The Bible Echo, vol. 17

The Bible Echo, Vol. 17

1902

March 17, 1902

“Sweden” The Bible Echo, 17, 12 pp. 89, 90.

ATJ

BY A. T. J.

Sweden is a country remarkable for the number of its lakes. Separating it from Norway runs the continuous mountain range called Kolen, or “The Keel,” in which rise a great number of rivers and streams. The surface of the country falls away from Kiolen to the coast in a series of terraces, on whose level surfaces the rivers frequently spread out and form lakes, while over the edges they rush and foam and roar in the immense waterfalls for which Sweden is famous. BEST March 17, 1902, page 89.1

The lakes serve the very useful purpose of regulators to the rivers. In times of flood the water, instead of rushing at once with irresistible and destructive force to the ocean, has room to spread out over the broad bosoms of the lakes, where it is held in the immense reservoirs, to flow more gradually on its onward way, and work the numerous turbines and waterwheels that move much of the industrial machinery of the country. BEST March 17, 1902, page 89.2

The scene presented in our illustration calls to mind some of the most important industries of Sweden. There are the cows, which form a large proportion of the national wealth. And the tree,s under whose shade they are grazing, remind us of the immense sawmills that are run by the water-power furnished by the rivers, the match-making industry, and the wood pulp and paper manufactures. It is a saying in Sweden that “a tree in the morning is a newspaper in the evening.” In this way the whole of the tree is turned to advantage, the sawdust, so often regarded as a nuisance, and thrown away as useless, being converted into paper and other articles. BEST March 17, 1902, page 89.3

Sweden has often figured conspicuously in European politics. She early espoused the cause of the Reformation; though, as must invariably be the case when any religion is nationalised, she failed to imbibe the spirit and principles of Protestantism. This she early showed by enforcing the Refor- () mation upon Norway, which was then a subject State. BEST March 17, 1902, page 89.4

When Protestantism in Germany was in danger of being extinguished, her adherents sent an urgent request for help to Gustavus Adolphus, the greatest of Sweden’s kings. In acceding to this request, Gustavus had to face the furious fanaticism of the Emperor, Ferdinand II., backed up by the skill and cruelty of his generals, Tilly and Wallenstein. Tilly ranks with the foremost generals of history, regarded war as his business, and was indifferent to worldly honour; but his motives in this campaign are made clear when we remember that it was said of him, “The Roman Catholic Church never had a more devoted servant.” Wallenstein had been brought up a Catholic, but appears to have had no faith of any sort save in astrology and in himself and his fortunes. He led an immense army, which was supported, not by salary from the emperor, but by the plunder of conquered provinces. BEST March 17, 1902, page 89.5

It was to meet these formidable antagonists that Gustavus left his country with a small army of 15,000 men. But though small it was the best drilled, best trained, and best equipped army of the time. The king had himself made improvements in the muskets and cannon, which made it possible to load and fire with much greater rapidity. By the aid of their terrible artillery they forced the passage of the Lech in the teeth of the foe, and TIlly fell, mortally wounded. But Gustavus furnishes a sad illustration of the truth that those “that take the sword, shall perish with the sword;” for, though defeating the terrible Wallenstein in a desperate battle at Lutzen, he rode almost alone into a party of the enemy, and was killed. BEST March 17, 1902, page 89.6

The area of Sweden is about 171,000 square miles—about twice the area of the State of Victoria. The population is more than 4,500,000. The winter is long and cold, the summer short and hot. In the north, owing to the sun’s shining uninterruptedly for weeks, there is an accumulation of heat that brings barley to maturity in ninety days—exactly the time it takes on the banks of the Nile. BEST March 17, 1902, page 89.7

“His Life’s Crisis.—No. I” The Bible Echo, 17, 12 p. 92.

ATJ

(Founded on Fact.)

A. T. J.

Friday night. The sound of singing near by told that a meeting had begun. But Harry Irvine, assistant teacher in the local State School, did not feel disposed to postpone the study of an interesting mathematical problem to attend the service conducted by these people. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.1

But on this occasion a stern sense of duty impelled him to go. Had not Mr. Hart in his lecture the previous night taught a doctrine in connection with the scape-goat of Leviticus 16 that was a dishonor to Christ? Harry Irvine was a theological student, and had in view as his final goal the ministry of a popular church. He must certainly defend the doctrine of his denomination against such a pernicious error. He would take advantage of the speaker’s offer to answer questions. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.2

So taking a piece of paper, he thought for a while and framed two questions as pointed and as awkward as possible. Then he left his room, passed along the street into the lecture room, and placed his question on the speaker’s table before taking his seat. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.3

The lecture began. The subject was the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. But Harry kept his eye on that scape-goat question. The speaker told of the origin of the Sabbatic institution at the very beginning of history. Yes, that was all right. Mr. Hart had a voice whose softness and gentleness told of association and fellowship with Jesus, and Harry listened with real pleasure. But when the Sabbath in the New Testament was referred to, and it was shown that Christ had never hinted at a change, that He and the apostles observed the Sabbath, and that the New Testament closes without even a hint that Sunday had become the Sabbath, or that anything of sacredness had become attached to it, Harry almost ceased to breathe, and the matter of the scape-goat gradually faded from his mind. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.4

But worse was to come. The lecturer went on to show that a base system of fraud had attempted to prove that the modern Sunday Lord’s day was the Lord’s day of Revelation 1:10 and that the Early Fathers kept the Sunday as the Sabbath. it was demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that the observance of Sunday was only a human ordinance. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.5

But the worst of all was coming. Step by step the lecturer led his hearers along till they could see that the unmingled wrath of God would be poured out upon those who wilfully trampled upon His sacred day, and honoured, in its palce, the ordinance of man. It was not the words of the lecturer, but the words of the Bible, that carried conviction to Harry’s mind. His hope of attaining to the work of the ministry was wrenched from him, and those only can understand the pain of the process who have passed through a similar experience. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.6

The lecture came to a close at last, and Harry’s two questions were answered. But he hardly listened. The answers were clear and convincing, but it was not the question of the scape-goat, 1 but that of the Sabbath that was of supreme interest just then. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.7

He went home and to bed, but not to sleep. For hours he lay thinking of the crisis that had come in his life. On the one side there appeared the comfortable and useful life that he hoped to pass in the ministry. This seemed nearly within his grasp. On the other, what was there? The path of obedience looked barren enough. It would be a life of toil and reproach. He would be deserted and despised by his friends. What would his parents think of it? He could scarcely see the crown of life that would be his at the end of the journey. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.8

Could he not disregard the duty thus unexpectedly brought to his notice? That thought did not once enter his mind. God had spoken through His word. The Voice that must be obeyed said, “The seventh day is the Sabbath,” and Harry did not question as to whether he should obey. But could he not obey secretly, and yet carry out his cherished plans? No; Harry could see that what he believed he must preach, and it was with a vision before his mind of his wrecked hopes that he at last fell into a troubled slumber. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.9

(To be Continued.)

“Modern Divination” The Bible Echo, 17, 12 p. 92.

ATJ

A. T. J.

We take the following from the “Age” of February 26:— BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.1

SUCCESS WITH A DIVINING ROD. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.2

SWAN HILL, Tuesday. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.3

Some time ago Mr. Morish, of Avoca, offered his services, free of cost, to the Kunat Progress committee to search for fresh water in this district. The offer was accepted, and Mr. And Mrs. Morish are now visiting Kunal, Goschen, and the surrounding country. Mrs. Morish has a divining rod, and by its means has indicated good water in several places. At Goschen Mr. S. M’Innes sunk a shaft 140 feet, and struck salt water. Mrs. Morish visited the places, and indicated fresh water ten chains further north. As a result of her indications several of the settlers are putting down bores. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.4

Nebuchadnezzar wrote on arrows the names of towns to be taken, shook them together in the quiver, and drew them out one by one. This decided the order in which the towns were to be besieged. Among the ancient Britons, the priest would approach the victim of a human sacrifice, cut him down at one blow, and then according to the rule of his ancestors, would gather from the posture of his fall, the flow of blood, and the contortions of face and body, the prediction for which he was seeking. And in Victoria hidden streams of water are sought for, and discovered by the aid of the “divining rod.” BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.5

We do not undertake to ridicule this plan for the relief of the drought-stricken districts. Neither do we ridicule the divination of the king of Babylon, or the priest of Briton. In the case of Nebuchadnezzar it was certainly a success. But after reading what is God’s mind as revealed in Deuteronomy 18:10-12, concerning all such means for obtaining information, the lover of God’s word will have no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that the business of finding water by means of a divining rod is best let alone. BEST March 17, 1902, page 92.6