"I WILL CALL FOR THE GRAIN AND INCREASE IT"
OURS is the "day of God's preparation" for the glorious abundance of the Millennium and its blessings. Fresh proofs of this come to us daily. The electric light has superceded the tallow dip; the steamship, 1000 feet long, has succeeded the canoe; the railway train has succeeded the pack-mule and the stage-coach. Already we live in a new world, which, in many respects, would be Paradise were it not for our fallen condition--our mental, moral and physical imperfections--our dying state. Still, however, the necessities of life require labor, toil, sweat of face; but how great a blessing is in this fact few seem to appreciate. Without necessity, idleness would soon breed vice and crime still more abundantly.
Statistics tell us that the wood supplies of the world are running short and that already there is little to spare for fuel. They tell us also that the coal supply will last only about one hundred and fifty years more. They wonder whether or not mankind will soon freeze to death. God's people, however, looking from the standpoint of the Divine promises, may have full assurance of faith that the Divine foreknowledge has provided for every emergency. Already we know that the air that we breathe contains the very elements necessary to supply us adequately with heat, if we could but learn how to separate its component parts. Science has long been striving to accomplish this end. Faith tells us that when the Father's due time shall have arrived the problem will be solved simply enough, furnishing oxygen for fuel and nitrogen for the enrichment of the soil.
Similarly scientists tell us that the earth cannot much more than provide food for its present number of inhabitants. They are in trepidation as to what kind of farming will be necessary to feed the world five hundred years hence. Through the Word of God the eye of faith may see that the time for human productivity is drawing to an end, that soon after the inauguration of the Millennium, conditions will change gradually--until finally human propagation will cease entirely. Still, however, according to the Scriptures, the world will gradually become filled with people; as our Lord's words declare, "All that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man and come forth." "Every man in his own order," says St. Paul.
There will be an abundance of room for all of this population, but where their food supply will come from would be an astounding proposition to scientists. The child of God, whose eye of faith has already seen some of Jehovah's mighty power, may rest assured that he who planned all this has made necessary provision for the successful carrying out of its every feature.
In the light of God's Word the eye of faith has assistance, and perceives that humanity's present fallen condition involves a great waste of food, which will be rectified as the race rises out of its imperfection and learns more thoroughly how to use blessings which are now comparatively wasted. Then again the eye of faith sees in the divine promise at the head of this article, and in other assurances of the Scriptures, that "the earth shall yield her increase"--sees the Divine provision for the needs of humanity. Already we have evidences of how these Scriptures may be fulfilled. In the once arid deserts of the United States artesian wells and irrigating canals are causing "the wilderness to blossom as the rose and the solitary places to be glad." Similar developments will doubtless later on extend to other desert lands. Contrariwise the marshes are being drained, and the eye of faith can see how the world will eventually be made all that is implied in God's promise of Paradise restored; that Jehovah "will make the place of his feet [his footstool] glorious."
MIRACLE WHEAT--MIRACLE CULTIVATION
A year ago we called attention to the miracle wheat, which was developed in Virginia, seemingly by accident. We know not to what extent it has been sown elsewhere, nor whether any wonderful results have been obtained. However, it gives to the eye of faith a suggestive lesson [R4431 : page 213] as to how God could "Call for the wheat-corn and increase it" many fold. Now we learn of some wonderful experiments which have recently been made by the Russian Government, which serve to show that in soil that is at least twenty inches deep a new method of cultivating wheat, gives promise of almost miraculous results. Even if only one-tenth of the results claimed can be obtained the advantage seemingly would be considerable. Even if the method be at present found impracticable for any reason, the suggestion to the eye of faith would be valuable everyway as showing God's people something of the hidden powers Divine, which are held in reservation for man's time of need.
PLANTING WHEAT INSTEAD OF SOWING IT
The new method of cultivating wheat, based upon these experiments, is the making of pits or trenches, twelve to twenty inches deeper than the surface level and forty-two inches wide. One grain of wheat planted at the bottom of each pit or forty-two inches apart in the trenches is [R4432 : page 213] covered lightly with two inches of soil. Every three weeks the covering process is repeated about two inches more each time, until ten coverings have been put on. The grain gives forth three shoots with the first covering. With the second covering each of these shoots "bushknots" and gives forth three more shoots, so that with the final covering the total amounts to 59,049 stalks or heads of grain.
The ten coverings will require about thirty weeks or less, according to the climate. It is said that this method of cultivation requires no watering, that the air, having free access to the roots, provides the moisture and gases necessary for the growth of the plant. It is difficult to believe all this--that a single seed could thus produce seventy pounds of grain, and that at the same ratio an acre of land be made to produce forty-five tons of grain. Assuredly, as our text suggests, when the Lord's time shall come he will be well able to call for the increase of the grain for the benefit of the world of mankind, whom he so loved as to redeem and for whom the blessings of restitution are shortly to be made available.--Acts 3:19-21.