The golden candlestick with its seven lamps was a part of the furniture of the tabernacle and the temple of Solomon. It appears here in this vision of the prophet Zechariah, and again in the vision of John "in the isle that is called Patmos" (Rev. 1:9); where the seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches. It must have been regarded with peculiar reverence by the Jews as one of the sacred glories of the temple, for to this day, on the arch of Titus at Rome, where are depicted incidents in the siege of Jerusalem, one can see the great candlestick borne aloft in triumphal procession by the victorious soldiers of Titus. From what the angel said to Zechariah in the vision, it is clear that the candlestick with its seven lamps fed by the oil from the olive trees is a symbol of the Church illuminated by divine grace.
According to legend Memmius was a spy in the days of the last and worst of the persecutions, that under Diocletian. It was his work to spy out the Christians in their secret places of worship and bring them before the judges and the persecutors. Memmius was engaged in this infamous task, and was creeping stealthily along one of the narrow passages, when suddenly, at a turning of the passage, he came upon a little chamber where some Christians were meeting together. The candles were burning before the crucifix, and the priest was standing before the altar. For a moment a divine indulgence was granted Memmius; and if he had been capable of it, he might have bowed and received the everlasting light. But he hardened his heart, and those candles, symbols of the everlasting light, bewildered him with darkness; and the cross itself was stamped upon his heart as a sign that it should never open to conviction. Henceforth Memmius wandered through the catacombs seeking for some unwary visitor to take him by the hand and lead him from the darkness into the light.
A great preacher, Pusey, once said that one of the greatest surprises of heaven will be our amazement at the number of ways in which we insult the divine grace and grieve the spirit of God.
A man who has reached the allotted three score and ten related how when a youth at boarding school his heart was touched by a message which he heard in the chapel, and he resolved to give his heart to Christ and become his disciple. It brought to him a joy, he said, which the long stretches of his life had never repeated. But it was a joy that was short lived, for when he found that his school fellows made him the object of their ridicule and jest, he promptly abandoned the new life he had chosen. "Now," he said, "I pray, I go to church, but the old feeling never comes back to me." Will it ever come back? Who knows? There are strange mysterious laws at work in the spiritual world, and none can violate them with impunity.
Dr. A. J. Gordon tells of a Welsh preacher who, having been scheduled to preach one night, asked to be allowed to withdraw for a time before the service. He remained in seclusion so long that the good man of the house sent his servant to request him to come and meet the waiting congregation. As she came near the room she heard what seemed to be an indication of conversation between two parties, and though in subdued tone of voice, she caught the words, "I will not go unless You go with me." Without interfering, she returned and reported, "He will come all right, and the Other will come, too." And sure enough, when he came, the Other One came along, and with such power that it proved a wonderful service in which many found newness of life. It is both our privilege and duty thus to allow the Holy Spirit to work along with us as we endeavor to teach others about the Lord Jesus Christ.—Christian Union Herald.
Dr. Fisher once wrote to his friend Lord Eldon, asking him for a special favor. Lord Eldon answered: "Dear Fisher, I cannot today give you the preferment for which you ask. I remain your sincere friend, Eldon. Turn over." Then on the other side he wrote, "I gave it to you yesterday." Our heavenly Father similarly answers His children when they ask Him for the indwelling or baptism of the Holy Spirit. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?" (I Cor. 6:19). "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" (I Cor. 12:13).—Sunday School Times.
I was interesting my boy David with a magnetic compass, and I showed him that the needle always pointed to the north. Then I played a joke on him. I had a magnet in my pocket, and I slipped my hand in and drew it out, very carefully concealing it. Then I began to draw my hand over the compass and make the little needle go here, there, and everywhere. David said, "What has gone wrong with it? Why, it is pointing south!" I said, "If you wait a minute perhaps we can make it point east." That is what some people do with the guidance they receive of the Holy Spirit. They make the compass point anywhere they want it to go, because they have a magnet in their hand.—Pentecostal Evangel.
A young artist was trying to copy Raphael's "Madonna and Child," one of the most beautiful pictures in all the world. He went to Florence and gazed on it, then got his easel. Sitting down in front of it he began to copy it. As he looked at it his picture became a thing of beauty, too. But suppose that, instead of only copying, the spirit of Raphael could have come upon that young man: what a difference it would have made! When we come to the Lord Jesus He gives us His Holy Spirit to help us live as He would have us live, and the more the Holy Spirit controls our lives, the more like Him we grow. Do come to Him now, if you have never come, and ask Him to give you His Holy Spirit.—Intermediate Young People.
There are two ways of traveling on the Continent. In the first, you do everything for yourself. You obtain your ticket, look after your luggage, get your seat in the carriage, ask at least three porters whether you are right; and if you have an imperfect knowledge of the language, you have perpetually an uneasy sense that perhaps you are wrong. ... There is another method of foreign travel. You employ a Tourist Agency, which obtains your tickets, sees to your comfort, gives you precise directions, provides you, where necessary, with a conductor, and at every terminus waits to greet you. . And in this we have an apt illustration of the easier way of traveling to Heaven... . Be at rest in the indwelling and inworking of the Holy Spirit. Only see that He is not grieved, and He will see to all else.—F. B. Meyer, in the King's Business.
There are some deeply-established uncleannesses for which the action of water is not sufficiently stringent. In many cases of contagious disease, if we are to rid ourselves of every vestige of corruption, there are many things which must be burned. The germs of the contagion could not be washed away. They must be consumed away. Fire is our most effective purifying minister, a powerful and relentless enemy of disease. In 1665 London was in the grip of that terrible plague, the horrors of which may still be felt through the pages of Pepys and De Foe. The disease germs were hiding and breeding and multiplying everywhere. In the following year the Great Fire broke out, and the plague-smitten city was possessed by the spirit of burning. London was literally baptized with fire, which sought out the most secret haunts of the contagion, and in the fiery baptism the evil genius of corruption gave place to the sweet and friendly genius of health.—Dr. J. H. Jowett.