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    April 16, 1896

    “Front Page” The Present Truth, 12, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Finally, brethren, pray for us,...that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked man; for all men have not faith.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 2.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 241.1

    From this we learn that the unreasonable man is the man who has not faith. He is both unreasonable and wicked; for “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Sin is unreasonable. In the Bible sinners are characterised as foolish persons. “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 241.2

    “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” Romans 10:10. The heart, therefore, and not the head merely, determines whether one is or is not reasonable. Foolishness is more a matter of the heart than of the head. Some of the most foolish people have very good intellectual faculties, but a depraved heart deceives them.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 241.3

    “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17. The connection between faith and the Word is shown in the text first quoted. “Pray for us, that the Word of God may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you; and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for all men have not faith.”PTUK April 16, 1896, page 241.4

    The unreasonable and wicked man is the man who has not faith; and the man who has not faith is the man who does not accept God’s Word without question. The really reasonable man is not the one who can argue every point, and can answer every question out of his own head, but the man who believes God. An unlettered ploughboy may thus have more right reason than a cultured philosopher.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 241.5

    “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 1:18. How often that text is used to justify strife and debate and quibbling over the Word of God. Many people take it as though it read, “Come now, and let us argue together, saith the Lord.” No; it says, “Let us reason together;” and when the Lord begins to talk, the most reasonable thing for men to do is to keep still, except as he responds, Amen.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 241.6

    The remaining portion of the text shows that this is all that is expected of man in reasoning with the Lord. He continues, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 1:18-20.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.1

    Now what can anybody say to that?-Only that he believes and accepts it, or that he does not. To say the latter is to say that God is a liar, and that is the height of folly. Manifestly, therefore, when the Lord calls us to come and reason together with Him, He means us to listen with reverent humility, and to except what He says without any gainsaying.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.2

    Mind that it is not our conception of what God means, that we are to accept. That would be simply to set up our wisdom in opposition to God’s, which is the height of presumptuous folly. It is to say that we cannot venture to accept anything from the Lord without first submitting it to the test of our superior judgment. But God’s mind is not to be measured by man’s. He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20. What God is able to do, that He does. He is infinite, and there is not a word or an act of God that does not contain more than the mind of the wisest man can fathom. What impudent folly, then, to presume to pass God’s word through the sieve of our feeble intellect before accepting it!PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.3

    Nicodemus started in on that line with the Lord. When Jesus spoke about the new birth, he asked, “How can these things be?” and endeavoured to show that the thing was impossible. He afterwards, however, learned wisdom by attending to the Word. When Jesus spoke about the necessity of eating His flesh, the Jews asked, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” They thought that that question settled the matter.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.4

    Notice that pure human reasoning, as expressed in the preceding questions, is doubt. It is negative. It does not build up anything, but only endeavours to tear down and obstruct. It tends to make more narrow field of vision that one already has. But God’s thoughts are infinite, and when they are received in simple faith, without any attempt to dissect and analyse them, they expand the mind. There is no limit to the development of the mind that reasons according to the Lord’s plan.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.5

    The Word is given to all; it carries its own credentials, so that faith comes by it; therefore faith is given to all. The only reason why any men have not faith is that they have not kept it. It is both sword and shield-a mighty weapon. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations (or reasonings, margin), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.6

    “Germany and the Vatican” The Present Truth, 12, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is interesting to note the workings of the Papacy and its increasing influence in the councils of the nations which at one time were supposed to have broken for ever from alliance with Rome. Rome has merely bided her time, and the natural workings of human nature have been bringing back the world to that system which stands as the representative of the religion of self and self-salvation. Describing the system under the figure of a woman intriguing with the kings and rulers of the earth, the prophet says the woman represents “the great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.7

    Germany was at one time supposed to have for ever broken with the Vatican. But Germany forgot that it was the power of the Word that dealt the Papacy such a blow in Luther’s day, and that what was set free by the Word could not be kept free by any political power. The Reformation in Germany received its fatal check for the time when the princes thought to “protect” the evangelical faith, and when, in order to know what that faith was, it was drawn up according to human interpretations and established in lifeless creeds or confessions. From that time on, the leaven of papal principles has been working in Germany, and the Vatican now has a very tender regard for the erstwhile rebellious land of Luther.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.8

    Years ago Prince Bismarck declared that he would never “go to Canossa,” referring to the humiliating submission of Henry IV. to the Vatican. But not many years after his boast he made his submission, after the fashion of modern diplomacy, and the present rulers of Germany are being drawn into still closer relations with “that great city.” Last week the Chronicle’s Rome correspondent said:-PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.9

    I understand that the members of the Triple Alliance, and Germany in particular, are making every effort to bring about a good understanding with the Vatican, with a view to counterbalancing French and Russian influence. It is believed that Germany, in view of the approaching conclave, wishes to prepare for the election of a Pope favourable to her interests. The meeting of the Kaiser at Naples with Cardinal San Felice, and the visit of Prince Henry to the Vatican are regarded as signifying that the Pope is much more disposed for a rapprochement with Germany, and is greatly irritated by the anti-clerical attitude of the Bourgeois Cabinet.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.10

    “Coming Because He Loves” The Present Truth, 12, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” John 13:1. The same chapter recounts how He showed His loved by washing the disciples’ feet, and a few hours later He showed it by His death on the cross.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.11

    When one loves others so much that it is a joy to serve them and to die for them, one would desire above all things to be with those beloved. And so it is with our Lord. He said to these simple men whom He had just served, “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” And He says it to “all them also that love His appearing.” He wants us to be with Him, and He is hastening the time of His coming. How this wonderful love should purify and lead to the obedience of faith. See 1 John 3:1-5.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.12

    “Diamonds Cut Out of Stone” The Present Truth, 12, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    As in nature, as in art, so in grace; it is rough treatment that gives souls, as well as stones, their luster. The more the diamond is cut, the brighter it sparkles; and in what seems hard dealing, there God has no end in view but to perfect His people.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 242.13

    “Forgetting Facts” The Present Truth, 12, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The general talk about courts of arbitration has led Cardinals Vaughan, Logue, and Gibbons, representing England, Ireland, and the United States, to issue an appeal in favour of such a court to settle quarrels among English-speaking races. They delicately hint that the Pope is already quite prepared to undertake the work of arbitrating, if the nations would only allow him to do so. “Such a court,” the cardinals said, “existed for centuries, when the nations of Christendom were united in one faith. And have we not seen nations appeal to that same court for its judgment in our own day?”PTUK April 16, 1896, page 244.1

    We can well believe that the Papacy would like to umpire again. When one reads the history of those centuries during which that “court” existed its scarcely occurs to one that it was anything that made for peace. It was peace so long as the Papacy had its way over the souls of men, but war to the death whenever the sword and the torch and rack could be invoked against peoples who did not acknowledge the Papacy. And in present-day political affairs the influence of the Papacy has never been for peace whenever there was a chance to intrigue for the return of the temporal power. The Vatican still wants to be able to arm her papal troops, which were deprived of their arms when the Italians made Rome a part of United Italy.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 244.2

    It is astounding with what confidence modern Roman authorities-and often professedly Protestant writers as well-take it for granted that the world has forgotten all the bitter record of the Dark Ages, when the Church of Rome flourished with her own way. And it must be confessed that they are not without reason for their confidence. The great masses of the world give so little thought to principles of truth that they fail to understand that evil principles must always bear evil fruits. Just so, when the Papacy speaks for peace, we may know that it can only work for war, as it is itself a revolt against the Gospel of the Prince of Peace. It is because the nations have drank in of its spirit that “the nations are angry.”PTUK April 16, 1896, page 244.3

    “Letter and Spirit” The Present Truth, 12, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “But now we are delivered from the law, being dead to that wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:6, margin.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.1

    What is the thing in which we were held, and to which we are now dead?-The seventh chapter of Romans is but an expansion of the sixth chapter, where we read that we are “dead to sin” (verse 2), and that “he that is dead is freed from sin” (verse 7). “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Verse 11.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.2

    We are dead unto the sin which held us, because sin also is dead by Christ. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, and that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:6. And so “we are delivered from the law.” It had been transgressed, and therefore it demanded our death; “for the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. But now that we are dead, it pursues us no further; it has executed the penalty on us, in Christ. “The law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth.” When he is dead, there is nothing more that it can do to him.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.3

    “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Galatians 2:20. That is a good reason why the vengeance of the law no longer pursues us. The man who committed the sin is dead, and the man who now lives is a “new man,” walking “in newness of life.” The old life was a life of sin; the “new man” is after God “created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24. Since “the new man has not transgressed the law, he is as a matter of course free.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.4

    But the law is not dead. It is as much alive as it ever was. The new man is free from it simply because he is walking in harmony with it. The new man is under as much obligation to keep the law as the old man was; the difference between them is that the new man does his duty, while the old man did not, and could not. The old man was “not subject to the law of God,” being opposed to the Holy Spirit. The new man is alive through Christ, who died “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.5

    “If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18. But the verse last quoted tells us that “the righteousness of the law is fulfilled” in those who walk after the Spirit. Therefore we are taught most plainly that the only ones who are “not under the law” are those in whom the righteousness of the law is fulfilled. The transgressors of the law are the only ones who are “under the law.” Those who are “delivered from the law” are the ones who are keeping it “in spirit and in truth.”PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.6

    This is shown in the statement that we are delivered from the law, in order “that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” We still serve, but as free men, and not as slaves. It is a spiritual service, that is, a real service; for only that which is spiritual is real.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.7

    “For we know that the law is spiritual.” Romans 7:14. It follows, therefore, that when we were serving in oldness of the letter, we were not really keeping the law; for since the law is spiritual, it necessarily requires spiritual service. So it is only when we are delivered from the law that we keep it.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.8

    UNLIKE HUMAN LAW

    The common opinion in regard to the letter and the spirit of the law, is most erroneous. The error arises from supposing that the law of God is similar to human laws. It is quite common to speak of the spirit of a law made by man, when all that is meant is the intent of the law. Thus: No human law is perfect; its framers can not possibly foresee all the circumstances that may arise to be judged by it. Then, too, the language of the law may be obscure. So the judge often finds it necessary to decide what was the intent of the lawmakers. A man might be technically or literally a violator of a law, while still acting fully in harmony with the intent of its framers. This is what is meant by the mistaken use of the term “letter and spirit,” as applied to human laws.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.9

    Now the great difference between the nature of human laws and the divine law is that there is no spirit to the former, while the latter is wholly spiritual. Spirit is life; but there is no life in human laws. They can not give life. No man can get anything more out of a human law than he puts into it. If men ignore any human law, then it is said to be “a dead letter.” But it has no more life in itself when it is obeyed than when it is disregarded; the life is in the people, who make their acts conform to the words of the law.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.10

    The law of God is wholly different. It is alive whether people regard it or not. It is alive because it is spiritual. The man who serves in “the oldness of the letter” does not really serve at all, because, no matter how good his purpose, or how strong his endeavours, to keep the law, he is simply reproducing himself, and not the law. In trying to do what the law tells him to do, he is merely doing what his own nature allows him to do. While in a carnal state, he is “not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 245.11

    “THE LAW IS LIFE”

    But “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2) gives freedom from this bondage, so that “the righteousness of the law may be fulfilled in us.” The real law is the life of God in Christ, and that gives life. What is termed “the letter” of the law of God is the verbal statement of the law. This is not the law itself, but only the form of it, as the apostle said the Jews had “the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.” Romans 2:20. The verbal statement of the law bears the same relation to the law itself that the photograph of a man has to the man himself. It is but the shadow.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 246.1

    A shadow is the exact image of the substance. The words of the Divine law, being “the form of knowledge and of the truth,” might be compared to a statue, rather than to a photograph. It has the form and features, and differs from the reality only in having no life. So when we speak of the spirit of God’s law, we mean the law itself, and not merely the intent of the law. The intent of the law may be learned from the words, since God is not subject to human limitations, but knows what is needed, and can say just what He means.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 246.2

    From the words of the law of God we may know exactly what we should do, for it is a perfect form. But it is only in Christ that we find the living substance. The law in Christ is not only living, but it gives life. It performs itself in those who submit to it, because it is God’s own life. It is not less than the letter; it is not something different from the letter; but it is simply the living thing which the letter perfectly describes.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 246.3

    “In Australia” The Present Truth, 12, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The report of the late general meeting of the churches represented by our Society in Australia shows that a vigorous growth attends the work there. Formerly associated together under one Conference organisation, the field is now divided into three districts for better convenience in carrying on the evangelistic work in the various colonies. Not far from Sydney, New South Wales, a school is being built for the teaching and training of the youth and workers in Australia and New Zealand. And from Queensland in the north right round to West Australia workers and churches are scattered.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 246.4

    The book canvassers and colporteurs have had remarkable success in selling literature notwithstanding the “hard times” through which the colonies have passed during the past year or two. Our larger works, such as “Bible Readings,” “Patriarchs and Prophets,” and “Great Controversy” are sent out from our London house, but the smaller literature is printed in the field. We give herewith a cut of the printing-house in Melbourne, where the publications are prepared. Our friends publish two periodicals, the Bible Echo, weekly, and the Sentinel, monthly, the latter being specially devoted to the religious liberty issue, the demand for Sunday laws and other religious legislation being one of the signs of the times in Australia as in all the world.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 246.5

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 12, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The latest census gives Ireland a population of 4,704,750.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 254.1

    -It is said that the Government is building barracks at Malta for 30,000 men, in anticipation of events in the Mediterranean.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 254.2

    -During the recent drought in Australia it is said that over ten million sheep, 300,000 cattle, and 20,000 horses perished in New South Wales alone. The value of this stock is estimated at ?3,000,000.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 254.3

    -English bankers have offered the Italian Government ?20,000,000 sterling, which is said to be three times as much as is necessary to meet the expense of the Abyssinian campaign. As long as Italy can borrow she will be likely to continue spending money in her African venture.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 254.4

    -The Russian authorities are planning to spend ?4,000,000 sterling on the display in connection with the coronation of the Czar at Moscow next month. The riches and colour of the East and West are to unite in making it a display surpassing anything beheld in modern times.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 254.5

    -Recent statistics of Europe show that during the ten years past the population has increased by 30,000,000. Russia has added the most, 12 millions, in round numbers. Germany added 4? millions; Austria-Hungary, 3? millions Great Britain, 2? millions; Turkey, 1 million; while France has increased but 67,100. This increase which is crowding Europe accounts for the great demand for colonial expansion.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 254.6

    -In commercial circles the development of Japan’s manufacturing power is watched with deep interest. Already she is beginning to export many things which she imported a few years ago, and with cheap labour and intelligent adaptation of Western machinery she promises to get a large share of the trade of the Orient. Wages run from nine to eighteen pence a day. Farm labourers get ninepence, women being paid the same as men.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 254.7

    -The Khalifa, the leader of the Dervishes, has issued a call for the massing of his tribesmen, and he expects to have 50,000 men ready for action when the time comes. Pilgrimages have been stopped and a war tax levied. He declares that he has no quarrel with the Egyptians, but with the “infidels” who are directing Egyptian all airs. Meanwhile the Egyptian forces are fortifying Akasheh and establishing stations along the lines of communication, getting ready for an advance in force after the hot season is past.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 254.8

    -A disease has been spreading among the cattle in Rhodesia, and it has been found necessary to kill large numbers to keep the pest from spreading. Some native hords have been killed, and it is thought that this is one of the causes of the Matabele rising. Some of the leading chiefs of the Matabele, and many friendly natives have come into the towns. The old chiefs say the young men could not be restrained. About eighty whites are reported to have been killed by attacking parties before the facts of the rising were known and they could seek shelter in the towns.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 254.9

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 12, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Czar’s present to the Shah of Persia-a field battery of Krupp guns, with ammunition-is very significant in view of Russia’s increasing influence in the Near East.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.1

    Last week the Pope broke all papal precedents and traditions by addressing a letter to the Daily Chronicle in favour of courts of arbitration. We wonder if he would submit his claims to temporal sovereignty to impartial arbitration, and cease to endanger the peace of Europe by intrigues against the Italian Government in case the decision were against him.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.2

    “According to the census of the German Empire,” says a newspaper, “the number of clergymen in the whole country is 30,250. Of these exactly 15,000 are Protestant and 15,250 are Catholic. These figures are remarkable, as the Protestants constitute two-thirds of the entire population.” It means that the Roman Church is sparing no effort in the work of bringing back the land of Luther to the Catholic fold.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.3

    “The largest family of young people on earth,” says a writer, “is Dr. Barnardo’s. It is remarkable not only for quantity, but its peculiar quality. It is composed of five thousand ‘nobody’s children,’ who stray from garrets and gutters into this family fold in London, Edinburgh, Ontario and Manitoba.”PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.4

    Very much attention is being given by Continental rulers to the next Papal Conclave, which must inevitably come erelong, as the present Pope is aging. We hear of various eligible cardinals being sounded as to their views politically, and France is showing some irritation at the keen interest which Germany is manifesting in the choice of a successor to Leo XIII. The next Pope, whoever he is, will be chosen not for any religious qualifications, but for his political influence. The whole thing is an intrigue for power, and out of it the Papacy will come with a firmer hold than ever upon the nations for the accomplishment of its own purpose of self-exaltation.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.5

    The Catholics say that they regard the aid to their schools proposed by the Government’s Education Bill as a mere first instalment, and will not rest until their full demands are met. Like every attempt to settle religious controversy in the arena of politics-where such questions should never come-the present effort will settle nothing, and religious the education battle will continue to rage more fiercely than ever-all because Nonconformists, Anglican, and Catholic churches generally insist upon making the State a teacher of religion.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.6

    The Editor of the Christian writes to that paper from South Africa:-PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.7

    In Cape Town the Seventh-day Adventists are actively propagating their doctrine, the tendency of which is to rob men of the Sabbath which God made for him, and to leave him without a day of rest, either first or seventh. I saw this to be actually the case at a town in America a few years ago.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.8

    It is strange how thoughtlessly the mind that looks at truth through ecclesiastical tradition puts darkness for light. To call the attention of men to the Word, and show that they have been robbed by the Papacy of “the Sabbath of the Lord,” and the rest of the Lord, and the blessing which God put upon it for man, is said to be taking the Sabbath from men. It must have been a strange town where so many kept the Sabbath that there was no day of rest!PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.9

    The Editor of our contemporary finds fault with the argument that many are forced to devise to escape the Sabbath truth, saying that it “would surely prove too much” and abolish the Sabbath altogether. So he attempts to give a by no means new or original argument to show that somehow the blessing that the Lord put upon the seventh day has got over to the first. It is the usual weak mystical argument, lacking the one thing needful, a “thus saith the Lord.” The trouble with all of these efforts to account for the substitution of the first day of the week for the seventh is that-no matter how much mystical interpretations may be resorted to obscure the issue-the Word of God still says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” After all the sermons preached and books written to show that it is not, the Word still repeats, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.”PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.10

    Two great movements in the world are to be watched, the progress of each marking the approach of the end. When the Gospel of the kingdom shall have been preached as a witness to all nations the end will come. Matthew 24:14. And when the revival of the Papacy shall enable her to say again as of old, “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow,” then “shall her plagues come in one day...for strong is the Lord that judgeth her.” Revelation 18:7, 8. One is the “mystery of godliness” the other the “mystery of lawlessness.” The latter perverts the law God in intrigues with the powers of earth to bring the people to its standard of lawlessness, while the former warns all peoples against worshipping the lawless one, and calls them to allegiance to the law of God.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.11

    In the general uprising in Matabeleland missionaries as well as others have been compelled to go into the towns. The press despatches from Buluwayo last week announced that “the members of the Adventist Mission, for whom some anxiety was felt, have now all been saved.” Doubtless those fields of corn which the leader of the industrial Mission described in our columns last week will not be gathered. One cannot but feel sorry for the misguided natives engaged in the rising, who of course know nothing of the Gospel, and are fighting to drive back the white man who is coming into their land, and who too frequently does not come to do the native good.PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.12

    The Lord gave some very simple directions about titles and precedence among His followers. But ecclesiasticism has so far changed the Divine order that a learned Catholic writer takes three columns of a newspaper to explain the ecclesiastical law of precedence in church ceremonies and social gatherings. There are sixteen grades of officers to be arranged after their order, and the ecclesiastical law seems to leave no room for the modest dignitary to take the lowest seat and wait for someone to invite him to “come up higher.”PTUK April 16, 1896, page 256.13

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