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    October 7, 1886

    “The Ten Kingdoms” The Signs of the Times 12, 39, p. 612.

    BISHOP NEWTON, in his “Dissertations on the Prophecies,” pp. 209, 210, has given three distinct lists, all proposed as the ten kingdoms, besides his own; viz, one by Mede, one by Sir Isaac Newton, and one by Bishop Chandler, endorsed by Bishop Lloyd. Mede’s list he gives as follows:—SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.1

    “Mr. Mede, whom a certain writer esteemed as a man divinely inspired for the interpretation of the prophecies, reckons up the ten kingdoms thus in the year A.D. 456, the year after Rome was sacked by Genseric, king of the Vandals: (1) The Britons; (2) the Saxons in Britain; (3) the Franks; (4) the Burgundians in France; (5) the Visigoths in the south of France and part of Spain; (6) the Sueves and Alans in Galicia and Portugal; (7) the Vandals in Africa; (8) the Alemanes in Germany; (9) the Ostrogoths, whom the Longobards succeeded, in Pannonia, and afterward in Italy; (10) the Greeks in the residue of the empire.”SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.2

    There are two points in this list that are manifestly wrong: First, in naming the Britons. These could perhaps properly be named in A.D. 456, the date at which Mede makes his list, because then the Saxons had only been seven years on British soil. But in the end, the Saxons utterly swept away not only the power of the Britons, but the Britons themselves. Of the conquest of Britain, Green says:—SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.3

    “With the victory of Deorum [A.D. 577] the conquest of the bulk of Britain was complete.... Britain had in the main become England. And within this new England a Teutonic society was settled on the wreck of Rome. So far as the conquest had yet gone, it was complete. Not a Briton remained as subject or slave on English ground.... It is this that distinguishes the conquest of Britain from that of the other provinces of Rome. The conquest of Gaul by the Franks, or that of Italy by the Lombards, proved little more than a forcible settlement of the one or other among tributary subjects who were destined in the long course of ages to absorb their conquerors.... But the English conquest of Britain up to the point which we have reached was a sheer dispossession of the people whom the English conquered.... So far as the English sword in these earlier days had reached, Britain had become England, a land, that is, not of Britons, but of Englishmen. Even if a few of the vanquished people lingered as slaves round the homesteads of their English conquerors, or a few of their household words mingled with the English tongue, doubtful exceptions, such as these, leave the main facts untouched. The key-note of the conquest was firmly struck. When the English invasion was stayed for a while by the civil wars of the invaders, the Briton had disappeared from the greater part of the land which had been his own; and the tongue, the religion, the laws of his English conquerors reigned without a break from Essex to Staffordshire, and from the British Channel to the Frith of Forth.”—History of the English People, chap. 2, par. 1-5.SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.4

    “Their conquest was not the settlement of armed conquerors amidst a subject people, but the gradual expulsion—it might almost seem the total extirpation—of the British and the Roman-British inhabitants. Christianity receded with the conquered Britons into the mountains of Wales, or toward the borders of Scotland, or took refuge among the peaceful and flourishing monasteries of Ireland. On the one hand, the ejection, more or less complete, of the native race, shows that the contest was fierce and long; the reoccupation of the island by paganism is a strong confirmation of the complete expulsion of the Britons.”—Milman’s Latin Christianity, Book IV., chap. 3, par. 4.SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.5

    It is evident, therefore, that for this reason, if for no other, the Britons can not be counted as one of the ten kingdoms. But there is another important consideration that forbids it. The Britons were themselves a part of the body of the Roman Empire, which was conquered and broken up by the new peoples who came in. And if in Britain it were proper to count as a kingdom the conquered equally with the conquerors, then why not also in all the other parts of the empire, and, as Mr. Green shows, with more propriety. If we count the Britons and the Saxons in Britain, we may with equal propriety count the Gauls and the Franks in France, the Spanish and the Suevi in Spain, the Africans and the Vandals in Africa, and so on through the list, which would give twenty kingdom instead of ten! Plainly, Mr. Mede’s insertion of the Britons is erroneous. The latter consideration, too, demonstrates the impropriety of counting any part of the old empire of Rome as one among the ten which were to arise. The prophetic word is marking the rise and fall of distinct nations; and when Rome has risen, run her course, and is brought to ruin by the rise of ten other kingdoms, it were unreasonable to count a part of that which is fallen, as one of those which were to arise. No, Rome had run her course, as had the empires before her; she had twice exhausted the catalogue of iniquities, and had even covered her iniquities with the profession of the gospel of righteousness; and in the ten kingdoms God raised up new peoples by whom He would fulfill his purposes.SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.6

    Secondly, Mr. Mede’s list is defective in another place. He counts as his tenth kingdom, “The Greeks in the residue of the empire.” We have shown, and this agrees with Bishop Newton exactly, that the ten kingdoms must arise within the bounds of the Western Empire. But Mr. Mede fills the Western Empire with nine nations, and lumps all the rest of the empire in one. But in A.D. 456 there were divisions in the Eastern, or Greek, Empire as well as in the Western, and we cannot see by what right they can be summed up in one, any more than could those in the Western Empire, for the empire at that time still existed in the West as it did in the East. In short, two things are certain, either of which excludes Mede’s tenth kingdom; (a) we can not rightly go outside of the limits of the Western Empire to count the ten kingdoms; and, (b) if we do go beyond those limits, we can not rightly lump together as one kingdom all that were in the bounds of the Eastern Empire, and that would give again considerably more than ten.SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.7

    The others that are named in this list are in the main correct; one minor point may be mentioned, i.e., “the Alemanes in Germany.” Simply to prevent misapprehension it may be remarked that if Mede meant, as he probably did, the Alemanni in what is now Germany, he is correct, for the Alemanni were the root of the present nation of Germany. That part of the present Germany which lies south of the river Main and the Moselle, including about half of Bavaria, is the country taken from the Roman Empire by the Alemanni. Of the Roman Empire it formed the provinces of Rhetia, and a part of Gaul. Of what was then Germany, none lay south of the Main or of the Danube. The Emperor William of Germany is directly descended from a prince of the Alemanni.SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.8

    The next is Sir Isaac Newton’s list, thus:—SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.9

    “(1) The kingdom of the Vandals and Alans in Spain and Africa; (2) the kingdom of the Suevans in Spain; (3) the kingdom of the Visigoths; (4) the kingdom of the Alans in Gallia; (5) the kingdom of the Burgundians; (6) the kingdom of the Franks; (7) the kingdom of the Britons; (8) the kingdom of the Huns; (9) the kingdom of the Lombards; (10) the kingdom of Ravenna.”SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.10

    We know not at what date Sir Isaac found these, only that, as he names “the kingdom [exarchate] of Ravenna,” it must have been somewhere between A.D. 554 and 752, for that is the time of the existence of the exarchate of Ravenna. But that comes into history too late to be counted as one of the ten. They must all be seen before A.D. 493. He too names the Britons, but it is most likely that he uses that name for that of the Saxons, as England is even now called Britain, and the English sometimes Britons. His mention of the “Alans in Gallia [Gaul]” as one of the ten kingdoms, is more than their history will justify. It is true that of the Alani that crossed the Rhine in A.D. 406, with the Burgundians, the Suevi, and the Vandals, a portion settled near Valence and Orleans in Gaul, while the body of the nation went on into Spain; but soon after the battle of Châlons “their separate national existence in Gaul was merged in that of the Visigoths;” [Encyc. Brit., art. “Alani’); and when, in A.D. 508, the Visigoths were, by the Franks, driven from their Gallic possessions into Spain, (Gibbon, chap. 38, par. 13, 29), this body of the Alani were lost to history, if not to the world. The Huns likewise can not properly be numbered as one of the ten kingdoms; but as they are named in other lists we shall defer the notice of them till later.SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.11

    Bishop Newton makes up his list in the “eighth century,” which is more than two hundred years too late, and that of itself destroys its value as a correct list. Nevertheless we shall insert his list as well as the others; of course it is not altogether wrong, as it would be scarcely possible to name ten kingdoms at any time after the middle of the fifth century without including some of the right ones. He names them thus:—SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.12

    “(1) Of the Senate of Rome, who revolted from the Greek emperors, and claimed and exerted the privilege of choosing a new Western emperor; (2) of the Greeks in Ravenna; (3) of the Lombards in Lombardy; (4) of the Huns in Hungary; (5) of the Alemanes in Germany; (6) of the Franks in France; (7) of the Burgundians in Burgundy; (8) of the Goths in Spain; (9) of the Britons; (10) of the Saxons in Britain.”SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.13

    This list, being drawn in the eighth century, is after the establishment of the Papacy, and, consequently, is after the rooting up of the three that were displaced that it might be set up. And as the prophecy plainly says that “three of the first horns”—three of the ten—should be “plucked up by the roots,” it is certainly a vain effort to try to find ten after three of them have been taken entirely away. Therefore, so far is the Bishop’s list from being of any real value as that of ten kingdoms, that it is worthless as such, because it is made at a time when the prophecy allows but seven besides the papacy. As for these seven, however, his list contains them all but one—the Suevi. Of the seven, he gives us the Lombards, the Alemanni, the Franks, the Visigoths, the Burgundians, and the Saxons.SITI October 7, 1886, page 612.14

    J.

    (To be continued.)

    “The Faith of Jesus” The Signs of the Times 12, 39, pp. 614, 615.

    IN the matter of the duty of keeping the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus, it is not to be understood that the two can for a moment be separated. The commandments cannot be kept acceptably to God except by faith in Jesus Christ; and faith in Christ amounts to nothing—is dead—unless it is manifested, made perfect, in good works, and these good works consist in the keeping of the commandments of God. Christ kept the commandments of God: “I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” John 15:10. By his obedience it is that many must be made righteous. “For as by one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Christ] shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19. But these are made righteous only by faith in Him, thus having “the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:22, 23.SITI October 7, 1886, page 614.1

    All have sinned; and “sin is the transgression of the law.” As all have thus transgressed the law, none can attain to righteousness by the law. There is righteousness in the law of God; in fact, the word says, “All thy commandments are righteousness;” but there is no righteousness there for the transgressor. When any one has transgressed the law, then if righteousness ever comes to one who has transgressed the law, it must come from some source besides the law. And as all in all the world, have transgressed the law, to whomsoever, therefore, in all the world, righteousness shall come, it must be from another source than from the law, and that source is Christ Jesus the Lord. This is the great argument of Romans 3:19-31: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”SITI October 7, 1886, page 614.2

    Then the question comes in, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” Notice, he has already said that although this righteousness of God is without the law, and by faith of Christ, yet it is “witnessed by the law and the prophets.” It is a righteousness that accords with the law; it is a righteousness to which the law can bear witness; it is a righteousness with which the law in its perfect righteousness can find no fault. And that is the righteousness of Christ he wrought out for us by his perfect obedience to the commandments of God, and of which we become partakers by faith in him; for “by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” Thus we become the children of God by faith in Christ; by faith in him the righteousness of the law is met in us, and we do not make void, but we establish the law of God, by faith in Christ.SITI October 7, 1886, page 614.3

    This is further shown in Romans 8:3-10: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” What was it that the law could not do? 1. The law was ordained to life (Romans 7:10) but it could not give life, because all had sinned—transgressed the law—and the wages of sin is death. 2. The law was ordained to justification (Romans 2:13), but it will justify only the doers of the law, but of all the children of Adam there have been no doers of the law; all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. 3. The law was ordained to righteousness (Romans 10:5), but it can count as righteous only the obedient, and all the world is guilty of disobedience before God. Therefore because of man’s failure, because of his wrong doings, the law could not minister to him life, it could not justify him, it could not accept him as righteous. So far as man was concerned, the purpose of the law was entirely frustrated.SITI October 7, 1886, page 615.1

    But mark, what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the sinful flesh, God sent His Son to do, in the likeness of sinful flesh. What the law could not do, Christ does. The law could not give life, because by transgression all had incurred its penalty of death; the law could not give justification, because by failure to do it all had brought themselves under its condemnation; the law could not give righteousness, because all had sinned. But instead of this death, Christ gives life; instead of this condemnation, Christ gives justification; instead of this sin, Christ gives righteousness. And for what? that henceforth the law might be despised by us? Nay, verily! But “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill,” said the holy Son of God. And so “Christ is the end [the purpose] of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Romans 10:4. For of God, Christ Jesus “is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31.SITI October 7, 1886, page 615.2

    Again, says the Scriptures, “The law is spiritual,” and “the carnal mind [the natural mind, the minding of the flesh] is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh can not please God.” Romans 7:14; 8:7, 8. How then shall we please God? How shall we become subject to the law of God? The Saviour says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” and we have just read in Romans that it is “sinful flesh,” this is why they that are in the flesh can not please God. But the Saviour says, further, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Therefore it is certain that except we are born of the Spirit, we can not please God, we cannot be subject to the law of God, which is spiritual, and demands spiritual service. This, too, is precisely what the Saviour says: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.”SITI October 7, 1886, page 615.3

    We know that some will say that the kingdom of God here referred to is the kingdom of glory, and that the new birth, the birth of the Spirit, is not until the resurrection, and that then we enter the kingdom of God. But such a view is altogether wrong. Except a man be born of the Spirit, he must still remain in the flesh. But the Scripture says, “They that are in the flesh can not please God.” And the man who does not please God will never see the kingdom of God, whether it be the kingdom of grace or of glory. “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.” The kingdom of God, whether of grace or of glory, is “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17. Except a man be born again, he can not see nor enter into the righteousness of God; he can not see nor enter into the peace of God, which passes all understanding; and except he be born of the Spirit of God, how can he see, or enter into, that “joy in the Holy Ghost”? Except a man be born again—born of the Spirit—before he dies, he will never see the resurrection unto life. This is shown in Romans 8:11. “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. It is certain, therefore, that except the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, we can not be raised from the dead to life. But except His Spirit dwells in us, we are yet in the flesh. And if we are in the flesh, we can not please God. And if we do not please God, we can never see the kingdom of God, either here or hereafter.SITI October 7, 1886, page 615.4

    Again, it is by birth that we are children of the first Adam; and if we shall ever be children of the last Adam, it must be by a new birth. The first Adam was natural, and we are his children by natural birth; the last Adam is spiritual, and if we become His children, it must be by spiritual birth. The first Adam was of the earth, earthy, and we are his children by an earthly birth; the second Adam is the Lord from Heaven, from above, and if we are to be his children it must be by a heavenly birth, a birth from above. For “as is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy.” The earthy is “natural” of the flesh, but “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God;” “because they are spiritually discerned,” and “they that are in the flesh can not please God.” Such is the birthright, and all the birthright, that we receive from the first Adam. But “as is the heavenly such are they also that are heavenly.” The heavenly is spiritual; he is “a life-giving Spirit;” and the spiritual man receives the things of the Spirit of God, because they are spiritually discerned; he can please God because he is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; for the Spirit of God dwells in him; he is, and can be, subject to the law of God, because the carnal mind is destroyed, and he has the mind of Christ, the heavenly. Such is the birthright of the second Adam, the one from above. And all the privileges, the blessings, and the joys of this birthright are ours when we are born from above. “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born from above.” “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he can not see the kingdom of God.” With the argument of this paragraph, please study 1 Corinthians 15:45-48; John 3:3-8; 1 Corinthians 3:11-16; Romans 8:5-10.SITI October 7, 1886, page 615.5

    Thus in briefest outline we have drawn a sketch of the faith of Jesus which must be kept, and by means of which alone the commandments of God can be kept. He who keeps this will live the life of the just, as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Then can he say with the great apostle, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. And when his course is finished, he can say with both the great apostle and the beloved disciples, “I have fought a good fight [it is the fight of faith, 1 Timothy 6:12], .. I have kept the faith.” “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7; 1 John 5:4.SITI October 7, 1886, page 615.6

    We thank God for the message which calls upon all men to “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”SITI October 7, 1886, page 615.7

    J.

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