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    January 28, 1886

    “The Ostrogoths and the Visigoths. (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times 12, 4, pp. 52, 53.

    “UNDER the name of Judges, Alavivus and Fritigern were the leaders of the Visigoths in peace and war; and the authority which they derived from their birth was ratified by the free consent of the nation. In a season of tranquility, their power might have been equal, as well as their rank; but, as soon as their countrymen were exasperated by hunger and oppression, the superior abilities of Fritigern assumed the military command, which he was qualified to exercise for the public welfare. He restrained the impatient spirit of the Visigoths till the injuries and the insults of their tyrants should justify their resistance in the opinion of mankind; but he was not disposed to sacrifice any solid advantages for the empty praise of justice and moderation.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.1

    “Sensible of the benefits which would result from the union of the Gothic powers under the same standard, he secretly cultivated the friendship of the Ostrogoths; and while he professed an implicit obedience to the orders of the Roman generals, he proceeded by slow marches towards Marcianopolis, the capital of the Lower Mesia, about seventy miles from the banks of the Danube. On that fatal spot, the flames of discord and mutual hatred burst forth into a dreadful conflagration. Lupicinus had invited the Gothic chiefs to a splendid entertainment; and their martial train remained under arms at the entrance of the palace. But the gates of the city were strictly guarded, and the Barbarians were sternly excluded from the use of a plentiful market, to which they asserted their equal claim of subjects and allies.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.2

    “Their humble prayers were rejected with insolence and derision; and as their patience was now exhausted, the townsmen, the soldiers, and the Goths, were soon involved in a conflict of passionate altercation and angry reproaches.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.3

    “A blow was imprudently given; a sword was hastily drawn; and the first blood that was spilt in this accidental quarrel, became the signal of a long and destructive war. In the midst of noise and brutal intemperance, Lupicinus was informed, by a secret messenger, that many of his soldiers were slain, and despoiled of their arms; and as he was already inflamed by wine, and oppressed by sleep he issued a rash command, that their death should be revenged by the massacre of the guards of Fritigern and Alavivus. The clamorous shouts and dying groans apprised Fritigern of his extreme danger; and, as he possessed the calm and intrepid spirit of a hero, he saw that he was lost if he allowed a moment of deliberation to the man who had so deeply injured him. ‘A trifling dispute,’ said the Gothic leader, with a firm but gentle tone of voice, ‘appears to have arisen between the two nations; but it may be productive of the most dangerous consequences, unless the tumult is immediately pacified by the assurance of our safety, and the authority of our presence.’SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.4

    “At these words, Fritigern and his companions drew their swords, opened their passage through the unresisting crowd, which filled the palace, the streets, and the gates, of Marcianopolis, and, mounting their horses, hastily vanished from the eyes of the astonished Romans. The generals of the Goths were saluted by the fierce and joyful acclamations of the camp; war was instantly resolved, and the resolution was executed without delay; the banners of the nation were displayed according to the custom of their ancestors; and the air resounded with the harsh and mournful music of the barbarian trumpet. The weak and guilty Lupicinus, who had dared to provoke, who had neglected to destroy, and who still presumed to despise, his formidable enemy, marched against the Goths, at the head of such a military force as could be collected on this sudden emergency.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.5

    “The barbarians expected his approach about nine miles from Marcianopolis; and on this occasion the talents of the general were found to be of more prevailing efficacy than the weapons and discipline of the troops. The valor of the Goths was so ably directed by the genius of Fritigern, that they broke, by a close and vigorous attack, the ranks of the Roman legions. Lupicinus left his arms and standards, his tribunes and his bravest soldiers, on the field of battle; and their useless courage served only to protect the ignominious flight of their leader. ‘That successful day put an end to the distress of the Barbarians, and the security of the Romans: from that day, the Goths, renouncing the precarious condition of strangers and exiles, assumed the character of citizens and masters, claimed an absolute dominion over the possessors of land, and held, in their own right, the northern provinces of the empire, which are bounded by the Danube.’ Such are the words of the Gothic historian, who celebrates, with rude eloquence, the glory of his countrymen.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.6

    “But the dominion of the Barbarians was exercised only for the purposes of rapine and destruction. As they had been deprived, by the ministers of the emperor, of the common benefits of nature, and the fair intercourse of social life, they retaliated the injustice on the subjects of the empire; and the crimes of Lupicinus were expiated by the ruin of the peaceful husbandmen of Thrace, the conflagration of their villages, and the massacre, or captivity, of their innocent families. The report of the Gothic victory was soon diffused over the adjacent country; and while it filled the minds of the Romans with terror and dismay, their own hasty imprudence contributed to increase the forces of Fritigern, and the calamities of the province.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.7

    “Some time before the great emigration, a numerous body of Goths, under the command of Suerid and Colias, had been received into the protection and service of the empire. They were encamped under the walls of Hadrianople; but the ministers of Valens were anxious to remove them beyond the Hellespont, at a distance from the dangerous temptation which might so easily be communicated by the neighborhood, and the success, of their countrymen. The respectful submission with which they yielded to the order of their march, might be considered as a proof of their fidelity; and their moderate request of a sufficient allowance of provisions, and of a delay of only two days was expressed in the most dutiful terms. But the first magistrate of Hadrianople, incensed by some disorders which had been committed at his country-house, refused this indulgence; and arming against them the inhabitants and manufacturers of a populous city, he urged, with hostile threats, their instant departure.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.8

    “The barbarians stood silent and amazed, till they were exasperated by the insulting clamors, and missile weapons, of the populace; but when patience or contempt was fatigued, they crushed the undisciplined multitude, inflicted many a shameful wound on the backs of their flying enemies, and despoiled them of the splendid armor, which they were unworthy to bear. The resemblance of their sufferings and their actions soon united this victorious detachment to the nation of the Visigoths; the troops of Colias and Suerid expected the approach of the great Fritigern, ranged themselves under his standard, and signalized their ardor in the siege of Hadrianople. But the resistance of the garrison informed the barbarians, that in the attack of regular fortifications, the efforts of unskillful courage are seldom effectual. Their general acknowledged his error, raised the siege, declared that ‘he was at peace with stone walls,’ and revenged his disappointment on the adjacent country.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.9

    “He accepted, with pleasure, the useful reinforcement of hardy workmen, who labored in the gold mines of Thrace, for the emolument, and under the lash, of an unfeeling master; and these new associates conducted the barbarians, through the secret paths, to the most sequestered places, which had been chosen to secure the inhabitants, the cattle, and the magazines of corn. With the assistance of such guides, nothing could remain impervious or inaccessible; resistance was fatal; flight was impracticable; and the patient submission of helpless innocence seldom found mercy from the barbarian conqueror.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.10

    “In the course of these depredations, a great number of the children of the Goths, who had been sold into captivity, were restored to the embraces of their afflicted parents; but these tender interviews, which might have revived and cherished in their minds some sentiments of humanity, tended only to stimulate their native fierceness by the desire of revenge. They listened, with eager attention, to the complaints of their captive children, who had suffered the most cruel indignities from the lustful or angry passions of their masters, and the same cruelties, the same indignities, were severely retaliated on the sons and daughters of the Romans.”SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.11

    “The imprudence of Valens and his ministers had introduced into the heart of the empire a nation of enemies; but the Visigoths might even yet have been reconciled, by the manly confession of past errors, and the sincere performance of former engagements. These healing and temperate measures seemed to concur with the timorous disposition of the sovereign of the East: but, on this occasion alone, Valens was brave; and his unseasonable bravery was fatal to himself and to his subjects. He declared [A.D. 377] his intention of marching from Antioch to Constantinople, to subdue this dangerous rebellion; and, as he was not ignorant of the difficulties of the enterprise, he solicited the assistance of his nephew, the Emperor Gratian, who commanded all the forces of the West. The veteran troops were hastily recalled from the defense of Armenia; that important frontier was abandoned to the discretion of Sapor; and the immediate conduct of the Gothic war was intrusted, during the absence of Valens, to his lieutenants Trajan and Profuturus, two generals who indulged themselves in a very false and favorable opinion of their own abilities.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.12

    “On their arrival in Thrace, they were joined by Richomer, count of the domestics; and the auxiliaries of the West, that marched under his banner, were composed of the Gallic legions, reduced indeed, by a spirit of desertion, to the vain appearances of strength and numbers. In a council of war, which was influenced by pride, rather than by reason, it was resolved to seek, and to encounter, the barbarians, who lay encamped in the spacious and fertile meadows, near the most southern of the six mouths of the Danube. Their camp was surrounded by the usual fortification of wagons; and the barbarians, secure within the vast circle of the enclosure, enjoyed the fruits of their valor, and the spoils of the province. In the midst of riotous intemperance, the watchful Fritigern observed the motions, and penetrated the designs, of the Romans. He perceived, that the numbers of the enemy were continually increasing; and, as he understood their intention of attacking his rear, as soon as the scarcity of forage should oblige him to remove his camp, he recalled to their standard his predatory detachments, which covered the adjacent country. As soon as they descried the flaming beacons, they obeyed, with incredible speed, the signal of their leader; the camp was filled with the martial crowd of barbarians; their impatient clamors demanded the battle, and their tumultuous zeal was approved and animated by the spirit of their chiefs. The evening was already far advanced; and the two armies prepared themselves for the approaching combat, which was deferred only till the dawn of day. While the trumpets sounded to arms, the undaunted courage of the Goths was confirmed by the mutual obligation of a solemn oath; and as they advanced to meet the enemy, the rude songs, which celebrated the glory of their forefathers, were mingled with their fierce and dissonant outcries, and opposed to the artificial harmony of the Roman shout. Some military skill was displayed by Fritigern to gain the advantage of a commanding eminence; but the bloody conflict, which began and ended with the light, was maintained on either side, by the personal and obstinate efforts of strength, valor, and agility.SITI January 28, 1886, page 52.13

    “The legions of Armenia supported their fame in arms; but they were oppressed by the irresistible weight of the hostile multitude the left wing of the Romans was thrown into disorder and the field was strewed with their mangled carcasses. This partial defeat was balanced, however, by partial success; and when the two armies, at a late hour of the evening, retreated to their respective camps, neither of them could claim the honors, or the effects, of a decisive victory. The real loss was more severely felt by the Romans, in proportion to the smallness of their numbers; but the Goths were so deeply confounded and dismayed by this vigorous, and perhaps unexpected, resistance, that they remained seven days within the circle of their fortifications. Such funeral rites, as the circumstances of time and place would admit, were piously discharged to some officers of distinguished rank; but the indiscriminate vulgar was left unburied on the plain. Their flesh was greedily devoured by the birds of prey, who in that age enjoyed very frequent and delicious feasts; and several years afterwards the white and naked bones, which covered the wide extent of the fields, presented to the eyes of Ammianus a dreadful monument of the battle of Salices.”—Dec. and Fall, chap. 26, par. 16, 17.SITI January 28, 1886, page 53.1

    A. T. J.

    “‘The Abiding Sabbath’” The Signs of the Times 12, 5, pp. 55, 56.

    THE late Hon. Richard Fletcher, of Boston, Mass., by his last will, established in charge of the trustees of Dartmouth College, “a fund from the income of which they were to offer, once in two years, a prize of $500 for the essay best adapted” to counteract “the numerous and powerful influences constantly active in drawing professed Christians into fatal conformity with the world, both in spirit and practice.” The fifth time of offering the prize fell in 1883. Accordingly the trustees of the fund and of Dartmouth College selected as the “specific theme” of the desired essay, “The Perpetual Obligation of the Lord’s Day,” and offered the five-hundred-dollar prize for the best. The committee of award was composed of the following gentlemen: “Prof. William Thompson, D. D., Prof. Llewellyn Pratt, D. D., and Rev. George M. Stone, D. D., all of Hartford, Conn.” This committee, after a careful and thorough examination,” awarded the prize to an essay which proved to have been written by the Rev. George Elliott, of West Union, Iowa. The essay, entitled “The Abiding Sabbath,” appeared in 1884, and was issued from the press of the American Tract Society in the winter of 1884-85, in the form of a book of two hundred and eighty pages. A copy of the work has been in our hands some time, for notice, but, until now, we have not had time to give it the attention that we desired.SITI January 28, 1886, page 55.1

    For more than a quarter of a century, Seventh-day Adventists have known, have preached, and have written, that the Sabbath question would yet be the leading question in the United States, not alone in religion, but in politics as well; or, as we might rather say, in the religio-political form that is soon to be given to the American Union. This we have known all these years; but, until with a few years, our opponents have thought that we were counting the Sabbath question of undue importance. Now, however, even they are constrained to admit that that question is fast assuming the place of first importance in the affairs of the country, and so confess that we have been only in the right about it all the time. Knowing the importance of the question, not only in itself, but also because of the prominence it is soon to assume in national affairs, we shall always endeavor, as far as in us lies, to keep our readers informed on the subject in all its bearings. “The Abiding Sabbath,” being one of the latest as well as one of the most authoritative discussions of the question as to why we should keep Sunday instead of the Sabbath of the Lord, we ask the attention of our readers while we examine the main points of the argument.SITI January 28, 1886, page 55.2

    The book is divided into three parts,—“Sabbath of Nature,” “Sabbath of the Law,” and “Sabbath of Redemption.” We shall quote quite largely from the first two parts, and that without argument, there being in fact no room for argument between us, because the author of “The Abiding Sabbath,” in these two parts, proves to perfection the perpetual obligation of the seventh day as the Sabbath, and that is exactly what we believe. We ask our readers to study carefully his argument on the “Sabbath of Nature” and the “Sabbath of the Law,” which we quote, (1) because it is excellent reading, and (2) because we want them to see clearly, by what curious freaks of logic it is, that after absolutely demonstrating the perpetual obligation of the seventh day, another day entirely is to be observed. He says most truly:—SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.1

    “The Sabbath is an institution as old as the completion of the world.... It shares with marriage the glory of being the sole relics saved to the fallen race from their lost paradise. One is the foundation of the family, and consequently of the State; the other is equally necessary to worship and the church. These two fair and fragrant roses man bore with him from the blighted bliss of Eden.SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.2

    “It is not, however, the mere fact of age that lends sacredness to these institutions; for years alone cannot give consecration or compel regard to anything which does not possess in itself some inherent sanctity and dignity. It is in the circumstances of its first institution, and in its essential character, that we must hope to discover the necessity and holiness of the Sabbath day.SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.3

    “‘God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.’ Genesis 2:3. Such is the sublimely simple statement which forms the last strain of that magnificent hymn of creation which is our only glimpse into the beginning of things. It is surely consistent with sound common sense and sound interpretation to see in these words much more than a mere anticipation of the theocratic Sabbath of Israel. It seems absurd to express in words what some have implied in their reasonings on this passage: ‘God rested on the seventh day; therefore 2,500 years afterwards he blessed and sanctified it.’ The same form of language is used to describe what took place on the seventh day as in relating what took place in the six preceding days.SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.4

    “It is certain that a first reading of this passage conveys to the mind the idea that the sanctification of the Sabbath as a day of rest took place at the very close of the creative week. That such was the case would probably never have been denied, if the denial had not been necessary to support a peculiar view. Doubt in regard to this proleptic interpretation is sustained by the recent discovery of mention of a day of rest in the Assyrian account of creation, which is believed to antedate Moses by nearly six hundred years, and the further discovery of the actual observance of a Sabbath in Babylonia long before the time of the Mosaic institution. Is not God saving his facts, in Egyptian tombs, on Assyrian bricks, and in all historic remains everywhere, that, at every crisis of his truth, when even the mouths of believers are silenced by the tumult of doubt, the very ‘stones’ may ‘cry out’?SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.5

    “A special authority attaches itself to the primitive revelation. Whatever critical opinions may assert concerning the early history of the world, to the Christian the testimony of Jesus Christ remains in force to the high obligation of the Edenic law. In reproving the corruptions of the marriage relation which had arisen under the Mosaic code, he reverts to the primitive law: ‘From the beginning it was not so.’ That is to say, the law of the beginning is supreme. Whatever institutions were given to man then were given for all time. There is given thus to marriage, and to its related institution, the Sabbath, a permanent character and authority which transcend the Hebrew legislation in their universal and binding force. Those elements of truth which were given to the infant race, are the possession of humanity, and not of the Jew alone; they are the alphabet of all the growing knowledge of man, not to be forgotten as the world grows old, but to be borne with him in all his wanderings, to last through all changes, and be his guide up those rugged steeps by which he must climb to the lofty summits of his nobler destiny.SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.6

    “Not to a single race, but to man; not to man alone, but to the whole creation; not to the created things alone, but to the Creator himself, came the benediction of the first Sabbath. Its significance extends beyond the narrow limits of Judaism, to all races, and perhaps to all worlds. It is a law spoken not simply through the lawgiver of a chosen people, but declared in the presence of a finished heaven and earth. The declaration in Genesis furnishes the best commentary on the saying of Jesus: ‘The Sabbath was made for man.’ For man, universal humanity, it was given with its benediction.SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.7

    “The reason of the institution of the Sabbath is one which possesses an unchanging interest and importance to all mankind. The theme of the creation is not peculiar to Israel, nor is worship of the Creator confined to the children of Abraham. The primary article of every religious creed, and the foundation of all true religion, is faith in one God as the Maker of all things. Against atheism, which denies the existence of a personal God; against materialism, which denies that this visible universe has its roots in the unseen; and against secularism, which denies the need of worship, the Sabbath is therefore an eternal witness. It symbolically commemorates that creative power which spoke all things into being, the wisdom which ordered their adaptations and harmony, and the love which made, as well as pronounced, all ‘very good.’ It is set as the perpetual guardian of man against that spiritual infirmity which has everywhere led him to a denial of the God who made him, or to the degradation of that God into a creature made with his own hands....SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.8

    “While the reason remains, the law remains. The reason of the Sabbath is to be found in the fact of creation; it is God’s one monument set in human history to that great event; and so long as the truth of creation and the knowledge of a Creator have any value to human thought, any authority over the human conscience, or make any appeal to human affections, so long the law and the institution of the Sabbath will abide with lasting instruction and undiminished obligation.SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.9

    “God ‘rested the seventh day from all his work which he had made.’ Such is the record, declared in the beginning, embodied in the decalogue, and confirmed by the epistle to the Hebrews. It is a statement not to be easily understood at the first glance ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?’ Isaiah 40:28. If he is never weary how can we say of him that he rests? ... God is a Spirit, and the only rest which he can know is that supreme repose which only the Spirit can know—in the fulfillment of his purpose and the completeness as well as completion of his work. Just as, in the solemn pauses between the creative days, he pronounced his creatures ‘very good,’ so did he rejoice over the finishing of his work, resting in the perfect satisfaction of an accomplished plan; not to restore his wasted energy, as man rests, but to signify that in the coming of man the creative idea has found its consummation and crown. Such is the rest possible to a purely spiritual nature—the rest of a completed work.SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.10

    “There is a still deeper sense in which the example of Deity reveals this obligation. Suppose the question to be asked, How can we know that any precept is moral in its meaning and authority, and not simply a positive and arbitrary command? What better answer could be given to this inquiry than to say that a moral precept must have the ground of its existence in the nature of God? Our highest conception of the moral law is to regard it as the transcript of his nature.... No more perfect vindication of the moral character of a law can be given than to show that it is a rule of the divine conduct; that it has been imposed upon his own activity by that infinite Will which is the supreme authority both in the physical and moral government of the universe. That law to which the Creator submits his own being must be of absolute binding force upon every creature made in his image. Such is the law of the Sabbath. ‘God rested the seventh day,’ and by so doing has given to the law of the Sabbath the highest and strongest sanction possible even to Deity. In no conceivable way could the Almighty so perfectly and with such unchallengeable authority declare, not simply his will in a positive institution, but the essentially moral character of the precept, as by revealing his own self-subjection to the rule which he imposes on his creatures....SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.11

    “Its obligation is addressed, not to man’s physical nature alone, but to man as a spiritual being, made in the image of God; it is laid, not only on his bodily powers and natural understanding, but upon his moral reason as right, and upon his conscience as duty. It is therefore bounded by no limits of time, place, or circumstance, but is of universal and perpetual authority....SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.12

    “The Sabbath is therefore shown to be given in the beginning to all men; to have the lofty sanction of the example of God; to be rooted in the eternal world; to be the witness of the most important truths possible for man to know; to be a blessing to man’s nature; to inclose a duty of worship to God. By all these revealings which are given by the institution at its first ordainment, we are justified in believing that it has a moral meaning within it, and imposes upon all races and generations of men an unchanging and unrelaxed obligation of dutiful observance.”SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.13

    We have quoted more than half of the whole first chapter; but we have no apology to make. We honestly thank Mr. Elliott that he has given us so masterly a demonstration of the perpetual and universal obligation of the seventh day as the Sabbath of the Lord. We ask the reader to study it carefully; for it is a vindication of principles that are eternal, and that no ingenuity of man can undermine.SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.14

    Next week, if the Lord will, we shall notice his “Sabbath of the Law”—the fourth commandment.SITI January 28, 1886, page 56.15

    A. T. J.

    “The Fiery Furnace” The Signs of the Times 12, 5, p. 59.

    The Commentary

    NOTES ON THE INTERNATIONAL LESSON

    (February 7. Daniel 5:16-28.)

    AT the end of the three years’ schooling of the Hebrew children, referred to in last weeks’ lesson, they were required to undergo an examination upon what they had learned. The king himself conducted the examination. “And among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” Daniel 1:19, 20.SITI January 28, 1886, page 59.1

    SHORTLY afterward, king Nebuchadnezzar had his dream of the great image, in which was represented the course of empire from his day to the end of the world. The dream made a deep impression on his mind, but he could not possibly recall what he had seen. He was so exercised in mind over it, in trying to recall it, that he could not sleep, and he finally called for the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and Chaldeans, that they might tell him what he had dreamed. Daniel and his three brethren, however, were not brought in among these, probably on account of their youth. None of all these that came could tell the king anything at all about what he wanted to know, by which he discovered their imposture, and commanded that they should be killed. Although Daniel and his brethren were by some means overlooked in the call to gather the wise men before the king, they were not missed when the officers went to execute the decree of death upon all such.SITI January 28, 1886, page 59.2

    THEY were found, and were about to be taken to execution when Daniel asked to be taken to the king. His request was granted, and he asked time and he would tell all the king’s matter. Then God showed the thing to Daniel in a night vision, and so the whole matter with its meaning was shown to the king. “Then the king made daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.”SITI January 28, 1886, page 59.3

    THESE events occurred in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, about 603 B. C. The event which is the subject of the lesson for to-day was about twenty-three years afterward. During this time, Nebuchadnezzar had made an expedition into Egypt and laid it waste. There he had opportunity to see a colossal image which had been set up by Rameses II., the “king who knew not Joseph.” This image with its pedestal was 115 feet high, and weighed 1,200 tons. It is supposed that it was in imitation of this image, that Nebuchadnezzar erected his, in his ambition to excel in things great all surrounding kingdoms. See Christian at Work, July 9, 1885, page 651.SITI January 28, 1886, page 59.4

    WHEN Nebuchadnezzar had set up his image, he “sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image.” Daniel 3:2. When they had all come, and all was ready, “Then a herald cried aloud” the command that when the sound of all the music was heard, all the assembly should fall down and worship the great image. Of course Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, being principal officers, were there; and also of course they refused to obey the king’s command. It was told the king immediately, and he called them up and asked them about it. Thinking that perhaps it was inadvertence, and that they had not intentionally disobeyed, he asked them, “Is it true [is it of purpose, margin; is it a laid plan, Hebrew] O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?” Then he repeated his command to them direct, and he received a direct answer in which he learned that it was “of purpose,” that it was because of a “laid plan,” that they refused to worship the image which he had set up.SITI January 28, 1886, page 59.5

    “SHADRACH, Mechach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” They were immediately bound, and were plunged into the midst of the furnace, with it already heated seven times hotter than it was usual to heart it. But they were no sooner fallen into the furnace than Nebuchadnezzar was almost petrified with astonishment. He cried to his counselors, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied, “True, O king.” But he answered, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have not hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Then they were called forth.SITI January 28, 1886, page 59.6

    THUS God delivered those who trusted in him. And thus he vindicated the principle that, we are bound to resist the laws of men, when they are against the law or word of God. Daniel’s deliverance from the lion’s den, and the deliverance of the apostles from prison more than once, are only additional assertions of the principle that, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:20. This lesson is of vital importance to every Sunday-school scholar in this Union. For the National Reform Party has set itself to make an image to the papal power, and to compel all men, under pains and penalties, to worship both the papal power and its image, and this in direct violation of the plain commandment of God. And each one who lives the natural course of life, will be called upon, and that soon, to decide for himself whether he will “worship Him that made Heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:5-12); or whether he will renounce allegiance to God and worship the papal power and the National Reform image to it in the United States. The commandment of God says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” In defiance of this commandment, and upon the sole authority of the Catholic Church, the National Reformers are going to enact a law by which they can compel everybody to keep Sunday. But, “If any man worship the beast and his image, ... he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.... Here is the patience of the saints;here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:9-12.SITI January 28, 1886, page 59.7

    A. T. J.

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