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    September 19, 1895

    “Interpretation” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Interpretation.-To interpret means to explain what is unintelligible,—to put that which is vague and mysterious into plain language.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.1

    The Bible Plain.-But the Bible does not stand in need of this. It is simple and plain to those who are simple enough to believe just what it says, without trying to make it fit their ideas.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.2

    Light.-David said, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. A light is for the purpose of making other things clear; but a light which could not be seen without the aid of another light, would not be much of a light.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.3

    All Light.-Even the most difficult portions of the Bible are for the purpose of giving light. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19. “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Matthew 11:25.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.4

    The Difficulty.-How is it, then, that people find such difficulty in understanding the Bible? It is because there is a settled conviction in the minds of most people that the Bible does not mean what it says. Accordingly people will go everywhere except to the Bible, to find out the meaning of the Bible. They get from some source or other an idea of what the Bible means, and then try to fit the language of the Bible to that idea. This makes necessary a “system of interpretation;” and as different classes of people have different ideas, so there are different systems of interpretation, and all tend to obscure the light.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.5

    Teachers.-Is there, then, no need of teachers? Indeed there is. The gift of teaching is third in order of the gifts of Christ, and is above the gift of working miracles. See 1 Corinthians 12:28. But remember that it is a gift of the Spirit. Teaching the Bible properly does not consist in “interpreting” it by human wisdom, but in “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:12, 13), by the aid of the Spirit, whose office it is to guide into all truth. John 16:13.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.6

    Example of Christ.-Jesus, the great Teacher, who was anointed with the Holy Spirit for the purpose of preaching the Gospel to the poor, occupied His time in directing the minds of the people to the Word. They could not understand it because they had glossed over so much with human speculation and tradition. See Matthew 15:3, 6-9; John 5:46, 47.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.7

    The Walk to Emmaus.-When He walked with the two disciples to Emmaus, “He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. That is, as they had been slow of heart to believe, He set the Scriptures so plainly before them that they could not help seeing them as they were, and, referring to the matter, they said, “Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?” Verse 32.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.8

    The Opened Word.-That is what is wanted. Let the Scriptures be opened. “The opening of Thy words giveth light.” Psalm 119:130. For they themselves are light. “It giveth understanding to the simple.” What is necessary is that we should consider what the Lord says, and He will give us “understanding in all things.” 2 Timothy 2:7.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.9

    Rest on the Word.-Before the crucifixion Jesus had told the disciples these things. He had spoken plainly of His coming decease. But the difficulty was that they did not listen to what He said. Their thoughts were on their own plans, their own ideas as to how it ought to be, and notwithstanding the plainest statements, they did not hear what He told them. Now, when the Lord had been removed from their sight, and they failed to recognise Him on the walk to Emmaus, He directed their minds to the Word, and they saw what they could not see before because they listened to it without preconceived opinions and plans of their own. It is evident that “their eyes were holden that they should not know Him” in order that their faith might rest on the Scriptures alone, and that having found Christ and His life in the Word their faith might stand when His visible presence was removed from them.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 593.10

    “‘Good Things’” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Sometimes people get discouraged because they do not receive from the Lord the things they think they need. But nearly every one knows what it is to think they need a certain thing at one time, and then to find later that it was a good thing they did not get what they desired at first.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.1

    The Lord wants to give us good things. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him.” When we ask in our ignorance for the stone or the scorpion, our heavenly Parent does not give us the evil thing, and afterwards we always find that He knew best. It will save as much fretting and discontent if we remember that all the time He is giving us only the good things.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.2

    “Substituting Mars for Jehovah” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the fiftieth Psalm, which is a psalm of the second advent, the Lord finds fault with men because, as He says, “Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself.” It has always been the trouble with men. It is because fallen nature substitutes self for God, and the desires and hatreds and strifes of the natural heart are taken as movings of the will of the Lord Himself.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.3

    So when nations quarrel, as when individuals quarrel, it is natural for each to claim the Lord as an ally, and we have the spectacle of two professedly “Christian” nations, each thirsting for the other’s blood, and chaplains on each side praying to the same God for victory. Could anything show more clearly the utter heathenism of war?PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.4

    Germany has been celebrating, with religious ceremonies, her victories over her enemies, French pulpits have resounded with the praise of those who fought to repel the German army. Speaking of a service in Notre Dame, a Catholic paper says:—PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.5

    To say that he preached would be hardly correct, for what he delivered was an “allocution” on the battle of Gravelotte. The enthusiasm with which he described the events of the day would, considering the place, seem strange indeed elsewhere than in France where military heroes are made to wear almost a halo of sanctity.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.6

    Thus war is made religion, and in these three countries the follower of Christ who refuses to worship at the shrine of Mars, the god of war, is punished as a criminal. So completely has Satan persuaded the greater part of mankind that God is such an one as themselves.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.7

    “Self-salvation” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Catholic religion, as every religion of human nature, rests on self-justification. And as it is the effort of men to save themselves, very naturally there follows the idea of punishing self for its failures and misdeeds. In modern times the zealous believer in the doctrine is ready to go as far apparently as in the medi?val days. Even outside the Roman Catholic fold-though really inside it in all but name-among Anglo-Catholics, there is such a demand for instruments of self-torture as to furnish a steady employment to the nuns in a French convent, who manufacture the articles.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.8

    A London magazine gives pictures of some of these instruments in use amongst Ritualists of the Church of England. Here are some descriptions, and a price-list:—PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.9

    For self-flagellation you may buy a “discipline” for 4s. 6d. or more, according to the number of knotted thongs, or you can get the same thing in knotted steel, with which you may drench your back with blood. You can have a wristlet for 1s. 6d., or 2s. 6d., or an anklet for 10s. 6d. large enough to wrap round any part of your leg, or a cincture which will enwrap your waist for 16s. These are made of steel wire, and at the intersections of the links there are sharp-hooked steel points for the tearing of your skin at every movement of wrist, or leg, or body. Hair shirts can also be had at various prices.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.10

    This is the logical end of the effort to get good out of an evil heart. How it emphasises the Gospel, with its power to change the heart and mould the life, as we contrast it with the substitute, which by punishment tries to make the evil bring forth good. And the logic of the doctrine leads directly to the Inquisition, with its scheme for making men religious by punishing them. “With His stripes we are healed,” and not by stripes upon our sinful, helpless flesh; and His is the one who alone has “power over all flesh.”PTUK September 19, 1895, page 594.11

    “Sabbath Traditions in Ancient Babylonia” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Amongst the tablets dug up in the East showing the descendants of Noah preserved traditions of the creation and the deluge, there are records, also, showing that the knowledge of the institution of the Sabbath had not been entirely lost by the great nations of antiquity, although the world lapsed into the darkest idolatry within a few years of Noah’s day. Mr. Boscawen, in his “Bible and the monuments,” just published, gives the following translation of one of the most ancient Babylonian calendar tablets, supposed to be as old as the days of Abraham:PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.1

    The seventh day is a resting day to Merodach and Zarpanit, a holy day, a Sabbath. The shepherd of mighty nations must not keep flesh cooked at the fire or in smoke. His clothes he changes not. A washing he must not make. He must not offer sacrifice. The king must not drive in his chariot. He must not issue royal decrees. In a secret place the augur a muttering makes not. Medicine for the sickness of his body one must not apply. For making a curse it is not fit. In the night the king makes his free-will offering before Merodach and Istar. Sacrifice he slays. The lifting of his hand finds favour with his god.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.2

    This is interesting merely as a mark of the progress made at that early time in forgetting the Lord and the Sabbath, and changing “the truth of God into a lie.” Romans 1:25. When the descendants of Noah who knew God refused to retain Him in their knowledge (Romans 1:28) they also willfuly forgot the Sabbath, which is the sign of the true God.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.3

    “Some Sabbath Miracles” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The reason why we have the record of so many of the miracles of Jesus, is thus given: “Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.” John 20:30, 31.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.4

    In the teaching of Jesus and the apostles we are told the way of life; but in the miracles which God wrought by them we have visible manifestations of the reality of the life, and of its power. There is not a spiritual truth set forth in the Epistles, that does not find an illustration in some of the miracles performed in the bodies of men.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.5

    God gave to Jesus “power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life” to all who come to Him. By the power which He had to deliver the bodies of men from disease, He showed power to release their souls from sin. “For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then He saith to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitude saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.” Matthew 9:5-8.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.6

    Some of the most striking of the miracles of Jesus were done on the Sabbath day, and to a few of these we wish to call special attention. First we read the story of the healing ofPTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.7

    THE MAN WITH A WITHERED HAND

    “And it came to pass also on another Sabbath, that He entered into the synagogue and taught; and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against Him. But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, He said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so; and his hand was restored whole as the other.” Luke 6:6-10.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.8

    The right hand is one of the most necessary parts of the body, especially to the labouring man. Very difficult indeed would be to work with the right hand hanging useless at the side, and many kinds of work would be impossible. What Jesus did was to give that man power to work. The man stretched forth his hand in faith, and was made strong to work, thus illustrating the words of Jesus, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:29.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.9

    THE MAN BLIND FROM BIRTH

    “And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” “And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.” John 9:1-7, 14.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.10

    By this miracle Christ gave a visible proof of the fact that He is the light of the world. The blind beggar listened to the words of Christ, and so received his sight. From this we may know the truthfulness of Christ assertion: “I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. When the blind man’s eyes were opened he was able to see the light of the sun, but nevertheless Christ was his light, showing that the light which the sun in the firmament sheds upon the earth is only the light which it has received from the Sun of Righteousness.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 595.11

    We cannot see Christ, and it is impossible for our minds to comprehend how His life can be given to us, so that we may have eternal life and righteousness; but we do know the fact that the sun gives light to the earth, and that in its light there is life; and since in the miracles of giving sight to the blind we have the evidence that this light and life come from Christ, we may in like manner know the fact that He can impart to us His life of righteousness. It is just as easy to believe in Christ as the Saviour from sin and death, as it is to believe in the sun as the cause of life and fruitfulness to the earth.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.1

    Sin is darkness. The hearts of men became darkened when they did not glorify God as God. Romans 1:21. They had “the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God.” Ephesians 4:18. Christ gives the light of life, so that just as He gave sight to the blind, He takes away the darkness of sin from all who accept Him in truth.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.2

    HEALING THE INFIRM WOMAN

    “And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work; in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? And when He had said these things, all His adversaries were ashamed; and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.” Luke 13:10-17.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.3

    This woman had been bound by Satan. The loosing of her, therefore, was a striking illustration of Christ power to free from sin; for “whosoever committeth sin is the bond-servant of sin” (John 8:34), and “is of the devil” (1 John 3:8); and “of whom a man is overcome, of the same is He brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.4

    The woman could not lift herself up. So every sinner may truly say, “Mine inquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up.” Psalm 40:12. But the same sinner, seeing the power of Christ on the infirm woman, may also say, “Thou, Lord, art a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:3.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.5

    The woman “had a spirit of infirmity.” Christ had compassion on her and healed her. So we may know that “we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15), and we may also know that His sympathy is of a practical kind. In this miracle and the one preceding, we have a blessed illustration of the power that is in Christ to open the eyes of men, “and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan and to God.”PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.6

    THE IMPOTENT MAN HEALED

    “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered.... And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, He saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool; but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked; and on the same day was the Sabbath.... And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 5:1-17.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.7

    The man had no strength. Moreover, it was sin that had reduced him to that condition, as we learn from Christ’s words to him, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Verse 14. This is a practical lesson for us, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6. We have no power, but He is able to strengthen us with might by His Spirit.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.8

    WHY DONE ON THE SABBATH?

    It will be observed that the fact that these miracles were done on the Sabbath is specially noted. Take notice also that in none of them was the need so urgent that the healing might not have been deferred another day. The blind man could have waited another day without special inconvenience. The man who lay by the pool was not in such imminent danger that he must necessarily be healed immediately. So also in the other cases, their infirmities were not immediately endangering their lives. Besides, none of them were expecting to be healed, so that they would not have suffered any disappointment if Jesus had said nothing to them until the Sabbath was past.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.9

    But Jesus did not delay an hour. Moreover He healed them on the Sabbath day, knowing full well that it would offend the Pharisees, and increase their hatred for Him. These things show that He had a special object in doing these miracles on the Sabbath day, and that the Holy Spirit had a purpose in calling our attention specially to the day in which they were performed. What was that object?PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.10

    The answer is easy. We may dismiss at once the supposition that Jesus acted in a spirit of bravado, to show His contempt for the Pharisees, or that He would unnecessarily stir up their hatred towards Him. The miracles were done for the same purpose that they were recorded, “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.11

    Neither did Jesus do these miracles out of disrespect to the Sabbath day, for He kept all the commandments. Some have the mistaken idea that Jesus did them to show that the Sabbath may be broken in case of necessity. But Jesus did not break the Sabbath, although the Jews falsely accused Him of so doing. It is never necessary to break the Sabbath, but Jesus Himself said, “It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.” Matthew 12:12.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 596.12

    We learn therefore that Jesus, instead of breaking the Sabbath, as the blind Pharisees suppose, was showing its true meaning. True, He worked upon it, but how?—It was by His Word. Ever since the creation of the world, when the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their host, and “God did rest the seventh day from all His works,” He has still continued to work by the Word of His power, which upholds all things.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 597.1

    God gave the Sabbath that we might know that He is the God that sanctifies us. Ezekiel 20:12. So in performing those miracles on the Sabbath day, Jesus were showing that the Sabbath is to free man from bondage, and not to be a bondage to them. It commemorates creative power, by which all who believe are made new creatures in Christ. “For we which have believed do enter into rest,” even God’s rest.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 597.2

    God rested when He had finished His work. He rested upon His Word of power. So we find rest through work,—not our work but God’s work. “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:29. But believing, as we have seen, gives us rest. The work of God gives us rest from sin, for we triumph in the work of His hands. Psalm 92:4.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 597.3

    So by these miracles Christ teaches us that the Sabbath, even the day which the Jews held as the Sabbath, but which they did not keep according to God’s commandment, is the crowning glory of the Gospel. Kept as God has given it to us, it enables us to see Christ as both Redeemer and Creator,—as Redeemer because He is Creator. The Sabbath of the Lord-the memorial of creation-reminds us of the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth. It reveals to us, as nothing else can, Christ as the anointed by the Holy Spirit “to preach the Gospel to the poor;” “to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18, 19.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 597.4

    “Struggles of the Blacks” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    No more pitiful picture can be presented than that of native tribes who, because their territory is desirable, find themselves slowly and surely going down before the vices and intemperance of the white races. Chief Khama, of Bechuanaland, is now in England petitioning that his country may not be handed over to the Chartered Company, of South Africa. For many years he has fought the drink traffic which he saw ruining other tribes, and he pleads that his work may not be defeated now “simply because their skins are black.” His petition is touchingly simple and direct:—PTUK September 19, 1895, page 597.5

    “Your petitioners have heard that you are about to hand their country over to others because it costs you too much money to protect it. They see that you have spent much money in maintaining soldiers, who have done harm and not good in their country; and they would point out that no quarrels or disorderliness has ever occurred in their tribe to call for the interference of the soldiers.... Your petitioners do not know much about the Chartered Company, except that it does not protect the natives from the white man’s liquor, but your petitioners have heard much of the injustice and oppression which the Chartered Company inflict upon the tribes who live in the north; and your petitioners fear very much lest they should be killed and eaten by the company. For your petitioners see that the company does not love black people; it loves only to take the country of the black people and sell it to others that it may see gain. Your petitioners have already given the company the right to dig for minerals in their country, and they say, ‘Let the company be satisfied with minerals, and, as for us, let us continue to be the children of the Great Queen.’”PTUK September 19, 1895, page 597.6

    “When Jericho Fell” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    When the spies entered Jericho they were protected by Rahab, the harlot, whose house was on the wall of the city. Rahab, wicked woman as she was, had heard of the wonderful march of Israel, and knew God was with them. All the inhabitants of Jericho found their hearts melting for fear, but only this woman was willing to allow that God was “God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” Joshua 2:11. She accepted the ray of light that came to her, and turned her face toward the Lord.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 597.7

    What was the result? When the walls of Jericho fell down flat-and remember that “her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall”—Rahab’s house was preserved, with all her kindred. The Lord watched over the doomed city of Jericho, and saved out of it the one woman who was willing to be saved, with her kindred. He knows, then, in every crowded city, and in all the world, as it is rushing on to the great day of destruction, every heart that is turning toward Him, and longing for something better than the service of self. He has the power to save very such heart from destruction. He can hold us up when all about us is falling if we abide in the refuge of His Word.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 597.8

    In Rahab’s case we have the story of a great sinner who had but little light; but she accepted what she did see and trusted the Lord, and found Him the Friend of sinners indeed.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 597.9

    “Items of Interest The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The Shahzada of Afghanistan is making the pilgrimage to Mecca, while on his way home.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.1

    -Russian railways are introducing naphtha as fuel for locomotives instead of coal, and it is said to answer the purpose excellently.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.2

    -The inquiry into the missionary massacres in China is being obstructed by the officials. In Wenchow the British consul was stoned by a mob last week.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.3

    -France is engaged in its annual army man?uvres with about 120,000 men under arms, rather more than Germany has just had in the field for its yearly drill.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.4

    -The war against Socialism continues in Germany. Several editors are under arrest, and papers have been confiscated for remarks derogatory to the Emperor.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.5

    -A well informed press correspondent who is in Cuba declares that the rebels have had the best of it so far, and that Spain can retain the island only by granting a complete measure of self-government.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.6

    -Six persons lost their lives, and 150 cattle were buried by an avalanche in Switzerland a week ago. Over a million and a half cubic yards of ice and boulders are estimated to have fallen 10,000 feet into the valley.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.7

    -A despatch from Australia last week said that owing to the long continued drought, which is of a very severe character, the Government of New South Wales had ordered last Sunday to be observed as a day of humiliation and prayer.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.8

    -One has to stop to think a moment in order to satisfy himself that the great railway industry of the world has sprung up within the lifetime of a man. Last week the oldest engine-driver in the country died in a London hospital. He had been the driver of the “Rocket,” Stephenson’s first invention.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.9

    -“I have lost my interest in politics,” said Bismarck recently. “What is far more important to me now is the weather and the harvest. I occupy my time now with agriculture. That is a far more grateful employment than politics. In politics ingratitude is the rule; in agriculture it is the exception.”PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.10

    -It is wonderful how small the world is getting to be. A few weeks ago Brazil was excited over the occupation of a little uninhabited island in the South Atlantic by Great Britain, and recently the French papers have talked strongly about the rumoured raising of the British flag on a pile of rocks near the Channel Islands.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.11

    -The evening schools conducted by the Board Schools in London began their fourteenth session this week. Nearly 50,000 pupils were enrolled last session, which shows how great benefit the evening classes are to those who can attend. Classes in cookery, dress-cutting, and laundry work are arranged for women and girls, and classes for instruction in woodwork for men and boys, in addition to the usual course of instruction.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 606.12

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Sunday visits of the Factory Inspector to our printing works still continue regularly, and when next the case is brought into court a larger number of indictments will be presented than at any previous trial.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.1

    Last week a party of four adults sailed from Liverpool to reinforce the work of our Society in the West Coast of Africa. Another party sailed from the same port for South America to increase the labouring forces in Argentina and Chile.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.2

    The Herold der Warheit, the organ of our German work in Europe, comes to us this week from Hamburg. It was formerly printed in Basel, Switzerland, but owing to the operation of the Swiss Sunday laws its publication has been transferred to Hamburg, the headquarters of the work in Germany.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.3

    The lines of Sunday legislation have been drawn so closely in Austria that bakers and tradesmen, and workers generally are agitating against compulsory Sunday-keeping. They do not want the “protection” which the Clerical party forces upon them. The public are said to sympathise with the revolt.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.4

    The Roman Catholic order of the “Sacred Heart,” devoted to the education of girls of higher classes, possesses personal property to the value of ?4,000,000. It would be interesting to know how much of this wealth has come through daughters of professed Protestants whose parents thought the kind of school to which they sent their children was a matter of little importance.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.5

    At the Clifton Catholic Congress it was made very plain that help for Catholic schools would be demanded from the public funds, and objectors will be met with the report that rates already go to schools which give religious instruction.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.6

    The increased frequency of the earthquake ought to remind men of the world that something more stable and secure than this earth is needed to trust in. Old earth is groaning under the curse which has been devouring it for six thousand years. By the Word we know that these things must increase in frequency until the last great shaking which brings the “great day of His wrath.”PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.7

    Early in this month the Central American State of Honduras was the scene of an earthquake by which some hundreds of people lost their lives. The Chronicle says of it:—PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.8

    Imagination finds it hard to picture the horrors of the earthquake in Honduras. Shocks extending over three days, a roar as of a heavy cannonade, a stream of burning lava engulfing cattle and men and houses, a pillar of flame in the mountains, and towns rocked like cradles-these were the dread accompaniments of the visitation. “Then shrieked the timid and stood still the brave,” wrote Byron in describing the last moment of a shipwreck. But death, coming in such a form as at Yotapan, might well o’ercome the stoutest heart.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.9

    “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me.” Man can rob God by withholding tithes and offerings, by refusing to yield up the sins which Christ has purchased, or to give the service which is due from one who has been redeemed with a great price. And man can rob God by taking the day which God has reserved as His own—“My holy day”—and turning it to his own use.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.10

    Think what must be the character of a religious institution when preachers tire of attaining their end by moral suasion, and by successful combination secure the services of the police to force men to pay regard to it. This is the character which the Sunday institution is given by the New York Independent, the leading religious journal of America, which says: “We believe that the cause of Sunday rest is gaining immensely by the activity of our police in enforcing Sunday laws.”PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.11

    “Chinese Calendars” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Chinese Calendars.-When missionaries go to China and place the Bible in the hands of the people, telling them to follow it and the example of Christ they have no ground for complaint if the Chinese do follow it instead of the customs by which the Word is made void, and keep the seventh day as God commands. One of the “difficulties” which those meet who do not follow the Word is thus alluded to by Dr. G. E. Morrison, of Scotland, as quoted in one of the Birmingham daily newspapers:—PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.12

    Difficulties are inevitable, and success must be retarded where missions are working, as they are in China, not in a “band,” but with little apparent concord and often at complete variance. Let me give an instance-trivial, no doubt, but instructive. It came to my notice on the last occasion on which I had the pleasure of travelling in the company of missionaries in China. My companions were two most excellent, worthy men, members of that American Protestant Mission which somewhat arrogantly styles itself “The Christian Mission.” We were selling Chinese illustrated wall calendars printed with appropriate Scriptural texts. We were fairly successful. We would have been more successful, the missionaries explained, had it not happened that a week before a missionary brother from Shanghai, of the Seventh-day Adventists, had gone over the same ground-in the province of Chah Kiana, from Shanghai to Soochow-also selling Scriptural wall calendars. Our calendars marked the Sabbath on the usual day. The rival calendars represented the Sabbath on a totally different day. And the unhappy Chinese who bought the foreign goods are, I understand, still puzzled as to which were the honest vendors, the Seventh-day Adventist or “The Christians.”PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.13

    “Springing up in India” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Springing up in India.-A worker in India writes that an organisation has been formed there to secure, by legislation and other means, the observance of Sunday amongst “Christians and non-Christians.” The whole world is to be urged to honour the Papacy in this way, and that is why the warning against this recognition of the power of the Papacy to change God’s law is sent to “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Revelation 14:6-12.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.14

    “A Present Experience” The Present Truth 11, 38.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    A Present Experience.—“Whosoever believeth... is born of God.” It is always a present experience. When one is not believing he is not born of God. The new life is a constant springing up of the life of God, and believing is simply the receiving of the life. Sometimes people are troubled to know whether they were really converted at some time in the past. That can make no difference in the present. Do you believe the Lord now? To believe is to build on the Word of the Lord.PTUK September 19, 1895, page 608.15

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