Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    May 21, 1885

    “Uncertainty of Geological Science. (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times 11, 20, p. 308.


    THE argument from physics is just about as inconclusive as that from “geological evidence.” He says:—SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.1

    1. “Sir William Thompson, applying Fourier’s theory 1Fourier’s theory here referred to is “the spreading of heat in a solid tending to ultimate equalization of temperature throughout it, instead of the transference of heat from one body to another by conduction through the solid considered.” of thermal conductivity, pointed out some years ago (1862) that in the known rate of increase of temperature downward and beneath the surface, and the rate of loss of heat from the earth, we have a limit to the antiquity of the planet. He showed, from the data available at the time, that the superficial consolidation of the globe could not have occurred less than twenty million years ago.... nor more than four hundred million years ago; ... he inclines rather toward the lower than the higher antiquity, but concludes that the limit, from a consideration of all the evidence, must be placed within some such period of past time as one hundred million of years.SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.2

    2. “The argument from tidal retardation proceeds on the admitted fact, that, owing to the friction of the tide-wave, the rotation of the earth is retarded, and is therefore much slower now than it must have been at one time. Sir William Thompson contends that had the globe become solid ten thousand million years ago, or indeed any high antiquity above one hundred million years, the centrifugal force due to the more rapid rotation must have given the planet a very much greater polar flattening than it actually possesses. He admits, however, that, though one hundred million years ago that force must have been about three per cent. greater than now, yet ‘nothing we know regarding the figure of the earth and the disposition of land and water would justify us in saying that a body consolidated when there was more centrifugal force by three per cent. than now, might not now be in all respects like the earth, so far as we know it at present.’”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.3

    Thus, first, he contends that if the earth had become sold one hundred million years ago it would have been much flatter at the poles than it is, yet is willing to admit that had it become solid then, we do not know but that it would have been now just as it is. Then if the result is the same in either case, where is the use of going back one hundred million years, or ten thousand million years, for the start? And so “Professor Tait concludes that this argument, taken in connection with the previous one, probably reduces the possible period which can be allowed to geologists to something less than ten millions of years.” “What a falling off is there, my countrymen!!” From ten thousand million to simply ten million! May we hope from this that they will finally reach the reasonable limit?SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.4

    But Mr. Geikie has not yet exhausted his “argument” on the age of the earth; he presents his third from physics, thus:—SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.5

    3. “The third argument, based upon the age of the sun’s heat, is confessedly less reliable than the two previous ones.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.6

    But the “two previous ones” themselves are confessedly unreliable, and, if the third be admitted as “confessedly less reliable” than they, how much reliability has geological science for the age of the earth?SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.7

    The secret, however, of the whole matter is exposed in his last remark on this subject:—SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.8

    “One hundred million of years is probably amply sufficient for all the requirements of geology.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.9

    Yes, the geological ship has been launched upon the tide of speculation, and nothing less than one hundred million years will give her sea-room.SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.10

    Next in order, we come to Part IV., Structural Geology—Order of Superpositon—The Foundation of Geological Chronology:—SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.11

    “As sedimentary strata are laid down upon one another in a more or less nearly horizontal position, the underlying beds must be older than those which cover them. This simple and obvious truth is termed the law of superposition.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.12

    Again, Part V., under “Use of Fossils:”—SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.13

    “The true order of superposition is decisive of the relative ages of stratified rocks.” “For geological purposes, therefore, and indeed for all purposes of comparison between the different faunas and floras of different periods, it is absolutely essential, first of all, to have the order of superposition of strata rigorously determined. Unless this is done, the most fatal mistakes may be made in Paeontalogical chronology.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.14

    And yet again, Part VI., No. 1:—SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.15

    “In every stratigraphical research the fundamental requisite is to establish the order of superposition of the strata. Until this is accomplished, it is impossible to arrange the dates and make out the sequence of geological history.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.16

    This would be all plain and easy enough, if the rocks always and everywhere were lying in their true and original position. But in some places “the rocks composing huge mountain masses have been so completely overturned that the highest beds appear as if regularly covered by others which ought properly to underlie them.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.17

    Let us bring some of these statements together in the form of a parallel that we may more readily see their mutual bearing.SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.18

    “The underlying beds must be older than those which cover them. This simple and obvious truth is termed the law of superposition.” “The rocks comprising huge mountain masses have been so completely overturned that the highest beds appear as if regularly covered by others which ought properly to underlie them.” In such instances “the apparent supreposition may be deceptive.”

    So then “this simple and obvious truth” is not the truth. And then what becomes of the law of superposition? We rather incline to the opinion that it has been “completely overturned” as well as have been the mountain masses, and at the same time that they were. If, therefore, the apparent superposition may be deceptive, how are we to guard against deception? If huge mountain masses are lying in a directly inverted position to that of the valleys or the plains, how can we tell which is “upside down”? And how is the true order of superposition to be settled?SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.19

    Just here the geologist’s summum bonum, the fossil, comes in, thus:—SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.20

    “It is by their characteristic fossils that the divisions of the stratified rocks can be most satisfactorily made. Each formation being distinguished by its own assemblage of organic remains, it can be followed and recognized even amid the crumplings and dislocations of a disturbed region.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.21

    Again:—SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.22

    “But it is mainly by the remains of plants and animals imbedded in the rocks that the geologist is guided in unraveling the chronological succession of geological changes.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.23

    And further, one of the uses of fossils is plainly stated to be “to furnish a guide in geological chronology whereby rocks may be classified according to relative date, and the facts of geological history may be arranged and interpreted as a connected record of the earth’s progress.” From these statements it plainly appears that it is by the evidence of fossils that the “order of succession,” or “superposition,” or “relative age of strata” is made out.SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.24

    Yet under “Relative Age of Fossils,” is this equally plain statement:—SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.25

    “The chronological sequence of fossils must be determined first of all by the order of superposition of their enclosing strata;” because “there is nothing in the fossils themselves, apart from experience, to fix their date.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.26

    Here are two statements that we wish to place side by side, that it may be seen what they really say. And what they do say, although it may appear surprising, can be sustained by a greater number of quotations than are here already given.SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.27

    “It is mainly by the re mains of plants and animals [fossils] imbedded in the rocks that the geologist is guided In unraveling the chronological succession of geological changes.” “The chronological sequence [succession] of fossils [remains] must be determined first of all by the order of supreposition [chronological succession] of their enclosing strata.”

    One of these says that the relative age of the rocks is determined by the fossils. The other says that the relative age of the fossils is determined by the rocks.SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.28

    What is this but reasoning in a circle? Thus, for instance, the geologists say to us, “Here is a stratum of rock that was deposited fifty millions of years ago.” But we ask, “How do you prove that?” They reply, “We prove it by the fact that in it are imbedded organic remains of the earliest forms of life that appeared on this planet.” But again we ask, “How do you prove that to be the earliest form of life?” The reply is, “We prove that by the simple fact of their being imbedded in that particular stratum of rock.” Yes, certainly, prove each by the other, and they will then both be true. All this may be geological, but it assuredly is not logical, nor is it according to established rules of evidence.SITI May 21, 1885, page 308.29

    A. T. J.

    “The Sabbath-School. Notes on the International Lesson. May 31—2 Timothy 3:14-17; 4:1-8. Paul’s Charge to Timothy” The Signs of the Times 11, 20, pp. 310, 311.

    “AND that from a child thou has known the holy Scriptures.” Timothy was ceretainty one to whom had been fulfilled the injunction of the Lord upon parents. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:6, 7. And thus he grew up with an unfeigned faith. But this was only the fruit of the same unfeigned faith that was in his mother Eunice, and also in his grandmother Lois. This faithful mother had made it her work to instruct her child, when a child, in the holy Scriptures. And so effectual was her work that when her child grew to manhood he was one who was “well reported of by the brethren,” and was chosen of the Lord to bear his truth to the world. It would see, too, that this was done by the mother alone, because, “his father was a Greek [a Gentile].” Acts 16:1-3. And as Timothy and his mother are spoken of as believers, and the father simply as a Gentile, it is evident that he did not accept the faith in Christ. This is simply an example of what a faithful mother can do, with the word of God, notwithstanding the adverse influence of an unbelieving husband.SITI May 21, 1885, page 310.1

    “THE holy Scriptures.” What writing is meant by this term? Certainly what is now called the Old Testament. It is impossible that is should be anything else, because when Timothy was a child there was no part written of what is called the New Testament. And in no place in the New Testament are the writings of the New Testament spoken of as the Scripture, but in every instance where that term is used it has sole reference to the Old Testament. Christ, after reading a portion of Isaiah, said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Luke 4:16-21. And on the day of his resurrection, on the way to Emmaus “he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” It was out of the Scriptures that the apostles reasoned with the people concerning Jesus, and by which they proved that he is indeed Christ (Acts 2:14-21, 25-35; 7; 13:14-41; 17:2, 10-12; 28:23); and the Old Testament was the only Scripture they had. We do not say that the New Testament is not Scripture; we simply say that it was not then Scripture, because it was not then written. And even had it been written it could not have been to the apostles a source of appeal, because that would have been simply to appeal to their own words. It is the Old Testament, therefore, to which Paul here refers and which he calls “the holy Scriptures” and which he declares are able to make wise unto salvation.SITI May 21, 1885, page 310.2

    “ARE able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Christ Jesus is the great central point of the Old Testament as well as of the New. Whoever studies the Old Testament without Christ in view, studies it in vain. He is the one great object of all faith, of the prophets as well as of apostles. As before referred to, he himself “expounded unto them in all Scriptures” the things concerning himself. Peter, in Acts 3:22-24, says that Moses, “and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” And Paul in Rome “persuaded them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.” How then can it be that these holy Scriptures can be neglected and a full view of Christ obtained? How can preachers do justice to their calling and despise the Old Testament?SITI May 21, 1885, page 310.3

    “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” It is still the Old Testament to which he refers. It is this that he declares is given “by inspiration of God.” We are aware of the other reading that is given to this text to the effect that “all Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable,” &c., but the text is correct as it stands. Peter says of the prophets that “the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11. And Paul, in another place, says: “When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Notice that this was written to the Thessalonians, and it was with them that he reasoned “out of the Scriptures,” and he declares that that was the word of God. So when Paul says that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” that is what he means, and that is what we believe. And when he says that it is all “profitable,” we believe that, and would slight none of it, but would reverently use it “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”SITI May 21, 1885, page 310.4

    BECAUSE as it was given of God for this purpose, “that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,” no man can be perfect, no man can be furnished unto all good works, who neglects it. We repeat that we do not hold to these things of the Old Testament to the exclusion of the New. We accept the New as being as fully the word of God, and as fully given by inspiration of God, as is the Old. We would take neither to the exclusion of the other. All, Old and New, is the word of God; all is given by inspiration of God; all is profitable. They who accept the Old Testament and reject the New are wrong. They who accept the New and reject the Old are equally wrong. The New cannot be fully understood without the Old, neither can the Old be fully understood without the New. And there is the book of Revelation; that can not be fully understood without all the rest of the Bible together. We have heard a good deal about keys to the book of Revelation, but the best of all keys is a thorough understanding of all the other parts of the Bible.SITI May 21, 1885, page 310.5

    “I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, Preach the word.” This solemn charge is to all men who enter upon the work to which Timothy was called, as well as to him. In another place he says to him, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” And in another place, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” It is the duty, therefore, of the minister, to study the word of God, meditate upon it, give himself wholly to it, then preach it.SITI May 21, 1885, page 310.6

    BUT alas! how little the word of God is studied even by the majority of ministers at the present day. It is no unusual thing to hear prominent ministers quote as veritable Scripture that of which there is no hint in the Bible. But as little as it is studied, how much less it is preached! True, the text is taken from the Bible, it may be a verse, it may be only a part of a verse, or perhaps a single word. Then a learned essay is read, or s fine dispay [sic.] of rhetoric is made, which is just as apt to be directly contrary to the word as otherwise. As has been well expressed by Moody, “They will find the text in the Bible, and then go all over Christendom for the sermon.” And that is supposed to be preaching the word! But it is nothing of the kind. He who puts the most of the word of God, properly delivered, into his sermon, does the best preaching.SITI May 21, 1885, page 310.7

    ABUNDANCE of directions are given in the Bible as to how to preach the word. We will transcribe some. “I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.... And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.... Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee... unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” Ezekiel 2:4, 7; 3:10, 11. “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:28, 29. “And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; ... and Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people (for he was above all the people); and when he opened it, all the people stood up, and Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands, and they bowed their heads, and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” Nehemiah 8:4-6, 8. Such as that is genuine preaching. What a happy thing it would be for the people if it were everywhere followed to-day. Paul did so, and Peter did so. Let us do so. Preach the word.SITI May 21, 1885, page 311.1

    “FOR the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” Considerable objection is made in these days to the preaching of doctrine. And that is the very thing that is commanded to be preached. “Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.” 1 Timothy 4:13, 16; 5:17. “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Titus 1:9. “Exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2. “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” No man can obey the Scriptures and neglect doctrine. The minister must give attendance to doctrine; he must take heed to doctrine; he must labor in doctrine; he must speak doctrine; he must convince gainsayers by doctrine; and he must exhort by doctrine. And this too, at the time, and for the very reason, that they will not endure sound doctrine. When people despise the word, then is the very time when the word must be preached. Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.SITI May 21, 1885, page 311.2

    “A CROWN of righteousness ... at that day.” This has reference solely to that one great day,—the day of Christ’s appearing. Then it is that Paul, with all other righteous men, dead and living, will be rewarded. “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. “Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:14. “When the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 1 Peter 5:4. Thus the apostles, the prophets, and all the faithful ones of old, looked to “that day” for the consummation of their hope. Thus they “obtained a good report through faith,” but “received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39, 40. Behold he comes quickly, his reward is with him, his work before him. Crowns of righteousness and of glory are his to give “in that day,” to all those who love his appearing. Are you waiting for his glorious appearing? Will you “love his appearing”? To them that look for him, he appears unto salvation. Hebrews 9:28.SITI May 21, 1885, page 311.3

    A. T. J.

    “Sanctification” The Signs of the Times 11, 20, p. 314.

    SPURIOUS sanctification has assumed a new phase. Finding in Acts 26:18 that Jesus has spoken of “them which are sanctified by faith that is in me,” there are those who claim sanctification by faith alone. Only believers in Christ and you are sanctified. Others there are who claim sanctification by the Holy Spirit alone. Either of these is just as near right as the other, for both are wrong. And if sanctification should be claimed by both faith and the Spirit, still it would be a false claim; all three are alike spurious.SITI May 21, 1885, page 314.1

    It is true, as we have seen, that Jesus sent Paul to the Gentiles “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” It is also true that Paul wrote that “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13. And it is equally true that Christ himself prayed to the Father for his disciples, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” John 17:17. All three of these expressions are true. And when they are all taken together, and met according to the purpose ofGod, true, genuine sanctification will be the inevitable result. But when the attempt is made to take either of them alone, or any two of them together, the grace of sanctification is perverted, and a spurious sanctification, a terrible deception, is the sure result.SITI May 21, 1885, page 314.2

    These three passages of Scripture, taken in their proper order, state the true doctrine of sanctification. And it will be found that they are given above in their proper order. We now propose a short study of this subject in this order.SITI May 21, 1885, page 314.3

    1. “Sanctified by faith.” “Without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. James, in writing to us about asking of the Lord, says: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” James 1:6, 7. Faith is the foundation upon which Christian character is built. Faith is the beginning and to it all other graces come in addition. 2 Peter 1:5-7. It is by faith alone that we must be justified. It is only by faith in Christ that we can obtain the forgiveness of sins. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21. In the council of Jerusalem as to the relation which the Gentiles bore to the gospel, Peter said that God “put no different between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” Acts 15:9. Therefore it is plain that the first thing in sanctification is faith in Christ. When that is exercised, then the forgiveness of sins is received, then the Holy Spirit is given; and so comesSITI May 21, 1885, page 314.4

    2. “Sanctification of the Spirit.” Paul says, in speaking of Christ: “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” Ephesians 1:13. As circumcision, outwardly, of the flesh, in the letter, made with hands, was the seal of the righteousness of the faith which Abraham had; so circumcision, inwardly, of the heart, in the Spirit, made without hands, is the seal of the righteousness of the faith which we must have in Christ (Romans 4:11; Ephesians 1:13; Romans 2:28, 29; Colossians 1:11). Now we will designate some of the offices of the Holy Spirit.SITI May 21, 1885, page 314.5

    (a) A witness of the forgiveness of sins, and that thus we are the children of God. Hebrews 10:15-17. “The Holy Ghost also is a witness to us; for after that he had said before, this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;” then he said, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:16.SITI May 21, 1885, page 314.6

    (b) An earnest of our inheritance. “Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13, 14. An earnest is “a part paid beforehand on a contract, as security for the whole.” God enters into covenant with men, and to those who will accept his Son, he promises an inheritance. But the time is not yet come when the inheritance can be given; it is not yet redeemed. So until that time does come, until it is redeemed, he gives to his people the Holy Spirit as the earnest, the security of the inheritance. Another definition is, that “an earnest gives assurance that more is coming of the same kind.” By receiving the Holy Spirit we become partakers of the divine nature, and by this “earnest” God gives assurance that more is coming of the same kind, even so much more, that, “when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.SITI May 21, 1885, page 314.7

    (c) As a guide into the truth. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26. The Holy Spirit then is to teach us the things that Christ has said. And as the spirit of Christ spoke the Old Testament as well as the New (1 Peter 1:10-12), this is to say that the Holy Spirit is to teach us the word of God. This is confirmed by John 16:13. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” And as Jesus said, “Thy word is truth,” it is plain that the Spirit is to guide us into the word of God. Again, “He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.” Verse 15. The Holy Spirit therefore, as teacher of the word of God, as guide into the word of God, is to take these things of God and show them unto us, to show us their breadth of meaning, that we may know how to apply them to our lives and conform our ways to them. Compare Psalm 119:18; Ephesians 1:17, 18, and Acts 26:18.SITI May 21, 1885, page 314.8

    Just here is where those fail who claim sanctification. Even granting, for the sake of the argument (and for that reason only), that they have received the Holy Spirit, instead of allowing him to fulfill his office of teacher of the word of God; instead of having him take the things of the word of God, and show unto them; instead of allowing him to guide them into the word of God; they seek to make him the guide independent of the word of God; and not only that, but in many instances directly contrary to the plainly written word which he himself has spoken. Such spirit is not the Spirit of God; such is not his office; he is not divided against himself. Again, this makes him the end, instead of the means, which is to pervert the way of the Lord. In no single instance, in this connection, is he made the end; but in every instance he is set forth as the means by which we may reach the end which God has in view for us. And again, to make him the guide independent of the word, is to make him speak of (from) himself. But Christ plainly declares, “He shall not speak of (from) himself.” A. T. J.SITI May 21, 1885, page 314.9

    (To be concluded.)

    Larger font
    Smaller font