The Present Truth, vol. 10- Contents
- January 4, 1894
- January 10, 1894
- January 11, 1894
- January 18, 1894
- January 25, 1894
- February 1, 1894
- February 8, 1894
- February 15, 1894
- February 22, 1894
- March 1, 1894
- March 8, 1894
- March 15, 1894
- March 22, 1894
- March 29, 1894
- April 5, 1894
- April 12, 1894
- April 19, 1894
- April 26, 1894
- May 3, 1894
- May 10, 1894
- May 17, 1894
- May 24, 1894
- May 31, 1894
- June 7, 1894
- June 14, 1894
- June 21, 1894
- June 28, 1894
- July 5, 1894
- July 12, 1894
- July 19, 1894
- July 26, 1894
- August 2, 1894
- August 9, 1894
- August 16, 1894
- August 23, 1894
- August 30, 1894
- September 6, 1894
- September 13, 1894
- September 20, 1894
- September 27, 1894
- October 4, 1894
- October 11, 1894
- October 18, 1894
- October 25, 1894
- November 1, 1894
- November 8, 1894
- November 15, 1894
- November 22, 1894
- November 29, 1894
- December 6, 1894
- December 13, 1894
- December 20, 1894
- December 27, 1894
March 29, 1894
“What to Forget” The Present Truth 10, 13.
What to Forget.-Forget self. No person ever gratified self when self was forgotten. And we may forget self by losing self in Christ. He has been lifted up from the earth, in order that we may see Him, and beholding the wondrous sight, forget all else.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 193.1
“Your Choice” The Present Truth 10, 13.
Your Choice.-The Christian life is a life of choosing that which is right and good and refusing that which is wrong. When temptation comes to you, you have the privilege of choosing between your Saviour and that to which you are urged by the temptation. Choosing Him, you will be chosen by Him, and He will make Himself more precious to you than any selfish thing, and keep you by His power from all evil.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 193.2
“Near at Hand” The Present Truth 10, 13.
Near at Hand.-To very many who pray, God seems afar off. They do not know whether He hears or not. They do not hear His voice. That is not the way to pray to God. What is the difference between praying to a god that has ears but hears not, and has eyes but sees not, and a mouth but speaks not, and praying to the true God, and not knowing whether He sees or hears or speaks? God is not a long way off. He is “not far from every one of us,” said the apostle, speaking to heathen men; “for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 193.3
“His Offspring” The Present Truth 10, 13.
His Offspring.—God never forsakes His offspring. He does not cast off His children when they fall into sin. He fills every relationship in life. He is to us a Father, Mother—“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you”—Brother, Friend,—everything. But we are always children as far as He is concerned; “little children;” babes, also. We are to grow in grace and increase in knowledge; and yet in growing from infancy to old age, or from first conversion to ripened Christian experience, we do not at all diminish the difference between us and God in knowledge and understanding. God will always be infinitely above us, so that the wisest man will always be less, as compared with Him, than the little babe is as compared with its parent.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 193.4
“The Resurrection” The Present Truth 10, 13.
The doctrine of the resurrection from the dead is the bright light that shines through all the gloom of mortal existence. And the darkest hour, when standing beside the form of one bound to us by the closest ties, we look upon the folded hands from which the burden of life has dropped, there are no words that comfort us like these. The hope of man is in a coming restoration; and all that strikes against the doctrine of the resurrection strikes against that hope.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 193.6
That doctrine underlies the Christian faith, and he who holds it not has not the faith. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy of some “who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is passed already; and overthrow the faith of some.” . There are doctrines in our own day which tend directly to belittle the doctrine of the resurrection, making it nearly if not altogether a superfluous thing; and now, as in the apostle’s day, they will result in the overthrow of the faith to such as receive them.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 193.7
The teaching of “the grace of God, that bringeth salvation,” and “hath appeared unto all men,” is, “that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” . If this is our position, we are in obedience to the Gospel. And this glorious appearing of Christ is for those that “sleep in the dust,” as well as for “we who are alive and remain” unto His coming. For we are told that “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the force of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” . And with this knowledge we are to comfort one another while He tarries beyond our sight.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 193.8
Faith in the resurrection of Christ implies faith in the visible, bodily reappearing of all those who sleep in Him, at the last day. And without faith in the resurrection of the saints, there can be no faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And without faith in this no hope can be derived from the Gospel. “If Christ be not raised,” says Paul, “then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain;” and he adds, “then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” . And to the Thessalonians he writes, “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” . The resurrection of Christ, in visible, bodily form, as He appeared to His disciples after the crucifixion ( ), and the resurrection of His saints in like manner, and their dependence for life and immortality upon His resurrection, are doctrines that stand or fall together. But they cannot fall, because they rest on the word of the Lord.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 193.9
The glorious second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the just, and the bestowal upon the righteous of their reward, are the events that transpire together. For when Christ comes His reward is with Him, “to give to every man according as his work shall be.” ; .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.1
The resurrection will be as universal as death has been. The Saviour said, that “the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good under the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” . But we are told that every man shall come in his own order; “Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” . They that are not Christ’s do not appear at His coming. That resurrection is “the resurrection of the just” ( ); the “resurrection of damnation” follows afterward. The Apostle John saw in vision “the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God,” and “they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.2
God is the Author of life, and the only source from which life can come. The righteous have eternal life, the life of Christ Himself. They cannot be held by death, any more than Christ Himself could be held in Joseph’s tomb. Those who have the righteousness of Christ must also have His life; for righteousness is eternal. They may be laid away in the grave; but they still have life in Christ; and “when Christ who is their life shall appear,” then shall they also “appear with Him in glory.” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.3
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” . And “Blessed,” also, “are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works to follow them.” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.4
“What Can He Say?” The Present Truth 10, 13.
In a meeting of the Foreign Missionary Society of the American M. E. Church, a returned missionary to Persia, who was described as “full of enthusiasm for his work,” spoke as follows:—PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.5
I am often asked by the Persians how it is, if the Christian religion be the pure Gospel I claim, that my nation, Christian America, has a far longer list of crimes than Persia? What can I reply? What can I do but bow my head in shame, and raise my heart in prayer to God to lift the cloud from rum-cursed America? Oh, this Christian nation will have to rouse from her slumber, and sweep this evil from her borders ere she can hold out pure hands to other nations, asking them to accept her Bible and her God.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.6
A man who would have any trouble in answering such a question as that asked by the Persians, ought to get better acquainted with the Gospel before going out as a missionary. He should learn that the Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” no matter in what land He dwells. He should be able to assure the questioners that the Gospel is an individual matter, and that therefore America is not, never was, and never will be Christian, and that it is not possible that any nation on earth, as a nation, can be Christian.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.7
The fact that America “has a far longer list of crimes than Persia,” is all the evidence that is needed to show that it is not Christian; but Christianity means freedom from sin. America is no more a Christian nation than Persia is.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.8
But it would doubtless be most galling to the missionary’s “patriotism” to make such an answer as that. And that is the trouble with too many missionaries, both home and foreign. A mistaken loyalty to their native country interferes with their loyalty to the Gospel. If they could learn that the true Christian is only a soldier on this earth,—a pilgrim and a stranger even in the land of his birth,—and that his citizenship is in heaven, they would not be embarrassed by such questions as were asked the missionary to Persia. The only country in which they would have a special interest, as a country, would be the heavenly country.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.9
But would not the same charge against the Gospel remain unanswered, namely, that it cannot be as pure as is claimed, or else it would have more influence in diminishing crime in America?—Not by any means. The Gospel cleanses from sin and crime of all who accept it, and no others. If it were less pure than it is, it would be more generally accepted; but then it would be of no use. The Lord Himself gave no warrant for supposing that the majority of men in any nation would accept the Gospel, but on the contrary warned His followers that they must always be comparatively few in numbers, and thus suffer persecution.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.10
The Gospel knows nothing about the natural or artificial boundaries on this earth. It is to be “to all people.” It knows nothing about States and Governments. Its mission is to “every creature.” Kingdoms may rise and fall, nations may extend their boundaries, and others may be absorbed, none of these things concern the ambassadors for Christ. They are the representatives of no country but heaven, and are accredited to no earthly government, but to the world as a whole, and to the whole world considered as individuals, who are to be transformed by it, and made to live a different life as individuals. When all of Christ’s ambassadors fully realise this truth, then will their mission be clothed with a dignity and power befitting its exalted origin.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.11
“A High Calling” The Present Truth 10, 13.
When Peter, in his boat on the Sea of Galilee, saw the power of Jesus of Nazareth over the sea and its inhabitants, he fell down before the Lord, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” . It was the same feeling that prompted Isaiah, when he saw the same Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, to exclaim, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.12
It is worthy of note also, that both these men who thus confessed their sinfulness, were at once accepted as workers. To Peter, the Lord said, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men;” literally, “thou shalt be catching men alive.” But Peter had to be converted before he could strengthen the brethren; and likewise the coal from off the altar had to touch the lips of Isaiah, and purge his sin, before he could say, “Here am I, send me,” to the call, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” and could be told, “Go.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.13
Herein is a hope and a wondrous calling for every sinner. Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. He receives and saves sinners, and then, having received them into His confidence, He sends them forth as His representatives, to carry His message of mercy to other sinners. He takes us as associates with Him. He was made flesh, and took the nature of fallen humanity, in order to save men; and so He commits the work not to angels, but to those who have felt the power of the sins that oppress those to whom they are sent. To thus work with Christ is the highest honour that the universe can bestow.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 194.14
“One Lawgiver” The Present Truth 10, 13.
One Lawgiver.—“The true Church,” says a Roman Catholic writer, “like the true State, is ever on the alert to detect and condemn error. She makes new laws, new definitions, to meet new errors. What should we say of a State that never legislated for three hundred years? Why, that it was no State. So of a church.” But the true church never legislates at all. “There is one Lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy.” . “For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us.” . The true church never usurps the place of its Head, by presuming to make laws for itself. And the difference between the laws which the Lord has laid down for the church, and those which men make, is that while the latter require continual amending to meet new conditions, the former, coming from Him who sees the end from the beginning, are never out of date. Nothing can possibly arise that has not been foreseen and provided for in the Bible.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.1
“Church and Stage” The Present Truth 10, 13.
Church and Stage.-The theatre may be a place for refined worldly people to go to for amusement, but simple folk may be excused if they are unable to see how Christians can patronise the stage, and still follow the rule of doing all they do in the name of the Lord. However, at a recent debate in the London Y.M.C.A. (Aldersgate-street), a vote was carried that theatre-going was not to be condemned. Another pronouncement comes from an Irish Theological Society Assembly’s College, where by a large majority it was noted that the Church should give up her attitude of antagonism to the stage, and ally herself with it. Yet, notwithstanding the increasing patronage which the stage is receiving from the church, we fail to see, if theatrical announcements and news are to be depended upon, that there is any less of frivolity, sentimentalism, and whimsical passion acted out for the edification of theatre-goers than formerly. “Lovers of pleasures” desire these things, but what about “lovers of God”?PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.2
“The Healing Touch” The Present Truth 10, 13.
“And it came to pass when He was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy; who seen Jesus, fell on his face, and besought Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me a clean. And He put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.4
Leprosy was one of the most loathsome diseases known to the ancients, and the one the most dreaded. The leper was an outcast, compelled to keep away from even his own family. The disease was a slow, progressive death, the victim’s members dropping off one after another until death ended his misery.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.5
No other disease more aptly illustrates the defilement of sin; and this man, who was full of leprosy, very closely resembled the description given of the people, by the prophet Isaiah: “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint, from the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises, and putrefying sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” So as we study the miracle of the cleansing of the leper, we may know that we are to learn how we can obey the direction, “Make you clean.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.6
In the first place, the leper had confidence in the power of the Lord to heal him. He said, “Thou canst make me clean.” That is a great point. Very few really believe that Jesus Christ can cleanse them from sin. They will admit that He can save from sin in general,—that He can save others,—but they are not convinced that He can save them. Let such learn a lesson from the power of the Lord. Hear what the prophet Jeremiah said by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:—PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.7
He who brought the heavens and the earth into existence by the power of His word, can do all things. “Our God is in the heavens; He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.” . “His Divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” . “He is able also to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Him.” . Christ has been given “power over all flesh.” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.9
So much for His power. Of that the leper was assured; but he was not sure that the Lord was willing to cleanse him. He said, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.” We need not have so much hesitancy as that. We know that He can, and He has given us ample assurance of His willingness. Thus we read that Christ “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” . It is the will of God that we should be sanctified. .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.10
Christ comprises everything. He is “the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” . All things in heaven and in earth are in Him. . Therefore the Apostle Paul says: “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?” . The willingness of God to cleanse us from sin, is shown in the gift of His only begotten Son for that purpose.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.11
“These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the boldness which we have toward Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He heareth us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him.” . R.V. So we may “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” ( ), knowing that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.12
But the most striking feature of this miracle is the fact that Jesus touched the leper. There was not another person in all the land, who would have come within a yard of him. But Jesus “put forth His hand, and touched him.” With that touch the hateful disease vanished.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.13
It is worth noting that in very many cases Jesus touched those whom He healed. When Peter’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, Jesus “touched her hand, and the fever left her.” . That same evening, “all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them.” . In His own country the people were so unbelieving that “He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands on a few sick folk, and healed them.” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 195.14
In Matthew we are assured that this healing of the sick was “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases.” , R.V. We know that healing went from Him to the suffering ones who thronged round Him to touch Him ( ); and this Scripture assures us that He received into His own person their diseases, in exchange for His healing power.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.1
Now we have the blessed assurance that although He is “passed into the heavens,” He has not lost His sympathy with us, but is still “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” He comes close to us in pity, because “He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” In all our sin and degradation, we may have the inspiring thought that Jesus does not despise us, and is not ashamed to come into the closest companionship with us, in order that He may help us.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.2
The prophet, speaking of God’s dealing with ancient Israel, said, “In all their afflictions He was afflicted.” . Even so it is now. As an eagle bears her young on her wings, so the Lord puts Himself under His people, bearing all our sin and sorrow. He takes it upon Himself, and in Him it is lost, by the same process by which at the last “He will swallow up death in victory.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.3
Christ took upon Himself the curse, in order that the blessing might come upon us. . Although Him knew no sin, He was made to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. . He suffered the death to which we were doomed, that we might share His life. And this exchange is made when we come into touch with Him, by confessing that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” How much we lose by holding Jesus off as a stranger, or by regarding faith in Him as a theory. When we know that He identifies Himself with us in our fallen condition, taking upon Himself, and from us, our infirmities, how precious becomes the assurance, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.4
“A Demoralising Agency” The Present Truth 10, 13.
In another item will be found a brief comment on the “Church and Stage,” and the increased patronage which the former is giving to the latter. It is no secret that professed Christian people are in these days much less strict in regard to amusements than they were once; religious papers of high standing are favouring the theatre and the opera, and the number of ministers that countenance them is increasing. Of course the body of the people will not be slow in following the leaders in that direction. What effect this will have on the church can be no better indicated than by quoting a portion of some comments on a new opera, in one of the leading religious journals.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.6
The paper in question is of high standing, and is noted for its interest in missions, containing probably more missionary correspondence than any other paper in the world. It has, however, a regular department devoted to “Music,” and in this “high class” operas are regularly discussed by an editorial contributor.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.7
In the column now lying before us, an Italian tragic opera, entitled “I Pagliacci” is under consideration, and is commended without reservation. It is said to contain “some of the most positive and soundest principles of Italian and German art,” and that “the process augurs well for the future of music in the land where its decadence has been so lamentable.” That this is at least a fair sample of opera, may be learned from the statement that “when under especially Wagnerian influences, young Italy proposes to write music-dramas intelligently, sincerely, and forcibly, the results ultimately ought to be the best article of the sort anywhere practicable.” The piece, which is said to be well known in Europe, was received in New York, even in the summertime, “with an enthusiasm which amounted to ovations for the work and for the artist concerned in its presentation,” by audiences which “included a large part of the town’s most discriminating and zealous musical people.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.8
And now for the description of the plot of this most wonderful opera, to which thousands of church-going people have listened, and which is a fair specimen of what the church is urged to patronize:—PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.9
The libretto of the “Pagliacci” (which title may be translated “The Buffoons,” or less literally, “The Strolling Mountebanks”) is full of tragedy’s power. The headmime of a handful of poor, wandering peasant comedians, who arrive at a Calabrian village one evening, has a pretty, heartless, deceitful wife. The woman clouds and spurns an old lover, another zany of their cart and booth. She is tired of him. Spying upon her, he discovers his new rival. In his jealous fury, he brings the husband on the scene. The disclosure drives the miserable pagliaccio to frenzy. Within an hour, before the rude audience, which is at first bewildered and then terrified, he turns into earnest the little burlesque play in which he and his wife and her slighted admirer, as usual, are acting-stabs the woman to the heart, in a tempest of vengeful jealousy, and then leaping down among the spectators kills the lover. From the stage, the cold-blooded instigator of such summary justice, gaudy in his paint and flour and yellow coat, calls out cynically to the horror-stricken peasants, “The play is ended”—and disappears. And that is all. Nothing, however, could be more effective, condensed, brutal, repulsive-and yet natural. In the management of the piece, in the abrupt appearance of one of the main actors in it before it begins, to sing its remarkable vocal prologue, and the suggestion of only a narrow demarcation between the fictitious and the actual audience of this play within a play, there is a frank reversion to primitive drama that is most striking.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.10
Again and again both secular and religious papers contain stirring articles on the danger to the rising generation from the great amount of cheap, sensational baubles that are published, and which they eagerly devour. But surely no “penny dreadful,” in which the errand boy becomes absorbed to the neglect of his duties, ever surpassed in emptiness, in impossible combinations, and in gore, this opera which enraptures the souls of the elite of so-called Christendom. If the “lower classes” are being depraved by vile, worthless literature, what shall be said of the “higher classes”?PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.12
We make no criticism of the religious paper which gives publicity and praise to this bloody play set to music. Neither do we criticise the church members who patronise it. But the world must be allowed to know that Christianity has nothing in common with the stage at its best. And professed Christians must warn of the danger of such places of amusement. He who would look upon such a play as described above with delight, would applaud a gladiatorial contest or a bull-fight, if it was conducted amid the enchanting scenes of stage settings, under the glare of electric lights, and accompanied by fascinating strains of music.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 196.13
“Is the Gospel Weak in Victoria?” The Present Truth 10, 13.
The severest arraignment of religion in the colonies that we have ever read we find in the report of a lecture by Rev. J. Gillies, late of Scots Church, Melbourne, delivered before the St. Cuthbert’s Y.M.C.A., Edinburgh. If it came from a hostile critic we could hardly credit it; but it is from one who ought to be able to speak understandably, and who is himself fully in sympathy with those whom he represents. The following digest we clip from the Presbyterian:—PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.2
The subject of the lecture was “Marvellous Melbourne,” and Mr. Gillies, in the course of this lecture, spoke of the view in which the Australian colonists regard the Disestablishment agitation in Scotland. He had discussed the question with many ministers and laymen of all the Presbyterian Churches; and all over the colonies he had found not one in favour of Disestablishment. A successful minister of the Free Church had told him that he and many of his denomination had gone out as disestablishers. If they came back, with their experience of Voluntaryism pure and simple, he thought that every one of them would support the old Church as vigorously as possible. A minister of the United Presbyterian Church, in a flourishing colonial charge, informed him that to his certain knowledge nine at least out of every ten of his brethren had modified or completely changed their opinions since coming out, and been brought face to face with the seamy side of Voluntaryism. He had no hesitation in saying that if the leading Presbyterians of Victoria-he might safely say of the colonies generally-were asked their opinion on the subject of disestablishment in Scotland, 90 per cent of them-perhaps 99 per cent of those who had been many years in the colonies, and had felt all the practical difficulties of Voluntaryism, would not only refuse to destroy the national recognition of religion in Scotland, but would throw the whole weight of their influence into the scale to retain and support it. In this country people did not know what Voluntaryism meant yet. They did in Victoria. They had to fight against it every day of their lives. He could tell them what some of these difficulties were. He could tell of the struggles which some of the churches had over great parts of the country to keep themselves in life. He could tell them how the ministers were often handicapped in their usefulness by having to think so much about the collection plate. He might tell them how the sparsely peopled districts of the country, and even the thickly populated poorer parts of the city were unable to support church ordinances, and were in danger of drifting rapidly into irreligion. And these were the fruits of Voluntaryism where there was nothing else.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.3
Think of it! The church of Christ is founded on the voluntary principles; because Christ really gave Himself that men should be free. “Whosoever will,” is the appeal from first to last in the Gospel. And as for the support of Gospel work, the Lord says: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for the Lord loveth a cheerful giver.” “Freely ye have received; freely give.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.4
Yet it is declared that the voluntary principle is a failure! If churches have to struggle “to keep themselves in life,” it is not money that they need, but life. The church has no life in itself, and cannot have. But if it abide in Christ, as a branch abides in the vine, it must have life.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.5
The apostles had a Gospel that put this life and vitality into men, and preached a Gospel of Voluntaryism too. There is nothing more sure than that a preacher who finds it impossible to “live by the Gospel” ought either to work with his hands, as Paul did when occasion demanded, or he should lay hold of the Gospel of Christ, by which God ordains that the minister of the Gospel shall live.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.6
Something is wrong with the message a man carries, when he asks the State to force people to pay for Gospel work which they will not support voluntarily. Men do not always look at such questions from the right point of view, and so we must separate persons and places from the argument; but, in principle, it is a shameful libel of the Gospel, to imply that it needs in this day any other than converted hearts and willing hands to make it known to the world that lies in sin. The Gospel is still the power of God, and the Lord drafts no unwilling subjects into His Kingdom.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.7
We have heard much in recent months about the increase of irreligion in Victoria and the Australasia colonies. It has usually been charged that this is due to the fact that religious instruction is not included in the curriculum of the State schools. It is evident, however, if Mr. Gillies correctly represents the situation, that one of the causes of irreligion in the rising generation of Victorians is to be found in the condition of the churches and the ministry which he speaks for. It is of the deepest concern to every living Christian that it should be preached to the people that the Gospel has not power to maintain itself save in alliance with the world. Those who have “tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come” know that this is not true; and the Lord will show again to the world that His Gospel can triumph in the face of the opposition of all the powers of the world.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.8
“The Great Gift” The Present Truth 10, 13.
Have we, then, all things that pertain to life and godliness? If we believe that, there isn’t the like of it anywhere in the world as to possession. It discounts everything. “All the things that pertain unto life and godliness.” They are all ours.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.10
I can claim it all, and note it is mine, and yet not rob you in the least. It is all yours too. Grace is not divided; it is multiplied, the apostle says. It is not, “Grace and peace be divided among you.” The Lord’s arithmetic is always in progressive ratio. Having His grace and righteousness, we may take for the multiplier just as many people as there are in the world, so that every one of us has the whole of it.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.11
Not only so, but it is multiplied to every individual as well. How can anybody believe that and be gloomy, or despondent and discouraged? He has given to you by His power all things that pertain to life and godliness. If you believe that, and always believed it, there will be steady progress in Divine life.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.12
PRAYER WITH THANKSGIVING
All the time is the time to believe the Scriptures. But many professed Christians do not believe the Scriptures when they pray. They go to the place of prayer, and leave the promises behind. They go to the bank, and leave the cheque book at home, and then wonder that they get nothing. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that seek after Him.” . His Divine power hath given unto us all things, and they are ours to possess now.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.13
He who believes that he has been given all things, righteousness and life, and holds to that belief, finds in it righteousness. That is our victory; for “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” The man who believes this word will never go to the Lord and be disappointed. All that he has to do is to take, and take, and keep taking.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.14
By this we can understand what the apostle says, “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” . How can a person who believes the word of God contain himself for thankfulness? It cannot be otherwise than that thanksgiving will accompany every prayer of faith; and that which is not a prayer of faith is useless.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 197.15
We have as good a title to life and godliness as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, because it is His by divine right, and He gives it to us. He has as good a right to give it to us as He has to possess it. Then we have as good a right to it as He has. No one can convey to another a better title that he himself has; but in this case the Lord has given us Himself, and so we have His right and title.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.1
We do not come to the Lord, then, in an uncertain, halting way, to ask for we know not what; not as the Samaritans, of whom Jesus said to the woman, “Ye worship ye know not what.” “We know what we worship.” Instead of coming to the Lord, and praying and going away without knowing that we have received anything, feeling as in a fog, we can walk in the sunlight all the time, thanking God in all of our petitions that He has given us all things, and finding strength in our knowledge of the fact.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.2
But there are so many professed Christians who are always living in a fog bank. Clouds are always over them. They do not know whether they have anything or not, and are always talking about how needy and helpless they are. But it is a true and faithful saying that God’s Divine power hath given us all things pertaining to life and godliness. Then take of the Lord’s free gift.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.3
EXCEEDING GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES
The Apostle Peter goes on from the words with which we began, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature.” Oh, the wonder of the promises of God! We take the promises and by them become partakers of the Divine nature. All we have to do to be partakers of the Divine nature is to believe that He has given it to us.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.4
How can there be any dull thankless prayers? How can there be any half-hearted lifeless testimonies? Every heart that believes must sing for joy, for this same apostle says that, believing, we “rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.” We have been groping in darkness, wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, and He comes to us with all things, and says, “All are yours. Take them. Buy without money.” It is because the things that He gives cannot be purchased with money. They have been bought by the precious blood of Christ.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.5
“Unto you that believe He is precious;” because His promises are precious. All the promises of God are in Him; and so believing His promises we are simply laying hold upon Christ. Christ dwells in the word. “Christ liveth in me,” is the cry of the believer. There is power in that to put the devil to flight. Maintain it in the face of the enemy, and that Name that is above every name,—that power that has spoiled principalities and powers,—dwelling in you will accomplish the same thing for you that it did before the world. That is resisting the devil steadfast in the faith; and when we resist, he flees.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.6
“Holiness and ‘Holy’ Week” The Present Truth 10, 13.
There are two sources from which holiness-real or supposed-becomes in the popular mind attached to places and times of earth. One source is God; the other source is tradition.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.7
True holiness, like all else that is good and desirable, has but one source, which is God. God is the Creator of all things, and all things as He created them were good. It is sin that has marred the work of God’s hands and divested of its perfection that part of God’s creation in which we live. It is the evil touch of sin that brings unholiness. It is the touch of God, on the other hand, that makes holy.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.8
When God spake to Moses from the burning bush, He told him that the place whereon he stood was holy ground. It had not formerly been different in this respect from other ground upon which Moses trod, but when God stood upon it, it became holy. It was made so by His presence. God is holy, and whatever He touches has imparted to it His holiness. And this is the only way in which anything can become holy. So also the ground on which Joshua stood before the Captain of the Lord’s hosts, was made holy; and Mount Sinai likewise, from whose quaking summit God spoke the words of His law. For a like reason the mount of Christ’s transfiguration is called by Peter, “the holy mount.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.9
In a similar way God has made holy a certain portion of time. This He did at the close of creation. We read that “on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.10
By resting upon the seventh day, God made it a Sabbath, a rest day. Then He blessed and sanctified it; which, as He is the only source of blessing and sanctification, could only have been done by imparting to that day in a special manner His own blessed and sanctified presence. Thus the seventh day became holy, and remains unto the present day holy time.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.11
But the idea has permeated the religious world that holiness can be imparted by mere association with certain sacred events, and that therefore a certain portion of the year, corresponding approximately to that in which over eighteen centuries ago occurred the events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, has become sacred time. From whence did this idea come? Not from the word of God, for that word recognises no sacredness as belonging not to any portion of time except the seventh day,—the Sabbath. What God has made holy, is holy by virtue of the act of God imparting to it His holiness. And as God has not, so far as His word informs us, imparted any holiness to the period of time under consideration, it is evident that whatever sacredness belongs to it has been derived from another source; that is, from tradition.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.12
When we stand upon tradition, we are standing upon the ground of the Roman Catholic Church. That Church is the recognised custodian of the traditions which have influenced religious belief and practice from the first centuries of the Christian era down to the present time. Whatever of these traditions have been incorporated into the beliefs of Protestants, have been either brought or borrowed from Rome. Rome had them first, and she is best qualified to speak with authority regarding their origin and meaning.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.13
This, it is not surprising to find, it is the doctrine which Rome herself asserts. She claims the right and the power to impart holiness by her own decrees. The “Abridgement of Christian Doctrine,” a standard Catholic work, speaks as follows:—PTUK March 29, 1894, page 198.14
Certainly, if the Roman Catholic Church had power to change the Sabbath, which is holy time, she has power to institute holy days and to invest with sacredness certain times and seasons such as the period which has recently terminated. And when Protestants allow that the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday without any Scriptural command or warrant, and observe it upon the authority of tradition, they justify Rome’s blasphemous claim of the possession of such power; and it is only consistent with such folly that they should pay increased attention year by year, as they are doing, to other times and observances which rest upon tradition and the authority of the Church.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 199.1
The effect of tradition is to make void the word of the Lord. So it was in the days of Jesus of Nazareth, and so it is to-day. See . It is most unwise to engage in religious observances which God has not commanded. The Christian faith knows no such doctrine as that of works of “supererogation.” The Gospel commission is, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, .. teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.” . Only that is included which He has commanded, and whatever He has not commanded, does not pertain to the Gospel. We read also that “His Divine power,” (which is the power of His word) “hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” . Whatever therefore His word has not commanded is to be shunned, as not pertaining unto life and godliness, whatever fair appearances it may present. “Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” . Neither observe that which He has not commanded, lest you meet at last the crushing rebuke, “Who hath require this at your hand?” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 199.2
“The Milk of the Word” The Present Truth 10, 13.
The Milk of the Word.—“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” . The Bible speaks also of giving meat; and yet we never grow so old in Christian life that we can’t get along without this sincere milk. We grow by that all the time. Those words are to the most mature Christian, as well as to the new convert. In the natural life the child lives by its parent, its mother; before birth its mother breathes for it, and afterward it derives its nourishment solely from her. That which is true of the infant and its life by the mother, is true as concerns man and God. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Christ 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.” .PTUK March 29, 1894, page 199.3
“England and the Virgin Mary” The Present Truth 10, 13.
It is the peculiar happiness of the English Church that she at least has never varied one jot or tittle in any authoritative utterance from the Catholic doctrine of the theotokos. We have added nothing and we have detracted nothing. We still worship in churches dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin; we still celebrate her in our calendar, and not as in the case of other saints, by a simple commemoration, but on the anniversary of five different events in her life; we read in our lectionary all the few and striking records of her most amiable personality, and every English Churchman who knows what Churchmanship means speaks of her by the simplest and most gracious appellation accorded to any being, human or divine, that is, of “Our Lady.” We leave familiarity and tawdry, fancy titles to others, as we leave to others yet all insolent and irreverent disrespect. For we do not consider the one more appropriate than the other to the Mother of God.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 199.5
The most remarkable feature presented by these words is the simple fact that the Saturday Review considers them acceptable to its readers. And in that light these words bring home to us a feeling of gratification impossible to resist. A great, a stupendous change has taken place when such words as these are received by the readers of a secular journal in England. The love and honour paid to Our Lady has been the sore point with Protestants; their insults and incomprehensible hatred has been the sore point with us. Shall we say that this line of separation is being blotted out? Certainly these words are an index of a great change, of a great grace poured out over England.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 199.7
“They Need Editing” The Present Truth 10, 13.
They Need Editing.-Many people who do not acknowledge the difference between a form of words and the living word of God, that has power in it to put into the life that which it speaks, make much of the so-called sacred books of Eastern religions. But even though the heathen writers sometimes spoke beautifully of morals and truth, they had no knowledge of any power to put the morality and righteousness into the life. Consequently the tendency of their teaching was to unrighteousness. The man who tries to get righteousness out of himself always gets unrighteousness; because there is nothing else in self. This inherent wickedness of self is revealed in all the “sacred” writings of false religions, and apologists of the heathen cults are obliged to cover up the wickedest portions in order to plead their cause with any degree of confidence. A writer in the Dawn takes Professor Max Müller to task for omitting large portions of the originals in his editing of “Sacred Books of the East,” without indicating the omissions in any way. “When challenged, he frankly admitted that he had left out portions for the very sufficient reason that if he had translated them as they exist in the originals he would have been prosecuted for publishing an obscene literature.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 199.8
“By Bread Alone” The Present Truth 10, 13.
These are the words of Christ, and their application is as universal as the term “man.” It is for each one of us to ask ourselves whether we find life in the word of God, or whether we live merely by physical food. If the latter, we are certainly not living as God designs that we should.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 199.10
Some of us spend much time thinking about what we shall eat and how we may contrive to obtain it. Certainly then we should welcome any additional means of life that is placed within our reach, and endeavour to appropriate all that it has for our benefit.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 199.11
God is the Author and Sustainer of all life, and He wants man to recognise this fact. He it is that gives all living creatures their food. But He sent the Israelites manna direct from heaven, that they might recognise that behind all the operations of nature are God and His word, without which those operations would instantly cease.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 199.12
But while there is not life for man in everything that grows, there is life for him in every word spoken by God. He gets that life by faith. Simple, perfect belief, united to the smallest word of God, constitutes the “faith as a grain of mustard seed,” which is able to remove mountains. God is life, and faith connects us with God; and he who is connected with God cannot die until God wills it; and even then he simply “sleeps” for a season, having still eternal life in Christ.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 200.1
“The Good Shepherd” The Present Truth 10, 13.
It is just as impossible to live in both righteousness and sin at the same time. If you choose to live in sin, then righteousness must be shut out; and it is sin that shuts it out.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.3
The Bible says that sin separates you from God like a “thick cloud,” so that you cannot see His face, and so that He cannot hear you when you call upon Him. Indeed, it is so very thick and so high, and it is so utterly impossible for you to get through it, that in another place God calls it a “wall of partition” between you and Him.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.5
No wonder, then, that man (and that means all men, and all women, and all children) had “no hope, and was without God in the world” when, long ago in Eden, sin was chosen in place of righteousness, and Satan’s ways in place of God’s ways.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.6
We all were as completely lost and shut away from God and the heavenly fold, as a sheep is lost and shut away from its shepherd and its earthly fold when it wanders away among the sharp stones and thorns, and falls bleeding and torn over some steep mountain wall into the ravine below.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.7
What does a shepherd do when one of his sheep wanders off? Does he say, What a silly sheep! It is all its own fault and I’ll not trouble myself at all about it; it might have known better? Oh, no, he is not like a hireling that “careth not for the sheep,” but he loves his sheep, and knows them all by name, and he cannot rest a moment when one of them is missing. He straightway leaves “the ninety and nine in the wilderness,” and no matter how rough the way, or how thorny the path, he goes “after that which is lost, until he find it.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.8
Now, do you suppose that the righteous God cares less for His children than a poor sinful shepherd does for his sheep? No, no; “He careth” for them; He knows them all by name; the very hairs of their heads are “all numbered;” not one of them falls to the ground without His notice; it is not His will that one of His little ones should perish.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.11
Therefore no sooner had man wandered off and shut himself away with the thick dark wall of sin, than God missed him, and yearned for him, and was willing to leave all of His obedient children, and, “to seek and to save that which was lost.” He did not stop to say, It’s his own fault, I fully warned him; let him go. He loved him too well for that.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.12
But He would not pick him up and carry him back whether he wanted him to or not, as the shepherd with his sheep, for God had made man to know more than a sheep. He had made him to know what was right, and to be perfectly free to choose between good and evil. All He could do for him, then, was to open up the way through the dark wall of sin, and go where he was, and entreat him to come back with Him. If men would not do that, then he could do no more for him; for a person cannot be forced to feel right and do right, any more than you can be forced to love someone by his whipping you.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.13
But righteousness, we are told, is the life of God. Therefore God Himself could not break through the dreadful wall that men had built up without giving His own precious life. His life alone could swallow up sin and death. He alone could lay down His life and take it up again.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.15
And this wonderful Life is just what He did give in the life of His only begotten Son when He died upon the cross, for “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.16
Though we all like sheep had gone astray, and had turned every one to his own way, and were shut away from God and His life by an impassible wall of sin, and were altogether without hope, thanks be to His unspeakable love, He came in Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, and gave His life for His sheep, and broke down the wall of sin and opened the way,—a “living way,”—back to the heavenly fold into Himself!PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.17
No matter, then, how far away from God you have been, no matter how hateful and sinful, through Jesus you can come back to the Father. If you yield up your way and your very self to Him He will lead you gently like a shepherd, back to the fold. He knows the way, and He alone has power to destroy it and take away the naughty sins that shut you away from God. Like the shepherd that has found his sheep, “He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will joy over thee with singing.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.20
And He promises that He will one day, “cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land:” and then His people, which are the sheep of His pasture, shall all “dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.... and none shall make them afraid.” And they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat, which for Jesus shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 205.21
“Interesting Items” The Present Truth 10, 13.
-Don Idiarte Borda, the Government candidate, has been elected President of Uruguay by forty-seven votes. This result was not obtained until after the Chambers had voted twenty-seven times.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.41
-More trouble is anticipated with the dervishes of the Soudan. According to a report current at Cairo, great activity prevails among the dervishes at Dongola, while a strong force is collected at Abu Ahmed.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.42
-The Pope has, it is said, hinted that he will shortly create another English Cardinal. He has not, however, designated the new member of the “Sacred College,” who is believed to be Mgr, Stonor, Archbishop of Trebizond.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.43
-“Queen” Liliuokalani of the Sandwich Islands, has, it is said, accepted an offer which was made her to travel through the United States on a lecturing tour. She is to make her appearance on the platform in her royal robes.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.44
-According to an official telegram from the Viceroy, the Indian Budget shows a heavy deficit, which it is proposed to meet by the new import duty, the suspension of famine insurance, and contributions of provincial governments.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.45
-So many Anarchists are now in custody in Paris that there is no more room in the prison for suspects. The Anarchists, it is said, received money from wealthy people, who imagined that their donations would insure them protection.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.46
-A magnificent Koran, encased in a massive casket of gold and silver, has been presented by the Ameer of Afghanistan to the famous shrine of Imam Ruza, at Meshed. The Ameer’s object in making this gift was to appease the Persian clergy.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.47
-Another inflammatory manifesto has been issued by the Irish National League in America. It speaks of Mr. Gladstone as having betrayed Ireland, and calls him a traitor, while it hints, not obscurely, that a policy of violence should be adopted in place of argument.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.48
-The French Statesman M. Naquet has taken up the question of the diminution of the population of France, which be proposes to deal with by the institution of rigid sanitary measures, the increased surveillance of children sent out to nurse, and by offering greater facilities for naturalizationPTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.49
-The impediment that has come to Mr. Gladstone’s sight is stated to be of very recent occurrence. Less than a year ago, it is asserted, his vision was remarkably clear and good, and hopes are entertained that an early operation may result in a full restoration of visual power.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.50
-The Spanish authorities will shortly begin the trial by court-martial of the Anarchist Pallas, and the other persons concerned in the attempt on the life of Marshal Campos. Since the explosion in the Liceo Theatre, no fewer than 302 persons have been arrested on suspicion of being Anarchists.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.51
-A crisis exists in Belgium, owing to the members of the Cabinet having tendered their resignations in consequence of the rejection of the Proportional Representation Bill by the sections of the Chamber. The Ministers, however, will continuo to carry on public affairs until the return of the King.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.52
-A German tailor has invented a bullet-proof coat which he has succeeded in inducing the German Government to test, the trial resulting satisfactorily. Owing to its weight, however, it will probably not come into general use; other-wise there would be a new occasion for increasing the burden of taxation.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.53
-The United States Government is fitting out an expedition under Professor Langley to explore once more the region of the north magnetic pole. This spot, which lies on the western point of the Isle of Boothia Felix, near Cape Adelaide, has only been described once, in 1829 when Ross’s expedition discovered it.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.54
-The aged Hungarian patriot, Louis Kossouth, died at Turin, on the evening of March 20 His decease is generally mourned throughout Hungary, and by decision of the Hungarian Diet, his body will be taken to Budapest and buried beside those of his wife and daughter, which will be exhumed for the purpose from the Protestant cemetery at Genoa.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.55
-In spite of the most sinister rumours concerning the action of Russia and Austria, King Milan is taking every step to establish himself again at Belgrade. His divorce from Queen Natalie has now been formally annulled by the “Holy Synod” of the autonomous Servian Church, and the Skupshtina have only to repeal the expulsion.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.56
-The long-sought entrance to the mysterious brick pyramid of Dashoor, Egypt, has been found. After numerous borings, twenty-seven feet below the surface, a gallery 230 feet long, cut in the rock, was discovered. Fifteen chambers have thus far been explored, containing, amongst others, the sarcophagus of a queen who died 2,000 years before Christ.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.57
-A story to which, if true, the Lobengula hunt and the Wilson massacre form a terrible sequel, comes from South Africa. The King, it is said, sent three messengers with a present of ?1,000 and a promise to surrender if the pursuit were stopped. Neither message no money reached Major Forbes, and suspicion has fallen on two troopers of having ‘intercepted’ both.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.58
-The Cunarder Lancania, has recently made the fastest passage from New York to Queenstown, the distance of 2,894 miles occupying five days, thirteen hours, eleven minutes. The fastest passage from Canada to Liverpool has also recently been made, the 2,680 miles occupying seven days, eighteen hours. For the first time oil has been successfully used as fuel on an Atlantic liner.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.59
-The Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate is considering a new treaty with China to superdsede the Scott Exclusion Act and the Geary Law, and to permit the restricted admission of Chinese into the United States. The treaty provides that Americans going to China shall be registered and photographed in the same way as Chinese entering the United States.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.60
-While several men were engaged in removing the dynamite from the hulk of the Cabo Machichaco, which blew up at Santander in November last, another explosion occurred. As the explosion occurred at night the quays were nearly deserted, but several men engaged in the work of removing the dynamite, seriously estimated from five to ten, were killed, and some twenty others injured. Great alarm was caused in the town, and a riotous demonstration directed against the authorities occurred.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 206.61
“Back Page” The Present Truth 10, 13.
A telegram from Rome states that the Archbishop of Florence will pay a visit to Queen Victoria, who is now stopping in the latter city, to thank Her Majesty in the name of the Pope, for the full liberty accorded to Roman Catholics in Great Britain. The Pope declares that he desires no better regime for Catholics to live under than that of England.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.1
The New York Times recently reported an interview with a trustee of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, where Dr. Talmadge preaches, in which he defended the proposed scheme of charging a ten-cent admission fee at the Sunday services, in order to relieve the church of its crushing debt, he said, “I cannot see any difference in principle between charging at each service, and receiving an annual pew rent.” It would puzzle many others to detect the real difference between charging a fixed sum for each Sunday, and charging a fixed sum, much larger of course, for the entire year.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.2
“In those days,” said General Booth to an interviewer, speaking of the beginning of the Salvation Army, “there was a great deal less interest in the East-end than there is now. Fewer agencies by many, were at work, and slumming had not become a fashionable diversion. While there has been an infinite increase in their efforts to rescue the East-end, there has also been an increase of its squalor and suffering.” This does not mean that efforts made have been useless. Sin is the cause of all the evil, and the preaching of the Gospel by word and deed is the only remedy. The difficulty always has been and always will be, the great mass of men do not want to be saved from sin and selfishness. The work of offering the message of salvation must go on, however, if by any means it may “save some.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.3
Five Roman Catholic “Sisters of Mercy” have been installed as teachers in a public school at Pittsburgh, U.S.A. They will bear the garb of their order, but not the rosary, while in the schoolroom. The fact that Roman Catholics are accepted as teachers in public schools, would not be worthy of notice; for they have as good a right to occupy such places as have the adherents of any other religious body. But the fact that they are allowed to advertise their order by their peculiar dress, is very significant as showing the strides the Roman Catholics are making toward supremacy in America, not as citizens merely, but as Roman Catholics.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.4
“Irish Disestablishment” The Present Truth 10, 13.
Irish Disestablishment.-The strength of a church depends upon the faith that it holds, and not upon the patronage of the world. A veteran minister of the Church of England, Mr. Acworth, of Bath, urges that Protestants in that Church shall give up the attempt to combine the spiritual and secular, and gives figures to show that disestablishment in Ireland has been a distinct gain to the Church. He says:—PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.5
I was once, with almost every other person, full of fear that religion might suffer in Ireland from the disestablishment of the Church, but I learned from the best authority that she is now putting forth her best energies to spread the Gospel, and circulate the Bible, in a way which was quite unknown before her disestablishment. The amount of money contributed by her in 1870 to foreign missions was ?13,969, and in 1892, ?16,857. For ten years previous to the disestablishment, from 1860 to 1869, she contributed ?60,885 to the Irish Church Missions, and from 1888 to 1893, ?88,825. And beside this, she has established two University Missions, one in China and one in India. “Whoso is wise will ponder these things.”PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.6
“Was It Oppression?” The Present Truth 10, 13.
Was It Oppression?-Mr. Bunting, the contributor to the Methodist department in the Review of the Churches, tells of the case of a child of Methodist parents who was re-baptised by a country vicar, who represented that the Wesleyan baptism was invalid. “It is not often,” says Mr. Bunting, “that a glaring case of oppression like this occurs.” There is too much real oppression in the world to make it profitable to manufacture fancied grievances. If a Baptist should convince the parents that sprinkling was not baptism, and should-if the child is old enough to believe on the Lord-immerse the child, where would the oppression come in? The Committee on Privileges has been considering the case of the vicar, and the matter is to go to the Bishop. All this is only the affair of the ecclesiastical authorities, and the attention which has to be given to the action is a penalty the Church has to pay for Establishment. But as long as men are free to speak and act their own religious convictions let no one talk of oppression.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.7
“The ‘Greater Responsibility’” The Present Truth 10, 13.
The “Greater Responsibility.”-The Ritualists of advanced ideas is apparently glad to see one of his fellows go over to Rome fully, and sorry to see him return. A clergyman of the English Church who not long ago joined the Roman Church, recently returned to the Anglican body, and published his recantation in Church papers. This reminds a clerical correspondent of the Church Times of the “wise and fatherly advice” given to a friend of his who wrote to his Bishop telling him that he had returned to the Bishop’s fold after a short time in the Church of Rome. The Bishop, who is described as “one of our most saintly and honoured Bishops,” wrote to the returned wanderer as follows:—PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.8
I have received your important announcement. In leaving the Church of England you took upon yourself a great responsibility. Again, in leaving the Roman Catholic Church, you have taken upon yourself a very much greater responsibility. And now, I can only counsel you to spend the rest of your days in “lowliness of spirit” and in penitential quietness.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.9
“A Timely Rebuke” The Present Truth 10, 13.
A Timely Rebuke.-Leeds has been considered agitated by the determination of certain ones to prosecute the Mayor and other citizens for encouraging the Sunday Lecture Movement, by their personal efforts. It is encouraging to learn that this threat of adding physical force to moral suasion has been rebuked by Canon Bramwell, who emphatically protests against the action of the Lord’s Day Observance Society as unfair in itself, and calculated to do more harm than good. He said that while he could not himself approve of some of the lectures and entertainments, he would rather see the people at a lecture than in the streets or public-houses, and it was for himself and other ministers of religion to make their services so attractive by the earnestness of their preaching that they might draw the masses to them.PTUK March 29, 1894, page 208.10