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    February 7, 1895

    “Front Page” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.1

    Christ is the revelation of God to men, and therefore He says, “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.2

    The world is darkness, “for, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.” Isaiah 60:2. “The whole world lieth in wickedness.” 1 John 5:19.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.3

    Between light and darkness there is no affinity. “What communion hath light with darkness?” Where the darkness is, there light is not; and when light shines in, then darkness flees away.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.4

    For there can be no union between the Lord and the world. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:16, 17.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.5

    Just as darkness never becomes light, so the world can never become Christian. Darkened hearts may be enlightened, and men may come out from the world; but so long as they form part of the world, they are opposed to God. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.” 1 John 2:15. “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.6

    Since the friendship of the world is enmity against God, it follows that the world itself hates God. Consequently the world must hate God’s people. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” John 1:10. So He says to His people, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:18, 19.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.7

    Thus it is that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” Matthew 10:24. Christ could not get out of this world except by the cross, without denying that He was the Son of God. Therefore His followers must expect similar treatment. He who wishes the Christian way made so easy that he will suffer no inconvenience, wishes to be counted a Christian while denying the Lord that bought him.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.8

    There is an intensely practical point to all this. The law of God says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” and Christ, by whose life we are saved, had the law in His heart as the spring of His life. He kept the Father’s commandments, leaving us an example. It is not easy to keep the Sabbath in this world, because the customs and laws of the world are against it. Many are hesitating about doing what they know to be their duty, because of the inconvenience. But such remember that where Christ is there is the cross, and that religion without the cross of Christ is sin. Then let them say, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.9

    “By What Power?” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In his last Encyclical, addressed to America, the Pope reminds the Americans that the conversion of the country to the Catholic faith was the first care of the Spanish discoverers, “and was realised by the Franciscan and Dominican monks and the Jesuit fathers.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.10

    It would be well if the people of America and all other lands would remember not only the designs of the Church but its methods; for the methods will be practically the same as soon as it is safe to use them. This is shown by the fact that Rome is seeking political power, and of course only to make use of it.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.11

    The agents of the Church in Mexico and Peru went in for the conversion of the people in the days of Cortez and Pizzaro; not by the power of the Gospel but by human means. As Prescott says in his “Conquest of Mexico:”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.12

    No doubt was entertained of the efficacy of conversion, however sudden might be the change, or however violent the means. The sword was a good argument when the tongue failed.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.13

    The Spaniards were surprised to find the Aztecs worshipping a cross, and having other practices strikingly similar to the Roman Church; for they were ignorant of the fact that Romanism had gathered these practices from the ancient paganism of the East. But as the Indians refused to accept the offers of the priests, the Spanish adventurers cut them down by sabre and cannon. Of the first great slaughter, the bishop Las Casas wrote, “This was the first preaching of the Gospel by Cortes in New Spain.” It was not the last, as the history of those years of blood and perfidy testifies.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 81.14

    The Pope has no Spanish cavaliers to turn loose upon countries which he wishes to convert. But it makes no difference whether the sword is actually used, or whether political power is manifested in some other fashion and the pressure to convert men is worked according to the due process of law. It is a denial of the power of God just the same, and will surely lead to hypocrisy on the side of those who are influenced by it, and to persecution on the side of those who will not deny the power of God.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.1

    It is well that the world should be reminded of the past history of the workings of the papal principle, as when men turn from the truth and accept it they do not know to what lengths they will be led; for the devil not only works in the children of disobedience, but deceives them as he works. Rome is the same as ever, and the nations are drunken with the wine of her apostasy. The striving for political power among many professed Protestants, and the hankering for some short way of making people good according to their idea of goodness, has in it the germ of the Papacy. The only power to righteousness and salvation is the Gospel, which is preached only by the preaching of the word of God.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.2

    “Mechanical Skill a Gift from God” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The best qualification for any kind of work is that which is given by the Holy Spirit. The Lord recognises no such distinction as the world assumes between religion and business. The Spirit is as well qualified to give a person mental or mechanical skill, as to teach him how to pray.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.3

    When the ancient tabernacle was to be reared up, the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.” Exodus 31:2-5.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.4

    These words reveal to us a general truth. Whoever has wisdom and skill has them as the gift of God; and whoever desires them for any line of lawful human endeavour, whether it be managing a farm, directing a workshop, or preaching the Gospel, should seek them from the Lord. All nature attests the constructive wisdom and skill of the Spirit; for it is the Spirit that in the beginning brooded over chaos and developed from it the marvellous works of creation. And the promise of God is, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” James 1:5.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.5

    It is because men are so slow to realise that all their skill of every kind comes from God, that they so often take the glory to themselves, and make God’s gift a means of separation from Him, instead of a bond of union.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.6

    “Studies in Romans. All Israel Saved” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    We now come to the eleventh chapter of Romans, the closing up of the special discussion of Israel. In each of these three chapters we are plainly shown that the Gentiles, if they believe, have an equal share with the Jews, and that the latter forfeit all the privileges of the people of God through unbelief. Nothing could show more plainly than do these chapters that all men are on a level, and that the promises of God are to all who believe, irrespective of birth or nation.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.7

    Since this chapter is long, and we wish to present it all at one view, we do not reproduce the text, but urgently request the reader to study the chapter through carefully, reading it several times, before going further.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.8

    Not a Castaway.-The Apostle Paul knew that God had not cast off His people, the lineal descendants of Abraham, and his proof was the fact that he himself was accepted with God. If the Jewish nation had been cast off by the Lord, then there would have been no hope for Paul, because he was “an Hebrew of the Hebrews.” The words “God forbid” mislead some people. The idea obtains that Paul was praying that the Lord would not cast off His people, lest he also should be cast away. Instead of “God forbid,” read, “by no means.” Then all is clear. Thus: “I say then, Hath God cast away His people? By no means.” How do you prove that? Why, “I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.9

    Who Are Rejected?-Although God had not cast away His people, they were in a bad way. The fact that God had not cast them off, did not prove that they would be saved. Paul intimated that there was danger that even he, after he had preached to others, might be a castaway. 1 Corinthians 9:27. The case, however, lay wholly in his own hands. There was no danger that God would cast him away against his will. We have the words of the Lord, “Him that cometh to Me I will in nowise cast out.” John 6:37. And all may come; for He says also that “whosoever will” may come. God casts no one off; but if they utterly reject Him, then, since He forces no one, He has no alternative but to leave them to themselves. “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all My counsel, and would none of My reproof; ... therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” Proverbs 1:24-32. God stretches forth His hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people (Romans 10:21), and they have it in their own power to say if they will be saved. God accepts everybody; the only question is, Will they accept Him?PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.10

    The Remnant.-In the illustration from Elijah’s time, we learn something further about the matter of acceptance and rejection. It seemed then as though all Israel had departed from the Lord, but there were seven thousand men who had not acknowledged Baal. “Even so at this present moment there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” The grace of God appears to all men, and is extended to all. Those who accept the grace are the elect, no matter of what tribe or nation they are. Although the plan of salvation embraces all the world, it is a sad fact that but few of any people or generation will accept it. “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 82.11

    The Olive Tree.-While there are single expressions in the eleventh chapter of Romans that are difficult to understand, the chapter as a whole is very simple. Under the figure of an olive tree, the people of God are represented, and by the figure of grafting, the relation of all men to God is shown. Before going into the particulars of this illustration, we must for a moment consider thePTUK February 7, 1895, page 83.1

    “The Commonwealth of Israel.”-In the second chapter of Ephesians we learn that as Gentiles, the Ephesians had been “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,” “having no hope, and without God in the world.” That is, those who are not of the commonwealth of Israel are without God; or, those who are without God are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. Now Christ is the only manifestation of God to man, and “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” John 1:11. Therefore the mass of the Jewish nation were without God, just as surely as the heathen were, and consequently were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. The same chapter of Ephesians tells us that Christ came to reconcile both Jews and Gentiles unto God, showing that both were separate from Him. Still further in the same chapter we learn that the commonwealth of Israel is the “household of God,” and is composed of saints, those who are reconciled to God. Only such are not “strangers and foreigners” from Israel.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 83.2

    The Origin of Israel.-The name originated that night when Jacob wrestled with the Lord, and finally by his faith obtained the blessing that he sought. He could not gain anything whatever by his physical strength; indeed, one touch by the Lord was sufficient to make him utterly helpless; but it was when, in his utter helplessness, he cast himself in simple faith on the Lord, that he gained the victory, and was named Israel prince of God. This title was applied to all his descendants, although it strictly belonged only to those who had living faith in God, just as we use the term “Christian” of those who are in “the church,” with no thought of asserting that they really know the Lord.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 83.3

    A Righteous Nation.-Much is said of the unbelief of the children of Israel; but there were times when they as an entire nation had faith to a marked degree. One instance will suffice at present. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.” Hebrews 11:30. Thirteen times the whole host marched round the city, seemingly to no purpose, without a murmur. Such faith showed that they were then a righteous nation, in close union with God; because, “being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1. Then their name truly indicated their character; they were Israelites indeed. They were walking “in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 83.4

    Severed Branches.-But they did not keep the faith. “We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” Hebrews 3:14. This they did not do, and so they became “without Christ,” “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” Ephesians 2:12. In Romans 11:17 the apostle asks, What “if some of the branches be broken off?” etc., not meaning, however, to imply that some were not broken off, as we learn from what follows. For he says, “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (verse 20), and again, “God hath concluded them all in unbelief” (verse 32), thus showing that all were broken off. So we find the people who were “beloved for the fathers’ sakes” (verse 28) and who had at one time in their history been “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26) reduced through their unbelief to the level of those who had never known God.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 83.5

    Grafted Branches.-All the branches of the olive tree Israel were broken off through unbelief. To supply their places God took branches from the wild olive tree the Gentiles and grafted them on. This grafting was “contrary to nature” (verse 24), since it was wholly a work of grace. If it had been according to nature, then the branches would have borne natural fruit, and there would be no gain from the grafting, since the natural fruit was bad. See Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 2:1, 2. But a miracle was wrought by grace, and the branches that were grafted in partook of the nature of the root. The fruit of the grafted-in branches is no more natural, but that of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22, 23.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 83.6

    A Reunion.-We must remember that God did not cast off His people. They fell away through unbelief. “They also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.” Verse 23. The Jew has as good a chance as the Gentile. “There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.” Romans 10:12. Christ came “that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross,” and “through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Ephesians 2:16, 18.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 83.7

    No Change of Plan.-Let us not forget that in thus grafting in the Gentiles to take the place of rebellious Israel, there has been no change in God’s plan. It was all included in the original promise to Abraham. “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached the Gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Galatians 3:7, 8. In the beginning God made Adam, the father of the human race. Adam was the son of God (Luke 3:38); therefore all his descendants are by right God’s people. He did not cast them off because they sinned. His love embraced the world (John 3:16), and it did not contract in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The only advantage of Israel was that they had the privilege of carrying the glorious Gospel to the Gentiles, for whom it was always designed as much as for them.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 83.8

    Visiting the Gentiles.-The Gentiles, as well as the descendants of Jacob, were from the beginning intended to become Israel. This was shown at the conference in Jerusalem. Peter told how he had been divinely sent to preach the Gospel to them, and that God put no difference between them and the Jews. Then James said: “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:14-18. See also Amos 9:11-15.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 83.9

    From the above we learn that the “tabernacle of David,” the house or kingdom of David, is to be restored through the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles, and that this is according to the mind of the Lord from the beginning of the world. What these scriptures need is not comment, but believing thought.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 84.1

    “The Fulness of the Gentiles.”—“Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Romans 11:25. Until the fullness of the Gentiles “be come” into what place? Into Israel, of course; for it is by the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles that “all Israel shall be saved.” When will the fulness of the Gentiles “be come” in? The Lord himself furnishes the answer: “This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. God is visiting the Gentiles, “to take out of them a people for His name.” By them Israel is to be made full or complete. As soon as this work of preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles is finished, then the end will come. There will then be no more preaching to anybody, not to the Gentiles, because they will all have made the final decision; and not to the Jews, because then “all Israel shall be saved.” There will then be no more need of the Gospel; it will have accomplished its work.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 84.2

    All through Christ.-Note carefully verses 25-27. When the fulness of the Gentiles shall have been brought in, “all Israel shall be saved.” Indeed, it is only by the bringing in of the Gentiles that all Israel will be saved. And this will be a fulfilment of that which is written, “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Only through Christ can Israel be saved and gathered; and all who are Christ’s are Israel; for “if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 84.3

    Taking Away Sin.-There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, who shall turn away ungodliness from Israel. Christ is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. “He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2. The high priest Caiaphas spoke by the Spirit “that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” John 11:51, 52. So Peter, speaking in the temple at Jerusalem, said: “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:25, 26. The blessing of Abraham is the forgiveness of sins through Christ; and people of all nations become Israelites indeed by the taking away of iniquity.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 84.4

    All of Faith.-It was through faith that Jacob became Israel. It was through unbelief that his descendants were broken off from the stock of Israel. It is through faith that the Gentiles are grafted in, and only by faith that they stand; and it is through faith that the Jews may become reunited to the parent stock. Faith in Christ is the only thing that makes one an Israelite, and only unbelief cuts one off from being an Israelite; this was fully shown by Christ when He marvelled at the faith of the centurion, saying; “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.” Matthew 8:10-12.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 84.5

    All in Prison.—“God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.” The word “conclude” means literally “to shut up,” as indicated in the margin. He hath “shut them all up together.” So in Galatians 3:22 we read that “the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” And the next verse speaks of all being “shut up” and guarded by the law. Both Jews and Gentiles “are all under sin.” Romans 3:9. All are shut up in prison together, with no hope of escape except by Christ, “the Deliverer,” who proclaims “liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Isaiah 61:1. He comes as the deliverer “out of Zion,” bringing the freedom of “Jerusalem which is above.” Galatians 4:26. All therefore who accept the liberty wherewith Christ makes free, are the children of Jerusalem which is above, heirs of heavenly Canaan, members of the true commonwealth of Israel.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 84.6

    Wonderful Knowledge.—“By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities,” says the Lord. Isaiah 53:11. Thus by forgiving sins He will build the walls of Jerusalem (Psalm 51:18), and restore her captive children. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” Let no one, therefore, presume to criticise God’s plan, or to reject it because he can not understand it. “For who hath been His counsellor?” “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 84.7

    “Useless Wisdom” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Speaking of the great mental powers of the ancient wise men, a religious journal says: “Of Socrates, it is said that he would frequently remain an entire day and night in the same attitude, absorbed in meditation.” Yet what was the wisdom which Socrates was able to evolve from such a superhuman exercise of the mind? Nothing that could brighten the pathway of humanity here, or solve the mystery of the hereafter. The old heathen philosophers, sitting statute-like through long hours of oblivious contemplation, represents the extreme limit attained by the human intellect toward piercing, up by its own visual power, the infinite realms of truth.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 84.8

    Socrates frequently spent the night in meditation; the Saviour frequently spent the night in prayer. Here is the contrast between the true way and the false in the attainment of wisdom,—between God’s way and the way of the world. The heathen seeking for truth turns his eyes inward upon his own mind; the Christian turns his eyes upward to God and the contrast in what they behold is the measure of the contrast in what they receive. The real hope of all mankind is to be found in the words, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” James 1:5. The real wisdom is to know God. Only as we know Him can we rightly comprehend the things which manifest themselves in the sphere of our existence.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 84.9

    “Rome. The End of Earth’s Empires” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Last week we sketched the rise and establishment of the great Roman Empire, as the fourth kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. In the metallic image, it was represented by the legs of iron, and “as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things,” so the “iron monarchy of Rome,” as Gibbon called it, subdued and ruled the world.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.1

    But so long as nations are composed of mortal men, they must be subject to change; and so we find that the empire of Rome did not always retain its proud position as a universal monarchy. But we must not anticipate the prophecy:—PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.2

    “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” Daniel 2:41-43.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.3

    In these words a division is foretold. This is not the place to give details of that division; but that it has been made is evident from the fact that there is no universal empire of Rome to-day. The territory that was once governed by a single man, is now in the hands of several rulers. Suffice it to say that the breaking up of Rome into fragments was accomplished by the vast hordes of barbarians that poured in from the North; that the first edition was made in 351 A.D., after Rome had stood as a universal empire for over five hundred years; and that the last division was made in 476 A.D.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.4

    The prophecy indicates that these divisions would seek to reunite, but that such reunion will be as impossible as for clay to become united to iron. “They shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.5

    The closing act in the great drama of the nations is thus described: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” Daniel 2:44.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.6

    Here is brought to view the setting up of the fifth universal empire-the kingdom of the God of Heaven-represented by the stone which dashed the image in pieces. That kingdom will not be a temporal kingdom, because it “shall not be left to other people;” the people who are citizens of it when it is set up, will be citizens of it to all eternity, for “it shall stand for ever.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.7

    That kingdom will be a real, literal kingdom, as much so as was Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, or Rome. It will have territory and subjects. Moreover, it will occupy the very same territory that those kingdoms occupied, for it is to break them in pieces before it can be established. Yes, it will occupy more territory than those kingdoms did, for when they were at the height of their power, much of the world was undiscovered; but God has said to Christ: “Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:8, 9.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.8

    Thus we see that the object of the prophecy is to bring to our attention the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the throne of His glory, to give reward to His saints, and to destroy them that corrupt the earth. We know not the time of that last great overturning, but we know that, in the nature of things, it cannot be long. From the supremacy of Babylon to that of Medo-Persia was less than a hundred years; from Medo-Persia to Greece was two hundred and seven years; from Greece to Rome was one hundred and sixty-three years; and from the accession of Rome to the dominion of the world till the present time has been over two thousand years.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.9

    We say that from the nature of things time cannot last much longer. Degeneration is the word that describes the nations from the creation till now. In Nebuchadnezzar’s day gold was a fit symbol of earthly power. A little later, and silver, an inferior metal, was used as a symbol. In a short time brass represented the value of earthly monarchies. Then came the iron, then iron mixed (but not united) with clay, until now the clay seems to predominate. Moral degeneration is likewise going on. Evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13); but soon shall come the time when the Lord shall “send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire.” Matthew 13:41, 42. Christ’s kingdom, the stone cut out without hands, shall break in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold,—the nations “that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel,”—and they shall become like the chaff of the summer threshing floor. The fate of the chaff is to be burned up with “unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12); and so it is said of the ungodly nations, that “as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust.” Isaiah 5:24.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.10

    This does not mean gradual extinction, nor conversion. There is no scriptural warrant for the idea that the stone shall “roll and roll, ever increasing in size until it shall have gathered together all nations, and so shall fill the whole earth.” There is no rolling about it. The stone smites the image, and instantly dashes it in pieces. This smiting is not conversion, for when Christ smites the earth with the rod of His mouth it is the slaying of the wicked by the breath of His lips. See Isaiah 11:4. While the wicked are saying, “Peace and safety,” and are under the delusion that all things shall continue as they were from the beginning of the creation, then sudden destruction shall come upon them, and they shall not escape. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 85.11

    Thus the Lord makes known to us “what shall be in the latter days;” it will surely come to pass, for “the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Daniel 2:45.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.1

    “Is Sunday the Sabbath?” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “What a question! Of course it is; everybody knows that,” some will at once exclaim. Well, if everybody knows it, then there will be no difficulty in obtaining an answer. It is a good thing to be sharply questioned on everything, so that we may find out what things we hold that are not true, and may become the more certain of the things that are true.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.2

    This question cannot be settled by an appeal to custom. This must be evident to every one who considers that by far the greater portion of the people of the earth make no profession of Christianity. It is not true that the majority of people keep Sunday, or even believe in the Bible; therefore when we go to teach the heathen we dare not appeal to custom or tradition as authority, lest they accept the appeal, and say that custom and tradition prove that the gods of their fathers are the true objects of worship. There is no error that could not be maintained if custom and numbers were proofs of right.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.3

    THE ONLY AUTHORITY

    The word of the Lord is the only standard of truth, and the only authority. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word.” Verse 9. “Concerning the works of men, by the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” Psalm 17:4. The Scriptures alone are able to make one wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus; for “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17. Let us therefore read them to find the true answer to our question, “Is Sunday the Sabbath?”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.4

    ORIGIN OF THE SABBATH

    The first chapter of the Bible gives the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of all things that dwell in them, closing with the words, “And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” The narrative is continued without break in the second chapter, in these words:—PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.5

    “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And 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.” Genesis 2:1-3.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.6

    THE AUTHORITY FOR SABBATH-KEEPING

    The word “Sabbath” means “rest.” Therefore since the seventh day is the day on which the Lord rested, it follows that the seventh day is the Sabbath. This is what we are told in the fourth commandment, which is the only authority there is in the world for Sabbath-keeping. Here it is:—PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.7

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; 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.” Exodus 20:8-11.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.8

    Although this commandment was spoken to the Jews, it was not designed for them alone. “The Sabbath was made for man.” Mark 2:27. The commandment itself refers to creation as the origin of the Sabbath, thus showing that it was designed for all creation. The commandment which tells us that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, and that we ought to keep it, is connected with the commandments which tell us to worship the one, true God, not to take His name in vain, not to kill, steal, commit adultery, etc. It is therefore addressed to the very same persons that those commandments are. Every man who ought to worship God, and who ought not to take His name in vain, nor to kill or steal, ought also to keep the seventh day, the Sabbath of the Lord.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.9

    WHICH DAY IS THE SEVENTH?

    Which day is the seventh day? Is it Sunday? We need not be in doubt over this point for a minute, for the Bible affords the clearest answer. When Jesus was on earth He was often accused by the Jews of Sabbath-breaking. Whenever He answered their accusations, He showed that He did not break the Sabbath. It was in connection with such a charge brought against His disciples that He said, “The Sabbath was made for man,” and “The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” That is, He recognised the same day of the week as the Sabbath that the Jews did. The Sabbath of the Lord, therefore, the seventh day, is the same day that the Jews have always regarded as the Sabbath, although they have not always kept it. But we shall see further evidence with regard to the day of the Sabbath later on.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.10

    Christ’s life is the only perfect life. His life on this earth was a perfect pattern of what man’s life ought to be. “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6. It is by His life that we are saved. Romans 5:10. Christ lived by the Father, and we are to live by Him. John 6:57. The life which the Father lived in Jesus of Nazareth is the life which He will live in us if we will yield to Him. No other life than that will be a perfect life.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.11

    Now there is no question but that our Lord when on this earth observed the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, which the Jews profess to keep. That was the same day that the Jews profess to keep to-day. It was the seventh day of the week, commonly called Saturday. It was and is entirely distinct from the first day of the week, which is called Sunday. Then the fourth commandment enjoins the observance of the seventh day, and our Lord Himself kept that day, calling it the Sabbath, our question is answered, and the answer is that Sunday is not the Sabbath.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.12

    THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

    There are some, however, who suppose that the resurrection of Christ caused a change in the Sabbath, from the seventh to the first day of the week. Now it is utterly impossible that just before He ascended to heaven Christ should proceed to show that during the whole of His life He had been doing something that men ought not to do. Such a thing would be to discredit Himself as a perfect example for mankind. If it were true that we ought not to do as He did when on this earth, that would show that He did wrong; but that cannot be. He “did no sin.” 1 Peter 2:22. And we are told that “He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13. Nevertheless, in order to remove every possibility of doubt, we will read every text in the New Testament which speaks of the first day of the week. If the first day of the week, or Sunday, is the Sabbath, surely we shall find the facts stated in some one of those texts. If on the other hand the New Testament never once intimates that the first day of the week is the Sabbath, we shall need no other evidence that it is not the Sabbath.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 86.13

    The first day of the week is mentioned but eight times in the New Testament, and of these eight times six refer to the day of the resurrection. We may therefore group them all together, taking them in the order of their occurrence.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.1

    “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” Matthew 28:1.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.2

    “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.” Mark 16:1, 2.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.3

    “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils.” Mark 16:9.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.4

    “And that day [the crucifixion day] was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” Luke 23:54-56; 24:1.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.5

    “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.” John 20:1.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.6

    “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” John 20:19.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.7

    These are all the texts in the Bible, which speak of the day of Christ’s resurrection; and what do we find?—The simple story of the resurrection, without the slightest hint that it was ever to be regarded as the Sabbath day. If the day of the resurrection was to be observed as the Sabbath, here was the place to make some mention of it. But we look in vain for it.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.8

    SABBATH AND FIRST DAY DISTINCT

    We do find something about the Sabbath, however. Read again the text quoted above. The one from Matthew tells us that the women came to the sepulchre immediately after the Sabbath, on the first day of the week.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.9

    In Mark we are told that they came “very early in the morning the first day of the week,” but not until “the Sabbath was past.” The two texts show us that the first day of the week immediately follows the Sabbath; and the last one shows very plainly that no matter how early one arises in the morning of the first day of the week, the Sabbath will already be past.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.10

    The quotation from Luke tells us more yet. From it we learn not only that the first day of the week is distinct from the Sabbath, and comes after the Sabbath is passed, but that the women who came to the sepulchre in the morning of the first day of the week, had “rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Now the day before the first day of the week is the seventh day of the week. Therefore we learn that they who rest on the Sabbath day “according to the commandment,” rest on the seventh day of the week. It is a fact that should startle every one, that no one can keep the fourth commandment without resting on the seventh day of the week.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.11

    The fourth commandment is the only authority that men have for Sabbath-keeping. It commands the observance of one day, and of only one day, namely, “the seventh day.” This we are most plainly taught means the seventh day of the week. Therefore since the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath, it is most certain that the first day of the week is not the Sabbath.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.12

    JESUS MEETING THE DISCIPLES

    “But,” some one will say, “the text in John tells us that Jesus met with His disciples on that same first day of the week.” Very true; and we may note the fact, in passing, that it is the only record we have of His meeting with His disciples on the first day of the week. It is true that He met with them again “after eight days” (John 20:26), but no method of accounting known to man can make “after eight days” from Sunday night fall on Sunday.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.13

    But let us learn something further about the single meeting of Jesus with His disciples on the first day of the week. In Luke 24:13-31 we have the account of two disciples going into the country, and being joined by Jesus, whom they did not recognise. They told Him all about their disappointment because of the crucifixion of Jesus, and of the rumour that they had heard of His resurrection, and in return Jesus opened to them the prophecies which foretold His crucifixion and resurrection.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.14

    By this time they had reached their home, more than seven miles from Jerusalem, and they asked Jesus to stop with them, saying, “the day is far spent.” Jesus entered, and was made known to them in the action of breaking bread, and immediately vanished from their sight. Then the two disciples “rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together.” “And they told what things were done in the way, and how He was known of them in breaking of bread. And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” Luke 24:33-36.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.15

    Now read how briefly this story was told by Mark. “After that He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue; neither believed they them.” Mark 16:12, 13. This shows that the disciples had not met together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus: because they did not believe that He had risen. But let us read the next verse.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.16

    “Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.” Instead, therefore, of their being assembled in meeting, they were at their common places of abode, eating their supper. If we follow the narrative in Luke 24:36-43 we learn that Jesus asked them for something to eat, “and they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And He took it and did eat before them.” The one instance in which we are told that Jesus met with His disciples on the first day of the week, was when they were eating supper, and He joined them in the meal. But it was not the Sabbath.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.17

    ONE FIRST-DAY MEETING

    One of the two remaining texts does speak of a meeting on the first day of the week, on this wise. On his way from Macedonia to Jerusalem, Paul came to Troas, in Asia Minor, where he tarried a week. We are not told how that week was spent, but we may be sure that Paul employed the time to the profit of the church in that place. “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.” Acts 20:7, 8.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 87.18

    But notice that this gives no hint that the first day was considered to be the Sabbath. Moreover, since the day according to Scripture begins in the evening, at sunset, it is evident that their evening meeting on the first day of the week was on what we term Saturday night, and that Paul set out on his journey the next morning, in the daytime of the first day. This text therefore gives no warrant to the idea that Sunday is the Sabbath, but the contrary.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.1

    SUNDAY GIVING

    And now for the last text that mentions the first day. It is this: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.” 1 Corinthians 16:1-3. On this we may note the following points.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.2

    1. There is no intimation that the first day of the week was regarded as sacred.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.3

    2. There is no mention of any public service.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.4

    3. Each one was to “lay by him in store,” as God had prospered him. This could be done only by taking account of his gains, and laying aside the donations at home.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.5

    4. Only one collection is spoken of, and that was when Paul should come. If the people had put their contributions into a box at meeting, they would not have laid it by them in store. This text, therefore, refers only to an ordinary business transaction on the first day of the week.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.6

    THE LORD’S DAY

    We have now noted every reference to the first day of the week, and find that it is a labouring day, and not a rest day. We might, however, quote Revelation 1:10, since some will think that it should come in. John says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” The reader will see that this says nothing about Sunday. What day was it? We may easily see.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.7

    1. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” Exodus 20:10.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.8

    2. God speaks of the Sabbath day, as the very day which the Jews were commanded to keep, and calls it “My holy day.” Isaiah 58:13.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.9

    3. Jesus spoke of the very day which the Jews call the Sabbath, and declared Himself to be its Lord. Mark 2:28.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.10

    Therefore we know without any doubt that the Lord’s day is the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.11

    THE TESTIMONY OF THE SPIRIT

    One point more should be noted. The day which the Jews regarded as the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, is mentioned more than fifty times in the New Testament as the Sabbath. The New Testament was written years after the events occurred. It is the word, not of men, but of the Spirit of God. It was written by Christian men, for Christians. It is the language of Christians. Therefore the name which the Spirit of God teaches Christian men to call the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath or Lord’s day.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.12

    Again we repeat this question, “Is Sunday the Sabbath?” and the answer is emphatically, No. This is the answer of the Bible, and that is the only authority. With those who do not believe the Bible, or who do not believe that it alone is sufficient to make one perfect, “thoroughly furnished unto all good works,” the answer may be unsatisfactory. To such we do not now speak. We speak only to those who believe that the Bible and the Bible alone is the rule of Christian faith and practice. And now, reader, if you say that you do believe the Bible, we ask you, Do you obey it? and if not, Why not?PTUK February 7, 1895, page 88.13

    “News of the Week” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The Romish “propaganda” have determined upon the establishment of an “apostolic vicariate” or Wales.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.1

    -The cessation by Mr. Gladstone from publics speaking means, it is said, a loss of ?2,000 a year to one Press agency alone.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.2

    -It is announced from Rome that the Triple Alliance will be renewed this year, and that a special military convention of a pacific character will be signed.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.3

    -A conference of Australian Premiers has been opened at Hobart. It was agreed that federation vas the greatest and most pressing question in Australasian politics.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.4

    -Pentonville Prison is claimed to be the healthiest spot in England. No fewer than 12,050 criminals passed through it during the year, there being only nine deaths.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.5

    -The electric light is rapidly superseding gas in business establishments. In London alone last year the number of incandescent lights in use increased from 1,125,000 to 1,600,000.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.6

    -The Commission of Inquiry into the Turkish atrocities in Armenia has begun its work by holding a preliminary sitting at Moosh. The Porte still refuses to permit newspaper correspondents to travel in Armenia.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.7

    -The Pope, not satisfied with Cardinal Vaughan’s adverse report on the question of Catholic Anglican federation, intends to consult the Bishops of Salford, Nottingham and Southwark, who will shortly arrive in Rome, on the matter.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.8

    -There has been a terrible upheaval on one of the islands of the New Hebrides group. The crater of one volcano, which is three miles in circumference, is a sea of lava, and another volcano is covering the island with darkness and ashes. The population of 8,000, with few exceptions, have disappeared.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.9

    -The French Ministerial crisis has been passed by the formation of a Cabinet by M. Ribot. President Fauer’s message was read in both Chambers of the French Parliament, and was favourably received. A vote of confidence in the new French ministry was passed by 529 votes to seventy-nine, and an Amnesty Bill for political offences was afterwards brought in and carried by 511 votes to seven.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.10

    -An appalling ocean disaster occurred about fifty miles off Lowestoft early on the morning of Jan. 80, the North German Lloyd steamer Elbe being run into by another steamer, and sinking in a few minutes. There were, it is believed, 240 passengers on board, the crew numbering 160. Of this total of 400 only 20 persons have been saved, these being picked up in a small boat by a fishing-smack, and brought to Lowestoft.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.11

    -Owing to the non-coincidence of the earth’s pole of rotation with its geodetic pole, and the shifting about of the former, it is pointed out that the frontier between the United States and Canada being marked out in two parts, for 1,200 miles and 250 miles respectively, by parallels of latitude, there is a strip of land, only 60 feet wide, it is true, but large enough in area to embrace 100 big farms, which comes alternately under the jurisdiction of both countries. During April and May, 1890, and May, 1891, it was Canadian by rights; in November, 1890, and December, 1891, it was American.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.12

    -Dr. Jamieson, of South Africa, who conducted the recent campaign against the Matabeles, has been addressing Londoners on the subject of the nature and advantages of the newly-acquired annex to the British Empire. The ex-commander-in-chief of the Chartered Company’s army, and present administrator of its territories painted a very bright picture of the future of that part of Africa. It is, be declared, a white man’s country, containing iron and coal side by side, and payable gold-fields; agriculturally it is self-supporting, and it is an admirable pastoral country. In three years the railway is to run from Cape Town to Buluwayo. After an occupation of only nine months there were, last August, nearly 2,000 white people in Lobengula’s old capital.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 94.13

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Chinese are said to have found the reason why their armies have been beaten by the Japanese. It is that on the second day of the second moon last year there appeared a double halo around the sun.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.1

    Apologists for the Russian persecutions of the Jews say that the question is not one of religion but of race, and therefore it cannot be religious persecution. The hollowness of the claim is demonstrated by the fact that by changing his religion the Jew avoids the persecution.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.2

    The power behind the Russian throne, one of the strongest elements of which is priestcraft, does not intend to surrender any of its prerogatives. After all the talk about a liberalising policy, the young Czar has announced to the representatives of the nobility that such talk is foolish fancy, and that he will “uphold the principle of autocracy as firmly and unflinchingly as did my ever-lamented father.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.3

    Italy has been fighting the Abyssinians in their own land, and celebrates the victory recently gained quite in the fashion of medi?val Papal demonstrations. The commanding general led a triumphal procession at Massowah to the public square, where an altar was decorated with flags and crosses. “The prefect of apostolic then delivered an eloquent address,” we are told, “and a solemn Te Deum of thanksgiving for the success of the Italian arms was sung with much fervour. At the conclusion of the service the prefect apostolic pronounced a benediction.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.4

    Reuter’s agency says that members of the Catholic party in the German Reichstag have concluded a compromise with the Government whereby they engage to support an Anti-Revolutionary bill provided the repeal of the Anti-Jesuit law is confirmed by the Federal Council. One clause of the Anti-Revolutionary bill makes it an offence to speak against religion, which of course means religion according to the definition of those administering the law. It is by such laws as these that the preaching of the Gospel will be punished in Germany. Not long ago a German judge, having the case of a Protestant minister before him, said that if Luther were now alive and should preach as he did in the sixteenth century, they would probably imprison him for it.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.5

    “Regeneration by Politics” The Present Truth 11, 6.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The great trouble with the majority of the ancient Jews was that they thought that God was altogether such an one as themselves. See Psalm 50:21. They were sure that they could make themselves as good as He (Romans 10:3), and they thought that the temple which men had built was sufficiently large to contain Him. When Stephen quoted the words of the prophet, wherein God declared that He was greater than the house which they had built, they killed him. Their narrow ideas of God, gave them exalted ideas of themselves. Vain imaginations, which ended in terrible judgments!PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.6

    But the people of this generation have no reason to boast over them. Many professed Christians have the same distorted views of their importance as compared with God. Only last week a meeting of the Nonconformist Council of London was called to take action in regard to the approaching London County Council election. To support a certain party was declared to be necessary in order to be loyal to Christ, and the climax was reached when the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes said that “in this fight the Wesleyan Methodists would be found shoulder to shoulder with their other Nonconformist brethren, to hasten the time when the city of London should become the city of God.” This was greeted with loud cheers by the assembled ministers.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.7

    The folly of this proposal is evident when we remember that the city of God is one “whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10), and that it is situated in “a better country, that is, an heavenly.” Verse 16. Men have nothing whatever to do in preparing it; their part is to yield themselves to God, that He may prepare them for a place in it.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.8

    Nothing is more needed at this time than to point out that every proposition to advance the kingdom of God by politics is not the Gospel, but is utterly opposed to it. The Gospel is the power of God, and not of men. It is the power of God to save individual men and women from sin. The ministers who are so zealously labouring to regenerate the city by means of politics, are unconsciously playing into the hands of Rome, because political religion is the very essence of Romanism.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.9

    The Romish Babylon’s characteristic is that “the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her,” and that “the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” Revelation 18:3; 17:2. The extent to which the principles of Romanism have permeated even those who think they are opposed to Rome, is indicated by the two items which follow:—PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.10

    1. The Nonconformist Council has issued a manifesto to all the Free Churches in London, in view of the coming County Council election, in which it is said that “at the last London County Council election the Free Churches nobly rose to the crisis, and furnished the moral enthusiasm that led to victory.”PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.11

    2. The London Reform Union has issued an appeal to the pastors of London, which closes thus:—PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.12

    This, therefore, is a crisis in which the religious congregations appear to have a clear duty. The decisive voting power is in their hands. Should you feel able to bring the matter in any form before the members of your church, the London Reform Union will be glad to furnish, free of charge, any information or literature desired. If a speaker is required at any meeting in connection with your church, the London Reform Union will endeavour to supply one.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.13

    Men who are drunk do not usually know it. Therefore is there the more urgent need to point out their danger. The religious people of the world are becoming intoxicated with the idea that political power is the agency by which the Gospel is to triumph, and their heads are turned by the thought that they have this power under their control. It was thus that the Papacy was established in the first centuries, and it is thus that it will regain all that it lost by the Reformation. The apostasy was the result of the neglect of God’s Word; the Reformation won its victories only by the Word; and it is only as the Word preached in its purist simplicity, and power, that the fruit of the Reformation can be preserved. Let neither Christians nor men of the world be deceived. Good men may err, and the greatest error that good men are in danger of making to-day is the supposition that political work is Gospel work.PTUK February 7, 1895, page 96.14

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