Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

February 25, 1895 - EXTRA, NO. 13

GENERAL CONFERENCE BULLETIN,
PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE

GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS.

Terms, 50 Cents per Year.
BATTLE CREEK, MICH.

THE WORD OF GOD - NO. 4

W. W. PRESCOTT

(Continued from page 320)

WE cannot take the time to enter into any lengthy study of this mystery of iniquity; but it is evident from studying these scriptures that it would be an exaltation of self, and a putting of man in the place of God; and from that time to this, there has been a contest all the time as to which should prevail, - God’s word or man’s word, God’s idea or man’s idea. This contest has gone on with every important teaching of the Scriptures as to whether God’s idea should prevail or man’s idea should prevail; and now we will follow the contrast between the two ideas with reference to the Bible, and the question of interpreting and understanding the Bible. It is perfectly evident that while the word of God is infallible, there must be some way by which the meaning of the word shall be brought to us. Now what is God’s idea, and his plan by which we may understand his word?

When Christ was on earth, the Scripture says of him (Mark 12:37): “And the common people heard him gladly.” Why? - Because they could understand what he said. The teachers of the day, the scribes and the Pharisees, put themselves into their teachings to that extent that they shut out the Lord entirely; and they gave the precepts and doctrines of men, and they freely stated that those interpretations of their’s were of much more importance than the word itself; and so their books, as the Mishna and the Gemara, buried up the word. And when Christ came, the word of God was buried up with man’s ideas, man-made interpretations, man-made meanings, man-made additions of the most burdensome character; and Jesus Christ came to sweep those things away, and bring to the people the word of God instead of the word of man. And the common people could understand what he said, and they heard him gladly, and he himself said; “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes,” - those who are willing to be taught. How we are to receive an understanding of the Scripture is stated in 2 Timothy 2:7: “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” The Revised Version reads: “For the Lord shall give thee understanding in all things.” This idea is suggested by the inspired prayer in Ephesians 1:15 and onward.

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.

That inspired prayer was that there might be a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, and the promise is, “The Lord shall give thee understanding.”

The record in Luke 24 is very instructive on this point. It is the experience of the two disciples on their way to Emmaus. Twenty-fifth verse:-

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. [The Revised Version says: “He interpreted unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”]

When they came to speak of their experience (thirty-second verse), “they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Then read what is said of his meeting with the whole company, as the two disciples were relating

their experience, forty fourth and forty-fifth verses:-

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.

Jesus Christ gave the word. When he was here upon the earth, he, himself, was the Word; and when those to whom the word had come did not understand it, he, himself, interpreted the word to them, and their hearts burned within them while he opened to them the Scriptures, and opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. If Jesus had remained visibly upon the earth, not one would have questioned that it was his place to interpret his own words; but Jesus Christ is upon the earth. His promise is, “Lo, I am with you alway.” And he is here, and it is his work, and his place now, just as it was when he was visibly with his disciples, to interpret in the Scriptures all the things concerning himself. And it is his place now to open our understanding, that we may understand the Scriptures; and as the word was the infallible word of the infallible God, given through the infallible Son Jesus Christ, and as God cannot lie, the interpretation that Jesus Christ himself gives to his own infallible word is the infallible interpretation of that infallible word.

And there is where infallibility lies, and it is a true doctrine that infallibility belongs in the true church of Jesus Christ. The only question is, Where is that infallibility found? Those who have put Jesus Christ out of his place as head of the church, and have put a man in his place as head of the church, say that infallibility belongs in the man whom they have put in the place of Jesus Christ; and that is logical enough if he is the head of the church. But those who still believe in Jesus Christ as the head of the church, and do not think that he has abdicated his place, and do not think that he has assigned the duty of representing him in the earth to any living being, but that he, himself, is still the visible head of the church, do not believe that infallibility is in any human being. They believe that infallibility belongs in Jesus Christ himself, the infallible head of the church, and that when Jesus Christ speaks, no matter when, (“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to-day, and forever”) that is the infallible word.

But how does he speak? “And he said, hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” Numbers 12:6. And the record of the Scriptures shows how God did speak in visions and dreams, and all those visions and dreams were regarded as the word of God which he had spoken. Isaiah 1:1: “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.” Through all that time, during the reign of those kings, this is the vision that he saw. Ezekiel 1:1: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” Matthew 1:20: “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying” - Acts 10 gives the vision that Peter saw, Verse 10:-

While they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time. What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate and called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

These are simply selections as instances both in the Old and the New Testament of the fact that God did speak to his servants in visions and in dreams. But the thought that I want to rest in the mind is that when Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, into whose hands God has committed all things, speaks he is the infallible head of the church, and what he says is infallible truth, and that that is where infallibility lies.

Infallibility belongs in the church of Jesus Christ and it is not the proper way to meet the statement that there should be an infallible head of the church by denying it; and we should be very careful in the study of the principles underlying this question, or in our injudicious efforts to answer some one on the infallibility question, lest we cut the ground out from under our own feet, - the ground that we must stand on; and we must know why we stand on it, too, and we must stand there firmly.

The characteristic of the last church is: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus,” or the testimony of Jesus. But the testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy

and the spirit of prophecy is the spirit which gave the prophecy; the spirit of prophecy is the Spirit of Christ in the prophets, who testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ; and it does not make any difference in or through whom or how Jesus Christ speaks, - when he speaks, that is the spirit of prophecy by which he speaks, - that same spirit of prophecy by which the prophecies of the Scriptures were given; and it is the spirit of prophecy that is to be in the church, and that spirit of prophecy is the same spirit through which Jesus Christ has spoken from the very first. And Jesus Christ himself being the infallible head of his own church, when he speaks, what he says is infallibly true. When Jesus Christ speaks, what he says is infallible, that is infallibility in the church; but Jesus Christ has never delegated that infallibility to any human being; never. And therefore no human being is infallible. But Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day and forever, is infallible; and when Jesus Christ speaks, wherever it be in early times, or in later times, or now, what Jesus Christ says is infallible, and that is the true doctrine of infallibility.

THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE - NO. 17

A. T. JONES

Now as to Christ’s not having “like passions” with us: In the Scriptures all the way through he is like us, and with us according to the flesh. He is the seed of David according to the flesh. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. Don’t go too far. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh; not in the likeness of sinful mind. Do not drag his mind into it. His flesh was our flesh; but the mind was “the mind of Christ Jesus.” Therefore it is written: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” If he had taken our mind, how, then, could we ever have been exhorted to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus?” It would have been so already. But what kind of mind is ours? O, it is corrupted with sin also. Look at ourselves in the second chapter of Ephesians, beginning with the first verse, and reading to the third, but the third verse is the one that has this particular point in it:-

Now I refer you also to page 191 of the BULLETIN, to the lesson we studied on the destruction of that enmity. We studied there where the enmity came from, you remember, - how it got into this world, - the ground is covered in this that I have just read. Adam had the mind of Jesus Christ in the garden; he had the divine mind, - the divine and the human were united, sinlessly. Satan came in, and offered his inducements through the appetite, through the flesh. Adam and Eve forsook the mind of Jesus Christ, the mind of God, that was in them, and accepted the suggestions and the leadings of this other mind. Thus they were enslaved to that, and so are we all. Now Jesus Christ comes into the world, taking our flesh, and in his sufferings and temptations in the wilderness he fights the battle upon the point of appetite.

Where Adam and Eve failed, and where sin entered, he fought the battle over, and victory was won, and righteousness entered. He having fasted forty days and forty nights, - perfectly helpless, human as ourselves, hungry as we, - there came to him the temptation, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” He answered, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Then Satan took another turn. He argued: You are trusting in the word of God, are you? All right; here the word of God says: “He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Now you are trusting in the word of God: you jump off here, for it is written, “He shall give his angels charge concerning thee.” Jesus answered again: “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

Then Satan took Jesus upon an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them too, - the glory, the honor, the dignity, - he showed him all that. And there at that moment there was stirred up all the ambition that ever appeared in Napoleon, or Caesar, or Alexander, or all of them put together. But from Jesus still the answer is: “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

Then the devil departed from him for a season, and angels came and ministered unto him. There was the power of Satan conquered in man, on the point of appetite, - just where that power was gained over man. This man at the first had the mind of God; he forsook it, and took the mind of Satan. In Jesus Christ the mind of God is brought back once more to the sons of men; and Satan is conquered. Therefore, it is gloriously true, as the word reads in Dr. Young’s translation and in the German, as it does in the Greek: “We know that the Son of God is come, and has given us a mind.”

Read the last words of 1 Corinthians 2:16: “We have

the mind of Christ.” Put the two transactions together. The German, and the Danish, and also the Greek are alike. Put the two together: “We know that the Son of God is come, and has given us a mind;” and “We have the mind of Christ.” Thank the Lord!

Read in Romans now. I will read from the Greek, beginning with the twenty-fourth verse of the seventh chapter. You remember from the tenth to the twenty-fourth verses is that contest: The good I would do, I do not; and the evil I hate, that I do. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. There the flesh has control, and draws the mind after it, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. Now:-

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself with the mind indeed serve the law of God [or, rather, serve God’s law, literally here]; but with the flesh, sin’s law. There is then now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus who walk not according to flesh, but according to Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set me free from the law of sin and of death. For the law being powerless, in that it was weak through the flesh, God having sent his own son in likeness of flesh of sin, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the requirement of the law should be fulfilled in us, who not according to flesh walk, but according to Spirit. For they that according to flesh are, the things of the flesh mind; and they according to Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit [that is, the Spirit’s mind; the one is the flesh’s mind, and the other is the Spirit’s mind], life and peace. Because the mind of the flesh is enmity toward God: for to the law of God it is not subject; for neither can it be; and they that in flesh are, God please can not [that is, cannot please God]. But ye are not in flesh, but in spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you; but if any one the Spirit of Christ has not, he is not of him: but if Christ be in you, the body is dead, on account of sin, but the Spirit life [is] on account of righteousness.

You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation [our manner of walk] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.

Our minds have consented to sin. We have felt the enticements of the flesh, and our minds yielded, our minds consented, and did the wills and the desires of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. The flesh leads, and our minds have followed, and with the flesh the law of sin is served. When the mind can lead, the law of God is served. But as our minds have surrendered, yielded to sin, they have themselves become sinful and weak, and are led away by the power of sin in the flesh.

Now the flesh of Jesus Christ was our flesh, and in it was all that is in our flesh, - all the tendencies to sin that are in our flesh were in his flesh, drawing upon him to get him to consent to sin. Suppose he had consented to sin with his mind; what then? Then his mind would have been corrupted, and then he would have become of like passions with us. But in that case he himself would have been a sinner; he would have been entirely enslaved, and we all would have been entirely enslaved, and we all would have been lost - everything would have perished.

I will read now from the new “Life of Christ,” advance copy, upon this very point:-

It is true that Christ at one time said of himself, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” John 14:30. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power.

Where does he start the temptation? - In the flesh. Satan reaches the mind through the flesh; God reaches the flesh through the mind. Satan controls the mind through the flesh. Through this means, - through the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, the pride of life, and through ambition for the world and the honor and respect of men - through these things Satan draws upon us, upon our minds to get us to yield; our minds respond, and we cherish that thing. By this means his temptations assert their power. Then we have sinned. But until that drawing of our flesh is cherished, there is no sin. There is temptation, but not sin. Every man is tempted when he is drawn away thus and enticed; and when lust has conceived, when that desire is cherished, then it brings forth sin; and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.

Read farther now:-

Some sinful desire [with us] is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But he could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. Jesus did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought could he be brought to yield to the power of temptation.

Thus you see that where the victory comes, where the battle-field is, is right upon the line between the flesh and the mind. The battle is fought in the realm of the thoughts. The battle against the flesh, I mean, is fought altogether, and the victory won, in the realm of the thoughts. Therefore Jesus Christ came in just such flesh as ours, but with a mind that held its integrity against every temptation, against every inducement to sin, - a mind that never consented to sin, - no, never in the least conceivable shadow of a thought.

And by that means he has brought that divine man to every man on earth. Therefore every man

for the choosing and by the choosing, can have that divine mind that conquers sin in the flesh. Dr. Young’s translation of 1 John 5:20 is: “Ye know that the Son of God has come, and hath given us a mind.” The German says the same thing exactly, and the Greek too - “has given us a mind.” To be sure he has; that is what he came for. We had the carnal mind, the mind that followed Satan, and yielded to the flesh. What was it that enslaved Eve’s mind? - O, she saw that the tree was good for food. It was not good for any such thing. The appetite, the lusts of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, led her off. She took of the tree and did eat. The appetite led, and enslaved the mind - that is, the mind of the flesh, and that is enmity against God; it comes from Satan. In Jesus Christ it is destroyed by the divine mind which he brought into the flesh. By this divine mind he put the enmity under foot, and kept it there. By this he condemned sin in the flesh. So there is our victory; in him is our victory; and it is all in having that mind which was in him.

O, it is all told in the beginning. There came in this enmity, and Satan took man captive, and enslaved the mind. God says: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” Who was her seed? - Christ. “It [her seed] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his” head? - No, sir; no, sir. “Thou shalt bruise his heel.” All that Satan could do with Christ was to entice the flesh; to lay temptations before the flesh. He could not affect the mind of Christ. But Christ reaches the mind of Satan, where the enmity lies and where it exists, and he destroys that wicked thing. It is all told there in the story in Genesis.

The blessedness of it is, Satan can only deal with the flesh. He can stir up the desires of the flesh, but the mind of Christ stands there, and says, No, no; the law of God is to be served, and the body of flesh must come under.

We shall have to follow this thought further. But even only so far there is blessing, there is joy, there is salvation in it for every soul. Therefore “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” That conquers sin in the sinful flesh. By his promise we are made partakers of the divine nature. Divinity and humanity are united once more when the divine mind of Jesus Christ by his divine faith abides in human flesh. Let them be united in you; and be glad, and rejoice forevermore in it.

Thus you see the mind which we have is the flesh’s mind; it is controlled by the flesh, and it came to us from whom? - Satan. Therefore it is enmity against God. And that mind of Satan is the mind of self, always self, in the place of God. Now Christ came to bring to us another mind than that. While we have Satan’s mind, the flesh ruling, we serve the law of sin. God can reveal to us his law, and we can consent that that is good, and desire to fulfill it, and make resolutions to do so, and sign bargains and make contracts even; “but I see another law in my members [in my flesh], warring against the law of my mind [against that desire, that wish of my mind, that delights in the law of God], and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am!” But Christ comes and brings another mind, - the Spirit’s mind, - to us, and gives us that. He gives us a mind, and we have his mind, by his Holy Spirit. Then and therefore with the mind - the Spirit’s mind, the mind of Christ which he hath given us - the law of God is served. Thank the Lord.

So see the difference. In the seventh of Romans there is described the man in whom the flesh rules, and leads the mind astray, against the will of the man even. In the ninth chapter of 1Corinthians, verses 26, 27, is described the man in whom the mind has control. This is the Christian; the mind has control of the body, and the body is under, and he keeps it under. Therefore it is written in another place (Romans 12:2):-

Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

And the Greek word is the same word exactly as that: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation;” he is a new creature - not an old man changed over, but a new-made one. So this is not an old mind made over, but a new-created mind; that is the mind of Christ wrought in us by the Spirit of God, giving us the mind of Christ, and so making an entirely new mind in us and for us.

This is shown in Romans, eighth chapter: “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh,” because they do the works of the flesh; the mind follows in that way. “But they that after the Spirit [mind], the things of the Spirit.” And “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” That which brings to us the mind of Jesus Christ is the Holy Ghost. Indeed, the Spirit of God brings Jesus Christ himself to us. By the Holy Ghost the real presence of Christ is with us, and dwells in us. Can he bring Christ to us without bringing the mind of Christ to us? - Assuredly not. So, then, in the nature of things, there is the mind of Christ which he came into the world to give to us.

Now see how this follows further, and what it cost

to do that, and how it was done. This mind of the flesh is the minding of self. It is enmity against God, and is controlled through the flesh. Jesus Christ came into this flesh himself, - the glorious One, - he who made the worlds, the Word of God, - was made flesh himself, and he was our flesh; and he, that divine One, who was in heaven, was in our sinful flesh. Yet that divine One, when in sinful flesh, never manifested a particle of his divine self in resisting the temptations that were in that flesh, but emptied himself.

We are here studying the same subject that we have been studying these three or four years; but God is leading us further along in the study of it, and I am glad. We have been studying for three or four years, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” who emptied himself. That mind must be in us, in order for us to be emptied; for we cannot of ourselves empty ourselves. Nothing but divinity can do that; that is an infinite thing. Can the mind of Satan empty itself of self? - No. Can the mind that is in us, that minding of self, empty itself of self? - No; self cannot do it. Jesus Christ, the divine One, the infinite One, came in his divine person in this same flesh of ours, and never allowed his divine power, his personal self, to be manifested at all in resisting these temptations and enticements and drawings of the flesh.

What was it, then, that conquered sin there, and kept him from sinning? It was the power of God, the Father, that kept him. Now where does that touch us? Here: we cannot empty ourselves; but his divine mind comes into us, and by that divine power, we can empty ourselves of our wicked selves; and then by that divine power, the mind of Jesus Christ, of God, the Father, comes to us and keeps us from the power of temptation. Thus Christ, emptying his divine self, his righteous self, brings to us the power by which we are emptied of our wicked selves. And this is how he abolished in his flesh the enmity, and made it possible for the enmity to be destroyed in you and me.

Do you see that? I know it takes close thinking; and I know, too, that when you have thought upon that, and have got it clearly, then the mind cannot go any further. There we come face to face with the mystery of God itself; and human, finite intellect must stop and say, That is holy ground; that is beyond my measure; I can go no further; I surrender to God.

[Question: Did not Christ depend on God to keep him? Answer: Yes, that is what I am saying. That is the point.]

Christ depended in the Father all the time. Christ himself, who made the worlds, was all the time in that sinful flesh of mine and yours which he took. He who made the worlds was there in his divine presence all the time; but never did he allow himself to appear at all, or to do anything at all that was done. That was kept back; and when these temptations come upon him, he could have annihilated them all with the assertion - in righteousness of his divine self. But if he had done so, it would have ruined us. To have asserted himself, to have allowed himself to appear, even in righteousness, would have ruined us, because we who are only wicked, never would have had anything before us then but the manifestation of self. Set before men who are only wicked, manifestation of self, even in divine righteousness, as an example to be followed, and you simply make men that much more confirmed in selfishness and the wickedness of selfishness. Therefore, in order that we in our wicked selves might be delivered from our wicked selves, the divine One, the holy One, kept under, surrendered, emptied, all the manifestation of his righteous self. And that does accomplish it. He accomplished it by keeping himself back all the time, and leaving everything entirely to the Father to hold him against these temptations. He was Conqueror through the grace and power of the Father, which came to him upon his trust, and upon his emptying himself of self.

There is where you and I are now. There is where it comes to you and me. We are tempted, we are tried; and there is always room for us to assert ourselves, and we undertake to make things move. There are suggestions which rise that such and such things are “too much for even a Christian to bear,” and that “Christian humility is not intended to go as far as that.” Some one strikes you on the cheek, or breaks your wagon or tools, or he may stone your tent or meeting-house. Satan suggests, “Now you send those fellows up; you take the law to them. Christians are not to bear such things as that in the world; that is not fair.” You answer him: “That is so; there is no use of that; we will teach those fellows a lesson.”

Yes, and perhaps you do. But what is that? That is self-defense; that is self-replying. No; keep back that wicked self; let God attend to the matter, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” That is what Jesus Christ did. He was spit upon; he was taunted; he was struck upon the face; his hair was pulled; a crown of thorns was put upon his head; and in mockery the knee was bowed, with, “Hail King of the Jews.” They blindfolded him, and then struck him, and cried: “Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?” All that was put upon him.

And in his human nature he bore all that, because his divine self was kept back.

Was there any suggestion to him, suppose you, to drive back that riotous crowd? to let loose one manifestation of his divinity, and sweep away the whole wicked company? Satan was there to suggest it to him, if nothing else. What did he do? He stood defenseless as the Lamb of God. There was no assertion of his divine self, no sign of it, - only the man standing there, leaving all to God to do whatsoever he pleased. He said to Pilate: “Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.” That is the faith of Jesus. And that is what the prophecy means when it says, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” We are to have that divine faith of Jesus Christ, which comes to us in the gift of the mind which he gives. That mind which he gives to me will exercise in me the same faith it exercised in him. So we keep the faith of Jesus.

So then there was he, by that self-surrender keeping back his righteous self, and refusing ever to allow it to appear under the most grievous temptations, - and the spirit of prophecy tells us that what was brought upon him there in the night of his betrayal were the very things that were the hardest for human nature to bear, - the very hardest for human nature to submit to; but he, by the keeping back of his divine self, caused human nature to submit to it, by the power of the Father, who kept him from sinning. And by that means he brings us to that same divine mind, that same divine power, that when we shall be taunted, when we shall be stricken upon the face, when we shall be spit upon, when we shall be persecuted as he was, - as shortly we shall be, - that divine mind which was in him, being given to us, will keep back our natural selves, our sinful selves; and we will leave all to God. Then the Father will keep us now in him, as he kept us then in him. That is our victory, and there is how he destroyed the enmity for us. And in him it is destroyed in us. Thank the Lord!

I will read a portion now from the “Spirit of Prophecy” that will help in the understanding of the subject.

First from an article published in the The Review and Herald, July 5, 1887. It is so good that I will read a few passages to go into the BULLETIN with this lesson, so that all can have it, and so that all may know for certain that the steps we have taken in this study are exactly correct:-

The apostle would call our attention from ourselves to the Author of our salvation. He presents before us his two natures, human and divine. Here is the description of the divine: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” He was the “brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.”

Now of the human: He “was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death.” He voluntarily assumed human nature. It was his own act, and by his own consent. He clothed his divinity with humanity. He was all the while as God, but he did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations of Deity, which had commanded the homage and called forth the admiration of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but he divested himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of man. He walked the earth as a man. For our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich. He laid aside his glory and his majesty. He was God, but the glories of the form of God he for a while relinquished. Though he walked among men in poverty, scattering his blessings where-ever he went, at his word legions of angels would surround their Redeemer, and do him homage.

When Peter, at the time of Christ’s betrayal, resisted the officers and took the sword, and raised it and cut off an ear of the servant of the high priest, Jesus said, Put up your sword. Don’t you know that I could call twelve legions of angels?

But he walked on the earth unrecognized, unconfessed, with but few exceptions, by his creatures. The atmosphere was polluted with sin and with curses instead of the anthems of praise. His lot was poverty and humiliation. As he passed to and fro on his mission of mercy, to relieve the sick, to lift up the oppressed, scarce a solitary voice called him blessed, and the greatest of the nation passed him by with disdain.

Contrast this with the riches of glory, the wealth of praise pouring forth from immortal tongues, the millions of rich voices in the universe of God in anthems of adoration. But he humbled himself, and took mortality upon him. As a member of the human family he was mortal, but as God he was the fountain of life to the world. He could, in his divine person, ever have withstood the advances of death, and refused to come under its dominion; but he voluntarily laid down his life, that in doing so he might give life, and bring immortality to light. He bore the sins of the world and endured the penalty, which rolled like a mountain upon his divine soul. He yielded up his life a sacrifice, that man might not eternally die. He died, not by being compelled to die, but by his own free will.

That is self-sacrifice; that is self-emptying.

This was humility. The whole treasure of heaven was poured out in one gift to save fallen man. He brought into his human nature all the life-giving energies that human beings will need and must receive.

And he brings it into my human nature yet, to your human nature at our choice, by the Spirit of God bringing to us his divine presence, and emptying us of ourselves, and causing God to appear instead of self.

Wondrous combination of man and God! He might have helped his human nature to stand the inroads of disease by pouring from his divine nature vitality and undecaying vigor to the human. But

he humbled himself to man’s nature. He did this that the Scripture might be fulfilled. And the plan was entered into by the Son of God, knowing all the steps in his humiliation that he must descend to make an expiation for the sins of a condemned, groaning world. What humility was this! It amazed angels. The tongue can never describe it; the imagination can never take it in.

But we can take in the blessed fact, and enjoy the benefit of that to all eternity, and God will give us eternity in which to take in the rest.

“The eternal Word consented to be made flesh. God became man.” He became man; what am I? - A man. What are you? - A man. He became ourselves, and God with him is God with us.

“But he stepped still lower.” What, still lower than that yet? Yes, sir.

“The man,” - that is Christ, - “must humble himself as a man.” Because we need to humble ourselves, he not only humbled himself as God, but when he became man, he humbled himself as a man, so that we might humble ourselves to God. He emptied himself as God, and became man; and then as man he humbled himself, that we might humble ourselves. And all that we might be saved! In it is salvation. Shall we not take it, and enjoy it day and night, and be ever just as thankful as a Christian?

But he stepped still lower. The man must humble himself as a man to bear insult, reproach, shameful accusations, and abuse. There seemed to be no safe place for him in his own territory. He had to flee from place to place for his life. He was betrayed by one of his disciples; he was denied by one of his most zealous followers. He was mocked; he was crowned with a crown of thorns. He was scourged. He was forced to bear the burden of the cross. He was not insensible to this contempt and ignominy. He submitted, but O, he felt the bitterness as no other being could feel it! He was pure, holy, and undefiled, yet arraigned as a criminal. The adorable Redeemer stepped down from the highest exaltation. Step by step, he humbled himself to die, but what a death! It was the most shameful, the most cruel, - the death on the cross as a malefactor. He did not die as a hero in the eyes of the world, loaded with honors, as men die in battle. He died a condemned criminal, suspended between the heavens and the earth, - died a lingering death of shame, exposed to the revilings and tauntings of a debased, crime-loaded, profligate multitude. “All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head.” Psalm 22:7. He was numbered with the transgressors, and his kinsmen according to the flesh disowned him. His mother beheld his humiliation, and he was forced to see the sword pierce her heart. He endured the cross, despised the shame. He made it of small account in consideration of the results he was working out in behalf of not only the inhabitants of this speck of a world, but the whole universe, - every world which God had created.

Christ was to die as man’s substitute. Man was a criminal under sentence of death for transgression of the law of God as a traitor, a rebel; hence a substitute for man must die as a malefactor, because he stood in the place of the traitors, with all their treasured sins upon his divine soul. It was not enough that Jesus should die in order to meet the demands of the broken law; but he died a shameful death. The prophet gives to the world his words: “I hid not my face from shame and spitting!”

In consideration of this, can men have one particle of self exaltation? As they trace down the life and humiliation and sufferings of Christ, can they lift their proud heads as though they were to bear no shame, no trials, no humiliation? I say to the followers of Christ, Look to Calvary, and blush for shame at your self-important ideas. All this humiliation of the Majesty of heaven was for guilty, condemned man. He went lower and lower in his humiliation, until there were no lower depths he could reach, in order to lift up man from his moral defilement.

How low down were we, then, when, in order to lift us up from moral defilement, he had to go step by step lower and lower until there were no lower depths he could reach? Think of it and see how low we were! All this was for you who are striving for the supremacy, striving for human praise, for human exaltation, - you who are afraid you will not receive all that praise, all that deference from human minds, that you think is your due! Is this Christ like?

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. He died to make an atonement, and to be a pattern for every one who would be his disciple. Shall selfishness come into your hearts? and shall those who set not before them the pattern, Jesus, extol your merits? You have none, except as they come through Jesus Christ. Shall pride be harbored after you have seen Deity humbling himself, and then as man debasing himself until as man there were no lower depths to which he could descend? Be astonished, O, ye heavens, and be amazed, O ye inhabitants of the earth, that such returns should be made to your Lord.

What contempt, what wickedness, what formality, what pride, what efforts made to lift up man and glorify himself, when the Lord of glory humbled himself, agonized, and died the shameful death on the cross in our behalf.

Who is learning the meekness and lowliness of the pattern? Who is striving earnestly to master self? Who is lifting his cross, and following Jesus? Who is wrestling against self-conceit? Who is setting himself in good earnest and with all his energies to overcome Satanic envyings, jealousies, evil-surmisings, and lasciviousness, cleansing the soul-temple from all defilements, and opening the door of the heart for Jesus to come in? Would that these worlds might have that impression on the mind that all who read them might cultivate the grace of humility, be self-denying, more disposed to esteem others better than themselves, having the mind and spirit of Christ to bear one another’s burdens. O, that we might write deeply on our hearts, as we contemplate the great condescension and humiliation to which the Son of God descended, that we might be partakers of the divine nature.

Now I read a few lines from the advance pages of the new “Life of Christ.” -

In order to carry out the great work of redemption, the Redeemer must take the place of fallen man. Burdened with the sins of the world, he must go over the ground where Adam stumbled. He must take up the work just where Adam failed, and endure a test of the same character, but infinitely more severe than that which had vanquished him. It is impossible for man fully to comprehend Satan’s temptations to our Saviour. Every enticement to evil which men find so difficult to resist, was brought to bear

upon the Son of God in as much greater degree as his character was superior to that of fallen man.

When Adam was assailed by the tempter, he was without the taint of sin. He stood before God in the strength of perfect manhood, all the organs and faculties of his being fully developed and harmoniously balanced; and he was surrounded with things of beauty, and communed daily with the holy angels. What a contrast to this perfect being did the second Adam present, as he entered the desolate wilderness to cope with Satan. For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and deteriorating in moral worth; and in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he stood. He assumed human nature, bearing the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He humiliated himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that he might sympathize with man and rescue him from the degradation into which sin had plunged him.

“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Hebrews 2:10. “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Hebrews 5:9. “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:17, 18. “We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15.

It is true that Christ at one time said of himself, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” John 14:30. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But he could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. Jesus did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought could he be brought to the power of Satan’s temptations. Yet it is written of Christ that he was tempted in all points like as we are. Many hold that from the nature of Christ it was impossible for Satan’s temptations to weaken or overthrow him. Then Christ could not have been placed in Adam’s position, to go over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell; he could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain. Unless he was placed in a position as trying as that in which Adam stood, he could not redeem Adam’s failure. If man has in any sense a more trying conflict to endure than had Christ, then Christ is not able to succor him when tempted. Christ took humanity with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man with the possibility of yielding to temptation, and he relied upon divine power to keep him.

The union of the divine with the human is one of the most mysterious, as well as the most precious, truths of the plan of redemption. It is of this that Paul speaks when he says, “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16. While it is impossible for finite minds fully to grasp this great truth, or to fathom its significance, we may learn from it lessons of vital importance to us in our struggles against temptation. Christ came to the world to bring divine power to humanity, to make man a partaker of the divine nature.

You see, we are on firm ground all the way, so that when it is said that he took our flesh, but still was not a partaker of our passions, it is all straight, it is all correct; because his divine mind never consented to sin. And that mind is brought to us by the Holy Spirit that is freely given unto us.

“We know that the Son of God has come, and hath give us a mind;” and “we have the mind of Christ.” “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS LIBERTY ASSOCIATION

THE President of the Association, Elder Allen Moon, of Washington, D. C., called the meeting to order in the Tabernacle, February 22, 3 P.M. After singing, prayer was offered by Elder H. E. Robinson.

A large proportion of all present were found to be members of the Association, and others became members at the meeting.

The President’s address to the Association is given in another place.

The financial statement as presented is given herewith:-

STATEMENT OF RESOURCES AND LIABILITIES From Jan. 1, 1893, to Jan. 1, 1895

RESOURCES
1893.1894.
Bank and Cash$3,478 58$ 9,146 11
Inventory Merchandise2,966 21
Inventory Office Fixtures577 20310 00
Inventory Property (Plates at 1/2 cost)219 90
Accounts Receivable2,749 221,196 71
Totals$9,986 11$10,652 82
LIABILITIES
Accounts Payable$1,048 41$ 7,940 35
Net Worth8,937 702,712 47
Totals$9,986 11$10,652 82

STATEMENT OF LOSS AND GAIN From Jan. 1, 1893, to Jan. 1, 1894

RECEIPTS
1893.1894.Total2 years.
Annual Dues Received$ 2,725 00$2,257 00$ 4,982 00
Donations Received4,787 922,061 70
Annual Memberships Received871 00117 00988 00
Merchandise4,588 47155 40
Office Fixtures418 12102 87
Periodicals4 77
Religious Liberty Library565 00264 08
Property consisting of Plates503 66503 66
Total Receipts$13,390 51$3,447 43$16,837 94
Net Loss in 18945,531 75
Totals$13,390 51$8,979 18$16,837 94
DISBURSEMENTS
Chicago Office Expense$ 432 16$ 55 07$ 487 23
Expense900 89525 391,426 28
General Expense2,851 60756 653,608 25
Office Library Expense24 0024 00
Office Periodicals22 6040 7763 37
Property or Plates187 06
Periodicals89 8585 08
Religious Liberty Library300 92
Washington Office2 7545 7648 51
Donations2,726 22
Merchandise4,433 07
Office Fixtures315 25
Relief Fund for Persecuted81 0081 00
Total Disbursements$ 4,811 83$8,979 18$13,791 01
Net Gain in 18938,578 68
Net Gain in 2 years3,046 93
Totals$13,390 51$8,979 18$16,837 94

The item of general expense in the foregoing report is for furnishing the Sentinel to legislators and other public men in territory where our people were not able to supply the paper, and for caring for those who were suffering because of imprisonment for their faith, etc.

The reason that no amount appears for donations received in the year 1894, but instead is found among the losses for that year, is that during this time we paid over to the International Tract Society $3680.42 of the donations received by us. The reason for this was that it was decided in council last spring that the above amount of our donations really belonged to the International Tract Society, since it was secured to carry forward work that legitimately belongs to the Tract Society.

At this same time the publishing business formerly carried on by the I. R. L. Association was transferred to the I. T. Society. These considerations will account for the amount of the donations appearing among the losses, and for what appears to be a gain on the Religious Liberty property, and for the loss on merchandise in the year 1894. The amount of donations received during this year was $2543.90.

L. J. STEINEL, Treas.

C. P. Bollman was called upon to speak of the work of the American Sentinel. He felt encouraged at the increasing interest in the Sentinel, and the efforts made for its assistance, and could see the interest deepening in many directions. Other papers are copying quite largely from the Sentinel, showing they appreciate the principles advocated.

A large number of conferences have accepted the proposition of the publishers to send the Sentinel to State legislators and officers; and it is now going to over three thousand of these public officers.

H. E. Robinson spoke of proposed legislation in Delaware imposing a fine of one hundred dollars for Sunday labor. A representative of the Association had been dispatched to Wilmington, Del., and a telegram had just been received from him stating that the Sunday amendment clause had been defeated.

A. O. Tait stated that word had just been received from Switzerland that the authorities were again looking for Elder Holser, to arrest him because the office there is open on Sunday. The spirit of Sunday laws is in the air.

W. B. White stated that in Nebraska a Sunday bill had passed its first reading before they knew that it had been introduced. When it came up the second time, a member of the legislature who had been reading the American Sentinel, arose to speak against the bill. A gentleman who was present said he never heard such an argument and such a rebuke against the whole procedure. He moved and secured an indefinite postponement of the bill.

D. A. Robinson said he had just received letters from the acting manager of the London Publishing House stating that he and three of the employees - two ladies and a boy - had been called before the court to answer the charge of Sunday labor. It was stated by the Inspector that there was an exemption in favor of the Jews, under which the London office could do business on Sunday if they would say they were Jews, “out,” said he, “you say that you are Christians.” The defendant turned to the judge and said, “Then, your Honor, you are prosecuting us because we are Christians.” “Christians or no Christians,” replied the judge, “the law must be obeyed.”

L. B. Losey, of Minneapolis, stated that a Sunday bill had been introduced in the Minnesota legislature, and that a vigorous protest is being inaugurated by the representative of our Association.

J. H. Morrison said that a Sunday bill had been introduced in the legislature of Montana, and that a senator of that State who opposed the Sunday bills in Congress, closing the World’s Fair, appeared with our representative before the committee to oppose the Montana bill. He made an excellent argument, drawing many facts from the book, “American State Papers.”

Sunday bills have also been introduced in the Missouri and Michigan legislatures.

On motion of C. L. Boyd, the following committees were appointed by the chair:-

Committee on Nominations - G. A. Irwin, D. T. Jones, A. J. Breed.

On Resolutions - H. P. Holser, A. O. Tait, C. P. Bollman.

Adjourned to call of Chair.

PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS

[THIS article consists of an abstract of two addresses by Allen Moon, President of the International Religious Liberty Association, - one delivered in the Tabernacle Thursday evening, Feb.21, and the other before the Association on the following day. - ED.]

The Religious Liberty Association was organized in July, 1889, and the object of the Association was

declared to be “to protect the rights of conscience; to maintain a total separation between religion and the civil government; and by means of the platform and the press to educate the public mind on the relations that should exist between the Church and the State.” As you will readily see, the Association laid out for itself a stupendous work, one of the most noble ever entered upon by man; but we have scarcely entered upon the work undertaken by us six years ago. However, a beginning has been made.

There have been many important developments along the lines of the religious liberty work since our closing meeting at the time of the last General Conference. It has been the object and work of this Association to defend those whose promulgation and practice of the true principles of religious liberty have brought them into conflict with the laws, not only by means of publications advocating the principles of religious liberty, but also by extending financial aid to those who have been imprisoned where such assistance was necessary, which has been in a number of cases. The families of the imprisoned have been cared for.

You are all more or less familiar with the cases of persecution that have arisen, as we have endeavored to keep our people well informed in regard to them. Within the past two years, in the States of Tennessee, Maryland, and Georgia there have been at least ten of our brethren placed in jail for Sunday labor. The entire time of all these behind prison bars, including the imprisonment of Brother Holser, is over one year. Nine or ten cases have been dismissed, or the defendants acquitted, or the fines imposed were paid by others.

Several cases are awaiting the action of the courts. One at least in Florida and one in Massachusetts, quite a number in Switzerland, one in Arkansas, and a large number of persons in Tennessee, are under indictment, and their cases may come up at any time. Manitoba has five or six cases pending.

Through the work of our Association the cases of Brethren Capps, of Tennessee, and Holser, of Switzerland, were brought prominently before the public in this country. We sent letters to 15,000 newspapers in the United States and Canada, giving some of the particulars of these cases, and our efforts were rewarded by many responses from the press throughout the country. Some of the editors sent us marked copies of their papers containing their articles, and others were sent us through the kindness of our people or friends. Of the thirty-five different papers that came to us commenting upon the case of Brother Capps, twenty-nine were favorable and only six unfavorable, and three of these six are published in Canada.

Perhaps you are aware that a fund was raised by the American Hebrew, a Jewish paper of New York City, with which to pay the fine of Brother Capps, and through the efforts of this paper and the Plainfield Press, of New Jersey, which also raised some money, Brother Capps was liberated after an imprisonment of ninety-seven days. The New York Examiner also contained the following:-

In my opinion, the action against Mr. Capps is a thorough violation of religious liberty, and a disgrace to the State of Tennessee.... I sincerely hope that there will be 200 people who will send either to me or to the International Religious Liberty Association, Battle Creek, Mich., $1 apiece (or more) to secure his release, and the margin to go toward the relief of his family.

The Register, of Sandusky, Ohio, gave several articles in regard to the case, as did a number of other papers, and in one it remarked as follows of Brother Capps:-

The fact that he worked on Sunday could in no way interfere with the rights of his neighbors. It was a violation of no principle on which our Constitution is founded. It is as vicious a law as any blue law ever passed in the State of Connecticut in the days of the colonists.

The Four Corners, of Wheatland, Cal., said:-

The governor of that State, if he ever has pardoned a victim of persecution, should pardon this victim, Capps, and Tennessee should be ignored as a State as long as a single law stands unrepealed that makes such a case of persecution as this one possible.

The Times-Democrat, of New Orleans, said:-

The imprisoned Tennessean’s fine should be raised by citizens of Tennessee and of the Southern States, who disapprove this medieval persecution of which he is the victim, with a view of liberating the man and enabling him to provide for the maintenance of his family. A dollar apiece from 110 charitable people would be all that would be required to effect this object; and unless we mistake greatly, there are many times that number of people among the readers of the Times-Democrat alone who would be glad to contribute a dollar each from their superfluous coin, merely to mark their disapproval of such unchristian tyranny.

Is it a part of Christianity to compel a man to observe a day that he believes is not commanded by the Bible? Is it not religious persecution and fanaticism to fine and imprison a man for working on this day? This smacks of the Inquisition.

No man owes obedience to the laws of his country when the laws are antagonistic to the teachings of the Bible.... The churches are striving to have laws enacted that will compel men to keep Sunday, as they do. Such laws will subvert our democracy, and raise in its stead a pretended theocracy; and such a theocracy would speedily light the fires of persecution in every village and hamlet in our land.

It is plain that members of the Religious Liberty Association are not the only ones who see the dangers threatening our land. It is also plain to see that God has agencies that, at the touch of

his divine hand, will hold aloft the banner of truth, when the great majority are trampling it in the dust. When the voice of the multitude is shouting, “Great is the Sunday of the papacy,” another voice will be heard exalting the truth of God.

The Religious Liberty Association also sent out 7000 letters to the newspapers of this country in regard to the case of Brother Holser; and even a larger number of them have come to our notice, with comments upon the case. The great majority is again upon the side of religious liberty, and the condemnation of laws which make such persecutions possible are some of them very severe. Many extracts from these articles have appeared in the American Sentinel, and have been read by you all. We have received a number of letters from editors who have learned of our work through the publicity given to the persecution of Elder Holser.

One editor, in a personal letter, mentions his paper, and says, “It is just a general newspaper; but I hope it is in accord with the word; if not, I shall have much to answer for.... The Bible says only one thing, so one of us is mistaking it ... Your hope is in instructing men in the Bible.”

Such men will sooner or later find the truth of the Bible upon the question which is causing so much religious persecution.

Another editor wrote us as follows:-

Your note ... to hand. Thanks, especially for the statement that our paper contains things which will be valuable to you in your work. Now, I want to ask, in what way can I aid you in the project you are promoting? I am radical on the subject of religious liberty.... What constitutes membership (in your Association)? and what literature is accessible to me, to enable me to aid you?

I might give other valuable extracts from a number of newspapers; but I believe these are sufficient to show that a large number of newspaper men are awake to the spirit of bigotry and intolerance that is abroad in the land, particularly upon the Sunday question; and that they will yet render valuable assistance in the promulgation of the principles of religious liberty in our country.

Since our last meeting, the Association has furnished each member of the present Congress with a copy of “Two Republics,” and in addition to this we have been furnishing them regularly with the American Sentinel. Other literature has also been furnished as occasion seemed to demand. The Vice-president, and quite a number of members of Congress, acknowledged the receipt of “Two Republics,” and expressed appreciation of the same.

To our personal knowledge the Sentinel has been read extensively, and there are but few members that are not well acquainted with the principles set forth in that paper. Of course these principles are not endorsed by all.

The failure on the part of the National Reformers to secure action on their religious measures is no doubt largely due to the fact that the attention of the members had been called to the principles of religious liberty through the efforts of our Association. It is a fact well known to us that the majority of each of the committees now having religious bills in charge is opposed to their passage, and for this reason none of them have been favorably reported to Congress.

The Commissioners of the District of Columbia, who had in charge the District Sunday bill for some time, finally made an unfavorable report. These gentlemen were visited, and had an opportunity to study the principles involved in the measure, from literature placed in their hands.

Thus our work in Congress and in the District is an educational work, and each new Congress brings a new class of men; and each change of administration affords us a new opportunity to labor with the first men of the land, in the interest of the principles of the gospel, and those upon which our government was established.

It has occurred to us during the last two years that our work in the national Congress is only a small part of the work that should be accomplished along this line. When the Constitutional amendment was introduced last winter, and the National Reformers came in large force to advocate its passage, it appeared to us that if sufficient influence should be brought to bear upon Congress to secure a passage of the resolutions submitting an amendment to the legislature of the different States, we would be totally unprepared to meet the issue, and do the work that ought to be done before the legislatures, - that is, the giving of every member in the legislatures of the forty-four or more States an opportunity to become intelligent on these principles that have been in a large measure lost sight of by the people of this generation through the scramble of greed for riches and honor. As we have thought of this question, it has seemed to us that it is none too early for us to begin preparation for this work, and that we ought to have those in training in every State to do the work of meeting these men, conversing with them, and furnishing them with proper literature; and in case an emergency arises, to appear before committees to oppose measures of a religious character that may be introduced - not because they take away our liberties, but because they are wrong, and contrary to the true principle.

We may satisfy ourselves that the Lord will open the way for us when we are brought before courts for Christ’s sake, but this is not sufficient. We should be in a position to bring these principles before the judges and lawyers of the land, as well as before men that are drawn upon juries, that they may have an opportunity at least to become familiar with the principles of right and justice; and then when our people are brought before courts and are allowed to make defense in their own behalf, courts and juries will have no excuse if a decision is rendered that is not in harmony with that which is right. And we will have cleared ourselves from any responsibility that would rest upon us.

I desire to emphasize this matter and to urge as an item for future work for the Association that we begin at once the training of men to labor in every State and Territory in this Union, whether there is any immediate prospect of religious legislation or not. We know from the sure word of prophecy that these things are coming, and coming very soon; and we have none too much time to prepare to do the work that the Lord requires at our hands.

In Revelation 10:9-11 we have the record that, after the first and second angel’s messages had been given to the world, “Thou must prophecy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” In this country the people are sovereign; and we have many sovereign States, and these, I believe, are included among the nations and kings before whom the last message is to be given. And that message is the message of the gospel; so the nations are to be warned against the worship of the beast or his image.

COMMUNICATION

E. G. WHITE

(Read before the ministers, Sabbath, Feb. 23.)

Camp-ground, Ashfield, N. S. W.

GENERAL CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

THE eighth meeting of the General Conference was held Sunday morning, February 24, at 10 A.M. Hymn 733 was sung. Elder W. B. White led in prayer. The minutes were read and adopted. J. W. Loughhead having arrived, he was recognized as an additional delegate at large. The committees having no further reports to submit, the Chair announced the order of business to be the pending motion to adopt Resolution 11, page 283.

Elder A. T. Jones took the floor. The speaker contended that our position on the entire separation of Church and State should be without a conditional “but” - it should be a clear and decided one. All these resolutions implied doubts and a disposition to compromise. The circumstances of Israel in Medo-Persia and Babylon had been referred to, but did not illustrate the case, since the people were then in captivity, and under the power of a hostile nation. We should look for primitive principles. Christ in his discussion of principles pointed them back to the beginning. Divorces and polygamy were allowed, but in the beginning “it was not so.” Had Israel not forsaken God, the books of Esther and Nehemiah would not have been written. The speaker reviewed at some length the circumstances in which we are at present placed.

D. H. Lamson remarked that though there was something peculiar in the circumstances of Israel as depicted in Nehemiah and Ezra, still there were features of their relation to the civil power which he could not explain on the ground of entire separation from the State.

Wm. Healey said that the circumstances of Israel in captivity were not applicable to the question, because the favors that the king bestowed upon them were simply the restoration of the rights which had been forcibly taken from them. If a government were to bring a general persecution upon a religious community, and carry away the people in captivity, and after some years a new administration should come in, which would restore the people to their original condition, there would be nothing in accepting that restoration which would compromise the relation of that church to the State. However, the speaker thought that the resolution might be somewhat improved, and moved to strike out the words “chief, ruler, or royal chartered company.”

J. M. Rees seconded this motion, and it was carried without discussion.

The resolution as it then stood was discussed by A. T. Jones, R. C. Porter, D. T. Jones, C. P. Bollman, and W. W. Prescott. The question was called for. The latter speaker remarked that the passage or value of the present resolution was of comparatively small importance compared with its benefit as an educator. He therefore trusted that the discussion would be allowed to proceed, and that questions would be freely asked and answered. The original commission of Christ to the disciples was given when there was but one government in the world, and that government was totally opposed to the gospel, and those who carried it must do so under the penalty of death or the confiscation of property. But they went forth asking no special privileges or immunities from the government.

G. E. Fifield, Wm. Healey, W. W. Prescott, S. H. Lane, A. T. Jones, O. A. Johnson, D. T. Jones, R. A. Underwood, and C. P. Bollman participated in the discussion that followed. The latter moved to strike out the words “private individual,” and the motion was seconded by W. D. Curtis. This motion was spoken to by L. H. Crisler, D. T. Jones, and others. Carried.

D. T. Jones then moved, and S. H. Lane seconded, to strike out the words “credit” and “special privilege.” This motion was spoken to by L. D. Santee, A. T. Jones, D. H. Lamson, W. W. Prescott, D. T. Jones.

The period of the meeting having expired, the motion to adjourn was carried. Conference adjourned till 3 P.M., with the motion “to strike out” pending. W. W. Prescott gave notice that he should ask the Conference on assembling to suspend the regular order, and take up as special order the report of the Committee on Education.

The discussion of the resolution was animated and instructive. There was no clashing of sentiment, nor of personal feelings, and much that was helpful was brought out, and all felt that the meeting had been a profitable one, and were able to see the issue before us much clearer than before.

GENERAL CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

THE ninth meeting of the General Conference convened in the Tabernacle, February 24, at 3 P.M. After singing and prayer, the minutes of the last meeting were read, and after slight changes, were approved.

Committee reports were called for, and C. H. Jones, Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions, stated that a partial report had been prepared, after careful and prayerful consideration, in which the help of God had been sought and experienced. F. D. Starr, Secretary of the Committee, presented the report as follows:-

Your Committee appointed to nominate officers for the General Conference respectfully present the following partial report:-

For President of the General Conference - O. A. Olsen.
Corresponding Secretary - L. T. Nicola.
Foreign Mission Secretary - F. M. Wilcox.
Recording Secretary - W. H. Edwards.
Educational Secretary - W. W. Prescott.
Treasurer - W. H. Edwards.

Executive Committee of the General Conference - O. A. Olsen, S. N. Haskell, J. N. Loughborough, W. C. White, W. W. Prescott, J. H. Morrison, J. H. Durland, A. J. Breed, G. A. Irwin, R. C. Porter, H. P. Holser.

Respectfully submitted.

C. H. JONES, W. B. WHITE, F. D. STARR, S. H. LANE, Committee.
J. W. WATT, C. L. BOYD, W. S. HYATT.

The Chair stated that the discussion of Resolution 11 was pending when last meeting closed; and it was moved by C. P. Bollman, and supported by C. L. Boyd, that this be postponed, and the report of the Committee on Education, page 249, be taken up in accordance with the program. The motion was carried.

It was moved by J. H. Durland, seconded by G. B. Tripp, that the resolutions referred to be considered and adopted.

Elder A. T. Jones asked that some explanation be made upon Resolution 1, with reference to the “more decided efforts” mentioned.

Prof. W. W. Prescott, Educational Secretary, spoke at length upon the line of work he believed should be followed in our schools. It was plainly set forth that it is not the desire to lower the standard of our educational work; rather it should be raised to the highest point.

A number of extracts were read from the “Spirit of Prophecy” showing that our schools should not be after the order of other schools; that they should be after the order of the schools of the prophets. The subject has received much earnest and prayerful study; and it is believed that even greater prominence should be given the study of the Bible than it now receives; that it should be the basis of all lines of study. More prominence should be given to the study of health principles. We should not take away a single general line of study, but perhaps add to some of those now in use. No change should be made simply to tear down; take nothing away till something better can be substituted.

We must not look to other schools for our light. We may learn lessons from them as to the application of principles we already have had given; but God must be the source of our wisdom and light. The teachers should all be Bible teachers. Our schools should prepare their students to explain the grounds upon which the Bible itself stands as an inspired record. Many fields of Bible study, by us as yet unentered, should be taken up in our schools, and earnestly explored.

Prof. G. W. Caviness followed with remarks which sustained the position taken by the Educational Secretary, and read extensively from the “Spirit of Prophecy’ showing that there should be no cheapening of the standard of education. The course of study should not be so arranged as to repel those who are looking toward our schools. A good liberal course of instruction should be provided. He agreed with the previous speaker that the curriculum should not be made narrower, but that it should be made as broad as the intellect can comprehend. The study of the Bible should be made broader and deeper. And the study of the classical languages could be carried on with the Bible as a basis.

While time is short, let us not feel that we cannot spend a little time in obtaining an education. But because time is short, let us make a thorough preparation for thorough and earnest work.

J. W. Watt called attention to the last clause of the third Resolution, as he thought it was worded so as to give the General Conference undue supervision.

The chairman of the committee explained that the intent and wording of the resolution simply gave the Conference Committee supervision of the course of reading, not of the ministers who read.

The time allotted to the meeting having expired, M. C. Wilcox moved to adjourn. Carried. Benediction by J. H. Durland.

A VISIT TO THE SANITARIUM

[MRS. E. H. WHITNEY has kindly furnished the following account of a very pleasant evening at the Sanitarium. The BULLETIN was not there, but believes the report.]

The delegates in attendance at the General Conference were invited to visit the Sanitarium, evening after the Sabbath, and responded in numbers sufficient to fill the large gymnasium. Dr. Kellogg and his corps of assistants, physicians and nurses, met them at 7:30, and a program was carried out which kept the assembled company interested till a late hour in the evening.

The program was opened with prayer by the chaplain of the Institution, Elder McCoy. After interesting remarks by Dr. Kellogg, the company was dispatched in groups of thirty or forty, under the guidance of the physicians and nurses, to visit the different departments of the Institution; and while these were forming and passing out at intervals of three to five minutes, those still waiting were entertained by practical instructions and illustrations of what to do in emergencies.

The companies as they left the gymnasium were taken first to the mechanical Swedish room, where all the movements necessary to stir up the dormant energies of the body are administered by machinery.

From this room a tunnel leads underground to the conservatory, and through this the guests were led. A step beyond is the bakery, where during 1894, 100,000 loaves of bread, 160,000 lbs. of crackers, and 150,000 lbs. of granola were manufactured, besides a variety of other foods. Nearly all the work in the bakery is done by machinery, which runs night and day six days in the week. Sample packages of various foods were given to the delegates as they passed through. [To be carried with them.]

The laundry was the next point, where the work of the large family of 600 is done.

The power house, with eight boilers, each sixty-five horse power, six of which are in constant use, and the dynamos which furnish the light for all the premises came next. Then the creamery, where twelve bbls. of milk are daily sterilized for the table or made into sterilized butter, etc. The Nurses’ Dormitory was the next objective point; it is a four-story building with 120 rooms, occupied by the lady nurses. Here the kitchen, dining-room, chapel, dress department, and the second-floor were inspected.

The next call was made at the hygienic laboratory where the chemical examinations are made of the different fluids of the body, in the effort to detect the causes of and remedy for sickness.

The Hospital was next visited, from the operating room in the fifth floor, where a surgical operation in pantomime was being carried on with a full relay of surgeons, assistants, and nurses, down through the wards, the editorial, recording and business offices, ending at the new cooking-school rooms in the basement.

At this point in the program, teams were waiting to carry the visitors to Dr. Kellogg’s residence where they visited the museum of missionary curiosities and had an opportunity to see a Sloyd class in practice. A glimpse into the literary workshop of the doctor and his worthy wife, and a cup of “digestive coffee,” and then the return trip to the Sanitarium.

The bath rooms were now opened for inspection, and by utilizing some of the nurses as patients, a full line of treatments was apparently going on.

The consulting and treatment offices were next inspected and the audience returned to the gymnasium, where a lecture on dress, illustrated by the stereoptican, was the concluding feature of the evening.

Many expressions of appreciation by the guests were heard of the Sanitarium and the work which it is doing. To those who had never visited it, it was a revelation, and its development was a surprise to many who had known of it in the earlier years of its existence but who had not kept up with its growth.

THE WORD OF GOD - NO. 5

W. W. PRESCOTT

IN our study last evening we were brought face to face with the consideration of the spirit of prophecy from the standpoint of the infallibility doctrine, and we will continue the study on that basis. To bring the matter clearly before our minds, I would

like to submit what I regard as the false and the true statement of the infallibility question:-

It is a dogma divinely revealed, that the Roman pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, - that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, - is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his church should be endowed for defining faith or morals; and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the church. - Catholic Belief, p.69.

This is the official definition of the infallibility doctrine, as defined by the Vatican Council in the fourth session, on the eighteenth of July, 1870.

Opposed to that, I would like to submit this statement, - that Jesus Christ is the infallible head of the church, and that when he speaks, what he says is infallible, and that Jesus Christ speaks now as of old by visions and dreams, and that the “testimony [or the witness] of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Let us consider further God’s idea as to how his word is to be interpreted and understood. It was brought to our attention last evening that Jesus Christ gave the word (It was the spirit of Christ in the prophets.); that he came here in the flesh and was the Word; and that when here visibly present with his disciples “he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself,” and that he opened “their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures;” and that, as his promise is, “Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,” so his office of interpreter of his own word is the same as ever, - that the Holy Spirit, the actual representative of Jesus Christ, does this work for us. We will proceed further with that thought.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God: that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:9-14.

Or, as the translation of the Syriac Version reads: “They are discerned by the Spirit.” Therefore, of course, the natural man cannot know them. It is not simply that the natural man will not try to know them, will not give his attention to them, is not attracted by them; but “neither can he know them.” Why? - Because they are discerned by the Spirit, and he knows nothing of the Spirit of God and its workings; therefore he cannot know the things of God. But he who has been born of the Spirit, in whom Jesus Christ abides by his spirit, he can know them, because we have received the Spirit of God for this very purpose, - that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Now let us turn to John’s gospel, sixteenth chapter: “Here is the promise of the coming of the Comforter, the gift of the Spirit, and here are the things that the Holy Spirit will do. Eighth verse, and onward:-

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth [my actual representative], is come, he will guide you into all truth [and so concerning the things that I have to say to you now, but ye cannot bear them: when he is come, he will guide you into all truth]: for he shall not speak of himself.

And again in chapter twelve, verse fourteen: “I have not spoken of myself.” The idea is not: I do not speak those words concerning myself; but I do not speak those words of myself, do not speak them of my own will, of my own volition; I do not choose the words that I speak to you, “but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak.” So the Holy Spirit, when he is come, “he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” That is exactly the office of a true interpreter, - not to speak of himself; but what he hears, that he speaks.

It has seemed to me that this idea, as between the true and the false interpretation, may be illustrated in this way. It is the claim of the Roman Catholic Church that it is the interpreter of the word of God. Here is the statement from the “Faith of our Fathers,” by Cardinal Gibbons, page 97: “The Church is the divinely-appointed custodian and interpreter of the Bible.” But let us see how the Roman Catholic Church fulfills this office in interpreting the Bible. When the Holy Spirit, which is to guide into all truth, does this work, the Scripture says: “He shall not speak of himself;” what he hears, he will speak; and “he shall testify of me.”

Now suppose one of these brethren who has come

from a foreign field wished to address this congregation. We understand the English language, but he understands and speaks only the French language. He asks me to interpret for him, and I agree to do so. So he comes forward, and says: “My friends, I desire to show you in a brief talk this evening that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath.” But I do not like that teaching. I hear what he says in French, and I want the congregation to get a different idea, so I say, “My friends, I desire to show you in a brief talk this evening that the first day of the week is the Sabbath.” Is that interpreting for him? - No. Am I speaking what I hear? - No, I am speaking something that I want to put in place of what I heard. I am falsifying his thoughts and his mind to the people.

Well, the illustration seems to me to apply with some force. The Bible says: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” but this self appointed guardian and interpreter says: “No, the first day of the week is the Sabbath and we are bound to observe that day.” Is that interpreting the Bible? - No, that is putting one’s self above the Bible, and falsifying the Bible. It is the business of an interpreter to speak what he hears, and he, himself, is to be left out of the account entirely. Does the Roman Catholic Church take that place as an interpreter of the Bible? - No, it puts itself in between the Bible and the people, and speaks its mind to the people, rather than the mind of God as expressed in his word. That is not interpreting; that is falsifying.

There is a difference between the illumination of the Spirit to open the word through the mind in the ordinary study of the Scriptures, and speaking in a vision or a dream. What, then, is the purpose of Jesus Christ, who gave the word, in his interpreting? and how is it that we are able to be guided into all truth, and that the Spirit will take the things of his, and show them unto us? - First and foremost, by the enlightening, quickening, guiding influence of that Spirit which is promised to every one, and which belongs to every one, that when one comes to the word of God, he shall put his ideas into it, and not draw ideas out of it, but simply take the word of God as it reads, for what it says, and believe it for what it is. Then God’s spirit is promised to open his understanding, that he may understand the Scriptures, and it is Jesus Christ opening his understanding, just as he opened the understanding of the disciples, and that without either vision or dream.

And yet Christ is not limited in the way in which he will give us understanding of his word. If he sees fit to give to any individual a vision or a dream for the further opening of his word, and for the further understanding of his word, that is all right. If he does not see fit to give to any individual a vision or a dream for that purpose, that is all right. The point is this: The Spirit, The Holy Spirit, is the spirit of prophecy. It is the spirit by which the prophecy was given. It is the spirit which enlightens and quickens the mind of every student of God’s word who comes prayerfully, to be taught of God, and submits his mind to the guidance of the spirit. It is the spirit through which all the gifts are manifested in the church. That is the spirit by which comes the interpretation of tongues; that is the spirit through which come miracles, discerning of spirits, etc. “All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit.” And what we are to seek for, and what we are to pray for, and open our hearts to, is the incoming of the Spirit of God, and then let him use us as he will, and not have an itching desire that there shall be some unusual demonstration through us in any way, but only that by perfect submission to the working of the Spirit of God there will be opportunity for that Spirit to work as he will, and not as we will; and that is the spirit which worketh in the children of obedience, in contrast with that other spirit which worketh in the children of disobedience.

But when it pleases God to take one wholly out of himself in order that God may speak through him in a special way, he does it, and he chooses his own instrument through whom he will do it; and man and man’s choice are left out of the question entirely. In how marked contrast is this from that false method of putting the interpretation of the word by vote of men in a man, and pretending to constitute him an infallible interpreter of the word! It is altogether of man, and the interpretation is altogether man’s interpretation, with this reservation, - that if ever the devil inspired any one and speaks through any one, he does it through this self-styled interpreter of God’s word.

Now it is true, and it is a truth that we should cherish, that infallibility belongs in the church of Jesus Christ. It has seemed to me that, not understanding the nature and the office of the spirit of prophecy in the church, we have belittled one of God’s greatest gifts to his people, and fearing lest we should seem to be on Roman Catholic ground, we have hardly dared to step into and occupy the true ground upon this question.

Jesus Christ is the infallible head of the church, and he has not delegated that office and that authority to any human being. It is the very kernel of all the work that we have been doing here together that Jesus Christ is here with us, and of us, and that he

is so near to us that not one single person can get in between him and us, because he is one of us. But in order to bring in this false idea of interpretation, and this false idea of infallibility, the first thing to do is to put Jesus Christ far away, and to put the word of God far away from the people, and to build up the idea that it is necessary that there should be some one between Jesus Christ and us, and some one between the word of Jesus Christ and us, in order that we may have access to Jesus Christ and have an understanding of his word; and until Jesus Christ is put far away from us, it is impossible that there should be a vicegerent of Christ in the earth, and until his word is put far away from us, it is impossible that there should be any place for a human interpreter to come in between Jesus Christ’s word and our hearts. But notice that this is exactly what the Catholic Church has done in both instances. As to the idea of putting Jesus Christ far away, and having some one between him and us, I will read an extract from an encyclical of Pope Pius IX. In the encyclical of 1864, in closing, he says:-

But in order that God may accede more easily to our and your prayers, and to those of all his faithful servants, let us employ in all confidence as our mediatrix with him, the Virgin Mary, mother of God, who “has destroyed all heresies throughout the world, and who, the most loving mother of us all, is very gracious, and full of mercy, allows herself to be entreated by all, shows herself most clement toward all, and takes under her pitying care all our necessities with a most ample affection,” and who, “sitting as queen upon the right hand of her only begotten son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in a golden vestment clothed around with various adornments,” there is nothing which she cannot obtain from him. Let us implore also the intervention of the blessed Peter, chief of the apostles, and of his co-apostle Paul, and of all those saints of heaven, who, having already become the friends of God, have been admitted into the celestial kingdom, where they are crowned and bear palms, and who henceforth, certain of their own immortality, are solicitous for our salvation. - The Vatican Council, pp.33,34.

But you see, in that very thing, that the necessity presses itself upon the human mind that in order for us to have access to God, there must be humanity in the connection; and having taken the humanity all out of Christ, and having made him altogether of a nature that is higher than the cherubim and higher than the seraphim, our poor humanity cannot touch him and cannot reach him; so of necessity between him and us there must come in those who have been human; and so his mother and Peter and Paul and all the other saints who have gone to heaven, and have become the friends of God, are brought in to form a connection between our humanity and divinity. You can see in that the utter perversion of the very truth that is so precious, and that we have had brought out so clearly before us here, - that in Jesus Christ the human and the divine did meet, and that jesus Christ is one with us and one of us, and there is no place for Peter and Paul and all those other saints to get in between us and him, and there is no necessity for putting in any more humanity, because humanity was in him. But all that blessed truth is entirely perverted; and yet there remains that feeling in the human soul to be answered by this false doctrine, that there must in some way be something that has had human flesh to make connection between us and God; but that is all done in Jesus Christ.

But why the necessity of bringing in an interpreter, so called, of his word? Let us see. Of course, the first thing to do is to put the word away from the people. So among the rules laid down by the Roman Catholic Church with reference to prohibiting books, is this one:-

But versions of the books of the Old Testament may be allowed only to learned and pious men at the discretion of the bishop, provided that they use such versions as elucidations of the Vulgate to understand the sacred Scripture, but not as the sound text. But let versions of the New Testament, made by authors of the first class of this index, be allowed to no one, because but little utility, but very much danger, is to flow from their perusal.

And the next rule is as follows:-

Whereas, it is evident from experience that if the sacred books be permitted in the vulgar tongue indiscriminately, more harm than utility arises therefrom by reason of the temerity of men, in this respect let it depend on the discretion of the bishop or inquisitor, so that with the counsel of the parish priest or the confessor, they can grant to them the reading of the books translated by Catholic authors in the vulgar tongue, - such persons as they may consider may derive not injury, but an increase of faith and of piety from reading; which power they may have with respect to the Scriptures. But whosoever shall presume to read them without such power, let him not be able to obtain absolution of his sins, unless he has first given back the books to the ordinary. - The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (translated by Buckley) p.285.

So the first thing is to remove the Bible just as far as possible from the people; the next thing is to remove the interpretation from them, if they happen to have a Bible even under all these restrictions. So we read among the decrees of the famous Council of Trent (and this council is especially prominent in the Catholic Church, because being held in the sixteenth century, after the rise of the Reformation, it was with special reference to the doctrines of the Reformation):-

Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, it decrees that no one.... dare to interpret the said sacred scripture contrary to that sense which the holy mother church, whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, hath held and doth hold.

In the first place, forbid the Bible to the people. In the second place, forbid the interpretation of the

Bible to the people, and place it altogether in the hands of the church.

I will read a word from the genuine source, just to see the contrast:-

The Bible with its precious gems of truth was not written for the scholar alone. On the contrary, it was designed for the common people; and the interpretation given by the common people, when aided by the Holy Spirit, accords best with the truth as it is in Jesus. - “Testimony” No. 32, p.87.

[Elder A. T. Jones here gave the following: Here is a testimony from Robertson Smith on that same thought, - that of the experience of the common people: “The silent, practical experience of the common people, throughout the history of the church, has always been truer and has led the church in a safer path, than have the published decrees of those who claim to be the authoritative leaders of theological thought.”]

But in order to overrule that interpretation of the common people, first the Bible must be taken away from the common people, and, second, they must be forbidden to say anything about it in any way, and it must be put altogether and wholly into the hands of self-styled learned men, who have taken on themselves altogether to guard, as they say, and interpret, as they claim, the Bible.

Now all of this grows out of the idea that the Bible cannot be understood by ordinary people, that the Bible is a mystical book. Now to be sure it is the mystery, even the hidden mystery; and the natural man knoweth not the things of the Spirit, and cannot know them; but the Lord hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit, and he has given us and we have received the Spirit of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God, and the source of our information is not from decrees or councils of self-styled leaders, but from Jesus Christ himself.

But we must be careful that we do not give countenance to this same idea, that it is necessary to have somebody interpret the Bible to us. The principle is the same, whether it is done in a Seventh-day Adventist church or in a Roman Catholic church. When it is necessary to look to some man, no matter who he is, to interpret the word of God to us, we are on Roman Catholic ground, and it does not make any difference what denomination it is. When it is necessary for one to look to a creed for a statement of what God says, he is on Catholic ground. It does not make any difference what church you belong to, when the interpretation of God’s word is taken away from the source where God has placed it, and put in a man or a company of men, that is Catholic ground. That is not to say that we cannot help each other in the study of the word, but it is to say that no man is to receive his gospel from men.

Now God uses instruments to teach us, and we should respect the instruments. God has ordained instruments for teachers in his church; but we should not degrade God’s ordained instruments by attempting on our part to put them in the place where God has never put them. Furthermore, we should learn to see and to hear in the human instrument which God uses, Jesus Christ speaking, and not the human instrument.

Now to speak in confidence between us, I want to know if you ever heard any one say that the difference between Seventh-day Adventists and Roman Catholics was that Roman Catholics had a man for a pope and Seventh-day Adventists had a woman for a pope, and I want to know if you ever knew any Seventh-day Adventist who felt half sorry that it was so, and thought if he did not have to meet that pope question, he could do a great deal better?

That grows altogether out of a misunderstanding of the nature of the spirit of prophecy. And I want to tell you in the same confidential way, that every one who is on that ground, unless he gets better light on that question, will not always stay on that ground. He will give up the whole thing. And did you ever hear any one intimate that Brother So-and-so had gotten a scorching from Sister White? Well, the one who speaks thus needs to learn what the spirit of prophecy is. Now I speak of these things very plainly, because they touch the very root idea of this question. It is time to put those ideas away entirely, and let me say that no one can possibly meet the Roman Catholic doctrine of infallibility, except the one who knows the true doctrine of infallibility in the church of Jesus Christ; and, further, that that question is soon to be pressed upon us in a way that we have not known before, and that it is high time that we understand the true doctrine of infallibility in the church of Jesus Christ; and when we do understand it, it is a blessed truth, and it is a place where every one is glad to stand.

Well, then, the first thing for us to do is to understand the true position on this question. Here is the position as defined by Archbishop Purcell in his celebrated debate with Alexander Campbell:-

The basis of Protestant belief is that the Scripture, this book of divine revelation, is the only rule of faith; and that Jesus Christ having left on earth no living infallible authority to interpret it, every man is obliged to expound it for himself. - Campbell and Purcell Debate, p.176.

Is that the correct statement? Let me read another. This is Dr. Campbell’s reply to Purcell:-

The Protestants say that God can speak as intelligibly as the pope, and that he is as benevolently disposed as any priesthood. He does not require an infallible expositor; he is his own expositor. His spirit is the spirit of knowledge and eloquence, and can speak intelligibly to every listener. - Ib.p.181.

What do you think about that? If only Dr. Campbell had gone the next step, and had seen what belongs with that! But he has stopped short of it, after all.

Now as to the difficulty in understanding the Scriptures. See how the way is paved to make it necessary that there should be a human interpreter of the Scriptures:-

Let us observe, first, that the Bible, though divinely inspired, is but a written document, and very often so obscure that even St. Augustine, though so great a scholar and doctor of the church, confessed that there were more things in the Bible he did not understand than things he did understand. - Catholic Belief, p.49.

So it was necessary to have some interpreter. The Catholics argued that it would not do to let the common people have the Bible; for they would not understand it. But do you not see the contradiction in that? There is no danger in letting a man have a book in the Greek if he does not know the Greek alphabet. Let him have it, and play with it. It will not do him any harm; but if the people have the Bible and read it, they can see that the learned doctors have falsified. So the Bible must be kept away from them.

That was in accordance with Luther’s experience. He never had seen a Bible, never had read a Bible. He found one chained to the wall in a convent, and he went there to read it; and as he read, he found the truth exactly contrary to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church - and that was the basis of the Reformation. The Bible in the hands of the people has always brought about a reformation. Where the Bible, as the word of God, goes it builds churches and it establishes people in the faith. It is only when it is shut away, and a false interpretation is given it in presenting it to the people, that all this harm comes.

But what is the purpose of the written word of God? The Catholic Church says that the written word of God is not clear without the unwritten word, and that the people cannot understand the word without tradition, and therefore they place the traditions of the church above the Bible, and that is placing man above God.

Now let us read the Scripture itself upon that point. I will read the marginal reading of the Revised Version, which is fully authorized by the original text; and it brings out exactly the thought that we want. Luke is giving the reasons why his gospel was written, and all the books were written for the same reason:-

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fully established among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus; that thou mightest know the certainty concerning the words which thou wast taught by word of mouth. Luke 1:1-4.

Now which establishes the certainty; is it the word of mouth, or is it the word of God that establishes the certainty of the word of mouth? - “That thou mightest know the certainty concerning the words which thou wast taught by word of mouth.” That is to say, the written word was given in order that we might by that know the certainty concerning the things which we have heard by word of mouth. The Scripture says of the Bereans that, they “searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” That is, the written word of God is given to establish the certainty of the preaching of the word, or the unwritten word.

THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE - NO. 18

A. T. JONES

WE will begin our study this evening with Romans 7:25: “With the mind I myself serve the law of God.” I repeat the expression that I made in the previous lesson, - that it is in the realm of the thoughts where the law of God is served, where the contention against sin is carried on, and the victory won.

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, - these tendencies to sin that are in the flesh, drawing upon us, - in this is the temptation. But temptation is not sin. Not until the desire is cherished, is there sin. But as soon as the desire is cherished, as soon as we consent to it, and receive it into the mind, and hold it there, then there is sin; and whether that desire is carried out in action or not, the sin is committed. In the mind, in fact, we have already enjoyed the desire. In consenting to it we have already done the thing so far as the mind itself goes. All that can come after that is simply the sensual part, the sense of enjoying the satisfaction of the flesh.

This is shown in the Saviour’s words in Matthew 5:27, 28:-

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Therefore the only place where the Lord could bring help and deliverance to us, is right in the place where the thoughts are, at the very root of the thing that is sin, the very point where the sin is conceived and where it begins. Consequently, when tempted and tried as he was - when he was spit upon, when they struck him in the face and on the head in the trial in Jerusalem, and in all his public ministry when the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the scribes, and the priests in their iniquity and hypocrisy, which he knew, were all doing everything they could to irritate him and get him stirred up - when he was constantly tried thus, his hand was never raised to return the blow. He never had to check any such motion; because not even the impulse to make any such motion was ever allowed. Yet he had our human nature, in which such impulses are so natural. Why then did not these motions manifest themselves in our human nature in him?

For the reason that he was so surrendered to the will of the Father, that the power of God through the Holy Spirit so worked against the flesh and fought the battle right in the field of the thoughts, never, in the subtlest form of the thought was there allowed any such thing to conceive. So that under all these insults and grievous trials he was just as calm, our human nature in him was just as calm, as it was when the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove overshadowed him on the banks of the Jordan.

Now “let this mind be in you.” It is not enough for a Christian to become all stirred up and say a few spiteful words, or raise the hand in resentment, and then say to himself, “O, I am a Christian; I must not say this, or do that.” No. We are to be so submitted to the power of God and to the influence of the Spirit of God, that our thoughts shall be so completely controlled that the victory shall be won already, and not even the impulse be allowed. Then we shall be Christians everywhere, and all the time, under all circumstances, and against all influences. But until we do reach that point, we are not sure that we shall show a Christian spirit under all circumstances, and at all times, and against all insults.

As stated in the previous lesson, the things that were heaped upon Christ, and which he bore, were the very things that were the hardest for human nature to bear. And we, before we get through with the cause in which we are engaged, are going to have to meet these very things that are hardest for human nature to bear; and unless we have the battle won already, and are Christians indeed, we are not sure that we shall show the Christian spirit in these times when it is most needed. In fact, the time when the Christian spirit is most needed is all the time.

Now in Jesus the Lord has brought to us just the power that will give us into the hand of God, and cause us to be so submitted to him that he shall so fully control every thought, that we shall be Christians all the time and everywhere, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

“The kingdom of God is within you.” Christ dwells within us, and he is the King. The law of God is written upon the heart, and that is the law of the kingdom. Where the King and the law of the kingdom are, there is the kingdom. In the inmost recesses, the secret chamber of the heart, at the very root, the fountain of the thought - there Christ sets up his throne; there the law of God is written by the Spirit; there the King asserts his authority, and sets forth the principles of his government; and allegiance to that is Christianity. Thus at the very citadel of the soul, the very citadel of the thoughts, the very place, the only place, where sin can enter - there God sets up his throne; there he establishes his kingdom; there he puts his law, and the power to cause the authority of the law to be recognized, and the principles of the law to be carried out in the life; and the result is peace only and all the time. That is the very thing that Christ hath brought to us, and which comes to us in the mind of Christ.
(Continued on page 349.)

EDITORIAL NOTES

ONE of the most significant truths brought out in these meetings thus far, as it seems to us, is the statement repeated by Elder Jones in the present number, article No. 18, that “the things that were heaped upon Christ were the very hardest for human nature to bear. And we, before we get through with this cause, are going to have to meet these very things; and unless we have the battle already won and are Christians indeed; we are not sure that we shall show the Christian spirit in those times when it is most needed.”

WE announce with pleasure the safe arrival of the following party from South Africa, via Australia and the Pacific Coast. Mrs. A. E. Wessels, her two sons, Daniel and Andrew, Harmon Lindsay Jr., wife and child.

WHEN the forenoon services closed on the Sabbath, a crowd of fully four thousand Sabbath-keepers filled the streets around the Tabernacle and College. It was an impressive sight - but, well, we could hardly repress the thought that the Lord does not want so much salt in one place.

«Back «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»