Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    October 18, 1894

    “Studies in Romans. The Free Gift. Romans 5:12-19” The Present Truth 10, 42.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the portion of the fifth chapter that we have already studied, we learned of the wonderful love of God, so great that He gave Himself for His enemies, in order that they might be reconciled to Him; and that, as in the death of Christ we receive the life of God, and are thereby one with Him, so by the continuation of that life in us we are saved from sin. Without any further review, we may proceed with the following verses, which presentPTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.1

    A SERIES OF CONTRASTS

    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned; for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift; for if through the offence, so also is the free gift; for if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:12-19.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.2

    QUESTIONING THE TEXT

    How did sin enter into the world?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.3

    “By one man sin entered into the world?”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.4

    What did sin bring with it?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.5

    “And death by sin.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.6

    Upon how many did sentence of death pass?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.7

    “And so death passed upon all men.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.8

    Why?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.9

    “For that all have sinned.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.10

    What then was the fruit of that first offence?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.11

    “By the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.12

    But what else comes just as extensively?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.13

    “The free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.14

    By what means did it come?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.15

    “By the righteousness of one.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.16

    How only does righteousness come?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.17

    “By the obedience of one.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.18

    Joy in God.-The eleventh verse should have been included in last week’s lesson, as the thought is the same as in the preceding verses. By the same life by which we receive the reconciliation and salvation, “we also joy in God.” Christ’s life is a joyous life. When David had fallen, he prayed, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.” Psalm 51:12. The brightness of the heavens, the beauty of the infinite variety of flowers with which God clothes the earth, and the glad songs of the birds, all indicate that God delights in joy and beauty. Brightness and song are but the natural expressions of his life. “Let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.” Psalm 5:11.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.19

    There is probably no passage in Romans more difficult to understand than verses 12-19. The reason is that there is so long a parenthesis in the midst of the main statement, and there is so much repetition of the same form of expression. There is really no greatly involved argument. In this study we shall not attempt to deal with every particular, but will note the main thought running through the whole, so that the reader can read and study it more satisfactorily for himself.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 657.20

    First Principles.-It will be seen from verse twelve that the apostle goes back to the very beginning. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” There can never be any presentation of the Gospel, if these facts are ignored. The story of the fall of man must be as literally true as the story of the cross; for the latter depends entirely upon the former.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.1

    Death by Sin.-Death came by sin, because sin is death. Sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth death. See James 1:15. “To be carnally minded is death.” Romans 8:6. “The sting of death is sin.” 1 Corinthians 15:56. There could be no death if there were no sin. Sin carries death in its bosom. So it was not an arbitrary act on the part of God that death came upon men because of sin. It could not possibly be otherwise.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.2

    Righteousness and Life.—“To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6. “There is none good but one, that is, God.” Matthew 19:17. He is goodness itself. Goodness is His life. Righteousness is simply God’s way. Therefore righteousness is life. It is not merely a conception of what is right, but it is the right thing itself. Righteousness is active. As sin and death are inseparable, so are righteousness and life. “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.” Deuteronomy 30:15.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.3

    Death Passed upon All Men.-Note the justice here. Death passed upon all men, “for that all have sinned.” “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18:20. And this is also a necessary consequence of the fact that sin contains death in it, and that death can not come in any other way than by sin. Death cannot come upon a man because of the sin of another. It must come because of his own sin; for if a man has not sinned, there is nothing to bring death upon him. But since all have sinned, therefore of necessity death passed upon all.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.4

    The Conclusion.-It will be noticed that the twelfth verse begins a proposition that is not completed. Verses 13-17 are parenthetical; we must pass on to the eighteenth verse to find the conclusion. But as the mind would naturally lose the first part of the statement on account of the long parenthesis, the apostle repeats the substance of it, so that we may perceive the force of the conclusion. So the first part of verse 18 is parallel to verse 12. “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men to condemnation.” The conclusion is, “even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.5

    The Reign of Death.—“Death reigned from Adam to Moses.” That does not imply that death did not reign just as much afterwards. But the point is that Moses stands for the giving of the law; “for the law was given by Moses.” John 1:17. Now since death reigns through sin, and sin is not imputed when there is no law, it is evident from the statement that “death reigned from Adam to Moses,” that the law was in the world just as much before Sinai as it was afterwards. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56. There can be no sin imputed when there is no law; but wherever there is sin, there death reigns.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.6

    Adam a Figure.—“Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.” How is Adam a figure of Him that was to come, namely, Christ? Just as the following verses indicate, that is, Adam was a figure of Christ in that his action involved many besides himself. It is evident that Adam could not give his descendants any higher nature than he had himself, so Adam’s sin made it inevitable that all his descendants should be born with sinful natures. Sentence of death, however, does not pass on them for that, but because they have sinned.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.7

    A Figure by Contrast.-Adam is a figure of Christ, but only by contrast. “Not as the offence, so also is the free gift.” Through the offence of one many are dead; but through the righteousness of One, many receive life. “The judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.” There is contrast all the way through. Everything that came through Adam’s fall is undone in Christ; or, better still, all that was lost in Adam is restored in Christ.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.8

    “Much More.”-This might be taken as the key-note of this chapter. Not only is everything that is lost in Adam restored in Christ, but “much more.” “If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” And there is no chance of finding fault with the inevitable fact that we are inheritors of a sinful nature through Adam. We can not complain that we are unjustly dealt with. It is true that we are not to blame for having a sinful nature, and the Lord recognises the fact. So He provides that just as in Adam we were made partakers of a sinful nature, even so in Christ we shall be made partakers of the divine nature. But “much more.” “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” That is, the life of which we are made partakers in Christ is much stronger for righteousness than the life which we received from Adam is for unrighteousness. God does not do things by halves. He gives “abundance of grace.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.9

    The Condemnation.—“Death passed upon all men;” or, as stated later, “judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. All have sinned, and, therefore, all are in condemnation. There has not a man lived on earth over whom death has not reigned, nor will there be until the end of the world. Enoch and Elijah, as well as those who shall be translated when the Lord comes, are no exceptions. There are no exceptions, for the scripture says that “death passed upon all men.” For the reign of death is simply the reign of sin. “Elias was a man of like passions with us.” Enoch was righteous only by faith; his nature was as sinful as that of any other man. So that death reigned over them as well as over any others. For be it remembered that this present going into the grave, which we so often see, is not the punishment of sin. It is simply the evidence of our mortality. Good and bad alike die. This is not the condemnation, because men die rejoicing in the Lord, and even singing songs of triumph.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 658.10

    “Justification of Life.”—“By the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” There is no exception here. As the condemnation came upon all, so the justification comes upon all. Christ has tasted death for every man. He has given Himself for all. Nay, he has given Himself to every man. The free gift has come upon all. The fact that it is a free gift is evidence that there is no exception. If it came upon only those who have some special qualification, then it would not be a free gift. It is a fact, therefore, plainly stated in the Bible, that the gift of righteousness and life in Christ has come to every man on earth. There is not the slightest reason why every man that has ever lived should not be saved unto eternal life, except that they would not have it. So many spurn the gift offered so freely.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 659.1

    “The Obedience of One.”-By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Men are not saved through their own obedience, but through the obedience of Christ. Here is where the sceptic cavils, and says that it is not just that one man’s obedience should be counted as another’s. But the man who rejects the counsel of the Lord does not know anything about justice, and is not qualified to speak in the case. The Bible does not teach us that God calls us righteous simply because Jesus of Nazareth was righteous eighteen hundred years ago. It says that by his obedience we are made righteous. Notice that it is present, actual righteousness. The trouble with those who object to the righteousness of Christ being imputed to believers is that they do not take into consideration the fact that Jesus lives. He is alive today, as much as when he was in Judea. “He ever liveth,” and he is “the same yesterday and to-day, and forever.” His life is as perfectly in harmony with the law now as it was then. And he lives in the hearts of those who believe on him. Therefore it is Christ’s present obedience in believers that makes them righteous. They can of themselves do nothing, and so God in His love does it in them. Here is the whole story: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 659.2

    Why Not All?-The text says that “by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” Some one may ask, “Why are not all made righteous by the obedience of One?” The reason is that they do not wish to be. If men were counted righteous simply because one was righteous eighteen hundred years ago, then all would have to be righteous by the same obedience. There would be no justice in counting righteousness to one and not to all, if it were in that way. But we have seen that it is not so. People are not simply counted righteous, but actually made righteous, by the obedience of Christ, who is as righteous as He ever was, and who lives today in those who yield to Him. His ability to live in any human being is shown in the fact that He took human flesh eighteen hundred years ago. What God did in the person of the carpenter of Nazareth, He is willing and anxious to do for every man that now lives. The free gift comes upon all, but all will not accept it, and therefore all are not made righteous by it. Nevertheless, many will be made righteous by His obedience. Who will be one of the many?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 659.3

    “The Coming Kingdom” The Present Truth 10, 42.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Our earth has not seen the last one of the great kingdoms which are to be established upon it. The God of heaven is to set up a kingdom, and we are living in the time when this stupendous event is to take place. Whatever absurd and extravagant theories may be floating about in the religious world upon this subject, there can be no doubt whatever that the Lord is to set up a kingdom here, and that we have reached the days in which this mighty act is to be done. We have but to turn to the prophecy and read the statement. We find it in the second chapter of the Book of Daniel. There are many prophecies which relate to this event, but none would speak more directly of the setting up of the kingdom, or which afford less ground for fanciful speculation.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 660.1

    This prophecy was given in a dream to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the greatest of the monarchs who ruled over the Babylonian empire. He did not understand the dream, and it troubled him; nor were the astrologers and soothsayers of Babylon able to tell the dream, or what it meant. But God revealed both to the prophet Daniel, and he was brought before the king and interpreted the dream. In his dream the king saw, as we are told (verse 31), a great image, likeness of a man, having a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet part of iron and part of clay. As he beheld the image he saw a stone “cut out of the mountain without hands, which smote the image upon his feet,” breaking them in pieces, upon which they were immediately swept away like chaff, while the stone “became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 660.2

    In his interpretation Daniel told the king that the image represented the kingdoms of the world from his own day down to the end of time. Four of these kingdoms, including that of Nebuchadnezzar, were to be universal. Nebuchadnezzar was at that time, as the prophet declared (verse 38), king over all the earth. The first kingdom represented by the image was his own. The prophet said to him, “Thou art this head of gold.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 660.3

    “After thee,” said Daniel, “shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.” The kingdom which succeeded that of Babylonia was the Medo-Persian kingdom. When Belshazzar, the last Babylonian king, was slain on the night after his impious feast, “Darius the Median took the kingdom.” Daniel 5:30, 31. He was not long afterward succeeded by Cyrus, king of Persia, who operated with Darius in the capture of Babylon. The Medo-Persian empire embraced all the territory of the Babylonian kingdom, and continued until it was overthrown by Alexander the Great. In the eighth of Daniel this empire is symbolised by a ram with two horns (verses 3, 4), which represented “ the kings of Media and Persia” (verse 20). In the vision of this chapter the prophet saw the ram overthrown by a goat which came with great swiftness against him, and had a great horn between his eyes. The goat, we are told (verse 21), was “the king of Grecia,” the horn representing the first king, which was Alexander. Grecia, therefore, was the “third kingdom of brass,” which should bear rule over all the earth, as the prophet said to Nebuchadnezzar. It became universal in the days of Alexander, who is reported to have wept because there were no more worlds to conquer.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 660.4

    The next great universal empire, the fourth kingdom, which was to be “strong as iron,” was the kingdom of Rome, which rose to supremacy about the year 160 B.C. Of the strength and universality of this empire nothing need be said. It continued for centuries, until internal corruption finally sapped its strength, and the vast territory over which it ruled became broken up into smaller kingdoms, represented by the ten toes of the image. Of them the prophet says, “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, for as much as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken.” Verses 41, 42. This truthfully represents the condition which followed the division of the empire, and which we see illustrated in the remnants of those kingdoms as they exist to-day. Some of the divisions became strong, and some weak. Some of them have to-day the strength of iron, and some the weakness of clay. A glance at the nations now occupying the territory of the ancient Roman empire is sufficient to show this fact.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 661.1

    Nor will they mix together. The prophet said of them, “And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall make themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” Verse 43. The fragments cannot be united again into one mass; the nations cannot be blended into one people. All the efforts that have been made to do this have failed. Napoleon conquered several nations and made great changes in the map of Europe, but his empire speedily fell to pieces. He did as much as could be done by arms to unite the nations, but he fell far short of attaining universal supremacy, and those which he bound together by force possessed no cohesion, but fell apart as soon as the bands were removed. Nor has anything more been accomplished by the mingling of the seed of men. Although the heads of the nations of Europe are nearly all allied with each other by marriage, no blending of kingdoms results therefrom. Whatever unions are formed from sentiment, no visible effect is produced in the sterner realm of business interests, but each nation pursues its own policy, guarding and extending its “rights” as jealously as if no alliances existed. The spirit of the times, seen in even the smaller countries of Europe, is that of national independence. The tendency is toward disintegration rather than reunion. Thus the prophecy is fulfilled.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 661.2

    And now comes the important part of the prophecy for us. “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter; and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Verses 44, 45. This language is plain, and needs no interpretation. The four great universal kingdoms of the image were literal earthly kingdoms. The divisions were literal earthly kingdoms. And when the “stone cut out of the mountain without hands” shall smite the feet of the image, all these literal earthly kingdoms will be broken and swept away and the stone will take their place. The kingdom of God will be set up, a literal, visible kingdom, filling the whole earth. Then the promise to Abraham, “that he should be the heir of the world” (Romans 4:13), will be fulfilled to him and to his seed. Then “the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:11.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 661.3

    There has been, from the very first, a throne of grace and a kingdom of grace, of which fallen man becomes subject by conversion. Of this kingdom the Saviour spoke when He said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, ... for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20, 21. This kingdom has been gathering in its subjects during all the ages in which earthly governments have existed among men; but this work is not to go on for ever. This earth is not always to be the abode of sinners, a place of misery and wickedness, a plague-spot on God’s universe. The work of God for sinners will be finished, the day of the Lord come (2 Peter 3:10), in which the judgments of Jehovah will fall upon the finally impenitent. The hour will be reached which was foreseen and foretold by the Apostle John: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15), and when will be fulfilled also the words of Psalm 2:8, 9, “Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” All this will be incident to the setting up of a visible kingdom, in power and glory, by the God of heaven; a kingdom which shall break in pieces and consume all earthly kingdoms, as the prophet declared (Daniel 2:44), and shall stand for ever.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 661.4

    We are now far advanced in “the days of these kings,” when the God of heaven is to set up His kingdom. Are we looking forward to this great and solemn event? Shall we turn our eyes away from the plain words of the prophecy, as from a mystic or an idle tale? The prophet declared, “The dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” These are God’s words, addressed to us. He revealed these things to king Nebuchadnezzar; but how much greater and more solemn is their import to us, who live down in the consummation of his prophetic dream. The things written aforetime are “written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 662.1

    God gives men ample opportunity to know the truth, but He does not force them to believe it. Signs of the great approaching day have been displayed upon both earth and sky, and every force of nature has been summoned to give its warning testimony of the end of all things at hand. The earth itself “mourneth and languisheth.” It has waxed old like a garment; it has become threadbare in many places, like a man enfeebled by age, it can no longer retain a calm and steady control of the forces within it, and the once gentle rain becomes a deluge, and the sunshine a burning drouth. Cyclone and fire cover large districts with death and ruin. The judgments of God are in the land, and will become terrible teachers of His righteousness.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 662.2

    Sacred history reveals the fact that in all ages the Divine judgments have fallen suddenly and unexpectedly. Even the greatest of them have taken the world by surprise, and it will be even so in our day. Hear the words of Christ: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 25:37-39. They “knew not until the flood came.” Why did they not know? Had not Noah preached it to them for a hundred and twenty years? Yes; but they did not believe him; and the same unbelief blinds the eyes of men to-day. Notwithstanding the plain prophecy which we have here examined, and many others which might be cited from God’s word, the vast majority of mankind will not know of the coming destruction of earthly things, when the stone cut out without hands shall smite the image upon the feet, and earthly kingdoms, with all that pertains to them, shall be swept away. And they will be ignorant of this simply because they will not heed the plain words which our merciful God has sent to warn and save them. “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 662.3

    “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.... . For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-9. Solemn and forcible is the admonition left by our Saviour upon this point: “Take ye heed, watch and pray; for ye know not when the time is.... . Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.” Mark 13:33-36. What excuse can be rendered at the final day by those to whom God shall have spoken in vain?PTUK October 18, 1894, page 662.4

    “Attaining Moral Perfection” The Present Truth 10, 42.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    A Spanish duke, it is reported, has committed suicide because he was not able to attain moral perfection. This is an example of human nature doing the best it can. There is not a man on earth that has not just as good cause for committing suicide as had this duke, and the only reason why the lives of people who are “trying to do the best they can” do not terminate as his did, is that they care less about moral perfection. Human nature is fallen, and cannot rise again to its lost plans by any power or virtue of its own.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 662.5

    Yet there is a way to attain perfection, for He who said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), knew that this was utterly beyond the power of man, and so He gave them His own almighty power for its accomplishments. Note the testimony of Paul, who knew this power. “Brethren,” he writes to the Philippians, “I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do; forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13, 14.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 662.6

    Paul valued moral perfection as highly as any man; yet, though he did not consider himself perfect, he was not in despair over the fact, but full of hope and courage. And thus it is with those who seek perfection by the Christian method. With Christ living and working in them, they know that the victory is theirs, for He has already conquered every foe. But without Him, the only recourse is to try to evolve some moral power out of human nature, where there is no power-to bring a clean thing out of the unclean-and afflict the erring body with torturing penalties such as long fastings, pilgrimages, and the various forms of penance, or take the shorter road to the same result which was taken by the duke.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 662.7

    But the language of Paul in this connection is worthy of careful note. He says, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended.” He had not come to the place where he could pause and survey his own perfection. He did not stop to measure up his attainments and see how far he had advanced, but simply kept pressing forward with eyes fixed upon “the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” He looked steadily upon the glory of God revealed in Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:4-6), and forgot self entirely. Had he not done so,—had he taken his eyes away from Jesus and looked at himself-he would that moment have fallen back toward the place from which he had started. If he had looked at himself and seen himself to be perfect, he would have seen something which was far from that. Notice the testimony of Job: “If I justify myself, my own mouth shall condemn me; if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.” Job 9:20. Looking at self and beholding perfection in self was what started all the trouble in the universe; for that was what Satan did when, as Lucifer, he was an exalted angel in heaven. See Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28. Proverbs 19. He saw his beauty and brightness and because of this his heart was lifted up (verse 17) and he essayed to set up a government of his own and be equal with God. But his beauty and brightness was not his own, but God’s. It was simply God in him that gave him his excellence; and when God withdrew from him and left him to himself, there was left simply-the devil.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 662.8

    We are not, therefore, to look to ascertain whether we are morally perfect, or ever to see any moral perfection anywhere else but in Christ. When we are perfect, is when we are crucified with Christ, and He lives in us. Galatians 2:20. And then the perfection is not ours, but His; but God, in His love to us, gives us all the credit, and treats us as though it were our own.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.1

    “The Best Study of Modern Missions” The Present Truth 10, 42.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    THE STORY OF JOHN G. PATON, by Rev. James Paton. Illustrated. 5s. Hodder & Stoughton, 27 Paternoster Row, London.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.2

    The story of the life and labours of John G. Paton among the cannibals of the New Hebrides is the most thrilling in all the history of modern missions; and the story of modern missions is a thrilling and inspiring one. If anybody wants to find books for the youth that will hold their attention and teach lessons of faith in God, let them try the lives of some of these pioneers, and they will find more wonderful experiences than the novelist can draw from his imagination. And the life pictured is a real one, showing that God really lives and works wonders with those who will trust Him.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.3

    The Story of John G. Paton has an important lesson for this time especially, when it is too currently believed that the methods of the Book of Acts are out of date; and that, while it is all right to trust the Lord, it is still necessary to have the protection of consuls and gunboats in the work of preaching the Gospel to the heathen. There are many who think Christ’s teachings about non-resistance are only figurative language, and that no one could get on who really followed the teaching in these days.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.4

    But when Mr. Paton went to Tanna he had only God to care for him. Was that sufficient? How could he have had more? Again and again, when the maddened natives wanted to kill him, and could have done so with perfect impunity, the voice of God was heard as of old, saying, “Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm.” After a council of natives had decided that the missionary must die the people assembled at his house and—“a man furiously rushed on me with his axe; but a chief snatched a spade with which I had been working, and dexterously defended me from instant death. Life in such circumstances led me to cling very near to the Lord Jesus; I knew not for one brief hour how attack might be made, and yet with my trembling hand clasped in the Hand once nailed on Calvary, and now swaying the sceptre of the universe, calmness and peace and resignation abode in my soul. Next day a wild chief followed me about for four hours with loaded musket, and though often directed toward me, God restrained his hand.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.5

    Again a company of men came in the night to shoot him, but they were afraid of a little dog. “Next morning the report went all round the harbour that those who tried to shoot me were ‘smitten weak with fear,’ and that shooting would not do.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.6

    “One day, while toiling away at my house, the war chief and his brother, ad a large party of armed men, surrounded the plot. They all had muskets. They watched me for some time in silence, and then every man leveled a musket straight at my head. Escape was impossible. Speech would only have increased my danger. I prayed to my Lord Jesus, either Himself to protect me or take me home to His glory. I tried to keep working at my task as if no one was near me. In that moment, as never before, the words came to me—‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, I will do it;’ and I knew that I was safe. Retiring a little from their first position, no word having been spoken, they took up the same attitude somewhat further off, and seemed to be urging one another to fire the first shot. But my dear Lord restrained them once again.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.7

    The Sacred men of the tribe had been discomfited by Mr. Paton in a trial of their arts of sorcery, and the leader attempted to kill them.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.8

    “Though we got safely home, that old Sacred Man seemed still to hunger after my blood. For weeks thereafter, go where I would, he would suddenly appear on the path behind me, poising in his right hand that same Goliath spear. God only kept it from being thrown.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.9

    These are but a few of the incidents in that early experience in the island of Tanna. Day after day the angels of the Lord encamped round about the missionary, and not one of the bloodthirsty savages dared to press the trigger of the leveled musket, or throw the killing stone or spear when they might easily have done so. “It is the sober truth,” says Mr. Paton, “and it comes back to me sweetly after twenty years, that I had my nearest and dearest glimpses of the face and smile of my blessed Lord in those dread moments when musket, club, or spear was leveled at my life. Oh, the bliss of living and enduring, as seeing ‘Him who is invisible’!”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.10

    Need we say that the cannibals of Tanna and other islands long since gave up their ways and are a different people now? We wish that every one might read this story of God’s work in the New Hebrides. It is what is needed; for even professing believers are so apt to think the Lord is a long way off, and hesitate to follow Him for fear of danger or distress. As though God could not and does not care for those that put their trust in Him alone, just the same as He did in ancient days. The Lord is constantly doing it, but it is not often that we find in one book so soul-inspiring and encouraging a testimony as Mr. Paton gives in this one. If you have not read it, do not fail to do so if you possibly can, and as you read it, remember that the same Lord can do the same marvellous works for you, whatever may be the work He gives you to do, if you will take the faith that Jesus gives.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 663.11

    “News of the Week” The Present Truth 10, 42.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes died from asthma at Boston, Oct. 7, in his eighty-sixth year.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.1

    -The military barracks at Granada, Nicaragua, have been blown up, 200 persons being killed.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.2

    -A severe typhoon, which caused much damage to the small craft in the harbour, is reported from Hong Kong.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.3

    -The St. Petersburg journal Novosti boldly urges Russia to avert future evils by annexing Korea and Manchuria.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.4

    -The Bill granting liberty of worship to all denominations in Hungary was defeated in the House of Magnates on the third reading.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.5

    -The Czar is in the last stages of Bright’s disease, the Ameer of Afghanistan is very ill, and the King of Siam is in the last stages of consumption.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.6

    -Advices received from Cuba state that about 200 fatalities were caused by the recent storm in the island. The damage to property is estimated at between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 dollars.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.7

    -During the week ending Oct. 10, sixteen cases of cholera and eight deaths were reported in ten communes throughout Holland. Of these, six cases and one death occurred in Amsterdam.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.8

    -A whistling snake has been discovered in Australia. It rushes out from its lair and boldly attacks human beings, uttering the while sounds resembling a whistle. Its sting proves fatal in a bee minutes.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.9

    -John Revell, a Michigan miner, was recently thawing some dynamite in his home when it exploded with terrific force. The whole house was blown to atoms, and five persons were killed, three others being fatally injured.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.10

    -Terrible storms have raged on the western Atlantic, and great damage has been done along the coast of North America. At Newfoundland over fifty vessels have gone ashore, and thirty fishermen are believed to have perished.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.11

    -A chemist in Algiers has invented a process for concentrating wine in tablets. Henceforth, we are told, travellers will be able to carry great intake of wine in small boxes To make the wine, it will only be necessary to add the amount of water which had been allowed to evaporate.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.12

    -The war spirit amongst the Kaffes at Delagoa Bay is spreading fast, and all the natives in the Portuguese territory are in arms. Already several whites and a large number of friendly Kaffirs have been massacred at Lorenzo Marques.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.13

    -There is talk in Russia of a regency for maintaining the form of government during the illness of the Czar. The latter is said to suffer from great mental depression, which is considered one of the gravest features connected with his malady.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.14

    -The Unification of London Commissioners have issued their report, in which they suggest a grand council for the metropolis with local administrative bodies. This means, it is said, the merging of the old city into “Creator London” in the near future.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.15

    -Whilst a party of hop-pickers were being driven in a waggon over a level crossing between Canterbury and Chatham, they were run into by a train. The waggon-driver and six women and children were killed, and eight others more or less seriously injured.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.16

    -President Cleveland has issued a proclamation declaring that he is satisfied that the members of the Mormon Church are now living in obedience to the laws, and granting a full amnesty and pardon to those convicted of polygamy and suffering deprivation of civil rights.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.17

    -The International Arbitration and Peace Association has passed resolutions protesting against the military interference of British subjects in Madagascar, and suggesting to the French Peace Society that the difficulties which have arisen are a fit subject for arbitration.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.18

    -The eighty-six Greek army officers who were charged with destroying the Akropolis newspaper office at Athens on account of its military comment, were unanimously acquitted by the court-martial, which even declared them “innocent.” Doubtless it will be some thine before a Greek journal ventures again to make criticisms respecting the army.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.19

    -Louis Koekoek was a good workman employed in London as a diamond cutter. He had a wife and a young family to whom be was strongly attached. But he was a gambler, and ended by staking his employers jewels in the hope of recovering his losses at baccarat. When he had played and lost everything, including his character, he drank vitriol enough to kill eight people.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.20

    -Not only the Bishops but the Roman Catholic laymen have now raised vigorous protests against the “consecration” of Senor Cabrera as Protestant Bishop in Madrid. The question will be raised in the Spanish Senate and Chamber of Deputies by the Ultra-Catholic members. They will be joined by many leading men in the Conservative party, and stormy debates are expected.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.21

    -A rare archaeological discovery has been made in the town of Kertch, Russia, from which may interesting relics of the pest have been unearthed. Recently a workman, while digging at the foot of an ancient tumulus, which erections are plentiful in the Crimea, came across the colossal effigy of a lion, carved out of the finest white marble and of the most excellent Greek workmanship. This interesting effigy, which is over 7ft. in length, weighs 70cwt.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.22

    -The Duke of Tamanes, the Civil Governor of Madrid, is waging a vigorous warfare in that city against ell gamblers, owing to which he recently received an anonymous letter threatening that a bomb would be exploded in his official residence, unless he relaxed the resent rigorous enforcement of the anti-gambling law. In view of the desperate character of many of the professional gamblers, the fear is entertained that the attempt will be actually made by them.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.23

    -Sheng, the Taotai or chief magistrate of Tientsin, and nephew of Li Hung Chang, is disgraced. It appears that he purchased 300,000 obsolete and almost worthless rifles from the Germans, and charged the Government more than four times as much as he gave for them. The viceroy is reported to have ended an interview with his nephew by slapping him in the face, after which the latter retired, no doubt satisfied to be disgraced for a gain of over ?300,000.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.24

    -Advices to St. Petersburg from Tiflis, state that the position of the Asiatic Christians is really dreadful. Communication between the towns and villages has been beoken; letters are opened; commerce is at an end. Prices have therefore, risen on all the necessaries of life. What is worse, there is no pnsnbility for those colonists to return to their native land, as the Turkish consuls refuse to sign the passports. Military forces have been sent against the Christian population of Sassoun, the reason given for this course being that the taxes are not forthcoming.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 670.25

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 10, 42.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The correspondent of one of our religious contemporaries are engaged in a discussion, trying to find out if the millennium has already begun.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.1

    The Buddhist priests encourage the Japanese to slaughter the Chinese, telling them that the highest felicity awaits those who die with their weapons in their hands.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.2

    The religions of the East are missioning in the West. Buddhism has long had a foothold in Europe and America, and now a monthly journal is published in Liverpool in the interests of Mohammedanism.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.3

    The grace of giving is one of the Christian graces and privileges. Then why should it be any more needful to devise expedients to get people to give for the Lord’s work than to get them to pray or engage in any service of devotion? If one does not give for his love of the Lord, his money is not needed. If he loves the Lord and believes a work is the work of the Lord, he will give money to prosecute it. Then there is no need of the devices borrowed from the world, such as are so commonly resorted to to get people to pay money who do not give because of their love for the work.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.4

    Writing from Lausanne, Switzerland, Mr. H. P. Holser, manager of the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in Basel, whose case has been before the courts for printing on Sunday, says:—PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.5

    Our case was decided at this place to-day by the Superior Court against us. Two judges were in our favour, and four were not openly against us, but in favour of enforcing the law. A great point made was that of the civil Sunday. As soon as I get the Clerk’s report, I will send you an article. We shall probably bring the case before the Federal Assembly which meets in December; but I do not expect that this will hinder the execution of the sentence.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.6

    The civil Sunday plea is of course an evasion. It is the same plea that the Church of Rome has always made to excuse religious persecution. It was always the civil power, and not the church that punished “heretics”; and they were punished not for irreligion, it is claimed, but for rejecting customs which society and the State had established.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.7

    “The religion of Europe is the worship of Mars,” said Sir John Lubbock at the meeting of the Institute of Sociology in Paris. The god of war is worshipped more blindly in Europe than in Asia or Africa. It is an illustration of the gross darkness that follows when the light is turned into darkness.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.8

    “Salvation Not in Works” The Present Truth 10, 42.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Salvation Not in Works.—“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22, 23. The uppermost thought in the minds of these is, We and our works. This was the thought they had when they were professedly the zealous servants of Christ, and so completely have they been deceived by it that they even present it as a reason for their admission into the kingdom of heaven, and then, with horror and consternation, they learn that they are cherishing something of no value. Not, We and our works, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, is the passport that will secure admission there.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.9

    “Apostolic Succession” The Present Truth 10, 42.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Apostolic Succession.-The Scriptures tell us that “without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness.” 1 Timothy 3:16. There has been plenty of controversy, but the controversy has done nothing to solve the mystery. We are reminded of this text by the controversy now raging over the question of “apostolical succession.” Having listened to the deliverances of Cardinal Vaughan and Anglican High Churchmen on the subject, it will be refreshing and profitable to look away from the field of controversy and see what is told as concerning it in the word of the Lord. Not that “apostolical succession” is anywhere mentioned in the Bible; for like most of those subjects which have involved Christendom in fierce debate, the question is not raised in Scripture at all. The real question is that of the right and Divine authority of man to preach the Gospel.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.10

    Notice Paul’s language to the Galatians: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8. This shows at once the folly of placing any dependence upon “apostolical succession.” The important thing is not the station of a preacher, or the line of “succession” which he may be able to trace back to early times, but the word which he preaches. But people have come to pay little attention to the latter, and are ready to accept as truth almost anything which the Church dignitaries may say, provided only that there be no question as to his rightful place in the “succession.”PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.11

    The Bible tells us who are authorised to give the Gospel invitation. “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come.” Revelation 22:16. Whosoever hears the gracious invitation may pass it on to his fellow man. It is both his privilege and his duty to do so. But any person, no matter how high or “valid” his station, who preaches any other gospel than that which Paul preached, puts himself under a curse.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.12

    “The Stocks Again” The Present Truth 10, 42.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Stocks Again.-The old notion that religion may be advanced by force is reviving, and this leads to the enforcement of some of the old laws which many supposed had expired generations ago. Twice within a few months the Sunday law of Charles II. has been set in operation against observers of the seventh-day Sabbath in Australia. The second case has been widely discussed in the Australian press. A correspondent writes of the results of the conviction as follows:—PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.13

    Of course he would not pay his fine, so was sentenced to the stocks, and the stocks were ordered to be made. After passing the sentence, the police magistrate and members of the bar said that the law was unjust, and advised our people to take steps to have it repealed. Before the stocks were completed, however, the Minister of Justice came to the rescue, as I suppose he did not want the colony disgraced at the present time with the carrying out of the penalty of such a law as that of Charles II. He took the matter in hand, and by investigating the law, he found a technical fault in the case in the amount of the fine imposed, which was two shillings, sixpence; the law says five shillings, or in default levy and distress, or to be acted publicly in the stocks for two hours. He then declared the sentence illegal, and took the matter to the Governor, who signed a requisition to this effect.PTUK October 18, 1894, page 672.14

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents