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    July 6, 1899

    “A Mystery Revealed” The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Lord Kelvin, who is a recognised authority on Mathematics and Physical Science, has lately been tracing the probable history of the earth (according to geology) from its origin up to the time of the creation of living things. Of this latter he says:-PTUK July 6, 1899, page 418.1

    Mathematics and dynamics fall short when we contemplate the earth, fitted for life but lifeless, and try to imagine the commencement of life upon it. This did not take place by any action of chemistry, or electricity, or crystalline grouping of molecules, under the influences of force, or by any possible kind of fortuitous concourse of atoms. We must pause face to face with the mystery and miracle of the creation of living creatures.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 418.2

    When men leave the plain, simple statements of the Bible regarding creation, their reasonings and speculations soon get them into a labyrinth of mystery that mathematics or dynamics cannot solve. But there need be no guess-work as to how the earth came into existence, or of the “creation of living creatures.” “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. For He spake, and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:6, 9. It was God's word that did it all-not only the heavens and the earth, but the creation of living creatures as well. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast after his kind; and it was so.” There it is, so plain, that a child can understand it, and the greatest worldly-wise man living knows no more of fact. Guessing is not fact, nor speculation truth.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 418.3

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. ‘The King in His Beauty.’ Isaiah 33:17-24The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (ISAIAH 33:17-24, LOWTH'S TRANSLATION.)

    17. Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty;
    They shall see thine own land far extended.
    PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.1

    18. Thine heart shall reflect on the past terror:
    Where is now the accomptant? where the
    weigher of tribute?
    Where is he that numbered the towers?
    PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.2

    19. Thou shalt see no more that barbarous
    people;
    The people of the deep speech, which thou
    couldst not hear;
    And of a stammering tongue, which thou
    couldst not understand.
    PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.3

    20. Thou shalt see Sion, the city of our solemn
    feasts;
    Thine eyes shall behold Jerusalem,
    The quiet habitation, the tabernacle un-
    shaken;
    Whose stakes shall not be plucked up for
    ever,
    And whose chords none shall be broken.
    PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.4

    21. But the glorious name of Jehovah shall be
    unto us
    A place of confluent streams, of broad rivers;
    Which no oared ship shall pass,
    Neither shall any mighty vessel go through.
    PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.5

    22. For Jehovah is our Judge; Jehovah is our
    Lawgiver;
    Jehovah is our King; He shall save us.
    PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.6

    23. Thy sails are loose; they cannot make them
    fast;
    Thy mast is not firm; they cannot spread the
    ensign.
    Then shall a copious spoil be divided;
    Even the lame shall seize the prey.
    PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.7

    24. Neither shall the inhabitant say, I am dis-
    abled with sickness;
    The people that dwell therein is freed from
    the punishment of their iniquity.
    PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.8

    Before studying this lesson, do not fail to read again the first portion of the chapter, and recall the lesson we there learned. The people here addressed are those who are able to dwell with the devouring fire, and amid everlasting burnings. Only those who have been tried as by fire, and have stood the test, so that they can dwell in the fire, can behold Him who is Light itself, and who has His fire in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem. (See Isaiah 31:9.)PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.9

    The picture here presented is beyond question that of the new earth, after the fire from the Lord has consumed sin and sinners; when only those are left, who can dwell with the consuming fire. It is the time when in all the earth “there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face.” Revelation 22:3, 4. They shall see the King in His beauty, and they shall also see the land stretching far to northward and eastward and southward and westward, as God promised to Abraham. Genesis 13:14-17.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.10

    “And they shall see His face.” “Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty.” What is the beauty of the King, that to look upon it should fill up the measure of all happiness and bliss? Let us give it a little study, for when we know it, and can recognise it, we shall find the joy of life, even in this sin-cursed earth, marvellously increased.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.11

    That the Lord is beautiful, the verse before us states. The prophet Zechariah, seeing in vision the Lord saving His people like a flock, was moved to exclaim, “How great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty!” Zechariah 9:16, 17. His goodness and His beauty are linked together, for His beauty is the beauty of holiness. Now the goodness of God is infinite; it is the only goodness that there is in the universe; therefore the beauty of the Lord must be infinite. No tongue can possibly describe it; it must be seen to be appreciated, and seen not for a moment merely, but throughout eternity.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.12

    “Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.” Psalm 96:6. Zion itself, His dwelling place, is “the perfection of beauty.” Psalm 50:2. Even one of His creatures, the covering cherub that fell, is declared to have been “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” Ezekiel 28:12-14. What then must the Creator be?PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.13

    David “the sweet psalmist of Israel,” the one by whom the Spirit of the Lord spake (2 Samuel 23:1:2), spoke of the things touching the King, and he said, “Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into Thy lips.” Psalm 45:1, 2. To the psalmist wonderful revelations of Divine things had been vouchsafed, and so great was his appreciation of the beauty of the Lord that he said, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:5. To see the beauty of the Lord was his sole desire, and that is to be the reward of the righteous.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.14

    “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1. They tell of His glory by revealing it in their shining; for He has set His glory “upon the heavens.” Psalm 8:1, R.V. Remember that everything exists only by the power of the life of God. All things were created by the Word of God, and the Word is life. “In Him all things consist.” Colossians 1:17. “We are His offspring” (Acts 17:28), but we are not the only products of His Being. The mountains and hills were “brought forth” by Him who from everlasting to everlasting is God. Psalm 90:1, 2. All are familiar with the term, “brought forth,” so that it is scarcely necessary to say that in the Hebrew the word is plainly “born,” and several translations have the text, “before the mountains were born.”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 419.15

    The everlasting power and Divinity of God are clearly seen in the things that are made. Romans 1:20. The Father impresses His image on His offspring. So “He hath made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11. “He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not He correct? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not He know?” Psalm 94:9, 10. In like manner we may continue, “He that hath clothed the heavens and the earth with beauty, and hath made all things beautiful, shall not He be beautiful?”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 420.1

    All these things show us that the beauty that we see in created things is but the reflection or the reproduction of the beauty of the Creator. Just as there is no goodness but from the Lord, so there is no beauty except that which comes from Him. Take all the varied tints of all the beautiful flowers on earth (remember that, beautiful as they are, they are under the curse, and are but the shadow of what they were in the beginning, and of what they will be in the restoration), and add to these the richness of the meadows and the forest, and to this still the glory of the rainbow, and the dazzling splendour of the clouds kissed by the setting sun; let the telescope reveal to your admiring gaze a few of the star-clusters that shine with light of every colour, and remember that when the most powerful telescope and the art of the photographer have revealed to us the presence of countless millions of suns that are invisible to the naked eye, awing us with glimpses of measureless space, “these are but the outskirts of His ways,” and a very small whisper of His power. Job 26:14. Therefore all these things reveal to us only a very small portion of the beauty of the face of the Lord. Think of all the beauty in earth and sea and the heavens, even the heaven of heavens, concentrated into one single Presence, and you have the measureless measure of the beauty of the Lord. And all this wondrous beauty the saints of God will be privileged to gaze upon, and they will be made able to endure the sight! Truly, the face of God will be enough to satisfy anyone. No wonder the psalmist exclaimed, “As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.” Psalm 17:15.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 420.2

    What is the practical benefit of this study? Is it merely to inspire in us a desire to see that glorious sight, and thus stir us up to righteousness? Partly, but that is not by any means all. The chief thing is to let us know the possibilities set before us even in this life, as expressed in the inspired prayer, “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.” Psalm 90:17. If we but allow our hearts to be the sanctuary of the living God, then He that dwells between the cherubim will “shine forth.” Psalm 80:1. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1, 2. The beauty of the Lord is the beauty of holiness, and just as He has laid up great goodness for them that trust in Him before the sons of men (Psalm 31:19), so does He impart to them His beauty. The world will not recognise it, for they did not desire the beauty of the Lord when they saw Him; their standard of beauty is not the Lord's standard; nevertheless the beauty is present whenever righteousness is present; and it is beauty that will never fade. That is the true test of beauty. By beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we become changed into the same image, even in this life, and are thus prepared for the full revelation of the beauty of the world to come, when the righteous shall shine forth as the sun.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 420.3

    Even now may we behold the beauty of the Lord, if our eyes are but anointed by the Spirit. In all His works, we may see the shining of His face. “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance.” Psalm 89:15. So we may ever dwell in the house of the Lord; and ever behold the shining of His glorious face. “Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house; they will be still praising Thee.” Likewise in eternity, the saints, although privileged to roam throughout the entire universe, will always know themselves to be in the Presence of the King, everywhere beholding the beauty of His face. With this truth ever in our minds, we may realise to the full all that is contained in the expression “living near to the Lord.”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 420.4

    Verses 18-20 make still more plain the fact that the time of which we are now studying is that after the wicked who have surrounded the camp of the saints, and the Beloved City, have been devoured by the fire from heaven. Revelation 20:9. “Thine heart shall reflect on the past terror,” but only to magnify the wondrous power and mercy of the Lord. Where now are those who counted the towers, and who in the madness of wickedness had devoted the holy city to destruction? No more shall they be seen, for they are as though they had not been. Jerusalem, instead of falling a prey to them, as they had planned, will be seen as “the quiet habitation, the tabernacle unshaken, whose stakes shall not be plucked up for ever, and of whose chords none shall be broken.”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 420.5

    “But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams.” Is this literally true?-Most certainly; for God is ?the Fountain of living waters.” Jeremiah 2:13. From Himself flows the river of water of life-His own life flowing forth for the everlasting refreshment of His people. But this is true now for those who have eyes to see spiritual things, and who know the reality of them. It is from the river of God that this earth is watered. Psalm 65:9. It is full of water, even to overflowing, and never runs dry. The rain that falls from heaven to enrich the earth, is from that river. Consequently the streams of water on this earth are but branches of the same river. In the flowing streams and the waves of the sea we may see the life of God; then will it be no more a mere figure of speech that our peace shall be as a river, and our righteousness as the waves of the sea. Dwelling in the house of the Lord, we shall constantly see His face, and drink of the river of His pleasure.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 420.6

    Jehovah is our Judge, our King, and our Lawgiver, and He is this by right, because He will save us. Only He who can save has the right to give laws, and only to Him should we hearken. Our daily prayer is, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” That means that we should now regard the Lord as our King just the same as though we were now in heaven. He is the only rightful King; our part is to recognise His right to rule over us.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 420.7

    “And the inhabitants shall not say, I am sick,” or, as Lowth has it, “I am disabled with sickness.” That will be a glorious change from this present state. “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 421.1

    Why will there be no more sickness in that land?-The reason is given in the text: “The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” God, who forgives all iniquities also heals all diseases, and the healing is because of the forgiveness-a consequence of it. Few people realise the fulness of the blessing of forgiveness, and that is the reason so many Christians say that there is a much higher state in the Christian life than that of justification. They think that to live in the consciousness of sins forgiven is but a trifle compared with the blessings that God has for those who fully trust Him. But to live in the constant knowledge of sins forgiven is the highest possible for any creature. It is to live in fellowship with God. 1 John 1:7. Our sins are forgiven by the substitution of the righteousness of Christ, which means that it is by God's giving us His life instead of ours. That means a complete transformation.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 421.2

    “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” The life of Christ, the stream from the throne of God, constantly flowing through us, and being our sole source of life, takes sin away. But when the Lord gives us His life, He gives us the whole of it. He gives us Himself, and He is not divided. Therefore He gives us His health as well as His righteousness. It is just as easy for the Lord to make a man perfectly whole as to forgive his sins, for it is all done by the same life. Indeed, if we but knew the extent of the gift of the righteousness which takes away sin, we should always take with it the healing of our bodies; it is ours, if we will but receive it.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 421.3

    Why is it that so many people who know the Lord as the One who forgives all their iniquities do not experience the blessings of health?-Simply because they do not understand and comply with the conditions. They know that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” and so they confess their sins, and do not expect to continue them. They would not expect to be forgiven if they were not willing to cease from sinning. Well now, why not be as reasonable with regard to health? There are conditions of life and health. No one would expect the Lord to keep him from being burned, if he persisted in going into the fire. Even so we need not expect the Lord to keep us in health if we continually disregard the laws of health, any more than we should expect forgiveness if we ignored the ten commandments. God has given us food, drink, air, rest, and clothing, to keep us in health. If we eat and drink only the things that He has indicated as good for us, and in proper measure, allow our lungs the utmost quantity of the purest air, and do not contaminate it with vile tobacco poison, and if we have the right relation between labour and rest, then, trusting in the Lord, we may expect strength sufficient for all our duties, so that even in this life we need not say, “I am disabled with sickness.” This is practical godliness, which is profitable for this life as well as for that which is to come.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 421.4

    “Warlike Tendencies” The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Every military country in Europe has its “war party,” and it is from this party that most of the perils which threaten peace are supposed to come. If there is a war party in England, it is comparatively inactive, but the continually increasing proportion of the national revenue which is being applied in military and naval directions, must have the effect of strengthening warlike tendencies. It is now no unusual thing to have prominent military chiefs referring to the necessity for some means of forcibly recruiting our army. Colonel Mathias of the Gordon Highlanders, said it few days ago,-PTUK July 6, 1899, page 421.5

    As the commander of a regiment he knew there was great difficulty in getting man. They had to compete with the Labour market, and noises sufficient wages were offered, the army could not compete with Labour. In consequence of this state of things the country was within measurable distance of conscription. If men would not serve their country willingly, they would have to do it under compulsion. Every year England was painting the map redder and redder, and men must be found to defend her possessions.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 421.6

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. In the Fiery Furnace. Daniel 3:14-28The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Daniel 3:14-28.)

    It seemed like a great thing for four young men, captives, to presume to know more about what was best for them than all he king's wise men, and a very bold thing for them to mark out a course for themselves, entirely different from the one that had been planned for them; but in the chapter before us we have a test of faith and loyalty that was much stronger. It was, however, only the natural sequence of the first test. If these young men had not been true to principle in the first instance, they would not have stood in this trying time. The germ of all their faithfulness was in that question of eating and drinking. If any man will but eat and drink just as he ought to, and in the fear of God, he will not fail in anything else.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 421.7

    Nebuchadnezzar the king had made an image of gold, exceeding great and high, and set it up in the plain of Dura, where he assembled all the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, and the treasurers, the counsellors, and the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, in fact, all the great men in his kingdom, which meant all the great man of the whole world, for that was the extent of his kingdom. See Daniel 2:37, 38. Daniel's three companions were there, for the king had set them over the affairs of the province of Babylon. Chapter 2:49. Where Daniel himself was, we are not told, as he does not appear at all in this affair; but we may be sure that he was not present, for if he had been there he would have stood for the truth as sturdily as did his companions This we know from his record.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 421.8

    When all were assembled, the herald cried aloud, “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up. And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning, fiery furnace.” Daniel 3:4-6. You may be sure that the people in general needed no second bidding, after that decree was announced. “At that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.” It was a gorgeous spectacle, and one calculated to dazzle the senses. Then the music must have been most ravishing and enchanting; people would almost involuntarily be bewitched by its charm into falling down and worshipping. It was so easy and natural to follow the crowd of great men, even if there had not been hanging over their heads that fearful threat to the disobedient.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 422.1

    But there were three men in that vast company who dared be peculiar, and who were not afraid to do differently from all the rest of the world. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, for so had Daniel's three companions been named by the king, stood upright while all the rest fell prostrate. You may be sure that they did not like to be peculiar, that they did not stand up merely for the sake of attracting attention to themselves. It was very dangerous at that time for one to attract attention to himself. Brave men are never foolhardy. These men were not acting from a spirit of bravado, but from principle. They were not obstinate, but they could differently, because they knew the commandment of the God of heaven, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” and, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them.” Exodus 20:3-5. This command is from the King of kings, and takes precedence of any command made by any king on earth. Disregard of Nebuchadnezzar's decree was therefore not disobedience, but the most perfect obedience. Both the king and his Hebrew captives were subjects of the King of the universe, and the fact that the king was disloyal did not absolve them from their duty.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 422.2

    The king, however, had forgotten his obligation to his Maker, and assumed that he was absolute ruler over the souls me well as over the bodies of men. Accordingly he was in a great rage and fury when the word was brought to him that three men, and captive Jews at that, had dared ignore his commandment. Yet there were noble traits in Nebuchadnezzar character, and even in his idolatrous pride and the rage of offended dignity, he would not act hastily. So he generously offered the Hebrews another trial. He might, according to the decree, have sent them at once to execution; but he did not. He would overlook this act of defiance to his authority if at the second sounding of the musical instruments they would fall down and worship the image. It is quite likely that the king also thought that there must have been some misunderstanding; for he could scarcely conceive that any one would deliberately disregard his decree, when such awful consequences of disobedience were staring them in the face.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 422.3

    But there was no misunderstanding. The three men had not acted without full knowledge of what they were doing, and they told the king that they did not need another trial. They could answer him now as well as later, that they would not worship his image. Listen to their bold language: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Daniel 3:16-18. There was no doubt nor hesitancy in their answer. They were very prompt and bold, but calm and deliberate. They had confidence in God's power to deliver them; but even if He should not see fit to save them from the furnace of fire, that would make no difference. They were not serving the Lord for personal gain. They did not have the notion that God was under obligation to give them an easy time if they served Him, as so many have. There are very many who would be willing to serve the Lord, if He would insure them against hardships; and there are very many professed ministers of the Gospel, and religious teachers, who are inculcating this notion, and teaching the people that they cannot be expected to do what they think is right unless the way is made so easy that there will be no possibility of their suffering. We see this in the demand for Sunday laws, in order that men may be free to keep the day which they hold to be the Sabbath. They profess to believe that God's law demands Sunday observance; yet by making pleas for human laws restraining employers from requiring labour on that day, they virtually say that men do not need to serve the Lord unless everybody also does, or if men in high positions are against it.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 422.4

    There was no mistaking the answer of the Hebrews. Such a seeming defiance of his authority the king was not accustomed to, and he could not endure it. So he commanded that the rebellious men should forthwith be carried to execution. Such a flagrant disregard of authority must receive signal punishment, so that all others might take warning, and orders were given that the furnace should be heated seven times hotter than usual. Then the three men were bound in their mantles, their turbans, their hose, and all their other garments, just as they stood, and were cast into the superheated furnace. So hot was the furnace that the men who were appointed to cast the captives in were killed in the act. What must have been the terrible fate of the men who were cast into it bound in all their inflammable clothing?PTUK July 6, 1899, page 422.5

    A wonder took place. The executioners were slain, and the condemned men were set at liberty, and that by the agent of death. Such a thing was never known before. Nebuchadnezzar himself was the first to notice it. He rose up in haste and amazement, and said unto his counsellors, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” He can hardly trust his own senses, and seeks confirmation of what he sees with his own eyes. “They answered and said, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Only their bonds were loosed. Thus would God demonstrate to all the world that His servants are free men.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 422.6

    In the face of this record, how weak and foolish sound the excuses sometimes made by men, for not serving the Lord. “I could not live, if I should keep the commandments.” Well, the three Hebrews lived, and no one will ever be placed in a more desperate situation than they were. Men sometimes shrink from going as missionaries to some heathen land, because it is so hot there, but no one can ever get into a hatter place on this earth than those men were in; yet they lived. Their experience demonstrates that there is no place where men cannot live and prosper if God is with them. They were better off after they want into the furnace than they were before.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 423.1

    In their case we see the fulfilment of Christ's words, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. His name is I AM, therefore He says, “When thou passest through the waters, I am with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:2. There was not so much as the smell of fire on their garments. A fiery furnace can become a pleasure garden, where men can walk to and fro at their ease, if the Lord be with them. They who walk righteously, and speak uprightly, can dwell with the devouring fire, and even with “everlasting burnings.” Isaiah 33:14, 15.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 423.2

    Although these three man were nominally captives, they were the most powerful men in the entire kingdom, not excepting the king himself; and the king was the first to acknowledge the fact. “Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego, who hath sent His angel and delivered His servants that trusted in Him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” Then compare that with the words of the Apostle Paul: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6:12, 13. There was not defiance of man, but yielding to God. In yielding was their strength, for they trusted in the Lord Jehovah, in whom is everlasting strength.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 423.3

    It would have been an easy matter for those men to compromise with their consciences, by saying, “We can fall on our faces, so as not to attract attention to ourselves, and thus incur the penalty, but we need not worship the image. We can be calling on God in our hearts.” No, it would not have been an easy matter for those men to reason in that way, but it comes very natural to a great many. What a failure their whole lives would have been if they had. What a glorious opportunity they would have missed. “Oh, yes; we could stand out for the truth as well as they did, if we were sure that God would interfere to save us.” Exactly; we could serve the Lord if we had confidence in Him, and could trust Him. The difficulty is that everything is so commonplace when we are called upon to witness for the Lord. The way looks so shut up, that we just dare not go ahead. But those men had no assurance that they would not be burned alive. To all appearances that was the last of them. But that made no difference; they would serve the Lord whatever happened, and God honoured them in their honouring Him. The same God lives to-day, and He has the same power to deliver. His law also is just as holy as it was then. Not one jot of its requirements has been relaxed. Men have set it at naught, and kings and rulers have enacted laws contrary to it, and even requiring its transgression, as, for instance, the laws requiring observance of Sunday instead of the Sabbath, and also laws requiring men to kill their fellow-men; and thousands of professed Christians think that these human laws absolve them from their duty to the law of God. But since God has not changed, things are in exactly the same condition that they were when Nebuchadnezzar set up his image in the plain of Dura, and commanded all men to fall down before it. Where are the men who will be faithful even unto death?PTUK July 6, 1899, page 423.4

    “Whited Sepulchres” The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When Christ was here on earth, He had a good deal to say about people who “say and do not.” These He likened to a whited sepulchre, filled with dead men's bones. This at first thought seems like an extreme comparison, but it is not altogether a figure of speech. How often it is that people make a profession of religion, unite with the church, and to outward appearance pass as God's children, while at the same time sin reigns within the heart. Then when God looks upon such an individual, professing to be what he is not, He sees beyond the exterior, and takes cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart. There He sees sin; but sin is death. So instead of the body of that person being the temple of the Holy Ghost, it is really a seplechre, filled with dead men's bones.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 423.5

    God does not desire that we should be sepulchres filled with death, but living temples filled with His Spirit. So instead of drawing over our iniquity a covering that will make us appear outwardly to he righteous, God would have us to be covered with the covering of His Spirit, that will cleanse from all iniquity and sin.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 423.6

    “Choosing” The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Men were created free moral agents, with the power and privilege of choice; and God calls upon them to choose between right and wrong, life and death. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” Joshua 24:15. “Choose life that both thou and thy seed may life.” Deuteronomy 30:19. There is nothing arbitrary about it-every one is left free to choose as he sees fit, but it makes a great difference what that choice is, for on it hang eternal consequences.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 424.1

    When Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, he made a choice that he afterwards regretted; and even though he sought it with tears, there was no place found for repentance.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 424.2

    When the strife between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot became so great that a separation was necessary, Lot was given the first choice; and because the plain of Jordan was “well watered,” he chose that, and “pitched is tent toward Sodom.” His choice was a selfish one, to satisfy present desires; and for a time it appeared outwardly that it was a wise one, so far as worldly success was concerned, but in the end it proved to be the very worst he could have made, as he lost all of his worldly possessions, and escaped from the doomed city only with his life.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 424.3

    Not so with Moses. Although heir to the throne of Egypt, with every possible worldly prospect before him, he “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 424.4

    Ah, there is the secret. It is to look beyond the present. The wise man said, “Walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.” Ecclesiastes 11:9.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 424.5

    So many to-day are choosing this world, the pleasures and benefits that it can give, but the choice is a poor one, for all the world can give is only transitory and unsatisfactory. But he who chooses the world to come, like Mary “hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 424.6

    “Little Folks. Summer Morning” The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some time ago we had a little talk together about the equinox, at the time of the Vernal or Spring Equinox. This, you may remember, is the time, about the end of March, when the days and nights are of equal length all over the world.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.1

    Since then the days on our part of the globe have been growing longer and warmer, because we have been turning nearer and nearer to the sun. And now we have passed “midsummer day,” or what is called the “summer solstice.” This time, about June 21, is called the “solstice” from two Latin words meaning “the sun,” and “to stand,” because at this time the sun seems to stand still for a little while, to make a pause, and remain for a short time at the same point in the heavens, before we pass further away from it again to the time of short days and nights.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.2

    It is at the time of the summer solstice that we get the longest and warmest days in all the year. Perhaps you do not know how long you have long before the daylight has faded.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.3

    Only two or three hours of darkness, and then the soft dawn of the sweet summer morning-the smiles of God breaking again over the earth in the returning sunlight, causes all mature to rejoice and smile back at Him in return. For you know that the light of the sun is all the reflection of the glorious light shining from the beautiful face of Jesus, who is “the Light of the world.”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.4

    See how joyfully everything greets Him. The clouds blush beautiful colour. The flowers open their petals and pour forth their sweetest fragrance, as the sunlight kisses the dew from their leaves and it is carried away again in the form of vapours to refresh other thirsty plants perhaps thousands of miles away.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.5

    The sweet birds one by one awake; and begin the day with a glad song of praise to the Light of the world who has brought them again from their slumbers. First there is a faint, drowsy chirp or twitter here and there, which swells as others add their notes to a full chorus of joyful praise.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.6

    All this is going on while you, little children, are peacefully sleeping in your beds in the early morning hours of these glad summer days. But at last you too awake, and how do you greet Him? God loves the flowers, the birds, and all His other works that praise Him. But, oh, there is something which He loves much more, for which He listens much more eagerly, and that to hear His children praise Him, to see their hearts turning to Him in love and thankfulness for all His loving care for them.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.7

    Then, dear children, as you awake each morning and see “His smile in the glad sunshine,” will not you too give Him smiles of love and songs of praise, and offer to Him the sweet incense of worship, giving yourselves to Him who “giveth you richly all things to enjoy.”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.8

    Think how much it has cost Him to do this-to give to you life and all them blessings. He gave up His own life, poured it out upon the cross, so that He might be able to give life to you. He wants to give you life and all the blessings of His love, not for a few years only, but “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.9

    As you think of the great love of God and all His goodness to you, as you Iearn to take all these gifts of His love as coming to you direct from your loving Father in Heaven, you will long to see His face, and to live for ever in the light of His countenance, and sing His praises.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.10

    Think how it pleased the dear Saviour when the little children of Jerusalem owned Him so their King and shouted His praises. To those who rebuked them for their He said, “Have you never read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast Thou perfected praise?”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.11

    And He is “the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” Just as much now as then He listens for and loves the praises of His little ones.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.12

    An old philosopher once said that the learned manners from the mannerly,-by doing exactly opposite to what he saw others do that was disagreeable to him.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 426.13

    “Tea-Drinking” The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The poisonous effects of tea were lately illustrated in a case which was reported in all the papers.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.1

    By drinking thirty cups of tea daily a New York man reduced himself to such weakness that he had to undergo treatment in a hospital. The over-indulgence, it was found, had destroyed six out of every seven of the corpuscles of the blood, rendering the life-fluid thin and powerless.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.2

    The fact that a man could drink so many cups of tea daily shows that there is nothing nutritious in tea. If there were, a sense of satisfaction would take away the desire for more. Now that it is proved what is the effect of tea-drinking tin a large scale, tea-drinkers may know how the stimulant is affecting them, in proportion to the amount they consume.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.3

    Very few people will admit that they are slaves to the craving for tea. A simple way of ascertaining whether this is so, is to leave off using it. If no inconvenience is caused, they should be thankful to have escaped the influence of the stimulant, and adopt a healthier beverage. If they suffer any inconvenience from its disuse, they may certainly know that it is high time to leave it alone.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.4

    While it is sometimes true, because of disordered digestions and other personal considerations, in the case even of wholesome articles of diet, that “what is one man's food is another's poison,” it is always true of nervous stimulants like tea and coffee, which are harmful in themselves, that if they poison one man they will have the same effect upon another.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.5

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -About a million students leave school in India every year, 926,000 of whom are utterly ignorant of Christian truth.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.6

    -There is great discontent in Spain over the proposed taxes for increased fortifications. Riots have taken place, attended by bloodshed.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.7

    -The United States Government is reported to be making preparations for the enlistment of nine regiments of volunteers for service in the Philippines.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.8

    -All convicts under sentence of penal servitude who have not passed the third standard will be kept from labour for one hour daily until they are sufficiently educated to pass.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.9

    -Schemes for the arrest of armaments and the disuse of Dum-dum bullets, and similar implements of warfare, have been laid before the Peace Conference, but do not meet with general support.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.10

    -A National Animals’ Hospital is to be established in London. It will be mainly intended for the benefit of animals maimed in the streets. Ambulances will be provided for the conveyance of such animals.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.11

    -A new Government has been formed in Paris, and has succeeded in obtaining a vote of confidence by a majority of twenty-six. The reform of military abuses is the ambition, and will probably prove the downfall, of the new Ministry.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.12

    -Bishop Tugwell, who was arrested on a criminal charge of libel for saying that most of the deaths among white men on the West Coast of Africa, were due to excessive use of alcohol, has been released. The prosecution was abandoned.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.13

    -Organ-grinders in Verviers, Belgium, are by law compelled to appear every morning before the police superintendent and play their instruments. The organs which chance to be out of tune must be set in order before a licence to play on the street will be granted.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.14

    -The largest room in the world, under one roof and unbroken by pillars, is at St. Petersburg. It is 620 ft. long by 160 in breadth. By daylight it is used for military displays, and a whole battalion can completely manoeuvre in it. By night 20,000 wax tapers give it a beautiful appearance. The roof is a single arch of iron.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.15

    -A labour war is raging in Denmark. It began in an insignificant dispute over joiners’ wages, but there are now 40,000 men locked out, and the federated employers threaten to shut out another 40,000 unless their terms are accepted. There are only 100,000 industrial workers in the whole country, so that the light will involve the whole population unless it is quickly brought to a termination.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.16

    -The United States Navy Department is making experiments with a shell which bursts into lfame when it touches the water. Such an article has been known to pyrotechnists from the days of Troy, but this is a new thing nevertheless. It is loaded with carbide, and on contact with water an electric wire ignites the gas at a burner. The object is to cast a brilliant light over the sea so as to expose the whereabouts of an enemy's ships or batteries. The inventor claims that the flame cannot be extinguished by wind, even though it should blow a gale.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 430.17

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Peace Conference having rejected the Czar's disarmament scheme, the Daily Mail says:-PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.1

    The Peace Conference has proved a failure. It was foreseen from the first that there would be immense difficulty in arriving at any basis of reduction in armaments. It would be practically impossible to prevent one Power secretly spending more than its neighbours, or drilling larger forces, where the motive to snatch an advantage was so strong. No Power believes in its neighbours, and that is why Europe is an armed camp to-day.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.2

    That is the exact truth. What is the remedy?-There is only one thing that can cast out fear and distrust, and that is perfect love-the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit. In Christ alone is there peace, in the world is strife and war. The only preparation for peace is the Gospel of Christ.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.3

    One of the charges against ancient Israel was that they said to their seers, “See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things.”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.4

    Many to-day, rather than receive an unwelcome truth, deliberately blind their eyes end close their ears to dangers and warnings, and so walk into the trap the devil has set for their destruction. Their hearts rebel against the words of truth, preferring rather to hear “smooth” words-slippery things-something that will not lodge in the heart and prick the conscience. Such are in “slippery places.”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.5

    God would deal faithfully with people. His word is sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. So the word that comes to every soul means either life or death. The truth divides between those who really know God and those who do not. It is because truth and error are so mixed together that the message must be a cutting one, that it is given in love. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Let us welcome His instruction, and foIlow the truth to have its sanctifying effect on our hearts, and fit us for His kingdom.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.6

    Many professed Christians rally round the creed of their church rather than the Word of God. New truth may come to them, and they see it, but rather than devise their creed, they reject it. But this is not as it should be. No man can know all the truth of God. The path of the just shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Truth is progressive. Like a tree it grows and expands, and when a new truth appears, he whose heart is open to receive truth, will recognise it as another branch of the tree, and thank God for it.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.7

    In a notice of Archbishop Ireland's visit to this country, the Catholic Times takes occasion to speak of the progress which the Roman Catholic church had made in the United States of America, under the leadership of such prelates as Archbishop Ireland, who are “foremost in serving the interests of the State.” As showing the popularity of “the church” in that country the Times says: “To-day the voice of the Catholics is recognised as a potent factor in the affairs of the nation, and there is no public man whose words command more general attention than those of the Archbishop of St. Paul.” This is undoubtedly the truth. The President of the United States is a Presbyterian, but Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop Ireland, who hold no office, have more influence with him than any other man in the country. It will doubtless not be long before the affairs of that country will be largely directed from the Vatican.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.8

    “Investigating Spiritualism” The Present Truth 15, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The New York Independent, which is one of the oldest and most influential religions journals in the United States, has announced its sympathy with Spiritualism. In an editorial entitled, “May Spiritualism be Investigated?” it boldly takes the position that it should be, and commends the labours of the Harvard professors, who have through their investigations become quite converted to Spiritualism. The editor, after stating the almost universal belief in “the continued existence after death of the spirits of human beings,” says: “It no longer seems as absurd to imagine that we may possibly communicate with the spirits of the dead as it did twenty years ago.” The Independent, therefore, pronounces the investigation of Spiritualism not only legitimate, but necessary.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.9

    “Well isn't it so? Isn't it lawful and necessary to investigate all things?”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.10

    “Certainly not?”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.11

    “But doesn't the Bible tell us to prove alI things?”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.12

    Yes, it does; but that does not justify every man in drinking all the whiskey he caught hold of, to see if it is really intoxicating. It doesn't warrant a man in putting his hand in a viper's nest, to see if its bite is fatal. There are different ways of investigating things. A man may most thoroughly investigate Spiritualism without ever coming in contact with a medium; and that is the only safe way of investing it.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.13

    God's word is light. It supplies the test by which everything is to be tried. It tells us to “try the spirits,” but does not tell us to go and experiment with them. “To the law, and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is cause there is no light in them.” The man who has never attended a Spiritualist meeting, nor conversed with a medium, but who knows God's Word, has a far better understanding of it than the wisest professor in the world can have, who into the midst of it to investigate it, without the Bible. The man who stands at the mouth of a cave and flashes a search light in, will learn far more of its interior than the man will who goes into its murky recesses without a light.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.14

    One thing is sufficient to condemn Spiritualism utterly, and that is that it denies the very foundation of the Gospel life only in the cross of Christ. It not only denies that, but is itself a denial of the very foundation of Spiritualism is the teaching that every man has life in himself, regardless of Christ. In fact, Spiritualism is a repudiation of the atoning blood of Christ. So Christianity and Spiritualism are fundamentally opposed. They are as opposite as light and darkness. We can well understand how men of the world, who know not Christ, can talk about investigating Spiritualism; but for those who profess His name, and who have known something of His saving power; to recommend an investigation of it, indicates a terrible departure from the faith. They would be shocked at the proposal to investigate Paganism with a possible acceptance of it, and yet a knowledge of the first principles of the Gospel is sufficient to teach anybody that Spiritualism is only Paganism.PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.15

    “Enter not into the path of the wicked; and walk not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it; turn from it, and pass on.”PTUK July 6, 1899, page 432.16

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