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

    September 22, 1892

    “Getting Ready for Company” The Present Truth 8, 19.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The religious papers of the United States are urging the people to get ready to receive company next year. It is common in some families that are not noted for good breeding, to admonish the children to be very polite when certain company is expected, upon whom they wish to make a good impression. In well-regulated families such admonitions are not heard, for they are not needed. Those who are always well-behaved, do not have to be exhorted to “put on” company manners. Just now the papers are awakening to the fact that the boasted “Christian” character of the nation may not stand the scrutiny of the multitudes who will come from other lands to visit the World’s Fair. Especially are they anxious about the impression that may be made upon visitors from so-called heathen lands. The New York Independent says:PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.1

    “One thing is certain, Christianity will be on trial as never before. From every quarter of the world there will come men to see for themselves the results of the religion of our missionaries, in a land where it has had every advantage. The reading of papers, the discussions of a few hours will be of comparatively little value beside the great object lesson of a Christian nation. We have sent out our heralds to proclaim the gospel. Now those to whom they have gone will come to judge for themselves as to our sincerity in sending them.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.2

    As a matter of fact they will find the same kind of people that they have at home. The honest-hearted, zealous, humble Christians they will probably not come in contact with very much, and they will judge of Christianity by the class of people that are most numerous in the large cities.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.3

    The thing, however, which it is expected will make the most decided “hit,” is the closed gates of the Fair on Sundays. Unfortunately, this will be an exhibition of Paganism, and not of Christianity. We do not refer especially to the observance of the Pagan sun-festival day, but to the fact that the most “Christian” feature that the country can exhibit has to be supported by law. No matter how Christian an institution may be in itself, it argues a very low state of Christianity when its observance can be secured only under the pains and penalties of the law. Suppose that Sunday were indeed a Christian institution; then the very fact that its observance could not be secured except by the force of law, would be the strongest possible proof that Christianity had no hold upon the people. Religious practices enforced by law form the very essence of paganism.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.4

    The Gospel draws men, but does not drive them. Its power is that of the Holy Spirit, and not that of legal enactment. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15. Have our friends who are so zealous for Sunday laws, and who imagine that by such means the millennium is to be ushered in, forgotten the text, “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace”?PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.5

    The apostle Paul says that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. But he says also that Christ dwells in the heart by faith. Ephesians 3:17. So faith in the living word of God brings Christ into the heart. He is the life of the word.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.6

    “The Life of the Word” The Present Truth 8, 19.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The life of the word is the life of God, for it is God breathed, and the breath of God is life. Its life and power are thus attested: “For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12, Revised Version. The Saviour, also said of the words of God, “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. Let us see what gives the word its life.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.1

    The 30th chapter of Deuteronomy follows the account of the curses for disobedience to the law, and the blessings for obedience. In it the people are again admonished to keep the law, and are told what the Lord will do for them, even after they have been disobedient if they will repent. Then Moses continues: “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” Verses 11-14.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.2

    Now compare carefully with this passage the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 10:6-10: “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above); Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead), But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.3

    The careful reader will readily see that this latter passage is a quotation of the former, with additions in parentheses. These additions are comments made by the Holy Spirit. They tell us just what Moses meant by the word “commandment.” Or, rather, since the Holy Spirit itself dictated the language in each case, it, the latter passage it has made more clear what it meant in the first instance. Notice that bringing the commandment down from heaven is shown to be the same as bringing Christ down from above, and that to bring the commandment from the deep is the same as to bring Christ up from the dead.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.4

    What is shown by this?-Nothing more nor less than that the commandment, the law, or the entire word of the Lord, is identical with Christ. Do not misunderstand. It is not meant that Christ is nothing more than the letters and words and sentences that we read in the Bible. Far from it. The fact is that whoever reads the Bible, and finds nothing but mere words, such as he may find in any other book, does not find the real word at all. What is meant is that the real word is not a dead letter, but is identical with Christ. Whoever finds the word indeed, finds Christ, and he who does not find Christ in the word, has not found the word of God.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.5

    This is also shown in the same chapter in which we find the statement made by Christ that the words which he spoke were Spirit and life. In the 35th verse of that chapter, we read, “Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life.” Again, in the fifty-first verse, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” And again, “Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Then in the 63rd verse he added, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.” Here we find the plainest declaration that the word of God, received in faith, conveys Christ actually to the soul of man.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 291.6

    In the statement, “the flesh profiteth nothing,” we have the Romish “sacrifice of the mass” effectually undermined! Suppose that it were actually possible for the priest to perform the feat of turning the bread of the sacrament into the body of Christ; that would not amount to anything. If Christ himself had divided the actual flesh of His body, while on this earth, into portions large or small, and had given a piece to every man in the world, and each man had eaten his piece, that would not have affected the character of a single man in the world. Christ Himself said that “the flesh profiteth nothing.” The only way that any man in the world can eat the flesh of Christ is to believe His word with all His heart. In that way he will receive Christ indeed, and thus it is that “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,” for Christ is righteousness. And in this, the only way, any man in the world may eat the flesh of Christ, without the services of a priest or bishop.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 292.1

    This is a meager presentation of the theme, but who can do justice to it? No one can do more than take the simple statements of the Scriptures and meditate on them until the force of the fact begins to dawn on his mind. The fact that Christ is in the real word, that the life of the word is the life of Christ, is a most stupendous one. It is the mystery of the Gospel. When we receive it as a fact, and appropriate it, then we shall know for ourselves the meaning of the words that man shall live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 292.2

    “Liberty and Union” The Present Truth 8, 19.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Liberty and Union.- At the Church Reunion Conference, the Bishop of Worcester said that he supported the establishment because it secured freedom of thought and opinion, and that is the only value which he put upon the connection between the State and the Church. He said: “We have a truly catholic church. We touch Rome on one side, and Nonconformity on the other. It would be a great disaster if it ever narrowed its teaching, or if its clergy were ever compelled to speak with one mouth and one lip.” The idea that a union of Church and State secures freedom of thought, is one of the newest things out. If there is freedom in an established church, it is only because the establishment is so nearly a dead letter. As to catholicity, the Bible knows nothing of it, although it is thought so desirable in these days. Unity, however, is essential. The apostle exhorts us all to “speak the same thing,” and to “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10. In early days, also, “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” Acts 4:32. This union was not the result of compulsion, but of the presence of the Holy Spirit. When each individual is led by the Spirit, then only is the fullest liberty and the most perfect unity.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 292.3

    “The Cleansing Touch and Word” The Present Truth 8, 19.


    E. J. Waggoner

    “And it came to pass, when He was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy; who seeing Jesus, fell on his face, and besought Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And He put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.” Luke 5:12, 13. This is one of the things that are written that we might know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and it is a forcible illustration of how if we believe we may have life through His name.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.1

    Such a wonderful cure had never been performed before since the world began. From that day to this, medical science has been impotent in the presence of the dreaded disease, leprosy. It was a most loathsome disease. The one who had it was shut off from human society, except from those who had the same disease. They were regarded as in the highest degree unclean. As the disease progressed, the different members of the body dropped off. It was actually a living death. The man could look on and see the death preying upon him, ever advancing, and had the certainty before him of final, complete death. For him there was no hope.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.2

    This man was “full of leprosy.” He was evidently in the last stages of the disease. It had begun to prey upon his vitals, and in a short time he would drop into the grave. It was then that he saw Jesus; and when we consider his condition, we can appreciate the wonderful faith shown by the words, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.” There was not the slightest doubt of Christ’s power to save. Jesus immediately responded to the cry of faith, saying, “I will; be thou clean.” And immediately the leprosy departed from him.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.3

    Sin is a sore disease that is preying upon the vitals of every man. Like the leper, men are filled with it. “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly; they have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are estranged, and gone backward. Why will ye be still stricken, that ye revolt more and more? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and festering sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil.” Isaiah 1:4-6, Revised Version.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.4

    Like the leprosy, sin is progressive death. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56. “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:6, 7. “For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not.” “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:18, 24.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.5

    The leprous person was separated. So the sinful person is separated from God. He is unclean. “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God.” “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” Ephesians 4:17-19.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.6

    But although the sinner is by his very uncleanness separated from God, yet God is not afraid to come near and touch him. Jesus was moved with compassion as He saw the poor leper, and He is the same now. “For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. Therefore, like the leper, we may come with boldness to a throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. For there is a “fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1. And though the person be full of sin and uncleanness, our High Priest “is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.7

    Jesus not only has the healing touch, but His words have power to heal. The Psalmist says concerning His dealing with His people of old that “He sent His word, and healed them.” Psalm 107:20. Mark, recording the healing of the leper, says that Jesus touched him, saying, “And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” Mark 1:42. The word of Christ also cleanses from sin, and it was to make us realize this fact that the healing of the leper was recorded. Said the Saviour: “I am the true Vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” John 15:1-3.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.8

    Do we believe that the word and touch of Jesus made the leper clean? Then we may know that the same word and touch will make us clean from sin. He who does not believe that the Lord can cleanse him from sin, no matter how vile he may be, does not believe the Bible record of the miracles of Christ. But merely saying that we believe does not answer the purpose; we must accept the cleansing. There is another important truth taught in this lesson.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.9

    Jesus said, “I will; be thou clean.” Read these words of inspiration: “Grace be to you, and peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Galatians 1:3, 4. “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” “It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14. So we ought to come to the Lord with a great deal more boldness and confidence than the leper did. He knew that the Master had the power to heal him, but he said, “If Thou wilt.” God has given us such abundant evidence of His willingness to save us from our sins that it would be casting discredit on His word if we should say, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst save me.” “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Thus has He shown not only His willingness, but His longing desire, to save men. He has left nothing undone, and has kept nothing back. “What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it?” Isaiah 5:4. “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31, 32. He who doubts the willingness of God to hear and save those who wish salvation, must doubt the very existence of God.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 293.10

    Well, then, what is the final lesson?-Just this: “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us.” 1 John 5:14. Now we have learned that it is the will of God to save people from sin. That is why Christ came to earth to die. There can be no question that it is the will of God to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Therefore we know that whenever we come and ask for cleansing, that moment He hears us. But this is not all. “And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” Verse 15. So, as soon as we ask in faith, the work is done.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.1

    The word of salvation has already gone forth. “To you is the word of this salvation sent.” The word is full of healing power. We come to the Lord, saying, “Lord, I know that Thou hast the power to cleanse me, and I know that Thou wilt.” We know then that He hears us. We do not then have to wait for the word to come to us, “I will; be thou clean,” for it has already been spoken. So, when we know that He hears us, we know that we have the things that we desired of Him. Our faith appropriates the power of the word, and its righteousness is ours.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.2

    Who is there that does not need freedom from sin? It is ours, if we will but receive it. Thousands say that they believe, and yet they find no relief. To such the miracles of Christ are not a reality. They are but as idle tales. When they receive the word as it is indeed, the living word of God, then they will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and, believing, they will have life through His name.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.3

    “A Powerless Gospel” The Present Truth 8, 19.


    E. J. Waggoner

    A correspondent of The Christian, writing from Chicago, says:-PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.4

    “There is a strong feeling among the masses of God’s people that special work must be done here next year. The scattered evangelist and earnest workers are to be called in, and the immense throngs of sightseers given the plain Gospel. Now that Congress has ordered the gates to be closed on Sunday, the masses can be the more easily reached.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.5

    The desire to give the plain Gospel to the people is a laudable one; but it is pitiful that those who propose to give it have not enough confidence in its power, to trust it to reach and draw the people, without asking the law of the land to endeavour to make it impossible for them to do anything else but listen. A gospel that cannot reach people without the aid of the civil law, is not worth preaching. Whoever wants to evangelize men would do far better to send petitions to God than to send petitions to Congress. The Saviour says, “Whosoever will may come”; but the principle of religious observance enforced by law is, that whosoever will not come must be forced to come. The power of such a gospel is not that of the Spirit of God, but of man. “Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.6

    “Taking Away the Key of Knowledge” The Present Truth 8, 19.


    E. J. Waggoner

    “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” Luke 11:52. The lawyers here addressed were those among the Jews who professed to teach the law of God; they were religious instructors of that day. They had set themselves up as superior to the word of God, by setting its plain teachings aside for their traditions, and thus hindered the people from receiving the truth. The same condition of things came to pass again within two hundred years after the ascension of Christ, among those who profess to be His followers.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.7

    We learned in the last paper that as a result of the New Philosophy introduced by Ammonius, “the greater part of the Platonists [that is, heathen philosophers be], upon comparing the Christian religion with the system of Ammonius, were led to imagine that nothing could be more easy than a transition from the one to the other; and, to the great detriment of the Christian cause, were induced to embrace Christianity without feeling it necessary to abandon scarcely any of their former principles.” In order to know what was involved in these Platonists coming into the church without thinking it necessary to abandon any of their former principles, we must notice some of those principles. Accordingly we quote from Mosheim:-PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.8

    “But it must by no means pass unnoticed that the discussions instituted against the opposers of Christianity in this age, departed far from the primitive simplicity, and the correct method of controversy. For the Christian doctors, who were in part educated in the schools of the rhetoricians and sophists, inconsiderately transferred the arts of these teachers to the cause of Christianity; and therefore considered it of no importance whether an antagonist were confounded by base artifices or by solid arguments. Thus that mode of disputing which the ancients called economical, and which had victory rather than truth for its object, was almost universally approved. And the Platonists contributed to the currency of the practice, by asserting that it was no sin for a person to employ falsehood and fallacies for the support of truth, when it was in danger of being borne down.”-Ecclesiastical History, book 1, century 2, part 2, chapter 3, section 10.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.9

    It was not long before the Platonists who came into the church without changing any of their principals, monopolized the teaching of the church. Mosheim says that the most of those who obtained reputation in the church by their learning were philosophers, who followed the principles of the Eclectics and who gave to Plato the preferences. But there was a division in the church as to the utility of this philosophy. “Those who were themselves initiated in the mysteries of philosophy, which that many, and especially such as aspired to the Office of pastors and teachers, might apply themselves to the study of human wisdom, so that they might confute the enemies of truth with more effect, and teach and instruct others with more success. But a great majority thought otherwise; they wished to banish all [human] reasoning and philosophy out of the confines of the church; for they feared that such learning would insure piety.... By degrees those obtained the ascendancy, who thought that philosophy and erudition were profitable rather than hurtful to religion and piety.”-Century 2, part 2, chapter 1, section 13.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.10

    One of the chief of those who introduced the new philosophy into the church was Origen. Mosheim says: “This new species of philosophy, imprudently adopted by Origen and other Christians, did immense harm to Christianity. For it led the teachers of it to involve in philosophic obscurity many parts of our religion, which were in themselves plain and easy to be understood; and to add to the precepts of the Saviour not a few things of which not a word can be found in the Holy Scriptures.”—Ib., section 12. Origen was advanced to the position of head of the catechetical school at Alexandria, which was the chief theological seminary of the world in that day. To him young men flocked by hundreds and thousands from every part of the world, to learn theology, and to fit themselves for teachers in the church. So great was the influence of Origen over these young men, that Farrer tells us that “half of the sermons of that day were borrowed, consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, from the thoughts and methods of Origen.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 294.11

    Now let it be remembered that the wisdom of the philosophers consisted in abstract speculation. Their skill was manifest did in taking a simple proposition and finding in it that which was utterly invisible to common persons, and, in fact, that which was not there at all. It would not do for them to be on the level of common men, who could see in any statement only what it plainly said. That would do for the vulgar crowd, but philosophers must see in it that which it did not say. And their skill was best manifest did in demonstrating from any given statement the exact opposite of what it really meant. To show that this was actually the case, and that it was carried into their professed exposition of the Bible, I quote a paragraph from Origen’s own writings. It is from his treatise concerning the principles of things.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.1

    “But since, if the usefulness of the legislation, and the sequence and beauty of the history, were universally evident of itself, we should not believe that any other thing could be understood in the Scriptures save what was obvious, the word of God has arranged that certain stumbling-block, as it were, and offences, and impossibilities, should be introduced into the midst of the law and history, in order that we may not, through being drawn away in all directions by the merely attractive nature of the language, either altogether fall away from the truth doctrines, as learning nothing worthy of God, or, by not departing from the letter, come to the knowledge of nothing more Divine. And this also we must know, that the principal aim being to announce the spiritual connection in those things that are done, where the Word found that things done according to the history could be adapted to these mystical senses, He made use of them, concealing from the multitude the deeper meaning; but where, in the narrative of the development of super-sensual things, there did not follow the performance of those certain events, which was already indicated by the mystical meaning, the Scripture interwoven in the history the account of some even that did not take place, sometimes what could not have happened; sometimes what could, but did not. And sometimes a few words are interpolated, which are not true in their literal acceptation, and sometimes a large number. And a similar practice is also to be noticed with regard to the legislation, in which is often to be found what is useful in itself, and appropriate to the times of the legislation; and sometimes also what does not appear to be of utility; and at other times impossibilities are recorded, for the sake of the more skillful and if inquisitive, in order that they may give themselves to the toil of investigating what is written, and thus attain to a becoming conviction of the manner in which a meaning worthy of God may be sought out in such subjects.”-Origen de Principiis, Book 4, chapter 1, section 15.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.2

    Mark how these religious teachers set themselves above God. They took it upon themselves to decide what was “worthy of God,” and when they found anything in the Bible that did not meet their mind as to what was worthy of Him, they set it aside, and substituted their own human wisdom for it. This was making the Scriptures really of no effect, and it was carried to the utmost limits, as shown by the following:-PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.3

    “Nor even do the law and the commandments wholly convey what is agreeable to reason. For who that has understanding will suppose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, existed without a sun, and moon, and stars? and that the first day was, as it were, without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose that God, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the east, and placed in it a tree of life, invisible, and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the Paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indicates certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not in reality.”-Ib., section 16.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.4

    This sounds very much like some of the language of modern times. It is very safe to say that there are few ministers in these days who would dare risk their reputation for “scholarship” so much as to assert their belief in the Mosaic account of creation. It is quite generally accepted in these days as a mark of ignorance to claim that the first chapter of Genesis is a record of literal fact, so it seems that we are not very far from the theology of Origen. In fact, this “higher criticism,” is a direct legacy from Origen, and comes from the excessive federation in which pagan philosophy has been held, and the necessity that has been laid upon theological students, to study it as a stepping-stone to the study of theology.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.5

    But let us see what was the natural result of this teaching by Origen. The first result was to exalt the religious teachers above common men. They were a higher order of beings. This was the first grand move toward the establishment of the Papacy. There was a great gulf fixed between them and the “laity,” and this tended to increase. Consequently that sympathy that should exist between the religious teachers and the flock was destroyed.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.6

    At the same time, another thing would naturally result. The people, by this wonderful display of knowledge, which consisted for the most part in the use of big words, gradually settled down to the idea that it was useless for them to try to understand for themselves. When the idea became prevalent that the Bible did not mean what it says, and that only those who had made a study of philosophy could unravel its intricacies, the people would very naturally cease to read the Bible. It is much easier to take things on authority than to study them out, and so the people let themselves be wholly in the hands of these philosophical teachers. What was the use of their trying to read the Bible, when they were assured that it did not mean what it said? If that were so, the more they read it, the more they were in danger.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.7

    But the matter was not left in this way. There were some who did not yield to the pretensions of these philosophers, and who insisted on reading the Bible for themselves, and understanding it as it reads. Now what would naturally be done by those who were persuaded that the Bible did not mean what it says, and that whosoever takes it as it reads will be led astray? Simply this, that as soon as they came to be a majority, they would prohibit the use of the Bible by the common people, out of tender regard for the welfare of their souls. And thus it was that the reading of the Bible was prohibited to the common people. Well was it for the world that there were always some who would not heed this prohibition, else the knowledge of God would have utterly departed from the world. But as it was, the reading of the Bible became so rare a thing that the light almost went out, and the “Dark Ages” came on. The people not having the Bible to direct them in the way of life, were obliged to follow the instructions of their philosophical teachers. And as these teachers were devoted to the heathen philosophy, it came to pass that very shortly all the professed Christian observances and institutions were but copies of heathen customs.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.8

    History is repeating itself. Although the Reformation arose, and the Bible was once more brought out of its obscurity, we find men walking in the steps of the early apostasy. The Reformation, is being decried, and its principles are almost wholly repudiated. All the wisdom of men is being exalted above the Bible, and fallible men are sitting in judgment on God’s word. The result must be the same that it was in the first centuries. When the Son of man comes, it will be a rare thing to find faith in the earth.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.9

    Our only safeguard is in devotion to the Bible, not in theory, but as a living thing. We must be intelligently devoted to it. Old and young, rich and poor must study it. It must be remembered that Jesus spoke to the common people, and that such ones can understand His word. With the Holy Spirit as a guide, the humblest may understand the Bible as well as the learned, and much better than those who are so learned that they trust to their wisdom rather than sit calmly at the feet of Jesus. “Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil you through his philosophy and vain conceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Colossians 2:8.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 295.10

    “Interesting Items” The Present Truth 8, 19.


    E. J. Waggoner

    American factories produce about 35,000 watches every week.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.1

    -The number of torpedo boats in the Ottoman navy is to be raised to 30.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.2

    -The Salvation Army are building a new hall at Sheffield at a cost of £17,000.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.3

    -The total import of palm oil into England is about 50,000 tons, valued at over 1,000,000.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.4

    -It is calculated that the coal beds of New Zealand contain, on the whole, over 400,000,000 tons.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.5

    -The annual average production of the European vineyards is put at 2,652,300,000 gallons.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.6

    -The Gilbert Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, have recently been seized and annexed to the British Empire.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.7

    -By the new German Army Bill the number of men in the reserve is increased from 850,000 to 1,275,000.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.8

    -The new railway line from Java to Jerusalem is completed, and the first locomotive entered Jerusalem the 13th.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.9

    -The rice crop of Louisiana will this year be 100 pounds greater than was ever before raised in the entire United States.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.10

    -The Lick telescope has revealed the existence of a fifth satellite to Jupiter. Its distance from the centre of the planet is 112,400 miles.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.11

    -It is stated in the Italian press that the designs for a golden throne have been submitted to the Pope, with an estimate for £40,000.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.12

    -It is said that on some large Lincolnshire farms this year not a single acre of wheat was grown, as the farmers considered the cultivation of it unprofitable.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.13

    -The Local Government Board has assented to the proposal of the Newington Board of Guardians to install a Roman Catholic chaplain in the workhouse.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.14

    -The present Jewish population of the whole world is estimated at 6,300,000. Of this total there are some 5,400,000 in Europe.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.15

    -The Sunderland Town Council has decided by a majority of two to continue the opening of the art gallery, museum, and library on Sundays, as heretofore.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.16

    -Though the temperance cause has spread in England, it is calculated that in the whole of the United Kingdom only about 8 per cent of the population are total abstainers.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.17

    -In the first eight months of this year the United Kingdom imported corn worth nearly 39,000,000; butter, 8,058,448; margarine, 2,342,673; cheese, 3,288,542; and eggs, 2,523,015.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.18

    -It is estimated that already 20,000 men in London are out of work against their will, and inquiries in every direction show that employers have at present ample labour. There is prospect of great distress in the coming winter.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.19

    -Amongst the ranks of the Sydney unemployed was recently noticed an ex-Cabinet Minister, who took part, some 20 years ago, in welcoming the Queen’s second son to Australia. His changed condition was attributed to intemperance.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.20

    -The island of Fiji supports four newspapers, one of which is issued twice a week, five times a month, one weekly, and one monthly. Averaging them all as weekly papers, they have a combined circulation of something over 1,600 weekly.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.21

    -“A large proportion of our exports are to countries where the metric system is in force,” says Mr. Charles Louis Hett, in the Times, “and the Consular reports show that we are steadily losing ground in foreign markets in consequence of our clinging to our clumsy jumble of weights and measures.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.22

    -The Board of Trade announces that 628 persons have lost their lives, and 9,691 have been injured in the performance of their duties on or about the railway lines of the kingdom, in the course of one year. Compared with the death roll of factories and workshops the railways show an excess of 208 killed and 1,074 injured.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.23

    -The Russian Minister of the Interior has issued instructions that all Jews having no permanent residence shall be expelled from the country without delay, at the same time prohibiting people of the Hebrew race from renting or controlling any irremovable property outside towns and villages. These measures are to be strictly carried out.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.24

    -Dr. Riley, an Englishman, but for many years the United States Government entomologist, calculates that there are at least between 9,000,000 and 10,000,000 distinct species of insects in the world, and thinks that to put down the entire number of insect species at 10,000,000 would be “a moderate estimate.” Well may we exclaim with the psalmist, “O Lord, how manifold are Thy works.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.25

    -Thursday afternoon, Sept. 8, the new Cunard liner, Campania, was successfully launched at Glasgow. The Campania is the largest ship not afloat, being 600 feet in length, and 75 feet broad, and having a displacement of 19,000 tons. It is anticipated that upon trial she will attain a speed of over twenty-six land miles an hour. She is to be ready for her first trip in April next, just before the opening of the World’s Fair.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.26

    -During the past twelve months the inspector in the St. Sepulchre district, London, has seized and destroyed under margisterial order, as unfit for human food, 85 “bodies” of beef, 172 quarters and 1,999 stone of pieces of beef, 35 bullocks’ livers, 22 heads, 72 hearts, 33 calves, 236 stone of veal, 173 sheep, 673 heads, 862 plucks, 70 stone of mutton, 15 lambs, 2 quarters of lamb, 37 pigs, 72 heads, 780 stone of pieces of pork, 60 barrels of pigs’ plucks (Irish), 2 barrels of pigs’ kidneys, 3 goats, 150 rabbits, 6 cases of eggs, 1 box of tomatoes, half a barrel of skate, 12 boxes of smelts, and 3 boxes of Dutch plaice.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 302.27

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 8, 19.


    E. J. Waggoner

    A Chicago religious paper says that no one need fear that hotel accommodations will fail at the time of the Columbian Exposition, because “capitalists have determined to build another mammoth hostelry, which is designed for the exclusive patronage of members of the Christian Church.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 304.1

    “This place is an unlicensed drinking-hell, and must be closed out by the police at once.” This was the language recently used by a magistrate, concerning a so-called German club, which had been the scene of a riot in a small way. Just how much worse an unlicensed drinking hell is than a licensed one, was not made clear.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 304.2

    There are quite a large number of vacancies in the orphan houses at Bristol, and Mr. George Müller requested assistance from friends in the way of recommending orphan girls to fill them. He says that when he began the orphan work fifty-seven years ago, there was accommodation in this country for only 3,800 orphans, while at the present time no less than 100,000 orphans can be provided for; and that it is for this reason that at his orphan houses there are so many vacancies that it is difficult to fill them.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 304.3

    It is reported that the Homestead strikers have carried out their policy of boycotting so far as to refuse to send their children to school as long as the authorities retain in the public-school teachers who are relatives of non-union workmen. And yet these men profess to be opposed to monopolies.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 304.4

    Our readers will notice something of a change in the make-up of the paper this week. It speaks for itself, and we hope will commend itself to their taste. Let no one think that because the department head, “Health and Temperance” is omitted, there will be no further consideration given to that important matter. The PRESENT TRUTH is a temperance paper from the beginning to the close; but if temperance is not in the home it will not be anywhere, and therefore special articles in the line of health and temperance will be found in the Home Department.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 304.5

    The Telegraph publishes a letter from Rome, which states that the Pope is determined to leave nothing undone to induce Mr. Gladstone to form an alliance with France and Russia. He believes that this new Triple Alliance would not entangle England in Continental affairs, but would render a European war utterly impossible. If this scheme fails, it is stated that whenever war becomes imminent, the Pope will propose that the real differences between the intending belligerents, as distinguished from shadowy pretexts, shall be referred to arbitration; and if his suggestion be rejected, he will declare that, as the aims of the Triple Alliance are opposed to the vital interests of the Church, no Catholic can conscientiously take up arms or risk his life to for them, so that in any case the Pope will maintain the peace of Europe. This is a very pretty scheme, but there is no possibility that the Pope, with all his wisdom and power, can prevent war in Europe when the time comes. So much pent-up up war spirit must some time find vent. Nevertheless there is no doubt that he has immense influence, and that when war has broken out he will be able to convince the nations that he alone can arbitrate the differences. The Papal power will yet to be seen the power in Europe.PTUK September 22, 1892, page 304.6

    We have received a letter dated Sept. 7, from Brother Boettcher, in Hamburg, which presents quite a vivid picture of the condition of things in that city on account of the cholera plague. After speaking of the courage in the Lord, which they have in their work, he says: “Many times it has been stated that only the poorer classes are affected by this plague, but the experience in Hamburg has proved that rich and poor, high and low, are taken alike. It matters not where they are, on the streets or in their homes, in the saloons or in the palace.Day before yesterday I called on a man who used to come to our meetings, and upon inquiring of his welfare he replied, ‘My wife will be taken to the hospital in a few minutes, and I am closing up my books, for I do not know how soon I must share an equal fate.’ That is about the way Hamburgers feel in general. There is hardly any business going on.... I had thought that nothing could sober down the Hamburgers, but this has. One doesn’t hear any music on the streets, neither are there any concerts in the beer gardens; theatres and circuses have stopped. Up to yesterday over six thousand have died, and there has not been much of a decrease since it started. The dead are not placed in coffins, but are simply wrapped up in sheets and placed on boards, and put into waggons. They have to use old bread waggons; moving waggons, etc., to transport the dead. To carry away the sick they use old cabs, about eighty in number. These are kept running to and fro the whole time. The most of those carried away die. A man and a woman were taken out of the house in which we live; both have died. Many sick and dead have been carried away from our neighbourhood. In the beginning the dead were buried between twelve and two at night, but at present they employ men during the day also. Two hundred men are employed digging graves. The poor are in great distress because of all this, and because of lack of work.”PTUK September 22, 1892, page 304.7

    Larger font
    Smaller font