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    April 14, 1897

    “Front Page” The Present Truth, 13, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:26, 27.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 225.1

    The Apostle James gives us another likeness of the one who hears the Word and does it not: “If any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” James 1:23, 24.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 225.2

    This lets us into the secret of why one is a hearer and not a doer. This man beholdeth himself, and goeth his way and straightway forgetteth. Now read further, and see how to do it. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein.... that man shall be blessed in his deed.” Whoever steadfastly continues to look and to hear, will be a doer; for the Lord says, “Hear, and your soul shall live;” and live means activity. There's life in looking into the law of liberty.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 225.3

    The Word of God is living and active; for it is nothing other than the life of God, as manifested in Christ. He is the Rock, the sure foundation, “in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” It is the Word itself that builds us up. Acts 20:32. So then, if we but meditate in that Word day and night, we shall not be mere idle hearers, but shall do and prosper. Psalm 1:1-3.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 225.4

    God's Word works. Jesus said: “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself; but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” John 14:10. In all the miracles of Jesus, as well as in the creation, we see how the Word works. Therefore “let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,“ and the works of the Word will surely manifest themselves.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 225.5

    We are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before prepared,“ that we should walk in them.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 225.6

    “The Epistle to the Galatians. Christ-Given Freedom” The Present Truth, 13, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1. Although we included this verse in our study last week, it contains quite enough for our entire study this week, and even more. In order that we may see how Christ makes free, we will consider

    A PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

    in His earthly ministry.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.1

    “And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in nowise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” Luke 13:10-13.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.2

    Then when the hypocritical ruler of the synagogue complained because Jesus did this miracle on the Sabbath, He referred to how each one would loose his ox or ass from the stall, and lead him to water, and then said:—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.3

    “And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.4

    A PARALLEL

    Note these two points about this woman: She was bound by Satan; and she had a spirit of infirmity, or lack of strength.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.5

    Now note how accurately this describes our condition before we meet Christ.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.6

    1. We are bound by Satan, “taken captive by him at his will.” “Every one that committeth sin is the bond-servant of sin” (John 8:34), and “he that committeth sin is of the devil” (1 John 3:8). “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” Proverbs 5:22. Sin is the cord with which Satan binds us.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.7

    2. We have a spirit of infirmity, and can in nowise lift ourselves up, or free ourselves from the chains that bind us. It was when we were “without strength” that Christ died for us. Romans 5:6. Now these two words, “without strength,“ are translated from the very same word that is rendered “infirmity” in the account of the woman whom Jesus healed. She was “without strength.” To be without strength means to have no strength at all. That is our condition.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.8

    WHAT JESUS DOES FOR US

    What now does Jesus do for us? He takes the weakness, and gives us in return His strength. “We have not an High Priest which can not be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” Hebrews 4:15. “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:17. He becomes all that we are, in order that we may become all that He is. He was “born under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” He hath delivered us from the curse, being made a curse for us, that the blessing might come to us. Although He knew no sin, He was made to be sin for us, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.9

    WHY HE DOES IT

    Why did Jesus make that woman free from her infirmity?—In order that she might walk at liberty. Certainly it was not in order that she might continue of her own free will to do that which before she was obliged to do. And why does He make us free from sin?—In order that we may live free from sin.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.10

    What is sin?—“Sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. To be a bond-servant of sin, therefore, and in nowise able to lift ourselves up, on account of infirmity, is to be unable to keep from transgressing the law. That is, it is to be unable to keep it. Why does Christ make us free? Only in order that we may walk in the law blameless. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” Romans 8:3, 4. He certainly does not deliver us in order that we may go on transgressing the law.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.11

    FREE FROM THE LAW

    “But,“ some one will object, “it says somewhere that we are delivered from the law.” Yes, it does; and that is just what we are talking about. It is what we have been studying in the third and fourth chapters of Galatians. Christ was made under the law. Before faith came, we were under the law, shut up in prison. The law was our jailer; for “the strength of sin is the law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56. “The law worketh wrath; for where no law is, there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15. The law is our accuser before God. It charges us with having transgressed its holy precepts, and shut us up in prison, criminals condemned to death. How only can we get free from its condemnation?—Only by being able to show that we have the righteousness which it demands. This we get in the life of Christ. He covers us with the robe of righteousness. He puts righteousness not only on us, but in us, so that the law can find no fault in us, because in Christ there is no fault. Then the law lets us go free from prison. Now we are on good terms with the law. That which before was our accuser, is now our friend; it witnesses to our righteousness in Christ.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.12

    But we shall have more of this at another time; what we wish now to consider a little further is how wondrously and how really Christ makes us free from the spirit of infirmity that keeps us from walking uprightly, according to the law of God. We can't tell how He does it; He alone knows how it is done, because He alone has the power; but we may know the reality of it.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 226.13

    We have already read that it is Satan that binds us with the cords of sin. Now read further: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:14, 15.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.1

    THE MEANS USED

    By what means is it done?—By His word and touch. He said, “Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity,“ and laid His hand on her; and immediately she was straight. Faith in His Word makes the glorious freedom a reality to us. We must know also that He touches us. It is true, whether we know it or not; for He is touched with the feeling of our infirmity. Mark, He is now, even while He is High Priest in heaven, touched with the feeling of our weakness. He feels what we feel. Therefore He must be in the closest touch with us.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.2

    THE FREEDOM ALREADY OURS

    Pay special attention to the words of Jesus to the woman, uttered while she was yet bound down, and unable to lift herself up: “Thou art loosed from thine infirmity.” “Thou art loosed,“ present tense. That is just what He says to us. To every captive He has proclaimed deliverance. “The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.” Psalm 145:14. There is not a single soul that is bowed down with the weight of sin which Satan hath bound on him, whom Christ does not lift up. Let the message be sounded far and wide. Let every soul hear it, that Christ has given deliverance to every captive. Thousands will rejoice at the news.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.3

    FAITH GRASPS FACTS

    Does anybody doubt it? Let me prove it to you. You will agree that we are made free by faith. When faith comes, we are no longer in prison. That is what we have learned in the third chapter of Galatians. But we can not believe a thing that is not so. Faith lays hold of acts, things actually accomplished, and nothing else. Faith does not make facts, it only believes them. We do not make a thing so by believing it; we believe it, or at least ought to, because it is so. If it were not so before we are called upon to believe it, there would be nothing for us to believe. Therefore the fact that we get freedom in Christ by faith, and that anybody can have the same freedom by faith, proves that the freedom is already given to all. They have only to grasp it, and walk at liberty. Our part is to say with the psalmist, “O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; ... Thou hast loosed my bonds.” Psalm 116:16. Don't go to arguing with the Lord, and saying that you can not walk straight. He says that you are loosed, and that is enough. Hold fast to His words in the face of the devil, and you will find that they will never fail you. The Word which says, “Thou art free,“ is the Word that keeps you free. Don't let it go from your mind.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.4

    THE WAY, THE LIFE

    Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6. There is no other way, except the way that leads to death, and that we do not care to have anything to do with. Now read the words of the Lord by the psalmist: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.” Psalm 119:1-3. What, then, is the way of the Lord? It is the law of God, for the law is His life. Broken, it is death to us; kept, as it can be only in Christ, it is life and peace. It is “the perfect law of liberty.” In Christ, it is “the law of the spirit of life.” Romans 8:2. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Sin, transgression of the law, is bondage; righteousness, which we find in Christ, who is the perfection of the law, is life, liberty, and peace.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.5

    “The Enthronement of Christ” The Present Truth, 13, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A minister speaking at a large gathering of ministers and Christian workers, recently said that the work of the Free Churches was “nothing else than to enthrone the Lord Christ.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.6

    This is a very common statement. The idea that they have to place Christ on His throne seems to have quite taken possession of the large number of Christian workers, and it is this idea that is leading them to seek a controlling influence in politics. But no graver mistake could be made. God says: “Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion.” Psalm 2:6. And this He does, not by the help of man, but in spite of the opposition of kings and rulers. Yes, Christ shall yet be King over all the earth. “Of the increase of His Government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice form henceforth even for ever.” But mark this fact: “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:7. God asks no help of man to make Christ King. He will be King whether they wish it or not. All He asks of any man or of all men, is to acknowledge Him as ruler, and to submit to Him.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.7

    “‘Where Is the Wise?’” The Present Truth, 13, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Just as the “higher critics” are putting their theories of the Bible and the time when it was written, not simply in black and white, but in red, green, blue, purple, etc., comes Professor Sayce with the account of the discovery of a tablet containing the story of the flood, dating form the days of Abraham, and bearing traces of being a copy of a much earlier document. The interesting feature is its complete overturning of the fanciful speculations of the “higher critics” as to Genesis. They claim, it will be remembered, not only that Moses did not write it, but that it is a composite book, a combination of the narratives of two writers whom they designate as “Elohist” and “Yahvist,“ by a third person, the editor. Further, they claim that at least one of these two writers was not earlier than the seventh century B.C. Yet here we have a document from more than two thousand years B.C., and what is most striking is the fact thatPTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.8

    “The discovery shows the minute care and accuracy with which the literature of the extreme past was handed down. Edition after edition had been publishing the Story of the Deluge, and yet the facts of the Abrahamic age and that of the seventh century B.C. agree even to the spelling of the words.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.9

    Thus it is that God “turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish,“ and “confirmeth the word of His servant.” “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity,“ and sometimes He lets the fact appear. One paper says, in view of this early record, that “it is clear that many of the hasty conclusions of scholars will have to be revised.” It is to be hoped that some of them at least will not revise their opinions, but throw them away, and learn that the Bible is not for men to speculate over, but to believe. “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 227.10

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. A Lesson in Forgiveness. Matthew 18:21-35” The Present Truth, 13, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    APRIL 21

    In this lesson the two things which are to be especially emphasised are first, the Lord's willingness to forgive us; and second, how we can avail ourselves of that willingness. When Jesus said to Peter, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven,“ He was not setting up a standard for man which was in any way different from that which the Lord Himself follows in dealing with us. In fact His instruction to Peter grew out of His own spirit of compassion, for He was “full of grace,“ and in this respect He was simply revealing the character of God, who is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 228.1

    FORGIVENESS EASY

    It is not hard for God to forgive those who wrong Him. There is no struggle in the Divine mind between the desire to punish and an inclination to forgive. “God is love,“ and “the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord.” “The work of destruction is a ‘strange work’ to Him who is infinite in love.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 228.2

    THE GROUND OF PARDON

    The fulness and the freeness of this spirit of forgiveness are clearly revealed in this case of “a certain king which would take account of his servants.” The great debt was acknowledged as due, but when the servant simply asked for some consideration, “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.” When putting it in His own words, He said, “I forgave thee that debt, because thou desiredst me.” There was no ground for this action except in the spirit of compassion felt by the lord of that servant. There was no dispute about the fact of the debt and it was a very large one, “ten thousand talents.” But “the lord of that servant was moved with compassion.” This is to reveal to us the character of the Lord whose “throne is in the heavens, and His kingdom ruleth over all.” It is the same view that is given to us in the dealings of the Lord with the children of Israel. “For their heart was not right with Him, and neither were they steadfast in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned He His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath.” Psalm 78:37, 38.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 228.3

    These things are written for our encouragement, “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. “The Lord is the same to-day as of old. “I am the Lord, I change not.” “But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared.... Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.” Psalm 130:4-7. Let no one forget that the Lord is willing, and more than willing to forgive. If we were only as willing to confess our sins as He is to forgive them, the whole debt would be cancelled without delay.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 228.4

    WHAT SIN IS

    Sin is in its very nature treason against the government of God. “Sin is the transgression of the law,“ and it is such a transgression against the fundamental law of God's kingdom that it involves the very dethronement of God Himself, and the putting of self in the place of God. No other ruler, except “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God,“ could offer a free pardon to all who had rebelled against Him (and that means all the inhabitants of this world), without endangering the stability of His government; but in the plan of salvation for sinners through the gift of His only begotten Son, “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Thus God is “just and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Thus the forgiveness which is so freely offered is not the reckless act of an irresponsible monarch who endangers the very existence of its own kingdom by the extreme exercise of the pardoning power. Such a revelation of love as is given in the cross of Jesus has won the hearts of the universe, unrepentant man only excepted, in an eternal allegiance to “the King of glory.” “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all unto Me.” “Bless the Lord, O my soul, ... Who forgiveth all thine iniquities.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 228.5

    HOW TO RECEIVE THE PARDON

    But we must also note the further teaching of this lesson with reference to the way in which this forgiveness can be received by us. The forgiven debtor went out and straightway became an unforgiving creditor. Then his lord said unto him, “Thou wicked servant, shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow-servant, even as I had mercy on thee?” R.V. As the result of this unforgiving spirit the servant lost the benefit of the compassion which had been extended toward him, for “his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due him.” And then comes the application of the lesson: “So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” The same terrible fact is thus stated in another place: “He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy.” James 2:13.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 228.6

    But this does not grow out of any arbitrary refusal on the part of God to show mercy, as a punishment on a specially wicked class, but it is because in showing the unforgiving spirit we cut ourselves off from forgiveness. “Jesus teaches that we can receive forgiveness from God, only as we forgive others. It is the love of God that draws us unto Him, and that love cannot touch our hearts without creating love for our brethren. To cherish an unmerciful spirit toward others, is to close the heart against the mercy of God toward ourselves. As if this above all others was the sin that His followers needed to be warned against, the one for which they were in the greatest danger of shutting from their hearts the light and love and peace of heaven, Jesus after completing the Lord's prayer added, ‘If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ He who is unforgiving, cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 228.7

    FORGIVENESS MEANS CLEANSING

    But even this is full of encouragement, when we stop to consider it, for it shows that “God's forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart. “This comes to us through the gift of Jesus” whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Romans 3:25. But the love of God is His own life, the power of His own presence, and this cannot be accepted simply for ourselves. From its very nature it must flow out to others, for it is an overflowing love, and it is only by serving as a channel for it that we can receive it at all.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 229.1

    God does not want reservoirs to hold His love, but channels through which it may freely flow to others. But “no one can give place in his own heart and life for the stream of God's blessing to flow to others, without receiving in himself a rich reward. The hillsides and plains that furnish a channel for the mountain streams to reach the sea, suffer no loss thereby. That which they give is repaid a hundredfold. For stream that goes singing on its way, leaves behind its gift of verdure and fruitfulness.” Such is the law of the kingdom: “Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give and it shall be given unto you.” Luke 6:37, 38.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 229.2

    “Perilous Times. The War Spirit” The Present Truth, 13, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    No one, whether a reader of the newspapers or not, can have failed to note the war spirit that is prevailing, and has prevailed for many months. Never in the history of the world has there been so general preparation for war; and the case is the more striking from the fact that there is no avowed purpose of war. Indeed, it is undoubtedly the fact that, with very few exceptions at least, the men who occupy the positions of authority in the various nations of the world, and upon whom the responsibilities of government rest, are desirous for peace rather than for war.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 229.3

    In referring to a question put to the leader of the House the other day, with reference to the affairs in the Far East, the Chronicle says that “Mr. Balfour's reply reflected the anxious fear for peace that prevails throughout Europe, and the desire of every Government to preserve the peace by any means.” Yet the war preparations go steadily on, each nation vying with all the others in the attempt to have the most complete armament; and the wonder is how long the crash which all feel must come can be averted. It is well worth our while to give this matter careful consideration.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 229.4

    WHY MEN FIGHT

    In the first place, what is the real cause of war, and of the desire to fight? The answer is concisely given in the Bible: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” James 4:1, 2.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 229.5

    Trade and commerce-the desire to have-are at the bottom of all wars, and with very few, if any exceptions, of all the wars that have ever been waged. Selfishness, greed, the desire to grasp all that one can, and no matter what cost to anybody else, is what leads to fighting, whether on the part of individuals or of nations.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 229.6

    It will be noticed that in the scripture quoted, the statement, “ye have not, because ye ask not,“ refers to asking from God, who alone can give real and lasting possessions. If men recognise God as sole ruler and possessor of all things, and the one from whom all things are to be received, and to whose will all are to be subject, there would be no fighting, and everybody would have all things; for “all things” are promised to the overcomer, and the overcomer is the one who trusts and obeys the Lord.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 229.7

    Men flattered themselves that they will gain by fighting, and point to the victories that have been gained in the past, and the conquests that have been made. Well, take Alexander as an instance of one who gained as much by conquest as anyone, and say how much he really gained. How much has he of all that he thought he gained by fighting? He replied, “Nothing.” Then what did he gain? What is the good in getting a thing that you cannot keep? What profit is there in labouring and fighting for that which you must give up as soon as you have seized it? No one really has anything that does not come from God; and all that comes from God comes as a gift, and cannot be had by fighting. In contrast with the testimony of the Apostle James, is the assurance that “the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:11.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 229.8

    PROPERTY AGAINST HUMAN LIVES

    It is a sad but incontrovertible fact, that human lives count for but little when somebody's possessions are at stake. “Your money or your life,“ is the cry not only of the professional highway robber, but of mankind in general, when engaged in the struggle for gain. Out of abundance of evidence, we will quote only two or three items to show that this is not a rash statement.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 229.9

    The Daily Mail, in an editorial on the probability of war between the United States and Spain, said:—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.1

    Of one thing we may be sure, and that is, that America will not lightly be made to fight. Although happily sure of victory, the war would be a costly affair to her, and for our sake, as well as for hers, it is to be hoped that Spain may find a way out that will save the fall in prices and loss of trade that war would bring.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.2

    This is stated in the most matter of course manner, with never a reference to the loss of human life. That is not once thought of. In all that has been written about the prospect of war, no deprecation of it as the cause of the loss of thousands of lives, and the wrecking of families, has come under our notice. The money question predominates everything.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.3

    The Daily Chronicle's Washington correspondent says:—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.4

    The editor of a prominent newspaper, who has just been traveling through the Western and Middle States, assures me that the farmers as a mass for obvious reasons strongly favour war.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.5

    What are these obvious reasons? Nobody asks, because everybody knows that a war would raise the price of produce. But it would not mean a rise in prices all around. Where one nation or class would gain pecuinarily, another nation or class would lose; and that is why there is a hesitation to fight.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.6

    MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL AND WAR

    The worst feature of all is that this prevailing sentiment, that there is nothing else to do but to fight when there is property at stake, is acquiesced in and fostered by ministers of the Gospel of peace. The following appeared several weeks ago, when the encroachment of the French upon some territory in Africa, that is claimed by England as her own trading ground, was the burning question. As you read it, remember that it appeared in a religious paper edited by a very prominent minister of one of the leading denominations, who is also a vice-president of the Peace Society! Here is his utterance:—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.7

    We very much fear that The Spectator is right in its dread that France is so profoundly ignorant of the real state of opinion in this country that she imagines that by an obstinate refusal to observe international law she will be able to frighten us into allowing her to occupy a considerable area of our own territory in West Africa. She has not a particle of claim to the district of Bonssa, which by every accepted principle of international law is ours, and the attempt to force us to surrender that part of the empire by simply taking physical possession of it will, if she persists, end in war. On this point England is absolutely unanimous.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.8

    If judicial arbitration had taken the place of war, we should all greatly rejoice, but so long as armies and fleets exist, France can no more be tolerated there than in Kent. England has treated France of late years with the utmost consideration, making every kind of possible concession and sacrifice to her. At this moment she is in danger of carrying her unfriendly and inequitable policy just one step too far. Can no one bring her to her sober senses before she commits herself to an irrevocable attitude of mind which may result in her disappearing from the list of Great Powers altogether. All Englishmen have the greatest desire to live on friendly terms with France, but we cannot submit to be insulted and robbed.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.9

    In this connection we might quote the recent utterance of the editor of religious paper in America, which bears the word “Christian” as a principal feature of its title. We give it entire, that the reader may see the sentiment:—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.10

    Once there was a stern pedagogue who soundly thrashed a pupil for an alleged offence, and then discovered, shortly afterward, that the victim of his wrath was innocent of the misdemeanour. Calling the boy to him, he said, “My lad, I have discovered that you were not guilty of the wrong for which I whipped you. You have done so many other things, however, for which you should have been thrashed, that we will just call it square.” We feel that way about Spain. Possibly she is innocent of the destruction of the Maine, but she has been guilty of so many other offences, that a thrashing would not be amiss. Certain it is that the people of the United States are anxious to see Spain whipped off this hemisphere. The common expression is, “I am only afraid there won't be a fight.” Not only Johnny, but other youths are getting their guns, and are preparing to spill Spanish gore. “War's hell,“ as General Sherman once tersely remarked, but other things are even more so, and we confess that we believe that the best thing that can happen in the interests of humanity and right and ultimate peace, is war.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.11

    The next Sunday after the blowing up of the Maine, when few thought that war would be delayed so long as it has been, the ministers as a general thing prayed the Lord that the American flag might be victorious in the contest.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.12

    On the other side it is just the same. A newspaper correspondent writing from Madrid says:—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.13

    The clergy, too, are a powerful patriotic lever. The pastoral of Cardinal Cascajares, Archbishop of Valladolid, has been followed by one from the Archbishop of Granada, in which he exhorts the people “to group around the banner of the faith, which is always that of the Spanish motherland, and forgetting all discord to form one single body for the common defence.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.14

    The dispatches from Madrid last Sunday contained this item:—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.15

    In all the churches of Madrid this morning the priests read from the pulpit a letter from the bishop of the diocese ordering prayers for the success of the Spanish arms, as he considered that war was imminent.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.16

    We are not at all concerned with any question between any two countries on earth. What we are concerned with is the prevailing sentiment for war, and the growing opinion that war is right and necessary. Therefore we must quote a statement from a letter written from Uganda, Africa, by a missionary of the Church Missionary Society. After having stated that “we most of us sleep with loaded firearms and cartridges ready, since it is not right to neglect obvious precautions,“ he adds:—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.17

    Bishop Haniou wrote that people at home might say unkind things about missionaries fighting, but he knew how in this crisis it was absolutely necessary for every European to stand shoulder to shoulder.... When Pilkington and I went off, followed by Lloyd, Wilson, and Fletcher, the Archdeacon wrote to Bishop Tucker, saying the reasons which made it necessary for missionaries to fight were too long to go into, but he might rest assured that it was no isolated opinion, but the unanimous consent of the whole body of missionaries here.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.18

    So much the worse, then, for the whole body of missionaries there. Dr. Livingstone was in Africa for years, and never found it necessary to take the life of a single native. Dr. Paton was in the midst of fierce savages in the New Hebrides, who were daily threatening his life, brandishing knives and levelling muskets at him, or endeavouring to burn him out, yet he never found it necessary to take up a weapon in self-defence. Why do these missionaries find it necessary to do so? Simply because they cannot forget that they are Englishmen, and have associated the evangelisation of the country with the progress of the commercial interests of the country from which they went out.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.19

    WHOLESALE LAWLESSNESS

    Enough has been cited, not only from the Bible but from current writings, to show that the “desire to have”—greed of gain-is at the bottom of all the war spirit on earth. Now let us analyse it. In order to see what the thing is, we must take a single individual. Suppose now that a man, exasperated by the fact that his neighbour was getting more custom than he was; or, to make the case still more in point, suppose that his neighbour had actually used unfair means to keep customers away from his shop, and to attract them to his own; suppose, we say, that the aggrieved party should seize a knife and slaughter his rival's entire family. Would not the whole community be shocked? Would not the paper set forth the awfulness of the crime in the most burning language at their command? And with the criminal's plea that he gave his rival fair warning, and only seized his weapon when expostulation failed, he considered as any warrant whatever for his act? Well, then, how was the case bettered by being done on a larger scale? Does a wicked deed become righteous by being multiplied by a hundred thousand or a million? Let each one answer this honestly before God.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 230.20

    It is a horrible fact, but none the less a fact, that ministers of the Gospel are actually upholding that which is nothing but wholesale murder, and what is more, murder for the soul's sake of acquiring or holding fast a little paltry gain! When professed ministers of the Gospel of peace, and those who in addition are leaders of the “Peace Society,“ encourage war, what prospect is there for peace? So far as men have to do with the matter, the only reason why war does not take place, is that it is not considered profitable pecuniarily; and the worst is that nearly everybody seems to take the sentiments as the natural thing. It is in the spirit that the danger lies. It is this which is prompting all these war preparations.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.1

    But God still has something to say in the affairs of this world. He has a people, not merely among those who profess to be Christian, but among those who make no profession. There are many who are yet susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. These must be gathered out from the world, and made free from all the defilement of the world. When this has been done, then will the mass that is left be free to rush to their own destruction. Until then they cannot engage in wholesale war, however much they burn for it.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.2

    THE CAUSE OF PERIL

    “In the last days perilous time shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,... trucebreakers,... fierce.” 2 Timothy 3:1-3.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.3

    We have already seen how that selfishness is the root of war; and it is not necessary to recount how fully armed and equipped the nations are, waiting, they know not why, to respond to the popular cry for war. Now we are not raising any cry of alarm over the readiness of war. We are quite ready to believe that there will be no serious fighting for a little time to come, at least. But the fact that this war spirit possesses the people so generally is a cause for alarm. It shows the presence of a fierceness which is only fed by the preparations that are made. The possession of a thing leads to the desire to use it. A boy cannot long see and handle a revolver or a gun without having a desire to fire it off. He wants to hit something with it. So the possession of the means wherewith to fight is itself an incentive to war.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.4

    With the whole world in the state of preparation that it now is, and possessed with the spirit that now possesses it, a very small spark will be sufficient to set the whole world ablaze, and it will truly be “set on fire of hell.” Then, as in the days before the flood, while the earth be “filled with violence.” War itself is violence; it sets every law of God at defiance, and involves the violation of every commandment. When nations set trade and property above human life, individuals will inevitably do the same. In fact, when the whole earth becomes a vast military camp, and war is in progress, there will be nothing else but violence in the land.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.5

    THE PLACE OF SAFETY

    Safety from what? from the danger of being killed in the general onslaught? Yes, from that, and from a far greater danger, that of being possessed with the spirit of war. For the possession of that spirit is fatal to one, even though one never engages in conflict. It is utterly opposed to the spirit of the kingdom of peace, and will cost one his eternal salvation. It is of little use to decry war, and at the same time to cherish bitter feelings toward even a single individual. To allow one's spirit to be stirred up to anger over a sense of wrong, even though the wrong be real, is the very spirit that leads nations to war. It can be avoided only by letting self completely die, and allowing Christ, the Prince of Peace, to dwell personally in us.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.6

    Christians must remember that their citizenship is in heaven, not on this earth. This must be something more than a form of words. They must be so completely in love with their heavenly inheritance that not a shade of a ruffled feeling, or of siding with one party or nation, as against any other, will have a moment's place with them. Their only feeling should be one of grief that lives are sacrificed, no matter of what nation, and of desire to help every man of every nation in every way possible. Their interests and feelings will be for humanity, and not for nations or parties.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.7

    The command, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,“ is unlimited. No one has any right to the name Christian who is not guided by it; and those who are guided by it will have just as much zeal for the welfare, both temporal and eternal, of the men who live on the opposite side of the national boundary, as for those who live on their side.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.8

    The place of safety, then, not only from personal danger, but also from the temptation or the desire to do evil to others, is to dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and abide under the shadow of the Almighty.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.9

    “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high.... Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty.” Isaiah 34:14, 17.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 231.10

    “Something for Oyster Eaters” The Present Truth, 13, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    On the 30th ult. “a large and influential deputation waited upon Mr. Chaplin at the Local Government Board Office, in order to impress upon him the need for legislation in order to put a stop to the poisoning of the public by oysters and other shell fish cultivated in close proximity to, or actually under, discharges of sewage.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.1

    The movement originated in Brighton, and the deputation was headed by the leading citizens of that town. That which has specially stirred them up to action is the fact that the reputation of Brighton as a health resort is suffering, and is likely to be entirely destroyed, because of the increase of disease there that is due to the eating of contaminated oysters.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.2

    That it is no light matter, is shown by the statement of Dr. Newsholme, the local medical officer, who has instituted special inquiries as to the origin of numerous cases of typhoid fever, “with results that he found a popular consumption of sewage-contaminated oysters to be largely responsible for them.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.3

    “Sir John Blaker, Mayor of Brighton, said his corporation had received the active support of twenty-seven large towns in this matter, and the London County Council had passed a resolution approving their action. At Brighton it was felt that the number of deaths was much larger than it should be, and the medical officer found that one death of every three from that disease was due to the contaminated oysters. That was an astounding statement, but it was absolutely true. It was not suggested that the position was peculiar to Brighton, but that town had taken the lead in this movement, on account of the local discovery.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.4

    “Dr. Newsholme said besides the known cases of typhoid at Brighton from oyster eating, it was believed that many visitors went home to die from the same cause. This was a matter which concerned the poor as well as the rich, because if the former were not very large consumers of oysters, they certainly were of mussels, cockles, and periwinkles in enormous quantities, and these humble kinds of shell fish were as capable of spreading disease and death as contaminated oysters. In London the consumption of all sorts of molluses was very large. He might add that he had received letters from Sir William Broadbent and other eminent medical men quite confirming his own views.... Moreover, the danger was all the greater because oysters swarming with typhoid germs might appear quite sound to the naked eye.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.5

    “Dr. Hope, a medical officer of Liverpool, said that it was incontrovertible that much of the shell fish sold there was impregnated with sewage.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.6

    “Dr. Niven (Manchester) said that one-tenth of the cases of typhoid in that city were traceable to such food.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.7

    “Dr. Collingridge, the medical officer for the Port of London, confirmed what had been said as to the danger to the poor classes from the consumption of contaminated cockles, mussels, periwinkles,“ and spoke of the vast number that were consumed in London, and frequently in a raw state.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.8

    The Chronicle, from whose report the foregoing items are taken, says editorially that the oyster “actually thrives at the mouths of sewers, provided the sewage is somewhat diluted with salt or brackish water. It is certain that hundreds of thousands, which are as deadly as a cup of sewage, are consumed unsuspiciously all over the country.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.9

    We have quoted thus at length, because the matter is a serious one, and one that concerns the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in England. The names and positions of the men who made the statements are sufficient guarantee that the danger is real. If the case were not very serious, it is certain that these men would not talk so much about their own towns, and ask for legislation.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.10

    What we wish especially to call attention to in this connection is the promptness with which men will call upon the Government to do what they could do for themselves infinitely better than the Government could. In fact, the matter can be remedied in no other way than by individual action. Goldsmith well said,PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.11

    “How small of all that human hearts endure,
    That part which laws or kings can cause or cure;
    Still to ourselves and every place consigned,
    Our own felicity we make or find.”
    PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.12

    And he could with equal truth, if not with equal beauty of expression, have said bodies and souls as well as hearts.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.13

    As call for legislation to prevent the danger from eating oysters and other shell fish, is a striking example, men will deliberately violate the law of God, and then ask the Government to save them from the consequences. For any person who would refrain from eating oysters, mussels, etc., could go to Brighton or any other place with no danger whatever from typhoid fever, even though all the shell fish were deliberately fed on sewage.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.14

    “But think what a loss it would be if people were deprived of such a rich food supply as shell fish!” some one will say. Such a loss would be a great gain. No one would suffer from lack of food, for the Almighty has richly provided food that is wholesome, and from which there is no possible danger of contamination. “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man; that he may bring forth food out of the earth.” Psalm 104:14. In the beginning God appointed to man his food, stating expressly that it was “every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of the tree yielding seed.” Genesis 1:29. And notwithstanding the curse has diminished the productiveness of the ground, and has caused many poisonous plants to grow, the earth yet brings forth far more than enough of the most delicious and wholesome food to supply the utmost wants of every creature on it.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 232.15

    Afterward, for the same reason that He allowed polygamy, namely, the hardness of men's hearts, God allowed men to use flesh as food; but out of regard for their welfare He set certain safeguards, to diminish the evil as much as possible. Of water creatures, He said, “All that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you.” Leviticus 11:11. If people would heed this plain precept, they would not be in the slightest danger, even though all the shell fish in the world were full of typhoid germs.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 233.1

    The real trouble is one that cannot possibly be reached by legislation, even supposing that the Government succeeded in securing the removal all oyster beds from the immediate presence of open sewers. Why not?—For the reason that is unconsciously suggested by the Chronicle, in the statement that the oyster “actually thrives at the mouths of sewers.” And why so?—For the very same reason that a buzzard would thrive on the offal from a slaughterhouse; because it is a scavenger.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 233.2

    If the oyster were removed from access to sewage, it would live on what refuse matter it could find elsewhere. Even allowing all that is claimed by the advocates of a flesh diet, the oyster is no more fit to be eaten than is the buzzard or the hyena.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 233.3

    We might remark on the advantage which the buzzard and the hyena have over the oyster as an article of food, in that if the former were eaten, only certain parts of the animal would be devoured, whereas the oyster is swallowed entire; but we leave that phase of the subject for the reader's own meditation. Enough has been said to show that if those learned physicians and influential men would turn their attention and strength to teaching the people to obey the laws of God, they would accomplish far more for their welfare than all the legislatures in Christendom can do.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 233.4

    God's laws are not arbitrary, but they are for the good of mankind. There is reason in them. He gave man only the products of the ground as his diet, because that was and is altogether the best for him; and when man persisted in eating that which was not designed for him, then God mercifully indicated what could be eaten with the greatest impunity, and what was absolutely harmful. If men would be warned by His commandments, they would find that “in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:11.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 233.5

    Hear the words of Wisdom: “My son, attend to My words; incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life and to those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 233.6

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The University of Calcutta is said to be the largest educational corporation in the world, not less than 10,000 students being examined annually.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.1

    A fine example of heroic devotion to duty was set by the crew of the Aldeburgh lifeboat off Harwich in saving lives during the recent storm. They were in active service for over one hundred hours.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.2

    The statement is made that “thirty years ago about five-sixths of the convict prison population did not return to prison again. At the present time about a third of the convict prison population go back to habits of crime.”PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.3

    The following item in a despatch from the Soudan shows the overwhelming advantage of “civilisation:”—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.4

    Two squadrons of our cavalry charged a body of the enemy's horsemen and got home, inflicting considerable loss. We had six men killed in this charge. Capt. Persse was wounded in left forearm by a bullet. No bones were broken. Our other casualties were ten men wounded. Dervish losses are estimated at about 200, principally due to Maxim fire.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.5

    “There is grand news from the Soudan.” That is the way the editorial begins. What is the grand news?—This, that on Good Friday a battle was fought in which 2,000 Dervishes were killed. Incidently, also, the British army had some “casualties,“ which means that about three hundred men lost their lives. Ah, yes, it was grand!PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.6

    The actual loss of life in battle, great as it may be, is really only a small part of the horrors of war; yet some idea of what war means may be gather from the statistics of the Franco-Prussian War, which lasted only two months. France lost 136,000 men, of whom 80,000 were killed in battle, 36,000 died of sickness, accident, etc., and 20,000 died in prison. It is estimated that there were 138,000 Frenchmen wounded, who recovered, and about 340,000 recovered from sickness or accidents on the march, making nearly 478,000 men directly suffering from the war. To this must be added the thousands left at home without support, and the grief and pain that cannot be calculated.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.7

    Thou shalt not steal. In Shakespeare's age ‘twas called “conveyance” by the sage. But nowadays, when Germans squeeze the China orange, ‘tis “a lease;” and when the China pigeon's plucked by Russians, it is “usufruct;” while France, a Thais, showers her roses on Alexander, our new Moses, and England, like a gaping frog, accepts the modern decalogue.—Daily Chronicle.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.8

    In a lecture on “Protestantism,“ delivered last week in his church in Hampstead, Dr. R. F. Horton said that the other day, a friend of his, “a curate in the Established Church, spoke from his pulpit in praise of Martin Luther. For this he was actually reproved by his vicar and the churchwardens, and reported to the bishop, as a result of which he was refused priest's orders.” And yet there are those who would have us believe that Rome is losing ground.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.9

    From the report of a sermon preached last week by Canon Scott-Holland, we take the following extract, which fits in very aptly with the article in the other part of this paper, on “the War Spirit:”—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.10

    The outlook in Europe never presented so wholly and un-Christian spectacle since the days of Constantine. Even in medi?val days, peace, and not war, was regarded as the normal condition of men. Now nations were watching one another like wild beasts in a jungle, and Christian Europe had armed itself in defiance of everything which Christ came to teach. Blood and iron rule; huge camps and seas, crowded with horrible ships of war, met the eye at every turn. Men scrambled for land, and the question was who should be first in the race. Are we to be swept away in the Pagan scramble?PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.11

    The most valuable and most important thing in this world is man,-the individual. “Society,“ Government, have no worth whatever except that of the individuals composing them. Once in a while this is recognised, as, for instance, by Canon Barnet, who says: “The curse of modern philanthropy is the ambition to deal with the masses and not with individuals.” We hear much about “carrying the Gospel to the masses,“ and the best way to reach the masses. The Lord does not save men in masses, but individually, and he who can successfully carry the Gospel to a single person, and then to another, has solved the whole problem of evangelising the world.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.12

    The spectacle of the great Western nations competing with each other in naval and military armaments is sad indeed; yet these peoples, armed to the teeth, profess to be Christian nations!PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.13

    What a burlesque it is of the good news the angels of the olden time proclaimed. Where does the Christianity these empires acknowledge really take effect? It does not seem to restrain the war spirit in any appreciable degree. Millions of treasure are expended in the production of war materials and firearms, intended for the deliberate destruction of human life. Surely it can never be in harmony with the Gospel which Christ lived and died to expound. Is there not an urgent need that the “Gospel of peace” should find voice sometimes in the teaching of those who profess to be followers of Him who once said, “Blessed are the peace-makers”?—The Christian.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.14

    Russia has the most rapidly increasing population of any country in the world. The growth during the last 100 years has been a fraction less than 1,000,000 annually.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.15

    “The Anglican Confessional” The Present Truth, 13, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Anglican Confessional .—The Church Times thus indicates the growth of one Catholic custom in the Church of England:—PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.16

    Amidst many disappointments which have come to us in the course of the great Catholic Revival, which has so transformed the practice of the established Church during the last sixty years, there is at least one solid ground for satisfaction. And that is in the firm footing which confession has won for itself, not merely as theoretically a portion of our Catholic heritage, but as an integral part of the ordinary life of a Churchman. It is difficult to believe that anything, unless it be faithlessness on the part of those who are set to guard it, can ever again relegate this unspeakable privilege to the position which it held in the days of Puritan deadness and practical unbelief.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.17

    It is not merely the fact that the Catholic confessional is being so firmly established, but also the satisfaction which one of the leading Church organs expresses over that fact, that is significant as showing the spread of Romanism. And simply because it isn't labelled “Papal Rome,“ people think that the Pope's religion is making no progress in England. It was while men slept, that the enemy sowed tares.PTUK April 14, 1897, page 240.18

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