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    September 27, 1888

    “The Deep Things of God” The Present Truth 4, 19.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    When a man has gazed into the starry heavens through a telescope, he has an idea of depth that he never had before. Let him, for instance, point his telescope toward some portion of the Milky Way, where to the naked eye only a faint haze is visible, and he will see not only countless multitudes of stars, but will be impressed with the fact that there is an infinite depth beyond, which the strongest telescope cannot fathom.PTUK September 27, 1888, page 291.1

    Suppose now that as the enthusiastic astronomer is dilating upon the wonders of the starry worlds, someone should say to him, “Oh! you see more in the heavens than is really there; those little shining specks are not so important as you think they are, but you have been gazing at them so intently for so long a time that everything is magnified to your vision.” Almost any intelligent person would tell such an one that it is impossible to overestimate the extent and wonders of the heavens; that the telescope magnifies nothing, but simply helps us to get an approximate idea of the actual size of the heavenly bodies; and that it is just as impossible for any man to comprehend the vastness of the universe as it is for him to comprehend God.PTUK September 27, 1888, page 291.2

    This train of thought was suggested by one who, after a conversation upon the law of God, said: “You have been studying the subject so long that, to you, everything is magnified. It is always the case that when one thinks on a certain subject a great deal, little things assume an importance which they do not actually possess.” Is this true? Can a person look into the perfect law of liberty so intently that some portions of it will assume undue proportions? Many who would agree with us in our statement concerning the heavens, will agree with our friend in his statement concerning the law; but it can be shown that the human mind can no more fathom the depths of the divine law, than it can compass the bounds of the universe.PTUK September 27, 1888, page 292.1

    If the law were of human origin it could be fathomed, for what one finite mind has evolved, another finite mind can comprehend. But who can know the Almighty to perfection? And the law of God is the righteous will of God. It is a transcript of his own character. This fact alone should convince anyone that there is no danger of overestimating any portion of it.PTUK September 27, 1888, page 292.2

    Things of human origin may often be comprehended at a glance, and then if one spends time poring over them, minor points assume undue importance. But the Scriptures, which are a commentary on the law, must be searched in order to be understood. One may imagine that his casual glance has enabled him to grasp all that is contained in a passage, and it may seem to him that there is little in it; but Paul says: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14. And he says: “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Verse 10.PTUK September 27, 1888, page 292.3

    These deep things of God are revealed only to those who have Christ, for in him “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3. The psalmist David did not think there was any danger of thinking upon the law so much as to unduly exalt any portion of it, for he said: “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.” Psalm 1:1, 2. And of himself he said “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.”PTUK September 27, 1888, page 292.4

    “God is love;” all men who profess to know God, make much of this fact. His love is infinite, because he is love, and he is infinite. But no man can understand any more of the love of God than he does of the law of God, for the love of God runs parallel with his law. The love of God is just as extensive as his law, and no more so. Just consider: His law is a law of love, and we read that it was in love that he gave it to men. Deuteronomy 33:2, 3. He desires that all men should have life; but they cannot have life unless they are like him; for only those who are like God can dwell in his presence, and soon the glory of the Lord is to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Then those who are not like God will be destroyed. But no man can see God, so as to know what it is to be like him, and so God has given us his law,-the transcript of his character,-that we, by conforming to it, may be like him, and so have life. Thus the law was ordained to life. The angels who have never sinned, but who “do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word,” have life for that reason.PTUK September 27, 1888, page 292.5

    But as for men, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” and “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Why did Christ die? He himself answers: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. “Sin is the transgression of the law,” and “the wages of sin is death.” Hence we know that all men were doomed to death, because they had trampled upon the law of life, and God in his great love for them gave his only begotten Son, in order that they might, through faith in him, escape that awful fate. We say that this was infinite love; that in that one gift God gave all that Heaven had to bestow; and that the infinite power of God himself could do no more for guilty man than he has done. But would God take steps that were unnecessary? To give up his own Son was a sacrifice that a finite mind can never understand; would he have made that sacrifice if man could have been redeemed by any easier way? No, indeed; the love of God was no greater than was necessary to satisfy the righteous demands of his broken law. But that love was infinite; therefore the law itself is infinite. The love of God in Christ helps us to understand the law; the law of God, carefully studied, helps us to understand the love of God. Both work together.PTUK September 27, 1888, page 292.6

    The danger with men is that they will take too narrow and too shallow views of the law, and not that they will get too exalted ideas of its breadth and depth. Christ came to earth to “magnify the law, and make it honorable.” He did not make it larger than it was before, but exhibited it in his life, so that its hidden beauties might stand out prominent. He was the living embodiment of the law. He who studies the character of Christ, with a longing desire and an earnest purpose to emulate it, is studying the deep things of God,-the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,-that are hidden in him. As we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we learn that the greatest things in the law are those things which to the natural mind appear trivial, or which do not appear at all; and with the psalmist we cry to the Lord, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” E. J. WAGGONER.PTUK September 27, 1888, page 292.7

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