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- Weighted Relevancy
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July 16, 1896
“Job’s Patience” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
Many who wish they had Job’s patience forget how he got it. “Tribulation worketh patience.” . When we pray for patience, let us remember what it is that works this Divine grace, and then we shall not be surprised if in answer to the prayer the trial comes which is to develop the grace in our souls.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 449.4
Some are very apt to talk as though they would be examples of marvellous patience if it were not for the trials they have to endure. It is the trial that makes them hasty of temper and impatient. What a misreading of human experience! It is the trial that works the patience.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 449.5
In the life of Jesus we have the Divine example of patience-the highest degree of patience brought out by the sorest trials that humanity ever bore. We are exhorted to “consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” It is only by considering His patience that we can be patient.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 449.6
It is important to remember this: that, as all the faith that we have is of Him—“the faith of Jesus,”—so all patience is His. And as His patience comes only by tribulation, it necessarily follows that He bears the trial every time one of His children is called upon to pass through tribulation. The suffering works that sweet grace of patience because Jesus Himself shares in the suffering, bears the infirmity, and His all-sufficient grace bestows upon the tried one His own patience.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 449.7
Knowing this, we can heartily and joyfully “glory in tribulations also.” We know then that they are not against us, but for us; that in this experience God is giving us patience, and Jesus is proving His fellowship with us in suffering. When Job suffered affliction, it was just as true that Jesus suffered with him and strengthened him to patiently endure, as it was that when Israel suffered in the wilderness, “In all their affliction He was afflicted.” Those who hastily conclude that God suffered affliction to come to Job, and harshly left him to bare it alone, fail to see “the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” . Job saw the end that the Lord had in view, and preserved his integrity, and received the gift of the patience of which all have heard.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 449.8
“Four Hundred and Ninety Times!” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
Peter came to the Lord and said: “How oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? till seven times?” And Christ’s answer was-“Until seventy times seven,” four hundred and ninety times. Peter asked this because he had in mind what Christ had just said in reference to the adjustment of differences between the brethren. The arbitration which the Lord then advised is the only proceedings at court to which the Lord ever gave His direct sanction. When this course is followed, and His advice taken throughout, He may be called upon to act as counsel.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 449.9
But mark how different the whole affair is from a common proceeding at law. First it is necessary for the complainant to go alone to the one that has wronged him and with a kindly persuasion attempt to win him to do that which is right, that, if possible, he may gain his case without any publicity as to the facts whatever, and at the same time gain a friend and brother instead of making an enemy. But if this should not succeed, even then he is not to be summoned to appear and defend himself against the accusations made. No, the complainant with his one or two witnesses must go to find the culprit, and there, in such seclusion and privacy as he may desire, propose to hold their court of arbitration. The appeal is to the culprit-not to the court. But if this proves useless, then, and not till then, the matter is to be made public and the congregation informed. Then if he will not listen to this third and public appeal for a settlement,-what then? Take the matter to the civil or criminal court? No, “let him be”!PTUK July 16, 1896, page 450.1
Remember this was not in the absence of a system of judicial procedure. Law courts were in existence, and their methods well developed. But Christ counselled no recourse to them. It was with this in his mind that Peter asked if he should forgive seven times,-and Christ answered, Four hundred and ninety times!PTUK July 16, 1896, page 450.2
“Showing Their Treasures” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
Showing Their Treasures .-Li Hung Chang, the greatest of the Chinese, is visiting the West for the first time. He is visiting the Powers called “Christian,” and all are showing him the greatest treasures. The exhibits seem to be mostly of military and naval appliances, and he must have seen enough to convince him of the great skill of Western nations in manufacturing appliances for killing. Each Power evidently wants him to see enough to make him wish for so powerful an ally, or at least to hesitate uniting China to any combination which would bring these armaments upon his people. Whether the object is to woo or to terrify, it may be difficult for him to tell, but it is pitiful to see this aged statesmen, almost in his grave, visiting the West to see what the highest civilisation produces, and having his attention mostly concerned with the machinery and man?uvers of war. A military and naval journal urges that when he comes here he be given a view of the fleet of Great Britain in English waters, “as a counterpoise to any impression his previous experiences on the Continent have made on his mind.” Who could blame him if he returned to China with the impression intensified which the Chinese already have formed from their contact with professedly Christian nations, that Christianity is not a religion of peace, but of brute force. But it will not be the fault of Christianity.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 450.3
“‘Despise Not One of These Little Ones’” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
It was Christ Himself who said: “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come: but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” . We can look for no higher authority than this, and here the express statement is made that offences will come.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 450.4
The line of thought is that of offences against little ones. In the preceding verse Christ declared that it were better for a man to have been drowned in the deep sea, with a millstone about his neck, than to have committed an offence against one of the little ones that believed in Him. And all this was said as the little child stood in the midst of them,-that little toddling boy whom Christ had called to Him, and had set there as a simple and unmistakable object lesson to enforce the reply He was about to make to those who had asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”PTUK July 16, 1896, page 450.5
Such as that little child, He told them, would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,-and indeed they who were not such as that little one would not even enter there. And such was His love for those little ones, and for those who should humble themselves to be like them, that He identified Himself with them, and said: “Whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me.” Then he who commits an offence against one of these little ones with whom Christ so identified Himself commits an offence against Christ. And yet He said these offences would come,-and have they not? Indeed, how bitterly have Christ’s little ones been misused! Just such little ones as those whom He took in His arms, and pressed to His heart, and said-“of such as the kingdom of heaven.” How long has been the list of offences committed against them! How many men have rendered themselves subject to that denunciation-“woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”PTUK July 16, 1896, page 450.6
How little they thought that an angel of light stood before the Father in heaven, the guardian spirit of each of these little ones, and brought accusations of every offence committed. How little they recognised the fact that these very little ones in whom Adam’s sin had sown the seeds of death, Christ came to save from that death, as the anxious, tender shepherd seeks the lost and helpless lambs in the mountains, and rejoices over it as it is found more than over the ninety and nine that were left in the fold,-it being His will that “not one of these little ones should perish.”PTUK July 16, 1896, page 450.7
“The Law and the Mediator” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
The Law and the Mediator .-We are told that the law was ordained “in the hand of a Mediator.” . Who was the Mediator in whose hand the law was ordained?-“There is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all.” . The law, therefore, was given from Sinai by Christ, who is and always was the manifestation of God to man. He is the Mediator, that is, the One through whom the things of God are brought to man. The righteousness of God is conveyed to men through Jesus Christ. The statement that the law was given in the hand of the Mediator, reminds us that where sin abounded grace did much more abound. The fact that the law was in the hand of a Mediator, at Sinai, shows us this: (1) That God did not mean that anyone should suppose that he must get the righteousness of the law by his own power, but only through Christ. (2) That the Gospel of Christ was displayed at Sinai as well as at Calvary. (3) That the righteousness of God which is revealed in the Gospel of Christ, is the identical righteousness that is described in the law as given from Sinai, without the alteration of a letter. The righteousness which we are to obtain in Christ is none other than that.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 450.8
“True Learning” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
True Learning .-The Psalmist has said: “The entrance of Thy words giveth light: it giveth understanding unto the simple.” The words of the Lord are our wisdom, and theirs is the wisdom which shall not pass away. He who is learned in the Word of the Lord has gained that which will make him wise, not only for time but for all eternity. Such an one has indeed chosen the good thing which will never be taken from him. His is a learning which will survive all vicissitudes, and bring him well furnished to begin his studies in the Divine university of eternity.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 450.9
“The Call of Abraham. The Promise of Victory” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
We have noted the repetition of the promise, and the oath which confirmed it. But there is yet one very important feature of the promise which has not been specially noted. It is this: “And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” . This is worth most careful attention, for it presents the consummation of the Gospel.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.1
Let it never be forgotten that “to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to they seed, which is Christ.” . There is only one seed, and that is Christ; but “as many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ,” so that they are all one in Christ Jesus. And “if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” . The seed is Christ and those who are His, and it is nothing else. The Bible nowhere sets forth any other seed of Abraham. Therefore the promise to Abraham amounted to this: Christ, and those who are His-thy seed-shall possess the gate of their enemies.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.2
By one man sin came into the world. The temptation came through Satan, the archenemy of Christ. Satan and his hosts are the enemies of Christ, and of everything that is like Christ. They are the enemies of all good, and of all men. “The enemy” that sowed the tares is the devil. The name “Satan” means adversary. “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” . The promise that Abraham’s seed should possess the gate of his enemies, is the promise of victory over sin and Satan, through Jesus Christ.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.3
This is shown by the words of Zacharias the priest, when he was filled with the Holy Ghost. He prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He swear unto our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.” .PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.4
These words were spoken on the occasion of the birth of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ. They are a direct reference to the promise and the oath which we are studying. They were prompted by the Holy Spirit. Therefore we are simply following the Spirit when we say that the promise of possession of the gate of our enemies means deliverance from the power of the hosts of Satan. When Christ sent out the twelve, He “gave them power and authority over all devils.” . This power is to be with His church till the end of time, for Christ said, “These signs shall follow them that believe; in My name shall they cast out devils,” etc. . And again, “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.” .PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.5
But death came by sin, and as Satan is the author of sin, so he has the power of death. A theology derived from heathenism may lead man to say that death is a friend; but every funeral train, and every bitter tear shed for the dead, proclaims that it is an enemy. The Bible so declares it, and tells of its destruction. Speaking of and to the brethren, it says:-PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.6
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the first-fruits; afterwards they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till he hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” .PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.7
This tells us that the end is at the coming of the Lord, and that when that takes place all Christ’s enemies will have been put under His feet, in accordance with the word of the Father to the Son, “Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” . The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. John in vision saw the dead small and great stand before God to be judged, at the last great day. Those whose names were not in the Lamb’s book of life, were cast into the lake of fire. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power.” .PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.8
The promise, “Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies,” cannot be fulfilled except by victory over all enemies by all the seed. Christ has conquered; and we even now may give thanks to God, who “giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ;” but the battle is not yet over, even with us; there are very many who will be overcomers at last, who have not yet enrolled themselves under the Lord’s banner; and some who are now His may turn from the faith. The promise therefore embraces nothing less than the completion of the work of the Gospel, and the resurrection of all the righteous-the children of Abraham-and the putting on of immortality, at the second coming of Christ.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.9
“If ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” But the possession of the Holy Spirit is the distinguishing characteristic of those who are Christ’s. “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” But whoever has the Spirit has the surety of the resurrection, for “if the Spirit of Him 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.” .PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.10
Thus we see that the hope of the promise made to Abraham was the resurrection of the dead, at the coming of the Lord. The hope of Christ’s coming is the “blessed hope” that has cheered God’s people since the days of Abraham, yea, even from the days of Adam. We often say that all the sacrifices pointed forward to Christ, and we almost as often fail to realise what is meant by that statement. It cannot mean that they pointed forward to the time when forgiveness of sins should be obtained, for all the patriarchs had that as much as anyone has had it since the crucifixion of Christ. Abel and Enoch are especially mentioned, among a multitude of others, as having been justified by faith. The cross of Christ was as real a thing in the days of Abraham as it possibly can be to any who live to-day.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 451.11
What then is the real significance of the statement that all the sacrifices from Abel down to the time of Christ pointed to Christ? It is this: It is clear that they showed the death of Christ; that needs no second statement. But what is the death of Christ without the resurrection? Paul preached only Christ and Him crucified, yet he most vigorously preached “Jesus and the resurrection.” To preach Christ crucified is to preach Christ risen. But the resurrection of Christ has in it the resurrection of all that are His. The well instructed and believing Jew, therefore, showed, by the sacrifices that he offered, his faith in the promise to Abraham, which should be fulfilled at the coming of the Lord. The flesh and blood of the victim represented the body and blood of Christ, just the same as the bread and the wine of the Lord’s supper, by which we, even as they did, “show the Lord’s death till He come.”PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.1
“Prophesying Peace” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
Prophesying Peace .-The Bible Echo, Melbourne, says: At the installation of Lord Brassey as “Most Worshipful Grand Master” of the Free Masons of Victoria, Chief Justice Way, of South Australia, who performed the ceremony, said:-PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.2
Standing on the floor of this Grand Lodge-breathing the serene atmosphere of brotherly love, undisturbed by “wars or rumours of wars”-we hold fast to the great principles of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and confidently look forward to the golden age when our labours shall find their happy consummation “in the parliament of man, in the federation of the world;” when they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; when nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.3
Thus many are looking for what will never come,-a “golden age” before the end of the world, a millennium of peace. They would better be preparing for the “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation” (), for that is what is coming. Thousands read the prophecy in and about swords and ploughshares so carelessly as to misread it altogether. This is what the people say; but God says exactly the opposite. See . Thus Paul wrote, “When they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” . It is not peace, but war that awaits the world; not a golden age, but a time of trouble.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.4
“Russian Creed vs Russian Practice” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
There are some very interesting questions and replies in the Larger Catechism of the Russian or Eastern Church, prepared for the use of schools, and printed in Moscow under direction of the Holy Synod. It is put out, therefore, by the highest authority of the Greek Church.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.5
He bade men if they would attain to everlasting life to keep the commandments; and taught us to understand and fulfil them more perfectly than had been done before He came. and v.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.8
It is not kept, strictly speaking, as a holy day; but still in memory of the creation of the world, and in a continuation of its original observance, it is distinguished from the other days of the week by a relaxation of the rule for fasting.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.13
The ingenuousness of the replies is delightful. The commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Yet in the Russian Church, as in others, it is not kept “strictly speaking.” This practical disobedience of the commandment of the Lord is so evident that the Catechism anticipates the question that would surely come to the lips of the average schoolboy:-PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.14
She still to every six days keeps a seventh, only not the last of the seven days, which is the Sabbath, but the first day in every week, which is the day of the Resurrection, or Lord’s day.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.17
This, of course, begs the question entirely, as the Lord’s day is the day which He claims as His—“My holy day”—which the Lord says is the seventh, nor does the Lord ask us to commemorate His resurrection by breaking His law, to sustain which, and yet save the sinner, He died and rose again.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.18
HOW TO MEET WICKED LAWS
In a comment on the fifth commandment the Russian Catechism sets forth the true principle on which the Christian should act when governments or any other power comes between the soul and God. Would that the Russian authorities could practise the principle as well as they can profess it:-PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.19
In that case we should say to them, as the apostles said to the rulers of the Jews. Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye; and we should be ready, for the sake of the faith and the law of God, to endure the consequences, whatever they may be. .PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.21
Excellent! And yet when our brethren in Russia follow the fourth commandment, or when Stundists and others refuse to obey those laws of the Greek Church and Russian State which come between God and man’s service, the same “Holy Synod” is in no mood to listen to such a reply as they here give. But that is the reply they do get, and it is a good one. And the consequences follow-it may be banishment or it may be imprisonment.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 452.22
“War and Warrior Ants” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
It is often said that boyhood is cruel. Perhaps it is so,-but if it is so why is it? It is because boyhood is thoughtless. Personal experience has not yet developed sympathy for the sufferings of others. But if this is true, tender thoughtfulness should increase with age and mental development. All human beings should be humane. Those human beings who are not humane but inhuman, are, as shown by common consent expressed in the formation of speech, by just so much lacking in the development of their manhood and womanhood.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 453.1
It is animal nature to fight. Yet not all animals delight in cruelty and deeds of blood. Only the carnivorous creatures, birds and beasts of prey, seem to delight in causing suffering, and kill for the sake of killing. However, all animated nature seems to share in the desire for conquest. The pugnacious little sparrows will sometimes fight with such ferocity that they apparently become almost oblivious to their surroundings, and flutter and tussle and roll about the lawn or the dusty street like furious little game-cocks.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 453.2
Even those models of insect life, the industrious ant and the busy bee, are filled with the spirit of conquest and organise their wars with a skill and ability equal to that which they show in their industrial pursuits. An interested observer of nature has given us this vivid and circumstantial account of a battle which he witnessed:-PTUK July 16, 1896, page 453.3
“One day when I went to my wood-pile I observed two large ants, the one red, the other much larger, nearly half an inch long, and black, fiercely contending with one another. Having once got hold they never let go, but struggled and wrestled and rolled on the chips incessantly. Looking farther I was surprised to find that the chips were covered with such combatants, that it was not a duel but a war, a war between two races of ants, the red always pitted against the black, and frequently two red ones to one black. It was evident that their battle cry was-Conquer or die.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 453.4
In the meanwhile there came along a single red ant on the hillside of this valley, evidently full of excitement, who had either despatched his foe, or had not yet taken part in the battle; probably the latter, for he had lost none of his limbs; whose mother had charged him to return with his shield or upon it. He saw this unequal combat from afar off,-for the blacks were nearly twice the size of the reds,-he drew near with rapid pace till he stood on his guard within half an inch of the combatants; then, watching his opportunity, he sprang upon the black warrior, and commenced his operations near the root of his right foreleg, leaving the foe to select among his own members. I should not have wondered by this time to find that they had their respective musical bands stationed on some eminent chip, and playing their national airs the while, to excite the slow and cheer the dying combatants.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 454.1
“I took up the chip on which the three I have particularly described were struggling, carried them into my house, and placed it under a tumbler on my window-sill, in order to see the issue. Holding a microscope to the first-mentioned red ant, I saw that, though he was assiduously gnawing at the foreleg of his enemy, having severed his remaining feeler, his own breast was all torn away, exposing what vitals he had there to the jaws of the black warrior, whose breast-plate was apparently too thick for him to pierce; and the dark carbuncles of the sufferer’s eyes shone with ferocity such as war only could excite. They struggled half an hour longer under the tumbler, and when I looked again the black soldier had severed the heads of his foes from their bodies, and they were hanging on either side of him, like ghastly trophies at his saddle-bow, still apparently as firmly fastened as ever, and he was endeavouring with feeble struggles, being without feelers and with only the remnant of a leg, and I know not how many other wounds, to divest himself of them; which at length, after half an hour more, he accomplished. I raised the glass, and he went off the window-sill in that crippled state. I never learned which party was victorious, nor the cause of the war; but I felt for the rest of the day as if I had had my feelings excited and harrowed by witnessing the struggle, the ferocity and carnage, of a human battle before my door.”PTUK July 16, 1896, page 454.2
Were it not that this description was written many years ago, one might almost think the writer had in mind to give an allegorical account of a battle in a race war in Africa. However, had that been so he could have no doubt as to which party was eventually victorious, although he would very likely have been just as uncertain as to the cause of the war.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 454.3
What is the state of human development when mature men and civilised nations emulate the beasts of prey, the fighting sparrows, and the warrior ants, in their deed; of violence and wars of conquest? Emulate them indeed! Yes, far exceed them. But, if it be acknowledged that boyhood is thoughtlessly and ignorantly cruel, then are we still in the boyhood of mankind? No, that excuse will not hold good,-for the most ancient peoples are among the most cruel and blood-thirsty. The terrible cruelties which have recently been perpetrated in the East have been the work of those same Medes of whom Isaiah said that they should dash the young men to pieces and should not spare children. . No, it is not youth,-it is not thoughtlessness,-it is not ignorance,-the world is growing old in lust and murder, and cruelty and crime. Brilliant uniforms, and martial music, and scientific appliances for slaughter do not Christianise warfare, or make it possible for Christian men to take part in it. “Thou shalt not kill,” applies just as much to him who carries a sword and wears a uniform as it did to Cain who was clad in a sheepskin and used a club.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 454.4
“God’s Choice” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
God knows where we can do the most good better than we do. Hence it is well for us to realise that we are just where we ought to be when we are in the place where God has set us. “If each drop of rain chose where it should fall,” says Charles Kingsley, “God’s showers would not fall, as they do now, on the evil and the good alike.” So it is that the world is benefited by God’s choosing the place for His individual workers in the world.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 457.1
“Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
-The Queen does not now walk about her own residences, and will be wheeled into the chapel at Buckingham Palace on the occasion of the royal marriage. She never moves without her stick.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 462.7
-Postal returns show that the average number of letters per head written in England in a year is 60. Other countries are, France, 89; Switzerland, 74; United States, 110; Germany, 40; Italy, 16.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 462.8
-The Premier of New Zealand has introduced a Bill to pension every one above sixty-five after twenty years’ residence in New Zealand, the maximum amount to be 10s. weekly and the minimum 5s.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 462.9
-In 1874 there were 3,630,300 acres of land devoted to the growing of wheat in Great Britain and 183,711 sores in Ireland. In 1895 only 1.417,614 acres were thus cultivated in Great Britain and 36,529 acres in Ireland.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 462.10
-China’s national debt now amounts to ?40,000,000, and it is said that additional taxation will be necessary to secure revenues. Meanwhile, the insurrection that started last year in the western provinces still continues, and the national troops are said to be powerless to put it down.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 462.11
-The skilled labourer in Japan gets from five. pence to eightpence a day, and it is said his living expenses are about three-halfpence a day. Such conditions are being combined with modern machinery, and observers say that Japan will compete with Manchester on very favourable terms in a short time.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 462.12
-It is now hoped that the Cretan insurrection will be shortly settled by uniforms allowed by the Turkish Government. The Mohammedan population has had more loss than the “Christian” in this insurrection, as the latter are in overwhelming majority in the island, and understand well the use of sword and torch.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 462.13
-The latest reports from South Africa are to the effect that nearly all the Mashonas have joined the Matabele in their efforts to out the whites from Rhodesia. Earl Gray, the Administrator of the Chartered Company predicts a speedy end of the war, and thinks they will be able to afford the natives “a larger measure of protection against such ill-treatment as he in afraid they have suffered from in the past, and which, he is informed, has been not the least potent of the causes of the present rebellion.”PTUK July 16, 1896, page 462.14
“Back Page” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
It speaks well of the Russian Stundists that in some parts of the country who refuse the national peasant drink, “vodka,” is to bring upon one the charge of being a Stundist. Stundism has so far been a Bible reform movement, and temperance always follows the reception of the Word.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.4
Almost any pugnacious beast will fight for his rights. Any vigorous heathen will do so. But it takes a Christian, following Christ’s example, to give up his rights without bitterness of feeling. The Father’s right to His service was the right which Christ maintained, and that is the only right which the Christian cannot relinquish.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.5
Vienna has the reputation of being one of the gayest cities in Europe, and it is entirely in keeping with this reputation that it furnishes about the highest rate of suicides. The report for the first half of this year shows that 200 suicides occurred in the city. The more empty gaiety and pleasure-seeking, the greater is the disgust with life.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.6
“Two Free Prisoners” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
Two Free Prisoners .-There were two free men, once, who were in prison, in Macedonia. We do not know that there were any others in the city so free. They had their feet fast in the stocks, and their backs had been scourged. But they were so free that they could not contain themselves, and they sang songs in the night. Their liberty was religious liberty, a freedom which was theirs even with their bodies in stocks and in prison. And the Lord showed them they were his freedmen also by sending an earthquake and loosening their bonds. But they were no more religiously free after than before. They had religious liberty. They lived amongst an oppressive people, and under pagan and anti-Christian laws, but that did not hinder them from rejoicing in the liberty with which Christ makes men free. What a freedom that was! So free the prison walls could not take away their freedom. That is a freedom greater than can be guaranteed by any government on earth. They were so free that the prison couldn't contain them.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.7
“No Place for Christians” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
No Place for Christians .-The theatre has always been a pronounced agent of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and it is to be doubted if ever it was more so than at the present time. It may have been coarser, but not more insidiously evil. One has only to note the scheme of the plays in newspaper announcements, or to see flaming posters, to see that they are so inane and void that they are kept up only by the suggestiveness of passion and intrigue, or of shallow folly which amuses empty minds. At a time when there is a distinct effort being made to introduce a flavour of religious feeling into some plays, it is well to remember that it takes something besides the faint flavour of imitation rosewater to cleanse a sewer.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.8
“Raising Church Funds” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
Raising Church Funds .-Speaking at the annual meeting of the East London Church Fund last week, Lord Salisbury rebuked the scandalous methods resorted to nowadays to get people to give. They were taught, he said, that they must eat a bad dinner, or attend a ball or garden party before they could be charitable.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.9
So it goes. There must always be some secondary machinery. The largest effort a Christian makes he makes in response to an organisation, by which he is invited to purchase worthless articles at ridiculous prices.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.10
He could not help thinking that there was something wrong in the state of Christian feeling amongst the laity which makes these strange devices necessary. He even felt his own presence there was a reflection on the power which their Bishop ought to exercise without any assistance. It was a strange contrast to what happened in the earlier days of Christianity. When they read of what happened when Paul exhorted the Corinthians to send relief to their suffering fellow-Christians in Jerusalem, they did not read that it was found necessary to have a bazaar, or a public dinner, or even a public meeting with a Roman magistrate to make a speech.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.11
Lord Salisbury’s speech is a crushing rebuke of that spirit which is so rampant. When people refuse to give of their means to the Lord’s work it is not entertaining that they need, but converting. It ought to make the organisers of these devices pause and think when the Premier and statesman is forced to rebuke this resort to worldly methods of money-getting. Statesmen have also to pass laws to keep some of these same elements from establishing lotteries and gambling for church purposes, and even then we now and then read of raffles at church bazaars patronised by the highest in the land. Let all keep separate from these things. If a man believes the truth he will freely give to send it on to others. If he does not believe it the Lord does not need his funds.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.12
“Clericalism in Politics” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
Clericalism in Politics .-Austria has lately been passing some new laws to prevent the interference of the clerical power in politics. The clergy have used their position as priests and confessors to terrify or influence its voters to keep things in the hands of partisans of the church party. So far have they gone that in an intensely Roman Catholic country like Austria the people are driven in self-defence to legislate to keep priestcraft out of politics. In the recent Canadian elections, also, the priests issued a manifesto ordering Catholics to vote for certain candidates. The result, however, was that their arrogance was resented and some Catholic secular organs plainly told the priests to attend to religion and give a free hand in politics to the people. What a spectacle when the world has to defend itself against the schemes of those whose profession is to be ministers of another kingdom, not of this world.PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.13
“The Prayer of Faith” The Present Truth, 12, 29.
The Prayer of Faith .-Christ’s words in regard to the answer to prayer are unequivocal. In one place he says: “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.” There is no mistaking the plain language of the statement. To him who believes, then, all things that are worthy to be accomplished our possible,-for wherever two agree, in asking, their prayer of faith will be effectual. Then what remains is to believe, have faith, and pray. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” . “Have faith in God.... What things soever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” .PTUK July 16, 1896, page 464.14