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    October 5, 1893

    “Front Page: God’s Mercy” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 136:1.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 417.1

    The mercy of God endures for ever, because it is an attribute of His being. As He is infinite in power and knowledge, majesty and justice, so also is He infinite in mercy. And having mercy as one of His attributes, He might show mercy; for otherwise He would deny Himself. He cannot deny His own character; He cannot go contrary to His nature.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 417.2

    It was necessary, therefore, that when Adam sinned he should be dealt with in mercy. It was necessary that the plan of salvation should be provided, whereby sin could be pardoned, and then escape the consequences of transgression. Had God at once smitten the offender and blotted him out of existence, the universe might have stood in awe and acknowledged the justice of the transaction, but they would not have seen Him as a God of mercy to the offender. They would not have known Him by His true name-“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgressions and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” Exodus 34:6, 7.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 417.3

    Every act of God is an act of mercy; for He can not go contrary to one of His own attributes. He can never act in a way which is not consistent with His possessing infinite mercy. Every attribute of God is exercised in all that He does. We never read of an act of infinite power, which was not also one of infinite wisdom, or vice versa. We never see Him manifesting infinite goodness, without also showing His infinite wisdom and power. The exercise of one attribute in an infinite degree, demands the exercise of all.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 417.4

    In being infinitely just to man, God must also be infinitely merciful, and in being infinitely merciful, He must also be infinitely just. And this is what we see in the wonderful plan of salvation. The death of Christ, which was the great central act of this plan, speaks in awful eloquence of both God’s justice and His mercy; His mercy in that He gave His Son to die rather than that man should be lost; and His justice, in that He would not pass over sin, even though it would cost Him the life of His only begotten Son.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 417.5

    The one hundred and thirty-sixth psalm, from which we have quoted, presents this idea clearly before us. It speaks of numerous acts of God, judgments as well as favours, and links each one with the thought of His goodness and mercy. “O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods; for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him who alone doeth great wonders; for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that by wisdom made the heavens for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that stretched out the earth above the waters; for His mercy endureth for ever... To Him that smote Egypt in their firstborn; for His mercy endureth for ever... To Him which divided the Red Sea into parts; for His mercy endureth for ever. And made Israel to pass through the midst of it; for His mercy endureth for ever. But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea; for His mercy endureth for ever,” etc. The whole psalm is a declaration that infinite justice and infinite mercy are consistent one with the other, and in the working of God are linked together.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 417.6

    Infinite mercy to God’s creatures demands the punishment of sin. It demands that sin be dealt with in infinite severity. Who would want a God who would not be severe with sin? How could pure and sinless beings be happy if sin were to be lightly regarded? Something so utterly contrary in its very essence to the nature of God and to that of all sinless beings, could not be suffered to exist without marring the peace of the universe, and bringing discord into the happiness and harmony which should be uninterrupted for ever.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 417.7

    Justice to the sinner, is also justice to the saint. The smiting of the firstborn of Egypt, the overthrow of Pharaoh and his hosts in the Red Sea, and the various other judgments mentioned in this psalm, are acts of mercy to the people of God, and to all who would thereby have opportunity to be admonished, and turn from their evil ways unto the Lord. The destruction of sinners is even a mercy to themselves, since it saves them from a further unhappiness. For a sinner cannot endure the presence of God, and would be nowhere more miserable than in heaven itself. And since life to him would mean nothing but misery (for sin and misery are inseparable) it is only a mercy to him that it should terminate.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 417.8

    “The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him.” Psalm 103:17. It not only lasts to all eternity, but has existed from all eternity. This is why His covenant with the righteous is called the “everlasting covenant.” Hebrews 13:20. From everlasting there existed in the mind of God the covenant of grace, whereby the one that should sin could be pardoned and restored to his position of favour. And when Adam fell, God simply brought forth this covenant and manifested to the universe that He possessed the attribute of mercy toward the offender. He proclaimed Himself not alone the God of justice, but the God of mercy. And by all His acts since then toward fallen man, He has proclaimed Himself in the same way, and will do so by all His dealings with both saints and sinners to the end of time.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 417.9

    “O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; because His mercy endureth for ever. Let Israel now say, that His mercy endureth for ever... Let them now that fear the Lord say, that His mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 118:1-4.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.1

    “Christ in Everything” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The name of Jonathan Edwards is usually associated only with that which is stern, harsh, and unlovely in religion, and one is glad to learn from the following paragraph from some of his unprinted manuscript, that there was another side to him. The truth here expressed has been almost entirely overlooked, but it is the very soul of Christianity-Christ the Saviour by virtue of His creative power:-PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.2

    “The beauties of nature are really emanations or shadows of the excellency of the Son of God. So that when we are delighted with flowery meadows and gentle breezes, we may consider that we see only the emanations of the sweet benevolence of Jesus Christ. When we behold the fragrant rose and lily, we see His love and security. So the green trees and fields, and the singing of birds are the emanations of His infinite joy and benignity. The easiness and naturalness of trees and vines are shadows of His beauty and loveliness. The crystal rivers and murmuring streams are the footsteps of His favour, grace and beauty. When we behold the light and brightness of the sun, the golden edges of an evening cloud, or the beauteous bow, we behold the adumbrations of His mildness and gentleness. There are also many things wherein we may behold His awful majesty-in the sun in his strength, and comets, in thunder, and the hovering thunder clouds, and rugged rocks, and the brows of mountains. The beauteous light with which the world is filled in a clear day is a lively shadow of His spotless holiness and happiness and delight in communicating Himself.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.3

    “Exaltation” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    There is no more natural tendency of the human heart than to think highly of self. Yet this, like all other tendencies of the natural heart, stands in the way of all efforts to live the Christian life. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.4

    How highly, then, ought a man to think of himself? The same apostle has answered this question in his epistle to the Galatians: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Galatians 6:2, 3. A man who thinks truthfully of himself will know that he is nothing. And this places him upon a level with all his fellow-men, so that he may not distain to bear their burdens, and to esteem others better than himself. Philippians 2:3.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.5

    The way of the world is to seek to exalt self. The way of God is to abase self, and become the servant of others. But exaltation is attained by the latter way, and not by the way of the world. The wisdom of God is foolishness with men; but “the foolishness of God is wiser than men.” There is no real wisdom in seeking exaltation by one’s own efforts. It is far better to let others lift you up who have more power than you have yourself. The principle of service to others is therefore the true principle of exaltation, for it is service to others that secures their esteem and wins their efforts, and clears the pathway of the opposition and ill-will which pursues and drags down the individual who seeks his own aggrandisement at the expense of others.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.6

    But in reality no man has any power to exalt himself. It is righteousness that exalts, and no man has any power to accomplish anything toward making himself righteous. Sin, on the other hand, brings degradation. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15. Thus did the sin of pride degrade the being who is addressed in these words, who was once the “son of the morning.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.7

    Sin promises exaltation, but has nothing but degradation to give. To Eve it promised elevation to the position of gods, but it brought only shame and the loss of Paradise, and thus it has been with every one who has yielded to it. It has brought them all into bondage; for “whosoever committeth sin is the bond-servant of sin.” John 8:34. In this bondage all men are to-day who have not secured freedom by faith in Christ; and they can do nothing to free themselves from it. While they seek for exaltation among men, they are still in the position of slaves. They may gain world riches and honour, but this only fastens them the more securely to that which is fallen and is sinking ever lower into degradation; for the course of the world is downward, and will continue to be thus until it falls into the gulf of perdition, and disappears in consuming fire.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.8

    Sin, degradation, and slavery are inseparably connected. The highest position in slavery is lower than the lowest in freedom. The mightiest sinner on earth is less exalted than the humblest one whom Christ has made free.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.9

    Since exaltation comes only from righteousness, it must come from God; for God is the source of all righteousness. And as we have no righteousness in ourselves, but only sin, we can only obtain righteousness through the renunciation of self. We can only become exalted by self-abasement. When self is renounced we esteem others better than ourselves and count ourselves their servants; and then we are following the example of Christ Himself, for He “took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7. The humblest position only is consistent with renunciation of self. And this explains the words of Christ to His disciples, “Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” Mark 10:44. It was no arbitrary rule that Christ here stated, but the true and only way of becoming great,-of attaining to the honour that real and the exaltation that is enduring.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 418.10

    Therefore the exhortation is given, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” James 4:10. God will exalt the humble “in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6. “Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble.” Verse 5. “To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me in My throne; even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 419.1

    “Defending the Word of God” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    It is not an uncommon thing at the present time to see men undertake the task of defending the word of God. They do so doubtless, with the best of intentions, but they have a zeal which is not according to knowledge. They do not know the nature of that word and the purpose for which it was given.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 419.2

    The word of God is always capable of defending itself. More than this: It is not on the defensive, but is always aggressive. It is a weapon; it is nothing less than the sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6:17. “Is not My word like as a fire? saith the Lord, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29. And Paul in his letter to the Hebrews testifies that it “is quick [living] and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 419.3

    However evident, then, that the word of God does not need to be defended by the efforts of man. Rather is it a weapon of defence to man; for he is admonished to take this sword of the Spirit with him, as he goes out to engage in the Christian warfare. Nothing can prevail against the Word, but the Word can and will prevail against all things. Thus it becomes an invaluable weapon to finite man, who is compelled to meet those that are stronger than himself.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 419.4

    All the efforts that man can make in defence of the Word God are utterly useless. The Word has infinitely more power than man has, for it has the power of God. It is a weapon for the propagation of truth. If truth is to be vindicated, the best method is not by arguments made up from human reason, but by speaking forth the living word, fresh from the pages of inspiration. Human reasoning, debating, speculation, and philosophy are the weapons employed (through his agents) by the devil; and he knows better how to use them than any man. The armory of God contains no such weapons, and the cause of truth can never be vindicated by their use. Our weapon is the word of God. By it we can overthrow all these, and successfully “contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 419.5

    Error cannot stand before the word of God. Though it will still be clung to by such as have chosen to make themselves its champions, because of their corrupt desires, it cannot keep its place in the honest heart before the sword of the Spirit. When argument and human reasoning cease to be substituted for the Word in the conflict with error, the cause of truth will make much faster progress.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 419.6

    “The Light of Prophecy” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The value of prophecy is but little understood by the people of the present day. Prophecy is history written in advance. It has to us the value that history would have if some period of the past were again to be lived through and we were to be actors in it. We can all of us be wise with regard to the past. We know just what course we should have taken in order to have identified ourselves with the right and have made our lives a success. We can see just where others made mistakes and know just what they should have done to have avoided them. Prophecy is designed to give us this advantage with respect to the future. It tells us what is coming even more surely than history tells us what has come, for history has in it the element of human fallibility; nor does it confuse us with a view of many things that are of secondary interest, in the midst of which the important things are liable to be undistinguished, but it points out the dangers and the calamities that are coming, thus giving us ample opportunity for preparation to meet them and when the crisis comes, to stand in a right position.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 419.7

    The spiritually great and wise men of the past have been students of prophecy; and by its light they took some of the most important steps of their lives. The prophet Daniel has recorded an instance in which he derived advantage in this way. “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” Daniel 9:1, 2. This to Daniel was most important information. A stranger in the land of the Chaldeans, with his people captives and Jerusalem lying forsaken and in ruins, his mind must have turned often to the future with the anxious question whether there was to come a brighter day for His people and the city of his God; and there, in the book of the prophecy of Jeremiah, was the information for which he was seeking. By searching this prophecy he understood that the period of the desolation of Jerusalem was to be seventy years, and at the time of which the record speaks—“in the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus”-this period was just about to terminate. Daniel therefore understood that it was a time for action; and he tells us that he set himself to seek the Lord. “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek [Him] by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” Daniel 9:3. He sought the Lord in behalf of his people and the city where he had worshipped in the land of his fathers, which was lying desolate; and his prayer was answered by a vision from God in which was contained a prophecy that was to be of the utmost importance to the people of God in after years. How much the efforts of Daniel, due to his understanding of the fact that the time had come for the termination of the captivity, contributed to the return of the Jews and the restoration of Jerusalem, we are not told; but in view of his high position in the realm of Darius and of Cyrus, we may conclude that the amount was not small.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 419.8

    In the record of the wise men from the East, who came to visit the infant Saviour at Bethlehem, we have another instance of the value of a knowledge of prophecy. These were “wise men” because they understood what it was that would indicate the arrival of the time for Christ’s birth, and the place where the event would occur. In other words, they were wise in the understanding of the prophecies. See Matthew 2:1-7. And they came to the infant Saviour and presented unto Him presents of gold and frankincense and myrrh, by which they rendered to Him invaluable service, in view of the approaching flight into Egypt which would be necessitated by the decree of Herod. If the Jews had understood the prophecy of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem as did the wise men, they would have been ready to welcome Him and show Him honour that was His due. But they had not searched the inspired utterances which foretold the time and place of the great event (see Daniel 9:25; Micah 5:2), and when the world’s Redeemer came, not the slightest preparation had been made for His reception. The royal Babe, the Son of the King of heaven, was left to lie in a manger! This was the result of their neglect of the prophecies. Such a neglect has never failed to work disaster.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 419.9

    God is the ruler over all things, and the prophecies are but the declarations of His purposes. Every great purpose of God in His works for the salvation of men has been made known before the time for its accomplishments. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. He reveals them for the instruction of men, that they may be wise and may know what to do when the time for action arrives. God’s great plan for the redemption of men has never from the first moment of its inauguration been standing still. It has been moving steadily forward, and is moving forward to-day. Satan at every step has been opposing the work, and as these opposing forces have met, a crisis has been the result. Then those who were zealous for the glory of God, and whose zeal was according to knowledge, have improved the opportunity to do an important work for God, and have made their names prominent among those who have been counted as His servants. But those who have not “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do,” have thereby failed to relate themselves properly to the work of God, or have stood in opposition to it, and their lives have been dismal failures; for the great purposes of Omnipotence must move forward to their completion, and if a man will not fill the place into the work which God has designed for him, the loss is his, and the honour that might have been his is given to someone else.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 420.1

    How few have known the day of their visitation! How few have understood how to relate themselves to the work of God so as to act in harmony with His purposes for their time. It is easy enough to look back upon the past and see how to have related ourselves to the work of God in other times, but the past will not in this matter serve as a guide for the present. Here is where people have been ever prone to make a mistake. They have accepted the results worked out in some previous conflict of truth and error, as if they were all that they needed, forgetful of the fact that they must needs engage in a conflict themselves,-forgetful that the battle between truth and error is going on in their own day and must go on till the end of time, and that there is a battle for them to fight, just as truly as there was for the Reformers and the martyrs. And they flatter themselves that they, if they had lived in other times, would have been among those who stood for God and the right. Yes, they would have stood with Noah when he proclaimed a coming flood; they would have gone with Abraham when he separated himself from the worshippers of idols; they would not have made the mistakes and committed the sins of the Hebrews in the wilderness on their way to Canaan; they would not have been guilty of the deeds by which they committed apostasy in later time; they would not have stoned the prophets; they would not have been among those that rejected Christ; they would have received the preaching of His disciples; they would have stood with the Reformers when they separated from an apostate church, and so on. But those who built and garnished the tombs of the prophets were the very ones who rejected and crucified Christ! And those who accepted Moses were the ones who put the prophets to death. And the ones who accepted Christ and the apostles were the ones who put to death the Christian martyrs. Of course, they did not really accept Moses and the prophets and Christ and the apostles, but they professed to accept them, and to all appearance did accept them. If they had done so in reality, they would have known from their words what aspect the work of God would assume in their own day, and would have been saved from their fearful mistakes.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 420.2

    We take to ourselves the credit of the victories won by those who have preceded us. We fight over their battles, when there is no real opposition to be met, and think that by this we show ourselves to be soldiers of the cross. But their victories are not ours, any more than their circumstances are the ones that surround us. Our day is different from theirs, and the work of God has assumed a different aspect. Not that the plan of salvation ever changes from one age of the world to another; but men and circumstances change, the opposition of Satan assumes new forms, the work of redemption is moving on to its completion, when the earth will be made new and become the abode of the righteous; and God adapts His work to the circumstances and needs of each age. As His work progresses, there is a continual unfolding of truth, and a continual call to men to accept it and be sanctified by obedience to it. The test comes to all men alike. No age has yet witnessed the final victory of truth over error, so as to leave no conflict and no test for those who should live afterwards. Nor has truth in its spiritual forms ever yet attained to popularity. When the battle is being fought, the defenders of truth are but a little company, helpless against the array of the forces of error, were it not for the God of truth who works with them, and against whom all opposition is in vain.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 420.3

    We cannot, if we neglect the study of prophecy, understand how to relate ourselves to the work of God for our time; for prophecy, as stated before, is but a declaration of what was to take place in connection with God’s work in times which when the prophecy was written, were yet future, but which now, it may be, are past or present; and we can only understand what the events predicted are and discern them in their true character, as they are pointed out to us in the prophetic word. When Satan is transformed into an angel of light, when he inaugurates movements in the world which are clothed with an appearance of sanctity and claim to be of God, we must depend not upon our own wisdom to detect the imposter, but upon the revelation that has come down to us from above.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 420.4

    But some may ask, Is not prophecy something which belongs to the past? Are there prophecies to be fulfilled in our own day? The best answers to such questions can be obtained from a study of the prophecies themselves. They would never be raised by one who has made them a subject of prayerful study. Hear the testimony of Peter: “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. Do we indeed do well to take heed unto the sure word of prophecy, until the day dawn? Then many of us may be admonished by this utterance of the apostle. The day has not yet dawned. We are yet in the time when the word of prophecy is “a light that shineth in a dark place.” If we take no heed to the light, we must walk in darkness, the result of which cannot fail to be a disaster; “for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 420.5

    There are, it is true, many vain and foolish interpretations of prophecy put forth before the world in our day, but we must not for this reason throw the prophecies aside. It is the devil who seeks by this means to throw discredit upon them and cause men to turn from them with a feeling that they afford no positive knowledge, but offer only a field for fanciful speculation. The counterfeit is but an evidence of the existence of the genuine. The devil would like to explain all the prophecies to suit himself and get men to accept them as the true explanations. He would like to discourage men in the study of prophecy, and thus cause them to be taken by surprise at the coming of that which it foretells. But God has given the prophecies to men that they may be wise concerning the time in which they live; and just as surely as God has a special work to be done in our day, as he has had for times past, just so surely has He given us prophecies which relate to it, and we can only slight them at our peril.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.1

    “Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets: Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” Acts 13:40, 41. Let us speak of those who have the understanding of the times, by taking heed, as did the wise men of old, to the word that God has spoken by His prophets.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.2

    “Key Note of Christian Living” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Here is an extract from a letter written by Ruskin to a young student of his, which touches the key note of Christian living:-PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.3

    “I believe there is no means of preserving rectitude of conduct and nobleness of aim but the grace of God, obtained daily, almost hourly-waiting upon Him and continual faith in His immediate presence. Get into this habit of thought, and you need make no promises. Come short of this, and you will break them, and be more discouraged, than if you had made none. The great lesson we have to learn in this world is to give it all up; it is not so much resolution as renunciation-not so much courage as resignation that we need. He that has once yielded thoroughly to God will yield to nothing but God.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.4

    “‘Faith Cometh by Hearing’” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The evangelist, L. W. Munhall, relates in the New York Independent the following of the inquiry room, which is but an illustration of the statement that “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” “Being justified by faith,” not by feeling, “we have peace with God.” But we have need to take heed how we hear. All of the difficulties that people experience in understanding the Bible, and all the conflicting theories that are said to be derived from it, arise from the fact that people do not take the word just as it says, but persist in reading their own doubts into it. Mr. Munhall was conducting a series of meetings, and during one of the inquiry services he was told that a man named John Ewing was in great distress of mind, and anxious to see him. He proceeds thus:-PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.5

    “I found Mr. Ewing in a corner of the room, behind a door, on his knees, before a chair. His hands were laid open upon a chair, palms downward. His face was turned upward, was ashen-hued and covered with great drops of cold perspiration. He was the perfect picture of despair. I dropped upon my knees by his side and the following conversation took place:-PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.6

    “I understand, Mr. Ewin, you wish to see me.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.7

    “Yes, sir!” he replied.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.8

    “What is your trouble?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.9

    “Oh, sir, I am such a great sinner.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.10

    I said: “Praise the Lord!”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.11

    I can never forget the look he gave me as he said: “I see nothing for which to praise the Lord.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.12

    “Doubtless that is so,” I responded; “but that is because ‘the eyes of your understanding’ are not ‘enlightened that ye may know what is the hope of His calling.’ There is hope for the man who believes himself to be a great sinner. Jesus came not ‘to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ ‘They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.’ Do you not know, Mr. Ewin, that we have a very great and gracious Saviour?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.13

    “Yes,” he said, “but my sins are heinous and very black.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.14

    “But,” I responded, “Jesus ‘is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.’”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.15

    “That may all be true,” he replied; “but I am the vilest sinner in this city. I have sinned knowingly and with a high hand.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.16

    I opened my Bible to the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, and laid it upon the chair before him. I asked: “Do you believe the Bible is true?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.17

    “I do,” was the quick response.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.18

    I then said: “Will you notice carefully the three things stated in the sixth verse of this chapter. First: ‘All we like sheep have gone astray.’ Do you believe that?” I asked.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.19

    “Yes; I know I have wandered like a lost sheep.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.20

    “Second: ‘We have turned every one to his own way.’ Do you believe that?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.21

    “Oh, yes, sir. I know I have not walked in God’s way.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.22

    “Third: ‘And the Lord hath laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.’ Do you believe that also?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.23

    He responded, hesitatingly and evasively: “I have been the wickedest man upon earth.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.24

    “So, then,” I said, “you believe the first and second statements of that verse, but not the third?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.25

    “O, sir, I believe it all.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.26

    “Are you certain of it?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.27

    “Yes, sir; but I am such a great sinner.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.28

    “Do you really believe God laid your iniquities on Jesus? It says that, does it not?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.29

    “Yes, it says, ‘And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ Well, I believe it.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.30

    “With your whole heart?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.31

    “Yes, with my whole heart?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.32

    “Well,” I then asked, “where are your iniquities?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.33

    “On me, sir; and they are very great and heaven.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.34

    “And you say, Mr. Ewing ‘I believe the Bible is true;’ and yet, when God says He ‘hath laid on Him the iniquities of us all,’ ‘who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree,’ and thus hath ‘put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself,’ you say, in effect: ‘It is not so; my sins are yet on me.’ In other words, God says He laid your sins on Jesus, and you say it is not so; and yet claim to believe the Bible.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.35

    “But, sir, he answered, ‘I do believe God’s word.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.36

    “Very well,” I said; “let us look at it again. God says: ‘And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all,’ does He not?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.37

    “Yes, that’s how it reads.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.38

    “Well, then, where are your iniquities?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.39

    “With somewhat of hestitation, he said: “I suppose, sir, they must be upon Christ.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.40

    “You suppose so? don’t you know so?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.41

    “Well, but I’m such a very great sinner.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.42

    “Very well, then, I’ll read it your way, and we’ll see how it sounds. Will you listen?”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.43

    “Certainly.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.44

    Again I read: “‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all,’ excepting John Ewing.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.45

    Springing to his feet, he shouted: “That’s not there, sir! It doesn’t say that!”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 421.46

    I replied: “I know it does not. But that’s the way you have been reading it all the while, in spite of my every effort to get you to see what it really does say.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.1

    “I see it! I see it!” he said, vehemently and exultingly: “He did lay my sins on Jesus! He did! He did!” and he clapped his hands again and again in the ecstacy of his joy, and shouted aloud the praises of God.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.2

    “Where Is the Truth?” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    To what source among men can we look with confidence to find religious truth? Is it with the masses of mankind? Is it with a church that is the largest in numbers and greatest in wealth and influence? Is worldly popularity and prosperity anywhere a sign of its presence? These are questions upon which very much depends, and which multitudes have answered unwisely, to the ruin of their souls. The following words from a sermon by the Rev. F. J. Hamilton are instructive upon this theme:-PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.3

    “There are times, and the present is such a time, when the Christian warrior must make a special stand, and feel more keenly the pressure of the strife. Never should he, for a moment, shrink from loyalty to the truth through fear of man, never should he quail before the power of the world; never should he imagine that to please man’s carnal fancies is the way to win their soul; never must he be deluded by the notion that the truth is with the multitude. Was the truth with the eight hundred and fifty prophets of idolatry, headed by royalty, applauded by the people, clad in their vestments, and leaping on their altars; or with Elijah, as he stood alone before his dripping sacrifice, strong only in his God? Let the fire from heaven testify, and the shout of the unwilling crowd declare it. Where was the truth? With the seven thousand obscure believers, or with the multitudes that kissed the images? Let all the after history proclaim it, and the witness of the Spirit confirm it. Where is the truth now? With those who multiply ceremonies, bring back unlawful rites, and teach for doctrines the commandments of men; with those who spin out the web of some sceptical argument, and assail the integrity and inspiration of the Scriptures by which they shall be judged; or with those who believe in Christ Jesus as their all-sufficient and only Saviour, who look for the sanctification of the Spirit, and simply trust the Divine word? We confidently appeal from the flabby sentiment of a self-seeking age to the unerring verdict of eternity!”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.4

    Where, it might also have been said, was the truth in the days of Noah, when only eight souls and all the world believed his message and were saved from the flood? Where was it in the days of Abraham, when he was called to separate himself from his father’s house and become a stranger in the earth? Where was it in the days of Christ and His little handful of disciples, scorned and persecuted by the sanctimonious Jews? Where was it in the days of Martin Luther, when he began his work amidst the opposition of popes and prelates, emperors and kings? And where is it to-day? Has the tide at length turned, so that truth is not to be found on the side of the majority? or is it still fighting the battle with error under similar circumstances to those which have prevailed in ages past?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.5

    Is it not necessary that these queries should be made and answered in uncertainty. There is one certain source of truth, accessible to all, and upon which all may rely with absolute certainty. It is the word of God.” “Sanctify them through Thy truth,” said Jesus; “Thy word is truth.” John 17:17. This is the source which supplied Abraham, Noah, Elijah, the apostles, Luther, and all others in all ages who maintained the cause of truth against the opposition of the multitude; and it is the only reliable source in the world to-day. Let us come to it and take it as such, notwithstanding the opposition of men. Let us say with the apostle, “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” Romans 3:4.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.6

    “Prayer” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Prayer is the channel of the soul’s communion with God. Through it our faith ascends to God, and His blessings descend to us. The prayer of the saints ascend as incense before God. They come actually into His presence. Psalm 140:2; Revelation 5:8; 8:3, 4. Prayer is the index of the soul’s spirituality. There is “the prayer of faith,” spoken of by James, and there is also the wavering prayer, mentioned by the same writer. There is “the effectual, fervent prayer,” which “availeth much,” and there is also the cold, formal prayer, which avails nothing. Our prayers show the exact measure of our spirituality.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.7

    The effectual prayer takes hold by faith upon the word of God. Faith not only believes that God is, but that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6. It is offered not formally, but with a sense of need; not doubtingly nor despairingly, but with full confidence that it is heard, and will receive an answer in due time.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.8

    The effectual prayer is not argumentative, for it is not the province of man to argue with God. Its statements are not for the purpose of conveying information to God, or of persuading Him to do what He had not intended to do. God cannot be persuaded by man. The arguments and appeals of a finite man cannot change the mind of the Omniscient. The man of faith does not plead with God for any such purpose. He does not want to persuade God to work in man’s way, for he believes God’s statement that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than man’s ways. His prayer is ever, Thy will, not mine, be done.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.9

    What then is prayer, and what the purpose for which it is offered? It is the expression of our assent to that which God is willing and waiting to do for us. It is expressing to God our willingness to let Him do for us what He did wants to. It is not left for us to instruct the Lord in regard to what we need. “Your heavenly Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him.” He knows what we need much better than we know ourselves. “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.10

    God knows every need that we have, and is ready and anxious to give us that which will supply them; but He waits for us to realise our need of Him. He cannot consistently with the infinitely wise principles by which He works, bestow upon men spiritual blessings of which they would have no appreciation. He cannot work for man without man’s co-operation. The heart must be in a condition to receive an appropriate gift before it can be bestowed. And when it is in that condition, it will feel an earnest longing which will naturally take the form of prayer. And when this longing is felt, when the soul feels an intense desire for the help that God alone can give, when the language of the soul is, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God,”-the effect is to open the channel between God and the soul and let the flood of blessings which was already waiting to descend. And it is the intensity of the desire that determines how wide the door shall be opened.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.11

    We need to realise more the great truth that God sees and knows everything that we need and has every provision made for all our wants, before we have even considered those wants ourselves, and that our work is not to determine what must be done to relieve them, but to place ourselves in a position where God can relieve them by the means which He has provided; to conduct ourselves with Him, to know His mind and thus to move according to His plans, and not set about the fruitless task of trying to make Him work for us according to some plans of our own.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 422.12

    “God and Government” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    A religious journal argues that “as there is no future life for a nation in its corporate capacity, it must receive its rewards and punishments in this world.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 423.1

    This reasoning overlooks the relation sustained to the nation by the individual. The former is but an organised aggregation of the latter; and you cannot separate national responsibility from the responsibility of the people composing it. The sin of a nation is the sin of its component individuals.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 423.2

    It is organisation that distinguishes a government from a mere aggregation of individuals; and organisation is an abstract thing, and not capable of being considered in any system of rewards and punishments. There is no sin that is not the sin of an individual; for “sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4), and the law speaks always to the individual,-“Thou shall not,” etc.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 423.3

    The organisation which makes a government out of an aggregate of individuals, adds nothing to and takes nothing from the previous relation of the individuals to God. A nation cannot be rewarded or punished in its corporate capacity, but it can be rewarded or punished in its individual members. But each individual is rewarded according to his own works. He is not rewarded for any good deeds that he has not done, nor punished for any sins that he has not committed.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 423.4

    An abstract thing can have no sense of accountability, or of rewards and punishments. The highest punishment is death, and this can be inflicted on any corporation or form of government by simply taking away its organisation. But it is evident that this is not in any true sense a punishment to the corporation or to the government. Whatever arrangements may be entered into between governments to recognise governmental responsibility to each other, there can be no such thing as governmental responsibility to God. God deals only with sin, which is the accountability of the individual.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 423.5

    A government can fail; it can be found wanting in resources to meet the ends for which was established; but it cannot sin. Otherwise it could repent, be converted, and have eternal life through Jesus Christ. It is well to keep the distinction between government and individual, and the relation of one to the other, clearly in mind.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 423.6

    “What One Little Plant Did” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The Master who formed His creatures, appointed each its place. There is a place for the weak as well as for the strong.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 427.1

    The “Arundo,” or “Bentgrass” as it is commonly called, has nothing attractive about it, but as the oak has its work in the forest, this little plant has its work on the shifting sand. It has no blossoms, but is a hard and sturdy plant, being neither a true rush nor a true grass; but it has done a wonderful work for Britain. We may find how wonderful by going to the West country, to nooks about Morecombe and in Cheshire, to the sands of Anglesca, and to the wastes of Cornwall.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 427.2

    Crona Temple tells of a spot on the West coast “where the sand drifts had worked their work of destruction unchecked for generations. Yard by yard, good land had been swallowed up; cottage after cottage submerged by the sweeping tides of sand. Tall trees perished, choked by the throttling strength that was at the same time their murderer and their grave. There had once been here a small but safe harbour, where many a fishing smack had found shelter. The sand spoiled and choked it until not even a skiff could find anchorage.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 427.3

    But someone thought of the Arundo and planted its creeping roots in the sand. “It must be confessed that it made but little way that first year, but by the end of the second summer it had got good grip of the enemy. The penetrating roots held together in firm elastic masses; the needle-like leaves let the sand fall between them, and so hard were they that even the bitter rattle of its sharp particles failed to cut into or destroy them. Months went by. The sand arose with its million grains, and hurled itself on the Arundo. Those running roots merely lifted their fresh growth higher through the frifts, leaving the old dry fibre as an extra strength below. As the sand settled upon them, banking itself against their gentle resistance, they just grew through it, catching more sand against their knotty corners, and, holding it tightly, making out of the sand a rampart against itself. The very means which had overcome all other obstacles only served to build it higher.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 427.4

    “Through the sand, and upon the sand, the sea-mat grew, binding and holding the drifting tide until it was a firm bulwark stretching from north to south, behind which the world began to dare to grow green again.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 427.5

    “Ever growing, ever working in its silent and most humble way, the Arundo, had held its own. And not only its own, but England’s against the onslaught of the sea! The best, the only bulwak which could have kept the coast.”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 427.6

    “Grass, Herbs, and Trees” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit, whose seed is in itself; and it was so.” Genesis 1:11.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.1

    How pleasant on a bright summer day to step on the soft green grass, to rest in the shade of the leafy trees, and to smell the fragrant flowers! How bright and pleasant the pansies look as they nod at us with their velvety heads! Oh, what a dreary place this earth would be without any grass, or plants, or trees! How thankful we should be that God did not leave it as it was at first.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.2

    You remember that on the third day, God gathered the waters together and caused the dry land to appear. But there was not yet a blade of grass nor a tree nor a flower,-just bare, dry land. Then a most wonderful thing occurred. God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, herbs, and trees;” and it did! All at once they began to come up everywhere out of the ground! And the hills, mountains, valleys, and plains, that a moment before were brown and bare, where suddenly covered with green plants, flowers, and tall, grand looking trees of every kind! The trees were much larger and more beautiful than trees now are, and there were no thorns on the trees and rosebushes, and no thistles and weeds among the grass, for God looked and saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good. How perfect and beautiful it must have been!PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.3

    Even now our plants and trees are wonderful and beautiful. The trees and grass are not all alike, nor the flowers of one colour. You can find no two of them that are exactly alike; and yet nearly all are so pretty and useful that we can hardly tell which we like best. From them we get our wood, food, clothing, medicine, and many other useful things. Ask your mother from what your furniture, cotton and linen cloth, straw hats, flour, meal, sugar, corks, and India rubber are made. There are many strange things to be learned by studying roots, stalks, buds, leaves, flowers and seeds.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.4

    Just think; “how much is within a small acorn cup! When you hold an acorn in your hand, you hold not a small nut only. Folded within its tiny shell lie trees, and their children trees-even a whole forest. It is a great wonder to make a tree; but how much more wonderful to give to the tree the power to bring forth acorns that would make other trees, and they in turn to bring forth other acorns to make other trees for years and years!”PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.5

    “A watch is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful and wonderful things ever made by man, but you might plant it in the ground again and again and it could never bring forth more watches. Does not this show us how much greater God’s work is than man’s?” Every tree, every plant, every flower, every blade of grass, and every tiny seed should cause us to think of the wisdom and goodness of the great Creator. And should they not fill all our hearts with joy, and our songs with praise, when we remember that He is our best Friend?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.6

    1. What kind of carpets have you seen?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.7

    2. What kind of carpet is on the hills and fields, valleys and mountains, in the spring?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.8

    3. Were the grass and trees and flowers always here?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.9

    4. When did they first begin to grow?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.10

    5. Who caused them to grow?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.11

    6. How? Genesis 1:11, 12.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.12

    7. Can man make them grow in that way?—Man cannot make them grow in any way; he can plant the seed, or young tree or plant, but God alone can make it grow. Man cannot cause even one blade of grass to grow.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.13

    8. Would the earth be so pleasant if all the trees and grass were exactly alike?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.14

    9. Were the first trees and plants as good as ours?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.15

    10. Name some kinds of grass.-Wheat, oats, barley, and rice are grasses.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.16

    11. For what are the grasses good?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.17

    12. What flowers have you seen?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.18

    13. What are they good for?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.19

    14. Name some kinds of herbs or plants.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.20

    15. For what are they used?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.21

    16. Name a fruit tree; an evergreen tree; a flowering tree; a cone-bearing tree; a nut-bearing tree; a fruit-bearing tree.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.22

    17. Of what use are trees?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.23

    18. For whom did God make all of these good things? Genesis 1:9, 30.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.24

    19. How can we show our thankfulness?—By thanking God in our prayers, by giving thanks before we eat, and by using the things in a way that will please and glorify Him.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.25

    20. Does it please and glorify God when we use our fruits, grains, and plants in a way that will make us selfish, unhealthy, and unable to do good work for Jesus?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.26

    21. Then should we drink strong drinks? Smoke and chew tobacco? Smoke opium? Prepare our food in a way that will make us weak or ill?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.27

    22. What does God say about our eating and drinking? 1 Corinthians 10:31.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.28

    23. About what should every tree, and plant, and tiny seed cause us to think?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.29

    24. And when we remember that this great Creator is our Friend, how should we feel? Verily should we be glad?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 429.30

    “Strange Coats” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    Trees and shrubs wear the most wonderful coats. Just stop and examine them. Some are smooth and others are rough; some are brown, others green, still others a silver colour; some are plain, a few spotted, others striped, and many trimmed with the daintiest velvet, and the softest draperies.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.1

    What a perfect fit! The trees are entirely protected from top to base, from trunk to the end of the smallest twig. And yet there are plenty of the tiniest openings for ventilation.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.2

    Those trees and shrubs living in warm countries have thinner coats, and those living in cold places thicker ones.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.3

    Some trees get new coats once a year, and others wear the same ones all their lives.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.4

    “Well don’t they wear out or get too small?” you say.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.5

    They would if they did not keep them so well repaired. As the trees grow larger they burst their coats open in different places but immediately fill up these rents with the cunningest patches set in so neatly that you cannot find a seam anywhere, no matter how closely you look. In this way they keep their coats in good order and large enough for their growing bodies.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.6

    In the winter the trees go to sleep and their buds are snugly tucked into their “winter cradles.” Then they would freeze if it were not for the nice warm coats and softly-lined cradles which their Creator has given them and their buds. What are these wonderful coats called? How are the trees enabled to mend them? And what are the cradles for the buds? Why are the “winter cradles” in cold countries lined with a blanket of down, while those in warm countries are not lined at all? Do you wonder that God is called the loving Father of all His creatures?PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.7

    A small microscope is a never-ending source of delight to the children, and reveals to their wondering view still more and more of the wondrous works of God.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.8

    “Interesting Items” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    -The health of Prince Bismarck is improving.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.9

    -There are 5,250,000 Catholics in the United Kingdom of this number over 3,500,000 are in Ireland.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.10

    -The finest business block in St. Joseph, Mo., U.S.A., has been burned, resulting in a loss of 1,000,000 dollars.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.11

    -By a railway collision in Indiana, U.S.A., Sept. 22, eleven persons were killed, including several residents of London.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.12

    -An International Congress for the suppression of bad literature was held recently in Lausanne. What the results of the session were we are not yet told.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.13

    -The town of Mochowa, in Poland, has been partially destroyed by fire. Eight persons perished in the flames, and hundreds of families are without shelter.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.14

    -President Cleveland in a recent letter expresses himself as in favour of the immediate and unconditional repeal of the purchase clause of the Sherman law.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.15

    -The Haytian warship “Alexandre Pétion” has been mysteriously wrecked with a number of Haytian diplomatists of high rank on board, all of whom were drowned.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.16

    -The Liberal Churchmen’s Union has presented an address to Mr. Gladstone, congratulating him on having passed the Home Rule Bill through the House of Commons.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.17

    -A former resident of Stanley Falls who has arrived at Brussels says that he is convinced that the power of the Arabs on the Upper Congo is completely broken after the sanguinary defeats inflicted upon them by the troops of the Congo Free State under the command of Belgian officers.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.18

    -Strong measures are being demanded at Madrid for suppressing Anarchism. In Vienna the practices of the Anarchists were strongly denounced at a meeting of Socialists.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.19

    -The Church Missionary Society met recently at Exeter Hall. London, to bid God-speed to upwards of 100 missionaries who are to proceed to distant parts of the world under the auspices of the society.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.20

    -A Cape Town telegram reports that a dispatch from Mashonaland confirms the intelligence that the Matabeles are preparing for a big fight, the young warriors having broken away from Lobengula’s authority.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.21

    -Prospects of a speedy termination of the coal dispute are not hopeful, the miners hesitating to meet the masters on the terms proposed. The men are determined not to accept, or even discuss, a reduction of wages.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.22

    -The Russian ironclad “Rossalka” was lost in the Gulf of Finland during the recent gales, with twelve officers and 166 sailors. She was known to have been in a very unseaworthy condition, and generally unfitted to encounter heavy weather.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.23

    -Telegrams from the regions of the coal strike in Northern France and Belgium state that, except at Charleroi, there is an improvement in the situation, although in the Nord and Pas de Calais the miners are being urged by the union official, to continue the strike. At Mons there has been some rioting.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.24

    -The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society has addressed a memorial to Lord Rosebery urging upon item Majesty’s Government the importance of proclaiming the abolition of the legal status of slavery in the British Protectorate of Zanzibar, which includes the island of Pemba, where thousands of slaves are engaged in the cultivation of cloves.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.25

    -During a military review at Barcelona two petards were thrown into the midst of a group of staff officers, wounding thirteen of them, among whom were Marshal Campos, General Castellvi, chief of the staff, and Generals Rustos and Molins and several others. The Anarchists who threw the bombs have been arrested, and will be tried by court-martial.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.26

    -Advices from Argentina indicate the continued spread of the revolt against the Government of President Saenz Pena. The States in the northern part of the Republic are in open revolt, and doubt, is expressed regarding the loyalty of many Government officials. Rosario is in the hands of the insurgents, and a division of the latter are marching upon Santa Fe.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.27

    -Great indignation has been caused among members of the Greek Church in Constantinople by the opposition offered to the Crook Patriarch in his endeavour to obtain the release of a priest of the orthodox Greek Church, name, Photius, who was recently arrested and imprisoned by the Turkish authorities. The outcome of the incident may be serious.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.28

    -The cholera epidemic still continues in Europe, and is spreading in Asiatic ports along the Persian Gulf. The mail steamer “Carlo R,” which was not allowed to land her passengers or cargo at Brazilian ports, has arrived at the quarantine station of Asinara, on the Sardinian coast. During her voyage from Brazil 149 of her passengers and crew died of cholera on board.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.29

    -Intelligence received at Berlin states that the town of Brzeznaca, in the Government of Petrikan, has been completely destroyed by fire. There is evidence that the fire was the work of incendiaries, flames arising simultaneously from the four quarters of the town. Five hundred families are homeless, and are now camping out in the open fields, while several were burned to death.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.30

    -Intelligence has reached New York front Monte Video, that the insurgent squadron had renewed the bombardment of Rio, killing many persons, although it ceased shelling the city when the forts opened fire. The damage done is said to exceed that of the first bombardment. Santos is still blockaded by the insurgent fleet. A proclamation has been issued by Admiral de Mello, the insurgent leader, accusing President Peixoto and the Cabinet of various malpractices and malversation of public funds. A Brazilian naval officer, who has been interviewed at Lisbon, expresses the view that in the event of the success of the insurrectionary movement an attempt will be made to bring about the restoration of the monarchy.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 430.31

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 9, 27.


    E. J. Waggoner

    It is now estimated that the recent hurricane which swept over the southern Atlantic coast of North America destroyed over 1,000 lives and damaged shipping to the extent of $20,000,000.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.1

    There are 5,250,000 Catholics in the United Kingdom. Of this number over 3,500,000 are in Ireland. The Catholic power in the kingdom might however be less with even much greater numbers, if fewer positions of influence were filled by individuals of that faith.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.2

    A Frenchman is said to have recently written a book of several hundred pages to prove that the effect of oysters when eaten is to rest the brain! If all the wasted human energy in the world were directed to useful ends, how much better off our race would be than it is.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.3

    The “Cherokee Outlet” said to be the last remaining piece of the public domain in the United States, has just been thrown open to settlement. On the day of opening there was a mad rush on all sides by people of all classes and travelling by every sort of conveyance, to secure the choice localities in the territories; for it was a case of “first come first served.” It was a representation on a large scale and inconspicuous form of the spirit that controls in the small individual transactions of those were not ruled by the Spirit of Christ.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.4

    The present may not be untruthfully spoken of as a time of universal trouble. Two wars in South America, financial ruin and starvation in North America, prostration from the same cause in Australia, pestilence in Europe, and the great coal strike with the attending paralysis of industries in our own land, make up a stupenduous and awful picture for the mind’s eye in this latest day of the world’s progress and civilisation. It is better to look upon the bright side of a picture than the dark one, but it is well to be admonished by the situation which confronts us, and ask ourselves what it may portend in the purposes of Him who ruleth over all things.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.5

    Transatlantic journals are just now full of the proceedings of the great “World’s Parliament of Religions,” sitting in connection with the World’s Fair. Nearly every prominent religion in the world is represented, and a vast fund of information-not all of it very valuable-is elicited by the various speakers who participated. Some effort is even made to discover a resemblance between the faiths of the Orient and the Occident; though none save the most deluded enthusiast can be blind to the fact that between these there is a hopeless divergence. There is one point of union, however,-one great doctrine upon which they all stand alike; they all believe that man has an immortal soul. This doctrine is the very foundation stone of all heathenism. It may be that with this as a common basis a considerable degree of advancement will be made toward a general union of apostate religious sects.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.6

    The Mohammedan pilgrims who annually journey in such great numbers to Mecca drink from the “holy” well of Zem-Zem, which is within the city. A sample of the “holy” water taken from this well, on analysis by a correspondent of the London Times, was found to contain “in an equal volume, considerably more animal matter than is found in average London sewage,” being full of dead and living microbes and the foulest refuse which filtered into it from soil which has never known any other drain than that provided by nature. Mecca is supplied with water of an excellent quality, but it is not “holy” like the solution contained in the well, and of course the pilgrims feel bound to drink of the latter. The relation of this to the fact that Mecca is a chief, if not the principal, cholera centre of the East, will be at once apparent.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.7

    We must not however be too severe in our condemnation of the devotees whose unsanitary practices are so productive of evil; for wherein we would judge them we might also condemn ourselves. Our own forefathers, of times yet scarcely historic, were guilty of similar practices. The Christian people of Europe were a long time learning the truth that holiness and filth do not go together; and the Mohammedans are as yet only a century or two behind us. Anyone familiar with the Middle Ages knows that uncleanliness was then regarded rather as an aide to sanctity than as something incompatible with it. The “saints” were generally persons whose appearance amply testified to their contempt for ideas of personal sanitation. Long and unkempt hair, cut nails, and unwashed bodies were considered in perfect keeping with, if not evidences of, the highest attainments in piety. Of course, the monastic dungeons and gloomy and solitary caves where such piety as they possessed was attained, were not especially conducive to habits of attention to the appearance and wants of the body; but the illustrious examples of “bodily mortification” which the world then saw can only be accounted for by the prevailing religious sentiment of the time, which made neglect of the body a positive virtue. And there was a reason for this sentiment; but this we will consider at another time.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.8

    Even to-day there are a great many civilized people who firmly believe in the holiness of ancient and mouldering pieces of bone,-the remains, real or supposed, of some departed “saint,” revered by the Roman Catholic Church. If holiness can pertain to these relics, of which so much is made by the Church of Rome, certainly it is not unreasonable to suppose it may also belong to the cholera-producing well of Mecca, notwithstanding the conditions which render it so dangerous to human life.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.9

    In the purposes of God, holiness and filth are incompatible. One has but to glance casually through the Old Testament Scriptures to observe the sharp line of separation drawn between the clean and the unclean, not only as pertaining to the character, but to the flesh as well, nor are the New Testament Scripture less explicit. We are exhorted to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1. We are told that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and “if any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy.” If people understood better what holiness is, there would be much less superstition pertaining to the relics and “holy” places both among civilised people and others, and much fewer “pilgrimages” with their attendant evils undertaken both in Asia and Europe.PTUK October 5, 1893, page 432.10

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