Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    November 14, 1895

    “God Cannot Fail” The Present Truth 11, 46.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    The disciples were rowing across the sea one night, when a tempest arose and threatened to engulf their little craft.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.1

    Jesus was also a passenger with them, and worn out with the work of the day was in one end of the boat “asleep on a pillow,” even while the water was dashing over their sides.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.2

    “And they awake Him, and say unto Him, Master, carest Thou not that we perish? And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.3

    “And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” Is it, then, an evidence of no faith for men to be alarmed when their boat is filling with water in a boisterous sea? Yes, for the Lord was with them. They thought they were about to drown, and that the Lord was about to drown with them. And He seemed to pay no heed to His danger nor to theirs. They were thinking of themselves, but they had no conception of the Lord as other than themselves in such an extremity; no faith in His Divine mission and the power of His life.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.4

    Faith would have said, “The Lord is with us. His is the power of an endless life, and His is a Divine mission in the world which no fury of the elements can cut short.” Their unbelief suggested that the Lord was as helpless as they.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.5

    The lesson is for us. Whenever danger or trial comes we are to remember that God is alive. When circumstances would seem to overwhelm, and the enemy is raging, unbelief suggests that God is helpless, and that we must perish. But the believer who holds to the promises of God can no more perish than the Lord Himself. God has pledged His own existence that His promises shall not fail nor desert one in trial.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.6

    “For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He swear by Himself.” And this was that we might have “strong consolation” who flee to Him for refuge. Hebrews 6. It is just as impossible for God to forsake us in trouble, if we will but take His promises, as it was that Jesus should sink to the bottom of the sea before His work was done.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.7

    How the load of care and perplexity will roll aside if we but remember that God lives and that there is no danger of His perishing. This fact believed, there is but one question to be settled, What is His will? and knowing that, the results and consequences may be left entirely with Him. He who has the power to work the good pleasure of His will in us has all power.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.8

    “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.9

    “Where is the fury of the oppressor? He that is bent down shall speedily be loosed; and he shall not die and go down into the pit, neither shall his bread fail. For I am the Lord thy God, which stilleth the sea, when the waves thereof roar: the Lord of hosts is His name.” Isaiah 51:14, 15, R.V., margin.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.10

    “Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
    He gently clears thy way;
    Wait thou His time, so shall this night
    Soon end in joyous day.”
    PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.11

    “Compensation” The Present Truth 11, 46.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Amaziah, king of Judah, had hired a hundred thousand men, of the kingdom of Israel, to fight with him against his enemies. The prophet of the Lord warned him that this would weaken rather than strengthen him; for the Lord was not with the men of Israel, because of their wickedness.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.12

    “And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 721.13

    Men sometimes say nowadays, But what of my business? What of the capital invested in business which will have to be relinquished if I obey the Lord? What of the loss if I do not fulfil the contract under which I am bound to give my services to my employer?PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.1

    To all of the excuses which are made for not obeying the voice of the Lord, which put the claims of men or of business investments before the claims of the Lord, the words of the prophet replied, “The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.2

    God may not always pay in earthly inheritance, but the “much more” is sure in that inheritance that is incorruptible and cannot pass away, “reserved in heaven for you.” Will you accept the compensation?PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.3

    “Law-Making and Law-Breaking” The Present Truth 11, 46.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    For the third time the publishers of the PRESENT TRUTH have been before the court in London, and have been fined for not compelling certain employés to cease labour on Sundays. The cases have been very quickly disposed of in court, all of them together occupying less than an hour. To the magistrates it has seemed a very simple affair: the Sunday clause of the Factory Act has been violated, there was no denial of the fact, and of course the penalty must be imposed. That case disposed of, the next was called, and the court routine went on. To the officials it doubtless seemed a trifling matter,—a case of a few individuals with a fad, thinking themselves superior to the laws, and being defeated. Let us see.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.4

    THE ONE GREAT LAWGIVER

    “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.” James 4:12. This is absolute. “For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us.” Isaiah 33:22. God is the only real lawgiver. He is Lord and King over all the inhabitants of the world, “both low and high, rich and poor together.” He is the Lawgiver for princes as well as peasants, for judges as well as common people. To Him they all alike owe allegiance, even as a child does to its father; “For we are also His offspring.” Acts 17:28. “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” Daniel 4:25. “Wisdom and might are His;” “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings.” Daniel 2:20, 21. It is decreed that the nation and the kingdom that will not serve Him shall perish. Isaiah 60:12. Hence the exhortation, “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way.” Psalm 2:10-12.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.5

    THE ONE SUPREME LAW

    “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. So the message which goes forth “to peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:11), even “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” is to “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of the waters.” Revelation 14:6, 7.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.6

    God is the supreme Lawgiver, because He alone is able to save. Therefore “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7. That law, which was one spoken by God Himself, in tones which shook the earth, is composed of ten precepts, as follows:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.7

    1. “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.8

    2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.9

    3. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.10

    4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all Thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.11

    5. “Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.12

    6. “Thou shalt not kill.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.13

    7. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.14

    8. “Thou shalt not steal.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.15

    9. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.16

    10. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.17

    It was of this law that Jesus said, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17. He said, “Think not that I came to destroy the law, or the prophets; I came not to destroy, but to fulfil.” Matthew 5:17. The law was within His heart (Psalm 40:8), and He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, in order “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” Romans 8:4.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.18

    This law is summed up in two great commandments, the first of which is, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” And the second is like unto it, namely, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22:37, 39. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:10. “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12. Therefore it follows that the man who faithfully keeps the law of God, fulfils every obligation to men. “Love is the fulfilling of the law,” and “love is of God”; therefore he who loves God, must love all men. So to fear God and to keep His commandments is the whole duty of every man. There is nothing that can be required outside of that.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 722.19

    No man can serve two masters. Whatever is contrary to God’s law, even though it be framed into law, is lawless and wicked, and must be shunned and ignored by every one who does his duty. There is no danger that this will lead to anarchy; for to love God supremely is the first commandment, and he who does that will necessarily love men.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.1

    THE SEAL OF THE LAW

    “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.2

    At the close of each day’s work “God saw that it was good.” Each step was perfect as He proceeded in the work of creation. At the close of the sixth day “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. Creation was then both perfect and complete.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.3

    Then God rested from all His works. A perfect dwelling-place was prepared for a perfect people. In Hebrews 4:1-4 the fact that the perfect rest for the people of God was ready from the foundation of the earth, is proved by the statement that “God did rest on the seventh day from all His works.” The seventh-day Sabbath is therefore the seal of a complete and perfect new creation. Now note carefully what follows:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.4

    1. Salvation from sin means a new creation. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. “By grace are ye saved through faith; ... not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Ephesians 2:8-10. The Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation,” and the eternal power of God is seen in the things that He has made. Romans 1:16, 20. Redemption therefore is creation.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.5

    2. The Sabbath, being the sign of creation complete and perfect, is the sign of perfect and complete salvation. So God says of His people, “I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:12. The Sabbath of the Lord is the sign and reminder of His power to save.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.6

    3. God is the only Lawgiver, because He is the only one who can save. “There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.” He has a right to the service of man, because He is the Creator, and we are dependent on Him for this present life and for that which is to come. Therefore it followsPTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.7

    (4) That the Sabbath is the seal of God’s power, and of His authority as Lawgiver. To despise the Sabbath is to despise God’s authority. To substitute another sabbath in the place of God’s Sabbath is the most bold and glaring defiance of God that could be devised.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.8

    THE GREAT LAW-BREAKER

    There is a being known as Satan, or the adversary, who was once an angel of light in heaven, having the name Lucifer or light-bearer. The cause of his fall from heaven is thus described: “Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.9

    That which turned him from the light-bearer into the prince of darkness was the exaltation of himself. He set himself forth as greater than God.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.10

    Having seduced man from his loyalty to God, Satan became “the god of this world.” He is such because men have turned “every one to his own way;” and to choose our own way in preference to that of God, is to be ruled by Satan. The way of self is the way of Satan. The development of this Satanic spirit among men is thus set forth by the Apostle Paul, in speaking of the coming of Christ:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.11

    “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.12

    “That man of sin,” is literally, as rendered by Young, “the lawless one.” He is the lawless one because he sets himself against God and His law. So in Daniel 7:25, we have the same lawless one described as one who “shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change times and laws.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.13

    The beast of Revelation 13. also answers to the same description, in that “he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven, and it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” Verses 6, 7.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.14

    That earthly power which completely meets these specifications, is the Papacy. All men are by nature in opposition to God, and there are many forms of organised opposition to Him; but in that vast system, the head of which is the Pope of Rome, we find the most complete development of the Satanic principle of the exaltation of self that can possibly be found among men.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.15

    Of this power it is said in Revelation 13:2, that “the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Not that the dragon resigned his own power and authority in favour of “the beast,” but that all the power and authority which “the beast”—the Papacy-has, it is given it by the dragon. But the dragon is “that old serpent called the Devil and Satan.” Revelation 12:9. Therefore the power of the Papacy is the power of the devil; and the Pope, who professes to be the vicar of Christ, is, on the contrary, the vicar of Satan.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.16

    THE MARK OF LAWLESSNESS

    The Papacy arose through the substitution of the teaching of men for the Word of God. The great claim of the Papacy to-day is that of infallibility, that it is superior to the Bible, competent to sit in judgment upon it, and to decide what is authoritative and what is not. Now the one thing above all others upon which the Papacy depends to show its power and authority, is the substitution of the Sunday for the Sabbath. A few extracts from standard Catholic works are sufficient to show this.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 723.17

    From the “Catholic Christian Instructed,” sixteenth addition, James Duny, Sons, & Co., Dublin, we quote the following:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.1

    Q. What are the days which the Church commands to be kept holy, or observed as days of particular devotion?PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.2

    A. 1st. The Sunday, or Lord’s day, which we observe by apostolical tradition instead of the Sabbath....PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.3

    Q. What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday preferably to the ancient Sabbath, which was Saturday?PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.4

    A. We have for it the authority of the Catholic Church and apostolic tradition.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.5

    Q. Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.6

    A.... the Scripture does not in particular mention this change of the Sabbath.... In fact, the best authority we have for this ancient custom is the testimony of the Church. And therefore those who pretend to be such religious observers of the Sunday, whilst they take no notice of other festivals ordained by the same authority, show that they act more by humour than by reason and religion; Sundays and holidays all stand upon the same foundation, viz., the ordinance of the Church.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.7

    In “The Faith of Our Fathers,” by Cardinal Gibbons, “twenty-fifth carefully revised and enlarged edition,” London: R. Washbourne, we find the following evidence that the Catholic Church exalted itself above the Word of God:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.8

    The Scriptures alone do not contain all the truths which a Christian is bound to believe, nor do they explicitly enjoin all the duties which he is obliged to practise. Not to mention other examples, is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday, and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorising the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.-Page 111.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.9

    Christ declared, in the words of Scripture, that man must live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The Catholic Church on the contrary, coolly boasts of setting aside the Word of God, and thereby proclaims itself Antichrist, opposing and exalting itself “above all that is called God, or that is worshipped.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.10

    Again, in a Catholic work entitled, “Abridgement of Christian Doctrine,” we find the following:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.11

    Ques. How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.12

    Ans. By the very act of changing the Sabbath and the Sunday, which Protestants allow of.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.13

    Exactly in harmony with its Roman Catholic testimony is the following from professed Protestants:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.14

    Canon Eyton says: “There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday.” “No commandment of God bids us do this or not do that on Sunday; we are absolutely free as far as His law goes.” “The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands on exactly the same footing as the observance of Sunday.”—The Ten Commandments.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.15

    The late Dr. R. W. Dale said: “The Sabbath was founded on a specific, Divine command. We can plead no such command for the observance of Sunday.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.16

    Dr. Isaac Williams, of the Church of England, says: “We are commanded to keep holy the seventh day; but we do not think it necessary to keep the seventh day holy; for the seventh day is Saturday. It may be said that we keep the first day instead; but then surely this is not the same thing; the first day cannot be the seventh day; and where are we told in Scripture that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day.”—The Church Catechism, p. 334.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.17

    On the next page but one he adds: “The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the Church, has enjoined it.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.18

    Let it be observed that these statements are almost identical with those quoted from Roman Catholic writers. All agree that the substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath is contrary to Scripture. “The Church” is the sole authority for the change. Now it matters not by what name that church is called; the fact is that the substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath, contrary to the Scriptures, marks it as apostate and identical with “that lawless one,” and the “beast,” which opens its mouth in blasphemy against God.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.19

    This conclusion, therefore, is as clear as that two and two make four: The substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath of the Lord is the badge of authority of that power which claims to be superior to God, in that it claims to be above His Word. Sunday is, therefore, the mark of the beast.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.20

    A WARNING

    Against the receiving of this mark the Scripture utters the following warning: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Revelation 14:9, 10.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.21

    Evidently it is not a light thing that the Papacy has done in substituting Sunday for the Sabbath. It strikes directly at the authority of God. In no other way could so bold a claim be made to supremacy above God. It is a denial of His supremacy as the one only Lawgiver.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.22

    There are many thousands who have never thought but that in keeping Sunday they were obeying God; it is for the benefit of such that the warning is given, that they may save themselves from the coming danger. God does not punish any except those who disregard His gracious warnings. It is when men persist in following the traditions of men, knowing that they are contrary to God;s Word, that they have the mark of the beast so as to be subjects of the threatened punishment.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.23

    THE WORLD FOLLOWING THE BEAST

    The Scripture says that all that dwell on the earth shall worship the beast, except those whose names are in the book of life. It is only necessary for us to take a glance at the so-called “Christian nations” of earth, in every one of which Sunday laws are a prominent feature, to see how nearly universal homage to the Papacy, although often unconscious, has become.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.24

    In the position that the civil authorities and even ministers of the church take in regard to the enforcement of Sunday laws, we see the spirit of the Papacy. When the fourth commandment is quoted to a magistrate, so that he can see that the Sunday law is in opposition to it, he will say, “I am here to enforce the laws as they are, whether right or wrong. This is a law of the State, and it must be enforced.” That is to say, “It matters not what God’s law may say; the law of the State is above it.” That is putting the State above God.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.25

    A New York minister who has gained a world-wide reputation as a “reformer,” Dr. Parkhurst, of Anti-Tammany fame, made a typical utterance a few weeks ago, when he said, “The enforcement of the law, and the wisdom of the law, are distinct.” “I care very little comparatively what law is on the statute books. But I will fight till I die for the enforcement of such laws as are there.” So it is often said that the best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it. That is simply to do evil that good may come. But the whole world has a perverted idea of law and duty. Men fancy that they are law-abiding because they will enforce even a bad law, because it is a law of the State, not realising that to enforce a bad law is sin, a violation of the law of God.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 724.26

    THE QUESTION AT ISSUE

    The case in hand is simply this: There are two or three women who are regularly employed in the publishing work of the International Tract Society. They do work that is ordinarily done by women in all printing offices. They work six days in the week, one of them being Sunday. They do this because they honour God’s law, which says, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.1

    But the Factory Act says that women must not be employed in factories on Sundays, and a printing office is classed as a factory. The Society is prosecuted because it will not compel these women to cease working on Sundays. Remember that they are not compelled to work; they wish to work, for that is their living. They work on Sunday, and rest on the Sabbath, from conscientious conviction. Neither are they over-worked, since they actually work fewer hours than are prescribed by the Factory Act. The only trouble is, they work on Sunday.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.2

    Now why do not the managers of the publishing work cause these women to stay at home on Sundays?—Simply because they do not wish to be a party to enforcing the mark of the beast upon them. “But,” some will say, “the women could find employment elsewhere.” Perhaps so, and perhaps not. That is not the question. Even though they could find work by which they could make up for the loss of the day at their regular employment, the fact would remain that by refusing to let them work in office on Sundays the managers would be doing all that lay in their power to compel them to keep Sunday. All can see this.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.3

    “ONLY A FACTORY ACT’

    One view of the matter is that since the law in question is only a Factory Act, having no religious intent, there could be no compromise of religious principle in complying with it. Thus the Glasgow Herald of Nov. 4 says, at the close of its report of the case:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.4

    If the case were one of persecution on religious grounds, it might fairly be said that the International Tract Society were being hard dealt with. But this is not so. A general statute, framed without any reference to religious tenets of any kind, prohibits the employment of young persons on Sundays, because it is held that they should have one day of absolute rest from work, and Sunday is selected in accordance with the general practice and convenience of the community. If, the International Tract Society were permitted, through regard for their particular crotchet, to defy the law, the way would be open for an unlimited disregard of its provisions. So, until they can procure a special legislative exemption in their favour, they must be content to pay the penalties of their conduct.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.5

    To this we have to say that we have nothing to do with the intent of the law, nor with the motives of its makers. All we are concerned with is the fact that the law requires us to treat Sunday, to a limited extent, just as the fourth commandment requires us to treat the Sabbath; and this we cannot do. We are not defying the law of the State; it is the State that is defying the law of God.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.6

    WHY SPECIFY SUNDAY?

    It is strange that those who think that the Factory Act has no religious significance, do not stop to question why it is that Sunday is specified as the day when certain ones must cease work. Why is it not Monday or Thursdays? The answer is that Sunday is the day that is commonly set apart for leaving off work. And how did this happen? Simply because the apostate Church has made that the badge of its authority, and “all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 18:2. If it were not for that, Sunday would never be mentioned in factory legislation. So although the makers of the law may be ignorant of it, the Sunday clause of the Act is a concession to the influence of the Papacy. The makers and enforcers of the Factory Act may not know what they are doing, but we do. The fact that they mean nothing wrong does not warrant us in doing what we know to be wrong.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.7

    W. M. Ramsey, in “The Church in the Roman Empire,” speaking of the early persecutions, says that “there was no express law or formal edict against Christians in particular.” Most of their persecution was due to the fact that the practice of Christianity brought them in conflict with laws that had been framed with no reference to them, and with no thought of persecution. That did not relieve the situation for them. The great uproar against Paul at Ephesus (see Acts 19:23-41) was a trade union affair, stirred up because the silversmiths were losing custom.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.8

    But that this Factory Act does affect religion, and that the makers thereof knew it, is shown by the fact that the Jews are exempt from its provisions. If it does not affect religion in any way, why was it necessary to exempt them on account of their religious practices?PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.9

    WHY NOT ASK AN EXEMPTION?

    Why do not the Seventh-day Adventists ask for the same exemption that the Jews have? They might, if their own convenience were all that concerns them. But in that case they would not be seventh-day observers at all, and so would need no exception made in their favour.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.10

    But the fact is, Sunday laws of every kind are wrong in every particular. For Sabbath-keepers to ask for and be content with an exception in a Sunday law, in their favour, would be to consent to the enforcement of the law upon other people. They cannot consent to be bribed into acquiescing in the enforcement of the mark of apostasy on others.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.11

    The matter can be clearly understood if we suppose the case of Christians in a heathen country, where the law required worship to be paid to an idol. All can see that for them to ask that they might be exempted from the law, on account of their belief, would be to agree that others might be forced to worship the false God. But such consent would show that they were unworthy to be called Christians. The only use that there is for Christians in this world is to warn everybody against sin.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.12

    Let it be remembered that this Sunday question is not a mere fact of belief, but of fact. We are not asking either the Government or the people to take our belief into account, but to fear God, and keep His commandments. It is their duty to keep the Sabbath, as much as it is ours. The Christian’s duty is to turn men to God, and not to himself.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 725.13

    It might be stated in passing, that when Mr. Asquith was Home Secretary, he was approached on the subject of granting seventh-day Adventists the same exemption that the Jews have. The request was made by disinterested and influential parties, of their own motion, the Adventist themselves having nothing to do in the matter. The petitioners were told that the Adventists were too few in number to warrant any special legislation in their behalf.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.1

    A QUESTION OF SABBATH OR SUNDAY

    In spite of the fact that the law under which these prosecutions come is only a Factory Act, everybody knows that it is not at all a labour question, but a religious one. It is a question of whether the Sabbath of the Lord, or the Sunday of the Pope, shall be observed. Thus, the Glasgow Herald, in the same article in which it insists that it is not a case of religious persecution, says of the Society, “Its members not only will not work on Saturdays, but insist that they are entitled to work on Sundays even with the terror impending over them of fines and distress warrants.” Whatever it may be with the civil authorities, it is a very practical religious question with the Seventh-day Adventists.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.2

    The Daily Chronicle in its notice of the case said, “Such sphere of usefulness as the International Tract Society has filled, will be materially curtailed if it persists in its intention to observe Saturday as a day of rest, and treats Sunday as an ordinary working day. There is no suggestion that the employés of the Society have any constraint put upon them to begin their working week on Sunday, and to rest on the day of the Jewish Sabbath, but as the Society has been made painfully conscious of the fact, by several previous convictions, that the law does not permit the employment of young persons [nor women either] on Sunday, it knows at least the risk it runs.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.3

    Here the true issue is stated. It is whether or not the seventh day shall be used as a day of rest, and the Sunday treated as an ordinary working day. Well, the Bible says that both days must be used in just those ways, and it must be obeyed. In Ezekiel 46:1 the Sabbath is mentioned in direct contrast with “the six working days.” The issue is clear: The Bible says that the seventh day is the Sabbath, and must be kept, and that the first day of the week must be treated as an ordinary working day; and the State, following the lead of the Papacy, says that the Sunday must not be used as an ordinary working day. In this case we have only to say, “We ought to obey God rather than men,” let the consequences be what they may. Man’s only duty is to obey God, and He will look after the consequences.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.4

    THOUGHTLESS OBJECTIONS ANSWERED

    It is a sad commentary on the readiness with which principle is set aside when self-interest is involved, that in spite of the acknowledged fact that the question at issue is whether the commandments of God shall be regarded above the traditions of men, some will still say, “It isn’t as though the law required everybody to cease working on Sundays. If it included all it would be different; but since it involves only two or three women, you might comply with it.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.5

    We have only to say to this that the commandment of God applies to women as well as to men. Sin and righteousness are not matters of sex. For a woman to break the commandment is just as bad as for a man; and to compel a woman to receive the mark of the beast is as sinful as to enforce it upon a man.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.6

    But still some one may say, “It cannot be that the law has any religious significance, or else it would prohibit all from working on Sunday, and not women and young persons alone.” We have already shown that the law is contrary to the law of God, and that is sufficient. If there were a Sunday law specifying only one single individual, and requiring him only to keep it, it would be as wrong for him to obey it as though it embraced everybody.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.7

    The first Sunday law ever enacted, that of Constantine, A.D. 321, was only partial in its application. It required only people in towns to rest, but allowed all agricultural labourers to work as usual. Whenever man puts himself in the place of God, he not only legislates contrary to God, but he assumes power that God has not, namely, that of granting dispensations and indulgences.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.8

    But people forget that the devil is a deceiver. He does not label all his wares. If there should be at once a law framed, entitled, “An Act to Compel Everybody to Keep Sunday,” there would be a great outcry against such an attempt against the liberty of English people. Even conscientious observers of the Sunday would protest against it. Such laws are as sure to be enacted in all the world, not with that exact title perhaps, as the Word of God is true. But the people must be accustomed to such legislation by degrees. So here we have a seemingly innocent Sunday clause in a Factory Act. That is readily accepted as a humane act. In the next Parliament a Bill is to be introduced, still further amending the Factory Act, “prohibiting manufacturing processes being carried on from Saturday noon to Monday morning.” That will involve all factory operatives; but since it will be “only a Factory Act,” people will accept it as a good thing as readily as they do the present one.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.9

    What will be the next step that must inevitably follow?—Simply this, a law prohibiting any labour of any kind on Sundays, even in private shops at home, because such labour would be unfair competition with those who are compelled to rest. The Sunday-law rule is, “The liberty of rest for some is the early law of rest for all.” The thin end of the wedge having been inserted without protest, the whole would as easily follow, and we should then have the condition described in Revelation 13:16, 17, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” All this will be done professedly “in the interest of labour,” and those who are doing it may see nothing more in it; but those who do know the wickedness that is concealed in it, are bound to do all they can to sound a warning.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.10

    “Infantile Apostasy” The Present Truth 11, 46.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    While the infant Prince Boris is innocently voicing his joys and sorrows in the universal language of babyhood, nations are stirred over the question of his religion. The other day it was rumoured that the Bulgarian cabinet was about to resign on the question, but a truce was brought about, and it is understood that the infant will ultimately leave the Church of Rome for the Greek Church. A Rome telegram says:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.11

    Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria has recently written several letters to the Pope asking his Holiness’s consent to the conversion of Prince Boris to the Orthodox faith. The Pope, however, remains inflexible, and declares that he will never consent to what he regards as an act of apostasy.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 726.12

    A pagan ruler once said that if there were no religion it would be necessary to invent one, as it was an essential in governing men. So modern States, following the pagan idea of religion, see in it merely a useful superstition which may be turned to account in holding the allegiance of the people. So far as any idea of that religion of Christ, which no government of earth can adopt or administer or patronise, is concerned, it is lacking just as much as though the discussion were over the policy of giving the infant a new toy of Greek or Roman manufacture.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.1

    “The Resurrection” The Present Truth 11, 46.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    “When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked.” The scholars of Athens heard Paul up to that point, but that was too much.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.2

    Had the apostle spoken of life in the spirit world after death they would have listened; for the pagan notion of life after death was just that.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.3

    But it was not the pagan philosophy that Paul preached. He preached “Jesus and the resurrection.” He knew that life and immortality are brought to light only in the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:10), and that the immortality is conferred only at the time of the last trump, when “the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.4

    It is for that glad time that the saints of God which “sleep in the dust of the earth” are waiting. Job declared, “If a man die shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.5

    Will it seem a long time to wait? Not an instant; for there can be no sense of time to one who sleeps in death. To Adam or Abel the time of waiting till the voice of the Lord at His coming awakens them can be no longer than to the last saint who falls asleep in Jesus.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.6

    And it is a glorious thought that not one of all those who have served the Lord, however lowly the sphere of service, will be forgotten in that day. Then it is that Paul will receive the “crown of life” (2 Timothy 4.), and all the saints of God, from Adam down, will “together” be raised to meet the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18. And there is comfort in these words.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.7

    But there is no place for a resurrection in the pagan philosophy. Every man was supposed to possess immortality of himself, and death was but a passing into another state of life, a state of bliss, or perchance of purging or torment. No wonder they mocked at the resurrection, when they refused to receive Jesus and the life by Him alone.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.8

    And how is it now? When the church fell away and gathered to itself the superstitions and errors of the pagan world, it adopted this very same pagan idea of immortality, and hence it comes that the very ideas which caused the men of Athens to mock Paul are almost universally received to-day. No wonder, then, that the doctrine of the resurrection is being set at nought, even in pulpits and the religious press. Yet it is the grand Gospel of life, and the power of Christ’s life in the believer is the pledge of the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10, 11.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.9

    And this truth of life only in Christ, and by the resurrection from the dead at the last day, is to guard against all the delusions of Spiritualism which are sweeping into the churches in all the world. For as there is no life after death save by the resurrection, it follows that all manifestations claiming to come from the dead are from the devil direct. Therefore, whether men believe or whether they mock, as did the foolish wise men of Mars Hill, the preacher of the Gospel can preach the life to come only by preaching Jesus and the resurrection.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 727.10

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth 11, 46.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Trouble continues in the Turkish interior. Sometimes the Armenians are on the defensive and sometimes on the offensive.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.1

    -The Chinese Government has paid Japan the first instalment of the indemnity by a cheque for over eight million pounds, which was duly signed at the Bank of England.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.2

    -Another slight earthquake shock alarmed Rome last wok. These convulsions ought to remind dwellers of the “Eternal City” that nothing that is of earth is enduring.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.3

    -The rabbit pest in Australia has long been a serious question. A writer describes having soon recently a body of them running across the land and extending two or three miles in a mass as solid as they could be to run conveniently.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.4

    -Foreign Jews are only admitted to Palestine for thirty days, to enable them to visit Jerusalem and other places. They are required to give satisfactory assurances that they will not remain in the country before they are allowed to land at Jaffa.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.5

    -The discovery of a large area of coal is reported from Newfoundland. It is twelve miles long by six wide, and the quality of coal is good. The find has caused rejoicing, as it is hoped that it will brighten the prospects of the colony, which has been passing through severe financial depression.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.6

    -A negro was last week burned in Texas by a mob. It is said that 7,000 people witnessed the atrocity, which shows that there are 7,000 as benighted savages in the vicinity as ever roamed in the wilds of Africa. The veneer of civilisation is everywhere very thin, and the primitive savage very easily breaks out.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.7

    -The great strike on the Clyde seems to be an assured fact now. If no means of conciliation are discovered it is thought likely it will extend. This time the ship-builders and master engineers have struck against their workmen, out of sympathy with the masters in Belfast, whose men are on strike against them.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.8

    -In the Vienna municipal elections the Anti-Semite party elected a burgomaster who is violently hostile to the Jews and liberals. He had also denounced Hungarian aspirations, and ton thousand Hungarian merchants pledged themselves not to break oft relations with Vienna in ease his election wore confirmed. The Emperor has refused to sanction the election, and a bitter fight between the clerical Anti-Semites and their opponents is predicted.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.9

    -German newspaper editors are not allowed the latitude of criticism which is possessed in most countries. Nearly every day some journalist is reported under arrest, and frequently editions of hostile papers are suppressed. The dissatisfaction is only smouldering, and one day it seems probable Germany will need its army to put down its own Socialist subjects. But when it comes to that it is a question whether the army will be on the side of the throne. The governments of this earth are not so stable as many suppose.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 734.10

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 11, 46.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    During all the recent riots in Constantinople, a Bible school was being conducted by brethren Holser and Jones in the midst of the Armenian quarter in Stamboul, and although all the attendants were Armenians, they suffered no disturbance.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.1

    One result of the Bible school, besides the strengthening of the brethren and sisters, was the increase of the force of labourers in Turkey by six. The membership of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Constantinople is now seventy, and is increasing.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.2

    From the first of our work in Turkey, the Protestants have denied before the Turkish authorities that we were Protestants, hoping thus to hinder the spread of the Sabbath truth. Of course neither the Greeks, nor Catholics would own that we were even Christians, and so the Turks were for a time suspicious of our brethren, since they are mostly Armenians.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.3

    But all this was the best thing that could have happened. Bro. Holser writes:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.4

    Now we are known as Sabbatarians, and as harmless to the Government. We are known to the authorities through the imprisonment of brethren. The present troubles of the Government are due to the efforts of Protestants, and were we known as of the same class or name, we should be regarded as the rest. But as it is, we are known as a separate class of Christians, whom Protestants deny. Brother Jones and I, with B—, visited the Minister of Police, a member of the Cabinet; he received us very cordially, and as we explained to him our position on Church and State, he said that he understood that already; he knows, too, that this is one of the reasons why Protestants do not own us.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.5

    It had seemed as though there would be difficulty for our brethren in travelling from one place to another, since no one can travel in Turkey without a passport, and no one can get a passport without a certificate from his representative. None of the Christian representatives would own our brethren; but even this has turned to their advantage, since the Minister above mentioned agreed to grant passports to them directly, as Sabbatarians, and has notified the provinces. So the Sabbath, which is the seal of God, is the distinguishing mark and the safeguard of our brethren in Mohammedan Turkey.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.6

    “What we do know,” says the Chronicle, “is that any moment may see us face to face with the gravest problems in the Levant.” Nobody knows what turn things will take, but all know that in any case there is bound to be trouble.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.7

    The following paragraph from the Christian World evidently refers to one of our German brethren:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.8

    German military circles are greatly exercised about a young soldier called Trott in the little town of Insterburg. This lad, after learning his drill, and showing that he was a thoroughly efficient and intelligent soldier, was ordered on Saturday last to mount guard as a sentry. He refused on the ground that he was a Second Adventist, and that work or duty of any kind on that day would be contrary to his convictions. Trott was at once arrested, and his case reported to headquarters. We shall watch with considerable interest the decision arrived at in the conclusion between the iron pot of German militarism and the frail earthen pitcher of the poor Second Adventist.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.9

    It is remarkable how common is the idea amongst professors of Christianity that the man who has only the Lord for him and all the power of an earthly government against him has very frail support. They have yet to learn who the Lord is.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.10

    Some have said, “It is certain that the women whom you are employing on Sunday will soon be forced by the law to cease work, since it will shut up your establishment; why then can you not cease to employ them before it comes to that? The result will be the same at last.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.11

    To this we need only quote, “It must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.” Matthew 18:7. The weak plea, “If I don’t do it, somebody else will,” has served to reconcile many a man’s conscience to the commission of evil; but it does not clear a man in the sight of God. “He that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; and there is no respecter of persons.” Colossians 3:25. We choose to let the responsibility for the wrong rest on the other person, if he is willing to assume it. We will keep the other person from committing the sin, if we possibly can; but we do not propose to step in and commit the sin ourselves, in order to keep somebody else from doing it.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.12

    Dr. Robertson, of Venice, points out to his co-religionists at home that all the sentimental talk about reunion and the effusive letters to the Pope are increasing the difficulties of Evangelical workers in Italy.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.13

    We are glad to learn from the South African Sentinel, published by our society in Cape Town, that its list increases encouragingly. It anticipates reaching a 10,000 circulation by the end of the year, a very good figure for less than a half-year’s existence.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.14

    Speaking of mission effort in the newly opened South African districts, one of the missionaries accompanying one Chief Khama says that in Mashonaland the missions are mainly in the hands of the ritualistic party, while he alludes to the fact that Seventh-day Adventists have established industrial missions amongst the natives in Matabeleland.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.15

    Who should know Greek if not the Greeks themselves? There are people who would have us believe that the Anglicised Greek word “baptize” does not necessarily mean immerse. A work issued by the Greek Synod, declares that “baptism” without immersion is a contradiction of the etymological signification of the words which serve to designate it. It says that the Western Church “is guilty of an abuse of words and ideas and practising baptism by aspersion, the mere announcement of which is a laughable contradiction.”PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.16

    In Stock Exchange gambling, as in other forms of the vice, it is the shrewd promoter and now and then a chance investor who make money out of the many who foolishly put their little in expecting great returns in vain. Speaking of the general “rout” in the City last week a morning paper says:—PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.17

    Up to the present, promoters of South African and West Australian gold-mining companies have lured hundreds of thousands of pounds from confiding speculators and investors on no more solid ground than dazzling reports from interested and other ignoramus mining engineers. But the gold actually produced by the mines has only been a mere fraction of that subscribed by the public.PTUK November 14, 1895, page 736.18

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents