The human eye is beautifully adapted to human needs and human enjoyment, yet only when aided by the telescope, and the microscope, do we discover those wonders of nature which hold us in mute astonishment. The naked eye gathers in much of the glory that surrounds us, but unaided it cannot explore the seeming secrets of nature.
Assisted by the telescope men view the distant heavenly bodies, and study their order of arrangement, magnitudes, distances, motions, periods of revolution, eclipses, etc., and the causes of their various phenomena, and aided by the microscope we are enabled to study forms of earthly life and agencies of power invisible because of their minuteness. Thus telescopic and microscopic vision together display the glory of God's work. But suppose the eye were so formed as to have naturally both the telescopic and microscopic vision, would it be to human advantage? No, the vision of immensity, were it continually spread before us, would be wearisome to eye and brain, and leave no field for investigation and the joy of finding something new; and the constant vision of infinitesimal matter and life would mar almost everything of beauty.
As the natural eye is aided by the telescope and the microscope, to behold the wonders of the material universe, so we find the Word of God furnishing both the telescope and the microscope of divine truth. By the aid of the divine telescope we have been enabled to view God's plan as a whole, and to see that it contemplates the highest glory, perfection and permanent establishment of all things in the heavens and in the earth. By its aid we are enabled also to study the order of God's plan, to estimate the relative magnitudes of his various promises, to compute the distances in time, to observe the orderly motions in the various parts of God's plan, to mark the periods of the revolution of each part, and also to discover the causes, by which such changes are brought about.
You who have learned to use it, adjust your telescope again, that you may view the wondrous plan of God, which is wide as the material universe which he created, and includes in its gracious provisions all of his creatures both heavenly and earthly.
Viewing it as a whole, we have seen its order to be, first, creation; secondly, discipline and development; thirdly, perfection, blessedness and eternal glory. We first find that Jehovah's direct creation began and ended in his Son, our Lord and Saviour. He was the first and only begotten, and by him as Jehovah's agent, is all the divine purpose to be accomplished (Rev. 1:8). The Father's delight is in the Son, and the Father's glory is manifested in him. Yet just as truly does it teach that it is Jehovah's work, since it is his plan and power exercised through his Son.
Leaving our observations of his creative work, we turn to view the great plan for the discipline and development of his intelligent creatures. We have seen that all were created perfect, yet free to choose good or evil, and that for wise and benevolent purposes in God's economy, evil has been permitted to run its dreadful course in the human race and among some of the angels. We see also that the great plan for human redemption and restoration, is so far reaching in its results as to finally settle the great controversy between good and evil for all time and for all creatures. Evil is now permitted to exist and flourish for purposes of discipline and development, and when this is accomplished it shall be forever banished, never again to mar the face of God's finished work.
But again, leaving these observations, turn your telescope to the still more distant future. Dimly outlined because of its greater distance, the glorious future of eternal blessedness bursts upon our enraptured vision, beginning at the close of the millennium with the great jubilee of jubilee—the jubilee of the universe—when Christ shall have put all enemies under his feet. 1 Cor. 15:25.
Having taken these telescopic observations of the outlines of God's great plan, we note the order of its development, and from the data furnished in the Scriptures, and our observations of passing events, we are enabled to compute the distance in time, even to the final consummation—to the great jubilee of jubilees. We have already marked the completed revolution of several great dispensational periods, and now realize that we are in the ending of another and just approaching the dawn of the day of Christ, whose blessed reign shall wipe out the last vestige of evil and usher in the universal jubilee.
As we study these great revolutions in their minor details, we discover the principles and causes of their movements. We see that the first dispensation under the ministration of angels, completed its revolution at the time of the flood, proving the inability of angelic power to rescue man; we see the law dispensation closing at the first advent of Christ, proving the inability of [R717 : page 6] man to save himself by obedience to the law; now we see also the gospel dispensation ending, completing the selection of God's anointed priest who alone can accomplish the great work. At the same time we see the dominion of evil completing its course. In all these great and the many minor movements of the various agencies of God's plan which have been brought to our attention, we see the one central and unchangeable purpose of God—the final, permanent establishment of righteousness, peace and everlasting bliss on a basis which recognizes the freedom of the individual will, yet by the tender cord of love links that will indissolubly to the divine will as the only condition of everlasting life and favor.
Seeing thus the grandeur of the work to be accomplished through our Lord Jesus, and the high honor bestowed upon him by the Father, we are enabled to estimate, to some extent, the exceeding great and precious promises made TO US as members of his church—the "eternal weight of glory" to be shared by us, his joint-heirs. And indeed this is the chief object and value of these glorious telescopic visions of the divine purpose; and that we may be encouraged to pursue the narrow way to its end, we should take frequent observations. Astronomers, as they study the material universe, become completely absorbed in it, and seem to live in an atmosphere and be filled with a joy above other men; but how much more inspiring are the views which we have been permitted to take, and the wonderful truths and calculations deduced from them! Here is a science which towers above every other, and a philosophy which, divinely directed, probes the hitherto hidden things of God.
But none can enter the watch tower of Zion, or use the divine telescope, who do not come with meek and teachable spirit, with consecrated hearts, and a student's purpose to know the truth. To such the Lord will blessedly disclose the riches of his grace.
But what of the microscope? Thus far we have only been glancing briefly at the telescopic visions of God's Word; but what, in comparison, we may term the microscopic views, also wondrously declare the glory of God. They declare his glory most emphatically to the natural man, for they are such as the natural man can more readily grasp and accept. These relate to the natural man, and his restoration to human perfection. The telescopic views are chiefly for those [R717 : page 7] who are "new creatures" and heirs together with Christ. We turn the telescope heavenward, the microscope earthward; and the latter discloses the promises of restitution. Close examination shows the blessedness of that restored estate—perfect manhood—and the necessary discipline to lead the race to it; the judgments of God in the punishments of the wicked for their correction, and rewarding the righteous; and the doom pronounced against present evil systems, ecclesiastical, civil, and social, which, defying the power of the Almighty, bind and oppress mankind.
These microscopic views disclose to the vision of faith a physical earth that shall be man's Paradise restored—"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad...and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon....And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water." It points to the fact that all obstacles shall be removed from the way to holiness—"No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon; it shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there." It shows that all eyes and ears shall be opened to receive the truth, to be instructed in the right ways of the Lord—"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing."
It tells of the joyful progress of mankind towards perfection under that wise beneficent reign of Christ—"And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isa. 35.)
Let every child of God dig for these treasures of divine truth, long buried by divine wisdom, for our present comfort and joy, and proclaim to the world the blessed assurance that its paradise is to be restored, and that the great Restorer is soon to begin the glorious work.
Truth on every subject, has always met with opposition. Science and philosophy have had to contend for every inch of footing gained. The use of the telescope and microscope were once condemned as improper, prying into God's secrets. And none the less is the searching of the Scriptures, this making use of the Divinely-given telescope and microscope, opposed to-day on the very same ground—an improper prying into the mysteries of God. Blinded indeed is that child of God who cannot discern such sophistry, and the dark source from whence such suggestions come. Does our Father give us a revelation of his will and purposes, and forbid our study of it? Let us search and see, and be filled with the spirit and inspiration of these blessed truths; so shall we be enabled to run joyfully and with patience the race set before us.