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    September 9, 1897

    “Front Page” The Present Truth, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother.”PTUK September 9, 1897, page 561.1

    This was Jesus’ reply to those who told Him that His mother and brothers were waiting to see Him. Matthew 6:46-50. Evidently they thought that the family relationship gave them special privileges of access to Him, not enjoyed by others.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 561.2

    But His relationship was to the whole human family. He was made flesh, made the Son of man, in order that every man and woman in Him might become of the household of God. He took part of human flesh and blood that all flesh in Him might find a Brother. He would allow no personal considerations to obscure that truth.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 561.3

    This misapprehension of His relationship to man which He here corrected, was responsible, in later times, for the exaltation of Mary, as one who had special access to the Lord, and whose petitions He could not refuse. Of course Mary is dead, and will not be living until that day when those that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth, the righteous unto life; the wicked unto the “second death;” but, aside from this error, there is in the Catholic doctrine of the Virgin Mary that determination of the natural heart to worship and serve “the creature more than the Creator.” So, instead of Jesus being the Mediator, “the man Christ Jesus,“ whose heart is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because, as our Brother, He Himself has suffered, being tempted in all points like as we are, instead of this Saviour of men, the Catholic doctrine makes Mary the all pitiful, able to persuade reluctant Divinity to succour sinners in need.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 561.4

    On another occasion, when one woman of the company, considering the honour of being related in the flesh to so great a Teacher, cried out, “Blessed is the womb that bare Thee,“ Jesus again replied: “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it.” Luke 11:28. He is the Saviour of all men, the Brother of all in need, and whosoever is willing to be turned from sin by His life finds in Him one closer than a brother. The high honour of blood relationship with Jesus, the Son of God and Son of man, is open to every one who is willing to be turned from disobedience unto righteousness.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 561.5

    “Lessons From the Book of Hebrews. ‘I Will Declare Thy Name’” The Present Truth, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Theo.” Hebrews 2:12.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.1

    Who is it that uses these words?—It is Christ—“He that sanctifieth.” And the place where we find them is Psalm 22:23, which we must carefully study, if we would learn all that it is intended we should learn from them. In our study thus far we have seen that the Lord's statement, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren,“ shows us His wonderful love and condescension; He is not ashamed to call us poor sinners brethren; now we are to learn a lesson of even greater comfort and encouragement-a lesson of how to conquer by faith, the faith of Jesus Christ. He who reads the words, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren,“ without considering the circumstances under which they are uttered, loses the most wonderful and precious lesson in the whole Bible. Let us therefore study the picture that is presented to us in the twenty-second Psalm.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.2

    The Psalms as a whole are the words of Christ. “David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet Psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His Word was in my tongue.” 2 Samuel 23:1, 2. Indeed, in the whole Bible we have the Spirit of Christ, in the prophets, testifying (1 Peter 1:10, 11), although often, as in so many of the Psalms, the writers described their own personal experiences. Thus in Inspiration we have the mystery of the Incarnation. Christ in the flesh, as Man, has all the experiences of mankind, so that no one can have suffered anything or passed through any sort of trial that Christ has not endured; nay, more, that Christ does not at that very moment share. When we read the Bible, but especially the Psalms, with this in mind, we find in them unsearchable riches of comfort.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.3

    THE TWENTY-SECOND PSALM

    But this applies most especially to the twenty-second Psalm, for in that we have the most unmistakable evidence that it is a description of Christ's experience, and yet it is most intensely human. In it every soul can read his own struggles and temptations, and discouragements,-and, if he has faith, his own victories.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.4

    Before we take up the Psalm in regular order, let us note a few verses which show us that it comes as a whole right from the heart of Christ.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.5

    Verse 1: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me.” Compare Matthew 27:46, and the connection.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.6

    Verse 6: “But I am a worm and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” Compare Isaiah 52:14; 53:3.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.7

    Verses 7, 8: “All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him.” Compare Matthew 27:39, 43.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.8

    Verse 16: “They pierced My hands and My feet.” Verse 18: “They part My garments among them, and cast lots for My vesture.” Compare John 19:23, 24.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.9

    These verses show us that the Psalm is the outpouring of Christ's soul in His most trying earthly experiences. Nevertheless it is “a Psalm of David.”PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.10

    “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” “O My God, I cry in the daytime, but Thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.”PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.11

    These words show to us that the experience covers more than the few hours during which Christ hung on the cross; for here we read about crying day and night. It was not only the time that He hung upon the tree, that He felt forsaken, but there were many other times in His life when darkness and despair seemed about to overwhelm Him. This explains the nights spent in prayer.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.12

    NOT FORSAKEN-GOD IS FAITHFUL

    How many persons often think that God has really forsaken them. What a blessed comfort to know that they share that feeling with Jesus; nay, more, that it is His own experience in us.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.13

    “Oh, yes,“ says one, “but the case is different with me, for I am a great sinner, and it is my sins that have hid His face from me.”PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.14

    Yes; there is nothing but sin that can make a separation between God and any soul, and it was just this that made Christ feel that God had forsaken Him; for the Lord “hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.” Isaiah 53:5, 6. It was our sins upon Him, which He bore as if they were His own, that caused His “strong crying and tears.” Our sins, the very same sins that cause these feelings of despondency with which we are so well acquainted. Good! Then when these feelings come to us, we will remember that they came to Jesus, and we will let Him dispose of them, just as He did when on earth.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.15

    Now comes a ray of hope piercing through the gloom: “But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in Thee; they trusted, and Thou didst deliver them. They cried unto Thee, and were delivered; they trusted in Thee, and were not confounded.” Verses 3-5.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.16

    If the soul in trouble will only hold fast to the everlasting truth that God is holy and good, and that His mercy endures for ever, he has a sure anchor. This is that which “enters into that within the veil.” But when I know that God is good, then I know that He has not forsaken me. And then comes the thought of God's goodness to men in past ages, how He delivered Noah and Lot and Joseph, and Jeremiah, and Daniel, and so many others, and that He is the same God still. Yes, truly God is good to the children of men.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 562.17

    A DESPERATE CASE

    “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” Verse 6.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.1

    Thus the tempter seeks to deprive us of the comfort we began to receive from the thought of God's goodness to men of old. “Yes; but they were better men than I am; God could well deliver them, for He had some material to work with; but I am but a worm, unworthy of notice.” Who has not had just such thoughts? All the wealth of God's love, as manifested to the men of old is lost on us, because we feel ourselves so unworthy, because of our sins. What a comfort to know that our sins caused Jesus the same feelings of worthlessness and unworthiness; for just as surely as He gained the victory over them, so shall we in Him.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.2

    But the case is desperate. “All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him.” Verse 7, 8. “Many there be which say of My soul, There is no help for Him in God.” Psalm 3:3. Despised of men, and taunted by Satan because of our sins, we are tempted to think that there is no help for us in God. But let us never forget that Jesus had the same experience.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.3

    He was esteemed as “stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” “But He had no sin to trouble His conscience,“ says the one who is unwilling to take the comfort of Christ. Indeed He had our sins, and they rested upon Him just as if He Himself had committed them; for Him “who knew no sin” hath God “made to be sin on our behalf.” 2 Corinthians 5:21, R.V. “He was tempted in all points like as we are.” Hebrews 4:15. It is impossible that any man can be more oppressed and cast down because of sin than Christ was, and when we remember that it was our sins that caused it, we will allow Him, since He still liveth to make intercession for us, to carry out His own experience in us to the full.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.4

    Trouble may come from every quarter, yet the Lord holds fast to the goodness of God. “But Thou art He that took Me out of the womb; Thou didst make me to hope when I was upon My mother's breasts. I was cast upon Thee from the womb; Thou art My. God from My mother's belly.” Verses 9, 10. Sinners are we, and unworthy to live? Yes; but nevertheless we do live, as it is by the power and grace of God that we have lived to this moment. “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:32, 23. Why has the Lord allowed us to live all these years, and not simply allowed us to live, but kept us alive?—Because He desired our salvation, for “the longsuffering of our God is salvation.” 2 Peter 3:15. He who has “no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11), has no pleasure in trouble and suffering. If He wished us to perish He would not have kept us alive till this day. He who has kept us thus far, will continue to keep us, and much more, as we recognise His presence and power. The world has a saying, “While there's life, there's hope,“ but few realise how much it means. Christ is the life; where there is life there is evidence of His presence; and where there is His presence there is eternal hope. All things are possible to him who desires salvation, and who trusts. “Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee.” Psalm 33:22.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.5

    THE CRY FOR HELP

    Now comes a cry for help in the sorest need: “Be not far from Me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed Me; strong bulls of Bashan have beset all round. They gaped upon Me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and My tongue cleaveth to My jaws; and Thou hast brought Me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed Me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed Me; they pierced My hands and My feet. I may tell all My bones; they look and stare upon Me. They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture. Be not far from Me, O Lord; O My strength, haste Thee to help Me. Deliver My soul from the sword; My darling from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lion's mouth; for Thou hast heard Me from the horns of the unicorns,“ or wild oxen. Psalm 22:11-21.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.6

    In these verses we have the condition of Christ, not only when He hung on the cross, but in His life before that tile, and especially when He was in the desert “with the wild beasts” (Mark 1:13), tempted by the devil. He prays to be saved from the lion's mouth, and so may we, for our “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. It is because of sin that beasts are wild and ferocious; and Satan is the originator of sin; all fighting and devouring, whether by man or beast, is the working of Satan. So that the fierce wild beasts that surrounded Christ in the wilderness, threatening to devour Him, were a vivid representation of the devil, who was seeking His soul's ruin.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.7

    In the desert of temptation Christ was made to suffer as no other being has ever suffered. He was weak in body, threatened by the wild beasts, and surrounded by Satan and his hosts; for “the assembly of the wicked” inclosed Him. The last clause of verse 21 shows that He was brought to the last extremity. “From the horns of the wild oxen Thou hast heard Me.” Nothing could more graphically express the sorest need; one could not be exposed to greater danger; on the point of the wild oxen's horns, one would think that there was no hope for life, that he was indeed wholly forsaken; but from just such a perilous position the Lord cried for help, and was heard.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.8

    VICTORY AND PRAISE AMIDST TROUBLE

    While in the miserable condition described in this chapter, seemingly utterly forsaken by the Father, surrounded by wild beasts and demons, with every ray of hope seemingly excluded, He says:—PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.9

    “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.”PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.10

    There is where victory lies. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower.” The Lord's name is, “Merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:6, 7. If when one is in trouble, and in trouble because of sin, let him declare that name, and he will find help. Jesus said: “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. How did He overcome?—By holding fast to the fact that God is everlasting love and a mighty Deliverer.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 563.11

    Read now the remainder of the Psalm, and you will see that from this point there is no more darkness nor mention of trouble. All thought of trouble is lost in a song of praise. But remember that all these words of praise are uttered while in the condition described in the preceding verses. That is the secret of victory.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 564.1

    How wonderful these words of Christ, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren” appear, when we consider the circumstances under which they are uttered. Out of the depths of distress they come, with a force and confidence that forces the enemy to flee. And how precious are the words, when we remember that they are spoken on our behalf. It is Christ in the flesh who utters these words, and therefore they are for us to utter when in trouble.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 564.2

    Do you seem to be overwhelmed with trouble and temptation, and does everything look dark and forbidding, so that it seems as if hope itself were dead?—There is a sure cure: declare the name, that is, the mercy and goodness of the Lord, to others who are in need. Instead of talking about your darkness and discouragements, begin to tell how good the Lord is, and to praise Him. You can do it, for it is true, whether you feel it or not. Don't be afraid; there is no danger of overstating the facts in the case, when you sing of the mercies of the Lord. Never mind feeling; stick to facts. The sun shines even though clouds come between. Christ fails not, and is not discouraged. By faith, His courage becomes yours, and then by encouraging others your courage is always fresh.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 564.3

    “The First Love” The Present Truth, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Ephesians had laboured, and kept themselves from evil workers bent on sowing disaffection, and had not fainted; the pitiful Lord had seen it all. But there was one thing that had robbed them of the joy and peace in labour. “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast felt thy first love.” One writer truly says:—PTUK September 9, 1897, page 564.4

    The only way we can retain our first love and keep that aglow which was kindled in our hearts when Jesus spoke the words to us, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,“ is by lighting the lamp of love in other hearts, and helping those who need help.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 564.5

    And the only way of doing this is to have the oil in our own life's lamp filled daily with the fresh supply of oil. The knowledge of sins forgiven must be a daily experience. All the time, as we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ is cleansing us from all sin. That is the experience all the way, and every day.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 564.6

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Canada's population in 1887 was 1,501,649. Now it is 5,100,000.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.1

    -The France-Russian Alliance has been officially notified to other Powers.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.2

    -Over 300 people lost their lives by an earthquake in Japan last weak.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.3

    -The assayers report that the gold of Klondyke is not of the finest quality.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.4

    -Last year, in the United Kingdom, 162,000 persons were committed to prison. The year before the number was 169,000.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.5

    -Indian news from day to day shows a serious situation, though the natural inability of the tribes to work together aids the British forces.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.6

    -Those who like figures may be interested in this: “The weight of the earth, according to recent experiments and calculations, is 1,256,195,670,000,000,000,000,000 tons.”PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.7

    -On account of the engineer's strike and lockout much work is said to he already going to the Continent. Germany is getting many orders. On the other hand the engineers declare that they are gaining, and that more firms are coming to their terms. Both sides, as always in war, are losing heavily.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.8

    -Austria is made up of various nationalities, but the German is the official language. In Bohemia, however, the Czech is the official language, and all officials must understand that as well as the German. This displeases the German-speaking population, who do not wish to learn the difficult Czech speech, and so there is constant friction and occasional riots.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.9

    -This month the Yukon river freezes, and ordinary traffic between Klondyke and the coast will cease. About 3,000 persons are said to have got through to the gold regions, and it is feared that food will tail them before spring. Other thousands are camped between the coast and the mountain passes, who if they go on, must wait through the long Arctic winter.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.10

    -At the end of the last century France represented 27 per cent, of the Great European Powers, and her language was the one spoken throughout the world. To-day, says a French writer, she lives an her past. There are 46,000,000 of people who know French from birth. Such is the number of readers that a French book could have; but the same books written in German could be read by more than 97,000,000 men; and if in English by more than 115,000,000 people.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.11

    -The Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture is the chief authority in the estimate of the world's harvest. This year they estimate the wheat supply at 573,760,000 metric hundredweights, while the present requirements for the year are placed at 655,150,000. This leaves a shortage of over 50,000,000 metric hundred weights. The yield being unusually light, the price of wheat has risen, and America, where the crops are fair, is reaping the benefits. But it is said that after all market manipulations and not the masses are profiting by it.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 574.12

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “There is a movement in the Episcopal Church in America,“ says the Catholic Times, “towards the adoption of Catholic rites and practices. The Protestants in both England and America are evidently undoing the work of the Reformers.”PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.1

    How do you know, Christian that Jesus Christ has power to sinner from his sins to-day? Only as know a sinner who is saved from his to-day can you in full assurance tell another that there is actual power in the life of Christ to save him.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.2

    In the Psalmist's days there were evidently those who, as some in our day, gloried in their freedom from obedience to the law of God. To their efforts to draw him after them in transgression he made response: “Depart from me, ye evildoers; for I will keep the commandments of my God.” Psalm 119:115.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.3

    Not the theory of the truth, but the “love of the truth” is the defence against self-deception and the overmastering delusions of the last days. 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11. Every one who has not this love in the inner sanctuary of the soul will assuredly be blinded and confused. The simple one who loves much can see the line of light more clearly than the high-minded controversialist who has seen in the truth only a form of doctrine.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.4

    Chinese officials in high places are said to be adopting a new policy, and there is promise that their influence will be for full toleration of missionaries. Their anxiety is only to reap material advantages from freer contact with other nations, but if this opens the way for freer access to the people it must hasten the evangelisation of the great Chinese empire.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.5

    Our Society's work in China and Japan is only beginning, in a small way, but we are glad to learn that schools conducted among these nationalities in various parts of the United States have developed a good number of believers, some of whom will be fitted to carry the Gospel of Christ's Sabbath and Kingdom to their countrymen. In the Hawaiian Islands schools have been established in answer to the calls of Chinese residents. Recently additional teachers were asked for, and we learn that several wealthy Chinese merchants are putting up a new school building in Honolulu, to be under the charge of our teachers, who will, of course, he perfectly free to teach the Gospel in all their school work.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.6

    The only apostolic succession that the Bible knows anything of is that of apostolic faithfulness in preaching the Word. “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2. The important thing was the teaching, and the command of the Lord was that believers should teach all things that He had commanded, even unto the end of the world. “I charge thee therefore before, God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, ... Preach the Word.” He, then, is in the apostolic succession who preaches the Word. A writer has well said:—PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.7

    It certainly is very remarkable that the Anglican clergy should claim a special grace of the Holy Spirit coming to them through the worldly, tyrannous, persecuting bishops of the Romish church in the middle ages, and not through the obscure holy martyrs whom they persecuted. Surely, if there was such a line of grace, it would be found in these who were faithful unto death for the truth as it is in Jesus, rather then with those who put to torture and cruel death the saints of God.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.8

    Those who suffered at the hands of the worldly church in possession of power were, in that respect at least, in the apostolic succession; for that was the experience of the apostles of the Lord. The tradition of the church puts in the line of apostolic succession the proud prelates of church history who lorded it over God's heritage, often men of the lowest stamp of vileness and criminality; but God places there the unnamed multitudes who overcame “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.9

    A Roman Catholic organ, giving various quotations of prices for saying masses for the dead, which are supposed to help them through purgatory into heaven, says that “a donation of ?125 secures a monthly mass for ever.” The solicitation of funds to keep up the masses “for ever” is a confession that even the promoters have no confidence in their efficacy.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.10

    When Jesus hung upon the cross the Jewish rulers gloried in the thought that at last the One whose life rebuked their dead formalism was in their power, and dying a shameful death. But, lo, the very cross, which they counted for the moment as the sure sign of their triumph, because the symbol of His eternal victory over sin. By the power of the cross men are saved, and all the ransomed will glory only in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which they were crucified unto the world. How feeble and short-lived are men's efforts to frustrate the work of the Lord.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.11

    The English Churchman thus bewails the attitude of the State:—PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.12

    In Imperial politics Roman Catholics are considered and consulted. In the ecclesiastical sphere Ritualists are sought and patronised. In neither are the suggestions or the appeals of Protestants valued or regarded.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.13

    It is about time that Protestants discovered that Protestantism which stands in the power of God and not of men, cannot be, established by human law.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.14

    “By the aid of the Holy Spirit,“ say, a Catholic writer, “the Catholic Church is the sure guide into truth.’” The Bible doesn't say so; the Spirit was to guide into all truth. But what is truth? “Thy Word is truth,“ said Jesus. How much has the Catholic Church ever done to lead its followers into the Word? Go to any intensely Catholic country and see how much the people know of that Word which is truth.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.15

    “Why They Cannot Let it Alone” The Present Truth, 13, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Why They Cannot Let it Alone .—An infidel lecturer was continually at his post in the park, speaking against the Bible. “If you don't believe it,“ said a bystander, “Why don't you go on without it and let it alone? Why talk against it all the time?” The man replied, on the spur of the moment speaking truly what was in his heart, “I don't let it alone because it won't let me alone.” Exactly, it is not a dead Book. It is living and powerful, and it speaks to every heart, and every man knows that by it the Holy Spirit convicts of sin. The lecturer was a good witness. Sometimes one wonders how it is that so often one who definitely turns from the words of the Spirit of prophecy seems unable to let them alone, but must make a religion of fighting them and, warning against them. It is only the protest of the proud and carnal heart against their convicting power.PTUK September 9, 1897, page 576.16

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