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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

The name of this system is "MYSTERY".

Its baneful effects began to be visible in the apostolic age.

It was then styled, "the Mystery of iniquity," which, as was predicted, has, like a cancre, eaten out the truth, and submitted in place thereof a civil and ecclesiastical constitution, styled "Harlots and the Abominations of the Earth," such as we behold on every side. "Wisdom," say the scriptures, "is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

She shall give to thy head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee".

If thou wouldst, O reader, get this wisdom, happy art thou if thou findest it.

"For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

She is more precious than rubies, and all things thou canst desire are not to be compared to her.

Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

She is a TREE OF LIFE to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is every one that retaineth her".

Before the Son of God sent forth his apostles to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom in his name, "He opened their understanding that they might understand the scriptures".

If thou wouldst gain the knowledge of the wisdom of God which is so inestimable, and which is contained in the word they preached, thou must also be the subject of the same illumination.

This is indispensable; for there is no obtaining of this commodity except through the scriptures of truth.

These "are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

For all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works".

What more dost thou want than perfection, and a crown of life and glory in the age to come?

Search the scriptures with the teachableness of a little child, and thy labour will not be in vain.

Cast away to the owls and to the bats the traditions of men, and the prejudices indoctrinated into thy mind by their means; make a whole burnt offering of their creeds, confessions, catechisms, and articles of religion; and, after the example of the Ephesian disciples, hand over your books of curious theological arts, and burn them before all.

These mountains of rubbish have served the purpose of a dark and barbarous age; the word, the word of the living God alone, can meet the necessities of the times.

Let the example of the noble-minded Bereans be ours.

They searched the scriptures daily to see if the things taught by the apostles were worthy of belief; "therefore they believed".

[Prov. iii. 14-18.]