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    March 24, 1897

    “Armies and Fighting” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Several youths were one day actively demonstrating their right to be called men, by each vigorously sucking one end of a roll of tobacco, and seeing who could bring his nose most nearly into the likeness of a chimney-pot. One of them didn't seem quite contented with his “comforter,“ and said, “There's something about this cigar that doesn't taste good.” “I know what it is,“ exclaimed a small boy, “it's terbaccer.” That was it, exactly. We were reminded of this story by the remarks made by one of the Members of Parliament, concerning the difficulty of getting recruits for the army. He said that there was “evidently something, if not very wrong, at least very unsatisfactory in a system which failed to attract the best portion of the working classes.” Yes, there is something very wrong about it, and one knows what it is: It's the army itself, and war. People could get along with almost any “system” in the world, if there were no armies and no fighting.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.1

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Woman of Canaan. Matthew 15:21-31” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A full understanding of the lesson intended to be taught in the experience recorded in this scripture, can be had only by remembering that the Jews regarded the Canaanites with the utmost contempt, even refusing to speak with them, and that even the disciples of Jesus had not wholly cast aside this wicked prejudice. They had not yet comprehended the fact that “the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.2

    The woman knew that Jesus was a Jew and recognised Him as one, in addressing Him as a “son of David,“ and she well knew how the Jews regarded her nation, but she had heard of the compassion shown by Jesus to those who were in trouble, and resting her hope upon His character rather than upon His nationality, she presented her case to Him, saying, “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, thou son of David; for my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.” She well knew that she had nothing in herself upon which to base a claim for help, for was she not “a woman of Canaan”? From the standpoint of the Jews, here was a double reason for answering her “not a word;” for on another occasion even the disciples “marvelled that He was speaking with a woman” (John 4:27, R.V.), and she was not simply “a woman,“ but she was “a woman of Canaan.” But her plea for help was not put upon the ground of her worthiness but of her need. It was the same old cry of the soul, “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble.” “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, according to Thy lovingkindness.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.3

    Seeing that Jesus made no immediate response to her request, the disciples gave expression to their feelings of prejudice and said, “Send her away.” This openly declared attitude of the disciples toward the woman and her request gave force to the very lesson which Jesus intended to teach them by His own answer to her cry for help. How would they be ready to go “into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature,” if they were not taught, by an almost extreme example as well as by precept, that “there is no difference”? And yet the reply of Jesus to them would seem, as interpreted by them, to strengthen their position. “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Yes, so they thought; and why therefore should He not send away this “woman of Canaan”? They were yet to learn that “they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Romans 9:8. The Scriptures were full of this teaching: “In that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentile seek.” Isaiah 11:10. “Behold My Servant, whom I uphold: Mine elect, in whom the My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” Isaiah 41:1. “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us; that Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations.Psalm 67:1, 2. But then, as now, the plainest scriptures, when read in the light of a prejudice, are not permitted to convey the truth to the heart. It is often necessary to ask, as did Jesus, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” Luke 10:26. “Whoever sought the Saviour, ready to believe on Him when He should be manifested to them, were of the lost sheep whom He had come to gather in His fold.”PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.4

    In response to the woman's second petition, “Lord, help me,“ Jesus made His first direct reply to her urgent entreaty: “It is not meet to take the children's bread [loaf], and cast it to dogs.” The woman's answer gained her request: “Yes, Lord, you speak truly and I accept your statement of the case; but I do not ask for the loaf: I only ask for the crumbs, and you say that they do belong to the dogs. I am utterly unworthy, but the thing which I ask is such a little thing to you, and yet it is a question of life to me.” It is enough. The feelings of the disciples have been expressed, so that the contrast between their attitude and His may sharply appear, and the faith of the woman has stood the test put upon it. “Then Jesus answered and said under her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” Thus did Jesus show that this poor woman, and every other needy one desiring help, was one of the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.”PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.5

    In the closing part of the lesson we have the results of sin and the saving power of the Gospel set before us in marked contrast. God gave man legs with which to walk, eyes with which to see, a tongue with which to speak, and a perfect physical frame in which to reveal a well-balanced mind. But sin has changed all this and “great multitudes” then, as now, were “lame, blind, dumb, maimed.” Thus was sin made visible, for any defect in the works of God is due to sin. “As for God, His way is perfect,“ “and God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Tares have been sown, and “the enemy that sowed them is the devil,“ “for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8. And this He does, not simply by removing the outward appearances or results of sin, by healing diseases, but by getting to the very root of the trouble and taking away the cause, the sin itself.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.6

    This was the Gospel which He encouraged people to believe by showing to them His power over disease. This was the Gospel which He preached when He healed the withered hand, “and it was restored whole, like as the other.” It is the Gospel of a complete restoration for every one who will believe it. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” Psalm 103:2, 3. Jesus “healed all that were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:16, 17. They brought those who were needy of help “and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and He healed them.” They were lacking in life-power, but being brought into touch with Him with whom “is the fountain of life,“ such a change took place “that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing.” (R.V.)PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.7

    The same opportunity is offered unto us to-day. The fountain “for sin and uncleanness” is still open and the invitation is still extended:—PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.8

    “Come to the fountain so rich and sweet;
    Cast thy poor soul at the Saviour's feet;
    Plunge in to-day and be made complete;
    Glory to His name.”
    PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.9

    The manner of Christ's working is an example for all His followers. Although wonderful works were wrought, so that the people were led to exclaimed, “We never saw it on this fashion,“ yet Jesus never drew attention to Himself or led the people to give Him the glory. “They glorified the God of Israel.” Thus was His practice in harmony with the teaching which He had already given when He said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. So when Jesus had finished His work He was able to say: “I have glorified thee on the earth.” John 17:4. If this principle had been followed by the teachers in the church in later times, all the evils of the great apostasy would have been avoided. It was because men arose in the church “speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them,” that there was developed “the man of sin, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all 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.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4. This is the papacy. But the principle is the same, whatever the name of the church, and there are daughters of Babylon. When man and his words are put in the place of God and His Word, God is dishonoured, and the salvation of souls is imperiled. “Fear God and give glory to Him.” Revelation 14:7. That is the Gospel message for this time.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 183.10

    “The Sabbath a Universal Good” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following is an extract from a Prize Sermon by Rev. W. H. Lockley, a Methodist New Connexion, Huddersfield, published as Tract No. XIX. by the Sabbath Observance Society, Edinburgh. The fact that the writer was an observer of the first day of the week, does not detract from the force of the statements as upholding the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day of the week; for everybody knows that the Sabbath that was “co-existent with Paradise and the estate of our first parents,“ was the seventh day of the week, and not Sunday. The writer must himself attend to the matter of the inconsistency of upholding one day in keeping another; but the fact cannot be gainsaid that everything that follows concerning the Sabbath is directly opposed to the Sunday. We heartily recommend it as a clear statement of facts concerning the Sabbath.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 185.1

    It has been common with some to nationalise and localise the Sabbath by pleading, that it is no broader in application than a mere Jewish institution. Now, how can that be merely Jewish which was co-existent with Paradise and the estate of our first parents? How can that be merely Jewish which was instituted long before the call of Abraham, and “the oldest of memorials and the earliest of types,“ coeval with creation and the crown of it, for, “on the seventh day God finished the work which He had made ... and God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” And, on any other supposition than that the Sabbath is an original institution; and, therefore, appointed for the observance of man generically or in the aggregate, it is impossible to account for the mention of weeks, and the division of time in the periods of seven days.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 185.2

    Our Lord gave full expression to this universal note when He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”—FOR MAN, not for the Jew only, the nation only, but for man generically, for universal man. In these words, the Sabbath stands out in sharp contrast with all institutions of a local or temporary kind. The ceremonial law was not given to man generically, but only to the Jews in particular, and for a particular purpose, and when that purpose had been accomplished the law vanished—the shadow gave place to the substance. But the Sabbath was given to man as man, without distinction without limit, for man in every age and in every clime; and must continue in force so long as the race endures....PTUK March 24, 1897, page 185.3

    Even from the very nature of the Sabbath law, it is in force still, and absolutely binding upon all who have in any considerable measure the good of humanity at heart. But when we recollect that it is enshrined in the heart of the moral law, and re-enforced by the Saviour who proclaimed Himself “the Lord of the Sabbath,“ no man can afford to make light of it, or be indifferent to it.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 185.4

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 12.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is not the will of men, but their won't, that stands in the way of their salvation. God can use a strong will; the difficulty is that men will not come to Him, that they might have life.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.1

    The Archbishop of Breslau, Cardinal Kopp, has gone to Rome, charged with a confidential mission to the Pope from the German Emperor.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.2

    The Cardinal has come to discuss the question of Catholic missions in China, and to arrange for concessions, which the Centre in the German Parliament claims as compensation for its support of the navy proposals. It is believed that these concessions include the return of Jesuits to Germany.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.3

    France, not to be behindhand in securing a share of China, which now seems doomed to be divided up among the “Powers,“ has made emphatic demands for privileges in Southern China. These demands are regarded as seriously complicating the situation, since they appear to be directly incompatible with British interests.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.4

    In the Landtag of Lower Austria a few days ago one of the members moved a resolution withdrawing the franchise from all Jews, baptized Jews, and Christians who marry Jewesses. He stated that the anti-Semites desire to make social and commercial intercourse with Jews a criminal offence, and eventually to exterminate the whole Jewish population.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.5

    At the recent meeting of the National Free Church Federation, M. Paul Guignard, President of the Evangelisation Committee of the Free Evangelical Church of France, related the following incident, as showing the ignorance that prevails about the Bible where Catholicism is a popular religion:—PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.6

    Inquiry was recently made in a bookseller's shop in a town of 50,000 people for a copy of the New Testament. The bookseller, utterly ignorant of the sacred writings, said the book was not yet out, but he would write to Paris to order an early copy.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.7

    This is by no means an isolated case. Last summer a young man tried to purchase a Bible in one of the principal cities of Germany,—think of it, the Germany of Luther,—and although he visited many shops, he could not find a copy. Of course it was a Catholic city. But then, not to have a Bible is really no worse than to have one and not read it; and to be ignorant of the sacred Book is not materially worse than to know about it, but to be totally ignorant of its contents.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.8

    The uncertainty of life was never more markedly manifested than last week, when the Liverpool barque British Princess collided off Lowestoft with an unknown steamer, with the result that the latter immediately went down with all on board. The captain of the barque says:—PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.9

    The steamer which had run into us went out of sight like a breath of air. She simply dropped out of our vision within the briefest space of time. I heard just one voice, a sort of murmur, and that was all.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.10

    Some people have thought that we were very harsh and uncharitable because we have repeatedly said that there is not a Christian country in the world, and that there never has been one. Now they can turn their reproaches against the Bishop of London. He says:—PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.11

    There is no Christian country in the world. Because a certain number of persons are Christians, it does not follow that the country deserves the title.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.12

    And then he particularises, saying, “England is not a Christian country.” When we give utterance to these truths, it is not for the purpose of casting any reproach upon this or any other country, but to save people from false ideas of Christianity.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.13

    In answer to a question concerning the flood, the following appears in a well-known religious journal:—PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.14

    The more common modern opinion regards the Flood of Noah as partial and local, although the universality seems to be distinctly implied in the Biblical description.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.15

    But why believe that there ever was any flood at all, or that Noah ever lived, or that there ever was an ark built? The only authority for the occurrence of the flood, or the existence of such a man as Noah, or the building of the ark, is the Bible, which also says that the flood was over all the earth. If one rejects what the Bible says as to the extent of the flood, why accept what it says as to there having been any such thing? And if one rejects what the Bible says about this, why accept what it says about anything? There is a great deal of unconscious infidelity among those who profess to believe the Bible. To amend the Bible narrative, or to reject portions of it, is just as real infidelity as to reject whole Book.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.16

    When it comes to the matter of the observance of the Sabbath, a good many people seem suddenly to find difficulty in counting the days of the week, so as to determine which day is “the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” We can now refer all such to the Christian, which in its issue of March 17 says:—PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.17

    No one will dispute that the first day of the week is Sunday in the civil calendar.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.18

    Very good. We hope for the truth's sake, and for their own sakes, that no one ever will. And now let each one remember that there are but seven days in the week, and that the seventh day is necessarily the day immediately preceding Sunday, and then let him read these words in the law, of which Jesus said not one jot or tittle should ever pass away. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy works; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.”PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.19

    The Daily Chronicle of March 12, has the following item concerning foreign bathing:—PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.20

    How far the benefit—if any—derive from treatment at foreign spas is due to the regimen enforced and how far to the waters has always been a matter of controversy. Judging, however, from a discussion at the British Balneological and Climatological Society the waters have very little to do with it. Dr. Heron cleared that it was a matter of indifference whether the bath water were supplied at a German spa or by the Middlesex Waterworks Company. Dr. Kingscote confessed that natural carbonic acid gas was invigorating, but he declared that he had obtained nearly the same results by the use of compressed air. Finally Dr. Louis Blanc, from Aix-les-Bains, admitted that he did not claim any special action for the baths at that resort. What good was obtained was the result of the method practised.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.21

    It may be set down as a fact that the best thing in the world for drinking, bathing, or cooking purposes is pure water; and the purer it is the better it is. The good that people receive at mineral springs is not due to the mineral in the water, no matter what the mineral may be, but to the fact that they bathe oftener, and more according to knowledge, drink more water and live more regularly than at home.PTUK March 24, 1897, page 192.22

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