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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

Is the world as we behold it a finality?

Are generations of men, rebellious against God, and destroyers of the earth, to occupy it successively through an endless series of ages?

Are men to repeat the history of the past for ever?

Is the earth always to be cursed, and sin and death to reign victorious?

Who can answer these inquiries?

If we survey the starry canopy, thence no sign or voice is given expressive of the truth.

They declare the eternal power and divinity of their Creator, but they speak not of the destiny of the earth or of man upon it.

If we question the mountains and hills, the plains and valleys, the rivers, seas, and oceans of the earth, and demand their origin, why they were produced, to what end they were created; their rocks, their strata, their fossils, or deposits, afford us no response.

Turn we to man and ask him, "Whence comest thou, and what is thy destiny?

Whence all the evil of thy nature, why art thou mortal, who made thee, who involved thee in the wide-spread ruin and calamity on every side"?

Ask an infant of days the history of the past, and he can as well detail it, as man can answer these inquiries without a revelation from Him who is before all, and to whom is known from the beginning all He intends shall come to pass.

So true is it, that, unaided by light from heaven, "since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what is prepared for him that waiteth for him"; but, adds the apostle in his comment upon these words of the prophet, "God hath revealed these things unto us by his spirit * * * "which things we (apostles) speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the holy spirit teacheth; interpreting spiritual things in spiritual words".

To the Bible, then, all must come at last if they would be truly wise in spiritual things.

This is a great truth which few of the sons of men have learned to appreciate according to its importance.

A man may be a theologian profoundly skilled in all questions of "divinity"; he may be well versed in the mythology of the heathen world; be able to speak all languages of the nations; compute the distances of (Gal. v.19. 1 Cor. ii.9,10,13.) orb from orb, and weigh them in the scales of rigid calculation; he may know all science and be able to solve all mysteries, -- but if, with all this, he be ignorant of "the things of the spirit;" if he know not the true meaning of the Bible; he seemeth only to be wise, while he is, in fact, a fool.

Therefore, the apostle saith, "let no man deceive himself.

If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

And again, the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

Therefore let no man glory in men.

If our contemporaries could only attain to the adoption of this great precept, "let no man glory in men," they would have overleaped a barrier which as a fatal obstacle prevents myriads from understanding and obeying the truth.

But while God lightly esteems the wisdom of the reputed wise, there is a wisdom which he invites all men to embrace.