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    August 10, 1899

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. Going to Babylon. Isa. xxxix” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner


    At that time Merodach Baladan, the son of Baladan king of Babylon, sent letters, and ambassadors, and a present to Hezekiah; for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered. And Hezekiah was rejoiced at their arrival; and he showed them his magazines, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and his whole arsenal, and all that was contained in his treasures; there was nothing in his house, and in all his dominion, that Hezekiah did not show them.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 497.1

    And Isaiah the prophet came unto King Hezekiah, and said unto him: What say these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said: They are come to me from a distant country, from Babylon. And he said: What have they seen in thy house? And Hezekiah said: They have seen everything in my house: there is nothing in my treasures, which I have not shown them. And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah: Hear thou the word of Jehovah God of hosts. Behold, the day shall come, when all that is in thy house, and that thy fathers have treasured up unto this day, shall be carried away to Babylon; there shall not anything be left, saith Jehovah. And of thy sons which shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah: Gracious is the word of Jehovah, which thou hast delivered! For, added he, there shall be peace, according to His faithful promise, in my days.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 497.2

    And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour; and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels; storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks. Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him substance very much. This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 2 Chronicles 32:27-31.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 497.3


    This lesson is very short, and very simple, yet it is one of the most important in the whole Bible. Everybody stands in need of it. The tendency to “show off” seems to be inherent in human nature, and it is most assiduously cultivated. The baby in its mother's arms must exhibit its infantile attainments to every visitor, besides a hundred times a day to its admiring friends, until the child as soon as it begins to think, very naturally concludes that whatever he does must be of exceptional merit and interest, simply because it is he that does it. At home he must show off his accomplishments, in order that the parents may be complimented on having so wonderful a child. At school he must be put on exhibition for the benefit of the school and the teacher; and in Sabbath school he is used for the same purpose. No wonder that so many continue through life to exhibit themselves on their own account.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 497.4

    The good housewife gratifies her pride, and awakens the envy of her neighbors, by showing them all her stores of household goods; and the merchant and the farmer do the same. It is true that one may very often show another some of his possessions, in order to help that other one,-to give him some ideas as to how to get something for himself, or simply to bring some freshness and change into the life of one whose range is very limited. That is all right; but every one who reads this will know that very often there is in the exhibition of one's attainments or possession merely the gratification of pride, and the desire to receive compliments, to excite astonishment, and to be the subject of conversation.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 497.5


    It is this same spirit that leads religious societies and churches to publish many of the statistics that are continually being given to the world. So much of a business has this become that in many instances men are kept constantly employed to make note of every step of progress, or of supposed progress, so that no time may be lost on any occasion in impressing visitors with the amount of work done, the liberality of the donations, and the vast sums expended in buildings, etc. All this is done of course “for the good of the cause,” in forgetfulness of the fact that since even “a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15), much less does the cause of God consist in material wealth. It is not what a man has, but what he is, that God looks at; even so progress in the Lord's work is not indicated by numbers of professed converts, by large amounts of money contributed, or by huge piles of buildings in which church work is done, but in soul-growth, which can be measured by the Lord alone. Its praise is not of men, but of God. None of us are aware of how much emulation there is in our work for the Lord. We may not always say in so many words, with Jehu, “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord” (2 Kings 10:16), but the feeling is present, nevertheless. Where there are hundreds who are willing to engage in even the most disagreeable work, provided it comes before the eyes of the public, there are very few who are willing to work for the Lord unknown, except by Him, and with none to recognise and applaud. In fact, we must all plead guilty to more or less selfishness in our work for the Master, who is unselfishness itself.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 497.6


    Now all this is evidence that God's people have not yet got free from Babylon. It was at least a striking coincidence that it was to the ambassadors from Babylon that Hezekiah made this exhibition of his wealth and grandeur; for that was the very spirit of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had received from the Lord “a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.” Daniel 2:37. It was He who made Babylon “the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees excellency.” Isaiah 13:19. But he did not in humility of heart give God the glory, but as he walked in his palace he said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” Daniel 4:29-30. This is the spirit of Babylon, derived from Lucifer, the real king of Babylon, who thought only of exalting himself, and gave not God the glory. Isaiah 14:13, 14. Since the possessor of the treasures that were shown to the messengers from Babylon had the Babylonish spirit, it was very fitting that they should be taken to Babylon. They belonged in Babylon as much as in Jerusalem. They were in reality Babylonish possessions, although gathered by the kings of Israel. But Hezekiah did not know this at the time.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 498.1


    What a wonderful opportunity Hezekiah had to teach those Babylonian ambassadors the truth of God. They had heard that he had been sick, and had recovered, and they knew of the great wonder in the heavens, the sign of God's healing power, and they came to enquire about it and at the same time congratulate Hezekiah. What better preparation of the way could anyone ask than that to make known the saving power of God? It was for that very purpose that God had put it into their hearts to come. But instead of improving the time by telling them of the God that made the heavens and the earth, and making Him known as the sole Healer of the souls and bodies of men, Hezekiah magnified himself in their eyes, by showing them his own treasures. What a mistake he made!PTUK August 10, 1899, page 498.2

    But we must not condemn Hezekiah; our part is simply to note the facts, that we may see ourselves in his picture. Do not get the idea that there was conscious self-exaltation in Hezekiah's act. The treasures were not his own personal property, but belonged to the kingdom. He had not gathered them all himself, but they had been accumulated through many prosperous reigns. It was not his personal wealth that he was showing to the ambassadors from Babylon, but he was impressing them with the greatness of the Jewish kingdom, to the throne of which he had been called. In this exhibition of the royal treasures, Hezekiah was trying to advance the cause of God among the heathen; for “when Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.” Psalm 114:1, 2. We may be sure that Hezekiah thought he was impressing those heathen ambassadors with a sense of the greatness of God's cause and people, and preparing the way for the Babylonian people to be favourably impressed with the truth. He did not know that he was preparing the way for the captivity of Israel.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 498.3


    Hezekiah's course has been repeated thousands of times to this day. Christians who would not boast of their own possessions, take great pride in telling what “our church” has done, how much it has contributed, and how great facilities it has for carrying on the work of the Lord. They forget that the only impression that can possibly be made on the world is that the men who have been engaged in this work are shrewd business men; for the world is full of instances of poor boys who have amassed great property, without any thought of Christianity. It is true that it is God who gives men the power to get wealth; but the possession of property is not by any means an evidence that God is pleased with a person or a society, or that He has any special connection with them over other people. If it were, then it would show that God's favour is specially with the world, for more property is in the hands of the world than in the church. Babylon had greater riches than Jerusalem had, so that while the ambassadors might be impressed with the progress of the Israelites, they really could only think that their gods were greater than the God of the Jews. But there were none of their gods that could heal diseases or forgive sins, and in telling of that, Hezekiah might have led the proud heathen to worship in spirit and in truth.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 498.4

    But why should God say that for this error on the part of Hezekiah all the people and treasures of Israel should be taken to Babylon? Ah, there was nothing arbitrary in this; it was a necessity, and the natural consequence of the king's act. God had sent the ambassadors to Jerusalem to learn the truth, and since they did not get it, He had to send His people to Babylon to teach it to them there. This was the necessary consequence of Hezekiah's act. That the cupidity of the ambassadors should be aroused at the sight of the treasures, was a most natural thing. When the king of Babylon afterwards took it into his head to besiege Jerusalem, he knew what he was after. The treasurers in which Hezekiah had taken so much pride, “honest pride,” rejoicing to think that he was connected with so great a people, were scattered, and the treasure-houses destroyed, but the truth of God remained the same. That in which men can boast will all pass away, and God will make it plain to His own people as well as to the whole world, that His truth does not depend upon, and cannot be measured by, anything that men can make or gather together. It is not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God, that His work is to be accomplished, and therefore no display of wealth or power, but only the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, can draw men to Him and His truth.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 498.5

    Hezekiah was a good man, one who sincerely loved the Lord. God was with him, and prospered him. God loved him, and He loved him none the less when he fell into the error concerning the visit of the ambassadors. But God left him to himself for a while, “that he might know what was in his heart.” And it was written for our learning, that we might know what is in our hearts; for the hearts of all men are alike, and what is in one is in all. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. Pride of every kind is in the hearts of all men; when they turn to the Lord, then it is apt to exhibit itself in other forms. God has left this case on record for us, that we, knowing that it is in our hearts, may allow Him to cleanse us from it. May He deliver us all from Babylon and the Babylonish spirit, and fill us with His own Spirit, the Spirit of meekness.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 499.1

    “Genuine Sacrifice” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    No good deed, no genuine sacrifice, is ever wasted. If there be good in it, God will use it for His own holy purpose; and whatever of ignorance or weakness or mistake was mingled with it will drop away, as the withered petals drop away when the fall flower has blown.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 499.2

    “Christianity Practical” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Christianity is practical. It is designed to give courage and strength to meet the trials of life, just when and where they come, and to be victorious over them. It was this that enabled Joseph and Daniel to live such upright lives, even amid the most adverse circumstances. If an individual has not such a hold on God that he can receive strength for the everyday and perplexities that come to him, of what use is his Christianity? None whatever. That kind of Christianity is spurious.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 499.3

    Only a short time ago a person said, “There is no use in my trying to be a Christian here-I can't stand the pressure of the opposition I have to meet. If I could only get away from these temptations that would be different.” Yes, if he could; but he can't. These trials come in consequence of a weakness in his character, and until that weakness is overcome, these trials will come in one form or another no matter where he is.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 499.4

    There was a time when Israel thought to escape the judgments that the Lord permitted to come upon them by saying: “We will flee on horses; we will ride upon the swift.” But the Lord immediately replied, “Therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.” Isaiah 30:16. So it is in the Christian warfare, in our struggle with the enemy of souls. There is no place we can go to that he cannot go also; and there is no means of flight so swift that he has not a way just as rapid. Then to think that by change of location, we can get away from the devil and his temptation, is only deceiving ourselves.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 499.5

    Then what is to be done? Put our trust in one stronger than Satan, and that is Jesus Christ. He has met the enemy and conquered him, and He says unto us, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” There is the secret of the Christian strength and security.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 499.6

    “Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness.” Deuteronomy 8. These words come to every one personally. When they were first spoken, many of the audience had not spent forty years in the wilderness, yet that did not excuse them from the obligation of remembering how God had led them forty years. Later generations were required, just as much as that one was, to keep the experience fresh in their memory. Some of us think if God would only give us bread from heaven, or water from the rock, we would never fall our life long, doubt Him again. Well, He has given these experiences to every one. Surely to us, in this generation, He says, “Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these thousands of years.” Let us remember it with joy, and as we dwell upon what He has already done, and what He has promised yet to do, be glad that “this God is our God for ever and ever. He will be our guide even unto death.” Psalm 48:14.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 499.7

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The River of Salvation. Ezekiel 47:1-12The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Probably the last chapters of the book of Ezekiel are less understood than any other equal portion of the Bible, and they are doubtless the most difficult part of the book. Referring to the fortieth chapter, where the trying portion begins, we find that the prophet was in the visions of God brought “into the land of Israel,” and set “upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.” Verse 2. This was in the fourteenth year after the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. Now the Lord had already said through Ezekiel (21:25-27) that when Zedekiah ceased to reign, the kingdom of Israel should be no more “until He come whose right it is.” Therefore we must conclude that the description of the city and temple which is given in the last chapters of Ezekiel is not a portrayal of something that was for the Jews in their state as one of the nations of earth, but that it refers to the new earth, and is something that will be the portion of all who are saved.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 499.8

    It is true that there are difficult passages in the description, which seem irreconcilable with this presentation, but we must remember that a difficulty is not an argument against the truth. In the writings of the Apostle Paul there are “some things hard to be understood,” but that is no fault of the writings themselves. It is our dullness and slowness of comprehension, that makes the Scriptures difficult. The only way to understand difficult passages of the Bible is to hold fast to certain firmly-established principles. The plain facts of the Gospel are always the same, and must never be lost sight of. It must also be remembered that the whole Bible is given for the purpose of revealing God to men, and that this is done only through the cross; so that wherever we read, we may be sure that there is something that concerns the great work of salvation. Nothing is placed in the Bible merely to satisfy curiosity, or as a mere matter of history. “Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4. In this chapter of Ezekiel, therefore, we may be sure that there is something to give us hope. Holding fast to the truth that we know, we shall gradually come to an understanding of those things that are at present obscure.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 499.9

    After reading Ezekiel 40:2 read Psalm 28:1, 2: “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” It was to this place that God was leading the children of Israel when He took them from Egypt. Exodus 15:17: “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.” It is this place which Ezekiel saw, and which he has described for us with so much minuteness that our minds are overwhelmed. Of the place which Ezekiel saw, God said to him: “Son of man, this is the place of My throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever.” Ezekiel 43:7. It is when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven, and there is a new heaven and a new earth, that the voice from heaven says, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:1-3. So we may be assured that what we read of in Ezekiel pertains to the new earth state.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 500.1

    It may be urged that in the course of this description we read of the offering of sacrifices, which is not consistent with the idea that it refers to the new earth state. That is a difficult thing to understand, it is true; but no more so than other statements. For instance, take Jeremiah 33:14-18, which undoubtedly refers to the redeemed state. There we read:-PTUK August 10, 1899, page 500.2

    “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness. For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.” It is after Christ sits as a Refiner and Purifier of silver, and purifies the sons of Levi, “that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, as in former years.” Malachi 3:3, 4. Verses 1 and 2 show that the time referred to is the last days.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 500.3

    We must therefore rest content for the present with the fact that there are some things in this connection that we cannot understand, and not let them deprive us of the good of that which is plain, and evidently parallel to other scriptures concerning which there is no chance for a misunderstanding. And now we can consider the portion of Scripture that is assigned for the lesson, which, however, after we have settled the application of the last part of Ezekiel, as already done, is so plain as to need no comment.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 500.4

    The prophet was brought to the door of the house, where he saw the “waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward; for the forefront of the house stood toward the east.” Verse 1. It was “eastward in Eden” that the Lord planted a garden (Genesis 2:8), and after He had driven man out of the garden He “placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim and a flaming sword,” the symbol of His presence. Genesis 3:24. The tabernacle built by Moses, which was a picture of the temple in heaven, was always pitched facing the east, and the temple of Solomon faced the east. We know also that out of the throne of God and of the Lamb there proceeds a river of water of life. It is this river, therefore, that we have presented before us in this lesson.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 500.5

    How wide is that river? We may ask that question, because in this lesson the measurements are given, and it is always allowable to ask anything of which the Bible speaks. All we can learn, however, is that it is very wide; for we find from the measurements made by the angel who showed the house to Ezekiel, that the river deepened gradually from the shore for six thousand cubits, or more than a mile, where the water was deep enough to swim in, that is, a man could no longer wade. We may know then that the river of God is of a size commensurate with the greatness of the God from whose throne it flows.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 500.6

    “And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed; it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine,” or “for healing.” Verse 12. All that is necessary in order to understand the reference here is to read Revelation 22:2: “On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” The two passages of Scripture are identical. The tree mentioned by Ezekiel is the tree of life, or, rather, the trees of life, for it is many trees in one, extending along the banks of the river indefinitely. The river is the river of life, for “everything shall live whither the river cometh.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 500.7

    That river is a real stream, and is flowing to-day. It is the life of God sent out into all the universe, and wherever it comes there is life even in spite of the death that rests upon this earth. How little we know of the infinite variety of forms which the life of God can assume. We breathe in the air, we eat it in our food, we drink it in the pure water, we are cheered and strengthened by it as it comes to us, the sunshine, and in many other ways it refreshes us. There are many things that contribute to our existence here, but they are all forms of the one life. All proceed from God, who is our life. From that river of God, which is full even to overflowing, we drink day by day, since it is from it that the earth is refreshed and made to bring forth fruit. Psalm 65:9, 10. Every shower that falls upon the earth is but the overflowing of the river of life, which nevertheless never runs dry. From that river we drink, and since it is the life of God, which is righteousness, if we would but recognise God in His gifts, living by faith, we should drink in righteousness every time we quench our thirst. Only God can supply the desires of mankind He satisfies the desire of every living thing. Our hunger and thirst are but cravings for a renewal of the life which comes alone from God; and the drinking of the children of Israel from the rock in the desert, which Rock was Christ (Exodus 17:5, 6; 1 Corinthians 10:4), and the feeding of the five thousand in the wilderness, are demonstrations to us that when we eat and drink we are taking from Christ Himself. So it is God that we are unconsciously longing for when we feel the pangs of hunger and thirst. He satisfies our longings by giving us Himself; and if we would remember this, every meal that we eat, and every draught of water that we drink, would be to us healing both of body and soul, even as though we were standing by the throne, looking into the unveiled face of God, and eating and drinking from the tree and the water at life.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 500.8

    “Made New” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Behold I make all things new.” Now they are old, but they were not always so. In the beginning, at the close of creation, the freshness of youth was upon everything, and it would have remained so, but for sin. Sin is death, and when it entered the world, everything began to grow old and show the marks of decay. Ever since then there has been a steady decline till the earth has waxed old like a garment. Isaiah 51:6. But a change will come. When that is removed which caused the earth and all that is in it to grow old, then everything will be new again. Then God will wipe away tears from all faces, sorrow and crying will be no more, death will be swallowed up in victory, the desert shall blossom as the rose, and all the former things will be passed away.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 503.1

    This is not only true of the earth, but it is also the experience that each individual may have within himself. Out of Christ, he is the “old man,” and eternal death is his portion. But “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” The change is in him. The “old” has been supplanted by the new, and the righteousness of Christ rules in his life. The fruits of the new life within him are manifest-love, joy, peace, Iongsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against which there is no law. The old things are forgotten, as he presses forward in the new life, and by patient continuance in well doing, seeks for glory and honour and immortality.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 503.2

    “Working with Christ” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Great as is the work that God has to do in the earth, yet to all, even the humblest, He offers an opportunity to be a co-labourer with Him. “To every man his work;” so every man has something to do, and no one else can do it for him. This is a message to each one of us. God would have us show forth to the world what it is to be a man among men as was Christ, who though tempted in all points like as we, was yet without sin. Of ourselves we can do nothing, but united with Christ all things are possible. Remember how Jesus, after the feeding of the multitude, “constrained” His disciples to get into a ship and go to the other side, while He went into a mountain to pray. When the vessel was away out from the land twenty or thirty furlongs, in a boisterous sea, the disciples were nearly discouraged with their efforts to reach the port, they looked out upon the water and saw Jesus coming to them. The record says, “They received Him gladly,” and “immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.” Separated from the Master their efforts were almost fruitless; with Him in the ship, the transportation was instantaneous. So with us all when we connect with Christ, all things are not only possible, but easy to accomplish.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 503.3

    “And the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar and them that worship therein.” Every one who professes to know the Lord must be measured by the standard of God's Word, that it may be seen if he is complete in Jesus. As with the New Jerusalem, the length, and breadth, and height of it are equal. So the Christian should have a symmetrical development. To this end it is necessary that proper regard should be given to healthful living, so that not only the spirit and soul, but the body also shall be preserved blameless (healthy) until the coming of the Lord. Sickness comes in consequence of the transgression of some of nature's laws-it is the penalty; and the one who lives in constant violation of God's laws pertaining to his physical welfare will invariably find that be is weakened in his effort to develop his spiritual nature. The gifts in the church were for the perfecting of the saints that they might become perfect men, (physically as well as spiritually) and grow up unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Ephesians 4:12, 13.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 503.4

    “Little Folks. The Flame of Life” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We have talked together a good deal lately about fire, and what it is. But there is something we have not spoken of in connection with it,-something so necessary to it that without it no fire can burn,-that is, air.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.1

    You know that you cannot make the fire burn if all the air is shut away from it. There must be a draught, a current of air, to keep it burning. How rapidly a fire burns out in the open air, especially if the wind is blowing on it. And perhaps you have seen the old-fashioned bellows that need to be in every household for blowing air into the fire to make it burn brightly.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.2

    It is the oxygen in the air that makes the fire burn. Perhaps you are already learning something about this how this oxygen gas that is in the air unites with the gases that are in the fuel, and the light and heat that the fuel has absorbed from the sun's rays are set free again into the air. We see the bright flame and feel the heat of this compressed sunshine.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.3

    When this takes place, and these things are turned back into what they were made up of, we can sea just what formed them,-gas and sunbeams! or, in other and truer words, God's breath and His glory. Can you not see then, children, that all things in the earth are only different forms of the wonderful life of God?PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.4

    The air, without which no fire can burn, is the breath of God. So the fire, besides being, as we have found it to be, the gleaming of God's glory, and all its light and heat coming from Him, can burn only in His breath which kindles it.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.5

    An ancient wise man once said: “Know ye that the fire in your huts and the life in your bodies are one and the same thing.” It will perhaps surprise you very much that he should think so; but I want to show you that there is truth in what he said. For the fire in the stove and the life in your body are both sparks from the Divine fire of God's own life.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.6

    The fire is kept burning only by the air blowing upon it. You too are kept alive, as you know, by breathing in the breath of God, or rather by the breathing it into you every moment.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.7

    But have you ever thought what is the work that this breath does for you? It is the same that it does for the fuel in your stoves, it keeps the flame of life burning within you. Your life is a fire, for it is the life of God, and His Word tells us that “Our God is a consuming fire.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.8

    The food that we eat is the fuel that we need to burn to keep up this life, but like the fire it must have air to make it burn. It is the oxygen in the air that comes into us that burns this fuel, and so keeps life and heat in our bodies. When one stops breathing, the fire of Iife dies out, and the body becomes quite cold.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.9

    The oxygen burns up all the waste matter that is in our bodies; those things that are no good or that are harmful to us. Like the fuel in the fire, they are turned again into gas, which our blood carries to the lungs, and this poisonous gas is then breathed out into the air, and we take in a fresh supply of oxygen. How marvellous is the breath of God, which, like a consuming fire, is cleansing our bodies in this way every moment.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.10

    Then if you want pure, clean bodies, dear children, you must be sure to get plenty of fresh air; for air that has been breathed over and over again has much poisonous gas in it, and very little oxygen. So the poisons are not burned up and carried out of our bodies.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.11

    Then you must be careful too about the fuel,-the food,-that you put into your bodies. You know that if you put too much fuel into the stove, or things that do not burn well, you get a dull, smoky fire. Too much food, or things that are not good, taken into our bodies, have just the same effect upon our lives. Instead of bright, clear minds, and free happy lives, we become languid and slow, and have dull brains, and seem only half alive.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.12

    Exercise is another thing very necessary to keep a good clear fire in our bodies. How warm you get when you run, play, or work hard, do you not? This is because you are breathing quicker, and so taking in more air, and your blood is moving quicker and carrying the air through every part of your body. You can feel it tingling all over you. Then the waste water is all quickly burned up and carried away, and your body is kept pure and healthy as God wants it to be.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.13

    “God make my life a little light
    Within this world to glow,
    A little flame that burneth bright
    Wherever I may go.”
    PTUK August 10, 1899, page 506.14

    “Out of Fashion” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. He is anxious that all should receive everlasting life, but the enemy is working against the purposes of God “with great wrath because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” It is his studied purpose to fasten upon men soul and body-destroying practices under the plea of fashion; and when the sinfulness of these practices is pointed out, the excuse for their continuance is, “What do all people say?-I might as well be out of ... as out of the fashion.” This is why the command is given, “Come out and be ye separate.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.1

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The world uses 3,500,000 steel pens a day.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.2

    -There are 6,400 square miles of coalfields in Great Britain.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.3

    -The preparation of human hair for the market gives employment to 7,000 Parisians.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.4

    -Germany has more electric railways than any other European country. England is third in order.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.5

    -The opening of the Dreyfus trial is fixed for August 7.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.6

    -Cleveland, Ohio, is under martial law, on account of the violent demonstrations of the trolley railway strikers.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.7

    -Robert G. Ingersoll, the noted American infidel, died on July 21, at his New York country home, of apoplexy.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.8

    -There is in Australia a continuous wire netting fence 1,295 miles long, its object being to keep out rabbits from the cultivated fields.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.9

    -An Austrian professor, in a recent lecture on hygiene, declared that England largely owes her supremacy over other nations to the national bath tub.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.10

    -The Spanish premier has made a proposal to his minister of war favouring the reduction of the country's military force from 107,000 to 80,000. It has been favourably considered.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.11

    -After three years of inaction, the summit crater of Manna Loa, Hawaii, has been active, the lava flowing down in three streams, threatening coffee plantations and sugar lands.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.12

    -The spider is so well supplied with the silky thread with which it makes its web, that an experimenter recently drew from the body of a single specimen 3,840 yards of thread-a length rather more than two miles.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.13

    -During the final trip of the English torpedo boat destroyer, Bullfinch, on the 21st of July, an explosion occurred in the engine rooms of the vessel, resulting in the death of eleven man, and severe injury to five others.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.14

    -Four million women in the United States earn their own bread. They are found in all occupations, and one-third of all persons engaged in professional services are women.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.15

    -A school has been opened in Pekin, for the exclusive teaching of Russian, and for the training of Chinese as interpreters and railway assists by Russian teachers, at the expense of the Chinese government.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.16

    -The city authorities of San Francisco have ordered that the streets are to be sprinkled with crude petroleum oil instead of water. They claim that it is cheaper, and that it lays the dust for a longer time, also that it helps gradually to harden the road bed.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.17

    -Matters between Canada and the United States concerning the Alaskan difficulty are at a standstill. Each country declares that it has gone to the limit of concessions, and now the dispute can be settled according to Sir W, Laurier, only by war or arbitration.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.18

    -The eggs of a blue-bottle fly, if placed to the sun, will hatch in two or three hours. Linnaeus declares that the Iarvae of three blue-bottle flies will devour the carcass of a horse as quickly as would a lion, so rapidly do those insects increase, and so voracious are they.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.19

    -General Alger, Secretary of War under President McKinley, has resigned his position, owing, it is said, to the bitter newspaper attacks that are been made on him because of the “embalmed beef” scandal, and the general mal-administration of affairs during the Spanish war.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.20

    -At Carpinteria, California, is growing the largest grape-vine in the world, the trunk being seven feet eight inches in circumference. Its branches cover a third of an acre, and produce annually ten tons of grapes. It was planted in 1842. Eight hundred people can find protection from the summer heat beneath its foliage.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.21

    -After a canvass of the leading nations of the world, it is figured that the total number of newspapers printed in a single year is 12,000,000,000. To print these requires the use of 881,240 tons of paper per day, and it would take the fastest printing press made, 333 years to print a single year's edition, which would make a stack of papers five hundred miles high.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.22

    -An interesting surgical use has just been made in a New York hospital of a powerful magnet which will support 260 pounds of steel. A man in whose eyeball was deeply imbedded a sliver of steel from a swift lathe, was the patient. He was placed on a table, and gradually moved toward the magnet. As the eye came nearer, it was drawn out from the socket, and the pain became almost unbearable, but the bit of steel soon flew to the magnet, and the eye returned to its intend position. It is said the operation with instrument would have been impossible without destroying the eye.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.23

    -Two cases of wholesale poisoning occurred in London on July 22. One was at Blackheath, where a large number of school children were attending a treat. After partaking of refreshments, many of them became very ill, and in the course of an hour, seventy of them were in a serious condition. They were removed to different hospitals, and medical attendance summoned. By midnight the most of them were able to be removed to their homes. Several came near dying. Impure milk is thought to be the cause of their illness. The other occurred at the Inns of Court Hotel, where twenty people became simultaneously sick after eating dinner. One of them died and several others were in a critical condition for some time. Special attention should be given to diet in hot weather, to see that it is perfectly wholesome before being cooked. It is poor economy to throw away human lives instead of throwing away unwholesome food.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 510.24

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Beginning August 4, a ten days’ Convention for Bible Study will be held in a tent at Ashton Gate Park, Bristol. A large attendance is expected, and any of our readers who would like to join us for a part or all of the time will be very welcome. There will be two or three meetings every day. The subject for study will be the whole Gospel of healing for body, soul and spirit. Particulars as to reduced railway fares and lodging accommodation can be had an immediate application to the office of this paper.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.1

    A new monthly journal, Life and Health, makes its first appearance the beginning of August. The name of the paper indicates its scope and purpose. It will deal with the subjects of healthful diet, proper dress and hygienic living generally. So far as its space permits, The Present Truth has endeavoured to set before its readers, and will continue to do so, the underlying principles and most practical methods of healthful living, but those who desire to have a fuller acquaintance with the subject, will find all its branches dealt with in a practical and helpful way in Life and Health. The editor has been for many years connected with the Battle Creek Sanitarium. The price of the paper is two pence per copy, or, post-paid, 2s. 6d. per annum.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.2

    Our Swiss Camp-meeting will be held this year at Lausanne, August 17-27. There will be one service in English on each Sunday. Dr. De Forest, who has charge of our Sanatorium at Basle, will be present to render such help as he can to any who may desire it. Health foods will be obtainable on the Campground. The editor of PRESENT TRUTH will assist in the conduct of the services. All visitors will receive a hearty welcome.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.3

    “Walking in Light” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Word of God is called “a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.” In Proverbs 4:18 we read that “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” So in truth there is progression. With this agrees the statement of our Saviour (John 12:35), “Walk while ye have the light.” Why?-“Lest darkness come upon you.” Then in Matthew 6:23 Jesus says, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness how great is that darkness.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.4

    But people will walk in darkness. They will not come to the light-they will not even recognise the light. Why is this?-The scripture is definite: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.5

    Now “darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people.” But this state of things will not always continue. There will come a time when the hidden things of darkness will be brought to light, and the counsels of hearts will be made manifest. 1 Corinthians 4:5. Then it is that those who have thought to avoid the “overflowing scourge” by placing their trust in lies and falsehood, will find that “the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” Isaiah 28:15, 17. Then it is that God “will render to every man according to his deeds.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.6

    How much better it would be to come to the light of truth now-cherish every ray of light, let it reveal our defects, and by the help of Jesus Christ put them away, so that we may stand with God's people who will be “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” But this means a sacrifice of self; it means to let Jesus come into our lives and work in them to “will and to do of His own good pleasure.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.7

    “How to Be Strong” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We heard a sister say the other day, “I wish I knew how I could be a strong Christian.” She is not the only one who longs to be a Christian with strength sufficient to withstand the temptations of the devil.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.8

    Now let us look at the matter in the simplest way. When we wish to become strong physically, we eat the right kind of food, and take proper exercise. Spiritual life is not much different from physical life, so far as its healthful maintenance is concerned. Christian strength is obtained in just this way. First there must be proper food-and that is, the truth. And what is that? “Thy Word is truth.” Then study the Scriptures with the heart open to receive the light that God will cause to shine into your soul. When the light comes, cherish it as you would a lighted candle on a dangerous roadway. Put its precepts at once into practice in your life.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.9

    It may be that it will require the forsaking of many former ways, and the giving up of many cherished idols, but do it, no matter what the sacrifice. Eve was driven from the garden because she listened to the words of Satan rather than the command of the Lord. Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt because she “looked back” toward Sodom, contrary to the Lord's express command. Joseph and Daniel and his three companions were strong to stand for the right in a great crisis, because they stood by principles every day in the ordinary duties of life.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.10

    There is nothing that begets weakness like hesitating when there must be a decision between right and wrong. So if you want to be a strong Christian, the first thing is to know what God requires, and then promptly, and without hesitation, do that thing. Remember that “to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22.PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.11

    “Always Watching” The Present Truth 15, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Just before His trial and crucifixion, Jesus took several of His disciples and went into the garden to pray, for He was “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” As He withdrew Himself a short distance from them, He said, “Tarry ye here, and watch with Me.” Then He fell upon His face, and in the agony of His soul He cried to God for strength to carry Him through the awful ordeal. When He returned to His disciples, “He findeth them asleep.” To Peter He said in tender reproach, “What, could ye not watch with Me one hour?” And then He gave that admonition, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.12

    As it was then, so has it always been; there is not one moment when we can safely cease to watch. The devil is a wily foe, and at this time especially he “is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.13

    Peter neglected to watch that “one hour,” and a little later on he denied his Lord. So there is no hour which may not prove an hour of defeat and overthrow, if we neglect to watch. The watching must be constant. Watch against evil; watch against sin; “Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”PTUK August 10, 1899, page 512.14

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