianity than ever.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.9

    With the knowledge of the fact that the Russian Church authorities are to-day harrying believers, and robbing them of their children, and even persecuting them to the death by exile and privations, read the following words from Mr. Athelstan Riley, of the English Church Union:—PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.10

    In his estimation, “it was not going to far to say that in the Holy Orthodox Eastern Church you might look as in a mirror, and see therein reflected primitive Christianity.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.11

    The Pope has, it is said, given it out to Catholics in Germany that he expects them to aid the Emperor in passing the Naval Increase Bill, and the Emperor has told Archbishop von Stableski that the Pope is “a real Prince of Peace.” A Prince of Peace promoting naval bills for value received is somewhat of an anomaly.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.12

    The bound volume of THE PRESENT TRUTH for 1897 may be had for 5s. Postage 9d. extra. Any who have saved their weekly copies and desire to have them bound, may obtain covers for binding for 1s. 6d.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.13

    A timely pamphlet for circulation now is, “The Eastern Question; What its Solution Means to the World,” 1d. It was printed during the Armenian troubles of eighteen months ago, but every month's events in the East have only been emphasising the importance of the subject.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.14

    The price of the Good Health magazine is 5d. through our agents. By post it is 2nd. extra.PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.15

    “‘Now is Come Salvation’” The Present Truth 14, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Now is Come Salvation.” -Do not be cheated of the blessing of salvation by putting it off in the future inheritance. “He shall save His people from their sins.” Now He does it, therefore now His name is Jesus-Saviour. All who enter heaven will have been saved from this present evil world while they were yet in it, being “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” He will save you now from sin-from transgressing His law, from your own works-if you will let Him. “For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee.” “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His salvation.”PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.16

    “‘Wasting and Violence’” The Present Truth 14, 2.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Wasting and Violence.” -In spite of the natural tendency of humankind to persuade themselves that they are growing better, by constantly reiterating the assertion that they are, a writer once in a while in an unguarded moment allows the truth to escape concerning this advanced nineteenth century, this “age of enlightenment.” For example, a daily journal that is always most optimistic, states that “it is once again the day of the mailed hand, of the armed State,” and that “Titanic forces are taking birth, and one knows now what their development may mean to the best interests of mankind.” In spite of the fact that men assure us that “Christian civilisation” has made wars of conquest an impossibility, there is not a government of any considerable importance on earth to-day that is not deliberately considering how to get the largest share of some neighbour's possessions, if not actively engaged in the act of robbery. Human nature has not changed a particle since the Dark Ages; and while it is true that the preaching of the Gospel has done wonders in the way of enlightenment, it must not be forgotten that the acceptance of the Gospel as a mere form of religion, a national affair, and not the living Christ in the individual, only tends to envelop the world in deeper darkness. Given the natural cruelty of the unregenerated man, with the terrible instruments of violence which modern skill has invented, and who can prophesy the terrible results?PTUK January 13, 1898, page 32.17

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