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    December 17, 1885

    “The First Migrations of the Goths. (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times 11, 48, p. 756.

    “THE second expedition of the Goths was undertaken with greater powers of men and ships; but they steered a different course, and, disdaining the exhausted provinces of Pontus, followed the western coast of the Euxine, passed before the wide mouths of the Borysthenes, the Dniester, and the Danube, and increasing their fleet by the capture of a great number of fishing barks, they approached the narrow outlet through which the Euxine Sea pours its waters into the Mediterranean, and divides the continents of Europe and Asia. The garrison of Chalcedon was encamped near the temple of Jupiter Urius, on a promontory that commanded the entrance of the Strait; and so inconsiderable were the dreaded invasions of the barbarians that this body of troops surpassed in number the Gothic army. But it was in numbers alone that they surpassed it. They deserted with precipitation their advantageous post, and abandoned the town of Chalcedon, most plentifully stored with arms and money, to the discretion of the conquerors.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.1

    “Whilst they hesitated whether they should prefer the sea or land Europe or Asia, for the scene of their hostilities, a perfidious fugitive pointed out Nicomedia [now Ismid, at the head of the Gulf of Ismid], once the capital of the kings of Bithynia, as a rich and easy conquest. He guided the march which was only sixty miles from the camp of Chalcedon, directed the resistless attack, and partook of the booty; for the Goths had learned sufficient policy to reward the traitor whom they detested. Nice, Prusa, Apamea, Cius, cities that had sometimes rivaled, or imitated, the splendor of Nicomedia, were involved in the same calamity, which, in a few weeks, raged without control through the whole province of Bithynia.... The ruin of Cyzicus was delayed by a fortunate accident. The season was rainy, and the Lake Apolloniates [Uballania], the reservoir of all the springs of Mount Olympus, rose to an uncommon height. The little river of Rhyndacus [Loupadi], which issues from the lake, swelled into a broad and rapid stream, and stopped the progress of the Goths. Their retreat to the maritime city of Heraclea [the northern point of Asia Minor], where the fleet had probably been stationed, was attended by a long train of wagons, laden with the spoils of Bithynia, and was marked by the flames of Nico and Nicomedia, which they wantonly burnt. Some obscure hints are mentioned of a doubtful combat that secured their retreat. But even a complete victory would have been of little moment, as the approach of the autumnal equinox summoned them to hasten their return.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.2

    “When we are informed that the third fleet, equipped by the Goths in the ports of Bosphorus, consisted of five hundred sails of ships, our ready imagination instantly computes and multiplies the formidable armament; but, as we are assured by the judicious Strabo, that the piratical vessels used by the barbarians of Pontus and the Lesser Scythia, were not capable of containing more than twenty-five or thirty men we may safely affirm, that fifteen thousand warriors, at the most, embarked in this great expedition. Impatient of the limits of the Euxine, they steered their destructive course from the Cimmerian to the Thracian Bosphorus. When they had almost gained the middle of the Straits, they were suddenly driven back to the entrance of them; till a favorable wind, springing up the next day, carried them in a few hours into the placid sea, or rather lake, of the Propontis [Marmora]. Their landing on the little island of Cyzicus was attended with the ruin of that ancient and noble city. From thence issuing again through the narrow passage of the Hellespont, they pursued their winding navigation amidst the numerous islands scattered over the Archipelago, or the Egean Sea. The assistance of captives and deserters must have been very necessary to pilot their vessels, and to direct their various incursions, as well on the coast of Greece as on that of Asia.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.3

    “At length the Gothic fleet anchored in the port of Pireus, five miles distant from Athens, which had attempted to make some preparations for a vigorous defense. Cleodamus, one of the engineers employed by the emperor’s orders to fortify the maritime cities against the Goths, had already begun to repair the ancient walls, fallen to decay since the time of Scylla. The efforts of his skill were ineffectual, and the barbarians became masters of the native seat of the muses and the arts. But while the conquerors abandoned themselves to the license of plunder and intemperance, their fleet, that lay with a slender guard in the harbor of Pireus, was unexpectedly attacked by the brave Dexippus, who, flying with the engineer Cleodamus from the sack of Athens, collected a hasty band of volunteers, peasants as well as soldiers, and in some measure avenged the calamities of his country.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.4

    “But this exploit, whatever luster it might shed on the declining age of Athens, served rather to irritate than to subdue the undaunted spirit of the northern invaders. A general conflagration blazed out at the same time in every district of Greece. Thebes and Argos, Corinth and Sparta, which had formerly waged such memorable wars against each other, were now unable to bring an army into the field, or even to defend their ruined fortifications. The rage of war, both by land and by sea, spread from the eastern point of Sunium to the western coast of Epirus. The Goths had already advanced within sight of Italy, when the approach of such imminent danger awakened the indolent Gallienus from his dream of pleasure. The emperor appeared in arms; and his presence seems to have checked the ardor, and to have divided the strength, of the enemy. Naulobatus, a chief of the Heruli, accepted an honorable capitulation, entered with a large body of his countrymen into the service of Rome, and was invested with the ornaments of the consular dignity, which had never before been profaned by the hands of a barbarian.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.5

    “Great numbers of the Goths, disgusted with the perils and hardships of a tedious voyage, broke into Mesia, with a design of forcing their way over the Danube to their settlements in the Ukraine. The wild attempt would have proved inevitable destruction, if the discord of the Roman generals had not opened to the barbarians the means of an escape. The small remainder of this destroying host returned on board their vessels; and measuring back their way through the Hellespont and the Bosphorus, ravaged in their passage the shores of Troy, whose fame, immortalized by Homer, will probably survive the memory of the Gothic conquests. As soon as they found themselves in safety within the basin of the Euxine, they landed at Anchialus in Thrace, near the foot of Mount Hemus [Balkan Mountains]; and, after all their toils, indulged themselves in the use of those pleasant and salutary hot baths. What remained of the voyage was a short and easy navigation.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.6

    “Such was the various fate of this third and greatest of their naval enterprises. It may seem difficult to conceive how the original body of fifteen thousand warriors could sustain the losses and divisions of so bold an adventure. But as their numbers were gradually wasted by the sword, by shipwrecks, and by the influence of a warm climate, they were perpetually renewed by troops of banditti and deserters, who flocked to the standard of plunder, and by a crowd of fugitive slaves, often of German or Sarmatian extraction, who eagerly seized the glorious opportunity of freedom and revenge.”—Dec. and Fall, chap. 10, par. 35, 37, 38.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.7

    March 20, A.D. 268, Gallienus was assassinated, and was succeeded by Claudius as emperor. In his speech to the soldiers,—SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.8

    “He painted in the most lively colors the exhausted state of the treasury, the desolation of the provinces, the disgrace of the Roman name, and the insolent triumph of rapacious barbarians. It was against those barbarians, he declared, that he intended to point the first effort of their arms. Tetricus might reign for a while over the West, and even Zenobia might preserve the dominion of the East. These usurpers were his personal adversaries; nor could he think of indulging any private resentment till he had saved an empire, whose impending ruin would, unless it was timely prevented, crush both the army and the people.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.9

    “The various nations of Germany and Sarmatia, who fought under the Gothic standard, had already [A.D. 269] collected an armament more formidable than any which had yet issued from the Euxine. On the banks of the Dniester, one of the great rivers that discharge themselves into that sea, they constructed a fleet of two thousand, or even of six thousand vessels; numbers which, however incredible they may seem, would have been insufficient to transport their pretended army of three hundred and twenty thousand barbarians. Whatever might be the real strength of the Goths, the vigor and success of the expedition were not adequate to the greatness of the preparations. In their passage through the Bosphorus, the unskilful pilots were overpowered by the violence of the current; and while the multitude of their ships were crowded in a narrow channel, many were dashed against each other, or against the shore. The barbarians made several descents on the coasts both of Europe and Asia; but the open country was already plundered, and they were repulsed with shame and loss from the fortified cities which they assaulted.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.10

    “A spirit of discouragement and division arose in the fleet, and some of their chiefs sailed away towards the islands of Crete and Cyprus; but the main body, pursuing a more steady course, anchored at length near the foot of Mount Athos, and assaulted the city of Thessalonica, the wealthy capital of all the Macedonian provinces. Their attacks, in which they displayed a fierce but artless bravery, were soon interrupted by the rapid approach of Claudius, hastening to a scene of action that deserved the presence of a warlike prince at the head of the remaining powers of the empire. Impatient for battle, the Goths immediately broke up their camp, relinquished the siege of Thessalonica, left their navy at the foot of Mount Athos, traversed the hills of Macedonia, and pressed forwards to engage the last defense of Italy.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.11

    “We still posses an original letter addressed by Claudius to the senate and people on this memorable occasion. ‘Conscript fathers,’ says the emperor, ‘know that three hundred and twenty thousand Goths have invaded the Roman territory. If I vanquish them, your gratitude will reward my services. Should I fall, remember that I am the successor of Gallienus.’ .... The event surpassed his own expectations and those of the world. By the most signal victories he delivered the empire from this host of barbarians, and was distinguished by posterity under the glorious appellation of the Gothic Claudius. The imperfect historians of an irregular war do not enable as to describe the order and circumstances of his exploits; but, if we could be indulged in the allusion, we might distribute into three acts this memorable tragedy.”—Id., chap. 11, par. 7-9.SITI December 17, 1885, page 756.12

    A. T. J.

    (Concluded next week.)

    “The Doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul Subversive of the Truth.—No. 3” The Signs of the Times 11, 48, p. 762.

    THE Judgment is one of the certainties of Bible doctrine. Time and again Jesus sets before us the awful scenes and the all-important decisions of the Judgment. “I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of Judgment.” Matthew 12:36. “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them; for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the Judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.” Luke 11:31, 32. In the parable of the wheat and tares, in the parable of the marriage of the marriage of the king’s son (Matthew 22:1-14), in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30),—in fact, in all his teaching, the Judgment was made prominent. In Matthew 25:41-46, he sets before us a view of the very Judgment itself.SITI December 17, 1885, page 762.1

    The Old Testament as well as the New tells of the Judgment. Solomon says: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into Judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. Daniel says: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the Judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10. Isaiah, David, Job, and other prophets speak of this as well as Solomon and Daniel. Even “Enoch, the seventh from Adam,” prophesied of this, saying, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute Judgment upon all.” Jude 14, 15.SITI December 17, 1885, page 762.2

    This is not a Judgment that is constantly going on during men’s lives and completed at their death, so that then their reward is given whether for good or ill. “It is appointed unto me once to die, but after this the Judgment.” Hebrews 9:27. Paul “reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come” (Acts 24:25), not judgment already come, nor constantly going on. There is a time appointed for the Judgment. “Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:31. “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;” “in that day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” Romans 2:12, 16. And again: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10. It is not that alone that he has done in his direct personal acts for which he must account; he must answer for the fruit of his doings. “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:10.SITI December 17, 1885, page 762.3

    The time when men shall receive for that which they have done, whether it be good or bad, is at the coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the end of the world. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.... And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:15, 18. Again we quote the words of Jude: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 14, 15. With this agree exactly the words of Christ: “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. And Paul in his charge to Timothy, and to all ministers of Christ, says: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick [living] and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word.” 2 Timothy 4:1, 2. Peter also says: “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” 2 Peter 2:9.SITI December 17, 1885, page 762.4

    It would be easy to multiply texts from all parts of the Bible on these points, but these must suffice for the present. From these evidences it is plain (1) that there is a timeappointed” for the Judgment; (2) that this is after death; (3) that this is called the “day of Judgment;” (5) that it is at the appearing and kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ; (6) that then, and not till then, it is that the righteous receive their reward; (7) and that the “unjust” are “reserved” until that time to be punished, that they are not punished before that great day of Judgment. Yet however plain all this may be, it is equally plain that there is not a single principle of it that the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul does not tend to subvert. For if, at death, righteous men enter immediately into their reward, and the unrighteous go immediately to the place of punishment, then where is there any possible room for the Judgment? (unless perhaps the absurd idea be adopted, that men should spend hundreds of thousands of years in happiness or misery, and then be brought to the Judgment to see whether they be worthy of that which they have enjoyed or suffered!!)SITI December 17, 1885, page 762.5

    For if at death men enter immediately into their reward or punishment, as the case may be, then it follows, if there by any Judgment at all, that instead of there being a timeappointed” “after this” for Judgment, there must necessarily be a judgment constantly going on in the life of each individual, and that that judgment closes at his death, and that he in consequence of judgment passed enters then upon his destiny, whether for good or for ill. It can be seen at a glance that such a view is utterly subversive of the Bible doctrine of the Judgment. If such be the truth, then there can be no such thing as a day of Judgment when the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all, because all are judged as fast as they die; there can be no such thing as Christ judging the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, because all the dead have been judged when they died; there can be no such thing as the “time of the dead that they should be judged” when the seventh angel sounds, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, for all the dead will have been judged before the seventh angel shall have sounded; and there can be no such thing as reserving “the unjust unto the day of Judgment to be punished,” because by this theory they are sent to punishment as soon as they die; in short, if the doctrine of the immortality of the soul be the truth, the Bible doctrine of the Judgment cannot be the truth. And the time has now come when a choice must be made between them. As for us we choose the Bible with all its doctrine, and with all that that choice involves.SITI December 17, 1885, page 762.6

    That we do not misrepresent the popular doctrine of the immortality of the soul when we say that it puts men into Heaven or hell at death, can be proved by any one who will consult the hymn books, or the papers of the religious denominations who believe that doctrine, or listen to the average funeral discourse or revival sermon.SITI December 17, 1885, page 762.7

    But that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is subversive of the Bible doctrine of the Judgment is not all. By virtue of that doctrine, men have usurped the seat of the Judge of all, and have arrogated to themselves the prerogative of reading into Heaven whomsoever they see fit. How often we read that such and such a person is in Heaven! But what right has any man to say who is worthy of a place in that bright world? Who knows the heart? None but God alone. He alone it is who pronounces upon the worthiness of men “to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead,” and when men take upon themselves to read into Heaven this man or that man, they are simply usurping the awful prerogative of the Most High. And only for belief in the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul, no man would ever think of it. We repeat: It is God alone to whom belongs the right to pronounce that decision. He will pronounce it in every case, but it will be in the Judgment; not at death, but at the resurrection of the dead, and before the assembled universe, and by the voice of the glorious Son of God, who hath loved us and hath washed us from our sins in his own blood; for he “hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” John 5:27-29. Any doctrine that will lead men to thus usurp the prerogative of the Judge of all the earth cannot be the truth. This is exactly what the doctrine of the immortality of the soul does, therefore it cannot be the truth; and as it is subversive of the Bible doctrine of the Judgment, it is not only not the truth, but it is subversive of the truth.SITI December 17, 1885, page 762.8

    A. T. J.

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