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    August 25, 1898

    “A Law of Love” The Present Truth 14, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    One Sabbath day Jesus an His disciples were passing through a cornfield, on their way to the synagogue “and His disciples were a hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto Him, Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath day.” Matt. xii. 1, 2.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 529.1

    Would Jesus defend His disciples in at unlawful course?—Not by any means, for He said,-“Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven end earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matt. v. 17, 18. And He used still stronger language, to show the unchangeability of the law, which includes the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy. Said He, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke xvi. 17. That law was in His heart. Ps. xl. 8. It is evident, therefore, that Jesus had no sympathy with lawlessness.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 529.2

    Yet Jesus defended the action of the disciples in plucking the ears of corn on the Sabbath day, and rubbing the grains out in their hands, and eating, to satisfy their hunger. This was not, as some think, a setting aside or ignoring of the law, to make room for a higher claim, that of human need, but it was in view of the fact that what the disciples did was perfectly in harmony with the law. To the Pharisees Jesus said: “If ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” The Pharisees accused the disciples falsely, in saying that they were doing what was not lawful on the Sabbath day.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 529.3

    “God is love.” His law is a law of love. “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of His saints; from His right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, He loved the people.” Deut. xxxiii. 2, 3. This is a part of “the blessing wherewith Moses, the man of God, blessed the children of Israel.” The blessing of God is “life for evermore” (Ps. cxxxiii. 3), and “His commandment is life everlasting.” John xii. 50. God's law is not negative; it is positive, life-giving. It does not need to be set aside, in order that human needs should be met; no; it is impossible for one jot of its claims to abate; but the law makes provision for the satisfying of human need. Yea, the law exists for the sole purpose of satisfying the desire of every living thing.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 529.4

    Many people get the idea, and too often they get it from professed Christians, that to serve God and keep His commandments means to make one's self miserable. What a libel that is upon God's goodness and fatherly care. The words of the Lord are spoken to us, that our “joy may be full.” To the one who knows the Lord and His law, it is a delight. It is not that one shall compel himself to like something that is disagreeable; that is not Christianity; but it is that men should find that the commandments of God are “more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” The true Christian rejoices in the Lord, and delights to do His will, because he cannot help liking what is so good.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 529.5

    In keeping with the common idea that Christianity deprives men of all that is desirable in life, very many people have the idea that the Sabbath is a yoke of bondage imposed upon them. Consequently they reject it entirely, while others accept it in much the same way that they would take bitter medicine. They think that they must do it in order to be saved, and they reluctantly take on the Sabbath, and either pity themselves for the hard road they have to travel, or else they complacently boast of the great “sacrifice” which they have made for the Lord. It is difficult to know just what to call such dealing with the Sabbath of the Lord; but one thing we may be sure of, and that is, it is not Sabbath-keeping.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 530.1

    “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not grievous.” 1 John v. 3. Therefore the Sabbath commandment is not grievous. “The Sabbath was made for man,” not against him. It is not something that is imposed upon man, but something given to him; it is not a burden for him to carry, but it carries him, and eases him of his burdens. It is not hard, but easy, to keep the Sabbath, even as it is not hard, but easy, to rest. Rest is not work. The true keeping of the Sabbath is the entering into God's work; and since that work is finished and perfect, we find rest in it. Keeping the Lord's Sabbath,-God's rest,-is absolutely to trust in Him, allowing Him to work His perfect will in us. It is the perfection of faith in God.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 530.2

    God has laid up righteousness for those who trust in Him. Ps. xxxi. 19. We are made righteous by faith. He gives righteousness. All our own righteousnesses are as filthy rags; there is no real righteousness except the righteousness of God, and that cannot he had apart from Him. We can have no perfect righteousness except as His presence gives it to us. But “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” So the righteousness that God gives us is eternal life. The Sabbath is part of God's gift of righteousness. Indeed, it is the perfection of His righteousness, for it is perfect rest in Him. To keep the Sabbath is to trust God implicitly and absolutely, to rest in His love. Therefore the Sabbath brings to us God's free gift of everlasting life in Christ.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 530.3

    The greater includes the less. He who does that which is greatest, will certainly do that which is less. As nothing is too hard for the Lord, so nothing is too small for Him. Whoever believes that God will keep him alive throughout eternity must certainly know That He will provide for his needs day by day. If a man is in fear about his daily support, that shows that he does not trust God for eternal life; for it is absurd to say that I trust God to keep me eternally, but do not trust him for today. So we see that the Sabbath of the Lord-the seventh day of the week-is the great test of our faith in God. It is made the busiest day in the week by the most of the world. To keep it as the commandment of God requires, scents to be cutting one off from his daily bread. A man who has not faith in God cannot do it; but the one who trusts his whole being with God for eternity, can trust Him to give him his daily bread while he keeps the Sabbath. He will see that the Sabbath, instead of being a hardship, reveals to him God who gives to all life and breath and all things.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 530.4

    We see, therefore, that the record of the passing through the cornfield on the Sabbath day, as well as the miracles of healing which Jesus did on that day, is for the purpose of showing us that in the Sabbath God gives Himself to us, with all the strength of His life. The lesson is, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Do not despise or reject the gifts of God. He gives all good things. He is solicitous for our welfare. He desires that we shall live, and enjoy life. But we must not be afraid to trust Him. We must not act as though we thought there were concealed poison in His gifts: and we must know that the Sabbath is the blessed gift of God. It is for our good both here and in eternity. “O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. O fear the Lord, ye His saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Ps. xxxiv. 8-10.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 530.5

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Death of Elisha. 2 Kings xiii. 14-25” The Present Truth 14, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner


    Some sixty-five years had passed since Elisha entered the service of Elijah, when he fell sick “of his sickness whereof he died.” There was yet much wickedness in the land, and the ancient sin of Jeroboam still bore its evil fruit, but in many respects the closing circumstances of Elisha's life present a brighter picture than could have been seen in Israel at the beginning of his work. The zealous purging of John, the oppression of Hazael, king of Syria, and the faithful, enduring testimony of Elisha's influence had not been without affect. The royal attitude toward Elijah had been one of eager, relentless persecution. He had boon accounted a hateful enemy, “he that troubleth Israel,” but on Elisha's death-bed, the king of Israel came to mourn the loss of one who had been a bulwark to the State, more efficient for defence than all its panoply of military strength. “And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 530.6


    One especially pleasing feature in the history of the sister country of Judah deserves notice. It bears witness to a revival of the spirit that had of old exalted the nation, recalling the few occasions on which they had consecrated themselves to God with unreserved devotion. It was in connection with the restoration of the temple and, telling of the way in which the funds were handled, the record says, “Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen for they dealt faithfully.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 530.7


    At the time Elijah was instructed to anoint Elisha to be prophet in his own room, the sentence of judgment went forth, against Israel: “it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth the sword of Jehu shall Eliaha slay.” Now that Elisha was about to leave the people he loved, for whom his long life had been spent, he desired to see this sentence lifted from them. The destruction was accomplished; Jehu had done his hart and passed away, Hazael's reign was near its close, and Elisha himself was on his dying had. He wished to leave a blessing and not a curse behind him, as Moses “blessed the children of Israel before his death,” and as Christ longed to bless His own who received Him not, when He beheld the city and wept over it.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 530.8

    It was not yet too late for Israel and Judah to turn from their wickedness and fill the high position destined for them. “The Lord was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast He them from His presence as yet.” Elisha hoped that they had learned the lesson which their afflictions had been designed to teach, and that he might leave for them a last message of blessing and comfort in the promise of perfect deliverance from their enemies.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 531.1


    At his direction the king of Israel aimed an arrow through the open window toward the stronghold of their Syrian foes. This was a declaration of war, and since God, by the prophet, directed the flight of the arrow, it showed that His hand was against their enemies. Elisha then told the king to take the arrows and smite upon the ground with them. He did so thrice and stopped. This revealed to Elisha that only thrice would it be possible for the Lord to lead the armies of Israel to victory, and he was wroth with the king, and told him that if he had smitten five or six times, tie should have smitten Syria till he had consumed it. The sign was of the Lord. It simply indicated the future, but did not control it, and Elisha's wrath was against the spirit of indifference and backsliding that was so easily contented, when it might have had all that was to be desired. Elisha knew from this that the reformation in Israel was only a partial and transitory one, and that there was no prospect of a complete deliverance from the bondage of sin, and all the other forms of slavery thus entailed, because In their hearts the people loved to have it so.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 531.2


    It seems surprising indeed that a people could be found, so enslaved in heart as not to desire freedom when they might easily have it, but to this day men are displaying the same lack of appreciation of their privileges. God wants to set us free. The Son came at infinite sacrifice to make us free indeed, and sometimes, when the way of transgression becomes especially hard, and the intolerable degradation of spiritual bondage makes the iron enter into our souls, we do rejoice at the offer of freedom, and, for a while, exchange the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Yet, too often, we fail to realise how great a salvation is provided for us in the gift of Christ, and are so easily satisfied. As the sense of condemnation is taken away, it is felt that all is well, and that there is no danger of further subjection. Satan awaits his opportunity and erelong, instead of going on from strength to strength, we find ourselves again led captive. Why should we not smite again and again until our enemies he utterly consumed?PTUK August 25, 1898, page 531.3


    It is the Lord who fights for us, but we are workers together with Him. He is willing and anxious to show Himself strong in our behalf, and to work in us more than we can ask or think of freedom and power and deliverance, but He does not thrust Himself upon us unbidden. He desires that we shall seek His help, and meet the tempter in His strength. He is able to do all things, but His people ask so little at His hands. They let go the arm of the Lord too soon. He only finds occasional admittance to their hearts and has no opportunity allowed to show what He can do for those who trust Him. His rightful place is in the heart, but He is made to stand without, knocking and pleading for permission to come in. “O the hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest Thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? Why shouldest Thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save?” Jer. xiv. 3, 9. The Lord reproached His people of old because “they limited the Holy One of Israel.” If we would cease to limit Him with our unbelief, and our disposition to sit down and go no further whenever we receive a blessing, He would speedily make bare His holy arm in the sight of the nations, and all the ends of the earth would see the salvation of God. “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord. His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” Hosea vi. 3.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 531.4

    That which prevents our having this experience in its fulness is set out in the following verse, in which the Lord expresses Himself is “a man astonied [or bewildered], a mighty man that cannot save.” “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as the morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.” Paul says, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. iii. 13, 14.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 531.5


    On more miracle is recorded in occasion with Elisha, and it took place after his death, a band of Moabite invaders, burying one of their company, were surprised and hastily cast the body into the sepulchre of Elisha. “And when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.” The narrative is very brief and we are not told why God wrought this miracle, but it must have been a striking lesson to Israel. As Elisha's presence was withdrawn and clouds were once more gathering round the nation, it would remind them that the power by which bespoke and lived was not diminished, and that while his body was fast turning to dust and was withdrawn from their eyes, the God in whose presence Elisha stood and walked, was still among them, able to use that which was weak, and even that which was not (1 Cor. i. 28), to accomplish His great designs.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 531.6

    “We should fill all the hours with the sweetest things,
    If we had but a day;
    We should drink alone at the purest springs
    On our upward way;
    We should love with a lifetime's love in an hour,
    If the day were but one;
    If what we remember and what we forget
    Went out with the sun.”
    PTUK August 25, 1898, page 531.7

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Power in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner


    Job xxxviii. 25-38: “Who both divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; to cause it to rain upon the earth where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein is no man; to satisfy the desolate and waste ground: and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or who both begotten the drops of dew?”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.1

    Jer. ii. 13, 13: “Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, end be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken thee the Fountain of living waters, and hewn them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.2

    Ps. xxxvi. 8, 9: “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures. For with Thee is the Fountain of life.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.3

    Rev. xxii. 1: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.4

    Rev. v. 6: “And I saw In the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, an though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.5

    Rev. vii. 17: “The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall load them unto living fountains of waters.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.6

    Ps. lxv. 9, 10: “Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it; Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water; Thou preparest them corn, when Thou best so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly; Thou settlest the furrows thereof; Thou makest it soft with showers; Thou blessest the springing thereof.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.7

    Ps. lxxxix. 14: “Righteousness and judgment [justice] are the foundation of Thy throne; mercy and truth shall go before Thy face.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.8

    Hosea x. 12: “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.9

    Isa. xlv. 8: “Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.10

    Hosea xiv. 5: “I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.11

    The rain has a Father, for it is God Himself who has begotten the drops of dew. He draws the drops of water to Himself, and sands the rain upon the earth by His Word.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.12

    God is the Fountain of living waters. With Him is the fountain of life. This is not a figure of speech, but an actual fact, for out of the throne of God and of the Lamb proceeds the river of life.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.13

    The Lamb slain,-Christ crucified,-is in the midst of the throne. Therefore the river of life proceeds from the crucified Saviour. So “the glorious Lord” is in reality “unto us a place of broad rivers and streams.” Isa. xxxiii. 21. All who live in Him cannot fail to be led unto living fountains of water.” “The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall be their Shepherd.” “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.” Ps. xxiii. 1, 2.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.14

    Where does the rain come from? Read the sixty-fifth psalm, and see. God waters the earth and enriches it with the river of God, which is full of water. How is it that it is full of water?—It is the life of God Himself, who is infinite.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.15

    Don't argue with this text, and try to reason it out, which means to reason it away. Believe what it says, that the rain which waters the earth and makes it fruitful comes from the river of God. The rain certainly does not create itself. It is not self-existent. No; it has a Father; it comes direct from the bosom of God. Truly “the Life was manifested, and we have seen it.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.16

    God is “the living God.” His throne is a living throne. See the first chapter of Ezekiel. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of it. God's law is His righteousness. Isa. li. 7. So the foundation of the throne of God is His living law, His own life. See this indicated in the ark of the sanctuary, in which were the tables of stone.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.17

    Christ is in the midst of the throne. He is the “Living Stone.” 1 Peter ii. 4. The law of God is in His heart. Ps. xl. 8. So Christ, the life of God, is the foundation of His throne,-the Living Stone, on which is written the living law.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.18

    It is from this “sure foundation” the Rock, that the river of life flows. Ex. xvii. 6. It springs forth from the living law,-God's righteousness. Thus it brings the righteousness of the law-the righteousness of God-with it.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.19

    The rain that waters the earth comes from the river of God. It is the life of God in visible form. So it is a literal fact that God rains righteousness upon us, and the skies pour it down. No soul has any excuse for ungodliness and unrighteousness, for “abundance of grace and of the gifts of righteousness” has been bestowed on all. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.20

    Why then are not all saved, whether they believe or not? Since righteousness is literally rained down upon all mankind, why is it necessary to believe in order to be saved?—Because believing is receiving. Believing is breaking up the fallow ground. If the ground is not broken up, then the rain runs off without producing any crop. “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God; but that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burnt. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation.” Heb. vi. 7-9.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.21

    “The Lord is good unto all; and His tender mercies are over all His works.” See how abundantly, how lavishly, God bestows His gifts. He has enough, and to spare. He does not need, even if He had the disposition, to measure out the gift of life, lest the supply should run short. “God giveth not the Spirit by measure.” John iii. 34. This He demonstrates to us, in that He causes it to “rain on the earth where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein is no man; to satisfy the desolate and waste ground.” He lets the rain fall on the barren rock, and on the wide expanse of ocean. So freely does He bestow His life upon mankind.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 532.22

    “The Water of Life” The Present Truth 14, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    With God is the fountain, the well-spring of life. He Himself is “the Fountain of living waters.” Jer. ii. 13. This is demonstrated to us by the river of water of life, which flows from the throne of God and the Lamb. It is a real stream, as plainly to be seen by the inhabitants of the heavenly country as any earthly stream is by those who dwell on its banks. Nevertheless it is spiritual, it is indeed the Spirit, for the Spirit of God is living water. John vii. 38, 39. But spiritual things are spiritually discerned; and the glorified saints, having spiritual bodies, will be able to see the Spirit of God, even as now with our physical eyes we see each other. “The Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Rom. viii. 10); and in the world to come we shall be able to see the Spirit of life proceeding from God in a never-failing stream.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 533.1

    In order to be able to see spiritual things, we must become spiritual. When the Lord comes, and the righteous dead are raised, both dead and living are changed to immortality, and given spiritual bodies. See 1 Cor. xv. 42-53; 1 Thess. iv. 15-17. All the change that takes place at that time is in the body, outwardly, and this will take place only with those who have previously been led by the Spirit, and walked in the Spirit, having the mind of the Spirit. “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Rom. viii. 9. The change at the coming of the Lord will be simply the last step in the change from glory to glory. God wishes us now to be filled with the Spirit, and if this be the case, then we shall be able even now to discern spiritual things, even though our eyes cannot see them. The world receives not the Spirit of God, “Because it seeth Him not.” John xiv. 17. But believers are well acquainted with Him, and can discern His presence, although the eyes that they now have are not fitted to see Him.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 533.2

    We have read that God is the Fountain of living waters. In harmony with this is the Polychrome rendering of Ps. xlvi. 4.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 533.3

    “A brook, whose waters make glad the city of
    Is the Most High in His habitation.”
    PTUK August 25, 1898, page 533.4

    God Himself is the stream of life, for God is Spirit. So we read of the new earth that “there the glorious Lord will be to us a place of broad rivers and streams.” Isa. xxxiii. 21. The reason for this is that “the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King: He will save us.” Verse 22. He saves us by His life,-the cleansing stream,-which flows from the throne, the foundation of which is righteousness and justice, that is, His everlasting law. The Lamb in the midst of the throne leads the redeemed unto “fountains of waters of life.” Rev. vii. 17, R.V. That fountain, God's own life, will be our drink, and the life of everything that grows from the earth. Thus will it be as plain to the eyes of the redeemed saints that they live directly from the life of God, as it now is to any man that we live by food and drink.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 533.5

    The good things of God, however, are not reserved for the future. God has given us Himself in Christ, and so with Him all things. Rom. viii. 32. “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup.” Ps. xvi. 5. Even now God chooses men, and causes them to approach unto Him, that they may dwell in His courts. Ps. lxv. 4. By the blood of Christ we are “made nigh.” Eph. ii. 13. By that blood,-the stream of life from out God's throne,-we have boldness to enter into the holy place where God dwells. “Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” Ps. xcii. 13. “How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O God I therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures; for with Thee is the Fountain of life.” Ps. xxxvi. 7-9. So we see that the river of God's pleasure is the river of life flowing from His throne. The word translated “pleasures” in this text is “Edna,” the feminine form of the Hebrew word “Eden.” The Garden of Eden is the garden of pleasure, and from its waters God gives us to drink even now.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 533.6

    The river that flowed from Eden divided and watered the whole earth. Gen. ii. 10-14. Eden is no more in this earth, but God still allows men to drink of its waters. Who may drink? “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. xxii. 17. God took the man whom He had made, and (literally) “caused him to rest in the garden of Eden.” In Eden there is rest. “We who have believed do enter into rest,” for there remaineth a rest to the people of God (Heb. iv. 3, 9), a rest that comes to us from Eden. That rest is the Lord's own rest-the Sabbath of the Lord. Rest is delight, and so the Lord says, “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, ... then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” Isa. lviii. 13, 14. Those who with all their hearts believe God, worshipping Him as Creator of heaven and earth, rest in His almighty power, and delight their souls in Him. They drink of the water of Eden, and keep the Sabbath that was given to man in Eden.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 533.7

    Just as such ones have passed from death unto life, even while yet in this mortal body, even so they pass from the old earth to the new, even while inhabiting this sin-cursed earth. To them “all things are become new.” 2 Cor. v. 17. In Christ, who is, and is to come, future things are made present. The Spirit is the first fruits of the inheritance. So everything that they see (that is, everything that God has made) is to them only the image of the invisible. Every gift of God is a medium conveying the Holy Spirit. So in the rain that comes down from heaven and waters the earth, they receive the water of life, the Holy Spirit poured out upon all flesh. Even now, as in the beginning, the river of Eden waters the earth, and they who know the Lord delight in it. To them heavenly things are not mere speculations nor simply possible future enjoyments, but present living realities. They sit with Christ in the heavenly places. Eph. ii. 6.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 533.8

    “Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it; Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water.” Ps. lxv. 9. According to the marginal note this text would read: “Thou visitest the earth when thou hast caused it to desire (rain); Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God.” God creates a desire, a longing, for Himself, and then He supplies that desire. He alone can satisfy the desire of every living thing. The reason why all do not consciously take of Him, and delight in Him, is that they do not believe or realise this truth. So they go on unsatisfied. “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Ps. cvii. 8, 9. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” Matt. v. 6. Yes; every shower that falls from heaven, enriching the earth, and causing it to bring forth fruit, is to those who live in constant recognition of God, a rain of righteousness.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 533.9

    God's witness of Himself is that He does good, and sends rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, so that men can rejoice in abundance of food. Acts xiv. 17. He sends rain on the unjust as well as on the just, in order that they may accept His righteousness, and turn from their evil ways.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 534.1

    “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God: for He hath clothed me with the garment of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. 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. 10, 11. How does the earth bring forth her bud? It is by drinking in the rain that falls upon it. Even so will the Lord cause righteousness to spring forth. How? Just as the earth brings forth her fruit, that is, by the rain. The rain from heaven, recognised as coming direct from God's throne, from God Himself, and acknowledged as bringing to us the Holy Spirit, will cause us to bring forth the fruits of righteousness. The same thing that makes the earth to bring forth fruit will also make them bear fruit to holiness, if they truly believe; for belief brings them into the same relation to God-the same state of receptivity-that the earth is. Then “seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near,” and He will come and rain righteousness upon you.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 534.2

    “Lighting Up the Sun” The Present Truth 14, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The other day I came upon a man who was rubbing two dry sticks together. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I am trying to throw light upon the dark spots in the sun,” was the reply, “Ah, I hadn't noticed that there were any dark spots in the sun; to me it seems to be only light; have you seen them?” No; but I have been told that they are there.” “Well, my friend, don't you know that if you succeed in getting light out of your dry sticks, it will after all be only a bit of light from the sun, and that since all light is from the sun, you can throw no light upon it? Don't imagine that you can manufacture light.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 534.3

    Which thing is an allegory, born of the statement that Dean Farrar is working upon a volume, which “will not be an ordinary commentary on the New Testament, but will throw light on dark find difficult texts.” Where will he get the light which he has to throw on these dark texts? Will he manufacture it? If so, if it he that he has light in himself for the people, why does he not throw it directly on the people, instead of on the “dark texts” which, if they have no light in themselves are not worth lighting up?PTUK August 25, 1898, page 534.4

    This is not a drive at Dean Farrar, nor a play upon words, but an endeavour to bring the reader's attention sharply to the fact that the Word of God is itself light. “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light.” Prov. vi. 23. No one can throw light upon it, but must receive from it all the light he ever has. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Ps. cxix. 130. To talk of throwing light upon the Bible, or any part of it, is as absurd as to talk of throwing light upon the sun. Yea, more so, for the light which the sun has is only that which it has received from the Word of the Lord.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 534.5

    There are no “dark texts” in the Bible. There are indeed things that are “hard to be understood,” and things that are difficult to our comprehension; but the trouble is not in the texts, but in us. It we cannot see, that is an evidence that we cannot see, and not that the sun does not shine. Let every one disabuse himself of the idea that any man can throw light on the Bible, for then the Bible is put down as less than man. In that case man is the judge and maker of the Word, instead of its disciple. What we all need to pray is, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” If you don't see light in any test, know that the difficulty is in your vision, not in God's Word. If “the anointing which we have received of Him” abideth in us, we shall be able to see. If any man willeth to do, he shall know as much as is necessary for him to know. When we “walk in the light as He is in the light” we shall be able to see light in His light. Simple belief is the best and only “introduction to the study of the Bible.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 534.6

    “For the Children. ‘The Brightness of the Firmament’” The Present Truth 14, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” You have learned that on the second day “God made the firmament” by the power of His Word, saying, “Let there be a firmament.” And He “divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.” “And God called the firmament, Heaven.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.1

    Last week we were thinking about God's power in the firmament; to-day we will talk about His glory, which the heavens declare,-the beauty of the Lord which we may see in “the waters which are above the firmament.” For you know that the clouds which float to in the blue sky are large masses of water in the form of vapour, which has been drawn up there by the power of God, working through the sun. If you want to know more about this, read the “Story About Raindrops” on the next page.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.2

    God draws up to Himself the drops of water, and holds them up in the sky, and stretches them like a curtain over the earth, sending them down where they are needed in refreshing showers, to water the thirsty ground, and “make it bring forth and bud.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.3

    Of the cloud that rested over the tabernacle that was with the children of Israel in the wilderness, we are told that “the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.” This is true, not of that particular clout only, but of all the clouds that are in the sky. Have you ever watched with delight the glorious sunrise? whenPTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.4

    “Far eastward in the heaven
    You see at last the sign,-
    Along the far horizon
    A single silver line.
    PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.5

    “It broadens and it deepens
    To a sea of red and gold,
    With clouds of rosy amber
    Around its glory rolled.”
    PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.6

    Or, more glorious still, the splendour of the sunset sky, when the ruler of the day “seems to lay down his head upon a pillow of crimson and gold,” andPTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.7

    “Bright clouds are gathering one by one,
    And sweeping in pomp round the setting sun,
    With crimson banner and golden pall,
    Like a host to their chieftain's funeral.”
    PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.8

    Where does all this brightness in beauty come from,-the delicate soft tenths of pink and amber, and the magnificent glowing crimson and gold?—It is the glory of the Lord appearing in the clouds. His glory which the sun reveals is reflected by the clouds before the sun rises and after it sets. The glory would be there just the same if there were no clouds reflect it to us; but through the clouds it is made visible so that we are able to see in “the brightness of the firmament,” the glory of the Lord.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.9

    And then, you will remember, that after the flood of waters which destroyed the earth, God said, “I do put My bow in the cloud.” The rainbow simply shows us all the beautiful colours that are in the light, which is the glory of God shining from the face of Jesus Christ. But this glory is the shining forth of His love and goodness, so we may really see in the rainbow, when His Holy Spirit opens our eyes, the beauty of God's character.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.10

    A little while ago, while walking one morning in a large park, I watched one of the gardners watering the plants with a large hose. As the water shot from the hose in a cloud of fine spray which fell gently to the earth, I saw reflected in it a beautiful rainbow. And I knew that this beauty of the Lord was all about me in the light, although unseen, and that like the cloud of spray I might reflect it so that others could see it, by revealing His character, His grace and loveliness.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.11

    And this is just what God is promise that His children shall do, for He says that they “shall shine as the brightness of the firmament.” Think of this whenever you see the beauty of the heavens come and ask God to let His glory shine into your heart, so that you may reveal the beauty of His love, that when He comes its beauty may “shine forth” from you for ever in “the kingdom of your Father.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 538.12

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 14, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Zoologist's say that all known species of wild animals are gradually diminishing in size.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.1

    -The young giraffe at the Zoo has died a month after its arrival in this country. It costs society ?900.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.2

    -The Imperial penny postage to those British colonies which have adopted it will come into force on Christmas Day.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.3

    -The famous giant tortoise, aged 203, which has grace the Zoo for the last twelve months, has expired. It will be stuffed.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.4

    -A Council assembled under the Emperor of Austria has decided that Hungary should be restored to fiscal independence.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.5

    -Several persons were killed by a tornado in Minnesota, which did great damage to crops and destroyed a number of houses.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.6

    -The cabbage still grows wild in Greece, where it originated. Radishes are native to China, but have been grown in Europe for centuries.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.7

    -Very hot weather has been experienced in London during the last week, several persons having succumbed to the heat, among them to City policemen.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.8

    -A new steamed digger has been tested near Kelvedon. The digging is performed by ten two-pronged tools, and is said to be more effectual than ploughing with horses.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.9

    -The “Whales Gallery,” just open that the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, is reputed to contain the greatest collection of Wales and the whole world.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.10

    -Almost the first act of the American government, after signing the terms of peace with Spain, was to place an order in Birmingham for ten million cartridges for immediate delivery.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.11

    -A thousand camels, which are conveying British troops towards Khartoum, where poke-bonnets as a protection against sunstroke. Only one of all these animals has died so far, and that was a camel which have lost its hat.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.12

    -An interesting calculation has been made which shows that a pound of good coal equals the work of one man for one day. One square mile of a scene of coal only four feet deep, would exceed the work of 1,000,000 men for twenty years.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.13

    -Turkey will soon be asked to raise the rank of its Diplomatic Representative to U.S.A., to that of an Ambassador, and enable America to have a Plenipotentiary of equal rank at Constantinople. This will open the way for America to take in Eastern affairs the same interest now shown by the Great Powers of Europe.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.14

    -Fearful hurricanes, accompanied by hail and bursting clouds, have visited Poland, causing terrible damage. Several houses have had their roofs blown off, cattle have been killed in numbers, bridges destroyed, trees uprooted, and the cut harvest standing in the field rendered worthless. Twenty-four persons have been killed.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.15

    -A leading journal States on good authority that the Foreign Office owes its recent diplomatic defeats in China to the Russian sympathizers of Li Hung Chang, and that on the discovery of this fact has been decided to demand his immediate dismissal and banishment from Peking. If necessary the demand is to be backed up by force.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.16

    -Despite German objections, the U.S. Navy Department is determined to establish a cooling station at Samoa.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.17

    -From South Dakota a terrific wind and hailstorm is reported. Eight bodies had been recovered, but the loss of life is known to have been greater.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.18

    -The Bishop of Hereford has offered to act as mediator between the cold-owners and miners in South Wales, but his services have been declined by the proprietors.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.19

    -Shortly before the news of peace arrived at Manila, the U.S. squadron bombarded and took the town, with much loss of life. The mortality among the Spanish troops at Santiago is fearfully heavy, and the dead bodies are being piled in heaps and burned.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.20

    -A Norwegian ship, on recently arriving in Melbourne, reported that from latitude 20 to 3 deg. north, she was enveloped in a cloud of dust, at times so thick that it was impossible see a ship's length ahead. The sails were changed in colour to a dull brown, and the decks were thickly coated.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.21

    -Dr. George Waltenath, of Hamburg, who recently announced his discovery of a non-luminous moon, claims to have received further evidence of its existence. He has received letters from China and different places in Germany where the dark satellite has been observed. His theory gives the size of the body at 123 times less than that of the moon, and a weight eighty times less.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.22

    -A strange railway accident is reported from the South of France. A have the goods train, drawn by three engines, was ascending a steep gradient in a long tunnel, when it was found that the engines were not strong enough. Owing to insufficient ventilation of the tunnel the smoke from the engines asphyxiated all the drivers and stokers, and the train went backwards, crashing into a passenger train behind. Both trains were wrecked, eleven persons killed and a number seriously injured.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.23

    -The Kaiser's tour to Palestine continues to provoke much suspicion. It seems impossible now for a prominent political personage to do anything unusual without stirring of jealousy. It is noted that Russia alone does not display disquietude, and this fact is winning for her a share in the evil surmises. Those who have studied the Eastern Question in the light of the prophecies know that startling developments maybe look for carillon in Palestine, such as have not entered into the wildest dreams of European statesmen. A little realise into whose hands they are playing.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.24

    -Russia is fast consolidating her position in Persia. The new Grand Vizier is known to be friendly to the Russian influence, and the Holy Synod of Russia has planned an extensive programme of operations in Persia. An appeal has been issued to the Russian people for funds to carry on this work, in which stresses laid on the political importance of the conversion of the Nestorians, and the rivalry of the other European powers. The official Russian journals are backing up the appeal. We do not call attention to the circumstances from any political motive. The Christian does not have any citizenship in this world, “for your have we no continuing city,” but we mention them that our readers may see how the nations of births are becoming more and more involved in the toils of the great destroyer, and preparing for what a leading journal called the other day “the inevitable Armageddon.” The fact that this will be largely brought about under the auspices of religious bodies will not ameliorate the fearful conditions of the impending conflict. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 542.25

    “Seeing Life” The Present Truth 14, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Most young men are filled with an ambition to “see life.” This is a most laudable ambition, but, unhappily, their idea of what constitutes life is so far from the reality that few ever see life indeed.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.1

    Christianity is by them considered dull and “pokey.” The one who becomes a follower of Jesus is thought to have thrown his life away. To “see life” it is supposed that one must indulge in dissipation, and must visit places of amusement where, to say the least, he would not feel comfortable with his mother as company.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.2

    In fact, the stage is quite generally regarded as affording the heat opportunity to see life. But here, let it not be forgotten, the idea of “realism,” real life, is always associated with the representation of what is most corrupt and vicious, thus indicating that the popular idea of life is wickedness. What a sad revelation this is as to what constitutes the “life” of the majority of mankind.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.3

    But what are the facts in the case? Is it real life, is it life at all, that people see on the stage, or in the most popular places of resort, or as a general thing on the public highways?—Far from it. The Word of God makes the real facts very plain, and every one can for himself prove the truthfulness of what it says.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.4

    “This is the record, that God bath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life;” “and He that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” 1 John v. 11, 12; John iii. 36. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us); that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.” 1 John i. 1-3.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.5

    “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Prov. xvi. 35. How sad it is to think of men rushing to death, while they think that they are enjoying the very fulness of life. They go the way of her who says, “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant;” “but he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.” Prov. ix. 15, 16.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.6

    This way which seems right to a man, but which ends in death, is one's own way. We have all turned, every one to his own way (Isa. liii. 6); and this way we would fain persuade ourselves is life. Reproofs of instruction, which are “the way of life,” (Prov. vi. 23), come to us, but we do not relish them; and the result to all who persist in rejecting the way of the Lord is that they shall “eat of the fruit of their own way,” which is death; “for the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” Prov. i. 31, 32.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.7

    Wisdom, which is the fear of the Lord, and departure from evil (Job xxviii. 28), calls to us all, saying, “Whoso findeth me findeth life;” “but he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul; all they that hate me love death.” Prov. viii. 35, 36. What! is it possible that anybody should love death? Yes, it is; and, strange to say, those who talk the most about “seeing life” in this world, are the very ones who are most in love with death. All those who love that which leads to death, love death itself. Death entered into the world by sin (Rom. v. 12); all sin contains the poison of death concealed in it. To love sin, then, which is the transgression of God's law, is to love death. How horrible the thought, that one will clasp a skeleton, or what is worse, a putrid corpse, to his bosom, imagining that it is the embodiment of life.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.8

    It would not matter how beautifully a body of death were decked out, no one would feel any attraction for it if he could perceive that it was but a decaying carcase. If then people would but stop to consider the difference between life and death, they would not make the terrible mistake that they do, of pursuing death instead of life. This difference is so very plain that none need have any difficulty is discerning it.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.9

    The difference, in short, is this: Life is eternal existence, while death is eternal destruction. Whatever endures has real life in it. Now all know that those things which the world calls pleasures and “real life” cannot exist long, and that is the; reason why men are so fierce in pursuit of them. One says, “Life cannot last long, and I mean to enjoy it while I can.” He means that the things that he calls life cannot last long. But that very fact shows that they are not life, but death; for life, real life, is eternal. That which is not eternal is not life.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.10

    Life is strength, it is freshness, and fulness of joy. One does not grow weary of life; for the characteristic of eternal life, which is the only life, is that it is continually new. One can no more grow tired of it than he can of the morning dew drop or the clear light of the rising sun. But men who are wholly devoted to what the world calls the pleasures of life, soon grow weary and disgusted, and often show by committing suicide that death is what they have been after. A Christian cannot commit suicide; he loves life too well. The more he has of it, the better he likes it.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.11

    “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Ps. xxxiv. 12-14. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live; that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, that thou mayest cleave unto Him, for He is thy life, and the length of thy days.”PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.12

    In a recent speech at Cape Town, Mr. Rhodes declared that federation in South Africa is very near.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.13

    It is stated on the authority of Cardinal Vaughan that the converts to the Catholic Church in England and Wales average about 700 a month. These figures, it is stated, are not based on conjecture, but on returns from the Catholic clergy, who are obliged to keep a register of all persons “baptized,” and to state if they are converts.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.14

    A great thread “trust” is from Chicago, with a capital of eighteen million dollars, comprising the largest firms in England and the United States.PTUK August 25, 1898, page 544.15

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