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    March 7, 1895

    “Front Page” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The cross of Christ is that which lifts men up from the earth; and only as men are thus separated from the earth will they be able to escape the destruction which will overtake it.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.1

    There is no greater difficulty to be met in the Christian life than that of simply yielding to God. And that is not a difficulty. The difficult thing is to resist God, or to be forced to yield unwillingly.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.2

    No man can be either a free or a good man without having a free conscience. No blow aimed at an individual’s conscience ever tended to make him a better man, a more useful citizen, or a more agreeable neighbour.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.3

    One of the leading religious journals says:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.4

    We have so long been in the habit of speaking and thinking of civilisation as Christian, and of the great powers of the world as Christian powers, and of identifying civilisation with Christendom, that it may take us a little while to accustom ourselves to the thought, and to recognise the fact that here is Japan fairly admitted into the sisterhood of great nations, making treaties on equal terms with them worthy of their respect, and able with army and fleet to maintain her parity with them, and yet not Christian.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.5

    Just think of that last sentence! Japan is able to fight as skilfully and as desperately as any other nation, and yet is not Christian! That shows what a low idea of Christianity is prevalent, and it comes from confounding Christianity with civilisation, and making them synonymous terms. Assyria, Babylon, Greece, and Rome had as high and polished a civilisation as the world has ever known, combined with the most wicked heathenism; and just to the extent that Christianity and civilisation are made synonymous, will civilisation be the means of paganising the so-called Christian nations of to-day.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.6

    “A Noble Example” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Such was the example left us by the men of Berea, to whom Paul preached while on his missionary tour through Macedonia. Of that we read, “These were more noble than they of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.7

    Two things were done by the Bereans. They “received the word with all readiness of mind,” and they “searched the Scriptures daily” to ascertain whether the things spoken were true. Such is the attitude of mind and heart displayed by those whom God calls noble. It was one unmarked by prejudice, bigotry, or any meanness of spirit. It is the only attitude which does not bar the way to the entrance of truth and light.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.8

    There are but few persons, comparatively, who are willing to receive with all readiness of mind anything that is not pleasing to their own natural taste. When that which involves self-denial is spoken to them, they resolutely shut the door of their hearts against it. This of course cuts off all necessity for the second step-that of searching the Scriptures. The Scriptures cannot be searched with closed eyes. But in thus barring themselves off from the truth, they bar themselves away from eternal life. “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart,” and those who are righteous and upright will receive it. Every man puts himself in the class in which he is found. God does not bar anyone away from life, nor will He do so in the day of Judgment. That day will reveal who have barred themselves away, and it will only be left for God to deal with them accordingly.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.9

    That which bars the way against truth, however, does not bar it against error. He who shuts his eyes to the light, will see darkness. It is error that shuts out truth, and truth that shuts out error. Truth will attract truth, and error will draw more error to itself.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.10

    But if the Bereans had merely received the word that was spoken with all readiness of mind, and stopped there, it would not have left an example worthy of imitation; for though the truth of God may be spoken by men, it must be received as the word of God, or it cannot be made the foundation of true faith. The apostle who preached to the Bereans wrote also to the Thessalonians that he gave thanks to God, “because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Paul did not preach for the purpose of getting honour to himself. He preached the word of God, which is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12) and wrought wonderful things wherever he spoke it; but it would have benefited neither the Bereans nor the Thessalonians if they had received it as the word of Paul. And why not? Simply because in that case Paul’s word would have been the foundation of their belief, and they would have had no faith; for no man’s word can be a foundation of faith. Faith lays hold upon God, not man. Faith sees God, and not man. It matters not how true the word that is spoken, if it be not received as God’s word, it does not connect the soul with Him.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 145.11

    The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily to test the truth of what they heard. They tested what man said, by what God had said. But in our day most people do just the reverse. They test the word of God by the word of man. In other words, the word of man is their authority for what the word of God means. Not knowing what it means themselves, they ask their pastor about it, and whatever he says it means, that they believe. This is making man’s word their foundation, and that is no foundation at all. No man is infallible; and no man is unchangeable. Nor are any number of men-such as would constitute a basis for human laws and customs-infallible or unchangeable. But the basis of Christian faith is unerring and changeless,—one that can never be shaken. It is the word of God; for that alone can never fail. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.1

    We are cautioned to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1. How shall we try them?—Simply as the Bereans tried the words of Paul and Silas. The Bereans had only the Old Testament Scriptures, yet they found them sufficient to test the truthfulness of Paul’s teaching; for the Gospel is set forth in them as well as in the New. We have both; so that we are abundantly able to follow their example. They did not take the opinions of one another about the Scriptures, but they searched the Scriptures, and searched them daily. And God approved of their course, and has caused it to be written and preserved as an example for us.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.2

    How do we know that we have the faith of Jesus? Who has told us so,—man? or God? God has said, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” 2 Corinthians 13:6. How shall we do this? Many simply compare themselves with others around them; but this, Paul tells us, is “not wise.” God has provided a looking-glass, into which we may look and see ourselves as we are. That glass is His word. James tells us, “If any man be hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:23-25. The “law of liberty,” James tells us, is the law which says, “Do not commit adultery,” and, “Do not kill.” James 2:8-12. That law is a mirror for the soul. By looking therein, you may ascertain whether you are in the faith. Those who keep the faith are keepers of the commandments. Revelation 14:12. Have you examined yourself by that mirror to know what manner of person you are, and whether you are in the faith? Do so, and see if it will not reveal some point wherein your practice and the faith are not in harmony.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.3

    “What Can They Do?” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    In its notice of the prosecution of the International Tract Society for Sunday work, the Christian World said:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.4

    Under the circumstances the present punishment seems very arbitrary; but if the authorities insist on the young people keeping two Sabbaths in a week, we do not see what the Society can do.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.5

    This saying savours much more of the world than of the Christian. It is very strange that any Christian should not know what to do in such a case. Yet doubtless there are many who do not realise that there is anything else to do but to throw aside the law of God whenever their fellow men “clothed in a little brief authority” command them to do so. The Bible furnishes us not only precepts, but examples, and there is one so pertinent to the case in hand that we must refer to it.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.6

    Every schoolboy has heard of the three Hebrew children and Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar was king over all the earth. If there was ever a king on earth “by Divine right,” he was the one; for these are the words of God Himself concerning him: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters; I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto Me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.” Jeremiah 27:4-6.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.7

    Not only so, but God had commanded the children of Israel to be subject to the king of Babylon, not to rebel against him, and to seek the peace of the country to which they were taken captive. They were to behave toward the king of Babylon just as they would do to a descendant of David, reigning in Jerusalem.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.8

    Nebuchadnezzar made a great, golden image, and set it up in the plain, and then issued a command that all the people, and especially every official, should bow down and worship it. The decree was that whoever did not fall down and worship the image as soon as the instruments of music sounded, should be cast alive into a burning furnace. “Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.” Daniel 3:7.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.9

    There were exceptions, however, and they were thus accused to the king: “There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Verse 12.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.10

    Note the parallel. The Hebrews were not forbidden to worship the one, true God, if they could do so; they were simply required to worship the god that the king had set up. They could have worshipped the image and the God of heaven at the same time just as well as Seventh-day Adventists could keep Sunday and the Sabbath at the same time.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.11

    But Nebuchadnezzar did not propose to be trifled with. He became very angry, and commanded the three men to be brought before him. Then he repeated his decree, telling them that if when they heard the sound of the music again they fell down and worshipped the image, all would be well, but that if they did not, they should be cast at once into the burning fiery furnace; and then he added, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.12

    Here was a test between the law of God and the pillars of Babylonian law; between God and Nebuchadnezzar. Imagine now the three Jews consulting together among themselves, on this wise: “This is a very arbitrary decree; I really think that the king ought to allow us an exemption from it, inasmuch as we worship God faithfully and conscientiously. We have shown our desire to act according to the convictions of our consciences; but the penalty is prohibitory; and if the king insists that we must worship two gods, we do not see what we can do.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 146.13

    That is the way the world talks. But let us hear how these Hebrew Christians talked. “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Verses 16-18.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 147.1

    Bold words! But was it not wicked for them thus to “defy” the decree of the king? The result is the answer. The men had said that they did not need time to consider the matter, and so the second trial did not come off, but they were at once bound and cast into the furnace. There was no lack of heat, because the furnace had been made seven times hotter than usual for this special occasion, and the heat was so fierce that it destroyed the executioners who threw them in. The three men fell down bound into the midst of the furnace, when lo, a most astonishing sight appeared. “Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Verses 24, 25.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 147.2

    The Lord Himself came down to answer Nebuchadnezzar’s question, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” Nebuchadnezzar was king, and the Lord had given him his kingdom. But that very fact simply proved that he was the Lord’s subject, and therefore just as much under obligation to serve the Lord as the humblest man in private life. And when the king lifted himself up in pride against his Master, and proposed to compel a few poor, despised people to serve him instead of the Lord, the common Master of them both came down to show that He was able to care for His own.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.1

    But it would have been just the same if the Lord had not interfered. The Hebrews told the king that they knew that God could deliver them, but that if He did not, it would make no difference. They well knew that God does not settle all His accounts immediately; but He does not forget, nevertheless, for He is a strict bookkeeper. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” Psalm 118:8.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.2

    The Lord’s people are on this earth for one purpose only, namely, to witness to the truth. If they fail in that, they are of no use whatever. They might as well, or better, never have been born. Jesus Christ, “the faithful and true Witness,” “before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession,” and was not frightened from it by the cross. And His word is, “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:38.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.3

    The Christian’s course is very clear. He is not obliged to wonder what will become of him, and whether it will be safe for him to obey the Word of God. He has only to follow the Lord, and commit his case into His hands. He has nothing to do with results, but only with present duties. And in pursuing this course, even though it be in the face of fierce opposition, there will be no fear or hesitation, but a perfect peace and joy, if he can but say from the heart, “I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.4

    “‘Is the Sabbath Sunday?’” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    This is the question that was asked by the Vicar of St. Michael’s, Folkestone, in a sermon preached at that place on Sunday, February 3, and which is printed in a local paper. No doubt our readers will be interested in hearing how a churchman answers the question. Here is the question and answer:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.5

    Is the Sabbath Sunday? If a speaker gets up and says it is, attach no weight to his remarks, for either wilfully from prejudice, or else unintentionally from lack of education, he is ignorant of the subject upon which he is so ready to speak.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.6

    Let us first of all think of the Sabbath. It was of Divine institution, which, so far as we know, cannot certainly be said of the Sunday. If we refer to the second chapter of Genesis, we shall find there the account of the institution of the Sabbath day. “On the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made, and God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Now you see that the seventh day of the week was to be specially set apart as a day commemorative of rest-of God resting from His work of creation, and we find Him bestowing a special blessing upon the seventh day.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.7

    Referring then to the man who desires to see Sunday strictly observed as a rest day, whom he erroneously called a “Sabbatarian,” the speaker added:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.8

    And the Sabbatarian gets up and says, in a triumphant tone as if the whole question was settled at once—“That’s what we claim for the Sabbath day now—rest.” Pardon me, sir, you do nothing of the sort. You break the Sabbath day every week of your life. God did not rest from His work on the first day of the week, which is our Sunday, but on the seventh day of the week, which is our Saturday.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.9

    But this is not all. Later on in the same discourse the clergyman proceeded to emphasise the case still more strongly thus:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.10

    I see there is a public announcement in the papers that our great and venerable late Prime Minister has written an article on “The Lord’s Day,” which is to appear in the March number of a magazine. But this much I may prophesy-that with all his great genius, and all his deep and reverent knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, he will not be able to quote a single passage in the New Testament which states that the Christian Sunday is a substitution for the Jewish Sabbath.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.11

    And yet people wonder that anybody keeps the seventh day! The real cause for wonder is that any professed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ should keep Sunday. The whole Sabbath question centres round one point, namely, whether or not the Bible is the perfect and only guide for Christians. If it is, then the seventh day, and that only, must be kept as the Sabbath by Christians. The fourth commandment is the test as to whether men will heed the Word of God, or whether they will reject it for the traditions of men.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.12

    We shall have more upon this matter next week.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.13

    “The Bounds of Heathenism” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    These bounds are set by the word of God; that word alone defines what is heathenism and what is not. Only by that word can be determined whether the principles by which our lives are governed are heathen, or whether they are Christian.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.14

    “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” Micah 6:6, 7. Doubtless we would not think of presuming to worship God by such acts as our spirit enumerated; yet what we do offer Him as worship may fall quite as far short of that worship which is in spirit and in truth.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.15

    The worship referred to by the prophet is heathenism. Heathen worship is not inconsistent with the retention of forms and ceremonies instituted by God, or of those which are approximate to them. God instituted sacrifices as an essential feature of His worship, and it was doubtless from these that all other sacrificial ceremonies were borrowed. The heathen looked no further in their worship than the sacrifice itself, and attributed to it all the virtue of obedience to the Divine instructions. It was this that made them heathen. They lost faith, which looked beyond the form and ceremony to the Lamb of God, in whom alone there was virtue for mankind. Heathenism is simply worship not of faith.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.16

    This being gone, and human reasoning and speculation having taken its place, perversion of the forms of worship followed as a matter of course, in proportion as the human intellect endeavoured to give them a meaning. God came to be regarded as a being to be appeased by the shedding of blood, or-by what was held as its equivalent-the taking of life. Men thought to purchase His favour, and measured the probability of success by the value of the sacrifice which they offered. And thus it came to pass that they offered the fruit of their bodies-their own children-for the sin of their souls. They made their sons and their daughters to “pass through the fire,” or sacrificed them upon the burning altar. 2 Kings 17:16, 17; 3:27. It was the most valuable offering they knew how to make, and as such, in their view, the most acceptable. And that view was but the logical outgrowth of the human mind, working upon a system of worship without faith. And thus the very sacrifices by which they thought to atone for sin only added tenfold to it.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 148.17

    The word of God declares, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Without faith there is no real sight of the Lamb of God, and without the sight of Him all forms of worship lose their meaning. Then come in human reasoning, philosophy, and tradition, by which the spiritual sight is utterly darkened, and the commandments of God made of none effect. It was thus that the Jews had become actual heathen in the days of Christ; it is thus that many have become heathen in our own day who imagine themselves Christians. Every individual can determine his own position and the character of his religion by an examination of God’s word. That word is the rule of faith, and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” It is faith alone that sets the bounds to heathenism.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 149.1

    “Whose Word Is Trusted?” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The following is a portion of an advertisement which appears in a high-class Catholic journal:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 149.2


    that “Whoever would make a Novena in his honour from the 11th to the 12th of March, should obtain whatever favour they ask, if it were according to the Divine will.” This Novena, called the “Novena of Grace,” will be publicly and solemnly performed in St. Francis’s Church, Bedworth, where a relic of the Saint is preserved.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 149.3

    The Lord in His word says that He hears and grants petitions according to the Divine will; that He is more anxious to do this than parents are to give good gifts to their children. But the very essence of Romanism is to put the creature above the Creator, and so, of course, the promise of Xaxier, a dead man, is made of more effect than the promise of God. It is because of this pagan notion that the Supreme Ruler in Heaven must have the help of men to manage His work and see that His promises are fulfilled, that men have been so willing to gather authority and power to themselves to try to do on earth what they think the Lord ought to do.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 149.4

    “Good Words” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Good Words.—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3. The Greek word rendered “blessed,” is the word “Eulogise,” which means, “to use good language,” or speak well concerning. God has used all good words or every good spiritual word concerning us. “But,” you say, “I don’t deserve to be well spoken of.” Of course not; but here is where the glorious part comes in, for when God says a thing it is so. Therefore since He speaks all good words concerning us, those words make us just what they express. He thus gives us not merely a good reputation, but what is better a good character. Since this is so, He surely deserves to be well spoken of by us.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 150.1

    “Fraudulent Business” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The editor of an important railway journal in America says that when the railways centring in Chicago employed detectives last year to discover the extent to which merchants gave absolutely false statements of the amount of goods shipped, in order to get lower rates, they discovered 200,000 instances in six months. And yet those merchants think themselves and are considered to be honourable men. Their false returns are considered as simply a matter of “business.” Their business has so benumbed their conscience that they are not conscious of right and wrong where it is concerned.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 150.2

    “The Papacy. The Paganising of the Church” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    In our study of the Papacy last week we found that it had spoken great words against the Most High, wore out the saints of the Most High, and had thought to change the law of the Most High, exalting its own words above the word of God.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.1

    Since the Bible alone is the true standard of faith and morals, it is very evident that when any power sets itself above the Bible, corruption must follow. The history of the Roman Catholic Church shows that this is absolutely true. The power that sets itself above God necessarily sets itself against God; but as God is the embodiment of all goodness, that which is opposed to Him must be the embodiment of all wickedness. Therefore, according to the prophetic declaration concerning the assumptions of the Papacy, we should expect to see in it the very depths of iniquity. A very few quotations will be given concerning the apostasy which resulted in the full development of “that Wicked,” “the man of sin.” Dr. Wylie, in his “History of Protestantism,” says:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.2

    “The moment inspired men cease to address us, and that their disciples and scholars take their place-men of apostolic spirit and doctrine, no doubt, but without the direct knowledge of their predecessors-we become sensible of a change; an eclipse has passed upon the exceeding glory of the Gospel. As we pass from Paul to Clement, and from Clement to the Fathers that succeeded him, we find the Gospel becoming less of grace and more of merit. The light wanes as we travel down the patristic road, and remove ourselves farther from the apostolic dawn. It continues for some time at least to be the same Gospel, but its glory is shorn, its mighty force is abated; and we are reminded of the change that seems to pass upon the sun, when after contemplating him in a tropical hemisphere, we see him in a northern sky, where his slanting beams, forcing their way through mists and vapours, are robbed of half their splendour. Seen through the fogs of the patristic age, the Gospel scarcely looks the same which had burst upon the world without a cloud but a few centuries before.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.3

    The Doctor was more charitable than the facts will warrant, in saying that the Fathers were no doubt men of apostolic spirit and doctrine. They were at best but half heathen, whatever their intentions may have been, for they drank from the muddy pool of heathen philosophy instead of at the pure fountain of divine revelation; and their great effort was to assimilate Christianity and pagan philosophy. In this they succeeded but too well. Again we quote from Wylie:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.4

    “The gates of the sanctuary once forced, the stream of corruption continued to flow with ever-deepening volume. The declensions in doctrine and worship already introduced had changed the brightness of the church’s morning into twilight; the descent of the Northern nations, which, beginning in the fifth, continued through several successive centuries, converted that twilight into night. The new tribes did change their country, but not their superstitions; and, unhappily, there was neither zeal nor vigour in the Christianity of the age to the effect their instruction and a genuine conversion. The Bible had been withdrawn; in the pulpit fable had usurped the place of truth; holy lives, whose silent eloquence might have won upon the barbarians, were rarely exemplified; and thus, instead of the church dissipating the superstitions that now encompassed her like a cloud, these superstitions all but quenched her own light. She opened her gates to receive the new peoples as they were. She sprinkled them with the new baptismal water; she inscribed their names in her registers; she taught them in their invocations to repeat the titles of the Trinity; but the doctrines of the Gospel, which alone can enlighten the understanding, purify the heart, and enrich the life with virtue, she was little careful to inculcate upon them. She folded them within her pale, but they were scarcely more Christian than before, while she was greatly less so.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.5

    Thus was the church becoming paganised, and not long did it take to complete the transformation. Wylie continues:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.6

    “Apostasy is like the descent of heavy bodies, it proceeds with ever-accelerating velocity. First, lamps were lighted at the tombs of the martyrs; next, the Lord’s Supper was celebrated at their graves; next, prayers were offered for them and to them; next, paintings and images began to disfigure the walls, and corpses to pollute the floors of the churches. Baptism, which apostles required water only to dispense, could not be celebrated without white robes and chrism, milk, honey, and salt. Then came a crowd of church offices whose names and numbers are in striking contrast to the few and simple orders of men who were employed in the first propagation of Christianity.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.7

    That the church should be corrupted was the inevitable result of the methods employed to make converts. Says the historian:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.8

    “As the lower ranks of society are governed by imitation, the conversion of those who possessed any eminence of birth, of power, or of riches, was soon followed by dependent multitudes. The salvation of the common people was purchased at an easy rate, if it be true that, in one year, twelve thousand men were baptized at Rome, besides a proportionable number of women and children, and that a white garment, with twenty pieces of gold, had been promised by the emperor to every convert.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.9

    There is not reason to disbelieve this statement, for it is related upon good authority that Gregory Thaumaturgus (Gregory the miracle worker), bishop of Neo-C?sarea, on the anniversaries of the martyrs (and they were numerous) allowed his flock to give a loose rein to pleasure, to indulge in conviviality, and to do all the things that the worshippers of idols were accustomed to do in their temples, on their festival days, hoping thereby to gain the heathen, and thinking that in process of time they would, as “Christian,” voluntarily leave off such customs. (See Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History, book 1, cent. 2, part, 2 chap. 4, sec. 2, note 3.) This was not an isolated case, for Mosheim says that “the Christian bishops purposely multiplied sacred [?] rites for the sake of rendering the Jews and the pagans more friendly to them.” Thus was pure Christianity crowded into obscurity, and that which took its name was in reality paganism with all its corruption. Speaking of the barbarians who conquered Rome, Wylie says:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 151.10

    “These rude warriors, who had overturned the throne of the C?sars, bowed down before the chair of the Popes. The evangelisation of these tribes was a task of easy accomplishment. The ‘Catholic faith,’ which they began to exchange for their paganism or Arianism, consisted chiefly in their being able to recite the names of the objects of their worship, which they were left to adore with much the same rites as they had practised in their native forests. They did not much concern themselves with the study of Christian doctrine, or the practice of Christian virtue. The age furnished but few manuals of the one, and still fewer models of the other.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 152.1

    How could there be any models of virtue, when the truly virtuous were slaughtered, and the only virtue recognised was adherence to the dogmas of Rome? Henry Charles Lea, in his “History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages,” graphically portrays the condition of the Papacy. On this point he says, among other things:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 152.2

    “Uniformity of faith had been enforced by the Inquisition and its methods, and so long as faith was preserved, crime and sin were comparatively unimportant except as a source of revenue to those who sold absolution. As Theodoric Vrie tersely puts it, hell and purgatory would be emptied if enough money could be found. The artificial standard thus created is seen in a revelation of the Virgin to St. Birgitta, that a Pope who was free from heresy, no matter how polluted by sin and vice, is not so wicked but that he has the absolute power to bind and loose souls. There are many wicked Popes plunged in hell, but all their lawful acts on earth are accepted and confirmed by God, and all priests who are not heretics administer true sacraments, no matter how depraved they may be. Correctness of belief was thus the sole essential; virtue was a wholly subordinate consideration. How completely under such a system religion and morals came to be dissociated is seen in the remarks of Pius II. Quoted above, that the Franciscans were excellent theologians, but cared nothing about virtue.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 152.3

    “This, in fact, was the direct result of the system of persecution embodied in the Inquisition. Heretics who were admitted to be patterns of virtue were ruthlessly exterminated in the name of Christ, while in the same holy name the orthodox could purchase absolution for the vilest of crimes for a few coins. When the only unpardonable offense was persistence in some trifling error of belief, such as the poverty of Christ; when men had before them the example of their spiritual guides as leaders in vice and debauchery and contempt of sacred things, all the sanctions of morality were destroyed, and the confusion between right and wrong became hopeless. The world has probably never seen a society more vile than that of Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 152.4

    Perhaps some may think that the Papacy has improved, since we no longer see crimes so openly committed under its sheltering wing. They think that its wickedness was due to the ignorance of the age, and that “advancing civilisation” has made such wickedness impossible. Such should remember that “Rome never changes.” The only reason why crimes are not so openly committed under its protection is because it has not now the power to protect them. As evidence that the seeming improvement in the character of the Papacy is due to lack of power and not to the spread of education, we quote the following:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 152.5

    “In Italy the revival of letters, while elevating the intellectual faculties, had been accompanied with deeper degradation in both the moral and spiritual condition of society. Without removing superstition, it had rendered scepticism fashionable, and it had weakened the sanctions of religion without supplying another basis for morality. The world has probably never seen a more defiant disregard of all law, human and divine, than that displayed by both the church and the laity during the pontificates of Sixtus IV. and Innocent VIII. and Alexander VI. [1471-1503.] Increase of culture and of wealth seemed only to afford new attractions and enlarged opportunities for luxury and vice, and from the highest to the lowest there was indulgence of unbridled appetites, with a cynical disregarded even of hypocrisy.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 152.6

    The principles of the Papacy are the same to-day that they were five hundred years ago. Give it the same power that it once had, for an equal length of time, and the same state of things would exist. For the low state of morals in the Middle Ages was not due to the ignorance of those times, but the ignorance that existed was due to the depravity, and both were the direct result of the papal policy. The papal system is as corrupt to-day as it ever was, and it cannot be reformed. It is sin itself, “the man of sin,” and for it there can be nothing but perdition. The earth will be freed from its curse only when it is destroyed by the brightness of the coming of the Lord. 2 Thessalonians 2:8.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 152.7

    “News of the Week” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    -The Pope has decided that Catholic priests must not go about on bicycles.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 158.1

    -A terrific hurricane is reported to have swept over Fiji, wrecking all the houses and doing much damage on sea as well as on land.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 158.2

    -Recently the Sultan sent three “genuine” hairs of Mohammed’s beard to Samarcand as relics, but on their way thither, while crossing Russian territory, they were stolen.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 158.3

    -Notices have been posted at all the collieries in connection with the South Wales and Monmouthshire Collieries Association, terminating all contracts with the men on March 31. This will bring the collieries to a standstill. About 100,000 men are affected.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 158.4

    -Despatches sent by newspaper correspondents who have succeeded in penetrating into the Sassoun district of Armenia, confirm the worst reports of Turkish atrocities in that country. One account describes the massacre of a company of several hundred villagers who had surrendered under a guaranty of protection.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 158.5

    -The Welsh Disestablishment Bill has been again brought before Parliament. The Home Secretary, in moving for leave to introduce it, said the measure was to all intents and purposes identically the same as that of last year. It was stated that Jan. 1, 1897, was the proposed date of disestablishment. As to disendowment, they had to dispose of a gross annual revenue of ?279,000.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 158.6

    -Prince Kung, President of the Tsung-li-Yamen, in an interview with a correspondent, said that the Chinese recognised their military weakness, and were prepared to pay an indemnity, but if Japan insisted upon exorbitant terms they would fight to the last. In view of the approaching peace negotiations, Russia intends to strengthen her military position in Eastern Siberia.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 158.7

    -Some one has been compiling statistics of regular Sunday labour performed by post-office employee in the United Kingdom, the result announced being that out of 32,000 London postal servants, 2,752 were employed on a given Sunday, their labour averaging six hours each; and of the 79,000 employed throughout England and Wales 30,184 were obliged to work about three hours the same day. In Scotland the average was a little over two hours, and in Ireland three hours.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 158.8

    -Influenza has become epidemic at Hamburg and London. At the latter place, while the number of births for the week in which the epidemic appeared was below the average, the deaths were 1,090 above the average in the corresponding weeks of the past ten years. The London mortality was at the annual rate of 34 per 1,000. The lowest death rates were 19 at Derby and Leicester, and the highest, 48 at Liverpool. A curious thing about this epidemic disease is that its nature is not yet well understood by physicians, and no characteristic germ for it has been discovered.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 158.9

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    In a single county in Tennessee, U.S.A., there are at present more than twenty Sabbath-keepers under arrest for Sunday labour.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.1

    The Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in Christiania, Norway, has been twice fined for Sunday labour, and has still another summons before the Court.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.2

    Several cases of our larger books were sent by our publishers last week to Punta Arenas, on the Straits of Magellan, for one of the workers in that part of South America. We are glad to see the publications going into the uttermost parts of the earth.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.3

    A man recently died in Vienna who had kept a daily account of his expenses from seventeen to seventy. He had smoked 628,713 cigars. Over 40,000 cost him nothing, but for the balance yet paid out ?2,500. His tailor’s bill was ?1,600. His drink bill was kept for only fifteen years, but in that time he paid for it ?1,288.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.4

    The first instalment of the much advertised article by Mr. Gladstone on “The Lord’s Day,” has appeared, and will be noticed at length in a feature number of PRESENT TRUTH. The main point in the article is where he states that the seventh day has been deposed, and the first day substituted in its stead, without any direct Scripture warrant.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.5

    A cartoon in an illustrated weekly shows a man of gloomy countenance, one of whom asks the other, “Had anything to eat to-day, Bill?” “Not a drop,” is the reply. The suggestion is too sadly truthful to be humourous. So many men are spending the little money they have to satisfy the craving for stimulants, while their bodies are famishing for real food.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.6

    “Sir Edward Grey’s announcement in the House yesterday,” said the Star last week, “that an officer and two men had been killed at the taking of Nimbi prompted the question:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.7

    Mr. Labourchere: Can the hon. member state how many natives were killed? (Laughter.)PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.8

    “Laughter! Who laughed? Shame on the men to whom the killing of Africans is food for inhuman cackling.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.9

    “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This was what John the Baptist said of Christ and himself. It is what every person ought to say, for Christ is sure to increase until He fills all things, and all who will not acknowledge Him will at last cease to exist. How much better, then, to humble ourselves, acknowledging ourselves to be nothing, that, being swallowed up in His greatness, we may live for ever in Him.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.10

    Of what is a nation composed?—of men. Then a nation can be Christian only when every man composing it is a Christian. But such a state of things never existed, and never will until the Lord comes and restores all things. No matter though the majority of the people composing a nation were Christians, so long as any of them were not Christians any national profession of Christianity would be a false profession. The only result of such national profession, is to deceive some people into thinking that they are Christians when they are not.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.11

    The Church Review tells of a Roman Catholic who attended a High Church service and thought it a Roman Catholic church. He, however, heard the mass said in English, and learned, doubtless for the first time, what was said by a priest in that celebration. Of course this mistake pleases the Ritualists of the Church of England. The Review says, “This is an indication of how much Roman Catholics would appreciate having mass in the vernacular, and it shows how readily our Church is recognised as Catholic when the teaching of the Church is properly set forth.”PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.12

    “How the Case Stands Now” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Our readers will doubtless be desirous of knowing if anything more has been done in the matter of the prosecution for Sunday work. It will be remembered that to the statement that no fine could be paid, the magistrate said that it could be recovered by the distress of goods. Something over a week after the trial, the following was received from the Chief Inspector:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.13


    February 20, 1895.


    Having ascertained at the Clerkenwell Police Court that up to 4:00 P.M. this day the fines and costs inflicted at the hearing of cases against you on the 13th Inst., and amounting in all to ?8. 18s. have not been paid, I hereby give you notice that if by Saturday next, the 23rd inst., this amount has not been paid by you at the Police Court, I shall on the following Monday apply to the Court in the customary manner for the further enforcement of the payment.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.14

    To this the following reply was returned:—PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.15

    We are in receipt of your letter of the 20th inst., and in reply beg to say that we cannot recede from the position we took in the Clerkenwell Police Court, with reference to paying the fines to which your communication has reference.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.16

    Inasmuch as the fines in question were imposed on us for our obedience to the fourth commandment, the payment of them would be a tacit admission of guilt on our part, and would bring us in direct conflict with the law of God, by which every man must be judged. It will therefore be apparent to you that our refusal to accede to your request is not because of the spirit of defiance to the law or to those who are entrusted with its execution, but solely for the reason that to pay the fines that were inflicted would be sin to us.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.17

    There the matter stands at the present date, March 3. If it is not clear to any why it would be sin to pay fines imposed for Sunday work in obedience to the fourth commandment, we ask them to think over the matter for a week, and then read the next number of PRESENT TRUTH, where it will be answered in full.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.18

    “A Good Name” The Present Truth 11, 10.


    E. J. Waggoner

    A Good Name.-The Bible tells us that “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” Proverbs 22:1. This “good name” is too often limited to earthly reputation, that is, to what people think of us. This is a great mistake. A man may have an excellent name among men, and be abominable in the sight of God; and on the other hand some of those who have been most despised on earth had been the Lord’s chosen ones. The good name which is so valuable is the “new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” His is the loving kindness that is better than silver and gold. He who has a good name with the Lord can very well endure any manner of reproach among men.PTUK March 7, 1895, page 160.19

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