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    August 4, 1898

    “Holy Places” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    God is holy-the Holy One. The seraphim who are continually in His presence cry, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.” Isa. vi. 3.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 481.1

    His name is Holy. Isa. lvii. 15. Not only is He holy, but He is the Sanctifier, the One who imparts holiness. He is the standard of holiness, because He comprehends in Himself all the holiness there is. “There is none good but one, that is, God.” Matt. xix. 17. Whatever holiness, therefore, any person or thing has, must be God's holiness.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 481.2

    Since holiness is God's character, and that cannot be separated from Himself, it is evident that God sanctifies by His own presence. None can have His holiness without having Himself. Accordingly we read that whenever God specially manifested Himself to anybody, the announcement was made that the place was holy.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 481.3

    When Moses saw a bush burning, but not consumed, he knew not that it indicated the presence of God, until the Lord spoke to him, saying, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Ex. iii. 5. Likewise when the Lord appeared to Joshua before Jericho, He said to him, “Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” Joshua v. 15.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 481.4

    But it is not necessary that the Lord should be seen, as was the case with Joshua, or that some unusual manifestation should take place, as in the bush that Moses saw, whenever God reveals His presence. Jacob, as he lay down on the stones at night to go to sleep, saw nothing unusual, and had no thought of God except as a far distant Being; but in a dream he saw the Lord and the heavenly host, and awaking, said, “Surely, the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.” Then awed by the thought of God's presence, he exclaimed, “How terrible is this place!” Gen. xxviii. 15, 16.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 481.5

    The command to Moses and to Joshua to put off their shoes, did not imply that their shoes were more unholy than the rest of their clothing, except that they might be more soiled, but showed rather that men ought to walk very carefully in the presence of God. A barefooted man will take more notice of where he steps than will a man with shoes on. The fact of the shoes being likely to be soiled would also teach the importance of purity to those who come into God's presence. “Blessed are the pure in hrart, for they shall see God.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 481.6

    The Lord was just as really present at Bethel as He was at Horeb and Jericho, and He was as actually present when Jacob lay down to rest, as He was when be had the dream, or when he awoke. This should cause us to inquire, “May it not be that the Lord has been in some place where I was, and I knew it not? May I not at some time have acted before the Lord in a way that was highly unbecoming, and as I would not have done if I had known that He was present? Have I ever desecrated a place hallowed by the presence of God?” Ah, this is a serious matter, for we can readily see how easily one may be led into gross breaches of good conduct, by ignorance of God's presence. How often when in a lonely place, like Jacob's lodging at Bethel, has not one done things that he would not have dreamed of doing in the immediate presence of God. It becomes us therefore to ask, Where is God?PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.1

    Where is God? Where is God not? “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord? Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” Jer. xxiii. 31. “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and deell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.” Ps. cxxxix. 6-10.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.2

    Every place, then, is in reality holy ground, and all ought to know that they are continually in the presence of God. In the most secret place, even though it be in the desert or in the depths of the sea, in the belly of a whale, they should know and remember the truth, “Thou, God, seest me;” since none can hide himself in secret places, where God I cannot see him. As God fills all things in the heaven and earth, the message to every one is, “Behold your God!” that, beholding Him, they may be changed into His likeness, and endure “as seeing Him who is invisible.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.3

    Ever since the creation of the world the invisible things of God have been clearly revealed, being seen in the things that have been made. Rom. i. 20. The special manifestations mentioned in Scripture are simply to impress upon our minds the fact of God's constant, universal presence. The fire that burned in the bush, yet did not consume it, should remind us of God's presence in the light of the sun, which is only the shining of His glory. He dwells in the light, because He is light. The continual remembrance of this fact would work a wondrous change in our lives; for “if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us fronm all sin.” 1 John i. 7.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.4

    Does the thought that God sees every secret place seem a terrible one? Get acquainted with God, and it will not. What comfort there is in these words: “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” Matt. vi. 6.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.5

    The recognition of God's presence in every secret place, of the fact that “He is not far from every one of us,” since “in Him we live, and move, and have our being,” makes us dwellers “in the secret place of the Most High,” where we are safe “under the shadow of the Almighty. And that is our sanctification, since the presence of God gives holiness. The presence of God acknowledged, will make us new creatures, and to us all things will become new, so that the transition from this earth to the earth made new will to its be no violent change, but a step in the natural order of things.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.6

    Think why it is that God is so near. Is it to destroy us? Far from it. It is to save us from sin. At Sinai, when the very earth trembled at the presence of the Lord, Moses said to the frightened multitude, “Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” Ex. xx. 20. God has always been present; if He had designed to destroy us, He would have done it long ago; for we have deserved it. But instead of wishing to destroy, He has been present in love to uphold and preserve. “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.” Lam. iii. 22. His presence is salvation. Oh, recognise it, trust it, and find in His presence “fulness of joy.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.7

    “The Secret of the Lord” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The earth was without form, and “void,” when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, bringing order out of chaos. The Hebrew word from which “void” is rendered is the same that in Job xxvi. 7 is rendered “the empty place,” where we read: “He stretcheth out the North over the empty place.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.8

    When we know that the North-secret place-is God's dwelling place, we can understand why there is such an attraction toward the North, and why it is that the earth is kept in position by this mysterious attraction. We say, we can understand why, not how. God's own presence, by the Spirit, filled every particle of the matter of the earth, and instantly order came out of chaos. Each atom assumed the correct position in relation to every other atom, just as a company of well drilled soldiers fall into line at the word of command.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.9

    God dwells in the secret place, and His name is Secret. But “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” Not that men can comprehend the secret, but it is with them. That is, God's presence, that power by which He draws all things to Himself, is with them, bringing order into their disordered lives. “Receive ye the Holy Ghost;” yield to Him as passively as the drops of water do to the sun, and the, same Divine Power that in the beginning hovered over the face of the waters, and which still keeps the earth steadily turned toward the polar star, will continually overshadow you, and in the midst of a fallen world's perplexity will fill you with the peace of God.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 482.10

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Shunammite's Son. 2 Kings iv. 25-37” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    While journeying from place to place, Elisha had frequent occasion to pass through the town of Shunem, where he received much hospitality at the hands of one of the prominent residents. The Shunammite woman is spoken of as being “great,” and the narrative shows that her husband possessed servants, land and cattle in plenty, but when Elisha first made her acquaintance she was without the blessing counted chief of all among the women of Israel, the possession of a son. Instead, however, of giving way to bitterness and repining, she seems to have set herself to the work of helping others. Seeing that Elisha was a man of God, she proposed to her husband that they should build him a room in their house, and furnish it, so that he might regard it as his own home, whenever he should pass that way.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.1

    “YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME”

    Elisha was much touched by this unusual evidence of kindly consideration, and God, regarding the attention and honour as paid unto Himself, moved the prophet to declare unto his hostess that her own darling wish was granted, and that she should at last embrace a son.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.2

    Anyone would be glad to entertain a stranger if they believed him to be a prophet, who would reward them with the bestowal of some much-desired blessing, but the opportunity of doing what the Shunammite woman did is offered to all even now. Christ says, Whose shall receive a little child in My name receiveth Me. “Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” Matt. x. 42. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Heb. iii. 3.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.3

    THE CHILD’S DEATH

    “And when the child was grown, it tell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. And he said unto his father, My head, my head.” Under the fierce blaze of an Eastern sun, it is not unusual for a person to receive severe injuries to the brain, which quickly prove fatal. The little child was taken to his mother, and “sat on her knees till noon, and then died.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.4

    Without saying anything of the child's death to her husband, the mother went up to Elisha's room with the body, laid it on the prophet's bed, and went out. She then asked her husband to let a servant go with her to Mount Carmel, “that I may run to the man of God, and come again.” Expressing some surprise at this sudden idea, her husband consented, and she set out, urging the servant to make all speed and slack not his driving on her account.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.5

    THE MOTHER’S FAITH

    Why should she thus hasten to the prophet, without telling a soul that her child was dead? What meant that assuring answer to her husband's question, “It shall be well,” when the fast-stiffening body of their only child lay cold and still in the room upstairs?PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.6

    God had given her the child. It had not come as other parents received their children, for this, like Isaac, was a child of promise. It may be that the mother's heart had dwelt much on the similarity of circumstances, and had loved to think of her son as a second Isaac, destined to an honourable place in the work of God. Now the resemblance was more complete, for the trial of Abraham had come to her. Isaac's life was spared at the last moment. Her son's had been taken, but still Abraham, knowing not the turn events would take, had accounted that God was able to raise up Isaac from the dead, and this was the faith that sustained her now.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.7

    THE GIFTS OF GOD WITHOUT REPENTANCE

    God had given her this son in acknowledgment of her kindness to His servant, but a gift, taken away again, was no gift, and she believed that what God had given her He would not take back, and none other could. Therefore she goes to the prophet, strong in her confidence in God's love and justice, that it will confirm her in the possession of the son whom death has for the moment taken away. Surely the Shunammite woman is among the great cloud of witnesses to the power of faith, of whom we read in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. “Women received their dead raised to life again.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.8

    Elisha saw her coming afar off and told Gehazi, his servant, to run to meet her, and enquire after the welfare of herself and her family. He did so, but she had no word for him, beyond what she had said to others: “It is well.” She came to Elisha, and poured out the pent-up torrent of her mother's heart in the words, “Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?” She appeals to the power that gave her a son. That can restore him to her. Elisha is its channel to her, and she refuses to leave him, even to go with Gehazi to the body of her child. Elisha, yields and follows with her to her home.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.9

    AN OLD TESTAMENT JUDAS

    Gehazi is Elisha's servant. He is to him what Elisha was to Elijah, and has doubtless been selected for his superior qualifications, to be Elisha's successor, when death shall take away his waster. He may have been wall-adapted by natural abilities for the place, but is now making evident most clearly his unfitness to be to; Israel a prophet of the living God. He has a high opinion of the dignity of the position, for when the Shunammite woman casts herself at the feet of Elisha, he attempts to thrust her away. He takes no note of her agony of distress, but thinks only of maintaining the propriety of approach to an office which will be his one day to exercise. Like Judas he failed to learn the character of his high calling, and, like Judas, he finally fell.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.10

    Doubtless it is with considerable elation that Gehazi bears the prophet's staff to the body of the dead child. The miracle he is about to perform will considerably elevate him in the popular respect, and increase his already high standing in the schools of the prophets. He forgets that the rod of Moses, the mantle of Elijah, and the staff of Elisha are but symbols. The power is of God, and not in the staff, or the man who wields it. He lays it, as instructed, on the mouth of the child, but there is no response, and he returns to Elisha to report, with chagrin, that the attempt has been a failure, “The child is not awaked.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 483.11

    The check and disappointment might have taught Gehazi a heart-searching lesson, but it did not, and shortly after we find him lying to Naaman and his master for the sake of gain. The deceit is revealed to Elisha, the judgment of God is sent upon the covetous impostor, and he who might have been an honoured successor of his master, goes from Elisha's presence a leper white as snow.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 484.1

    RESTORED TO LIFE

    “And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. And be went up, and lay upon the child, and put his month upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 484.2

    Elisha's proceeding seems strange until we reflect upon the circumstances. He had been closely concerned in the child from the beginning. It was by his mouth that the promise of its birth had been given. He would be greatly interested in the coming of the little one, in noting its growth from time to time as he sojourned at the Shunammite's home, and doubtless his sympathy and co-operation were strongly enlisted in the mother's efforts to bring up her child in the knowledge of the living God.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 484.3

    This continual and intimate association with the little child cannot have failed to unite the two in the closest mutual affection, and Elisha's first impulse on beholding the body, would be to clasp the poor little dead form to his heart, with the intense desire, born of deep strong love, that he might wake it to life again, and find it responsive to his caress. Gehazi's indifferent soul could be content with laying a staff on the mouth of the child, but this in no wise represented the tender interest of the Divine rather over His sleeping children. The vitalising touch of Christ's own hand, and His tears over the grave of Lazarus, like Elisha's close embrace, were far more expressive of the attitude of God's heart of love, not only over the Shunammite's son, but over all those who sleep in the grave till the resurrection. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Ps. cxvi. 15.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 484.4

    Elisha's amiable, approachable disposition may he judged from the way in which the sons of the prophets brought all their little troubles to him, and the way in which God wrought miracles to remove those troubles, shows that “He hath respect unto the lowly,” and that Elisha's spirit revealed His own.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 484.5

    Elisha's prayer was heard. Life returned into the little body, and the child was given to his waiting mother. Her thankfulness and joy seemed too great for words. “She bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 484.6

    DEATH AN ENEMY

    If it were true, as is generally taught, that the soul goes to heaven at death, it would have been an evidence of great selfishness on the mother's part to desire that her son might be recalled from scenes of bliss. Evidently she did not take this view, nor did Elisha, nor did the Lord who restored the child. When children come back to life again, it is not from the glory of heaven, but from “the land of the enemy.” Jer. xxxi. 16. Death is an enemy, the last enemy that shall be destroyed. It is not a blessing to man, for it only comes as the consequence of sin, and any teaching that minimises the evil of death, calling it the “gate of life,” to that extent obscures the evil of sin, in its nature and effect.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 484.7

    A NEW LIFE

    Doubtless in after life the Shunammite woman would impress upon her child that his life must be always yielded to God, as being doubly the Lord’s. Not only was be a child of promise, but when his life had once been lost, it was restored again. His was not an ordinary life, for he had been raised from the dead. But this is a consideration which should influence all of us. Paul tells us to yield ourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead. “That like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Rom. vi. 4, 18. Men say sometimes that if they could only have a new life, they would gladly yield up everything. Nothing else than this does the Lord offer to all. Whoever confesses his sins to God may know that those sins were the crucifixion of Christ. But since “in Him we live and move and have our being,” if He is crucified, we are too. So whoever is baptized into Jesus Christ, taking His name, thereby confesses his belief, that he is baptized into His death. Now if we be dead with Christ, and He is raised from the dead, it is equally clear that we must live with Him. Therefore, whoever confesses his sins to Christ may know that he has new life indeed, even the life of Christ. “We know that we have passed from death unto life.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 484.8

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Powere in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    THE LIGHT

    Gen. i. 1-3: “In the beginning Clod created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.1

    Ps. cxix. 130: “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.2

    Prov. vi. 23: “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.3

    1 John 1. 5: “This is the message which we have heard from Him, and announce unto you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.4

    2 Cor. iv. 6: “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.5

    Ps. lxx. 19; “Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.6

    Ps. cxxxix. 11, 12: “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.7

    Ps. cxii. 4: “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.8

    Micah vii. 6: “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when l fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.9

    Ps. xxvii. 1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be followeth Me shall not walk In darkness, but shall have the light of life.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.10

    Nothing in the world is clearer or more easy to be seen than light; and the Word of God is light, the proof of this being that when He spoke, immediately there was light. Therefore if we take the texts of this lesson as the pure Word of the God who is light, and who is “the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning” (James i. 17), we shall find them very plain and easy to understand, and wonderfully enlightening to our eyes.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.11

    The Spirit of God brooded over the face of the deep, in the beginning, and brought order out of chaos, and caused the light to shine forth. God's Word is Spirit and life, and the Word is light. So it came to pass that when the Word went into the darkness, the light shone forth.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.12

    Take notice that it is no figure of speech when it is said that the Word of God is light. It is real light, such as “is sweet” (Eccl. xi. 7) to behold. The light which we have by day, and by night too, is the light that comes from the Word of God. There is no light in the world except that which comes from God's Word.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.13

    God is light. Christ is the Light of the world. He is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John i. 9. The light by which every man in this world sees, is the shining of the Lord's countenance.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.14

    “If we walk in the light as He is in the light,” that is, if we recognise the Presence of God in the light that shines upon us every day, then we shall walk in the light of His countenance, and in His name shall we rejoice all the day, and in His righteousness shall we be exalted. Ps. Ixxxix. 15, 16. Thus we shall have fellowship with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John i. 3, 5, 7.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.15

    He who knows “the joyful sound” of God's Word, knows that it gives light, and while he listens to it he cannot possibly walk in darkness; for the Lord God will enlighten his darkness. Ps. xviii. 28.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.16

    Men have discovered this much of truth, that light is motion. “Waves of light, though they can pass through air, are not waves of the air, as sound waves are. Waves of light can cross the most perfect vacuum; they travel thousands of miles in the vacuous space between the stars. They are waves of another medium which, so far as we know, exists all through space, and which we call, using Sir Isaac Newton's term, the ether. If you ask me what the ether is made of, let me frankly say, I do not know. But if light consists of waves, and if those waves can travel across the millions of miles that separate the stars from the earth, then it is clear that they must be waves of something; they are not air-waves, nor water-waves, because interstellar space is devoid both of air and water. They are waves of a medium which, though millions of times less dense than water or air, has yet a property that resists being torn or sheared asunder; exceeding the resistance to shear even of hard-tempered steel.”—Light Visible and Invisible,” by Dr. Sylvanus P. Thomson. Page 108. Only the one who reads and with all simplicity of mind believes the Word of God, knows that this motion is due to the Spirit of God. Force energy, life, is motion, and so far at least as this world is concerned, the beginning of it all was when “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” How richly God has endowed the world with the gift of His Holy Spirit! “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.17

    What more could God do than He has done to impress upon man the reality of His saving power? The “Word of Truth,” the Gospel of our salvation, is the Word which commanded the light to shine out of darkness. If we believe, then we receive that Word into our hearts, and so the light shines in; “to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” That Word which is proclaimed unto us, is the Word “which was from the beginning.” It was light then; it is light still. So every ray of light that comes to this earth,-and this means actual light, that enables us to see,-is a Gospel sermon.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 485.18

    In this connection read the nineteenth Psalm. “The heavens declare the glory of God,” and preach the Gospel; for the Gospel message consists in this, “Fear God, and give glory to Him.” Their words have gone to the end of the world, so that every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people have heard the Gospel. Compare Ps. xix. 4 with Rom. x. 15-18.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.1

    In the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed. Rom. i. 17. And the law of God is His righteousness. Isa. li. 7. Therefore the heavens in proclaiming the Gospel of light, make known that “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” Thus it is a reality that the Lord hath made bare His Holy Arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.2

    But the declaration of the heavens is not sufficient. When in addition to the preaching of the voiceless creation, the Gospel of the Kingdom, whose rule is “the perfect law of liberty,” is proclaimed in all the world by creatures to whom God has given tongues, then, and then only, will the end come. “Ye are the light of the world.” Let your light shine.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.3

    “‘The Law Is Light’” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother; bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” Prov. vi. 20-33.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.4

    The law of God is nothing other than His life. It is in no sense to be compared with human laws, for it has nothing in common with them. Men get together, and after a certain amount of deliberation they decide on certain rules which they will impose on other men. The requirements may in the main be just, but they cannot possibly do equal justice to all, since they cannot take into consideration all the various circumstances and conditions; and even where they are applicable, they give the person to whom they speak no power. They do nothing; they are lifeless; the man to whom they are addressed must supply the action.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.5

    Moreover human statutes have no special connection with the men who issue them. The laws and the law-makers are no part of each other, and very often the laws are ignored by the vary men who make them. So for a double reason the laws cannot put any life or goodness into the subjects of them; in the first place the men who make them are not themselves perfectly in harmony with them, and in the second place, they cannot, no matter how good they are, put any of their personality or vitality into the laws which they frame.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.6

    Not so with God's law. He Himself is all that He requires. He is not only good, but He is Goodness. His own life is the law. Each plant has what is termed its “law of growth.” There are certain general characteristics common to all plant life, and then each plant has certain individual peculiarities. But these “laws” are not certain enactments to which the plant conforms. The plant grows by the Word of God which says now as in the beginning, “Let the earth bring forth grass,” etc.; and that Word of life abiding in each makes it perfect “after its kind.” God's “everlasting power and Divinity,” that is, His own life and personality, are revealed in all the things that He has made. The plant is involuntarily submissive to the life force of God, and so it conforms to law.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.7

    In like manner God's law for mankind is His own character-His life. He wishes men to be good, but He Himself is all goodness. There is no goodness but God's goodness, consequently men conform to His righteous requirements only by voluntarily yielding to His life as implicitly as the plants of the field do involuntarily. He does not require us to be something of ourselves; but He is what He wants us to be, and we become that by accepting His life.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.8

    Now “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” This is the Gospel message. His life is the law, and His life is light. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” So the law is light.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.9

    This is most literally true. God conveys His life to the earth through agents. He has set His glory in the heavens, and made the still, together with the stars, the bearer of light to the earth. Mind this, the sun does not originate the light, but is simply the bearer of God's light-God's life to the earth. Thus the sun is, under God, the supporter of all life upon our planet. Whatever we have, whether it be food or clothing, grows from the earth; but there could be no life nor growth without the light coming from God through the sun. Thus we see that light is most emphatically our life.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 486.10

    But this life that comes to us in the light is God's own life, of righteousness. Its shining brings the plant of the field to perfection; and if men were only voluntarily its submissive to the life of God as the plants are involuntarily, it would bring them to equal perfection after their kind.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 487.1

    With this knowledge concerning the light, the life, and the law, we can See the force of the nineteenth psalm:—PTUK August 4, 1898, page 487.2

    “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard,” or “without these their voice is heard.” “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heavens, and His circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” Ps. xix. 1-9.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 487.3

    There is no change of subject in verse 7. The law of the Lord is conveyed to us in the light and heat of the sun, which gives life to the earth. If we but recognise God's life in the light, we shall receive it with constant gratitude, and yield to Him, that He may direct His own life in His own way. Thus shall we glorify God in our lives.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 487.4

    We are precluded from making the objection that we cannot see how God can convey righteousness to us in the light of the sun. We cannot tell how He conveys strength and beauty in perfection to the plant by means of the light, but we know the fact; and that fact is ever before us to teach us the possibility of His imparting to us, by the same means, the righteousness for which He designed us.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 487.5

    “Teaching Children” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Timothy knew from a child the Scriptures which were able to make him wise, and the natural result was seen in his after experience. Paul wrote of him, “I have no man so dear unto me, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” Phil. ii. 20, 21, margin.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 489.1

    It is still unusual to meet with one who truly lives for others, because it is so rare to find one who has, from a child, been made wise by the Scriptures, and whose character has been founded and fashioned on the eternal principles of grace and truth. Almost every child is brought into contact with the Scriptures, as soon as it is able to read at all, but only as a collection of interesting narratives, very much like any other story-book.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 489.2

    The minds of the little ones are especially adapted to the reception of Divine truth. They are anxious to know the reason for everything they see, and to understand it. The answers made to their questions make a deep impression on their forming minds, and none can tell how much the life is influenced in its development by the turn thus given to their thoughts. All can recall situations of their childhood, and conversations with others, the very words of which are indelibly stamped on the memory. Over and over again the mind has recalled that particular experience, and pondered over the words spoken. If the words thus involuntarily treasured have enshrined thoughts of truth and beauty, the gain to the child is great.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 489.3

    Children receive whatever is told them with unquestioning faith, so long as they have confidence in their informant. They are not troubled with the wisdom of the world, and God designs that truths, which shall prove as an anchor to the soul, should be woven into the growing life and intelligence of the little one.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 489.4

    Parents need not think that fairy tales are better adapted to the children, and that more valuable instruction can be left till afterwards. The child will receive as truth whatever is told it, and if falsehood and exaggeration be temporarily sown, it is impossible to say how much will be torn up with these when the child discovers that it has been played with, and that it must reconstruct its system of truth for itself, with lessened confidence in the word of others. How much better to start right from the beginning and watch that no seed be sown except such as will bear the desired harvest.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 489.5

    Jesus said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” This shows what is God's design. Then should not parents co-operate with Him, and point their children to the life of the Heavenly Father that is revealed in all the wonders of creation, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. God has made the human mind for the knowledge of Himself, and it is capable of receiving this knowledge as soon as it begins to act. When the parents know the Lord themselves, they can impart the same knowledge to their children. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words ... shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 489.6

    Timothy's early training, bestowed upon children in these days, would bear fruit in lives like his.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 489.7

    “For the Children. Light and Sight” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.” Without the sweet sunlight there would be nothing lovely and pleasant in the earth for our eyes to behold; for the light is not only beautiful itself, but it makes beautiful everything that it shines upon.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 490.1

    You will remember that Jesus said: “I am the Light of the world.” The way that He lights this world is through the sun. We cannot look upon the glory of the face of God and live, but in the glorious sun He sheds upon the earth just as much of the light of His countenance as we can hear.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 490.2

    Is it not indeed “sweet” to know that we are walking in the light of His face for “in His presence is fulness of joy.” All the beauty and colour of the earth is the reflection of the rays of the sun, which is the light shining from the face of God; and so “the beauty of all created things is but n gleam from the shining of His glory.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 490.3

    But what would all this glory and beauty be to us if God had not given us “eyes to behold” it, and by His Spirit of life within us given us the power to see? He has made our bodies for His own temple, and our eyes are one way by which His Spirit enters into us. We see Him reflected as in a mirror in all the things that He has made, go that we may learn to know and love and worship Him, and let His Holy Spirit rule our hearts and lives.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 490.4

    But Satan, who wants to put himself in the place of God, is all the time trying to get into our bodies, and make them his temple, instead of the holy temple of God, which He made them to be. So all the ways that God has made for His Spirit to come into our hearts, Satan is trying to use to get himself in instead.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 490.5

    Think how it was that Satan first got into the heart of man. It was through the eyes; for Eve kept looking at the fruit that God had told her not to touch, for if she did she would die. She kept on looking until she “saw that it was good.” This was because Satan, the father of lies, was getting into her eyes, and she did not let the Spirit of God keep him out. When the lying spirit of Satan got into her eyes, it made her see all things wrong; and through this entrance, Satan got right into her heart and made her do the very thing that God had told her not to do.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 490.6

    Oh, will you not give your eyes to God, that the Spirit of Truth may use them, to teach you only what is pure and true and good? Ask Jesus to open your eyes, so that you may “clearly see” Him in all His works, and to keep and guard them by His Holy Spirit, that no evil thing may find an entrance there.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 490.7

    Let the glory of God that shines upon you in the sunlight stream through your eyes right into your hearts, and make you “all-glorious within.” And think, if the light, which is but a faint reflection of His glory, is so “sweet” and “pleasant” for our “eyes to behold,” what must be the glory and beauty of the face of Him whose smile we see in the glad sunshine.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 490.8

    “A Lesson from the Lark” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the Natural History of Birds of Germany, we find the following interesting fact:—PTUK August 4, 1898, page 492.1

    “Larks, a feeble race of birds, rise higher in the air than any rapacious bird, and this is often a cause of safety. Their greatest enemy is the Hobby. They fear him greatly, so that as soon as one appears singing ceases, and each suddenly closes his wings, falls to the earth, and hides against the soil. But some have mounted so high to pour out their clear song that they cannot hope to reach the earth before being seized. Then, knowing that the bird of prey is to be feared when he occupies a more elevated position from which he can throw himself on them, they endeavour to remain always above him. They mount higher and higher. The enemy seeks to pass them, but they mount still, until at last the Hobby, heavier, and little accustomed to this rarified air, grows tired, and gives up the pursuit.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 492.2

    This suggests a lesson for us. Our enemy, Satan, seeks to destroy us, but if we can keep above him, it is plain that he can have no power over us. Jesus, our Saviour, has been raised to the right hand of God in the heavenly places, “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion” (Eph. i. 20, 21); and since we are by faith raised to the heavenly places with Him (Eph. ii. 4-6), it follows that that is our rightful place. If then when our enemy assails us, and that is constantly, we “seek those things which are above,” we shall escape him; for that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, has been cast out of heaven, so that he can find no place there any more. Rev. xii. 7-9. He cannot endure its atmosphere. There we can from full hearts sing thanks unto God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 492.3

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Christ “gave Himself for our sins.” He “gave Himself for us.” He “loved me, and gave Himself for me.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.1

    The Gospel consists in giving. The Christian life is a life of service, of giving to others. “Freely ye have received, freely give.” The living waters flow from the throne, and he who believes and receives, from him shall flow rivers of living water.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.2

    What shall we give?—There is only one thing to give, namely, ourselves. First of all give ourselves to the Lord; and since He gives away everything He has, it follows that we must give ourselves to our fellowmen.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.3

    “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” So-called Christian work that is not the giving of self, is not Christian work at all, Mere talk will never suffice to convert anybody; the life must be given.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.4

    It was not merely when Jesus hung on the cross of Calvary that He gave Himself. His whole life was a gift. He gave His life all His life long, and still He gives us Himself. When He healed disease, it was His Divine life that gave the renewing. When He spoke, His own life was in the words. “The Word was made flesh.” He was what He spoke, and therein lay the power of His words.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.5

    Jesus spoke with authority, because He spoke from His life. Whatever one says, that is not fresh from his own experience, that is not his own life in articulate form, is of no value. You wish to help somebody? Good! give him yourself, and the thing is done. You may say that you are of not enough importance or value to do anybody any good. That is all right; Christ gives us Himself, that it may be no more ourselves but Himself. Receive Him; then give yourself; and His presence will make the gift valuable and helpful.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.6

    It has been left for an American pastor to discover that the bowling-alley, the billiard table, etc., as a part of a church outfit, do not detract from the spiritual, but on the contrary “predispose young people in favour of religion, and help mightily to build up the Church.” If that were true it should not be difficult to convert the world in a short time. Unfortunately “building up the Church” is not always by any means synonymous with the increase of pure Christianity.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.7

    The Lord does not call attention to His greatness and power because He wishes us to feel crushed by the contrast between His almighty power and our weakness, “Therefore will He be exalted that He may have mercy upon you.” When we realise that we are absolutely worthless and helpless in ourselves, and say with David, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven find in the earth is Thine;” we are beginning to learn how vast is the life by which we ourselves live, and how invincible and irresistible is the power that worketh in us. The thought brings joy and fills the heart with praise to God, who hath “given such power unto men.” “He that is with us is more than all they that can be against us.” So that the more we learn of the power of God, the more we can rejoice, “for it is God which worketh in you, to will and to do of His own good pleasure.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.8

    The best thing we have seen concerning the proposed Anglo-American alliance is a bit from a sermon by Dr. Parker. He said: “I do not follow a God who classifies the nations invidiously.” “Luther was not an Englishman. I am almost sure he was not even an American, and I do not think Australia could claim him. God has made of one blood all nations.” That has the right ring. The only union the followers of Christ ought to know anything about, is union with Him. The only alliance (covenant) in which they can have any interest is “the everlasting covenant,” sealed by the blood of Christ. Here “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian,” English, American, German, Spanish, nor French, “but Christ is all and in all.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.9

    The following fact which is incidentally mentioned in the Daily Mail's account of the handling of tea at the bonded warehouses may serve to sweeten many a teadrinker's cup: “The emptying of the chests, which is necessary to ascertain the tare, frequently reveals dead rats and other foreign substances, mostly introduced, it is feared, to replace tea which has been abstracted.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.10

    To behold God is the sum and crown of true education. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” Paul would know nothing but Christ and Him crucified, and there is nothing to know outside of that. In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He is the power and wisdom of God. He who does not know Christ does not know the Beginning of anything. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.11

    So the wisdom of this world, which omits God, is only foolishness. The seeing of His everlasting power and Divinity in the things created is not given to mental acuteness. It is not for those who rely upon intellectual ability. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”PTUK August 4, 1898, page 495.12

    “Getting Ready for Emergencies” The Present Truth 14, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The latest step in the line of increasing the navy is thus summarised in the leading editorial of the Daily Chronicle of July 23:—PTUK August 4, 1898, page 496.1

    The startling announcement made last night by Mr. Goschen to the House of Commons eclipses for the moment all other news. Over and above a charge of seven millions for additions to the Navy already contemplated, we have undertaken a fresh naval programme, involving a charge of eight millions more. To spend fifteen millions sterling-a sum larger than the whole revenue of some Continental States-in adding to the strength of the strongest navy in the world is remarkable enough in itself. But the reason alleged for this enormous outlay makes it a still more ominous event. Mr. Goschen is quite frank about it. Russia has just begun a now naval programme, which includes, besides the ships before arranged for, four battleships, six powerful cruisers and several torpedo destroyers. Therefore we respond with four better battleships, six still more powerful cruisers, and a dozen torpedo destroyers. And in order that there may be no mistake, Mr. Goschen tells us in language not to be misunderstood that they ore specially built to go safely through the Suez Canal, and to encounter at an advantage the Russian warships on the China station.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 496.2

    Mr. Goschen stated that, while regretting to have to introduce the name of any foreign Power, it was impossible to conceal the fact that it was the action of Russia, and the programme on which she has entered, which led to the parallel action on the part of Great Britain. Still he wished it understood that what the Board of Admiralty proposed is not aggressive in the slightest sense. That is no doubt true; nevertheless the fact remains that ships of war are built for no other purpose than for fighting. They will all he used.PTUK August 4, 1898, page 496.3

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