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    November 23, 1893

    “Front Page” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God.” John 3:34. This admits of no exception. Of course it primarily applies to Christ, but also to all whom He sends to teach. “As My Father hath sent Me, so send I you,” are His words. This, then, is the test of a teacher sent from God. If He speaks only the words of God, he has Divine authority; if he speaks his own words, he is not from God.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 529.1

    Every religious teacher should remember these words. He has no right to speak from his own wisdom. Even the Holy Ghost has said, “He shall not speak from Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, these shall He speak.” The teacher therefore has nothing to do with opinions. He must not put forth his own opinions, even though he be asked for them. Even though he expressly declares that it is only his own opinion, somebody will take it as authority, and thus he leads men to trust in man, instead of in God. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” 1 Peter 4:11.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 529.2

    On the other hand, there is a responsibility resting on the hearers. “Take heed how ye hear,” is the command of Christ. When anyone receives God’s message from one of His servants, he is to receive it as the word of God, and not of man. See 1 Thessalonians 2:13. “But how are we to know that it is the word of God?” By the word itself. You are to become acquainted with the voice of the Lord. Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine.” John 10:14. Do you ask how you are to get this acquaintance with Him? The answer is, Talk with Him. Meditate in His word, and ask and receive the promise of the Spirit.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 529.3

    Those who have learned and have submitted to the Spirit, are thus addressed: “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” “The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you.” 1 John 2:20 This is in accordance with the promise of the new covenant. “And They shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord; for they shall all know Me, from the least to the greatest.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 529.4

    This cannot possibly be intended as a depreciation of teachers, because God has set teachers in the church. See 1 Corinthians 12:28. But the teachers whom He sends are to speak His words, and therefore their teaching is not the teaching of men. Although men know the Lord, that does not signify that there is no possibility of their learning anything more. See Colossians 1:9, 10. The teachers whom He sends speak His words to men, in order that those who do not know the Lord, may become acquainted with Him, and that those who do know Him, may “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 529.5

    It is possible for a man to hear the words of God, and to receive them as the words of man. Then they do him no good, no matter how much he remembers. What is the evidence that one has received the word of the Lord as the word of man?—Simply this, that he connects the light and knowledge which he has received, with a man who uttered the words. When a man says, “Brother So-and-So says,” etc., that shows that God has not taught him the truth which he may have a feeble hold of. He has taken it as from man. But when the truth of God, uttered by man, comes to him as a revelation from God Himself, so that he forgets the agent, and feels that God has spoken to him directly, then he knows the truth. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God,” and let him who listens hear as if God did beseech him by the speaker.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 529.6

    “Better than Miracles” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Jesus said to His disciples: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 529.7

    It is not to be wondered at that the question is often asked, What are these greater works? Why do we not see them performed by the followers of Christ? It is not possible for man to tell what the greater works are, for nobody can conceive of any greater works than Jesus did: “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.” Matthew 11:5.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 529.8

    The statement that is sometimes made, that the promise of Jesus is fulfilled in the great numbers that have accepted the Gospel through the preaching of His followers, does not meet the case. While conversions are included in the promise, miracles of healing, and even of raising the dead, cannot be excluded; for they were all among the works which Christ did. That promise has not yet been fulfilled, except for a brief period in the days of the apostles. But a fulfilment of it at one time does not exhaust it, because it is unlimited. “He that believeth in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 529.9

    Perhaps we shall find the complete answer to the question why miracles are not now wrought, by considering a case of failure, in contrast with the spirit which Jesus manifested in performing His mighty works. When Philip was preaching in Samaria, he performed some wonderful miracles, and among those who believed in consequence was one Simon, who had bewitched the people with his sorcery, “giving out that himself was some great one.” He “continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.” Finally Peter and John came, and laid their hands on the people, who received the Holy Ghost. This caused Simon to wonder the more, and he offered the apostles money, saying, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter; for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.” See Acts 8:6-21.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.1

    What was the trouble with Simon? It was self. The fact that he was willing to give money, in order to get power to bestow the Holy Spirit, shows that he wanted to make money out of it. Pecuniary gain, and self-glorification were the motives that prompted his desire for the Holy Spirit’s power. He doubtless was not fully conscious of all this, but persuaded himself that his object was to do good; “for the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it.” And Simon’s heart was not right with God.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.2

    We see from this that the power of the Holy Spirit cannot be used for selfish ends, and therefore it cannot be given where there is a possibility that the one to whom it is given will become exalted because of it, and take honour to himself. It is the Spirit and power of God, and if men take any of the glory of the power to themselves, they would be putting themselves in the place of God; and then people would be led astray, because they would follow a sinful man, instead of God.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.3

    Now note a peculiarity of Jesus. “And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed and them all, and charged them that they should not make Him known.” Matthew 12:16. So when He raised the ruler’s daughter from the dead, “He charged them straitly that no man should know it.” Mark 5:43. Also when He healed the man full of leprosy, “He charged him to tell no man.” Luke 4:14. And so we find that He did on other occasions. In no case do we find Him telling anybody to advertise Him through His miracles, except in the case of the demoniac of Gadara, and then He was about to leave the country because the people would not allow Him to stay.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.4

    How many religious teachers are there in these days, who would pursue a similar course under the same circumstances? In these days any event of importance is heralded far and wide. Sometimes minor matters are magnified into vast proportions, so as to have a good report. If by any means a miracle healing should be performed, the probability is that the papers would fairly groan with accounts of it.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.5

    Of course in all this there would not be any conscious egotism, or desire to make self prominent. No doubt it would be expressly stated that the glory was all due to the Lord. The object would be to win converts to the faith. Nevertheless it would not be the way Jesus did; and as long as there is a spirit in man, different from the Spirit of Christ, they will not be able to do the things that He did. We may say that times have changed, but the fact remains that the truth of God has not changed, and the conditions under which the Spirit and power of God are given, have not changed.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.6

    Let it be remembered that Jesus never performed any miracles merely for show. Every one was for the purpose of relieving pressing need. He did them because with His sympathising nature, and the power that He had, they were the most natural things in the world for Him to do. In doing them His whole thought was for others, and not for Himself. “Said he, “I seek, not Mine own glory.” John 8:50.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.7

    Neither were Christ’s miracles wrought for the purpose of winning converts, because there had to be belief before miracles could be performed. We read of His own country, that “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Matthew 13:58. His words and His very presence were what won His disciples. Remember that His most intimate disciples, those who followed Him the most steadfastly, and who continued His disciples after His ascension,-followed Him before they saw any miracles. When many professed believers on Him left Him the very next day after one of His most wonderful miracles, and He said to the twelve “Will ye also go away?” Peter answered for the twelve, making no reference to His miracles, by saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” John 6:66-69. It was His words that held them to Him. It was His words that charmed the soldiers who were sent to take Him. “Never man spake like this Man.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.8

    This is why Jesus did not want to have His miracles advertised. He did not want people to follow Him from selfish motives, nor out of mere curiosity. Of course they could not be concealed, yet they were wrought because of pure love for the needy, and not for the purpose of making converts. He wished, as He does still, people who follow Him because they love Him.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.9

    In this we see that there is something far better than the power to work miracles. It is the meek and quiet spirit of Jesus. The ability to work miracles is inferior in importance to the power to bring to people the words of God. See 1 Corinthians 12:28. Jesus had “emptied Himself,” and God worked through Him, so that when miracles were performed, the people “glorified God.” So God can work now only through those who are wholly emptied of self, having the mind of Christ in them. Now, as in the days of Simon the sorcerer, those who desire the power to work miracles, will be the very ones who will not receive it.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.10

    We see in Samson a specimen of the spirit that will be manifested in those for whom the Lord works mightily. “A young lion roared against him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand; but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.” Judges 14:6. So we have in the twenty-fifth of Matthew the difference between the false and the true followers of Jesus. The one tell of the wonderful things that they have done, while the true followers are unconscious of the fact that they have done anything of value. And so we may conclude that when the disciples of Jesus do the “greater works” of which He spoke, they will not be conscious of the fact that they are doing anything extraordinary.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 530.11

    Therefore instead of wondering why miracles are not done, and faintly longing for the power to do them, the right thing to do is to hunger and thirst after righteousness; to seek to know the will of God, and to study His word until its Spirit permeates the soul. To have the power to speak a word in due season to him that is weary, just as Jesus did, is the thing most to be desired. And that can be done only by those who speak the words of God as He did. Then when self is wholly gone, and the individual is completely surrendered to the Lord, and living by every word that proceeds out of His mouth, seeking not his own, but only the glory of God, and willing that God shall do whatsoever He wishes with him, no matter how humble the task,-then will the lowliest services of love be transformed by the power of God into the most wonderful works, and men will praise the Lord for His goodness.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.1

    “Contending with Truth” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    When the minions of Rome came one day to the home of the reformer Wycliffe, who was then prostrated upon what was supposed to be his death-bed, and looked upon him with exaltation over the prospect of his early decease, the old man raised himself upon his bed and confronting his enemies, exclaimed, “With whom do you think you are contending? with a poor, feeble, worn-out man, tottering upon the brink of the grave? No; but with truth; truth, which is mightier than you, and will one day will vanquish you!”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.2

    In these words the Reformer stated a principle that has been lost sight of by the world at large, but is nonetheless true for failing to obtain popular recognition. Truth is mightier than all its foes. When men fight against Christianity, they are not contending with men, but with principles; and their efforts are entirely useless against those. They can imprison a man; they can burn him at the stake; but they cannot imprison or burn a principle of truth. The men who advocate them die, but the principles live on. The Reformers died; but the Reformation continued on, in spite of the utmost efforts of all its foes, and is moving majestically forward to-day, clothed in an ever-brightening panoply of truth, to a near and glorious triumph.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.3

    The reason is that it has in it the power of the word of God, which is the power of omnipotence. If we stand in the way of this truth, our efforts will avail nothing, and we ourselves shall be overwhelmed beneath it; but it comes to us not for that purpose, but that we may take refuge upon it. The word of God cannot be shaken. Jesus said, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.” Matthew 8:24, 25.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.4

    Here is offered to every one a sure foundation. You may take your stand now upon the truth, upon the sayings of Jesus Christ, and know that you stand upon that which is immovable. This is the move which wisdom calls you to make. No matter what your circumstances may be, no matter what difficulties may rise up against you, they cannot shake you if your feet are planted upon the foundation of God’s word. The truth will triumph, and those who rest upon it will triumph with it. Will you build upon the rock, or upon the sand?PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.5

    “Religious Liberty by Law” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    A few days since the writer was very much interested in reading the story of the experience of an agent of the Bible Society in South America. It told of narrow escapes from Roman Catholic mobs, and of the power of the preaching of the pure Gospel, to remove prejudice. In the last paragraph of the article there occurred this statement: “No less a personage than the public school teacher came to warn me that, not bonds and imprisonment (we have religious liberty by law), but death at the hands of a mob awaited me if I did not desist from entering Orobe Grande.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.6

    This started a train of thought. What is religious liberty? and is it something which can be secured to people by law? Is its existence doubtful if it be not upheld by law? and can oppressive laws deprive people of it? The answers to the last three questions depend upon the answer to the first. According to the popular idea of religious liberty, the last three questions must be answered in the affirmative; but there is at least a strong probability that the popular idea of the matter is wrong. How can we find out the true definition?PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.7

    A question concerning religious liberty is one that pertains to religion; and where should we go for information concerning religion, except to the Bible? There we learn that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.8

    How can one keep himself “unspotted from the world”?—Again we read the answer, in the statement that the Lord Jesus Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Galatians 1:4. Therefore true religion is a religion of our Lord Jesus Christ.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.9

    There are very many kinds of religion in the world, but only one true religion. That is not a form, but a life. It consists not in a creed and ceremonies, but in a living faith in Christ. The word “religion” is not synonymous with “Christianity,” but true religion is. It promises what no other religion does, and fulfils its promises. It alone gives salvation. Besides the name of Jesus, “There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” There is not salvation in any other. Acts 4:12. And this salvation is not merely something, promised for the future, but is a present reality. It is deliverance “from this present evil world,” and that means deliverance from the evil of this present world. See John 17:15.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.10

    The word “deliverance” means freedom. To deliver is to free. Therefore we find that the religion of Jesus Christ is a religion of freedom. Read the words of Christ, and the opening of His earthly ministry. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.11

    Read again what He said to the Jews who followed Him: “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32. Then when the Jews demurred, saying that they were never in bondage, He continued, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” And so the Apostle Peter, speaking of false prophets that were to arise, teaching false light, said: “While they promised them [that is, their followers] liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption; for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is He brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 531.12

    We have just read the Scripture which says that the Spirit of the Lord anointed Jesus to preach deliverance to the captives, and to set at liberty them that are bound. Now read in 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” That means, as well, that where the Spirit of the Lord is not, there is not liberty. If it were otherwise, there would be no point in Christ’s work. He came to grant liberty, for the reason that liberty could be obtained from no other source.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.1

    We have therefore the answer to our first question. Religious liberty is the possession of the Spirit of the Lord. The others are easily answered. Can religious liberty be secured by law?—Not unless the Holy Spirit can be secured by law. What saith the Scripture?—“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8. The Spirit of God is subject to no men, or the will of the men. God is not a subject; He is the King of kings; and therefore His Spirit cannot be controlled by any human power. The Spirit can no more be affected by human law than the north wind can by legal enactment be made to blow from the south. Therefore since religious liberty is obtained only through the Spirit, it is evident that religious liberty is something with which human laws have no more to do than with the blowing of the wind or the shining of the sun.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.2

    That which is ordinarily called religious liberty is not religious liberty in any sense of the term. Legal permission to worship in public without molestation, is of precisely the same nature as liberty to open a shop, or to carry on any business without interference. But liberty to think or to believe, is something with which laws can have nothing to do. The slave is as free to think as is his master. Prison bars cannot stop a man from thinking what he pleases, nor can they take away man’s freedom to believe. Nay, more, they cannot take away a free man’s freedom to speak what he will. The apostles spoke in spite of all the laws against them; and their words were with power because of the very liberty which they enjoyed through Christ, which could not be checked by bonds and imprisonment.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.3

    The man who depends upon civil law for liberty to believe, is not a free man, even though the law be the most liberal ever known. For the fact that he derives his freedom from the law, shows that if the law were adverse, he would at once lose his liberty; and that shows that his is not the liberty of Christ, for that comes from heaven.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.4

    It is evident therefore, that they who think to advance the cause of religious liberty by political action, are really working against it. The very existence of laws concerning religion is a badge of slavery. When men wish a law to “protect” them in the performance of religious duties, or what they conceive to be religious duties, they thereby show that they are slaves to fear. They want a law to help them to do what they have not the power or the courage to do without the support of “public sentiment.” “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.5

    “The word of God is not bound,” and therefore whosoever has it abiding in him has liberty. Let us “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,” and not dishonour Him by intimating that He or His cause depends to any degree whatever on human laws.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.6

    “Church Establishment and Destitute Clergy” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Methodist Times does not view with satisfaction the condition of things which prevails in those churches where ecclesiastical interests are presided over and controlled by the State. The Times says:-PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.7

    We believe that many of the country clergy are so destitute that they are even depending upon charity. It is to be presumed that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London and other great dignitaries, lay and clerical, of the established church are aware of these facts. They have long existed and are notorious. Is this the blessed result of the political union between the State and Church? Is this the ideal community to which the nonconformist churches are invited? Is this the spectacle that is calculated to melt the hearts of the infidels, and to commend Christianity to all men as the religion of honesty, disinterestedness, and unselfish devotion?PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.8

    No; but this is the spectacle that is naturally to be expected wherever a union of Church and State exists; for such a union substitutes politicalism-if we may be allowed the expression-for that spirituality which should be the controlling power of the church. It leaves open the avenues through which human pride and ambition enter into and debase the life that purports to exemplify Christianity. When the same spirit that controls in the State also rules in the church, it is nothing strange if we see some holders of ecclesiastical benefices living in ease and opulence, while others are dependent on charity, just as seen among office holders in the State. The remedy is a total dissolution of the unholy alliance by which the church is robbed of her spiritual life and power, and a return to Him who is the Fountain of all goodness and whose spirit is that of unselfish regard for the welfare of all men.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.9

    “Christianity and Equality” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The equality of all men is a fundamental principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not that all men are equal physically or intellectually or even morally; but they are equal in that they all stand on a common footing in their relation to their Creator. God is no respecter of persons. They are equal in that they all have the same rights; for rights are God-given. God gave His Son to die for all men, that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16. All souls are of equal value in His sight. He paid the same price for one that He did for another.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.10

    But while God is no respecter of persons, we find that man, whom He has created, is a respecter of persons. The Majesty of heaven, the Creator and Upholder of all worlds, treats with equal regard the most humble and the most exalted of our race; but puny, finite man presumes to make a distinction among his fellows, and even those who profess to be His followers are often not behind the rest in ignoring the rights of those whom fortune has surrounded with the least favourable circumstances of birth, education, or nationality.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.11

    The Matabele savage, for example, although it is his fortune to be born into surroundings and circumstances which cause him to grow up an ignorant, uncivilsed denizen of his native wilds, is none the less for that a member of the human family, and possessed of those rights which are inherent in every man by birth. In his relation to God, he stands upon the same footing as that of his more fortunate fellows in civilised lands. God has no more respect to the person of one than of the other. He gave His Son to die for both alike. And the power of Divine grace will work the same transformation in both, and fit both alike for the inheritance of the children of faith. The body of the ignorant savage, no less than that of his enlightened, civilised brother, may become the temple of the Holy Spirit. Yet the latter presumes to deal with the former as if God had given him no rights whatever, and as if his standing in the sight of God was entirely different from his own. He invades his country, despoils him of his property, kills him if he tries to prevent it, and divides his territory and portions it out among the victors, with no more thought of its native possessors and their rights than as though they were but “the cattle upon a thousand hills.” And he does all this in the name of justice; yes, even sometimes in the name of Christianity.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 532.12

    But the principle which actuates him in such work is the very opposite of Christianity. Christianity is unselfish. It makes a man the servant, not the master, of his fellows. It does not prompt a man, when he beholds some wrong, to commit a greater wrong in order to make it right; but it prompts him to go to the wrong doer, not with rifles and Maxim guns, but with the Spirit of Christ, and endeavour to reclaim him from the evil to which he has fallen. It does not palliate a wrong because it is done to one who happens to be uncivilised. It teaches the brotherhood of man, and that each man is his brother’s keeper. It puts him under obligation to both Jew and Gentile, not to override and rob and slay the latter, but to bring to him the glad tidings of that gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.1

    Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, and one of the most illustrious followers of Jesus Christ, has left on record for us his own view of himself by declaring himself to be “less than the least of all saints,” and “nothing.” Ephesians 3:8; 2 Corinthians 12:2. This is the view which every Christian will have of himself when he is living as near to his Lord as was the Apostle Paul. And this is the secret of the realisation of equality among men. This is the only way in which it can ever come. When each one sees himself to be the least of all, no one will put himself above any of his fellows, no matter what may be their race, colour, or the misfortunes which have dragged them down.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.2

    Let it be understood, therefore, that nothing that is not done for the welfare of those who are its recipients, is prompted by the Spirit of Christianity, or should have the sanction of Christian men and women.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.3

    “War? Or Murder?” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    A gentleman has written to the Daily Chronicle in regard to the slaughter of the Matabele, inquiring whether the English nation is at war with King Lobengula. As a matter of fact, the war is being carried on by the Chartered Company, which wants Matabeleland, and is imploying British soldiers to effect the conquest. But the point which the Chronicle’s correspondent makes is as follows:-PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.4

    Either we are at war with him, or we are not at war with him. If we are at war with him, then we should declare war against him, and the force of the Crown should carry on the war. If we are not at war with him, then those engaged in slaughtering his people are engaged in simple murder.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.5

    In the above we are able to see the flimsiness of the distinctions that people make in things that do not differ. Thus, the difference between war and murder lies entirely in a proclamation by the Government. If the Government makes the Company’s fight its own, then the men engaged in the slaughter are doing a lawful act; but if not, then they are murderers! Isn’t it wonderful what a change can be wrought in the moral character of man’s action, by a little piece of paper with a big seal on it?PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.6

    The idea generally obtains that in an army a man entirely loses his individual responsibility, so that however unjust the war, or whatever atrocities are committed, the “Government” alone is responsible, and the men are individually guiltless. And then the “Government” is an impersonal character, so that no officer of State can be held responsible for murder, no matter how many people are slaughtered at his instigation.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.7

    Now all this will appear to be, as it indeed is, the veriest nonsense, when one stops to think. If one man sets upon another, and kills him for his money, he is a murderer. If three or four men are engaged in the work, they are all murderers. There is no question about that in anybody’s mind. If those four men, or four times as many men, have drilled themselves so that they can act in concert, and have appointed a leader, and then attack a dozen or more men, and kill them in order to possess their property, the slayers are still murderers. Suppose now that the men who desire the property of some other people, are so numerous that they are not obliged to act secretly; suppose that they are the majority of any nation, and that the chief men in the nation are the leaders in the affair, wherein does the latter case differ from the first? Manifestly in no particular whatever, save that in the latter instance there are more murders and more accessories.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.8

    It may be said that the soldiers do not declare war, and have no personal interest in the matter. That does not relieve them from responsibility. If a man were caught in the act of killing a fellow-man, could he save his neck from the gallows by pleading that somebody else had hired him to commit the deed. Certainly not; both he and the man who hired him, would be counted guilty of murder, and justly so.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.9

    The fact is no man in his senses is ever free from personal accountability for his acts. Others may share his guilt, but he cannot shift the responsibility of his acts upon some other person, or upon an impersonal “Government.” That which would be murder in one case, cannot be made lawful by being dignified with the title “war.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.10

    “‘I Don’t Believe’” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some men are very much given to telling what they don’t believe. Especially is this so with regard to the statements of Scripture. It is fashionable, even in church circles, to doubt some portions of the word of God, and this tendency of the age is constantly becoming more marked. Its effect upon youthful minds is most disastrous. Many a young man to-day is resting in spiritual apathy, refusing to identify himself with the followers of Christ, because of certain things pertaining to Christianity, or which he fancies pertain to it, which he does not understand, and does not believe to be true. When he thinks of Christianity it is only to think of these doubts. He views it only from a negative side. When these doubts are all cleared away, he will (as he thinks) embrace it. He is patiently waiting for them to be cleared up; but until they are gone he feels justified in remaining where he is.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.11

    A course so foolish as this would hardly be taken in anything outside of the realm of our obligations to God. The very worst foundation in the world to stand on is that of doubt. There is no virtue in doubt; it imparts no wisdom, no strength. No man could accomplish anything in any line of physical or mental achievement, working on a basis of what he did not believe. No; it is faith that gives power; it is belief from which a man draws inspiration for the task before him. It is conviction that fills him with energy and nerves his hands for the successful prosecution of his work.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 533.12

    The men who have done the most in the world are those who have not been held back by doubt. Who ever undertook a great work that did not involve many difficulties the solution of which was not apparent? No man can see the end from the beginning; he cannot even see with certainty a single hour into the future. The pathway which leads out to the regions beyond, though plain enough where our feet are standing, becomes less and less distinct until, apparently, it is hedged up altogether; but no one turns back on that account. He knows there is an opening through which the path continues on, and that he will see it when he comes to it. He would characterise as extreme folly the idea of standing still and waiting till he could see the openings all the way, before he proceeded further.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.1

    And such it is; and no less so in spiritual things than in things that are temporal and earthly. The truth is, we are surrounded on every side by that which we cannot understand. Look which way we will, we have plenty of chance to doubt. There is no place where we can take our stand and say that everything around us is clear and plain. If we reject the word of God because there are things in it we cannot understand, we only involve ourselves in more doubt; for now we must explain to our satisfaction how many things that come under our notice can be, if the Bible be not true. The phenomena of Christianity-not so-called Christianity, but that which is based upon the Bible-its power, its effect upon the minds and hearts of men, must be explained; and the unbeliever finds himself more in the dark than ever. Accepting the Bible as true, the power which is in the word, and all that history, both sacred and secular, testifies of its power in healing the bodies and the souls of men, is easily comprehended; but discarding the sacred word, we only find ourselves compelled to account for all this upon some hypothesis, we know not what. But those who disbelieve the Scriptures usually shut their eyes to the difficulties in which their unbelief involves them. In getting rid of the word they have released themselves from duties and responsibilities that were disagreeable to self, and this is generally the real thing for which they are seeking. It is much easier to doubt a disagreeable truth than one which involves no sacrifice on our part.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.2

    Look not at your doubts, at what you do not believe, but at what you do believe. Your “don’t believes” are of no value, either to yourself or anybody else. It is belief only that contains a positive force. If there is any part of God’s word that you do believe, take your stand on that and conform your life to it, and seek to the Author of that for further knowledge. Search not for things to doubt, but for things to believe. Make an advance move; walk out in the light that you have, and you will find your pathway growing brighter and brighter, “unto the perfect day.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.3

    “‘Higher Criticism’” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The “Higher Criticism” is not by any means a new thing. From the most ancient times there have been men who were able to demonstrate to their own satisfaction the impossibility of the truthfulness of the word of God. Two instances occur to mind just now.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.4

    The first instance occurred in Samaria. The city was closely beseiged, and the people were perishing for famine. Then Elisha the prophet said: “Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To-morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.” 2 Kings 7:1.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.5

    But there was a certain “lord” in the city, who was something of a “higher critic;” and he said, “Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?” He knew too much to believe so impossible a story, and he reaped the consequences of unbelief. The prophet said to him, “Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not eat thereof.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.6

    And so it was. The same day the Lord caused a panic to seize the besieging army, so that they all fled, leaving provision in abundance, so that provision the next day was as cheap as the prophet had said. The unbelieving lord had charge of the gate, so that he saw the plenty; but the people in their desperate rush for food trod upon him, so that he died without getting any benefit from it. It is to be feared that many of the “higher critics” of these days will meet a similar fate. If they do not come down from their lofty position, they will derive no benefit from the life which God’s word abundantly supplies, although they will certainly see it some day.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.7

    Another instance of the “higher criticism” occurred in the days of Christ. Certain Sadducees made great profession of believing the Bible, but they did not put any confidence in the Saviour’s teaching concerning it. His words must be measured by their reason, the same as those of an ordinary man, and if they were not in harmony with their mind, they must be rejected. And so they brought the well-known question concerning the resurrection, which showed conclusively to their own minds, that Jesus was mistaken.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.8

    Notice the directness of Christ reply, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29. That was the trouble with this Samaritan lord. And that is the trouble with all who presume to criticise the whole or a part of the Bible. He who knows the Scriptures, will not sit in judgment on them. The ignorance of the Scriptures that is displayed by those who find so many errors in the Bible, is one of the most noticeable things in connection with the “higher criticism.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.9

    What is it to know the Scriptures? It does not necessarily consist in ability to quote portions of it, or to read or even to repeat it in the original Hebrew and Greek. Many a man who could read the Bible with ease in the ancient languages, knows far less of the Scriptures than some poor man who can do no more than spell out the text in his own language. He who receives the Scriptures as the very word of God, is the one who knows the Scriptures. Such an one will not doubt and criticise that which he does not understand. To believe the word of God, is to know it. He who does not believe cannot possibly understand.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.10

    “A Counter Reformation” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Quite recently Archdeacon Sinclair, of London, made the following statement:-PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.11

    The most serious fact which we have at present to face is indicated by the support given to the book of the President of the English Church Union and his friends, called “The Lord’s Day and the Holy Eucharist.” The book points out with great frankness the mistakes of the Reformers in our present prayer book, speaks with unreserved freedom of its shortcomings and blots, proposes the omission of the Ten Commandments, advocates mediæval additions to our office to bring it into line with Sarum, pronounces fasting reception, to be necessary, urges the practice of reservation, proposes the introduction of the Romish service of Benediction, wishes to alter our cathedrals services so that there should be Mass every morning, longs that everybody should recognise that our chief religious duty is the oblation of the Lamb of God, insists on the restoration of the word Mass, and deplores the disastrous effects of the Reformation. We are reluctantly brought to the conclusion that the policy advocated in the book is really the policy of the Sacerdotal party, and that we are indeed in the presence of a strong, hopeful, and united phalanx, who desire to restore what was repudiated at the Reformation. The English CUnion has now 34,761 men in its ranks, of whom 4,200 are in Holy Orders, and twenty-nine are Bishops. We are compelled to suppose that as the policy of “The Lord’s Day and the Holy Eucharist” is now supported by the great party organ, and is not disavowed by any of the members of the English Church Union, and they are prepared to enlist in the same campaign of melancholy retrogressive change. We are in the midst of a real counter-Reformation.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 534.12

    It is fitting that the Ten Commandments should be omitted by a party that is seeking to unite with Rome. It is encouraging to know that there are many who are opposed to retrogression; but the outlook would be more encouraging if they realised that the Reformation has never been completed, and is, in fact, but little more than begun.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 535.1

    “The Loudest Noise Ever Heard” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In an American journal Sir Robert S. Ball thus describes an occurrence which was the occasion, as he affirms, of “the mightiest noise ever heard on this globe.” No doubt it was the mightiest noise ever heard since the awful sounding of the trumpet from the smoking, quaking summit of Mt. Sinai, when once the camp of ancient Israel was pitched before it, and the more dreadful sound of the words of Divine law as they came from the lips of the Lawgiver, “whose voice that shook the earth.” Secular history, at least, gives us no record of anything in the annals of terrestrial disturbances of such appalling magnificence as this occurrence of which he writes, and which may well be regarded as a prelude to the convulsions of the day of God:-PTUK November 23, 1893, page 535.2

    No thunder from the skies was ever accompanied with a roar of such behemoths as that which issued from the throat of the great volcano in Krakatoa, an islet lying in the Straits of Sunda between Sumatra and Java, at ten o’clock on Monday morning, August 27, 1883. As that dreadful Sunday night wore on, the noises increased in intensity and frequency. The explosions succeeded each other so rapidly that a continuous roar seemed to issue from the island. The critical moment was now approaching, and the outbreak was preparing for a majestic combination. The people of Batavia did not sleep that night. Their windows quivered with the thunders from Krakatoa, which sounded like the discharge of artillery in their streets. Finally, at ten o’clock on Monday morning, a stupendous convulsion took place which far transcended any of the shocks which had preceded it. This supreme effort it was which raised the mightiest voice ever heard on this globe. Batavia is ninety-four miles distant from Krakatoa. At Carimon, Java, 355 miles away, reports were heard on that Sunday morning which led to the belief that there must be some vessel in the distance which was discharging its guns as signals of distress. The authorities sent out boats to make a search; they presently returned, as no ship could be found in want of succour. The reports were sounds which had come all the way from Krakatoa. At Macassar, in Celebes, loud explosions attracted the notice of everybody. Two steamers were hastily sent out to find what was the matter. The sounds had travelled from the Straits of Sunda, a distance of 969 miles. But mere hundreds of miles will not suffice to illustrate the extraordinary distance to which the greatest noise that ever was heard was able to penetrate. The figures have to be expressed in thousands. This seems almost incredible, but it is certainly true. In the Victoria Plains, in Western Australia, the shepherds were startled by noises like heavy cannonading. It was sometime afterward before they learned that their tranquillity had been disturbed by the grand events then proceeding at Krakatoa, 1,700 miles away.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 535.3

    “Understanding the Scriptures” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The study of the Scriptures is a matter of vital importance to the welfare of every individual. In this day the Scriptures are little read and still less understood, even by the majority of those who profess Christianity. The result of this neglect will be seen, by many, only when it is too late to be remedied.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 535.4

    It is possible to read the Bible as if it were but the word of men. The language of the sacred volume contains very much that is instructive and entertaining from a primarily literary standpoint. Its narratives are as fascinating as any to be found in history or fiction. But it is not this that gives the Bible its excellence; but the fact that all its narratives, its poetry, its figures of speech, its lofty diction, are the vehicles of Divine truth which is able to save the soul; that its words are living words, giving life and power to whomsoever will receive them into the heart. The Bible contains many stories, but it is not a story book; it contains much history, yet it is not a history; neither is it a text-book for the study of literature; it is more than all of these; it is the word of God speaking to us and showing us the truths which pertain to salvation. It is the living word sent down from heaven to re-create and give spiritual life to souls that are dead in trespasses and sins.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 535.5

    A person may be familiar with all the inheritance of the sacred word; he may know the substance of what is treated of in the various books, and be able to repeat much of the language verbatim, and yet not know the Bible. He may know that Jacob wrestled all night with an angel, and yet not know how to obtain the blessings of God. He may know that the Israelites came up to a land of Canaan and their halted and did not enter in for fear of its high-walled cities and giant inhabitants, and yet not know the power and necessity of faith. He may read all the inspired record of ancient wanderings and conquests and settlements of God’s chosen people, the history of their days of prosperity and of adversity, and not know that “to obey is better than sacrifice,” and that justice, mercy, and truth are the weightier matters of the law. Yet these are the truths which God designs to teach us in His word-not historical truths, but ever living and present truths; not truths to enlighten us concerning some events that happened in ancient times, but to show us the mercy, wisdom, and power of God in His present dealings with men.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 535.6

    History is valuable because history repeats itself. Men learn wisdom for the present from the mistakes of the past. But the Bible is valuable because human nature is the same, and the power and love and wisdom of God are the same, and His righteousness the same, through all ages of the world.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 535.7

    The Bible was given to men to be understood, and it can be understood. God made no mistake when He dictated His word to the holy men of old. He knew the capabilities of those to whom it was sent, and is sent to-day. The only difficulty in the way of its comprehension is the carnal heart. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14. What is needed is spirituality. The spiritually minded man is a magnet to all spiritual truth. “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Having the Spirit, there is no impassible barrier in the way of the understanding all that which God has spoken.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 535.8

    The inquiry of Philip to the eunuch is an important one for all. “Understandeth thou what thou readest?” Acts 8:30. The eunuch was reading a most important statement of truth, but he knew not what it signified till the Spirit of God, through Philip, enlightened his mind. And scripture is read to-day with little or no compresion of its spiritual meaning. Truths of vital importance to the spiritual welfare are scanned by the eye, yet not perceived by the heart. They are truths that must be spiritually discerned, and no amount of human wisdom or intellectual keenness can grasp them without that power of discernment which the Spirit gives.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 535.9

    And why do we not have that power? The answer is, that self occupies the heart, instead of the Spirit of God. The two cannot dwell there together; self shuts out spiritual truths. We cannot see through self. It is perfectly opaque. No matter how plain the truth is, we cannot see it if self is in the way. And self is wise (in its own conceits). It wants a chance to display its own wisdom, it does not seek for that wisdom which is from above.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.1

    Spiritual knowledge is not head knowledge, but heart knowledge. It is a part of the life. It is the word of life hid in the believing heart. This is why spiritual truth must be spiritually discerned. They come into the heart only in the form of an experience; and experience cannot come without the working of the Spirit. It cannot come without the entrance of the living word, which is received by faith. But truth and human wisdom are things altogether distinct from each other. Their testimonies are often contradictory one to the other, and in such a case the latter is always to be discarded. Human wisdom and reasoning have nothing to do with discerning spiritual truths.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.2

    Without the study of the word there can be no discernment of the real essential truths which pertain to the Christian life. But can we grasp them unless our study is in humility and with prayer for spiritual enlightenment. And this is a matter of vital importance, for salvation comes through the word. For the Word is God (see John 1:1), and salvation is “the end of your faith” (1 Peter 1:9), and faith is belief of the Word. Peter testifies also that the result of wresting the Scriptures is destruction. 2 Peter 3:16. It is not a question of taste or inclination with us whether we shall study and understand God’s word; it is a matter of life or death, of eternal gain or loss. God has sent us His word. Too slight it is too slight Him. He has made all provision that we should understand it. If we do not, it will be only because of the presence of self, which might have been put out of the heart but was not, and remained to obscure the spiritual vision.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.3

    “Personal Religion” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian religion is a personal religion. It is a religion which deals with individuals. Though men are associated together in the church, this association does not change the nature of Christianity, or of their relation to God. The voice of God speaks not less personally to each component member of the church, and the “power of God unto salvation” is no less truly sent “to every one that believeth.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.4

    The idea that God deals with corporations, or with a church, or a denomination, as such, and not directly with the individuals who compose them, is a most mischievous one, and has been productive of very great harm. It has caused individuals to look to their church, or their denomination, rather than to the one true Source of spiritual life. Men have been led to think of Christianity as a matter of church relationship, rather than of connection with the living Vine; to look at God through an opaque theological body which eclipses the light of heaven, rather than “with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,” to become thereby “changed into the same image from glory to glory.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. They have come to think of the power and glory of God as coming to them diffused through the atmosphere of the church, rather than as coming into their souls direct from the eternal throne.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.5

    This is not the object of the church; this is not the purpose for which God has established it on the earth. The church exists for the purpose of spreading abroad the knowledge of the power of God and salvation, of manifesting to the world the body of Christ, through whom He works as its spiritual Head; not of manifesting to the world its own power, and regulating the supply of the grace of God. Although connection with the church is proper and a source of great benefit to the individual when the church is not in a fallen state, his relation to God and to the Gospel is the same as though he were living alone upon an island in the midst of the sea. He has no freer access to the grace of God in the one case than in the other; the “power of God unto salvation” would have to be sought by the same means in the one case as in the other.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.6

    It is very natural for an individual to associate and compare himself with others, and to look for some advantage to himself through the mere fact of his connection with the world around him; but that which holds true in temporal things must not be carelessly accepted as true in things spiritual. Spiritual blessings are not gained in that way. There is no spiritual advantage to be gained in looking to others. Perhaps you are as good as they are, and satisfy your conscience with the reflection that you will fare as well as they in the day of final reckoning; but that will never save you from perdition. It matters not how others stand, your own standing is independent of all others. If another stands he cannot hold you up; and if he falls, his fall does not affect the footing on which you stand. “To his own master he standeth or falleth.” We follow Christ as individuals, not as companies; and when we began to say, like Peter, “Lord, and what shall this man do?” His answer is, “What is that to thee? follow thou Me.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.7

    Christ did not die to save a world. He did not die to save a church, or a denomination. But He did die to save you. And your relation to Him through His work of salvation is the same as if there were no other person in the world besides yourself, or as if you alone of all earth’s inhabitants were destined to obtain salvation. And therefore His pardon and love are for you; His power is for you; His wisdom is for you; His deliverance from sin is for you; the Christian experience, with all that it contains, as revealed in the word of God, is for you, irrespective of every other person, church, or organisation in the world. And you will get them by your own individual seeking.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.8

    Notice how this idea of the personality of the Christian life is set forth in the one hundred and sixteenth psalm. By giving emphasis to the personal pronouns as they occur, the force of the psalmist’s testimony will be more clearly seen:-PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.9

    “I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple; I was brought low, and He helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken; I was greatly afflicted; I said in my haste, All men are liars. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid; Thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 536.10

    This is a true Christian experience.It mattered not to the psalmist at such a time what the church in general was doing or receiving, or how the Lord was dealing with this one or that one around him; he rejoiced because God had heard his voice and his supplications. The pains of hell had gotten hold upon him, and he needed a personal deliverance, and this was what he found. He had been in bondage, but now could say, “Thou hast loosed my bonds.” It is not enough for the soul bound with the chains of sin and Satan to sit in contemplation of the goodness and mercy of God, and realise that He has loosed the bonds of others. That would only make his own bondage the more grievous. Nothing but a personal experience in “the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” can bring heavenly joy and comfort to any of the fallen children of men.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 537.1

    Can you join with the psalmist in these utterances of gladness and praise to God? Has God heard your voice and your supplications? Has He loosed your bonds? If not, then no matter what He may be doing for the church with which you are connected, you are living altogether outside of the blessed privileges that God offers to you through the Gospel. Seek Him for yourself; believe Him for yourself; and He will clothe you with His salvation.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 537.2

    “In Six Hundredweight of Chains” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    A few weeks ago a Mohammedan fakir came to Bombay, who had voluntarily loaded himself with twenty-four maunds (six hundredweight) of chains. We visited him at that convenient, free rest-house for native travellers, the Falkland Road Dharanisala. He was reclining on his mat and hard pillow, and was dependent upon an attendant for food. The hulk and weight of the chains welded around his neck, arms, and legs, rendered walking impossible. It was said that when he travelled by train (he came from North India), he was charged partly as a passenger and partly as freight. He desired to go as a pilgrim to Mecca, and an ordinary ticket by steamship was purchased for him, but when he arrived at the ship, the astonished officer declined his company.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 538.1

    Some large iron pegs and a heavy iron mallet were attached to his chains. These were used in fixing him firmly down, at his desire, in any particular spot.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 538.2

    This iron bondage was no new one. For twenty-four years he had submitted to it. What caused him voluntarily to endure a burden of chains which, if inflicted by any official authority as a punishment, would bring down upon the government that permitted it the execration of mankind?—He said it was his inclination to evil. As a young man he was very wicked, and he caused chains to be fastened upon hint to keep hire from sin. As time went on he added more chains, until the present weight was reached.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 538.3

    The man’s face was not a dishonest one. The manner of his conversation was also open. There is no reason to doubt that for twenty-four years he had been engaged in a desperate struggle with sinful inclinations. But his admission that as time passed by he added more chains, was a confession of defeat.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 538.4

    This Mohammedan fakir in his ignorance had been dealing with the effect instead of the cause. Better then chaining the limbs is to seek a change of heart. The psalmist understood this when he cried, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Create? Yes; that is the word; and no hand but God’s can do it. the same truth appears in the words of Jesus Christ to Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”-Bombay Guardian.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 539.1

    [The chains upon the limbs of the fakir, which were increased as he grew older, were significant of the chains of an which bound bins. The strength of an evil habit increases with age, instead of diminishing, thus showing that there is no inherent goodness in men, which will ultimately overpower and destroy the evil. The increase of the weight of the chains is in keeping with the fact that the strongest human efforts to overcome sin, only serve to increase it. Every form of religion, except the pure religion of Jesus Christ, only increases the bondage of men: but Christ removes the heavy chains, and lets the oppressed go free.-ED. P.T.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 539.2

    “To Know God Is to Love Him” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace.” Job 22:21. To be equated with God is to be at peace with Him; and it is equally true that to be equated with God is to love Him: for God is lovable, and to love a thing that is lovable needs only an acquaintance with it. Therefore, he who does not love God does not know Him. And he does not love Him because he does not know Him. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8. Undoubtedly the reason so many people love God so little is because they have such a slight acquaintance with Him. “Acquaint now thyself with Him.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 539.3

    “Interesting Items” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -A political crisis is reported from Servia.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.1

    -Deaths from diphtheria are largely on the increase in the metropolis.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.2

    -The manufacture of silk from wood is said to have become a practical success in France.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.3

    -The German emperor has opened the Reichstag in person, making a speech from his throne.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.4

    -The Havock, a new torpedo boat built by the Yarrow Company, has, without being pressed, attained a speed of thirty miles per hour.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.5

    -A Dundee whaler brings information of the loss of an Arctic exploring party, which was under the leadership of two Swedish scientists.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.6

    -An Anarchist outrage is reported from Marseilles, an attempt having been made to blow up the residence of the commander of the Fifteenth Army Corps.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.7

    -By the terms of the Convention, just signed between England and the Transvaal, Swaziland has been ceded to the Boer Government under conditions safeguarding the rights of natives and white residents.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.8

    -The water supply of London is said to be running short of the demand. All the water companies of London, with one or two exceptions, are at the present date exceeding their Parliamentary limit of supply.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.9

    -The foreign trade of China now amounts to a total of some £52,000,000, being the equivalent of about 235,000,000 Haikwan taels. This was composed for last year of imports £27,000,000, and exports £25,000,000.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.10

    -Fighting has been renewed between the Riff Arabs and the Melilla garrison. The Spanish Government continues to push forward war preparations.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.11

    -The penny-in-the-slot machines, it is declared, were used in Egyptian temples more than 5,000 years ago. By placing a piece of money in the slot, the worshippers received some consecrated water through a valve.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.12

    -Tahiti alone is capable of yearly producing 50,000 tons of sugar for export. The land, which practically in all parts of the plains is adapted for cane-growing, can be obtained at a very low figure.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.13

    -For the fourth time influenza threatens to become epidemic. It is raging in Birmingham, Blackburn, in the Bourne district, and in Essex. It is said to be associated with a condition of the throat which has a tendency to become diphtheria.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.14

    -Fifty-two miners have been entombed in a coal pit near Coatbridge, by the explosion of a paraffin lamp in the engine room of the colliery, which set fire to the framework. The ventilating fans were stopped, and it is feared the men have been suffocated.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.15

    -Mr. Reeds and his wife, the only missionaries left in Matabeleland, have been treated kindly by Lobengula, and forwarded by him to Tati under an escort of Lobengula’s people. Yet it is claimed, by way of palliation for the murder of the Matabele, that Lobengula is so hostile to the missionaries that they cannot live in his territory.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.16

    -Despatches from the Congo Free State announce that Captain Ponthier, after capturing Kirundu, an Arab stronghold, continued the pursuit of the retreating Arabs, and finally crushed them completely. Among the prisoners captured was Said ben Abadi, by whose orders Emin Pasha was beheaded. He was condemned to death, and shot.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.17

    -Martial law has been proclaimed at Rio de Janeiro by President Peixoto, extending to the 30th inst. Admiral de Mello having issued a warning of his intention to again bombard the city of Rio, the commander of the British squadron has protested that forty-eight hours should be allowed for foreigners to retire. Two insurgent magazines have been blown up.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.18

    -Another bomb explosion is reported from a town in Barcelona, a gate of the gendarmerie barracks having been blown to pieces. No one, however, was injured. A decree has been published suspending the usual constitutional guarantees in the Spanish province of Catalonia, in consequence of the Barcelona outrage. Anarchists will now be tried summarily. The issue of the decree is generally approved.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.19

    -A Social Democratic journalist has been sentenced at Dortmund to a year’s imprisonment for having declared in a newspaper article that Prince Bismarck had falsified the famous Ems dispatch. The counsel for the defence asked that the Prince himself might be called, but this was refused; and the Public Prosecutor stated that while it was true that Prince Bismarck had altered the telegram in order to provoke a declaration of war, it was not on that account permissible to call a diplomatist a forger.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.20

    -Professor Garner, who went out to Southwest Africa fourteen months ago to study the language of the monkey, considers he has succeeded in establishing what he went out to ascertain, viz., that the monkeys had a language which could, with study, be learned by man. The professor has brought home with him two examples of the Kulu Kamba chimpanzee which it is said can communicate to the professor their wants and feelings. The professor reached about 250 miles inland from the coast. He stayed in his steel cage 101 days, and while there had many opportunities of observing the wild animals in their native haunts.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.21

    -A German newspaper published in Odessa announces that the Russian Minister of the Interior has forbidden the assembling of Stundists for the purposes of worship, on the ground that their meetings are injurious to the well-being of the people. An instance of the minute care taken to have the “Orthodox” Church held in the highest regard is seen in a new law against “negligent” treatment of the “icons” or holy pictures of the church, by persons engaged in their sale. They are not to be placed on the ground, or to be sold from carts, and when sold in shops they are not to rest on the ground. Should their sale be carried on in fairs, special places in the booths must be assigned them.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 542.22

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 9, 34.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Apostle James tells us, “Ye asked and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:3. Here is stated a cardinal principle to be borne in mind by all in asking the blessing of God. “The only way to keep the blessing of God, is to give it away.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.1

    On the 11th inst. the new steamer John Williams, which was built for the London Missionary Society’s use, was launched at Glasgow. The ship is 180 feet in length at the water line, is 700 tons burden, is fitted with electric light, and cabins specially built for a tropical climate, and cost £17,000. It is the fourth John Williams, and the fourteenth ship that has been set apart for the South Sea Mission.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.2

    As the result of the conference between the miners and the coal owners, suggested by Mr. Gladstone, and presided over by Lord Roseberry, the coal dispute was settled, and work began on Monday last, at the old rate of wages. Work will continue at the old rates until February, when a conciliation board to be appointed at once will deal with the question. The strike had continued sixteen weeks, and had caused intense suffering.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.3

    A vicar is one who takes the place of another, acting as a substitute for him. A substitute implies the absence of the one for whom the substitute acts. If therefore it could be proved that the Pope of Rome is the vicar of Christ, that would only demonstrate that Christ had abandoned His people. For any people to claim that they have the vicar of Christ, is to disclaim the presence of Christ with them. But there is no necessity for a vicar of Christ, because we have His sure promise, “Lo, I am with you all way, even unto the end of the world.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.4

    The Apostle Paul, answering for himself before Festus, when he had been accused by the Jews, said, “Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Cæsar, have I offended anything at all.” He could not have spoken thus if he had by example or precept taught disregard of the seventh-day Sabbath, or regard for Sunday as a sabbath day. His practice and teaching in this respect is shown to have been wholly in harmony with that of the men of God who lived back in what is known as the “Jewish age.”PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.5

    It is stated that a new “incense society” has been quietly organised by some of the Church of England clergy, and that in a few hundreds of churches incense will be introduced at Christmas. The Christian Commonwealth states also that curates of some churches where confession cannot be practised, go secretly to confess to Romish priests, and that one of these curates advises souls in anxiety to do the same. One thing is certain, and that is that in the Church of England there is a strong current tending Romeward.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.6

    We hear much about “the credulity of ignorance.” That is bad indeed, as any mere credulity is. But the credulity of ignorance is not to be compared with the credulity of learning. When men have so much learning that they cannot believe the Bible, their credulity is amazing. As a natural consequence of rejecting the truth, they unhesitatingly accept the most patent falsehood, and the greatest absurdities. It is when men profess themselves to be wise, that they become fools. Romans 1:22. True wisdom comes from God, the Author of the Bible, and humility and an acknowledgment of our dependence upon Him is necessary in order to obtain it.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.7

    According to the Christian World, “the most exciting topic” for consideration at the Manx Nonconformist Council, which has just met at Douglas, was “the question of the Manx magistracy, and the practical exclusion of nonconformists from the Bench. Rev. Thomas Rippon moved that a deputation be appointed to wait on the lieutenant-governor, and urged him to create additional magistrates to remedy the grievance complaint of. At present, out of forty magistrates, thirty-eight are Churchmen.” The resolution was unanimously carried. In order to get the full force of this situation, we must try to imagine the apostles holding a council and issuing a protest because they were not given a place upon the Roman Magisterial Bench. When one wished Christ to act as a judge in a dispute, He replied, “Man, who made Me a judge or a divider over you?” It should be enough for the servant to be as his ward.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.8

    A writer in the Guardian, describing the religious (?) influences of public school life, says:-PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.9

    I have in my mind one excellent young man of twenty-five, prepared for confirmation by a late respected head master and Prebendary of St. Paul’s, who candidly admitted to me that all that confirmation had meant to him ten years ago was the possession of a new pair of gloves for the occasion! And I have known others, educated and confirmed not a hundred miles from Bristol, who had not even learned the commonest proprieties of worship, such as that kneeling, not squatting or crouching, is the proper attitude of prayer. Another tells me that all he can remember of the preparation for confirmation is that three times a week the candidates met in the school chapel, and nervously read aloud a chapter from the Gospels, a few verses each in turn; and that shortly before the day appointed, the head master (who now adorns a deanery) sent for each boy privately, and asked him what his besetting sin was, to which he invariably replied, “laziness,” and was gently exhorted to greater industry.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.10

    It is this sort of education that so many people think is going to save the country from everlasting ruin. Strange that all Christians cannot see that nothing can be more damaging to the cause of true religion than a caricature of it that is provided by the State.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.11

    It is commonly supposed that the Christian life is all hardship, and that the easy way is the way of sin. Like most popular suppositions, this is a mistake. The Bible assures us that “The way of transgressors is hard.” Proverbs 13:15. True, it often seems most pleasant, but that is because of the hallucination that Satan is able to produce. He intoxicates the senses, so that the dangers of the way seem to be comforts. On the other hand, Jesus says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.PTUK November 23, 1893, page 544.12

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