It is well to see that God’s present actual powers in full play about us are vastly beyond all the dreams of Arabian imagination. It leads us to expect greater things of him hereafter. That human imagination could so dream is proof of the greatness of its Creator. But that he has actually surpassed those dreams is prophecy of more greatness to come.
I desire that my readers of this generation shall be the great thinkers and inventors of the next. There are amazing powers just waiting to be revealed. Draw aside the curtain. We have not yet learned the A B C of science. We have not yet grasped the scepters of provided dominion. Those who are most in the image and likeness of the Cause of these forces are most likely to do it.
THE MAN WHO NEEDED 452,696 BARRELS OF WATER
A man once had a large field of wheat. He had toiled hard to clear the land, plow the soil, and sow the seed. The crop grew beautifully and was his joy by day and by night. But when it was just ready to head out it suddenly stopped growing for want of moisture. It looked as if all his hard work would be in vain. The poor farmer thought of his wife and children, who were likely to starve in the coming winter. He shed many tears, but they could not moisten one little stalk.
Suddenly he said, “I will water it myself.” The field was a mile square, and it needed an inch of water over it all. He quickly figured out that there were 27,878,400 square feet in a square mile. On every twelve square feet a cubic foot of water was needed. A cubic foot of water weighs sixty-two and a third pounds. Hence it would require 74,754 tons of water. To draw this amount 74,754 teams, each drawing a ton, would be required. But they would tramp the wheat all down. Besides, the nearest water in sufficient quantity was the ocean, one thousand miles away over the mountains. It would take three months to make the journey. And, worse than all else, the water of the ocean is so salt that it would ruin the crop.
[Illustration: Breaking Waves.]
Alas! there were three impossibilities—so many teams, so many miles, so long time—and two ruins if he could overcome the impossibilities—trampling down the wheat and bringing so much salt. Alas, alas! what could he do but see the poor wheat die of thirst and his poor wife and children die of hunger?
Suddenly he determined to ask the sun to help him. And the sun said he would. That was a very little thing for such a great body to do. So he heated the air over the ocean till it became so thirsty that it drank plenty of water, choosing only the sweet fresh water and leaving all the salt in the ocean. Then the warm air rose, because the heat had expanded it and made it lighter, and the other air rushed down the mountains all over that side of the continent to take its place. Then the warm air went landward in an upper current and carried its load of water in great piles and mountains of clouds; it lifted them over the great ranges of mountains and rained down its thousands of tons of sweet water a thousand miles from the sea, so gently that not a stalk of wheat was trampled down, nor was a single root made acrid by any taste of brine.