LONDON, September 24.—Israel Zangwill, the novelist, poet and playwright, who has become one of the most prominent of the prophets in the Zionist movement gave to-day some significant facts concerning the coming conference of the Zionists at Basle, Switzerland. "It is not impossible," said Mr. Zangwill, "that Dr. Herzl may have a great surprise for the world, to be announced at that convention. He has been negotiating in person with the Sultan of Turkey for a charter for Palestine, and it is possible that he has obtained that charter. It seems likely at any rate that the charter may be had before many months.
"Once the charter is assured, much larger contributions should be obtained. We have at present about a million dollars, most of it from three or four subscribers. We're not going to admit anyone except skilled workmen. Jews who want to get into Palestine under the new charter will have to come up to a high standard financially, physically and morally in order to be admitted. If we were going to let in those who were looking for food where there was no food except such as the colonists make for themselves, it would lead to a great disaster."
"Well, there's the Chartered Company in South Africa, for instance. Perhaps it would be something like that. But you may say that the leaders of the Zionists have read deeply enough in their histories to know that the pilgrim fathers didn't have the present [R2898 : page 339] constitution of the United States in their heads when they sailed for America. The constitution evolved itself—and just so the government of Palestine will evolve itself."
The ancient aqueducts and reservoirs of Jerusalem testify to the abundant provision that was made for running water in the Holy City when it was the metropolis of the Jewish state. It is only within the last few weeks that they have been brought again into the service of the city, which, during intervening centuries, has been dependent upon the scanty accumulation of rain water. The droughts of the present summer led to distress, which, happily the new governor of Jerusalem, Mohammed Pjevad Pasha, had the will and energy to combat. He secured the Sultan's consent to lay immediately a pipe from Solomon's pools, nine miles south of the city. The pipe draws from the sealed fountain mentioned in the song of Solomon: "My beloved is like a spring, shut up in a fountain sealed," the deep down subterranean spring, which, from the time of Solomon, flowed through an arched channel to a distributing chamber. The tunnel is roofed with stones in the shape of an inverted V. It is one of the oldest structures in existence. It passes through the valley where are the beautiful ancient gardens of Solomon mentioned in Ecclesiastes. After passing around the slope of Zion, it enters the city through the grounds of the mosque Omar, which is in the old temple area.
This drawing from Solomon's pools will enable the use of twelve ancient fountains in the city. It will require twenty kilometers of piping, ten centimeters in diameter when finally installed. The governor has also successfully repaired the Virgin's fount, in the valley of Jehoshaphat, outside of the city walls. Its waters pass to the pool of Siloam to a tunnel built by Hezekiah, as his workmen recorded in a rough-hewn Hebrew, which is the oldest inscription extant. It was stolen, but afterward recovered, and is now in a museum at Constantinople.
"The new Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Hexham and Newcastle made his visitation to St. Joseph's, West Hartlepool, on Sunday. In the course of his address he said it was one of his duties to point out their faults. He reproved them [R2898 : page 340] for their irregular attendance at mass, for drunkenness, and for the irregular attendance of their children at the day schools. The practice of Roman Catholics sending their children to Protestant schools when they had schools of their own, he said, was one of which no bishop could approve. It was a mortal sin, for which no priest could give absolution."
The above is clipped from an English journal and serves well to show how men who are not vicious may be combative and dictatorial to such a degree as to not only do violence to God's word and character, but also to insult reason, even in its most degraded form. This bishop is very new and fresh every way, when he thinks that even ignorant Romanists will believe him sincere in thus declaring that the sending of Catholic children to the public schools constitutes a sin unto death—that hath never forgiveness. And by this the bishop means a sin unto endless life in the torments of hell. Poor world! the "Doctors of Divinity" have long been Satan's deceiving agents; but thank God for the promise of his word in Rev. 20:2,3.
"Future life, no matter how gorgeously it is depicted, is, and must be, a depressing subject for people of one sort, comfortable, prosperous, and self-satisfied. For before they can make their triumphal entry into Heaven they feel they have to make their exit from a world in which they are far more thoroughly at home than in any heaven they have ever heard of. Hence the difficulty about the rich man's entering the Kingdom of Heaven is not confined to one side only. The rich man, for his part, is not in a hurry to get there. And inasmuch, as people of this kind set the tone in society, it is no wonder that scientific investigation of immortality is not encouraged. People do not want to hear about it, and above all they do not want to know about it. For if once they knew, it would be most inconvenient. They would have to act on their knowledge, and that might upset the habits of a life time. And the older one gets the less one likes that. What the decision was would not so much matter; whether science decided for immortality or for annihilation, the blissful ignorance that enabled one to ignore the subject in ordinary life would be gone for ever. Hence an uncertainty to which we have grown adapted is deliberately preferred to a knowledge that would involve the re-adjustment of ingrained habits."
"When the Son of Man cometh shall he find the faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8.) It surely is very scarce at present; and as the higher critics proceed, and as the evolution theories spread, faith in God and in His Word becomes more and more vague and lifeless. How thankful we should be to God for the "meat in due season" and light of present truth which hinders us from being "shaken" as are others. Heb. 12:25-28.