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    March 4, 1897

    “Independence” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The feeling of independence is inherent in human nature. The first declaration of independence against God was made by Lucifer, in the courts of heaven, and next, at his instigation, by man in the garden of Eden, when he set about to make himself equal to God, and thus independent of His authority. The first marked feature to manifest itself in the infant is the disposition to have its own way, and unless this disposition is checked it grows stronger with years until even in early youth he declares his determination to have his own way, regardless of what anybody else may say or think.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 129.1

    Who Shall Rule? -This is easily answered in the case of the infant. That the child is of right subject to the parent, is so self-evident as to need no special argument. The child is not independent of its parents. Why not?—Simply because it is not. It cannot be. It depends upon them for its existence in this world, and after it sees the light of day it is as dependent as before. It is absolutely impossible for it to maintain an independent existence. Then of course it must be subject to those who provide for it, because,PTUK March 4, 1897, page 129.2

    Dependence Means Subjection .—He who provides a thing has a right to say how that thing shall be used. To partake of one's bounty,—to be absolutely dependent on it,—and at the same time to rail against him, and to use all one's power against him, is the basest ingratitude. Whoever does that is by common consent regarded as lost to all sense of justice. So long as one is absolutely dependent on another that other must of right, have the controlling voice in the dependent one's affairs.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 129.3

    Who Is Independent? -Who is there that is indebted to “no one for his existence?—Not one; as already seen, every child is of right subject to its parents. But the parents themselves,—whence do they derive their support, their life itself?—God that made the world and all things therein, ... giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; ... for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:24-28. The parents of every child, yea; every person in the world, is as absolutely dependent on God for existence and its continuation, as the infant is upon its parents. The strongest and wisest man in the world is far more helpless compared with God, than the new-born infant is compared with him. When Peter stepped out upon the water at the word of Jesus he was conscious of the fact that he was dependent upon Jesus for support. But he was just as much dependent on that support when walking on the land.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 129.4

    God, the One Ruler .—Those who are nearest to God, beholding His power and glory, and who themselves occupy the highest position of all created beings, do humble reverence to God, saying, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory, and the honour, and the power, for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they were, and were created.” Revelation 4:11. “Know ye that the Lord He is God; it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3. Therefore; just as the child is of right subject to its parents, because dependent on them for existence, so all men are of right subject to God, absolutely dependent on Him for life, and breath, and all things; and this is the very lesson that God would have both parents and children (and that includes everybody) learn from the relation of parent and child. The child is dependent on its parents, in order that both it and they may see their common dependence upon God; and the child is by the nature of things compelled to be dependent on its parents until it comes to years of discretion, in order that, in the proper order of things, it may learn the lesson of dependence, and pass from the recognition of dependence upon its parents to the recognition of its dependence upon God; nay, more, long before it ceases to be dependent upon its parents, it should learn the lesson that it is subject to them for the reason that all are subject to God.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 129.5

    The Responsibility of the Independent One. -We speak now of the one who chafes under proper restrain, and who imagines himself to be independent, for God alone is independent. Well, since God alone is independent, from Him alone may we learn the responsibility that one really assumes when he asserts his independence. God is self-existent; His name is I AM; no other being in the universe contributes the slightest particle to His support. Therefore He has a right to do as He will , and none can question Him and say, “What doest Thou?” “Our God is in the heavens; He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3) and none have ever been able to withstand Him; for the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it; and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” He who would stay the Lord in any of His purposes, must be one who has first given to Him; but there are none such.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 130.1

    The one therefore who assumes that he is independent, and who asserts his independence, takes upon himself the responsibility of maintaining his own existence. When the headstrong youth desires his independence of his father's control, the father sometimes allows him to carry his declaration to its legitimate conclusion, and attempt to provide for his own support. Now it may be that the youth from that time is able to live without his father, although but for his previous dependence he could not now be seemingly independent, but it is impossible for him to be independent of God. He goes out into the world in his boastful pride, declaring himself to be independent even of God. He blasphemes the name of God. He will not be dependent on any being, not he. But wait! He is breathing, yes, even, breathing out defiance to God. Where did you get your breath, my friend? Did you make it?—No, you didn't have anything to do with it. You found it ready made and used it, and the supply is kept up while you are asleep. Now no matter who made it, it is certain that you did not, and therefore if you are determined to be independent, you must at once cease using it. Of course no other man made it, any more than you did; God alone made it. Now the only way for you to be independent of God is for you to provide your own air, and use no other. Everybody who declares independence against God, puts himself under obligation to make his own air. You cannot do it? No, of course you cannot. If you cease using God's air you will immediately die. Whose life are you using then? Why, God's and His only. Certainly then it is nothing more than common fairness that He be allowed to direct His own life. Every man who breathes is by that very act under obligation to devote His life to the Lord, for Him to control.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 130.2

    We have said that sometimes an earthly father tells his rebellious son that he may look out for himself if he will not acknowledge parental authority; but this God does not do. “His mercy endureth for ever.” “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good; and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45. “He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Luke 6:35. This is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. If men would only acknowledge the truth that is evident in every breath, the very drawing of their breath would draw them to God. How easy is it to believe God?—Just as easy as it is to breathe. Then “let everything that hath breath praise the Lord,“ and thus prepare the way for God to show them His salvation.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 130.3

    “The Pure Metal” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Oftentimes rock which is rich in the precious metals shows no superficial evidence of the fact to the casual observer. An expert will show you a dull-coloured, uninteresting-looking bit of broken stone, with the remark, that if you possessed but a small hill of that rock, it would make you richer than Cr?sus ever dreamed of being. You turn the piece of stone over and over examining it rather sceptically, though quite carefully, but you can see nothing about it which would be likely to make you wish to own a mountain of such rock. Perhaps you even apply a magnifying glass, and search the whole surface of the stone with the utmost care, yet nowhere does the slightest hint of the presence of anything valuable show itself to the eye. You are confident that it is nothing but a bit of rusty quartz. But the mining expert will put that evidently worthless stone under his blow-pipe, and tell you to watch. Presently, under the compelling effect of the intense heat you will see this apparently worthless rock seemingly sweat with minute drops of pure gold. It was the burning heat that brought out the hidden value.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 130.4

    Your friend shows you, in his cabinet of curiosities, a dish of sand. It is clear, clean sand to you nothing more. He tells you that if you owned a large sand bank like that it might be possible to utilise it greatly to the benefit of your purse. You cannot see why,—it is merely clean sand, nothing more. It would be utterly useless as soil, nothing would grow in it. You inspect the sand closely, and pass your fingers through and through it, but uncover nothing valuable. Then he takes from another shelf a magnet and runs it into the sand,—then, as he withdraws the magnet you see that it is covered with particles of iron. Your eyes and your fingers would not have found them. It was the magnet that drew the metal.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 130.5

    As with the quartz and the sand, so with men. It may not be possible to distinguish the true metal by any human observation; but when God's furnaces begin to work, the pure gold may often appear where least expected, and it is the heat of trial and affliction which brings it out. And it is God's love which acts as the magnet, or the flux, and draws to itself, and amalgamates with itself the true, pure metal, separating it from the dross which disappears in the furnace fires.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 130.6

    Of infinite comfort is it to the tried one to know that it is the Lord Himself who sits “as a refiner and purifier.” “When He hath tried me,“ said Job, “I shall come forth as gold.”PTUK March 4, 1897, page 130.7

    “How God will Fight for Us” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When a hungry and ravenous beast has his prey in his clutches and has tasted blood he will fight desperately to retain his booty. Often he will cling to it even to death rather than let go his hold. It is in this persistence and unyielding determination of the blood-intoxicated beast that the Lord sees an illustration of the strength of His own love for sinners which ought to make every half-discouraged one glad. “Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself, for the voice of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hills thereof.” Isaiah 31:4. “God is no respecter of persons,“ and He has set His love upon sinners. Let any sinner deliver himself into the hands of the Lord, and He will fight for him though all the hosts of evil try to terrify. The Lord cannot be terrified, and He is the One who will hold the willing prey, snatched from the enemy.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 130.8

    “The Promises to Israel. Again in Captivity.” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Concluded.)

    Boast as they will of their freedom and independence, men in love slavery, and would rather be in bondage than be free. This is demonstrated by facts.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.1

    REJECTING LIBERTY

    The God of the universe has made a proclamation of freedom to all mankind; He has even given liberty to all; yet but few will take advantage of it. The experience of ancient Israel is but the experience of the human heart. Twice the Lord made it very plain to Abraham that his seed should be free,—once when He said that his servant Eliezer should not be his heir, and again when He told him that the son of a bondwoman could not be heir.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.2

    Later He delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt, that they might enjoy freedom, even the freedom of obedience to the perfect law of liberty, but they murmured, and “in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us.” Acts 7:39, 40.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.3

    Forty years later God rolled away from them the reproach of Egypt, yet they afterward desired to be like the heathen round them, by having a king, who, as they were assured, would make them slaves. And so it proved; for they not only learned the ways of the heathen, but “overpassed” them. “The Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling-place; but mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people till there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:15, 16) and He fulfilled His threat to carry them away beyond Babylon. Amos 5:25-27; Acts 7:43.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.4

    SLAVES OF SIN

    This Babylonian captivity was only the visible expression of the bondage in which the people had already voluntarily placed themselves. They had flattered themselves that they were free, while they were “the servants of corruption; for of whom a man is overcome of the same is he brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19. “Whosoever comitteth sin is the bondservant of sin.” John 8:34. Physical slavery is a small matter compared with soul-bondage, and but for the latter, the former never could have been known.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.5

    The carrying of Israel to the city of Babylon was strikingly fitting. It was not an accident that they were taken there rather than anywhere else. Babylon—Babel—means confusion, but confusion because of self-exaltation and pride; “for where envying and strife is, them is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16. The origin of the name Babylon was on this wise:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.6

    THE BUILDERS OF BABEL

    “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. And they said to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel, because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth.” Genesis 11:1-9.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.7

    DEFYING GOD

    Those people had the idea that they could build a city so great and a tower so high that they could defy the judgments of God. They really thought themselves greater than God. The same idea possessed Lucifer, of whom we read:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.8

    “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! or 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 he clouds; I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:12-14.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.9

    It will be clearly seen that the spirit that was in Lucifer was identical with that which was in the builders of Babel, and the reason or this is that it was Satan himself-Lucifer fallen-who prompted hat work. He is “the prince of this world” (John 14:30), “the spirit hat now worketh in the children of disobedience.” Ephesians 2:2. Now let is go back to the beginning of the chapter from which the preceding paragraph was quoted, and see the relation of fallen Lucifer to Babylon, noting in passing that the thirteenth chapter of Isaiah tells of the destruction to come upon Babylon.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 131.10

    THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD

    That proud city shall be utterly destroyed,—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 132.1

    “For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel and set them in their own land; and the strangers shall be joined them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place; and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids; and they shall take them captive whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors. And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from thy hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet, they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at they coming; it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols; the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.” Isaiah 14:1-11.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 132.2

    Then follows the direct address by the Lord, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning,“ etc., as previously quoted, stating that his fall is because of his self-exaltation, continuing thus:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 132.3

    “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit: They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider the saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people; the seed of evil doers shall never be renowned.” Verses 15-20.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 132.4

    THE DIVINE PURPOSE—THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OPPRESSOR

    So much of direct address to this wonderful tyrant. Then follows he continuation of the narrative concerning him:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 132.5

    “Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts. The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely, as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand; that I will break the Assyrians in My land, and upon My mountains tread him under foot; then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.” Verses 21-25.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 132.6

    And now come the striking words, summing up the whole matter:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 132.7

    “THIS IS THE PURPOSE UPON THE WHOLE EARTH; AND THIS IS THE HAND THAT STRETCHED OUT UPON ALL THE NATIONS. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Verses 26, 27.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 132.8

    THE PRIDE OF EARTHLY DOMINION

    The reader cannot have failed to notice that the complete and final deliverance of all Israel is coincident with the utter destruction of the king of Babylon; and further that this king of Babylon is on, who rules over all the earth; his destruction gives the whole earth rest. It must also have been noted that this king of Babylon is also addressed as Lucifer, the one who thought to dispute the dominion of the world with God. The fact is, therefore, that whoever was that nominal, visible ruler of Babylon, Satan was its real king. This is evident also from the fact that Babylon was a heathen kingdom and “the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God.” 1 Corinthians 10:20. He is “the god of this world.” That spirit of self-exaltation is radically opposed to the Spirit of God whose meekness and gentleness constitute His greatness; it is that spirit of antichrist “who opposeth and exalteth himself above al: that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4 This spirit was pre-eminently characteristic of Babylon, except in the brief space when Nebuchadnezzar came to his senses. In his pride he said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for that house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” Daniel 4:30. Belshazzar used the vessels of the house of God, and drank wine out of them, together with his wives and his concubines, “and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass of iron, of wood, and of stone” (Daniel 5:3, 4), thus boasting that the gods which he had made were greater than the God of Israel. Of Babylon it was said, “Thou hast trusted in thy wickedness; thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.” Isaiah 47:10.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 132.9

    WHAT DELIVERANCE FROM BABYLON IS

    It was this same spirit that actuated the Jewish people. When they insisted on having a king, that they might be like the heathen round them, they rejected God, because they thought they could manage things better themselves. “Hath a nation changed their gods which are yet no gods? but My people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:11-13. “Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say My people, We are lords; we will come no more unto Thee?” Verse 31. Therefore when the children of Israel were taken to Babylon, that city of pride and boasting, it was hut a striking and visible manifestation of the condition in which they had long been. They were carried to Babylon because they did not keep the Sabbath, as we read in Jeremiah 7:27, and 2 Chronicles 36:20, 21. We have already learned that Sabbath-keeping is resting in God; it means the perfect recognition of Him as supreme and rightful ruler. Therefore we must understand that the complete deliverance from Babylon is the deliverance from the bondage of self, to absolute trust in God, and obedience to Him.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 133.1

    THE SEVENTY YEARS FULFILLED

    Just as God had named a definite time when He would deliver His people from Egypt, so He named the exact time of the captivity of Israel in the city of Babylon. “For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken m to you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord; and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah 29:10-14.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 133.2

    Exactly as in the first instance, so in the second, everything came to pass according to the Word of God. The captivity began in B.C. 606, and sixty-eight years later, in B.C. 538 the city of Babylon fell into the hands of the Medes and Persians. See Dan v. Of that time we read, “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. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” Daniel 9:1-3. Here was at least one man seeking God with his whole heart. We do not know if there were others who sought the Lord as Daniel did, there were certainly not many, but God nevertheless fulfilled His part to the letter. Two years after Daniel's prayer, in the year B.C. 536 just seventy years after the beginning of Israel's captivity in the city of Babylon, Cyrus, king of Persia, issued a proclamation which is thus recorded:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 133.3

    “Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of alI His people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” Ezra 1:1-4.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 133.4

    The number of those who went back to Jerusalem as the result of this proclamation is set down as “forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, beside their servants and their maids, whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven; and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.” “So the priests and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.” Ezra 2:64, 65, 70.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 133.5

    THE LESSON STILL UNLEARNED

    Not all the people went back to Jerusalem, but all might have gone. If all Israel had learned the lesson designed by the captivity, the long-deferred fulfilment of the promise might speedily have taken place; for up to the time of the beginning of the captivity the only definite line of prophecy was the period of seventy years. But just as the people were really in Babylonian captivity, that is, the bondage of pride and self-confidence before the carrying away by Nebuchadnezzar, even so they remained in the same captivity after the close of the seventy years. God foresaw that this would be the case, and so toward the close of that period He gave Daniel a vision, in which another time was fixed.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 133.6

    Of this great prophetic period and the events to which it brings us-the final call to come out of Babylon-we shall study next week.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 133.7

    “The Light that Gives Life” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The warmth of the sunny spring days melts the snow of winter, and the solid ice breaks, and the hard clods in the fields are gradually pulverised and spread over the soil, and all the earth made moist, and warm, and fertile, for the reception of the seed, that it may grow and produce a bounteous harvest. So is the action of God's grace on a frozen and unfruitful heart. There are so many wintry lives; in order that they may become fruitful they must be melted and broken as the ice and snow and frozen earth melts, and breaks, and disintegrates, under the influence of the sun in the springtime. In both instances it is from Him, the Light of the World, that this influence, which brings forth a renewed and resurrected life, proceeds.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 133.8

    “What Papal Arrogance Aims to Do in Spain” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A French journal says that at a meeting of Roman Catholic bishops lately held at Lugo, in Spain, a formal demand was made upon the Spanish government: 1. That the building of Churches or public chapels by dissenters be forbidden; 2. That teachers who show hostility to the Roman Catholic, Apostlic religion be dismissed; 3. That the opening of Protestant schools be forbidden altogether.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.1

    Such measures as these are sweeping, yet thoroughly in accord with the ideas advanced by the Roman Catholic priesthood everywhere. They obtain outspoken expression in Spain because there the church influence dominates. Yet these same ideas and purposes often masquerade under quite other names among peoples who express much antagonism to Roman Catholicism. But the principle is the same, and as dangerous, by whatever name its supporters call themselves, and whether they be found at home or abroad.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.2

    “Arbitrate, Repudiate, or Fight” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The discussion of the probabilities of war goes on in the press of all the world, and everywhere observant men are looking anxiously into the future. The New York Observer, a prominent religious journal of the United States, says in its issue of Jan. 14, while speaking of the efforts made by European nations to surpass one another in preparations for war and defence:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.3

    “So the struggle goes on, every nation having a lurking fear that it is approaching the end of its resources, yet so oppressed with jealousy and fear that it is unwilling to lighten in any particular the crushing burden of armour it carries. There is not a government that has any confidence in its neighbours, or any feeling of security, though armoured to the toes, and so each continues its preparations as if war were only a question of to-morrow and was certainly one of next year. Every one of them knows that but for jealousies, which are not policies upon the maintenance of which their existence depended, but only vulgar jealousies, they might save annually hundreds of millions of money, and release two millions of men for the arts of peace; but not one of them is willing to trust the other.”PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.4

    These words have a striking support in the following paragraph from the London Echo, of Feb. 23:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.5

    “No one, we think, can read with equanimity Mr. Arnold Foster's article in this month's Cosmopolis, on ‘The New French Naval Programme.’ He proves absolutely that France has entered on a serious rivalry with England in naval armaments. She is about to increase her present Budget by ?10,000,000, for the construction of new ships; and it is equally certain, from the recent debate in the Chamber and from other evidence, that these great efforts have England in view. M. Kerjegu, the reporter of the Budget, says explicitly:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.6

    No country is better situated than France for the purpose of destroying English commerce and bringing England to her knees. The English coast defence is notoriously weak, and British commerce should be our objective in war.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.7

    “Mr. Foster then proceeds to quote from a Review article written by a French Minister of Marine, in which he refers to the facility of destroying our merchant navy. It is written in such a spirit that we hesitate to reproduce it, for we have no wish to heighten international animosities. What we desire to do is to call attention to the inevitable result which must follow in England when these facts are known. They will inevitably become the basis of fresh demands for British expenditure; and Mr. Foster says frankly, ‘If a loan of a hundred millions were necessary for the strengthening and consolidation of our defences, it would meet with general approval!’”PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.8

    The Echo points out that in the last twelve years our own naval and military expenditure have increased from twenty-eight to forty millions sterling, and that there will come a time when this increasing burden can be carried no longer and the nations must fall under the weight of their own armour.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.9

    Yet again, however, the Daily Chronicle, of February 24, has this:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.10

    “Captain Mahan, the American naval officer who has retired in order the better to devote himself to naval history, and whose writings have done so much to rouse the feeling of the British people to the fact that the Navy is the chief factor in the preservation of the Realm and the Empire, had written a most interesting article for the March number of Harper's Magazine. The short point, as the lawyers say, is that the United States is virtually an island. Mexico is not worth reckoning with, and Canada is not aggressive, nor likely to be so. Therefore, says Captain Mahan, the United States need not bother about a big army, but its defence must be in its fleet. He therefore urges the perpetuation of the remarkable interest lately shown by the United States, in common with England, in her Navy. And, we cannot help saying, from our own point of view, what a mighty power for the good of the world would be a great United States Navy combined in the interests of civilisation, with the great Navy of England.”PTUK March 4, 1897, page 135.11

    So it becomes daily more and more apparent that soon the nations must either disarm and arbitrate, or become bankrupt, or fight. That they will fight is in accordance with the logic of history, and is supported by prophecy. They will fight even if they have to go to war to maintain peace, which the Chronicle bitterly deprecates in the case of the bombarding of the Cretans by the combined Powers, and yet it upholds the principle in its support of the idea of a naval combination between England and the United States.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 136.1

    “About Coca Wine” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Very many of the popular drug preparations, so much advertised, depend upon the large per cent. of alcohol or similar poison in them for their popularity. The indiscriminate swallowing of patent medicines is without doubt ruining the health of many. The British Medical Journal prints the following warning about coca wine:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.1

    “There is no doubt that the steadily increasing consumption of coca wine is a subject which calls for comment and investigation. Originally coca wine was made from coca leaves, but it is now commonly a solution of the alkaloid in a sweet and usually strong alcoholic wine. Not long ago a physician reported that he had experienced considerable inconvenience from taking a glass of standardised coca wine which he had mistaken for an innocuous beverage. Still more recently we have been furnished with details of the case of a man who, thinking to abjure the use of alcoholic stimulants, drank coca wine so freely that he died of delirium tremens. School mistresses as a rule have a deep-rooted belief in the efficacy of the popular drug, and give it to their pupils on the slightest provocation, in complete ignorance of the fact that they are establishing a liking not only for alcohol but for the far more insidious and pernicious poison cocaine. The mania for taking narcotic stimulants is widespread, and is a distinct source of danger to the national health. It is difficult to say at present what steps should be taken, but it is obvious that at no distant date some restriction will have to be placed on the sale of coca wine and its congeners.”PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.2

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    —There are now published in the United Kingdom 2,896 newspapers.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.3

    —Greece expected last year 78,200 tons of currants; of these England took 41,608 tons to convert into plum cake and plum pudding.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.4

    —Plans have been laid to drive a tunnel under the Straits of Messina, uniting Italy with Sicily. The straits are two miles wide at the narrowest, and this project, if carried out, will rank among the greatest engineering achievements in the world.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.5

    -The Queen's daily income is said to be ?1,600. The Emperor of Germany gets ?2,000 a day. The King of Italy receives ?1,600 daily. Austria's Emperor accepts every day ?2,500. The Czar of Russia delights in the sum of ?6,000 every twenty-four hours.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.6

    —During the latter part of February the highest tides ever known were experienced in and along the Thames. The riverside roads in many places have been deep under water, and residents along the river bank sometimes unable to go to and from their homes.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.7

    —A medical examination of twenty-four bicycle riders, who had just ridden thirty-two miles in two hours, developing the unexpected fact that they were almost all active in the sense of hearing then became normal.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.8

    —Brazil is building a new capital city on the high table-land of the interior. The Presidential Palace, as well as other public buildings, is well towards completion. Customers have been readily found for most of the sites for private residences. It is not often that a city can be thus planned, cut out, and made, of whole cloth as it were.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.9

    —The first normal gauge electric railway in Europe has now been in operation about one year. The line is 2-8 miles long, and connects Meckenbeuren and Tettnang in Wurtemberg. There are twenty-six regular trains daily, and with a train weighing forty-six tons the speed attained is fourteen miles an hour on gradients of one in 500.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.10

    —The rains in Lincolnshire have been productive of serious consequences. As late as the end of February there were still 12,000 acres of land under water, and the water courses still overflowing. It is believed that much of this land will not be fit for tillage until too late for grain crops, involving those of the whole of this year's harvest. Many small farmers will be completely ruined.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.11

    —Champions of the Spanish bull-fighting are proud of the fact that their “sport” is under the patronage of the Church and of the “saints.” It is said that the arena becomes more popular every year. The most famous fighters get from ?100 to ?150 for each fight. During the past bull-fight season, according to official returns, there were 478 bull-fights in Spain. In the arena the victims of the carnage amounted to 1,218 bulls, valued at ?60,000, and 5,730 horses, valued at ?40,000. The higher death-rate among the horses is readily understood, when the state of their aboslute defencelessness is considered.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 142.12

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    If you are on God's side you will always see the silver linings of the clouds. No cloud can then stead in your light any more than does your own shadow.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.1

    It is impossible to follow; in a weekly paper the political situation in the near East, where any hour may bring changes of tremendous importance to Europe and to the world.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.2

    The lesson in the Concert of Europe, which the world ought to learn-but which it will not-is that the enmity amongst the nations is such that only the holding back of the winds of strife by the power of God-by influencing diplomacy or in spite of diplomacy-prevents the most desolating war of all history. All Europe's bound lines way at any time again be “drawn afresh in blood.” God grant that it may be held off yet longer.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.3

    All South-Eastern Europe, where the danger of war centres, and where the fire will smoulder even though it be covered over at this time, is a dark region. So far little has been done for it. Greek and Roman Catholics fight each other, but unite to keep out the truth. Our own Society's work has begun to show signs of progress in Austro-Hungary and in the Balkans. Other agencies are scattering the Word. But altogether the sound of the Gospel reaches few ears. Instead of doing one thing to set the sickle of death in motion in these regions, Christians will be praying the Lord of the heavenly harvest to send more labourers into the needy fields.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.4

    When there is love in the heart that heart then becomes the soil in which the seeds of self-denial and self-sacrifice are ever germinating, growing, developing fruit, and bearing perennial harvest.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.5

    It is not likely, is it, that a man will love his neighbour as himself, and hate Christ; but it is certain that a man cannot hate his neighbour, and love Christ. Therefore one may reasonably feel that the nearer a man is to loving his neighbour as himself, the nearer he is to Christ.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.6

    “Already Working” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Already Working .—A noteworthy revival of Spiritualism is going on in France. It is being popularised on the stage and in literature, and the study of the occult proceeds with ardour; it is said that multitudes formerly denying the supernatural are now enthusiastic over their discovery of supernatural power through spiritualistic agencies. Some hail this as a victory for religion, and are ready to welcome the agency as one powerful to convince sceptics of the future life. But the Word says that it is only through the Gospel that “life and immortality” are brought to light. These spiritualistic manifestations are evidences only of the fact that Satan is working “with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.7

    “Trustworthy Promises” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Trustworthy Promises .—Roman Catholic journals have been printing an advertisement which begins thus:—PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.8

    ST. FRANCIS XAVIER PROMISED

    That “Whoever would make a Novena in his honour from the 4th to the 12th of March should obtain whatever favour they asked, if it were according to the Divine Will.”PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.9

    We have the promise of God Himself that, “If we ask anything according to His will He heareth us.” 1 John 5:14. But God's promise is insufficient, apparently, and we are asked to pay special honours to Xavier, and he promises to see that God keeps His promise, at any rate from the 4th to the 12th of March. It is perfectly consistent with the papal system, which is founded on the principle of exalting the human “above all that is called God or that is worshipped.” No doubt Roman Catholics feel much surer now that Xavier has added his guarantee of God's promises.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.10

    “Can He Be Trusted?” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Can He Be Trusted? -It is not to exhibit Catholic superstition that we quote this advertisement indicating more confidence in a man's promise than in God’s. The lesson is as good for Protestants as for Catholics. The papal system is founded on human nature, and human nature always trusts man more than God. How many people there are trusting more in their own ability to get a living or in the good faith of their employers than in the living God. For instance, many a man who is convinced that he ought to serve God is kept back by the fear of losing his means of support. God makes promises to stand by the man who trusts Him, even to the death—but then God seems a long way off. If now some man of responsibility would promise a good situation it would be very easy to give up the old one and serve the Lord. It is human nature again depending upon a human guarantee of the Lord's faithfulness in keeping the promises made to those who “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Thousands are in just that position over the question of keeping God's Sabbath. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” Jeremiah 17:7.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.11

    “Great Words” The Present Truth, 13, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Great Words .—The Pope closes his decree prohibiting Catholics from reading certain books by warning all who disobey him that they will surely “incur the displeasure of Almighty God and the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.” Inasmuch as it is God's own Word that the Pope forbids men to read without his permission, he speaks without authority, for the Lord says, “Blessed is he that readeth.” The apostles are dead, but in words that still live by inspiration of God Peter, in both of his epistles, especially exhorts the people to be “mindful of” and to desire the “sincere milk of the Word.” And Paul, warning of the very apostasy which developed into the Papacy, commended the brethren “to God and to the Word of His grace.”PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.12

    Rome, One and Indivisible. -Rome never tires of boasting of its unity, the Roman church standing to the same thing in every country and clime. For the sake of pointing the lesson we grant that there is uniformity. But if Rome does stand for the same principles everywhere, how, we ask English Romanists, are we to understand the fact that in Spain, where Rome is powerful, the Church is calling for the suppression of Protestant schools and even of Protestant public worship? One can see the same thing in every country where Rome rules supreme, and is not afraid to avow its sentiments. The Roman boast of unity means nothing less than that those who are now in this country demanding a share from the public purse for religious schools would, if they possessed sufficient power, take the very position here that their brethren arrogate to themselves in Spain and elsewhere.PTUK March 4, 1897, page 144.13

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