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    October 6, 1898

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Temple Repaired. 2 Chron. xxiv. 4-13” The Present Truth 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    OCTOBER 16

    When Jehoshaphat died, Johoram, his son, reigned in his stead. He had been associated with his father on the throne for four years, and his reign extended over another four. As Jezebel had been a curse to the kingdom of Israel, so her daughter, Athaliah, the wife of Jehoram, was a curse to Judah. Under her influence Jehoram became like Ahab, “and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord.” His first proceeding, after his father's death, was to slay all his brethren, “and divers also of the princes of Israel.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 627.1

    THE WAY OF TRANSGRESSION

    This precautionary measure did not, however, strengthen his hold upon the kingdom. Nations which had given allegiance to his father now broke away. The Philistines and the Arabians, who had acknowledged that God was with Judah and had brought presents and tribute to Jehoshaphat, now turned against Jehoram as he departed from the Lord; “and they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives.” Only the youngest son was left. Two years after the beginning of his sole reign, Jehoram was smitten with an incurable disease, and after another two years of horrible suffering, he died, and was buried without royal honours. He “departed without being desired.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 627.2

    AN EVIL TAINT

    The youngest son of Jehoram was named Ahaziah. He was the only one who had been spared by the Arabians. At the age of forty-two he came to the throne, but only reigned one year. His life also was overshadowed by his mother's fatal influence, and to her he owed its early termination, for while visiting his relative the king of Israel, Jehu slew him in obedience to the command of the Lord to utterly destroy the seed of Ahab and Jezebel.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 627.3

    ANOTHER JEZEBEL

    As soon as Athaliah learned that her only son was dead, she slew ill his sons and took the kingdom herself. One, however, of Ahaziah's children, the newborn Joash, was concealed by his aunt, the wife of Jehoiada the priest. Under their care he was preserved for six years, and at the end of that time Jehoiada was able to organise a movement which set Joash on the throne and slew Athaliah. “And all the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 627.4

    SOWING AND REAPING

    The influence of this one wicked woman had been powerful for evil. Had Judah been faithful to God, the people might have withstood Athaliah's attempt to introduce and establish the worship of Baal, but, the spirit which viewed with indifference a union between the servant of God and a worshipper of idols, was well adapted to foster and strengthen a false religion, which appealed to desires for sensual indulgence, and gave its devotees unbridled license to follow the dictates of their corrupted hearts.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 627.5

    NOTHING SMALL

    It does not do to think lightly of sin. The fault for which we excuse ourselves may be a slight one, but it is a seed which can develop to undreamed-of proportions. To Jehoshaphat it may have seemed unlikely that any harm would come of his permitting a friendship between his son and the youthful daughter of Ahab. Doubtless Jehoram, which means Jehovah is high, had been carefully trained by his pious father, and instructed in the knowledge of the true God, and Jehoshaphat could not think that these defensive barriers would fail to protect his son against Athaliah's tendencies towards idolatry. Yet within two years from his own death, the temple of God had been broken up to furnish material for the house of Baal, all the things dedicated to God's service had been bestowed upon Baalim, and Jehoram, the son of a godly father, had slain his own brethren and his father's friends: “moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.” His career is a solemn warning to parents to make the compromise with sin, in their dealings with their children, and to guard them as long as possible from all willing contact with evil, however fascinating and comparatively harmless it may now appear to be.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 627.6

    RESTORING THE TEMPLE

    In the days of Joash, in consequence of the depredations committed by Athaliah, the temple was in great need of restoration, and the king was minded to repair it. He accordingly instructed the priests and the Levites to go out into the cities of Judah and gather money from the people for this purpose. The temple had been an asylum for Joash during the first six years of his life, while bidden from Athaliah, and he desired to see it rescued from its dilapidated condition. He commanded that the business should receive immediate attention, and that the work of repair should be hastened forward. After some years, however, it was found that the work was not making much progress and the king sent for his uncle, Jehoiada the priest, to inquire into the delay.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 627.7

    A CONTRIBUTION BOX

    A new plan was then decided upon. “At the king's commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the Lord.” Then proclamation was made that all the people should come to the temple, and bring the offering that Moses had directed, for the service of the tabernacle. “And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest.” When the box was filled, the priests opened it and counted the money, then replaced the chest. “Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.” With the funds collected in this way the builders were paid. “So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 627.8

    HOW TO GIVE

    The scriptural rule for giving is,-“he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity.” “God loveth it cheerful giver.” He does not value an offering that is given with reluctance, and counted a matter of hardship. “This have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that He regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with goodwill at your hands.” Mal. ii. 13. Even though a man bestow all his goods to feed the poor, except love prompt the gift, it is a worthless, unprofitable offering. When the thought in giving is to attract attention to the generosity of the giver; and cause him to be well spoken of, God does not count the offering as made to Himself. Such a payment is neither offered nor accepted as a free gift. It is a business transaction. The donor desires to purchase so much of standing, influence and fame, and gives what he thinks will acquire the desired advantages. “They have their reward.” There is nothing further for them.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 627.9

    “AS THE WORLD GIVETH”

    It is rare to find a body now, professing to be the servants of God, which is content to rely upon the simplicity of giving. Bazaars and entertainments are needed to extract money from the pockets of those who are “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Tim. iii. 4, 5. Such efforts are not always successful in raising the desired funds, but when they are, it is not the love of God that has provided the means. An equivalent has been received by the purchasers of amusement. “They have their reward.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.1

    How much better is God's way. Every gift, given with simplicity and grateful acknowledgment to God, is another link to connect us with Him. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart he also.” God knows how to acknowledge to every cheerful giver the receipt of his offering, and does it in a way that, in itself, is worth more than the gift. The charge of robbery is made by God against all who withhold from Him the tithes and offerings which are His due, but to all who render these cheerfully a glorious promise is given; “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Mal. iii. 8-13.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.2

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Power in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “ALL FLESH IS GRASS”

    Gen. i. 11, 12: “And God said, Lot 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 October 6, 1898, page 628.3

    Mark iv. 26, 27: “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground, and should sleep end rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow tip, he knoweth not how.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.4

    Isa. xl. 6-8: “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field; the grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the Spirit of the Lord knoweth upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.5

    John xv. 1, 3, 4, 5: “I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman, Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine; ye are the branches; He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.6

    Isa. xxvii. 2, 3: “A vineyard of red wine. I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.7

    Ps. cxxi. 3, 4: “He that keepeth thee will not slumber, Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.8

    Matt. vi. 28-30: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, That oven Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.9

    Hosea xiv. 5: “I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.10

    Ps. xcii. 12, 13, 14: “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.11

    Isa. liii. 1, 2: “Who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.12

    Isa. ix. 21, 22: “Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one n strong nation; I the Lord will hasten it in his time.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.13

    Isa. lxi. 1-3, 11: “The Spirit of the Lord God Is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; ... To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give auto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to shine forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.14

    Col. ii. 6, 7: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him; rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 628.15

    The statement that “all flesh is grass,” is absolute and unqualified. It is true that in 1 Peter i. 24 we read that “all flesh is as grass;” but that does not in the least destroy the force of the statement in Isaiah. The Scriptures do not contradict themselves. All flesh is as grass, because all flesh is grass. We may contradict the statement, and say that we cannot see how we are grass, and that we do not think it means just that; but in so doing we shall never find out what it does mean, and shall deprive ourselves of all the comfort that there is in it.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 629.1

    There is comfort in the knowledge of the fact that all flesh is grass. The fortieth chapter of Isaiah, in which the statement occurs, is a message of comfort. The special message of comfort which God sends to His people, is that all flesh is grass. This is a part of the message that is sent to prepare n people for the coming of the Lord. The other part is, “The Word of our God shall stand for ever.” We can never realise the full strength of the Word of God until we realise that we are but grass, as helpless as is the grass of the field; for as long as we imagine that we have any strength in ourselves, we cannot rest wholly on the strength of the Lord, on the Word that upholds all things; and to the extent that we depend on our own fancied strength, are we useless.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 629.2

    This message, “all flesh is grass, ... but the Word of our God shall stand for ever,” is only another statement of the message of Rev. xiv. 7: “Fear God, and give glory to Him, ... and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” We give glory to God only when we acknowledge that He alone has the power, and that we are helpless; that in Him alone is life and righteousness; that in Him is everything, while in us is nothing. He is light, while we are in ourselves but darkness. When we hold fast this confession, and allow Him to work in us and to clothe us even as He does the grass of the field, men see our good works, and glorify Him, because, He does the works. Then we way be “filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” To have the perfect righteousness of God, by the faith of Jesus Christ, is aII that is needed to meet the Lord. So we see that the message which leads men to confess themselves to he as weak and worthless as the grass of the field, and God and His Word to be everlasting strength and righteousness, must be the preparatory message for the Lord's coming.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 629.3

    Note that in the Saviour's words in Matt. vi. 28-30 the lilies of the field are counted as grass. There are many different kinds of grass that grow out of the ground, so that we have a large range of objects in nature to study in order to find out what we are, and how God would deal with us. Corn, as well as everything else from which bread is made, is simply grass. Let this be remembered, for it has a practical hearing on our study of the life of faith.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 629.4

    Do not fail to note the fine recognition of the fact that all flesh is grass, in the words of the Saviour. After calling our attention to the lilies of the field, He says, “If God so clothe the grass of the field,” etc. That which is ordinarily called simply grass, is grass of the field; men are a higher order of grass, destined for infinitely higher purposes, but grass nevertheless.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 629.5

    Not only are we grass, but we are designed to be trees,-trees of righteousness. Let the student recall the lesson on “The Fruit of the Light,” told he will see some of the lessons to be learned from the fact that we are called “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” If we constantly keep in mind the scriptures which tell us that we stand in close relationship with the grass of the field and the trees of the wood, and that the kingdom of God is like the seed that is cast into the earth, and grows to perfection, we shall be continually learning Gospel lessons; for we are seldom out of sight of something that is growing.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 629.6

    “The Vine and the Lily” The Present Truth 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When we read that “all flesh is grass,” we must not fail to couple with that statement the words of Christ, which show that the lilies of the field are included in the classification. Matt. vi. 28-30. The righteous are also often called trees. These things teach us that from everything that grows out of the ground we are to learn something concerning our life in Christ.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 629.7

    Jesus says, “I am the true Vine.” This was a part of the last instruction that He gave to His disciples before He was crucified. He had told them that in eating the bread they were eating His body; the supper was over, and the closing hymn had been sung; and now they were on their way to the garden, or possibly were in the garden itself. A vine growing in the garden by the side of the path as they walked, would easily and naturally serve to give point to the Saviour's words. They had just drank of the fruit of the vine; here was one growing before their eyes, such as they had seen thousands of times. How many times we have seen the vine growing. What is it?—It is a vine, nothing more; its object is to bear fruit for the service of man; that is the end of the matter. Oh, no; that is only the beginning; that is not the real vine; it is only an object lesson. Jesus says, “I am the true Vine.” These vines that we see growing are designed to teach us lessons of Christ and of Christian living. If we have seen them, and eaten of them, and have not learned these lessons, our seeing and eating have been in vain.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 629.8

    God's purpose for us is that we should bear fruit. Jesus says, “I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” John xv. 16. “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” Verse 8. We are to bear much fruit, and the fruit is not to be unsound, and wither, but is to remain. The nature of the fruit to be borne is described in Gal. v. 22, 23, thus: “Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” And these fruits are, like the fruit of all trees, to come from within, and not to be put on from the outside. “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Phil. i. 11. The fruit, being in us, is to be brought forth, and thus will God be glorified. We see, therefore, that although the fruit is to come from within, as we are full of it, it is not the product of our own life, but of the Spirit of God, so that the praise and glory are all due to Him.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 629.9

    But how are we to bear these fruits of righteousness, since in us, that is, in our flesh, dwelleth no good thing? Ah, they are the fruits of the Spirit, whom the Lord has given to us, that He may abide with us for ever. John xiv. 16. The Spirit is the bond of union between me and Christ. The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of adoption,” showing us to be children of God, “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.” Rom. viii. 15-17. We need not question how the Spirit can dwell in us, for that does not concern us. All we have to do is to yield our assent; He who has the work to do will attend to it Himself. The mystery of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the unsolvable mystery of the self-existence of God, and of the incarnation of Christ. It is enough for us to know the fact.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 630.1

    Read again the words of the Saviour: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for severed from Me ye can do nothing.” John xv. 5, 6, margin.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 630.2

    The branch bears fruit because it shares the life of the vine. There is no difference between the vine and its branches. They have one life. As is the vine, so are the branches. “If the root be holy, so are the branches.” Rom. xi. 16.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 630.3

    The life of the vine is the sap. That is the blood of the vine or the tree. The same sap that nourishes the vine, goes out to the uttermost branch, so long as the branch remains a part of the vine. Jesus says, “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.” John vi. 57. He whom God has sent receives the Spirit without measure (John iii. 34), and “the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Rom. viii. 10. The life of Christ, therefore, is the Holy Spirit of God, and the life of those who live by Him is that same Holy Spirit. What the sap is to the vine and its branches, which we see, that the Holy Spirit is to Christ and those who are in Him.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 630.4

    Now let no one lose sight of the object of this study. It is not vain curiosity, and therefore we have not indulged in any speculations. We have held strictly to the text of Scripture. The lesson that we are to learn is the possibility and the reality of the Spirit's dwelling in us and producing in us the same fruits that manifested themselves in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. We are familiar with the fact that sap circulates through the vine and its branches, and produces fruit; what the Lord would teach us is that through faith in His Word we have just as real and intimate a connection with Him as the branch of the grape vine has with the vine itself. The Spirit of God, the life of Christ, can pass from Christ to us as freely and as constantly as the sap does from the root and the stock to the outermost branches, and this is the case so long as we by faith maintain the connection. Is there not life in the very thought?PTUK October 6, 1898, page 630.5

    This is what the Apostle speaks of when he says that by the exceeding great and precious promises of God we are made partakers of the Divine nature. 2 Peter i. 4. We do not become partakers of the Divine nature by an occasional look at the exceeding great and precious promises, but by a continual feeding on them. The life of faith must be as continuous as the natural life, which comes by eating and breathing. It is not by occasional breathing that we live; even so it is not by occasional thoughts of God and His promises that we live the Divine life. But when the faith is constant and steadfast, the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, must follow as naturally as do the works of sin when we are out of Christ. The Divine nature is not less active and powerful than the carnal nature. Therefore when we are partakers of the Divine nature, it must be as natural to do right as it is to do wrong when we are controlled by the carnal nature. “As ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Rom. vi . 19-22. The one necessary condition is by living faith to abide in the true Vine.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 630.6

    There is infinite power in the Word of God. By it we are made clean. John xv. 3. Here is infinite comfort and encouragement for the believer. The way of life is not hard, but easy. Jesus says, “My yoke is easy.” It is the way of the transgressor that is hard. The Lord in His infinite mercy has made it as easy to do right as to do wrong, provided we trust Him absolutely; yea, far easier, inasmuch as His power is infinitely greater than all the power of sin. Well may this be spoken of as a “great salvation.” We do not need to know the how, but the fact is ever before us in the fruit-bearing vine and trees.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 630.7

    Christ is not only the true Vine; He is a tree of life, since He is the wisdom of God. Prov. iii. 13-18. “He is also the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” Song of Songs ii. 1. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.” Israel “shall grow as the lily.” Growth means flower and fruit, so we have it, he “shall blossom as the lily.” Hosea xiv. 5. “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 jewels. For as the earth bringeth 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.” Isa. lxi. 10, 11. Just as the lily is clothed with beauty, even so will those who trust in the Lord be clothed with righteousness. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like a lily. His magnificent clothing was wrought by man, and put on from the outside. It was no part of himself, and when it was taken off, as it had to be, he had no more glory than the humblest peasant. But the beauteous clothing of the lily comes from within. It is wrought by God, and not by man. Although the work of God, and the lily's own work, yet it is a part of the lily itself. It belongs to it, and cannot be laid aside without the destruction of the lily. Even so shall it be with those who trust the Lord, He will clothe them with the beautiful garments of righteousness in just the same way that He clothes the lily. This is the Christian's assurance not only of the life to come, but also of all that he needs for this life. For He who does that which is greatest will also do that which is least. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Rom. viii. 32. “All things” leaves nothing out. In accepting Christ, the believer receives all things that pertain to life and godliness. He receives everything that he can possibly need in time and in eternity. “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Tim. iv. 8. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 630.8

    “Traditions of Men” The Present Truth 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Bishop of Ripon, in his address as president of the recent Church Congress, uttered these words:—PTUK October 6, 1898, page 631.1

    As increasing light falls upon great problems, and men being to realise how much of Judaistic, pagan and scholastic thought is mingled with popular Christianity; how many accretions due to human weakness and race prejudice have been incorporated in our conceptions, they will distrust the Church. For every new epoch has added new dogma to faith, and with every new dogma the Church has gone further from the simplicity of Christ.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 631.2

    Is there not then cause for a reformation, not on the lines of any book made by man, but on the basis of the Bible? Only there can the simplicity of Christ be found.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 631.3

    “The Children. God's Garden” The Present Truth 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “My Father is the Husbandman.” This is what Jesus said, and we learned last week that we are His garden, or as the Apostle Paul tells us, “Ye are God's husbandry,” or “tilled land.” We have been learning lately about the good seed,-the Word of God,-which He puts into our hearts, that we may bring forth just the blossoms and fruit that He loves to see, in His garden.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 634.1

    But if you have a garden you know that the sowing of the seed is not all that needs to he done in it. You must watch and water it; and besides this you will find springing up some plants that you have not sown, and that you do not want there. These you must pull up, because they are weeds that are not only useless themselves, but they will prevent the good seed from growing properly, and perhaps crowd it out altogether.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 634.2

    Now see how much care the Lord takes of His garden, how carefully and tenderly He watches over us, His “tilled land.” He says, “I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment, lest any hurt it I will keep it night and day.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 634.3

    “Lest any hurt it”! Who is it that is trying to hurt the Lord's garden, and how can he do this? Oh, you know already, it is His great enemy, Satan. He wants to destroy all the Lord's beautiful plants, and change His garden into a waste wilderness, bringing forth nothing but thorns and weeds and poisonous plants.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 634.4

    And see how artfully he is working to do this. Jesus teaches us about it in one of His parables. He says that “the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man that sowed good seed in his field,” but his enemy carne and sowed tares and went his way. “But when the blade was sprung up, arid brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 634.5

    God in the beginning sowed only good seed in His field,-in this earth, and in the hearts of His children Adam and Eve. The earth brought forth only what was “pleasant to the sight and good for food.” And only love and all its pleasant and beautiful fruits appeared in the lives of God's children. But now, alas, the earth brings forth thorns and thistles, and many things not pleasant to the sight nor good for food, but things that will bring death instead of life. And there are hatred and quarrelling, and other deadly weeds, growing up where only love should be.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 634.6

    From whence hath the Lord's land these tares? The words of Jesus give us the answer, “An enemy hath done this.” How he did it, and is still doing it, we will learn next week, and also how the words of Jesus will be at last fulfilled, “Every plant that My heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 634.7

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Fashionable Japanese young ladies, when they desire to look attractive, killed their lips.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.1

    -During a storm on the Russian Baltic coast between Polangen and Libau about 120 fishermen were drowned.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.2

    -In Madagascar, to stop the dwindling of the population, the French are now imposing a tax on all childless persons.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.3

    -The dispute between Italy and Colombia is at an end, Columbia having yielded the concessions demanded by Italy.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.4

    -In order to stay the increasing disaffection among officials in Turkey, one month's pay is announced, leaving only thirteen months in arrear.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.5

    -Spain expresses the English of Hispania, a word founded upon the Punic “span,” a rabbit, owing to, it is said, the number of wild rabbits found in the peninsula by the Carthaginians.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.6

    -The French Cabinet has decided in favour of the transfer of the Dreyfus appeal for revision to the Supreme Court. This may not mean much, but is one step in the direction of revision.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.7

    -Five acres of land at Charing Cross, now owned by the Marquis of Salisbury, were bought 250 years ago by his ancestors for grazing purposes at a ground-rent of ten shillings an acre for 500 years.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.8

    -It is pointed out that the deposition of the Chinese Emperor is the third coup d' é tat brought about by the Empress Dowager and Li Hung Chang. On each of the previous occasions a young emperor died suddenly.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.9

    -The port of Taipeh, China, was visited on August 28 by a terrific storm, which devastated the entire district. In the port itself several vessels, all Chinese it is believed, were wrecked, and 170 persons were drowned.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.10

    -Gedaref, the last stronghold of the Dervishes, has been taken after severe fighting. The Egyptian force consisted of 1,300 men, and that of the Dervishes numbered 3,000. The latter were completely routed and lost 500 killed.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.11

    -A German subject has secured from the Argentine Government a concession for the construction of a complete network of railways, having a total length of 2,000 miles, which when completed will serve the whole southern portion of the province of Buenos Ayres.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.12

    -The Turkish forces are to be compelled to withdraw from Crete, unless something happens to disturb the harmony of the European powers that have decided upon this move. After this is done the “Christian” population is to be disarmed, in the interests of the Mussulman inhabitants.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.13

    -Chile and Argentina have been on the verge of war, owing to a dispute over their boundaries. The Senate of the latter country has sanctioned the mobilisation of a force of 50,000 men, and has largely increased the import duties by way of preparation, but as the questions in dispute are to be submitted in part to Great Britain for arbitration, it is hoped that an amicable settlement may be found possible.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.14

    -The latest returns from Bombay show an increase in the number of deaths due to the plague. There were 148 cases in the week which terminated fatally.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.15

    -Beef is never seen at a Chinese table, oxen and cows capable of working the plough being accounted too valuable to the farmer to be consigned to the butcher. Very severe penalties are attached to the slaughter of these animals, the punishment for the first offence being a hundred strokes with a bamboo.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.16

    -A fearful tornado is reported from Canada. The city of St. Catherines received the full force of the funnel-shaped storm which destroyed all the buildings in its path, tearing up large trees, and even sucking up the water from the Welland Canal as it crossed. Five persons were killed by pieces of timber hurled through the air. The loss to property was very heavy.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.17

    -In Russian political circles the Kaiser's visit to Palestine is regarded with growing uneasiness. It is feared that he will seek recognition as one of the protectors of Christian interests in the East. France and Russia consider that they have a legal right to consider their privileges in this respect as exclusive, from which it would appear that there are other considerations involved, and that the Christians are not protected for the sake of protecting them.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.18

    -The greatest trust ever known in the United States has just been incorporated with a capital of two hundred million dollars. It is designed to operate on an enormous scale, and although intended to swallow up the iron and steel industries of the country, will not confine itself to these. Capitalists think that the world is at their mercy, but they are heaping up treasure “for the last days.” “Go to, now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your misery's that shall come upon you.” James v. 1.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.19

    -Writing of the corruption which has been revealed in French official life by the Dreyfus agitation, the Chronicle says, “Society has not sufficiently pondered the moral effect of such a system on the classes which are impatient of authority. Anarchism is not wholly dementia. It is nourished by the spectacle of officialdom, which is honeycombed with deceit, rank with injustice, and regardless of the elementary honesty, while it discourses upon its ‘honour.’” While anarchy is altogether wicked, it is only the harvest that springs naturally from sowing corruption.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.20

    -The Pope, in answer to the Czar's proposal, has remarked that one of the best means of assuring peace would be the establishment of a tribunal of international arbitration. Cardinal Rampolla has communicated the Pope's idea to the Russian Minister at the Vatican, who appears to have received it favourably. He expressed the hope that it will be taken into consideration at St. Petersburg, and that negotiations for the establishment of an arbitration tribunal will proceed at the same time as the negotiations for disarmament.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.21

    -A reign of terror prevails at Pekin for all Chinese of progressive tendencies, and especially for progressive Cantonese, whom the Dowager Empress seems determined to exterminate. Kang, the fugitive leader, who escaped under British protection, last year started a society in Canton against the cruel practice of binding the feet of girl children. The Puh Tsan Tsu Hut, or Not Bind Feet Society, was started, 10,000 strong, all the fathers of a large district around the city pledging themselves not to bind the feet of their girl children, nor to marry their sons to girls with bound feet. Miss Kang has never had her feet bound, and habitually wears Manchu dress, that Manchu feet may look less singular-the Manchus never bind their women's feet. She has herself published a treatise against foot binding, a phenomenal act for a Chinese young lady.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 638.22

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 40.

    E. J. Waggoner

    God demands nothing of us except that which He first gives us, for we have nothing that He has not given. He has given us His whole life, and it is therefore but simple justice that He should demand the whole of ours. Our life is in fact His, so that in asking our lives, God is only asking for His own. “Will a man rob God?”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.1

    God's Divine power “hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Therefore in calling upon us to live holy lives, God is only asking us to exhibit what He has given us. It is as though He should say, “Where is that treasure that I deposited with you? Produce it, that I may see it.” So the commandments of God are not arbitrary requirements; they are promises, yea, much more than promises of what He will give as; they are statements of what He has already given us. The greater the commandment, the greater the grace. Truly “His commandments are not grievous.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.2

    Whenever we find an expression of truth we like to pass it on. Here is one from Dr. John Watson, at the missionary meeting of the Baptist Union: “God elected no people in order that He might reject others. He chose peoples and individuals only in order that's through them others might be saved.” This is a truth that cannot be too often repeated. “No man liveth unto himself.” “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.3

    The Chronicle in publishing an appeal to the religious bodies of Great Britain to support by all possible means the Czar's proposal for decrease of armaments among, the nations of Europe, says:—PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.4

    The one point to be noted by every man is that if the idea embodied in the Czar's rescript cannot be carried out, the basic ideas of our civilisation are lost. We may as well throw up the sponge, we may as well cease to prate about civilisation and progress, for our talk will be as the idle wind.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.5

    These are desperate words, but their truthfulness is manifest. When the failure of the forthcoming Conference shall demonstrate, what has already been proved a thousand times, that “civilisation” is a totally different thing from the Christian principles on which it is supposed to rest, perhaps some who have “prated of civilisation and progress” will cease their vain glorying. God is our peace, and He is the only One who can give it. The delegates to the Conference will be able to secure it for themselves by submission to His will, but unless they accept peace where it is offered, their diligent search in other directions will only end in disappointment. To attempt moral reforms without relying upon the one moral force in the universe is to labour in vain.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.6

    It is by no means a comforting sign of the times that within three weeks three railway companies have been obliged to issue rewards for information leading to the conviction of persons who have maliciously attempted to wreck passenger trains.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.7

    A Sanitary Congress has been in session in Birmingham during the past week. Considerable attention was devoted to the purity of food supplies, and the evils of adulteration and the use of chemicals for preserving foods. The boracic acid which is much used to keep milk sweet, was strongly denounced as unfit to be taken into the stomach, especially when handled by unscientific men. A Dr. Niven complained that whilst “an enormous stream of infectious milk was pouring into our cities,” there were no powers under which this milk could be seized, of the supply stopped. As to meat affected with tuberculosis, he was positive on three points (1) that ordinary processes of cooking do not destroy the infections material in the deeper-seated glands, (2) that the danger from eating such meat is under-rated, and (3) that a standard should be established in reference to tuberculous carcases as regards seizure, because we are much too lenient.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.8

    During the homeward voyage of the P. and O. steamer India, a remarkable phenomenon was observed by the crew in the Indian Ocean. One night the officer in charge observed that the ship was approaching what seemed to be a dense white fog lying low upon the surface of the sea. Soon the vessel was in it, when it was found that the sea was milk white and luminous. The sea for miles looked like a great white sheet, and there was no mist at all, what seemed at a distance to be fog being only the light from the water.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.9

    Now for the explanation. The scientific writer of the Daily Mail, which contained the report, gravely advanced the following:—PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.10

    This extraordinary spectacle, which is of very rare occurrence, is no doubt due to a combination of certain atmospheric phenomena, acting in conjunction, or upon the surface of the sea, and effecting some chemical change in the phosphorescence.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.11

    How marvellously scientific! “Certain phenomena” effected “some chemical change,” and the result was quite natural. See? One can quite appreciate the statement that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God,” when so much of it is so self-evidently absurd. There is such a thing as true science, but “explanations” that are merely a jumble of big words to avoid saying “I don't know,” are not science.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.12

    The Word of God is seed, which when sown in the heart will hear fruit “after its kind.” It is not a corruptible seed, but an incorruptible, living and abiding for ever; therefore the fruit of this seed will be an incorruptible experience which will abide trial. Unless this be the case, it is evident that the seed sown was not the pure Word of God, received into an honest and good heart. “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil.” “He that committeth sin is of the devil.” “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” 1 John iii. 8-10. If any by this token learn that they were not born of incorruptible seed, the remedy is obvious. The Word of God, received not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the Word of God, effectually worketh in them that believe. 1 Thess. ii. 13.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.13

    According to the revenue returns 70,706,000 pounds of tobacco were consumed in the United Kingdom in the year ending March last. While the increase in population was only one per cent., the increase in the consumption of tobacco was more than four per cent. The increase in the use of tea is also shown to be much in excess of the increase in population.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.14

    The lately deposed Emperor of China is said to have committed suicide, but all reports agree that the suicide was an involuntary one.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.15

    Great Britain, France, Italy and Russia have jointly demanded that Turkey shall withdraw its troops from Crete. Unless this is done within a certain time, the four Powers announce their intention to resort to force.PTUK October 6, 1898, page 640.16

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