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    October 20, 1898

    “‘His Mercy Endureth For Ever’” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.” Ps. lxxxix. 1.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 657.1

    But nobody can live upon a past experience. The Christian's rejoicing does not consist merely in telling what God did at some time in the past even for him. Life-real life-is not in the future nor in the past; it is now. Therefore the only reason why we can sing of the mercies of God for ever, in that “His mercy endureth for ever.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 657.2

    “For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever, Thy faithfulness shalt Thou establish in the very heavens.” “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.” “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His wercy toward them that fear Him.” “The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children's children.” Ps. ciii. 11, 17.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 657.3

    Someone will say, “Yea; the mercy of the Lord is for over, but only to a certain class; there comes a time when His mercy ceases for sinners; and may it not be that it has now ceased?” To this it is necessary only to say that it will be time enough for people to talk about God's mercy ceasing, when they read something in the Bible to that effect; but in the face of the statement, repeated many times, that “His mercy endureth for ever,” and that “the Lord is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Ps. cxiv. 9), it is exceedingly presumptuous for anybody to say that there over will come a time when God's mercy for anybody will cease, or be in the least diminished.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 657.4

    God's mercy is Himself, for He is love, and it must be as enduring as He is. We read that He is “from everlasting to everlasting,” and even so have we just read of His mercy. To say that there will come a time when God's mercy will cease, is the same as saying that there will come a time when His righteousness will cease. There is no more reason to limit God's mercy than there is to limit His righteousness. True, it is said that His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, but the same thing is also said of His righteousness. But neither the one nor the other statement gives us any reason to conclude that either God's mercy or His righteousness will ever cease, or over be restricted in any degree.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 657.5

    The righteousness of God endures for ever, yet it will not be found on everybody. Why not?—Because so many will not submit unto the righteousness of God. The free gift comes upon all men unto justification of life (Rom. v. 18), but many reject the gift. It is evident, then, that God cannot be charged with unrighteousness. If men will not take what He freely gives, He is clear. So His tender mercy is over all, and it endures for ever; and the fact that many utterly refuse His loving mercy, does not in the least diminish it.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 657.6

    In an otherwise most excellent hymn, occur these words:—PTUK October 20, 1898, page 657.7

    “But if you still His call refuse,
    And all His wondrous love abuse,
    Soon will He sadly from you turn,
    Your bitter prayer for pardon spurn.”
    PTUK October 20, 1898, page 657.8

    No, never! That is not the Lord. “Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out,” says Jesus. He is “able to save to the uttermost,” not simply the worst sinner; but to the longest time that any sinner may need and desire pardon, because “He ever liveth to make intercession for us.” There will indeed be a time when men who have abused his love, and definitely refused His call of mercy, will call, and will not be heard (Prov. i. 24, 33), but the mason why is that they do not desire pardon-cleansing from sin. They would gladly escape the consequences of sin, but they do not desire holiness. Their sorrow is not godly sorrow that worketh repentance. He does not heed their cry, because they do not ask for anything that He has to give. Even though they might seem to ask for life, they do not really ask for it, because they do not ask for holiness. There will never be a time when a truly repentant sinner will be rejected by the Lord. The only reason why probation will cease, will be that there will no longer be any need of it. The decree, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Rev. xxii. 11), will not be an arbitrary fixing of destiny. It will not be that God's patience is exhausted, so that He will say, “I will not stand this any longer; I will not give them any more opportunity.” No; it will simply be the announcement of the fact that everybody has made a final decision, so that no change would be made even were probation to be continued for a thousand years. And the mercy of God will be as great when the wicked are destroyed, as it was when Jesus hung on the cross. Read Ps. cxxxvi. 10, 15-20.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 657.9

    The greater the thing refused, the greater the loss. Let no one think that because the mercy of God is so infinite and so eternal, therefore he is safe without it. What a foolishly fatal conclusion! The fact that the mercy of God is so great, filling heaven and earth, is the great reason why we should accept it; for if we reject it, there will be nothing left for us but eternal destruction. If His mercy were feeble, it might he rejected with comparative impunity; but since it fills eternity, the rejection of it is an eternal loss. Let us rather at once accept His mercy, and accept it as freely as He gives it; and then, since “His mercy endureth for ever,” we, being tilled and surrounded and transformed and preserved by His mercy, must also endure for ever. Then indeed we can sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 658.1

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. Messiah's Kingdom Foretold. Isaiah xi. 1-10” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    OCTOBER 30

    It is noteworthy that very many of the illustrations used by Isaiah, to represent the truths taught by him, are drawn from the vegetable world. He speaks a great deal of the kingdom of God, and of that kingdom Christ Himself said that it is “as if a man should cast seed into the ground.” Mark iv. 26. In the present lesson the Saviour is likened to a rod coming forth from the stem of Jesse, and a branch growing out of his roots. There had been a good many vicissitudes in the history of Jesse's descendants, when Isaiah wrote, and the future contained a great many more. It seemed sometimes, so far as any hope of spiritual life was concerned, that Jesse's was a dry, withered root, but out of this unpromising soil, Christ was to grow up “as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 658.2

    THE WORD MADE FLESH

    “All flesh is grass,” and Christ was made in all things like unto His brethren. He had no more strength than the grass of the field, for He declared that of Himself He could do nothing. It was the Word of the Lord that caused the grass to grow and gave it life. The grass is simply the visible manifestation of the Word by which it lives. Hence the various forms of the grass show forth the beauty and glory of the Lord. Many will not allow that it can be true of them that they are merely grass. They point with pride to their achievements, to the acquirements which mark them as superior to others, and claim that these give proof of an independent intelligence. Christ made no such claim for Himself. He sought not His own will. The Father gave Him commandment what He should speak, and showed Him all things that He should do. He simply took the humble place of the grass of the field, which exists only because of the Word of life, and reveals, not itself, but the working of that Word, in the Word made grass. Christ was the Word made flesh, and all flesh is grass.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 658.3

    LED BY THE SPIRIT

    Because Christ did not lean to His own understanding, but trusted in the Lord with all His heart, the Lord directed His every step. Because He submitted to the guidance of the Spirit, it had free course in Him and was revealed in its fulness in His life. It was everything to Him, and so it imparted to Him freely everything that it was. It was not given by measure, and being unhindered by Him in its manifestations, all its characteristics were revealed in His life as wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord. The Spirit made Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord, and He allowed it to influence His mind and form His judgment on all matters that demanded attention. He did not rely upon the inadequate means of information supplied by His human eyes and ears, but trusted in the infallible guidance of the Spirit. So His judgment and reproof was given in righteousness and equity. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John i. 14.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 658.4

    “A WITNESS TO THE PEOPLE”

    Christ came to earth to make known what inconceivable riches bad been bestowed by God upon men in the gift of His life. The life was communicated by the Spirit, but men saw no particular value in the gift, and felt indifferent as to whether it was given or not. What it would do for helpless men was seen in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Springing, like His brethren in the flesh, from a dry root, which only conveyed its inheritance of sin and death, He triumphed over both by receiving the life from above. The whole of His victorious life was a witness to men of what God had done for them. His sinlessness did not separate Him from the unworthy, for such an High Priest became us, but showed the power of the salvation that was theirs by free gift. So He said, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings” to men, that they too might be, like Himself, trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. Isa. lxi. 1-3.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 658.5

    OUT OF WEAKNESS MADE STRONG

    It may seem at first sight humiliating to be told that all flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the field, so that man is absolutely dependent upon the Lord, but those who receive this truth find in it unending strength and rejoicing. They learn that in being made dependent on His life God does not doom them to a beggarly existence, and their hearts are comforted, “being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, ... in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.1

    A GLORIOUS REST

    As men learn to trust in the Lord for all things, and put no confidence in the flesh, God's strength is made perfect in their weakness, and they are made strong, in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Thus the power of God is seen and declared among men, and the root of Jesse “shall stand for an ensign of the people: to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious.” As the tumults of earth agitate human minds, and men's hearts fail them for fear, looking after those things that are coming on the earth, God's people trust calmly in Him, in whom there is everlasting strength, and perfect peace. Isa. xxvi. 3, 4. When trials and clouds are thickest and darkest, His rest is most glorious, and made known to the Gentiles as most worth their acceptance.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.2

    ABUNDANCE OF PEACE

    The picture of perfect peace presented in this lesson is but a demonstration of what the Spirit of God can do, in reconciling the most contrary natures. The wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, the calf and the young lion, can all live together in amity and peace, because the rule of God, interrupted by man's rebellion, is fully restored in all things. The law of God, which is the life of God, is made again the universal law of being, and there shall be no evil or destruction, because “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” In the everlasting inheritance of God's redeemed, the week shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Ps. xxxvii. 11), for only they shall possess the earth. Matt. v. 5. The earnest of that inheritance is given now in the Holy Spirit to believers, and since the inheritance is all that it is by virtue of the power of the Spirit, it follows that whosoever receives the Spirit knows thereby the power of the world to come. This is the power which is made known to those who confess themselves to be only grass, and find a glorious rest in the knowledge that it is God which worketh in them to will and to do of His good pleasure.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.3

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Power in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    INTELLIGENT ACTION IN PLANTS

    Gen. i. 11: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit, ... and it was so.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.4

    Isa. xl. 6, 8: “All flesh is grass.” “But the Word of our God shall stand for ever.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.5

    1 Cor. iii. 19, 20: “The wisdom of this world Is foolishness with God,” “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.6

    Rom. i. 21, 22: “When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.7

    2 Cor. x. 4, 5: “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down Imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.8

    2 Cor. iii. 5: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.9

    1 Cor. ii. 12: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.10

    Jer. x. 23: “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.11

    Prov. iii. 6: “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.12

    Isa. Iv. 7, 8: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return note the Lord; ... for My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.13

    Ps. xxv. 14: “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.14

    1 Cor. i. 24, 30: “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” “Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.15

    Col. ii. 2, 3: “Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.16

    Prov. ii. 6: “The Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.17

    Daniel ii. 20, 21: “Wisdom and might are His; ... He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.18

    Ps. i. 1-3: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he death shall prosper.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.19

    Col. iii. 16: “Let the Word of Christ dwell In you richly in all wisdom.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.20

    Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.” As there is no life but from Him, so there are none of the manifestations of life that are not from Him. This does not make Him responsible for everything that men think and do, since they to so great an extent hold down the truth and the life in unrighteousness. They do not give the life free course, but pervert it, and the result is confusion and emptiness.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.21

    Christ is “the wisdom of God” as well as “the power of God.” Just as there is no power but of God, so there is no wisdom but the wisdom of God. The so-called wisdom of men who reject the Lord, is foolishness with Him. “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” There is no right thought except the thought of God. There is no right thought except the thought of God.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.22

    “All flesh is grass.” Man has no more power to manufacture thought than the grass of the field has. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Our perfect gift is from above, and cometh down muscles are the organs by which motion is effected, but they do not originate motion. If they had that power in themselves, then they would continue to move indefinitely at will. But all have seen muscles that could not act, and that not only in dead men. There must be a power to act on the muscles, else they are useless. That power is the life of the Lord. So with the brain. It is the organ of thought, but it does not originate thought. A power entirely distinct from the brain must act through it, else it is useless. When that power is allowed free course, the thoughts are right; otherwise they are vague and perverted. “The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 659.23

    “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” But a man's ways and thoughts are all that make him anything more than a useless lump of clay. Does the Lord desire that a man shall forsake his ways and his thoughts, and he a nonentity? Not by any means. He offers him something that is far better. God's ways and thoughts are as much higher than man's ways and thoughts as the heavens are higher than the earth. The Scriptures therefore teach us that it is possible for God to take complete possession of a man, and to think and act through him. This is God's design for man. Only as this is the case, is man a complete and perfect man. The body is designed to be the temple of the Holy Ghost, and that means that all the organs of the body are to be simply the instruments through which the Holy Spirit will manifest Himself. This complete submission to the will of God will not destroy any man's individuality, but will on the contrary make it more marked. God is infinite. He who has made every plant “after its kind,” each with a distinct characteristic of its own, will make every man perfect after his kind, if he will but be as passive to the Spirit of God as the plants of the field are. “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Prov. xvi. 3.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 660.1

    Only by the Spirit of God can we know the things that are freely given us by the Lord. What has the Lord freely given us?—All things. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Rom. viii. 32. He “giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” 1 Tim. vi. 17. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.” James i. 17. “A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven.” John iii. 27. Since everything is given us by the Lord, and we cannot know the things that are freely given us by Him except by the Holy Spirit, it follows that there is absolutely no real knowledge in the world that does not come from the Spirit of God. To reject the Holy Spirit is to reject wisdom and knowledge. It He does not think in us, we have no thoughts that are worth thinking. Every thought is to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. O what marvellous treasures of wisdom and knowledge there must be for all who are unwilling to humble themselves to admit that they know absolutely nothing, and to submit to let God think His own thoughts in them! Some of the possibilities for man when God's thought and Word has free course in him, are revealed in the plants of the field, which offer no opposition by self-sufficient pride. In studying God's action in them, let us remember that He will do as much greater things in the man who is as submissive to Him, as the object for which man was created is greater than that for which the grass of the field was made.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 660.2

    “God's Thought in Plants” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Scriptures tell us that “all flesh is grass.” This we are bound to accept as absolutely true. It may at first seem too humiliating a thought; but if we look at the truth as it is, we shall see that it is a most glorious thing to know that we stand in the same relation to the Lord that the grass of the field does. Not that we are of no more value in His eyes than is the grass of the field; far from it. But we are as absolutely dependent on Him as the grass of the field is; and when we recognise and confess this dependence He works in us in the same way that He does in the grass of the field, only to as much greater a degree as we are of more value than that grass, and are created for a higher destiny. Let us now for a few moments forget entirely about ourselves, and give undivided and impartial attention to some of the things that are growing. Let us consider them, “how they grow.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 660.3

    “A LIFE HISTORY”

    We will begin at the very beginning, the very lowest and simplest form of plant life. We will take the life history of a water plant, the scientific name of which is of no special consequence. “To the naked eye it appears like a dense plexus of dark-green irregularly branched and matted filaments. These filaments, when magnified, are seen to be tubular cells which wither and die away at the base while growing at the apex, and developing sac-like branches laterally....PTUK October 20, 1898, page 660.4

    “Now there comes a time in the life of every one of these filaments when its extremity swells and becomes more or less club-shaped. The moment this occurs, the dark-green contents withdraw somewhat from the extremity, leaving it hyaline (glassy) and transparent. Almost simultaneously the contents of the swollen part of the tube nearest the apex become transparent, while further do the colour becomes very dark. Twelve hours after the commencement of this change, that portion of the tube's contents which occupies the club-shaped end separates itself entirely from the rest. A little later the cell-wall at the apex of the tube suddenly splits, the edges of the slit fold back, and the enclosed mass travels through the aperture. This, jelly-like ball, having a greater diameter than the hole, is at first strangulated as is struggles forward, so that it assumes the shape of an hour-glass, and looks for an instant as if it would remain stuck fast. There now arises, however, in the entire mass of green jelly an abrupt movement of rotation combined with forward straining and in another instant it has escaped through the narrow aperture and is swimming freely about in the surrounding water. The entire phenomenon of the escape of these bodies takes place between 8 and 9 A.M., and in any one case, in less than two minutes.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 660.5

    Let us stop here just long enough to let our minds grasp the fact that we have been witnessing the birth of a new plant. Another living thing, humble as it is, has begun a separate existence. Shall we follow it in its short career?PTUK October 20, 1898, page 660.6

    GUIDED IN THE RIGHT WAY

    “At first the ball rises to the surface of the water towards the light, but soon after it sinks deep down, often turning suddenly half way round and pursues for a time a horizontal course. In all these movements it avoids coining into collision with the stationary objects which lie in its path, and also carefully eludes all the creatures swimming about in the same water with it ....PTUK October 20, 1898, page 660.7

    “At length the swimmer attains permanent rest. He lands on some place or other, preferably on the shady side of any object that may be floating or stationary in the water.... So long as it is in motion, the gelatinous body has no definite wall. Its outermost layer is, no doubt, denser than the rest; but no distinct boundary is to be recognised, and we cannot properly speak of a special enveloping coat. No sooner, however, is the ball stranded, no sooner has its movement ceased and its shape become spherical, than a substance is secreted at its periphery; and this substance, even at the moment of secretion, takes the form of a firm, colourless, and transparent membrane. Twenty-six hours afterwards, very short-branched tubes begin to push out from the interior, and these become organs of attachment. In the opposite direction the cell stretches into a long tube which divides into branches and floats on the water. After fourteen days the free ends of this tube and of its branches swell once more and become club-shaped; a portion of their slimy contents is, as before, separated from the rest and liberated as a motile body, and the whole performance described above is repeated.”—Kerner's “Natural History of Plants.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 660.8

    This little jelly-like cell, whose entire life history we have followed, is the very simplest form of matter. It has no organs whatever, least of all has it a brain, yet no one can deny that there is intelligence manifested in its action, all the intelligence that is needed for its well-being. Whence comes that intelligence? Let each one answer the question for himself, while we pass to notice the action, not of a single cell, but of n multitude of primitive forms of life working together to build up a plant. We consider simple facts, apart from any speculation, and the extracts are from the above-named work.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.1

    “METHODICAL ACTION”

    “When one considers the unanimous co-operation of protoplasts living together as a colony, and observes how neighbouring individuals, though produced from one end the same mother-cell, yet exercise different functions according to their position; and, further, how universally there is the division of labour most conducive to the well-being of the whole community, it is not easy to deny to a society, which works so harmoniously, the possession of unity of organisation. The individual members of a colony have community of feeling and a mutual understanding, and stimuli must be propagated from one part to another.” “But the great puzzle lies, as before remarked, in the circumstance that the atomic and molecular disturbances occasioned by such stimuli and transmitted through the connecting filaments are not only different in the protoplasma of different kinds of plants, but even in the same plant they are of such a nature, according to the temporary requirement, that each one of the aggregated protoplasts in a community of cells undertakes the particular avocation which is most useful to the whole, the effect of this joint labour conveying the impression of the presence of a single governing power of definite design and of methodical action.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.2

    And that is exactly what there is, but “the governing power of definite design” does not originate in the cells themselves. “The way of man is not in himself;” neither is the way of a plant of the field in itself. It is God that worketh in the grass of the field both to will and to do of His good pleasure, thereby showing us how perfectly He will do the same in us when we will consent to occupy the same humble position before Him that the grass of the field does. But let us a little further “consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.3

    INTELLIGENCE

    “Were we to designate as instinctive those actions of the vital force which are manifested by movements purposely adapted in some manner advantageous to the whole organism, nothing could be urged against it. For what is instinct but an unconscious and purposeful action on the part of a living organism? Plants, then, possess instinct. We have instances of its operation in every swarm-spore in search of the best place to settle in, and in every pollen-tube as it grows down through the entrance to an ovary and applies itself to one definite spot of an ovule, never failing of its object.... Linaria Cymbalaria (toadwort) raises its flower-stalk from the stone wall over which it creeps toward the light, but as soon as fertilisation has taken place, these same stalks, in that very place and amidst unchanged external conditions, curve in the opposite direction, so as to deposit their seeds in a dark crevice.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.4

    SELECTION OF FOOD

    “The very salts that are needed by most plants are amongst the most widely distributed on the earth's surface.... At the same time it is very striking that these mineral food-salts are not introduced into plants by any means in proportion to the quantity in which they are contained in the soil, but that, on the contrary, plants possess the power of selecting from the abundance of provisions at their disposal only those that are good for them, and in such quantity as is serviceable.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.5

    “Having now seen that land plants take in food-salts by means of special absorptive cells, it is natural to find that each of these plants develops its absorption-cells, projects them, and sets them to work in a place where there is a source of nutritive matter. The parts that bear absorptive cells will accordingly grow where there are food salts and water, which is so necessary for their absorption. The Marchantias and fern prothalli spread themselves flat upon the ground, moulding themselves to its contour. From their under surface they read rhizoids (rootlike projections) with absorptive cells into the interstices of the soil. Roots provided with root-hairs behave similarly. If a foliage leaf of the Pepperplant or of a Begonia be cut up, and the pieces laid flat on damp earth, roots are formed from them in a very short time. The roots on each piece of leaf proceed from veins near the edge, which is turned away from the incident light, and grow vertically downwards into the ground.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.6

    “It is a matter of common knowledge that roots which arise upon subterranean parts of stems, like those formed on parts growing above ground, grow downward with a force not to be accounted for by their weight alone.” It is sometimes claimed that the growth of roots downward is but “an effect of gravitation.” It is strange that those who give this “explanation” do not tell us why the branches of the same plant, which are much heavier, do not also grow downward by the same force. That it is not a matter of weight is shown by the facts which follow.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.7

    ADAPTATION TO CIRCUMSTANCES

    “It is noteworthy that if bits of willow twigs are inserted upside down in the earth, or in damp moss, the roots formed from them, chiefly on the shady aide, after bursting through the bark, grow downwards in the moist ground, pushing aside with considerable force the grains of earth which they encounter. The appearance of a willow branch thus reversed in the ground is all the more curious inasmuch as the shoots, which are developed simultaneously with roots from the leaf-buds, do not grow in the general direction of the buds and branches, but turn away immediately and bend upwards. Thus the direction of growth of roots and shoots produced on willow-cuttings always remains the same, whether the base or the top of the twig used as a cutting is inserted in the earth.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.8

    “If seeds of the garden cress are placed on the face of a wall of clay which is kept moist, the rootlets, after bursting out of the seeds, grow at first downwards, but later they enter the wall in a lateral direction.” “The direction taken by roots in their search for food is dependent upon the presence of that food, and the fact that the roots grow towards places that afford supplies of nutritious material, are strikingly exhibited, also, by epiphytes growing on the bark of trees, such as tropical orchids.... The growing rootlets which spring from the seed, and the absorptive cells produced from minute tubercles, grow upwards if placed on the under surface of a branch, horizontally if placed on the side, and downwards if on the upper surface. Thus, whatever the direction, they grow towards the moist bark which affords them nourishment.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.9

    FINDING THE BEST PLACE FOR A LIVING

    “The movements of roots, as they grow in earth, suggest that they are seeking for nutriment. The root-tip traces, as it progresses, a spiral course, and this revolving motion has been compared to a constant palpitation or feeling. Spots in the earth which are found to be unfavourable to progression are avoided with care. If the root sustains injury, a stimulus is immediately transmitted to the growing part, and the root bends away from the quarter where the wound was inflicted. When the exploring root-tip comes near a spot where water occurs with food-salts in solution, it at once turns in that direction, and, when it reaches the place, develops such absorptive cells as are adapted to the circumstances.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 661.10

    IDENTITY OF PLANT AND ANIMAL LIFE

    Let one read carefully all the foregoing statements of fact, and add to them instances from his own observation, and he cannot fail to be impressed with the fact that in plants all the phenomena of animal life are manifested, although of course within a narrower range. Intelligent action is manifested at every step of growth. No false motions are made. Nothing is done in a haphazard manner. These things can be accounted for only by “the presence of a single governing power of definite design.” The Bible tells us what this is. The everlasting power and Divinity of God are clearly seen in the things that are made. Rom. i. 20.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 662.1

    When a man perceives a good opening, and occupies it, he is said to exercise good judgment. When a man avoids a place where he has met with danger, it is called the exercise of memory and reason. What shall the same things be called in plants? It is evident that they must be called by the same name as in man; but it is also equally evident that the plant itself has no power to remember or to reason; therefore we are shut up to the conclusion that God Himself exercises these functions in the plant; and this being so, since all flesh is grass, it is evident that these faculties in man are simply manifestations of the Lord's presence and working. Erratic movements in man, poor memory and poor judgment, are simply the result of lack of submission or positive opposition to God's Spirit. The blessed assurance is, “Behold, Thy servant shall deal prudently.” Isa. Iii. 13.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 662.2

    SURE AND WELL-DIRECTED EFFORT

    Note with what precision and certainty the plant proceeds to procure its necessary sustenance. Out of a vast mass of matter at hand, it selects only that which is good for it, and only in such quantity as it needs. No one needs to be told that human plants do not by any means exhibit the same wisdom and prudence. How few there are who know what are the very best things for them to eat,-what is best adapted to their constitution,-and who do not make frequent mistakes in the quantity taken. And yet man boasts of his superior wisdom! Does he do well to boast when he does not exhibit in the most vitally essential things the intelligence that is manifested in the despised plant of the ground?PTUK October 20, 1898, page 662.3

    Take note also of how surely the plant sends out its rootlets to places where there is moisture and nourishment. It makes no mistakes. It does not make any experiments. If water is to the east of it, we do not find it sending out its water carriers to the west. It goes at once and in the most direct manner to the very place where it can make its living. Ah, how often we find men making bad investments! How often a man settles down in a place where there is no possibility of his earning a living, and then is obliged to go elsewhere. Indeed the whole life of very many men is little else than speculation, and too often only failure. Why is it that the man who has a brain, and who claims as his essential characteristic that he is a “reasoning being,” so often acts with less evidence of calculation than the grass of the field?PTUK October 20, 1898, page 662.4

    GOD’S WORD GIVEN FREE COURSE

    The answer is not far to seek. It is because in the plants of the ground the Word of God is allowed free course, while the human plant imagines that wisdom originated in himself, and that he is in himself capable of directing his own affairs. If the man would unreservedly acknowledge God in all his ways, and not lean to his own understanding, which is nothing at all, he would make no more mistakes than the plant does. We have the word of the Lord for this. The man who makes the law of God his meditation day and night shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water; he will bring forth fruit in its season, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Ps. i. 1-3. Would it not be far better to be humble enough to acknowledge that we have of ourselves no more wisdom than the grass of the field, and always do the right thing at the right time, than to trust in our own supposed wisdom and He continually making failures? We have our choice,-either to boast of our own ability, and make failures, or to confess our ignorance and have true prosperity. But when we come to think of it, there is nothing in failure to boast of, so that boasting is really excluded in every case. We have our boasting for nothing; we might better refrain from boasting, even in our innermost thought, and have something substantial.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 662.5

    THE LESSON FOR US

    The great lesson to be learned is this, that God can and will manifest His own wisdom and strength in those who absolutely depend on Him. We may say if we wish to, that He gives wisdom and strength; the Bible uses those terms; but we must bear in mind that He Himself must direct them. “It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” We are not to work the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit of God is to work us. In the plant of the earth we have an object lesson of how completely the Spirit of God can and will use our organs, if we will but receive Him indeed. With no will but God's will, no Spirit but God's Spirit, no life but the life of God, even mortal flesh could exhibit power and wisdom that are beyond human comprehension. Only under such conditions can John xiv. 12 be fulfilled. That means the humility of Jesus, and perfect and unquestioning acceptance of every word of God. Is not the result worth the cost? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 662.6

    “Imagination Against Knowledge” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom.” Why not?—Because “the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” The result of men's boasting of their own wisdom, and trusting to it, is set forth in Rom. i. 21-23: “When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and to four-footed beasts, and to creeping things.” The verb from which the noun rendered “imaginations” is derived, is the one that is translated “to reason,” so that the word, as suggested in the margin of 2 Cor. x. 5, might well be rendered “reasonings,” instead of “imaginations.” That is to say, The so-called reasonings of men who leave God out of the account, are only vain imaginations. How true this is may be clearly seen from a few short extracts from one of the latest and really most scientific works on the subject of botany. It is a work which confines itself largely to statements of actually observed facts, without venturing much in the way of theory, and therein it is truly scientific. What we quote is from the introduction.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 662.7

    EVER SEEKING, NEVER FINDING

    “Even though the ultimate sources of vital phenomena remain unrevealed, the desire to represent all processes as effects, and to demonstrate the causes of such effects-a desire which is at the very root of modern research-finds at least partial gratification in tracing a phenomenon back to its approximate cause. In the mere act of linking ascertained facts together, and in the creation of ideas involving interdependence among the phenomena observed, there lies an irresistible charm which is a continual stimulus to fresh investigation. Even though we be sure that we shall never be able to fathom the truth completely, we shall still go on seeking to approach it. The more imaginative an investigator, the more keenly is he goaded to discovery by this craving for an explanation of things, and for a solution of the mute riddle which is presented to us by the forms of plants. It is impossible to overrate the value and efficiency of the transcendent gift of imagination when applied to questions of Natural History.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 663.1

    The Bible student will on reading this at once involuntarily think of men who are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. iii. 7), which was the case with those described in Rom. i. 21-23; but we will pass on to note the author's own statement as to the real value of this “transcendent gift of imagination.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 663.2

    CONJECTURE UPON CONJECTURE

    After mentioning certain objects of research, he says:—PTUK October 20, 1898, page 663.3

    “In all these and similar investigations imagination plays a predominant part. Experiment itself is really a result of the exercise of that faculty. Every experiment is a question addressed to nature. But each interrogation must be preceded by a conjecture as to the probable state of the case; and the object of the experiment is to decide which of the preliminary hypotheses is the right one, or at least which of them approaches nearest to the true solution.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 663.4

    THE HISTORY OF THEORIES

    “Every one of our theories has its history. In the first place a few puzzling facts are observed, and gradually others come to be associated with them. A general survey of the phenomena in question suggests the existence of a definite uniformity underlying them; and attempts are made to grasp the nature of such uniformity and to define it in words. Whilst the question thus raised is in suspense, botanists strive with more or less success to answer it, until a master mind appears. He collates the observed facts, gathers from them the law of their harmony, generalises it, and announces the solution of the enigma. But observations continue to multiply; scientific instruments become more delicate, and some of the newly-observed facts will not adapt themselves to the scheme of the earlier generalisation. At first they are held to be exceptions to the rule. By degrees, however, these exceptions accumulate; the law has lost its universality and must undergo expansion, or else it has become quite obsolete, and must be replaced by another. So it has been in all past times, and so it will be in the future. Only a narrow mind is capable of claiming infallibility and permanence for the ideas which the present age lays down as laws of nature.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 663.5

    MASTER OR TINKER

    To be always travelling towards a place and never getting there is highly unsatisfactory; but to have no hope of ever getting there is most discouraging. From the foregoing it would seem that many great thinkers are at the best only tinkers. An architect who built houses that would fall down almost as soon as he had finished them, would hardly be called a master builder; so a mind that frames a law that is not even expected to be permanent cannot be called a master mind. There is only one master mind in the universe, and that is the mind of God. Imagining is not thinking. So-called ideas which are the product of imagination, are not ideas at all; they are only shadows. Only God can create ideas. When men are willing to acknowledge this, then they will think to some purpose, for their thoughts will be God's thoughts. “The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations.” Ps. xxxiii. 11.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 663.6

    TRUTH NOT UNCERTAINTY

    Jesus said, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” He Himself is the truth, because He is the fulness of the God of truth. It is possible for men to know the truth. The Holy Spirit is given in order that we may know the things that are freely given us of God. Is it not a most humiliating confession, to be obliged to say that the work of even a “master mind” in science must necessarily in a few years, or even months, be thrown aside, that no one can be sure that any theory he advances is the truth? Can there be any more humiliating confession than the acknowledgment that one has no hope of reaching the object which he is seeking? and to be obliged to say that the foundation which he has laid for his followers to build upon is not a foundation, but only a weak, floating raft that will soon go to pieces? Is not that in reality a confession that one knows nothing? How much better, then, to make that confession to God, and at the same time to confess Him, and to accept His thought, that we may be sure of our ground. He has laid in Zion a tried stone, a sure foundation, and whoever believes shall not be confounded.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 663.7

    When each experiment is preceded by conjecture, then it is evident that one has only conjecture by which to test his work. True it is stated that “the object of the experiment is to decide which of the preliminary hypotheses is the right one, or at least which of them approaches nearest to the true solution;” but when one starts out without knowing where he is going, how can he possibly tell when he gets there? To make a lot of preliminary guesses (for an hypothesis is only a guess), and then to guess which of the guesses is the correct one, is labour spent to no profit. One can never arrive at any definite conclusion that way, and that is what is admitted.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 663.8

    TRUTH A MATTER OF PRIMARY REVELATION

    But the truth may be known, and the lesson to be learned from this study is that we must know the truth to begin with. Truth is revealed by God in HisPTUK October 20, 1898, page 663.9

    Word. No man can by searching can find out God, and He alone is the truth. God must reveal Himself to us, and then we know the truth; and this He has done even to babes. The truth is most wonderfully simple. A little child can grasp it, because it has only to be believed to be known. When one knows the truth, then study may be carried on to eternity, and with positive certainty at every step. For we are to grow in the knowledge of the truth. We are not to be studying all our lives to find out what the truth is, but we are to begin with the truth, and to spend all time and eternity as well in exploring it. The knowledge of the truth must precede all observation of phenomena or gathering of facts, if our work is to be to any real profit. Then every fact that is observed can at once be referred to its proper place in the building of God's truth.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 664.1

    IMAGINATION IS IDOLATRY

    Imagination is not a gift of God. It is the perversion of God's gift. It is the result of refusing to let God Himself direct the faculties which He has given us, and trying to direct them ourselves. One has no right to imagine anything. Imagination is but an ignis fatuus that leads men into a fog. The first chapter of Romans tells what it does for men. They had the knowledge of God, that is, of the truth, for God had showed it unto them. But they did not like to retain God in their knowledge. They did not like to admit that they were not wise in themselves. So they proceeded to find out the truth by their own “reason.” But God is the only source of reason, and “reasoning” without Him is only vain imagination. They saw wisdom and power displayed in the things that are made, and which are growing. But they would not acknowledge that it was God's power and wisdom that were manifested there, for in that case they would have been obliged to acknowledge that it was only by His power and wisdom that they themselves lived and acted and thought. This they would not do, for they professed themselves to be wise; they put themselves in the place of God. Then there was nothing left for them but to say that the things that were made were God, thus changing the truth of God into a lie. Instead of seeing God in everything, they imagined that everything was God, because they rejected the truth to begin with. The truth is that God's power and Divinity are to be seen working in everything that is made; the lie is to say that the power and wisdom originate in the things that are made whether it be men or the grass of the field. When men substituted their own imaginations for pure reason, it naturally followed that they gave those imaginations visible form, and so image worship was the result. Imagination is simply the forming of an image in one's own mind. The image that is formed is only the imagination of the heart made visible. To make images is idolatry, whether they be formed by the hands, or only retained in the heart.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 664.2

    The work of the Gospel is to cast down imaginations. “Every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,” must be overthrown, and every thought must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Imagination has no place in God's work. He deals in facts, not in fancies. The Gospel is a fact. There is no speculation about it. We have only to believe what is real, that which has been done and finished.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 664.3

    Think what heights of knowledge we all might have attained to even in our short lives, and with our meagre advantages, if we had never learned anything but the truth. We might not have been able to make much of a display, but we would have had something of solid value. One bag full of wheat is worth more than a thousand bags full of air. That which made Jesus of Nazareth superior to all the men of His day was the fact that He held Himself rigidly to the truth. Thank God that even though we have turned every one to his own way, and have filled ourselves with winds of teaching, it is never too late to learn the truth. If we come to Jesus in humility, He will transform us by the renewing of our minds, even giving us His own perfect mind.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 664.4

    JESUS CHRIST THE SOURCE OF WISDOM

    Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God, and He is of God made unto us wisdom as well as righteousness. God's Word is the only source of wisdom; “for the Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Now since imagination is the deadly foe of the truth and of wisdom, it is evident that in dealing with the Scriptures, above all things, every trace of imagination should be rigidly excluded. Nothing of self must be allowed any place. We must hold ourselves as nothing, not bringing to the study of the Word any preconceived ideas, or rather, what men are pleased to call ideas. We must be silent before the Lord, believing that every word of God is absolute truth, and allowing Him to fill us. Then there will be no mistakes. Then there will be no danger that we shall fall into error. All who do this will see the truth, and will be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Only in this course is there safety. In thus humbly submitting to be taught of God, not presuming to originate a single thought for ourselves, there are possibilities of almost infinite wisdom for the poorest and humblest souls. They who acknowledge God as the One who is all in all, have access to “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 664.5

    “Let no man deceive himself: if any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” 1 Cor. iii. 18.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 664.6

    “Always Something New; Always Trust” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When after forty years’ wandering in the wilderness the children of Israel were about to cross the Jordan and go into the promised land, Joshua gave them directions about following the ark, that they might know the way they should go; for, said he, “ye have not passed this way heretofore.” Joshua iii. 3, 4.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 664.7

    Thus it should always be with the people of God. A new experience should be theirs every day. For forty years the children of Israel had been wandering in the wilderness, crossing and recrossing their path, going forward and backward, and making no real advancement. They were always in the same territory.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 664.8

    It need not have been so. All the progress that they made in all those years they could have made in a few days, if they had believed the Lord and obeyed His Word. Immediately after they left Egypt, the word of the Lord to Moses was, “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.” Ex. xiv. 15. Going back was not in God's plan for them. The work which He did for them that day, in dividing the Red Sea, so that they might go forward, was amply sufficient to show them the power by which they were to advance. They were always to be treading upon new ground, and consequently they would always need His guidance.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 665.1

    Where they failed was in assuming that after one or two experiences they had learned it all, and could manage for themselves; and this is where people are most likely to fail to-day. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.” Heb. xi. 30. The people had absolutely nothing to do with the capture of that city; invisible hands had thrown down its walls, without their lifting a finger; all they had had to do was to follow the Lord, and trust: yet when the next city was to be taken, they thought that they knew all about how to do it. Ai was a much smaller city than Jericho, therefore they concluded that only a few of the people of Israel were needed to capture it. But they had not been that way before, and so as they trusted to themselves, they were defeated.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 665.2

    “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Prov. iii. 5, 6. “The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Jer. x. 23. There is nothing so simple but that it needs the wisdom of God to understand it thoroughly; nothing so small but that God's own power is needed in order that it be done properly.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 665.3

    Some one will say, “I thought that we were to learn by experience, so that we could know how to do things right ourselves. What is the use of our experience, if we are never to apply it.” Ah, the trouble is that we so often misapply it. We do not learn by experience. Take the experiences of the children of Israel. What do they teach us?—Simply this, that when they trusted the Lord it went well with them, and that when they assumed that they knew how to do things themselves they made pitiable mistakes. That which all our experience should teach us is that “power belongeth unto God,” and that we have real success only as we trust Him. We are to learn by experience to trust the Lord. The fact that we go on trusting in ourselves, trying to do things, and failing, shows that we do not profit by experience.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 665.4

    How often after having by the grace of God successfully resisted a temptation, and having gained a victory over some besetment, have we assumed that now we knew how to do it, and have met with shameful defeat the next time. There is no saint so skilled in the devices of Satan, and so experienced in gaining victories, that he can win one alone. Though a man walk with God, as Enoch did, for three hundred years, he is no more able to walk alone the last day than he was the first. He is as absolutely dependent on the Lord for strength to resist at the close of that time as he was at the beginning.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 665.5

    The one lesson which God wishes men to learn is submission, and trust In Him. Only by His power are we kept. Never in time or in eternity can a saint of God stand or walk alone. The experienced Christian is not the one who tries to stand alone, but the one who has learned absolutely to trust God in every detail of life. The true overcomers are those who “have no confidence in the flesh.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 665.6

    So in Christian work, that is, work that has to do directly with others besides ourselves. Why is it not more successful? There are thousands of earnest, zealous souls engaged in it; why are not greater results seen? One great reason is that the workers so often assume that experience has taught them how to do it. It is so easy and so natural to make this mistake. By the grace of God we have some measure of success. Straightway we think that now we have learned how the work is done. We went forth at first in fear and trembling, but now success has given us confidence, not in God, but in ourselves. It is vain confidence.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 665.7

    Only when we realise that the work is God’s, and not ours, can success attend us. Consider this: When we think that, having become familiar with a certain work, we are able to do it ourselves, and do not feel the need of such absolute dependence on God as at first, but lean more to our own understanding, is it not plain that now we are going round and round over the same ground? We are making no advancement, else we should feel the need of the Lord's guidance in the new territory. Does not this explain the whole matter of the little success that attends so much of the work that is supposedly done for the Lord? ‘We have forgotten that it is the Lord's work, and that only He can do it, and have also forgotten that His word is, “Go forward!” The Lord has a large place, which He wishes to bring us into. It is nothing smaller than “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of infinity. But we have not been this way heretofore; in this vast field we need a Guide constantly, and we may have one. So although you have gained a thousand victories, trust God for the thousand and first as much as you did for the first one. If you have preached five thousand times, remember that you don't know how yet. In order that real work may be accomplished, the old preacher must go before the people with as great distrust in himself, and as much sense of absolute dependence on God, as he did the first time he ventured to open his mouth. It is always over new ways, and to fresh victories, that the Lord would lead us. “Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 665.8

    “For the Children. The Promised Seed” The Present Truth 14, 42.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 666.1

    E. J. Waggoner

    Who is the Seed-the precious Seed-that God promised to send into the world to save it from perishing? Have you read the text which tells us, of which we spoke last week, Galatians iii. 16? Thy Seed, which is Christ.” Yes, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus is the Seed that God promised should bruise the serpent's head, should cast Satan out of this earth and destroy him, and make it again God's kingdom where only His own plants should bloom for ever.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 666.2

    From the very beginning, when the promise was first made, those who believed it watched eagerly for the coming of the promised Seed. When Cain, the first little baby, was born, and his mother Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord,” she earnestly hoped that she held in her arms the One who was to be her Saviour. But, alas, how sadly disappointed she must have been when, as he grew up, his pride and jealousy and hatred of his brother showed all too plainly that he “was of that wicked one.” Instead of the Son of God, they had got a son in their own image; for we learned how they themselves became “the children of the wicked one,” through receiving his word in the place of the Word of God.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 666.3

    Many years passed before the promise of God was fulfilled, and no doubt many a mother, like Eve, longed that the precious. Seed might he given to her care. So that is people should not lose hope, God often repeated through His prophets the promise of the Seed. And at last, “when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son; born of a woman.” You all know the story, how the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, and told her that she should have son, and the Holy Child “the Son of God.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 666.4

    Think of the wonder of His love, not only that God should give His only begotten son, but that Jesus, who was “in the form of God,” and had all the riches and glory of heaven, should give it all up for our sakes, and come into this world of sorrow and take the form of sinful man.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 666.5

    You will remember one lesson that we learned from the seed was that each thing must grow “after its kind.” And so Jesus, the son of God, although He no longer had the form of God, but “was made in the likeness of men,” grew up in this earth just as perfect, pure and holy, as He was in heaven. And its “the child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was, upon Him,” His loving mother and those who watched Him knew that He was indeed the Son of God, so God-like was He, so loving, gentle, kind, and obedient.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 666.6

    But oh, it will not do us any good to know that Jesus once came and lived in this earth, unless this precious Seed be sown in our own hearts. Jesus, the Word of God “was made flesh and dwelt among us; “He lived here as a little child like you, just to show what you may be, what sort of plant you will become, if you let Him, the Word of God, the good seed, dwell in your heart. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 666.7

    The Spirit of life, the Spirit of Jesus, is in the precious seed of the Word, just as it is in the seed that is sown in the earth. And so when you listen to the Word of God, and believe it, and receive it into your heart, the power which makes the seed spring up out of the earth, each “after its kind,” will “form Christ within you,” and fill you with His pure and holy life, just as naturally as roses grow on rose trees, and apples on apple trees, and grapes on the vine.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 666.8

    “The Birth of Jesus” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    And Mary brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for Him in the inn.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 667.1

    And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 667.2

    And the angel said unto them, “Fear not; for, beheld, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 667.3

    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 667.4

    And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 667.5

    “And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 667.6

    “Not a Laughing Matter” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    At the recent Sanitary Congress in Birmingham, Dr. Niven, health officer of Manchester, gave facts to prove that “at present an enormous stream of infectious milk is pouring into our cities, and that the matter is true one of urgency.” This milk may pass all the tests required, and yet may be spreading disease and death all the time.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 669.1

    “In dealing with meat infected with consumption, Dr. Niven stated that his own impression was that the amount of such meat actually consumed as food was under-estimated. The muscular substance in meat is rarely infected, but the fat and the glands constantly are, and ordinary cooking does not destroy the infectious matter.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 669.2

    Of course a resolution was passed urging immediate legislation in these matters. There is no doubt but that closer inspection will result in diminishing the amount of diseased meat sold, but there is only one absolute remedy, and that is one which lies in every individual's power. It is simply to abstain from the eating of flesh, and to use the foods which God designed that man should eat. It is very unfashionable not to eat the flesh of dead animals, and those who do not follow the fashion are usually laughed at as mildly insane; but it is a good deal better to be unfashionable, and to be laughed at, than to have scrofula and consumption. “He laughs best who laughs last.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.1

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -A second crop of strawberries has been gathered in a garden at Tottenham.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.2

    -The buildings, walks, and ornamentation of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 will cost ?4,000,000.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.3

    -The income-tax in India is levied on all incomes of ?33 and upward, and then only one man in 700 comes within its scope.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.4

    -The sweet, or China orange, was first brought into Europe from China by the Portuguese in 1547. Orange trees were first brought to England and planted with little success in 1595.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.5

    -A destructive hurricane is reported from Georgia which inflicted much damage to property, while the loss of life is estimated at 100. Many small vessels were wrecked, the crews in some instances been drowned.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.6

    -The average supply of wine produced annually in Europe is sufficient to supply every man and woman of the adult population of this continent with over one bottle of wine per head during each week throughout the year.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.7

    -During the past few days some fifty foreign Anarchists have been expelled from France. Ever since the assassination of President Carnot the detective service has kept the closest possible watch on all persons known or suspected as militant Anarchists. Against any foreigner believed to be a dangerous character and expulsion decree has been at once issued.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.8

    -Fifty thousand workmen are out on strike in Paris for an increase of wages.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.9

    -A little steamboat on the Jordan River makes regular trips from Jericho to the south end of the Dead sea.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.10

    -Owing to an extensive underground fire raging near Sunderland the drinking water runs warm from the taps.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.11

    -Notwithstanding of occasional showers, this water famine in the East-end continues, and a large increase in fever cases is reported from the district.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.12

    -The Kaiser takes with him to Palestine eighteen picked men of the body guard of enormous stature, including the biggest man in the German Army.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.13

    -The arrival of a number of negroes in Illinois to take the place of miners out on strike was followed by a desperate battle. A number were killed on both sides.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.14

    -A fine of ?50 has been imposed on demand for selling putrid condensed milk. It was marked as unfit for human use, but he obliterated the marks, and tried to dispose of it.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.15

    -A town in the West of Ireland consists of a gaol, a court-house, a police barrack, two or three churches, a convent, two long narrow streets and seventy-nine public-houses!PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.16

    -Some ladies opened a coffee-stall for the benefit of hop-pickers at Sissinghurst. It was extensively patronised, no case of drunkenness occurring in the village during its continuance.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.17

    -The situation caused by the spread of yellow fever in the State of Mississippi grows more serious, and it is feared the entire State will be infected unless the weather soon becomes cooler.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.18

    -The Spanish forces have been required by the American Government to evacuate Cuba by the 18th instant. American control in Cuba will be established on December 1, regardless of Spanish delay.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.19

    -The drought has seriously affected the foundations of many houses around London, especially on the slopes in the South-eastern district. The shrinking of the clay soil has led to a settlement, causing walls to crack.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.20

    -The German Emperor's tour in the East comprised a three weeks’ visit to Egypt, but to the general surprise, and the consternation of the hotel-keepers in that country, this part of the programme has been suddenly abandoned.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.21

    -The men who have returned from the Nile campaign are dying in large numbers at Alexandria from enteric fever. It is believed that ten per cent. are already affected, the disease being largely due to the immoderate use of cheap spirits.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.22

    -The abolition of fees in the Evening Continuation Schools by the London School Board has doubled the attendance this season. The applications in the first week of this session were about 50,000, as compared with about 25,000 in September, 1897.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.23

    -Fashoda has emerged from its desert obscurity to the front rank of International importance. Both England and France talk of supporting their claims to the place by war if necessary, but it is expected that the question will be diplomatically settled, France claiming compensation elsewhere for her disappointment.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.24

    -When the Russian, British and German troops entered Peking last week, it was observed that although Russia had agreed to bring the same number of men as the other Powers, she had brought more than twice as many. French and Italian troops are soon expected to arrive, and the Japanese Government has ordered a force of blue-jackets to land at Peking for the protection of their Legation.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 670.25

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Nine Italian Anarchists have been arrested at Alexandria, for being concerned in a plot against the German Emperor. Some very powerful bombs were found in their possession, and the capture is considered as of the greatest importance.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.1

    There are rumours of a military plot in Paris to overthrow the Republic, and place the Army officials in a position where it would be treason to question their acts or doubt their honour. The rumours are denied, but the credence they receive is significant. Large numbers of troops have been concentrated in Paris, ostensibly on account of the strike, but this is questioned in many quarters. No one can look over the political situation without feeling that Europe is on the eye of a great eruption. Just where the volcano will burst is an anxious problem.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.2

    Christ is the True Vine. His people are the branches. The vine is nothing without its branches, for only by these can it bear fruit and demonstrate its value. So Christ identifies Himself to the full with His people. He commits His name to them and makes them His witnesses, not revealing Himself apart from them but in them. Unless they bear the fruit “which are by Jesus Christ,” He is shown to the world as unprofitable and barren. This has been too much the case, and the world has not known His love for them because the church, “which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all,” has not revealed it. To the world Christ has been largely an empty name. When the church abides in Him and glorifies Him by bearing much fruit, His fulness will appear, and men will know what He is, and be drawn to Him.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.3

    An Oxford professor has lately written an article in the Contemporary on “The Earliest Religion of the Ancient Hebrews,” in which he claims that the Jehovah cult is not an Isolated system of worship, but was in its earliest beginnings identical with the very far-spread adoration of the moon god, who was in antiquity boat known under the name of Sin.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.4

    This is not referred to because it is better worth notice than any other product of heathenism, but because of the remarkable way in which one largely circulated religious paper introduces the article to its readers. It observes that “old-fashioned Bible readers” will find it difficult to swallow this statement, but proceeds to make it manifest that the new-fashioned kind are not so hard to be convinced. The paper concludes its review of the article in these words:—PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.5

    It is perhaps hardly necessary to say that the theory, if substantiated, though sufficiently startling, in no way affects the belief in the Divine origin of the revelation through the Hebrew race. It only touches some of the details of the road along which the revelation has travelled.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.6

    It will be noticed from this that it is not deemed impossible that the Professor may he right after all. But this would make no difference. How much is that faith in the Bible worth which is prepared to believe that Jehovah once made Himself known to people as the Moon-God? When men are willing to allow that the true God and false gods are identical, it simply means that their own god is a false god, and they have relapsed into heathenism, in spite of the name they bear. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. Some things that call themselves “Christian” are inspired by Satan.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.7

    The Welsh mining strike has resulted, it is estimated, in a direct loss of ?1,800,000, in wages, and the engineering dispute not less than ?1,700,000. And that is only a small part of the loss to the country. But considering the lose to the workmen alone, it can readily be seen that it would take a very large increase of wages to make it up. Common sense, leaving the Gospel entirely out of the question, ought to teach men that a strike is the worst possible way to settle any labour difficulty. It is only a kind of war, and nothing is ever settled by fighting of any kind except with the weapons of the Holy Spirit. Of injustice there is an abundance, but it is better for any man to work for small wages than not to work at all. God Himself has promised to “maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.” The trouble is that people are afraid to trust Him, and take matters into their own hands. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” The wildest dreams of labour reformers cannot hope to be consummated in a time sooner than the Lord will certainly come to judge the poor with righteousness. “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.” It requires only the patience of the farmer, who waits until the harvest for the fruit of the seed which he sows in the spring.PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.8

    “Real Enjoyment” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Real Enjoyment .—Self enjoyment is the world's idea of happiness. “How are you enjoying yourself?” is one of the most common questions; and “I am enjoying myself very much,” is the common term to express perfect satisfaction. If one is enjoying himself, nothing more is thought to be needed. Ah, how small enjoyment that is! He who has nothing but himself to enjoy, has a very limited range of enjoyment. And very mean enjoyment it is, too. God would have us enjoy something far better, and so He gives us Himself. “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Rom. v. 10, 11. Here is true enjoyment, the enjoyment of God. He who enjoys God has an unlimited and eternal field of enjoyment. God gives Himself to us in Christ, in whom are all things, and so it is that He “giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” 1 Tim. vi. 17. When people learn that “every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights,” and that we have no good thing except in Him, they will cease asking their friends, “How are you enjoying yourself,” and will say, instead, “How are you enjoying the Lord?”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.9

    “Accept Only the Mind of Christ” The Present Truth 14, 42.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Accept Only the Mind of Christ .—The Bishop of Ripon, in his presidential address at the opening of the recent Church Congress, quoted with approval the words of Dean Stanley, that “the error of Christendom” has been “that it has put aside the mind of Christ, and taken in place thereof the mind of Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, great in their way, but not the mind of Him of whom we read in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” That is frank, and true; why not, then, adopt the simple remedy of coming back to the mind of the Lord, as given in the Holy Scriptures, and holding to that alone. That mind is great; enough and comprehensive enough to employ the thoughts of all men to all eternity? Such statements as that just quoted should be known by all the people, in order that they may not any longer appeal to the Church, which has confessedly wandered from the Lord, but may rest on His Word alone. “Let this mind be in you, which; was in Christ Jesus.”PTUK October 20, 1898, page 672.10

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