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    January 13, 1887

    “A Scrap of History” The Signs of the Times 13, 2, p. 23.

    IN the Congregationalist of December 9, 1886, the Rev. Wolcott Calkins, D.D., says:—SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.1

    “I came across a curious scrap of history one day last summer, when I was searching for something else, in a library at Paris. It was the record of a trial in the south of France, in 1794 or 1795, for breaking the law of the Republic enforcing rest from work on the tenth day. A blacksmith was fined by the court for continuing his work on the day of rest. The revolution which had suppressed church, Sabbath, and ‘all the rest of the superstitions,’ had attempted to provide and enforce a substitute for the Christian sabbath.”SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.2

    Just now, when all over our land there is a loud and persistent cry for law to enforce a substitute for the Sabbath of the Lord, this is an interesting piece of history. The church of Rome had substituted the observance of Sunday for that of the Sabbath of the Lord. France in the revolution substituted the observance of every tenth day for that of Sunday. France had just as much right to enforce the observance of this tenth day as she or any other country, or the church of Rome or any other church, had to enforce the observance of Sunday. This tenth day was as much a Sabbath as Sunday was or is. And there was just as much right and justice in France’s punishment of that blacksmith for working on the tenth day as there is in any of the States of the United States punishing people now for working on Sunday.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.3

    If that case in France had been one wherein the punishment fell upon a man who had already kept Sunday, we have not the least doubt that all those in our country who demand Sunday laws would count it injustice and oppression, if not persecution. And yet throughout the United States the demand is being made by which all who keep the Sabbath of the Lord shall be compelled to keep Sunday also; and in certain States which now have Sunday laws, those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord have been, and are being, fined and imprisoned and cruelly treated because they have by downright spies been detected in some trifling act that could be construed into a degree of work that could be touched by the law. The people of Arkansas and Tennessee can very properly stop their mouths at mention of the French Revolution.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.4

    J.

    “Bible Answers to Bible Questions Concerning Man.—No. 7” The Signs of the Times 13, 2, pp. 23, 24.

    THE last question which we shall notice in this connection is that one which was put by Peter to the Lord Jesus: “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” To this question the Lord gave two answers. The first one was to the twelve direct, and concerned them alone: “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” The other answer is to all people: “And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold,” “now in this time, ... and in the world to come eternal life.” Matthew 19:27-29; Mark 10:30.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.1

    Eternal life is that which they shall have who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:11, 12.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.2

    With eternal life to those who believe on the Son of God, there is also given eternal glory. “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.3

    They shall stand in the presence of the throne of God and of his glory. “I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9, 10. “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever.” Jude 24, 25.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.4

    Of some other of the glories of the reward which shall be to those who have left all and followed Christ, we will let another tell, in tones that charm as though attuned to the symphonies of the other world:—SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.5

    “‘The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse is swept away.’ No eternally burning hell will keep before the ransomed the fearful consequences of sin. One reminder alone remains: our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of his crucifixion. Upon his wounded head, upon his side, his hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.6

    “‘O Tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion.’ The kingdom forfeited by sin, Christ has regained, and the redeemed are to possess it with him. ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.’ A fear of making the saints’ inheritance seem too material has led many to spiritualize away the very truths which lead us to look upon the new earth as our home. Christ assured his disciples that he went to prepare mansions for them. Those who accept the teachings of God’s word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. And yet the apostle Paul declares: ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’ Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.7

    “In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called a country. There the great Shepherd leads his flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.8

    “There is the New Jerusalem, ‘having the glory of God,’ her light ‘like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.’ Saith the Lord, ‘I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people.’ ‘The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.’SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.9

    “In the city of God ‘there shall be no night.’ None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to his name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning, and shall ever be far from its close. ‘And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.’ The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the holy city with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day.SITI January 13, 1887, page 23.10

    “‘I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.’ The people of God are privileged to hold open communion with the Father and the Son. Now we ‘see through a glass, darkly.’ We behold the image of God reflected, as in a mirror, in the works of nature and in his dealings with men; but then we shall see him face to face, without a dimming vail between. We shall stand in his presence, and gaze upon the glory of his countenance.SITI January 13, 1887, page 24.1

    “There, immortal minds will study with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There is no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body.SITI January 13, 1887, page 24.2

    “And as the years of eternity roll, they will bring richer and more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of his character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption, and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed beat with a stronger devotion, and they sweep the harps of gold with a firmer hand; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise.SITI January 13, 1887, page 24.3

    “‘And every creature which is in Heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever.’”—Mrs. E. G. White, in Great Controversy, Vol. IV.SITI January 13, 1887, page 24.4

    J.

    “The Call of Abram. Genesis 12:1-9” The Signs of the Times 13, 2, pp. 26, 27.

    The Commentary

    NOTES ON THE INTERNATIONAL LESSON

    (January 30.—Genesis 12:1-9.)

    “NOW the Lord had said unto Abram.” Abram was a native of Ur of the Chaldees, not far from the mouth of the Euphrates; though, through the river deposits of ages, the ruins of Ur are now about 125 miles from the Persian Gulf and about six miles from the Euphrates. The oldest of its temples are certain ones whose bricks bear the name of Urukh, who calls himself “King of Ur and Accad.” The signet cylinder of Urukh’s son, Ilgi, has been found and is preserved in the British Museum. Urukh is supposed to have lived about a hundred years, or perhaps a little more, before Abram left Ur.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.1

    TERAH was Abram’s father and an idolater, for he “served other gods.” Joshua 24:2. These gods were mostly the sun, the moon, and the planets. Sin, or Hurki, was the moon-god; San, or Sansi, was the sun; Vul was the god of the atmosphere; Nin was Saturn; Merodach was Jupiter; Nergal was Mars; Ishtar was Venus; and Nebo was Mercury. With each of these and in his worship was associated a female divinity. Ana was the god of the lower world, the lord of darkness or death. The chief seat of his worship was Erech. Genesis 10:10. The principal temple at Erech was built by Urukh to Sin, the moon-god. He also built temples to the sun to Belus and his wife Beltis, as well as to many others, for he was a mighty builder and a devout worshiper of the gods.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.2

    IT was in such a place, and amidst such idolatry, that Abram was born and grew up, his own people and even his own father serving those gods. Yet Abram turned from it all and served Jehovah. When all about him had forsaken the true God and served idols and walked in their evil ways, Abram stood faithful to the Lord. Whilst all others did not like to retain God in their knowledge, Abram gave himself up to the sincere worship of the Lord. Therefore he became “the friend of God,” and the father of all them which believe. “For if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.3

    IT was from the midst of this idolatry that God called Abram to go out into a land which he would show him, and he obeyed, and “went out not knowing whither he went.” For “the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran [Haran], and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran; and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.” Acts 7:2-4.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.4

    COMING out of Ur, Abram was accompanied by Terah, his father, Lot, his nephew, and Sarai, his wife. Genesis 11:31. It seems that Nahor had preceded them to Haran, and had built that city, for Haran was “the city of Nahor.” Compare Genesis 24:10 with 27:43. Haran was on a tributary of the Euphrates, the Belichus, about seventy-five miles northeast of Carchemish. “And they came to Haran and dwelt there.” “And Terah died in Haran.” And after his father died, Abram, in obedience to the call which the Lord had given him in Ur, went on to the land which should be shown him. “So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventh-five years old when he departed out of Haran.”SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.5

    “AND Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.” God had said to him while he was in Ur: “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” And now when Abram had passed through the land unto the plain of Moreh, the Lord again appeared to him, and said, “Unto thy seed will I give this land.”SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.6

    “AND he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” Acts 7:5. “Now to Abram and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:16, 29. “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Romans 4:13.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.7

    AND “by faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God; ... and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country... Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:9-16.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.8

    IF we will be Christ’s we must take his yoke upon us and learn of him, for he is “meek and lowly in heart,” and it is meekness and lowliness in heart which we must learn of Christ, that we may be his. And if we be his, then are we Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. So says Christ: “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5.SITI January 13, 1887, page 27.1

    J.

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