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    October 19, 1899

    “The Longsuffering of God. Psalm 90:1-4The Present Truth 15, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In our study of this text last week, which really covered only the first two verses, we saw something of God's greatness, and of our relation to Him. Great as men may be accounted in this world, they are always to the Lord only “little children.” In comparison with Him they are indeed “less than nothing;” what a marvellous manifestation, therefore, of His love and grace, that He calls them His children. “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God: and such we are.” 1 John 3:1, R.V. Yea, for whatever God calls anything, that it is.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 657.1

    What a comfort to know that God carries us in His bosom, and that we are sharers of His life. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being,” so that He cares for us even as for His own soul. God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, and for us Christ “poured out His soul unto death.” Isaiah 53:12. God is love; His being is love; He is nothing but love; therefore His life is love. So as we live in Him, and His life flows through us unhindered, His love is thus shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is life, and whose first and chiefest attribute is love. So “we love, because He first loved us,” for “love is of God.”PTUK October 19, 1899, page 657.2

    The recognition of this relationship, this intimate, vital connection between God and us, cannot but fill our hearts with love, not only for Him, but for all creatures and for all creation, with which, through Him, we stand so closely related. How can we ever doubt His care? He cannot forget us, for every moment we are drawing upon His heart's blood. We are not far from Him, but in Him. Very tenderly He guards us, for whatever danger threatens us, threatens His own life. Surely there is every reason for us to love and trust God.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 657.3

    “Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”PTUK October 19, 1899, page 657.4

    Immediately the thought will arise in some minds as this is read, “That doesn't seem much like love and tenderness. It looks rather as though He petulantly casts men from Him, deliberately consigning them to destruction.” If it looks that way to us, it is only because we do not believe the first verse, which declares that He is our dwelling place in all generations. He is from everlasting to everlasting, and therefore to eternity He will still encircle us with His life of love. If we hold fast our confidence in God, all the difficulties in the way of understanding His Word will vanish. Is it not strange that even professed Christians are ready to believe that God has put into His own Word statements that are derogatory to His character? He says that He is everlasting love, and “He cannot deny Himself.” If we truly believe Him, with no half-hearted trust, we shall find His tenderness revealed in what to the unbelieving mind seems indifference or even injustice.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 657.5

    Suppose we stop a little while with this statement, “Thou turnest man to destruction,” and see if it is really as severe a thing as it seems to us. We really ought to wait long before concluding that God casts men away from Him to destruction, with the current command, “Get you gone!” Turning to the Hebrew we find that the word rendered “destruction” in our version is not a word that is ordinarily used in that sense, and is nowhere so defined. The idea is, “to break in pieces, to be small, to crush, to grind.” Before saying, “What is the difference?” let us turn to some other places in the Bible, where the same Hebrew word occurs. The Italicised words in the following text are from the same Hebrew word as “destruction” in our text.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 658.1

    “For thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15. Read this verse in connection with Psalm 90:1-3, and note the similarity in thought. “They are not humbled even unto this day, neither have they feared, nor walk again My law, nor in My statutes, that I set before you and before your fathers.” Jeremiah 44:10. From the word “humbled” we are referred to the margin, where we read, “Heb. contrite.” Again: “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” And in the eighth verse of this Psalm we have: “Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice.” These texts were translated by the same men who translated Psalm 90:3, so we have their testimony to the fact that “contrition,” brokenness, is a proper rendering of the word which in this instance they have translated “destruction.” We will therefore see what some other translators have done with the word.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 658.2

    The first translation we pick up is that of the Jewish Rabbi, Isaac Leser. It reads thus: “Thou turnest man to contrition, and sayest, Return, ye children of men.” The Septuagint has the same word that is found in Matthew 11:29, where Christ says, I am meek and lowly in heart. It occurs also in 2 Corinthians 7:6, “God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us,” and in James 1:9, “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted,” and also in James 4:6, God “giveth grace unto the humble,” and in other similar instances. The Vulgate has humiliation, and humility, abasement. The German has a word indicating grinding. The Danish has it: “Thou dealest with a man so that he becomes crushed.” The Norwegian, Swedish, and French translations each have it, “Thou causest [or commandest] man to return to dust.” From all these we are fully warranted in rendering verse 3: “Thou turnest man to contrition and sayest, Return, ye children of men.”PTUK October 19, 1899, page 658.3

    Before we pass on from this study of the word, however, it will be profitable to stop a minute longer on the derivation of it. The word “contrition” is from two Latin words meaning “to grind together.” The latter part of the word is the word “triturate,” which is what the chemist does to the medicines which he puts into his mortar. He triturates them with a pestle. Con (co) means “together.” The word “contrition” is thus an exact equivalent of the Hebrew word, which, as before noted, means “to break in pieces, to be small, to crush, to grind.” When the drugs are triturated or ground in the mortar they become fine dust, and so we have the other renderings already noted. Our translators evidently concluded that this turning to dust was the end of the man, and so they rendered it “destruction.” But it is a blessed truth that God, who in the beginning made man of the dust of the ground, and can turn him back to dust again, not for the purpose of destroying him, but of making a new man of him.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 658.4

    The word return, means, “turn again.” We have another very familiar word which has the same meaning, and that is “convert.” So the Vulgate carries out the thought completely, in rendering Psalm 90:3, “Ne avertas hominem un humilitatem, et divisti: convertimini filii hominum.” That is, “Verily Thou turnest man to abasement, and sayest, Be converted, sons of men.” Man was made of dust, but we are all apt to forget our origin, and so, in our self-exaltation take ourselves out of and away from God, who is lowly; therefore God, knowing that there is no hope for us away from Him, kindly takes measures to humble as, to abase us into the dust again, saying, “Come back, be converted, made new.”PTUK October 19, 1899, page 658.5

    Can you not now begin to see the joy and comfort that there is in the text? It may seem that this turning back to dust is really death and destruction, but that is only because “ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” Hebrews 12:5-8. God wounds only to heal. “Though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:32, 33. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, begins His work of consolation by using His sword upon us.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 658.6

    “Every trial draws Him nearer;
    Peace, peace is mine!
    All His strokes but make Him dearer,
    Peace, peace is mine!
    Bless I then the hand that smiteth
    Gently, and to heal delighteth.
    'Tis against my sins He fighteth,
    Peace, peace is mine!”
    PTUK October 19, 1899, page 658.7

    What a blessed thing to know that our God can make a good, new man out of dust. Indeed, dust is the only material out of which a man can be made. As soon as man forgets that he is dust, he becomes bad, and God is obliged to take measures to turn him to dust again, so that he can be reformed, made over. The grinding process is not pleasant at the time, for “no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” With what equanimity and even joy we can meet all the seeming ills of life when we know this, and remember also that nothing comes to us except from the hand of God. If we are even insulted and humiliated by one who wishes us evil, we can count it all joy, knowing that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Everything that wounds or presses us, every deprivation or pain, is only to keep us mindful of the fact that we are nothing but dust, that we may be great only in God's meekness. See margin of Psalm 18:35.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 658.8

    But we have not yet finished. We come to the fourth verse of our psalm and notice that it begins with “for.” God brings us to contrition, and calls us to be made new, because a thousand years in His sight are but as yesterday. What is the force of this? Ah, we remember that there is another place where we are told that a thousand years with God is as one day, and we look it up. It is 2 Peter 3:8, 9: “Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” The Lord is patient with His wayward children, who, so blind to their own safety, obstinately insist on taking themselves out of His loving embrace. He does not cast them off; He does not say, “Let them go, if they will;” but He is longsuffering with them, and that longsuffering means their salvation. He is not willing that any should perish, and so He bears long with their blind stubbornness. His goodness is the only thing that leads any to repentance.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 659.1

    God inhabits eternity, therefore He can afford to wait. He is even patient when the very men whom He is waiting to save taunt Him with His longsuffering, saying that His delay is an evidence that He has forgotten His promise. But He never forgets. How can He, when everything and all time is always present with Him? All things are in Him. He bears them in His heart, and can no more forget any creature than He can forget His own life. The thousands of years that have passed since God promised the restoration of all things are but as yesterday, even like one of the short watches of the night, during which men sleep.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 659.2

    “This God is our God for ever.” “Blessed is that people whose God is the Lord.” Therefore will we say, even in the midst of chastisement and affliction, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.”PTUK October 19, 1899, page 659.3

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. ‘Fear Not!’ Isaiah 41:14-29The Present Truth 15, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Isaiah 41:14-29.)

    “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. The poor and needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst; I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, the pine, and the box tree together; that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 659.4

    “Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and declare unto us what shall happen; declare ye the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things for to come. Declare the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods; yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are as nothing, and your work of naught; an abomination is he that chooseth you.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 659.5

    “I have raised up One from the north, and He is come; from the rising of the sun One that calleth upon My name; and He shall come upon rulers as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay. Who hath declared it from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? Yea, there is none that declareth, yea there is none that showeth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. I first will say unto Zion, Behold, behold them; and I will give to Jerusalem One that bringeth good tidings. And when I look, there is no man; even among them there is no counsellor, that, when I ask of them, can answer a word. Behold, all of them, their works are vanity and naught; their molten images are wind and confusion.”PTUK October 19, 1899, page 659.6

    Another instalment of the message of comfort. The title of this entire chapter might well be, “Fear not.” This exhortation is parallel to the words so often used by the Saviour, “Be of good cheer.” He who says these words is the Creator, the One whose words are things, which contain the very living form and substance of that which they name. Therefore when the Lord says to us, “Fear not;” “Be of good cheer;” He supplies the courage and cheer. “Thou hast put gladness in my heart,” says the psalmist. Psalm 4:7. God does not tell us to make ourselves glad, but He Himself makes us glad. “For Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work; I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.” Psalm 92:4. The joy of the Lord is our strength. See Nehemiah 8:10. God's word is His own life; it is charged with His own personality; when we receive it, we receive Him; therefore when we believe His word implicitly, we have Him and all His joy and peace.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 659.7

    STRENGTH IN WEAKNESS

    “Thou worm Jacob.” Not a very flattering title, is it? But it is the truth. See how the fact is kept before us that the comfort of the Lord does not consist in telling us that we are pretty good, that things are not so bad as they seem, and that if we do not lose confidence in ourselves we shall win. He comforts us by telling us that we are but worms, but grass, nothing at all, and less than nothing. Thus He anticipates every possible doubt on our part. He takes away all ground for saying, “I am so weak and in so desperate a situation that I have no hope; I can surely never overcome.” He plucks courage from despair. From the depths He lifts us up to the heights. We often hear some half-hearted professor calling himself a worm as he prays or bears his testimony. We say “half-hearted,” advisedly, because in the cases we have in mind they had well-nigh lost heart, and in tones of discouragement they sighed out that they were “but worms of the dust.” It was almost a wail of despair, although too feeble to be a wail, and the speaker seemed to think that he ought to grovel before the Lord, and apologise for presuming to come into His presence. But not in any such way does the Lord set the fact before us. When the Lord says, “Thou worm,” He does not say it with anything like contempt. He does not despise us. We feel quickened, and breathe in fresh courage, as we hear the words from His lips. There is inspiration in the exclamation. It is a part of the everlasting comfort of the Lord.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 660.1

    LIFE FROM THE DEAD

    “And ye men of Israel.” This expression is almost meaningless as it stands here, because it does not at all express what the prophet said from the Lord. It is very weak. In the margin of our Bibles a little compensation has been made by inserting the alternative reading, “Ye few men of Israel;” But even this does not say what the Lord said. What He plainly said, as it stands in the Hebrew, and as given by Bishop Lowth, is “Ye mortals of Israel.” Literally, “dying ones.” Christ says, “He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 11:25. It is true that God's people are a “little flock” (Luke 12:32), and to them He says, “Fear not;” but they are not only few, they are in a dying condition. They are frail as the grass. They have in themselves no vitality, no principle of life. But what matters that, as long as He is with them, and He is life. Their strength is the Lord Himself. God has chosen us, as we learned from the preceding part of this chapter, but not for what we were worth. He chose us for what He could make of us and do with us.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 660.2

    INSTRUMENTS IN GOD'S HANDS

    See what He will do with us, weak and frail as we are: He will transform us into a threshing instrument able to thresh even the mountains, and make them small, and to make the hills as chaff. We are nothing, and less than nothing; “but God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are.” 1 Corinthians 1:27, 28. Then let us never again say, “I am so weak, so insignificant, so poor and unknown, so helpless and unworthy, that I cannot do anything.” That may all be true, but it does not affect the case. We are not so feeble and despised, so weak and insignificant that the Lord cannot do anything with us. Remember that where the earth and all the starry heavens are now there was nothing until God spoke. Darkness was upon the face of the deep until God said, “Let there be light.” Therefore although we be nothing, God can do wonderful things with us. The message of comfort which God sends to His people as a special preparation for His coming makes very prominent the fact that He is the Creator. Whenever we fall into despondency because of our sinfulness and weakness, we lose sight of the fact that God is the Creator, and practically deny it. Let us not do it any more.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 660.3

    POWER OVER THE NATIONS

    Verse 16 says to us poor worms whom the Lord will transform into threshing-machines for threshing mountains to pieces, “Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them.” Now read the prophecy in the second chapter of Daniel, where we read that the stone cut without hands, representing Christ, smote the image which represented all the nations of earth, and broke it to pieces, and it “became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them.” Comparing the two texts, we see that the Lord associates His people with Himself in all that He does. He even condescends to acknowledge the help of these poor worms in the work that He does. In a recent Danish translation of Revelation 17:14, where these same kingdoms are spoken of, we find this suggestive reading: “These shall fight against the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because it is the Lord of lords and the King of kings and the called and the faithful and the true, who are with Him.” In Psalm 2:8-9, we read these words to Christ: “Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” Now note that in Revelation 2:26, 27, the same words are addressed to the saints of God, and the very same power that Jesus Christ Himself receives is given to them: “He that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of My Father.” To have the lowest place in the kingdom of God and Christ, is to be exalted to a place higher than that of the kings of the earth; while the weakest soul that can say with full assurance of faith, “Behold, God is my strength,” has more power than all the nations.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 660.4

    A TERRIBLE PLAGUE

    In verses 17-20 we have undoubted reference to the time of trouble and the glory that shall follow. In Isaiah 34. we read of the earth in its desolation. This desolation begins before the coming of the Lord, and continues through the thousand years during which the saints are in heaven with the Lord, sitting in judgment on the wicked. The fourth plague, described in Revelation 14:8, 9, dries up everything on the face of the earth. It is such a drought as has never yet been known. By one prophet it is thus vividly described:.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 660.5

    “The barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. O Lord, to Thee will I cry; for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also unto Thee; for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.” Joel 1:17-20.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.1

    GOD'S PEOPLE DELIVERED

    But in the midst of this terrible desolation, God's people will not be left to perish. God has not said that they shall not suffer; the disciple is not above his Master, and therefore should not expect to be exempt from suffering with Him. He was hungry and thirsty in the barren wilderness, but He was not forsaken, nor will they be. The promise is, “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valley; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” Very forcible is the statement that it is the God of Israel who promises this. That was just what God did for Israel when they came out of Egypt. See Exodus 17:1-6; Psalm 105:41; 114:7, 8. God's people will yet have reason to be very grateful for the record of that miracle, for before they are delivered from their sojournings in a strange land to the land of promise, they will need it as a basis for their cry for the same thing to be done for them. Their confidence in that evil day will be the fact that they have drunk from the Fountain of Life, and know that God gives living water. When the “time of trouble such as never was” comes upon the face of the earth, God's people will be delivered, every one whose name is written in the book of life. Daniel 12:1.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.2

    A TRIAL OF STRENGTH

    The latter part of the forty-first chapter of Isaiah is a call to the nations and their gods to give some proof of their power; to make their case good. “Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.” State your case, and prove it. Note that the “strong reasons” which the Lord demands are not mere words, but deeds. He backs up His cause by acts. He can point to what He has done in the way of delivering His people. He is the Saviour and Redeemer. What can the false gods show in the way of salvation of a soul? What can any self-righteous man point to in the way of delivering even his own soul from death, to say nothing of helping another? The oppressors who surround God's people,PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.3

    “Who put their trust in their wealth,
    And boast on the extent of their riches,
    Yet no one can buy himself off,
    None can make payment to God for himself.
    The ransom of their soul is too dear, and there is
    forever an end of him.” Psalm 49:6-9.
    PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.4

    (Polychrome edition.)

    God tells the end from the beginning. He makes known things to come, by means of the Comforter. John 16:13. Thus His people are able to know what shall come. God inhabits eternity, so that things past, and things present, and things to come are all alike to Him. Therefore whenever anybody either by word or act professes to be God, He has a right to demand that they tell something that is to come, or at the very least tell the whole truth of something that has taken place in the past. Accordingly we find that many false prophets are gone out into the world, attempting to meet this challenge. Spiritualist mediums profess to tell things to come, and create a great sensation by telling people things that have happened in the past. But none of them bear the stamp of Divinity. Compared with the lofty utterances of Inspiration, they are as the peeping of frogs. When God speaks to them, none can answer a word. Thus we have in this chapter an outline of the entire trial, from its call to its conclusion.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.5

    “What Would Jesus Do?” The Present Truth 15, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “What would Jesus do?” is a question that has been given quite a prominent place of late. There is a much more important question, one more easily answered, and one which should take the place of this; and that question is, “What did Jesus do?”-He “suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21. Instead of speculating about what Jesus would do under certain circumstances, and coming to wrong conclusions because we decide according to what we think or have been taught, we have only to go to the Bible to find out exactly what He actually did, and then follow it.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.6

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. God's Memorial” The Present Truth 15, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Thy name, O Lord, endureth for ever; and Thy memorial, O Lord, throughout all generations.” Psalm 125:13.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.7

    That God's name endures for ever, needs no argument for anyone who believes that there is a God. His name is Jehovah, the One who is and the One who will be. When Moses wished a name to take with him as evidence that he had been authorised to bring Israel of Egypt, the Lord said to him, “I AM THAT I AM; and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” And then, after showing that as I AM He was the same God that the fathers had known Him to be, He added, “This is My name for ever, and this is My memorial unto all generations.” Exodus 3:14, 15.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.8

    God IS. That is His name. The words I AM THAT I AM, which God gives as His name, are exactly the same as Jehovah. He is, and therefore He has been and will be. All time, past, present, and future, is present to Him. Eternity is always now.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.9

    Because God is, therefore everything else is. God's name is in Christ, for the only begotten Son had it by inheritance; and “He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Colossians 1:17. His name itself implies that He is Creator.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.10

    The memorial of God must necessarily be something that tends to keep His name and character in mind. “The Lord is good; sing praises unto His name; for it is pleasant.” “For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, and all deep places. He causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth, He maketh lightnings for the rain; He bringeth the wind out of His treasuries.” Psalm 135:3-7. Note that this language occurs only a little before the statement that the Lord's name endures for ever, and His memorial unto all generations.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.11

    The fact that the Lord is Creator is that which distinguishes Him from all false, pretended gods. It is that which shows Him to be God. It is therefore really His name. “The Lord is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King; ... The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion. When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures.” Jeremiah 10:10-13. Note the similarity of language to that of the psalm from which we have quoted.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 661.12

    God is known by His works. That which may be known of God is manifest even unto the most benighted heathen, for God hath showed it unto them; “for the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even His everlasting power and Divinity; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19, 20. His memorial therefore is in reality His works. He would have His people declare unto their children “His strength, and the wonderful works that He hath done,” “that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should rise and declare them to their children; that they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.” Psalm 78:4-7.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 662.1

    It is necessary to keep the works of God in mind, for by them we gain the victory over sin. “Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work; I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.” Psalm 112:4. The reason why there is so much sin in the world is that men do not think upon the works of God's hands. If they would consider His great works, they would be filled with a sense of their own insignificance, and of their dependence upon His might (Psalm 8:3, 4), and would yield themselves to Him, for Him to guide and keep them in His ways.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 662.2

    Because men are so prone to forget the works of God, so apt to become absorbed in themselves so as not to see the things that are before their eyes, God has made a memorial for His wonderful works. “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honourable and glorious; and His righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.” Psalm 111:2-4. This last verse, “He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered,” is literally, “He hath made a memorial for His wonderful works.” One translation has it, “He hath appointed a memorial for His wonderful works,” and another, “He hath provided that His wonderful work should be remembered.” He has not only set His works before the eyes of all people, even performing them before their eyes, but in order that there might not be a shadow of an excuse for forgetting Him, He has above all made a memorial for His works,-something that if kept cannot fail to fix the attention of men to what He has done for them in His mercy and compassion.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 662.3

    What is this memorial? Here are His own words: “Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:12. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 662.4

    This is the Lord's memorial, which shall endure. If the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day of the week, the only day that God has ever given to commemorate His wonderful works, had always been kept, there would never have been a heathen on the face of the earth.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 662.5

    “Be still, and know that I am God,” says the Lord. In the rush of business, men forget everything but themselves. They act as though there were no God, and their existence depended wholly on themselves. This would not be the case if they had regular periods for meditating on the works of the Lord, remembering that He alone is great, and that everything exists in Him. This would keep them humble, and through the week they would labour with reference to Him, and not as though the world belonged to them, and depended upon them. In all their ways they would acknowledge Him, and He would direct their paths. The Sabbath stillness is the time for men to acquire that knowledge of God which will keep them sensible of their dependence on Him through all the other days. His memorial endures through all generations. Let us ever keep it, as a precious reminder of Him who has put His own life into His works for our sakes, so that we may also endure throughout eternity.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 662.6

    “For Little Ones. An Endless Chain” The Present Truth 15, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Think again of the words of one of David's beautiful psalm switch we quoted to you last week:-PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.1

    “My frame was not hidden from Thee
    When I was made in secret,
    And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the
    earth.”
    PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.2

    Remember what we told you of how the Lord has from the beginning been preparing the dust of the ground to form your substance, and how He is still doing this; for all the food that you eat, of whatever kind, is best which has been made alive by the power of God's Word. And in these living forms He has prepared the dust so that you can digest and assimilate it, and it will become a part of your body.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.3

    Perhaps it has puzzled you a little to learn that you were made “in the lowest parts of the earth,” for the dust which feeds the plants which feed you lies near the surface of the ground.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.4

    Yes, but it was not always as you see it now. If the dust beneath your feet could tell you its history, what a wonderful story it would be, not only of change in travel into different parts of the world, into the depths of the sea, and “the lowest parts of the earth,” but of transformations, perhaps, into many different forms of life, all a part of the great plan of God, each fulfilling His will, and forming a link in the wonderful chain of His eternal purpose.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.5

    This would lead you to say with David:-PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.6

    “How great are Thy works, O Lord!
    Thy thoughts are very deep.”
    PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.7

    And, as he said, thinking of these very things, in the psalm from which we have before quoted:-PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.8

    “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    It is high, I cannot attain unto it.”
    PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.9

    Thinking of these wonderful changes to which the dust has past, someone has said, “Where is the dust that has not been alive?” The following article which is part of a chapter that Charles Kingsley wrote for the children about this will help you to a better understanding of it, and will show you how God is able to bring good out of evil, and to make even such things as volcanic eruptions, which we have found to be a part of the curse which sin has brought upon the earth, and still work for good to the world in its present condition.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.10

    But be sure that you keep in mind that what we have here called “Nature” is only God's way of doing His work. Nature does nothing of itself, but it is how God works. Think over these things carefully, and perhaps we will go on with our talk next week.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 666.11

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth 15, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -It is estimated that the number of birds killed in 1898 to supply aigrets for ladies’ hats was over 1,538,738.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.1

    -A widow in Texas, U.S.A., has just recovered ?2000 damages from one of the lynchers who had a hand in the murder of her husband.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.2

    -A fire at the Bluchester Colliery, near Bishop Auckland, resulted and loss of 50,000, and the throwing out of employment over 2,000 men.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.3

    -A collision occurred on the Midland Railway, near Chesterfield, on the 7th inst., resulting in injury to forty miners, some of them seriously.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.4

    -Scotland has 146 parishes without paupers, poor-rates, or public-houses, the absence of the latter probably accounting for that of the first two.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.5

    -Police Superintendent Baker, the fire brigade superintendent of Leeds, has just resigned his position after thirty-one years continuous service. He has attended 7000 fires.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.6

    -The Swiss National Council has adopted by 113 votes to one the law regarding compulsory insurance against illness and accidents, which will come into force January 1, 1903.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.7

    -Adelaide, Australia, is just now suffering from an epidemic of influenza that has completely paralysed business. The Premier and five of the Ministers are down with the disease.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.8

    -Firing by night, by eight of artificial light has been introduced into the Russian army, the light being produced by projectors, shells and rockets. The results of the trials are said to be highly satisfactory.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.9

    -A cable from Klondyke to Vancouver has just been completed, so that formerly isolated country is now on direct communication with the rest of the world. A cablegram direct from there was received in London a few days since.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.10

    -Thieves recently set the church bells ringing during the night in an American town. People ran from their houses in excitement to ascertain the cause, and in their absence the robbers rushed into the vacated houses, taking everything of value in sight.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.11

    -Li Hung Chang has again been recalled to power in China, the Empress Dowager being seriously ill. No living man has had such varied experience connected with governmental affairs as has this man, now called to be once more Premier of China.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.12

    -The House of Commons is asked to place a sum not exceeding eight millions sterling at the disposal of Her Majesty for such operations in South Africa as may be deemed necessary and prudent in the prosecution of her plans in that country.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.13

    -The Aerial Navigation Company, of San Francisco, are advertising that they will convey passengers from there to the Paris Exposition in thirty hours. This, it is claimed, will be done by three great air ships, each 425 feet long, which are now being built.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.14

    -Last week's plague returns from the Bombay Presidency show 5,408 deaths. Australia is highest in the list as a meat-eating nation, with a consumption of 276 pounds per inhabitant per year. Great Britain comes next, with 116 pounds.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.15

    -So enormous for the number of Americans returning home from England last week, that Dr. John Brown, of Bedford, the famous authority on Bunyan, who is to deliver the Lyman Beecher lectures at Yale, was obliged across the Atlantic in a different vessel from that which carried his wife.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.16

    -The Budget Committee of the Chamber at Paris voted by thirteen against five votes in favour of the suppression of the credit for the maintenance of the Embassy at the Vatican. This is only part of the Campaign that has been organised against the Jesuits, and it threatens to assume a formidable dimensions.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.17

    -A scientific farmer at Scottsburg, Indiana, U.S.A., has just succeeded in obtaining a hybrid, a cross between two varieties of wheat, that has caused much interest, the value of which lies in the fact that only one-sixth of a bushel need be used as seed wheat to secure the same crop that a bushel of any other kind would bring. He sold five and a half pounds for ?100.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.18

    -As the result of a conference of Admiral Dewey and President McKinley, it has been decided to increase the American fleet at the Philippines by the addition of nine war vessels, one of which is just been completed here in England. The plan is to maintain a strict blockade, and thus cut off all supplies, arms, etc., which will cause the Insurgents to surrender, and thus the rebellion will collapse.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.19

    -A curious case of mistaken identity occurred a short time since at St. Helens. While the family were quietly sitting after tea, and an uncle who was supposed to have been buried a month previous, suddenly entered. A body taken from the water recently was identified as that of the uncle. It was buried in his name, and the relative strew the insurance money. To the man was that was buried remains a mystery.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.20

    -There was recently an outbreak of diptheria in an Adelaide (N.S.W.) Hospital, traced directly to a cat. One of the hospital cats was chloroform, and pure cultivations of diptheria were obtained from patches found in its windpipe. Parents would do well to see that their children are kept away from animals that are liable to contract infectious diseases, and there is none more likely than the common household cat.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.21

    —Mayor Sanders has just fixed the date of the Colchester Oyster Feast for October 25. The Daily Mail says that “on that occasion Lord and the numerous company invited to attend will be called upon to dispose of some 12,000 ‘natives.’” This is a sort of advertising scheme, for if the guests at this Oyster Feast confirm the statement of the Fishery Board that the supply of oysters there is of excellent quality, then “the season will have an excellent send-off.”PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.22

    -In view of the finding of so large a percentage of diseased milk by the bacteriologist at Hackney, as noted last week, the Hackney vestry has issued a disquieting warning to housekeepers as follows: “One hundred samples of milk sold in the parish have been examined by an experienced bacteriologist and twenty-two per cent. of the samples were infected with tubercle bacilli.” The order that warns the public that milk infected with tubercle bacilli is capable of causing consumption, and recommends that all milk should be boiled before use. We would go a step further and recommend that it be not used at all, if safety from disease is desired.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 670.23

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    An article contributed to the Lancet by Dr. W. R. Williams declares that no other disease exhibits such an immense increase in the last half century as cancer, and that high feeding is probably more potent in determining the outbreak of the disease in the predisposed than anything else. He says that there can be no doubt that the greed for food manifested by modern communities is altogether out of proportion to their requirements.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.1

    Greatly as the peace of the world is endangered by the standing armies of the various nations, each country is in greater danger from its own military force than is any other. The Catholic Times truly says: “There are few thinking men in Europe to-day who hesitate to acknowledge that the growth of armed forces is becoming a serious menace to the permanence of civil and religious liberty.” More nations have fallen before their own armies than before the armies of their outside enemies.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.2

    This is the season of religious congresses. The “Free Church Council” was held not long since, then followed the Baptist Association, and now the Church Congress has just closed. One does not need to read the reports of these gatherings, but only to glance over them, to be most painfully impressed. Thickly sprinkled through the stenographic reports appear the words, “laughter,” “loud laughter,” “prolonged laughter,” “applause,” “cheers,” etc., besides occasional mention of hisses or groans. It seems as though the spirit of these ministerial gatherings is far removed from that of Paul, who said, “Woe is me, if I preach not the Gospel.” We have in the Bible quite full reports of several addresses by Christ, Peter, Paul, and others of their time, but not a single funny thing appears, nor was there any laughter on the part of those who listened. The painful impression is made that the prevailing type of Christianity nowadays is vastly different from that of Christ and the apostles. Either such serious themes are not handled, or else their seriousness does not weigh very heavily on speakers and hearers.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.3

    “The Ideal vs. the Real” The Present Truth 15, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We hear very much about the necessity of having high ideals, and especially of living up to the highest ideal of Christianity. It is all meant well, but it is all wrong, because the highest ideal that any man can have is infinitely below the real; and he who does not attain to the real, reaches nothing. A few texts of Scripture will show us that this is the truth.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.4

    The ideal, which has come to be almost a synonym for perfection, is, as anybody can see by the word itself, only one's idea or conception of what is good. Now the Lord says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts.” “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8, 9. Also read, “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain,” or empty. 1 Corinthians 3:20. The thoughts of the wisest men are but emptiness because “every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Psalm 39:5. Then though our ideal be our highest thought, and the highest thought of which we are capable, it is infinitely below what God designs for us. He who strives only after his ideal, seeks only emptiness. If he attains to his ideal, he becomes, at best, a self-satisfied Pharisee.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.5

    Some one will say, “But if we have no fixed mark to reach, then we cannot know when we have attained to perfection, nor can we at any time tell how much advancement we have made.” Most certainly not. When Christ says, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” and proceeds to tell each what good he has done, none will be so surprised as the faithful servant himself. See Matthew 25:34-39. When Moses came down from the mount, where he had been in communion with God, he “wist not that the skin of his face shown.” No one can conceive of greater works than Christ did, yet He has said that those who truly believe on Him shall do greater works than His.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.6

    Christ is reality. Everything real is but a manifestation of His fulness-some revelation of Himself. “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.” Whatever does not come from Him,-whatever is not the outgrowth of His life, even though it be man's highest ideal,-is but emptiness and unreality. Having Him, we have everything, and without Him we have nothing, and are nothing. Great as is God's gift in Christ, anything less than that in its fulness is nothing at all.”PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.7

    God proposes to do for us “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Ephesians 3:20. He will do this for us, simply because nothing less than this will be sufficient. From this alone we see that whoever has only his ideal before him is groping in darkness and grasping nothing. What are we then to do?-Simply to place ourselves in the hands of the Lord, for Him to do with us as He will. His thoughts toward us are wonderful and very deep. We cannot fathom them. The possibilities for every human being are infinitely above the comprehension of the human mind. Our part is to have our gaze fixed upon, not our ideal, but the ever-unfolding goodness and greatness of the Lord, and His part is to work in us His perfection.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.8

    Thus we shall be satisfied, not with ourselves, but with Christ. Self will be completely lost to sight, and we shall glory only in the knowledge of the Lord. And we shall be truly satisfied, even though we be deprived of that which was our highest ideal of goodness and happiness; for when we know Him, and that all fulness, all reality, exists in Him, and only in Him, that is rest. We know that He who has begun a good work in us will perfect it against the day of His coming.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.9

    One thing more. We must not be misled into thinking that Christianity consists in having high conceptions of God. It is not our conception of God, but what He is, that saves us. It is from forming conceptions of God, and following them, that men become heathen. They are simply following their own thoughts, and imagine that they are following God. They substitute themselves for God. There is a great deal of this heathenism in the world. The perfect state, that which goes on ever to greater perfection, is that in which the Spirit of God has complete possession of us, so that God alone thinks in us, and at each step in advance we see Him as He is. This is not an ideal condition, but it is one that is possible and real. It is as easy to attain to as it is to live, if we but know how to live, which is to die, that Christ may live in us.PTUK October 19, 1899, page 672.10

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