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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

The faith of the "religious world" is like a stool with only one leg.

It professes to believe in Jesus; but it is ignorant, and therefore faithless, of the message he was sent to deliver to Israel.

His message had relation to "the things hoped for" -- to the things of the kingdom which the God of heaven will set up upon the ruin of the kingdoms which now exist.

Men are invited to believe in the Messenger of the Covenant, and in the message which unfolds the things of the covenant.

To believe the one and reject the other is stultification.

The "religious world" has placed itself in this predicament; and unless it believes the whole truth, which is not likely, it will be cut off as was Israel in the days of old.

"Love is the fulfilling of the law".

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me"; "If any man love me, he will keep my words"; and "He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words".

In the face of these sayings of Jesus, what is the love of "professors" for God and His Son worth?

It is like their faith, of no account whatever.

God asks men for their hearts; but they give Him only their lips.

They profess to love Him, but give their affections to the world.

From the ecclesiastical throne, or pulpit, to the humblest "layman," can they give a scriptural demonstration of obedience to the faith?

They offer verbal sacrifices without end; at least they do, who are compensated for their words; the "laity" are possessed of a legion of dumb spirits, and sit only as the listless hearers of the "eloquence" presented according to their taste: -- but where is obedience to the gospel of the kingdom in the name of Jesus?

Who ever thinks of obeying this?

And yet he comes to take vengeance on all who obey it not.

I cannot too earnestly commend the words of Samuel to the attention of the reader in this place.

"Hath the Lord," saith he, "as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than a sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry".

A great principle is set forth in these words.

It is that which can alone place men in harmony with the religion of God.

Without it a man may indeed know the truth; but he must believe and do if he would inherit the kingdom which has been preparing from the foundation of the world.