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    November 26, 1896

    “Fasting and Prayer” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When Jesus was on earth He taught His disciples how to pray, and the Bible abounds with instruction on this point, both by direct precept and by illustration; yet of the number of those who profess to pray, comparatively few have rightly understood what real prayer to God is. What wonder, then, that the matter of fasting, which is associated with prayer, has been very generally misunderstood? The Bible, however, gives us as clear instruction, even if less in quantity, on this point as upon the other.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 753.1

    In the prophecy of Joel we find fasting explicitly commanded, and that with special reference to the last days-the time just before the coming of “the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” “Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord.” Joel 1:14. Again: “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, and gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children,...Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them; wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for His land, and pity His people, yea, the Lord will answer.” Joel 2:15-18.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 753.2

    Christ has also indicated that His people should fast often in the days between His ascension and His return to this earth. When the disciples of John asked Him, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but Thy disciples fast not?” He replied, “Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast in those days.” Matthew 9:14, 15.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 753.3

    From the instances recorded in the Old Testament, we find that fasting was resorted to in times of great perplexity and distress, in extreme need, when special help and blessings from the Lord were desired. When Esther was about to go in before King Ahasuerus, to seek deliverance for her people from the destruction decreed against them, she said to Mordecai, “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I also with my maidens will fast likewise, and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law.” Esther 4:16. We all know the successful results.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 753.4

    Fasting was resorted to by Ezra, when he was on his way to Jerusalem to restore the city and the worship of God. He had a difficult and dangerous journey before him. “Thus I proclaimed a fast, at the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before God, to seek of Him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way; because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon them for good that seek him; but His power and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him. So we fasted and besought our God for this; and He was entreated of us.” Ezra 8:21-23.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 753.5

    WHAT FASTING IS

    Fasting, in itself, whether as a religious act or otherwise, is entire abstinence from food and drink. The case of Daniel (Daniel 10:2, 3) is sometimes referred to as indicating that eating to a certain extent is compatible with fasting; but the careful reader will note that Daniel does not say that he was fasting, but that he was “mourning three full weeks,” in which time he “ate no pleasant bread.” A person may mourn without fasting, and this Daniel did. Whenever instances of fasting are recorded in the Bible, we find that neither food nor drink was taken during the time of the fast. It is as impossible for a person to be fasting while eating and drinking, as it is to be awake and asleep at the same time, or to be at once running and sitting still. Our common word “breakfast,” indicates this. The longest period of abstinence from food is in the night, when we are asleep. When the morning comes, we break our fast by partaking of food, and we do this even though our breakfast be very light. At the ninth hour of the day Cornelius said “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour.” Acts 10:30. If we should substitute, “Four days ago I ate very little until three o'clock in the afternoon,” it would make the whole affair ridiculous. So it is senseless when pope or bishops prescribe how much may be eaten during a so-called fast. Each individual must decide for himself whether or not he will fast, and also at what time and how long; but no one can possibly have the choice of eating or not eating during a fast, for as soon as anything is eaten fast ceases.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 754.1

    THE OBJECT OF FASTING

    What is the use of fasting? What is it for? From its connection with prayer, and from the Scriptures that we have read, it is evident that it is for the purpose of gaining special help and strength from the Lord, for the performance of some necessary work or the overcoming of some peculiarly strong temptation. This is indicated in the Lord’s description of an acceptable fast, where He says, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to lose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:7.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 754.2

    But while fasting means special earnestness and importunity in prayer, it must not be considered as a penance, nor as buying the favour of God by the mortification of the body. God does not delight in human suffering, and we could not buy His favour even with the sacrifice of our lives. He bestows His grace freely, because He is love and mercy; and as an evidence of His favour He has given Himself for us. Christian prayer is not like heathen prayer. The heathen think that they shall be heard for their much speaking (Matthew 6:7), and in their importunity they lacerate themselves and afflict their bodies. See 1 Kings 18:28. God’s servants do not do so, for they know that God is their Father, tender and loving, that He knows what we have need of before we ask Him, and that He has already richly provided every necessary thing for us. Read Matthew 6:8; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:2, 3. True prayer is therefore simply the claiming of the promises of God with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6); by faith demonstrating the reality of those promises. Since fasting means special emphasis in prayer, it of course means special confidence in God’s word, and an exceptionally strong grasp of and dependence upon His promises. Fasting with prayer indicates such complete dependence on God’s word, that we for a season depend on it instead of on the ordinary means of sustaining life.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 754.3

    LIVING BY GOD’S WORD

    That God’s word is indeed food, is clearly set forth in the Scriptures. Jesus said that we should eat His flesh, “for My flesh is meat indeed.” John 6:55. Afterwards He showed that we take His flesh through the word that He speaks. Verse 63. Therefore since His flesh is meat indeed, His words are likewise real food.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 754.4

    Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Jeremiah 15:16. Moses told the children of Israel that God suffered them to hunger, and then fed them with manna, “that He might make them know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” Deuteronomy 8:3. These words have special significance in connection with fasting, because Christ quoted them when the devil tempted Him to break His fast by turning stones into bread. Matthew 4:3, 4.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 754.5

    This is not a mere figure of speech, but a reality. It is a literal fact that men live by God’s word, whether they realise it or not. By the word of the Lord everything came into existence (Psalm 33:6), and by the same word are they still upheld. Hebrews 11:3. There is no question but that we live by the food we eat. But all the life there is in the food we eat, is the life that is in the growing plants, and that life comes from the word which said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed after his kind,” etc. Genesis 1:11. Although God has ordained that ordinarily we shall obtain life from His word through the grains and fruits which that word causes the earth to bring forth, it is certainly as possible to live directly from the word as from the grain, which gets its life-giving power only from the Lord. When Daniel was absolutely destitute of physical strength, he received full strength at once from the words spoken by the angel of God. Daniel 10:17, 18.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 754.6

    Many suppose that fasting is simply for the purpose of making the mind clearer. It does indeed for a time have that affect on one whose mind is beclouded by over-eating, but not on one who habitually eats only according to his needs. Our brain power, as well as our muscular force, is derived from the food that we eat. If under ordinary conditions we go without food for an unusually long time, we become weak in body, and our thinking power is correspondingly weakened. A brain worker requires more nourishment than one who exercises only his muscles. The natural effect of fasting is to diminish one’s thinking power, as well as to weaken the body.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 754.7

    FASTING NOT PENANCE

    Are we then to understand that fasting is after all only a sort of penance, a modification of the body?-Not by any means. Instead of its being a burden, it is the means of undoing the heavy burdens (Isaiah 58:6); instead of being a sorrowful affair, it is a matter of choice and gladness, for Jesus said that when we fast we should not be of a sad countenance, but should anoint the head, an act indicating rejoicing. Matthew 6:17. So in immediate connection with the exhortation to fast, we read also, “Be glad then, ye children of Zion; and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the former rain and the latter rain.” Joel 2:23. God’s people are to rejoice in Him all the time (Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16), and especially in view of Christ’s near coming (Luke 21:28); and yet they are to fast at times. Do we fast because we are in trouble?-We are commanded to rejoice and be of good cheer in tribulation. John 16:33. Do we fast because we desire deliverance from temptation?-The exhortation is, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” James 1:2. There is no time when a man has so good a cause for rejoicing as when he is mourning for his sins; because mourning for sins implies acknowledgement of them; and “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 754.8

    “But how can we rejoice when both the mental and physical powers are almost exhausted by fasting?” That question arises from a misconception of what an acceptable fast is. An acceptable fast is not the mortification of the body, for God does not delight in that; but it is coming into the closest possible connection with God’s Word. It is true that the natural result of a protracted abstinence from food is exhaustion of the powers of the body and mind; but a fast to the Lord is not like a forced fast, where one is all the time longing for food. On the contrary, an acceptable fast is one in which we take the living Word in the place of ordinary food, and are so supported by it as not for the time to be conscious of the absence of ordinary food. Note particularly the fact that when Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, “He afterward hungered.” Luke 4:2. Naturally, He would have hungered during that time of fasting, in conflict with the devil; but His mind was instead occupied with God’s Word, which for the time was food both to body and soul.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 755.1

    He who, while fasting, has a continual longing for food, and who by force of will resists the desire to eat, because he has determined to abstain for a certain length of time, is fasting to little or no purpose. His fast does not indicate undivided faith in God’s Word. Instead of thinking only of God and His all-powerful Word, he is thinking largely of himself. Of such a wavering, but doubting one, the apostle says: “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” James 1:7.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 755.2

    Whoever fasts should have some definite object in view. This is self-evident, for fasting is inseparably connected with prayer, and prayer that has no definite object is only empty words. The faster must desire special grace for overcoming, or to help in some special time of need. Then when his confidence in God’s living Word is so vivid and strong that he takes it as the reality that it is, and lives for a season upon it instead of upon his ordinary food, he knows that he has his heart’s desire. God, who by His Word supports the physical wants, will much more supply the more essential spiritual needs. By our fasting we indicate that the Word of God is indeed our life, and that of course means that we fully yield ourselves to it. We show our dependence on God’s Word, and our confidence in it for all things that pertain to eternal life and godliness, by taking it for a season absolutely for the support of our physical necessities, letting it take the place of ordinary food, and deriving equal or greater strength from the Word than from ordinary food. Thus the mind is indeed more clear through fasting.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 755.3

    The effect does not end with the season of fasting, but from that time we realise and acknowledge more fully than ever before that even while eating our daily food we are living only by God’s Word, which works effectually in all who believe. This recognition of our dependence on God,-the knowledge that He not only gives us our food, but is able to sustain us by His Word when food is lacking,-tends directly to that dealing of our bread to the hungry, which characterises a true fast. Isaiah 58:7. As we receive the gift, we minister the same to others, “as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 755.4

    May our perception of God’s Word, and our confidence in it be so great that we may fast in spirit and in truth, and thus experience the fulness of the promise, “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; and the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.... And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” Isaiah 58:8-11.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 755.5

    “The Curse of Militarism” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Prime Minister’s recent hint of the possible necessity for military conscription in this country, is not the first one that has been dropped in the speeches of those in authority. The curse of the Continent is waiting only for some serious reverse to fasten itself upon British soil. In the meantime it behoves Christians to study the relation of the believer in Christ to civil governments and the strifes that must of necessity pertain to their administration.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 755.6

    A newspaper correspondent called attention the other day to the military displays connected with nearly every demonstration, such as those at the Lord Mayor’s procession, which many who talk for peace accept approvingly as a matter of course, without appreciating the fact that these things leaven the public with the spirit of fight. The correspondent rightly said that it is this unconscious advocacy of militarism on the part of even those connected with the churches that is doing much to encourage the war feeling. It manifests itself in literature everywhere, from school-books to religious newspapers.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 755.7

    At the recent Manchester Conference of the Peace Society, Dr. Maclaren’s message was that the principles of the Society should be upheld even in view of the feeling regarding events in Turkey, and he truly said that to appeal to the sword was “setting Satan to cast out Satan.” Of course it is; and yet the strongest note in the conference was that “they might have worse things than war.” It shows how little can be expected from Peace societies when angry feelings run high. At the International Congress of Peace Societies at Buda-Pesth the resolution disapproving of duelling was hotly contested by three of the delegates. It only shows that it is useless to look to human organisations to lift up any effectual barriers against militarism. The work of the Gospel is to make peace between men and God, and wherever a heart surrenders to God the spirit of militarism and nationalism must go.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 755.8

    “A Straw in the Wind” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The trustees of the churches known as the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion have applied to the High Court for permission to change the articles of faith, “particularly in the way of modifying the strong language they contained respecting the Pope of Rome.” It is a straw showing which way the wind is blowing.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 755.9

    “The Promises to Israel. Sinai and Calvary” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and Judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse,” or, literally, “with utter destruction.” Malachi 4:5, 6.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.1

    Notice how intimately the tender, converting work of the Spirit of God is connected with the law that was spoken from Horeb. For Sinai is Horeb, as we learn from Deuteronomy 4:10-14, where we read the words of Moses, the servant of God:-PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.2

    “Thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me. Gather Me the people together, and I will make them hear My words.... and ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire.... and He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.3

    When the Lord tells us to remember the law which He commanded in Horeb, or Sinai, it is that we may know the power with which He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, that they may be prepared for the terrible day of His coming. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.4

    THE RIVEN ROCK

    When God spoke the law from Sinai, that living stream of water which gushed forth from the smitten rock in Horeb, was still flowing. If it had ceased to flow, the Israelites would have been in as bad a condition as before, for it was their only water supply, their only hope of life. It was from Horeb, whence the water came that restored their life, that God spoke the law. The law came from the same rock whence the water was already flowing, “and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.5

    Sinai is rightly regarded as a synonym for the law; but it is no more so than Christ is; nay, not so much, for in Him it is life. Jesus said, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God; yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. The law was therefore Christ’s life, for out of the heart are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.6

    “He was bruised for our iniquities;” and “with His stripes we are healed.” When He was smitten and wounded on Calvary, the life-blood flowed from His heart, and that stream still flows for us. But in His heart is the law; and so as we drink by faith from the life-giving stream, we drink in the righteousness of the law of God. The law comes to us as a stream of grace, a river of life. Both “grace and truth come by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17. When we believe in Him, the law is not to us merely “the voice of words,” but a fountain of life.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.7

    Now all this was at Sinai. Christ, the giver of the law, was the Rock smitten in Horeb, which is Sinai. That stream was the life of those who drank, and none of those who received it in thoughtful gratitude could fail to know that it came direct from their Lord-the Lord of all the earth. They might have been assured of His tender love for them, and of the fact that He was their life, and hence their righteousness. So although they could not approach the mountain without dying-an evidence that the law is death to men out of Christ-they could drink of the stream that flowed from it, and thus in the life of Christ drink in the righteousness of the law.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.8

    The words spoken from Sinai, coming from the same Rock whence came the water which was the life of the people, showed the nature of the righteousness that Christ would impart to them. While it was “a fiery law,” it was at the same time a gently-flowing stream of life. Because the prophet Isaiah knew that Christ was the Rock smitten at Sinai, and that even then He was the One Mediator, “the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” he could say, “He was wounded for our transgressions,” “and with His stripes we are healed.”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.9

    For the ancient Israelites there was emphasised the lesson that the law comes as life to men only through the cross of Christ. For us there is the same lesson, together with the other side of it, namely, that the righteousness which comes to us through the life given to us on the cross, is precisely that which is required by the ten commandments, and none other. Let us read them:-PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.10

    WHAT GOD SPAKE

    1. “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.11

    2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation1There is in the Hebrew text of this passage no word indicating “generation,” which is supplied by the translators. It is most evident, however, that it is the word required by the sense, and attention is called to it only to point out the fact that the construction is the same as in the next clause, where the word “generation” is not expressed, but where it belongs as surely as in the first. Some have hastily supposed that the “thousands” refers only to individuals, and so have erroneously concluded that God’s chastisements outlast His mercy. Not so. He visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him, but shows mercy unto unnumbered thousands of generations of them that love Him and keep His commandments. His wrath is soon appeased, while His mercy flows on to eternity. Other versions than the English state it very plainly. of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 756.12

    3. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.1

    4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.2

    5. “Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.3

    6. “Thou shalt not kill.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.4

    7. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.5

    8. “Thou shalt not steal.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.6

    9. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.7

    10. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.8

    This is the law that was uttered amid the terrors of Sinai, by the lips of Him whose life it was and is, and from whom had come the stream which was at that moment flowing-His own life given for the people. The Cross, with its healing, life-giving stream was at Sinai, and hence the Cross cannot possibly make any change in the law. The life proceeding from Christ at Sinai as at Calvary, shows that the righteousness which is revealed in the Gospel is none other than that of the ten commandments. Not one jot nor one tittle could pass away. The awfulness of Sinai was at Calvary, in the thick darkness, the earthquake, and the great voice of the Son of God. The smitten rock and the flowing stream at Sinai represented Calvary; Calvary was there; so that it is an actual fact that from Calvary the ten commandments are proclaimed in the identical words that were heard from Sinai. Calvary, not less than Sinai, reveals the terrible and unchanging holiness of the law of God, so terrible and so unchangeable that it spared not even the Son of God when “He was reckoned among the transgressors.” But however great the terror inspired by the law, the hope by grace is even greater; for “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Back of all stands the oath of God’s covenant of grace, assuring the perfect righteousness and life of the law in Christ; so that although the law spoke death, it only showed what great things God had promised to do for those who believe. It teaches us to have no confidence in the flesh, but to worship God in the Spirit, and to rejoice in Christ Jesus. Thus God was proving His people, that they might know that “man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” Deuteronomy 8:3.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.9

    So the law is not against the promises of God, even though it cannot give life. On the contrary, it backs up those promises in thunder tones; for with God’s oath ever steadfast, the greatest requirement of the law is to the ear of faith but a promise of its fulfillment. And so, taught by the Lord Jesus, we may “know that His commandment is life everlasting.”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.10

    “Suicide in Japan” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A native Japanese statistician has prepared an essay on suicide in Japan in which statistics are presented showing that the prevalence of suicide in that country is in direct relation to the stress of pecuniary conditions. During the last ten years the proportion of suicides yearly has been in exact ratio with the variations in the price of rice, the staple food of the country. The yearly and half-yearly periods for the settlement of the amounts are the months in which the tide of suicide regularly renders its flood.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.11

    It seems to be the view of the Japanese, as of the ancient Roman, that his life is his own, and that he has a perfect right to do what he likes with his own. From a pagan point of view this is reasonable, and when one considers the prevalence of an educated paganism throughout the civilised world where the trials of life are greater, and its disappointments much keener than in uncivilised lands, one simply wonders that there are not more suicides than there are.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.12

    There must, indeed, inevitably come a time to every man, whose life is in and for himself, instead of being hid in Christ, in which he feels the utter futility, worthlessness, of his existence. It is only true religion, pure and undefiled, which enables a man to patiently, persistently, and courageously struggle on, steadily climbing the stepping stones of his dead self to the higher things.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.13

    “The Churches Teaching War” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    THE BOYS’ BRIGADE

    The church and the Sunday-school, in some parts, have actually become the nursery of the Army. This is true at the present time throughout so-called Christian nations. This movement for the organisation of Sunday-school pupils into military companies, officered, drilled, uniformed, and equipped, originated in this country. It has now been adopted everywhere. Many of these companies are furnished with genuine fire arms and swords. In a published description of one of these organisations of Sunday-school soldiers, it is said, “No small degree of charm for the boys is added by the fact that the very guns they handle were once used in real fighting.” This article continues to say further:-PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.14

    “The company is put through all the evolutions in accordance with regular military tactics; is taught to march and counter-march, to execute many different formations, and to do the whole of the manual of arms and the bayonet exercise. This last is a particularly pretty drill, calculated to give the soldier a free use of his weapon and an easy, strong wrist. In a recent entertainment and exhibition given by the corps, this part of their work elicited a great deal of applause. In addition to the infantry exercises an artillery drill has been established, and a ‘dummy’ or wooden cannon having been built in exact reproduction of a genuine field-piece, a squad of picked boys from the company have been taught to handle it. They go through the field drill, as the loading and firing, going into action in every direction, changing the wheels and dismounting the piece by taking the cannon from off its carriage and the wheels from the axle, so that it is entirely dismembered, and setting it up again, all with precision, and each cannonier doing his part of the work exactly as regular soldiers are taught to do it. Ambulance and signal corps have also been organised, and during the mock action the former carries off the wounded while the latter signals for assistance.”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 757.15

    An exhibition drill of this company is, in part, described thus:-PTUK November 26, 1896, page 758.1

    “One little boy, the smallest of the lot, and not over four feet two inches tall, went through all the elaborate movements of infantry drill, bayonet exercise and artillery drill without an error, and was the avowed favourite of the ladies. Round after round of applause were showered upon the corps on this occasion, and greatly appreciated by the little soldiers. At this drill a sham battle was given, the artillery firing on an imaginary enemy until it was supposed to bring up its cavalry to capture the gun. Then the artillery men signalled to the infantry to come to their support. The cannoniers dismounted their piece, and all laid down until the supposed enemy was driven off by the infantry to fire, then mounted their piece again to give them a few farewell shots. During this action the instructor called out the numbers of the boys at intervals, and as each was designated he fell over as though shot, and was carried off by the ambulance corps, while the remaining boys manned the cannon. This feature proved especially interesting to the spectators.”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 758.2

    The realism of the last two sentences is particularly suggestive,-as is also the previously stated fact that an added zest was given to the use of their arms by the knowledge that those same weapons had already actually been used in bloody conflict.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 758.3

    Does this breathe a religious spirit? Is this religious instruction? But it is given by religious organisations. Then are they teaching the religion of Christ, or His adversary? We mention these things to show the need of preaching the Gospel of Christ. When even the religion that should restrain war is perverted into the direct encouragement of it, is it not time for Christians to decide what Gospel principles are?PTUK November 26, 1896, page 758.4

    “Working Food” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The increase in the price of bread, owing to the demand for wheat in famine-stricken India, is felt in many homes where the pence have to be carefully expended. In many families white bread is the staple food; but if the money is spent on good wheatmeal or brown bread, it will assuredly bring more working strength, as the finest white flour has separated from it the most nutritious portion of the wheat.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.1

    But while wheat has gone up, prices of other grains are not affected, and a look into the window of any cornchandler shows a liberal list of grain preparations which can be used to supplement the bread supply, and with advantage too. Oatmeal, rice, sago, and so on through the list, are readily prepared and have good strength-producing qualities. Dr. Andrew Wilson, in a recent newspaper article, called attention to the investigations of the late Dr. Frankland in the matter of the comparative values of different foods. Of the comparison between bread and oatmeal he says:-PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.2

    Suppose that the work of raising his own body (one hundred and forty pounds weight) ten thousand feet high had to be accomplished by a man who elected to do the work on bread alone (water, an essential food, is left out of consideration here), then Dr. Frankland found that nearly two and a-half pounds of bread would be needed, and at three halfpence per pound the total cost would be threepence halfpenny.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.3

    Let us now see what bread is composed of. In one hundred parts of bread we find about forty parts of water, eight parts of nitrogenous matter or gluten, one and a-half parts of fat, fifty parts of starch, and one and a-half parts of minerals.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.4

    The great bulk of the bread we eat then is starch. The fat is not present in any quantity, therefore we add fat to it in the shape of butter, and make it a more valuable food; and the flesh-forming matter is present to the extent of about eight per cent. Bread is therefore a fair food enough, in respect to its giving a large amount of starch, which is certainly a force or lower-producing food.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.5

    The next food in the list is oatmeal. Dr. Frankland gives us over a pound of oatmeal, which, at twopence farthing a pound, costs us threepence halfpenny in all. The oatmeal is the same price as the bread, [this was written before prime rose] but note that infinitely less of it is needed to do the same work as that accomplished in nearly two and a-half pounds of bread.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.6

    Oatmeal, when analysed, is found to be a better food than bread: for one hundred parts of it are composed-of water about fifteen parts only; flesh-forming matter, thirteen parts; fat, six parts; starches, sixty-five parts; and minerals, three parts.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.7

    Here we get additional fat, and we also find more starch, while the flesh-forming matter is present in Iarger proportion than in the bread.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.8

    Oatmeal we all know to be a most excellent food. Dr. Johnson said it was a diet only fit for Scotchmen, and that it was fed to horses in England; but somebody wisely retorted, “Where will you find better men than in Scotland, or better horses than in England?”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.9

    The Highlander, on oatmeal, develops a hardy and robust frame; while we know that, for growing bodies, oatmeal is a typical food, and that, in part, because it contains a large proportion of bone-forming minerals.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.10

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -There were in this country 876 strikes and lock-outs in 1895, aff ecting 268,755 labourers.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.11

    -A long list of disasters from floods has been reported from Austria. One whole village was swept away.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.12

    -Three crematories are in operation in England-one in Manchester, another in Woking, and the third in Liverpool.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.13

    -The iron and steel trade of Great Britain has very largely increased this year, much of the increase being due to the demand abroad.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.14

    -The price of wheat in Russia has risen, owing to the Indian demand. Trouble in India brings prosperity to favoured agricultural districts.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.15

    -It is said that the rinderpest is advancing in South Africa, and one well-known man predict; that not one per cent. of the cattle will be saved. The situation is calamitous in the extreme, and much suffering must follow.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.16

    -To help the natives in famine-stricken provinces the Indian Government have ordered from London 200 tons of the quickest growing vegetable seeds, from which it is hoped they may secure something to support life while waiting for the next season’s crops to ripen.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.17

    -Companies are formed for the purpose of exploiting the new motor-cars, and it is proposed to have electric omnibuses on the streets of London very soon. Many business men think that the new mode of travelling will speedily work a revolution in the omnibus and carriage trades.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.18

    -Spain has been raising a loan to prosecute the wars in Cuba and the Philippines, and the people at home have enthusiastically subscribed far more than was called for, ladies selling jewellery and even poor people taking one bond. The nation is determined to hold to its rebellious colonists.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.19

    -Niagara Falls has been “harnessed,” and a little stream diverted from it now drives factories and other machinery in Buffalo, twenty-six miles away, by means of electricity. The Times correspondent says that it is probable that power will be transmitted to distant towns, and smokeless factories will multiply.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.20

    -Counterfeit half-crowns are in circulation. They are excellent specimens, full weight and of the best quality silver. Each coin yields a profit to the makers of a shilling. The only difference between the base and proper half-crown is that the counterfeit one is a fraction larger and slightly thinner than the other.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.21

    -Japan is aspiring to a position as a maritime power, and has already established three lines of steamships. One to London, another to Australia, another to the United States, represent a determination to cater to the commercial and travelling world, and it is said that the London line will do a large business in passenger traffic between England and India. The American line is to bring cotton direct to Japan for the mills which are well established. The country seams bound to justify its boast of being the England of the Pacific Ocean, and it has a tremendous market at its doors in the line of manufactured goods.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 766.22

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    An Australian correspondent informs us that the workmen have begun work on the school building which our friends in Australasia are building near Sydney, which they hope to have ready for use by the middle of March.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.1

    The first thing on the programme of the next Parliament appears to be some “settlement” of the education question. Both sides demand State-taught religion, but the questions of what religion and how it shall be paid for will continue to embitter educational discussions until the end.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.2

    “English Protestants will never consent to be rated in support of Sacerdotalism, either Anglican are Roman.” So says the English Churchman, opposing the decision of the Church House meeting, advocating rate aid for voluntary schools. But will not the Sacerdotalists reply that they object to be rated in support of schools which teach “Protestantism”?PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.3

    With the approval of the Pope certain Catholics are proposing to organise a vast international pilgrimage made to Rome at the opening of the twentieth century. The idea is “that in the presence of a concourse of people from all parts of the world, met together in the noblest temple of Christianity, the twentieth century be solemnly consecrated to the Lord.”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.4

    The Russian Church has never prohibited the reading of the Bible, and so, while those who dissent from the State church are persecuted, Russia is still in possession of the Word. It is said that one-seventh of the total output of the British and Foreign Bible Society goes to Russian territory. Where the seed is allowed to be sown it will spring up, and no human power can repress it.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.5

    The discussion in the French Chamber over the insolence of English missionaries in Algiers has led to the suggestion that in Africa, at least, only French missions should work French territory, and English missionaries labour in British spheres of influence. The proposal will doubtless not be considered, but the suggestion should be enough to show missionaries the folly of appealing to their home governments for support in difficulties. Much that was gained in the early days by pioneer missionaries has been lost by their successors, who have allowed themselves to be drawn into relations with their home governments to the prejudice of their work as ambassadors of Heaven.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.6

    The work of our Society in Finland is extending, and we learn from reports that our friends there expect to begin the publication of a paper in Helsingfore next year. Finland enjoys greater freedom from press censorship than other parts of the Russian dominions.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.7

    “The Jews in Russia” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Jews in Russia .-“It is reported from St. Petersburg,” says the Christian, “that several prelates of the Orthodox Church are urging the Government to prohibit Jews, both in towns and villages, from carrying on trade on Christian holidays. Their efforts are believed to have every prospect of success.” But this is nothing more than the Christian approves of when it advocates the enforcement of Sunday laws in England. When Protestants, say in Spain, are punished for neglecting to honour some of the many Catholic festivals, it is perfectly apparent that it is religious persecution. But anyone who studies the question knows that Sunday has no more authority than any other Catholic festival, which is none at all for Protestants. To force people to pay regard to Sunday in England, or to punish those who cannot be coerced, is as wicked as to try to force any Catholic dogma upon men, or as will be this Russian crusade against the Jew, if it succeeds.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.8

    “Sincerity” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Sincerity .-The other day a travelling journalist assured the readers of a London daily that the Chinese were sincere in their religious life, and should be let alone. It is a familiar saying, and very often it is taken for granted that the man who is sincere is also right. But the Bible couples “sincerity” with “truth” in the service of God. A man may sincerely enough take the wrong road in travelling, but it can never lead him to his destination; nor would it be reasonable for anyone to plead his sincerity as a reason for not pointing out to him the right way.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.9

    “‘God with Us’” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “God with Us.” -When the Chaldeans protested to the king Nebuchadnezzar that he required too much of them, in demanding that they should declare his dream, they said that only the gods could tell such a thing “whose dwelling is not with flesh.” But Daniel knew the true God, whose dwelling is with flesh, and he obtained the desired answer for the king. It is not enough to assent to the fact that Divinity is in the heavens. What we must know is that God is near at hand to help, and that “wisdom and might are His,” as Daniel said. His name is Immanuel-God with us. If any lack wisdom-and who does not?-He will supply it, and as for strength, He will strengthen “according to His mighty power.”PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.10

    “Taste and See” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Taste and See .-One of my friends offers me some food which he says is very good and nourishing, and asks me to adopt it as an article of diet. But I am sceptical, and do not believe that it is good, and so I say, “Prove to me that it is good, and I will take it.” “That I cannot do,” he replies; “I know it is good, and can assure you of the fact; but you must prove it for yourself; taste it, and you will know it too.” Well, that is certainly reasonable; for I can't expect to know that a thing is good, unless I taste for myself. Even so, when my friend does not believe me when I tell him that the Lord is good, and asks me to prove it to him. I cannot; I know that He is good, for I have tried Him; I can assure others of His goodness, but I cannot prove it to them. I can only say, “O taste, and see that the Lord is good.” Why will not people be as reasonable in regard to spiritual food as with the mere physical? Taste, and you have the proof.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.11

    “Ecclesiastical Dress” The Present Truth, 12, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Ecclesiastical Dress .-The protests of Anglican Protestant journals against the vestments of the Sacerdotalist party would have more weight if it were a protest on principle against that distinctive dress which is thought to mark the difference between clergy and laity. The distinction has no existence, save as a priestly assumption has manufactured it. The Scriptures declare the whole church to be God’s “clergy,” and the authorised standards of the Church of England, in making a priestly costume compulsory on all ministers in Anglican pulpits, lays the foundation for the entire system of vestments by which Ritualism adorns its ministry. Nor is this purely papal arrangement confined to the Establishment.PTUK November 26, 1896, page 768.12

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