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 28, 1893

    “Wanted: a Gospel for the Age” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    “Wanted: a Gospel for the Age.” Such is the thought that is beginning to take shape in the minds of some who are set to minister to the spiritual needs of men and women to-day, in view of the existing state of things in the social and industrial worlds. It is a thought that is full of meaning. If a gospel for this age is wanted, it must be that there is none now which is suited to the demands of the present. And if that be true, we may well stop and consider the desperate nature of the situation.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 401.1

    We are reassured, however, as we look into our Bibles, for there we find the grace of God, mercy and forgiveness of sin, Divine power, and every provision for every need of mankind, set forth in language which applies as well to our own age as to any age in the past. We have to-day all that there is to be had from any possible source of moral strength. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” Romans 1:16. There is no greater power unto salvation than the power of God, for God is omnipotent.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 401.2

    But it may be that this power of God unto salvation is not realised and felt by all, so that there seems to be a gospel needed for some; for it is not the power of God unto all men, but “to everyone that believeth.” Not all men believe. Indeed, it will hardly be denied that the number of true believers is comparatively very small. There is an intellectual belief which many have-a mere assent to the truth of what the Bible says respecting the existence of God, the coming of His Son to the earth, His life here, and His death, burial, and resurrection-and there is a similar assent to these truths in the minds of the devils themselves, for we are told that “the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19. But this is not faith toward God. Faith is that which takes hold of the heart as well as the head, which has not only our assent to the truth of what God says, but our will that it should be true, and calls into exercise every power of our being to live in harmony with it. This faith but few possess; yet it is this which is referred to by the words “every one that believeth.” Those who believe in this way are the ones that experience “the power of God unto salvation.”PTUK September 28, 1893, page 401.3

    What is needed then is not a new gospel, but faith in the gospel which now is, not a new provision for the moral needs of mankind, but an appropriation of the provisions that are already made. The gospel has not failed, but a failure has been made by men. If men would to-day accept the gospel which is declared to them in the word of God, the difficulties which exist in industrial and social life, and darken the horizon of the future, would vanish as if by magic. All that is needed is an application of the Golden Rule. Let all men do to others as they would that others should do to them, and there will be no further thought of a new gospel. The old one will be found amply sufficient. Strikes and lock-outs will disappear instantly, distress will be relieved, and prosperity and peace will reign in all the land as they never have done before.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 401.4

    The principle which rules in the world is selfishness. This it is which causes the distress and the evil under which the earth is growing. Each one is spent on his own advantage, without reference to the interests of others. Not only so, but the world is full of men, many of them rich and powerful, who not only disregard the interests, but also the rights, of their fellow-men. The powerful dictate to the weak; the rich oppress the poor. The fortunate extort from their less fortunate fellows all that opportunity offers, regardless of the misery which they may thereby inflict upon them. This is what we see all over the world to-day. We see the rule of the principle of self. By it men are divided into two opposing classes, and the conflict between them rages with ever-increasing violence. And so it must be as long as self continues to rule. It is a question of the survival of the strongest.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 401.5

    The principle of the gospel is just the opposite. It is the principle of unselfishness. “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:4. “Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.” 1 Corinthians 10:24. What a change would be produced in human affairs by the introduction of this principle. Instead of each individual working for himself, at the expense (as it so often is) of others, each one would have in view the interests of friends and neighbours. Instead of having only his own efforts upon which to depend for prosperity, he would have the united efforts of all those around him. Could the result be otherwise than the happiness and prosperity of each? It is rarely that an individual cannot be prosperous with the help of but one other person; how certain would his prosperity be, then, with the help and sympathy of all who know him!PTUK September 28, 1893, page 401.6

    And this is what the gospel of Jesus Christ would do for the world if men would only let it. This age no more needs a different gospel than any other age before it. Doubtless it does need, however, a new preaching of the gospel,-a preaching which is not the presentation of the power and wisdom of man, but of the power and wisdom of God. “My speech,” wrote the Apostle Paul, “and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” He preached “the power of God unto salvation,” and his words were effectual in the minds of his hearers. This is the preaching that is wanted to-day; and when we have it, it will be found as powerful and efficient for this day as it was in the days of Paul.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 402.1

    “God’s Ways and Man’s Ways” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    God’s ways are not man’s ways. This is well illustrated by the following comment on man’s ways, from the Religious Herald:-PTUK September 28, 1893, page 402.2

    “Steal a chicken, and you are a thief; steal $1,000 from your employer, and you are an embezzler; steal $5,000 from the Government, and you are a defaulter; rob your competitor on the Stock Exchange of $10,000, and you are a financier; rob him of $100,000 to $500,000, and you are a wizard or a Napoleon of finance; wreck a railroad and gather it in, and you are a ‘magnat’; wreck a great railroad system, and you are a ‘railroad king’; conduct a ‘negotiation’ by which a strong nation plunders a weak nation of thousands upon thousands of square miles of territory and makes the weak nation pay millions of money indemnity for the wrong it has suffered, and you are a diplomat. Truly, “the times are out of joint.”PTUK September 28, 1893, page 402.3

    God has but one named for all such transactions, and but one standard by which to measure those who engage in them. He sees not as man sees; for “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” He is not at all blinded by the things which dazzle and bewilder fallen and finite man. No brilliancy of intellectual power or magnitude of achievement; no splendour of wealth or station, can palliate the slightest degree in His mind the wrongdoing of men. Business principles and usages which are permitted by men and sanctioned by human law and custom, do not thereby undergo the slightest alteration in the character which is given them by the declarations of God’s law; for it is His law that determines the character of everything. We should remember that it is by God’s law, and not by man’s law or man’s customs, that our needs are judged and given their characters for eternity.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 402.4

    “Church Disestablishment” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    There has always been an idea in the minds of most men that the church of God in the earth needed some kind of human protection thrown around it. Since every other good thing enjoys, or should enjoy, the protection of human laws, and since “the Church” has enjoyed such “protection” so much in the past, it is very naturally assumed even by Christian people that the withdrawal from the church of governmental support, would be a great wrong to the church, and a grievous sin on the part of the government. This we think must be the opinion of the English Churchman, which says, “We look upon the disestablishment of a faithful church as a national insult to the Almighty God.” A brief examination of the subject in light of Bible truth, will, we think, lead to an entirely different conclusion.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 402.5

    In the first place, the true church of God never received any protection from the civil power at all. Many false and apostate churches have received aid from the State, as notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Church, and others that might be mentioned; but the true church has never been recognised by the State, and was therefore never in a position to receive aid from it. The church to which the State gives its aid and support is always the largest and most powerful within the limits of the State. The State has no spiritual discernment, and naturally looks upon numbers, wealth, and influence as credentials of Divine favour and authority; but they are far from being such in reality. The true church was never the greatest in numbers, or the most wealthy, or influential. To the true church is said, “Fear not, little flock; it is My Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom;” but it was never said, “Fear not, big flock.” The true church is never designated in Scripture by a denominational name. The Scriptures tell us that “God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him.” There are such persons in every nation and in every church to-day. All those whom God accepts and owns as His are not visible in any denominational form or organisation; and they have never constituted more than a little company, looked down upon by the great men of earth, and maintaining in their course through the world the attitude of strangers and pilgrims. God will save His church, the “little flock,” and give them the kingdom as He has promised; but He will save no one merely because of his connection with a church organisation.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 402.6

    God believes in organisation, for He “is not the Author of confusion;” and while in the strict sense of the word the “church” includes all those in every place who have been called out from the world, it is true that there is an organised body to whom God has entrusted His work. But it is not a body wealthy or great in numbers. Not that God has any objection to wealth or numbers in His church, but He can make use of only that which is sanctified-dedicated to Him-whether person or thing; and never many men or much wealth, comparatively speaking, have been in this condition. The people and the wealth of this world have been mostly controlled by “the prince of this world,” the devil. John 14:30. Whenever the church has become large and influential, it has also become worldly, and God has had to raise up others and entrust His work to them. And as these in turn attained to popularity and influence, they in turn lost their spirituality and another company was called out to take their place. Thus the history of the church has been one of continual reformation; not because God has designed it so, but because His people have always separated from Him and ceased to trust in Him and allowed errors to come in whenever they have become powerful and great in their own eyes.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 402.7


    But in the second place, the church does not need any protection or support from the civil arm, and in reality, the civil arm has no support to give. God’s people can be a protection to the State, but the State cannot be a protection to them. The followers of Christ are indeed “the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13. By them the earth is preserved. Were they removed, the judgments of God could fall at once upon the heads of the wicked. We have an illustration of this truth in the account of the destruction of Sodom. The Lord told Abraham of His intention to destroy the wicked city, and the patriarch, knowing that his nephew Lot dwelt there, pleaded with Him to spare it, because, peradventure, it contained some inhabitants that were righteous. See Genesis 18. The Lord said He would not destroy it if it contained fifty persons that were righteous; and on Abraham’s venturing to reduce the number, finally promised that He would not destroy it if it contained but ten. Ten righteous individuals among the thousands which made up the population of the city! yet if but that number had been found, the city would have been spared.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 402.8

    Luther understood this truth when he refused the offered protection of the Elector Frederick, saying it would be more fitting that he should offer the Elector his protection-the protection of God-than that the Elector should offer to protect him. Thus it was when the great Reformer went up to the Diet of Worms. He went depending alone upon the protection of God, and under that protection he faced the emperor Charles and all the array of Rome’s prelates, fearlessly and triumphantly proclaimed the truth, and departed as unmolested as he came.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.1


    There is nothing, perhaps, in all history which more strikingly sets forth the utter falsity of the idea that the sacred things of God need the protection and support of human powers in the midst of which they are placed, than the events recorded in the fifth and sixth chapters of 1 Samuel. The narrative is preceded by an account of a battle between the Israelites and the Philistines, in which the former were defeated, and the ark of the Lord, which had been brought into the camp of Israel by the order of the dissolute sons of Eli, was taken by the Philistines. Eli, who was then old, when he knew that the ark had been carried down into the battle, went and sat upon a seat by the wayside to wait for news from the conflict, “for his heart trembled before the ark of God.” He imagined the sacred structure had been placed in great jeopardy,-an opinion which was no doubt shared by many others; and when the word came that the ark had been taken by the Philistines, “he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died.” And the effect of the news was hardly less disastrous upon others. Israel had failed to protect the ark, and had been captured by their enemies; and to all appearance it seemed doubtless that that would be the end of it.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.2

    But what happened to the ark as a result of Israel’s failure to keep it out of the hands of the enemies of God? We quote from the record in chapter in five:-PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.3

    “And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.” Verses 1-4.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.4

    There was the ark of God in the hands of God’s enemies, entirely bereft of all human help, wholly alone and unattended by any who entertained a regard for it; and yet it not only suffered no harm, but did what all the armies of Israel with all their power could not do, to Dagon, the god of the Philistines. But did not this awaken the wrath of the Philistines so that the sacred structure suffered at their hands? Not at all. Let us examine the narrative further:-PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.5

    “But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof. And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us; for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god. They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither.” Verses 6-8.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.6

    Thus far this sacred structure faired very well among its enemies without any human aid or protection whatever. What happened when it came to Gath? We read further:-PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.7

    “And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction; and He smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people. So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people; for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.” Verses 9-11.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.8

    Then the Philistines, after taking counsel of their priests and diviners, set up the ark upon a new cart, to which they hitched two milch kine that had never worn any yoke, and left them to take it where they would. But first this testimony to the glory of God had been extorted from the priests and diviners:-PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.9

    “If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return Him a trespass offering; then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.... Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel; peradventure He will lighten His hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.” Chap. 6:3-5.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.10

    And how fared it with the ark when, drawn upon the cart behind the milch kine, it went along the highway unattended by human friend or foe? We read:-PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.11

    “And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Beth-shemesh.” Verse 12.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.12

    Thus, after having been seven months in the land of the Philistines, the ark return to the land of Israel, having sustained not the slightest injury, and having done a work which all the power of man on the earth could not have performed. There was more power with the ark than was possessed by the armies of Israel or by all the inhabitants of the countries through which it passed. How erroneous then to suppose that any harm could come to it from a lack of human protection. As well might one think that a very strong power needed the protection of a very weak one.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.13


    It is the same with the church of God. The church is sacred. It is the temple of the Holy Ghost (2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:20-22), and the body of Christ (Ephesians 2:22, 23; Colossians 1:18). Therefore God is with His church just as He was with His sacred ark, and He will perform wonders through it, without any aid from the arm of flesh, just as He performed wonders with the ark. He will preserve it as He preserved the ark. It is true He has suffered His church to pass through persecution, and to feel the wrath and power of man against it; but this did not harm the church. It only built up the church; for the sufferings and death of its martyrs were but occasions of a wider sowing of the seeds of truth, which sprang up and bore an abundant harvest.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.14

    God is with the church just as long as they are with Him. But a church can separate themselves from Him, become worldly, and lose their hold upon the Divine arm, and then the only power left for them is the power of man, and to that, and such a case, they naturally turn. But the church that is connected with God has no need whatever of any support from the powers of earth. The Saviour made this matter very plain in the great commission which He gave to His followers just previous to His ascension. We quote the words recorded by Matthew:-PTUK September 28, 1893, page 403.15

    “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:18-20.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 404.1

    What do these words tell us? Just this: that Jesus Christ, the Head of the church, has all power in heaven and in the earth; that His followers are to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations; and that He is with them, even to the end of the world. Therefore His followers, His church, have all the power in heaven and earth, for use in their legitimate work. How, then do they need any other power? What more power is there for them to have?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 404.2

    Certainly, then, it is evident that the church of God should not concern herself with the question of “the establishment” or “disestablishment” by the powers of earth, but pursue her Divine calling entirely independent of all human power and authority. Her establishment is of Heaven; and being established there, she is established as fully as she can be on the earth.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 404.3

    “Measuring His Ignorance” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian Commonwealth has some straight and just comments on Professor Drummond’s evolution fancies, called out by his recent statement that the original members of the human family wandered about for thousands of years without being able to speak. After showing how squarely the statement contradicts the Bible, the Commonweath says:-PTUK September 28, 1893, page 404.4

    “We do not now stop to consider speculations as Professor Drummond did before a popular and promiscuous audience. We have long since learned that men who find fault with what they call the narrowness of those who hold to the old faith, usually imagine that they have the right to introduce their crude speculations at all times and places, simply because they are the heroes of a new order of things. Indeed, the liberalism of some men is altogether more illiberal than the bigotry of what is called orthodoxy. We have little patience with either. And we cannot close this article without protesting against the ‘cocksure’ of Professor Drummond about matters concerning which he knows little, if any, more than other men. In fact, he has been trying to measure depths which cannot possibly be fathomed without the aid of the Bible, and as he has practically thrown the Bible overboard he cannot hope to do more than measure his own ignorance concerning the facts of which he speaks. This may be a service which is much needed, and it may be that in this view of the matter the ‘seeming evil’ of his recent remarks may really educe good, by showing how impotent man is when he lets go the hand of God.”PTUK September 28, 1893, page 404.5

    “Looking unto Jesus” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian must look unto Jesus. This is his safety and the source of his strength. There are plenty of other places to which he can look, and plenty of voices calling him to look elsewhere, but He can heed them only at his peril. The word of inspiration counsels us, “Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1, 2.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 405.1

    To look unto Jesus, we must know where He is. We know that He came to earth, died, and ascended again to heaven, and that the text above quoted tells us that He “is set down at the right hand of the throne of God;” but this knowledge is not enough to present Him before us in a clear and definite light. In looking unto Jesus, we are to see Him. Faith does more than show us the vicinity of the object toward which it is directed; it brings the object into plain view. And when we see an object plainly, we know all about the situation that surrounds it. If it be a man, we see where he is and what he is doing. So it is with the faith that looks to Christ. It brings Him into view, and we behold His position and the nature of the work in which He is engaged. And seeing Him in this way, we can pray to Him with an intelligence and a confidence that would not be possible were we in ignorance or but vaguely informed upon these points. There is such a thing as praying with the spirit, but having the understanding unfruitful; it is best to pray “with the spirit” and “with the understanding also.” See 1 Corinthians 14:14, 15.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 405.2


    It is not a mere coincidence that the book of the Hebrews, which more than any other book contains instructions upon the office and work of Christ in Heaven, contains also the most remarkable chapter on faith. They belong together. The knowledge of the office and work of Christ is given first, as the foundation upon which faith can rest, and then is set forth the importance of faith and the works which can by means of it be accomplished. We are cited to the journeyings of ancient Israel in the wilderness towards the land of promise, to their unbelief and the fact that they failed thereby to enter into the rest which God had promised, to the shadowy nature of their service of sacrifices and offerings, to the rest that remains to the people of God and the danger of losing it through unbelief, to Christ as the Leader of the spiritual seed of Abraham and their High Priest, who performs the true work of ministry for man before God; then beginning the eighth chapter of the apostle says: “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Christ is therefore, our High Priest performing in the heavenly sanctuary a work of which that performed by Aaron and his sons was typical. He is not yet a king, but will receive a kingdom when His ministry is finished and He lays aside His priestly garments, and the great scene takes place which is described by the prophet Daniel: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13, 14.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 405.3

    The faith which looks unto Jesus, therefore, looks into the sanctuary in heaven, and beholds Him engaged in His priestly work before His Father. That work is a work typified by the work of the high priest in the sanctuary built by Moses. The earthly sanctuary, with its two apartments, was a pattern of this true sanctuary above. Hebrews 9:23, 24. And as the high priest ministered in the earthly sanctuary, but went only once in the year into the inner apartment of it, when the day of atonement-or cleansing-had come; so our High Priest has ministered the sacrifices and offerings of His people in this sanctuary above, and has now entered into its inner apartment, there to perform the great work of cleansing the true sanctuary, into which have been brought the sins of the people. Here will be made a final disposition of their sins, and when the work is finished He will change His priestly garments for the robes of a King, and “appear the second time, without sin and salvation.” Hebrews 9:24-28.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 405.4

    “Having therefore, brethren,” writes that the apostle, “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, [by] His flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised; and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:19-25. That day which is the day of the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham-the promise of the inheritance of the world, when Christ, the Seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16), shall receive His kingdom, and His saints with Him. See Daniel 7:18. For we are told that the new earth will be the seat of Christ’s kingdom, the abode of the New Jerusalem, which comes down from God out of heaven, when it will be said, “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them.” Revelation 21:2, 3.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 406.1

    This is the hope which is set before the Christian. And it is a hope which nothing can shake. The apostle says that “God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” Hebrews 6:17-20.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 406.2

    Looking unto Jesus, therefore, we look within the vail of the heavenly sanctuary, and see Him engaged in His solemn priestly work of cleansing it from sin, preparatory to His coming again to earth, not as a babe but as King of kings and Lord of lords, to receive His saints to Himself and to execute vengeance on “them that know not God and that obey not the gospel.” By the eye of faith we see Him now presenting His blood for the remission of the sins of all those who have believed and will believe on Him till His heavenly ministry ceases. And it will cease when the gospel of His kingdom has been “preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations.” Matthew 26:3, 13, 14. When that has been done, all people will either have accepted or rejected it, and it will witness either for them or against them at the bar of God. Christ’s blood will have secured the remission of the sins of the former class, and His priestly work will cease with the transferring of the sins onto the head of Satan, which was typified by the act of the high priest on the day of atonement and cleansing of the earthly sanctuary, in confessing the sins which had been removed therefrom upon the head of the scapegoat. See Leviticus 16. Looking unto Jesus engaged in this great and solemn work, we cannot but look also to the coming of that day when His work there will be ended, and He shall be seen again coming in the clouds of heaven, “without sin, unto salvation.”PTUK September 28, 1893, page 406.3

    Let us, then, with the eye of faith, steadfastly look unto Him. There is no better place to turn our eyes, no greater and more momentous scene than that of which He is the center, to claim our attention and our thoughts. It is not safe to look away to something else, even momentarily. He is the Beacon Light which guides the heaven-bound mariner into the harbour of rest. We are not anchored upon smooth waters, but tossing upon the surface of a stormy sea, and beset by deadly currents of worldliness and sin, which will speedily take us out of our course if we cease our vigilant watch. The drifting bark will never make the harbour. We cannot drift into the kingdom of heaven. We cannot be towed in by the effort of someone else. God has not given anyone powers of mind and body to be left unused, while they are borne along upon that heavenward tide. He has given men their powers to be used in co-operating with Him. The tide of sin must be breasted. Our utmost endeavours must be put forth to remain unswerved by the currents of evil, looking unto Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Then although all of our efforts alone would be utterly useless, God works in us, all the difficulties are overcome, and the voyage terminates gloriously in the haven of everlasting joy and peace.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 406.4

    “Our Refuge” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    “Shall I lift up mine eyes unto the hills? From whence should my help? My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1, 2.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 406.5

    Popular hymnology, based upon the common rendering, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help,” has made the hills-the supposed abodes of the deities of the heathen mythology-a source of help and hope for the Christian; but in God alone is his help. As the prophet Jeremiah has said, “Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains; truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.” Jeremiah 3:23.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 406.6

    God is the help of those that look unto Him. He says, “Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:22. But it is in vain to seek for salvation without looking to Him. We must know where He is, and not be looking to some place where God is not; for there are many places which appear to be the sanctuary of Omnipotence, which are but the deceptions of that evil one whose aim is to turn man’s eyes away from God, to look unto himself. All earthly sources of help are of this kind. There is no help for the sinner but in creative power; and therefore his help cometh only “from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”PTUK September 28, 1893, page 406.7

    Many are the men that look up to the hills, to the groves and the temples of their pretended deities, but they do not experience the working of creative power. Only God can send creative power into the heart, and answer the longing of the sin-burdened soul for a new creation. Only He can answer the prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” This is the power that we feel when we look to the right Source of help. If we do not experience it, we are not looking as we should.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 406.8

    The hills and the mountains shall melt and disappear, together with all that is earthly and of human origin, and in that day God will be the hope and refuge of His people. In that day it will be said, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Psalm 46:1, 2. The prophecy is about to be fulfilled which foretells the transfer of the kingdoms of this earth into the hands of Him who shall “break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:8, 9. “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings; be instructed ye judges of the earth.” Cease to trust in the power of man, and look to Him who is the Source of all authority and power, and the Refuge of His children. “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.”PTUK September 28, 1893, page 407.1

    “Dry Land” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    “The earth is full of Thy riches” (Psalm 104:24), but “set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2).PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.1

    Water is good and useful, and we could not live without it. But we need dry land just as much as we need water. The earth at first was covered with water. We could not have lived upon it because there was no dry land. God created the earth to be lived upon, therefore, on the third day he gathered the waters together by themselves so that dry land could be seen. And you remember He called the great bodies of water Seas, and the dry He called Earth.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.2

    God did not make all the dry land flat and level like the floor; but in some places it is high, in other places low, in still other places level, and in certain places in the ocean dry land is seen, with water all around it. The high places are called hills, the very high places, mountains; the low places between the mountains, valleys; the level places, plains; and the small places in the ocean, islands. How much more pleasant than if it were all alike! We think the hills and mountains very beautiful now, but they were much more beautiful when God first made them. Then no barren, ragged rocks could be seen, for the mountains were perfect in shape and beauty.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.3

    We live upon the dry land, and see it every day. But did you ever stop to look closely at it? It is wonderful. Dry land is not merely one great rock, but it contains many different kinds of rocks and stones, and little specks of dust and sand more than you can count. You can scarcely count the grains even in one handful! There are so many that no one but God knows how many. He knows because He made them.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.4

    The dry land is good for many things; we walk, and ride, and build upon it. We get clothing and fuel from it, also food for ourselves and our birds and our animals. We dig from it stone and marble for our houses, iron for our stoves, coal for our fire, and paint for our buildings. In it we find salt for our food, silver and gold for our money and our watches, lead for our pencils, slate for our slates and our roofs, chalk for our black-boards, mica for our lanterns and stoves, clay for our brick and our dishes, sand for our glass, besides diamonds, rubies, and many other precious things. Oil and gas are taken from the dry land, and out of it grows every tree and plant that is pleasant to look at and good for food, fuel, and clothing.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.5

    Surely the earth is full of riches, and our Heavenly Father is very kind to prepare for such a pleasant home. The Bible says that He did not place all these things here for our pleasure alone, but for us to use in a way that will please and glorify Him. It would grieve Him very much if we were to make our gold and silver into idols and get down on our knees and pray to them, or if we should get all the money we could and carefully laid it away not doing any good with it. This would show that we thought more of the money than we did of the kind Father who gave it to us. Again, if we should use all our money for buying fine houses, clothing, jewellry, and something good to eat, it would show that we thought more of pleasing ourselves than pleasing God.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.6

    God wants us to enjoy the treasures that He has given us, and He wants us to lay up all that we can that we always may have them to enjoy. Yet He knows that if we lay them up on the earth, they surely will be stolen, or spoiled, or burned up; he therefore tells us to do good with our treasures. If we do this He says that we shall be laying them up in heaven, “where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.7

    God has far better things to happen for us than anything we can find on earth; and they will never pass away. He does not want us to forget about them, so He says, “Set your affections [love] on things above, not on things on the earth.”PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.8

    1. Did you ever take a walk out under the shady trees and through the green fields?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.9

    2. Upon what did you walk?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.10

    3. Was this earth always dry enough to walk on?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.11

    4. How was it when God first made the earth? Genesis 1:2.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.12

    5. When did it first become dry?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.13

    6. Why did God not leave it covered with water? He created it to be lived upon. Isaiah 45:18.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.14

    7. What did God do with the water that was all over the earth? Genesis 1:6-9.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.15

    8. What did He call those places that no longer had water upon them?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.16

    9. When we look closely, what do we find the dry land to be?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.17

    10. Did you ever count the grains of sand? Why not?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.18

    11. Who alone knows how many there are? Isaiah 40:12-26.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.19

    12. What is dry land good for?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.20

    13. How does God feel when we never thank Him for it?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.21

    14. Why did God put so many good things in the earth? Not for our pleasure alone, but for us to use in a way that will please and glorify Him.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.22

    15. How will He feel if we make our gold and silver into idols, or carefully lay it away and never do any good with it?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.23

    16. How will He feel if we use it all for ourselves? Why?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.24

    17. Does He not want us to enjoy or keep any of our treasures? Yes; He wants us to lay them up and enjoy them for ever.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.25

    18. What does He know will happen to them if we lay them up on the earth?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.26

    19. Where only can they be kept safe from thieves and moth and canker?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.27

    20. So where does God tell us to lay them up? Matthew 6:19-21.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.28

    21. Can you think of the ways in which you can do good with your treasures and thus lay them up in heaven?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.29

    22. What does He say about our loving them? Colossians 3:2.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.30

    23. Why does He not want us to love these earthly treasures? Because that would make us lose the better things that He has in heaven for us?PTUK September 28, 1893, page 413.31

    “Interesting Items” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    -The Dutch Parliament is now in session.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.1

    -The Matebele are advancing in strong force towards Victoria and Tati, in Mashonaland.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.2

    -The executive committee of the World’s Fair Directorate has decided to close the exhibition on Oct. 31.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.3

    -Extensive floods have occurred in Spain in the province of Toledo, causing considerable loss of life and great damage to property.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.4

    -There is considerable emigration from Spain to the South American Republics, owing to the distress prevailing in the former country.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.5

    -A collision occurred between passenger trains near Kankakee City, Illinois, Sept. 19, resulting in seven persons being killed and sixteen injured.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.6

    -In an attempt to lynch a negro who had beaten and robbed a poor woman at Roanoke, Virginia, nine men were killed and nineteen injured.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.7

    -At the Vienna Institute of Experimental Pathology, six persons swallowed a large number of comma bacilli for the purposes of experiment, and in no case Asiatic cholera ensued.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.8

    -Coalowners, in conference at the Westminster Palace Hotel, decided to meet the colliers for the purpose of establishing some agreement, if possible, for the resumption of work.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.9

    -A telegram from Rome states that a friendly disposition is being manifested at the Vatican towards the Triple Alliance. The Pope seems to be trying to espouse the cause of both France and Germany!PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.10

    -Five lives were lost in a fire which occurred early in the morning in High-street, Whitechapel. An inquest has been opened on their bodies, three being suspicious circumstances connected with the tragedy.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.11

    -The Emperor William has sent a sympathetic telegram to Prince Bismarck, and offered him a residence in one of the imperial castles. Owing to Prince Bismarck’s state of health, the offer has been declined.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.12

    -Scotch colliers at Glasgow resolved that the miners in Stirlingshire, Ayshire, the Lothiam, Lanarkshire, and Dumbartonshire should continue working five days a week, with one fixed idle day per week.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.13

    -Severe fighting is reported in Argentina, and the National troops are said to have fraternised with the rebels. The Government has ordered the National Guard to be mobilised throughout the country. The national troops at Corientes have revolted.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.14

    -Eight Cornish miners were entombed at Dolcoath, Camborne, by the fall of a huge quantity of rock while they were at work. Relief parties were immediately organised, and unremitting efforts are being made to rescue them, with some prospect of success.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.15

    -A most violent storm passed over the south of France, Sept. 20, doing great damage in the town and harbour of Cotte. One person was killed by falling timber, and fifteen were injured from various causes. The Italian ship Glorio di Dio foundered in the storm. Her crew were saved.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.16

    -During a performance at an Opera House in Canton, Illinois, some fireworks used in the course of one of the acts ignited the scenery. The audience were seized with panic, and a wild stampede was made towards the doors. In the galleries no fewer than twenty-five persons were injured, three of them fatally.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.17

    -The situation in Europe with respect to the cholera epidemic remains substantially unchanged, except for the fact that Hamburg is now again in the grasp of the pestilence, owing it is supposed to an accidental influx of Elbe water into the reservoirs which supply the city. Sporadic cases continue to occur in several cities and towns of England.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.18

    -The situation of the Brazilian Government is reported to be critical, and the rebel squadron, which is well supplied with provisions, is obtaining the increased support. Rio de Janeiro is in a state of anarchy, and much damage has been done to life and property from the bombarding received from the insurgent fleet. Admiral de Melio has issued an ultimatum demanding the unconditional surrender of the city.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.19

    -There are in the world to-day, says the Chronicle, 12,801 steamers of more than 100 tons, and of these 5,694 are British. Counting steam vessels and sailing vessels together the order of shipowning is as follows: Great Britain, United States, Norway, Germany, Italy, and Russia. The most astonishing fact of all, however, is the enormous gap which intervenes between the number of steamers owned by Great Britain and by her nearest rival, which in this case is Germany. We have 5,694, as stated above, Germany comes next with 779, France next with 500, and Norway next with 490.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.20

    -The Chronicle says: Guernsey seems in a fair way to become an educational preserve of the Church of England. Rates are already levied in every parish for the support of denominational schools, and the States have just passed an enactment for the building of more from the same source. But the Act further provides, not only that religious instruction shall be given in the public elementary schools, but that it shall be in accordance with the doctrines of the Anglican Church, and under the direction of the ecclesiastical authority. That the enforcement of this Act may be the more carefully guarded, the rector in each parish is appointed ex officio, chairman of the Education Committee. Naturally, the Nonconformists of the island are vigorously protesting against a measure which in educational matters places them under the absolute control of the English Church. They have appealed to the Queen in Council to enforce in Guernsey the provisions of the English Education Acts. This may not be possible, but it is very clear the Nonconformists need some protection if they are not to be swamped by Church schools and ecclesiastical supremacy.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 414.21

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Send three shillings and three pence and have the PRESENT TRUTH sent to your address post free for six months and see how you like it.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.1

    The PRESENT TRUTH may be obtained throughout Great Britain at the bookstalls of Messrs. Smith and Sons. If any have difficulty in getting the paper it will greatly oblige the publishers if such persons will inform them of the fact.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.2

    Elder O. A. Olsen, President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, who has spent several days in London, sailed last week by the Norham Castle for Cape Town, South Africa. After spending some time in the interests of the missionary work in that field he will go on to Australia and New Zealand to attend important annual meetings in those colonies.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.3

    The European Mail commenting upon the recent murder of Swedish missionaries in China, says that “it is only fear of reprisals by means of British, American, and French gunboats that prevents the wholesale slaughter of missionaries.” A system of missionary work which is maintained by force and at the point of the bayonet can never be prosperous.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.4

    The American Catholic Congress recently held in Chicago, at the conclusion of its session, sublimely ignored the past history and present principles of the Catholic Church by passing a resolution of sympathy with the Irish in their efforts for self-government, and also with Jews, Poles, Russians and others who were suffering persecution! This however is nothing strange, for “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” He does not forget either, at the time, that he is the devil.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.5

    Cardinal Vaughn, speaking for the Catholic Church, has made the statement that on the question of the recognition by his church of Anglican orders, he does not know of one among the 1200 bishops who form her Episcopate, who would for a moment admit that such orders were valid; and that the “Holy See” had in the plainest manner refused such recognition. Small as is the gap that intervenes between High Church Anglicanism and Catholicism, Rome will not take the step that would bring them together. “Rome never changes.” She will make no concessions to Protestantism, though it be Protestantism only in form. She will wait for her Anglican admirers to take the step that separates them, and evidently she will not have to wait very long.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.6

    The programme of the International Congress on Sunday Rest, to be held Sept. 28-30, in Chicago, is an elaborate one, including papers, addresses, and reports from over a score of speakers, covering all the real and supposed relations of Sunday rest to the individual, family, and nation, socially, economically, and morally. Among the active participants are Cardinal Gibbons, O. Prunier, Secretary of the French Association for Sunday Observance, Charles Hill, Secretary of the “Working-men’s Lord’s Day Rest Association,” of London, William Allen Butler, Chaplain of the United States Senate, and Hon. John Wanamaker, ex-United States Postmaster-General. The session will no doubt be very interesting, but there seems to have been one omission from the programme, and that is, the assignment of the Speaker to consider the subject of the relation of Sunday rest to the word of God. The Congress certainly could not consider a more important subject, nor one that would require less time for its thorough elucidation.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.7

    “The Cross and the Crucifix” The Present Truth 9, 26.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The English Churchman says:-PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.8

    “It is painful to notice in visiting churches throughout the country how frequently a cross is to be seen above the communion table; in fact, it now seems to be considered the correct thing, much to the advantage of the manufacturer and seller of such articles, if to no one else. The next step is a crucifix, and even now this idolatrous emblem is being introduced into reredoses, in such a way, too, that, as at Hatfield Parish Church, unless very closely examined it appears to be detached from the structure. If the doctrine of the cross were only better understood the dealers in these wares would have little occupation.”PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.9

    This is true. If the doctrine of the cross were understood as it should be, and as the Bible teaches it, there would never be any demand for a crucifix to be stationed in the church, or worn on the person, or for any other purpose. Christian faith and worship demand no outward symbol of that kind. He who understands and lives out the doctrine of the cross of Christ will see that such a thing is utterly useless. For the Christian, the crucifixion of Christ is an ever-present reality; not a symbol upon the breast or gazed upon in the church, but a daily experience in his life. Here the apostle Paul: “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20); and again, “We are troubled on every side.. always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10. And to the church he wrote: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Galatians 3:1. And what had been done for the Galatian church had been done for all the churches. In Paul’s day and under his preaching, the churches saw Jesus Christ set forth, crucified among them, and the believers experienced His crucifixion in their hearts. They had the reality; and where the reality is, symbols are altogether unnecessary and out of place.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.10

    Symbols are only necessary were the reality is not. Christ suspended from the body in a crucifix is not consistent with Christ dwelling in the heart. Christ suspended as an image in the church is not consistent with His actual presence there by the Holy Spirit. Where such images are, they are the only proof the religionist has to offer of the connection of himself or his church with Christ; but the possession of Christ in the heart is a condition which speaks for itself, showing to all men Christ crucified, and His life in human flesh.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.11

    By images and crucifixes the devil has made a great many men believe that they were followers of Christ, just as he made the Pharisees believe that they were very pious because they wore the law upon their phylacteries and were so zealous for its outward forms, and just as he makes a great many people to-day believe they are pretty good Christians if they have a Bible or two in their homes or carry one with them to and from church, although it is little read and still less understood. The great truth needs to be learned that the place for Christ and His word and for His law is in the heart; it will avail nothing to the individual to have them anywhere or everywhere else.PTUK September 28, 1893, page 416.12

    Larger font
    Smaller font