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    July 13, 1899

    “The Handwriting on the Wall. Daniel 5:17-31The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The portion of Scripture covered by this lesson is but the closing part of a most interesting and instructive history, and therefore we must first gives some attention to what precedes. Nebuchadnezzar, who had brought Babylon to the highest pitch of grandeur and greatness, was dead, and his son Nabonadius, who had associated with himself Belshazzar his son, was ruling in his stead. The third chapter of Daniel, which we have already studied, and also the second, show us something of how God had dealt with Babylon, and how He had revealed Himself to the king. The fourth chapter, which is passed by in these lessons, recounts Nebuchadnezzar's pride and its abasement, and gives his humble acknowledgment of his sin and of the goodness and greatness of God. The time of the fifth chapter is nearly seventy years later than that of the first.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 433.1


    At the time when the events of this chapter occurred, Babylon had been besieged by Cyrus, king of Persia, commanding the combined forces of Media and Persia, for about a year. As yet nothing decisive had been accomplished. The walls of Babylon were very thick and high, and a deep and wide moat surrounded the city. The soldiers of Cyrus had been engaged in cutting a canal round one side of the city, extending from a point on the Euphrates River above the city to a point below, as it passed through the city; but the Babylonians, feeling secure in their stronghold, with provisions laid up for many years, laughed at this sort of warfare, and gave themselves no concern. As if to emphasise their unconcern, the people were this night celebrating with unusual hilarity a heathen festival. The king made a special feast to a thousand of his lords, drinking himself drunk in their presence, while they all “praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” The vessels of the house of God were brought out, and the king's courtiers and courtesans drank wine out of them, thus wantonly insulting the God of heaven. It was a wild scene of licentious carousing, in which the king, who felt himself superior to the Majesty of the universe, allowed himself to be no true king, but a mere thing lower than the brutes.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 433.2


    “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” Daniel 5:5, 6. The king's conscience made a coward of him. He could boldly blaspheme the God of heaven as long as He kept silence, but when God began to manifest Himself in a special manner, he trembled like a leaf in the wind. He had fancied himself a king, and could boast of his power, believing all the flatteries of his princes; but now he was revealed before them as a miserable, shrinking, trembling thing. Where was now his confidence in the gods which he had been praising.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 433.3


    “The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king's wise men; but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.” Daniel 5:7-9. But the king's wise men were not familiar with the handwriting of God. They had not studied in His school. They had so long worshipped the work of their own hands (Isaiah 2:8), that the hand of God was to them a hidden mystery. God “frustrateth the tokens of liars, and maketh diviners made;” He “turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish.” Isaiah 44:25. When He speaks, His words are so deep that all human wisdom sinks into insignificance. It was with reference to this very time that these words were written more than a hundred years before. See the remainder of Isaiah 44, and chapter 45:1-4.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 434.1

    It was now the time of punishment for the wickedness of Babylon. Long before, God had sent its people warning, and had wrought wonderfully among them; but because judgment upon their evil works was not executed speedily, their hearts were fully set to do evil. This very time, and this very circumstance had been accurately foretold through the prophet, before any of the actors in the scene were born. God had said to Babylon and its rulers:-PTUK July 13, 1899, page 434.2

    “I was wroth with My people, I have polluted Mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst show them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke. And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: but these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble.” Isaiah 47:6-14.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 434.3


    The astrologers and necromancers could not prevail, and Daniel, the servant of the despised and blasphemed God of Israel, was called in to make known the mystery. To him the same rewards were offered that had tempted the astrologers to try their skill; but they were no inducement to him; yet he unhesitatingly promised to make know the writing and its interpretation. Daniel had long been a student in the Lord's school, and he knew His handwriting, and had no trouble in deciphering it. It was a terrible message that he had to deliver, but he had no fear. He had so long been accustomed to stand before the God of heaven and earth, that he could not be abashed by the tinsel and gaudy splendour of a profligate court, nor elated by the promises of rewards offered by the ruler of a kingdom of a day. Very plainly and forcibly he recounted to the king the history of God's dealings with his ancestors, and how the lesson had not been laid to heart. God had abased the haughty pride of Nebuchadnezzar, and the king, in a writing sent to all the world, had humbly acknowledged the God of heaven as supreme; “and thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” Daniel 5:22, 23. What a striking arraignment this was! How insignificant Belshazzar's gods must have seemed to him at that moment! Talk about wise men, when they did not know any more than to praise senseless pieces of metal, and in the same breath belittle the name of Him who gave them breath!PTUK July 13, 1899, page 434.4


    Then was the writing again placed on the wall, and these words appeared: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. The words themselves were not difficult. Anybody present could have pronounced them. Literally translated, they are, “Numbered, Numbered, Weighed, Divided.” But what could they signify? “God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.” Twice was this repeated, for emphasis. A most accurate account had been kept, and there was no mistake in the books. The end of the kingdom had come; it was about to fall to pieces by its own weakness. “Thou art weighed in the balances, and found wanting.” God weighs the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance (Isaiah 40:12), yet “by Him actions are weighed.” 1 Samuel 2:3. His scales are wonderfully accurate, and are adapted to the greatest things as well as the least. Belshazzar had been placed in them, and had been found lighter than air. He weighed absolutely nothing. “Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie; to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.” Psalm 62:9. That which men call “gravitation” is but the power of the presence of God, to whom alone power belongs; outside of Him there is no weight whatever; Belshazzar had rejected the Lord, and therefore when laid in the balances he went up like the fine dust.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 434.5


    Only one thing remained to be said: “Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Even then the soldiers of Cyrus were marching into the city through the river bed, the waters of which had been drained off. Sudden retribution was about to fall upon the head of the basphemous king of Babylon. “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom.” The judgment came as a thunderbolt, yet it was not sudden; for the warning had long been given. The destruction of Babylon was not only a representation of the judgment of the last day, but was in reality the beginning of it, for the punishment then will be finished when the Lord shall appear. Even as it was in Belshazzar's day, “when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3. And thus the story ends.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 435.1


    Yet it is not ended for us. It is written for our learning, and if we have not learned it, then we are as guilty as Belshazzar was. The pride and self-confidence of the Babylonians was the cause of their fall. The very feast in which they were congratulating themselves on their safety was used by Cyrus for their complete overthrow. Trusting in their strength, they relaxed their watchfulness, and there was nothing to hinder the conqueror from marching into the very heart of the city; and even if he had been seen, the drunken lords and rulers were in no condition to repel him. Now the same destruction that was prophesied upon Babylon is to come upon all the earth. See Isaiah 14:24-27. Nations and kings may say, that they are well fortified against all invasion: but that is just what Belshazzsr said. When God brings judgments, so that no one can know whence they come, who can he prepared against them? Only those who make the preparation of putting on Christ.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 435.2


    In the very hour of his death king Belshazzar commanded that the promised rewards should be conferred on Daniel. He was clothed in purple, the royal colour, a chain of gold was placed about his neck, and a proclamation was issued that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom, next to Belshazzar himself. Daniel knew the value, or rather, the worthlessness, of these honours. The kingdom was defunct, and with it all its honours would perish. He would not have cared for them, even if it had beer. in the beginning of the kingdom, instead of at the close, for he served a King who could give more real and lasting rewards. But let it not be forgotten that the rewards and honours which Belshazzar conferred that night were just as valuable as any that are ever conferred by any earthly monarch. All the kingdoms of this earth, like that of Belshazzar, are but for a day. In the sight of the Lord, all nations are “less than nothing, and vanity.” Isaiah 40:17. Why then should anybody be elated at the thought of what kings can bestow? or seek worldly honour and preferment? The thing offered cannot be as great as the power offering it, and that is less than nothing! With what trifles men who are called wise amuse themselves? “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” Psalm 118:8, 9.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 435.3

    “The Covering of the Lord” The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When the children of Israel would seek help in emoting off the yoke of bondage they were under to the king of Assyria, instead of going to the Lord, they took counsel of the king of Egypt, and sought to make him their strength. For this they were called “rebellious children,” who “take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit,” “therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.”PTUK July 13, 1899, page 435.4

    Just as it was then, so is it to-day. The strength of the church is not found in seeking alliances with the world. The Lord is the strength of His people, and to seek help from any other source is to trust in a broken reed.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 435.5

    But it is so easy when a people have let go their hold on God to reach out after something they can see, to form unholy alliances to carry on their cherished plans. Indeed, it is these very ones who are always so greatly concerned about the future of themselves and the work in which they are engaged. They are the ones who are always ready to appeal to the civil law to help forward the cause of Christ on the earth. But this is not as God would have it; and their end will be as that of Israel,-that which they thought to be their strength, will be their shame and confusion.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 435.6

    It would be well for the people to see this-not merely as churches and denominations, but as individuals. All need to know this truth, that without the covering of God's Spirit, they are not safe for a moment. By faith it must be accepted as a protection from the fiery darts of the enemy, and when it is thus accepted, it will be a protection from every evil that can come to them. “Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”PTUK July 13, 1899, page 435.7

    “Hope” The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Hope is the desire for something with the expectation of receiving it. Now sin and sorrow, blasted hopes, sickness and death, cruet wrongs and base injustice are the common lot of man. The “blessed hope” is that when Jesus comes all this will come to an end; for God shall wipe away a tears; 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.” And more: Jesus said to His sorrowing disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if l go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself.” What those mansions are like, “eye hath not seen, ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man.” What a blessed hope! “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 435.8

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. The Earth Desolated. Isaiah 34:1-17The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. Draw near, O ye nations, and hearken;
    And attend unto Me, O ye peoples!
    Let the earth hear, and all the fullness
    The world, and all that spring from it.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.1

    2. For the wrath of Jehovah is kindled against
    all the nations;
    And His anger against all the orders
    He hath devoted them; He hath given them
    up to the slaughter.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.2

    3. And their slain shall be cast out;
    And from their carcasses their stink shall
    And the mountains shall melt down with
    their blood.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.3

    4. And all the host of heaven shall waste
    And the heavens shall be rolled up like a
    And all their host shall wither;
    As the withered leaf falleth from the vine,
    And as the blighted leaf from the fig tree.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.4

    5. For My sword is made bare in the heavens;
    Behold, on Edom it shall descend;
    And on the people justly by Me devoted to
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.5

    6. The sword of Jehovah is glutted with blood;
    It is pampered with fat;
    With the blood of lambs, and of goats;
    With the fat of reins of rams;
    For Jehovah celebrates a sacrifice in Bozrah,
    And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.6

    7. And the wild goats shall fall down with
    And the bullocks, together with the bulls;
    And their own land shall be drunken with
    their blood,
    And their dust shall be enriched with fat.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.7

    8. For it is the day of vengeance to Jehovah;
    The year of recompense to the defender of the
    cause of Zion.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.8

    9. And her torrents shall be turned into pitch,
    And her dust into sulphur;
    And her whole land shall become burning
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.9

    10. By night or by day it shall not be extin-
    For ever shall her smoke ascend;
    From generation to generation she shall lie
    To everlasting ages no man shall pass through
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.10

    11. But the pelican and the porcupine shall in-
    herit her;
    And the owl and the raven shall inhabit
    And He shall stretch over her the line of
    And the plummet of emptiness over her
    scorched plains.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.11

    12. No more shall they boast the renown of the
    And all her princes shall utterly fail.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.12

    13. And in her palaces shall spring up thorns;
    The nettle and the bramble in her fort-
    And she shall become an habitation for
    A court for the daughters of the ostrich.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.13

    14. And the jackals and the mountain-cats shall
    meet one another;
    And the satyr shall call to his fellow;
    There also the screech-owl shall pitch;
    And shall find for herself a place of rest.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.14

    15. There shall the night-raven make her nest,
    and lay her eggs;
    And she shall hatch them, and gather her
    young under her shadow;
    There also shall the vultures be gathered to-
    Every one of them shall join her mate.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.15

    16. Consult ye the book of Jehovah, and read:
    Not one of these shall be missed;
    Not a female shall lack her mate;
    For the mouth of Jehovah hath given the
    And His Spirit itself hath gathered them.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.16

    17. And He hath cast the lot for them;
    And His hand meted out the portion by
    They shall possess the land for a perpetual
    From generation to generation shall they
    well therein.
    PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.17

    The subject of this chapter is very easy to discern, and is manifestly that indicated in the title. The whole chapter is devoted to the one subject, so that it is easy of comprehension.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.18

    Here is a proclamation of something that concerns the whole earth. All the earth, and all the nations on it are called to hear what the Lord has to say. It is nothing less than the proclamation of the wrath of God against all the nations. The most cursory reading of the chapter must convince anybody that the things here set forth are not limited to any one section of the earth, nor to any one people.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.19

    There is a strange idea very prevalent among readers of the Bible, and in religious circles, namely, that in ancient times God confined His attentions specially to one people-the Jews; that He was shut up to them, and cared little or nothing for any other people. How anybody who reads the Bible could get such an idea is most strange. This chapter alone is enough to show the contrary; it is addressed to all the nations of the earth. The prophet is commissioned to preach to all mankind, and so understands his mission.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.20

    Think how much of the book of Isaiah is directly addressed to other people than the Jews. Chapters fifteen to twenty-three are entirely devoted to other nations, who are directly appealed to by name. Moab, Tyre, Egypt, Assyria, and all the great nations are addressed one by one. And then other chapters mention the whole earth, showing that the events with which the prophet had to deal were not local. Indeed, the book begins with an appeal to the whole earth, and to heaven as well.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.21

    From the earliest times God has showed Himself the God of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews. There were no Jews at all until more than two centuries of the world's history had passed, yet in all that time God had had faithful men, a proof that He was revealing Himself to whomsoever would accept Him. The Jews themselves originated from a man taken from the midst of heathendom. People in these days seem to think that they must perpetuate the blindness of people of other days. Because the Jews in their national conceit imagined that the Lord did not care for any other people than themselves, most Bible readers have thought that it must have been so. But the fact was very evident from the beginning, to any person who would use his eyes and reason, that God is no respecter of persons, but that “in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him.” The book of Isaiah, as indeed the books of all the other prophets, was addressed to the nations at large as well as to the Jews. And it concerns all the nations on earth today.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 436.22

    If one follows the book of Revelation in connection with Isaiah, it will be very apparent that the prophet John had no new message given him for the people. The Apostle Peter testifies that the message given to the ancient prophets was the same that the apostles had to give. 1 Peter 1:10-12. Compare for instance verse 4 of this chapter with Revelation 6:12-14. In many cases the words in Revelation are but a repetition of those used by the earlier prophet. That does not show that he was a mere borrower of other mens’ message, but that the Holy Spirit had the same message to give by the two men. Both had a message for the last days.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 437.1

    A few facts gleaned from various parts of the Bible will help us to read this chapter more understandingly. First, we must remember that when the Lord comes the second time it is for the consummation of the salvation of His people, and this is effected by the destruction of the wicked, who will be on the point of exterminating them. For “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:13. This statement immediately following the one that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” shows that at the last day the people of God will be in more bitter persecution than at any other time in the world's history. Before the flood the earth was filled with violence, and at the coming of the Lord it is to be in the same condition as then. Genesis 6:11, 12; Matthew 24:37.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 437.2

    Remember also that both righteous and wicked live together on this earth until the end of the world (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43), and that there is no secret coming of the Lord, but that when He comes it will be openly, so that all can see Him, and the pomp and awful majesty will be such that none can help giving heed. See Revelation 1:7; Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:23-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. At that time the wicked who still remain alive after the plagues that have come on the earth, will be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming, and the righteous, both dead and living, will be caught up, immortal, to be ever with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:8. This is the first resurrection. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 437.3

    But the rest of the dead, that is, the wicked, will not live again until the thousand years are finished. At the end of that time they will be raised, and will be deceived by Satan into thinking that they can capture the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which has come down from God out of heaven, and while surrounding it will be destroyed. Revelation 20:5-9. This is in brief the outline of events in connection with the coming of the Lord, as set forth in the Scriptures.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 437.4

    During this thousand years, in which the saints are reigning with Christ in heaven, sitting in judgment on the earth and on fallen angels, the earth will be a desolate waste, as set forth in the chapter before us. In the twentieth chapter of Revelation we read of “the bottomless pit.” Now the word there used in the Greek corresponds exactly with the Hebrew word in the first chapter of Genesis, where we are told that in the beginning the earth was without form, and void. It was chaos. The Septuagint has exactly the same word: the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the abyss. In the eleventh verse of this chapter of Isaiah, we have, in “the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness,” the exact words that occur in Genesis 1:2. So we find that during the thousand years the earth will be desolate, uninhabited by man, and unfit for human habitation. This is the time described in this chapter. In the thirteenth chapter the condition is set forth, in the account of the judgment upon Babylon.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 437.5

    This condition of things is said to last for ever and ever; yet the very next chapter describes a condition of Eden beauty on this earth. In 2 Peter 2:10-13 we read of the destruction of the earth in the day of the Lord, yet we are assured that there shall be, “according to His promise,” “new heavens and a new earth.” So we learn that the duration of that which is spoken of as being for ever and ever, depends on the nature of the thing spoken of. When God is the subject, or the saints whom He has made immortal, then we know that there is never any end; but when it is something that is contaminated by sin, then we know that there will be a limit to its continuance. “Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities round about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7), yet the places where they once stood are now a desolate plain.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 437.6

    One special lesson must be indicated before we leave the chapter. Notice how the vilest and most loathsome creatures are described as inhabiting the desolate earth. They hold sway over it while it is destitute of men. This is the natural end of the first sin, and of all that have succeeded. In the beginning man was given complete dominion over the earth, and over everything on it. That dominion was the rule of righteousness. But man sinned, and the dominion and the glory departed from him. More and more has he been losing his control over the earth and its creatures. Instead of governing the lower orders of animals, he is exterminating them as fast as possible. Wherever man goes, destruction marks his course. Finally, when sin has come to the full, and has ripened to the harvest, the condition that existed at the first will be utterly reversed, and only vile and hateful creatures-scavengers-will rule where once man had sway. All this terrible fall is involved in every sin. This is what the rule of man brings the earth to. Then will be seen in its fulness, or rather, in its emptiness, the result of man's having his own way. Shall we not be warned in time, and submit ourselves to the rule of the One who has power to govern with stability?PTUK July 13, 1899, page 437.7

    “The Love of the Truth” The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    One of the reasons why there is no more power seen in the preaching of the Gospel to-day is because so many who proclaim it have not really received “the love of the truth.” Their words in the pulpit and their writings are like the drippings of honey, and one would naturally think from their professions that their hearts were open to the reception of any truth from any source. As instance will illustrate: A member of the congregation of a popular church went to his pastor with a new-found Bible truth in which he was rejoicing, thinking that all he would have to do would be to present it, and his pastor would gladly accept it. But to his disappointment the truth was rejected, with the reply: “That is unpopular; if I should accept it and preach it, I would lose my place and position and my usefulness would be ended.” A further conversation with him showed conclusively that much of the preaching he did, and the truths he enunciated, were merely for effect, and not that he believed and practised what he taught. Jesus met this class of people in His day, and this is what He said to their followers: “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works, for they say and do not.”PTUK July 13, 1899, page 439.1

    “Evil Counsel” The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    An increase in the crop of gamblers and a corresponding increase in all the crimes that accompany gambling, may be expected as the result of the Duke of Westminster's recent utterance concerning betting on horse races, which has been widely published. He said that there was nothing wrong in betting, provided people could afford to lose. People who could not afford to lose ought not to bet, but wealthy people, to whom the loss of the amount staked would be no hardship, might bet with impunity.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 439.2

    That is from the same piece as the statement that drinking alcoholic liquor is all right, provided only those drink who can do so without injury to themselves. The fallacy of the Duke's advice to people not to bet unless they can afford to lose, lies in the fact that nobody bets to lose. Even the rich man bets to win, and if he thought that he should lose in any given case, he would not risk anything on it. It may be that he doesn't care for the money, but only for the excitement; but the fact remains that whenever any man bets he does so an what seems to him almost a certainty of winning.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 439.3

    The poor man who bets expects to better his condition. There is more to entice him to gamble than there is the rich man; because he needs more money, and expects to better his financial condition; it is a business venture with him, and the fact that, because of his poverty, so much depends on the result, makes the excitement with him more intense than with the rich man. Therefore the Duke's utterance as to the harmlessness of betting in itself, which, corning from the source it does will be quoted as authority, will only result in an increase of the evil among those who are most injured by it.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 439.4

    For betting is an evil, and only an evil. In the first place the unnatural excitement is injurious. A thing that has not in itself enough interest to attract one, without the added stimulus of betting, is not worth enough to engage the attention of men. In all legitimate employment, in honest labour, the successful accomplishment of the task is sufficient incitement. Moreover it is dishonest for any man, whether rich or poor, to attempt to get something for nothing. Betting, no matter by whom indulged in, is akin to theft.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 439.5

    This is itself is sufficient to condemn all betting. The fact that no one can afford to lose is of minor consequence compared with the fact that all gambling is sinful. It is a species of intoxication, and the fact that some can keep within a certain limit both in gambling and drinking, does not destroy the fact that with most the excitement draws them on until they cannot resist. How many penniless men there are to-day who once “could afford to bet;” they had so much money that the loss even of a few thousands on a wager did not inconvenience them. Now they cannot afford to bet; but they can in reality afford it as well as they ever could. It is sad when men whose rank and position give them great influence use that influence in a way that can tend only to the ruin and degradation of their fellow-men.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 439.6

    As we look upon the trees of a field to see whether they are bearing good fruit or not, so God looks upon us. He desires that we be “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord,” bringing forth the fruits of righteousness. And this is not merely an illustration, for the very principles put into operation to make a field fruitful, are the ones which if applied to the Christian life will cause it to yield an abundant harvest. When the Lord said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow,” he meant that by doing so, we could learn how to grow spiritually. What is needed is more of the simplicity of the Gospel, for in its simplicity lies its greatest power.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 439.7

    The world is so full of deceit-so much of appearance when the reality is absent. The thing people seek to know is what others think they are, not what God knows them to be. The Christian is not to care what people think he is, but to care what God says and what God thinks of him. It is a rare thing to find men of this character, for it is directly contrary to worldly policy.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 439.8

    “Little Folks. Heat” The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Now, while these long sunny days are here, and you can watch and see so plainly the effects of the sun's heat upon the earth, it will he a good time for us to have a few talks together about Heat and Moisture.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.1

    The earth would soon be destroyed by the burning rays of the sun when is shines full upon us, were it not for the moisture that God sands in the rain to keep it from getting parched and burned up.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.2

    Through these two things, heat or fire, and moisture or water, God is working out His great purposes in the earth.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.3

    These good gifts come down to us from above. Light and heat God gives us through the sun, and water through the clouds. But the sun and the clouds are only the channels, the means through which God is giving Himself to us.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.4

    Last week we learned that Jesus is “the Light of the world,” and “our God is a consuming fire,” we are told in His Word. But this tells us also that He is “the fountain of living waters.”PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.5

    Perhaps you have read in the Book of Revelation about “the sea of glass mingled with fire,” that is before the throne of God,-water flowing forth from His throne so pure and clear and transparent that it looks like glass, and mingled with it the fire of God's glory that lights and warms the universe.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.6

    Fire and water, then, though seem to us so opposite, are really but different forms of the life of God, coming forth from Him to warm and bless and refresh us and all the earth.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.7

    All the heat that we get anywhere in this world comes to us through the sun. You may be wondering if this can be true of the fires that are lighted to warm yet in the winter when the sun's rays are so feeble.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.8

    Yes, even the cheerful, blazing fires in our grates are really the summer sunbeams that have been stored up in the trees and are now let out to help us in our need. Some of the trees were buried in the earth, and after many, many years hardened and changed to coal. To look at the black lumps you would not think there was much sunshine there, would you? But when they are put where they can get to the right heat, the light will burst forth and the heat will come out from the sunshine that was stored up there ages ago.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.9

    How lovingly our Heavenly Father has provided for our needs in preparing for us this wonderful supply of stored up sunshine, to keep us warm in the cold weather, to cook our food, warm the water for our baths, and help us in so many ways.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.10

    All fire is the same, the stored-up rays of the sun, which is the glory of the Lord. When the sun has set in the evening and no longer lights us with its direct rays, we use what we call “artificial light.” We light up our candles, lamps, or gas. But in these as in the wood and coal we are only using up the sunlight stored in these things, and it is still really the glory of God that is giving us light, for “the whole earth is full of His glory.”PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.11

    Now during these long summer days the earth is storing up a supply of heat which will “radiate,” or pass slowly from it in the winter, and keep us warm when we cannot feel the heat of the sun.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.12

    You will perhaps be reminded by this of our talks in the winter about the garment that God spreads over the earth to keep in this heat in the cold weather,-snow for the ground and ice for the water.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.13

    If you do feel during these bright sunny days a little too warm, or even uncomfortably hot, think of the wonderful work of the sunshine, and how everything in the earth is storing it up for out future use,-the trees for our comfort and warmth, the fruits and vegetables and grains for our food, and even the ground itself to keep us warm in the winter.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.14

    Then I am sure you will not want to complain of the heat, but will thank God, the giver of all good, that He causes the light of His face to shine upon us and bless us.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 442.15

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -A proposal has been laid before Parliament for the acquisition of the Royal Niger Company's territory, at the price of ?866,000.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.1

    -An epidemic of attempts at train-wrecking is reported from all directions. In Kent alone there have been eight attempts within a year.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.2

    -Owing to a disagreement between tea importers and dealers, the sale-rooms were boycotted last week. Out of 19,000 Iots put up for auction, scarcely 1,000 were bid for.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.3

    -Part of the troops proceeding to Natal have been inoculated against malaria. If the treatment proves an effectual safeguard it will be extended to all troops sent to malaria regions.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.4

    -At Thurso, a school of 105 whales, mostly small, was driven ashore by the fishermen, and sold at ?36. A traction engine and steamer had to be employed to remove the putrid carcases.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.5

    -The United States Post Office has begun to use automobiles in the place of horse waggons. It was found that the mails from forty letter boxes, over a distance of six miles, were collected in less than half the usual time.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.6

    -A new torpedo-destroyer, which has been built on the Tyne, is expected to reach a speed of forty-three miles an hour by means of the turbine system. Experiments are being made with a view to adapting this system to the trans-Atlantic steamers.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.7

    -An old and long-forgotten law has been dragged to light in New York. A boy aged fifteen was charged under the statute with having attended a theatre alone, it being enacted that no one under sixteen years of age shall go to a theatrical entertainment without a guardian. The judge sentenced the boy to six month's imprisonment, but suspended the sentence. He said he desired to warn all children and theatre managers in New York of the existence of the law in order that they might be careful in the future.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.8

    -The riots in Belgium continue and a geeral strike is threatened if the government do not withdraw an unpopular Electoral Bill.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.9

    -A New York clergyman has subsisted entirely on water for forty-eight days. The fast was undertaken for the purpose of relieving chronic stomach trouble. He is now rapidly improving and the ailment has apparently disappeared.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.10

    -At Crewe a goods train was derailed and then run into by a goods express. A passenger excursion train, which could not be stopped in time, crashed into the wrekage. No lives were lost, but the goods trains and all the engines were ruined.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.11

    -A disastrous storm is reported from Calvert, Texas. Rivers have everywhere overflowed their banks, a great quantity of property has been destroyed, and many persons have been drowned. Every bridge within a radius of ten miles has been swept away.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.12

    -Fast boats built for fruit and passenger service are to start running between Jamaica and England next summer. The government is subsidising the line. Each boat is to have storage for at least 20,000 bunches of bananas. This measure is expected to bring about a more prosperous condition in Jamaica.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.13

    -In Germany the kinematograph is being used to illustrate surgical lectures to students. A celebrated surgeon has been enabled to take a perfect series of pictures of various kinds of operations from the first cut of the knife to the laying on of bandages. Every phase of the operations was thrown on the screen with marvellous accuracy.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.14

    -Any man is at liberty to practise medicine in China, and many a man who cannot succeed in any other line will buy a book of prescriptions and start as a “doctor.” There are ninety medical missionaries from Great Britain in China, and as many or more from America; but what are two hundred medical missionaries among three or four hundred millions of people?PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.15

    -Denmark is said to be uneasy over the possibility of her neutrality being infringed in the event of a naval war in the Baltic, and is hopeful of obtaining assistance, if necessary, from the United States, to secure that her neutral position shall be respected by the combatants. The smaller nations do not seem to have taken much stock in the Peace Conference organised by the great Powers.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.16

    -Dr Ostegren, who has made exhaustive experiments with liquid air has invented an apparatus which can turn out liquid air at the rate of 1,500 gallons daily. The product registered 400 degrees below zero. It can be made at a cost of five cents per gallon. With a better engine he could produce liquid air at two cents per gallon. Coincidentally with Dr. Ostegren's discovery, Mr. Brady, of Chicago, announces that he has patented a cask in which liquid air may be safety carried.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.17

    -New York Socialists had an excellent opportunity last week of demonstrating the value of their principles, but failed to rise to the occasion. At their annual picnic, through some blunder in the steamboat arrangements, over 4,000 men, women and children, could not get home, and had to spend the night on an island, cold and hungry. The neighbouring farmers sold them bread and water at extortionate prices. Free fights and rioting took place all night. Some of the rowdies built a fire, captured two committeemen supposed to be responsible for the mismanagement, and attempted to burn them alive. A Labour leader, who stopped the performance, was severely handled, and several people were badly injured in the méleé. One child was shot dead. Reforms that do not begin at home will never make them better.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.18

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Did you ever close a prayer with the words, “in the name of Jesus?”PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.19

    “What a strange question”! you exclaim; “I never pray any other way.” Good! but did you ever, after praying, wonder if your prayer would be answered, and, if appearances were contrary, doubt it entirely?PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.20

    You are obliged to confess that you often have; that sometimes even while you were praying, there was in your mind a question whether it was of any use to make the request, or not. Your prayer was something of an experiment, was it not? You did not think of it in that way, but now that the case is stated, you see that it is so.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.21

    Now do you know what it means to use those words when praying, whether at the beginning or at the close? You ought to; yet if you did; you would never doubt when you pray. They mean that we are certain of receiving the blessings we ask for. It is the expression of positive assurance that the matter is settled, and that the things desired are coming in good time.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.22

    What is our warrant for saying, “In the name of Jesus”? What right have we to use His name when we pray? We have His authority for it. He says: “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13, 14. If it were not for that assurance, we should never think of using His name in prayer. Then when we do use it, why should we not use it for the purpose for which He gives it to us? Any other use is to take it in vain.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.23

    But you say, “Perhaps I ought not to have the things that I have asked for; how can I then be sure that I shall have them?”PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.24

    If you are not sure, find out. Instead of asking positively for a thing that you are not sure you ought to have, and thus paving the way for doubt, ask the Lord if you ought to have it, and thus leave the matter with Him, confident that if it is good for you it will come, and be perfectly content if it does not come.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.25

    There are many, many things which we may he, sure it is God's will to give us. If we study His Word, the revelation of His will, we shall know them. If we ask anything according to His will, we know that He hears us; and when we know, that He hears us, we know that we have the things we desired of Him. 1 John 5:14, 25. Then we can give thanks when we pray, which we cannot do if we are in doubt. We are told to let our requests be made known to God with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6. If there is doubt, there can be no thanksgiving; and if there is no thanksgiving, there is no true prayer. Then do not doubt, but “pray without ceasing.”PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.26

    Last week Lord Lansdowne presented a Bill in Parliament, looking toward conscription, although it was expressly stated that it is only to provide for a remote contingency, and not to be put in force at once. It is a fact that it is difficult to get the number of volunteers necessary to keep the Army up to the required state of efficiency, and as was stated in presenting the Bill, the military system of the country rests on compulsion as a last resort, and the people must be reminded of their obligation, in case of necessity, to some form of compulsory service. Consequently it is thought best to have the necessary machinery ready to hand.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.27

    The Bill, which was read the first time, does not allow any person liable to military duty to escape by the payment of a penalty, or fine, or by procuring a substitute. If anyone refuses to serve, he is to be fined, and made to serve for five years. And thus the “preparation for peace goes merrily on.”PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.28

    “The Mark of Christianity” The Present Truth 15, 28.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Only a few days ago I was reading a statement concerning the origin of the creeds of the church. It was stated, and truthfully, too that the church felt the necessity of same sort of password, something by which the believers would be known. So the formulas beginning, “I believe,” followed at first by a few simple statements, and later by many complex ones, were invented. Whoever could repeat these was regarded as a Christian, just as at the present time the child is considered ready for confirmation when he knows the catechism and the creed.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.29

    Strangely enough the people of old did not see, any more than people who make creed synonymous with Christianity do to-day, that anybody can learn creed, and that an unrepentent sinner can repeat it as glibly or as solemnly as a pious man. Indeed, the hypocrite wiIl repeat it with even more unction than a sincere Christian. Such a password may very easily be stolen, so that it cannot mark any distinction between the followers of Christ and the followers of Satan.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.30

    There is just one sure mark by which to distinguish the Christian, and that is the life. The presence of the life of God in the soul, keeps it separate from the world. Moses said: “If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and Thy people have found grace in Thy sight? Is it not in that Thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.” Exodus 33:15, 16. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35. The love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost, is a mark that cannot be successfully counterfeited.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.31

    The fact that the church felt the necessity of adopting a creed in order to distinguish Christians from the world, shows that the life and Spirit of Christ was no longer characteristic of the mass of professed Christians. The formation of creeds was therefore a confession that the church had lost its distinguishing features, and was at the same time the means of enabling the world to carry on its worldliness under the guise of Christianity, and by that means the name has been brought into disrepute, so that many conscientious people have supposed themselves to be despisers of Christianity, when they really despised only the sham appearance of it. Thus “the church” has often been a stumbling-block.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.32

    “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this; to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 2:18.PTUK July 13, 1899, page 448.33

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