Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    April 1, 1897

    “The Crisis in the East” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The thing that has been, it is that which shall be,“ and so it is that the same earth hunger and pride of dominion which has kept the world in greater or less turmoil since Nimrod's first empire are still stirring up the hearts of men. And now the earth has become so small that trouble in the most obscure and out-of-the-way corner threatens to involve the whole mass of mankind. In olden times there was more room for rival peoples; but now jealous powers are elbowing one another nearly every time they move. Gusty currents of hateful strife blow here and there around the circumference of the earth, but plainly the storm centre is the Near East.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 193.1

    That has been the pivotal point in the wars of empires ever since the conquests of Alexander “disturbed the world's balance” and gave to the West the dominion which had been held by the East. So important were to be the events centring in this region that the Lord gave the prophet Daniel (in his eleventh chapter) an outline of them over 2,500 years ago; and it is written for our learning upon whom the ends of the world are come because the crisis in the whole long history of the fight for supremacy is just before us and is involved in this Eastern Question that fills our newspapers from day to day. We will pass hastily over the eleventh chapter of Daniel, merely noting a few of the principal way-marks concerning the present with the times long past. Two hundred years before Alexander's conquest the angel said:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 193.2

    “Behold there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all; and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.” Verse 2.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 193.3

    The fourth was Xerxes, who did stir up all against Grecia. Forty-nine nations served in his Grecian campaign. Never before or since has so many men joined in one great army. But he failed, and his great failure sealed the doom of Persia. The empire lingered for a century and a half, and then Alexander, at the head of the Greeks and Macedonians, added all the East to Grecia.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 193.4

    “And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled.” Verses 3, 4.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 193.5

    ALEXANDER's EMPIRE DIVIDED

    Alexander stood up and ruled with great dominion. His genius seemed to promise the realisation of his great scheme of consolidating the East and the West, but at the height of his power he died, in Babylon. His posterity, and all of the royal house, perished in the intrigues that followed. Antigonus, the commander-in-chief of the army in Asia tried to reunite the satrapies and thus to continue as one the empire that had passed from Babylon to Medo-Persia, and then to Grecia. “But Ptolemy of Egypt [south] Lysimachus of Thrace [north], and Seleucus of Babylon [east], combined with Cassander of Macedon [west], against him,“ says the “Encyclopaedia Bitannica,“ “and he fell (301 B.C.) at the battle of Ipsus, in Phrygia. This decided the final break up of the empire.” It had been “divided to the four winds of heaven” as the angel of the Lord had said.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.1

    TERRITORY OF THE KING OF THE NORTH

    The king of the South, Egypt, was strong, but Seleucus, who ruled Syria, was “strong above him” (Verse 5) and defeated Lysimachus in the North, whose kingdom was Thrace on the European side, and Asia Minor on the Asiatic side. Thus Seleucus became the king of the North also. He had removed the seat of his government from the capital he first built on the Tigris, near Babylon, to Antioch, in northern Syria, and the kingdom which he founded continued the dominant power in that region between the Tigris and the ?gean Sea which now constitutes the principal part of Turkey.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.2

    The verses following refer to the wars which were waged between Egypt, kings of the North and South. “Palestine was as of old,“ says the “Encyclop?dia Britannica” of these times, “the battle-field for the king of the North and the king of the South.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.3

    THE ROMAN POWER INTRODUCED

    Verse 14 introduces the Roman power (robbers or breakers of Daniel's people, the Jews). Rome began to interfere in the affairs of the Near East. Antiochus the Great, of the dynasty of Seleucus, was defeated by the Romans in Greece and then in Asia Minor, and finally, Pompey's Eastern campaign reduced Syria and also Palestine. Verse 16 had said of this power, “None shall stand before him and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.” And so it was utterly consumed by the Romans a little over a century later.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.4

    But verse 17 seems to bring us down a few years further to C?sar's Egyptian campaign, where he met that “daughter of women” whose arts were to have so much influence on the policy of Rome. In verse 19 it is said that he was to “stumble and fall,“ and even so the greatest of the Romans fell beneath the daggers of his false friends.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.5

    THE DAYS OF IMPERIAL ROME

    Antony and Octavius followed Julius C?sar, but Antony's relations with Cleopatra estranged him from Rome, and the battle of Actium was fought between the two rivals. It was a naval engagement just at the entrance of the Gulf of Arta, in western Greece, where now Greek and Turkish forces are watching each other across the narrow entrance. After Octavius’ victory he invaded Egypt; and thus the territory of the king of the South became finally a Roman province. The victory of Actium, B.C. 31, gave Octavius the place which Julius C?sar had gained when he was assassinated, that of sole dictator. He took the name of Augustus, and with his rule the historians drop the story of the republic, and begin the story of Imperial Rome. Of him the prophet had said:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.6

    “Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom.” Verse 20.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.7

    With this agree the words of Luke, “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from C?sar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.” Luke 2:1. His reign was what the world calls a glorious one and is known as the Augustan Age. The truly glorious event of his reign; however, was the birth of Jesus, unnoticed by the great of Rome who were glorying in the work of their own hands and the might of their empire.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.8

    The angel told Daniel that this ruler was to die “neither in anger, nor in battle’” (verse 20). Augustus died a natural death, an end sufficiently extraordinary in the history of Roman rulers to make it worthy of mention; for an historian says:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.9

    Of the sixty-two emperors from C?sar to Constantine, forty-two were murdered, three committed suicide, two abdicated or were forced to abdicate, one was killed in a rebellion, one was drowned, one died in war, one died it is not known how, and no more than eleven died in the way of nature.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.10

    THE CRUCIFIXION

    Then there stood up in his estate “a vile person” (verse 21). Tiberius succeeded Augustus. His infamous orgies in the island of Capr? have given him a name in history with the vilest of the vile. The next verse said that in his reign the “Prince of the covenant” should be broken. And so it was that in the reign of Tiberius C?sar (Luke 2:1) Jesus began His public ministry and in the same reign and by the sentence of Pilate the servant of Tiberius, He was broken sealing the covenant with His blood.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.11

    Thus the prophetic outline has brought us to the crucifixion.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.12

    THE TIME OF PAPAL PERSECUTION

    With verse 23 the prophet seems to begin again to sketch the manner of the rise of this Roman power to greatness, and from verses 31-35 to describe the change that came in with the setting up of the Papacy and the terrible persecutions that followed. This time of persecution was “for a time appointed.” The only such time appointed is the time of Daniel 7:25; the 1260 prophetic days or years of papal supremacy, mentioned also in Revelation 12:6, 14, and 13:5. Beginning with the full establishment of the Papacy in 538 this period of 1260 years expired in 1798. In that year the arms of France entered Rome, removed the Pope and abolished the papal college. It was a heavy blow to mark the end of that period which began when the arms of the Roman emperor established the Papacy in Rome; supreme over all the churches. It was a deadly wound but it has been or is being healed, and both Daniel and John represent the Papacy as still fighting the truth even to the end of time.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.13

    “THE TIME OF THE END”

    This ending of the “time appointed” is said (in this 35th verse) to mark also the beginning of “the time of the end.” Hence from this point—almost in our own century—the events recorded hasten on toward the end. Verse 40 takes up the story where verse 35 ends—with “the time of the end”—but first the intervening record (verses 36-39) describes the nations of a power, atheistical in character; which was to “divide the land for gain.” It was in the last decade that revolutionary France exactly met these specifications. As the writer of a paper in Blackwood's Magazine once said:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 194.14

    France stands apart in the world's history as the single state which, by the decree of her legislative assembly, pronounced that there was no God.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.1

    And to furnish the revolutionary government with funds the lands were “divided for gain,“ the great estates were confiscated and sold in allotments by the State, which was able to raise by this means nearly a thousand million sterling. Other detail's in these verses of Scripture may easily be identified in the history of this period of the French Revolution. But this passed, and, as we have seen, the arms of France, directed by Napoleon, were free to strike the blow at the Papacy in 1793, the beginning of the time of the end. And now we read:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.2

    THE KING OF THE NORTH AGAIN

    “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.3

    Now again the kings of the south and the north are before us. Egypt was the territory of the king of the south. The king of the north, in the division of Alexander's empire and the conquests of the Seleucid?, was the dominant power along the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, and in Asia Minor and Syria. It is the territory of Turkey. The Turkish Empire has for generations filled the dominions of the original king of the north.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.4

    “At the time of the end” in that very 1798, Napoleon entered Egypt. The Mameluke rulers vainly “pushed” at the French, and Egypt was quickly subdued. Then Napoleon marched northward into Syria, led by the same ambition which had so often made that region the battling ground of nations. Guizot says:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.5

    In his secret thoughts, powerful and chimerical, he nursed the hopes of pushing forward to Constantinople, seizing that city, and making himself master of Europe by attacking it from its eastern side. It was to the conquest of the world that he marched in advancing against Jaffa.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.6

    But Turkey, the king of the north, came at him, as the text says, “like a whirlwind,“ and, reinforced on land and sea by the English and Russian alliance, drove the French back, and eventually, as stated in verses 41-43, overflowed all the land into Egypt, which again became tributary to Turkey.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.7

    This alliance with England and Russia “was the beginning of the new politics of the Mohammedans in Europe, the beginning of the end for them,” says the “Encyclop?dia Britannica.” From this time the Ottoman Empire, which had been able about sixty years before to fight single-handed against both Austria and Russia and dictate favourable terms of peace, began that breaking up process which all along the statesmen of the world are now watching. All along the question has been, Who shall secure Constantinople?—the prize at which Napoleon aimed in his dream of sovereignty over Europe and Asia. Again and again Turkey has fought to maintain its European dominion. The angel had said:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.8

    “Tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” Verse 43.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.9

    It is a good description of the Turkish attack on Russia in 1853, which led to the Crimean War, in which France and England helped the Turk to stand. Again in 1878, English intervention kept Russia out of Constantinople.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.10

    THE PRESENT CRISIS IN THE EAST

    Since then the jealousies of the Powers and the desire of each to seize the chief part of the spoil have led one and then another to help Turkey to stand. But “the king of the North’” is threatened in the north and in the east, and in European politics it is an accepted doctrine that every such crisis as Turkey has been passing through of late is hastening the final fall of the Ottoman Power in Europe. Then perforce he must remove his seat of government into Syria. The angel said of this move:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.11

    “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end and none shall help him.” Verse 45.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.12

    Again the scene of conflict becomes the land of Palestine. It is here that the battle of the last day, of Armageddon, is to be fought, and more than one prophet has described the gathering of the nations to the final conflict here. And in this the “king of the North” is to come to his end, and none shall help him.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.13

    “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.14

    It is to warn the world of what is just before us now, that this long prophetic history was given. The events in the Near East are full of a significance which politicians do not appreciate. They fear the trouble that they see hovering over the world, ready to fall when the dissolution of Turkey comes. The Powers know that they are ready to fill the earth with violence in order to advance their interests. But dreaming of empire none of them believe what God says, and they are only rushing headlong to destruction. Christendom rings with the din of war preparations, and many call for the overthrow of the Turk, little thinking that they are hastening the world into that time of trouble which will witness the plagues of the last day and the destruction of the wicked by the consuming glory of Christ's second coming.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.15

    This story of the struggle for empire and dominion given by the angel to Daniel over 2500 years ago is full of details, and we have here only sketched the outline, but truly it shows that we are Iiving in serious times. One lesson in it for us is that all through the centuries prophecy has been the one sure thing, and we may know that he who builds upon the Word and lets the Word build him up will be kept safely. Christ's promise is for us now, and we shall need it in the times that are before us, “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold I come quickly.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.16

    “Wars and Rumours of Wars” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Under the head, “Wars and Rumors of Wars,“ the Review of Reviews says:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.17

    In the periodicals for March there is quite a glut of articles discussing the prospects of war and peace.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.18

    Several of these articles are then summarised.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.19

    In a reported lecture by Lord Wolseley on “War and Preparations for War” he claimed that war was a good thing for the soldier, a good thing for civilisation, a good thing for humanity, a good thing for morality, and that the army is “the most excellent of all the public training colleges.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.20

    Another article is a report of a lecture, and the following discussion, on “A Scheme for the Defence of London.” In the course of the discussion it was said:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.21

    You want to teach the children in your Board Schools, your National Schools, and even in your Voluntary Schools, from the age of ten, to shoot with the Morris Tube, so that there shall be no doubt that any man going into the field, with one hundred cartridges, carries seventy lives in his pouch. These are the points to which your attention should be directed.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.22

    A further article considers the whole Government scheme of national defence.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.23

    Again in another magazine the question is asked, and answered at length, “Is France at England's Mercy;” while a second writer in the same periodical discusses with faithful minuteness the problem “Could Spain Thrash the United States.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 195.24

    In a late issue the Daily Mail says:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.1

    Every year seems to make it more probable that the close of the nineteenth century will mark an epoch in the history of the world. The thoughts of the nations have for some time now been turned to the subject of war; and incredible though it may seem, in the event of a general call to arms, nearly 40,000,000 of men could be placed in the field.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.2

    The available military forces of the world are thus summarised: United States of America, 7,500,000 men; France, 4,350,000; Germany, 3,000,000; Russia, 2,600,000; Italy, 3,030,000; Great Britain, 715,683; Spain, 1,084,000; Switzerland, 483,200; Austro-Hungary, 4,000,000;—twenty-five other nationalities are enumerated with armies of from a million to a few thousand, and the article concludes with this paragraph:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.3

    It is a terrible reflection that the will of one man, or a mistake of diplomacy, may bring these armies of the world into collision. After the first shot is fired no one can say when and where the sacrifice will end, and the contemplation that 40,000,000 of men are armed against each other, even in the interests of “peace,“ is not soothing when rumours of war are so rife. It means that all over the globe one man in every forty of the population is ready for the fray.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.4

    It is scarcely possible that there could be stronger evidences of the rapid fulfilment of prophecy than such indications as these. But while there are a few who understand the significance of these “wars and rumours of wars,“ and the vast preparations which are being made, and watch, and wait, and pray, it is true of the nations at large that they are waiting for the fray, ready to burst forth at the voice of that ruler who shall first cry, “Havoc! and let loose the dogs of war.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.5

    “A Serious Question” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The effect of the license in religious thought and belief, which was the result of the teaching at the “World's Parliament of Religions,“ has combined with the so-called “Higher Criticism,“ to draw many of the intellectual leaders in popular religion farther and farther from the Bible, and the truth.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.6

    This has found vent of late in open attacks from the pulpit, in various parts of the world, upon the inspiration of the Bible as a whole, and also in thinly veiled ridicule of certain portions of the Biblical writings, such as the attack, not long since upon the Song of Solomon, by a preacher of repute who had previously excited his congregation to laughter by his humorous treatment of the miracle of Jonah and the whale. Another clergyman, of high repute for ability, and with a large following, has yielded to the contagion and expressed to his congregation his disbelief in the fact that the prophet Balaam was reproved by his ass, in the manner described by the Biblical narrative.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.7

    These incidents together with numerous others have led the Roman Catholic journals to call attention to “the Bible smashing,“ as they term it, which those who call themselves Protestants are now engaged in.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.8

    In this they are putting the strongest kind of a weapon into the hands of Roman Catholicism; which in good time will be used most effectually. There is no foundation for true religion except upon the Bible as God's Word. If its validity is questioned there is no foundation for those who question except the opinions and the teachings of men. The strongest and greatest of all these is Roman Catholicism, that overmastering deception which will eventually rule all who depart in the least from the pure and unadulterated Word of God. This, Roman Catholicism knows, and it bides its time, not making the use yet, which it well might, of the fact that many of the most noted of the Protestant ministry of the present day have reasoned themselves completely round the circle, and are again in fact, though not in profession, in the arms of the Roman Catholic Church.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.9

    There is a strangely ludicrous inconsistency in the result achieved by these “Bible smashers” who are unable to believe the miracles attested by God's Word, in that they play directly into the hands of a false religious power which demands of all its followers, and votaries, an unreasoning credulousness which amounts in the end to the attainment of a genius for gullibility.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.10

    The miracles which God has worked, related in His Word, and corroborated by the wonders which He still works, during every moment of time, before the eyes and in the experience of every man, they cannot believe; but they are getting ready to accept, if they do not already, the Satanic delusions of Spiritualism and the allied deceptions of Roman Catholic saint worship and wonder working. Whom do these men, and those who are influenced by them, really worship, and in whom do they actually believe? That is a serious question for them.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.11

    As Paul pointed out to the pagan Athenians the God whom they ignorantly worshipped; so there should another Paul arise, in these times, to point out to these learned Bible critics the Satan whom they are ignorantly worshipping.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.12

    “The Message of Comfort” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The fortieth chapter of Isaiah is wholly a message of comfort. It begins, “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.” Then follows an assurance of forgiveness, and then the special message is given by the voice of one crying in the wilderness. That message is the power of the Word of God, as contrasted with the weakness of man.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.13

    “The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:1-8.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.14

    Then follow illustrations of the power of the word. The facts of creation are referred to, and the power of God is contrasted with the weakness of men. Then comes this beautiful passage. “To whom then will ye liken Me, that I should be equal to him? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who hath created these, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by name: by the greatness of His might, and for that He is strong in power, not one is lacking.” Isaiah 40:25, 26, R.V.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.15

    Here again we are referred to the fact that God is the upholder of the heavens; that it is His power that keeps the heavenly bodies in their places. But for His direct interposition there would be chaos. In the following verses this fact is offered to the people of God for their special encouragement. “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, my way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.” Isaiah 40:27-29.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.16

    What a lesson of trust is here! “God hath spoken; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” Psalm 62:11. That power is the power that upholds the heavens, and causes the stars and planets to hold their courses. It is this power that He gives to the faint, and to those who have no might, if they will but trust Him. Let a despondent soul but spend a little time in contemplation of the heavens, thinking the while of this passage, and he will be better able than ever before to realise what the apostle means when he says, “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience, and longsuffering, with joyfulness.” Colossians 1:11.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 196.17

    But what is all this intended to show? The power of the word; for it is by the word of His power that all things are upheld. It is the word of the Lord that has created all things. That word is brought to our attention in the first part of the chapter, in contrast with all flesh, as the word that abideth for ever. Read now the fortieth chapter of Isaiah entire, especially verses 6-8, and 26, and then read the Apostle Peter's comment:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.1

    “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; but the word of the Lord endureth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23-25. Here we have the quotation from the fortieth of Isaiah concerning the word of God, which creates and upholds all things. It is the living word, which is the life and strength of all things. Take this all in, and then read the closing words of the apostle: “And this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.2

    The Gospel, then, is simply the creative power of God applied to men. Any Gospel that leaves creation out, or which does not preach the creative power of God, as seen in the things that He has made, and which does not comfort men by that power, calling upon them ever to keep it in mind as their only source of strength, is “another gospel,“ which is simply no gospel at all, since there can be no other.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.3

    This, then, is the lesson to be learned “in the beginning.” He who has learned it is a new creature in Christ, and is ready to learn that which follows, namely, the lesson of growth. With these wonderful facts in mind, how worse than useless do the fears seem which some express: “I am afraid that if I begin the Christian life I shall not be able to hold out.” Of course, you wouldn't be able to hold out. You are without strength; but help has been laid upon One that is mighty. He is able to make you stand, and to keep you to the end. “Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Therefore,PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.4

    “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 24, 25.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.5

    “How Solomon Got His Wisdom” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Solomon was the wisest man that the world ever saw. There was none like him before or after. How did he get his wisdom?—God gave it to him. Did he go to bed one night, and wake up next morning a wise man? He himself has told us how he got his wisdom, and how we may get it. Solomon was a king and he has given us the royal way to wisdom. And this is not simply Solomon's opinion. It is the Spirit of God speaking through Solomon, and what the Spirit of God spoke to Solomon, He speaks to us:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.6

    “My son, if thou wilt receive My words, and hide My commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.7

    How did Solomon get his understanding? He dug for it. He cried for it day and night. That is the way men seek silver and gold. That is the way the millionaires get their money. They put their minds on that one thing to the exclusion of every other thing day and night; because they would rather have money than anything else. Now, we would rather have wisdom than anything else, because the wisdom of God is salvation, and the salvation of God is everything. Solomon studied, and the Lord gave him light. He studied God's Word, “for the Lord giveth wisdom, out of His mouth cometh understanding.” We desire wisdom, too. How shall we get it?—“If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” But let him be watchful about one thing. “Let him ask in faith.” How does faith come?—By hearing. Hearing what?—The Word of God. Romans 10:17. Let him ask, then, according to the Word of God.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.8

    “Rome's Tactics in Australia” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A long time ago, when the Pope definitely put his approval upon what he called free and popular government, he urged that Roman Catholics should be watchful and ready to enter politics and influence legislation in every possible way, in order to bring the laws of popular governments into harmony with Catholic principles. It is the new crusade, and the dream of the modern Papacy is to dominate the masses and work through peoples as in the old times, before constitutional government, it worked through kings and princes.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.9

    The policy is well under way and has made greater progress than most people think. Rome may well be astonished to see Protestants so earnestly building up the shattered edifice of Catholicism by pushing religious controversy into politics. She will meet them and further her own aims. The last Australian mail brings news of development there. Our Society's Melbourne organ, the Bible Echo, says:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.10

    Friday, Feb. 5, a deputation said to have included “gentlemen of all shades of religious and political opinion,“ waited on Cardinal Moran to request him to allow himself to be nominated as a candidate to the Federal Convention. In response the Cardinal read a lengthy reply, previously prepared for the occasion, in which he signified his willingness to comply with the “very flattering invitation.” After calling attention to the question of a constitution for the proposed Australian Commonwealth, almost the first thing in this reply the Cardinal says:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.11

    “I would wish to see inserted in the preamble to the Constitution some such clause as the following: ‘Religion is the basis of our Australian Commonwealth and of its laws; and in accordance with the spirit of religion, genuine liberty of conscience is the birthright of every Australian citizen, and full and free religious worship, so far as may be consistent with public order and public morality, shall be accorded to all.’”—Melbourne Age, Feb. 6, 1897.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.12

    This proposition is worthy of consideration. To many it may seem a praiseworthy thing. But we cannot so regard it, and for the following reasons:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.13

    Whenever religion has been made the basis of civil laws and civil legislation in the past, the result invariably has been to trammel the “full and free exercise of divine worship,“ and interfere with “genuine liberty of conscience.” History tells but one story along this line.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 197.14

    Furthermore, according to both the spirit of the religion of Jesus Christ and Christ's own teaching, civil governments can of right have nothing to do with religion. That is a matter quite apart from their proper jurisdiction. Men are accountable to God alone for their faith and practice in this respect. Said Christ: “Render unto C?sar the things that are C?sar's and unto God the things that are God’s.” But religion does not belong to C?sar, and C?sar, therefore, has no right to assume jurisdiction over it. Religion pertains to man's relation and moral accountability to God, not to the Government. The Papacy has ever sought to make religion the basis of civil governments, and the Dark Ages, with their martyrdoms on the rack, at the stake, in the dungeon and before the tribunals of the Inquisition, testify to the awful results of her successes in this direction.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 198.1

    If men would but look beneath the surface, they could see in this proposed preamble a proposition for taking a first and long step in the backward direction. It is so worded that many doubtless will not see in it what is really there. On the face of it, it may look like a very innocent, harmless, and even laudable affair. But it contains a “dead fly” which spoils the otherwise good ointment. It declares for “genuine liberty of conscience” and “full and free exercise of worship so far as may be consistent with public order and public morality.” But that spoils it all. That puts liberty of conscience and freedom of worship on a variable and treacherous foundation. It makes them the servants of the whims and the caprice of men. It jeopardises their very existence at the outset. “Public order” in Roman Catholic countries may require that every man shall uncover his head while the “host” or the “crucifix” is being carried by in a procession. “Public morality” even in Australia may demand that all shall observe Sunday as the Sabbath, while God says the seventh day shall be thus observed. Public order and public morality are often at low ebb and of very inferior quality. They are not the standard of order and morality for the true follower of Christ. He looks to God and His Word, and not to the public, for directions in determining what are his duties and limits in religious matters, and he is bound to follow what God says, regardless of what the public may do, say, or think.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 198.2

    Let none be deceived. The Papacy never has declared, and the Papacy never will declare, for the right of the individual to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. This would destroy the whole papal system at one stroke. It will never do it.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 198.3

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

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Marine insurance companies report that there have been an extraordinary number of wrecks at sea this spring.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.1

    -The Russian Government is credited with the policy of uniting the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea by a camel.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.2

    -A motion for reduction in taxation of clerical incomes passed the House of Commons by a considerable majority on March 23.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.3

    -It is said that in Germany cattle and sheep are fed on treacle for the purpose of fattening them and that during one year no less than 100,000 tons of treacle have been used in this way.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.4

    -The United States Senate has so amended the treaty of arbitration between this country and that that it is considered that the treaty is wrecked. The opposition to it is attributed to the “Jingo” spirit in the Senate.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.5

    -The London County Council has decided to take no action as to the restriction of Sunday music in the various halls. Some time ago a petition was presented by the “Lord's Day Rest Association” asking that this should be done, and s renewal of the petition has resulted in this refusal of the Council to act.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.6

    -The Board of Trade report of the state of the labour market in February shows that during that month sixty-six fresh disputes arose, involving 23,671 people, eighteen of which were wholly successful from the point of view of the workers. Changes in the rates of wages affected nearly 50,000 people, of whom all except 300 received increases.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.7

    -Menelik of Abyssinia, who claims to be a descendant of the Queen of Sheba, has arranged for the coinage of a large quantity of money at the French Mint. On one side of the coins will appear the effigy of the Negus, surrounded by a Greek cross, and inscribed “John Menelik II., King of Kings of Ethiopia.” On the reverse side will be engraved the conquering lion of the tribe of Judah, with the words “Ethiopia holds out the hand to no one but God.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.8

    -It is said to be still cold in Thessaly and Macedonia, and snow lies upon the mountains. But this month will bring the spring forward, and then it will be seen whether or not the mountaineers of Macedonia will rise against the Turkish rule. In olden times in these regions spring brought these men out to raid and plunder, and newspaper correspondents intimate that the old love of fighting is stirring the blood of the peasantry, who will be disappointed if they do not get a chance at somebody.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.9

    -War is a Satanic thing anyway, and doubtless it is quite consistent for fighters to make their weapons as cruelly effective as possible. There has been much complaint that the new Lee-Metford bullet did not shatter the flesh and bones sufficiently to at once disable a man. It is said that on the recent Benin expedition the troops filed off the tops of their bullets with the result that a shattering wound was inflicted. It is gruesome to think of men sitting down to devise ways of mutilating their enemies, but it is a necessary part of war.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 206.10

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When the Psalmist said, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy,“ he had in his heart a foretaste of the words of the Master, “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.1

    The South African Sentinel, organ of our Society in Cape Town, says that their newly-opened Sanatorium is full, and our friends have had to secure the lease of a large private house adjoining the institution.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.2

    It is estimated that of the 200,000,000 Africans, 50,000,000 are slaves. The great army of slaves is recruited not only by the Arab slave raiders, but in many parts debtors and criminals are sold by the tribes, and parents sell their children to the dealers in human flesh.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.3

    Bishop Tucker, of Uganda, says that while in 1890 the C.M.S. had only one church in that region, now they had 320, with congregations numbering 25,000. The native teachers are supported entirely by the converts. They have the Scriptures and the “Pilgrim's Progress” in the native tongue.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.4

    The War Office is about to test a new Hotchkiss gun which it is expected will prove to be the deadliest of all the automatic machines yet constructed. This gun can be easily transported, weighing only thirty-three pounds. It fires 1,000 shots in two minutes, three seconds, and when once set in motion continues to discharge its hailstorm of lead until the ammunition runs out, or it is stopped by the gunner.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.5

    If this new implement of destruction should prove as efficient as it promises, there will be no doubt a great desire among the “Christian nations” to possess it, or at least each will deem it necessary to have some implement of war equally as murderous. Is it not surprising that among those people who profess national Christianity there should be the greatest emulation as to which should be able to break the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,“ in the most wholesale way?PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.6

    The craze for making the people religious by law has made such progress in America that a bill has actually been introduced in the legislature of a Western State providing for the enforcement of the Ten Commandments under penalties. It will no doubt be at once thrown out, but the fact that it is introduced is significant of the tendency of religious life in the United States.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.7

    How many there are who see in the temporal needs of their families, in the struggle for the “daily bread,“ an apparently insurmountable barrier in the way of obeying God's commandments. But really, whether obeying or disobeying, all are absolutely dependent upon God's grace for life and strength and daily food. God's mercy sends these temporal benefits upon the just and the unjust. But the only promise there is that God will see that we have “these things” is to those who seek “first” the kingdom of God and His righteousness.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.8

    One of our Society's missionaries on the Gold Coast tells of God's grace upon him in a recent illness which had reduced him to the verge of death. He says:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.9

    As we could not understand what had caused the sickness, and everything we did was of no use, I called my wife to the bedside, and told her I knew nothing else to do except to pray to God, the source of all strength. She then led in prayer, and I followed, asking the Lord to forgive if we had sinned a sin of ignorance; and if it was to His glory, to hear and heal. I was healed from that hour. Brethren, the Lord is in Africa, and there is a great work to be done here. We know we are not doing it alone; for your prayers are helping us.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.10

    The patience of the saints and the faith of Jesus are the attributes which are inseparable. Where the one exists the other must also be. They are the handmaids of heaven. Those who possess their souls in patience in this life will find eternal life the possession of their souls hereafter.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.11

    “Jesuits in Madagascar” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Jesuits in Madagascar .—Freedom of religious belief and worship in Madagascar has found a champion in the person of a former governor of French Indo-China, who, writing in reference to the course which is being pursued in Madagascar, declares thatPTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.12

    A colonial policy favouring the introduction of religious animosities, and conducted by a militarism which claims the right to impose a form of worship in the natives can only be a cause of ruin and of shame for the Republic and France.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.13

    If the facts as regards the management of affairs in this island are such as this sentence presupposes, it would seem that the intolerance which was supposed to have been scotched at home has survived to make itself felt in France's latest acquired colony.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.14

    “Education in War” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Education in War .—The public schools’ volunteers have had their field day at Aldershot. These infants in arms, twenty-two corps strong, armed with rifles and blank cartridges, man?uvred and fought sham battles for a whole day, and returned to their homes filled with the martial spirit which the doings of the day were intended to inspire. “As the twig is bent, the tree is inclined,“ so it is said. If the youth are brought up to war, is it natural to expect peace when they are grown? The day will come when those parents, in their helpless age will look to see these boys return from some field where they will not meet blank cartridges, and they will not return.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.15

    War is a transgression of God's laws, and the way of the transgressor, and of those who aid and educate him to transgress, is hard. Those who take the sword shall perish with the sword.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.16

    “Power of Custom” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Power of Custom .—Bosnia is peopled by a mixture of races and religions, and in describing some of their characteristics a newspaper says:—PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.17

    But the most curious community, from the religious point of view, is that of a sect of Roman Catholics who in their worship go through the genuflexions, prostrations, and other attitudes practised by the Moslems in the mosques close by. The custom is doubtless a survival of the time when Christians, to save their lives, pretended to be Mohammedans. Yet these Roman Catholics would fight to the death for the preservation of their Moslem ceremonies.PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.18

    “The Blessed Hope” The Present Truth, 13, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Blessed Hope .—When Jesus was about to leave His disciples He said: “Let not your heart be troubled ... I will come again.” When, therefore, the thought of Christ's soon coming troubles people something is wrong. Many shut their eyes to the evidences that the end is near, and are startled when the doctrine of the Second Advent is presented. What is needed is such an entire surrender of the heart and such a turning to God in the obedience of faith that the thought of the coming of the Saviour in power and glory will be a precious one. It is to those that “love His appearing” that He will give the crown of life “in that day.”PTUK April 1, 1897, page 208.19

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents