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    November 25, 1886

    “The Ten Kingdoms in the Dark Ages. The Lombards. (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times 12, 45, p. 708.
    THE LOMBARDS

    (Continued.)

    IN A.D. 493, the Herulian kingdom of Italy was uprooted, and replaced by the kingdom of the Ostrogoths; in A.D. 533, September, to 534, the kingdom of the Vandals in Africa was annihilated, by the army of Justinian under Belisarius; and in A.D. 538, the kingdom of the Ostrogoths in Italy was destroyed, also by Belisarius and the army of Justinian. But as these events are directly connected with the establishment of the Papacy, we reserve the history of them until we come to that of the Papacy, in Daniel 7:24, 25.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.1

    We left the Lombards in possession of Noricum and Pannonia. “But the spirit of rapine soon tempted them beyond these ample limits; they wandered along the coast of the Hadriatic as far as Dyrrachium, and presumed, with familiar rudeness to enter the towns and houses of their Roman allies, and to seize the captives who had escaped from their audacious hands. These acts of hostility, the sallies, as it might be pretended, of some loose adventurers, were disowned by the nation, and excused by the emperor [Justinian]; but the arms of the Lombards were more seriously engaged by a contest of thirty years [A.D. 536-566], which was terminated only by the extirpation of the Gepide.”—Dec. and Fall, chap. 42, par. 2.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.2

    “The destruction of a mighty kingdom established the fame of Alboin.... But his ambition was yet unsatisfied; and the conqueror of the Gepide turned his eye [A.D. 567] from the Danube to the richer banks of the Po, and the Tyber. Fifteen years had not elapsed, since his subjects, the confederates of Narses, had visited the pleasant climate of Italy; the mountains, the rivers, the highways, were familiar to their memory; the report of their success, perhaps the view of their spoils, had kindled in the rising generation the flame of emulation and enterprise. Their hopes were encouraged by the spirit and eloquence of Alboin; and it is affirmed, that he spoke to their senses, by producing at the royal feast, the fairest and most exquisite fruits that grew spontaneously in the garden of the world.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.3

    “No sooner had he erected his standard, than the native strength of the Lombard was multiplied by the adventurous youth of Germany and Scythia. The robust peasantry of Noricum and Pannonia had resumed the manners of Barbarians; and the names of the Gepide, Bulgarians, Sarmatians, and Bavarians, may be distinctly traced in the provinces of Italy. Of the Saxons, the old allies of the Lombards, 20,000 warriors, with their wives and children, accepted the invitation of Alboin. Their bravery contributed to his success; but the accession or the absence of their numbers was not sensibly felt in the magnitude of his host.... The Lombards, and their confederates, were united by their common attachment to a chief, who excelled in all the virtues and vices of a savage hero; and the vigilance of Alboin provided an ample magazine of offensive and defensive arms for the use of the expedition. The portable wealth of the Lombards attended the march; their lands they cheerfully relinquished to the Avars, on the solemn promise, which was made and accepted without a smile, that if they failed in the conquest of Italy, these voluntary exiles should be reinstated in their former possessions.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.4

    “Whatever might be the grounds of his security, Alboin neither expected nor encountered a Roman army in the field. He ascended the Julian Alps, and looked down with contempt and desire on the fruitful plains to which his victory [A.D. 568-570] communicated the perpetual appellation of LOMBARDY. A faithful chieftain, and a select band, were stationed at Forum Julii, the modern Friuli, to guard the passes of the mountains. The Lombards respected the strength of Pavia, and listened to the prayers of the Trevisans; their slow and heavy multitudes proceeded to occupy the palace and city of Verona; and Milan, now rising from her ashes, was invested by the powers of Alboin five months after his departure from Pannonia. Terror preceded his march; he found every where, or he left, a dreary solitude; and the pusillanimous Italians presumed, without a trial, that the stranger was invincible. Escaping to lakes, or rocks, or morasses, the affrighted crowds concealed some fragments of their wealth, and delayed the moment of their servitude.... Along the maritime coast, the courage of the inhabitants was supported by the facility of supply, the hopes of relief, and the power of escape; but from the Trentine hills to the gates of Ravenna and Rome the inland regions of Italy became, without a battle or a siege, the lasting patrimony of the Lombards.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.5

    “The submission of the people invited the barbarian to assume the character of a lawful sovereign, and the helpless exarch was confined to the office of announcing to the Emperor Justin the rapid and irretrievable loss of his provinces and cities. One city, which had been diligently fortified by the Goths, resisted the arms of a new invader; and while Italy was subdued by the flying detachments of the Lombards, the royal camp was fixed above three years before the western gate of Ticinum, or Pavia. The same courage which obtains the esteem of a civilized enemy provokes the fury of a savage, and the impatient besieger had bound himself by a tremendous oath, that age, and sex, and dignity, should be confounded in a general massacre. The aid of famine at length enabled him to execute his bloody vow; but, as Alboin entered the gate, his horse stumbled, fell, and could not be raised from the ground. One of his attendants was prompted by compassion, or piety, to interpret this miraculous sign of the wrath of Heaven; the conqueror paused and relented; he sheathed his sword, and peacefully reposing himself in the palace of Theodoric, proclaimed to the trembling multitude that they should live and obey. Delighted with the situation of a city which was endeared to his pride by the difficulty of the purchase, the prince of the Lombards disdained the ancient glories of Milan; and Pavia, during some ages, was respected as the capital of the kingdom of Italy.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.6

    “The victorious Autharis asserted his claim to the dominion of Italy. At the foot of the Rhetian Alps, he subdued the resistance, and rifled the hidden treasures, of a sequestered island in the Lake of Comum. At the extreme point of the Calabria, he touched with his spear a column on the sea-shore of Rhegium, proclaiming that ancient landmark to stand the immovable boundary of his kingdom.”SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.7

    With the exception of the possessions of the Exarchate of Ravenna, and some cities on the coast, “the remainder of Italy was possessed by the Lombards; and from Pavia, the royal seat, their kingdom was extended to the east, the north, and the west, as far as the confines of the Avars, the Bavarians, and the Franks of Austrasia and Burgundy. In the language of modern geography, it is now represented by the Terra Firma of the Venetian republic, Tyrol, the Milanese, Piedmont, the coast of Genoa, Mantua, Parma, and Modena, the grand duchy of Tuscany, and a large portion of the ecclesiastical state from Perugia to the Adriatic. The dukes, and at length the princes, of Beneventum, survived the monarchy, and propagated the name of the Lombards. From Capua to Tarentum, they reigned near five hundred years over the greatest part of the present [1776] kingdom of Naples.—Id., chap. 45, par. 5, 7, 14, 15.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.8

    So widespread was the Lombard rule that Lombardy “was indeed for a time the name for Italy itself,” and from that time to this the history of the Lombards is but the history of Italy, and Lombardy is still “the name of the finest province” of that country, which, itself, might almost be called the key of history.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.9

    THE FRANKS

    We must now resume the narrative of the triple division of the dominions of Clovis—Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy. Before the end of the sixth century we may mark the rise of a new character, the Mayor of the Palace, which finally developed the glorious era of Charlemagne. The last of the line of Clovis—the Merovingians—who possessed or displayed any of the characteristics of a king, was Dagobert. After his death in A.D. 638, the kings dwindled into insignificance, if not idiocy, and the Mayors of the Palace assumed sole authority, yet always in the name of the “do-nothing” kings; and the struggle for supremacy was kept up between the Mayors, as it had been before by the kings. Finally, in A.D. 687, Pepin of Heristal, Mayor of the Palace, of Austrasia, defeated Berthar, Mayor of Neustria, at the battle of Testry, and so brought the contest virtually to an end. “From that time to the end of his life, in A.D. 714, Pepin of Heristal was unquestioned master of all Franks, the kings under him being utterly insignificant.” Pepin of Heristal was succeeded by his son Charles, who in A.D. 732 won the name of Martel—the Hammer—by the crushing defeat which he gave the Saracens under Abdel-Rahman at the battle of Tours.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.10

    Charles Martel died October 22, 741, and left his dominions divided between his two sons, Pepin the Short, and Carloman, Pepin had Neustria, Burgundy, Provence and the suzerainty of Aquitaine, Carloman had Austrasia, Thuringia, and Allemannia. Each, however, with only the title of Mayor of the Palace. In 746 Carloman abdicated his power, left his dominions to Pepin, had Pope Zachary to make him a monk, and shut himself up in the monastery of Monte Cassino. In 747 Pepin the Short found himself sole master of all the heritage of Clovis, but still with the title of Mayor of the Palace. At last in 751 he decided to put an end to the fiction. He sent an embassy to the Pope to consult him “on the subject of the kings then existing amongst the Franks, and who bore only the name of king without enjoying a tittle [sic.] of royal authority.” The Pope, who had been already posted on the matter, answered that “it was better to give the title of king to him who exercised the sovereign power.” Accordingly the next year in March, 752, “in the presence and with the assent of the general assembly” at Soissons, Pepin was proclaimed king of the Franks, and received from the hand of St. Boniface the sacred anointment. “At the head of the Franks, as Mayor of the Palace from 741, and as king from 752, Pepin had completed in France and extended in Italy the work which his father Charles Martel had begun and carried on from 714 to 741 in State and church. He left France reunited in one and placed at the head of Christian Europe.” He died at the monastery of St. Denis, September 18, 768.—Guizot’s France, chap. 9.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.11

    Pepin, like his father, left his dominions to two sons, Charles and Carloman; but in 771 Carloman died, leaving Charles sole king, who, by his remarkable ability, became Charles the Great—CHARLEMAGNE.SITI November 25, 1886, page 708.12

    J.

    (To be continued.)

    “Why Should Sunday Be Kept?” The Signs of the Times 12, 45, pp. 711, 712.

    HAVING examined all the places in the Gospels where the first day of the week is mentioned, and found no sign of a reason for the keeping of it with any kind or degree of sacredness, we now take up the only other instances in the New Testament where the day is named. The first of these is in Acts 20:7, and that we may discuss it with the best advantage to the reader we copy the whole connection:—SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.1

    “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep; and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.” Verse 7-11.SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.2

    Upon the face of this whole narrative it is evident that this meeting was at night. Let us put together several of the statements: (1) “Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together ... there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.” (2) “Paul preached unto them ... and continued his speech until midnight.” (3) At midnight Eutychus fell out of the window, and Paul went down and brought him up, and then he broke the bread and ate, therefore we may read, “The disciples came together to break bread,” and after midnight the bread was broken. (4) After that Paul “talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.” Therefore we may read (5) Upon the first day of the week, the disciples came together, and there were many lights where they were gathered together. They came together to break bread, and after midnight the bread was broken. Paul preached unto them until midnight, and even till break of day. When the disciples came together, Paul was ready to depart on the morrow, and when he had talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. There can be no room for any reasonable doubt that the meeting referred to in Acts 20:7 was wholly a night meeting, and not only that but that it was an all-night meeting.SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.3

    This meeting being therefore in the night of the first day of the week, the question properly arises. Accordingly to the Bible, what part of the complete day does the night form? Is the night the first or the last part of the complete day? The Bible plainly shows that the night is the first part of the day. There was darkness on the earth before there was light. When God created the world, darkness was upon the face of the deep. Then “God said, Let there be light; and there was light.” Then “God called the light day, and the darkness he called night.” As the darkness was called night, and as it takes both the night and the day—the darkness and the light—to make the complete day, it follows that in the true count of days by the revolution of the earth, the night precedes the day. This is confirmed by the Scripture: “The evening [the darkness, the night] and the morning [the light, the day] were the first day.”SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.4

    This is order which God established in the beginning of the world; it is the order that is laid down in the beginning of the book of God; and it is the order that is followed throughout the book of God. In Leviticus 23:27-32, giving directions about the day of atonement, God said that it should be “the tenth day of the seventh month,” and that that was from the ninth day of the month at even; “from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.” Thus the tenth day of the month began in the evening of the ninth day of the month. And so according to Bible time every day begins in the evening, and evening is at the going down of the sun. Deuteronomy 16:6. Therefore as the meeting mentioned in Acts 20:7-11 was in the night of the first day of the week, and as in the word and the order of God the night is the first part of the day, it follows that that meeting was on what is now called Saturday night. For if it had been on what is now called Sunday night it would have been on the second day of the week and not on the first. So Conybeare and Howson, in “Life and Epistles of Paul,” says: “It was the evening which succeeded the Jewish Sabbath.” And that is now called Saturday night.SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.5

    This meeting, then, being on what is now called Saturday night, as Paul preached till midnight, and after the breaking of bread talked till break of day and departed, it follows that at break of day on the first day of the week, at break of day on Sunday. Paul started afoot from Troas to Assos, a distance of twenty miles, with the intention of going on board a ship at Assos and continuing his journey, which he did. For says the record: “We [Paul’s companions in travel, Acts 20:4] went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul; for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot. And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.” Verses 13, 14. Paul not only walked from Troas to Assos on Sunday, but he appointed that his companions should go before and sail to that place—about forty miles by water—and be there by the time he came so that he could go on without delay. And when he reached Assos he went at once aboard the ship and sailed away to Mitylene, which was nearly forty miles further. That is to say, on the first day of the week Paul walked twenty miles and then sailed nearly forty more, making nearly sixty miles that he traveled; and he appointed that his companions—Luke, Timothy, Tychicus, Trophimus, Gaius, Aristarchus, and Secundus—should sail forty miles and then take him abroad, and all sail nearly forty miles more, making nearly eighty miles travel for them, all on Sunday. And this is exactly how these Christians kept that first day of the week of which mention is made in Acts 20.SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.6

    But nowadays men try to make it appear that it is an awful sin to travel on Sunday. Yes, some people now seem to think that if a ship should sail on Sunday, the sin would be so great that nothing but a perfect miracle of grace would be so great that nothing but a perfect miracle of grace would keep it from sinking. Paul neither taught nor acted any such thing, for says the record, “We went before to ship, and sailed; ... for so had he appointed.” Paul and his companions regarded Sunday in nowise different from the other common working days of the week. For, mark, the first day of the week they sailed from Troas to Mitylene, “the next day” they sailed from Mitylene to Chios, “the next day” from Chios to Samos and Trogyllium, and “the next day” to Miletus. Here are “the first day of the week,” “the next day,” “the next day,” and “the next day,” and Paul and his companions did the same things on one of these days that they did on another. They considered one of them no more sacred than another; they considered the first day of the week to be no more of a sabbath than the next day, or the next day, or the next day. True, Paul preached all night, before he started on the first day of the week; but on the fifth or sixth day of the week he preached also at Miletus, to the elders of the church of Ephesus.SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.7

    The only remaining mention of the first day of the week is in 1 Corinthians 16:21. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” What this means is explained by Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:1-5: “For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; for I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready; lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up before hand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.”SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.8

    All there is therefore in 1 Corinthians 16:2, is that on the first day of the week every one was to “lay by him” what he chose to give for the help of the poor saints at Jerusalem. Romans 15:26-28. And when the time came for Paul to take it to Jerusalem, that it might be ready for him when he came he sent brethren before to Corinth to “make up” this bounty that each one had laid by him, according to Paul’s directions.SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.9

    We have no examined every one of the right instances in which the first day of the week is mentioned in the Bible, and we ask, Where can any person find in any of them any statement that that day should be kept as the Sabbath, or for any other sacred purpose? Where is there in any of them any statement that anybody ever did keep it? Where is there in any of them any reason given for keeping the first day of the week? The only true answer that there can be is, Nowhere. We do not ask whether men can give any reason for it, because men can give a multitude of reasons for a thing, and which may seem to them very satisfactory reasons, but which at the same time do not rest upon any just basis whatever. Bible reasons—that is, reasons framed in Bible language—alone are the just basis of Bible duties. Do you ask us why we keep the seventh day? We answer, Because God said “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” So we might go on through a long list of duties. We do not ask men to do any duty toward God the reason for which we cannot give in the very words of God. But we do ask, Where is there a person who can give, in the words of the Bible, the Bible reason for keeping the first day of the week? Never yet have we seen any such person.SITI November 25, 1886, page 711.10

    Again we say, Bible reasons alone are the just basis of Bible duties. If there is no Bible reason for keeping Sunday, then there is no duty resting upon anybody to keep it. And if there is no Bible reason for it, why in the world do you do it?SITI November 25, 1886, page 712.1

    J.

    “Bible Answers to Bible Questions Concerning Man.—No. 3” The Signs of the Times 12, 45, p. 712.

    ANOTHER question is, Do the dead praise the Lord? Nowadays it is held that if a person be righteous, or even professedly so, when he dies, it follows, as a matter of course, that he has gone to Heaven and has joined the angelic hosts in their holy songs of praise to the Creator of all. But in the Scriptures this question is asked in connection with certain others, in a manner and in a tone which of themselves admit only of no for an answer.SITI November 25, 1886, page 712.1

    Says the psalmist, “Wilt thou show wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” Psalm 88:10-12. Here the grave, the place of the dead, is called “the land of forgetfulness.” This is strictly in accord with that which we read last week, that “the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” They are in the land of “forgetfulness.” “Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished” (Ecclesiastes 9:5); and “in that very day his thoughts perish” (Psalm 146:4); and “there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10. In this respect therefore no single expression could better describe the place of the dead than does this one, “The land of forgetfulness.” The psalmist also speaks of it as “the dark.” On this Job says, “I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; a land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.” Job 10:21, 22. Those that have been dead, David says, “dwell in darkness.” Psalm 143:3.SITI November 25, 1886, page 712.2

    Now it is of those who dwell in this place, the place of the dead, that the question is asked, Shall they praise the Lord? And here is the direct answer: “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.” Psalm 115:17. And again, “In death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” Psalm 6:5. These words are the words of God. They are the truth. Therefore the idea that people go to Heaven or anywhere else, but this place of the dead, when they die, cannot be the truth. The Lord who speaks to us in the Bible made man. He knows what was before us. He knows what will be after us. He knoweth our thoughts afar off. He it is who says, “The dead know not anything.” He it is who says, “The dead praise not the Lord.” He it is who says that the place of the dead is “the land of forgetfulness.” We implicitly believe this word, for he alone knows. He teaches us to profit, and though we may have to pass through this land of darkness, this valley of the shadow of death, if our trust is in him, his rod and his staff will comfort us, for he has gone this way before us. He died and lives again. If our hope is in him, even though we may have to go to the place of the dead, yet we shall come again from it and live by him.SITI November 25, 1886, page 712.3

    King Hezekiah was one of the few good kings that Judah ever had. He fell “sick unto death.” The Lord, by the prophet, sent this message to him: “Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.” Isaiah 38:1. Yet, although this word of the Lord says positively, “Thou shalt die and not live,” now it is believed by the great majority of people that when a man dies he does live, and that he lives more fully, more really, than ever before. It is now held that when a person dies he knows vastly more than he ever knew before, or than he ever could have known if he had not died; but from what we have set forth in these articles there can be nothing more certain than that such is not the teaching of the Bible.SITI November 25, 1886, page 712.4

    In this theory of the consciousness of the dead, is the promise and potency, the whole sum and substance, of Spiritualism, purgatory, prayers for the dead, worship and invocation of saints, etc. But bring Spiritualism, with all these other things, to the test of these scriptures, and where will it appear? It will appear just where it rightly belongs, that is, in the train of “that old serpent which is the devil and Satan,” who said to innocent Eve, “Thou shalt not surely die.” People now think it very strange that Eve should have believed the word of Satan. Yet with the example of Eve before them, and its fearful fruits of these thousands of years, and the word of God with its line upon line and precept upon precept—with all this before them, multitudes of these same people instead of believing the word of God, will yet believe the same story that Satan told Eve.SITI November 25, 1886, page 712.5

    When the prophet went to king Hezekiah with the message that he should die and not live, Hezekiah was very sorry, and turned his face to the wall and prayed, and said, “I shall go to the gates of the grave; I am deprived of the residue of my years. I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living.” This, with much more, he said in his prayer, and the Lord sent Isaiah again to the king saying, “I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears; behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.” Then Hezekiah praised the Lord and said: “Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; ... for the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day; the father to the children shall make known thy truth.” See Isaiah 38 throughout.SITI November 25, 1886, page 712.6

    Take this plain, express statement of the word of God: “They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth,” and by it test the New Theology, or probation after death, which is just now being discussed throughout the land, and the utter worthlessness of the New Theology will be seen at a glance. When a man dies, his opportunity to learn the truth is gone. He is dead. He is gone to the “land of forgetfulness,” to the grave, and they that go there cannot hope for the truth of God. If they have not learned it, and loved it, before they go there, they will never learn it at all. “Now is the accepted time.” “Now is the day of salvation.” “To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” The living, the living it is, not the dead, who praise the Lord.SITI November 25, 1886, page 712.7

    Therefore the Bible answer to this Bible question, “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.” J.SITI November 25, 1886, page 712.8

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