Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    September 22, 1898

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. Reformation Under Asa. 2 Chronicles xiv. 2-12” The Present Truth 14, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner


    Asa was the grandson of Rehoboam, in whose days, and through whose folly, Israel had been divided into two kingdoms. The division had been attended and followed by much ill-feeling, and during the reign of Ahijah, this had culminated in the battle of Mount Ephraim, in which Israel was defeated with heavy slaughter, although twice as strong in numbers as their opponents. No less than five hundred thousand of the chosen men of Israel were slain in this conflict. “Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the Lord God of their fathers.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 594.1


    Israel was long in recovering from the severe defeat then sustained, and after Asa's accession to the throne there was a period of ten years of unbroken peace. The time was spent in clearing out of the kingdom of Judah the idolatrous relics of King Solomon's apostasy. The altars of the strange gods were taken away, and the images of the sun were destroyed out of all the cities of Judah. A royal proclamation was sent throughout the country, commanding the people to seek the Lord and obey His commandments.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 594.2


    There are many nowadays who think that because such proclamations as these are recorded in the Scriptures, it was right to issue them, and that it is still right to enforce matters of religion by the law of the land. But, although Asa was a reformer, he showed by this edict that he did not fully appreciate the character of the worship which God requires of His people. God's law is a law of love. By His loving-kindness He draws men to Himself, and His commandments are given, not as rigid, autocratic requirements, but as a word of life, promising to all who hear and live the righteousness they set forth. Christ was the law of God in life and action, for love is the fulfilling of the law, and Christ was perfect love. Whoever would get correct ideas of the law of God will find them in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, who said, “Thy law is within My heart.” He came not to condemn but to save. “If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Gal. iii. 21. But what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son ... condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” Rom viii. 3, 4. God's Word is strong enough in itself to accomplish the thing whereto He sends it, and if the Word prove weak through the flesh, the flesh does not improve matters by promulgating a supplementary law of its own. The only effect of this is to hide from view the efficiency of the Divine Word, and thereby diminish faith in it.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 595.1


    Asa showed further that he did not appreciate what God wanted to be to His people, by the measures he took to secure peace. In another proclamation to Judah, he admitted that because they had sought the Lord, He had given them rest on every aide; yet, instead of exhorting them to continue to seek the Lord, and thus maintain their security, he ordered that they should build fortified cities, “and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars.” In the same spirit he increased his army, until it numbered nearly six hundred thousand men, all of them mighty men of valour.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 595.2


    It is true that when God blesses men, with peace or any other good, He uses means; but we ought not to look for the fulfilment of the divine purpose through means which he has not provided. The Measures taken by Asa were such precautions as might well be adopted by the heathen who knew not God, but the Lord did not design that His people should be preserved in peace by increasing their armaments. At the present time the world is largely of opinion that the nation beet prepared for war stands the beat chance of maintaining peace, and statesmen and politicians claim that it would be criminal neglect to allow their nation to fall behind in the headlong race for military pre-eminence. Peace can only come in the knowledge that the Lord's protection is over us, for “except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” If Judah had committed their ways unto the Lord, He would have seen that their peace was not disturbed. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.” Isa. xxvi. 3. “When a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Prov. xvi. 7.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 595.3


    This was soon demonstrated to Asa. A great king was advancing rapidly toward the border of Judah, conquering as he went, and threatening Asa's kingdom with the horrors of a barbarian invasion. The continual struggle between Egypt and Ethiopia had ended for the present in the subjugation of the former country, and Zerah, king of Ethiopia, had joined Egypt and the surrounding countries to his own. Now he was come forth, with more than a million warriors in his train, to lay waste the land of Palestine. Asa despaired of overthrowing this army with his own, Judah's numerous forces and fenced cities were seen to be of no avail in this tremendous crisis. “And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with Thee to help, whether with Many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 595.4


    God could have easily hindered the Ethiopian army from approaching Palestine and doubtless the faith of some waxed faint as they watched with growing apprehension the steady advance of the invading host. But the lesson see needed. God would teach His people that their security did not consist in armies and fortifications, that it was indeed nothing to Him whether He were called to help those who were many, or those who had no power. To the extent that armies and walled cities obscured the need of His protecting presence, were they no gain at all, but a decided loss. Asa's prayer showed that the danger which God had allowed to threaten the nation had taught him the intended lesson. It indicated complete dependence upon the Lord, and the Lord amply honoured the trust reposed in Him. “So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah.” Their overthrow was so complete that they could not recover themselves. Zerah's conquering career was checked, and he returned to the country of Ethiopia, abandoning his foreign conquests and devoting his attention to the restoration of hi-, own shattered kingdom.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 595.5


    Once more the knowledge of the true God had shone out, and His power been seen, “working salvation in the midst of the earth.” God would deepen the lesson in the hearts of His people, so as Asa was returning with rejoicing to Jerusalem, a prophet was sent to meet him, declaring that if they would continue to seek the Lord, He would certainly be found of them. They were therefore exhorted to be strong and fearless in the Lord, for their work would be plentifully rewarded. Asa took courage from these promises and applied himself diligently to the work of exterminating every vestige of idolatry, not even tolerating it among his own relations, and all Judah joined him in the work with their whole heart. As the reformation spread, those in the kingdom of Israel who desired to worship the Lord in truth, loft their homes, “for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.” God was drawing to Himself all who would be drawn, and those in Israel who rejected this opportunity of uniting themselves with the worshippers of Jehovah, sank lower and lower in idolatry, until the time soon came when there were only seven thousand in all the land who had not bowed the knee to Baal.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 595.6


    God was desirous that His people should keep in mind the victory over Zerah, but it faded from their memories, and when, after twenty-five years of peace, trouble again arose between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, Asa made appeal for assistance, not to Jehovah, but to the heathen king of Syria. It seemed as though the arrangement worked satisfactorily. The immediate difficulty was averted, but in turning away from the Lord, Asa had turned away from that which alone made peace sure to his kingdom. The Lord sent word to him that he had done foolishly, and that from thenceforth he would have wars. The messenger asked, “Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims [Libyans] a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, He delivered them into thine hand.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.1


    The Lord likes to be relied upon. He makes great promises to those who will trust Him, declaring that they shall never he put to shame, nor confounded, world without end. He is strong enough and willing enough to do for His people all that they need, but although He has given innumerable evidences of His power and love, it is rarely that He finds any who care to trust Him. His eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him. One who realises his need, and determines to trust the Lord's promise to supply all his need, should never fear that he is going to be disappointed. The Lord has been searching the whole earth for just such a case, to give Him an opportunity of showing what He can do, and now, if the man will only continue to trust Him, the Lord will show Himself strong in his behalf.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.2


    God did not ask Asa to keep up a huge army, and thus take all possible precautions against his enemies. He asked simply that Asa would rely upon Him, and trust, not in horses and chariots, but in the living God. It did not offend Him that Asa should say, “In Thy name we go against this multitude ... let not man prevail against Thee,” for He has identified Himself to the full with our cause and interests, and to all who thus acknowledge their intimate relation with God, and claim the privileges which the relationship confers, the promise is given, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.3

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Power in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner


    Gen. i. 11, 12: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind; and God saw that it was good.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.4

    Mark iv. 26-29: “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed upon the earth, and should sleep find rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up he knoweth not how. The earth beareth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, straightway he putteth forth the sickle, because the harvest is come.” R.V.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.5

    1 Peter i. 22-24: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently; 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.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.6

    Gal. iii. 16: “To Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy Seed which is Christ.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.7

    John i. 1, 4, 14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “In Him was life.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.8

    Matt. xiii. 3-9, 18-23: “Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up; some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth; and when the sun wan up they were scorched: and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them; but other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the wayside. But he that received the seed into stony pieces, the same is he that beareth the Word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the Word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns, is he that heareth the Word; and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and be becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is be that heareth the Word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.9

    Isa. Ixi. 10,11: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bring. eth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.10

    From Mark iv. 26-29 we learn that in the growth of corn from the sowing of the seed to the harvest we have a visible and perfect presentation of the kingdom of God. From the visible we learn of the invisible. The power of God, which is the Gospel, is seen in the things that are made.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.11

    “The earth beareth fruit of herself,” that is, literally, “automatically.” But an automaton, so-called, does not manufacture its own power. The power which runs an automaton is furnished by a spring that is wound up, so that although no application of power can be seen, the machine acting as s living thing, there is in reality a constant application of power from without. Through the spring, the force of the man who wound it is being constantly exerted. “Power belongeth unto God.” “There is no power but of God.” The earth therefore brings forth by the power of God.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 596.12

    Something is necessary before the earth can bring forth fruit of herself, and this is set forth in the parable. It is this: seed must be sown. The earth beareth fruit of herself, but not until seed has been placed in it. If there were no seed in the ground, the earth could never bring forth anything. Now when the earth was first created, there was nothing in it. When the dry land was separated from the water, it contained no seed, and had it been left alone, it would never have brought anything forth. What did God do, in order that the earth might bear fruit?—He spoke to it. He sent forth His Word into the earth. The seed, therefore, whence everything comes, that grows out of the earth, is the Word of God.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.1

    Take a handful of corn, and cast it upon the ground. If the conditions are favourable, it will spring tip and bear fruit. What is the life of the seed,-that which gives it germinating power?—It is the Word of the Lord. The real seed of everything that grows is nothing other than the living Word of the living God. We see therefore that the Word of God is very real, although we cannot see it. There is nothing real except the Word.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.2

    Thus we find that when we are told that the new birth is effected by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever, it is not a figure of speech, but the statement of an actual fact, and the reality of it is shows to us by the corn growing from the seed that is cast into the earth.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.3

    The fact that we cannot see the seed which God places in us for our regeneration, and that we cannot explain how it is dome, makes no difference with the fact, nor with our faith. We cannot see the life of the seed which we cast into the ground. Nobody can tell by looking at seed whether it has life in it, and will germinate or not. And when it is sown, nobody knows the mystery of growth. “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the earth, ... and the seed should spring and grow up he knoweth not how.” No farmer refuses to sow seed, because he cannot tell how it grows and multiplies; but if he should refuse to sow seed until he could understand and explain all about how it grows, he would be no more foolish than the man who refuses to accept the Lord until he can understand how the Lord can speak righteousness into his soul, and cause it to grow and multiply.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.4

    Christ is the Word, and the Word is the seed; hence Christ is the Seed. This is true in every sense. The Word from which everything grows which God has made, is the life of Christ. So it is that in eating bread (good bread, of course) we are eating the body of Christ.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.5

    God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth just as the earth brings forth her bud, that is, by speaking to the souls of men, just as He does to the earth. They who hear shall live. If we consciously yield to the Word of God as completely as the earth does involuntarily, we cannot fail to bring forth fruit unto eternal life.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.6

    “Christ the Seed” The Present Truth 14, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    To Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ.” Gal. iii. 16. “For how many soever be the promises of God, in Him is the yea; wherefore also through Him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through us.” 2 Cor. i. 20. “He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Col. i. 17.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.7

    Christ is “the Beginning;” He is the source of all creation, visible and invisible, whether in heaven or on earth. Oh, that men mould realise the absolute reality of this fact! Without Him there is not one thing. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts xvii. 28. Most people accept these Scripture statements, hut in an accommodated, unreal sense. They do not realise that they are literally true, and that there is no material thing in existence outside of Christ; that outside of Him there is no existence whatever. He is; His name is “I Am;” and He is the only One who is. That which is not in Him, is not at all.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.8

    If Scripture statements were taken as literally true, spiritual life would be a practical experience, instead of the abstraction that it so often is. Nothing is more true than that the religious life of many consists largely in the repetition of certain phrases, the meaning of which they do not comprehend, and which very often have no meaning. All this comes from the habit of making a distinction between the literal and the spiritual,-of separating the ordinary, practical, everyday life from the spiritual, religious life. As a matter of fact, the spiritual is the only reality there is. That which is seen only with the natural eyes is temporal; only the unseen is eternal.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.9

    Christ, the Word, is the Seed to whom the promise of God is made. All who “put on Christ” are the seed in Him. When seed is sown it multiplies. That is why it is sown. So Christ, the Word, being received into human hearts and lives, as He comes in the person of the Holy Spirit, multiplies Himself. Every one in whom He thus dwells is transformed, and lives a now life. He can say, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Gal. ii. 20. This is the new birth, which is accomplished by the Word of truth. James i. 18; 1 Peter i. 23. Christ becomes the ruling factor in the life. The life is no longer ours, but His: He takes complete possession, so that He thinks and acts through us, using the organs of our body for the accomplishment of His will.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 597.10

    Just here comes in the trouble with many people who would gladly live this perfect Christian life, or rather, allow Christ to live it in them, that the thing seems so intangible; they cannot sufficiently grasp the idea that Christ can dwell personally in them. It seems to them a name, a theory, rather than a fact. Now the Lord has anticipated this difficulty, and has put the Gospel into visible form, so that we may continually have an object lesson before us. In the seed that the gardener sows, God has provided us a lesson concerning the reality of the Seed by which we are begotten anew, and in the fruits of the earth He teaches us of the fruits of righteousness.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.1

    We cannot see the life that is in the seed which is sown, neither can we see it in the corn that we eat, no matter at what stage we view it. But we can see that the corn grows. We place a single seed in the ground, and we see that it multiplies, and produces thirty, sixty, or even a hundred grains. Each one of these grains has the same life that the original seed bad, and just as much of it. We take the corn, and make it into bread, and eat it, although we can see no life in it; but we know that there is life in it, for we receive life from it. The life of the corn becomes our life. All this is a common, everyday occurrence. We have been familiar with it all our lives. We cannot understand the secret of the life in the seemingly lifeless grains of corn, nor can we understand how the life becomes ours; but we know the fact, and are content with that.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.2

    Now it is just as easy for us to comprehend how Christ can dwell in us, so that His life becomes ours, as it is to comprehend the fact that we can get our life from the food which we eat. Indeed, the comprehension of the one is the comprehension of the other. Remember that Christ is the Seed, the origin of all things. He is the Word of God, by whom all things came into existence. In Him is life. When God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth,” He sowed the seed whence all things come. That seed was the Word. It was the life of Christ, the Word, that made the earth fruitful. There is no life but His, for He is the life. John xiv. 6. So when we eat the grain and fruits which the earth brings forth, and get life from them day by day, we are literally receiving the life of Christ. The life which we assimilate, and which becomes ours, is none other than the life of the Word of God, which was in the beginning, is now, and is to come. With this simple, easily recognised fact in mind, we can see how literal were Christ's words when He look bread in His hands, and said, “This is My body.” In eating bread, we are partaking of the life of the Lord.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.3

    The Israelites in the desert of Sinai ate bread, which they called “manna.” It was their daily food for nearly forty years. It was “bread from heaven,” yet just as literal food as that which we eat every day. But it was “spiritual meat.” 1 Cor. x. 3. They did not eat by faith, hence they died; but if they had eaten by faith, discerning the body of Christ, they would not have died. John vi. 50, 51. “The just shall live by faith.” By living faith, men become transformed into the perfect image of Christ. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” We live by eating. If now men ate by faith, they would live by faith, and so be righteous. And how eat by faith?—Simply recognising the fact that the body of Christ is the substance of all reality; that His Divine life is that which we get in the food that He gives us. Then just as a person assimilates his food, and by that very process, would he assimilate Christ. Consciously yielding to Christ, that He might live in His own way the life which he gives us, our life would be not simply modelled after, but the actual reproduction of His life. The Seed abiding in us, would keep us from sin. 1. John iii. 9. How easy and plain is the way of life! It consists simply in the constant recognition of the great fact that Christ is the Seed, and consciously eating of Him. “O, taste and see that the Lord is good!”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.4

    “Peace Proposals” The Present Truth 14, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Peace Proposals .—Many religions leaders have spoken and written most enthusiastically about the Czar's proposal for a conference of all the Powers to consider the possibility of establishing universal peace. They seem to regard it as the dawning of the reign of the Prince of peace. Now it is not necessary to disparage the Czar's motives in the least, but the slightest knowledge of the Gospel and of human nature, ought to be sufficient to enable anybody to see that this proposal is impractical. Peace cannot be brought about by royal proclamations or agreements. The Czar, with all his power, cannot change a single human heart, and so long as men's hearts remain what they are, will strife and war continue. There is, however, a royal proclamation which, if heeded by all, would produce universal peace, and it is this: “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” He will put His peace into every heart that will receive it. “I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for He will speak peace unto His people.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.5

    “For the Children. The Real Seed” The Present Truth 14, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Where did all the flowers in your garden come from, and all the fruits that are now piled up in the fruiterers’ shops, and hanging on the trees and bushes in orchards and gardens?PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.6

    Some of you perhaps will say that they grew “out of the ground,” and that is true; but the earth can bring forth only what is first put into it. What do you have to put into the ground to get the sweet peas, nasturtiums, and mignonette, that delight you with their pretty blossoms and sweet fragrance? If you go back to the beginning of them all you will remember the little brown seeds, that you put into the round in the spring, and watered and watched so eagerly, until the tiny green blades pushed themselves up through the ground, and grew greener and stronger each day, putting forth shoots and leaves and buds, until at last they were covered with blossoms.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.7

    But those seeds after all were not the beginning, for they came from other plants which sprang from other seeds, and so we could trace them right back to the real beginning when God said, “Let the earth bring forth.” So we see that “in the beginning was the Word.” The Word of God was the beginning of everything in the earth. This is just what Jesus tells us when He says, “The seed is the Word of God.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.8

    We said just now that the earth can only bring forth that which is first put into it, and now you will see that what was put into the earth in the beginning to make it bring forth and bud, was the Word of God. So all that you see springing up out of the earth, grass, flowers, the wheat and grains from which your bread and porridge are made, the nuts and fruits that you enjoy so much,-is the Word of God, put into all these different forms, so that you may see it, handle it, and taste it, rind get life and strength from eating it every day.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.9

    The same verse in the first chapter of the Gospel of John which tells us that “in the beginning was the Word,” says also, “the Word was God.” When God said, “Let the earth bring forth,” it was the life of Jesus going forth into the earth, and springing up in all these different beautiful forms to give pleasure and life to us. So when you eat of any of “the fruits of the ground,” you are feeding upon the life of Jesus Christ. When you admire the grace and beauty of the flowers, it is the loveliness of Christ that you are delighting in.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.10

    All the leaves, buds, blossoms, and fruit that unfold and develop in the plant were wrapped up in the tiny seed that was put into the ground. They are only the showing forth of the riches of the life of God that was in the seed. So you see that the seed is not only the beginning, but also the end of the whole plant, for there is nothing unfold in us also, and all the beauty of His life will be seen. We will talk more about this next week.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 598.11

    “Consistency” The Present Truth 14, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Speaking to an assembly of Christian workers, Mr. Moody said:—PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.1

    Nothing will straighten a man out himself like trying to help others. If you smoking men take the unbelieving man who doesn't like the smell of tobacco, and you ask him to make an unconditional surrender, it would straighten out lots of you. When a man gets into that kind of work It Is going to make a different man of him at once. I believe your progressive cuchre would go to the four winds; you will get something better, and so we let go your cardplaying, dancing, and theatre.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.2

    Surely it is a sad reversal of the proper order of things when the professing Christian has to be “straightened out” by the unbeliever. It is this inconsistency, shown in so many ways, which weakens the testimony of the church. When one who claims to be born of the Spirit, to be redeemed from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit by the blood of the Son of God, is yet dependent for pleasure on the narcotising drugs with which the world blunts its sorrows, men will, of course, conclude that the attractions of Christianity cannot be very powerful.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.3

    There is not much hope, however, that the tobacco user will be found among the ranks of Christian workers. The devotees of the weed laud it for its soothing, rest-giving properties. Unfortunately these come into play not only when men are tired and have earned a rest, at which times they do not need the assistance of tobacco to dispose them to quietude; but when there is much to be done, and plenty of strength to do it, the natural energy which would prompt men to vigorous action can be completely dispelled by the “soothing” influence of a pipe. The idleness which is repellent to the normal man is promoted and rendered agreeable by this means; the mental keenness which would not tolerate inaction is obscured by the sedative effects of the drug, and lives which should have been a blessing to the world result in smoke.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.4

    A professor of Christianity is affected by tobacco just as other men are. The evils of nicotine-poisoning are as marked in his case as in others, and even more so. He is expected to watch and pray always, and to gird up the loins of his mind, but he may be sure that indulgence in tobacco will effectually indispose him for anything of this kind, and carefully guard his mind against the excitement of an undue interest in the things that belong to his peace.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.5

    The assumed ability of coffee to replace food or to increase the power for work without corresponding tissue destruction is, according to Dr. Edward T. Reichert, entirely deceptive, and the conditions produced by it are comparable to those observed at times in the insane, in hysteria, or in fright, when the individual may be capable of performing prodigious feats of strength and endurance, but nevertheless at the direct expense of his tissues.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.6

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 14, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Birmingham has set on foot and Association for conducting open air concerts in courts and alleys.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.7

    -Coal is dearer in South Africa than in any other part of the world; it is cheapest in China.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.8

    -The Tartars have a quaint custom of taking a guest by the ear when inviting him to eat or drink with them.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.9

    -The town of Jerome, Arizona, was destroyed by fire on Sept. 12. Eleven persons are known to have lost their lives, and thirty are missing.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.10

    -A great fire is reported from British Columbia, the town of New Westminster having been almost entirely destroyed. Thousands of people are homeless.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.11

    -This year is the Jubilee of the Emperor of Austria, but owing to the assassination of the Empress, all the festivities, processions, and entertainments have been cancelled.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.12

    -The Universal Text Display Society is the name of a new religious organisation founded in Chicago, U.S.A., the object of the Society being to display in prominent places, forcible Scripture texts.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.13

    -It seems to be quite clear that the French are in possession of Fashoda, and that they have every intention of staying there. For months past there has been a regular despatch of troops to that point, by way of the Congo State.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.14

    -In New York, 210 deaths have been caused by the heat in five days. Works in Birmingham and the Black Country have been stopped on account of the heat. Iron workers could not stand before the puddling furnace is night or day.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.15

    -Amid violent speeches and great disorder the Spanish Senate has finally approved the Bill sanctioning the conclusion of peace on the basis of the Washington protocol. The different parties, military and civil, blame each other for the disastrous outcome of the war.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.16

    -Admiral Dewey considers the situation in the Philippines critical, and is anxiously awaiting reinforcements. Aguinaldo, who has 37,000 men armed with rifles, desires the absolute independence of the Philippines. He thinks that the Americans have accomplished their mission and should now withdraw.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.17

    -A proposal to annex Jamaica and the other British West Indian islands to Canada is being taken up seriously by the Press of the Dominion. It is generally held that the annexation of territory within the tropics would round off the resources of the Dominion, the one being the commercial complement of the other, while the completion of the Bermuda cable would solve the difficulty of administration.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.18

    -In spite of rumours to the contrary, the Kaiser seems to have made up his mind that disarmament is not the way to secure peace. Replying to a deputation in Westphalia, he said: “The development of German industry can only be assured by undisturbed progress under the protection of peace. Peace will never be better guaranteed than by a German army always ready to take the field. May God grant that it may be always possible to provide for peace with this sharp and well-preserved weapons; then the Westphalian and peasant may be able to sleep quietly.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.19

    -Professor Ramsay has reported the discovery of still another gas in the atmosphere, the fourth whose existence has been brought to light by the spectrum of liquefied air. It is to be called “xenon.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.20

    -Li Hung Chang has been ordered by Imperial edict to retire into private life. This is counted a success for England, and a rebuff to Russia, whose interests are assiduously served by the degraded statesman.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.21

    -Within three days three different attempts have been made to wreck trains on the Midland Railway, by fastening a timber and crowbars to the rails. Fortunately all were discovered before any damage was done.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.22

    -The United States Legation at Constantinople, replying to the last note from the Porte, on the subject of claims for losses sustained during the Armenian massacres, declines to acccept the Turkish Government's repudiation of responsibility.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.23

    -A Commission has been appointed by President McKinley to investigate the charges of inefficiency and effective organisation brought by officers of the army against the Secretary for War, but as the Commission is largely composed of friends of the officials attacked, little is expected from the inquiry.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.24

    -A British tourist, Dr. Samuel Thomas, has discovered in a hitherto unexplored part of the Grison Alps, between the Bruggerhorn and the Wolfsobden, a small lake of blood-red water. The unusual tint is due to the presence of millions of vegetable infusoria. The altitude of the lake is 6,660 ft. above sea level.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.25

    -A strange sight was seen in the Soudanese camp the day after the victory. Some thousands of the Dervish prisoners were sitting in rows on the ground waiting their turn to be examined by the doctors as to their fitness to serve in the Egyptian Army. About forty per cent. were found sound, and immediately enlisted.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.26

    -The recent census of the Russian Empire contained an enumeration of the newspapers and magazines, showing that in a total population of over 129,000,000 there are only 743 publications. Of these, 589 are in Russian, 69 in Polish, 44 in German, 9 in French, 5 in Armenian, and 2 in Hebrew, while different dialects take up the remaining few.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.27

    -A rare and beautiful display of the Aurora Borealis was visible in England on the 9th, between eight and eleven o' clock. It took the form of ten or twelve straight, slender beams of light rising vertically in parallel, almost meeting near the zenith. They were seen chiefly over the great Bear, and were succeeded by a distinct narrow band of white light stretched in the form of an arch.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.28

    -The Lyddite shells which were used in the bombardment of Omdurman prove terribly destructive. They explode with inaction so violent as to destroy objects more thoroughly for a larger area round than any other explosive known, weight for weight. Within four hundred yards so violent were the vibrations produced by the explosion of a large shell that masses of masonry were reduced to dust.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.29

    -During the thirty-two days prior to Sept. 12, the total rainfall in London has been only three-tenths of an inch, or about one-eighth of the average. This drought has had serious consequences, apart from the limitation of the water supply in the East-end. Within a radius of fifty miles, all the pastures, fields, and meadow lands are parched and baked, and there is no vegetation for the cattle and sheep in the fields. In consequence the milk supply has suffered, both in quality and quantity.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 606.30

    “God's Care” The Present Truth 14, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter v. 7.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.1

    For whom does He cares?—“The Lord is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Ps. cxlv. 9.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.2

    And yet there are many people who are utterly unconscious of the Lord's care for them. They have the idea that God gives them no thought, except when some trouble comes, and than they charge Him with having sent it. Is this fair and honest? Let us see.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.3

    Those who have that idea, and their name is legion, seem to take it as a matter of course that they live. They act as though their life depended wholly on themselves, whereas it is in God that “we live, and move, and have our being,” for “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” Acts xvii. 25, 28.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.4

    This care of God for mankind is constant. Not a single moment does He relax His watchfulness. Representing His people (and He claims all the world as His own) as a vineyard, the Lord says: “I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” Isa. xxvii. 3. “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber.” Ps. cxxi. 3.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.5

    Because God does not sleep, we can sleep in peace, and wake again. Think what a terrible condition we should be in, if we had to attend to supplying ourselves with breath. We would not dare do anything else, lest at some time we should forget to breathe. We should never dare go to sleep, for if we did, we should never wake up. But we couldn't live long without sleep, and the little time we might live would be useless to us, since it would all have to be spent trying to breathe; so we see we could have no existence whatever if God did not care for us sufficiently to give us breath every moment.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.6

    The best rendering of Job xxxiv. 14, 15, is this: “If He set His heart upon Himself,” that is, “if He thought only of Himself,” “if He gathered to Himself His Spirit, and His breath; all flesh would perish together, and man would turn again to dust.” Because God does not live for Himself alone, but solely for the welfare of His creatures, we are kept in life.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.7

    God continues His mercies to us moment by moment year after year, although they for the most part are unrecognised. It is only on the occasion of some remarkable deliverance that even most professed Christians take any notice of God's care. But we should remember that His care is manifested none the less in keeping us from accident, so that our lives run smoothly, than in saving us from some visible danger.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.8

    Remember also that all this care is bestowed upon those who are in rebellion against Him. He gives breath to the man who blasphemes His name, just as freely as to the one who offers praise. All have sinned, and brought death upon themselves, for death comes by sin; yet we live notwithstanding the fact that death has passed upon us. Why is this?—It is because God cares for us, and is not willing that any should perish. By the constant interposition of His own life, He is warding death off from us.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.9

    Why should the Lord do this?—Ah, can you not see that it is because He desires all men to live eternally. If it were His will that any should perish, He would not take the trouble to keep any in life. If God did not care for us, He would let us drop at once into everlasting destruction. The very fact that He gives us life, is the promise of everlasting life. It is commonly said that “while there's life there's hope;” but it may truly be said that life itself is hope; for we live only by the life which the Holy Spirit gives us, and if we recognise that life as coming from Him, it will be in us “a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.10

    We see that the Lord has all the care of us. The burden, all our burden, is on Him. He bears us and our sins. The question is, will we allow Him to bear it, and do as He wishes with it, because He bears it, or will we persist in bearing it ourselves until He takes us at our word and allows us to assume the burden wholly, and sink into perdition? If we allow Him to have His way, and acknowledge that His way is perfect, He will bury the sin in the depths of the sea, and will make all our burdens as light as His own, which is easy. Will you yield to the Lord, and acknowledge Him in all your ways?PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.11

    “Come, cast your burdens on the Lord,
    And trust His constant care.”
    PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.12

    The story is told of a labourer who was being drawn up alone in a bucket from the bottom of a well which he was engaged in digging. As he neared the top, some of his companions at the mouth of the well amused themselves by throwing pebbles and small bits of earth down upon him. This made him very angry, and after vainly telling them to desist, he in his rage uttered the serious threat, “If you don't leave off, I'll cut the rope!”PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.13

    This may or may not be true, but at any rate it finds its counterpart in thousands of people whom God is trying to draw out of the pit of destruction. They make a start in the Christian life, but soon some professed Christian does something, doubtless wholly unintentionally, that offends them. “Well, if he is going to act that way, I shall not be n Christian any longer,” is what many a poor soul says in effect. That is to say, If somebody else doesn't do just right, I'll cut the rope, and let myself drop to the bottom! Is there any render of these lines who has ever acted so foolishly? Isn't it foolish? You would think that no one could ever seriously say so absurd a thing as is told of the man in the bucket, yet many are actually doing it: deliberately going to destruction because somebody else has done a thing which they think is wrong. If you have ever done be foolish a thing, don't do it again.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.14

    Enormous destruction has been caused in the West Indies by a strong cyclone lasting ten hours. None of the Islands have escaped. Immense landslips and tidal waves have increased the desolation. Many hundreds have been killed, and the majority of the people have been rendered homeless. The storm has been one of the most destructive ever known in the history of the Islands.PTUK September 22, 1898, page 608.15

    Larger font
    Smaller font