8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.
Dr. Thomas is said by some to have been unnecessarily severe in his handling of his opponents-the clergy in particular. It is saddening to hear brethren talk in this strain. It is the result of not perceiving to the same extent as did the doctor, the terrible mischief wrought by false teachers.
The doctor was a man of experience, and knew, far better than most of us know, the naughty little ways of religious worldlings, and the sad havoc they cause. He realised, and very keenly so, that men and women were everywhere perishing from lack of Bible truth, and that the great hindrance in the way of their receiving it, was the "reverends" of the Apostacy.
In regard to the dissemination of the truth, which has achieved the greatest results, the clear, robust, sledge-hammer utterances of the doctor, or the feeble utterances of his smooth-speaking critics?
Whose writings are the most refreshing and upbuilding, the doctor's, or those whose writers try to be nice with everyone-including the direst enemies of the truth?
If we take God's view of the leaders and upholders of error, we shall not find fault with the doctor's trenchant strictures on false teachers.
Let us make no mistake. If, in these perilous times, the truth is to prosper in our hands, we shall have to exhibit the doctor's qualities-fearlessness, outspokenness, clearness, conjoined with jealousy and love for the scriptures.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Oct 1905
23 Thus saith Yahweh, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
God has not made choice of the rich and the educated, "the wise and the prudent": they think too much of themselves to be of any use to Him. His own glory is the first object in all His work; in this respect He is "a jealous God" (Joshua 24:19).
The rich and the wise of this world take all the glory to themselves. Their own honour, their own interests, are the all-absorbing law of their lives. This is a universal rule with few exceptions. You can scarcely find a rich man saying,
"I am rich, but God has made me so, and in thanksgiving to Him, I hold my privileges as a stewardship, of which He will require an account at my hands. I am cultivated in mind and well-favoured in flesh; but this gives me no ground of boasting. I have come to be so through circumstances that were not in my control. I thank God for it; I honour Him; I hold all from Him. I will show my submission to Him in having compassion on those less favoured, showing mercy to the poor and having a care of my neighbour as He has commanded."
Rather do the rich build their nests on the loftiest heights of pride and cast God from their thoughts, and show no mercy to those of lower estate, whose fortune is just as little their own blame as the higher estate of the other is their credit.
If the rich as such are unfit for God's purpose, how much more so are the "wise," who in the smattering acquaintance they have made with the works of God, swell with a conceit against Him which is marvellous to behold? Among the poor and the babes, God finds those who are glad to receive His goodness and praise His wisdom, and to abase themselves as the highest reason enjoins before the irresponsible prerogative of the Possessor of heaven and earth.
But let us not fall into a mistake on the other side. God hath chosen the poor in the world, but not because they are poor only. Millions of poor will rot for ever in the dust because they are nothing but poor -- poor in purse, poor in mind, poor in intellect, poor in faith -- poor in everything. If men have nothing but poverty as a ground of acceptance before God they will be as certainly unchosen as the purse-proud, unscrupulous, God-forgetting aristocrats.
There is a certain thing in which the poor to whom the Gospel is preached must be "rich" before they will be chosen as the heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love Him. James defines this thing when he calls them "the poor of this world -- rich in faith" -- rich, rich, RICH!
God's chosen are those who are "rich in faith." Abraham is said to be their father, because the prominent example of faith in ancient times and the holder of the promises. He was "strong in faith," "GIVING GLORY TO GOD" (Rom. 4:20). Abraham's children will be all like him. The chosen of God, though mainly gathered from the poor, will be far from the mean, lean, spiritless, insipid, ignorant, vapid, and uninteresting class that some men imagine to be meant by the scriptural description.
Though lowly in mind towards God, and poor, as a rule, in their present condition, they will be the choicest of mankind in their intelligence, wisdom, and excellence. "Filled with all wisdom," "full of good fruits," is the New Testament description of their attainments.
Seasons 1: 42.
24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am Yahweh which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith Yahweh.
God's kindness is full and bountiful and unconstrained, but in the matter of admitting created beings to a participation in His open friendship and divine nature, it has its limitations and conditions of so strict a character that one act of insubordination on the part of Adam sufficed to put an end to it.
The work of restoration is being carried out on the basis of this principle being vindicated. There must be no boasting, says Paul. Most reasonable. Boasting is barbarism, even between man and man who are equal. What is it towards God, who is the fountain of all being? God will be head. He is so, and it is only reasonable that the fact should be recognized.
...Yet it is a principle that man ignores in his pride. It is a principle that God asserts by bringing all men under condemnation first of all. He has done this by the law of Moses. Unless there is forgiveness, there can be no salvation.
Forgiveness is favour (grace), and God requires the honour of "faith" towards Himself as a condition of the favour. "Where is boasting then?" enquires Paul.
"It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay, but by the law of faith." "It is of faith that it might be by grace"--"that God in all things may be glorified": "that no flesh should glory in his presence . . . that according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord"
(Rom. 3:27; 4: 16; Pet. 4:11; 1 Cor. 1:29, 31).
Law of Moses Ch 1