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    April 9, 1896

    “Front Page” The Present Truth, 12, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.... For He spake, and it was; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:6-9.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.1

    It is very simple, and most wonderful because of its very simplicity. Well may we all exclaim, “What a word is this!”PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.2

    “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3. How do we know how the worlds were made? By faith. Faith gives knowledge. That is its special work.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.3

    Knowledge gained by faith is not vague and uncertain, but is the most absolutely certain of any knowledge. In fact, there is no real knowledge that does not spring from faith. Knowledge that comes in any other way is speculation. The unbelieving soul regards faith as folly, but the faithful soul knows that faith makes for it a solid foundation. Whoever will believe may know.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.4

    The knowledge of the alphabet is one of the most common things in the world. It lies at the very foundation of all learning. No one ridicules the child for saying that he knows the letters of the alphabet, and for declaring most positively, in spite of all contradiction, that “A” is “A.” And yet he knows that only by faith. He has never investigated the subject for himself; he has accepted the statement of his teacher.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.5

    The teacher himself had to learn the alphabet in the same way-by faith. It was not demonstrated to him that “A” is “A.” It could not have been. If he had refused to believe the fact till it was demonstrated to him, he never would have learned to read. He had to accept the fact by faith, and then it would prove itself true under every circumstance. There is nothing of which people are more absolutely sure than they are of the letters of the alphabet, and there is nothing for which they are more absolutely dependent on faith.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.6

    Now, just as the child learns the alphabet, so we learn the truth of God. Whoever receives the kingdom of heaven must receive it as a little child. By faith we learn to know Jesus Christ, who is the Alpha and the Omega-the entire alphabet of God.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.7

    He who believes the simple statement of the Bible, concerning creation, may know for a certainty that God did create the heaven and earth by the power of His Word. The fact that some unbeliever doubts this, and thinks that it is foolish, does not shake his knowledge, nor prove that he does not know it, any more than our knowledge of the alphabet is shaken or disproved by some other person’s ignorance of it.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.8

    “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” During recent years some very interesting experiments have been made, showing one of the properties of vocal sounds in the production of voice pictures.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.9

    In a magazine article a lady vocalist described her discovery of this power of the voice a few years ago. She had employed a simple device to test the intensities of vocal sounds. It was an elastic membrane stretched over the mouth of a receiver, into which receiver the voice was introduced by the means of a wide-mouthed tube. On this membrane sand or fine powder was sprinkled.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 225.10

    It was found that upon singing into the tube the powder was gently agitated by the vibrations of the membrane, which vibrations corresponded to those of the voice, differing according to the pitch and intensity of the sound. This, of course, was what might be expected. But the wonder was that in every instance the agitation produced the shape of some plant or flower, or even of the lower forms of animal life. Something similar to this may be seen when one breathes upon the window pane in frosty weather.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.1

    VOICE FORMS

    It was found that when the powder was dry it would not retain the form after the vibration of the voice had ceased. So the expedient was adopted of slightly moistening it, when the various shapes could be retained and photographed. Specimens of these voice forms may be seen on the preceding page.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.2

    This shows that the breath, as it comes from the lungs, has the shape of living things, and to the singer suggested a thought which he thus expresses:-PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.3

    Closing now my brief sketch of these voice-figures, as I have observed them, I would add that my experiments have been made as a vocalist, using my own voice as the instrument of investigation; and I must leave it for others more acquainted with natural science to adjust the accordance of these appearances with facts and laws already known. Yet, passing from one stage to another of these inquiries, question after question has presented itself to me, until I have continually felt myself standing before mystery, in great part hidden, although some glimpses seem revealed. And I must say, besides, that as day by day I have gone singing into shape these peculiar forms, and, stepping out of doors, have seen their parallels living in the flowers, ferns, and trees around me; and, again, as I have watched the little heaps in the formation of the floral figures gather themselves up, and then shoot out their petals, just as a flower springs from the swollen bud-the hope has come to me that these humble experiments may afford some suggestions in regard to Nature’s production of her own beautiful forms, and may thereby aid, in some slight degree, the revelation of yet another link in the great chain of the organised universe that, we are told in Holy Writ, took its shape at the voice of God.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.4

    This is not given as an example of how the Lord spoke the earth into existence in the beginning, for we cannot know how He did it, but it will serve to help us to grasp the fact. Man is made in the image of God, but he has no creative power. In his breath there can be only the forms of living things; but in the breath of God there are not only the forms, but the very living things themselves, for He is the living God, and with Him is “the fountain of life.” When He speaks, the word which names the thing contains the very thing itself. Whatever the word describes exists in living form in that word.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.5

    THE THING SPOKEN IN THE WORD ITSELF

    This is indicated by the words of the Apostle Paul concerning God, that He “calleth those things which be not as though they were.” This is an attribute of Divinity alone. If a man calls a thing that is not as though it were, it is a lie. But God does so, and He cannot lie. How is this? Simply because that when He calls a thing by name, or says that a thing will be, it already exists, even though it cannot be seen. The thing is in His word. When He names a thing that previously had no existence, that instant the thing exists, for His word forms it as it names it.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.6

    Now see how firm a foundation is given the believing one who knows that all things were created by the word of God, and that when God speaks the thing named exists, full of life. The Psalmist says, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints.” Psalm 85:8. He speaks peace through the Divine word, “For He is our peace.” Ephesians 2:14. But peace means righteousness, for we read, “Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them,” Psalm 119:165, or cause them to stumble. And again, “O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:18.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.7

    Then it must be that God speaks righteousness when He speaks peace. And so it is, for again we read:-PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.8

    “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness; that He might be just, and the Justifier of Him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.9

    Notice that man is declared to have no righteousness. “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:12. No one has anything in him out of which righteousness can be made. Then the righteousness of God is put, literally, into and upon all that believe. And how is this accomplished? God declares His righteousness upon the one who believes.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.10

    The word of God which speaks righteousness has the righteousness itself in it, and as soon as the sinner believes, and receives that word into his own heart by faith, that moment he has the righteousness of God in his heart; and since out of the heart are the issues of life, it follows that a new life is thus begun in him; and that life is a life of obedience to the commandments of God. Thus faith is indeed the substance of things hoped for; because faith appropriates the word of God, and the word of God is substance.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.11

    “The True Reformation Spirit” The Present Truth, 12, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Writing of Martin Luther, and the mighty reformation of which he was the instrument through his preaching of the truth that “the just shall live by faith,” Prof. Adolph Harnack, of Berlin, says:-PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.12

    But we must not forget that it was four hundred years ago when Luther taught. The convenient belief that he thought out everything for us, and that we can rest on his teaching, is a foolish one. The greatest hero is always only a finisher for the past; as regards the future he is but a beginner. He who does not understand Luther so that he learns from him the spirit with which to solve the problems and lessons, and so that he endeavours to continue the Reformer’s work, understands him falsely. The prophets have given to us, not that we should build their graves, but that we should inflame our hearts through their faith and their courage.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.13

    And the same is true of every reformer. The best of men are fallible; therefore he who copies any man, is sure to fall into error. Luther was a reformer only as he preached the Word. The true followers of the reformers are those who are loyal to that Word, even though it lead them as far in advance of the reformers as the reformers were in advance of the mass of men in their day.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 226.14

    “Human Nature’s Code of Morality” The Present Truth, 12, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    To the superior person the faults of another are unpardonable, while the same vices in himself are quite excusable. So it very often happens that the morality of an act is made to depend altogether upon whether it was committed by a “Christian” or a heathen, a white or a black man.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.1

    An amusing instance of this fictitious distinction so commonly made appears in an illustrated weekly journal, in the accounts of the experiences of two travellers who were ascending the Tigris in a steam launch and exploring the ruins of Nineveh. They found a delightful stretch of country along the Tigris, and one enthusiastically proposed forming a colony of friends and making the region their home.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.2

    “But the Turk,” said I. “You forget the Turk.”PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.3

    “Well, the Turk isn't going to stay here much longer,” Cardoner rejoined. “His betters will want this fine country, and take it, too, without asking his leave.”PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.4

    A few days after, they are discussing the ancient dwellers in this land of dead empires, and the same one who approves of making the present dwellers give way to their “betters” thus moralises on the superior peoples of distant days, who took what they wanted, without asking leave:-PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.5

    “Those old kings were simply splendid fighting brutes! Their expeditions and conquests were merely raids in quest of plunder. Nineveh and Babylon were built upon spoils of other countries and the unpaid labour of captives. The world would despise and condemn such conquests now.... As for military power-why, one brigand of English infantry would have routed Sargon’s whole army!”PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.6

    “Europe To-day” The Present Truth, 12, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the current Pearson’s Magazine, Mr. Archibald Forbes, the war correspondent, has an article on the way in which the frontiers of European countries are guarded. Each country keeps armed patrols watching day and night, and the boundary lines in some parts are a little less than continuous fortifications. Thus it is that “Christian” nations in these times show that they have no confidence in one another’s talk of peace and friendship. Mr. Forbes says:-PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.7

    To-day the dullest ear cannot but hear the brooding muttering of the impending rupture of the world’s peace. Everywhere the earth sullenly echoes to the tramp of armed men. These millions of soldiers belonging to the five great Powers of Continental Europe are standing at attention, while the inevitable stroke of war lowers nearer and more near.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.8

    And this vast mass of men, with weapons in their hands, is but what, surely in grim mockery, is termed the “peace strength” of the armies of the five great Powers. In less than a month devoted to mobilisation those three millions constituting the so-called “peace strength” of the armament of the Powers, can swell into a “war strength” amounting to the stupendous total of ten and a half millions of armed men, with the terrible complement of nearly 18,000 guns.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.9

    Aside from this the lesser Powers would put in another million men. War is the great thought before all of Europe. May the Lord hasten the proclamation of the Gospel amongst the people while yet there is peace. For this the winds of strife are being held in check (Revelation 7:1-3). The situation ought to arouse every believer to work while it is yet day.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.10

    “God’s Foreknowledge” The Present Truth, 12, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Many refuse to take the gift of salvation, making the excuse that God knows whether they will be lost or saved, and so no choice of theirs can alter their destiny. But in that attitude they do the very thing they profess they are not doing-they choose not to be saved, and frustrate the grace of God. The only way in which men can be lost is to refuse to let the Lord save them, as He willeth not that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 228.11

    If a man were famishing, and I should set food before him, it would be no excuse for his refusing it to plead that I knew or did not know he would accept it. I knew he was hungry, and offered the food and even pressed him to take it; but he refused it because I knew he wouldn't take it! Even if I could have foreknowledge of his extraordinary behaviour my knowledge would not be responsible for the failure to save the man’s life, but his own refusal to eat.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 229.1

    God knows whether or not a man will accept the bread of heaven. But He constantly presses all men to eat of it. He tells them how good it is to awaken a desire for it, and He even plants the desire for good in every heart; so that in order not to be drawn round the Lord’s table men must fight against Him. All may eat, He invites all, and if one does not eat it is because he, of his own choice, refuses to take what God presses upon him.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 229.2

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 12, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -A Gatling gun fires 5,000 shots a minute.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.1

    -The expenses of the Vatican are estimated at ?1,000 per day.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.2

    -It is asserted that two-thirds of the grown male population of the globe either smoke or chew tobacco.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.3

    -It is stated that only twenty-five of the scores of companies formed to mine gold in South Africa have yet paid dividends.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.4

    -Italy had another earthquake shock last week, as though to remind the proud “Eternal City” that this earth is a very unstable foundation.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.5

    -The total increase of population in Europe during the last ten years is 29,922,800! This is an explanation of the “scramble for Africa.”PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.6

    -The firemen of the Vienna brigade struck last week, being dissatisfied with their low wage. About 300 struck, and their places were taken by soldiers.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.7

    -In Austria the appeal for the higher education of woman has been denied, while in Hungary they have been given free admission to the highest institutions of learning.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.8

    -In France, hospitals for infectious diseases are furnished with telephones, so that the sick may converse with their friends without danger of communicating disease.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.9

    -The oldest medical recipe known was lately published by a French paper. It was in use four thousand years ago, and was prepared for an Egyptian queen. The ingredients were dogs’ paws and asses’ hoofs, boiled with dates in olive oil.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.10

    -The Russian press is somewhat exercised in mind over the strides which Roumania is taking in becoming a military and naval power. Large orders have been given by this little Balkan State few gunboats, and a naval station is being equipped on the Black Sea.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.11

    -The Abyssinian Emperor retired to his capital to spend Easter. His army are going into quarters for the rainy season, and it is said the Italians will be obliged to withdraw to Massowah, on the coast, until the wet season is over. The Abyssinians still hold over 2,000 Italians as prisoners.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.12

    -The brother of Lobengula, the late Matabele chief, is believed to have been active in stirring up the Matabele rising. The savages see their lands being settled by the whites, and doubtless have planned one last effort to beat back the tide of immigration. The Transvaal authorities have offered to supply men to aid in putting down the rising.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.13

    -The Khalifa, the successor of the Mahdi, has proclaimed a “holy war” against infidels, and the Dervishers are gathering to resist the Nile expedition. It is thought probable that inter-tribal troubles and dissatisfaction with the Khalifa’s despotic rule will be forgotten, and the whole strength of the Soudan will rally to the conflict. By the end of this week the expedition is expected to reach Wady Haifa, 800 miles from Cairo.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 238.14

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 12, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is significant of the militarism of the age that the highest income in all Prussia should be that of Herr Krupp, the great gun-maker of Essen.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.1

    Every Easter season sees more and more attention being given in Protestant churches generally to celebrations that imitate more or less the Roman Catholic ceremonials. The leaven of Romanism is leavening the whole lump.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.2

    The anti-Semitic party in Austria, of whose doings we so often read in the newspapers, demand that Jewish children shall be excluded from all the public schools, and that no Protestant shall be allowed as teachers. They demand that the school shall be put in the hands of the Roman Catholic clergy. The party is a very strong one.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.3

    Lord Halifax, president of the English Church Union, declares in the current Pall Mall Magazine that affairs are making for reunion, and that the Papacy is the natural leader of the religious world. The Papacy is certainly ready to lead, and greater willingness to follow is manifested in many quarters than in former times.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.4

    According to the editor of South Africa, the drink supplied to the natives in the canteens of the Transvaal, and doubtless in many other parts, is very largely a compound of bluestone, cayenne pepper, tobacco-juice, and other ingredients. This soon ruins those who consume it, and is responsible for most of the crimes they commit. Perverted nature has taught nearly every native tribe how to make some intoxicating drink, but it takes a civilised depravity to devise the most desperately wicked concoctions.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.5

    One of our American exchanges brings the news that five Seventh-day Adventists were recently tried in Tennessee for working on their farms on Sunday. One was sentenced to just over eight months’ imprisonment, the cases of the others being adjourned. In Ontario, Canada, three others of our friends have been convicted of violating the Sunday law, and are doubtless now serving their terms of imprisonment, which run from forty to sixty days. Is it not time that those who love the Word should understand what these things mean?PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.6

    For many years a strong religious organisation in the United States has been working for an amendment to the national constitution recognising “the Lord Jesus Christ as the ruler of nations, and His revealed will as authority in civil affairs.” Many favour it as a pious thing to work for, seemingly ignorant of the desperate wickedness involved in it. Recently the party had a hearing before a Congressional committee in Washington, and found the congressmen scarcely ready to turn the Congress into a theological debating club, with power to enforce the doctrinal decisions of the majority. But by combining to drive Congress into all manner of Sunday legislation the ecclesiastical leaders in the movement are bringing the Government nearer and nearer to the point where it will be under the full control of these short-sighted and ambitious clergy, who are doing Rome’s work in the very spirit of the bishops of the fourth century.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.7

    A recent decision of a Justice in Canada declares that Sunday street cars are lawful in every city, and that railways, both electric and steam, in all parts of the province of Ontario, may carry passengers any distance for any purpose on Sunday, on the ground of their being travellers. The Ontario “Lord’s Day Alliance” regards this threatened Sunday railway traffic as a grave danger, and fears that the decision will open the door to many other forms of Sunday “desecration.” It requests the earnest support of all Christian men, both to reverse the decision, and to secure additional and more complete legislation for the protection of Sunday. They are not satisfied with what they now have, although three ministers of the Gospel are even now in gaol for keeping the Sabbath day according to the commandment, and doing quiet labour on Sunday. One would think that the most devoted worshipper of “the venerable day of the sun” ought to be content.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.8

    A few weeks ago we stated that the organ of our Society in Germany had been prohibited from entering Russia, thus being shut away from the many Germans in the Czar’s empire. It now transpires that the prohibition was secured, not by the State Church authorities, but by the efforts of the Lutheran Church officials, who thus appeal to the very power from which they themselves have suffered in order to shut away from this people the Bible truths presented in the literature. It shows how widely those bearing the Protestant name may depart from Protestant principles. But the effort will fail of its purpose; for some other way will be found to do the work, and those Lutheran Germans who want to follow the Word will be brought to its light.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.9

    “I couldn't live if I should do it,” is a very common saying of those who are convinced of their duty to serve the Lord, and keep His Sabbath. And they really think so, forgetting that they have lived all their lives thus far, only by the mercy of the Lord. Everybody is wholly dependent on the Lord for life; now if the Lord keeps us alive when we are ignoring Him, isn't it reasonable to suppose that He will continue His care of us when we acknowledge Him, and give ourselves to His service? Here is the promise: “The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish.” Proverbs 10:3.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.10

    The Secretary of the United Kingdom alliance has demonstrated from the Inland Revenue returns that from to 15 to 20 per cent. more alcohol is consumed per head now than in the “heavy drinking days” of fifty years ago. It is doubtless a fact that people who never get drunk are injured by intoxicating liquors fully as much as those who are known as drunkards.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.11

    “Christ Is Risen” The Present Truth, 12, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Christ Is Risen.-Paul tells how he counted all things as nothing in order that he might be found in Christ and “know Him, and the power of His resurrection.” That is how Paul knew that Jesus was alive from the dead-the power that raised Jesus from the tomb was working in the apostle’s life day by day. “If the Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11. This is the continual memorial of the resurrection.PTUK April 9, 1896, page 240.12

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