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    February 18, 1897

    “Rome's Boldness” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Rome's Boldness .—Her success in recent years and the general tendency among Protestants to mix religion and politics have caused Rome to adopt a less apologetic tone in regard to her past record. Why should she apologise when the demand for religious legislation and a religious State—at the root of all the religio-political controversy and of the Sunday laws—is but the same thing that led to the Inquisition, and is now leading toward its revival?PTUK February 18, 1897, page 97.1

    Defending the Inquisition .—A few months ago a Roman Catholic writer in the Catholic Mirror, Cardinal Gibbon's official organ, expressly justified the Inquisition and the rack. Of the times when heretics were punished, he says:—PTUK February 18, 1897, page 97.2

    King and subject, prince and peasant, rich and poor, priest and people, all believed her doctrines not only to be true, but incapable of being false.... And so, quite naturally, it seemed to all who lived in such surroundings, and rightly too, that anyone who sought to destroy the faith of a nation, which is at all times its most priceless treasure, was as great an enemy to the State as one who contrived to undermine its civil institutions.... The State then, as it should now, protected and defended her holy bride from danger and persecution: the church softened the might and impetuosity of her sterner companion with gentleness and mercy. The State made enactments and laws for the government of its citizens; the church inspired and seasoned them with justice and wisdom. All the laws then, had a tinge of Catholicity, and they were carried out in a manner savouring of the principle of that universal religion. Consequently, it is evident, that one who was a heretic then, was by that very fact in opposition to the spirit of the laws and customs of his country-in other words, a disturber of the public peace, and an underminer of civil society.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 97.3

    On the same grounds multitudes of professed Protestants defend religious legislation now.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 97.4

    “Converting” by the Rack .—The writer says, “The Roman Inquisition was formally established to bring to trial the Cathari,“ the Albigenses, early Protestants of southern France, but it was not fully established “until in 1248, Innocent IV. took the tribunal out of the hands of the seculars, and turned it over to the Dominicans, who had done great work in converting the Cathari.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 97.5

    But aside from the question of civil society, was the Church justified in punishing heretics for that reason alone? Most assuredly. The Church is the Divinely appointed guardian of the revelations of Jesus Christ, and consequently has the right to rebuke those who, in any way, attack the purity of that faith.... It was not only not unjust but even obligatory and praiseworthy for the Catholic Church, which has been entrusted with the teachings of the Spirit of Truth, to exclude from within her sacred fold the wolves who sought to prey upon the innocent lambs, which she sheltered and guarded therein.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 97.6

    Thus Rome to-day justifies torture by the cruellest means that devils can suggest to human minds in order to bring men into what holds itself forth as the fold of Christ. Of the Spanish Inquisition this writer says:—PTUK February 18, 1897, page 97.7

    “In fact, the Inquisition was a very merciful tribunal, I repeat it, almost a compassionate tribunal. Very few of those condemned were sentenced to death; and a man was only allowed to be racked once, which no one can deny was a most wonderful leniency in those times.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 97.8

    “The Promises to Israel. Again in Captivity” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Although the children of Israel sang the song of deliverance by the Red Sea, and with good reason, too, it was not until they had crossed the Jordan that they were really free from Egypt. They did not hold the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end, but “in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us.” Acts 7:39, 40. When they crossed the Jordan, however, and came into the land of Canaan, they had the testimony from God that the reproach of Egypt was rolled away from them. Then they had rest, and were free in the Lord.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 99.1

    But this freedom was not long retained; murmuring, distrust, and apostasy soon appeared among God's people. They desired a king, that they might be like the heathen about them, and their desire was granted to the full. They “mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols, which were a snare unto them, Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood.” Psalm 106:35-38. Thus they became literally like the heathen round them.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 99.2

    A little glance at the history of some of the kings of Israel and Judah will show how completely the children of Israel, in getting a king, had the fulfilment of their wish to be like the heathen. To Saul, the first king, the prophet of God said, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:22, 23.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 99.3

    Solomon took many strange wives from among the heathen and “it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.” 1 Kings 11:4, 5.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 99.4

    Under Rehoboam, Solomon's son, “Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves,1The word “groves” in this and the following texts, is a very unfortunate, misleading rendering of the original. The Revision has “Asherah.” As we can see by carefully noting the use of the term, it cannot mean a grove of trees, since we read of groves being set up “under every green tree, and in the house of the Lord.” The thing itself was an obscene image pertaining to the lascivious rites of one form of sun-worship. on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also Sodomites in the land; and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.” 1 Kings 14:22-24.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 99.5

    The same thing is recorded of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:1-4), and although “the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord,“ yet “in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord; this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him; and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.” 2 Chronicles 28:19-23.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 99.6

    “WORSE THAN THE HEATHEN”

    Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.... And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the Lord said to David, and to Solomon his son, in this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put My name for ever; neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them. But they hearkened not; and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel.” “Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.” 2 Kings 21:1-9, 16.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 99.7

    Amon succeeded Manasseh, “but he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as did Manasseh his father; for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them.” 2 Chronicles 33:22.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 99.8

    IN THE NORTHERN KINGDOM

    If we take the kings that reigned over the northern portion of Israel after the kingdom was divided upon the death of Solomon, we find a worse record still. There were some righteous kings in Jerusalem; but beginning with Jeroboam, “who did sin, and who made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 14:16), each successive king over the rest of Israel was worse than the one before him. Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, “did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.” 1 Kings 15:26. Baasha “did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.” Verse 34. Omri, who built Samaria, “wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him. For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities.” 1 Kings 16:25, 26. Yet bad as Omri was, “Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him;” “and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” Verses 30, 33.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 100.1

    These matters went on until the Lord could say by the prophet Jeremiah, “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh truth.” Jeremiah 5:1. Such a man was hard to find; “For among My people are found wicked men; they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit; therefore are they become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine; yea, they overpass the deeds of the heathen.” Verses 26-28.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 100.2

    Inasmuch as God drove the heathen out of the land, because of their abominable idolatry, it is very evident that the children of Israel could have no real inheritance in it when they were just like the heathen, and even worse. The fact that those who call themselves by the name of the Lord, adopt heathen customs and manners, does not make these customs one bit more acceptable to God. The fact that heathenism is in the church, does not recommend it. On the contrary, a high profession only makes the evil practice more heinous. The children of Israel were therefore not really in possession of the land of Canaan while they were following the ways of the heathen; nay, since the reproach of the bondage in Egypt was the sin into which they had fallen, it is evident that even while boasting of their freedom in the land of Canaan they were actually in the worst kind of bondage. When at a later date the Jews boastingly said, “We be Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man,“ Jesus repeated, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin. And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever; the Son abideth ever.” John 8:33-35.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 100.3

    GOD's FAITHFULNESS

    Yet there were wondrous possibilities all the time within reach of the people. At any time they might have repented and turned to the Lord, and they would have found Him ready to fulfil His promise to them to the uttermost. Although “all the chief of the priests and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen,“ still “the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling-place.” 2 Chronicles 36:14, 15. Many wonderful deliverances, when the Israelites were oppressed by their enemies, and humbly sought the Lord, showed that the same God who delivered their fathers from Egypt, was ready and waiting to exert the same power in their behalf, in order to perfect that for which He had brought them into the promised land.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 100.4

    One remarkable instance of the working of God for those who trust Him, and of the victory of faith, is found in the history of Jehoshapat. (2 Chronicles 20.) It is specially valuable to us, for it shows us how to gain victories; and it also shows us again, what we have so many times noted, that the real victories of Israel were gained by faith in God, and not by the use of the sword. The story in brief is this:—PTUK February 18, 1897, page 100.5

    The Moabites and the Ammonites, together with other people, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Their numbers were vastly in excess of those of the Israelites, and in their “Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord; even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 100.6

    Jehoshaphat's prayer on that occasion is a model. He said, “O Lord God of our fathers, art not Thou God in Heaven? and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee? Art Thou not our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham Thy friend for ever? ... And now, behold the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, ... how they reward us, to come to cast us out of Thy possession, which Thou hast given us to inherit. O Lord our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon Thee.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 100.7

    First he recognised God as God in heaven, and therefore having all power. Next he claimed all this power as his own by claiming God as his own God. Then he was ready to make known his need, and to prefer his request, with full assurance of faith. To one who prays in that way, all things are possible. Too many offer prayer to God, without any just sense of His existence, as though they were praying to an abstract name, and not to a living, personal Saviour, and of course they receive nothing, for they do not really expect anything. Every one who prays should first contemplate God, before thinking of himself and his own needs. It is doubtless the case that most people when they pray think more about themselves than they do of God; instead of that, they should become lost in contemplation of God's greatness and His kindness; then it is not difficult to believe that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. As the Psalmist said, “They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; for Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee.” Psalm 9:10.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 100.8

    While the people were still gathered to pray, the prophet of God came, and said, “Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou King Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle; set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; fear not, nor be dismayed; to-morrow go out against them; for the Lord will be with you.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 100.9

    The people believed this message, “and they rose early in the morning and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood, and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord: for His mercy endureth for ever.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.1

    “WHEN THEY BEGAN TO SING”

    A strange way that, to go out to battle. It reminds us somewhat of the march round Jericho, and the shout of victory. As a general thing, people getting such a promise as they did at that time, that God would fight for them, would think that they showed great faith in going out at all against the enemy. They would say, “God has promised to help us, but we must do our part;” and so they would make every preparation for fighting. But these people at that time were just simple enough to take the Lord at His word; they knew that they must indeed do their part, but they knew that their part was to believe, and to go forward as though they did really believe. And they did believe. So strong was their faith, that they sang. It was no forced song that was heard, weakly issuing from trembling lips, but a full, deep, spontaneous, hearty song of joy and victory, and all this while the enemy was before them in overwhelming numbers. And what was the result?PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.2

    “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them; and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.3

    As soon as they began to sing, the enemy was overthrown. A panic seized the host of Ammonites and Moabites, and they beat down one another. It may well be that, when they heard the songs and shouts of joy, they thought that Israel had received reinforcements, and such was the case. The people of Israel had such reinforcements that they did not need to do any fighting themselves. Their faith was their victory, and their singing was the evidence of their faith.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.4

    This is a lesson for us in our conflicts with our adversaries-principalities and powers and wicked spirits. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you;” but we are to “resist steadfast in the faith.” Only such resistance will cause him to flee, for he knows that he is stronger than we; but when he is resisted in the faith of Jesus, he must flee, for he knows that he has no strength at all against Christ. And so we learn again that “the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion.” In such experiences as that just considered, the Lord was showing Israel how they should overcome, and that He was always waiting and anxious to complete the promise made to the fathers.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.5

    (To be Continued.)

    “Politics and Religion” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Why is it that a society which considers itself cultivated the two tabooed subjects are “religion” and “politics?” No doubt because so many people, who are admitted even to the best society, are unable to control their tempers, or speak with calmness and moderation respecting subjects in which their personal interests are involved, or concerning which their personal prejudices are crossed. In discussing politics it certainly is quite natural that there should be heat and rancour. Here individual prejudices are likely to hold sway and to govern more or less the language and demeanour of those who indulge in political conversation. But in the realm of true religion, the religion of Jesus Christ, prejudice has no place.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.6

    There must be, it is true, assured and fixed conviction. But that is quite a different thing from prejudice. Conviction is indeed the natural foe and conqueror of prejudice. Two persons whose hearts are filled with the conviction of the eternal truths of true religion pure and undefiled, may talk together of the hope that is in them with joy and delight. Nothing in word, or act, or look, would pass between them which could mar the amenities of any social gathering. In their hearts prejudices do not exist,—they have been driven out by the conviction and acceptance of religious truth.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.7

    Politics cannot exist without prejudice. Indeed it is nothing else than the personal and individual interests, desires, and feelings, of different men and bodies of men, countries and sections of countries, brought into activity and antagonism. It is unavoidable that the partisanship here should be intense. But in the realm of true religion there is no room for partisanship, there can be no selfish interests or desires. Politics, it is evident, cannot be otherwise than disturbing in its tendency, it is inevitable from its very nature. But the very contrary is the fact in the case of true religion from its very nature.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.8

    What then is the trouble? Why should these two things, direct opposites-the one which makes the most for war, and the one which makes the most for peace-be classed together as the two greatest elements of disturbance, and equally denied admittance to the drawing room? The one, it is true, contains every uncomfortable and disagreeable possibility, but the other contains none. The reason of this strange and ill-assorted companionship in exile is that true religion is utterly misapprehended. That which is thought to be religion, and discussed as religion, is not the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the visionary politics of an unknown future.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.9

    “Lifeless Forms” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A writer in the Spectator comments on the power of ritual to hold people to the forms of religious service. One who knows India intimately says, for example:—PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.10

    A Brahmin who has lost all faith in the supernatural, will yet stand neck-deep in the Ganges water twice a day, going through an elaborate ceremonial, not that his neighbour may see, but because it is his habit.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.11

    One need not go to India to see the same truth illustrated. A great mass of professors make of Christianity but a round of ritual, having an idea that the religion of Christ is a life of right doing. There is the habit of church-going, the habit of performing this or that religious ceremony, and as a door swings open its hinges, they follow the forms which training and habit have made a part of their lives, without ever giving intelligent earnest thought as to whether they really mean anything by it, or whether there is any actual life and power in the service.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.12

    In order to hold men's minds in this state of apathy and yet to satisfy man's naturally religious nature, Satan has always led to the manufacture of ritual and form by which to hide the simplicity of the Gospel. But it is at the same time true that the great danger is that multitudes who reject these importations, and would hold only the truth as it is revealed in the Word, may yet hold only the form and theory of the truth and miss its life. This is to fail as grievously as the other class who hold only the forms of error and superstition. “Having the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof”—is the description of the condition from which the Apostle Paul warns us to turn. The only way to turn from it is by taking Jesus Christ, the life and power which alone can work righteousness in human flesh.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 101.13

    “A General Conference in the Far West” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which meets every two years, is now in session in America, attended by delegates representing the work of our Society in Europe, the British Colonies, the various State conference organisations in the United States, and other fields. The session, which continues into March, is devoted to conferences for Bible study and to business connected with all the various lines of work by which the attention of the people is being called to the “Gospel of the kingdom.” The message of that Gospel, calling men to “the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12), gathers volume and strength as it goes, for the one work is to turn the minds of the people to the Word that they may decide for themselves what the Christ-life is that is the preparation to stand in the trying times that are before the world ere the coming of Christ in glory. The conference this year is held in the State of Nebraska, in the village of College View, a suburb of Lincoln, the capital city of the State. At this place is located Union College, established a few years ago to meet the needs-as regards education and religious training-of the youth amongst Seventh-day Adventists in the middle-western States, who had formerly to travel some hundreds of miles to attend other of our Society's schools. We give a picture of the main building of this school.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 102.1

    “Fighting Fire with Fire” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Fighting Fire with Fire.—It is not the business of the church to substitute lesser for the grosser evils in order to win men. An illustration of the futility of fighting fire with fire, or of trying to fight the devil with his own weapons is thus reported by a newspaper: “A clergyman owns a beer-shop near Hayward's Heath which he claims to keep open, not with a view to profit, but to put a stop to the local drunkenness. The manager of the house has just committed suicide, according to the coroner's jury, as the result of intemperance.” It is the lesser evil that leads to the greater. The encouragement of moderate drinking manufactures the drunkard. “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink” is a word that shuts every Christian out of any contact with the traffic in intoxicants.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 102.2

    “The Roman Pontiffs” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Roman Pontiffs.—“Two hundred and ninety-three Popes have succeeded each other,“ says a newspaper (and very likely the list begins, as usual, with Peter), “and only eleven of them, including the present Pope, have reigned more than 17 years. Leo XIII. has reigned 19 years. Pius IX. reigned 32 years, thereby stultifying the popular superstition that no Pope would reign more than 25 years. Leo owes his astonishing powers of work, fine health, and clear, bright eyes, in old age, firstly, of course, to his frugal up-bringing in the Italian hills, and in the next place to his regularity and life-long abstemiousness. He lives on less than five francs a day.” Notwithstanding the constant rumours to the contrary, the Pope apparently has still a fair degree of strength, and preparations are being made to celebrate the twentieth year of his accession in March. But whether the reign of any one Pope is long or short, the Papacy continues the same, following the traditions of centuries, guided by cunning intelligence and singleness of purpose, the very masterpiece of human wisdom.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 102.3

    “Above Proof by Argument” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A man may know that to be true which it would be utterly impossible for him to prove beyond the possibility of a doubt, by the accepted methods of human reasoning. The converted man knows that he is the child of God. He does not need to stop to prove it, or to reason about it, any more than his own toddling baby boy who throws himself into his arms with joyous shout. Let him think of the little fellow, in broken baby talk, gravely expressing all the doubts and questions about himself, which he is often wont to raise about his heavenly Father,—then appreciate the strange, pathetic ludicrousness of all his scepticism.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 103.1

    “Progress in Eastern Europe” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The work of our Society, by preaching and book distribution, makes encouraging progress amongst the mixed nationalities of Eastern Europe, where, naturally, it has been difficult for our workers to get a foothold, owing to the barriers of language and the restrictions of repressive laws. A recent report of the work in this part of Europe says:—PTUK February 18, 1897, page 103.2

    “An encouraging feature in this field is that, as the truth spreads, the way is preparing for its proclamation in the various tongues of this field. Already there are labourers in the Polish, Livonian, Bohemian, Hungarian, Russian, Rumanian, and Bulgarian tongues. There are from fifty to sixty Polish members; and news is just received from Prague, that some Bohemians await baptism. Thus the light of the message is shining in the land where Waldensian missionaries wrought so extensively, and where the early dawn of the great Reformation broke forth.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 103.3

    “In Russia the doors are closed to the truth as tightly as the government can close them; but, like the Master, the truth appears, though the doors be shut. At present, labourers are stationed at five points in the west, south, and east, and members are constantly being added. Nearly all our publications, German as well as Russian, are now excluded. Recently, a copy of ‘His Glorious Appearing’ was returned by the censors, with the objectionable passages marked. The marks showed that it had been thoroughly examined. All passages referring to the second advent were indicated as inadmissible; and finally the words of Scripture, ‘Even so, come, Lord Jesus,’ were underlined as objectionable. Yet in various ways, publications on the message find their way into the country, and are silently doing their work. The work is the Lord’s, and cannot be stopped.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 103.4

    “Relics of Old Palestine” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The spade of the antiquarian has turned up many records of ancient times in Eastern lands, and those which relate to Bible times are especially interesting to us. Not that the Scripture requires any confirmation. The Word is the test and proof of all else, not a thing that can be proved true by any human testimony. A writer in the Sunday Magazine gives the following account of the “finds” of Dr. Bliss, who, a few years ago, dug down into old Tarshish, the library town of Palestine in the days of Moses and the Exodus.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 103.5

    “Before us compelled the mound to yield up that secret, Dr. Bliss was rewarded with many ‘finds.’ He unearthed many jars, and all sorts of implements, a wine-press, heaps of burnt barley, idols, etc. He also laid bare a hot-blast furnace, containing iron ore and slag. It seems that, 1400 or 1500 years before Christ, the Amorites knew how to use the hot air-blast instead of cold air; and that they anticipated the modern improvement in iron manufacture due to Nelson, and patented in 1828! On May 14, 1892, he found, in a great ashbed, a coffee-coloured stone with wedge-shaped inscriptions on both sides. This tablet contained letters from the governor of Lachish to the Pharaohs of Egypt, and there is no doubt about the exact date. In 1887 a peasant woman discovered similar tablets at Tell-el-Amama in Egypt. These tablets contained 170 letters from Palestine, and the names of kings who were contemporary with Joshua.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 103.6

    “Some of the letters in the Tell-el-Amarna tablets are from Lachish, and, both in style and contents, they agree with the tablet discovered by Dr. Bliss. The two sides of the tally have thus been brought together, and the veracity and date of both have been established. This double discovery created a great sensation among the learned, and the story of it claims a foremost place in the romance of exploration. The Lachish tablet is the first written record of pre-Israelite times that has yet been found on the soil of Palestine. The Lachish letters are in entire harmony with the measureless egotism and vanity which are revealed, by picture, scripture, hieroglyph, upon miles of surviving Egyptian monuments. They show that Pharaoh demanded even from his chief rulers the most abject and preposterous flattery. Zimridi, the governor of Lachish, thus addresses his over-lord of Epypt:—PTUK February 18, 1897, page 103.7

    “To the king, my lord, my god, my sun-god, the sun-god who from heaven, thus writes Zimridi, the governor of the city of Lachish, thy servant, at the feet, my lord, the sun-god from heaven, bows himself seven times seven. I have very diligently listened to the words of the messenger whom the king, my lord has sent to me, etc.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 103.8

    “Many passages in these letters read like extracts from the Book of Genesis. The writing is perfect in its kind, and very beautiful. It reveals a high degree of literary culture. These tablets, have upset some theories in Biblical criticism. In solving antiquarian and Biblical problems, the spade has often proved mightier than the pen. Some critics of the School of Wellhausen used to maintain that the books of Moses could not have been written at the dates assigned, as writing was not known in Palestine till the eighth or ninth century before Christ. It is not possible to hold such a theory, as it has been demonstrated that the Israelites, both in Egypt and in Canaan, were surrounded by literary nations, who had carried the art of writing to a surprising perfection.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 103.9

    “Masticating the Food” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Hasty eating is one of the commonest causes of indigestion. The best of food, hastily swallowed, must fail to properly nourish the body, as digestion begins with the action of the saliva upon the food in the mouth. A recent writer, Dr. Taft, calls attention to this. He says:—PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.1

    “I have often asked dentists how much they urge their patients to masticate properly? Some of them say they never speak to their patients about it, and very rarely have I heard one say that he gave any special information or urged his patients to masticate thoroughly. It is not only the mastication, but the thorough insalivation, that is required. Those persons who masticate their food most thoroughly have the best health. They have the least dyspepsia and the best nourished tissues in the body all through, and are better able to withstand all attacks of disease than those who do not masticate thoroughly. I know from observation that the majority do not masticate their food in anything like an adequate degree.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.2

    “I have noticed in this village a number of dentists, and I have observed that they take their meals in a few moments’ time, the food not being thoroughly masticated nor thoroughly insalivated. I believe if the dentist can impress upon his patient the importance and the necessity of thorough mastication, that he has done one of the greatest services for his patient that is within his power. It is better than treating the diseases and conditions which we so frequently meet. It is hygiene of the mouth and teeth, and it is for the benefit of the entire organisation of the patient as well as of the teeth. The mother, the father, the nurse, and anybody in care of a child should notice it as early as three years of age, and teach it to masticate thoroughly and properly. The habit will stay with it through life, and prevent many of the ills and distresses that assail us.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.3

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    —A tramway is soon to be built from Cairo to the Pyramids. The distance is out about eight miles.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.4

    —A saw-mill in California, U.S.A., which outs 50,000 ft. of boards daily, is run entirely by electricity.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.5

    —The new Hamburg-American liner, Pennsylvania, built at Belfast, is the largest vessel is the world. Its carrying capacity is 20,000 tons of freight, and 3,300 persons.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.6

    —The reports from the famine stricken districts of India show that the calamity increases week by week. It is said to be “the record famine of the century,“ and the loss of life must be tremendous.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.7

    —An auction of an unusual kind was held in Carlow last week. The county of Carlow having decided that a county gaol was unnecessary, the gaol was sold at auction by order of the grand jury.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.8

    —At an electric light station, in Paris, recently, a mouse gnawed off the insulation of one of the high tension wires, and at the instant his tooth touched the wire was electrocuted and burned to a crisp.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.9

    —The 200 Roman Catholic students in the gymnasium at Liban were ordered recently by the local Russian education authorities to say their opening prayers in Russian instead of Latin. The priest in charge of the gymnasium demurred to this, whereupon prayers were forbidden altogether.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.10

    —Edinburgh, with its numerous schools of medicine and surgery, appears to possess more doctors than any other town in the United Kingdom in proportion to population, the rate in the Scottish capital being one to every 500 inhabitants. Glasgow, on the other hand, has about the same relative number as London—one in 850.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.11

    —According to Sir Henry Mance there are to-day no fewer than 1,300 submarine cables in existence, their length being not less than 162,000 nautical miles. They represent a total expenditure of about 40,000,000 sterling, of which 75 per cent. has been contributed by English capital. To effect repairs forty-one telegraph ships are maintained.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.12

    —The English steam mercantile navy contains 7,300 steamers, besides sailing ships. Germany's trading steamers count a little over nine hundred. Of the ships that pass annually through the Suez Canal, Britain has, in round numbers, 80 percent. Germany has a little less than 6 per cent., but she is moving upward. Finally, Britain's total commercial tonnage is 13,000,000, as against 11,000,000 for the rest of the world.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.13

    —A Jewish society was recently formed in New York City for the protection and advancement of the interests of the Orthodox Hebrew congregations. The society applied for a certificate of incorporation. The time stated for holding its regular annual meeting was stated in its by-laws to be the second Sunday in each year, The Justice of the Supreme Court, before whom the application came, denied it on the ground that the corporation was not a religious but a civil one, and ought not to hold its business meetings on Sunday.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 110.14

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    One should strive always to have the best word, and willingly let others have the last word.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.1

    Those who will possess the most of the power of God will be those who are best acquainted with Him, and they will be those who are most intimate with Him, because they are most alone with Him.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.2

    Where there is true religion in the homes of the congregation there will be true piety in the church, and it will not lack for expression in the prayer meeting and the gatherings for social devotion. But no amount of the surface display of formal piety in the church will make up for the lack of genuine religion at home.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.3

    Reports from the United States indicate a greater amount of suffering than usual amongst the poor in the great cities, owing to the hard times and severe weather. But at the same time our newspapers have been supplied by correspondents with news of the vulgar display of extravagance which characterises fashionable society in the New World. Last week a ball in New York was attended by those who represented half of the wealth of the whole city, and was estimated to have cost half a million dollars. There was wide and influential protest against such a display at a time when there is so much social discontent, but the folly of fashion was deaf to the protests. Every element that entered into the making of the French Revolution of a century ago is working in the United States, and very likely most of those who scorned the protests of serious society will live to see history repeating itself in a reign of terror.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.4

    It is not recorded of Christ that He ever attended a funeral. Where He was death could not come, until He submitted Himself to its power on the cross. Martha said, “Lord, hadst Thou been here my brother had not died.” But Lazarus rose from the grave at the call of Jesus, as will all who love Him at His coming. For in the resurrection of Jesus is the certainty of the resurrection of all, according to His promise. Well, therefore, may the apostle have exclaimed in exultation, “O grave, where is thy victory!”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.5

    “How the Famine Fund Might be Increased” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    How the Famine Fund Might be Increased. -The country is showing a lively interest in contributing to the Lord Mayor's Fund to help suffering India. It is hoped that the fund will grow to a million sterling. More than that the most sanguine do not expect, and it will take some months to reach that sum. But if the United Kingdom ceased to use alcoholic drinks and tobacco for one week only, and devoted the amount saved to giving bread to the famishing provinces, nearly three million pounds would be available.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.6

    “Does It Mean Anything to You” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Does It Mean Anything to You? -Such figures show how wicked it is to spend money for that which is only harmful and demoralising while the cry of multitudes goes up for bread. The piteous cry of hunger appeals to all alike who have hearts of flesh. But to Christians whose ears are unstopped, the cry comes not merely from millions calling for bread, but from the many millions who are perishing without a knowledge of God. How can any Christian who is not a disgrace to the name of Christ selfishly and wastefully use the means God commits to him when the Lord asks him to be the keeper of all his brother sinners who are ignorant of the great salvation? To be a living Christian means something very practical, and every day the needs of the cause of God enforce the injunction, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.7

    “Militarism” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Militarism .—“It is a startling fact,“ says the London Echo, “that at the end of the century the military spirit in England is more pronounced than it has been since the great struggle with France a hundred years ago.” And from the point of view of the world it needs to be so as the spirit of militarism is equally in evidence everywhere. All this din of preparation for war means that those who do not wish to be of the world and its lusts must hasten forth in the Lord's work with their feet “shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.8

    “The Eastern Question” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Eastern Question .—The reign of anarchy in Crete—this time “Christians” seeming to do most of the killing—brings the great Powers face to face with the always-open Eastern Question. The serious thing about every such outbreak in Turkey is that the Powers are so distrustful and jealous that the least thing is sufficient to bring them to the verge of hostilities before which the record of blood in Turkey itself would become insignificant. As a morning paper says:—PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.9

    The lesson of the situation remains the old one; the “Concert of the Powers,“ with the colossal forces it contains, is helpless in the face of the most insignificant outbreak. A thousand of ships and twenty millions of men cannot keep the peace in an island which you can hardly find on a small-scale map.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.10

    Yet the same journal urges the Cretans on in “the sacred cause of insurrection;” and rallies religious people to support its position. It is not the trumpet of war or of insurrection that Christians will be sounding. God says, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.” Who believes it?—let him sound it.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.11

    “‘Universal Conflagration’” The Present Truth, 13, 7.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Universal Conflagration.” -The military spirit, by which Satan is gathering all the nations together in alliances and combinations for the battle of the great day (Revelation 16:14), has converted the world into a veritable magazine of explosives, and every spark that is set going in one part endangers the whole mass. A great morning paper says that if the Powers allow a struggle between Greece and Turkey they will simply have paved the way for the universal conflagration in which the Ottoman Power will go down.PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.12

    It will surely be a world-wide conflagration when that power goes down, for prophecy shows that when the power which occupies the territory of the “king of the North” of Daniel's eleventh chapter does come to his end,“ then will come “a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.”PTUK February 18, 1897, page 112.13

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