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    June 20, 1895

    “Argument” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    If the Gospel could be propagated by argument, it would be vastly more popular than it now is. If men could be saved by argument and controversy, there would be thousands saved to-day where there are only tens. But the fact is that it is not argument that is needed, but “holding forth the Word of life.” A man always weakens his cause when he consents to debate and strive and argue about it. Strife and debate are so firmly embedded in human nature that it takes us a long time to learn this. But if we were to stop and think we should see that it is true.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 385.9

    Men do not argue about that of which there perfectly sure. You would not argue with a man to prove to him that the sun is shining at noon. You point out the fact to him, and if he wishes to see it for himself, he can, and if he does not, you cannot help him by argument. You would not debate with a man to convince him that the twenty-six letters of the alphabet are what they are. If he does not know them, you may teach him, but not by a debate. If he does not wish to have you teach him, but wishes to argue the point, you would simply leave him to himself.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 385.10

    You would not be at all moved by his boast that you dared not debate with him, and that your refusal showed that you did not dare put your belief to the test of argument. You do not simply believe, but you know, and it is much better to put knowledge to the test of actual use than to the test of argument. To argue the case would indicate a doubt about it in your own mind.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 385.11

    Now what the Gospel wants is not men who are ready to debate, but who know Christ, and who know His Word. Such men will teach by their quiet lives, and if any want to learn further, they will be ready to point them to the Word, but they will not lower the standard by arguing with those who do not want to learn.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.1

    The man who wants to learn never wants to argue. The man who is anxious to argue a point, does not want to learn anything from the one with whom he argues, but he wants, by arguing, to fortify himself in the opinions that he already holds. By repeating his arguments he helps to convince himself that they are true; and if he can out-talk his opponent that proves to him that he is right. Therefore the time spent on him while he is in that condition is wasted. The Christian can afford to let him talk, and even rail, knowing that the truth cannot be injured. This very confidence begets in the other a desire to know what it is that is so sure that you are not in the least afraid that it will be overthrown by argument. Then is your time to instruct him.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.2

    So then, argumentative ability is not necessarily a part of the outfit of the servant of Christ. For “the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach [not to argue], patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:24, 25.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.3

    “The Stone Rolled Away” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is unbelief that bars the way to the good we many times would do, but leave undone. The two women who came to the sepulchre on the resurrection morning said, “Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?” Mark 16:3. They, like the rest of the disciples, had been blinded to the events that were then in process of fulfilment, and their unbelief saw a great stone in their path, barring their way to the Lord. But the stone was not there; it had been rolled away by Divine power; and thus they found it when they arrived at the sepulchre.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.4

    What unbelief was then, it is now; it still sees a great barrier in the way. And thus it deludes and discourages those who allow it to work in their hearts. Let us remember that what is seen by the natural mind in the Christian pathway, is not there. So if the way seems hopeless-filled with rocks and obstacles that we could not surmount-we may know that it is simply unbelief seeking to delude us. The eye of faith will show us what is there in truth. And with that eye see the stone before us rolled away.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.5

    “Studying Error to Learn Truth” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    We have read a list of the qualifications of a minister of the Gospel, among which was this, that “he should be well abreast of the latest destructive Biblical criticism, so as to refute its arguments.” The idea that in order to refute error men must study it, is altogether too common. It shows itself in the idea that in order to avoid evil, men must go where it is, and learn all about it.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.6

    If people reasoned the same way with regard to food, everybody would soon die. If they thought that in order to be able to detect poison, and guard their children from it, they must taste all the poisons that are known, the fallacy would soon be exposed. There are very few men, comparatively, who know all about poisons. What do the people do who are ignorant of poisons?—Why, they sensibly determine to taste nothing which they do not know to be wholesome, and thus they escape all danger.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.7

    Some parents make the mistake of warning their children against all sorts of evil, so that they may be able to avoid it. This is well illustrated by the following. A mother called out to her son, “Tom, are you teaching that parrot to swear?” The reply was, “No, I am just teaching it what words it must not say.” Of course those would be the very words that the parrot would use. And so it is with children. If they are told all about the evil that is in the world, they will be sure to try it. Let their minds be filled with that which is good, and they will have less tendency to follow the evil. Then when they see or hear of evil practices or teachings, they will be able at once to detect the evil by its contrast with the truth and the good with which they are familiar.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.8

    The person who sets himself the task of studying all the forms of error, has an endless task before him. The result will be that he will never get to the study of truth. The minister who studies the works of infidels, and of the destructive critics of the Bible, will be apt to feed the flock on the driest kind of husks. The carpenter does not try to find all the crooked sticks in the world, so that he may recognise a crook when he sees it, but he simply learns the use of the square, and then he can in a moment tell whether or not a stick is straight.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.9

    The inspired advice of the apostle Paul should be heeded by all: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” 2 Timothy 3:14.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.10

    “The Difference” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The difference between true and false worship is the difference between worshipping the true God and worshipping a false one; and that is the difference between knowing God as we worship Him, and worshipping without knowing God.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.11

    Ignorant worship is Baal worship; for Baal means “lord,” which expresses the limit of the conception had by ignorant devotees of the object of their worship. They know there is one who is “lord, master, possessor,” etc., as the word Baal signifies; but from lack of further knowledge they are obliged to give him a character and attributes of their own. Thus they make a god that is like themselves, only as much worse as the power with which he is invested is greater than theirs.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.12

    Baal-worship was the great idolatry of ancient times. But though the word Baal has gone, idolatry still remains, the same now in origin, nature, and effects that it was then. Mere lord worship means Baal worship to-day, as certainly as it did in times past.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.13

    The Israelites frequently turn from the worship of God to the worship of Baal; and they did this simply by forgetting God,—simply by losing the knowledge of Him. It was not necessary that there should be any sudden and startling transition from one to the other. The true worship changed to Baal worship just in proportion as the knowledge of God was lost from the minds of the worshippers. When this knowledge had dwindled to the mere idea expressed by the term “lord,” the perversion was complete. As the truth ebbed away, error and superstition came in; for Divine truth lost never leaves a vacuum. And this error and superstition, clustering around the vague idea of God that still remained, and giving shape to the forms of worship, made Baal worship the fearful thing that it was.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 386.14

    We cannot worship the true God unless we know Him. “They that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24. Our thoughts and our conceptions of Him cannot supply the place of His own revelation of Himself to us; for our thoughts and conceptions of Him are as much beneath His knowledge, which is the truth, as the earth is below the heavens. Isaiah 55:9. And therefore it is inevitable that gross error should come into that worship in which the revelation of God has begun to be supplanted by the ideas of men.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.1

    The Lord has given us a knowledge of Himself. From the very start, the world was not left without a revelation of Him,—of His personality and character. This revelation came in the Sabbath. Men were directed to keep the seventh day holy, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” The Sabbath directed the mind not merely to one who was “lord,” but one who created the heavens and the earth; and His works, supplying all man’s needs and ministering so fully to his well-being and happiness, testified that “God is love.” If the Sabbath had been kept by all, there could never have been any idolatry.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.2

    It is not strange then that heathen, idolatrous worship should have had nothing to do with the observance of the Sabbath. The chief day of all pagan worship was the first day of the week,—the day of the sun. That was the honoured day in Baal worship; for the idea of “lord” became naturally attached to the sun, the lord of the heavens.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.3

    To-day God calls upon men to worship Him in spirit and in truth. To-day it is the privilege and duty of all men to know the Lord and honour Him as the Creator of heaven and earth, through the memorial of creation which He has given us,—the Sabbath. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Our God is the Creator; and since to be saved from sin we must be created new in Christ, nothing else than great power can save us, and no one but the Creator can redeem us. How then can we know Him and worship Him in spirit and in truth, and at the same time reject the day He has sanctified and made the Sabbath?PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.4

    Do we know God as the Creator, or simply as “lord”? By keeping His Sabbath, we show faith in the word of that One who declares Himself the Creator of heaven and earth. But without Sabbath observance, we can give no evidence of our belief in any Creator whatever. And creation is not all past. “My father worketh hitherto,” said Jesus, “and I work.” John 5:17. Creative power is the power by which God works. When He speaks, the thing which He desires is brought forth. “God said, Let there be light; and there was light.” Genesis 1:3. There is this power in every word of God; and when He speaks to us, and we receive His word into our hearts by faith, there is a new creation in us. It is thus we are created new in Christ.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.5

    Do we know this power? Do we by this know God as the Creator? If so, we shall be willing to keep the day He has made the memorial of creation,—the seventh day-the Sabbath.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.6

    “God’s Witness to Asshur” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    GOD NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS

    It is a very common idea that in the days of Israel of old the Lord had no care for other nations and peoples, and that they were altogether left out of His benevolent plans for the salvation of men. Nothing could be further from the truth. What the Lord is to-day, that He always has been. He is that He is, and He is “no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him.” Acts 10:35.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.7

    This was His character when He took Israel by the hand to lead them out of Egypt. He proclaimed His name to Moses then as “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” His mercy and longsuffering had just been inviting Egypt to turn from its iniquity and warfare against the Lord; and the power of the Lord manifested in judgments was as ready to manifest itself in the salvation of Pharaoh as of Moses.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.8

    And when by the wonderful deliverance of the Israelites all the nations of the East heard of the power of the Lord, He was ready to manifest that power in their behalf. The one person in Jericho who was willing to let the Lord work the deliverance from sin, the harlot Rahab, found the Lord’s mercy and goodness abundantly displayed. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever,” was the Saviour of men then as now. His purpose was to give the Jewish nation the high honour of preaching the Gospel to the world: but they continually thwarted His purpose by their wicked apostasies from the truth. But at the same time “He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good,” sending the rain and fruitful seasons to all. And the word of invitation and warning was also sent.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.9

    THE ASSYRIAN KINGDOM

    The history of Assyria furnishes an interesting example of God’s witnessing to the heathen empires of antiquity. Its history, as we have it, runs parallel with that of Israel; for it was rising to its position of power at the very time of the Exodus from Egypt, and its fall came just before the Babylonish captivity.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.10

    When the glory of Solomon’s reign attracted the attention of the world, Assyria must have heard of the true God; for we read that “all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.” But just then the Assyrian was too much engrossed in building up the glory of his empire to care to give attention to wisdom that reproved wickedness. Later, in the days of Ahab and of Jehu, Assyria came into conflict with Israel, and Shalmaneser II. says in the annals of his Syrian campaign that Jehu paid him tribute.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.11

    About this time the prophet Jonah was sent to Nineveh to speak the words of the Lord, and warn Assyria of the wickedness which was growing with its pride and luxury. And the Lord was no respecter of persons in condemning wickedness, for in those same days He had been sending prophets to Israel calling them to repent of their wicked ways, and to cast away the licentious sun-worship which Jezebel had introduced. At the preaching of Jonah the men of Nineveh repented. A fast was proclaimed, and the judgments which their sins had brought so near did not fall upon them. The Lord pitied the people in their ignorance—“that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand.”PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.12

    THE PRIDE OF ASSHUR

    Not long after Shalmaneser, came Tiglath Pileser II., who added to the power and military glory of the empire. Israel had then so far rejected the Lord that it joined with Syria (2 Kings 16.) for an attack upon the kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah assured the king of Judah that he need not fear this confederacy, for the Lord would shave Israel “with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria.” Isaiah 7:20. So the Assyrian was allowed to come up against the kingdom of Israel to punish it for its rebellion, and frustrate its wicked purpose against the southern kingdom.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 387.13

    The trouble which came upon the northern kingdom of Israel did not lead to reformation, and more than once afterwards their evil ways brought upon them the Assyrians, who at last, in the reign of Hoshea, carried them away into captivity. 2 Kings 17:6.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.1

    In visiting the sins of Israel the Lord merely used the conquering armies of the Assyrians as the rod of His anger (Isaiah 10:5). But the pride of Assyria attributed the downfall of Israel and other kingdoms solely to her own prowess, and she glorified herself, increasing her wickedness. Tiglath Pileser left a record in which he boasts of his victory over Israel, greatly exaggerating his achievements. The Lord, speaking by the prophet Isaiah, rebuked this haughty pride of Assyria, saying:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.2

    “It shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For He saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent.... Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith?” Chap. 10.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.3

    The Assyrian was glorifying in his power just as Nebuchadnezzar did later, when he said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built?” and learned by affliction that “the Most High ruleth in the kingdoms of men and giveth them to whomsoever He will.”PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.4

    The boasting and blasphemous Sennacherib, of Assyria, might have learned the same lesson when he came down upon Jerusalem “like a wolf on the fold,” and the Lord smote 185,000 of his men in a night, and sent him back to Nineveh. Isaiah 37. But nations in those times were no more ready to turn from their own ways and the pride of dominion than they have been since. The wealth and luxury which had come with conquest were weakening the empire, and the cup of its iniquity began rapidly to fill up.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.5

    LAST DAYS OF NINEVEH

    In the reign of Sennacherib’s grandson, Asshurbanipal, the storm-cloud of wrath began to hover darkly over Assyria, still glorying in her strength, and careless and unconscious of her approaching doom. Zephaniah then sounded the warning:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.6

    “He will stretch out His hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh but a desolation.... This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me.” Chap. 2:13, 15.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.7

    The destruction came at a time when Assyria was at the height of its culture and civilisation. Rawlinson says:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.8

    The annals of Asshurbanipal... exhibit him to us as a warrior more enterprising and powerful than any of his predecessors.... Asshurbanipal is the only one of the Assyrian monarchs to whom we can ascribe a real taste for learning and literature.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.9

    But culture and artistic refinement have been shown by the history of every nation to be not incompatible with the deepest vice. Yet again the Lord repeated the warning by the prophet Nahum. The “burden of Nineveh” was:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.10

    “Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not; the noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of wheels, and of the prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots. The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear; and there is a multitude of slain.” Nahum 3:1-3.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.11

    The historian says:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.12

    Advancing civilisation, of more abundant literature, improved art, had not softened the tempers of the Assyrians.... Asshurbanipal reverted to the antique system of executions, mutilations, and tortures.... Glorying in his shame, he not merely practiced cruelties, but handed the record of them down to posterity by representing them in all their horrors upon his palace walls.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.13

    Added to her violence were the witchcraft and sorceries, by which she had, like Babylon, corrupted the world. Nahum 3:4. For these things the Lord said:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.14

    “I will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. And I will cast the abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazing-stock.” Verses 5, 6PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.15

    Along with all these denunciations of sins was sent the invitation of mercy. “The Lord is good,” was also the “burden of Nineveh,” “a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7. The Lord was ready to save to the uttermost. But the reign of pleasure continued, the strongholds of the city, the beautiful palaces, and the apparent strength of the empire seemed to promise lasting prosperity. But the word of the Lord was sure. Soon after Asshurbanipal’s death, the forces of Media and Babylon besieged the city, and it fell. Nahum had said:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 388.16

    “The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved” (“molten,” margin).PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.1

    Ctesias, the ancient writer, says the river Tigris overflowed during the siege, washing down the wall, whereupon the king burned himself in his palace. The great empire fell to pieces with astonishing rapidity; for his vices had enervated the people, and it was full of treachery, though outwardly presenting the appearance of solidity. It was even as Nahum had said:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.2

    “All thy strongholds shall be like fig trees with the first ripe figs; if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.” Chap. 3:12.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.3

    Its fall was complete. Assyria was the “cedar in Lebanon” in whose spreading branches all the fowls of heaven made their nests, but, says the word of the Lord, “I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall.” Ezekiel 31. Its ruin was set forth as an example. “I have driven him out for his wickedness,” was the Lord’s word to Egypt, as Ezekiel set before Pharaoh the severe judgments which followed corruption.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.4

    A LESSON FOR THE LAST DAYS

    Over and over again since the fall of Nineveh history has repeated the lesson, and through it all the Lord has been witnessing of Himself, and gathering out of the ruin all the souls who have been willing to trust Him. And at the background of the history of empires the Lord has set the ruins of Nineveh, the careless city, as a gazingstock, a reminder to nations and to men of the terrible results of continuing in sin, and of fighting against the God of heaven.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.5

    The lesson has a special significance to men now; for it was from Nineveh, and from her sister Babylon, that the abominations of Paganism went out into all the world. It was by joining in these that the Jewish nation ruined itself. It was by the same pagan abominations that the worldly church was corrupted in the early centuries, and thus the Papacy became by direct succession the spiritual Babylon, the mystic city which now reigneth over the kingdoms of the earth. It is a fact that, whether acknowledging the Papacy directly or not, all nations have drunk of the wine of her abominations, as the Lord says in Revelation 18.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.6

    And now, in these last days, with its doom overhanging it, the world dwells as carelessly as Nineveh of old, glorying in its culture and enlightenment. But the Lord leaves not Himself without witness. Wherever the genuine Gospel of Christ’s kingdom is preached the call is sounding, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached into the heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:4, 5. He is still the stronghold in the day of trouble, mighty to save all who are willing to be separated from sin.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.7

    “On Which Side?” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” Such was the scene presented before the prophet John as he was given a vision of the final outcome of the great controversy between the forces of good and of evil. Revelation 19:19. He “that sat on the horse” is the Lord Jesus Christ, and against Him and His army the apostle saw gathered together, “the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies.” Christ is coming to overthrow their kingdoms and set up upon the earth His kingdom, which will last for ever, and they will be gathered together to resist Him. On which side will we be in that last great contest?PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.8

    No temporal millennium, when all the world will become converted, is pictured here. That doctrine is a pleasing fable, designed by the father of lies to lull man to sleep in the time of sudden destruction. The Lord’s side,—the side of truth and righteousness,—will not be in that day the side of earthly wealth, influence, or numbers; and for that reason we should all the more seriously and earnestly ask ourselves upon which side we stand, for if we are on the wrong side now, we should lose no time in changing our position.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.9

    Are we on the popular side, the side of the majority, the side which has the support of the world’s wealth and power? And if so, shall we be on the same side in that day? for notice it is the side of popularity and power that is represented by those gathered together against the Lord. “The beast [the Papacy], and the kings of the earth, and their armies,”—not much of the civilised world is found outside of these. They are at present the most conspicuous objects on the earth. Current history contains little else beside the record of them and their doings. They represent the world’s power, wealth, influence, and respectability. Yet in the prophetic record they are found arrayed against the Leader of the armies of heaven, or the side which goes down in destruction.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.10

    It is so natural for the human mind to associate right with might, to measure truth and justice by the world standards, and to give credence to the ideas and doctrines which have only the sanction of popularity, that all are in great danger of being drawn to the wrong side, where in the end they will be found fighting against God. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” Psalm 146:3. The righteous life is the life of faith, and faith is trust in God, and Him alone.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.11

    “Afraid of Moses” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Many people seem to have a special antipathy to Moses, and to anything that pertains to him. Let anything be quoted from the first books of the Bible, and they will cry out, “O, that’s in the law of Moses!” or, “Moses wrote that.” Well, what if he did? Does that diminish its value?PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.12

    Why not as well say when the Psalms are read, “O, David wrote that!” or object to other prophecies because Isaiah or Jeremiah wrote them? Why is there not as much reason in objecting to things quoted from the epistles of the New Testament because they were written by Paul, or Peter, or James, or John? Was Moses inferior to these men? Was he less favored of God?PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.13

    Hear what the Lord said: “If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all Mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold.” Numbers 12:6-8. “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” Deuteronomy 34:10.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 389.14

    Christ testified that to disbelieve Moses was to disbelieve in Him. See John 5:46, 47. Moses wrote of Christ. He wrote of the sacrifice of Christ, of justification through faith in His blood, of the coming of the Lord, of the resurrection of the dead, of eternal life, and of the glorious reign of the saints in the kingdom of God. Let us beware, lest, in speaking disparagingly of Moses, we be found rejecting the Master, of whom He testified, and whose reproach He suffered.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 390.1

    “The Principle Involved” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Rev. Canon Owen, speaking at a Church Defence meeting at Cardiff, showed very clearly some of the inconsistencies of many who are working for Disestablishment on the ground that Church and State should be separate. The Church Times thus reported him:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 390.2

    It appeared to him that this was a most opportune moment for Disestablishment, because they were asked these same men who asked that the church should be disestablished to make men moral by Act of Parliament, and sober by the Act of Parliament. He was a total abstainer himself, and wanted to make men sober in the right way. Their opponents also wanted to make men pure by Act of Parliament, and to use proper language on Sundays by Act of Parliament. Surely this, then, was the wrong time to try to divorce the State from religion.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 391.1

    We fear that it is a fact that but few, if any, of those who are labouring to secure Disestablishment are really opposed to the principle of Church and State union. They are actuated by political reasons rather than by religious. Indeed, it must be so, since true Bible religion is a purely personal matter. The Christian may and must present the truth to all men whom he can reach, but he may not seek to compel another to accept the truth, nor may he seek by force of law to deprive another of any error that he may cherish. No man need be a part of an Established Church, if he does not wish to; but if any number of people wish to have their church joined to the State, it is their privilege; only it should be understood that such alliance with the world is a denial of the Gospel of Christ.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 391.2

    “An Incident in Russia” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is according to the Bible rule that one should chase a thousand, and therefore it is not surprising that a few well-instructed believers in a Russian province are regarded by ecclesiastical functionaries as though they were an invading army. There is an amusing side to the spectacle suggested by the extract following. Sheriffs, priests, archbishops, and archimandrites are engaged in chasing a few tracts and papers, and trying to keep a man who knows the Lord from letting his light shine; as though their efforts were not scattering the truth the more widely! Brother Conradi, of Hamburg, tells of a brother in the Baltic provinces of Russia who was receiving publications from Germany, upon whom the authorities recently fell. Thereupon they published the truth abroad according to the following from a St. Petersburg newspaper:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 391.3

    “The Sheriff has taken pamphlets, journals, and letters in the German from a certain inhabitant of the village, Nowaja Rudnaja (Volhynia), and has given them to the Ispravnik, remarking that this man does receive these writings from Prussia and distributes them among the colonists, whereby he is trying to persuade them that Saturday and not Sunday is the Sabbath. Said writings were then handed to the Archbishop to express his opinion, to ask the Governor to enact that all such writings, etc., should be taken from the colonists and postoffices, and to ask the minister to forbid their circulation. At the same time the Archbishop wrote the following report to the Archimandrite concerning the contents and the aim of these writings:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 391.4

    “‘Said pamphlets and letters are from the Stundists in Prussia, sent to the Stundist here. They bear the very character of a very dangerous Stundism, and, as it appears, are sent all over Russia. In all letters which the German Stundists write to the Russian, they exhort them to bear quietly all the persecutions of the Russian Government, and to follow blindly and zealously Christ their Saviour, wherefore these writings bear a complete Anabaptist character, serve to seduce the Russian people, and prove dangerous not only to the orthodox religion, but also to the Government itself; and their aim is not only to convert the Russian people to Stundism, but to shake the very foundations of the empire, in order to confirm the Russian people fully in Stundism.’”PTUK June 20, 1895, page 391.5

    “Losing Influence” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Sometimes people are afraid they will lose their influence if they stand firmly for the Lord amidst worldly companions. But the worldly never in their hearts think better of the professed follower of the Lord who denies Him to gain their patronage. Dr. Cuyler has written the following true words on this:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 393.1

    If all the Christianity in existence were to become bankrupt in character, even the scoffers themselves would be frightened. Sneer as they may, they expect us to stand by our colours. Our desertion of God and of the right would not only disgrace us; it would alarm even the ungodly. “If this world is so bad with the Christian religion,” said the shrewd Franklin, “what would it be without it?”PTUK June 20, 1895, page 393.2

    A personal incident will illustrate this secret reliance which the people of the world have upon the people of God. A young man, who was a professed Christian, was seeking to win the heart and hand of a young lady of wealth and fashion. His suit did not prosper, and one day she said to him: “You know that you are a church member, and I am a gay girl, very fond of what you call the pleasures of the world.” This led him to suspect that his religion was the obstacle to his success in winning her consent to marry him. He accordingly applied to the officers of his church (which must have been very loose in its joints) for a release from his membership. They granted it. “Now,” said he to her, when he met her again, “the barrier is removed. I have withdrawn from my church and I do not make any profession to be a Christian.” The honest-hearted girl turned on him with disgust and horror, and said to him: “M—, you know that I have led a frivolous life and I feel too weak to resist temptations. I determined that I never would marry any man who was not strong enough to stand firm himself and to hold me up also. I said what I did just to try you; and, if you have not principle enough to stick to your faith, you have not principle enough to be my husband. Let me never see you again.”PTUK June 20, 1895, page 393.3

    “Drawing Out the Sweet” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is not the bee’s touching on the flowers that gathers the honey, but her abiding for a time upon them, and drawing out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most on divine truth, that will prove the choicest, strongest Christian.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 393.4

    “News of the Week” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Deaths from snake bite are said to be on the increase in India.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.1

    -The Canadian Parliament recently decided against woman suffrage.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.2

    -During the present year 5,000 boys are to be entered for service in the British navy.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.3

    -A monument to Martin Luther, the reformer, was unveiled with public ceremonies in Benin, June 11.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.4

    -The number of Jesuits in the United States is stated by a Catholic journal to be 357 “Fathers” and 409 scholastics.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.5

    -A permanent Russian legation to the Vatican has been established, to consist of a Minister Resident and a Secretary of Legation.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.6

    -It is stated that the Pope will shortly write a new latter on the “conversion” of the Anglo-Saxon races, which will be a complement of that lately addressed to the English.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.7

    -Two Danish priests have been commissioned by the Pope to go as missionaries to Iceland, where it is said there is at present but one Roman Catholic family in a total population of 75,000 souls.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.8

    -It is proposed at the Vatican to hold a council of the prelates of England, Ireland and Scotland whom the Pope wishes to consult on the question of union between Anglicanism and the Papacy.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.9

    -Another tale of witchcraft in the United Kingdom comes from a hamlet in Lincolnshire, where a farmer and his wife accused an old lady living near by of having bewitched his hens, pigs, and cow.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.10

    -A Swedish engineer, M. Andre, is soon to attempt an ?rial voyage to the north pole. His balloon will, it is said, be capable of carrying three persons, four months’ provisions, a sledge, and a sailing-boat, and will be sufficiently gas-tight to hover in the air for thirty days.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.11

    -Central Europe has been visited by severe storms and floods, from the effects of which it is only beginning to recover. At the Austrian village of Kouersdorf forty-two persons were drowned, and thirty others are missing. Eastern and Central Switzerland have also sustained much damage.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.12

    -The Roman Catholic cathedral to be erected near Westminster Abbey will cost above ?100,000. An endeavour is being made to make an impressive occasion out of the laying of the corner stone of the foundation. Cardinal Gibbons, from America, will probably be one of the foreign prelates present at the ceremony.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.13

    -Telephonic communication was opened June 12 between London and Dublin, a distance of 467 miles. Telephone lines also extend between London and Edinburgh, and between Berlin and Vienna, Kiel and Cologne. It seems only a matter of time when the telegraph will be largely superseded by this form of communication.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.14

    -An interesting libel suit was recently concluded in Berlin, brought by Roman Catholics against an innkeeper who published a pamphlet making grave charges against the keepers of a monastery. At the trial the charges were clearly proved, the result being that the monks are now put turn on trial, while no small sensation has been created throughout Germany.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.15

    -For a gross outrage committed by Bedouins at Jeddah upon the officials of the British, French, and Russian consulates, the three Powers represented have demanded of the Sultan that all Bedouins entering Jeddah be disarmed. This adds a further complication to the Eastern Question. It is stated that Macedonia will demand the some reforms as are now in prospect for Armenia.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.16

    -It is reported from Canton that practically the whole of that province is in a state of anarchy. No attempts at preserving order amongst the Chinese are made by the native officials, and the numerous rival factions into which the populace is divided are perpetually raiding each other’s districts, destroying property, and indulging in the wildest excesses. The mission stations are Kioting, Yochou, and Cheng-tu have been completely destroyed.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.17

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 11, 25.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The more real wisdom a person has, the meeker he becomes. James 3:13.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.18

    There is a Muslem mosque in Liverpool, and the Shazada of Afghanistan, on his recent visit to that city left a contribution for it.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.19

    Criminal statistics reveal the startling fact that of all the convictions in England forty-one per cent., nearly half of the offences are committed by persons under twenty-one years of age.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.20

    And now the Pope is reported to be preparing a letter on the subject of the conversion to Roman of the Anglo-Saxon race. He means that the world shall become familiar with the idea of corporate reunion with Rome.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.21

    The vast amount of good done by London hospitals in relieving the afflicted poor is shown by a few statistics. About 180,000 children are treated every year, and the number of surgical cases is about 700,000; 600,000 cases have passed through the wards.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.22

    In the disorganisation and discontent following the war in China, a number of mission stations have been destroyed by mobs. At such times the temptation is to call for gunboats and reprisals, but the history of missions shows that all such dependence on home governments works directly against the cause of missions. The Christians in apostolic time took joyfully the spoiling of their goods; and apostolic methods are not obsolete to-day.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.23

    Consistency is an excellent thing in a man if it is not perverted. The really consistent man is the one who acts in harmony with the truth as it is revealed to him, although it may cause him to act very differently from what He formerly did. The man who thinks that consistency demands that he always continue in the line in which he begins, virtually assumes to be infallible. God is the only one who need not change His course. In Jesus Christ all things consist, so that the only really consistent man is the one who is in Christ; and to be in Christ means a radical change from what we once were.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.24

    The word of the Lord invites us to cast all our care upon Him. James 5:7. This care is, for us, a very heavy burden, and we could not cast it upon the Lord unless He were by our side. And that is where He is, and has been, all the time that we were struggling along blindly under our load of difficulties.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.25

    The cheapest Bible at the beginning of this century is said to have cost 4s. 6d., and a New Testament 1s. 4d. Now the complete English Bible may be obtained for six pence, and the New Testament for a penny.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.26

    While Bibles are multiplying, and are issued at such cheaper rates, it is probably a fact that there never was a time when it was so little believed by the masses of its possessors as now. Only this week we have remarked the specially outspoken attacks upon the Bible-not in secular organs-but in some of the leading weekly religious journals. It is one thing to possess the Bible; it is another thing to believe it and to live by it, as the living Word of God.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.27

    In Wales, where Sunday closing is in force, Sunday drunkenness is reported to be rather on the increase. A member of Parliament a few Sundays ago visited a village near Cardiff (just far enough away to make the Cardiff drinker a “bona fide traveler”) and this is his report:—PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.28

    What I saw was simply appalling. There are three public-houses, and each of them was, I will not say crowded, but packed like a sardine box with boosers, who seem to have no other object, as far as I could discover, but to pour drink down their throats. There was a large amount of drunkenness-of that heavy, stolid, sudden drunkenness which is produced by beer. You could see them in crowds between one public-house and another-some of them rolling from one side of the road to the other.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.29

    A recent number of the Civilla Catolica, a Jesuit organ published in Rome, laid down that the Vatican will never recognise the validity of Anglican orders. It claims that the question has been irrevocably settled by the declarations of several papal bulls, which condemned such orders. But when has it ever been known that an “infallible” Pope was bound by the decrees of his “infallible” predecessors? A fallible person is under some obligation to be consistent; but an “infallible” Pope is under no such limitations, since by his infallibility he makes wrong right, and turns contradictions into agreements.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.30

    Last week we mentioned the fact that a Seventh-day Adventist in Georgia was sentenced to a year in the chain-gang for working on Sunday, after having kept the Sabbath of the Lord. After the sentence some citizen or citizens of the place paid the fine into the Court, and thus the prisoner was released.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.31

    It is not alone in Georgia now that Sabbath-keepers are being brought before the Courts under the revived Sunday laws. Last week’s American mail brought news of arrests of Seventh-day Adventists in Mississippi, Illinois, and Maryland. In the first of these latter States citizens paid the fine, as in the Georgia case. If anyone wants to know how it happens that these old laws are being revived, the answer will be found in Revelation 12:17 and in succeeding chapters, describing the last-day controversy between truth and error. When human courts have done all that they can do the law of God still says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.”PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.32

    The agitation now going forward over the school question shows that the religious education controversy is by no means ended. So long as the Church refuses to do its legitimate work, and demands that the State shall attend to the religious instruction of the children, there will be unseemly strife which no illogical compromises can avert. And out of it all Romanism will come the gainer. It must be so, because the principle of making use of the power of the State to advance religion is purely papal.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.33

    Thousands of Chinese families, it is said, at the end of each year dash honey and sugar on the lips of their kitchen household gods, so that these, in their yearly trips to the heavenly regions, may make a favourable report of the conduct of the family during these twelve months. Very closely akin to this is the idea that punctilious attention to religious functions at stated times covers up irritability and gruffness in the home, making the Lord think that all goes well.PTUK June 20, 1895, page 400.34

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