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    August 11, 1898

    “The Glory of the Lord” The Present Truth 14, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.” Ps. viii. 1.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 497.1

    The first occurrence of the Hebrew word rendered “above” in this text, is Gen. i. 3, where we read that “darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In the Revised Version the text reads, “who hast set Thy glory upon the heavens.” Both renderings are correct, for the original word has the idea of nearness, over, upon, against. The glory of God is far above all heavens, but it rests upon them.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 497.2

    One thing is taught by the test, and that is that the glory that shines in the heavens is the glory of God. The latest translation, the “Polychrome,” gives the verse thus:PTUK August 11, 1898, page 497.3

    “How glorious is Thy name over all the earth!
    And in the heavens, how Thy glory shines!”
    PTUK August 11, 1898, page 497.4

    “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” Ps. xix. 1. There is no real glory either in heaven or earth, except the glory of God, just as He is the only real King in the universe, and the only One who has power. His is “the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.” It is all His, no matter how much anybody else may claim, or how little He is recognised in His works.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 497.5

    The heavens did not create themselves, neither do they manufacture their own light. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 497.6

    Darkness, absolute darkness, without one suggestion of light, was upon all things when they were first created. With the earth in chaos, the heavens were dark. “I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.” Jer. iv. 23. So we know that the light is not originated by any created thing. In the shining of the heavens, they are simply showing forth the excellencies of Him who is light and in whom there is no darkness at all.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 497.7

    But the darkness was not darkness to God. “The darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.” Ps. cxxxix. 12. He is light, and the entrance of His Word gives light; so when He sent His Word into the darkness, light immediately shone forth.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.1

    BODIES OF LIGHT

    Although it is a fact that none of the heavenly bodies evolve light from themselves, it is nevertheless true that they are bodies of light. Light existed, as we have seen, before the sun was formed; “and God saw the light, that it was good.” This was on the first day, and it was not until the fourth day that the sun was made to be a light. In some way, which only the Creator can comprehend, things which before were dark became light. They were not merely shone upon, but they were caused to shine forth. They do not originate light, but they emit from themselves the light which existed before they were formed. Although nothing but darkness in themselves, they are actually bodies of light.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.2

    Last of all God's works man was created, and was crowned with glory and honour, and set over the works of God's hands. Ps. viii. 66. Man was made of the dust of the earth, and had in himself no more glory than the dust that still remained on the face of the earth; yet God made him in His own image, “crowned him with glory and honour,” and caused him to have dominion over the works of His hands. Since God is light, it was but natural that the being who was to be His representative on the earth, should bear His glory, even to a higher degree than the heavens, over which he was given dominion.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.3

    “We are His workmanship,” even as the heavens are, and were created for His glory. He who made the heavenly orbs to be bodies of light, could most easily make their lord likewise a light bearer. We do not see it so now, because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. iii. 33. Through sin man lost the dominion, and likewise the glory; but “the first dominion” (Micah iv. 8) shall yet be restored, and to this end God has chosen us to be “a royal priesthood, an holy nation;” “that ye should show forth the praises [virtues, or excellencies] of Him that called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” 1 Peter ii. 9. It is evident, therefore, that “in the ages to come,” even as at the beginning, God's people will be crowned with His own glory.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.4

    This is very clear from the fact that “we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many eons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Heb. ii. 9, 10. Jesus is the second Adam; as man, in every respect like other men, He has gained back the dominion which the first Adam lost, and so, as Adam was, He is crowned with glory and honour. That glory is glory that surpasses the brightness of the sun.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.5

    GOD MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH

    “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” John i. 14. In the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus turned the water into wine in Cana of Galilee, “and manifested forth His glory.” John ii. 11. Mark this: He manifested forth His glory. The glory was there all the time, only veiled. So on the mount with Peter, James and John, He “was transfigured before them; and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.” Matt. xvii. 1, 2. The light did not shine upon Him, but shone forth from Him.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.6

    Jesus was on earth an ordinary man, with nothing in His appearance to distinguish Him from other men. “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” Isa. liii. 3. Yet He was full of the glory of God. That glory was in the form of grace and truth; it manifested itself in good works and kind deeds. His was the glory of God, which is the glory of a perfect character.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.7

    “And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them,” said Christ of His disciples, When Christ dwells in the heart by faith, we are strengthened with might by the Spirit of God, “according to the riches of His glory.” Eph. iii, 16, 17. As the image of God is renewed in the soul by the indwelling of the Spirit, the glory of God is revealed, yet not in a form that appeals to the eyes of the world, who are attracted by that which is gaudy, and which dazzles.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.8

    PREPARING THE WAY

    “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” Isa. xl. 3-5. This is the preparation for the second coming of Christ. The only thing that hinders His coming at once, is the lack of preparation on the part of people. The way of the Lord is thus prepared by His forerunner: “He shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke i. 17.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.9

    God's way must be prepared in the hearts of His people. This preparation is humility of heart, the acknowledgment that “all flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.” When the heart is thus brought low, the way is prepared for the Lord to manifest Himself. But God is light, so that whenever He appears in the way, His glory is revealed. That way is in His people; so that the glory of the Lord is to be revealed in the hearts and lives of men, and all are to see it there, even if they do not recognise it as God's glory. Some will see it, and will rejoice in the light.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.10

    “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth's sake.” Ps. cxv. 1. The heavens make no claim for themselves, consequently they show forth God's glory, and are themselves glory. So when we are willing that self shall sink out of sight, confess that we are nothing, and make no claim to distinction, we also may be “to the praise of His glory.” The glory will manifest itself as good works wrought by God in us, and will be nothing to attract people to us. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John iii. 2.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 498.11

    Wonderful thought l that these poor, frail, mortal bodies are to shine with the brightness of the heavens. But so it is. “Our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of His glory, according to the working whereby He is able even to subject all things unto Himself.” Phil. iii. 21, R.V. When Christ comes, “then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matt. xiii. 43. “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Dan. xii. 3. Truly “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Rom. viii. 18.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.1

    What is the object of telling us about this wonderful glory? Is it merely that we may congratulate ourselves on the display we are one day to make?—Far from it; for when that glory is revealed, we shall individually be as unconscious of it as we now are. Each will see the glory of the others, and delight in the sight, but like Moses, will not know that his own face sends forth rays of light. It is written for our encouragement. Mark this: The glory is to be revealed in its; the righteous are to shine forth. God tells us of the future glory, in order that we may know what He gives to us in this present time. It is the power by which we are to overcome; for power is glory. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father (Rom. vi. 4), yet it was the working of God's “mighty power.” Eph. i. 19, 20. And this same power works in all who believe. That glory is power will appear more fully in the article entitled, “The Fruit of the Light:” and the power that God gives us in the conflict with sin, is “according to the riches of His glory.” The power and the glory that the heavens reveal is only a portion of that which God now gives to us by His Spirit.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.2

    “We all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as the Lord the Spirit.” “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.3

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Power in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Gen. i. 2, 3: “Darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.4

    John i. 1, 4, 5: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.5

    John i. 9: “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.6

    John ix. 1, 5, 6, 7, 14: “And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth.” And Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, l am the Light of the world. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way, therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” “And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.7

    1 John i. 2: “The Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, end show unto you that eternal Life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.8

    Ps. xxxvi. 9: “With Thee is the Fountain of Life; in Thy light shell we see light.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.9

    Matt. v. 14-16: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.10

    Isa. Ix. 1-3: “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.11

    Isa. xlix. 6: “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be My salvation unto the end of the earth.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.12

    Eph. v. 13: “All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light; for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.13

    John iii. 19-21: “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.14

    Phil. i. 9, 10: “This I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more In knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.15

    Light comes only from the Word of God, as in the beginning. Apart from the Word of God, there is no light. There is no light in the world except the light that comes from God's Word. Therefore those who reject the Word of the Lord are walking in darkness, and if they persist in that rejection, there is nothing for them in the future but “the blackness of darkness for ever.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.16

    The Word of the Lord is Spirit and life. So, as we have seen, the light that shines upon the earth is light from the Spirit of God. There is therefore no need for anybody's being in ignorance of the Spirit.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.17

    The word which gives light is the Word of life. The Word is life, and the life is the light of men. The light by which men walk in this world, is the life of Christ. The condemnation is that the life has been manifested, and all men have seen it, and yet few will recognise it.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 499.18

    The life of Christ,-the true light,-lights every man that comes into the world. There is not a man in the world who can plead ignorance of the life of Christ. It will be no excuse to plead that we did not know that the light was the life. The Bible has told us. Even if we did not have the Bible, we know that light is life, not only for man but for the lower animals and plants. That light gives life is apparent to everybody. And as to the source of light, we know at least that we did not make it. It was here before we were. It is a free gift to us, as free to the poor as to the rich. This of itself is enough to show that it is not from man; for nothing that man makes is “without money and without price.” But every free gift is worth thanks. The least and the only return that we can make for so wonderful a blessing as light, is to give thanks for it, not once, merely, but as often as we receive it, which is all the time. Now if we look about to see whom we are to thank for the light, we shall at once discover that, like every good and perfect gift, it is “from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.” So by continually giving thanks to the Giver of the light, we should be kept in the right way; for the promise is, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, end He shall direct thy paths.” Prov. iii. 6.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.1

    The life of Christ is given to the world as freely as the light, for the light is His life. No one need fear that there is not enough to supply everybody to all eternity. When people say that they cannot think it possible that the Lord can save them, they virtually say that they do not think that the Lord has life enough for everybody. But this doubt has been answered before it could be made, for the light is inexhaustible. If there were a thousand times as many people in the world as there are now, not a soul would have any the less light. By using the light, we do not deprive anybody else of it. A thousand candles may be lighted from a single candle without diminishing its light in the least. So the life of Christ is inexhaustible. He can give the whole of it to ever one in the world, and still have it all left.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.2

    Proof that Christ is literally the light of the world, is given in the case of the healing of the man that was born blind. There was a man who had never seen the light. Jesus said that He was the light of the world, and to demonstrate the reality of the saying, He made the man see. This shows us that the light of day is the light that comes from Christ, and that by it we may receive salvation, if we receive it in faith. It shows us also that the Lord has not only life enough for everybody, but that He can give the light of life to those who have not the power to see.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.3

    With the Lord is the Fountain of Life. If we drink from that fountain, receiving the life by faith, we shall also be light. As Christ is the light of the world, so He says to His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.4

    We have no light, however, except that which comes from the Word. We can shine only by the light of the glory of God. This is given to us, as we have already learned, by the Word which commanded the light to shine out of darkness. We do not make the light. We can arise and shine, only because our light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon us.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.5

    The Lord gives us light, not merely that we may enjoy it, but that we may be light and salvation to others.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.6

    We are exhorted to be sincere. The word “sincere” means literally “without wax.” It is derived from the terms used in ancient times in the preparation of honey. When it was perfectly pure, without any wax in it, it would stand the test of the light; if held up to the light, no foreign matter could be seen in it. The light would pass through it. The honey was then sincere, that is, pure, without wax. “Whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” If we allow the life of Christ to dwell in us and control us, then on coming to the light it will be manifest that our works are wrought in God.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.7

    There is nothing that is not manifest to the light of the Word; for “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” The Word of God “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Lord has not left us without practical demonstration of this truth also. The so-called “X-rays,” enable us to see through material that is ordinarily opaque, as wood or iron. Human flesh offers no obstruction whatever to these rays of light. And yet the rays themselves are invisible. Nobody can ever understand the secret of it, because nobody can ever fathom the mystery of the life of God; but God has allowed us to have this additional demonstration of the fact that nothing can hide away from the light of His countenance. His light, and the sight of His eyes, can pierce even to the depths of the earth. Read Jer. xxiii. 24. This should move us to ready confession of our sins, since they cannot possibly be hid from Him. It is also most encouraging to us, because, since it is the life of Christ that saves, and the life is the light, we may know that we cannot possibly have sunk so low that the life cannot reach us.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.8

    “Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee; our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance.” Ps. xc. 8. Thank the Lord for that, instead of cringing at the thought, and vainly trying to hide the sins from the light of His countenance. Why?—Because in His glance the sin will be driven away and consumed. Evil shall not dwell with Him. Ps. v. 4. Ah, then if we do not shrink from His presence, the sins must flee. It is the work of light not only to reveal corruption, but also to remove it. Disease germs are destroyed by light. Thus God would show us how the light of His countenance cleanses from iniquity. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.9

    “The Fruit of the Light” The Present Truth 14, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Jesus is the Light of the world. This is no figurative expression, but the statement of an actual fact. The light by which we see to work or read, is that which shines from the Lord. “God is light,” and Christ is the shining of His glory, so that all the light that shines upon this earth comes from His person. Evidence of this is seen in the fact that, after saying, “I am the Light of the world,” He immediately made a blind man see. Further evidence of the reality of the light that shines from the person of Christ is found in the fact that in the New Jerusalem the city has no need of the sun or moon; for “the Lamb is the light thereof.” Rev. xxi. 23.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.10

    What a glorious thing to realise, that we are even now walking in the light of the countenance of God! Perhaps it seems unreal to you. Well, if you will but believe the Word, you will soon find it very real; and in familiarity with the thought is there strength and salvation. Recognising that God's real presence is in the light, we shall “walk in the light as He is in the light,” and shall know the blessedness of the truth that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 500.11

    The sun is the source of all the light and heat that this earth has. But the sun has nothing except what it receives from the Lord. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” All the life, therefore, upon the earth is the life of Christ. He is “the Life.” There is no other. Since the light that shines from the sun is the life of the Word, we can see how true it is that “the life was manifested, and we have seen it.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 501.1

    But we do not always recognise light when we see it. Jesus was full of glory when He was on earth, yet very few knew it, simply because they were blind. Even to-day there are very many “foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not” (Jer. v. 21), so that they do not perceive God in His works.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 501.2

    Light is life. This is true of men and of all the plant creation. No plant can grow without sunlight. See how the tree reaches out its branches in every direction, to take in the sunshine. It grows symmetrically, and thrives, because it never rejects a ray of light. It longs for the light, and rejoices in it. Without the light, it would droop and die.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 501.3

    Year after year the tree stores up the light. Because it never shuts the light out, it is full of light. You don't see the light in the tree? That is because you have not your eyes open. If you are as yet unable to recognise it in the growing tree, wait until it has been cut down and is used as fuel. What a bright light shines from the grate. Where does it come from? Oh, the tree is now giving out the sunlight that it stored up during all the years of its life.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 501.4

    If you are burning coal, the same thing is seen. The coal that you burn was once growing timber. It became buried in the earth, and lay there for centuries, becoming harder and more compact, and undergoing certain chemical changes, waiting the time when it should be brought forth to serve man with the light that it received from the sun ages ago. If we burn gas or oil, which come from coal, it is nothing but condensed, concentrated sunshine. In an hour we get the benefit of the sunlight of years.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 501.5

    We can see the light when it shines from the grate or the lamp. But it was in the tree before it was given up for our use. Light a torch of wood. Now you see the light coming directly from the wood itself. That is positive evidence that the light is there, only we are so blind that we do not usually recognise light until it strikes us in the eye almost hard enough to blind us.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 501.6

    Light is power. Put the fuel into the furnace, under a boiler of water, and see what force is let loose. The railway train speeding across the country, and the vast steamship ploughing its way through the waters, carrying the load of a hundred railway trains, are both driven by the light of the sun. Men harness up the sun, and use him to drive all the machinery that is in existence, never once thinking that the force that serves them is the power of God's own light.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 501.7

    Perhaps we can now see the glory in the growing plant. The power by which it grows is the light of the sun, which we must never forget is the light of God's countenance. What marvellous glory the meadow reveals! Is not a forest, or even a single tree, in full leaf, a glorious sight? Ah, we do sometimes use that term, which shows that we recognise the fact that there is glory there; the trouble is, that we do not stop to think whose the glory is, and to give glory to Him who made all these things.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 501.8

    A time however has something besides leaves; it has fruit. The ripened fruit is but the expression of the life power of the plant. The sun warmed the earth, it caused the water to mount up through the rootlets and the stock to the leaves and blossoms, and when the energy of the plant manifested itself in fruit, it was the sun that brought it to perfection, and gave its cheek its beautiful tint, which is so beautiful simply because it is not painted from the outside, but is the flush of life. So all the good things that come to our table, which the earth brings forth abundantly, are but the fruit of the light. And that light is the life of the Lord of heaven and earth.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 501.9

    Then we eat the light! Why, yes, the light is our life, just as it is also the life of all other plants; for “all flesh is grass.” If we eat and drink to the glory of God, recognising His life in His gifts, we shall eat and drink righteousness; for the promise is. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Of God's servant it is said, “He shall blossom as the lily.” Hosea xiv. 5. “Israel shall blossom aud bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” Isa. xxvii. 6. “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isa. lxi. 11.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.1

    That which the plants do involuntarily, we must do voluntarily and consciously. They take in all the light that comes to them, and thus glorify God. If we do the same, then we shall be called “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Isa. lxi. 3. “For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” Eph. v. 9. The very same light that brings the fruits of earth to perfection, shines upon us, to make us bring forth fruit after our kind, and to cause us to bear much fruit, that God may be glorified. The fact that the light will do this for us, if we accept it, is shown to us every day in the gardens and fields, in the forests and meadows. Let us therefore walk in the light, that we may be “filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.2

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. Naaman Healed. 2 Kings v. 1-14” The Present Truth 14, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    AUGUST 21

    Naaman was a great man, honoured by his master, the king of Syria, and a mighty man of valour, to whom his country owed its high position, “but he was a leper.” All the outward dignity and honour counted for nothing beside this. Thousands of soldiers obeyed the lightest word of Naaman, but he himself was in the grip of a foul disease, that was slowly but surely consuming his life.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.3

    In his household was a little maid, taken by force from her home in Israel during some Syrian raid. She, although a captive and with sorrows enough of her own, was touched with the sight of Naaman's misery, and felt the gloom of the shadow that it cast over his home. “She said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria, for He would recover him of his leprosy.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.4

    REVEALED TO BABES

    Was not this a marvellous knowledge of the Lord? To this child were revealed the things that were hidden from the wise and prudent, so that she had a truer conception of God than many who boasted of knowing Him.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.5

    Naaman was an enemy of Israel; his military skill and prowess had been directed against their nation. Surely it was a matter of rejoicing that so formidable a foe was rendered powerless by his leprosy. Who would think of recommending his case to the favourable consideration of the God of Israel? Yet the little maid was sure that God so pitied the suffering, was so truly a God of love, that if this enemy of Israel should go before Him in his need, relying on the Divine mercy, he would not be sent away disappointed.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.6

    No one could be so well acquainted with the Lord as this little child without revealing in her life the power and goodness of God, for it is through the knowledge of Him that there come to us all the things that pertain to life and godliness. 2 Pet. i. 3. Therefore it was that the utterance of her faith carried conviction to the heart of Naaman. He realised that this was not some childish tale of wonder, but that there was the power of God in it, and he determined to obtain the healing so confidently promised to him.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.7

    “WEAK THINGS”

    There to be a great work done in the world in these last days. The Gospel of the kingdom is to be preached in all the world for a witness before the end come, and is to be carried before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. Who is sufficient for so great a work? “God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” He is able to use children in His work, and through them, He can do great things, even making them His witnesses before kings, as the little Israelitish maiden was used to make known the true God to the famous Naaman. Only let the children receive and treasure the knowledge of God, and let all receive the kingdom of God as little children, and through them God will reveal Himself to many who, surrounded by earthly pomp and grandeur, and counted fortunate and happy by their friends, yet mourn in secret over the plague of their own hearts, and long for deliverance from the leprosy of sin.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.8

    A FATAL DISEASE

    For sin is the loathsome disease that has fastened itself upon the lives of all. We may try to forget it, and persuade ourselves that we shall grow out of it, but all the while it is tightening its hold upon us, it is eating away our life, marring and disfiguring us. In spite of our efforts to overcome it we find that we cannot shake it off, it has become a part of us, and as the horror of its continual presence overwhelms us, we feel that we too have become like the lepers of old, unclean. Our cry is, “O wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from this body of death?”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.9

    But Naaman was made free from his leprosy. So there is hope that we may be made whole. How was he cleansed?PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.10

    WASH AND BE CLEAN

    First of all, Naaman went to the King of Israel with great sums of money, and changes of raiment, and with a letter of introduction from the King of Syria to the ring of Israel. But none of this did him any good. Wealth and splendour and kingly rank were of no avail against the leprosy. Elisha heard that Naaman was come to the king seeking to be cured, and he sent word, “Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 502.11

    “So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha,” and the prophet sent out a messenger to him to tell him to wash in Jordan seven times, and he should be clean. Then Naaman did just what we should have done in his place. He got offended because things did not happen according to the way he had arranged in his own mind as he came along in his chariot. It was to be something like this. The prophet would come out of his dwelling a venerable and majestic figure, raise his eyes to heaven, and solemnly call upon the name of his God, then pass his hand over the leprous places, and Naaman would find himself suddenly healed. Then Naaman would say graciously, Don't go yet, behold here are ten magnificent suite of raiment, ten talents of silver, and no less than six thousand pieces of gold. I give them to you. You can do as you like with them. Then while the prophet would stand open-mouthed at this exhibition of princely generosity, Naaman would mount and drive off, well pleased with himself and satisfied that he had done the thing handsomely. But now this exasperating old man had not even come outside the door. It was outrageous treatment for one in his position. Naaman was not going to stand it. He should go back to Syria at once. The idea of telling him to bathe in the muddy Jordan! Weren't Abana and Pharpar just as good, and a great deal cleaner, too? Why not wash in them and be clean. “So he turned and went away in a rage.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 503.1

    GOOD COUNSEL

    It was well for Naaman then that he was not one of those haughty characters that it is unsafe to speak to when they are offended. He had listened to the story of his wife's little slave-girl, and had come all this way on the strength of it. His servants must have loved him and earnestly desired his recovery, for they ventured to reason with his fuming indignation. Said they, “If the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean.” The reasoning was sound, and Naaman saw the force of it. In a humbled frame of mind he set himself to carry out the simple conditions on which his healing was promised. “Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” He returned to Elisha converted from his idolatry, a sincere worshipper of the true God, and doubtless recognising that Elisha's seemingly abrupt treatment of him in the first place had been directed by Divine wisdom, and had taught him the needed lesson.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 503.2

    WHITER THAN SHOW

    What God did for Naaman He does for those who are afflicted with the leprosy of sin. He gives a new life, which is free from sin. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John i. 9. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. v. 21. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God.” Verses 17, 18. He whose sins are borne by the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world, is made whiter than snow, and his flesh becomes like the flesh of a little child, for he is born again.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 503.3

    WHY ARE NOT ALL HEALED?

    But “many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.” Why was this? Was not God able or willing to heal more than one leper, and if not, why did He not choose to heal one of the lepers of Israel? Remember that Naaman was not compelled to be healed. He went to Israel to find healing, and went on to the Jordan, because he desired the healing so much, and believed the word that was spoken to him. Any other leper in Israel or Syria might have been healed in the same way. To-day God's arm is not shortened, and His mercy and salvation are free. You, who read these lines, are you cleansed from the leprosy of sin, so that your flesh has come again as the flesh of a little child? If not, why not? Others have found healing and cleansing from sin in receiving the life of God. Will you be among them, or among the many who, like the lepers in Israel in Elisha's day, were not healed, although the living God was among them to heal and save, so that even heathen, like Naaman, found Him and proved His power.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 503.4

    “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 503.5

    “Whom Shall We Trust?” The Present Truth 14, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    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.” Ps. cxviii. 8, 9. “Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall from yielding fruit.” Jer. xvii. 5-8.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 503.6

    Why is the man cursed that trusts in man? Why should the Lord deal so hardly with him?PTUK August 11, 1898, page 503.7

    The Lord does not deal hardly with him. That statement, “cursed be the man that trusteth in man,” is no more a threat than is the declaration that the man who puts his hand in the fire will be burned, or that the man who leans upon a broken reed will fall. It cannot be otherwise.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 503.8

    See why it is that the man who trusts in man, even though it he himself, is sure to come to grief; “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Not a very safe thing to trust in, is it?PTUK August 11, 1898, page 504.1

    Nor is that all. Even though one's intentions are the best, his power is nothing. “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of?” Isa. ii. 22.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 504.2

    This suggests the reason, given in Ps. cxlvi. 3, 4, why we should not put our trust even in the great ones of earth, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth: in that very day his thoughts perish.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 504.3

    “Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish; for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God. I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God; but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.” Jer. v. 4, 5.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 504.4

    Then is it not safe to trust in what the wise men of the earth, and the doctors of the law, say? No; it is dangerous to the highest degree. “Ye have ploughed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies; because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.” Hosea x. 13.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 504.5

    There is no wise man who is wiser than Solomon; but “a greater than Solomon is here.” Jesus Christ is “the power of God, and the wisdom of God,” and He is nearer and more available for counsel than any man can he. Trust Him. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgments as the. noonday.” Ps. xxxvii. 5, 6.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 504.6

    “Happy is the man that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God; which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is; which keepeth truth for ever.” “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” “Trust in Him at all times; ye people pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 504.7

    “For the Children. Light Pictures” The Present Truth 14, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “We all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory.” What is this “glass” in which we may “behold the glory of the Lord”? He Himself tells us that it is “the face of Jesus Christ.” All the glory of God is reflected in the face of Jesus, and there we may see His perfect image.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 506.1

    We have been learning that Jesus is “the Light of the world,” and we may see His glory everywhere, for the whole earth is full of it. It shines forth in the light of the sun, and is reflected to us in all the bright and beautiful things that we see around us everywhere.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 506.2

    Now let us see what this light will do for us, if we really behold in it “the glory of the Lord.” Did you ever have your likeness taken? If so, you will remember how careful the photographer was to set you in a good light, in a place where the light would shine full upon you. This was so that you might reflect the light on to the plate that he had prepared, that the light so reflected might paint your image there.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 506.3

    All things that the light shines on reflect its rays into your eyes when you look at them, and this reflected light paints on the curtain at the back of the eye the picture of the thing itself. (Read more about this in the piece about the eye beginning on this page, and find out all you can about this wonderful organ of sight that God has formed in our bodies to make it possible for us to behold His glory.)PTUK August 11, 1898, page 506.4

    You know that when you look right into anyone's eye, you see, in the pupil, a tiny picture of yourself. This is painted in the eye by the light reflected from you. Think then what will take place if you turn your eyes to the face of Jesus Christ, which will reflect into them all the glory of God. The light shining from His face will paint His image, not in your eyes only, but in “the tables of the heart,” if they are made ready by His Holy Spirit to receive it, And so you may become a living picture of the Lord Jesus Christ; for “God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 506.5

    He not only shines upon you in the face of Jesus Christ so that you may see Him there, and learn to know and love Him; but that you, by “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,” may be “changed into the same image.” Then you will be able to give the light of the knowledge of His glory and beauty to those who have not yet learned to look into the face of Christ for themselves. And as the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ shines forth from you, there will be power in that light to change others also into the same glorious image.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 506.6

    Do not forget that you may see God in all the things that He has made,-that the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is shining upon you in all His works. And if in all these things you “behold your God,” when the image of the thing is blotted from your eye, the image of God whom you have seen there will remain in your heart, and He will shine forth in your eyes, and be heard in the kind of gentle tones of your voice, and felt in the loving touch of your hands, so that in you, one of the things that He has made, others will “behold their God.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 506.7

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!” Put the emphasis on the “we,” and make it strong. What! we, poor, insignificant, frail, sinful creatures, is it possible? “I can understand,” says one, “how the Lord could own Moses, or Daniel, or John; but it seems too much to think that He owns me as His son.” But He does, nevertheless. His love is so unbounded that even we, even I am owned by Him as a son. There is no ground for discouragement; that “we” reaches down to the lowest depth. Behold it! Do not take your eyes from it.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.1

    The Bishop of Liverpool, in reply to an appeal to him to stop the Romish practices in one of the Liverpool churches, said:—PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.2

    You cannot dislike Ritualism more than I do; but you are mistaken in supposing that I have power to put a stop to it. Parliament has much power to stop it, but a bishop has very little.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.3

    Upon this the Christian makes the following comment:—PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.4

    The assertion of popular right to a hand in the government of the Church would be but a return to apostolic usage and custom. For many centuries, as there are clear proofs, laymen exercised a determining voice in the ecclesiastical councils of their day. It was only very gradually, and for reasons that are easily noted, that the priest grow paramount. When his authority was finally established the day of decline began in the Church, which did not wake to its sad condition till, at the Reformation, the voice of the people once more began to make itself heard. In every age and land since then the Church has been healthy and progressive in proportion as it line been governed openly by the “assembly of the saints.” It at the present crisis the members of the Church of England make an effective protest against Romanising doctrine and practice, the knell of these things will be speedily sounded-but not till then.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.5

    Without any disparagement whatever to Parliament, we must say that it sounds decidedly amusing to hear that body referred to as an “assembly of the saints.” It is composed of men of every shade of religious belief, and of men who repudiate religion of any kind; yet it is the body that has control of the Church of England! Worst of all, the bishops of the church seem not to feel the humiliation of the thing in the least. When will they learn that Christ alone has control of His own body, and that to say that any body of lawmakers has power to control a church is to say that it is not the Church of Christ. That is not to say, however, that many of the members of such a State-controlled church may not be members of the Church of Christ. His body is not shaped by lines and compasses in the hands of men, and takes no note of the limits of ecclesiastical organisations.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.6

    Suppose that Parliament should “put a stop” to Ritualism in the Church of England? What of it? The evil would still remain untouched. You cannot cure a miser's covetousness by stealing his money from him, neither can you cure a woman's pride by pulling the feathers from her bonnet, or the rings from her fingers. No more can a bad tree be made good by plucking off its fruit. All these efforts to “reform” the church by force, whether made by zealous individuals on their own account, or by Parliament, exhibit a most deplorable lack of knowledge of what constitutes real godliness. If the tree be corrupt, the fruit cannot possibly be good. The Word of God abiding in the heart is the only thing that can effect a reformation. “Preach the Word!” That is the only remedy for evils of every kind. “But they won't all accept the truth of the Gospel,” will be said. No, they will not, and when they do not, nothing can be gained by trying to force them to act as though they did. When the idea that men can be converted by wholesale is given up, and men are content with the results that come from preaching the Word, and from dealing with men as individuals, and not as societies, leaving each man to stand or fall to his own Master, then will there he a return to apostolic usage and custom-and not till then.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.7

    War does not seem nearly so glorious a thing to those who are in it as it does to those who shout for it from the safety of the pulpit or the editorial chair of the modern religious journal. The Daily Chronicle's special war correspondent in Cuba writes thus in his report:—PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.8

    War is about as horrible and ghastly a thing as one can well imagine. It is a pity that the painters and the writers of fiction have always depicted war in such glowing colours. There is nothing brilliant about war-there is nothing but dirt and nastiness to offend both the eyes and nose.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.9

    And this is only from the ?sthetic side. When we add to this the slaughter of human beings, and think of the hundreds of wounded and mangled bodies that are forced to wallow in this “dirt and nastiness,” one can see that war is nothing hat the most revolting form of butchery. It is brutal, wholesale murder, added to all the repulsiveness of the slaughter pen. And yet there are not wanting religious leaders to argue that war is perfectly consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.10

    One has become accustomed to think of American cities as the special habitat of the city “rough,” who makes pedestrianism at night, and even in broad daylight, a dangerous thing; but human nature is asserting itself over here, although happily not as yet to anything like the extent that it is across the water. “The works of the flesh are manifest,” however, and the following from the Chronicle of July 26, may be read in connection with 2 Tim. iii. 1, as a noteworthy sign of the times:—PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.11

    “The appalling list of cases of violent assault heard by Mr. Hannay at Southwark Police-court yesterday makes us wonder whether we are really living in a well-ordered and civilised community. Stabbings, kickings, glass-throwing, and various other forms of vicious brutishness seems to be the commonplaces of the turbulent district that has Mr. Hannay's court as a corrective. Day after day our columns contain records of the most terrible forms of lawlessness, with which the police seem quite unable to cope. Fines, which are rarely paid, with the alternative of terms of imprisonment, seem to have no other effect than to encourage others to do likewise, while the frequency with which the prisoners regret that they did not kill the victim of their brutality makes one shudder. What is to be done to stamp out this reign of terror? If it is merely a question of insufficient policing, as some correspondents have urged in writing to us on the subject, let us have more policemen. But the evil seems to us to lie deeper down than that.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.12

    “Slowly, majestically moving, the holy day of God has passed around the globe. Its stately, calm procession bas visited with light the lonely ships on the great Pacific, coral islands in warm South seas, desert wastes and busy coastlands of Australia, the chill of white Siberia, the tropics of Malayland, the teeming plains of India.... And now the Lord's day comes to Africa and Europe.”PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.13

    That is the beginning of an article by Miss Lucy E. Guinness, in the Christian. Of course she had reference to the first day of the week, but the language applies to the Sabbath. That is just the way every day in the week travels round the globe, and we are pleased to see it the acknowledged as regards the Sunday, because one of the most common quibbles against Sabbath-keeping is that “it isn't Sabbath all over the world at the same time, and so it can't be kept.” God knew that the world was round, when He made the Sabbath for man, and all that He requires of us is to keep it where we are, as it comes to us, and not where we are not.PTUK August 11, 1898, page 512.14

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