The Present Truth, vol. 13

1/55

The Present Truth, Vol. 13 (1897)

1897

January 7, 1897

“About Marking Bibles” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

A friend has asked for the best method of marking a Bible for ready reference. Quite lengthy treatises have been written on the subject, but the plan which we have followed for several years is so simple and yet so practical that we should be glad to see it universally adopted. We speak the more freely in its praise, because it is not original with us. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 1.1

The plan is, in brief, this: Have your Bible near at hand, where you can pick it up at any moment. Do not let the intervals between readings be too long, nor the time devoted to each reading be too short. Select the portion of the Bible you please, and read and re-read until it is firmly impressed on your mind. Do not try to learn to repeat it parrot-like, but think upon each expression, and its relation to every other expression, until the thought is clear. Make a practice frequently to try to follow in your mind the course of the thought, turning up the passage in the Bible only when you find that you are at a loss. Do this until the text by long and frequent association, becomes very familiar, and then continue the study of it in connection with other portions of Scripture, which you treat in the same manner, and you will find that no matter how cleanly you are in your habits, the finger marks upon the pages of your Bible will be very noticeable and will always make it easy for you to find the desired passages. We know of no other kind of marks in a Bible that are of any value. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 1.2

The practice of marking Bibles with pencil or pen and ink, sometimes in various colours, is quite common, but it is not to be compared with the one described above. Indeed, no other method is compatible with real Bible study. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 1.3

“But,“ says one, “I am obliged to put a mark about the text I want in order to find them.” Yes, but you must turn to the text before you can see the mark about it, which shows that the pencil mark, is really no help at all. But allowing that a mark does help to find a passage, it can readily be seen that a finger mark is by far the most valuable. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 1.4

The finger mark indicates previous study of the text, and familiarity with it, it is the well-beaten path which shows that one often goes to this spot. On the other hand a pencil mark shows neglect of the text; for one does not need a guideboard to direct him to a place where he is daily in the habit of going. It is only in a strange place that one needs help to find a way; you will have no trouble in finding portions of Scripture that you frequently visit. When a boy is obliged to set up a stick in the onion patch, so that when he comes back he can tell where he left off weeding, the stick is evidence that he has not really been working,-it simply shows that he has been there; so the marks in a person's Bible show indeed that he has been there and read the passage, but they are conclusive evidence that he has not studied it, unless he has since learned to study, and still uses his old Bible. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 1.5

It will be urged in favour of the pencil marks, that they serve to make prominent the more important texts. Well, insofar as this is necessary, the purpose is amply served by the finger marks. But which are the more important texts in the Bible? Which verse of the twenty-third Psalm, for instance, would you select as being the important one? Who has not had this experience, that verses that once seemed unimportant and almost meaningless, have afterwards been seen to be overflowing with light and comfort? In any paper or book which is the product of a human mind, we may well mark the important passages, when there are any, for often all that is really valuable is in one or two paragraphs; but it is not so with the Bible. He who will disfigure the Bible with pencil marks to indicate the “valuable texts,“ shows that he does not appreciate the sacred Book. All Scripture is profitable, so that if one will underscore the important texts, he will simply have black marks under every line. But after having thus marked the texts, one knows them no better than before, whereas marking after the method we have recommended insures familiarity with the text, and understanding of it. Try it, and see. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.1

“At the Vatican” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

The Daily News special correspondent at Rome sends the following despatch which indicates somewhat of the life and intrigue of Vatican circles. The determination of the Papacy to use military force as well as diplomacy to regain its position never weakens:- PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.2

The Voce della Verita, a Vatican organ, reporting the speech of the Pontiff to the papal soldiers and representatives of the regiments now disbanded, says that Leo XIII. spoke with youthful vigour. He explained his longevity and strength thus: A nun, who had always been in perfect health, two months ago went to him saying she had offered herself as a sacrifice to God, in order to prolong the life of the Pontiff. God had signified his approval, as the nun died, and Leo XIII. still flourished. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.3

Evidently the Pope is now especially bitter against Italy, as he went on in his speech to emphasise the dissatisfaction which he had already expressed in his address to the Sacred College on Christmas Eve. He said the present condition of the Papacy could not last. He expressed pleasure at the constant devotion to the Holy See of the papal soldiers and ex-soldiers, and all those who propose to come to his defence, especially Canadians, Frenchman, Irishmen, and Belgians. The moment would soon come when he would see himself again surrounded by those faithful and beloved children. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.4

The authenticity of the report cannot be questioned, as the Clerical papers receive everything regarding the Pontiff directly from the Vatican. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.5

“Strange Sights for Angels to See” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

The angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel, and explained to him the meaning of a vision, over five hundred years before Christ. Just before John the Baptist was born, another angel also appeared to Zacharias, saying, “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God.” The angel had seen kingdoms rise and fall, and men devoting their efforts to this or that fond plan had perished and been forgotten by those who followed them. And all the time God was carrying out His purposes, and seeking to save those who, here and there, were willing to make Him first in their thoughts. But most of the human family had chosen the things which they could hold but for a little time. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.6

And now, to this day, the same sight must meet the angels of heaven. Not Gabriel alone, but “all” are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Hebrews 1:14. They see the world hastening on to the day of God, for the most part careless of eternal interests. Dreams of empire and colonial expansion, and the struggle for place and power and for necessary food and raiment take up the thoughts of men. How strange must the sight be to the angels, even after these thousands of years, to see the human family chasing after the abiding things of earth and giving little or no thought to eternal realities. Those realities are not vague and undefined to the angels. Yet they see men making choices continually-taking practical, common-sense views of life, men call it-which shows that the darkened minds of men weigh the pleasures of life, or even a little bread and raiment, against all the kingdom of heaven. Yes, what a spectacle this little world must be to the angels, in these closing hours of its history. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.7

“Pagan Survivals” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

In an article on “Christmas and Memory,“ in the Christian World, are the following well-known facts about Christmas, which seem to be strangely absent from the memories of most professed Christians:- PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.8

“Our Yule-tide feeling is, I have said, an amalgam. The bottom part of it, perhaps the greatest part, is pagan. When we spread our feast, when we hang up the holly and mistletoe, when we pile on the Yule log, we are following in spirit and in letter not our Christian but our Norse traditions. The Yule fire is an offering to the Scandinavian sun-god; the mistletoe and the old-fashion meal of fermety are a recognition of the northern Ceres, the mother of the fruits of the earth. There is more in all this than the survival of customs, the origin of which we have perhaps forgotten. Those who search deeply within themselves will, we think, find that Christianity comes into Christmas not only late in history but late in the development of the human spirit. And it shares the fate of the late-comer in finding the ground already to a large extent occupied. For it is not only that the old heathen usages revived at Christmas. It is the time when the awakening of the old Norse spirit, the genius for carouse and jollity, and the strength of a strange indefinable sense of affinity with the past, make plain to us the rock out of which we have been hewn, and along the road along which our race has travelled.” PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.9

Figs do not grow from thistles, and Christianity is not an off-shoot of Paganism; when therefore “the church” adopted heathen customs, it is not difficult to tell exactly what it to that extent becomes. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 2.10

“The Promises to Israel. Vainglory and Defeat” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

“Thou standest by faith; be not high-minded, but fear.” Romans 11:20. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 3.1

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 3.2

A man is never in greater danger than when he has just achieved some great success, or gained a great victory. If he is not very much on his guard, his joyous song of thanksgiving will have a chorus of vainglorious self-congratulation. Beginning with recognition of God's power, and praise and thanksgiving for it, man insensibly puts himself in the place of God, and assumes that his own wisdom and strength brought him the success and the victory. Thus he exposes himself to attack when he is sure to be overcome, since he has separated from the source of power. Only in the Lord Jehovah is there everlasting strength. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 3.3

“And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up, and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men; and they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty-six men;.... wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.” Joshua 7:2-5 PTUK January 7, 1897, page 3.4

NO ONE BEYOND DANGER

The story of Jericho and Ai is sufficient answer to those who repeat with as much assurance as though it were Scripture, the saying, “Once in grace always in grace,“ the meaning being that if a person is once really walking in the fear of God he can never fall. There can be no question but that the children of Israel did really and fully trust the Lord when they crossed the Jordan and marched round Jericho. God Himself witnessed that they had the righteousness of faith, and His word declares that they gained a glorious victory through faith. Nevertheless it was but a few days afterward that they suffered a serious defeat. It was the beginning of apostasy. Although God afterwards wrought many wonders for them, and showed Himself always ready to do all that their faith would grasp, the whole people of Israel were never again perfectly united to “fight the good fight of faith.” Only for a little season, after the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, were the multitude of them that believed “of one heart and of one soul.” But that the same union and strength in perfect faith will be witnessed again among God's people on earth, is as sure as the promise of God. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 3.5

THE CAUSE OF THE DEFEAT

There was sin in the camp when Israel went up against Ai, and this was the cause of their defeat. The whole people suffered, not simply because of Achan's sin, but because all had sinned. “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4. Whether they were blinded by “the deceitfulness of sin,“ and then became exalted in their minds, or whether their self-exaltation led to their sin, is not material; certain it is that the people had given place to sin, and had become self-confident, which is in itself sin. Because of sin they suffered defeat; so long as sin was given a place in their hearts, they could not go on with the conquest of the land; and this again proves that the promised inheritance, into which God was leading them, was such as could be possessed only by righteous people-those who had the righteousness of faith. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 3.6

The men who went up to view the country made the people believe that but few men were needed to capture Ai, because it was a small city. But they had no ground for such an assumption. True, Ai was not nearly as large as Jericho, but numbers had nothing to do with the taking of that city. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down;” and if the Israelites had been only half or even one-tenth as numerous as they were, the result would have been the same. It required the same power to take Ai that it did to take Jericho, namely, the power of God, laid hold of by faith. When the men said that but few of the people were needed for the capture of Ai, they assumed that it was their military skill that was to secure the land for them. But that was a grievous error. God had promised to give them the land, and it could not be obtained except as a gift. The mightiest army that the world has ever seen, armed with the most approved weapons of war, could not take it; while a few unarmed men, strong in faith and giving glory to God, could have possessed it with ease. The force that takes the kingdom of heaven is not the force of arms. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 3.7

DEFEAT NOT IN GOD's PLAN

Another thing that we learn from the story of Ai is that God did not intend that His people should ever suffer defeat, or that in the occupation of the land a single man should lose his life. In ordinary warfare the loss of thirty-six men in an assault upon a strongly fortified city would not be counted great, even if the assault were successful; but in taking possession of the land of Canaan it was a terrible reverse. The promise was, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you,“ and “there shall not any man be able to stand before thee,“ (Joshua 1:3, 5), and now they themselves had been obliged to flee, with the loss of men. The influence that the passage of the Jordan and the capture of Jericho would have had to impress and overawe the heathen, was now broken. Trusting to their own strength, the Israelites had lost the power of God's presence, and had demonstrated their own weakness. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 3.8

THE MEANS OF DEFENCE

The fact that it was altogether contrary to God's plan that any of the Israelites should lose their lives in taking possession of the promised land, is further shown by the fact, which may well be noted here, that it was not His design that they should have to fight for the possession of the promised inheritance. We have already seen that numbers and arms had nothing to do with the taking of Jericho, and that when they depended on their weapons, force that in ordinary warfare would have been amply sufficient was of no avail. Recall also the wonderful deliverance from Egypt, and the overthrow of the entire army of Pharaoh, without the lifting of a single weapon or the use of any human power, and that God led the people by the longest and most difficult route in order that they might not see war (Exodus 13:18), and then read the following promise:- PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.1

“If thou shalt say in thine heart, these nations are more than I, how can I dispossess them? thou shalt not be afraid of them; but shalt well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharoah and to all Egypt; the great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the Lord thy God brought thee out; so shall the Lord thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid. Moreover, the Lord thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed. Thou shalt not be affrighted at them; for the Lord thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.” Deuteronomy 7:17-21. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.2

Just as the Lord did to Pharoah and to all Egypt, so did he promise to do to all the enemies that should set themselves against the progress of the Israelites to the promised land. But the children of Israel did not strike a single blow to effect their deliverance from Egypt and the overthrow of all its armies. When Moses, forty years before, had attempted to deliver Israel by physical force, he most signally failed, and was obliged to flee in disgrace. It was only when he knew the Gospel as the power of God unto salvation, that he was able to lead the people forth without any fear of the wrath of the king. This is conclusive proof that God did not design that they should fight for the possession of the land; and if they did not fight, of course they could not lose any of their number in battle. Read further as to the manner in which God proposed to give them the land:- PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.3

“I will send My fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.” Exodus 23:27-30. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.4

When Jacob, years before, sojourned in the same land, with his family, the “terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.” Genesis 35:5. “When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong; yea, He reproved kings for their sakes; saying, Touch not Mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” Psalm 105:12-15. That same power was to bring them into the land, and speedily give them an eternal inheritance in it, for afterward, the Lord, bewailing their unfaithness, said:- PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.5

“Oh that My people had hearkened unto Me, and Israel had walked in My ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned My hand against their adversaries. The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto Him; but their time should have endured for ever.” Psalm 81:13-15. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.6

WHY THEY FOUGHT

“But the children of Israel did fight throughout all their natural existence, and under God's direction, too,“ it will be urged. That is very true, but it does not at all prove that it was God's purpose that they should fight. We must not forget that “their minds were blinded” by unbelief, so that they could not perceive the purpose of God for them. They did not grasp the spiritual realities of the kingdom of God, but were content with shadows instead; and the same God who bore with their hardness of heart in the beginning, and strove to teach them by shadows, when they would not have the substance, still remained with them, compassionately considerate of their infirmities. God Himself suffered them, because of the hardness of their hearts, to have a plurality of wives, and even laid down rules regulating polygamy, in order to diminish as far as possible the resulting evils, but that does not prove that He designed it for them. We well know that “from the beginning it was not so.” So when Jesus forbade His followers to fight in any cause whatever, He introduced nothing new, any more than when He taught that a man should have but one wife, and should cleave to her as long as he lived He was simply enunciating first principles-preaching a thorough reformation. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.7

EXECUTING THE JUDGMENT WRITTEN

One thing, however, which should never be lost sight of by people who are disposed to cite God's commands to the Israelites as sanctioning wars either of defence or conquest, is the fact that God never told them to destroy any whose cup of iniquity was not filled to the full, and who had not irrevocably rejected the way of righteousness. In the end of this world, when the time comes that the saints possess the kingdom, judgment will be given to the saints of the Most High (Daniel 7:22), and the saints will judge not only the world, but also angels. 1 Corinthians 6:2, 5. They will also, as joint-heirs with Christ, have a share in the execution of the judgment, for we read:- PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.8

“Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written; this honour have all His saints.” Psalm 149:5-9. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.9

Since Christ associates His people with Himself in the kingdom, making them all kings and priests, it is no more incongruous for His saints, in connection with Him, and by His direct authority, to execute just judgment upon the incorrigibly wicked, than it is for Him to do it. And so, when we remember that the deliverance from Egypt was the beginning of the end, and that God was then purposing to give His people the very same kingdom which He now promises to us, and to which Christ will call the blessed when He comes, we can well understand that a righteous people might then, as well as in the future, be the agents of God's justice. But that would not be a war of conquest, even for the possession of the promised land, but the execution of judgment. But it must not be forgotten that God Himself personally gives directions when such judgment is to be executed, and does not leave men to guess at His will in such a case. Moreover, only those who are themselves without sin can execute judgment upon sinners. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 4.10

WAR NOT A SUCCESS

Yet one more thing must be remembered in connection with this question of fighting and the possession of the land of Canaan, the promised inheritance, and that is that the children of Israel did not get it after all, with all their fighting. The same promise that was given them, remains for us; “but if Joshua had given them rest, then would He not afterwards have spoken of another day” in which to seek and find it. Hebrews 4:1, 8. The reason why they did not get it, was their unbelief, and that was why they fought. If they had believed the Lord, they would have allowed Him to clear the land of its totally depraved inhabitants, in the way that He proposed. They in the meantime would not have been idle, but would have performed the work of faith which God set them, and which must next claim our attention. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 5.1

“Fear Not” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

When Jesus died upon the cross, the record says: “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with Him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” PTUK January 7, 1897, page 5.2

In the tense of the verb used by the centurion there is a possible suggestion of failure to comprehend that which the words themselves acknowledged. “Truly this was the Son of God” seems to imply the inability to realise the attributes of Divinity, and to be more the voicing of a sudden horror at the idea that they had been, as they thought, a party to the destruction of Deity, than an expression of the conviction that this body, now hanging lifeless upon the cross, had been the habitation of Divinity. There is no evidence here of any thought of the rebuilding of this life which they had just seen pass from its body, but only the feeling, inspired by the miraculous manifestations to which they had just been witnesses, that a supernatural life had gone out of existence. The only feeling which they are credited with in this account is fear,-“they feared greatly.” PTUK January 7, 1897, page 5.3

From the description of this scene it would appear that the local events accompanying the passing of life from the body of Christ on the cross, were, in miniature, like those which will occur at His second coming. Then they who crucified Him, and who pierced Him, and all they who have denied Him through all time, will see Him, and will realise that, “Truly this is the Son of God.” Then they will know the truth and will indeed fear greatly. But selfish fear is not a means of grace. The great fear which the wicked will feel at the second coming of Christ will not be their salvation. But quite the contrary, their fear will arise from the realisation of the fact that the day of probation has passed and they are not saved. They who are saved may be awe-struck, but they will feel no fright or personal fear. There are to be many evidences, in the heavens and in the earth, and among men, of the fulfilment of prophecy, and the passage of time towards its grand and final catastrophe, but it is the privilege of all who believe the Word of God to look upon these phenomena, and, understanding their significance, reverence God, but have no fear. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 5.4

“Vegetarianism and War” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

A recent number of the Lancet contained the following, on “Vegetarianism: Its Effect upon Nations,“ which is most striking and suggestive. Of course it must be understood that by vegetarianism is not meant subsistence on what are technically known as vegetables, but the use of all foods which the earth produces, and the non-use of the flesh of animals. The Lancet says:- PTUK January 7, 1897, page 5.5

In a recent communication to the Societe d'Ethnographie in Paris, M. Verrier treated of vegetarianism from the point of view of its moral and intellectual effect upon the nations who, either from choice or necessity, are to be classed as abstainers from animal food. While fully recognising the dangers of a too abundant meat diet, as well as the advantages of a purely vegetable nourishment, the speaker nevertheless felt constrained to come to the conclusion that nature intended men to be carnivorous. The physical constitution of the human race is so ordered that to ensure the development of their higher quality its members are of necessity compelled to become to a certain extent meat-eaters. The attributes that make for dominion and progress are but imperfectly present among the eschewers of animal food, and hence vegetarianism causes the downfall of dynasties and leads to the enslavement of peoples. If, continued M. Verrier, the Hindus, instead of following an absolutely vegetable regimen, had made use of meat in a rational manner, perhaps the British might not have found their subjugation such an easy matter. His argument was easily applicable to the Irish, who lived exclusively upon potatoes. As for the Japanese, with whom rice was formerly the staple food, the energetic nature of this people could not be cited in subversion of the rules laid down in his thesis. The reawakening of the conquerers at Port Arthur, and the Yalu River was coincidental with the establishment of a trade in butcher's meat throughout the archipelago. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 5.6

The thoughtful reader will note that the same argument may be used with even greater force against Christianity. Christianity utterly forbids fighting even in self-defence, and Christians do not and cannot fight. So one might object to Christianity, that it “causes the downfall of dynasties, and leads to the enslavement of peoples.” Men forget that if all men were Christians there could be no possibility of the overthrow or enslavement of one people by another, and in that case the mild vegetarians would certainly be in no danger. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 5.7

But what we wish to call special attention to, is the claim, not simply the admission, that flesh-eating tends to make people fierce and war-like. Of course this would strongly recommend flesh-eating to those who believe that men were designed to be fighting animals, and that their pugnacious tendencies need to be stimulated; but with those who believe that the characteristics of the wolf, the tiger, and the hyena are not to be cultivated, but express, the fact that flesh-eating tends to make men fighters, must be a strong argument against it. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 5.8

Fierceness among men is one of the things that will cause the last days to be perilous. 2 Timothy 3:1-3. Every one, therefore, who has respect for Christ's words, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,“ ought scrupulously to avoid that which tends only to strengthen the animal, not to say beastly, part of man, in opposition to the spiritual. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 5.9

“Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

-The metropolis of London, apart from the separate liabilities of the city proper, owes a lump sum of ?36,000,000. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.1

-A religious sect in the Bengal Presidency worships Queen Victoria as their chief divinity. She is also an object of worship in one of the temples of Thibet. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.2

-The first consignment of tropical fruit from Jamaica, West Indies, has lately been received at the docks in good condition. It is intended to ran a fleet of steamers in that line. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.3

-The Post Office department has issued a notification, it is said, to all officials over sixty years of age, that they will be required to retire from the service within twelve months’ time. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.4

-London's Christmas mail has been this year much larger than usual. Wednesday evening, before Christmas Day, a million and a-half of letters were sent out from London. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.5

-Reports from the New Hebrides state that natives are being sold like sheep on some trading vessels, fetching from ?6 to ?10 a head. In some cases they are subjected to great cruelties. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.6

-It is said that Jewish convicts are now sent to Parkhurst prison, in the Isle of Wight, where a synagogue has been provided for them, and a Rabbi from Portsmouth is in attendance. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.7

-In the Abbey of Cwm Hir, supposed to be the resting-place of the last native Prince of Wales, an ivy stem, three inches in diameter, is found to have raised a stone column, and to have pushed it 2? inches away from the wall to which it belongs. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.8

-The heaviest mail on record was received from America for Christmas, one liner landing 1,500 sacks, containing about 200,000 letters, exclusive of parcels and newspapers. The Christmas mail from this country to the Cape, including letters, newspapers and book packages, was 848,700. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.9

-Statistics seem to establish the proverbial longevity of the members of the “Society of Friends,“ or “Quakers.” The average age at death of these people, dying in Great Britain and Ireland for the last three years, has been,-1894, 61 years, 5 months, 22 days; 1895, 57 years, 11 months, 18 days; 1896, 60 years, 6 months, 19 days. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.10

-The new law in Germany against speculative dealing in grain is meeting with much opposition from the members of the Corn and Produce Exchanges of different German cities. In Stettin and Berlin the members of the Exchanges have unanimously resolved to absent themselves henceforward as a mark of protest against the law. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.11

-Two orphan children, aged respectively three and five years, have just reached their grand parents in Inverness, after a journey of over 4,000 miles, from their former home in Virginia, U.S.A. The Cunard Company alone, of all the trans-Atlantic companies, were willing to undertake the care of the little travellers on their long voyage. They came to Liverpool, from New York, on the Lucania. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 14.12

“Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.1

“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.2

The Scriptures tell us that God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and that evil shall not dwell within. He hates sin, because sin is utterly foreign to His nature. In the foregoing text we see how God manifest His hatred of sin; for the measure of God's hatred of sin is His love for sinners: He gave Himself to save them from it. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.3

In this we see the difference between God's way and man's way, and note how infinitely higher is His way than man's. When men wish to show their abhorence of sin, and to emphasise their non-complicity in it, they sacrifice the sinner: but God shows His abhorence of sin, and emphasises His perfect freedom from it, by sacrificing Himself. “Teach me Thy way, O Lord.” PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.4

It is a dangerous thing to pin faith to man, or to follow even the best of men; for there is no man that is absolutely perfect, and such is the perversity of human nature that we naturally tend to follow the poorest instead of the best. Indeed, this is inevitable, for when we follow men, we use only our own strength, and so we cannot lift ourselves above the faults and errors of those whom we follow. Jesus says, “Follow Me,“ and this we may safely do, for “there is no unrighteousness in Him.” There is in Him no error to lead us astray; He is the highest, and gives us His own life to lift us to His own level. Thus we can indeed follow Him. When we follow men, our sin increases; but when we follow Christ, it is removed; “for we know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.” PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.5

Duelling has largely increased in Germany during recent years. The general public reprobate it, but militarism encourages it. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.6

Ability to discuss the Scriptures or even to discriminate between the fine points of doctrine, is no evidence that one is a Christian. In some of the missionary schools in India there are Mohammedans who can write keener essays on the “evidences of Christianity” than the Christian students can, but they never become Christians. The reason for this is that the Gospel does not consist of arguments and “points of doctrine” but is the life of Christ. The just live by faith, and not by dialectical skill. The kingdom of God is nothing else than “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.7

It is estimated by statisticians that during this century fully thirty millions of civilised men have perished in war. Add to this the many millions of the uncivilised who have perished from the same cause, and we can see how war is demanding more victims in these closing days of history than in former days. Now Austria spends on its army 15 per cent. of its revenue, Germany 19 per cent., France 31 per cent., Russia 35 per cent., and Great Britain just under 20 per cent. Add to this naval expenses and interest on war debts, and we can see what a terrible physical evil war is in the world. But more than all, it is moral corruption and ruin to the world. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.8

The religious animosity over the Manitoba school question has broken out afresh in the Dominion of Canada. Montreal despatches say that it is now believed that a political as well as a religious crisis is at hand. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.9

Speaking of the vicious influence of war upon the spiritual experiences of soldiers, a religious newspaper, which fails nevertheless to see that Christians must never resort to strife, says: “A German officer said after his experience of the Franco-German conflict that had he led forth a regiment of angels they would have become a regiment of devils in six weeks.” It is because Jesus came not “to destroy men's lives, but to save them” that no follower of His can do other than He did. There is another who does come to kill and to destroy. It is he who puts his own spirit in the man upon the field of carnage. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.10

Amongst Nonconformists there has recently been a movement toward more elaborate ritual, and a tendency to subordinate the authority of the Bible to that of churches and councils and pulpits. This, together with the general tendency in the direction of applying political power to the advancement of religion, as in the educational question, impresses the keen perceptions of Rome with the idea that a favourable time for her to approach them is drawing on. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.11

“Every Victory of War a Defeat” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

Every Victory of War a Defeat .-One of the straightest testimonies that we have seen on the essential wickedness and foolishness of war was given by Mr. Moncure D. Conway, who, when many evangelical clergymen were telling their congregations on “Peace Sunday” “when war is justifiable,“ spoke as follows:- PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.12

Some imagine that they can diffuse civilisation and religion along with armed expeditions. The track of armies is marked with feuds, animosities, and the constitution of only that kind of civilisation which consists of ingenious contrivances for killing, superior craft, and imitation of civilisation's vices. In all history war never won a single clean victory. Every sword ever drawn has been double-edged-one edge for the vanquished, and the other edge for the conquerors. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.13

This is true, not because Mr. Conway said it, but because it is the truth; because it is but the repetition in another form of the words of Christ: “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.14

“The Mind” The Present Truth, 13, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

The Mind .-“The peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” It is the peace of God that must guard the mind. But let no one think that this relieves the personal responsibility. For the apostle continues, by the Spirit, and says in the very next words that we must think on those things that are pure and honest and of good report. Philippians 4:7, 8. Let no one think who allows his mind to dwell upon evil that the assurance of being kept is for him. It is only the peace of God continually guarding the heart that can cast away every approach of the evil that would engage the mind. It is a good thing for newspaper readers to remember this. PTUK January 7, 1897, page 16.15